This is a chapter of Understanding the Dream Sociogram that the publisher would not include in the written text due to size restrictions. It is also available from the publisher as an e-book addition at no charge
The perspectives of interviewed dream characters and the personifications of waking life dramas serve the purpose of bringing you to a state of greater wakefulness even if you are already convinced that you are asleep, dreaming and sleepwalking your way through your life. The greater danger is that you have developed tools and competencies that validate who you are and the sufficiency of your current level of development. You know more than most people; other people admire you and want what you have to offer, and so your own incentives to grow diminish, as to change may risk the loss of the comfortable, secure and effective homeostasis you have achieved. At such a point, where is your incentive to grow going to come from?
The ability of IDL to take your development to the next, more integrative stage of your unfoldment never ends, nor can it end as long as you remain capable of some interaction with life. You will find that the responses of interviewed emerging potentials to the questions associated with the various Dream Sociometric Commentaries are generally broader and more inclusive than your own. This is because they include your own, since these interviewed perspectives are in part aspects of you. At the same time, they transcend your own, regardless of your level of development, since these characters are personifications of life itself, clothed in the perspectives of interviewed emerging potentials. Because they add their own perspectives to yours, a broader, more inclusive, informed and objective perspective than your own is created. The result is greater awareness, wakefulness,clarity, lucidity and enlightenment for ascended masters as well as for young children, for the successful and powerful as well as those lost in the swamps of delusion, pain and illness.
Understanding and Detaching from Your Life Script
Both your dreams and your waking life dramas reveal and reflect how you are trapped in your life script, that is, in the assumptions, expectations, roles and preferences that define who you think you are. As you recognize your scripting and move into objectivity in relation to it, you gain the freedom to choose which parts of your scripting to keep and to identify those which are sabotaging your development and need to be jettisoned. Dream Sociometry helps to create this objectivity by providing not one, but multiple invested perspectives that can have lasting positive influences on your life today, regarding specific aspects of your life script.
While this objectivity is highly relevant, relevance is much less important than usefulness. Accessing realistic options for becoming unstuck is even more important than understanding how and when you are stuck in your life script. Fortunately, the average Dream Sociometric interview contains more than enough recommendations to be operationalized and evaluated in the laboratory of your everyday life. This both tests the method and builds your confidence in subjective sources of objectivity.
It is common to encounter major resistances to testing recommendations you receive in your interviews. These include forgetting to read over previous interviews, a procedure designed to reawaken you to the availability of a broader culture based on assumptions that you do not usually make. Another common resistance is the failure to make general recommendations specific and operational so that they answer the question, “How will I know if this recommendation is useful or not?” “What will be different in my life?” Recommendations need to be quantified. “What am I measuring? How often will I do it? When will I measure it? How will I measure it? By quantity or quality or both?” Most recommendations can either be checked off when completed or be placed on a zero to ten scale to measure the amount of its presence or influence.
Other resistances to testing recommendations include taking on too many at once and thereby reducing the likelihood that you will note progress with any of them, not sticking with testing a recommendation long enough to get results, attributing benefits to a recommendation that are due to other factors, making choices about application based on your mood and not creating a structure to remind yourself what the recommendations are that you are working on so that you can evaluate your progress, and not committing yourself to some system of accountability to peers in the method, to review by those who understand both what you are attempting to accomplish and the methods you are using to do so.
All of these factors conspire to cause you to evaluate Dream Sociometry based on belief rather than results. This not only deprives you of major opportunities for growth but reduces your own credibility as a teacher of the method. It is through seeing the results in your own life that you become a reflection of the priorities of your own life compass. Other people will see this and some will want to know what has worked for you. If you have practiced Dream Sociometry and IDL as a dream yoga that directs your integral life practice, there will be an authenticity about what you say, do and teach that will shine through.
Dream Sociometry teaches you how to recognize and avoid drama in the three realms of interpersonal relationships, your thoughts and feelings and your dreams. Your script generates drama and to the extent that you experience your life dramas as real, whether you experience them in dreams, waking experience or in mystical or near death experiences, you suffer. Being stuck in the Drama Triangle is a functional definition of what Buddhists call dukkha, suffering, generated by identification with delusion and illusion. By practicing Dream Sociometry in order to repeatedly take perspectives that are less identified with drama than you are, you are slowly leveraged out of identification with drama. You will observe more clearly not only when and how you get stuck in drama but see ways that you can respond to your predicament rather than simply reacting, which creates more drama.
Removing Holonic Filters
The perspectives that you access in your interviews address the physical, mental, cultural and social filtering that block your clarity, lucidity and enlightenment. These are the four quadrants of the holon of your identity, the exterior individual quadrant of your behavior, the interior individual quadrant of your private thoughts, feelings and state of consciousness, the interior collective quadrant of your values, interpretations and world views and your exterior collective quadrant of your relationships with others and your interactions with both the world and the world of your dreams.
All four quadrants are to be found in both waking and dreaming issues and situations and all four are represented in the character elaborations in the various Dream Sociometric Commentaries. In any life issue, you will find that you are weakest in one of these four quadrants and strongest in another. Your challenge is to strengthen the weakest, because it is hindering the integration of your four quadrants, an integration that is required for it to transform to a context which includes, but transcends, your current life issue. From such an expanded perspective your life issue will tend to either resolve itself or no longer be experienced as a barrier to your further development.
It is for this reason, the broader integration of all four quadrants, that IDL emphasizes a thorough-going solution focus. This begins with your identification of three current life issues in order to make your interviews relevant to your ongoing concerns. IDL views life dramas, dreams and nightmares as wake up calls rather than as problems, as opportunities to get out of your own way rather than as occasions for blame, guilt or recrimination. This is not because of some philosophical or psychological predisposition toward problem solving or wake up calls, but because interviewed emerging potentials repeatedly state your greater wakefulness as their purpose or motivation, when asked why they exist. The more awake you are, the more transparent you become, allowing the priorities of life to express themselves. This is the core motivation or intention found again and again in IDL interviewing. Waking up then, is a process of strengthening the weakest quadrant in any life issue so that all four quadrants can interact in a way that sustains a higher order of response to your life challenges, which in turn broadens your identity as more adequate, inclusive and lucid holons.
Reducing Your Cognitive Distortions
Dream Sociometry helps you to reframe your emotional, logical and perceptual cognitive distortions by viewing them from the perspectives of interviewed characters. Their elaborations in the various Commentaries provide alternative, more rational and effective ways of thinking about your fears, the actions of others, failure, confusion, sex, work and success. Because these perspectives are innate, spontaneously expressed out of your own experience, new wording provides you with alternative ways that make sense for you of framing or thinking about problems and life dramas.
Aligning Your Goals with Your Life Compass
Viewing your life from the multi-perspectivalism of multiple invested interviewed perspectives allows you to modify your goals to more closely approximate those of your life compass, the priorities that life is attempting to earth or manifest in and through you. You know if the recommendations of interviewed characters reflect the priorities of your life compass if their perspective transcends your own; if your priorities are in agreement with the priorities of a broad range of other interviewed perspectives; if they reflect values that are integrative, including confidence, empathy, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace and witnessing; if they are relatively drama-free; and if they are broadly accepting, even while realistic and critical of abusive behaviors. Such perspectives represent emerging potentials that you are yet to grow into because they express priorities that are bigger, broader and more inclusive than your priorities. The areas where interviewed emerging potentials agree, where there is broad consensus, create a vector of growth that points you toward your life compass and your path forward. Having such information reduces the amount of time that you spend stuck or pursuing dead end relationships, career paths or addictive self-rescuing activities. Without the council of multiple invested objective perspectives you can spend decades pursuing goals that you feel are right and are committed to, but which are still not in alignment with the priorities of your life compass.
Your life compass does not set priorities that care about your sexual preferences, how you look, your age, how successful you are, what your grades are, where you live or how much money you have. It is not a moral arbitrator like your conscience. The priorities of interviewed emerging potentials ignore your religious preferences and individual idiosyncrasies. Your life compass has nothing to do with God, soul, universal beingness, Atman, karma, dharma, fate, universal law, energy, quantum anything, the superconscious or a divine plan for your life. Instead, the priorities of interviewed emerging potentials that point your toward your life compass focus on aligning your thoughts, feelings and actions, whether asleep or dreaming, in ways that will integrate your four holons so as to allow you to evolve to a broader and more inclusive way of living. Therefore, yourlife compass is not a “thing” located in a particular place, such as within you, as opposed to outside of you, nor is it a specific destination or state of consciousness, like sat, cit ananda. It is life’s agenda for its awakening as uniquely manifesting in you as a realm of emerging potentials that are attempting to be born within you today. This is a spontaneous, playful, highly intimate and ever expanding vector, not some specific destination, identity or state of being.
The more that you focus on the priorities of your life compass the more likely you will move into clarity regarding who you are, where you are going and how best to move ahead. This clarity is lucidity, greater wakefulness, witnessing and enlightenment. It involves a thinning of your sense of self, the replacement of personalization with cosmic humor, of a substitution of dependency on belief and reason with an integrative dependency on trans-rational experience. It involves the growth of a broad and deepening acceptance of yourself, others and life. This clarity is strengthened by clear and lucid interviewed characters who validate and support your efforts as well as your direction. Witnessing, an important component of clarity, is strengthened when you contemplate the relationships depicted in Dream Sociograms. You are taking a “bird’s eye view” of your life issues and dramas, objectifying and detaching yourself from your normal subjective submersion in the flow of your life script. This clarity and witnessing opens up into luminosity, which is a formless source of creativity. Experientially, it is analogous to the pause before you inhale, a space prior to awakening, expression, experience and aliveness. Life prior to experience is paradoxical, but can be explained as a broader type of experience or as the experience of a context which contains all experience.
Using Dream Sociometry to End Addiction
Addiction can be thought of as subjective enmeshment in self-rescuing. Five of your most basic forms of self-medication are addiction to the past, future, to your emotional preferences, thoughts and your sense of self. If you were free of your attachments to these, wouldn’t your addictions to food, drugs, the internet, comfort, companionship, health and meaning be a lot easier to deal with? Because Dream Sociometry cultivates witnessing and objectivity it undercuts addiction of all kinds. Both physiological and psychological components ofaddiction can be objectified and witnessed with increased detachment.
All physical addictions, such as smoking, eating comfort foods, drinking and drugs contain psychological components. If you reduce those psychological components by reducing negative scripting and cognitive distortions, addressing the physical addiction then mostly becomes social and behavioral – separating yourself from social reinforcers and the addictive substances themselves, for example.
Dream Sociometry strongly reduces the psychological components ofaddiction by addressing these five areas. It reduces addiction to the past and future by reframing your interpretations of your experiences, both while dreaming and while awake, so that your interpretations are less reactive and less based on the assumptions of your familial and cultural scripting and more on the perspectives of interviewed emerging potentials. It reduces your addiction to your preferences, that is, your needs and wants, by reframing them in the context of the perspectives of interviewed characters. It reduces your addiction to your thoughts, including your assumptions and expectations by exposing you to the points of view of interviewed perspectives in the various Commentaries. If you look at these elaborations and compare them to your own thoughts, you will find that they generally act as antidotes to your cognitive distortions. These perspectives will generally be clearer and more rational than your thoughts are, regardless of your level of development. Using such formulations will further free you from the addictive prison of your emotional, formal and perceptual cognitive distortions.
Dream Sociometry reduces your addiction to your sense of self as you successively take the role of other invested perspectives, thereby broadening who you think you are by adopting a more inclusive and therefore transcendent identity. It is repetition of identification with emerging potentials that matters here. It takes not only an addictive substance or activity to create addiction; it also requires someone to get addicted. The less attached you are to your sense of self the more likely you are to be able to detach from your addictions as well. Therefore, by expanding your identity by creating Dream Sociomatrices and Dream Sociograms, you broaden and detach yourself from a core source of your addictions: your addiction to your limited and delusional sense of self.
Pinpointing Your Stuckness to Create Greater Objectivity
When your interviewed characters elaborate on their preferences in the various Commentaries they are indicating where and how they think you are stuck, asleep and sleepwalking. These multiple re-framings generate greater objectivity toward your stuckness because you have considered it from a wider variety of perspectives than you did previously.
This objectivity detaches you from the five factors that generate your sense of self, your sensory experience, your feelings and preferences, your images, your thoughts and your overall mood or sense of consciousness. Looking down at a Dream Sociogram while contemplating its relationships metaphorically accomplishes all these forms of detachment at the same time. You still have all five components of your identity, but on a meta-level – you are in your body and using your senses to observe yourself using your body and senses in a dream or waking situation; you still have preferences, but they are now preferences about multiple patterns of preferences expressed by multiple characters; you still think thoughts, but they are thoughts about the thoughts of the characters in the commentaries; you still have images, but they are images aboutdream or life drama images; you still have consciousness, but it is consciousness aboutthe consciousness and mood of multiple interviewed characters, including yourself. This only lasts while you are observing the Dream Sociogram, but with repeated immersions in such a meta-level of observation, your attachment to the addictions and dramas represented by the associated life issues fades.
Increasedobjectivity and witnessing generates a thinning of self accompanied by a reduced reactivity and defensiveness. You don’t take things personally because you discover, through empathetically taking multiple roles, that what others say, think, feel or do is about them; it is not about you. This non-personalization creates a space where everything becomes cosmically humorous; taking things personally becomes absurd because it becomes clear that there is no singular real self to act as recipient of perceived insult, abuse or damage, or merely the fear of same. There is no target for stress, disease, fear or death, because there is no real you that personalizes such occurrences.
Finding Your Authentic Path Forward
IDL and Dream Sociometry become tools that direct your integral life practice, your dream yoga of moving into greater states of lucidity and wakefulness, dreaming and awake. They do so by putting you in touch with the perspectives you need today in order to cybernetically correct and refine your path. You spend less time wandering around in the swamps of life, wondering where you are. The more you identify with emerging potentials the more you amplify your sense of inner peace.
Validating Your Efforts
You test the accuracy of your path by applying the recommendations that are made in your interviews, choosing which ones to work on based on “triangulation.” That is, you consult sources of external objectivity, such as experts, gurus and friends, sources of internal or subjective objectivity, your interviewed emerging potentials, and your common sense. You operationalize those recommendations you choose and evaluate your progress day by day, relying on the feedback of other interviewed emerging potentials as well as respected sources of external authority.
Moving into Abundance
Studies of tribal cultures have shown that awareness of abundance has little connection with possessions or education and a great deal to do with a sense of balance and integration with nature, culture, society and self. Ask yourself, “By using IDL and Dream Sociometry, is my life moving into a sense of greater abundance?” As you have fewer needs and find yourself more deeply thankful for the simple things in life that you normally take for granted, that sense of microcosmic, intrasocial abundance becomes out-pictured or mirrored as macrocosmic social abundance. This sense of present, growing and overflowing abundance is a very good measure of your degree of balance and integration. Its growing presence is a realistic expectation for an ongoing life practice based on Integral Deep Listening.
Implications of the Fourteen Categories of Dream Sociograms
When I first discovered intrasocial groups in 1980 I was intrigued that different types of dreams predictably created five different types of Dream Sociograms. I knew that there were a greater number of types possible that were not represented in my sample. I assumed that with samples from broader populations that the remaining patterns would be found. It was only much later, in 2016, that it dawned on me that some of the unfound patterns couldn’t show up in Dream Sociograms and that their absence wasn’t merely an artifact of the methodology. It became clear that most of the unrepresented patterns do exist in waking life, but cannot in Dream Sociometry, because the process of stating preferences does not allow the deceit and hypocrisy that is a normal, accepted and largely unrecognized component of waking life.Analyzing these patterns brings into focus the nature and pervasiveness of that hypocrisy in ways I had been oblivious to. Like a fish swimming in polluted water, we do not normally recognize our habitual waking hypocrisy or the lies that we live and routinely tell ourselves. When we do, we generally rationalize the status quo, because there are heavy socio-cultural consequences for not validating consensus groupthink dramas.Dream Sociometry highlights this common human dilemma as a barrier to human development that is much more fundamental and profound than issues like lacking “ego strength,” confidence or failure at career and personal goals. Life appears to care little about our priorities and instead emphasizes with its preferences our congruence, or lack of it.
Our preferences are the emotional embodiment of our intentions. How much our intentions are in alignment with those of emerging potentials has massive implications for both the speed and quality of our development because the consensual preferences of multiple interviewed emerging potentials reflect contexts that include, yet transcend, our own. Generally both unrecognized and unheeded, if not actively ignored and fought, they act as stronger or weaker magnets pulling us toward them. Contemplation of Dream Sociograms and these various categories is more than a thought experiment; it is a way of cultivating the witness by taking multiple transcendent perspectives, some of which can only be considered transpersonal.
The Dialectic and the Fourteen Patterns
Because the vast majority of life is about balancing and “taking care of business” in routine, habitual ways, it is not surprising that many Dream Sociogram patterns deal with the thesis stage of the developmental dialectic. Those that are largely associated with thesis in whole or in part, (+/+), (+/ ),
( / ), (_/_), make up less than half of the total. These include both those patterns, (+/ ), (+/+), (+/+)*,
( / ), (-/ ), (_/_) and possibly, if not likely, to be found in intrasocial groups, dreams and waking.Then there are the remaining patterns, which are found only in dreams and waking. While it is obvious that humanity can grow into the generation of a greater proportion of (+/ ), (+/+), (+/+)* approaches to life issues, we can only conjecture at the implications of the generation of patterns.
What is more surprising is the large representation of antithetical patterns, including ( / ), (-/ ), ( / )—, (-/-), (-/+) (+/-) and (-/-)*.What is so antithetical to intrasocial groups as to be impossible is generally subsumed as thesis for waking identity and ignored, if possible. Wake up calls must generally be intense and demanding to break through the various repressive mechanisms waking identity has developed to keep itself focused on working, raising children and dealing with other pressing aspects of the daily quest for financial and interpersonal security. Categories that are antithetical from the perspective of intrasocial groups but generally are not so considered by waking identity include (-/ ),
(-/+) and (+/-). In fact, the only categories in this sample that can confidently be declared to be considered antithetical from both waking and intrasocial perspectives are Bipolar/Bipolar ( / ) and Rejecting/Bipolar (-/ ).
Preferring/Bipolar, Preferring/Rejected (+/-), Indifferent/ Indifferent (_/_), Bipolar Rejected ( /-), Rejecting/Preferred (-/+), Rejecting/Bipolar (-/ ), ( / )— complete ambivalence, and Rejecting/Rejected (-/-), would all be viewed as antithetical from the perspective of intrasocial groups if they could even exist in that dimension. However, these patterns generally exist as ongoing adaptive stances in waking life, that is, as thesis habitual accommodations.
While both Preferring/Preferred patterns (+/+), Highly Preferring/Preferred patterns (+/+)* and Clear/Clear patterns represent synthesis from a waking perspective, from an intrasocial perspective it appears that Highly Preferring/Preferred (+/+)* and Clear/Clear patterns reflect synthesis for intrasocial collectives.
The implication is that the broader holons that intrasocial perspectives represent do not view human development the way waking identity does. Because the collective internal nature of intrasocial perspectives represents inclusive and transcending contexts of which waking identity, regardless of its level of development, is always a subset, its view of the developmental dialectic will reflect the collective priorities of emerging priorities, not waking identity.
Multi-Perspectivalism and Unity
The philosophical fights between dualism and oneness are ancient. They are usually “resolved” with reductionism, with each camp declaring that the other is “really,” when properly understood, an expression of the other. Samsara is non-dual nirvana in drag; oneness is the essence of all diversity; oneness is a holonic worm hole to all diversity. Buddhism attempts to avoid this reductionism with “the two truths doctrine,” which holds that there is a transcendent, unified way of looking at life in which all is one and there is a dualistic way of looking at life in which distinction is emphasized. The Buddhist approach has roots in the Hindu arguments between monism, best exemplified by Sankara’s Advaita Vedantaand the Samkyafound in the Bhagavad Gita. These, however, both have their roots in shamanism, in which visionquests to heaven and hell reveal both unity and diversity as ultimate truths. In Chinese Taoism the debate is framed in terms of yin and yang,with each containing the other and both inherent parts of a greater whole which might be called unity-distinction and which the Chinese call “Tao.” A more contemporary, Western and psychological formulation is found in gestalt psychology, which notes that we can see unifying figure or distinctions within ground, we can focus on ground, or we can see both at the same time. These can also shift, with figure becoming ground and vice-versa. Philosophically, the relationship of ground to figure is expressed in post-modernism as contextualism; for integral, emphasis on part or whole are interpretations or world views of the collective individual quadrant of the human holon. Everything exists within a context, which means that there is always a broader, more inclusive formulation of unity than what you now assume to be true and real and that this unity could not be apprehended if it were not for some still broader, but only implied, context of diversity.
Why is this argument even important? The conclusion of oneness validates monotheisms, ontology and selves while the conclusion of multiplicity validates polyvalence, multi-perspectivalism, epistemology, separateness and by implication, isolation. By this point in human history we have enough social and cultural data to compare monotheistic and polytheistic solutions and even those approaches that claim to be neither or to integrate both, such as Buddhism, gestalt psychology, post-modernism and multi-perspectivalism.
The problem with unified approaches is that they end up with the deification of unity as various forms of monotheism: God, spirit, divinity, Self, Atman, soul, energy and quantum everything. These are invariably exceptionalistic. While claiming they are universal, that is, that they embody unity and oneness, they commit what is called a performative fallacy by essentially saying, “We are egalitarian and pluralistic and embrace everyone and everything in an integral embrace of spirit and love – except those who disagree with us and are not egalitarian and pluralist and do not embrace everyone and everything.” “We accept everyone except those who reject our belief in oneness.”
On a personal level, that is of unity as sacred and metaphysical entities, such as God, Self and soul, this takes the form of psychological geocentrism. It is internalized microcosmically as ego inflation. Life revolves around me, whether it is me as one with everything, one with God, one as a unitary self or one as an immortal identity. This is exceptionalistic because life is all about me and mine as the center of everything.
The problem is that this contradiction gets externalized macrocosmically, as political dominance and persecution in the name of democracy and peace. Those do not serve the cause of universal oneness must be either ignored, converted, suppressed or killed. If you look at the history of the great monotheisms, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, this is what you find. They all share belief in God, Self, soul universalism and exceptionalism. They all embrace and manifest incredible contradictions of hypocrisy, immorality and cruelty, all carried out in the name of universal love.
Exceptionalists do not have to be religious dogmatists. They can be political, as in the case of fascist, socialist and democratic nationalism or economic, as we see in the imposition of austerity economics by the IMF and by capitalism and globalism in general. In these economic models, economic theory exists to support and promote the ends of this or that form of exceptionalism or unity at the expense of diversity. Jared Diamond, in Guns, Germs and Steel, has shown how more highly unified, structured and integrated societies conquer and exterminate less unified, less structured and less unified societies. Therefore, adoption of a preference for unity makes adaptive sense and is a survival strategy that has stood the test of time. It is very difficult for individuals and societies to outgrow long-held addictions to beliefs and behaviors. Just as we continue to practically rely on the sensory illusion of geocentrism in our everyday lives even though we know it is false, so we continue to practically rely on the noospheric illusion of psychological geocentrism while we proclaim egalitarianism, pluralism and the oneness of humanity and life. Consequently, this abstract, philosophical question of the primacy of oneness or multi-perspectivalism has real world, life or death, rich or poor consequences not only for individuals and entire societies, but for civilization itself.
Monotheism also substantiates ontology. Language is a highly useful technology that separates elements from the stream of experience by naming them. Naming creates “things” as separate realities and substances and therefore generates ontology or being apart from experience. The problem with ontology is that when we believe that the names we give things really stand for or signify realities, experience gets constipated around those sticking points. Obvious examples are who you think you are, including your own name and identity; Self, meaning an eternal and immortal Atman; and soul or a non-physical “you” that continues to exist in some realm and probably has pre-existence and reincarnates. These ontological categories of oneness organize reality into ways that bias our perception toward oneness and away from diversity, toward stasis and away from the inherent ambiguity and diversity of experience itself.
Monotheism, exceptionalism and the affirmation of the reality of oneness are themselves partially reactions to the excesses, cruelties and failures of polycentric solutions. Unstructured, undirected disunity generates chaos, meaninglessness, depression, license, fragmentation and failure. Monotheistically-derived approaches generally view polytheisms such as most bronze age religions and Hinduism as “archaic,” or representative of more or less dissociation and decompensation. 
Quite apart from secondary issues about the origin of unity and diversity, the embrace of either as prior ignores both interior individual and exterior collective quadrant realities. Unity reduces the interior and exterior collective quadrants to individual, ontological realities while diversity reduces the interior and exterior individual quadrants to discontinuous, independent multiple realities. From a holonic perspective, both views are reductionistic. The problem with reductionism is that you need to balance all four quadrants, at least roughly, to sustain self-development to a higher level. This is the problem with state openings; they don’t last because they don’t involve openings in all four quadrants. At most, only the interior two are involved in most state openings. For example, when you take psychedelics or have a near death experience you may have extraordinary expanded state experiences of unity and oneness. The problem is not only that these do not last in that quadrant; one of the reasons why they do not is because these experiences generally lack a transformational effect on the other three quadrants.
In theinterior individual quadrant, such reductionism ignores the reality and inherent bipolarity of both states and stages of consciousness. The result is that you tend to get a true believer in a unified state of reality but who has no idea how to ground it in differing needs of various stages of the evolution of consciousness, much less the other quadrants. These are monotheists who believe in holy wars, religious capitalists who put profits before people, New Agers who repeat affirmations and embrace placebo cures, near death experiencers who confuse their perceptions with reality, and mystics who confuse experiences of enlightenment with enlightenment.At the other extreme, you get someone who mistakes whatever stage with which they are identified with the ultimate; they think that they and their group represent Reality. So Freudians, Jungians and mystics think that their formulations respect and include all four quadrants when in fact their bias is toward internal individual quadrant reductionism; scientists and behaviorists think the same while their bias is to emphasize the external individual quadrant; systems thinkers, sociologists, social psychologists and psychologists who emphasize relationship, like Berne and Rogers, think the same while their bias is toward the exterior collective quadrant, and existentialists like Sartre and various varieties of most-modernists who do not recognize their interior collective reductionism to values and contexts.
In the exterior collective or social quadrant, reductionism ignores the presence of dialectic in systems. That is, unity wants to affirm the reality of synthesis and discount the reality of thesis and antithesis, while diversity wants to affirm the reality of thesis and antithesis and discount the reality of synthesis. This is like inhalation wanting to minimize the importance of exhalation or for the pause at the top or bottom of breath to proclaim that it is the truth and reality of the nature of breathing. It is only when we grasp the context of the round of breath or grasp the nature of all three stages of the dialectic that we say to ourselves, “Could anyone really seriously make such claims?”
Another classical example of reductionism is the Indian proverb of the six blind scholars who happen across an elephant. Each is dogmatic because he mistakes one aspect of diversity for transcendent unity: the particular part of the elephant describes the whole. We have to respect multiple perspectives in order to put together an adequate presentation of unity and even then, it makes no sense taken out of a context of even greater diversity. As Martin H. Fischer has noted, “A conclusion is the place where you got tired thinking.” Is the real nature of a holon its unity or its four quadrants? Once one grasps the nature of holons the question is absurd.
This argument is unresolvable unless we grasp the interdependence of unity and diversity, strongly supported by principles elucidated by Kant in the late 1700’s, which he derived from Aristotle. Kant pointed out that there are inherent categories of mind, which he called “ontological predicates,” that structure reality in terms of unity, plurality, totality, time, space, causation and several other factors subsumed under broader categories of quality, quantity, relation and modality. These categories act as filters that allow perception. Without them there is no perception, consciousness or awareness. His point is that perception requires both unity and diversity but still does not necessarily correlate to the way things “really” are. Proponents of unity deal with Kant by saying, “Perception does exist in an unfiltered state and mystical experience proves it. The nature of this perception reveals that all is one and that diversity, dualism and multiplicity are illusions.”
Where one comes down on this matter of the nature of reality apart from perception is fundamentally a matter of emotional bias and prepersonal preference, because neither reason nor transpersonal experience provide final and satisfactory answers to it. True believers know they know differently and point to their personal experience and that of other true believers to prove it. The problem is not in their grasp of the truth but in the blindness of unbelievers. We find this mistake in the growing cult of near death experiencers, who support their own world view by pointing to elements of the experiences of other near death experiencers that agree with them, while largely ignoring totally different cultural interpretations.Kant would argue that there can’t be experience of reality apart from perception.
IDL addresses this quandary in a way that bears similarities to Kant’s approach. It notes that integral contains both states and stages and that each favors one form of perception over the other. When you have state experiences, such as mystical and near death experiences, you are going to tend to conclude from them that the nature of reality is oneness, because state experiences are by definition excursions into broader, more inclusive, more unifying states of consciousness, perspectives or world views. The fact that they often contain diversity does not change this underlying reality of state experiences. Because youhave the experience of unity, oneness becomes central to your identity as a transpersonal state version of psychological geocentrism. The new model might be termed “psychological heliocentrism.” If you doubt this conclusion you are invited to explore the wide realm of classical and contemporary mystical and altered state experiences, whether induced by meditation, drugs, hypnosis, trance, near death or deep sleep.
Stage development, in contrast to state openings, tends to emphasize multiplicity and diversity, evolution over involution, yang over yin, agency over communion and truth over love. It is focused on processes and epistemology rather than over-arching, relatively static experiences of ontology or beingness. Development and growth are processes, and processes primarily involve the diversity of the flow of experience. We have seen this in the nature of the dialectic, which is primarily spent in thesis organization and integration, with only a minority of time spent in antithesis and a fragment spent in synthesis or state experiences of unity. So while unity and oneness claims to be the over-arching reality beneath appearances, as a developmental experience, actual experiences of unity tend to only make up a relatively small part of human development and experience. Why is that?
If life is supposed to be spent in synthesis or the experience of the oneness of all things, the percentages of time spent in thesis (about 90%), antithesis (about 5-10%) and synthesis (1% or less in conscious experiences of unity) must be a symptom of the deplorable level of man’s consciousness.However, if you observe the everyday lives of enlightened masters you will find that these percentages hold stable, implying that there is something intrinsic about this distribution of time and energy in the various dialectical stages. It implies that life itself wants and prefers thesis, because that’s where the majority of integration and awakening occurs.
The reason IDL “works” is because it anchors stage development or diversity, within state awakenings, in the form of character identifications, which access perspectives of higher order unity, while anchoring state awakenings within ongoing live issues and day-to-day developmental processes. It honors and utilizes both unity and diversity without claiming priority for either. It emphasizes multi-perspectivalism because that’s what the developmental dialectic does; it focuses on diversity over 90% of the time. This, however, does not make thesis and antithesis either more real or more important than the expansions into unity that state experiences of synthesis provide. State experiences of unity are experiences of awakening, lucidity and enlightenment; they recontextualize the meaning of our lives and realign our priorities with broader contexts. It does not take a great intensity or a great number of these experiences to have a profound effect. The object is not to have as many of them as possible or to live in a state of unity, but to do the work of transformational alchemy – turning a temporary state awakening into an ongoing context that directs and pervades ordinary thesis existence.
As a filtering system that is partially a product of naming and the ontological damming of the flow of experience, the self or waking identity believes in the reality of its categorizations. It believes what it thinks is sacred or secular really is sacred or secular. Therefore, angels and gurus in dreams must be indications of higher order unity while cockroaches and toothaches must indicate unimportant day residue or unenlightened consciousness. The waking mind typically assumes that diversity is not and cannot really be unity, that is, demons and fear are not expressions of inner harmony, cosmic love or compassion. Like the blind scholars and the elephant, the waking mind typically believes that what it experiences as unity is not really diversity.
This psychological geocentrism and bias toward ontological monism discounts the possibility that any perspective at any moment is capable of providing direct openings into vast unity. This possibility is demonstrated by IDL with every interview, because we surrender the superficial and artificial unity of our psychological geocentrism every time that we identify with a pot holder or parsnip and speak from their perspectives. Because we have never viewed life from the perspective of a pot holder before, we can make very few assumptions or interpretations about what it will say. But to do so we must first get beyond our insistent refusal that an imaginary pot holder could have any consciousness or have anything to say that is of any relevance or usefulness whatsoever. Therefore, our inability to relate to IDL is a symptom of the level of development of a humanity that is stuck in psychological geocentrism the way pre-Copernican humanity was stuck in astronomical geocentrism.
Jung used a famous analogy when he compared dreaming to a stage and its characters, including ourselves, as actors upon it. IDL expands on this analogy to point out that while the perspective of the actors as a group is broader than that of any individual actor, including Dream Self, and the perspective of the director is necessarily broader than that of the actors, the perspectives of the stage, theater, community and world are each broader and more inclusive. Yet this does not make them “better,” because they lack the granularity or specificity necessary for a particular service or function, such as putting on a play. IDL points out that what is better is the ability to access all these perspectives, unity and diversity, depending on the requirements of a particular context. Therefore, versatility and adaptability in accessing unity and diversity is IDL’s answer to the conundrum described by the Buddhist theory of Two Truths. Every night, in everydream, and every day, in the form of your life issues, specific perspectives are provided that address a degree of diversity and singularity, pluralism and oneness, that is appropriate and useful for the particular context manifesting at the moment. What is required is a methodology that allows us to listen to them in a deep and integral way.
IDL favors a multi-perspectival rather than a unified stance only because that is what is missing and most necessary at this stage of human development. We have a long history of monotheism and unitary enterprises ranging from religion to nations to global corporations and media. We now have enough data to come to a fairly objective assessment of the results. It is quite clear that what the world needs now is less unity and more localization of power generation, governance, production and communication.This is not to minimize or deny the important and ongoing contributions of unity and integration in all spheres, but only to point out that when this is not balanced with local control and an equalization of the benefits of prosperity that systems collapse.
There are two basic levels of integral, vision-logic and the non-dual. The other developmental levels see-saw back and forth between an agentic, yang, male and evolutionary style, on the one hand and a communal, yin, female and involutionary style on the other. The progression looks like this:
This framework implies that what Wilber calls “vision-logic,” rather than being an intermediate stage between personal and transpersonal stages of human development, is a set of characteristics and preconditions that are part of the context for all transpersonal stages. All stages are multi-perspectival; the difference is that each reflects less identification with any sense of self whatsoever than the last. Vision-logic represents the stage at which not just cognition but identity itself defines itself as multiple. Functionally, what this implies is that multi-perspectivalism is a characteristic or quality associated with all transpersonal stages and manifests in early, mid-, late and non-dual varieties rather than existing as an independent, transitional stage of development. In Wilber’s framework, vision-logic interrupts an otherwise normal stage alteration between male and female styles and it is integral, meaning that it transcends and includes any and all stages, states, quadrants, styles and lines. Why Wilber adds it as a separate stage is partially because the cognitive awakening to the realization that all of the prior stages are valuable and necessary is inherently integral, yet it does not necessarily apply any access to the various transpersonal stages.
Another reason why multi-perspectivalism is best viewed as a contextual precondition for all stages of the transpersonal is because one can and most do access transpersonal states without abandoning identification with the self as observing identity. As in dreams, the self observes mystical and near death experiences and draw transformational conclusions about the nature of reality without changing its own level of development. Yes, it may come back transformed in its awareness of the timeless and compassionate embrace of the cosmos or with a new belief in God, but it does this on the same level of development it was on previously. Access to altered states temporarily thin and expand the self without changing the level of development of the observer. Various lines of development, such as the moral and empathetic lines may vastly improve, but that does not mean that the self line, the identity that climbs the successive developmental stages, evolves. This is the work of multi-perspectivalism, which involves successive abandonments of our identification as the observer of our experience in allrealms and states. Withoutmulti-perspectivalism advanced meditators can remain identified with psychological geocentrism clear up into the causal, meaning transpersonal states have been accessed personally. The self has expanded but it has not been transcended, meaning nature, devotional and causal mysticism are being experienced in a personal rather than a transpersonal way. IDL, through teaching multi-perspectivalism, emphasizes access to these states in ways that are not about the self and are not a continuation of psychological geocentrism.
Phenomenalism, for IDL, is an interior individual perceptual stance that involves the suspension of assumptions, interpretations, preferences and beliefs, as best as possible, in the interest of respectfully listening to the perspective of whatever identity we have chosen to become.This is contrary to the training that humans receive, because phenomenalism does not obviously support the development of a structured organized functional self or a socialized one that follows the dictates of the society-culture in which it is embedded. Instead it is open and receptive, reminiscent of the awareness of having asked a question and waiting to hear the answer. At that moment, thoughts, feelings and intentions are more or less suspended, in the interest of hearing the response. However, this is generally such a passing experience that we hardly notice how extraordinary it is. In phenomenalism, you intentionally extend it.
While one could compare phenomenalism to meditation as “listening,” or “receptivity,” and it is indeed a skill-set related to the ability to meditate, in IDL it is cultivated specifically in the context of character identification, as a conscious suspension of waking identity in order to take the perspective of this or that character to the fullest extent that we are capable. In this sense, phenomenalism is indeed a disattachment from and disidentification with, who you think you are. In this regard as well, it resembles meditation as a thanatomimetic experience.
While phenomenalism is not inherently transpersonal, we can see from the above that it has qualities that it shares with meditative, transpersonal characteristics. Once it is pointed out, we can readily say, “why phenomenalism is a natural and important part of development. Everybody uses it.” The problem is that until it is recognized, it is not developed; it lies latent, as a mostly unexplored and undeveloped capacity. Phenomenalism is intentionally cultivated by IDL as a transpersonal methodology in tandem with meditation, but distinct from it, available to most levels of development. The reason thephenomenalism practiced by IDL interviewing is distinct from that used by IDL and others with meditation is because meditation is rightly associated with a separation from the experiential flow of both internal and external experience. It witnesses, observes and objectifies all experience. The phenomenalism of IDL interviewing does not at all intend such objectification of all experience. On the contrary, it emphasizes full immersion in experience, but from the perspective of some particular alternative identity. It is, however, not only possible but recommended that one meditate as this or that previously interviewed perspective, in order to access and amplify particular characteristics of awakening that it exemplifies.
If a person is unwilling or unable to take a phenomenalistic stance, they are not a candidate for IDL. However, most people can learn this ability; it is usually a matter of finding an appropriate motivation or rationale for doing so.
Applications: Psychology and Personal Development
From Psychological Geocentrism to Multi-Perspectivalism
If you explain the concept of multi-perspectivalism to people most will say or think, “I do that. That’s looking at things from other people’s perspective.” The truth is, when you define multi-perspectivalism as empathy, everyone does practice multi-perspectivalism to one extent or another. Every child who doesn’t want to eat his vegetables is trying to figure out what to say to mom to make them go away. Every used car salesman makes sales when he anticipates the objections of customers and answers them satisfactorily. Every member of a family, business, club, religion or political party empathizes with the other members of their group. They feel what their fellow group members feel; they want what they want, at least when compared to those who are not members of their group. Every humanitarian who respects human rights has a sense of empathy with the mass of humanity. Every Buddhist who prays to have compassion for all sentient beings experiences deep, broad and noble empathy not only for other humans, but for other life forms.
Multi-perspectivalism, because it is all of the above, but includes elements that empathy does not, transcends and includes empathy. While empathy may or may not take the perspective of the other, even if it tries, multi-perspectivalism, as understood and practiced by IDL and Dream Sociometry, does. While we all think we are empathetic, how do we know? Isn’t the test validation by others that we are being empathetic? In addition, empathy is generally only partial. By it we may think that we are in tune with what another person is feeling, but what about what they are thinking? What about perceiving things as they perceive them? How about understanding and appreciating their world view. Most people would agree that while empathy could cover all of these things, it generally does not. While empathy can conceivably extend to spoons, shit and mitochondria, normally it does not. Multi-perspectivalism, as understood and practiced by IDL and Dream Sociometry, is unusually and broadly empathetic, in that you may actually discover yourself becoming these things. When you do and speak from those perspectives, if you practice a phenomenalistic approach and suspend your assumptions, you are becoming one with their feelings, thoughts, world view and perspectives, meaning that your empathy is broad-based. This does not, however, mean that it is deep. Depth of empathy is a capacity that develops with practice and one that most people never think about.
IDL also constitutes a test of how empathetic you really are. Can you authentically assume multiple roles that are widely divergent from you own waking perspective? Does your empathy extend to toilet brushes, dog leashes, murderers and spiders? Does it extend to interviewing characters in dreams that you are convinced are mundane day residue? While empathy is one aptitude or approach, multi-perspectivalism contains unlimited perspectives of which empathy is one. These are not trifling or secondary considerations. Multi-perspectivalism includes empathy as one of multiple elements that individuals and society require if they are to integrate and transform. This is why IDL views empathy as one of six core qualities, all of which support and balance one another.
Multi-perspectivalism, as practiced by IDL and Dream Sociometry, is not an abstract ethical principle. It is not, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all could see the world the way each other see it?” Instead, it practices taking the perspectives of umbrellas, houses, the desert, dessert or a flea. It exercises and strengthens muscles not typically associated with empathy, including respect, witnessing and the phenomenological suspension of assumptions, interpretations and preferences.
While integral is a form of multi-perspectivalism, multi-perspectivalism is more than integral, as practiced by homo-sapiensas a psychologically geocentric pursuit. Typically, in integral, selves do multi-perspectivalism, not the other way around. Because the multi-perspectivalism of IDL and Dream Sociometry is not self, but life centered, multi-perspectivalism contextualizes any and all selves. The self is experienced as a combination of multiple perspectives, as are holons. The object of multi-perspectivalism is not to move from self to Self but to thin self to the place that it is transparent and mostly functional rather than real. Its purpose is also to broaden the self so much that the distinction between self and no self no longer makes sense.
This is a view of integral from the interior collective quadrant, which is not self-centered by nature because it is collective. However, interior collective reductionism (“My values; my interpretations; my worldview”) is as partial and non-integral as reductionism to any other of the four quadrants of holons. IDL provides an approach to multi-perspectivalism that views each of the four quadrants as itself a different perspective. This creates aperspective from the interior collective quadrant of a holon that includes and transcends the four quadrants of subordinate holons, not the holon it inhabits and certainly not of any superordinate holons.
Important perspectival objectivity can be obtained with equal legitimacy and benefit from each of the other three quadrants. IDL notes that humanity, still in its childhood, looks at the world primarily from the individual, not the collective quadrants and that perspectives provided by the collective quadrants of humanity are much more likely to identify with socio-cultural groups than internal social-cultural groups. The result is that the internal collective quadrant tends to be neglected, misunderstood and under-utilized. For example, its values are those of individuals and the social collectives to which they belong and these are assumed to represent the perspectives of the interior collective. But these are projections onto it. You can only find out what the perspectives, interpretations, values, culture and worldview of the interior collective quadrant are by taking the perspectives and roles personified by those perspectives and listening to what they themselves present as theirvalues.
Fortunately, the resulting individual and social imbalances are not difficult to correct. Interviewing your dreams, nightmares and life dramas and those of your family, friends, co-workers and clients provides both perspectives on and solutions for imbalances of all sorts. You only need to stop projecting your psychological geocentric assumptions and interpretations onto the interior collective quadrant and instead practice integral deep listening to what it has to say for itself. You don’t have to use IDL; any method that meets certain criteria will do. Such a methodology means that, as all transpersonal practices, IDL is experiential. The books that explain IDL and Dream Sociometry, like this one, are the products of the questions that normally come up in the process of exploring the methodologies; they are like clinical research tools that only make sense to those who are using the interviewing processes as well as the other tools for reducing filtering and increasing clarity that are described in Waking Up. Cognitive understanding of the methodology generates knowledge regarding transpersonal models; it is not transpersonal experience. That comes from personal identification with perspectives and experiences that are themselves transpersonal.
The more that you practice IDL the more quickly you will outgrow psychological geocentrism and an understanding of integral built around the evolution of the self. A multi-perspectivalism and an understanding of integral built around the priorities of life instead of your own, as presented by a consensus of priorities of interviewed emerging potentials and validated by both triangulation and your application of interview recommendations, will take its place.
Use in Diagnosis and Treatment
Can destructive life patterns be identified in the Dream Sociogram? If so, can they be correlated with overt stress-related behaviors? Can these patterns then be linked to specific diseases or dysfunctions? What would healthy intrasocial group functioning, as opposed to dysfunctional intrasocial group patterns, look like? Can Dream Sociogram patterns provide information useful for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of physical and mental/emotional stress disorders? Are there signs of evolution from one group to another? What would such evolution signify?
The responses of interviewed characters can throw light on these questions. Sometimes they won’t know anything you do not or they provide no helpful or useful information. But many times, as we see in this series, destructive life patterns, at least from their perspectives, are indeed identified and correlated with both behaviors, perceptual, cognitive and emotional errors that they claim are associated. We do not yet have enough data to know whether Dream Sociogram patterns provide useful information on diagnosis and prognosis of physical and mental/emotional stress disorders, but early indications are that, in at least some cases, yes, they can provide such useful information, particularly around anxiety disorders of various types and depression. Particular success has been noted with phobias, PTSD and exogenous depression. Integral Deep Listening and the interviewing of invested perspectives also appears to speed up the transition through antithesis, shortening both its intensity and duration.
An Anchoring in the Intrasocial Culture
We are already anchored in the two cultures of our society and of our internalized “parent messages,” which many call “conscience.” The results are not pretty. We largely exist in echo chambers that mirror back to us the internalized values, preferences and interests of our culture and screen out those things that challenge our assumptions and world view. Consequently, our internalized scripting is our identity; even our assumptions about transpersonal experiences and development are derived from cultural assumptions, yet we are certain they are our own. We tell ourselves things that we already think, know and believe, things that are comfortable. We feel things that we want to feel and avoid feeling uncomfortable things. The result is that we mostly stay stuck in self-satisfied complacency, within a cocoon of self-rescuing addictions, self-validating thoughts, feelings and friends. We are sure we are happy, healthy and “right” because we continuously have our choices validated for us by one or both of these cultures.
Macrocosmic or socially induced and then internalized culture is essential and exists for important adaptive and developmental purposes. Therefore, attempts to avoid or exclude it are not only foolish but dangerous. The destruction of Buddhism in India is a testament to that. The wiser course is to understand how culture affects us and then neutralize its harmful influences while respecting its many uses. Cultural supports that were essential at one stage of development can be growing hindrances at later stages. We therefore need to know when and how to let go of things and relationships that were useful and we may still highly value. The goal is to objectify or separate our sense of self from culture and its meanings so that they may be used but will no longer define our identity. IDL can be extraordinarily useful in this life-long enterprise because it puts you in touch with perspectives that have not been enculturated as you have, so that by taking their perspectives you have new freedom of choice. At the same time, you build a second, extraordinarily microcosmic culture that orbits more and more around the evolving priorities of your life compass.
Because we have not learned to differentiate our life compass from these sources, we assume the priorities of others and those that we have internalized as conscience reflect those of our life compass. Because they do not, when we have followed our heart, our head, respected authority, our conscience, spirit, our “still small voice” or “love” only to find ourselves a shipwreck on a desolate shore, we become confused and may even feel betrayed by life.
Neither external sources of authority nor those sources internalized as conscience necessarily have anything at all to do with the priorities of your life compass. However, this is not our common assumption. Most people not only assume but know that their priorities reflect some life path they were predestined to take. It was “meant to be.”
IDL addresses this pervasive human dilemma by putting you in touch with a third culture, that provided by your interviewed emerging potentials. When you interview enough of these you recognize repeating themes and values which, when followed, put your life priorities into alignment with your life compass. When you do so you do not require validation from society or conscience. That is because you know when and how you are on the right path and recognize when the guidance or preferences of society, your conscience, your heart, your reason or your mystical experiences are heading you in a helpful or destructive direction.
The Golden Rule
A bedrock precept of respect and responsibility that underlies any sane, responsible personal or collective culture is the belief that it is to your greater benefit to treat others as you would be treated. Essentially, to do so means to act with the intent of respect and responsibility; the details differ from person to person and situation to situation. Although most of us give lip service to this principle and may even believe we follow it, it doesn’t take much examination to uncover our personal and collective delusion. For example, we normally attempt to validate our life choices by sharing our particular forms of self-rescuing with others: Facebook, blogging, over-eating, eating junk food, smoking, spectator sports, gossip, vacations and so forth. We may think others are not friends unless they play some complementary role in the drama of our self-rescuing. But self-rescuing and gaining the support for others in our self-rescuing does not reflect the golden rule as intention reflecting respect and responsibility, just as the actual rescuing of others in the Drama Triangle is not treating others as we would want to be treated.
Self-respect implies recognizing and suspending your addictions to your favorite forms of self-rescuing because you decide you do not deserve the self-abusive misery of staying stuck in the Drama Triangle. Respect for others implies suspending your own priorities, beliefs, assumptions and preferences, that is, to take a phenomenalistic stance, in order to make sure you clearly understand the priorities of others. This in no way implies agreement, but it does imply that you believe it is in your own best interest to see things from another person’s point of view.
Respect allows disagreement and allows others to pursue choices you consider to be dead ends or self-destructive. Responsibility includes offering a helping hand when you see someone stuck in self-rescuing, addiction and delusion. It implies the ability to stay out of the Drama Triangle, in particular, to refrain from rescuing others from their addictions and delusions. It is not rescuing to let people know you have information or competencies that may help them and that you are willing to extend a helping hand when and if they ask for help. Responsibility is also focusing on being the change you wish to see in the world instead of trying to get others to wake up to validate your conception of health or “normalcy.” Responsibility also means holding both yourself and others accountable for the consequences of actions and addictions. Accountability is absolutely essential to personal and societal development. Without it, what passes for responsibility is generally something else.
However, all of this understanding of the golden rule, including what has just been said about respect and responsibility, is conceptual and boils down to the “oughts” and “shoulds” of social injunctions internalized as conscience. IDL does not teach the golden rule by appeal to such “reasons;” instead, it provides direct experiences with alternative perspectives that may or may not appear to be aspects of self. It is manifestly obvious that how you treat interviewed dream characters and the personifications of your life issues is how you are treating those aspects of yourself that they personify. This is a completely different matter than debating whether or not a dream teaspoon or deceased relative is or is not an aspect of yourself. IDL makes it obvious that how you treat characters in your dreams is how you are treating yourself. It also makes it obvious that how you treat other people, animals, viewpoints and experiences that you disown or perceive as “other” is how and why you disown parts of yourself. To the extent that you then recognize that your life is experienced as real in the same way that you experience your dreams as real while you are dreaming them, you wake up to the realization that how you treat the people, creatures and objects in your dreams is how you are treating those aspects of yourself that they personify. The result is a movement into both waking and dream life that is grounded in respect and responsibility, according to your current understanding of them. As you grow, those understandings will change and grow; respect for others and the intention to act responsibly become foundational to your daily life.
Respect is not unconditional. It is not disrespectful or irresponsible to kill flies or step on bugs. It is not disrespectful or irresponsible from the point of view of your life compass to do or not do anything. Your life compass is not a moral judge. It is not going to pronounce on the appropriateness of killing, because life obviously accepts massive amounts of killing on a daily basis on human and non-human levels without caring one way or the other. Consequently, do not be respectful and responsible because you believe it is what life wants you to do, but because it is what you want to do, because when you do you get clearer, become more awake, lucid and enlightened. Similarly, if some version of respect and responsibility does not generate those results, don’t do so; resist the urge to express respect and responsibility in those ways.
Life is a process of exploitation of opportunities in the physiosphere, but also in the noosphere and theosphere. That’s what life does, and exploitation is in direct conflict with the Golden Rule. To exploit your environment is to exploit yourself. While it is neither realistic or possible to eliminate exploitation, it can be reduced and the continuous intention to do so is a mark of life intention based on respect and responsibility. To rigidly embrace respect and responsibility is to withdraw from life or to become a Parsee, sweeping away the bugs before you in your path. But to rigidly embrace its opposite, exploitation, leads to the destruction of those systems which sustain humanity, the environment and civilization. Just as with love and truth, the answer is not static, but a balancing act between respect and exploitation that changes from one situation and concern to the next.
Every Dream Sociometric interview, to the extent that it is based on deep listening, is a balancing of respect and exploitation. When we discount the value of dream and life perspectives before even understanding what they are, we are practicing exploitation by insisting on the primacy of our own interpretations, assumptions and expectations. Every time you take some recommendation from an interview seriously and attempt to put it into effect in your life are you not stating your intent to live responsibly in relation to the priorities of your life compass? Are you not treating the perspectives you interview with the respect and responsibility you would have shown toward your own?
Because the macrocosm tends to be an out-picturing of your personal microcosm, the more that you act responsibly and respectfully in relationship to your emerging potentials, the more likely you are to generate a harmonious environment in your social sphere. Millennia ago,Master Kung already understood:
If there be righteousness
in the heart,
there will be beauty
in the character.
If there be beauty
in the character,
there will be harmony
in the home.
If there be harmony in the home,
there will be order
in the nation.
If there be order
in the nation,
there will be peace
in the world.
Economics is the study of the transferal of value, worth or “goods,” meaning the resources that people value to live and grow. As such, it is properly within the realm of the external collective social, interpersonal, interactional, systemic quadrant of the human holon. These “goods” include food, safety, money, love and respect. Food is essentially an exchange with the earth; safety is essentially an exchange with government; money is an exchange with commerce; love is an emotional exchange with hearts; and respect is essentially an exchange with intention. Each of these provides a “good” that the others do not and cannot provide. Each represents a different type of “economics” with a different set of rules that follows a different set of values. Consequently, these can and will clash, particularly when the values of lower-order economics dominate and suppress the values of higher-order economics. It is normal to believe by pursuing one you will acquire the others and there is indeed some overlap; access to one or more may indeed make it more likely that you will have access to other goods. For example, access to security and money will provide you with the free time to pursue love and respect. It is also a mistake to assume that one good is better than the others, because we need more than one type of food to exist. While we can survive or get by with just one or two, if we want to thrive we need all of these different “goods” in some minimal amount. Therefore, those who say, “love conquers all” are essentially denying the independent worth of other forms of economic exchange. This is short-sighted.
Humanity is quite familiar with all of these forms of economic exchange except for the last. It generally is overlooked or neglected, often by those who believe that if they give and receive love then respect will be provided. While this may indeed be the case, it is not necessarily true. You may be given love in forms that are well-intended, but are not what you want or need. Think of what you get for Christmas or your birthday. It is easy to find examples of love being used to either force one’s will on others or to punish those who do not comply. Love can also smother, in which case it neither listens nor respects.
Regardingrespect itself, it is far more likely that you respect others than that you respect yourself. Consequently, we give our loyalty and destiny to spiritual teachers and politicians. We learn from an early age to fear the very real consequences of disobeying parents, teachers and other powerful authority figures who have the ability to make our lives miserable. Is this respecting others or fearing the power that they have to make our lives miserable? It is normal for people to tell themselves things they would never tell someone else or tolerate others saying to them. It is also far more likely that you respect yourself more than you respect your life compass. You are much more likely to know your own thoughts, feelings and priorities and want to honor them than those of your life compass. Consequently, it is highly likely that regarding this key economic “food” – respect for your life compass – you are on a starvation diet and don’t even know it.
Withoutrespect for your life compass your self respect and respect for others will suffer. This is because your priorities are less likely to reflect the intentions of life and more likely to seek economic goods other than respect. This in turn increases the likelihood that your relationships with others will be based on manipulations in order to get them to help you access one of the other economic goods.
CreatingDream Sociomatrices and Dream Sociograms is a quick and easy way to discover if you are starving yourself of this sort of basic respect or not. If the feedback you get is that you are generally not listening to your intrasocial community or merely listening superficially, in that you are curious but don’t ever act on their recommendations, then you may well be on a self-imposed starvation diet as regards this key economic “food.” The assumption of IDL is that this is the normal state of life for the level of human development present in the world today and that people are just beginning to wake up to the knowledge of an important “food” they have been lacking and which, when added, opens up a new world of higher functioning. Analogies are to the discovery by Pasteur that hand washing improves health and reduces disease by reducing germs, to the fundamental reconceptualization of man’s place in the universe brought about by heliocentrism and the current political awakening that what is assumed to be democratic governance is in fact plutocratically-manipulated oligarchy.
Potential Business Applications
Companies are organisms that dream their collective dreams. Dream Sociogram pattern analysis may have ramifications for business productivity. Are some patterns more closely associated with higher productivity, creativity and business success? Are other patterns more closely associated with financial failure? What sorts of Dream Sociograms are produced by successful managers? What sorts are produced by malcontents, employees needing chemical dependency or mental health referral? What sorts are produced by industrial spies or the vengeful employee who might want to shoot up the office?
The ability to look at problems from multiple perspectives is positively correlated with both creativity and problem-solving. Empathy is positively correlated with improved work group communication which should itself be correlated with improved productivity and business success. Dream Sociometry can be used to arrive not only at diagnostic information about interior limits to growth, but to tap emerging potentials that are too broad or too transcendent for individual leaders and teams to see. They are myopic, just as Dream Self is in its perception of those dreams in which it is immersed. Using a process similar to that described here should access emerging potentials that are wanting and attempting to be born within the context of any particular company or organization, while pointing out the barriers to that possible future.
Dream Sociometry predicts that ignored or misinterpreted wake up calls are more closely associated with failures of all kinds, including financial failure. This is implied by the correlation between paying attention to interviewed perspective wake up calls and financial success. The problem with using Dream Sociometry for detecting employee problems is that a culture that expects employees to create Dream Sociomatrices and Dream Sociograms, teaches them how and then has sessions where they are openly shared with others will create a culture where employees and employers who demand privacy will self-select themselves out of the company due to the cognitive dissonance between dysfunctional behaviors, integral deep listening and their own difficulty with either sharing these issues with other employees or their unwillingness to address them.
Triangulation in Decision-Making
As children, we make decisions based on our own common sense. Since we don’t have much, if any, we mostly react to the pull of our emotions and the injunctions of authority, mostly our parents. We attempt to resolve the conflicts between our preferences and the demands of our parents through a combination of adaptation and manipulation. Where we have to adapt, we do; where we can manipulate our parents, peers and teachers to get our way, we do. Those that are clever become very good at manipulation and go on to become successful lovers, lawyers, politicians or salesmen. Those who master the fine arts of adaptation go on to become model citizens, praised by all for being perfect expressions of prevailing groupthink.
If we succeed at learning to reason, we may question why we are adapting to the preferences of others. We may even question whether manipulation is a respectful and responsible foundation for a life. However, most people do not use reason in such ways. Instead, they use it to generate sophisticated rationalizations for adaptation and manipulation. These may be called economic theories, philosophies, positive thinking or spiritual formulas for enlightenment. IDL calls them cognitive distortions and perceptual delusions. Therefore, while reason and common sense are necessary tools for successful decision making and definitely are an improvement on reliance upon authority, most of what passes for reason or common sense are cognitive distortions in the service of our emotional preferences and our institutional loyalties. We see this much more clearly in others than we see it in ourselves. Dream Sociometry reveals it in the patterns of experience that are possible in waking and dreaming but not in Dream Sociometry.
IDL addresses these issues with the concept of triangulation. When you consult personifications of your life issues and characters from your dreams you access perspectives that are in many ways autonomous, in that they are willing and able to disagree, but in reasonable or sensible ways, with both authority and your common sense. You will find this again and again when you compare their interpretations of your dreams and life issues to those of authorities and to your own. If you don’t believe it or trust it, fine; that’s what triangulation is for. By all means, trust authority or your common sense and continue to challenge the recommendations of your intrasocial community. You have nothing to lose and considerable to gain by doing the opposite as well: trusting your interviewed emerging potentials when they challenge authority and your common sense. IDL predicts that if you establish an ongoing dialectic among these three competing sources of authority that the results will be better than if you rely on only one or two of them. “Better” means improved decision-making, greater satisfaction with more of your decisions and a growing sense that life is supporting you and your decisions.
This will also provide you with some protection from those who dismiss you as emotional, on the one hand, since you will be using a methodology that is highly rational. On the other hand, it will help protect you from being dismissed as an egg-headed, head-in-the-sky, impractical, aloof intellectual, since you are consulting skunks and watermelons in your life decision-making. However, be forewarned that everyone will tend to put you in one category or another, because only those who understand the concept of triangulation as it is used by IDL are going to understand what you are doing and where you are coming from. However, it is not necessary that others do so. If your decision-making is wise and effective, they will see that and respect you for it, even if they have no idea how you arrive at them.
Children who are raised in families where dream characters and the personifications of the life issues of family members are interviewed will grow up to be different sorts of adult. Their microcosmic cultural context will play a much more central role in their development than is normally the case. A family culture that uses triangulation in decision-making will create and function on a culture that is more stable and healthier than that in the world in general. As a result, these children will assume that accessing and listening respectfully to the priorities of their intrasocial culture is the rational, appropriate and accepted way to live one’s life, and that socio-cultural structures and priorities are to reflect priorities of emerging potentials, rather than the other way around.
Children in classes tend to be viewed by teachers as interchangeable units that need to be channeled through a pre-defined curriculum. Children can’t be trusted to define their own learning plans and set their own goals; that must be done by the teachers. The idea of consulting emerging potentials so that children set their own goals in alignment with the priorities of life isn’t even on the radar. Doing so is meant to help manage and direct structures set by schools and plans devised by students. Based on the feedback of many interviews, life doesn’t seem to care much about what we learn in particular; there is great freedom within broad guidelines, so the result of consulting emerging potentials is not an impingement on individual liberty but rather the bringing of more competencies and assets to bear within each individual. An example of such a structure, within which teachers and student groups could set goals, share life issues and do interviewing is the “ESBZ” school in Berlin, Germany.
When such assumptions and practices are practiced in school and family, the consequences will be reflected in peer, school and work relationships; respect for both self and others will be based on consultation of all three legs of the triangulation process. Frederic Laloux in Reinventing Organizations provides many excellent examples of how Wilber’s AQAL model can be applied to business in ways that generate work communities that are largely driven by front-line workers and which speak to the needs of their own personal development. The application of triangulation within such work groups is a powerful way to access broader perspectives to deal with challenges that seem unsolvable to a work group. IDL predicts that “impossible” categories of Dream Sociograms will become less common in waking life as the macrocosms of individuals and groups increasingly take on the characteristics of their intrasocial microcosms, involving the manifestation of internal coherence in exterior behavioral and social realms.
The theory of the free press is not that the truth will be presented completely or perfectly in any one instance but that the truth will emerge from free discussion. Walter Lippman
If Dream Sociometry is a direct threat to the organizational structure of institutions it challenges the very existence of political authority. It does so by demonstrating that individual power is enhanced by giving it away, by supporting and respecting the collective.Of course this is the underlying premise of democracy, but any cursory examination of historical democracies will show that they are developed and manipulated by the powerful to increase their own advantages. The collective interior culture that is fostered by creating Dream Sociomatrices and Sociograms enhances democracy through an internalization of its fundamental principles. As we immerse ourselves in collective decision-making on a personal level we develop a consciousness that reflects a culture based on mutual respect. This is at least partially because we do not simply understand but directly experience through identification with the “other” the reality that as we treat others we are treating those aspects of ourselves that they represent.
Dream Sociograms raise provocative questions about the expression of power. What do Dream Sociogram configurations tell us about psychological power structures? Are there intrasocial governments? What is the difference between a despotic and democratic intrasocial society? How does intrasocial leadership manifest? What are the relationships between intrasocial and political structures and processes? Do perspectives have rights? If so, what are they? How do these rights interface with the rights of waking awareness?
In my experience, few if any interviewed perspectives have demanded the right to be heard. It is a dead end to contemplate the extension of human rights to non-living intrasocial perspectives using similar logic to that extended to primates and cetaceans. It does, however, make sense to extend to these perspectives the same respect that you desire to have extended toward you. This implies the right to be heard, but not the right to agreement or consent. We do not typically expect that we will be heard, nor do we need to be. Most of the time what we need is to be let alone to accomplish our work or live our lives with some peace and space. Similarly, interviewed perspectives are rarely screaming for attention or demanding that they be heard. Usually, their response is something along the lines of, “Now that you have asked me, this is what I think/feel/recommend.” There is rarely a demand or an insistence on a course of action, although both can and do occur from time to time.
Intrasocial power structure is diffused and ad hoc. There are no permanent sources of intrasocial authority that can either compare with or compete with the absolutism and totalitarianism of waking identity. Even God, when He/She/It is given voice, changes as you change and is neither reliably authoritarian nor loving.
Intrasocial power is not, however, only individual and vested in the ad hoc authority of this or that perspective and its recommendations. Groups as a whole create a culture which can have considerable political power for individuals, if they are listened to. Obviously, this requires the creation of many Dream Sociomatrices and Dream Sociograms over a period of time. As this is done, patterns among groups emerge which become recognized as representing a collective culture that has its own political power, to the extent that we recognize and facilitate its expression. However, if we choose not to do so, as humans do at our current stage of collective evolution, both due to addiction to psychological geocentrism and lack of a personal and social culture that teaches and encourages the creation of Dream Sociomatrices and Dream Sociograms, most of this collective power remains unrecognized, untapped and unexpressed. Multiple transformational potentials remain latent because they lack both a structure for their expression and the support necessary to see the light of day, that is to arise into conscious realization and expression.
There are important exceptions. Nightmares and waking nightmares, including disease, loss, firings, disasters and accidents can all be viewed as ignored wake up calls. Intrasocial collectives can become extremely insistent that they be heard and addressed. Addiction and other self-rescuing behaviors generate common examples. When we ignore them, they get louder, like a political power block that is normally in the minority but threatens revolution when dismissed. By listening to these groups they can be addressed preventively, without creating major life upheaval and if they represent addictions, strategies for their incorporation into a broader context that is not in conflict with broader intrasocial priorities becomes possible.
Power exists and grows by narrowing narratives. This is true on an individual, microcosmic level as much as it is true in society and the governance of peoples. On a societal level that means controlling the stories that get told as well as the media, as it is the means of transmitting the story to others. These stories or narratives create, reflect and support world views that in turn maintain the perceptual cognitive distortions which validate control by the powerful and maintain the impotence of the powerless. In addition, controlling the stories that get told means suppressing stories that do not produce collective support of centralized power or which undermine it.
On a personal level, managing narratives involves teaching individuals to believe in and build their lives around specific cultural scripts and components of world views, including thoughts, emotions, goals, social contacts, agendas and activities that support and are in congruence with accepted cultural narratives. These include nationalism, collective perception of the “other,” common religious myths, and a common collective self-image. These forms of individual control are celebrated in both psychology and society as necessary for the development of personality and character as well as for health, success and happiness. The fact that these serve the interests of social stability and the maintenance of social power structures has been explored by Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Freud and many others. The stories that you tell yourself generate your belief system as well as your identity itself.
IDL demonstrates an alternative view, that power exists and grows by broadening, not narrowing,narratives. While it is certainly true that a centralized and powerful self is essential for the development of personality, character, health, success and happiness, beginning about the age of five and tapering off to insignificance by early adulthood, a centralized self becomes increasingly detrimental to future development. It is an over-learned, over-relied upon, mode of being. While the roles that create and maintain individual identity are essential for day to day life, development built around such a self first plateaus and then fossilizes. Most people are relatively mummified by their early twenties.
On a societal level this is intuited by various forms of libertarianism that fight for individual autonomy over collective, centralized power. However, there is nothing about individual autonomy that guarantees either rationality or the public good except blind faith in scripture or other authority, social Darwinism or Smith’s “Invisible Hand,” or a simple adolescent demand for independence and individualism, all of which are responsible for the impoverishing and killing of millions. Libertarianism, often framed in an Ayn Rand battle of the individual against the State, is fundamentally an exploration in the limits of narcissism. It makes common sense its god and external authority its enemy without any awareness whatsoever of the possibility of input from interviewed emerging potentials. Consequently, triangulation is impossible and decision-making a collision on the runway, before one even gets a chance to get airborne. Similarly, in the intrasocial realm explored by IDL, which uses multi-perspectivalism and phenomenalism in a transpersonal context to explore both macrocosmic “objective” and microcosmic “subjective” perspectives, there is nothing sacrosanct about trusting the judgment of individual interviewed dream characters or personifications of life issues. Social libertarianism is not to be replaced by some sort of intrasocial libertarianism.
The more power does what it does best, insulate itself from dissent and dissension, the quicker it hastens its own demise. Growth requires contexts that include but transcend our own, but power wants to control contexts by equating those of growth with our own: “God’s will is my will; my will is God’s will.” “I am aligning myself with dharma.” “I am the state.” “I am the chooser, in control of my own destiny.” Like some brain-eating pandemic virus, this addiction to totalitarianism is as pervasive and destructive microcosmically as it is macrocosmically. Hence the repression of dreams and the pervasive unwillingness to subordinate waking identity to the perspectives of interviewed emerging potentials no matter how sensible they may be or how much they support and reinforce the priorities of waking identity.
The result of avoidance and ignorance of multi-perspectival subjective sources of objectivity is a life in which power accumulates to a part, represented by the agenda of the self, family, corporation, religion, party or state to the detriment of the agenda of the whole, represented in part by the priorities of interviewed emerging potentials. How can an individual life be informed when it relies on the scripted internalization of contemporary cultural groupthink for its world view? How can it be integrated if it does not consult with individualized emerging potentials that together present contexts that include, yet transcend, one’s own, indicating a greater whole that is attempting to be born into conscious expression?
In today’s world, it is assumed and accepted that a double ethical standard, one for citizens and another for leaders, is an unfortunate necessity. Citizens have to obey laws; leaders have taken on the responsibility to enforce laws, which means they are allowed to do things that are not allowed to citizens, such as kill, lie and steal not only in the name of the people but in the name of the values of the people: democracy, love, religion, freedom and justice. This hypocrisy is so common and widely accepted as to be viewed as normal by people everywhere. Leaders of all sorts – business, financial, religion, political, sports confederations – are given a wink and a nod, a free pass to break rules that everyone else is expected to obey and indeed, will be harshly punished for transgressing. Those who question or call out the disrespect and irresponsibility of the illegal actions of leaders are often disciplined not by the government, but by their peers. For example, those who speak out against Zionist apartheid are called anti-Semitic or “self-hating Jews” not only by Judaic culture but by many Christians and non-religious believers in the cult of political correctness. Such cultural scapegoating largely does the work of the state, the repression of threats to its power, for it. Those who point out that drone assassinations break international law and are crimes against humanity are considered unpatriotic, as if patriotism were healthy. Such is the nature of groupthink in the absence of a methodology that puts citizens and leaders in touch with their life compass. Without some way to generate priorities that are in alignment with those priorities that are innate to life as it wants to awaken within each individual, the overwhelming power and presence of the prevailing culture and its internalization as conscience drown out the wake up calls that come in dreams and as waking life dramas and nightmares.
The problem is that when we listen to our life compass we may very well lose status, cultural validation and power within our various groups and affiliations, unless we grow up in families and schools that support accessing our life compass. If we have, like someone who has had a mystical or near death experience, we are much less likely to care what the surrounding culture thinks about our priorities, but unlike those who have had such transformative experiences, we have an integral life practice that keeps us on track. However, if we have not grown up with IDL and learned to identify and prefer the priorities of our life compass, by doing so after our priorities have been shaped by those of our microcosmic culture, deep listening can become much more conflictual. We will no longer validate collective delusions. At that point, IDL interviewing may threaten our own life priorities, such as our vision of economic security and our strategies for attaining attention, love and intimacy.
We end up placing conformity to priorities that further personal and group cohesion and survival above the priorities of our life compass. There are large social and personal costs for doing otherwise. For children, as well as for those in the military and business, this is called insubordination and is cause for punishment or expulsion, that is, diminishments in personal power by whatever means collectives have at their disposal, including scapegoating, impoverishment, imprisonment and death. Internalized cultural injunctions, in the form of conscience, guilt and shaming by political correctness cults are generally sufficient to keep the vast majority of individuals from doing much more than acting out their individuality in a form of adolescent opposition. This common rebellion is not a significant threat to society, because it has nothing to do with finding and following one’s life compass. Adolescent rebellion and its various extrapolations as libertarianism and laissez-fairecapitalism involve listening to the priorities of the self, not interviewed emerging potentials.
The self and its security are built on a complex, deliberately and painstakingly constructed web of inter-relationships developed over many years with much effort. To deconstruct it at the urging of imaginary dream characters and the personifications of life issues is easily dismissed as foolish, naïve or stupid. It may or may not be; that is why IDL encourages triangulation; however, it is very rare to hear a recommendation that is not sensible and practical to the dreamer.
As of 2016, it is painfully clear that classical and personal definitions of power, both as collective national and supranational plutocracy and as individual freedom, have run their course. Practitioners of both are responsible for centuries of genocide and apartheid, whether they are called authoritarians or democrats, individual leaders or collectivist oligarchic cabals, whether based on class or political-religious ideology. All of these lack a holonic, integral approach. This limits the evolution of both individuals and societies past late personal developmental levels.
Even if individual and collective approaches to power are not in conflict and instead support one another, as in the ascendency of respect for human rights and animal and environmental protections, this unity is only in the exterior, social and individual behavioral spheres. This is not holonic because it does not include the interior dimensions of reality. We have seen that the interior spheres of microcosm that are consulted and supported by religion, philosophy and psychology are largely realms of internalized groupthink – conscience, belief, intuition, personal religious values and individualized “meaning” or life goals. These are designed to improve individual power and advance the priorities of the self. This model is not holonic because it does not include the collective interior dimensions of reality as represented by perspectives that include but transcend the self. Conscience does not do so because it is comprised largely of internalized cultural injunctions. Following one’s heart does not, because it lacks the balance of rationality. Intuition does not because it typically is used to justify and validate our own preferences or fears, generally out of our awareness.
Because interior collective contexts that transcend values based on internalized cultural groupthink are completely ignored, holonic evolution is largely limited to the enhanced life cohesion brought about by advances in science and technology, social reform, advance in cultural standards and effective meditation. Each of these is indeed important because they represent genuine advances in all four quadrants of the human holon. Advances in science and technology chiefly address improvements in the external individual and collective quadrants of behavior and social interaction; advances in social reform, such as advances in human rights, the protection of animals and the environment largely focus on social cultural norms and represent real advances in both the exterior and interior collective quadrants. Advance in cultural standards, such as the development of independent media and the raising of the quality of discussion, information and education via blogs, represent real advances in the interior collective quadrant. There is considerable research to support the idea that meditation brings real benefits in all four quadrants. A small percentage of meditators can have a profound positive effect on communities. However, reliance on meditation as the primary tool for development has not been shown to be effective. For example, there is no more dedicated group of meditators than Buddhist monks, but their practice has not transformed the societies in which they have been embedded. India stayed primarily Hindu; Tibet stayed a bronze age feudal society; Buddhism was replaced in China by Confucianism and destroyed in India by Islam. This is not to ignore or dismiss the very important influence Buddhist thought is having in the world today. The positive impacts on the interior collective quadrant by advances in cultural standards and norms represents improvements in the macrocosm, which is then internalized by the individual, creating less dissonance between the exterior world, dreams and the intrasocial microcosm. However, none of these changes can or will replace the necessity of finding and following one’s own life compass.
While the world is presently gambling that some combination of scientific-technological, socio-cultural and meditative advancements will pull it through its multiple, self-inflicted knotholes, interviewing perspectives that personify broader contexts provides humanity with a life compass it not only presently is largely unaware of and out of touch with, but which it requires for further development. If it does not do so, the indications are that life’s grand experiment called homo sapiens may well select itself out of life’s agenda. This is due to many converging factors. Moore’s law, initially developed to describe the exponential doubling of the power of transistors, has been applied by Ray Kurzweil to technology in general. Currently, man has no capacity or priorities that constrain, control or direct this continuous explosion of power, other than personal and social priorities. Jared Diamond has persuasively demonstrated that humans consistently exploit resources until societal collapse, meaning species extinction. To date human activities have led to the extinction of local flora and fauna upon which localized civilizations have depended, but now humans are currently exploiting global resources to the point of global extinction. While Diamond lays out a prescription for stopping this pattern, society is very far from implementing it. Other important factors include the tendency to place economic factors before environmental ones and the increased speed of depletion of resources and rate of pollution due to millions more seeking middle class lifestyles.
The nightmares produced by holonic imbalances that are now occurring overwhelm reason and collective survival protocols at a pace and an intensity that far exceeds our ability to neutralize. Our current methods of problem-solving do not triangulate; that is, they do not consult intrasocial sources of objectivity and compare them with social-cultural authority and common sense. With triangulation we now can accesses that allow us to integrate all the information we have in ways that are broader than we, both as individuals and as community, national and international collectives, can see.
The priorities of interviewed emerging potentials are not eternal Truths to be found in scripture; they evolve as we evolve. Rather than providing truth, because it is multi-perspectival and holonic, IDL provides an improved epistemology, a superior method of problem solving.
Man’s destiny is to live a life in congruence with the priorities of life, as it desires to express itself uniquely within and through each individual, if mankind is to have any destiny at all. Otherwise, as a species, humanity will continue to self-destruct because social and personal power outside the protecting and directive context of the priorities of emerging potentials are an evolutionary dead end. What we lack is the personal and collective will to learn, spread and use this knowledge. However, the vector of human evolution points toward a future in which we routinely practice integral forms of deep listening to personifications of our individualized life compass.
Functional, effective governance, whether of self, organizations or societies becomes much more likely when triangulation is used in decision-making. Dysfunctional and ineffective governance is more likely in its absence. Hardly anyone is taught to consult subjective sources of objectivity, in the form of interviewed emerging potentials. People are only taught to use two of three sources of feedback in decision-making: external sources of authority (and those internalized as “conscience”) and their own common sense. While we all have had experience with the variability of common sense when it comes to trust worthiness, finally we are the arbitrator of our own experience. Because people do not check with internal sources of objectivity they lack an important check and balance on the judgment of external authority and common sense. The result is a lower percentage of productive and beneficial personal and collective governance.
The implication is that almost all governance of self and others is currently dysfunctional and ineffective. We can look around and see “progress” that exists within a sea of exploitation in just about any and every area of life. IDL and Dream Sociometry point toward a more functional and effective model for governance. Its methodology is democratic, in that it polls the opinions and preferences of a sample of invested perspectives. It does not require a consensus, nor does it require that all voices be heard. Rather it assumes that a sampling of the “loudest,” when combined with those that have little investment in the issue, will tend to reflect the will of those intrasocial groups that care to speak up. Those wake up calls that are priorities to the broadest common denominator of the common good are identified and broad input regarding how they might best be addressed is accessed. Recommendations take the place of authoritative commands. Your common sense and the common sense within this or that governing group is required to decide what to do with the recommendations of intrasocial “advisory councils.” Their function is to inform decision-making, not implement them and to make you and governing groups aware of factors that they think are important for progress.
One might consider this as governance by a tricameral system of checks and balances. To draw out the analogy, common sense functions as the executive branch, interviewed intrasocial groups function as the legislative branch while external and internal authorities and codes of conduct function as the judicial branch. While the first relies primarily on belief and reason, the second depends on wake up calls and the third depends on guilt, moral and social authority.
Clarity, Abundance, Bliss and the Evolutionary Destiny of Humanity
At the time of this writing, 2016, panic is overtaking the plutocratic oligarchies that run the world. This is expressed by increasingly desperate attempts to milk growth out of financial services, through strategies which produce negligible improvements in the quality of human life while consolidating wealth in the top one percent of the population; by increasingly irrational narratives as governments lose control over the transmission of information to the public; by broad public awareness in the US that citizens no longer live in a society where their votes matter and can therefore be considered a democracy and where citizens in the EU are waking up to the awareness that their governments are in fact captured colonies of Washington; by attempts to divert public attention from the vast corruption and irrationality of political and financial policies by the manufacture of enemies, in particular terrorism, Russia and China, while using these “threats” as justification for funneling increasing funds to the military-industrial complex; and by a palpable sense that the alignments that have validated the exceptionalism of both the U.S. and “Western values” are shifting in uncontrollable and unpredictable ways. With the constant advances of technology as well as human knowledge, largely aided by internet access to a broad variety of opinion, alternative perspectives and vast libraries of information, change is quicker, more powerful and potentially more devastating. All of these trends result in a very unstable and therefore highly dangerous world space.
If we focus on these trends we can easily overlook the evolution of important, powerful and transformational countervailing forces. These include the decentralization of power through private and local generation of green energy, the creation of community internet servers that have the potential to insulate users from systemic internet hackings and breakdowns and the rapid advances in 3-D printing, which herald an age of local production, independent of corporate and multinational suppliers. Communications via social media and blogs expose everyone to a much broader range of opinion and perspective than previously, not only as expanding world views but to increasing personal accountability, because statements and claims can easily be fact-checked and distortions immediately and effectively confronted. This transformational increase in both the quantity and quality of dialogue is itself associated with a rise and spread of both reason, because credibility in communication on the internet does not depend on who you are, how much you make or how much social status you have, but on whether or not you make sense.
Clarity will eventually burn through all the flimflam of society. Occupations, roles and individuals that are not founded on rationality, accountability and transparency are going to be recognized the Potemkin Villages that they are and will not survive. This clarity is currently having a transformative effect on people all over the world. It is laying the ground work for higher orders of objectivity that are pre-requisites for a societal transformation into healthy, sustainable definitions of abundance. This externalization as cultural norms and transparent, accountable local and national social institutions probably has to come first for most everyone, because it serves as an important cultural modeling and teaching tool. It provides supportive contexts that make possible in the minds of children yet more highly evolved contexts for development. The internalization of those contexts as a consciousness of abundance follows. While this is the natural progression of society via the evolution of new, broader cultures, Dream Sociometry, as a transpersonal integral life practice and form of dream yoga, speeds up that transition by accessing an authentic intrasocial culture of abundance. Not only does the microcosm then mirror the transformed macrocosm; it supports the birth and development of that macrocosm. This is in line with the basic principle of dream yoga as understood by IDL, that lucidity is determined by the level of development of the waking self, and it is that self, with its particular level of awakening that perceives and makes sense of dream and mystical experiences. Therefore, the interpretations and impacts of these experiences on our lives is largely determined by our waking degree of lucidity, wakefulness or enlightenment.
It is a mistake to imagine a cultural expansion into a bliss-based utopia; people with mystical and near-death experiences still have to grapple with personal and social problems, learn to control their emotions, treat others with respect and keep their commitments. Humans will forever have to progressively evolve through the various developmental levels, meaning that amoral and narcissistic characteristics are innate elements of the fabric of human nature. The difference will be between being born into a bronze age or a vision-logic cultural matrix; between growing up in a profit and status-centered reality or one that seeks the direction of personifications of one’s life compass; between experiencing clarity and abundance in a context of fear-based scarcity or developing them in a socio-cultural matrix that is grounded in abundance-based transpersonal witnessing. As dysfunctionalscripting and cognitive distortions get cleared away, development is increasingly viewed as a choice between the complexity of self-generated delusion and the simplicity of a world drained of the misery of addictive drama.
While Dream Sociometry is hardly a cure-all, it provides important, even powerful building blocks toward clarity, abundance and satisfaction. They include the ability to recognize, in a practical, immediate way, that as we treat others we are treating those aspects of ourselves that they represent. The result is a common-sense embrace of empathy, a fundamental building block of transformation. Another is increased detachment from our preferences, through identification with their endless multiplicity and thereby a relativization of all of them; the speeding up of the bipolar developmental motor of identification and disidentification that leads to a transcendence of both; the evolution into a stable and broadening state of realistic but profound acceptance of ourselves and others, an acceptance based on the ability to see through the illusoriness ofintention, preference and action to a respect of the life that permeates them all. As the self is thinned fear is reduced. The less there is a real self with which to identify the less there is to lose, fail or die and therefore to protect. With continued practice, intentions, assumptions and preferences are increasingly viewed as tools, and dramatic investment in them as so much wasted time and effort.
None of this is magical, guaranteed or occurs quickly, nor should it. Real transformation is gradual, almost imperceptible. None of it is fated, destined, predestined or predetermined by individual or collective karmas, fates, destinies or divine plans. However, life has its priorities. The more that we tune into these, the more we get ourselves out of their way by identifying with naturally occurring emerging potentials, the faster evolution transforms humanity, one child at a time.
These are only two of the five modalities of the cycle of intervention. All need to be kept in mind and utilized as different tools in a toolkit of transformation. These five types of intervention are intention (witnessing, setting priorities, meditation), affect (learning defense mechanisms and emotional control), cognition (changing emotional states by changing thinking; cognitive behavioral therapy), behavior (taking measurable action) and interpersonal relationships (transactional Analysis, conflict resolution, parenting training).
This is not to claim that the multiple perspectives accessed via Dream Sociometry are devoid of lying and hypocrisy, but only that the level, intensity and damaging consequences of the degree of lying and hypocrisy in intrasocial groups is far less than that normally present in waking life.
There is a curious alternative form of waking hypocrisy which occurs when we believe that our enlightenment allows us to ignore social norms. For instance, gurus may live in a perspective non-conditioned by normal sexual norms and sleep with their students. The only problem is that gurus and students live in a world with socio-cultural quadrants that depend on certain norms to create a substrate of security and stability upon which to evolve higher forms of consciousness. Transgressing these norms fundamentally undercuts personal and group development to the next holon. It strengthens attachment to a separate individual identity instead of expanding to a collective, group identity because it ignores, defies and discounts social structures both students and teachers need.
Additional patterns may well be found as research extends to additional individuals and collectives with different patterns of preference. This list also contains patterns that are conceivable for intrasocial groups that were not found in this sample.
This, however, is a far cry from saying there is no reality apart from perception, the idealistic position of Berkeley that Kant sought to refute. Kant definitely believed in the existence of reality apart from perception; he referred to it asDing an sich, the “thing in itself,” meaning reality apart from one’s perception of reality.
Dreaming is an important exception to this rule. As “paradoxical sleep,” REM dreaming emphasizes diversity instead of unity. As a “natural” state in which we spend a twentieth of our lives, it is diversity within the unity of deep sleep and therefore emphasizes stage development over state unity and diversity over oneness. This is one reason why the exploration of dreams is such a productive way to address the integration of unity and diversity. Your mode of experiencing life generates the conclusions you draw about its nature.
Die-hard monotheists will tell you that it is all reallysynthesis. If we accept that position then the developmental dialectic becomes either misleading or irrelevant; few people want to take idealism to its logical conclusion that there is no objective, external reality.
A massive and evolutionary transformation in this regard is currently occurring. With the advent of sites like Facebook and the on-line comment sections associated with almost every page that is visited, there are new opportunities to encounter widely divergent perspectives that challenge us to examine our own and to defend them by thinking them through and articulating them clearly. This is a movement from prepersonal belief and early personal identification with group values to an ability to think rationally, to question assumptions and to tolerate diversity, disagreement and ambiguity. All of this is a major awakening of multi-perspectivalism that is occurring globally, for the first time in human history, indicating a major increase in the pace of human evolutionary development.
However, many interviewed characters emphasize the leadership role of waking identity. The goal is not to avoid the responsibility of decision-making but instead exercise waking authority within the context of triangulation.