Creating Waves of Awareness
The ultimate, or real siginificance of the Holon concept is that it demonstrates an easy way to grasp Nagarjunas concept of dependent arising ...
Neither from itself nor from another,
Nor from both,
Not without a cause,
Does anything whatever, anywhere arise.
... once you break down conventional reality you find that it depends on its parts, ad infinitum. It is empty of any supposed "essence" or self-existence. The Holons arise out of each other in the same way, each stage developing out of, and superseding the other.
If we zoom-in on an individual holon we can visualise it as having four quadrants or perspectives. Each quadrant represents a different view of a chakra - the subjective I , the cultural intersubjective WE, the behavioral objective IT and the social interobjective i.e. self, other(s) and observer(s).
The origin of the lowest quadrant starts with the particular, the indiviual, and the microscopic. The highest encompasses the universal. Using this structure we can fully identify any state in terms of all levels and in all quadrandts - hence the acronym AQAL (All Quadrants All Levels).
|I - Individual
|IT - Empirical
|WE - Situational
Sankaran, Ellis, Judith
|ITS - Political Science
Fortunately we can still prescibe confidently without knowing the exact dynamic of every thread .... as long as the elements of each thread are observed and then represented by the rubrics we identify. Identification of different mental factors, such as anger, spite, jealousy and so on, is the first step in representing the case Homeopathically, and is probably more important than understanding their exact relationship or effect on each other as these mental factors cannot influence our primary mind simultaineously, (e.g. anger gradually develops into hatred or spite over time), so we are constantly switching the mental factors which colour our experience according to the circumstances (Understanding the Mind: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso). In practice I break the case down into seperate mental factors as the first step - a pattern may emerge later on. Expressed in Rajan's terms the "Central Delusion" would have a close relationship to the predominant mental factor. A very similar idea seems to have been used by the Sarmoun Sufis. Whilst on a short retreat with them Gurdjieff learned that a persons self-image becomes fixated around a core mental factor. They map nine types of presonality onto the Enneagram figure derived from: anger, pride, deceit, envy, averice, fear, gluttony, excess, laziness. As in the Buddhist schools, they train the mind to oppose each passion with its antidote, e.g. anger vs. patience. This is a genuine "wisdom practice".
Rajans concept of seven levels seems at first glance to refer to the Eastern view (e.g. Chakra System), but on examination his "seventh level" combines elements of Chittamatrin view - 'consciousness is the basis of all', (eg. Mahesh Yogi: the T.M. Guru) and Freudian or Jungian psychology, or even the Pyramid of Vithoulkas ... the pervasive idea in all these is that deep subconscious levels underlie the conscious level of awareness. Tantric practice, for example, allows us to percieve the subtle minds which are the source of the mental factors which accompany and pervade every other mind. This school (Madhyamaka) refutes that there is any self-existant entity other than clarity itself.
So we are habituated to thinking in terms of a subconscious mind, but now N.L.P. therapists are emphasizing a new paradigm, "modelling representational systems", which we use to represent, code, store and give meaning to our experiences. These models are derived from observation of our use of the primary sensory modalities (visual, kinesthetic, auditory digital, etc).
In this system the subconscious mind is treated as that which is "out of consciouness"... now even the most subtle, hidden objects can be accessed by the conscious mind. The habitual patterns of motivational behaviour that Freud held to reside in the subconscious can be accessed by direct observation, they are nothing more than the strategies we use to process our sensations. These strategies can be re-modelled. Timeline techniques, for example, allow access to distant traumatic memories, which can easily be amplified and then reconstructed - harmlessly - in consciousness by anchoring them to a positive experience.
So the stack of Holons is not intended to directly imply that the deepest holons represent the deepest hidden levels of the subconscious mind or even the deepest miasm... the behavioural expression of the miasm is often quite evident to the trained observer. To reiterate, the idea of "digging" down to deeper levels of the patients subconscious mind is quite an oversimplification, and deserves further qualification. What we are really digging for is behavioural strategy.
In this short essay the main focus in on the subjective left-hand quadrants - the development of the person (I) and his relationship with the external world (WE).