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Table of Contents
The Universe Story (Metastory)
The Structures of Consciousness
think that the reasons for the crisis in which the world now finds itself are
lodged in something deeper than a particular way of organizing the economy or
a particular political system. The West and the East, though different in so many
ways, are going through a single common crisis. Reflecting on that crisis would
be the starting point for every attempt to think through a better alternative.
Where does the cause of this crisis lie?
feel that somewhere here there
is a basic tension out of which the present global crisis has grown. At the same
time, I'm persuaded that this conflict
..is directly related to the spiritual
condition of modern civilization. This condition is characterized by loss; the
loss of metaphysical certainties, of an experience of the transcendental
and of any kind of higher horizon. It is strange but ultimately quite logical;
as soon as man began consider-ing himself the source of the highest meaning in
the world and the measure of everything, the world began to lose its human dimension,
and man began to lose control of it.
We are going through a great departure
from God, which has no parallel in history. As far as I know, we are living in
the middle of the first atheistic civilization
. It seems to me that if the
world is to change for the better it must start with a change in human consciousness,
in the very humanness of modern man."
Havel, Disturbing The Peace
book could change your life. You may at first doubt what you read but we challenge
you to take a few moments to remember and reflect while examining the evidence
that is all around you.
The central idea is that consciousness, for us
humans, has unfolded in five distinct stages or structures over time. Simply pick
up any art-history book and page through it - the five structures are self-evident
once you recognize the basic schema outlined herein.
Why is an understanding
of these structures of consciousness important? These same structures are also
present in each of us and here is the simple but important fact - by remembering
and integrating these co-present structures we awaken to a new sense of wholeness.
This is the Integral Human whose chief manifestations are wisdom, well-being,
wonder and joy - very different from the loneliness and alienation felt by the
modern person of today.
As medical doctors We have come to recognize
that this "ordering of consciousness" or worldview is as important as
all the nutrition, exercise, vitamins, minerals and life-style choices people
make. Worldview maybe the most essential ingredient for a person's well-being
and longevity. Integral Health is the process through which we humans achieve
well-being by the "ordering of consciousness". Remembering is central
to this process and includes the integration of our species and our own psycho-historical
If worldview is essential to a persons well-being then we
need to better understand how our knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and shared meaning
(culture) come to be.
One of the primary ways we humans provide meaning
is by telling stories. The Universe Story (MetaStory) outlined in chapter one
is the new story that needs telling. This story includes our entire history and
transcends biblical genesis and Darwinism. This new story is best told by Brian
Swimme. (See Resources). I have given the reader a very condensed version of his
The second chapter outlines the unfolding of our structures of
consciousness. Jean Gebser's work is perhaps the clearest expression of this.
With an understanding of this schema a person is able to understand "the
pattern that connects"- this pattern underlies every field of human endeavour.
The third chapter introduces the emerging integral structure of consciousness
that is now pressing into our modern world. Some simple strategies are given that
can help transform today's mental structure of consciousness toward the emerging
integral structure of consciousness.
The final chapter illustrates
how an understanding of the psycho-historical development of humans is key to
an understanding of health. This understanding can also be applied to law, economics,
art education or any other institution in our modern world.
UNIVERSE STORY (METASTORY)
suffer from evolutionary amnesia, forgetting the sources, forgetting our natural
spiritual lineages. Our amnesia, deep and serious, flings us into destruction.
Lacking reverence for the earth and her creatures, we war with her, and bring
ourselves to the wasteland. -Rowena Pattee Knyder."
As we enter
the 21st century it is clear that humankind has reached a crossroad. Our journey,
especially over the last 500 years has been an exciting one full of adventure.
We are now poised on the eve of perhaps our greatest adventure - an exploration
of mind and an insight into how we see the world at this particular moment and
why we see it the way we do.
What does it mean to become transparent
to the transcendent? How do we contact and live the divine life that is within
each of us? Why does EM recognize that the nature of our own mind
is infinite, indestructible and immortal?
To answer these questions we
have, for the first time in history, vast amounts of knowledge from many different
fields of inquiry - science, philosophy, anthropology, cosmology, archeology,
religion, art - and all this knowledge, thanks to tele-computer technology, is
available at our fingertips.
In order for knowledge to have meaning however
we must provide a context. As we can see from the following diagrams:
Without a context there is no meaning beyond a collection of seemingly unrelated
parts (DIAG 1). However in DIAG 2 a face (meaning) is immediately recognizable
because its parts are presented in a deliberate context.
One of the primary
ways humans provide meaning is by telling stories. Joseph Campbell spent his life
uncovering the essential stories (myths) that humankind have used to inform their
worldview and their actions. Campbell often asked what will be the 'new story'
that people of the 21st century can embrace, that will provide meaning and a sense
of wholeness. We believe the new story is really a MetaStory.
- from the old Greek 'meta' means to transcend what was before - thus the new
story eclipses previous stories such as Genesis (creationism) and Darwinism (evolution)
and provides a new context for what has been, what is and what can be. The Meta-story
contains three major interrelated stories - The Cosmic Story and the mystery of
the fireball, the Earth Story and the wonder of life and the Human Story and the
structures of consciousness.
This Meta-Story provides a new context that
properly understood can bring about a new worldview with a profound sense of meaning
Universe Story (MetaStory)
1.1 THE STORY OF THE COSMOS
Following the publication of general relativity in 1905, Willem
deSitter, an astronomer, and Alexander Friedman, a mathematician, independently
demonstrated that the universe had a history. Since that time, four scientific
methods for investigating the age of the universe have been devised. All agree
the cosmos was born about 15 billion years ago. Although, the exact nature of
that beginning is somewhat disputed.
In 1948, George
Gamov proposed that the universe itself was the result of a primordial expansion
of matter that he called the Big
Bang. Amazingly, the earth did not explode into an empty space. Instead, it
"grew" more space within its own midst. As a result of this expanding
and cooling process, Gamov theorized a faint afterglow of radiation had likely
been dispersed throughout the universe. Penzias and Wilson, using a huge microscope
receiver, verified this prediction in 1965 when they discovered these faint radiations.
In that "time freedom," before The Big Bang, all matter in the
universe was packed into space much smaller than a proton, the density of which
is unimaginable. The Big Bang marks the beginning of matter, space, and time.
Consequently, The Big Bang should not be portrayed as the expansion of matter
within an existing space as mentioned.
Within three minutes of its birth,
the young universe was as cold as the center of the sun, allowing about one-fourth
of the hydrogen to be converted to helium. At that time, the universe was essentially
composed of these two gaseous elements. It took about one billion years before
stars and galaxies began forming. About five billion years ago, our own sun was
born. Known to produce energy by the transmutation of elements, the sun, in its
core, produces energy and light by converting hydrogen into helium. During millions
of years, such nuclear reactions within each star created even heavier elements
like carbon, oxygen, silicon, iron, etc. The elements that make up the earth,
the sun and all living beings have an age of ten billion years. Each one of us
is made up of this "star stuff".
Astrophysicist Steven Hawkins
marvels at the fact that life is only possible because the universe is expanding
at just the rate needed to avoid recollapse. The vastness of the universe and
the creation of our solar system 5 billion years ago all seem to have been necessary
to make life possible.
1.2 THE STORY OF THE EARTH
A byproduct of the interstellar gas cloud that collapsed to birth the sun was
a swarm of rocky debris. From this debris orbiting the infant sun, the earth began.
The inner solar system, which includes Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, was cold
enough for materials like rock and ice to survive as solids, but the lighter gases
such as hydrogen, helium, and methane found residence in Jupiter and the outer
Earth's initial atmosphere was composed of mostly carbon dioxide
and water vapor. As the surface of the earth cooled, water vapor condensed into
clouds and rain contributing to the gradual formation of seas. Life began somewhere
in the seas about four billion years ago and soon evolved into single bacteria.
Within 100 million years or so, some of these bacteria learned to live off sunlight
and carbon dioxide just as modern plants depend on photosynthesis.
the next three billion years came the slow evolution of single cells and organisms.
The most notable event regarding photosynthesis was the production of oxygen which,
being very chemically active, was first absorbed by various minerals on the earth's
surface. About 1.8 billion years ago those oxygen absorbers became saturated causing
oxygen to accumulate in the atmosphere.
Sex developed about one billion
years ago. Evolution could now accelerate through more varied genetic combinations,
however it still required another 600 million years for life to move onto land.
This occurred first with plants, then insects and, finally, amphibians.
The oldest rocks on earth are just over four billion years old. The age of dinosaurs
represent only the last 10 percent of the earth's history. Human origins are traceable
to just over 5 million years ago.
THE HUMAN STORY
is possible only because the universe is developing in the precise fashion it
is. Life demands awareness and it is life that gives rise to consciousness.
Humanity has evolved from simple consciousness to self-consciousness and
is now ready for its next major transition; from self-consciousness to integral
As physicist Erwin
Schrodinger has noted without humans, the universe would be a drama played
before empty stalls.
About 5 million years ago the hominid line split
from a common ancestor. The approximate timeline and milestones can be found in
Our thoughts result not only from
the brains adaption and evolution over the last few million years but also from
the meaning we attach to our sensory impressions of the world.
we have ever known, or felt or will feel is mental. Our entire perceived and imagined
world is personal, self-created within our head. The moment we recognize that
this reality is self-created we grasp the power we have to change reality.
The ability to think enables each of us to create an infinite variety of
content. Our personal thinking system is a complex network of thought patterns
that include judgments, intuitions, experiences, concepts, beliefs, opinions and
This thinking system acts as a filter
through which we view the outside world. In fact, we actually invent our moment-to-
moment awareness or personal worldview. This "mind in place" becomes
a dream of our own making.
Psychologist Raymond Casarni recently listed more
than 240 different psychotherapies used to help people to deal with psychological
problems including the sense of alienation felt by many modern persons.
Rick Suarez, in the company of a few other enlightened psychologists, undertook
the task of sorting through this vast number of apparent different therapies and
ultimately produced four basic principals of psychological thought central to
The capacity of each human being to formulate thought and the thought system that
each human being has created.
(ii) Separate Reality: The individual
differences that every unique thought system creates.
The capacity of human beings to understand the nature of their own psychological
(iv) Perception: Feelings and emotions as indicators
of the quality and direction of human psychological functioning.
knowledge shifts perception, there is converging evidence that there is a reality
deeper than what a human being creates through personal thought.
further noted by Suarez, until this larger reality-the wisdom-self-is discovered,
a person's life experience will continue to be derived from and limited to the
personal, conditional thought system, or the ego-self.
This larger reality
or intensification of consciousness is recognized by positive feelings and emotions,
happiness, well-being, meaning, creativity, wonder, reverence for all life, and
a sense of humor and joy.
What unfortunately was missing from Suarez
insightful book was how exactly does one discover this 'wisdom-self'. (Integral
As we shall see in the next chapter the development of even
the 'ego-self' is a very recent phenomenon in our development. The recognition
of our 'wisdom-self' (integral consciousness) is an even more recent discovery
and is the subject of the monograph.
It is important
to understand that the development and recognition of both the ego and wisdom-self
are inevitable and are a natural expression of the unfolding of consciousness.
No book, doctrine or teacher is needed for this process; they simply help facilitate
Let us at this point include our opinion on the brain/mind
dilemma. We believe that the brain is that fleshy three-pound structure of tissue
residing within our cranial bones and that the nerves, hormones and chemicals
found in these tissues are largely responsible for the ego self's thinking system.
Mind, on the other hand, is not confined to the cranial cavity or limited just
to the present moment, but rather mind is non-local and can transcend both space
and time. This, as we will demonstrate in the next chapter, is what integral consciousness
(or the wisdom-self) is about - This consciousness is infinite, indestructible
EM because it recognizes this infinite nature
of consciousness regards immortality as a given. (An "Eternist" as Larry
Dossey M.D. likes to say is a physician who recognizes our timeless nature and
helps a client understand this reality).
1: The Human Story
|5 Million years ||Hominid
line and chimpanzee line split from common ancestor|| |
|4 Million years ||Oldest
- Erect posture
- Shared food
|2 Million years||Homo
- Crude tools of stone
- Large brain size
|1.5 Million years||Homo
- More elaborate tools
- Larger brain size
- Use of fire
- Major increase brain size
- Anatomy of vocal tracts
|30,000 - 8,000 BC ||Early
Stone Age (Paleolithic)|| |
|8,000 - 4,000||BC
New Stone Age (Neolithic) || |
Age || |
|1,500 BC ||Iron
Roman Empire|| |
|500 - 1500 AD||Medieval
|1500 - 1700 AD||The
|1700 - Present||Machine
| || ||
||Ecozoic Age|| |
II. THE STRUCTURES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
"By returning to the very sources of human development
as we observe all of the structures of consciousness, and moving from there toward
our present day and our contemporary situation and consciousness, we can not only
discover the past and present moment of our existence but also gain a view into
the future which reveals the traits of a new reality amidst the decline of our
can trace the evolution of our species consciousness through five distinct periods
as described by scholar and historian Jean
Gebser in his 1943 work, "The Ever Present Origin". (See Table
We awaken to the fifth structure (integral consciousness) by remembering
the previous four copresent structures contained within each of us.
individuals, different segments of society and different cultures emphasize different
It is worthwhile to spend a little time and really get a
feel for the different structures. We will use art-history and some commentary
to assist this process, as knowledge of Gebser's Basic Schema is essential to
the understanding of how and why we see the world as we do.
See the streaming
video which helps explain this.
Table 2:The Structures of Consciousness
|Soue of Concious-ness||Sense
|5 million-200,000 B.C.|
B.C. - 2,000 B.C.|
|2,000 B.C.- 1,500 A.D.-|
Wholeness Wisdom|| |
Science and Art
|Overself/ Ever Present Origin||Future|
Human (5 Million - 200,000 B.C.)
Homo habilis (handy man) appeared about 2 million years ago and had about one-half
our modern brain. Although language was not yet well developed, they did make
stone tools. This archaic human, although advanced beyond all prior evolutionary
stages, matter, plant, and animal, is still undifferentiated from the surrounding
world and has no sense of self. Neither space nor time exist. Early humans were
at peace; innocent without mental reflection and thus presumably without any existential
The originating structure of archaic consciousness is best described
by the terms pleroma or uroboros, the latter being the primordial mythic symbol
of the serpent eating its own tail; self-possessed, all-enclosing, paradisiacal
but reptilian. In the Garden of Eden, the human is, as it were, in a deep sleep.
Early man, like animals, has a simple awareness or consciousness. (This stage
and the integral state are the only periods in which there is a complete lack
of separation or distinction between the individual and the whole.)
Neumann, a scholar, concurs with Gebser, stating, the original situation which
is represented mythologically as the uroboros corresponds to the psychological
stage in man's prehistory when the individual and the group, ego and unconscious,
man and the world, were so indissolubly bound up with one another that the law
of 'participation mystique', of unconscious identity, prevailed between them.
This archaic state, although angelic in many ways, is the bliss of ignorance,
not of transcendence. The sense organ that predominates is the body-kinesthetic
sense. The psychology is one of instinct; a visceral psychology primarily geared
around the alimentary tract and nose.
The tactile-kinesthetic body is
the sentiently felt body that knows the world through touch and movement. Maxine
Sheets-Johnston believes the roots of thinking are modeled on the body, thereby
linking thinking to spatial and sentient-kinetic life. This sensing body is the
cognitive source of the fundamental and pre-eminently human concepts that shape
human evolution and thinking.
Sensory modalities of any given cultural
period are not equal but have privileged positions of importance relative to one
another. The addiction to visualism which marks our current technological culture
is actually a Western culture-wide bias. Both language and vision are impregnated
with archaic tactile values.
The control of body movement such as the
upright posture of these early humans coupled with the capacity to skillfully
handle objects such as thumb use in tool making accounts for the core of this
structure of consciousness. In fact, the evolution of the archaic human can be
described in terms of the increasingly sophisticated use of tools. For 4 million
years humans lived in groups of 25-40. Proto-language may have had its beginning
around the fire at night. As the only species to control fire approximately 1.4
million years ago, humans likely used this new-found force as an opportunity to
begin exploring their environment and the recurring problems of food and shelter.
Magical Human (200,000 - 10,000 B.C.)
By 45,000 years ago, humans had spread themselves over most of Africa, Europe
and Asia, and numbered about one million. Humans were in Australia 40,000 years
ago, Siberia and Europe 30,000 years ago, and North America 27,000 years ago.
During this period these hunter-gatherers increased in population and sophistication.
More advanced tools, primitive art, and ritual were added. The magical period
still lacks the concepts of space and time, and an advanced language. Mimetic
cognition developed through the use of mime. This ability to produce conscious,
self-initiated representational acts was intentional but not linguistic. Note
the absence of the mouth (language) in the early drawings from Australia and Ireland.
According to Merlin
Donald, the voluntary expressive use of the face and voice to transmit emotion
began in the mimetic-magical period, but advanced significantly in the mythical
period with the development of the larynx and the modern vocal apparatus. Donald
further explains, "To reiterate: mime, play, games, skilled rehearsal, non-linguistic
gesticulation, tool making, other creative instrumental skills, many nonsymbolic
expressive devices used in social control, and reproductive memory in general
are all by-products of the mimetic system, as it continuously models the episodic
world. In effect, this means that the mimetic mind models, in action, the outputs
of the episodic mind. The mimetic system is thus a seminal hominid cognitive innovation,
a mode of cognition that remains dissociable from language even in modern humans,
and is the logical basis of the first truly human culture."
magical human begins to awaken to personal finiteness and vulnerability. A prehistoric
etching of the magical human was found in a paleolithic cave site in France. Called
"The Sorcerer of Trois Freres", it may well be the oldest self-portrait
of a human. Humanity's original fusion with the world has its best anthropological
expression in totemism, which regards a certain animal as an ancestor, a friend,
or some kind of powerful and providential being.
Frazer, an anthropologist,
writes: "Belief in the sympathetic influence exerted on each other by persons
or things at a distance is the essence of magic. Whatever doubt science may entertain
as to the possibility of action at a distance, magic has none; faith in telepathy
is one of its first principals. A modern advocate of the influence of mind upon
mind at a distance would have no difficulty in convincing a savage, the savage
believed in it long ago, and what's more, he acted on his belief with a logical
consistency such as his civilized brother in the faith has not yet, so far as
I am aware, exhibited in his conduct."
Not surprisingly, the ear
is the predominant sense organ for the magical human, while for the mythic human,
it is the mouth. Words, modifiers and complex sentences, not just grunts, vastly
enhance creativity by allowing thought to be shared within a group and from generation
to generation. This language capacity signals the beginning of the interior mental
life. The primitives harmonious and precise knowledge of their habitat came, in
the process of the "Europeanization" of the globe, to be the very mark
of the primitive itself based on the feelings and expressions of kinship with
animals and even trees, stones, and water.
As the secret language of
the body, dance was the expressive language of life for the magical human. Patterned
after, for instance, buffalo, birds, and bees, dancing kept these preliterate
people in nurturing contact with their trusted world.
Human (10,000 - 2,000 B.C.)
The Neolithic age (New
Stone age) began about 10,000 years ago. Neolithic people differentiated themselves
from all previous humans by settling in permanent villages. This was the result
of two important developments: the taming of several kinds of animals and the
growth of agriculture. On a nutritional note; we now know that our Paleolithic
ancestors ate from 2 food groups only. Meat and fish ,vegetables, fruits and nuts.
Grains (agriculture) and dairy products (animal husbandry) only began with the
mythical structure of consciousness. Our genes as modern research is showing,
are not geared to the excessive carbohydrate diets eaten today.
B.C., the major life institutions of mankind were established: family, language,
education, religion, government, economics, science, technology, art, and war.
This basic living pattern has not changed appreciably in nearly 10,000 years.
Of all the institutions, language is the hallmark of the mythical human. While
no one knows for certain how rapidly speech spread, its presence in the past 20,000
years appears uncontestable. Evidence from cranial bones indicates that rudimentary
speech centers may have developed much earlier.
The most elevated use
of language in tribal societies is that of mythic invention, the myth being the
prototypal, integrative mind tool. This narrative-myth did not replace the mimetic-magical
ritual, song, dance, or games, but rather, added to them. Most language of western
and eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and India suggest a common ancestor about
8,000 years ago. French took its modern form in the twelfth century, Spanish in
the fourteenth, Portuguese in the sixteenth. English took its modern form in the
thirteenth century. In his reflections on the fate of storytelling in the modern
world, the writer Walter Benjamin claims that experience is fast becoming incommunicable
and that the wisdom that comes from one individual communicating to another a
personal experience is being replaced by simple information in the form of what
is purveyed by the mass media. This has enormous consequences for modern humanity.
Mythic culture tends toward the rapid integration of knowledge. Myth
governs the collective mind. A "we" membership prevails. The mythic
human is still egoless, lives in a dream state, and uses speech to tell stories
that explains personal reality; enhancing song, dance, and games with narrative
language. The move from hunter-gatherer bands into village life must have happened
under extreme pressure and is probably attributable to population growth, climatic
stress, and the dwindling herds of game.
Historians have yet to agree
on the number of civilizations formed by humankind, but it is generally agreed
that the first four were:
Nile River (3,500 B.C.)
o Sumerian, Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (3,500 B.C.)
o Indian, Indus River (2,700 B.C.)
o Chinese, Yellow River (2,000 B.C.)
we move from the Neolithic period into these classical civilizations, people discovered
a great advantage in growing crops. A characteristic of this mythical human is
temporal time, conspicuous in the natural tempos of day and night, and the cyclical
changes of the seasons. Four major civilizations with different religions and
different histories characterize this period. According to cosmologist Brian Swimme,
they had the following in common:
A King as ruler
o Dominance by an economic elite
o Domination of women
o Dominance of the human over the natural world.
Turner, American historian, writes about this period in the near East: "The
hard won evolution from encampments to villages to the towns that eventually grew
into cities - achieved over thousands of years in a difficult environment - nurtured
the belief that "civilization" meant the walled, blocked, and grain
stocked city and that civilization could only be achieved and perilously maintained
by unremitting hand to hand combat with a nature that would of itself grant little.
Whereas the mythologies of the earlier settlements seem to have been based at
least partly on the earth (Great Mother), with the development of towns and cities,
the locus of divinity shifted to the sky and the irrational violent gods who dwelt
This subtle shift marked the change from matriarchy to patriarchy.
The illusion of human independence from nature is expressed in the Biblical statement:
"Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it; and have
domination over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every
living thing that moveth upon the earth."
About 5,000 B.C., the
disruption of the old Neolithic civilizations began in earnest with several waves
of Kurgan people sweeping across prehistoric Europe. These were nomadic people
ruled by powerful priests and warriors. Beside these invaders, a second group,
the most famous of which were the Hebrews, came from the deserts of the South
and invaded Canaan (Palestine). In contrast to the horticultural societies, both
groups had a masculine domination model.
Inevitably, the two societies
clashed. Living a harsh, nomadic life, the herders, upon encountering villages
where there was abundance, were compelled to plunder. For the first time in history
it became biologically intelligent to wage warfare. The result was a hybrid society
where, unlike any time before, villages built fences and fortifications to protect
their abundance. Why would individuals, even whole communities, voluntarily agree
to surrender their magical and impulsive gratifications for future mental goals?
Why is it a case of jam tomorrow and not jam today?
emergence of language precipitated this change. Language, according to writer
Robert Hall, is the means of dealing with the non-present world.
hallmark of the mythical human, language allowed for the integration of knowledge,
symbols, imagination, ideals, morality, and belief systems. With this expanded
consciousness and the ability to more clearly picture the future, humankind needed
to visualize this unfolding future as promise that death was in the distance.
A subtle change occurred in our worldview as we moved from the early magical-mythical,
cyclical time to our modern linear time. A new and heightened death seizure followed
as a direct result of farming and language. Fear exists only in linear time and
stubbornly sits at the center of our modern worldview.
Human - Early Mental Human (2,000 B.C. - 1,500 A.D.)
History, in the form of recorded events, began with the development of writing
about 5,000 years ago, prehistory, relied upon storytelling. The Old Testament
was written well over 1,000 years after the described events are said to have
taken place. The Israelites were the first people to create and inscribe a consecutive
sacred historical record: God created the world at a certain time; later He created
man; still later He selected Israel as His nation of priests; led them out of
Egypt, gave them their law; commanded them to observe that law for their inner
sanctification - and all this in the interest of an ideal goal in the messianic
future. In that age, history will finally vanquish nature.
time forward, religion was to be historically rather than mythologically oriented;
human existence was to move relentlessly toward the achievement of a special destiny.
This was a definite change from the old view of cyclical time and the setting
apart of this monotheistic covenant from all the nature-based polytheisms of other
people. Indeed, as Turner observes, "
..not only apart but against them
in a war to the death." The people of the New Testament were even more divorced
from myth and nature, and, lacking even the vital concept of a promised land,
went farther in seeking to suppress the world of nature. On the other hand the
Greeks worshipped gods in many shapes and by many names. They did not think along
the same lines as the Jews, Christians, and Moslems. The Olympian gods brought
justice, order and beauty and it is through these gods that the Greeks approached
the secret of existence.
Western civilization however reflects the traditions
of both Greece and Israel. The Jews discover religion; the Greeks "invent"
the human mind and develop philosophy. Around 900 B.C., at the same time the Hebrew
Bible was being composed, early Greek works reveal humans gradually coming to
understand themselves. Homer's counsel in the Iliad shows "courage through
endurance," and in the Odyssey hints at man becoming self-sufficient to investigate
As detailed by the Greek scholar Bruno Snell in The Discovery
of Mind, Homer's characters use their eyes to see, or literally speaking, to receive
optical impressions. However, they apparently took no interest in the objective
essence of sight. There was no word for perspective; as far as they were concerned,
it did not exist. Other contemporary authors note the reference to the "wine-color
of Homer's sea" and agree that the color blue and the origin of perspective,
is likely a very recent development in human awareness and was not appreciated
by Homer and the early Greeks.
Homeric speech does not know words like
"deep." Quantity but not intensity is known. As a result, there is no
genuine reflection. This coincides with Gebser's findings, although dating the
dawning of perspective for the Jewish tribes to 1225 B.C., he places this at only
500 B.C. for the Greeks. Beginning with the poet Sappho about 580 B.C. in her
"The Fairest Thing is One I Love," this flowering of Greek lyric poetry
first heralded the rise of the individual in the Western World.
was the first to put a sense of "I" into words and was joined by other
early lyricists in presenting moments where the individual "is all of a sudden
snatched out of the broad stream of life, when he senses that he is cut off from
the ever green tree of universal growth." With Sappho, the human mind was
first able to develop continuity of thought and feeling. Thus, the Greeks became
the first in our European heritage to deprive the gods of their power over the
natural world and claim consciousness for themselves.
Greek is the only
language that allows us to trace the true relationship between language and the
rise of science. Regarding the articulation of logic, Snell writes: "Even
before so-called logical thinking came upon the scene, men were able to speak
in connected sentences, just as they did not wait for the arrival of rational
thought before they began to feel the need for seeking out causes, and for interpreting
a series of two events as a necessary sequence of cause and effect.
problem is comparable to that of the soul which did, in a certain sense, exist
even for Homer, but of which he was not cognizant, whence it did not really exist.
Logic, in that same sense, has been in existence ever since men have talked and
thought; the reason why it did not, at first, find expression in speech was not
that logic did not exist but that it was implicit and understood. As soon, however,
as it is discovered, and intrudes into consciousness, human thinking undergoes
a radical change, and this mutation is particularly apparent in the comparisons,
the images which make up the language."
The date 146 B.C. is considered
to be the end of the Hellenistic Age. By then the Romans had extended their influence
over a large portion of the eastern Mediterranean. In contrast to the genius of
the Greeks, epitomized by their development of philosophy, the genius of the Romans
was in politics and law. For over 200 years, Rome flourished. However, during
most of the third century, the empire experienced dreadful confusion, civil war,
and barbarian invasions. From the ruins of the Roman Empire, two key cultural
elements survived: the Roman heritage of law and Christianity.
middle of the third century, as part of the decadence of Roman religion, there
was a welter of conflicting and competing cults. Dozens of "mystery cults"
were imported from the East. Christianity fervently competed for the devotions
of an increasingly despairing people. Christianity was the first to correctly
assess the true nature and extent of the Roman crisis. Jesus and his ministry
were historical events that could happen only once in historical time. Consider
the impressions of historian Eric Kahler: "The advent of Christianity was
the spiritual complement to the political expansion of the Roman Empire. The triumph
of Christianity would not have been possible without this world empire which provided
the stage for its development. And the Roman Empire, on its part, would have remained
fragmentary and futile without this additional force. What is the essential element
and achievement of Christianity? We may well say that in Christianity man reaches
the stage of humanity. For the first time, mankind is identified with humanity."
The period in Western civilization following the collapse of the Roman Empire
from about 500 to 1500 A.D. is called the Middle or Dark Ages. Historian William
Manchester notes that, "Although they called themselves Christians, medieval
Europeans were ignorant of the gospel's. The Bible existed in a language they
could not read. The mumbled incantations at Mass were meaningless to them. They
believed in sorcery, witchcraft, hobgoblins, werewolves, amulets, and black magic,
and were thus indistinguishable from pagans."
Even well into the
fifteenth century, most peasants and laborers remained illiterate. One of the
most baffling conditions of the early medieval mind was the total absence of self
or an ego. Fewer than one percent of European nobleman had surnames. Most people
were known, as Hans, Will or Will's son, or Will's wife. Later when identities
became necessary, they would often take the name of an honest occupation like
Taylor, Smith, or Miller. One of the results of this lack of self was an almost
total indifference to privacy.
Turner makes an important observation
when he writes, "More specifically, it seems to me that aggression against
the body, against the natural world, against primitives, heretics, all unbelievers;
and the vain, tragic, pathetically maintained hope of thus winning a lost belief
or paradise: this is the terrific burden Christian history has to bear. It is
the classic reaction of those who have lost true belief (or have been robbed of
it) that they must insist with mounting strenuousness that they do believe---and
that all others must as well. For as social psychologists have shown, if the bereft
can thus succeed in harmonizing the world with themselves, then the inward gnawing
doubt might be stopped and the intolerable condition of spiritual inanition alleviated."
For a time, this violence turned inward and Paul showed the way; however,
by the end of the eleventh century, the violence had turned outward. This may
have occurred because the teachings of St. Augustine were now the dominant influence
of the church. His militant we/they attitude and uncompromising hostility toward
non-believers, formed the basis of a literal victory over the enemies of Christ.
The Crusades truly commenced the large scale, intentional violence against
all unbelievers. Prior to the Western world reaching beyond itself into the wilderness,
the clearest illustration of this spiritual plight was the Inquisition. Beginning
with Innocent III in the last years of the 12th century and continuing for the
next four centuries, the church hunted the enemies of Christ. Turner continues
with, "For Christianity was civilization, and its theology, symbols, clergy,
and churches underpinned, towered over, and authorized the daily order in Portugal,
Spain, Italy, France, and England. Still there was this death at the center of
the civilization's life - and though all was retained human energies began to
turn elsewhere. Like those Desert Fathers expressing their bodily desires in mortification,
the West turned to exploration as both a 'palliative remedy' and a way of humanizing
the rest of the world with itself."
Thus, it was neither accident
nor native genius that impelled Western civilization to embark on the conquest
of the globe. Darcy Ribeiro writes, "The history of man in these last centuries
is principally the history of the expansion of Western Europe which, constituting
the nucleus of a new civilization process, launched itself on all people in successive
waves of violence, cupidity, and oppression. In this movement the whole world
was shaken up and rearranged according to European design and in conformity with
European interests. Each people, even each human being, was affected and caught
up in the European economic system or in the ideals of wealth, power, justice
or politics inspired by it."
Human - Late Mental Human (1500 A.D. to the present)
of the modern mental structure around 1,500 A.D. was the result of four major
actions that changed the course of mankind:
World explorations that began in the late 1400s
o The development of perspective
and the scientific inquiries
o The flow of inventions such as Gutenberg's
o Industrial production which began in earnest in the 1600s.
phase of history focused on reviving interest in classic Greek and Roman teachings.
This "renaissance" was the beginning of our modern era.
this time period the "perspectival" European world finally evolves from
the unperspectival view of the Middle Ages; with its apparent lack of self-identity
where people still belonged to tribe or communal group, where the emphasis was
not yet on the "I" but on the impersonality of the group. The psychic
inner space of "I" breaks forth at the same time the Troubadours are
writing the first love poems. This personal poetry suddenly opens an abyss between
humans as poets and the world of nature and is analogous to the unfolding of Sappho's
inner "I" in 500 B.C. Greece.
Whereas the primary sensory feature
for interpreting the world for the magical human was the ear and for the mythical
human that of the mouth, the mental human relies on the eye. This visual world
is brilliantly represented by Gebser's concept of perspectivity. This seeing and
conceptualizing are commensurate with our mental reflective structure. How we
see becomes an expression of our understanding.
Giotto was the first
artist of record to understand intuitively the benefits of painting a scene as
if viewed from a single, stationary point. The flat picture presentation which
was prevalent for a thousand years acquired a third dimension of depth when Giotto's
proto-perspective placed the viewer in front of the canvas.
In a letter written
about the same time, Petrarch offers the first literal account by a European emerging
from a place dormant in time and space into "real" space with his discovery
of landscape. Upon Petrarch's ascent of Mount Ventoux in France, he was able to
isolate and describe a part of nature separate from the whole for the first time.
As significant as was Petrarch's contribution, Filipo Brunelleschi, an Italian
architect, who developed his ideas from the romanesque Pisa cathedral, is credited
with the true discovery of Western linear perspective. Gebser uses Leonardo da
Vinci to illustrate the new perspectival view as a forerunner to technical drafting
and three-dimensional painting. During the mid 1300s, intelligent Renaissance
Italians, captivated by perspective, failed to make a significant contribution
to literature because the most profound thinking of the time was not expressed
in words but with visual imagery.
As a scientist, engineer, and artist,
da Vinci was the first to fully develop drafting techniques and perspectival painting.
Note the openness of the Mona Lisa compared to the compactness of Ghirlandaio's
Besides incorporating the notion of linear, abstract time, the mental
human also faces this great paradox: not only is perspective developed and space
conquered, but this human experiences all the angst resulting from the separation
of the subjective ego ("I") and the surrounding objective world. This
egocentricity is the hallmark of the modern mental human. Paralleling this increasing
sense of individualism is the declining influence of the church and the growing
strength of science.
The Black Death that swept Europe around 1350 killed
at least one third of the population. Survivors emerged with a deep belief in
individual self-reliance. This new egocentric individualistic activity appeared
in many areas. Merchants proclaimed the potential for personal success, and artists
poured personal expression and creativity into their work. Artists began to sign
their name for the first time on their artwork. Martin Luther broke the claim
of medieval discipline by reasoning each man could be his own priest. The Protestant
Reformation now claimed personal salvation through individual behavior and a direct
relationship with God. Science declared the supremacy of firsthand experiment
and observation over the authorities of the past. In 1455, Johann Gutenberg's
invention of movable type reinforced the primacy and literacy of the written word.
The subsequent diffusion of books helped split the land mass of the church into
an archipelago of individual thinkers.
One of the great triumphs of the
Renaissance was the establishment of new ties with the genius of antiquity. First,
came the rediscovery of Latin classics in the early fourteenth century. With the
fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, several Byzantine scholars traveled
to Rome with genuine Hellenic manuscripts. For more than a thousand years, Italian
professors fluent in Greek had assumed the original classic texts had perished.
Thus began the transfer of priceless documents from east to west and the redefinition
of knowledge itself which further helped overshadow the Bible and traditional
The "scientific revolution" of the 1500s
and 1600s raised profound questions about nature and humanity. Nature was now
investigated free from reference to previous beliefs. Nothing was to be believed
without experiment or mathematical proof. By 1725 science was thought to have
replaced religion as the predominant force in western culture.
da Vinci showed us how to "see the world", Sir Isaac Newton's Principia
Mathematica in 1687 showed us how to "think the world." Classical mechanics
addressed this objective realtiy and reigned supreme until 1900.
and religious dogma were the spirit of the early mental human, science and technology
together with the concept of unending progress and materialism, became the God
of the later mental human. Economics became the prime objective symbolizing a
shift within this Mental Era from religion to science to economics. Elaborating
on this development, Norman Brown in his book, Life Against Death, observes, "Already
Luther had seen in money the essence of the secular, and therefore of the demonic.
The money complex is the demonic, and the demonic is God's ape: the money complex
is therefore the substitute for the religious complex, an attempt to find God
in things." Gold becomes the new immortality symbol.
revolution was helped by Christianity's conception of subduing and dominating
the earth allowing an increasingly "objective" scientific analysis.
The prolific American writer, Lewis Mumford contended the greatly increased fund
of scientific knowledge was accompanied alas by a deformation of experience as
a whole, stating, "The instruments of science were helpless in the realm
of qualities. The qualitative was reduced to the subjective, the subjective was
dismissed as unreal, and the unseen and the immeasurable as non-existent."
Such an attitude toward the life of religion is fatal. Not until the close of
the twentieth century will science be able to make amends.
divorce between soul and body," according to Brown, "takes the life
out of the body, mechanizes it." For the modern human the body is a machine.
This mechanized body coupled with the modern rational ego serves to dehumanize
humanity whose only currency appears as abstractions divorced from real life-narrow,
industrious, rational and economically goal oriented. Summarizing the situation,
again from Brown, "The basis of history is man's repression of his instinctual
nature-the body, its needs and drives, its rhythms, its desire to achieve atonement
(at-one-ment) with the world about it. This turn away from nature, in other words,
is what makes man the only history-making animal. Seen this way, history is the
steadily lengthening chronicle of mass neurosis, maybe even a kind of suicide
note, with mankind seeking restlessly, unconsciously, for a way to end it all
and be finally at rest. For repression can never be wholly or finally successful,
and the drive of the animal to seek the proper conditions of its existence can
never be overcome. Only a reconciliation of life (which Brown identifies as sexuality
and the desire to feel at one with the world) with death (as the natural end of
things) can bring about a state of rest. And this state is not stasis, the cessation
of all activity, but the harmonious functioning of activity in which pleasure
of repetition replaces the restlessness of novelty. Then history would have a
stop, for the desire to become would be absorbed by the ability simply to be."
We call the desire to feel at one with the world Eros, and the natural end
of things the experience of the transcendent. With a new appreciation of time
which is the essence of the Integral structure. as elaborated by Gebser in the
next section, the result is the same: history comes to an end.
structure however has resulted in the increasing fragmentation of the individual
together with technological progress, the rational conquest of nature that has
assumed irrational proportions, has resulted in a life severely out of balance.
This was well recognized by several enlightened writers:-
Donne, in the late mental period (1611), was one of the first to notice how
"community ties" were loosening around him.
This in peeces, all cohaerence gone;
All just supply, and all relation;
Prince, subject, father, sonne, are things forgot,
For every man alone thinkes
he hath got
To be a Phoenix, and that then can bee
None of that kinde,
of which is he, but hee.
As scientific materialism became our mode of operation, our increasing sense of
individualism, self-interest and alienation increased so that Henry
David Thoreau could observe in his fellow citizens six years before the Civil
"The mass of men lead lives
of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From
the desperate city you go into the desperate country
. A stereotyped but
unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements
the advanced decline of religion prompted Ralph Waldo Emerson
to comment to Harvard's School of Divinity:
think no man can go with his thoughts about him into one of our churches, without
feeling that what hold the public worship had on men is gone, or going. It has
lost its grasp on the affection of the good and the fear of the bad
what greater calamity can fall upon a nation than the loss of worship? Then all
things go to decay. Genius leaves the temple to haunt the senate or the market.
Literature becomes frivolous. The eye of youth is not lighted by the hope of other
worlds, and age is without honor. Society lives to trifles, and when men die we
do not mention them."
Twain, in 1871, writes about what he believes to have replaced religion in
is the chief end of man? To get rich? In what way? Dishonestly if he can; honestly
if he must. Who is God, the one and only true? Money is god."
John Gardener Writing in American Heralds of the Spirit, describes
the prophetic warning in Moby Dick if civilization continues its current course:
"Through the voyage of the Pequod,
Melville shows what happens when we set out, under the command of a ruthless intelligence
and an arrogant will, to dominate and exploit the earth that was given to us for
quite another purpose. The Pequod set itself to hunt down the creature who, as
we have suggested, of all beings on earth best symbolizes the innocence and abundance
of nature's spiritual energy. The hunting, killing, stripping, and boiling down
with its own fire of the ever-diminishing wale population is as exact a picture
as one could find for the main task so-called productive actually consuming -modern
civilizations set before themselves."
most of the crises afflicting us today are rooted in the addictive lifestyles
we have adopted to assuage our feelings of insecurity, fear, alienation and loss
of meaning. The nature of a symptom or crisis is that it calls us to re-examine
our worldview and value systems, and then reassign our priorities.
Near the close of the 19th
century a new appreciation of space and time finally occurred with artists like
Muybridge, Cezanne, and Manet. In this painting by Manet the mirror shows the
whole interior of the night club, but deprives it of three dimensionality by showing
the barmaids reflection off to one side which is an impossibility. However, it
remained for Picasso and Braque to invent a revolutionary new art form called
cubism at the turn of the century. Cubism embodied the first new way to perceive
space since Euclid 2,300 years before.
Shortly after this time, Albert
Einstein overturned the foundations of the old physics leading physicists to abandon
forever the notion of absolute space and time.
Einstein showed that the
laws of motion can only be defined by reference to an observer; the conscious
observer becomes an essential participant.
Gebser is very clear in defining
the necessity for a new "aperspectival" view for us if we are to look
at the world and see it whole. Whereas the understanding of the mental structure
depended on the concretion of space, our emerging epoch depends on the concretion
of time. Only where time emerges as pure present and is no longer divided into
it's three phases of past, present and future will it be concrete.
the first time in our history by integrating the copresent structures of the archaic,
magical, mythical and mental, the human personality becomes transparent to itself
enabling the originary presence, the spiritual, to be directly awared.
With each mutation of consciousness, origin acquires an intensified
conscious character of presentness, origin, which bears the imprint of the whole
and of the spiritual and is before time and space, becomes time free-present.
It is the aperspectival world that acquires this ever present origin and thereby
supersedes the perspectival worlds.
It is just over five hundred years ago, during the Renaissance, that the unmistakable
reorganization in our consciousness occurred: the discovery of perspective which
opened up 3-D space. Besides illuminating space, perspective brings it to man's
awareness and lends man his own visibility of himself. Perspective provides a
distance between man and objects.
The conception of man as subject is
based on a conception of the world and the environment as object.
of spatial awareness is attended by a lack of ego, since in order to objectify
and qualify space, a self-conscious 'I' is required that is able to stand opposite
or confront space.
Thus from about 1250 AD onwards (the mental structure)
man can be considered to have a self-consciousness rather than the simple-consciousness
of an earlier period.
It is interesting to note that words
expressing awareness and self-awareness first appeared in the Anglo-Saxon language
during the 17th century. Conscious, meaning "inwardly sensible or aware"
has its origins traced to 1620-consciousness or the state of being conscious to
1628; and self-consciousness or conscious of one's own thought to 1690.
Today, we need a new understanding not only of space but of time to help facilitate
integral consciousness. At different stages of humanity time has held different
meanings. It is not a single concept. Early humans were satisfied with imitating
and repeating the gestures of another. There was a suspension and abolition of
time through ritual. Archaic cultures had little tolerance for history since these
cultures accorded no importance to personal memories. There was an a-historical
character of mind in early humanity. As Mircea Eliade notes, "Archaic man's
refusal to accept himself as a historical being, his refusal to grant value to
memory and hence to the usual events that in fact constitute concrete duration.
What we discover in all these rites and all these attitudes is the will to devaluate
. Like the mystic, the primitive lives in a continual present."
Even the later structure of the magical-mythical human, by conferring a cyclical
duration upon time, annuls its irreversibility.
Our linear notion of
time, as mentioned previously, probably developed more than 10,000 years ago with
the advent of farming. A sense of urgency arose from history creating the sensation
of flowing time and the importance of preparation for planting, harvesting and
storing for the future. No doubt this held survival value for humans. With the
development of sensitive measurement devices we became less and less observant
of the natural cyclical processes. The prophets, as previously shown, were credited
with having first placed a value on time, and succeeded in transcending the traditional
vision of cyclical time and inventing a one-way time. Eliade further explains,
"It may, then, be said with truth that the Hebrews were the first to discover
the meaning of history as the epiphany of God, and this conception, as we should
expect, was taken up and amplified by Christianity."
this linear time we can now "experience" time freedom in a flowing presence
as both artist and scientist have recently discovered. Currently, most of us still
have a sense of past, present and future. Time is seen as an arrow just as space
is perceived as static. This notion of time and space is very limiting. Gebser
writes about the artists new appreciation of time-space freedom when he states:
presentation or making present evident in Picasso's drawing (Fig. 1) was possible
only after he was able to actualize, that is, bring to consciousness, all of the
temporal structures of the past latent in himself (and in each of us) during the
course of his preceding thirty years of painting in a variety of earlier styles".
process was unique and original with Picasso. By drawing on his primitive, magic
inheritance (his Negroid period), his mythical heritage (his Hellenistic period),
and his classicistic, rationally-accentuated formalist phase (his Ingress period),
Picasso was able to achieve the concretion of time (or as we would like to designate
this new style which he and his contemporaries introduced in painting), 'temporic
concretion.' As I have said only where time emerges as pure present and is no
longer divided into its three phases of past, present and the future, is it concrete.
In this drawing (fig 1) time itself is incorporated into the picture rendering
space and body transparent. We see at one glance a whole person - the simultaneous
presence of that person's front, side and back. In addition to art the new understanding
of time is now being incorporated into literature, music, poetry, sculpture and
During the early part of the twentieth century,
due to physicists like Einstein and Planck, and the development of relativity
and quantum mechanics, science at last turned away from its materialistic/mechanistic
In 1905, Albert Einstien overturned the idea that space and time
were absolute. In 1911, Ernest Rutherford dealt the final blow by showing the
atom consisted of an extremely small nucleus surrounded by a swarm of electrons.
Quantum mechanics was born in the early 1920s by men like Max Born, Niels Bohr
and Werner Heisenberg. The role of the observer became integrated with the system.
Jean Gebser was captivated by the work of these physicists since they validated
his recognition of a new sense of time. The coming to awareness of time in its
full complexity is a precondition for the awakening consciousness of time freedom.
In turn, freedom from time is a precondition for the realization of the integral
structure that enables us to perceive the aperspectival world. When we view things
in a perspectival way we see only segments. The whole can be perceived only aperspectivally.
Of course, for this to occur, we need the inner attitude of going beyond oneself
and becoming capable of unconditional trust and self-opening. The whole can only
be perceived by an apersonal, ego free individual. This wisdom, incidentally,
is not only typical of India or Eastern Asia, but also of Christianity.
Jean Gebser has identified this profound and unique event in our history; this
eruption of time into our consciousness which is not the quantitative time measurement
of our modern age but time as an intensity or quality. He writes, "The courage
to accept along with the (modern) mental time concept the efficacy of pre-rational,
magic timelessness and irrational mythic temporocity makes possible the leap into
an a-rational time-freedom. This is not freedom from previous time forms, since
they are co-constituents of every one of us, it is to begin with a freedom for
all time forms."
Gebser is not the only one to recognize the importance
of space and time for our wellbeing. Two well-known modern day physicians have
a similar view.
Larry Dossey, M.D. writes in Space, Time and Medicine,
"The spacetime view of health and disease tells us that a vital part of the
goal of every therapist is to help the sick person toward a reordering of his
world view. We must help the sick realize that he is a process in spacetime, not
an isolated entity who is adrift in linear time, moving slowly toward extermination.
To the extent that we accomplish this task we are healers..."
Chopra, M.D. further acknowledges the importance of space and time for health.
Contrasting the time-bound (mental) versus the timeless (integral) awareness of
persons in Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Chopra offers the following:
awareness is defined by:
goals (approval from others, material possessions, climbing the ladder)
Deadlines and time pressure
o Self-image built up from past experiences
o Lessons learned from past hurts and failures
o Fear of change, fear of death
o Distraction by past and future (worries, regrets, anticipations, fantasies)
o Longing for security (never permanently achieved)
o Selfishness, limited
point of view (typical motivation: What's in it for me?")
awareness is defined by:
goals (happiness; self-acceptance; creativity; satisfaction that one is doing
one's best at all times)
o Freedom from time pressure; sense that time is
abundant and open-ended
o Little thought of self-image; action focused on
the present moment
o Reliance on intuition and leaps of imagination
Detachment from change and turmoil; no fear of death
o Positive experiences
o Selflessness; altruism; sense of shared humanity (typical motivation:
"Can I help?")
o Sense of personal immortality
for more extended comparison of the Mental (Time bound) and
Structure of Consciousness.)
like Picasso and scientists like Einstein point the way for us moderns. At this
point in our development we should remember Vaclav Havels words at the beginning
of this monograph . "It seems to me that if the world is to change for the
better it must start with a change in human consciousness, in the very humanness
of modern man". What else can we each do to awaken to the whole healthy integral
Learning is really about the expansion of consciousness.
It is a process that must include knowledge about our species and our own psycho-historical
Educator Page Smith
addressed this challenge when he wrote about there being an "uneasy awareness"
regarding the average student's dim knowledge of the human race's fascinating
past. Smith further states, "without some knowledge of that past, a man or
woman cannot be fully human; he or she cannot be truly a person at home in the
The central perception of the Natural Design Curriculum
(figure 1) presented here considers mind to be an evolving guidance system for
each person and for humanity as a whole. Education should parallel the structures
of consciousness as they develop within the individual.
can draw on the best of the worlds scientific, artistic, and spiritual works.
This technology is even more significant than Gutenberg's Printing press and is
the natural mind - tool for integral consciousness. Vast amounts of knowledge
can be moved around at lightening speed and delivered in a multi-media format
consistent with our multi-structured consciousness.
The Meta-Story gives
a context for this knowledge, and as stated earlier, context gives meaning. This
then is the ultimate goal of education - to help order consciousness and provide
meaning to each individual. Systems thinking is the natural outcome of an integral
Natural Design Curriculum Principles are:-
Provide a coherent, functional context for education with a unifying sense of
2. Develop mind as an evolving guidance system for each person and
for humanity as a whole.
3. Education is a collaborative endeavor built in
partnership with family and business.
4. Understand that learning is nothing
more nor less than the expansion of consciousness.
5. Teachers are coaches
and co-learners facilitating the development of integral humans.
methodologies should evaluate student performance in a comprehensive manner.
7. Recognition that humankind is moving to a post-industrial age which is knowledge
driven and global in scope.
8. The ultimate goal of education is to produce
"integral humans" who feel at home in the world.
establishes what is actually present, intuition points to possibilities as to
whence it came and whither it is going in a given situation, feeling tells us
its value and thinking enables us to recognize its meaning. These four functions
together form a totality. In this way we orient ourselves with respect to the
CARL JUNG M.D.
In The Psychology of Individuation Carl Jung, in 1921, provides what is considered
one of the first serious empirical examinations in our history of the phenomena
of consciousness which represents a relatively foolproof technology of mind, for
making communication intelligible between all humans no matter their differences.
Jung determined that people were either extroverted or introverted and within
those two divisions were four functions: sensation and intuition were non-rational
functions while feeling and thinking was rational.
Carl Jung devoted
his life to try and understand what makes a whole healthy human being. He came
very close to discovering this with the concept of individuation. Individuated
people have developed an integral consciousness. They do this by integrating the
four functions sensing, intuition, thinking and feeling. (These four 'functions'
can actually be seen to have evolved as part of each structure of consciousness).
Jung also read the work of the fourteenth century poet Petrarch, accepted
by Gebser and others as the first person to provide a literal account of perspective.
Both Jung and Gebser regard this exact point in time to be the beginning of the
renaissance and subsequently, the birth of modern humanity. Jung elaborates with,
"Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is
as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself." This mass may
be the state religion of the church, or the industrialists or the state religion
of the Marxists or Capitalists.
One becomes whole by integrating all
the functions into consciousness. In most people, one or two functions are consciously
in command while the other two are pushed toward the unconscious. The integration
of all four functions into full consciousness contributes to individuation. By
becoming an "individual" or one's own self, we embrace our innermost
and incomparable uniqueness. This individuation is a coming to "selfhood"
or "self-realization. "Egotists are called "selfish" but this
has nothing to do with the concept of "self-realization". There is an
important distinction between the selfish individualism of the 1980s and individuation,
Jung's term for the integration of the structures of consciousness.
people, Jung recognized, confuse self-knowledge with knowledge of their conscious
ego or personality. People who have an ego usually know only its own limited contents,
not the unconscious and its contents.
With this in mind, Jung writes: "It
is a fact, which is constantly and overwhelming apparent in my practical work,
that people are virtually incapable of understanding and accepting any point of
view other than their own."
By 'remembering' the contents of the unconscious
(anima, animus, the shadow) and by integrating the functions (structures) we become
In order to effect this organization within humans an ever present
archetype for wholeness (Eros) must guide us. We must there for recognize Eros
for what it is, but more on this later.
With this integration the transcendent
function (integral consciousness) comes into being with a recognition of the wisdom-self-a
"flowing presence" that brings with it a sense of connectedness, meaning
and reverance for all life.
A good psycho-analyst can assist you in integrating
the structures of consciousness. But as Jung warned an analyst can only take you
as for as he/she has developed their own consciousness.
Enhance Each Structure Of Consciousness
It is important to nourish
all our structures. I am often reminded that Jung really came into his own after
his African (archaic-magical) experience. Somehow this trip was an anti-dote to
his overcivilised (mental) Swiss upbringing.
In a similar fashion Picasso
and Braque developed cubism following a visit to an exhibit in Paris on African
art- again it was the missing piece they had been waiting for.
2 contains some practical examples to help enhance each structure. By enhancing
each structure we intensify consciousness.
(3) Outward Bound Experience
(2) Dream Work
(3) Story - Telling
Visit a Museum|
(2) Art therapy
of the structures needs to be separated, remembered and integrated.
Plato's impact on western civilization was due to him being one of the first self-reflective
humans to break from the more simple consciousness of earlier humans. Plato also
described phases in the evolution of humanity. Central to his philosophy was also
the idea of "remembering" or "anamnesis." Political historian
and mystic, Eric Voeglin, underscored this significance when he wrote, "Remembering
is the activity of consciousness by which the forgotten, i.e., the latent knowledge
in the consciousness, is raised from the unconscious into the presence of consciousness."
Many healing modalities have this "remembering" property. As physician
Rowland Fischer writes, "The reality of Bertschinger's rebirth or recovery
process has been re-structured according to personal and preferred models. Freud's
'regression' was transfigured to Jungian 'archetypes,' Campbell's 'heros journey,'Perry's
'death and rebirth, 'and Grof's Freudian-Rankian-Jungian 'agony to ecstasy' the
latter to account for the death-rebirth experience of the hallucinogenic drug-induced
EM provides the context and
content, the knowledge, experience, and skills for us to integrate the different
structures of consciousness in our search for health and wholeness.
Our single most important
task today is to reinstate the feminine on an equal footing with the masculine.
Why have we males projected our spiritual selves onto women? Why has not only
the male species but the West done this to a far greater degree than the East?
It is clear that women and those in the East never become as fractured as the
western man. What is this hole in the males' psyche? Is Eros really the desire
for wholeness or something else?
For women, many bodily processes such
as menstruation, childbirth, and lactation are reminders of their intimate association
with the earth, the primacy of that relationship and their sense of wholeness.
They have, as psychologist Robert Johnson points out, always been closer to the
earth, to beauty, to home, and have an abiding sense of who they are. Johnson
further notes to the extent that a relationship is founded on projection, the
element of human love is lacking. It is the re-integration of these projections
by the awakening consciousness that helps make us whole and makes quality relationships
George Bataille maintains that each individual feels himself
in the modern world as discontinuous, and the erotic---the attempt to know another
through breaching the lonely confines of ones own body---makes an effort to know,
if only momentarily, a kind of continuity with others. For Klein, Freud, and Bataille,
the desire to know is ultimately linked to sexuality. As Peter Brooks indicates,
"If intellectual curiosity is based upon sexual curiosity, the moment at
which the genitals are exposed represents the emergence of sight as the intellectual
faculty par excellence, the very figure of perception and discrimination (in western
culture) the relation to another body is repeatedly presented in visual terms,
and the visual as applied to the body is often highly eroticized, a gaze subtended
by desire. The desire can be to possess, and also a desire to know, most often
the two are intermingled."
Charles Pinot Duclos, in the eighteenth
century observed, "It is no doubt from a secret love for Truth that we pursue
women with such ardor; we seek to strip them of everything that we think hides
Truth; and when we have satisfied curiosity on one, we lose our illusions, and
we run after another, to be happier. Love, pleasure, and inconstancy are perhaps
only a consequence of the desire to know truth." We have only to think of
representations in painting and sculpture to acknowledge that Truth, in our culture,
is indeed a woman. Uncovering the woman's body is a gesture of revealing what
stands for ultimate mystery.
Brooks shows that the history of narrative,
like art, offers its own unveiling of the body. Balzac, Flaubert, Zola and Proust
represent an increasing discourse of desire and its objects, for there is a connection
between the way Eros acts in the mind of a lover and the way knowing acts in the
mind of a thinker.
Why is it that falling in love and coming to know
makes us feel genuinely alive? The acts of desiring and knowing share the same
core delight gained from reaching and entail the same pain by falling short, on
being deficient. Eros thus also deals with space and boundary.
must be maintained, or the desire ends. That which is known and possessed cannot
be an object of desire. The presence of wanting awakens in us a nostalgia for
wholeness. Simply put, desire is a longing for some missing part of oneself or
so it feels to the person in love. "A hole is being gnawed in my vitals,"
wrote Sappho. Desire changes the lover. Suddenly, an unknown, truer self is discovered
and the process of individuation begins.
This moment of emotional ambivalence
splits the soul. Sappho's "glukupikron" or sense of "bittersweet"
signals a revolution, what Bruno Snell earlier called the discovery of mind by
the ancient Greeks and the rise of individualism.
Just as the adolescent
is unsure of this emerging "self," so did the Greek poets of old feel
uncomfortable about their own new found, bounded selves. In Greek lyric poetry,
Eros is an experience of "melting," and is viewed as a threat or assault
from outside upon a very tenuous sense of self.
"Is it a matter
of coincidence," asks Anne Carson, "that the poets who invented Eros,
making him a divinity and a literary obsession, were also the first authors in
our tradition to leave us their poems in written form?" Selves are crucial
to writers. Oral cultures do not think, perceive, or fall in love the same way
as do literate cultures. Carson elaborates, "The phenomenon of alphabetization
and the beginning of the spread of literary thought throughout Greek society was
perhaps the most dramatic of the innovations with which seventh and sixth century
Greeks had to cope."
In the audio-tactile world of the oral cultures,
people relate differently to their environment. Bodies and selves are transformed
by putting words on paper. Vision becomes the primary conveyor of information.
As individuals learn to read and write, they gradually close off or inhibit their
senses, and become aware of the interior self, separate from their environment
and controlled by mental action.
A listener hearing an oral poetry recitation
is an "open force field," onto whom sounds are being breathed in a continuous
stream from the deliverer. Carson notes, "Written words, on the other hand,
do not present such an all-persuasive sensual phenomenon. Literacy desensorializes
words and reader. A reader must disconnect himself from the influx of sense impressions
transmitted by nose, ear, tongue and skin if he is to concentrate upon his reading.
A written text separates words from one another, separates words from the environment,
separates words from the reader or writer and separates the reader or writer from
his environment. The mental structure, because of linear time and the separation
of self from the world, gave birth to the existential angst that afflicts modern
humanity together with this longing for wholeness.
As we have mentioned
just like the romantics many of us males try and assuage our desire for wholeness
with the flesh and blood body of a woman. This will not satisfy Eros, nor infact
will any of the objects of desire we continue to scramble for in our modern consumer
When Socrates asks Diotima what is Eros, he receives the
following reply, "First, he is always poor, and far from being soft and beautiful
as the many suppose, is hard and dry and shoeless and homeless, lying on the ground
without bedding in the open air, sleeping in doorways and on highways, having
his mother's nature, always cohabiting with want. But, like his father, he plots
for the beautiful and the good things, is manly, impetuous, and high strung, a
clever hunter, always weaving some stratagem, a desirer of and resourceful concerning
produce, philosophizing throughout his whole life, a clever juggler, purveyor
of drugs, and sophist. His nature is such that he is neither immortal nor mortal,
but at one time on the same day he flourishes and lives, when he has plentiful
resources, and at another time, he dies, but he comes back to life again because
of his father's adventure. He is always getting resources but they are always
Eros is neither human nor god. Rather, lacking awareness
or knowledge, it is linked with ignorance. Diotima thus associates Eros with the
love of wisdom and philosophy. Given the powerful attraction and longing for the
beautiful, Eros yearns for truth and wisdom; for integral consciousness.
The true goal of most any religion is to lead followers to a sense of wholeness,
to truth and wisdom, to a divine center. The day of the guru is gone. We must
now assume as our personal task the need to experience and come to know through
our own effort our divine center. The experience of this Self intensifies and
is facilitated by the integration of the structures of consciousness. Integral
consciousness is currently pressing into mankind's awareness and offering us the
best possible opportunity to produce a more enlightened and caring society. Only
through recovering this spirituality can we end our longing, our addictions, alienation,
environmental degradation, terrorism and other social diseases.
of EM to the individual is further realized when we consider that
original thoughts, images, and creativity more readily occur when integral thinking
cuts across the usual amnesic boundaries of the individual structures. Generally,
most of us, only have access to that knowledge which pertains to our particular
level of structural arousal.
As an integral human, you are open and always
in the process of ordering consciousness. Your deep inner strength is manifest
in your equanimity and joy; your sense of unfolding mystery manifest in wonder
and self-discovery; and your harmonious interconnectedness manifest by your sense
of belonging and your reverence for all life.
Follow your Bliss
In our past,
rituals that were performed widely and generally enough, became institutionalized.
Although this book is about a New Medicine all our institutions are experiencing
the trauma of the same impending transformation.
In figure (3) I have given
a summary of the major institutions as given by a leading expert in that field
of inquiry. Interestingly these enlightened pioneers have discovered the basic
scheme and show a total correspondence in each of their work to that of Gebser
even if they are unfamiliar with his work.
We believe strongly that to
develop and maintain a passionate life one needs to discover what makes us excited
about getting out of bed each morning. Obtaining wealth is secondary. As someone
once said do what you love and the money will follow. Deciding how much is enough
is also an important question to ask yourself. Fulfillment (meaning) versus money
is shown in figure 4. As I have said no objects of desire (including money) will
ever satisfy our longing for wholeness. Only a new understanding of space and
time and the ordering of consciousness can set us free.
Up to now most
institutions have been unaware that there is a similar schema at play .To really
understand and master the field of knowledge in each institution one needs to
understand how the structures of consciousness have shaped each of us. Those true
leaders in each field have discovered this Gebsarian schema in one way or another
themselves. The key then is to find what field of knowledge excites you and apply
the Gebsarian schema to it- this will help you find ultimate joy in what you choose
as your life work.
Von Clausewitz||No War||Tribal
I and II medicine||Non-local mind|
Voeglin||Experience of participation||Tribal
|Many stranded web|
of nations||Ecozoic age|
EM is about our awareness of the non-local nature
of our own mind that it is infinite, indestructible and immortal.
A Brief History
More than 50 years ago, faith in
the conventional medical model (disease care) began to erode. In 1959, Rene Dubos
suggested in Image to Health that the advances made in the development of antibiotics
and other technology contributed far less to the improved health of the population
of industrial nations than did a variety of economic, social, cultural and behavioral
changes. It has become increasingly clear that the remedy for the diseases of
civilization that now afflict our aging, overfed, sedentary and ecologically besieged
populace, must come from an enlightened change in lifestyle and world view. By
using the iceberg model as we address a problem we begin to peel away the layers
much like an onion. We find we often need to go below the waterline into the depths
and assist the client with their worldview and the meaning they find in their
lives. For example we are the only species that die at a higher rate at 9 a.m.
on Monday mornings. More people die at this time from heart attacks than at any
other time. Job satisfaction turns out to be a bigger risk factor than cholesterol,
smoking or high blood pressure.
Wiener pointed out, what gives our species its evolutionary edge is our vastly
superior ability to change our behavior in response to feedback. We can, if necessary,
change our patterns of behavior (lifestyle) very fast, even instantly, by using
our vastly superior minds, provided we perceive the crisis for what is.
the use of EM.com and the emergence of telemedicine an opportunity
exists to provide a new vision for optimum health and wellbeing.
FIGURE 1 TO COME
One of our
favorite teaching metaphors is the Iceberg. As you know, only a small part of
the Iceberg is above water, the bulk of the Iceberg being below the water surface,
hidden and less accessible; but imposing. We see the Iceberg divided into three
levels (see figure 1).
I. The First
Level (physical) is the area above the water line. Here we find most conventional
medicine where symptoms and disease are being addressed. This is usually focused
on the physical body and the methodology at this level emphasizes drugs, surgery,
and those therapies more concerned with physical health. The science of this level
focuses on Newtonian physics and quantitative methods. Simpson and Dossey describe
this as ERA 1 medicine. ERA 1 includes physical techniques like acupuncture, homeopathy,
exercise, nutrition, chiropractic and herbs.
Second Level (mental) is below the water line and is described as ERA II medicine.
Here, the mind-body connection and the disciplines of psychology, sociology, and
psycho-neuro-immunology play a role. The science of this level focuses more on
qualitative methods, often using methods involving dialogue and other cognitive
methods inquires. Action research into human systems and organizations play a
role here. We believe that some symptoms and diseases start at this level as precursors
to future problems seen at Level I. In other words, a persons lifestyle, habits,
and social support systems impact tremendously on physical health. More root causes
to physical health can be addressed here. ERA II is about mind-body health and
includes hypnosis, biofeedback and relaxation therapies.
The Third Level (Spiritual): The deepest and most impressive part of the
iceberg is the third level or ERA III medicine, described as spiritual or meaning
medicine or EM. Dossey describes this as non-local mind. This is
the area that we feel is ultimately the most important. Within the human being,
this level is our inner most wisdom and strength and is known by many names. The
methodology for inquiry at this level is more reflective, involving such practices
as meditation and prayer and the integration of the structures of consciousness.
Quantum Physics may play a role here. It is this level that gives meaning to every
human being: relationships, work, play, family, and friendships. ERA III medicine
is about Integral Consciousness, time-free and space-free. It includes all forms
of distant healing, diagnosis at a distance and probably plays some role in many
of the so called 'Bio-Energetic' therapies (Appendix B).
Although we take pride in the Integral Health model and the Wellness
programs delivered by EM.com let us remind you that no one gets
out alive ---- at least not in a physical body.
It is time for us to look
at death in a different manner. Up until the beginning of the Middle Ages death
was considered natural and was not feared. This is not surprising since, as we
have pointed out, humans had not developed a strong sense of self. Only with a
sense of "I" separate from the world and the notion of linear time do
we develop fear about death.
Infact our denial of death led finally around
1930 to us sending our loved ones to hospitals and nursing homes to die rather
than dying surrounded by friends and family at home. This fear has also resulted
in us spending more than half our health care dollars in the last few weeks of
a person's life as we desperately try and keep the grim reaper at bay, at any
Now as humanity moves from self-consciousness to integral consciousness,
we can each experience the timelessness of mind. Unlike ERA I and II medicine
which rests in time, ERA III medicine rests in eternity - space free and time
EM because it recognizes the unbounded nature of
integral consciousness regards immortality as a given. This is a monumental event
in the history of medicine.
For the first time you can experience this
fact for yourself. The awareness of the non-local nature of our own mind can be
experienced by integrating the various structures of consciousness as outlined.
This "remembering" and integration results in a space free - time free
(non local) aperspectival worldview where the originary flowing presence is deeply
felt. In addition science, art and the great spiritual traditions now speak with
a single voice to this fact - that each of us is infinite, immortal and indestructible.
In closing we would like to again state, that you should not take anything
we have written at face value but rather we challenge you to look at the evidence
that is all around you and verify integral consciousness for yourself.
|THE MENTAL HUMAN|
Domination of nature
Out of balance
Falling in/out of love
Pollution of planet
Search for perfection
Obsession with time
Lack of meaning
Freedom from intimacy
Freedom from ego
Suppression of both
Ego transcending freedom
Living in full continuum
Also: ONE HUNDRED INTEGRAL HEALTH POSTULATES
The Evolution of Consciousness, Robert
Ornstein (1991, Prentice Hall Press)
2. The Creative Imperative, Charles
Johnston, M.D. (1986, Celestial Arts)
3. Multi-Mind, Robert Ornstein,
(1986, Houghton Mifflin Company)
4. The Ever Present Origin, Jean
Gebser (1985, Ohio University Press)
5. Up from Eden, Ken
Wilber (1986, Shambala)
6. Frames of Mind, Howard
Gardner (1985, Basic Books Inc. New York)
7. Life-Force, Jean
Houston (1980, Delacorte Press)
8. LSD Psychotherapy, Stanislaw
Gram, M.D. (1980, Hunter House Inc.)
9. Art and Physics, Leonard
Shlain (1991, William Morrow & Co. Inc.)
10. The Universe Story,
Swimme and Thomas Berry (1997)
11. The Five Ages of Man, Gerald
Heard (1963, The Julian Press)
12. The Paleolithic Prescription,
Boyd Eaton, M.D., Marjorie Shostok, and Melvin Konner, M.D., Ph.D.
Bohm (1985, Foundation House Publications, England).
14. Carl Jung (Collected
15. Eric Voeglin (Collected Works)
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