Yes, and I often assume as we are almost approaching the Integral Stage, that I mistake normative possibility for the present reality. Hence, in error, I try to sneak it in through the cusp of our current Mental Stage ( kinda combine them, so to speak). But you are so right…not so. We aren’t there yet, Ed, are we?
Then, let’s start defining and cultivating the necessary cultural virtues to manifest this Integral Stage into history. RIGHT NOW! Perhaps we could implement it into the IC Mission Statement.
Okay, that’s a good start, Ed. (Remembering that I am storming into this dialogue very late in the game, so please bare with some of the repetition you may encounter, as it is unintentional on my behalf). I am assuming that the IC Co-op has been embarking upon navigating a way forward to a smooth transition from the Mental to the Integral, with a noble utilization of technology, I see.
Well, darnitall, I want to help. We will need the deliberate participation and common focus of the philosophers, artists, scientists, dreamers, thinkers and everyday Joe and Jane blogs.
Hence, this may call for a re-evaluative, yet, summative overview of Gebser’s Stages with a focus and intricate treatment of the previous Stage (as you suggested).
Yeah…we need to do another Gebser Cosmos Cafe applying the summative principles of Gebser’s Stages to the major current cultural paradigms to map a plan for implementing our transition to the Integral Stage. This will involve a Cosmos Cast with Co-op members whom are onboard for this long-term, long haul initiative to incl. the following curricular, topical discussions:
(i) A Summative Review / OVerview of Gebser’s Stages (with a pop-quiz at the end) to ensure that we all have a shared comprehension of the major characteristics, pros-cons of each Stage. Because I believe that we need to salvage the “goods” from every previous Stage of human consciousness and seal them into a cultural storehouse of “prime virtues” to be infused into the upcoming Integral Stage.
(II) An Intensive Treatment of the Previous Stage (as you suggested) with an emphasis on its characteristics, pros-cons, impact upon history, culture, community and the individual. Perhaps we could assign one aspect (I. e., history, culture, community, etc.) to a pair of Co-op members to examine and present to the rest of us. E.g., Marco & Stumpf could review and team-teach the “arts impact” piece, Ed (YOU) and Geoffrey could review and team teach the “scientific impact” piece, Douggins & Matteo could review and team teach the “historical” impact piece, JohnnyD & Someone could review and teach the “cultural” impact piece, Mary Th. & Katina could review and team teach the “religion/Ahem…spirituality” impact piece and so on…
(III) Then we would have to do the same for the current “Mental Stage”. We need a record keeper to start develop and maintain an ideological storehouse of the pros and cons gleaned from the two previous stages as they are applied to each aspect presented by the Co-op members
(IV) We then, examine isolated the pros and cons and start to develop a checklist of objectives for the Integral Stage
And so on and so forth…
No, Ed, I encourage you to do this, as it represents the type of language shifts necessary to communicate this vision among each other. It would involve constant correction and self-correction because old habits die and resurrect themselves again and again. Each one Teach one, Ed.
So I think I need to refer now, to Gebser’s schema, (because I seem to be skipping stages and improperly representing them), as follows: -
Magical Stage (presages the Mental)
Mythical Stage (presages the Integral - Matriarchal)
Mental Stage (affinity with the Magical - Patriarchal)
Integral Stage (affinity with the mythic - Parity)
Better now? I’ll still get it mixed up - so please continue to correct me when I do.
It is possible to map out our territory to bring the Integral into fruition.
We need only examine the patterns and features of the Stages, Gebser offers . For example, duality is one of the primary features of the Mental stage, and as such, is an inadequate tool for addressing the environment of Integrality. One of the ways he describes what he considers the “deficient” form any particular stage, is an emphasis on the quantitative aspects of phase as opposed to the qualitative.
When examining the impact of a particular Stage upon religion, for example, witchcraft or sorcery as opposed to the simple spell casting of the tribe in the Magical Stage, or the profusion of multitudinous mythology in the Mythic. I think we can clearly see, as you all have noted on IC, the profusion of technologies or techne in the mental, will not be an adequate approach to Integrality.
One of the things Gebser points out is the affinity between alternating stages, The Magical with the Mental and presumably, the Mythical with the Integral. In Gebser’s scheme, again, Patriarchy dominated the Mental Stage, while Matriarchy the Mythic. He proposes that the Integral stage will bring with it a kind of parity between the sexes.
So in its affinity the the Mythic stage, the Integral will naturally reaffirm the role of the female. This does not mean male subjugation but a correction to the abuses of patriarchy. In practical terms, it is very obvious because of the suppression of the feminine which relegated women to a secondary role in the workplace, the very same activities – networking, consensus building, partnership, etc., are of primary importance in the Integral era, as opposed to physical strength and the parsing or “ratio-nality” of duality which so favored the male in the Mental era.
What I also think is important here, is to remember that in Gebser’s scheme, all of the stages of development are present in us at all times, either inchoate as potential, dominant in the present, or in the past as our inheritance. Though the dynamic interplay of these attributes can be seen as a battle, that’s only one metaphor, it can also be a game, or a song or a dance. It’s only a war if we insist that it is.
In practical terms, it’s what I was trying to say in my above posts, that a quantitative approach to justice, that is, trying to count up the injustices of this side or that won’t work, what we need is a new qualitative approach, though what that would look like, well, we might have to wait until we get to the second book to guess about that.
Heh, heh, heh …
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Gebser has never been grokked in one reading.
You are. You read, react, post, open up threads of discussion on whatever happens to move you. That is more contributive than you may think.
Now, I’m going to say something that I’ll probably regret, but I’m going to say it anyhow. Personally, I don’t think anyone can make the integral happen. (Sometimes I get the feeling that the more focused Wilberites think we can, that it’s a matter of grasping the overall framework and charting a path and hitting the goal. I’m probably doing them injustice, so I’ll let it at that.) In my mind, if the integral comes, it will be like a thief in the night.
We’ve been doing what you describe – in a certain regard – since I’ve been here (I started with IC during the collective Gebser reading, the Winter of Origins, back in 2016. You may not be aware, but there is a whole channel on this site dedicated to all things Gebser. He is one of thoses figures who floats in and out of many discussions, and a whole series of CCafés over the past year have deal both directly and indirectly with his thinking. (In this regard I highly recommend visiting the CCafé session, The Evolution of Consciousness as a Planetary Imperative, from April of this year. Quite a few of us spend a lot of time mulling over his thoughts on things.
You should know that I am not saying this to dampen your enthusiasm, but rather that there is some history that it doesn’t hurt to know about. There are literally hundreds of posts on this site in which he is discussed or at least mentioned, primarily because he developed an easy-to-remember (but more-challenging-to-understand) model that provides a helpful point-of-reference in certain complex conversations. In fact, Marco is pushing a not-too-far-in-the-future CCafé where we can delve more deeply into the section in Part II, Chapter 9, Section 4 of EPO on “Literature” (and the Integral structure of consciousness). I think you’ll find that the more you engage him, the more difficult it becomes to “distill” him in any reasonable way. He was more a stimulator than a resolver of thought.
And one last thing. You give me far more credit than I deserve when it comes to Gebser’s work. Yes, I’ve read him more than once (both in English and German), but I am anything but an expert on anything he has to say. There are others who are much more qualified than I. But, I also think it’s helpful to keep the myriad aspects and details of his presentation sorted in a meaningful way, and there I can sometimes be of assistance, so I’m happy to hear you won’t be bothered (too much) if I butt in there.
Easy to describe, a bit more difficult to follow:
Archaic --> Magical --> Mythical --> Mental (–> Integral)
My overview is the Cliff-Notes version of the framework (which some people have found helpful as an initial orientation). It is no substitute for the original text (The Ever-present Origin [EPO]). Also helpful (almost essential to a deeper understanding of EPO) is Georg Feuerstein’s Structure’s of Consciousness: The Genius of Jean Gebser – An Introduction and Critique.
Dimensionally speaking, one could consider the Archaic as zero-dimensional, the Magic as one-dimensional, the Mythic as two-dimensional, the Mental as three-dimensional and the Integral as four-dimensional. Consciousness-wise, we could say that the Archaic is like a state of deep sleep, the Magical like sleep, the Mythical like Dreaming, the Mental like Wakefulness, and the Integral like Transparency. The essence of each structure could be described as Identity in the Archaic structure, Unity in the Magic, Polarity in the Mythic, Duality in the Mental, and Diaphaneity in the Integral.
Polarity is a very little-understood notion in today’s world. (It may be one of the reasons that we have identity issues.) For the Hermeticists, for example, of their 7 fundamental principles, #4 had to do with Polarity; #7 with Gender. What was clearly polar in the Mythical structure of consciousness (difference in degree, not in kind) becomes severed in the Mental structure (duality: difference in degree and kind). It is the division that’s the issue, but this division is a necessary “step along the way”, if you will, otherwise integration is not possible (poles cannot be integrated; the expected outcome would be a reversion to magical unity). Duality is hence not “an inadequate tool”, rather it is better understood as a necessary precursor to integration. (You may be getting the feeling that this is a very different way of perceiving and thinking, and you would be very correct in that observation.)
Yes, that’s one way of looking at it. For example, mathematics is very “mental”, but we know that music (always “magical”) is highly mathematical, so yes, they are quite intimately related. As you correctly observe, the Mythical/Integral link is not so obvious, which is why I think that a reactivation of the efficient Mythical is so essential today. The Integral will not so much be characterized by a “parity between the sexes” (for that presupposes some kind of separation that must be dealt with), rather what Gebser calls “the Integrum”. We all “know” that there is no such individual who is solely male or solely female; all of us manifest masculine and feminine attributes. The issue is how we view that and how we deal with that. The integral individual would, I imagine, be better able to deal with that fact, manifesting either gender when appropriate and suited to the situation. These are no longer “roles” in the traditional sense of the word, but manifestations of the relevant characteristics and attributes as required. But again, this is not the typical way of perceiving or describing it.
War is the poorest of all those metaphors, but for some reason it’s the one that most insist upon. Dance is the one that appeals to me most, even though I can’t dance to save my soul. (When I was an early adolescent, I expressed the desire to learn ballroom dancing (waltz, tango, foxtrot …), but my parents, bless their souls, apparently didn’t think that was what an aspiring football player should be doing, so it never happened. Well, I played football, but there was never a career, let alone real scholarship there (though I got two modest offers), but when I came to Germany I learned that part of the rites of passage here was you Confirmation, and going to dance school. What a sad twist of fate.)
WTF, Ed?!? No offense but you grossly overestimate your potential to adversely impact my enthusiasm. And I hope that you are not losing steam nor growing cold to a very passion-driven possibility just because…of what? You mention that this highly-idealized vision has been gaining momentum on IC since (all the way back in) April 2016? That’s only like 10 mins. ago in the grand scheme of things. Aren’t you more tired of treading stagnant water in this millenial cesspool of the Mental Stage? Or have you grown too comfortable here?
Well, I say let’s get like Noah and start to building.
I think that it is a worthwhile endeavor to map out a territory for the Integral. As you said, we are doing it right now. Among the many reasons that I admire Marco is for his enthusiasm for exploring such an initiative. Why not? All it takes it a few paces back, some deep breaths, daily spiritual preparation and practice (I. e., meditate, hail Marys, the sign of the cross, or whatever keeps maintains your faithfulness to reality, and then…let’s do this!).
And it doesn’t even have to take on a project-based, hyper-organized and deliberate format. But rather, a conscientious infusion of this mission into the daily patterns of our current functioning - only with this constant vision of Integrality permeating throughout the efforts and endeavors we are currently projecting and planning withing this current domain of IC.
And let’s not compare our efforts to any other such “movements” or “societies” currently devoted to the Gebser paradigm or schema. Infact, let’s stop deifying the man and give him credit for raising the awareness of those (or awakening) whom already had an inkling that such a transformation or rebirth is due for delivery.
Marco is my kinda’ dreamer when he talks of forming actual self-governing communities of individuals with shared vision, pitching tents in the deserts and/ or mountains (with excellent wifi and satellite communication capabilities, of course), and those with the least accountability to family or their current cultural domain or community, can volunteer to go first, so to speak and help setup the basic infrastructure of these cosmo terrapods for others to join and directly contribute as the opportunity arises. Until then, they can continue to contribute and help build remotely.
Instead of reminding oneself of how overwhelming the prospect of combing thru the ideological archives of current or past Gebser-ites in search of a promised land or getting lost in the labyrinthe of websites devoted to such past ideals, let’s just move, for pete’s sake.
The first mistake is to make Gebser the focus and the constant point of reference for this movement we are envisioning. Again, we are indebted to him for his genius in developing a language and perhaps, manual for self-guided ®evolution of human consciousness, but guess what, Ed? The media, the military and marketplace have been deliberating guiding and controlling this evolution of human consciousness for centuries and they know nothing of Gebser’s manual.
Don’t we have an advantage?
Ed, in response your statement from an email:
“Duality is hence not “an inadequate tool”, rather it is better understood as a necessary precursor to integration. (You may be getting the feeling that this is a very different way of perceiving and thinking, and you would be very correct in that observation.)”
Oooh - If that is the case, perhaps, one of the key areas of exploration in developing an Integral community would be to legalize drugs. There are currently drugs both on and off the market that are known for enabling humans to access additional aspects of the human brain! This could create the potential for discovering “a very different way of perceiving and thinking” that is currently imperceivable to us.
Our current treatment of chemical substance use is focused on “abuse” and prohibition, mortality, etc. But, if we could cultivate a new league of scientists (I. e., the post-materialist sciences currently under development in Ariz. since 2017) - who took a different approach to psycho-pharmacology, then that could be a good start.
In the meantime, one of the objectives of an IC envisioned terrapod community could be to gather a few of our scientists, philosophers, medics, etc. to research, travel, and explore areas of the planet known to have land capable of producing and harvesting vegetation and plant life that possess certain known psychoactive properties, then the possibilities would be interesting.
For example, I was thinking about saving up to go on one of those MycoMeditative Excursion retreats which engage people in a plant experience with psychedelic plants such as Ayahuasca, Iboga, Peyote, Psilocybin Mushrooms, San Pedro Cactus and more. They are purely explorative and for some, medicinal.
One such resource for developing such an excursion is [http://openmindtrips.com/]. Organizing a retreat with interested Co-op members would be an example of the type of development activities in the guided planning of an Integral - consciousness community. I’m game.
Should we plan and Psychedelic Plant Experience Retreat with interested IC Co-op members to get the ball rolling? Would you participate, Ed? I certainly would.
Here’s a POV which touches all that we’ve been talking about. It’s 3 hours but worth it, IMO. There are some great lines: “Our world is youtube comments.” “i’m ready to eat some pussy now b/c i faced my fear.” “what’s bad pussy?” … But, trust me, they get into all the “Noosphere” stuff, too.
You can, of course, dance all around it (as these two very successful people do); but the “ultimate” cause of human behavior is … ?