tural historian and evolutionary philosopher Jean Gebser, largely in his own words. Unless stated otherwise, page numbers refer to The Ever-Present Origin. Jean Gebser. The Ever-present Origin. Part One. Chapter 1. Fundamental Considerations. Anyone today who considers the emergence of a new era of mankind. Jean Gebser. The Ever-present Origin. Part One. Chapter 4. Mutations as an Integral Phenomenon: An Intermediate Summary. 1. Cross-sections through the.
|Language:||English, Japanese, German|
|ePub File Size:||21.67 MB|
|PDF File Size:||20.31 MB|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Sign up for free]|
Chapter 2 PDF: ritipulmama.cf ( KB) “Rendering Darkness and Light Present: Jean Gebser and the Principle of Diaphany”, Aaron Cheak. “ Structures of the Mind: John David Ebert on Ever-Present Origin: Part 1, Part 2 ( video). ritipulmama.cf The Ever-Present Origin. Part One I the other, now coming to a close, extends up to the present. The decisive and di-. The Ever-Present Origin - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. Ever Present Origin Jean Gebser PDF. Uploaded by.
Being forced to interrupt his studies upon his father's death, he spent two years in an apprenticeship in a bank, a task that he disliked severely. A year after beginning this training, however, he and a friend started at literary magazine called the Fischzug, where his first poems were published.
In Berlin at the time, and at least a part-time student, he listened to many of the renowned faculty teaching at the university there. Among these was the Catholic philosopher Romano Guardini whose depth of knowledge and spirituality left an indelible impression upon Gebser. During this time he also discovered the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke which had a tremendous impact on his thinking.
It was during his Berlin years, however, that he first confronted suicidal despair and the realization that he must venture out into the world in order to find himself. The appearance of the first Brown Shirts in Munich provided him with the reason he needed to leave Germany. The first stop on his journey was Florence, where he worked for a while in a second-hand bookstore. It was here that he came to the realization that all the books he read had never taught him how to live, hence he began a more active quest toward fulfillment.
He tried Germany again, but bade it a final farewell in the Spring of , first going to Paris and then on to Southern France. It was here that he changed his German first name "Hans" to the French "Jean. He managed to learn the language and obtain a position in the Ministry of Education, in fact, and made friends with many prominent Spaniards, among them Federico Garcia Lorca.
Gebser also published a volume of translations of some of these newer Spanish poets. It was in Spain that Gebser first conceived of the ideas that would later take form in his works, Decline and Participation and, of course, The Ever-Present Origin.
Shortly before his home in Madrid was bombed in , he managed to flee from Spain. Gebser settled in Paris and made the acquaintances of many of the notable French artists and intelligentsia of the day, including Pablo Picasso. Two hours before the Germans sealed off the borders to France, Gebser again managed to flee, this time to Switzerland, where he would reside from then on.
These years were the most productive for Gebser, although life still was not easy for him. He supported himself by freelance writing for the most part, but it was in Basel that he befriended Carl Gustav Jung, at whose institute he also taught for many years. Throughout all of Gebser's writings we find him wrestling with this subject, trying to find real answers to the important questions in life, such as "Who am I? During the remainder of his life, Gebser taught, traveled, wrote and lectured.
Each subsequent publication elucidated and illuminated various aspects of his most fundamental theme, the evolution of consciousness. He had come into his own and enjoyed a certain, yet modest, renown for his work. On May 14, , Jean Gebser passed through transition, as Feuerstein describes it, "as his death mask bears witness, with a soft and knowing smile. Wherever we look today we see evidence of impending catastrophe.
Would it be wise to deduce quickly then that our world is coming to an end? Maybe, maybe not. We definitely know that something significant is impending. Many of us feel it, we intuit it; and we are seeking confirmation for this working hypothesis. But where can we find it? Certain support for this notion of earth-shattering change can be found in the works of Jean Gebser, so it is here that I should like to devote our attention in this presentation.
Gebser is not a psychologist, economist, or scientist, in a more narrow sense, but is perhaps best characterized by the concept of Kulturphilosoph, a German term that literally means "cultural philosopher. By better understanding the forces that are at work and our own role in this process, we can better hope to rise to the challenges that confront us so that our world truly becomes "the best of all possible worlds.
Overall, Gebser describes four mutations, or evolutional surges, of consciousness that have occurred in the history of man. These mutations are not just changes of perspective, they are not simple paradigm shifts although the word simple may seem inappropriate at this point ; rather they are fundamentally different ways of experiencing reality. These four mutations reflect five separate eras of development that are not distinct and isolated from one another but are, instead, interconnected such that all previous stages are found in subsequent ones.
Each of these stages is associated with a dimensionality, beginning with the geometric origin of zero and progressing to the fourth, the transition which we are experiencing at this time. Gebser identifies these five phases as the Archaic, Magical, Mythical, Mental, and Integral stages respectively. Another key element of Gebser's theory encompasses two fundamental concepts: latency and transparency. The former deals with what is concealed; as Gebser describes it, latency is the demonstrable presence of the future.
It is on the basis of this aspect that integration takes place. The second term transparency deals with what is revealed. According to Gebser, transparency diaphaneity is the form of manifestation epiphany of the spiritual.
The origin, the source from which all springs, is a spiritual one, and all phases of consciousness evolution are a testimony to the ever less latent and ever more transparent spirituality that is inherent in all that is.
Without a recognition of this fundamental and pivotal idea, Gebser cannot be understood and we will not be able to understand ourselves. It is not just an intellectual development that is being described in his theory, rather it is the ever more apparent manifestation of the spiritual that underlies and supports the concept of evolution itself.
And finally, one further element must be mentioned. The manifestation of these structures occurs in a quantum-like, discontinuous leap, not in a slowly developing and changing framework as is postulated for Darwinian evolutionary theory, for example.
Digital Resources for Ever-Present Origin
There are overlaps in these structures in as far as different peoples and cultures may be manifesting different structures at the same time, but a clear development can be recognized and it is to be expected that all cultures will eventually go through the same process. It would seem, then, that we are dealing with a kind of historical description of a linearly unfolding schema, but this would be a grave misinterpretation of his thesis and it does injustice to his approach. At first blush it would appear that Gebser is approaching his subject as we would expect any historian to proceed, but it must be emphasized that Gebser's approach is quite deductive.
We are presented at the very beginning with the model; later we are taken step-by-step through the 'evidence' which he believes supports the claim. Consequently, we find a number of historical, archaeological, and philological arguments presented that are not necessarily in keeping with generally agreed-upon theories in these disciplines.
At times, these appear quite creative but this is most often a result of reading Gebser in a strictly intellectual and analytical manner. This is not to say that he should be approached uncritically, for he should be, yet the text itself is not a logical argumentation as one would expect to find, let us say, in a philosophical treatise.
In accordance with his own model, he attempts to make of his book an example of the type of thinking one would encounter in the Integral structure of consciousness. It is not reasoned in a linear manner; in fact, the book would probably have been better suited to a hypertextual presentation.
It would be some years, however, before this form of document would be developed so we are forced to deal with a non-traditional approach to a broader than usual subject that has been forced into a well-known and familiar medium: the book. Failure to recognize this idiosyncrasy can cause the reader untold difficulties from the beginning.
The consequences: A closer look We should refine this general presentation, of course, and take a closer look, now at each of these structures, in turn. In this way we can perhaps come closer to an understanding of consciousness in general, but of Gebser's approach in particular.
The Archaic structure of consciousness The Archaic structure of consciousness is perhaps the most difficult to understand, for it is the one most removed from our present-day way of thinking.
Stated succinctly, it can be likened to zero dimensional mentation, a world devoid of any perspectivity at all. It is a stated in which the holder of consciousness is perhaps only minimally aware of himself or his relationship to the world around him.
According to Feuerstein, this structure denotes "a consciousness of maximum latency and minimum transparency. Origin or Ursprung, in the original German is the source from which all springs, but it is that which springs forth itself. It is the essence which is behind and which underlies consciousness. As Gebser understands the term, "conscious is neither knowledge nor conscience but must be understood for the time being in the broadest sense as wakeful presence.
This we can achieve by recognizing the balancing power of the latent "future" with its character of the present, which is to say, its potentiality for consciousness. Consequently, that which we understand to intuit consciousness to be is qualitatively different from this original structure. What hampers any investigation into it is the fact that we have no records, no written testimony, regarding it.
It is a state that is swallowed by the primal shadows of a far-distant past. It is referred to in myths and legends, but these references are of a much later time. About all we can say in this regard is that within the Archaic structure the consciousness is quite undifferentiated; it is just there, and things just happen. Man is still unquestionably part of the whole of the universe in which he finds himself. The process of individuation of consciousness, in any sense of the word, has not taken place.
This type of consciousness "can be likened to a dimly lit mist devoid of shadows. Instead, it can be likened to a state of deep sleep; one that eludes the specification of particularity or uniqueness. The Magic structure of consciousness Around some unspecified time far back in our past, a change took place.
Man entered into a second phase of development and gained a new structure of consciousness, the Magical structure. This structure is characterized by five primary characteristics: 1 its egolessness, 2 its spacelessness and timelessness, 3 its pointlike-unitary world, 4 its interweaving with nature, and 5 its magical reaction to the world.
Words as vehicles of power are typical of this time and structure; incantations as precursors to prayer emerged. Consciousness, in this phase, is characterized by man's intimate association with nature. This is perhaps the most notable characteristic regarding this structure.
Man, at this time, does not really distinguish himself apart from nature. He is a part of all that surrounds him; in the earliest stages it is hard to conceive that he views himself apart from his environment.
The plants, animals and other elements of his surroundings share the same fate as he does; they experience in a similar manner. Latency is still dominant; little is transparent. Magic we can define in agreement with Gustav Meyrink as doing without knowing, and it is magic man who is engaged in this activity in all aspects of his existence. The hunting and gathering, the quest for survival are all activities that consume most of his waking hours.
But in the quiet of the evening around the fire; there is time for reflection of sorts. The activities of the day were codified in speech and recounted. Memory was collective, tribal, and all things were shared and experienced by all. The "I" is not a factor; the "we" is dominant. This is a one-dimensional, pre-perspectival, point-like existence that occurs in a dream- like state.
Unlike the dreamlessness of the previous structure, a recognition is developing in man that he is something different from that around him.
Not fully awake to who he is or what his role in the world is, man is recognizing his self as an entity. The forms of expression for this structure can be found in the art and other artifacts that have been recovered from this time. Graven images and idols are what first come to mind. However, ritual should also be considered here, for it is in the specific and directed execution of certain actions and gestures that conveys much about this consciousness structure.
Feuerstein feels that this structure persisted till around 40, BC and the advent of the Cro-Magnons. Another feature of this structure that we should bring to mind is its spacelessness and timelessness.
The idea that space and time are illusions derives from this stage in our development as human beings. The fact that this is one of the first lessons one learns when embarking upon the esoteric path is further evidence of this idea.
To Magic Man, closely linked as he is with others of like mind, space and time need not concern him. In fact, I am not convinced that he would understand them anyway, for there is no need that he do so. Magic, however, is very much alive today, and it comes as no surprise nor should it be that there is such a strong interest in magic today. It seems that the fast growing branches of occult study seem to be Wicca overlayed as it is with feminism and similar earth magic k studies. What is more, it is the most vital and emotional of all structures.
We live in very decisive times, potentially catastrophic times. This is a time when emotion rises near the surface of our consciousness and it is here that magic manifests itself. The proliferation of stories and films dealing with Voodoo and similar matters e.
The Serpent and the Rainbow further substantiate our claim.
Yet, this is not the only structure that seems to be making a comeback these days. The Mythical structure of consciousness With the advent of the Cro-Magnons, man became a tool-making individual, also one who formed into larger social structures. As Feuerstein points out, it is clear from the archaeological finds that the Cro- Magnons had evolved a symbolic universe that was religious and shamanistic. Part of this appears to have been a keen interest in calendric reckoning, and with it we may presume the existence of a fairly complex mythology.
Word was the reflector of inner silence; myth was the reflector of the soul. The next 30, odd years or so spent developing these various mythologies. Language is becoming ever more important, it will be noted, and not only receptive, but active, language at that.
Not the ear, but the mouth is important in making transparent what is involved in being and life.
The mouth now becomes the spiritual organ. We witness, as well, the initial concretization of the "I" of man. Many myths deal explicitly with man's unperspectival separation from nature.
Witness the story of the Fall in Genesis and its admonition to go forth and dominate nature ; and the myth of Prometheus and the giving of fire to man. These both indicate a strong awareness of man's differentness from nature. Man is coming into his own, although he is anything but independent of it.
One could characterize this as a two-dimensional understanding of the world.
The Ever-Present Origin
Within the circle of believers is where the important acts of life take place. The mere forces of nature have a beingness, often anthropomorphized, but a beingness nevertheless. Myth, then, or the mythologeme is the primary form of expression of this period. Subsets of this basic form would be the gods, symbols and mysteries. These figures provide the emerging consciousness with imaginative images around which to center man's knowledge and understanding of the world.
If the Magic structure of consciousness is the emotional aspect, then the Mythical structure is the imaginative one. It is this fact that makes mythology so difficult for us as moderns to deal with. The plethora of images gods and the seeming inconsistent pantheons of deities brings the rational mind quickly to confusion. Who can keep track of all these figures, their meanings, their correspondences and their associations.
This is the time of the dream. Up until this time, that is in the magical structure of consciousness, souls and afterlives were not of great importance at least we do not find a lot of evidence thereof. Yet in the fully developed mythical consciousness, this is important. The entire civilization of Egypt, as we know it, revolved around this very issue.
When we are told, then, in certain rosicrucian documents that we must descend into Egypt, we are being told that we must regain, not revert to, our mythical heritage. Mouths begin to play a more important role. Not only is the shaman and wise person of the tribe a repository of wisdom, others, the poets, such as Homer, begin to play a more important role in the culture. This does not really begin to happen until the mythical structure of consciousness, however.
evolution of consciousness gebser.pdf - Evolution of...
The "I" of man is not yet fully developed, to be sure, but it has developed to that point that it recognizes and demands a separation from nature, from its environment. We can take this as evidence of an increasing crystallization of the ego. We are on the way to selfhood. Of course, mythology is very much alive today.
This explains the popularity of Joseph Campbell and his work on myth. It explains the appeal that Robert Bly and his "Gathering of Men" workshops have. What both Campbell and Bly do is tell stories: imaginative, intuitively understood stories that reveal to us things that our current rational mode of thinking prohibits us from knowing.
We have much to learn from myth, however, and should be ever aware of its influences.
The Mental structure of consciousness The next shift in consciousness took place between 10, B. This was the transition to the Mental structure of consciousness.
It was at this time that man, to use Gebser's image, stepped out of the mythical circle two-dimensional into three- dimensional space. Mythology had become so deficient and it should be noted that each structure has its "efficient" as well as "deficient" form , that man needed a clean break with the past.
The plethora of gods and contradictory stories of creation, formation of institutions, and so on threatened to overwhelm the consciousness of man; he practi- cally stood on the verge of drowning in a deluge of mythological mentation. Shelves: 2nd-reading I am going to do something I have never done before. I am going to immediately read this book again. It is difficult, it is dense, it is odd pages long, but I don't want to miss a drop.
I can't say it is because I agree with him on everything. I don't.
The Ever-Present Origin by Jean Gebser (1986, Paperback)
I'm not even sure his starting point, by any standard of rigor is "sound". I have none of his theological leanings. I don't share his broad characterizations of "the orient". But this book. This book is more important than any of the details w I am going to do something I have never done before.
This book is more important than any of the details we may squabble about. As I read it, an understanding emergedThis was also a time of a great occult revival as well, for the primary rosicrucian organizations that are still operating in the United States, for example, were incorporated around this time as well.
For Gebser, this structure integrates those which have come before and enable the human mind to transcend the limitations of three- dimensionality. In reaction to this, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and of course, Pythagoras stepped forth to counteract this trend.
In accordance with his own model, he attempts to make of his book an example of the type of thinking one would encounter in the Integral structure of consciousness. It was here that he changed his German first name "Hans" to the French "Jean. We could pick up the stone; we could pick the lower and draw it into our presence. Magic we can define in agreement with Gustav Meyrink as doing without knowing, and it is magic man who is engaged in this activity in all aspects of his existence.
We cannot underestimate, or overstate, the importance of this development. We must keep in mind that it is the activity and presence of the past that distinguishes Gebser's approach from others.