Ken Wilber's Twenty Tenets of Evolution - part 2 of 4 by Jeff Carreira and Elizabeth Debold

Wilber presents and discusses the Twenty Tenets in his magnum opus, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, and also in A Brief History of Everything. The tenets describe reality—both interior and exterior—as composed entirely of “holons”—entities that are always wholes, and always part of a larger whole. In tenets that we will discuss this week, we’ll explore how this holonic structure enables vertical evolution. Here are this week’s tenets:

  • Each holon transcends and includes its predecessors.
  • The lower sets the possibilities of the higher; the higher sets the probabilities of the lower.
  • The number of levels which a hierarchy comprises determines whether it is ‘shallow’ or ‘deep;’ and the number of holons on any given level we shall call its ‘span.’
  • Each successive level of evolution produces greater depth and less span.
  • Destroy any type of holon, and you will destroy all of the holons above it and none of the holons below it.
  • Holarchies co-evolve. The micro is always within the macro (all agency is agency in communion).
  • The micro is in relational exchange with macro at all levels of its depth.