Introduction to the Second Volume of The Collected Works of Ken Wilber

T his volume contains the major publications of that period of my work I have called phase-2. Phase-1 was Romantic, marked by an overall belief that the dawn state of humans--both ontogenetically in the child and phylogenetically in primal humans--was a type of slumber in Paradise, in Eden, in a unified state or ground of being, from which we were alienated in the process of growing up, and to which we therefore should return: the original "paradise" must be recaptured in some form for our salvation. The insuperable difficulties with that view--difficulties fully discussed in the following pages--led me to abandon a pure Romanticism for a more evolutionary or developmental view (phase-2), which replaced a "recaptured goodness" model with a "growth to goodness" view. In phase-3 I would further refine the developmental view to include levels and lines (or waves and streams) of development, and in phase-4 I would see development itself set in the context of four major domains (the four quadrants of intentional, behavioral, social, and cultural unfolding). But the major turning point in my intellectual development came in moving from phase-1 to phase-2--Romantic to evolutionary--and this volume chronicles that growth.

This is not to say that, being phase-2, these publications are now outdated. In fact, much (or even most) of what follows is material I still consider to be basically sound in its overall conclusions, and it still forms several crucial building blocks of my subsequent work. The Atman Project was the first major psychological system to suggest a coherent and detailed map of human consciousness that included most of the major schools of Western psychology and Eastern mysticism. It outlined seventeen levels (or waves) of consciousness development leading from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit. Those seventeen stages are ones that I still consider to be the basic units (or holons) of consciousness evolution, although I have continued to refine their actual definitions and correlations with other researchers (see, for example, Integral Psychology). And Up from Eden remains, in my opinion, a quite valid outline of the major waves of cultural or worldview evolution, although, as with The Atman Project, I have continued to refine its points.

The transition from phase-1 to phase-2 (Romantic to developmental) was an inordinately difficult intellectual passage, and is worth studying, not for any personal angst through which I passed, but for the extremely important and delicate theoretical issues involved. I do not believe the child begins life immersed in a perfect Paradise, but I do believe most people begin thinking about Spirit in very Romantic terms: not something we possess now in timeless eternity yet refuse to see, but something we possessed yesterday in time and must regress to regain. This volume opens with the essay "Odyssey," an exploration of this retro-Romantic theme and its surprisingly large number of variants, and it points out the simple fact that, once you get on the Regress Express, it's extremely hard to get off.

This does not mean that infancy and childhood have no access to any sort of spiritual awareness at all. That has never been my position, although many critics still assume it is. In The Atman Project I outline the various bardo realms (or the realms between death and rebirth), which--according to most forms of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, early Christianity, and many forms of Jewish and Islamic mysticism--each soul traverses in his or her journey to Self-realization. The point is that the infant might indeed come "trailing clouds of glory," as Wordsworth put it, and these spiritual trails are often present, some evidence suggests, in prenatal, perinatal, neonatal, early infancy and childhood, although they are almost always suppressed when egoic (or frontal) development gets under way. Yet even then, the infant--and all human beings as such, from the primal human to the modern adult--has access to the three major realms of gross body (waking), subtle soul (dreaming), and causal spirit (sleeping), for the simple reason that all of them wake, dream, and sleep. I pointed this out in The Atman Project and Up from Eden, and thus I have never denied spiritual awareness of one sort or another to any stage of human development.

Nonetheless, I spent considerable time in phase-2 attacking the merely Romantic notion that infancy is basically an immersion in the primal paradise, and the archaic dawn state nothing but Eden. I pointed out that much of the eulogizing of infancy and dawn consciousness was based on "the pre/trans fallacy," or the confusing of pre-rational states and trans-rational states simply because both are non-rational. Much (but not all) of the Romantic agenda was a colossal confusion of pre and trans, with the result that some of the most outrageously prepersonal, preverbal, and prerational states of being were elevated to transpersonal, transverbal, transrational glory--so that instead of going forward to a transpersonal tomorrow, the Romantics recommended a recapture of a prepersonal past.

Because I dwelled on the many items in the archaic state and in infancy that are in fact prepersonal, I got the reputation (unfairly but perhaps understandably) for denying the possibility of any sort of archaic or childhood spirituality, which, as I said, is quite untrue.[1] Still, in this age of rampant narcissism, the dangers of elevating prerational impulses to transrational liberation far outweigh any skepticism about the glory of the two-year-old child, and although what we ideally want is a judicious assessment of each, erring on the side of skepticism is often the wiser move.

Since both Atman and Eden use the terms "structure of consciousness" and "structuralism," some critics wondered what relation my ideas had to the structuralists, who at the time were ascendant in many cultural studies (although poststructuralism had, since May of 1968, been increasingly rearing its ravenous head). The answer is, the movement known as "structuralism"--associated with names such as Levi-Strauss, Barthes, early Foucault, Lacan, aspects of Chomsky--was an important influence, but not overwhelmingly. It was merely one of several strands of cultural studies I was attempting to integrate, and it remains important to that degree. But most of the structuralists--linguistic, cultural, mathematical, and psychological--were working with structures that they believed were ahistorical (or synchronic), whereas I also wanted to include those aspects that were developmental or historical (diachronic). Likewise, most structuralists believed that structures were a priori givens of some sort (Kantian, Platonic, Hegelian, or Husserlian), but I believed that a priori structures were in fact the result of previous evolutionary history, but once they were laid down as a developmental habit, they were then basically a priori to subsequent development. And finally, most structuralists felt that structures were autonomous units, whereas I believed that they also depended up processes of relational exchange. For all those reasons, I could never be called a structuralist in any strict sense, although I attempted to integrate its enduring contributions.

Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson might be called "proto-structuralists," and I found them both absolutely brilliant (I continue to embrace many of their pioneering insights). From the early Foucault I took the importance of culturally constructed worldviews (although after Gebser, Foucault is rather thin soup). From Lacan, the fact that at least some of the unconscious has linguistic structure, and from Barthes, certain techniques of playing with that fact. Chomsky reminded us that aspects of language are universal and apparently innate, and that language itself is a phenomenon that behaviorism cannot even begin to explain.

But of all the structuralists, I found Piaget the most important. His system, as a system, is now eclipsed by more integral views (see The Eye of Spirit for a discussion of this), but many of his points are as valid today as when he first advanced them. In particular, his use of the word "structure," although utilizing many important currents of thought at the time, was quite original and highly influential. Most critics I know who dislike "structuralism" say that it is too rigid, too fixed, too, well, structured for their tastes. They prefer more holistic, patterned, self-organizing, dynamical processes.... apparently ignorant of the fact that such is exactly how Piaget defined the term "structure." In an age where everybody soon wanted to deconstruct something, the very word "structuralism" cried out for attack, as one rioting student scrawled on a wall in the streets of a burning Paris: "Down with Structuralism!"

In his book Structuralism, Piaget points out that "structure" simply means a self-organizing holistic pattern. All schools of structuralism, he notes, take their cue from wholeness: "For the mathematicians, structuralism is opposed to compartmentalization, which it counteracts by recovering unity through isomorphisms. For several generations of linguists, structuralism is chiefly a departure from the diachronic study of isolated linguistic phenomena...and a turn to the investigation of synchronously functioning unified language systems. In psychology, structuralism has long combated the atomistic tendency to reduce wholes to their prior elements."

More precisely, according to Piaget, "The notion of structure is comprised of three key ideas: the idea of wholeness, the idea of transformation, and the idea of self-regulation." He continues:

That wholeness is a defining mark of structures almost goes without saying, since all structuralists--mathematicians, linguists, psychologists, or what have you--are at one in recognizing as fundamental the contrast between structures and aggregates, the former being wholes, the latter composites formed of elements.... Moreover, the law's governing a structure's composition are not reducible to cumulative one-by-one association of its elements: they confer on the whole as such overall properties distinct from the properties of its elements.... The third basic property of structures is that they are self-regulating, self-regulation entailing self-maintenance and closure.

In short, structures--whether linguistic, psychological, mathematical, biological, sociological--are simply self-regulating holistic patterns. To use my terms, "structure" is generally synonymous with "holon"; but, more specifically, it means the holon's agency or autopoiesis, the deep pattern or self-organizing code that governs its transcription and translation (see Sex, Ecology, Spirituality). Francisco Varela's concept of autopoiesis owes much to Piaget's structures. Piaget even recognized the whole/part (or holonic) nature of structures within structures: "It is in this sense that a structure is 'closed,' a notion perfectly compatible with the structure's being considered a substructure of a larger one [a whole that is part of a larger whole]; but in being treated as a substructure, a structure does not lose its own boundaries; the larger structure does not 'annex' the substructure; if anything, we have a confederation, so that the laws of the substructure are not altered but conserved and the intervening change is an enrichment rather than an impoverishment." As I would put it, development is envelopment, with each senior holon transcending but embracing its juniors, so that each successive unfolding is indeed an enrichment, not an impoverishment.

Unlike most structuralists, Piaget believed that structures underwent development--that structures were con-structed.[2] He thus attempted to integrate synchronic (given) with diachronic (developed), an integrative intent that I shared. I would eventually come to believe that most of the deep features (or self-regulating codes) of holons (in all domains) were not given ahistorically, but rather were laid down in the process of evolution and development itself. However, once laid down as evolutionary memory, they tend to become fixed habits (or a priori structures) in their developmental domains, acting as teleonomic omega points for all future members of the class, which is why, in very general terms, ontogeny does recapitulate phylogeny. But even when a holon's deep features appear as a priori forms, nonetheless the surface features continue to be socially molded, historically fashioned, and often culturally relative. No part of a holon then--whether deep or surface--stands completely outside the molding hands of time and history and evolution (except, of course, for the Timeless itself).

So I would (and still do) refer to a holon's "structural organization and relational exchange." Structural organization means the defining agency, the deep features, the specific patterns of autopoiesis, of any self-organizing holon. Relational exchange refers to the fact that all holons possess not just autonomous agency or isolated self-regulating patterns, but also exist in networks of communion, relationship, and embeddedness. The deep features may be relatively autonomous (and hence self-regulating), but the surface features consist of patterns of relational exchange with the surrounding environs, an exchange upon which every holon depends for its very existence. Thus, all holons are self-regulating, but not self-sufficient, because all holons are always agency-in-communion (or coherence-in-correspondence, or being-in-the-world). Neither agency nor communion, neither autonomy nor relationship, neither coherence nor correspondence, neither a prior nor a posteriori, are alone enough to define a holon.

In this volume, I usually speak of "deep structures" and "surface structures" for those two features of holons, but that was perhaps an unfortunate choice of terms because they were also being used at the time by Chomsky, with meanings that were not the same. Chomsky himself dropped those terms, as did I. I now refer to them as "deep features" and "surface features"--or the relatively autonomous, universal, enduring features of any holon and the contingent, conditioned, culturally relative features of any holon, respectively. But by whatever names, both features are profoundly significant.

A few specific points on each book. The terminology of the basic structures or levels of consciousness given in The Atman Project reflects my own early attempts to integrate a vast array of conflicting psychological and spiritual systems. In subsequent books I would continue to refine the levels. In some cases the dates of emergence have been adjusted to match more recent evidence (this is the case with Eden, also). This is especially true of the earlier stages (birth to concrete operational, or archaic to mythic--both ontogenetically and phylogenetically). Ontogenetically, for example, the "membership self," although it starts around ages 2 to 4, as indicated in The Atman Project, doesn't really solidify until the rule/role mind (of ages 7-12), so in subsequent works (starting as early as Eden) I pushed the term "membership" and "mythic-membership" to that later period. The seventeen stages are still basically the same, I have simply used some slightly different terms and have adjusted the typical dates of emergence. (Nor is there anything sacred about the number seventeen--those levels can be subdivided, or alternatively, combined, in any number of valid ways.) For these refinements, of course, the reader is referred to such books as Integral Psychology, but the general outline of the basic structures is still as given in The Atman Project.

For the many contorted, conflicting meanings of Eros, Thanatos, Agape, and phobos--and my own changing use of those terms--I refer to the reader to a footnote.[3]

Which brings me to the other major change in subsequent theorizing: the shift from phase-2 to phase-3. In The Atman Project, I gave the seventeen levels (which are basically a subdivision of matter, body, mind, soul, and spirit), but I failed to fully articulate the fact that different developmental lines (such as cognitive, moral, artistic, interpersonal, affective, etc.) each develop in a relatively independent fashion through those seventeen levels. Thus, a person could be at a relatively high level of cognitive development, medium level of interpersonal development, and low level of moral development. In other words, development is not a clunky ladder-like affair, but rather consists of numerous independent lines (or streams) progressing through the seventeen basic levels (or waves) of consciousness. In most subsequent works, I would simply use nine or ten basic structures or waves of consciousness, through which almost two dozen different developmental lines or streams would move relatively independently. That insight--levels and lines, or waves and streams--would mark the transition from phase-2 to phase-3, represented in such books as Transformations of Consciousness and The Eye of Spirit. But, once again, the basic levels are given in The Atman Project, which is why it remains a fruitful foundation.

In Up from Eden, I focused on the evolution of cultural consciousness or worldviews (what I would later call the Lower Left quadrant, or intersubjective consciousness, just as The Atman Project focused on the Upper Left quadrant, or subjective consciousness). In Eden, I divided consciousness evolution into two main streams, the average mode and the most advanced (or growing tip) mode. I should emphasize that the average mode is just that: an average, with any individual capable of being quite above or below the group mean. Thus, in the magical-typhonic era, some individuals developed mythic, mental, and even psychic capacities (the latter were the shamans, I argue), but the higher the level of consciousness, the rarer it was, with the shaman being the most evolved--and therefore the rarest. Some critics imagined that in a magical-typhonic culture, none of the mythic or mental structures existed in anybody, so a shaman, accessing the psychic, would in fact be skipping stages. All of those difficulties can be avoided by remembering that the average mode was simply an average.

Also, it should be noted that the higher transpersonal realms (such as the subtle and the causal) can exist as both temporary states and permanent traits (or structures), and temporary states of transpersonal consciousness--such as altered states or a peak experience--can happen to virtually anybody at virtually any stage of development.[4] Thus, certain individuals in typhonic (foraging) times--such as a shaman--could access temporary transpersonal states regardless of the stage of their own development or that of their culture. Either or both of these explanations (the average mode allows for some individuals to possess advanced traits or structures, and temporary states can be accessed regardless) are enough to account for shamans, saints, and sages experiencing successively higher realms of the superconscious, even while their brethen were largely confined to average-mode awareness.

In Up from Eden I therefore also focused on differentiating between average-mode or exoteric religious symbols (stemming from the magic, mythic, or mental levels) and advanced-mode or esoteric religious symbols (stemming from the psychic, subtle, or causal levels). In particular, I focused on the difference between the Great Mother (originating largely in prepersonal structures) and the Great Goddess (originating largely in transpersonal ones). Likewise with God the Father as a mythic parental figure (prepersonal) and as Purusha or Consciousness (transpersonal).

Those insights are still quite valid, in my opinion, but I would simply add, as I did in a footnote to the original text, that there are other equally important meanings of the Feminine and Masculine Faces of Spirit. As explained in Sex, Ecology, Spirituality and A Brief History of Everything, the most comprehensive meaning of "God" and "Goddess" is simply as Ascent and Descent, Eros and Agape, wisdom and compassion, consciousness (purusha) and manifestation (prakriti), transcendence and immanence. Neither God nor Goddess is more important, higher, deeper, or better. Rather, each covers half of the eternal cycle of reflux and efflux, reaching higher in wisdom and reaching deeper in compassion, the Eros and Agape of Spirit's play in the world.

Both The Atman Project and Up from Eden discuss evolution at length, with a brief but important overview of involution. According to the perennial philosophy--or the common core of the world's great wisdom traditions--Spirit manifests a universe by "throwing itself out" or "emptying itself" to create soul, which condenses into mind, which condenses into body, which condenses into matter, the densest form of all. Each of those levels is still a level of Spirit, but each is a reduced or "stepped down" version of Spirit. At the end of that process of involution, all of the higher dimensions are enfolded, as potential, in the lowest material realm. And once the material world blows into existence (with, say, the Big Bang), then the reverse process--or evolution--can occur, moving from matter to living bodies to symbolic minds to luminous souls to pure Spirit itself. In this developmental or evolutionary unfolding, each successive level does not jettison or deny the previous level, but rather includes and embraces it, just as atoms are included in molecules, which are included in cells, which are included in organisms. Each level is a whole that is also part of a larger whole (each level or structure is a whole/part or holon). In other words, each evolutionary unfolding transcends but includes its predecessor(s), with Spirit transcending and including absolutely everything.

This arrangement--Spirit transcends but includes soul, which transcends but includes mind, which transcends but includes body, which transcends but includes matter--is often referred to as the Great Chain of Being, but that is clearly a very unfortunate misnomer. Each successive level is not a link but a nest, which includes, embraces, and envelopes its predecessor(s). The Great Chain of Being is really the Great Nest of Being--not a ladder, chain, or one-way hierarchy, but a series of concentric spheres of increasing holistic embrace. The Great Nest of Being is a holarchy, composed of holons, a development that is envelopment. And the deep features of this development were, at least in some significant ways, said to be deposited in involution.

This naturally raises the thorny question, Since the major dimensions of existence are laid down in involution, is evolution a completely determined course of action? Are the higher levels (or structures or holons or stages) given as Platonic Forms, ready to fall from the sky on their appointed cue?

Most of the traditionalists--such as Huston Smith, Fritjof Schuon, and Ananda Coomaraswamy--would reply with a strong "Yes." But that part of the "perennial philosophy" is something with which I could never really agree (which is one of the reasons I wrote "The Neo-Perennial Philosophy," replacing its central tenet of static Platonic Forms with an evolutionary panentheism). Like most of the structuralists, the traditionalists believed in ahistorical, completely pregiven Forms, untouched by time, history, or evolution. I, on the other hand, believed that there was indeed an involutionary arc, but all that it "predetermined" were some very general potentials for evolutionary unfolding.

To say that matter, body, mind, soul, and Spirit are evolutionary potentials is to say both quite a lot and not very much. With the traditionalists, I agree that these higher realms of being (or higher states of consciousness) are potentials that are available to us in any moment we can open our eyes wide enough. And the reason they are to some degree available is involution: all of these potentials were made available during efflux or involution, when Spirit threw itself outward to create the realms of soul, mind, body, and matter, realms that await rediscovery by any and all who can transcend the shallower to find the deeper.

Those individuals, for example, who have a strong religious experience, satori, or enlightenment, almost always report that they are simply rediscovering something that they once knew (in eternity) but forgot (in time). Profound mystical experience always carries the sense of "coming home," and never the sense of stumbling onto something completely unknown. Plato, in that regard, was quite right: this type of spiritual knowledge is a remembering, not an inventing. And we remember our higher states because they are already there, as potentials, awaiting rediscovery (a rediscovery of something we possessed, not in childhood, but in the depth of the timeless moment). In this specific sense, then, we absolutely need a concept of involution in order to be true to the phenomenological evidence of spiritual experience.

But that does not mean that everything about evolution is therefore laid down in involution, so that evolution is nothing but a rewinding of the videotape, so to speak. At most, certain deep features of the major realms are given by involution as potentials, but all the surface features are created, molded, shaped, and formed by historical currents and evolutionary forces. In that sense, certain deep features are remembered, but surface features are learned. (And, as I explained above, I think even the deep features of holons are partially molded by time's formative powers. I say "partially," because if they were totally formed by evolutionary pressures, we would still have to account for the formation of the evolutionary pressures themselves, which would require at least some forces that did not come from evolution.) Spirit, in other words, is not by any means a deterministic machine, but rather an organically playful Spirit, whose own sport and play (lila) includes the wonderful game of "surprise" at every possible turn, undermining determinism as all creativity does.

I think of involution, then, along the analogy of a rubber band: stretch it, and you have involution, which supplies a force (namely Eros) that will then pull the two ends of the rubber band (matter and spirit) back together again--in other words, an involutionary force that will pull evolution along.[5] But the actual route taken in that return, and all its wonderful variety, is a co-creation of every holon and the currents of Eros in which it fluidly floats.

Now, of course, you are perfectly free to believe in evolution and reject the notion of involution. I find that an incoherent position; nonetheless, you can still embrace everything in the following pages about the evolution of culture and consciousness, and reject or remain agnostic on involution. But the notion of a prior involutionary force does much to help with the otherwise impenetrable puzzles of Darwinian evolution, which has tried, ever-so-unsuccessfully, to explain why dirt would get right up and eventually start writing poetry. But the notion of evolution as Eros, or Spirit-in-action, performing, as Whitehead put it, throughout the world by gentle persuasion toward love, goes a long way to explaining the inexorable unfolding from matter to bodies to minds to souls to Spirit's own Self-recognition. Eros, or Spirit-in-action, is a rubber band around your neck and mine, pulling us all back home.

[1] For further discussions of this theme, see Integral Psychology and One Taste.

[2] Piaget's main cognitive stages (sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational), are ones that I still use, in a very general way, but only for the cognitive line of development, and then only for the lower half or so of the spectrum of consciousness (beyond formal operational is centauric vision-logic, psychic vision, subtle archetype, causal gnosis, and nondual sahaja). Piaget's major misjudgment, most critics now agree, was attempting to subsume all developmental lines within the cognitive line alone, which simply does not allow for the empirical fact that different lines show sometimes pronounced differences in rate of development and dynamic of unfolding (see The Eye of Spirit). But Piaget's brilliance in clinically investigating--and theoretically formulating, within a Hegelian/Kantian scheme--the development of cognitive worldviews, moral sense, space and time construction, levels of self sense, and so on--all within a largely nonreductionistic, holistic, constructivist, developmental/evolutionary, self-organizing paradigm--was a monumental contribution.

[3] Here is a semantic nightmare: in Eye to Eye and Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, I outline the many ways in which the words "Eros," "Thanatos," "Life," and "Death" have been used in theorists from Plato to Freud. I conclude that both "Life" and "Death" have two very different meanings: what we might call "vertical" (transformative) and "horizontal" (translative). Vertical life is a search for higher and wider unity, a reaching up of the lower for the higher; while horizontal life is a clinging to one's present state of life and unity, a self-preservation drive at any given level. Vertical death is a regressive dissolution, a moving down the holarchy of being, ultimately ending in lifeless matter and decay; while horizontal death is a type of "letting go" of fixations at one's present level, ultimately to transform to a different level altogether (either upward, in growth, or downward, in regression). There are, in other words, four major "drives" or "forces" here: vertical life (upward to higher levels), horizontal life (holding on to one's present level), horizontal death (letting go of one's present level), and vertical death (moving down to lower levels, finally to lifeless matter). Those four drives are very real (in fact, they are simply the four capacities of each and every holon), but "Eros" and "Thanatos" have historically been used in completely different ways when referring to those drives, and this has constituted, as I said, a bit of a semantic mess.

In both The Atman Project and Up from Eden, I used the term "Eros" to mean horizontal life (or attempting to preserve one's present state), and Thanatos to mean horizontal death (or letting go of one's present state). Vertical life (or transformation upward) I called Atman telos, and vertical death (or regression) I called contraction or Atman restraint. One of the central conclusions was that when Thanatos exceeds Eros--when the death of one level exceeds the life of that level--then translation fails and transformation ensues. Thus transformation upward (or evolution) requires that Thanatos (or the death of the present level) be accepted, so that consciousness can rise to higher and more embracing levels. Higher life, in other words, requires an acceptance of death at each and every stage of development, and the denial of death means the denial of growth and transcendence.

I believe those concepts are still quite valid, but I now use different terms to describe the identical ideas. I have since found that it is more appropriate to use Eros and Thanatos to refer to the vertical dimension of Life and Death (upward evolution versus downward dissolution), and not to the horizontal dimension, as I did in Atman and Eden. Horizontal life is then agency and self-preservation, and horizontal death is self-negation, adaptation, and communion. (And, as explained in Sex,Ecology, Spirituality, Agape now refers to downward embrace, which, when disconnected from Eros, yields Thanatos; and phobos refers to the equivalent but opposite disconnect of Eros from Agape). All the conclusions remain the same, I have simply switched the terms. This is fully spelled out in Eye to Eye and Sex, Ecology, Spirituality ; for the following pages, it is enough to realize that Eros and Thanatos are being used in the horizontal sense, and that, if nothing else, I was truthful when I said this was a semantic nightmare.

[4] For discussion on the difference between states and structures, see A Sociable God ; "Paths beyond Ego in the Coming Decade" (in Walsh and Vaughan, Beyond Ego); Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, chapter 14, note 17; and Integral Psychology.

[5] More technically, an involutionary force (Agape) that will pull evolution from above while its own self-transcending force (Eros) pushes it from below. In this account I am simplifying to just Eros as the depository of Spirit-in-action. See Sex, Ecology, Spirituality for a detailed account of the importance of both Agape (reaching down) and Eros (reaching up) in evolution and development.

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