Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Gary Lachman on Jean Gebser's evolving structures of consciousness

“The central argument of [philosopher, linguist and poet, Jean Gebser's] The Ever-Present Origin is that human consciousness is not static. Throughout its history, it has gone through several changes—what Gebser calls “mutations”—before arriving at our own form of consciousness. These mutations transform consciousness from one “structure” to another.”

“There have been four such structures so far, what Gebser calls “the archaic,” “the magical,” “the mythic,” and the “the mental-rational,” ranging from our prehistoric ancestors to modern times. Gebser also posits a fifth “structure of consciousness,” what he calls “the integral”, which is an integration of the previous four structures, and he believed that we, in the late modern world, were beginning to experience the effects of the shift from the mental-rational to the integral structure.”

~ Gary Lachman, The Secret Teachers of the Western World.

According to Gebser, we are in the late stages of “the deficient mode of the mental-rational structure”, and the rise of left-brain dominance seen by psychiatrist and author, Iain McGilchrist – up the proverbial creek without a paddle, you might say. Hopefully, we will make it more fully into the “integral”, but such an outcome is far from guaranteed.

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