In Ken Wilber‘s integral theory the concept of quadrants is central (the AQ stands for all quadrants). The quadrants represent 4 essential dimensions of every thing, including each of us. We each have an interior and an exterior (a subjective and an objective dimension) and exist both as a whole in ourselves and as a part of a greater whole (we are holons, or whole-parts). These two axes in concert give us the four quadrants, the “subjective, intersubjective, objective, and interobjective.”.
These simple distinctions allow for a lot of clarity in understanding our world and the various ways of thinking about it. The four dimensions disclose four primary perspectives that are at play in every discipline from physics to sociology, meditation to systems theory. If we leave out any one quadrant we are thinking partially and neglecting an essential and irreducible facet of our lives.
Simple answer: Anything less is narrow, partial and fragmented! Integral Theory maintains that all 4 quadrants are real—and all are important. So, for example, to the question of what is more real, the brain (with its neural pathways and structures) or the mind (with its thoughts and perceptions), Integral Theory answers: BOTH.
Moreover, we add that the mind and brain are situated in cultural and systemic contexts, which influence both inner experience and brain activity in irreducible ways.
All four quadrants are real, all are important, and all are essential for understanding your world.
The more we can consciously include the 4 quadrants in our perspective, the more whole, balanced, healthy, comprehensive, and effective our actions will be.