The Four Hands of God

Toward a more complete understanding of the elements of spirituality.

So far, in our ongoing exploration of an integral approach to spirituality, we have introduced the ideas of

perspectives

(first-, second-, and third-person perspectives, such as "I," "you/we," and "it") and

levels of development

(such as archaic, magic, mythic, mental, integral, and higher). In this column, we will begin to pull these together into something of a coherent statement, so that the contours of the integral approach will start to become clear.

In future columns, we will introduce the remaining elements of the integral approach, including developmental lines, states of consciousness, and types. When we are finished, all five elements-perspectives, levels, lines, states, and types-will hopefully be integrated into a seamless whole, which gives us a truly integral framework with which to better understand human spirituality and perhaps Spirit itself. But one thing that we have found time and again is that if you leave out any of those elements in your account of spirituality, you end up with a decidedly less-than-integral approach-which is to say, a partial, fragmented, broken approach to God. And, generally speaking, a broken God is not high on anybody's gift list.

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Let us begin by integrating perspectives and levels. How do they fit together? Please see Figure 1. Notice that it is divided into four squares or quadrants. These

quadrants

are just another name for

perspectives

. You can see four of these important perspectives listed in their respective quadrants-"I" (the Upper-Left quadrant), "we" (the Lower-Left quadrant), "it" (the Upper-Right quadrant) and "its" (the Lower-Right quadrant).

click to enlarge
Figure 1. The Four Quadrants

(

Click to enlarge image.

)

Notice the contents of each of those quadrants. (Don't worry if all of the terms don't make sense; the diagram shows more details than we need, but the essential points should be obvious.) The

Upper Right
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Ken Wilber
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