Tuesday, February 12, 2008

pre-trans fallacy

Getting to grips with the non-rational(s)

Since the Age of Reason we in the West have put rationality at the high point of human evolution - this is unnecessarily limiting.

Rational = good; non-rational = bad?

But there are two levels of non-rationality - before (pre) and after (trans).

non-rational rational non-rational
pre-rational rational trans-rational
infantile mature spiritual/ mystical
dependent independent inter-dependent
body mind soul
instinct intellect intuition

Ken Wilber has noted a pre-trans fallacy which involves using a simple two point system where the infantile state is assumed to be the same as the mystical state (Freud) OR vice versa (Jung). The three point system, as drawn out in the above table, sees the high point of human evolution as being the trans-rational. This embraces rationality and carries it forward. Note that there is need to steer clear of fuzzy fallacious thinking that promotes non rationality as an indiscriminatingly good thing. This can so easily lead to the "the black tide of the mud of occultism!" (Freud).

For a short intro to the idea see - http://www.integralworld.net/index.html?fallacy.html

Hear Wilber himself on the theme - http://www.praetrans.com/en/ptf.html



Stephen C. Rose said...

Good grief! Why not just say adults (eg. Wilber being drawn to Da Free John) who deem themselves reasonable can, as a result of curiosity or unfulfilled spiritual needs, be drawn to irrational superstition -- with sometimes deleterious consequences. All this charting has its own obfuscatory and therefore potentially manipulative side.

Cheers, S

George Clark said...

I thought that the charting aided clarity rather than obfuscation and that it therefore made the inevitable manipulation more explicit.

As the Tao teh Ching says, "The reality that can be described is not the real reality".

Language has its shortcomings. Thanks for pointing to some I had not appreciated.