Short Note on the Varieties of Inclusive Transcendence

One of the key factors that distinguishes my conception of the Principle of Inclusive-Transcendence from how it is conceived by Hegelians and Wilberians alike is its relationship to the Principle of Open-Emptiness. I will put it rather simplistically here and go over it in more detail in due time.

To define the two principles in brief before I outline my explanation: the principle of open-emptiness is the principle that under dialectical analysis nothing can be found to truly exist, and that for reason of this unfindability, nothing can be said to inherently exist in any independent, stand-alone manner; while the principle of inclusive-transcendence is the principle that all things are constituents of, and constituted by, unceasing processes of concrescence whereby many diverse parts come together and coalesce into a unified whole, adding that novel singularity to that original diversity.

The way I see it, Hegelians see the negative, deconstructive power of open-emptiness as a means to the end of inclusive-transcendence; the negative is the operative means by which the positive continuously reconstitutes itself as a series of self-sublating phases until the process culminates (and finally terminates) in a self-sufficient Absolute.

Wilberians on the other hand, see open-emptiness as a distinct phase in an ascending ladder of stages or phases which succeed one another by means of a logic of inclusive-transcendence. The principle of open-emptiness lies somewhere between the “green” postmodern stage of hyper-relativism and the “teal” integral stage of creative multiplicity, before itself being included and transcended by higher, more integral stages that are characteristically more positive in their natures, culminating in a final, “violet” post-integral stage of “Oneness”.

For both Hegelians and Wilberians, open-emptiness is a constitutive part of inclusive-transcendence, and the process of inclusive-transcendence has a culminating terminus or end point. This means that for them, inclusive-transcendence gains pre-eminence over and above open-emptiness even while the inclusively-transcending process is totally dependent on the principle of open-emptiness for the possibility of its own existence.

In contrast to both of these accounts, for me open-emptiness is incommensurate and non-transactable with inclusive-transcendence. This is because the domain of their respective concerns are radically different: open-emptiness concerns the being of things as settled creations, while inclusive-transcendence concerns how things become in their process of creative self-genesis. Because they concern themselves with entirely different domains of experience, they do not extend beyond their individual concerns and do not overlap into one another.

However, in spite of their incommensurate and incomparable nature, both principles are actually inextricable from one another since they function as conditions of possibility for each other: it is only because things are open-empty that any process of inclusive-transcendence can even begin, and things which are found to be open-empty are achievements of the process of inclusive-transcendence. One is not possible without the other.

Neither one is a part of the other, nor does one use the other as a means to its own end. Unable to be conflated nor being totally separable, they are equally ultimate, immanent transcendentals that cooperatively give birth to reality as an unceasing, never-ending yet magical and dream-like process of realizing infinite possibilities. From the side of inclusive-transcendence, things always are, while from the side of open-emptiness, things never were. That things always are in spite of never having been is an irresolvable paradox born from the inextricable, amorous union between these two principles.

Hegelians and Wilberians collapse the paradox to the side of “always are,” while nihilists collapse it to the side of “never was,” with both sides in their own different ways making the mistake of trying to rationalize what is trans-rational, and to make determinate in thought what is indeterminate in experience. They satisfy themselves with abstract, one-sided conceptual proliferations instead of opening themselves up to a concretely embodied experience in which both principles play out as incommensurable (not identical) yet indivisible (not different) aspects of the same inconceivable yet realizable reality.

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