Ed, I didn’t get your link. I want to read the article you sent.
I think you could consider my viewpoint somewhat magical/mythical inasmuch as I do not need the scientific explanation for things–so I don’t think people who think magically are necessarily more primitive. I am grateful for the extra layer of information that the mental brings, but the limits to intellectual thinking seems apparent to me. (I am equating intellect to mental/rational structures here). My favorite intellectuals have a built-in understanding of the limits to intellect–Jung, Gebser, Eliade, William Irwin Thompson, (the list is long) they all use intellect, but like the Cabalists you mentioned, knew when to jump off, into magical/mythical–I guess you might say, intregal thinking. I understood your point to be that one must first develop the mental before dismissing it; perhaps better to say, integrating it.
I like the structure of the Siferot as well, and it goes along with the motif within mythology I have been studying: the world mountain/tree. (very archetypal)…
We need not get hung up on the definition of archetypes. That is just my word for the pattern of cosmic causality I think I can see. Following the lines of correspondences between mythological motifs gives a coherence to things (for me) I cannot achieve another way.
I wonder where you think human agency originates—within human brains, from a transcendent source…we necessarily talk around what the ultimate attractor is because you are right, those ideas are what people most guard. I take this up with some trepidation.
Caution is welcome in an area such as this. I didn’t raise the issue because I think you – or anyone else – has need to “declare” their position, but rather because I believe it does us all good to have some idea of where we are ultimately “coming from”, so to speak. Not everyone can, or is ready to, do that, however. To put it in Gebserian terms (Wilber, with all due respect, is too complicated for my tastes), people who are more centered, say, in Magic or Mythical consciousness may not yet feel a need to do so, but those of us who are perhaps more Mental start feeling a need to clarify where we are coming from, even if we don’t necessarily wear that feeling on our sleeves, nor need to.
Personally, I find Mario Betti’s (based on Rudolf Steiner’s) model of 12 ways of seeing the world quite helpful for keeping individual “paradigms” sorted, but I don’t feel “stuck” in any particular one of them; they all have their place and can be helpful. For me, though, there is a much stronger spiritual underpinning to it all than anything else. Your notion of “soul development” resonates very strongly with this.
Your question about the origin of human agency, truth be told, is a poignant one. Again, in Gebser’s terms, I don’t think that people who are, say, primarily centered in Magical consciousness don’t necessarily have a very developed sense of individual agency and are, therefore, more susceptible to those group-projection-influences than someone who is more aware of their potential and efficacy (cf. your example of the lynch mob). They will also understand, say, an egregore, much differently – because their experience of it will be fundamentally different – than I might, for example.
One of the aspects of Gebser’s approach (which I find handleable) that appeals to me is that it can be applied to individuals as well as to humanity as a whole. It makes sense to me that we all not only go through the same progression in our individual lives (some moreso than others), but that over the course of many lifetimes, we have experienced these structures as the dominant mode of reality engagement. I don’t think it was necessarily a matter of chance that, say, the Enlightenment appeared “historically” when it did (as perceived by us humans as we do from our current 2020 vantage point). Gebser’s Integral structure of consciousness is about superseding the Ego, at least in part, but if one doesn’t have a somewhat fully developed ego, what is there to supersede? The cultures in which we find ourselves at any given point in time will have had and still do have a preponderance toward a particular consciousness structure (even if not everyone reflects that … see example at end). How we engage and interact with that has a great influence on what we come to believe, feel, and think about the world in which we find ourselves.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know if there is a fundamental model of what we (are supposed to) become. Could be. But, maybe it’s open. That’s the direction in which I’m leaning at the moment, but is subject to change with the accretion of more experience and knowledge, which is why I enjoy the sessions and discussions we have here on InfiniteConversations. I’m not otherwise affiliated with any individuals or groups where such topics are even tolerated for the most part. The notion, be it Wilber’s or Gebser’s, of increasing dimensionality is one that I find appealing, so I, too, am using it as a working hypothesis for now.
We all have our own understandings of concepts and notions, to be sure, and I’m pretty sure a one-size-fits-all agreement will not be forthcoming. I’m not a big “archetype” guy to begin with, though I know lots of folks who have a very different relationship to them than I do, like you, Kate. I suppose there is a lot to be said for them, but they are, for me, one way of dealing with and talking about a particular phenomena. Having been engaged with Kabbalah for many years, my metaphorics are a bit different, but I can certainly see the overlaps as well, and, yes, I am fully aware that there are Kabbalists (and other esoterists for that matter) who make generous use of Jung and his approach. If it works, why not? What’s important for me is to understand how the person using the notion understands it. I get a lot more out of that than trying to figure out why I don’t or didn’t take that particular approach.
Hope this helps.
Now, here’s an example (a friend of mine sent me) of what I mean by the overall culture may be in one structure of consciousness (say, the US, today, mental-rational), but individuals can be somewhere very different. (I have “hidden” it simply because it is kind of long itself and it’s not directly germane to our discussion.)
Example of modern-day deficient archaic/magical