The 4 Quadrants provide the foundational basis of our experience of the world, from moment to moment, and are present in each and every moment of reality, and of life.
“An Integral vision sees how realities in each of the 4 quadrants – from consciousness and the shadow in the Upper-Left quadrant, to cultural values and relationships in the Lower-Left, to individual behaviours and physiological factors in the Upper-Right, to ecological and techno-economical systems in the Lower-Right – interpenetrate to give rise to each moment of life on this planet and in our awareness.” – Integral Life Practice
They are derived by making two distinctions – between interior and exterior, and between individual and collective, and provide a basic ground-work grid as follows:
The interior refers to intangible, non-physical inner representations such as thoughts, emotions, meditative states in an individual, and shared meaning, values and understanding in the collective.
The exterior refers to the physical – that which you can touch, and includes the body (including the brain) and physical actions and behaviours of the individual, and the physical world, systems and environment of the collective.
All four of these are always present, and none of them can be reduced to being merely slaves or servants of any of the others. They “interpenetrate”. They co-arise simultaneously, or rather the specific technical term is that they ‘tetra-arise’, ‘tetra’ meaning ‘four’.
This gives us a view of the basic ‘groundwork’ of manifest reality, which we can look at ’brought to life’ as follows;
“Integral Life Practice exercises aspects of your being in all 4 quadrants… As you engage ILP and a life of practice, you may at some point notice yourself “forgetting” one or more of the quadrants of your life, focusing exclusively on certain parts of reality and leaving the rest out. As the Integral Framework becomes second nature, you’ll more easily recognize all four dimensions of a situation.” – Integral Life Practice