Consciously Evolving Language – Session 3 - 6 Oct 2020

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This Week

Speaking about oneness vs. speaking from oneness; local and global perspectives.

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Last night I dreamed that I was doing bodywork with a woman. I held her arm gently and pulled slowly to loosen up the shoulder joint. She let me know when there was too much or too little of a stretch motion. I respected her expressing her limits and used this feed back. I felt her arms and legs between the palms of my hands, I sense with an inner sight, into organs and muscles and bones. I felt through my hands a vision that was from a fourth dimension.

My description is not at all like Durer’s meta-drawing, a drawing that imposes a perspectival grid upon the living flesh of a real person and representing that human form in an objective way.


I would suggest that the personal pronoun ‘I’ is much more than just a view from which the viewing of the object is done. This assumption so widely believed is a distortion. The dreamer is able to tune into vast psychic landscapes, and can engage the other as self. The personal pronoun 'I" is a prerequisite for this kind of aesthetic relationship, that can do more than just measure a public space but can enter into the interiors of the other and appreciating boundary objects as they arise. The skin, the sense of touch, the warmth and coolness, the lightness , the heaviness, the texture, the tone, all of this is registered through multiple pathways, some of them are invisible to the eye but felt from the field.

And where are you perceiving your perspective from?

" I suggest that the 4th dimension needed to complete the formation of the Klein bottle engages the inner dimension of human being; it is not just another area of reflection, one that stretches before us; it is unfolded, with us, entailing the pre-reflective depths of our subjectivity." Steven Rosen

The pre-reflective depths of our subjectivity is reflexive. There is the presence of an active “I” that is not trapped into ocular proofs but slips and slide in a non-Euclidean geometry.

Our brain centric, physicalist, subject/object grid, ( modern mind) has high jacked the highly sensitive kinesthetic, auditory, gustatory and olfactory. The inner senses and the endogenous imagery that the Soul produces are ignored by the modern, objectivizing, measuring, perspectivism,

Arm chair critics, gazing into the light produced by flat screens, are easily manipulated by texts, and digitized productions. Bad posture, constricted breathing, neuromuscular locks, and tight sphincters, compound the problem.

Now we are in a great battle field of archetpyes… but are we doomed to be manipulated by the dark side of archetypes or can we decide as poets and dancers and actors do…to play with complimentary archetypes? If you are addicted to the co-dependent lover pattern, why not try being a warrior once in awhile? A warrior who fights in order to protect those who are helpless? Or the Magician who can use language to create enchantment rather than the tyrannical King who makes outrageous demands?

There has to be a center, an 'I" that can make the difference that can make a difference. If you enter the field without the sense of a center you are easily trapped in the dark side of the archetype…and doomed to act out from externally generated images produced by gadgets…


Yes,“a center not the center of life,universe,fill in (…)”&Participation in the Multiplicity & the Different Actions that can “Make a Difference” to the Unfolding of which Humans are Engaged ,with,in & expressing.



Something that seems goes -with our conversation on Tuesday & speaks to Kate’s view it seems?

I also want to bring forward in terms of my own ongoing awareness of the influences of Metaphor on My Body-Mind & developing a Fluidity with Metaphor In General & with regards to myself. Want to acknowledge a Metaphor that is in my Bones,

Those Cotton-picking Greeks & their Archetypes,


Michael, at about 9 minutes you ask a very important question about doing or striving for the integral…I will share some thoughts on my view of that, but do not know if it relates to your question.

I would add to your statement: Integral is often viewed as if it were an objective end state, an accomplishment, a group movement or group consciousness. I tend to view the integral in practical, individual terms, as the attempt to be in the moment (as much as possible) with awareness of, if you will, all the attributes of the magic, mythic, mental structures of consciousness [Gebser]; insights of Zen, Buddha, Confucius, or whatever frame of reference one has. The self-awareness, discernment (or whatever other wording one uses) is the moment of integrality. Being momentary requires constant vigilance and only when a critical mass of individuals refine their self-awareness in this view is there group movement to integrality.

As we discussed previously, if I cannot achieve critical mass in myself–a focus on group integrality seems distant, and while ambitious, it is worth striving for.

Another resource, ecologically focused, but parallels this discussion, is the adaptive cycle. It is described in the book Panarchy but there are several refinements and applications of it to human and ecological systems.

Sample link:,characteristic%20of%20many%20systems%2C%20particularly%20natural%20resource%20systems.



Rick,I find your response very much in relation to my question &:

So Clear of where the notion of Effort/Effortless is the Relational Contact & a adaptive skillful learning of being with Intensity/Intensities as a Individual /Group is emerging?

Thanks for the Feedback Rick



Post Script.
There are assumptions we all make that determine how we view, understand and process our experiences and thoughts. Some are personal and some are cultural.

Philip Ivanhoe in his book on Confucian Moral Self Cultivation says, “Western philosophers have been much more concerned with trying to define what the good is and worrying about how, if at all, one can come to know the good. Chinese thinkers have focused instead on the problem of how to become good (2000, ix)”. Boldness of the type is mine.

Specific to Confucius (Kongzi), and relevant to social, familial, cultural rituals of modernity (and to the discussion of John, Michael, Marco and Kate), Ivanhoe offers this observation “…the rites were not intended merely to elicit particular kinds of behavior, the goal was to instill certain sensibilities, attitudes, and dispositions in the practitioner. Kongzi believed that only the reflective practice of the rites could produce the particular set of sensibilities, attitudes, and dispositions needed for a harmonious, meaningful, and flourishing society. The rites achieved this first by restraining excessive behavior in a way that instilled an attitude of humility in the practitioner (2000, 4).” What are the ‘rites’ western society focuses on?

There are many ways and approaches that seek a broader and more personal outcome.

The discussion on archetypes ( Kate, Michael, John and Marco) raises an interesting question? Are they real? Or are they patterns of human response that have been brought to consciousness, presented in a western language (archetypes) but in actuality are ephemeral processes or responses that could be accessed via other means? Can one achieve moral self cultivation or self awareness without knowing or understanding Jung or archetypes; perhaps using different language, social processes and embodied experiences?

One could ask the same question of Gebser’s consciousness structures are they real or are they ephemeral categories in which to consider observations and patterns of social movement over a broader timescale?

Just some thoughts.



Rich questions, Rick. Very rich questions. Thank you for posing them.

For me, these questions beg the deeper question: What is real? Kant says we can’t know. Bergson says that through “intuition” we can. Hmmm … I ponder.

To my mind, both Jung’s “archetypes” and Gebser’s “structures” have something very categorical about them. They produce effects that certainly feel like “constructs”. But, as Evan Thompson pointed out (in Waking, Dreaming, Being, as cited in Cynthia Bourgeault’s Eye of the Heart), “Although some illusions are constructions, not all constructions are illusions.” (I’m not establishing a dichotomy, rather I’m probing “reality”.)

Something somehow manifests (or appears to), and “archetypes” and “structures of consciousness” are ways for us to deal with those manifestations, which I am presupposing for the moment are “real” in some way. They appear to have some kind of reality. The words used to identify or describe them are mere pointers to that farther manifestation, the gap to which Bergson thinks intuition can bridge. (I’m still working on that, of course.) I think he’s onto something. Until I (or we or whomever) manage, these notions are, I believe, helpful (at least to me) in dealing with them, be they “things” or “processes” or even something else of which I am not yet aware.

Good questions, Rick. Just some thoughts? Well, you’ve got me thinking, that’s for sure. Thanks for asking them.


This is a very good question & the ephemeral/impermanence of things(including the patterning instinct/structuring capacity) seems proportionally a aspect of the East as You seemed to point too,not that it’s not is the West.

There is a Duration(i.e. Henri Bergson,Byung-Chul Han- The Scent of Time),Gesber bring attentions to Intensity & Mutation ,which does not negate the capacity of Patterning.It seems to point to the Dynamic Interplay of Humans capacity for the Instinct of Patterning & the Embeddedness of said Human? This is a very loose response & kinda enthusiasm for the conversation emerging.

Thank U


Michael and Ed…all good points, observations and insights. Since much of consciousness discussion is Western oriented I wanted to offer something a bit different to consider and then ask how are the various languages (psychology, science, religion, business, and others) reconciled (learning, understanding, expression).

Part of this relates to the group’s discussion on where to focus, what language, what experience, what social conditioning informs words like reality, illusion, intuition, consciousness. What context is driving the process and discussion. I think all of us have considered the importance and recognition of not fully knowing, not fully concretizing, not getting too abstract or tied to a specific language as that gap in the weave allows the opportunity for more to enter (the twist of the mobius strip)= humility. That said, we need something to structure our lives, language, categories and archetypes for those so inclined as Kate pointed out.

One could ask what drives us, what engages enthusiasm to explore patterns, structures and share them with others? It seems we are indirectly alluding to, circling the point where we ask when does an integrated embodied experience become labeled or judged or become dominantly emotional, abstract, intellectual, or any number of other terms? How do we know that, respond to it? And yet not become too rigid, defensive, fanatical in our responses, language and beliefs?

If you all know how do do that please share, that would be helpful. :grinning:


These Four Questions are the Koan Practice I do my best in the engagement of the ;

which is very Relational & the know how seems to be a willingness to bring attention to Intensity of the Edge of those Four Questions when within Ourselves & in the Presence Of Others. Sometimes I wonder if we are actually Manifesting this & maybe It’s a Quality of Attention lacking? Humans seems to have Trust Issues when it comes to themselves?


Perhaps I should attempt to define what I mean by archetypes before I say anything more about them.
I am sure that everyone would acknowledge that humans possess instincts. Archetypes could be understood as an extension of these—part of our hard-wiring. Regardless of whether we define them, acknowledge them, or come up with systems to understand them, there is a structure to consciousness that accounts for a patterning in the human narrative. The artefacts that we make, the ceremonies that we devise, the legends we tell, have universal characteristics regardless of whether we are aware of them or not. We dream and create images, and tell stories that conform to specific universal patterns in the way we use symbols and myth.
I study archetypes by following traditional lines of correspondence. These lines of correspondences were not established by Jungian therapists, but are based on traditional mythological systems: astrology, tarot, Cabala, (The Siferot), Stories of the saints, numerology, fairy tales, art, dream, in short, any artifact that is the product of human imagination.
I can understand the reluctance to accept someone else’s definition of the meaning of archetypes. When I see the patterning of specific motifs in art, I can come up with general observations about the correspondences I see to other symbols within the larger pattern, but knowing what they are concretely is not possible.
So I think the general reluctance to speak in terms of archetypes has two different parts. 1. Since we have lost the ability to think in images centuries ago and use language more and more as “code,” our understanding of how images carry meaning is somewhat lost to consciousness. 2. We might acknowledge the pattern but are wise enough to not allow fixed meanings for things. Once a meaning for a symbol is fixed, it is no longer of value or true.
I do not wish to weary people with my discussions of archetypes. If anyone is interested, I have written on the subject of the way archetypes appear in our earliest artefacts because I am working on a project that does this. Just ask and I’ll send an essay. In the meantime, I am enjoying my collaboration with all of you.
My final thought on our discussion is to agree with all who mistrust the present way archetypes are understood, as concrete conditions—known entities. That is the problem we are having in the world right now. Because we do not know how to develop our understanding of archetypes, they have been suppressed and turned demonic. Our definitions and sense of what is true has solidified into forms that no longer serve us and our reality is dissolving. We need a new common agreement on Meaning. To do this, our collective imagination must come up with metaphors with a higher degree of integration. Science, as it is, is not up to the task.
From what I understand of Gebser, we must understand the mythical/magical and integrate it into the rational. We have lost our understanding of these ways of knowing.
John, I liked what you had to say about movement. I think the only thing we disagree about has to do with different ways of defining archetypes. Approaching archetypes from your perspective and with your definition, I agree with you.
In any case, thank-you (all) for engaging with me on this topic.


Thanks, Kate, and I agree with much of what you share. Can you post a link to your essay here? It might compliment what we are discussing and perhaps we can circumambulate between these motifs, gut feels, educated guesses that are emerging in our shared attentional space. I welcome the inevitable paradox that occurs in these forums as we try to touch with our minds these weird, topological figures.


This is not my essay on the archetypes in art that I promised. I will get a link to you but I am a bit shy of imposing too long a tirade on everyone and I wanted to address the idea finding common ground. You have been speculating on the attractor behind consciousness and finding commonalities within our individual paradigms. We all have our own maps and although non of them are True it is impossible to navigate in life without one. My own point of view is a sort of hermetic construction. I offer a definition of hermetic thought, not as a recommendation to others as much as from a desire to have my own perspective understood so we do not talk about the same things without realizing it.
In the middle ages Hermetic knowledge was a blending of alchemy, astrology, and magic. With the Renaissance there was an effort to harmonize these ideas with work from the late Hellenistic period and with the speculative thought of the Jewish and Christian Cabalists. (Pico della Mirandola, Marsilio Ficino-- I can throw in Cornelius Agrippa, Giordano Bruno, and Paracelsus while I’m at it). The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries developed these ideas within alchemy among other places, and at the end of the 19th century there was a movement to better formalize these traditional subjects and find commonalities between many different systems of thought loosely included in what is called esoteric studies. Jung is the most well known
hermetic scholar in the 20th century. His clinical work, among other things, was an adaptation of the work of the alchemists, who projected their minds onto raw nature and read it back to themselves.
The theoretical ground to what is considered hermetic thought can be described this way:
(1). The theory of correspondences assumes that the microcosm mirrors the macrocosm, an idea within Western thought that believes that all dimensions we live within are in concordance. Heaven and earth, time and eternity, are but different dimensions or scales of existence that reflect each other. A traditional hermetic map of the cosmos is like a helix where the phenomenal world is serial, limited, and exists on a series of planes that are neither chaotic nor neutral because each level is linked with all other levels in their essence and ultimate meaning.
(2). The cosmos is complex, plural, hierarchical, and alive in all of its parts. There are a series of networks, of sympathies and antipathies, (theory of correspondences) but everything is animated throughout with a life force that has a sort of intentionality.
(3). Imagination is a mediating force between different dimensions and the products of imagination make the relationships between different ontological levels of being concrete, not knowable in any final sense, but nevertheless visible.
(4) Transmutation, a world borrowed from alchemy, signifies a sort of metamorphosis that is possible with this knowledge. Transmutation is a shift in perspective that allows for the higher integration of consciousness.

The hermetic map of reality resembles the view of the Sufis. No one has exactly the same experience or opinion because real knowledge is very individual. We can do no more than defend a way of thinking. This is what Jung said about the alchemists. They were practicing a science, but in a unique way. So each one was different than the other in their methods and conclusions. Nevertheless, they thought alike.


If you have the essay in PDF (or even .DOC) format, you’re not imposing anything on anyone: whoever is interested (like I am) will download it, read it, and maybe even respond. It’s a lot easier than sending something to everyone who asks individually. Just a thought.


That is a very accurate statement … though I haven’t derived any of my understanding of Hermeticism from Jung (personal shortcoming, I suppose).

My personal, absolute favorite, modern Hermetic compendium is the Unknown Author’s (Anonymous) Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism (which is published by TarcherPerigree these days, I believe). It’s a very dense read (but what isn’t that is of real value), but worth every minute spent engaging it.

Just a suggestion for those who have short reading lists and are looking for a profound winter’s read. :grin:


I think the author has been discovered and that he wrote a second volume which I saw at the Rudolph Steiner Bookstore in my neighborhood before the Covid lockdown. When I revisted the store after the reopening many books are not is stock and probably never will be again. Book Culture is going underground as the WWW continues to attract attention. I have the book you mentioned on my shelves for years. As I feel the pressure to read so many new and old titles, I have spent more time just pulling down books, at random, from my own personal library, and reading, whatever attracts me. I do finish a book, eventually, but have accepted that I am not going to get around to systematic reading of anything again. The delicate balance required for reading in a comparative way is slowly being undermined. I only have a few hours a day when I am able to summon up the attention. I do the best I can with what I got in my own personal library. And I listen to what other people are reading and writing about. The time, as Hamlet said, is out of joint-