Consciously Evolving Language – Session 4 - 20 Oct 2020

Speaker View

Gallery View

Audio

This Week

What does it mean to consciously co-create; space as an unquestioned assumption.


Please register for this event series to receive instructions on how to participate.

Originally published at: https://www.metapsychosis.com/events/consciously-evolving-language-session-2020-10-20/

1 Like

The readings for this session are:

See you Tuesday!

2 Likes

About today’s conversation:

I liked Marco’s point about how people use the mental constructs of our modern world to extend beyond mental constructs, but that we come up against the natural limitations of the mental constructs when we do this.

I was happy to have the opportunity to more explore the definition of archetypes with John and do completely agree with him about the damage done by our fixed definitions of archetypes.

And as far as agency (and what has it)…. we seemed to agree that agency can belong to different kinds of things. The Hermetic idea is that everything is alive and has consciousness.

Ideas have agency when they work through groups, and can overcome the agency of the individual, subsuming the individual inside a collective archetype. Our world is increasingly possessed by scary collective ideas,—the trick being: to keep our egos intact—a war of agency…

Marco suggested we have a conversation about our present existential crisis, separate from our Infinite Conversation group. I would so welcome this if anyone is interested. I am trying to keep myself mentally “between the ditches”. The mainstream press is providing me with a curated set of facts that fly in the face of alternative narratives that have some credibility. But there is no sensible dialogue between them, just screaming fits, outrage, and righteous indignation.

···

On Thursday, October 15, 2020, 12:01:45 PM PDT, Marco V Morelli via Infinite Conversations infiniteconversations@discoursemail.com wrote:

Thanks for the update, Lisa. Here is a link to the Rosen attachment, for anyone who needs it:

https://cloud.cosmos.coop/s/p7an8d6ep7natm2


Visit Message or reply to this email to respond to conevolang (20), Ed Mahood.

Sent by:
Mindful AI (bot)


Need assistance? Email: mindful@infiniteconversations.com

To unsubscribe from these emails, click here.

3 Likes

I am willing to walk in that Labyrinth with U Kate & anyone else,personally I Feel-Think that the Engagement - Interaction in Our Shared Participation is Initiation Time.

3 Likes

Due to technical difficulties beyond my control, I guess I missed that part of the discussion.

It would appear, however, that further exploration is necessary. For example, when ideas have agency, do they decide which directions they take or is that direction in a sense predetermined by the nature of the idea itself? It would seem to me that what is being suggested are degrees of agency, perhaps intensities of agency; it’s not of one bolt of cloth. And whence does the idea come? Is it autogenerative? Does someone think it and it then “takes on a life of its own”? A similar case applies to the egregores John mentioned. Also, even in the Hermetic view there is a wide range of understanding regarding the notions of Aliveness and even Consciousness. We’re using single words to describe or identify quite variegated phenomena, it would seem.

3 Likes

Ed,

So sorry we lost you yesterday. And I wanted to respond to your questions about agency.

We must still dance around the ultimate cosmological and teleological questions, no? What is the attractor and what is its purpose? The answer to this is a personal one since it has been established that proofs are not available.

We are left with just observing the ways that the patterns of influence (agency) work. Ken Wilbur, Gebser, and Jung have given maps that I like.

I think that the power and force of collective ideas depends on the number and degree of human energies supporting them. People are the projectors and the structure of the ideas originate from an unknowable attractor. It is our individual business to interpret what we think is true along an axis extending from instinct to spiritual revelation; like what should be free speech, right to life, human rights….Our values are formed by the ontological level on which our consciousness lives.

I am old enough to remember the Red Scare and a conversation I had with my parents around the age of ten. My parents maintained that Senator McCarthy needed to use the methods he employed because one had to fight fire with fire. Jungians might see the red scare as a projection of our own shadow energies: the age-old War with the Giants.

I have noticed that the growth and dynamics of QAnon moves in the way of Urban Legends—seemly to originate from many places at once. And people involved in the QAnon movement validate their points by claiming that their information comes from many different sources. For me, an explanation for this is that the collective mind is responding to an archetypal narrative that overwhelms personal judgments. I am not suggesting that all the narratives circulating do not have elements of truth, but they all appear to be contaminated by convictions not supported by reality and not really traceable to an individual… Whether one looks to the right or the left, the tenor of the conversation seems to be contaminated by a shadow form of an archetype.

Wasn’t it Teilhard De Chardin that coined the word, noosphere—a concept he developed with Vladimir Veradsky that posited a layer of the biosphere made of ideas extending beyond the biological biosphere? Of course Veradsky’s new biosphere was a layer of reality made of rational ideas driven by science. I think Jung would have claimed a dimension like that is always present not just since the modern era. But for Jung it would be made of the majority opinion and mind-set of a culture; a paradigm. When things begin to break down, the archetypal players suppressed by the elevation of only some ideas, show a demonic face. The most active and dangerous players in our current melt-down, are the parts of mind suppressed and kept unconscious with the elevation of science and rational thinking. Our collective ego inflated much farther than was justified by our assumptions of a brave, new world, based on our version of science. And other ideas turned demonic because they have not been consciously developed and are now at the gate, confronting a philosophic pose whose inherent contradictions are all too apparent.

Somehow the academics arguing over the number of angels on the head of a pin morphed into academics suppressing any narrative that disagreed with materialism.

The agency of ideas, their force, has to do with the collective power of numbers at least to some extent. But the idea also has power if it conforms to a truer fit to the attractor, to some better integrated universal principle. I believe we are at play between these two kinds of agency.

5 Likes

This is very close to what I was getting at, though I find the (quasi-)equating of “influence” and “agency” worth thinking about some more.

When I think of “agency”, I think of a kind of “active doing” which may not be applicable in terms of “influence”. A lot, however, depends on what kind of a worldview we are carrying around inside us, or that is guiding our interaction with the “world out there”. This fundamental view may, or may not, be recognized, known, or acknowledged by many people.

As you note, our interpretations can run the gamut from instinct to spiritual revelation, hence the ever-present possibility of misunderstanding what another is trying to tell us. We’re not all on the same wavelength. My fundamental starting point is that all of us have some fundamental beliefs (again, unknown or acknowledged) that sets the boundaries for what is even possible. These beliefs inform what we (can and cannot) feel in any given situation, and those feelings inform what we think. Our thoughts, then, inform our actions. Change the beliefs and the whole chain of action changes. Get too close to another’s fundamental beliefs, and they are most likely going to feel very threatened, for a wide variety of understandable reasons.

For example, what we know in modern scientific worldview, there are such things known as natural laws, e.g., the laws of physics. In the Meditations on the Tarot, the Unknown Author says that in the spiritual realm (unknown and unacknowledged to the physicalist scientist) these are not “laws” but beings. These beings, however, are rather limited in the scope of what they may “influence”, which, to me at any rate, makes for a rather weak notion of “agency”.

Now, I don’t think, for example, in my own worldview (which is much more spiritual than instinctual) that there is an angel of language, or that language is an attractor around which human projections coalesce, and for that reason, it is difficult for me to understand statements that attribute to language modes of action and decision that can be understood as intentful (e.g. “What does language want?” “Language prohibits us from … .”) Similarly, even those “entities” (be they egregores, archetypes, etc.) which turn “demonic” are simply (yeah, as if it were simple!) negatively charged ones (your “Red Scare” example is a good one). But, to me, they just are. This doesn’t mean that they are without effects, far from it, but it is not they who do, or initiate action or the like.

Maybe that’s why your interjection of the notion of “influence” might be worth thinking about. It could help me get all this better sorted. I shall ponder this some more.

3 Likes

I am a guardian of endogenous imagery creation, attracted to affinity groups, that can sponsor the possibily of such a possibility. In a way, this is to accept the poetic basis of mind as the only basis for mind we have. There is no such thing as literal meaning.

As some of us are able to embrace a para-consistent logic, and let go of allegiance to flag and to the if P then Q logic, with all of its sticky chains of causes and effects and hard wired habits, and path dependencies…

And that was an awful reality, wasn’t it? All of that blood under the bridge…

And as that old world floats off into oblivion, and those networks are dissolving, many of us prefer to drift to an off earth world , and create affinity groups that run on affects rather than split brained logics and free markets.

This is not a virtual reality , generated by externalized agents with fancy gadgets, but is rather a self generated reality engineered by Imaginals. It is a fractalholographic reality that is driven by endogenous imageries in motion.

I am in a room, growing dim, as the sun sets, and watching a man, lying on the floor, moaning," I am lonely, I am lonely, I am lonely…" He has a form of Alzheimer’s, a memory system that is trapped in external imagery not of his own making, and he is sun downing… The conditions gets worse around sunset.

I say to the man, " So you are waiting for the lover, the one who understands you, that will never leave you. That will never happen. You must give up that nonsense and embrace your solitude as I have. Like Katherine Hepburn, I find my own mind, absolutely fascinating." Others are in the room and they have given up, too, and accept their own minds as the only refuge we have. We met the Buddha on the road and we killed him. All of that blood under the bridge. You would not have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.

Then I practice breathing under water ( the off earth world has oceans, too) and I notice exotic creatures floating in this water world, some of them can eat you. I am with an old friend, Shayne, a childhood friend, I loved dearly, from the old world. She is having a hard time breathing under water and is forced to go up to the above shore.

I follow her to the shore and there she regains her balance. She has a need to consult her father about something important. Her father appears and they have a telepathic communique that I can’t follow. I say to him," Are you sharing the heterosexual secret?" This is a code word that Shayne understands but that her father doesn’t get. She and I realize her father doesn’t really exist. He is a thought form she uses to create safety and that is okay. She is making that transition. We are amused by our own ambiguous messages.

Other motifs, symbols, icons, idols from the lost worlds of affinity groups are wandering around in this strange city, taking shape, a temporary size and shape, that arises like a mirage, has a shadowy feeling, not too intense… Another old friend, Ken B, is exapted and I wait for him under the shadow of a bridge. I hear a rumor that he comes here but he senses that there is a trap , that we are under surveillance, and being a shape shifter, Ken morphs out of the scenario we had previously prepared but that is no longer functional here. And here and there…these are just notions that we use when it works for us. Sometimes our flowing diffractions are not on the same wave arrangements and we accept this with a melancholy humor.

No doubt I appear as ephemeral to Shayne and Ken as they appear to me. Our fragile network, which was sponsored by the old world logics, was not robust enough, to make the transition to a new cosmology. The distributed memories of that triad are fading, as all senescent forms, eventually do. They were dear to me and now are enfolding in the fractalholographic imagery of Mind at Large…

3 Likes

Ed,
I’m looking for the way in which our two world views segue into different, opposing ideas, and where they are parallel.
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.

My own view follows the mythological models: that we are a reflection of something divine trying to realize our true nature. We are sent models with the Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, Chinese sages….and we strive to develop what we refer to as our soul. This project is seen in as many versions as there are people but that is a sort of outline. The underlying principle in my system is that the model we are trying to become already exists. Ken Wilbur’s version of it was a description of consciousness expanding into increasingly more dimensions. From a one celled animal without hearing, sight, and mobility to what we have become, still striving to integrate more and more dimensions into consciousness. But the ultimate goal of individuation transcends all boundaries that we live within now. Yet the template for it exists within us.

Jung called this template The Self. This Self emanates a magnetic force upon the existential being, upon personal consciousness, because it is both part of the personal unconscious and a collective. We are both individuals and part of a larger company. The magnetic force can be described as an organizing principle and I would identify it as, “the archetypes.” Here, I get quite foggy on the nature of archetypes. The problem is, I don’t hang out in the realm of archetypes, where I would be able to categorize them, arrange them in a hierarchy. I am way down the chain of being in a place where I only catch the reflected light that glances off the transcendent and gives me various metaphors, depending on the level from which I look. These make patterns in art. For that matter, they make patterns in history.
Much of the misunderstanding within our group is that archetypes are equated to fixed points of reference, that myths are old narratives that bog us down when we need “new stories.’ that are alive and useful, not old and contaminated with historical baggage.
But my point is that there cannot be any story without a structure informed by archetypes. Stories have structures that are linked to the story of the entire race, to the structure of the collective psyche. So there can be new stories that use the archetypes in a new way. In the end, there is no new and no old. There are different forms of the same thing that inhabit that axis that registers different ontological levels, different levels of integration toward the Center.

And where agency is concerned, a lynch mob is actively doing something. But the intentions within their actions are not of individual wills but a collective will. The individual will of people who might have some qualms about murder have been subsumed within a larger force. So I think my parents in the 1950s, had given the agency of their judgement to a larger force, a larger collective will, driven by a shadow within the American spirt that always sees evil somewhere else. Certainly not in the country that just obliterated two cities with atom bombs.

I go back to Jung’s map of personality and to what he believed had happened to his psychotic patients. He believed that when the boundaries of a particular ego became too weak to hold itself together with coherence, ego walls dissolve and archetypal forces possess these people. That is what I suggest is happening to us now. QAnon is full of people who are quite earnest and totally convinced of things that I find wildly improbable. The narratives within this movement fulfill some sort of sense making apparatus for these people. But I don’t think the narrative is the product of some insidious person with bad intentions. This is a collective voice, a collective thinking apparatus. And I do not think everything they claim is untrue, rather, I think it is a mixture of truth and fantasy—like all of the other narratives. Anderson Cooper is not the voice of reason to me.
If you are right about belief systems preventing people from having certain experiences, then the situation is stagnant and cannot prosper. I believe that belief systems inform what people experience. If a person thinks women are not as intelligent as men, there are plenty of ways to have this belief reinforced. but I think experiences outside of a belief system can happen to someone. My whole life is full of examples.
You say that archetypes do not initiate action. We just have different definitions for archetypes.

3 Likes

John, Great visions. ( I see lots of archetypal meaning in them, hehe)
Endogenous images come from you, but what do you define as “you.” Are the source of your visions just within the boundaries of your individual ego or individual unconscious," Where are the boundaries of your source?
Following the sense of myth requires para-consistent logic.

3 Likes

Just a note on your phrase, “intensities of agency.” I liked this question and agree it needs more consideration. The first thing that comes to mind is the Loony Tunes version where a miniature version of the cartoon protagonist appears on one shoulder of the character wearing horns and a tail and the other shoulder carries the same miniature character with wings and a halo. Maco’s comment about human history being a struggle for agency was also interesting to me.
Is the degree of intensity in an intention driven by depth of emotion or of will, does it get amplified by a harmonic relationship to a larger group of thoughts (like climate), its relevance to a group need…and a more nuanced question, which layer of a consciousness is producing it. People have mixed motives and conflicting intentions–sort of like being made of many different people. They generally show up in dreams as not you, when they are. Like, how much agency do my complexes have? And if I can get all of these characters in line and focused on the same action, (if that is possible) does that give me stronger agency?

2 Likes

I once had a dream in which I was looking at myself in a mirror. Over my shoulder I noticed that there was another man gazing at myself gazing at myself in the mirror. I knew this other man very intimately. I said, with a sense of awe, " Oh! I am a double."

Are the source of my visions just within the boundaries of my individual ego? I would say," No." The boundary between the day ego and the night ego is very thin. Eventually, as the day ego dies, with the dropping away of the physical body, and the if P then Q logics are discarded, the night world self, if you have participated with devotion to the endogenous imagery of the Soul, will remember you. In the last breath you take, the Double folds you into his cycle of inhale and exhale. But it is not oxygen that you breathe. The physics of the dreamtime is not well developed, and our maps need to be updated. As a guardian of endogenous imagery creation, I am working on this project, as I move as consciously as possible through the liminal zones. The unconscious is not unconscious. It is only the day ego that has chronic amnesia. The communique between these realms can be cultivated. That is what art does.

" Self love is the beginning of a life long romance." -Oscar Wilde

2 Likes

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

Spotted online. Sounds like deficient archaic/magical.

The question was posed, “Why do people continue supporting Trump no matter what he does?”
A lady named Bev answered it this way:

"You all don’t get it. I live in Trump country, in the Ozarks in southern Missouri, one of the last places where the KKK still has a relatively strong established presence. They don’t give a shit what he does. He’s just something to rally around and hate liberals, that’s it, period.

"He absolutely realizes that and plays it up. They love it. He knows they love it. The fact that people act like it’s anything other than that proves to them that liberals are idiots, all the more reason for high fives all around.

"If you keep getting caught up in “why do they not realize this problem” and “how can they still back Trump after this scandal,” then you do not understand what the underlying motivating factor of his support is. It’s fuck liberals, that’s pretty much it.

"Have you noticed he can do pretty much anything imaginable, and they’ll explain some way that rationalizes it that makes zero logical sense? Because they’re not even keeping track of any coherent narrative, it’s irrelevant. Fuck liberals is the only relevant thing. Trust me; I know firsthand what I’m talking about.

"That’s why they just laugh at it all because you all don’t even realize they truly don’t give a fuck about whatever the conversation is about. It’s just a side mission story that doesn’t matter anyway. That’s all just trivial details - the economy, health care, whatever. Fuck liberals.

"Look at the issue with not wearing the masks. I can tell you what that’s about. It’s about exposing fear. They’re playing chicken with nature, and whoever flinches just moved down their internal pecking order, one step closer to being a liberal.

"You’ve got to understand the one core value that they hold above all others is hatred for what they consider weakness because that’s what they believe strength is, hatred of weakness. And I mean passionate, sadistic hatred. And I’m not exaggerating. Believe me.

"Sadistic, passionate hatred, and that’s what proves they’re strong, their passionate hatred for weakness. Sometimes they will lump vulnerability in with weakness. They do that because people tend to start humbling themselves when they’re in some compromising or overwhelming circumstance, and to them, that’s an obvious sign of weakness.

"Kindness = weakness. Honesty = weakness. Compromise = weakness.

"They consider their very existence to be superior in every way to anyone who doesn’t hate weakness as much as they do. They consider liberals to be weak people that are inferior, almost a different species, and the fact that liberals are so weak is why they have to unite in large numbers, which they find disgusting, but it’s that disgust that is a true expression of their natural superiority.

"Go ahead and try to have a logical, rational conversation with them. Just keep in mind what I said here and be forewarned.”

2 Likes

This conversation is going in many directions, and as a fellow student and a struggling citizen, trying to make sense of multiple images, symbolisms, cartoons, videos, podcasts, I admit that I am perplexed. There are some who say humans can’t make sense of so many exogenous images at once, hence, the post-truth slogans we often hear. Nor can we just assume we are surrounded by like minded persons who are have our best interests at heart. Both of your comments in this thread highlight the difficulties of these turbulent times.

So, it is with extreme caution that I offer this social experiment that I conducted here with Michael and Seth. a few months ago, during a surge of widely reported violence against black people, amplified by shocking videos.

The three of us struggled with White Body Supremacy and located this within our own white bodies. We used a photo of an lynching that occurred in Duluth 1920. Rather than dissociate from the felt sense we stepped into it and worked directly ( in public) with the phenomena. A capacity for co-regulation is necessary for such an experiment as we are easily triggered by our nervous system when in a violent situation to fight, flee, or freeze. Freezing is the last option and can prove to be fatal.

As we show in this video, staying in the head, is what most white folks prefer to do, when confronted with a history as troubled as ours has been. We start with creating metaphors of safety before we enter the liminal zone. Oscillating between safety and the perturbing feelings produced by the photo of the lynching is tracked carefully in this experiment. I believe each of us who participated were more grounded and clearer about this phenomena than before we conducted the experiment.

I also offer this as an example of how small, alert, groups can explore and perhaps deconstruct the power of the egregore, through language and with the assistance of the somatic intelligence.

2 Likes

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.

Kate:

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

1 Like

John, Thank-you so much for the link. Truthfully, I am so fragile these days that submitting myself to an image of a lynching is way beyond my bandwidth right now. I do not think that I am “in my head,” concerning the violence of racism but I will come back to it when I don’t feel as traumatized as I do these days. And I am impressed with your artistic engagement.

3 Likes

The photo is not seen in the video, Kate, but we have all been subjected to murders and mayhem brought to us by the screen. And we do not re-traumatize each other, in our video. We are released from historical trauma, in the video, in ways that are very rare. I am saddened by the lack of courage, in most people, the courage to love. As most people freeze, flee, and go cognitive, that I believe is a defense strategy that is no longer effective. Someone has to do this work. The body is a portal for interdimensional travel. You asked me, Kate, to share what I learned from the AIDS pandemic. What I learned is in that video.

2 Likes

Well, I didn’t actually send a link. The phrase 12 ways of seeing the world is the link (to a video, actually) … you only need click it and you’ll be taken to the appropriate page on the InfiniteConversations site (and it should open in a new tab automatically).

After reading your response and John’s post, I think I need to make something clear that I was perhaps taking for granted: as a kind of dyed-in-the-wool Gebserian, I don’t understand the structures of consciousness to be mental phenomena at all: as I read Gebser, they are the underpinning for the cognitive, affective, and physical perception and processing of reality in those different modes. Secondly, the Magic structure of consciousness is just as viable and real as the Mythical or the Mental … there is no hierarchy here in the traditional understanding of the word. All structures are important and as we shift from one structure to the next, we (should be) take(ing) the (efficient mode of the) previous structure with us. That this isn’t always the case is obvious to anyone who experiences the modern world. With the shift to what looks like “later” structures, we are fully capable of (self-)stressing or focusing our consciousness in any mode. This is certainly not a “head thing”, far from it. What is more, depending on what we are dealing with, it may be to our advantage to focus on the Archaic (as far as possible) or (efficient) Magical or Mythical structures in that engagement. The Mental structure allows for a certain processing of phenomena, if you will, but it is better at some things and worse at others.

PS: Those “12 ways of seeing the world”, to me, at any rate, can be thought of or understood as “paradigms” (as I understand the term), and what Gebser is talking about are shifts (actually, “mutations” is the word he prefers) in consciousness itself, within which such paradigms may arise.

3 Likes

I have read Betti’s book, and liked it. It is, as Gebser is, a cognitive book. In the video, I reference a different kind of social work, the work done by schholar-practitioners, like Resma Manekeem, who draws upon his experience in the field. He writes of his Grandmother who picked cotton, her hands and feet show the scars. The video we did, which you may not want to review, as Kate has decided not to view it , is understandable. But I find these are differences that make a difference. I am a perceptual learner, I am more of a dancer in the dark, although I read a lot. I am aware that we have to live in a world with people who have very different orientations and philosophical perspectives. I never enter the field of all possibility without touching my center first. So, I take great caution in the video to touch in with the center of each person and create a safe relational field. I think we need activists, and we need scholars, and we also need activist-scholars. As I have been raised in the trenches during the culture wars I have done my best to move past trauma and promote healing. I am willing to embrace failure. I can feel it happening in this thread.

Polonius
What is it that you read, my Lord?

Hamlet
Words, words, words

3 Likes

Oh, I watched the video and have read the thread.

And I agree that this is one way to read them, whereby I find Gebser’s to go far beyond the cognitive if one pursues it deeply.

And I couldn’t agree with you more, John. Do carry on.

3 Likes