Consciously Evolving Language – Session 1 - 8 Sep 2020

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This week

We examine the categories “separate” and “connected” (boundaries); assumptions we don’t know we have; Whorf’s hypothesis and Jakobso n’s extension; wholeness (what makes something “whole”?); things and processes


Consciously Evolving Language [CEL] Introduction, Chapters 1-4

ConsciouslyEvolvingLanguage.pdf (1.2 MB)

Seed Questions

  • What kind of assumptions about the world are codified in the structure of our language?
  • What new implicit metaphors would help bring about a paradigm shift?
  • Is paradox taboo in our culture? If you think so, what is necessary to break that taboo?
  • Have we reached “peak ego”?
  • Are we ready to alter our animacy categories? How might our experience of life change if we did?
  • Have you ever had a peak experience, spiritual awakening, or any other type of loss of boundary between yourself and the world? What might it be like to speak from that experience, not just about it?

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Originally published at: Consciously Evolving Language – Session 1


Dear Consciously Evolving Language group (@conevolang) participants,

Welcome to the public topic for Session 1. Please use this thread for ongoing discussion following the session—or for sharing links, videos, podcasts, or other texts that came up or may be related to the dialogue. This is a great place to post questions, too.

If you need any technical assistance with joining the conversation, please let me know. I’m here to provide support as needed.


I am happy to move my post to this location ( which would make more sense) but I am not wanting to disturb a hidden meta-pattern in the matrix if it is not necessary. I think another thread is happening elsewhere. Please be aware of this so that we don’t bifurcate inintentionally.

Yes, Marco, I agree. I am writing this while sipping coffee, at my desk, and listening to rain, and aware of the stability of the familiar 3D orientation. The mood is serene, as I focus attention on this side of the curve which ‘I’ call ‘me’ and the other side of the curve which ‘I’ imagine as all of you in the discussion of our mutual project. This is already a complex thought form full of slip-streams ( lack of boundary) and so I am doing my best to communicate with a certain style that others might relate to.

I offer a dream report, using English language, not sure if any of this will make sense to others, but trusting we are doing our best to evolve language and mind through our experience from diverse sources. This happened last night.

After a few hours of sleep I sat in a chair and meditated for ten minutes. I returned to bed, on the right side, of body. I feel a wave, a buzzing, that comes and goes, and I relax, knowing from previous experience that this is a sign that I may enter the dream consciously and become fully lucid…attention is focused and relaxed…

I am aware of being in another space, lying down, in another bed, aware of many persons, who are invisible but friendly. I feel that it is like a research facility, studying subtle mind, with others who are doing the same. Although my physical eyes are closed, and the eyes of the dreaming person are closed, I can still see what is going on in this environment, where I synchronize different senses from different psychic streams. I make the om sound and notice that features of the environment change. On a wall there is a pattern of lights that converge and diverge as I chant om. I pause the chant and the lights stop moving, I start the chant and the lights create a consistent pattern of movement.

Then, feeling that I am in a safe space, I communicate to another person ( a male humanoid) and tell him in English," When my hearing is expanded I can hear other’s conversations at a great distance." He receives this communication without comment. We are doing some shared activity that feels like moving furniture around a room. We are in a community room, there is a floor but no sense of a ceiling or any walls. There are partitions, thin screens, that serve as a boundary, but these are permeable. What is far and close is negotiable. There is telepathic rapport with others who are not visible. It is much like a felt sense, non verbal.

What follows is a loose description, using English, in a standard way as I wish to make a clear report and maintain rapport but this medium is not adequate as these experiences are of a very different kind of reality. Please appreciate this is an aspect of our theme in class and that I hope this report is relevant for our project, not just a personal reverie.

I have a capacity to walk in a hominid form but I can also float. Body shape is fluid, I am aware sometimes of other’s gender, sometimes not. I am watching a man create an art work. Another man comments upon the interior process of the man creating the art work. The commentator is Richard Moss, MD, a mentor of mine, that I respect. In hear the verbal commentary by Richard as I watch the behavior of man. He is shaping an image, not of pigments, but using beams of light. He uses gestures and intention and the art work unfolds in stages.

There are beams of pink light and Richard tells me the artist wants to move the cones of pink light into an upward direction. The pink is in contrast with a background of dull colors. There is no boundaried canvas but is more like what we would call on earth an installation. but it has something of a painting and a sculptural form happening simultaneously and sequentially. The final gesture looks like a model of a giant cityscape, viewed from different scales. There are no human figures, it is highly abstract, but more like architecture than painting or sculpture.

‘I’ then am a humanoid shape dancing in a room where gravity is optional. I can float, bend, twist, and the feeling is light, joyful. Someone else is in the room enjoying the movement. A voice, a male voice, not recognized as my own, says," Soul" I sense the word designates the activity that I am engaged in.

Then he says," Citizen." And I enter a more conceptual framework, less about figures moving in a perceptual space but more about ideas. Soul is ephemeral, light, open and Self oriented…Citizen is more social, boundaried in rules and norms, earthy and Other oriented… I feel a subtle tension between these ideas as I oscillate fluidly back and forth across what feels like a curve in the pattern making mind that can separate with or without dividing…

And so return to the desk, coffee, rain, traffic sounds in Manhattan, writing this down and sending the message to my colleagues, hoping that some of this makes sense to others and that we can work with direct experience, as well as theories of language and mind, metaphysics, and aesthetic arguments. Much more happened but I am not able to recall it enough to make an adequate translation. And this computer is not behaving, as I have a hard time saving edits.

May the Force be with Us!


After giving it some thought over the past couple of days, I wanted to revisit one point of our discussion from Tuesday, namely the concept of “paradigm”. As Lisa noted, Thomas Kuhn really brought it to our awareness in his 1962 classic The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. The term itself refer to a way of thinking about something, and we often find it used in specialized contexts, such as science (e.g., the current scientific paradigm) or business (e.g., Amazon’s business paradigm), or even language (e.g., the paradigm of noun declensions in Latin). As such, it often refers to a type of model, or pattern; a kind of organizing principle for thought, a cognitive framework, if you will.

The question that has been haunting me for the past few days is whether this concept is substantial enough to support the types and extent of changes I suspect Lisa is intimating and what I sense most of you are ruminating upon. I, for one, am convinced that “language” (regardless of how we conceive that notion individually, at least for the moment) is always evolving; that is, it is in a continuous process of change. In how far we (individually, collectively, communally, …) can knowingly and in full awareness influence that process is at least part of what Lisa has invited us to explore. But when thinking about the notions of separateness/connectedness, the idea of boundaries (individual, personal, cultural, political, etc.), and the logical concept of paradox, I am wondering if a change in paradigm is going to serve us as well as might like.

Granted, assumptions, presuppositions, and beliefs play into the establishment of whatever paradigms we may have or apply in various areas of our lives, but it seems to me that there is something perhaps grander in scope going on which we could also consider. What if the change upon whose threshold we appear to be standing is more encompassing than just a mere shift in paradigm? What if what is happening is an actual shift (or mutation) of consciousness itself? While there is no agreed understanding of what “consciousness” is, I’m using the term in the sense of a fundamental way of perceiving and understanding whatever it is we encounter and engage as reality; that is, more of a way of being than of just knowing.

This isn’t my idea of course. The Swiss cultural philosopher Jean (Hans) Gebser proposed a scheme of consciousness unfoldment in his 1949/1951 magnum opus The Ever-present Origin (EPO). He outlines and describes five different structures of consciousness (as he calls them), namely the Archaic, the Magic, the Mythical, the Mental, and the (hopefully forthcoming) Integral structures. I am assuming most of the group is not necessarily familiar with Gebser’s approach, but Gebser is one of those folks whose name gets bantered about a lot on this platform. (Some of you may be (more) familiar with Ken Wilber, who also speaks of integral consciousness, and whose approach is based to a good extent on Gebser’s work as well.) What I’m suggesting is that considering our explorations in terms of a shift in conscsiousness itself, rather than only a shift in paradigm, could provide a richer basis for our undertaking.

For those of you who are not familiar with Gebser’s work, there is no substitute, I think, for working through his rather dense EPO, but given the amount of reading and study that I perceive most of you are already engaged in, a sensible dose of realism can’t hurt either. I wrote a brief summary and introduction to Gebser’s approach many moons ago as a result of a couple of sessions on Gebser which I presented at CIIS, and a good number of folks have fed back that they found it helpful for getting their feet wet. Even though it is available a couple of places online, I’ll save you the trouble of having to search and post it here for anyone who may be interested.

Mahood_2020a_SynRes_WP2.01_GebserIntro.pdf (604.5 KB)


Thanks for this, John, it was engaging in a number of ways, and certainly worth chewing on.

If the language of the group were Urdu, I’m guessing you’d be using that … so I’m going to understand “English” in this context as “our everyday” language. Why? Because I want to “break a lance” (as the Germans would say … that is, make a case in defense of) everyday language.

It’s probably just me, but I can’t shake the feeling that there is a general feeling that our everyday language is somehow “deficient” in some way … y’know, not quite up to snuff, inadequate, just generally lacking. I don’t argue for a moment that some things are just hard to put into words (as your post makes clear), but to me, at any rate, I got a whole lot more out of your post than the “mere English words” might convey on their surface. After all, your post is more than a string of words, it is a complex interplay of context, ideas, notions, feelings, sentiments, insights, questions, and description of something not all of us have the opportunity to experience … other than vicariously when you, for example, share them.

Meister Eckhart, for example, whom Gebser presents as an example of the Integral consciousness structure long before we see general signs of its advent, wrote in Middle High German, a language not known for its complexity and abstraction. When we read Meister Eckhart today, some people get him (and even more get him when they read Modern High German translations of him) and some people don’t. I have trouble understanding that the language might be at fault. Wouldn’t any deficiencies, shortcomings, or issues lie in the recipient, not in the language itself? I think we can, and sometimes even do express more than we think we can say. The measure, however, can’t be the number of people who “get it” (which would me a mere quantification anyhow, not necessarily a meaningful statement).

Now, I have not had the same “other” experiences (which is how I’m going to characterize your report for the moment) that you have. I have had “other” experiences of my own (none of which are as, let us say, intense as yours), but with a little patience and imaginal effort, I can get a sense of what you may be pointing at. I mean, let’s face it: even in the most mundane situations (e.g., you and I are having a coffee in a coffee shop and it is served in red cups; your experience of red is yours and my experience of red is mine, period), we don’t have the same experiences of things … we don’t even thematicize the subject; we just assume it’s close enough for the situation at hand). And so, as you then say,

I’ll feedback it made sense to me, if that helps, but I would hasten to repeat: I’m not sure the bulk of the “inadequacy” is in the medium, any real shortfalls are most likely in my end of the processing. Sometimes it’s not a matter of “saying” things more effectively, it’s a matter of “hearing” them so.


That would be difficult for me to do in what I call my current context. I have found other language systems are managealbe while I am in that context but when I leave it I loose the capacity very quickly. When we are children we probably can understand a lot of what is spoken around us by rhythms and thought-feels but then we add reading and writing and start to specialize and a general capacity to be open to diverse languages gets reduced. As a native English speaker I feel I have no capacity for Urdu but in special states of mind that constraint changes somewhat. I had a rather weird series of nighttime visitations where mandarin like speech sounds came through my vocal apparatus without my conscious control or understanding. That happened only briefly ( thank God) for I had no idea what was happening. I got the strange feeling that another intelligence was conducting research upon my sensorium to do a test protocol. That happens a lot to me. Sometimes they ask permission, but sometimes they don’t. And they rarely give me an explanation for anything. I sense that they know my limitations and theirs. It must be very hard for an intelligence that could do that to make sense to me. I am ever mindful of how difficult it is to make sense of a our 3D arrangements much less what is beyond this arrangement.

You raise lots of good points, Ed, and I am hoping we can circumabulate back to these in the future of this forum. I am reminded of a wonderful novel by Eliade of an elderly man who gets struck by lightening, regains his youth and has vast linguistic gifts bestowed upon him. His greater access to super mental powers takes a toll on him. These advance always come with a high price. His love life is a mess!

I do hope that we can create conditions for a future species that can handle these evolutionary demands without blowing a fuse. It does seem that we are in the midst of something way beyond paradigm shifting, although Lisa’s choice of words , comes from a shared vocabulary we can all get. The mutation that you and Gebser refer to is far from easy to grok. ( that is the first time I have ever used that word.) And those who are mutating may not always enjoy the experience.

And I love Eckhardt without really knowing why as I am theologically challenged. I think I respond to his gift for metaphor. All of these themes we will, I expect, develop further. Thanks again!


Well, the group speaks English, so you tell us you tales in English. We all spoke some other language, you would have spoken/written in that … and that was my actual point, even if I didn’t make it clear enough. We simply use the tools we have and do our best. Of course, practice supposedly makes perfect, or it at least it moves us toward it, which is also helpful in the long run.

What your “other” experiences let you experience language-wise are certainly topics we’ll circle back to and on a through more than once. Your sharings allow us to think and reflect differently about the whole “subject”. We all have to start somewhere.

Agreed, which is why I didn’t want to dump as much as offer, for anyone who is so inclined. Those of us who are familiar with Gebser tend to throw his ideas about quite frequently and in a very much self-understood kind of way, as if everyone knew what we are talking about, but it strikes me that not everyone in the current group may share that mode of interaction. Sometimes a bit of background and overview can help. Grokking is a whole other matter. (And so congratulations, John, if that’s the proper response: we all use it sooner or later, it seems, even if we all avoid it as long as we can.)

Exactly. Eckhart is accessible without theology; in fact, it could be argued it just gets in the way.

And I agree, this isn’t this last time these things will come up.


Hi all,
I’m posting this for Kate, who is responding to John’s earlier post about the dream.

John, wonderful dream! Thanks for that. The symbols used in your dream seem very relevant to our discussion.
I mentioned ontological levels in dissecting language because the modern way of thinking does not generally distinguish things vertically (on different ontological levels). Modern thought moves in horizontal categories, one tree more like another than a cabbage. But there is a system of correspondences within mythology that move vertically where a tree can be a family system, a sacrificial stake, the cross at Golgotha, or a mountain (because all represent a vertical axis between heaven and earth—time and eternity). In these systems a crystal, a planet, a goddess, and a flower can be aligned.

These correspondences come from systems of thought hard-wired into human consciousness, their genesis lost out of mind in our distant past and revigorated in Jungian psychology but also present in astrology, tarot, numerology, fairy stories, alchemy, literature, and generally in all human narratives. We dream in the language of myth and although dreams have personal meaning exclusive to an individual, at the same time, they use this collective language.

When two roads diverged in a yellow wood for Robert Frost, you know that road was not like the one you travel to get to the grocery store. Frost uses the metaphor of road because that is a word layered with many meanings. The road less traveled, the road to Damascus and Jack Kerouac’s road are all on different ontological levels but they can be reduced to the same archetype.

I find it interesting that Tolkien was a philologist (studies words and their meaning) and also believed that myth represented what the human heart most treasures. He put myth on a higher ontological level (meaning that a myth was more real) than the existential point in time we call the Real.

So I mentioned ontological levels because when we use words, they are symbols that are multi-layered artifacts. We as a culture have lost the ability to think in images and to think in vertical categories. If we are to talk about language, I believe we must acknowledge the system of correspondences within myth—know something of the language of traditional symbols, that express things we cannot understand rationally and that are embedded within words.


And can ‘I’ transcend this collective language game we all employ to make arrangements in a consensus reality that is falling apart quickly?

The 'I" can transcend, but the ‘We’ is immanent. The twist in my dream about Soul ~ Citizen, two concepts, juxtaposed, seeking a blend. Perhaps? Like same-sex marriage evolved our society so may Soul ~ Citizen. And what does a Soul~Citizen want to have happen?

And just like that young boy I once was, looked up the word ‘Homosexual’ in the library, and said ‘no’ to the experts who claimed objectivity. Junk science, then and now, regulates our social worlds. Resistance to the norms can be cultivated in groups. Individuals who transcend can influence the collective. I don’t underestimate the power of a few individuals to unify their consciousness around a principle and remember their dreams, rather than forget them, and quickly join the rest of the race running off the cliff. Artists and dreamers are often most adept at noticing these binds and double binds and can work with the Imaginal zones to release the dormant energies that seek symbolization. We swim in semiotic systems but we can re-model these systems through language and that may ultimately be what language is for. We can learn how to swim better rather than drown.

I think Jung saw this in the dreamscapes he explored and some of us are trying to do the same in our own perplexed time. Being able to explore the symbolic landscapes of another person is a delicate art, which I have sought to practice for decades. Our conventional facades cover up our disconnects but just underneath the language of consensus there is a vast territory, uncharted, in most persons, unlanguaged. This is not a territory that anyone can divide and conquer. Each person, underneath the surface, has a genius, that longs to be touched and revealed.

Thank you, Lisa, for passing on Kate’s response to my dream offering. I hope others feel the comfort to share non-ordinary experiences ( millions of them are happening everyday!) and that we can draw upon many rich traditions that can support us as we make this transition. I hope Kate will be able to get on this thread soon, so we can communicate directly with each other.Thanks to everyone, once again, for making this exploration happen


Thanks John, I made it onto the thread. And I am really eager to hear about people’s non-ordinary experiences with consciousness. For me, the most un-ordinary aspects of my experiences happen with synchronicities. This is a fairly constant occurance, perhaps because I am looking for them.
I agree that ordinary language is good enough for expressing new ideas because words are also based on images and have endless possibilities for metaphor. That said, I have a question for Ed. I live part-time in Central Europe and my friends who speak German (I am in the Czech Republic on the Austrian border) claim that the German language makes many more things possible to say with great specificity. They claim one can be extremely precise with meaning in German.


And another note about transcending the collective language–that language hard-wired into the collective psyche: from what I understand, we transcend older metaphors with the new ones becoming more integrated, but the archetype underlying the symbol remains the same. It just assumes newer forms that are still related to the original. Is this not what Gebser believed about evolving consciousness? Am I on the right track here? My access to Gebser is Ken Wilbur.


PS, I don’t know where the word Crow came from that is next to my name–no one else seems to be sporting a spirit animal…


I am in basic agreement, Kate, about the archetype but my question is about where archetypes come from? Someone in our ancient past had certain experiences that led to archetypal expressions, with many variations, from culture to culture. Can archetypes change or do they always stay the same? I believe we can use the archetypes, for a particular purpose, as an actress puts on costume and makeup, to give a convincing performance. We should not be used by the archetypes as this leads to frozen masks, dead metaphors. I am also keenly interested in the idiosyncratic, synchronicity, and one of a kind weird stuff that never repeats itself. This seems to me a fuzzy zone that Jung didn’t address completely. That there are overlaps between words, actions, humans and animals, is hard to figure out as the parameters are not clear cut and I don’t think we have an adequate theory of the weird and uncanny, yet. I am open to alternate ways of knowing. Could we begin to create new, never before seen archetypes that future beings will trace back to our participation? I wonder.



I am Jungian in my definition of archetypes but symbols (that reflect archetypes) are artifacts that move like the detritus within a glacier, moving long distances, rolled up in the ice for eons. Animal fossils, stones and bones from other places are then deposited in a circ lake. When the lake empties, one has piles of things that the naive might think originated in that place, but to an educated geologist, it is understood that things come from different times and he can identify the remains of the oldest life forms against the newer ones. Nothing is lost. That is like a legend. Legends belong to the collective psyche, made of boundary experiences and layered like an archeological dig within our present culture. They carry the oldest forms of mythological motifs out of which they are made along with the newer forms.

Jung was hermetic in his world view: imagine a helix, a spiral that has different scales or planes stacked one on the other, circling endlessly, repeating patterns of seasons and cycles. Nothing is neutral or random because each plane reflects the one above and below. That is the most significant axiom of ancient ontology.

That what is eternal is reflected in what is profane. As above, (says St. Paul) so below, and rounded off by Goethe with, " as within, so without. " The idea of a chaotic, random system of disparate bits of stuff unrelated to a whole, where consciousness randomly emerges from matter, is a modern concept. In the hermetic system, mind and matter are different aspects of what stands behind them both: like putting metal filings on a paper and holding a magnet under the paper. The magnet is the archetypes–the force that compels evolution.

Archetypes are not invented by humans, and they cannot be known because they transcend the level of consciousness on which we live. Archetypes according to Jung, are like Platonic forms but not rigid, they are more than patterns–more like living things. That is as close as I can come–patterns that will cloth themselves in the most readily understood metaphor at hand. When religions evolve, they just get better metaphors.
When an ego is not strong enough to maintain its boundaries, it can be overcome with archetypal forces. One can become psychotic. That is what Jung discovered when he worked with crazy people.He started noticing that their raving made a sort of sense. They were possessed by archetypal forces that overcame the boundaries of their egos.

We are probably not working from the same paradigm. The hermetic map of the world is layered like I described, nothing is random, (but the system is too large and deep for ordinary consciousness to completely understand their place in it). Everything is alive with a sort of consciousness, and everything is in the process of transmuting into higher forms. Imagination is the vehicle for transformation, not only rational thinking. It is the way we orientate within a system too vast for us to completely comprehend. Jung’s work gave structure to this traditional system of belief that is part science, part magic, and part philosophy.

Sorry if this sounds too dense and alien, or fixed and archaic. Understand that I do not understand my destiny, or see myself within this vast system with much understanding, but symbols and myth are the way I navigate.


There are two features of the German language that allow for this notion of specificity to arise. First, there are a wide variety of prefixes that can be attached to words (verbs primarily, but also to nouns), many of which also function as prepositions, which allow for (at least in my mind) nuancing. For example, the word for “to shoot” is schiessen, the verb anschiessen (an meaning “on”, “at”, “upon”, “to”, “by”, depending on context) means “to wound (by shooting)”, whereby the verb erschiessen (er- being a prefix that is not also a preposition) means “to shoot dead”.

Some examples with nouns: the German word Welt is generally translated “world”. The German word Umwelt (adding the prefix um, which means “around” for the most part), is then translated into English as “environment” (the *around-world, or the world around one). It is possible to create the word Beiwelt (well, Heidegger did, by adding the prefix bei, meaning “by”, “near”) so we then have the idea of a *by-world or *near-world, slightly different from an *around-world. It is also possible to add the prefix mit (“with”) to the word to get Mitwelt, or the *with-world, or (and this is a word you’d find in the dictionary) meaning the “social world”, “social environment”, or “contemporary world”, depending on context. In other words, a lot of specific-like variation is possible.

The other feature of German is the one that drives lots of foreigners (Mark Twain was a very vocal example) of stringing together notions in a single word. For example, the cap that the captain of a Danube (steam-driven) river-boat wears is a Donaudampfschiffskapitänsmütze. The “word” is, in a sense, self-defining. But simpler combinations are possible: the German word for “damage, harm, hurt” is Schaden; the word for “joy, happiness” is Freude, but when these two are glommed together we get the infamous Schadenfreude or “not-always-so-secret reveling in another’s misery”.

In other areas, however, German sometimes seems to be lacking in vocabulary. The word Geist, for example, can be “spirit”, “ghost”, or “mind” (sometimes, kinda … it’s not an equivalent translation … it’s sort of “intellect” or “reason”), “wit”, or even “distilled spirit”.

Generally speaking, though, Germans like to be precise, so German very much comes across as less ambiguous than, say, English (which can be disconcertingly polyvalent at times). Of course, trying to say what they mean often gives Germans the reputation of being direct, if not downright rude, but if given the option I guess what they prefer is simply meaning what they say.

Hope this helps.


According to Gebser (whose approach I personally find more manageable than Wilber’s) each structure of consciousness has an efficient and a deficient mode. The former is “what the structure is actually about”, so to speak; the latter its degenerated form which leads to the next “mutation” (as he calls them). A key feature of his approach, though, is, as you note, the notion of “supersession”; that is, the moving to the following structure without discarding what came before, rather taking it with. The Magic structure is every bit as much alive today as it was 10,000 years ago, but it is, quite often, unrecognizably buried in our current (Rational) mode of mentation. The Integral structure of consciousness is, in a sense, a reactivation, a reawakening, a reinvigoration of the efficient modes of previous structures into an integrating whole. According to Gebser, presentiating Origin, concretizing the Spiritual, through all the structures is what we should be striving toward. So, in a word, yes.


I think this is where Jungians get confusing. Wilbur claims Jung committed the pre/trans fallacy. Jung tended to confuse the very old ( archetypes) with the transcendent ( Platonic forms). This confuses us, as dreams are both conscious and unconscious as well as neither conscious nor unconscious. To label dreaming mind as ‘mythic’ is a reductive move. Yes, there are mythic aspects to every dream but more, much more is going on besides mythic. And this is where Gebser is a great help. The Integral Dreamer would be able to hold archaic, magic, mythic and mental aspects of dreams without collapsing into incoherence and insanity. As most of us are on the cusp of Integral but not there yet it might be useful to act ‘as if’ we could come from Integral rather than just ‘go meta’ and take a step backwards and take another view, which is the hallmark of the Mental level. Our current paradigm which is dominated by developmental theory and the cognitive bias has a hard time recognizing that the Imaginal and Dreaming minds draw upon a much vaster intelligence than such a narrow focus allows. We might even dream in what Aurobindo would call the Supra-mental. And we have shamanic dreams, AI dreams, quantum dreams, Tibetan yogic dreams, Freudian dreams, Jungian dreams, Gestalt dreams, many different styles. Having said all of that, Kate, please pardon me if I have gone too far out, I believe we are sharing the same paradigm and we are coming up against the same anomalies ( such as synchronicity) that demand a new kind of attention, orientation and re-integration. You are on track from my partial view and that is what perhaps brings us together to take this course. Thanks again.


This past week I got quite busy with my day-job work and was regretting not being able to jump into the conversation. But now that I have had a chance to sit and review it so far, I think the universe had a purpose in that! I don’t quite know where to start with some resonances. The first that comes to mind is the pre/trans fallacy, which I would chalk up to a mind stuck in Mental consciousness. Consider putting that onto a Mobius strip (we will be talking about Mobius strips and Klein bottles in the future, but I’m pretty sure you all know what I’m referring to). Pre and trans might be two sides of the Mobius. Each one seems distinct and separate from the other, which, in a Mental consciousness is proper, but perhaps they are different ways of grokking (had to use it!) the same “thing” (no, really? is it a “thing”? maybe its a field or a concept…)

The archetype of yin/yang is one that I would like to introduce. Let us ponder it. Deeply. In a Mobial, pre/trans manner.

Another thread I would like to pick up is Ed’s statement about language always evolving. I see language as always changing–new words are added, new meanings are given to old words, some words fall out of use, and so on. However, that kind of linear change doesn’t result in paradigm shifts or evolution (I’m not going to get into the intricacies of Darwinian versus Neo-Darwinian theory…that’s not the point), which are nonlinear. A kind of “quantum jump” occurs, speaking metaphorically of course. In language, for example, when was the last time a new preposition was coined? In future sessions we will look at content words and function words. Content words are mostly what change, adapt, morph. But I am getting ahead of myself.

To the extent that Wilbur and Orville Wright looked around and saw that humans can’t fly, they didn’t say “oh, humans are deficient”; rather, they saw it as an opportunity to be creative, to give humans another capacity. That is how I am approaching this project–as an opportunity to be collectively creative (because, after all, language is grounded in our shared agreement about what means what; private languages won’t “get off the ground” to continue that metaphor). I think Gebser was on to something when he said that we need a new form of statement (vis a vis integral consciousness). What might that new form be? Maybe there is an archetype for it already in the collective unconscious, in the originary. I hope so…