Open Topic – Pt. 1, Ch. 5 – The Space-Time Constitution of the Structures

Continuing the discussion from Open Topic – Pt. 1, Ch. 4 – Mutations as an Integral Phenomenon: An Intermediate Study:


Place to put miscellaneous thoughts, reflections, questions, illuminations, impressions, confusions, quotations, references, resources, trivia, creative responses, or any other seemingly random yet suggestive content relating to Part 1, Chapter 5: The Space-Time Constitution of the Structures.

If it feels potentially interesting or relevant, even if it isn’t a fully formed observation, feel free to post it here.

If a thread emerges that deserves its own topic, use the “reply as linked topic” function to continue the discussion in a dedicated thread.

“The experience of where the magic structure begins and how it works must be made by every person individually, and the peril lies “behind” the experience and threatens anyone unprepared with the loss of self. For unity does not just unify; from the standpoint of the individual it disintegrates: unity is a process and state of dissolution in the spaceless and timeless.” (165)

This one little sentence opened a crack of insight for me (months ago), connecting Stan Grof’s research into non-ordinary, “holotropic” states of consciousness with the Magic structure. Granted there are various types and degrees, but in general, holotropic states seem to reduced the preponderance of the Mental (ego dissolution being the common quality), allowing the Magical effectuality that is our (personal and transpersonal) vital/emotional inheritance, from youth/birth/pre-birth, to “come to the fore”, clothed in Mythical imagery (again, degrees of intensity; deeper immersion is clothing-optional). This helped me to ware the Magical in my own constitution, in that fundamental early experiences are still effective (i.e. timeless) in influencing how I live/re-act in the world (but I’m working on it!).

In the interest of prompting further discussion (so quiet lately), I’d be curious to consider/envision/hearken other’s thoughts/images/feelings on non-ordinary states and Magical/Mythical structures.

Jeremy, I think this is a great prompt. Definitely, one of the big takeaways for me from this reading so far has been a new appreciation for the “magical” (and mythical) within and all around.

Via non-ordinary states, for sure: psychedelic states, specifically, are amazing for exploring space-timeless “correspondences” and learning especially and about how language and sound shape our experience of reality. For example, songs and chanting and “icaros” are incredibly powerful in these states, even soul-saving.

However, on a more mundane, day-to-day level, I think where I most pay attention to the magical/mythical is in raising my daughters, who are 6 and 2 years old.

My six-year-old specifically is ALL about magic and mythic. Pretending about fairies and monsters are what her mind naturally wants to do. Her plush dolls have presences and personalities that are very emotionally real, while linearity and goal-orientation are simply not interesting to her.

(It’s interesting, though, that she still knows the difference (from a mental level) between “real” and “unreal.” For example, she never really fell for Santa Claus and doesn’t think aliens and ghosts are “really real.” In fact, I have to argue with her that they just might be. :slightly_smiling:)

What’s been great is that we’re homeschooling and so instead of forcing her to read “at grade level” and do a lot of mental-rational stuff before she’s ready, we’re letting her play and pretend a lot, while reading a lot of stories to her and watching documentaries about ancient civilizations (the Sumerians, Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, etc.), which, especially speak to her magical and mythic sensibilities.

And for me (and my wife), I think it’s awakening a whole new fascination with how profound the intelligence of these ancient societies actually was.

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Marco, it warms my heart to know you’re “holding space” for your children in their magical period, not forcing the mental/rational as is the norm these days, and equally, that you, being sensitive to magical structure, are able to have them teach you/remind (re-magic?) you of that world. Beautiful.
Are you familiar with Waldorf education? (its popular amongst homeschoolers) Waldorf pedagogy is profoundly resonant with Gebser’s structures; it could well be described as a way of educating according to the structures as children grow into them, i.e. an integral curriculum.
0-7: magical
7-14: mythical
14-21 mental
I will forego passionately extolling its virtues, but I think anyone interested in Gebser should realize there are hundreds of schools around the world who are essentially working with these structures to form how children are ushered into the human experience.

We don’t have any kids yet, but I am so looking forward to having the experiences you are!