Transpersonal Studies

T H E I N T E R N AT I O N A L J O U R N A L O F Volume 24, 2005

Table of Contents
Editors’ Introduction Harris Friedman and Douglas A. MacDonald Nondualism and the Divine Domain Burton Daniels Higher Self—Spark of the Mind—Summit of the Soul: Early History of an Important Concept of Transpersonal Psychology in the West Harald Walach The Myth of Nature and the Nature of Myth: Becoming Transparent to Transcendence Dennis Patrick Slattery Myth, Archetype and the Neutral Mask: Actor Training and Transformation in Light of the Work of Joseph Campbell and Stanislav Grof Ashley Wain The Sources of Higher States of Consciousness Steve Taylor Fear No Spirits: A Pilgrim’s Journey through the Brazilian Churches of Ayahuasca Robert Tindall Why Does the Universe Exist? An Advaita Vedantic Perspective Adam J. Rock SPECIAL TOPIC: RUSSIAN SOUL: A REPORT FROM THE EUROPEAN TRANSPERSONAL ASSOCIATION 2005 CONFERENCE IN MOSCOW Russian Soul: Introduction Glenn Hartelius The Transpersonal Tradition in Russian Culture Vladimir Maykov Synthesis and Plurality: Stories of the Self Jason Wright The Psychic Defense Vitor Rodrigues On Therapy by Means of Spiritual Culture Mark E. Burno Creativity Lies at the Edge of Disintegration: Addressing the Shadow of Power and Leadership within Psychotherapy Training Organisations Rupert Kinglake Tower We Were Made for These Times Tanna Jakubowicz-Mount READER’S COMMENTARY A Love Letter Kidder Smith About Our Contributors Board of Editors Editorial Policy and Manuscript Submission Guidelines Back Issues ii 1

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Editors’ Introduction

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his volume of the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies includes an eclectic group of writings from a variety of areas within transpersonal studies. The issue’s first article is “Nondualism and the Divine Domain” by Burton Daniels. Ken Wilber’s theory of nondualism is compared and contrasted with an alternative perspective as taught by Adi Da. When explicated this way, serious differences between the two accounts become strikingly clear, providing a thought-provoking journey addressing what is perhaps both the most important and esoteric aspect of transpersonal studies, namely what can be said about ultimate nondual enlightenment. Next, Harald Walach writes in “Higher Self–Spark of the Mind–Summit of the Soul: Early History of an Important Concept of Transpersonal Psychology in the West” about the historical origins of the notion of the higher Self as introduced by Roberto Assagioli in psychosynthesis. This notion has origins stemming from antiquity, especially through the neo-Platonic tradition. The importance of transpersonal psychologists understanding the traditional roots for many of the field’s core concepts is emphasized, as well as is the need for achieving theoretical and scientific integration based on such concepts. In “The Myth of Nature and the Nature of Myth: Becoming Transparent to Transcendence,” Dennis Patrick Slattery compares Joseph Campbell’s writings on mythology with the poetry of John Keats. He discusses the power of language, especially poetry, to access the transcendent, arguing that mythology and poetry can realign consciousness toward greater transpersonal insight and understanding. In “Myth, Archetype and the Neutral Mask: Actor Training and Transformation in Light of the Work of Joseph Campbell and Stanislav Grof,” Ashley Wain ii

explores actor training using the “neutral mask” from a transpersonal perspective based on the works of Joseph Campbell and Stanislav Grof. The mask is discussed as a transformative vehicle and as a way to study myths and archetypes. Steve Taylor, in the “The Sources of Higher States of Consciousness,” argues that higher states of consciousness can result from either disruption of normal homeostasis or intensification of consciousness-energy. He concludes that only the second type can lead to long-term changes in positively integrating higher states of consciousness. Next is “Fear No Spirits: A Pilgrim’s Journey through the Brazilian Churches of Ayahuasca,” by Robert Tindall. His delightful telling of experiences within various religious traditions using ayahausca in Brazil brings these experiences near to the reader’s imagination. Following this, Adam J. Rock explores one of the most fundamental of metaphysical debates in his paper, “Why Does the Universe Exist? An Advaita Vedantic Perspective.” He distinguishes between a priori and a posteriori propositions in addressing this question, the latter approach being supported experientially through altered states of consciousness. The insights derived are quite different from those usually debated. Transpersonal psychology remains a vibrant force in the world, as exemplified by the 2005 European Transpersonal Association conference on “Human Consciousness and Human Values in an Interconnected World.” This volume’s special topics section highlights six of the approximately 70 offerings at that conference. Glenn Hartelius has selected, compiled, and edited presentations from Vladimir Maykov on Russian transpersonalism, Jason Wright on the narrative approach to self-image, Vitor Rodriguez on psy-

The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 2005, Volume 24

chic attack, Mark Burno on spiritual culture, Rupert Tower on the shadow in organizations, and Tanna Jakubowicz on the transpersonal basis of taking action in the world. Together, these present an array of innovative transpersonal work happening within the European community on transpersonal themes. Finally, we are pleased to offer a reader’s comment in the form of a poem-story from Kidder Smith, titled “A Love Letter.” The interface between the spiritual and the carnal is playfully celebrated in questioning the amalgam of two during love-making, as “who is who is who?” As the third volume of the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies under our editorship goes to press, we want to thank Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center for its sponsorship, our reviewers who have worked diligently in providing guidance in the selection of articles, as well as our board members for their continuing support. Harris Friedman, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center Douglas A. MacDonald, Ph.D. Associate Professor University of Detroit Mercy

Editors’ Introduction

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Volume 24 . 2005.iv The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies.

2000a). and Divine Enlightenment in any given individual’s life (see Adi Da. His body of work covers a sprawling expanse of spiritual literature and can be deemed not only a mammoth undertaking. and the will.Nondualism and the Divine Domain Burton Daniels This paper claims that the ultimate issue confronting transpersonal theory is that of nondualism. and beautifully about nondual reality. 385-390): First Stage: individuation and adaptation to the physical body. it is not unprecedented. discriminative intelligence. and fully explicated by David Loy (1998). However. lucidly. and the spiritual traditions upon which they are based. Fifth Stage: Spiritual or Yogi ascent of attention into psychic dimensions of the being and mystical experience of the higher brain. philosophical. either do not include or else misrepresent the revelation of a contemporary spiritual master crucial to the understanding of nondualism. but also a dimension of nondualism not found in any previous spiritual revelation. Perhaps nowhere in transpersonal psychology has nondualism received a more thoughtful treatment than in Wilber’s (1995. Wilber initially posited a spectrum theory of consciousness. The Ruchira Avatar. Third Stage: integration of the psycho-physical personality and development of the verbal mind. Avatar Adi Da’s revelation of nondual reality takes place as part of an overall schema that accounts for all aspects of human development and incarnate being: the seven stages of life. Every aspect of existence is thought to be subsumed within the general structure of an allinclusive consciousness—indeed. T he purpose of this paper is to clarify the fundamental nature of reality. these scholarly accounts of nondual reality. His synthesis of spiritual revelation from the various traditions of humanity’s great saints and sages is remarkable. spiritual growth. The revelation of this spiritual reality has a long history in the spiritual traditions. which is frequently confused in transpersonal psychology: nondualism. His passages on God and Spirit are carefully crafted and offered lovingly. but a work of extraordinary value for both science and spirituality. Nonetheless. not only because of their prodigious scope. 2000a) spectrum/quadrant theory. 2000b) has also written extensively. organizing the vast expanse of existence into four fundamental dimensions: interior and exterior. for all its scope and remarkable cogency. and spiritual treatises on the development of human beings—from the inception of one’s Very Being into an incarnated birth to their attainment of Divine Enlightenment and immersion in nondual reality. but also because of the sub- tle and profound realizations inherent within them. Perhaps no one since Jung (1964) has done more to authenticate spiritual reality within the professional community of psychology and make its lofty precepts accessible to the lay reader. pp. His quadrant theory goes on to elaborate on this depiction of consciousness. Humanity has benefited immeasurably from his work. These stages progress through a potential sequence of human maturation. 2000b. Second Stage: socialization and adaptation to the emotional-sexual (or feeling) dimension of being. as well as individual and collective. lucidly. in which he integrates all psychological. Wilber has written extensively. Nondualism and the Divine Domain 1 . Avatar Adi Da not only offers a greater differentiation of nondual reality than can be found in contemporary scholarly texts. which has been perhaps most prolifically advocated by Ken Wilber (1995. 103-131. Fourth Stage: ego-surrendering devotion to the Divine Person and purification of body-based point of view through reception of Divine Spirit-Force. even the nondual reality that serves as its ultimate ground and final denouement. Adi Da Samraj (1991. and beautifully about nondual reality.

in reality. This set of circumstances might tend to confuse 2 the reader who is not well-informed about the seventh stage of life. However. By this. Not recognizing this difference has serious consequences for any understanding of nondualism. The two often appear intermixed and conflated in his writings—as is frequently the case in the great sixth stage literatures of the Great Tradition (where accounts of the seventh stage appear at all). Unfortunately. other descriptions of the Self in Western philosophy typically fare no better—for example. to be separate from all conditional phenomena). virtually mirroring that of Avatar Adi Da. Sartre’s non-positional consciousness (1957). This passage indicates the kind of confusion obscuring a true understanding of nondualism. or separation” (Firman & Gila. 45). The relationship between the lower self and the deeper Self could be put this way: “This abiding dependence of ‘I’ upon Self amounts to an ontological union of ‘I’ and Self. this depiction of S/self has significant implications for the understanding of nondualism. Conze. as well as Mahayana Buddhism (Suzuki. 1998). Both represent the individual as consisting most fundamentally of five levels of being— each of which correlating to one or another stage of life—following in the spiritual tradition of Advaita Vedanta (Deutsche. Wilber and Avatar Adi Da are essentially in accord relative to the first six stages of life. p. yet intimately connected. to use the term in this way is misleading. 1968. et al. and Hegel’s soul (1993). but actually incidental to that purpose. human beings can be most fundamentally described as consisting of two aspects: lower self and deeper Self. They are so fundamentally related that a true break in that relationship would mean personal annihilation. the nonbeing of ‘I. Upon examination. 1964) referred to as the Self and the ego. Better descriptions can be found in the tenets of Eastern spirituality— for example. it most accurately—and most auspiciously—refers to the rela- The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. In fact. two independent and separate entities. 1997. Although nondualism is frequently used to refer to the relationship between Self and self. this depiction gives only a limited and inadequate account of unmanifest. it would be useful to consider these differences more closely. nondual reality.Sixth Stage: Identification with ConsciousnessItself (presumed. Wilber’s meticulous and detailed account of these stages of life is probably unsurpassed in the history of human ideas. It is. in other words. not a new and different light but a projection of its luminous source” (1965.. p. however.2 Further. Volume 24 . or the “buddhi” of yoga psychology (Rama. S/self and the Divine Domain Relative to spiritual reality. The Self is one. Indeed. Jung’s description of the Self is frequently vague and inexact. out of which manifest existence arises. this relationship cannot be so simply stated. Although his quadrant theory has certain difficulties (Daniels. isolation. the Great Path of Return of the spiritual traditions can be seen as not only inadequate to account for true nondual Enlightenment. The difference between the accounts of nondualism by Wilber and Avatar Adi Da can be summed up this way: Wilber does not clearly differentiate between the sixth and seventh stages of life. this amalgam of lower self and deeper Self can be best indicated by the following nomenclature: the S/self. a unity transcending any sense of duality. no autonomous substantiality. it is meant that psychic structure involves a concomitant interface between two entirely different. the Great Path of Return only ends up obscuring a true understanding of nondual Enlightenment— precisely because its essential dynamic happens elsewhere. his spectrum theory is a superlative treatment of the first six stages of life.1 Avatar Adi Da refers to the spiritual process of these traditions as the “Great Path of Return” and acknowledges that it represents a generally accurate depiction of the first six stages of life. In fact. 20). Husserl’s transcendental ego (1960). 1962). Yet. 1990). aspects of one’s being—what Jung (1919. Further. 2005. Seventh Stage: Realization of the Divine Self and Inherently Perfect Freedom and realization of Divine Love-Bliss—no “difference” experienced between Divine Consciousness and psycho-physical states and conditions. for the essential dynamic of this process happens elsewhere. the “big mind” of Zen Buddhism (Muzuka. Assogioli described the S/self this way: “There are not really two selves. Because Wilber’s account of nondual reality exists within an impressive overall theory of consciousness. 1969). and his prominence within the transpersonal community has been established thereby. However. it manifests in different degrees of awareness and self-realization. at the point of the seventh stage of life—the Divine Domain of “Radical” Non-Dual Reality—striking differences between their accounts can be discerned. The reflection appears to be selfexistent but has. Even so.’ So complete is this union that it may be called ‘nondual’. 1999). Consequently. considerable correlation exists between Wilber’s spectrum theory and Avatar Adi Da’s seven stages of life.

Recently. “Conventional Dualism” interjects an awareness and appreciation of spiritual reality into that which is merely physical. Indeed. Reality is a material unity of natural laws and processes. or the Mahayana equation of samsara and nirvana. for such thinking acts as a superimposition which distorts our immediate experience. However.… This leads to the third sense of nonduality. the “Good”). nonbeing. reversing the process. Yet. behavior. or else actualizing the self. by eliminating this separation.. but certain texts of Taoism.e. According to the point of view of “Conventional Monism.” the world or domain of nature is all that exists. being absorbed into God.” “Secondary Non-Dualism. Following upon this stage. 1991). what is actually referred to by this passage is a single account of nondualism. the subtle and essentially spiritual domains of human development. (Loy. which. Divine Reality is realized by eliminating the S/self—and. That is why we experience the world dualistically in the second sense. the One Mind.e. and. 1991). 178) In other words. pp. the possibility of a mystical unity between God and man. which can also be expressed as “the nonduality of duality and nonduality”. including not only Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta. it represents the least of what could be called “lesser” enlightenments. Consequently. This process takes place within the fourth and fifth stages of life. and so on.” “Conventional Dualism. the period in which this faculty of mind first most fully emerged in the West was dubbed the “Age of Enlightenment” (Tarnas. pp. The critique of thinking that employs dualistic categories (being vs. ultimately. what has been called the identity of phenomena and Absolute. pure vs. It actual fact. ultimately. The Divine Reality of ultimate nondualism is not realized by virtue of the self more accurately approximating the Self..” These orientations to reality summarize all of the possible perspectives of the various traditions of psychology.. variously called Brahman. dualistic thinking separates the nonseparate unity of reality into component parts or categories (i. However. Platonic Forms). the defining principle could perhaps be put like this: “What you see is what you get”—or else perhaps this: “When you’re dead. the obligation is for the psyche (or even all of existence) to submit and eventually ascend to “God” (i. the world is made up of a number of principal pairs. Typically. 144-153) indicates that there are five possible orientations to reality: “Conventional Monism. philosophy.g. According to this point of view. especially as it culminates in the third stage of life and the development of the rational mind. Consequently. 1998. and the non-difference of subject and object…although there [are] two other nondualities which are also closely related: first. there actually are different kinds of nondualism. Negating dualistic thinking leads to experiencing the world as a unity. even going beyond that mentioned by Loy.” “Primary Dualism. as a collection of discrete objects (including me) interacting causally in space and time. impure. Nondual reality has been expressed in numerous texts from various spiritual traditions. in the process. These orientations can be described according to several features typically attributed to nondualism. Rather. and spirituality. As a result. It motivates the individual to struggle and search for fulfillment in the context of the first three stages of life. the New Age movement has sought to usher in what amounts Nondualism and the Divine Domain 3 . you’re dead. second. includes God.” This point of view accounts for all the bodilybased and mortal beliefs about existence. Tao.” and “Ultimate NonDualism. In other words. dualistic perception). In this orientation. Each half is related to and even interrelated with the other—but each half is also paradoxically conceived to be utterly different than or inherently separate from the other. indeed. Avatar Adi Da (2000b. etc. applicable to the different aspects of any individual: cognition. their very Being.tionship between S/self and God. Dharmakaya. God is paired with either the world or the psyche (e. the individual traverses an immense hierarchy of existence until they finally ascend to the pinnacle of salvation. A good account of these features has been put this way: The following types of nonduality are discussed here: the negation of dualistic thinking. reverses the self/other dichotomy and returns the multitude of discrete objects to their pristine state—the original unity of reality—which was always already the case to begin with. the denial that subject and object are truly distinguishable…which is…the root delusion that needs to be overcome. although the passage by Loy suggests that different “types” of nondualism are possible.) usually expands to encompass all conceptual thinking. perception. which is God-realization (Griffiths. the “goal” of each lesser (or dependent) half is to submit (and eventually ascend) to the greater (or higher) half. the nonplurality of the world. 17. Overall. this depiction is a startling misnomer.

Prakriti) exists.to a new Age of Enlightenment. by the process of observation. appears as the body. 1993). mind. Purusha is traditionally understood to be nonconditional and inherently perfect Being and Consciousness. whether as an eternal and nonconditional. In “Ultimate Non-Dualism” (or “Primary Absolute Monism”). when modified. the point of view of “Ultimate Non-Dualism” is actually somewhat more complex than this. This position ushers in the sixth stage of life. 2005. the highest transcendental position begins to emerge. this point of view and Process (of “Ultimate Non-Dualism. The Love-Bliss characterizing this state exists in the Awareness. and self-pacification. Prakriti is traditionally understood to be objective energy. exclusive attachment to Consciousness Itself is released and all of existence is seen as the manifestation of this One Reality. the causal and ultimate spiritual domain of human development. Avatar Adi Da also refers to seventh stage “Ultimate Non-Dualism” as “Radical” Non-Dualism. or any separate and independent body. This position of nondualism not only originates in the sixth stage of life. Avatar Adi Da speaks of this orientation to nondualism as follows: This point of view and Process (which may follow upon. or object at all. but with even less directness. and infinitely amusing. individual Self or. nothing is ever threatened or at risk for the sixth stage sage. 1995. So to speak. In other words. whether “things” arise or not.e. However. Everything else pales in comparison. 1999b). Rather. 147) The essential realization is that only Consciousness exists. Jainism and Samkhaya Yoga (Larson. acting as a bridge between them. 1977. According to the point of view of this position. a difficulty exists with this point of view. and Principal) possible point of view and Process traditionally (and inherently) associated with the sixth stage of life (and such great sixth stage schools as have appeared in the form of the traditions of Advaitism. indicating its immediate and direct association with the Divine Condition Itself. They can afford to be humorous and amused by all that arises—none of it means anything. This orientation is superseded by the ultimately nondual position.3 Following upon this stage. an absolute Being or Consciousness Itself. the tables are turned for the preceding position.. and also.. mind. the point of view and Process of “Secondary Non-Dualism. In such a case. Consequently. This orientation begins the process that takes place within the sixth stage of life.e. the first form of a truly nondual position appears. insight. for it seeks to accomplish incompatible purposes: to be released from both the illusory need to eternalize the conditional self and the equally illusory need to annihilate the conditional self. Avatar Adi Da describes this orientation to nondualism as follows: Most ultimately. starting with the point of view of “Primary Dualism”— for example. In “Secondary NonDualism” (or “Secondary Absolute Monism”). the point of view and Process of “Primary Dualism”) is the third (and final. Self-Existing and SelfRadiant Consciousness Itself ). and all objects or others. not in the arising. or be “Uncovered” by.. for in this existence is a direct realization of Divine Love. Verma. or with less directness. The spiritual practice associated with this orientation involves Its Very 4 Presence being understood and directly intuited to be actual (or really so)—and then perfectly or utterly affirmed by direct identification with Consciousness Itself. but has only actually succeeded in emulating one or another of the “lesser” enlightenments (see Wilber. Yet. especially within the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions. the totality of existence is only the One and Absolute Purusha (i. Volume 24 . the inherent and original (or nirvanic) state of Prakriti is realized. the totality of existence is a combination of only two primary realities: Purusha and Prakriti. Following upon this stage. within the schools of some varieties of Buddhism. Only the existence of Consciousness matters. so that the individual might participate exclusively as Purusha. “Ultimate Non-Dualism” can be thought of as straddling the sixth and seventh stages. conditionally appearing as a beginningless and endless continuum of causes and effects (Satorakashananda. If “things” do arise. Consciousness is happy to participate in them—why not? It is a play of life. 1987). usually by willful ascetic disciplines. but it can also lead to or culminate in the seventh stage of life.” and which may even immediately follow upon. no inherently independent or separate Purusha exists. The spiritual practice associated with this point of view indicates that Prakriti appears only as an ephemeral and observable sequence of changes until. and. p. as some traditions would have it. or be “Uncovered” by. no separate and independent “objective energy” (i. Rather. secondarily. (2000b.” or “Primary The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. The spiritual practice associated with this point of view requires the individual to separate from Prakriti. the totality of existence is only Prakriti. within some of the schools of Taoism). which. et al..

Inherently Spiritual. 707-708). They misrepresent the actual mechanics whereby God manifests into human beings. In other words. Avadhoota Gita. Whereas involution Nondualism and the Divine Domain 5 . all phenomena become immediately and directly recognized as nothing other than the Divine Condition Itself. holarchy) involving several levels of being. The difficulty for most accounts of nondualism. and (thus) somehow foreshadow (rather than directly reflect. and world are no longer noticed— but not because the Divine Consciousness has withdrawn or dissociated from manifest phenomena (i. or Perfectly Non-Exclusive) Real God. (in press) The Illusion of Relatedness The absence of the seventh stage point of view has significant implications for any understanding of nondualism. 2. by Means Of My Avatarically Self-Transmitted Divine Grace. climbing up the ladder of ascent—itself resulting from a prior. Even the texts mentioned previously (among only a handful of others) represent primarily the sixth stage point of view of “Ultimate Non-Dualism”—with only certain passages within them suggestive of the more profound and all-pervasive Realization of “Radical” Non-Dualism. (Ibid. or directly express) the truly Most Ultimate (or Transcendental. mind. Wilber’s spectrum theory offers an account of precisely these misrepresented mechanics. No historical text mentions only the realization of the seventh stage of life. all conditionally manifested events and objects are spontaneously and inherently recognized to be illusory or merely apparent modifications of the Divine Fullness of Being Itself. sixth stage “Ultimate Non-Dualism”). is twofold: 1. Most Perfectly Realized) the “Point of View” (and the Most Perfect Process) that (by all the Graceful Means I have Revealed and Given for the sake of all who will be My devotees) establishes and characterizes the seventh stage of life. and Divine Indifference). In his spectrum theory. The seventh stage of life is the Divinely Self-Radiant process by which all of conditional existence is “outshined” (see Adidam. They suggest that God is the goal of development.… [N]one of the traditional texts communicate the full developmental and Yogic details of the progressive seventh stage Demonstration (of Divine Transfiguration. Therefore. whether in the spiritual traditions or transpersonal psychology. No historical text mentions all aspects of the seventh stage realization. vertical deployment of involution. the Ecstatic Recognition of all arising phenomena (by the Divine Self.g.e. and Most Perfectly Divine) “Point of View”. 148) Avatar Adi Da frequently refers to this condition as “Open Eyes.” Love-Blissful Radiance of Consciousness now Outshines all phenomena. because (from the thoroughly NonDualistic “Point of View” that necessarily characterizes the seventh stage of life) the “Ultimate Absolute” Is both Self-Existing (As Absolute Being Itself and Absolute Consciousness Itself ) and Self-Radiant (As Absolute. they can be distinguished from the revelation of Avatar Adi Da in three significant respects:4 1. Divine Transformation. Rather. Tripura Rahasya). sliding down the ladder— can be traced through a hierarchy (i. Although this kind of language might sound similar to revelations made throughout the spiritual traditions (e.” In this state. 1991. body. and 3. as a modification of Itself ) has become so intense that the “Bright. to Complete the Great Tradition of mankind. Love-Bliss-Energy Itself )…indicating (in each case) the One. Lankavatara Sutra. pp. or Reality. Therefore. and Perfectly Subjective. the development of evolution.e..Absolute Monism”) is (if it is.. Certain aspects of the seventh stage realization appear in no historical texts at all. it is only by Means of My own Avataric Divine Work and Avataric Divine Word that the truly seventh stage Revelation and Demonstration has Appeared. and NonSeparate (or Inherently All-Inclusive. Nor do they ever indicate (nor has any traditional Realizer ever Demonstrated) the Most Ultimate (or Final) Demonstration of the seventh stage of life (Which End-Sign Is Divine Translation). And. or Truth... and 2. Absolute. Avatar Adi Da explains the difference between His unique revelation of the seventh stage of life and the seventh stage intuitions of these premonitory texts as follows: The traditional premonitorily “seventh stage” texts are advanced sixth stage literatures that express a few philosophical conceptions (or yet limited and incomplete intuitions) that sympathetically resemble the characteristic seventh stage Disposition (in and of itself ). p.

Although it is true that the illusion exists. the other is merely arising in (and as) God. At the end of that process of involution. Each of those levels is still a level of Spirit. engaged in an intense paradox of God and Self. they tend to persist (or to demand repetition)—and Consciousness may.… All of this arising is (in itself—or separately) an illusion—the principal signs of which are the presumption of relatedness (and of “difference”). The two exist as a duality—within nondualism. across the non-existent gulf of this (apparent) separateness. tend to dwell on them with fascination. This diminution takes The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. the Self can only feel its own. 346-347) Consequently. the presumption of a separate self… (Adi Da. 2005. they do not truly indicate the mechanics whereby God manifests into human beings. which condenses into body. releasing the Illusion of Relatedness into what is its own. therefore. as potential. And once the material world blows into existence (with. Whereas the one Is God. each evolutionary unfolding transcends but includes its predecessor(s). Yet. mind is illusion. which condenses into matter. all of the higher dimensions are enfolded. or else to be repeated. like a rubber band stretched taut. instead. for embarking upon this process immediately embroils one in a perplexing paradox: nirvana and samsara are the same. It will regard Itself to be other than. then the reverse process—or evolution—can occur.. 2001a. moving from matter to living bodies to symbolic minds to luminous souls to pure Spirit itself. although involution and evolution are intrinsic processes of human life. in the lowest material realm. pp. but each is a reduced or “stepped down” version of Spirit. and tends to persist. It’s an imitation (and. two aspects of reality come to exist. there is still only prior Reality (which the Self continues to actually Be). In so doing. the densest form of all.e. Whereas God is Reality. once objects (or conditions) arise. an imposter) of what Is Real: God.indicates preexisting states of deeper consciousness. this dynamic tension surrounds a further process arising within its midst. That very defining feature is precisely how they can both be— and not be—one and the same. Consequently. All that appears to be not-Consciousness (or an object of Consciousness) is an apparition produced by apparent modification (or spontaneous contraction and perturbation) of the inherent Radiance (or Native Love-Bliss) of Consciousness Itself. inherent feeling of Love-Bliss when it relaxes this contracted state. the paradox can be resolved in this way: There is only God—even if spread upon the illusory levels of mind (or samsara). simply existing as this very activity of painful self-contraction.… Each level is a whole that is also part of a larger whole (each level or structure is a whole/part or holon). However. Yet.… However. 1999a. It arises spontaneously. Indeed. therefore. the duality of this simultaneous paradox (God/Self and Self/Other) further extends itself through all the levels of being (i. Realizing God involves one in a different dynamic than that of involution and evolution entirely. or separate from. which condenses into mind. this paradox exists only on the samsara side of the equation. true state of Consciousness—as God. The process of “Radical” Non-Dual Enlightenment is far from easy. If Consciousness identifies with this selfcontraction. respectively—the latter tussling with the former in a struggle over the sovereignty of its assumed identity. involution). therefore. the mechanics of human manifestation actually occur as follows: There is only God. evolution initiates states of higher consciousness coming into being. From here. It will falsely presume that It is no longer Itself but. not that which is God. This tension of separation goes both ways. it’s not real. related to Itself. Therefore. Itself. p. without cause or reason. the latter compensating the former for its comprised identity. nonetheless. (Wilber. In other words. with Spirit transcending and including absolutely everything. simultaneously pulled both toward and away. Volume 24 . Consequently. continues to merely exist in a Blissful state of Awareness of all that is arising. The two aspects of the paradox originally defined as God and Self are simultaneously delineated further into that of Self and Other. say. laboring against Itself and what is Its own True and Real state. an illusion of Itself. It will also tend to resolve the discomfort of this separate state of being through attention and falsely presume that It is. The causal Self comes into being as an utterly spontaneous contraction occurring in the pure state of 6 Consciousness that Is God. meanwhile. According to the perennial philosophy—or the common core of the world’s great wisdom traditions—Spirit manifests a universe by “throwing itself out” or “emptying itself ” to create soul. 10) However. the Big Bang). The entire range of the human individual’s various levels of being are nothing but a diminution of the fundamental Reality that is God.

(Ibid. reversing the Fall that is the Illusion of Relatedness occurs irrespective of growth and evolution. Indeed. whereas God is full and effulgent—indeed. this passage suggests that the “Fall” operates according to dynamics similar to gravity. Wilber speaks of the “Fall” this way: “Thus. the Fall that is involution actually falls through the Fall that is the Illusion of Relatedness—which precedes it and pervades it all along its descending path. In this sense. the Fall could be understood very differently—as the Illusion of Relatedness. the Fall could be thought of as a “horizontal” (i. It could all be understood differently. it is a matter of not Falling in the first place—which requires no additional effort or process to reverse it—precisely because one has not Fallen. even as the causal Self emerges into awareness. pp.… Such is the Disposition of the only-by-me Revealed and Given seventh stage of life. such that the complex presumption of separate “I” and separate “other” (or of the feeling of relatedness itself ) is transcended (and is not superimposed on what otherwise arises. which is continually lived out in the suffering of every life. The two unfold in their turn. this process could be thought of as a “vertical” Fall.e.5 This confusion probably manifests itself most commonly in a concept typically attributed to JudeoChristian religion: the Fall of Man. precisely because they attempt to resolve the paradox from the side that is the ego-“I”—but not that which is God. Each is writhing upon the pillars of its own end of the dichotomy. However. like steps ever diminishing—one turning away. Only in this sense does the idea of growing and evolving so as to reverse the Fall makes any sense. However. This “sequence” of simultaneous paradox ultimately traces out the agony of humanity’s suffering. certainly. lateral) process. taking place at every level of being equally. imploded inward upon itself. Therefore. but every wave or motion folds in one another on the Deep. However. Consequently. God can be understood only on the other side of the paradox. Put somewhat differently. 125). The usual definition of consciousness (as opposed to unconsciousness) does not mean Consciousness Itself—indeed. like the hard and brusque case of a nut. involution is not something that merely or even especially occurred prior to birth or in some distant cosmological past.. such that the individual plummets through the levels of being on their way to birth—as if Falling from the sky of heaven en route to an impact with the Earth. we move away from Spirit. it is an activity that every individual is presently doing. with the worm in its seed. this fundamental separation is still present. The two are self-contained. Instead.… There are no separate waters in the seas. now Falls through the involuted levels of being. that is to say. Consciousness is usually thought of as a state of awareness. the ability to “notice” things. Clearly. having thus Fallen in this sense. the two operate upon very different principles. Involution arises as a consequence of the Illusion of Relatedness. like the JudeoChristian account. or on what is otherwise perceived conditionally)—then what arises? This Unique and Original Freedom may be likened to the perception of waves from the point of view of the ocean (as compared to the perception of waves from the point of view of any single wave). in this moment. Consciousness Nondualism and the Divine Domain 7 . a futile effort. radiating Ecstatically to Infinity. which is. in turning away. precisely because it derives its meaning as an alternative to unconsciousness. for the activity of contraction in the midst of the Living Love-Bliss that is God is painful— resulting in nothing but the loss of the Love and Happiness of True Being. while the other. lived out in its various levels and diminutions. as we separate or alienate ourselves from Ground and Source. There is a price to be paid for this error. Indeed. However. and thus we must return to Source and Self—we must grow and evolve to reverse the Fall” (1990. However. prior to its formation. For moment to moment. Even now. Involution is actually said to be occurring right now. we descend. If the separate “I” and its separate “other” are Most Perfectly Relinquished (or Most Perfectly transcended). In other words. the ego-“I” consists essentially of lack and is empty. turns against itself. Contrary to the biblical account. even in facing itself.. Further. p. which is not other than the illusions of S/self that comprise it. the S/self is an alternative to God. tracing out its trajectory based on this more fundamental gesture within God and Reality— and does so at every level of its descent. “Radical” Non-Dualism Much of the confusion surrounding nondualism can be cleared up by considering an ambiguity in the principal term of the discussion: consciousness. one within the other. this is ultimately just an illusion. they try to make sense of the paradox from within the parameters of the paradox. 344-345) Most accounts of spirituality and nondualism are problematic. we involve.place within mind. In other words. The causal Self Falls away from God and then.

the “Radical” Non-Dual state of Enlightenment actually represents the transcendence of each level of being—whether waking. 2000b. which is a version of what Avatar Adi Da calls the sixth stage error. But Consciousness Itself is more primal than that. a curious quality is associated with it. However. over against which that consciousness can be said to be aware. the result is to confuse them both. it does not indicate “Radical” Non-Dual consciousness. and 2) allow us to recognize and identify with that which is constant— or timeless—through all of those states. In trying to have it both ways. Although this latter comment might sound like “Radical” Non-Dualism... dreamless sleep arises—and is ultimately Awakened and Resolved—in the Ultimate Source of Being that is Consciousness Itself.… Ultimate reality (or Spirit). the ego. namely Consciousness as Such.… That is a shocking statement. the individual participates in experience as the causal Self. and anything that is not present in deep dreamless sleep is not ultimate reality. Wilber conceives of this state of consciousness as follows: I became extremely serious about meditation practice when I read the following line from the illustrious Sri Ramana Maharshi: “That which is not present in deep dreamless sleep is not real”.… Thus. or Most Perfectly Resolved In Its Perfect Source…The Most Ultimate and Inherently Most Perfect Awakening Of Perfectly Subjective Transcendental. Although this state represents an extraordinary level of being. Here. the highest rung on the 8 The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. However. the individual no longer perceives and understands experience from the point of view of the lower self or even the subtle Self. This will: 1) strip us of an exclusive identification with any of those states (such as the body. pp. Spirit is the summit of being. or sleeping. then there is only Consciousness Itself. dreaming. the essence of the Illusion of Relatedness. Wilber put it this way: [This] brings us to the most notorious paradox in the perennial philosophy. Wilber only reduces the seventh stage to the sixth stage. Conventional notions of consciousness associate it with an object. In this sense. p. 1979). with each higher dimension being more inclusive and therefore “closer” to the absolute totality of Godhead or Spirit. Ramana said…must also be fully present in deep dreamless sleep. or the soul). or sleeping. because basically there is nothing—literally nothing— in the deep dreamless state. attention itself. timeless Spirit. However. and Divine Consciousness Itself ) (Adi Da. such a position represents the point of view of the sixth stage of life (e. identified with the very consciousness that is observing all that arises. if we want to realize our supreme identity with Spirit. one takes the position of the “witness. We have seen that the wisdom traditions subscribe to the notion that reality manifests in levels or dimensions. 223). and follow it through all changes of state—waking. 1995). “Consciousness as Such”) with one or another of the various modes of possible awareness: waking. In that state. subconscious and self-conscious) aspects of S/self are made conscious. Rather.e. Volume 24 . nonetheless. Yet.” merely observing all that exists—even while they perhaps continue to participate in the events of life. therefore. by any other name. this passage is an excellent example of what could be called the “lesser” enlightenment associated with sixth stage “Ultimate NonDualism”. (2000b.6 Even deep. But. The confusion Wilber makes is in attributing Consciousness Itself (i. dreaming. It simply is Awareness. Shankara. more is at stake in Wilber’s point of view than this. in so doing. we will have to plug ourselves into this current of constant consciousness. The epistemological position of simple awareness is typically referred to in the spiritual traditions as “witness” consciousness. However. for he also makes the fundamental error associated with the sixth stage of life: regarding the sixth stage to be the culminating denouement of existence. dreaming. In other words. which is associated with Divine Being and the seventh stage of life. sleeping. “The Right Side Of The Heart Is The Base Of the state of deep sleep…(And The Right Side Of The Heart…Is Fully Awakened. Perhaps one way to clarify this distinction is by comparing it to the principal therapeutic imperative of psychoanalysis: making the unconscious conscious (Pulver. Spiritual. When all unconscious (not to say. To be aware of something is to attend to it—and is. it is not “Radical” Non-Dual Being. Wilber also suggests that an even more profound dimension of being exists beyond this: the nondual reality out of which all manifest existence arises. This is the beginning of the ultimate stages of life.g. 64-65) This passage is notable for it presents an excellent example of the “witness” consciousness associated with the causal Self and the sixth stage of life.Itself is not aware of things. Wilber has both manifest and unmanifest existence refer to the same level of being. the mind. 2005.

From this angle. Wilber has correctly identified the ultimate significance of this difference. the traditions maintain. Virtually no precedence for the seventh stage revelation is present in the spiritual traditions. only the latter applies to “Radical” Non-Dual Reality (i. The first aspect. stems from the traditional understanding of nondualism. and the ground of the entire sequence. with no partiality. this confusion is easy to make and. such is simply not the case. Spirit is prior to this world. the truth is this: even though you are always already God. for all are equally “made of ” Spirit. Although the elimination of the self/other distinction has been traditionally associated with the emergence of what might be thought to be “Radical” Non-Dualism. Spirit is the suchness. in terms of “Radical” Nondualism and the Divine Domain 9 . but an inquiry into why you want to attain enlightenment in the first place. the highest-rung aspect. the error is not so much a mistaken notion—for it does accurately represent the casual Self—as an error of omission. is the transcendental nature of Spirit—it far surpasses any “worldly” or creaturely or finite things. Thus Spirit is both the highest goal of all development and evolution. nothing is gained by being so aligned. Yet. nondualism is typically thought to result whenever the self/other distinction is eliminated. failing to accurately represent God. by paraphrasing Avatar Adi Da’s own revelation about it: Adi Da…originally taught nothing but “the path of understanding”: not a way to attain enlightenment. is the immanent nature of Spirit—Spirit is equally and totally present in all manifest things and events. in culture. p. and this is what makes all the difference. the goal of the stages of life is attributed to both Self and God. But it is also true that Spirit is the wood out of which the entire ladder and all its rungs are made. is Buddha-nature itself..ladder of evolution. The forms of dualism are not resolved until the entire S/self structure is eliminated. Wilber sees his theory as an attempt to align with spiritual presentations made traditionally: “That simple witnessing awareness. pp. A subtle dualism yet remains: Self and God. (1997. the Illusion of Relatedness. in nature. but not other to this world. p. The second aspect. However. 287). the essence of each and every thing that exists. claiming that nondual reality is essentially comprised of two aspects: goal and ground.. and yet the present alone holds the answer: to seek forever is to miss the point forever. You can no more attain Spirit than you can attain your feet or acquire your lungs.7 Wilber collapses the sixth and seventh stages together. the wood aspect. getting in touch with Spirit or God…is your own simple witnessing awareness” (Ibid. Only the other is dissolved in the elimination of the self/other distinction—not the causal Self. suggesting that “you always already are enlightened Spirit. and Spirit would remain. Real God). sixth stage “Ultimate” Non-Dualism). and therefore to seek Spirit is simply to deny Spirit. That is to say. according to the traditions.… Thus. in its entirety. The former applies to the causal Self alone (i.” However. The entire earth (or even universe) could be destroyed.e. further. The very desire to seek enlightenment is in fact nothing but the grasping tendency of the ego itself. 43-44) (emphasis in the original) The sixth stage error is most clearly indicated by this passage and can be seen as comprised of two parts: the term “spirit” is used ambiguously—to indicate both Self and God—and. certainly. but merely a partial aspect of reality: the Self. Wilber has not applied this same understanding to his own theory. dissolved in the True and “Radically” Non-Dual Enlightenment of Real God. Simply put. for it is precisely the act of setting God up as a goal that inserts seeking into the equation—and eliminates God thereby. Further. is the enlightened mind itself. a significant problem exists with this: the spiritual traditions are in error.e. as present fully at the beginning as at the end. no phenomenon whatsoever is closer to Spirit than another. 26) Yet. (1997. The “perfect practice” is therefore not to search for enlightenment. However. but to inquire into the motive for seeking itself. You obviously seek in order to avoid the present. Wilber makes a different sort of error in his comments. indeed.… [T]hus seeking Spirit is exactly that which prevents realization. is Spirit itself. you are not always already Enlightened (at least. In another context. in heaven and on earth. is God itself. You always already ARE enlightened Spirit. Nonetheless. the real significance of the sixth stage error is this: confusing the causal Self for Real God.. which is to say. as well. and thus the very search for enlightenment prevents it. the isness. Consequently. What actually results for having eliminated the self/other distinction is not “Radical” Non-Dualism. But such is not the case for “Radical” Non-Dualism. apart from a handful of texts that are premonitory in nature.

S/self-Transcendence and Real-God-Realization Perhaps the most difficult part of understanding the seventh stage of life is that it does not “follow” the sixth stage. Although Wilber states that you can “no more attain Spirit than you can attain your feet or acquire your lungs. Fundamentally. And to do so captivates one in a swoon and rapture of God’s Love-Bliss: “Therefore. Further. Although this witnessing of reality exists prior to the Light’s transmutation into a spectrum. The seventh stage. Indeed. all levels of being). or association.Non-Dualism). It is by way of the Illusion of Relatedness that this “Brightness” is corrupted and transmuted into a spectrum—as if by a prism. attaching to the next higher level of development. self-adaptation. Wilber has the process go a step further. 10 the asana of ‘Ruchira Avatara Bhava’ (or the love‘Intoxication’ of true devotion to Me) is a devotional.” on the other side of the prism. (Wilber. the choice is to either ascend—and develop into greater embrace and unity—or else descend—and disintegrate into greater fragmentation and regression. in the event that they do. Yogic gesture in heart-Communion with Me” (Adi Da. 42. What he fails to appreciate. 325). And the opposite of that was regression or dissolution. Although the Light has not yet transmuted into the spectrum. 1995. 335) For Wilber. however. in self-transformation one becomes a new whole. before its dreadful mechanics of incarnation even come to exist—and. even an integration of the two. it does not exist prior to the Light’s entering the prism. However. the very motor of Ascent or development or evolution: the finding of ever-higher self-identity with ever-wider embrace of others. The difference between the seventh stage account of this process and the sixth stage is that the sixth stage sees the prior unity of Light while within the prism. 2001b) frequently speaks of “Radical” Non-Dual Reality as being a state of “Brightness”—which is a state of unfathomably Blissful Light.… Eros. In fact. unconditional love-feeling of Me. p. Wilber’s concept of transcendence is at odds with this revelation. and what requires elimination in the process of “Radical” NonDual Enlightenment. is a matter of releasing one’s hold on life and its developmental trajectory. exists as the absolute purity of “Brightness. as if another level of construction in the overall holarchy. including the sixth. this context can be accessed at every stage— directly and immediately. remains even after the fact. the sixth stage is still captivated by the mechanics of the prism—even as the “Brightness” exists within it. on the other hand.… In self-adaptation or communion. it is precisely the fact that you are suffering a “veil of ignorance” that indicates your need to be Enlightened. pp. The conundrum of Wilber’s spectrum theory could perhaps be put this way: although holons consist The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. is a third option: transcend—into direct and immediate communion with God. 2005. the metaphor of a spectrum is really only useful in conceiving of the involuted/evoluted levels of being on this side of the Illusion of Relatedness. the seventh stage is present as much at the beginning as in the culmination of the holarchy. not just those in the higher stages of life. Unfortunately. Although Wilber includes a “Unity Consciousness” in his formulations of the ultimate ground of existence. which has its own new forms of agency (relative autonomy) and communion. whether ascension or descension—or. the only right asana is utter ‘in-love’ of Me. more fragmentation (what we called the self-dissolution factor. In other words. his emphasis and orientation all point toward the moving from one level of consciousness to another—rather than the immediate and direct immersion into Consciousness Itself. conceiving of consciousness as if a “spectrum” only ends up undermining the nondual reality it is intended to advocate. “Radical” NonDualism has nothing to do with progression of any kind. But the whole point of transcendence is the release—disengaging one’s affiliation and identification with their particular level of being (that is to say. nonetheless. without form or function or any referents to dilute it. This Bhava is available to every individual at any time. 2000a. Indeed. indeed. Therefore. Rather. Ironically. Wilber simply has no account of the Illusion of Relatedness in his theory. is essentially what we have been calling self-transcendence. in this sense. it must be received as a Gift—and given in return. tenet 2d). as Socrates (Plato) uses the term. Volume 24 . Transcendence. one finds oneself to be part of a larger whole. the seventh stage of life is the context of every stage.” attaining Spirit is precisely what is meant by the Great Path of Return he is advocating. Avatar Adi Da (1997. Consequently. indeed. God is your true state—but the Illusion of Relatedness is also true of you. the forces are building by which it will do so. a move downward to less unity. to everyone. Self-transcendence (or self-transformation)…is not just a communion. it is accessed only through the spiritual process of worship and devotion—precisely because the Blessing of Bhava is Given as a Gift. Unfortunately.

in reality. Each apparently separate entity or being is nothing but a wave—comprised of the same water as every other wave and. no assembly or arrangement of holons—even ones that integrate into higher levels of the holarchy—will ever result in God. One must release their attachment (i. and Perfectly Subjective. addiction) to manifest existence and submit to God. this rung does. At this causal point of “origin. No real difference or separation between them—at least on the level of the ocean. God and Reality are other than the ladder. All the waves of the ocean can be thought of as an immense matrix (or else spectrum). that is all the ladder there is. That is to say. the very wood of which it is made are. and Indestructible. Wilber states that the ladder gives a good description of manifest existence because the highest rung of the ladder and. aligned together and arising. the ladder itself arises within God. It is in this manner that it makes sense to speak of an “origin” and a “goal” to existence—for the whole developmental sequence is really nothing more than the causal rung expanding and contracting upon itself. causal Self ) originally emerges. To suggest that the “ladder” is the origin of “each rung” is misleading—at least in the same sense that God Is the Source and Substance of all existence. But on the level of the waves. indeed. The Illusion of Relatedness yet separates the two. In other words. the dynamic underlying them is entirely different. the collapse of the Self/God distinction. However. therefore.. However.e. and Utterly Indivisible. the entire ocean. “throw itself out” into further levels—each one of which simply a continuation of the causal rung. For the sake of sorting out the essential difference between these two metaphors. imagine that five of these waves have all emerged. its rungs are not actually comprised of wood—they’re comprised of water. and Inherently egoless Case) Is (Self-Evidently. pp. and Really) Divine. the difficulty for Wilber’s theory is this: seventh stage “Ultimate Non-Dualism” is mistaken for the collapse of the self/other distinction—when seventh stage “Ultimate Non-Dualism” is. this is something of a pantheistic (i. (2000b. 295) Wilber likens the situation relative to nondualism to that of a ladder (if not. To release one’s hold on manifest exisNondualism and the Divine Domain 11 . In fact. not any one (or even the collective of all) of the first six stages of life directly (and Most Perfectly) Realizes (or Is the Inherently egoless and Inherently Most Perfect Realization and the Inherently egoless and Inherently Most Perfect Demonstration of ) Reality. 250. “stretching” out into ever diminished forms until it finally reaches bottom. imagine there are only six waves in the ocean. which can be sorted out in the following way: when the highest rung of the ladder (i. and Indestructibly Non-Objective SourceCondition and Self-Condition of All and all. in essence. in truth.” it is easy to see how the wood and the rung are identical— they are all there is. 1994)—and for good reason. they do not actually comprise God. However. and True. holons are nothing but the effect of the Illusion of Relatedness having taken place.e. this causal rung is not God. only then to divide into its corresponding rungs.. Wilber is correct in asserting that there is a ladder of existence—it is just that the ladder is floating in the ocean! And. it seems that there is no end to the difference and separation. indeed..… I Say the only Real God (or Truth Itself ) Is the One and Only and Inherently Non-Dual Reality (Itself )— Which Is the Inherently egoless. “Secondary Non-Dualism”) view in which the mere aggregate of component parts represents God and Reality—whereas.e. The One. or Real God. and Truth (or Real God) Itself. Although the language sounds similar. a river). imagine that these waves are all somehow connected together. It arises in God. assembled by the very fact that they inhere in one another. As can be seen. Yet. Truth. That is to say. Still. this statement is based on an illusion. I Say Only Reality Itself (Which Is.of God. into an ascending hierarchy. as involution proceeds. or descended. level upon level. Always Already. as they appear to spread out in all directions. indeed. Indeed. Avatar Adi Da makes use of a different metaphor entirely to speak of “Radical” Non-Dual Reality: the waves of the ocean. It is the causal stage that is the origin of each subsequent rung of the ladder. out of the original sixth wave. to do so involves a concomitant—and Ecstatic— activity: submit to being absorbed back into the ocean. Avatar Adi Da puts it this way: Because each and all of the first six stages of life are based on (and identical to) egoity (or self-contraction. this arrangement is exactly that of a ladder.8 The true significance of this arrangement suggests that there is only one way to Realize God or “Radical” Non-Dual Enlightenment: one must leave the ladder. However. Further. indeed. the very same thing: Spirit. But this is exactly what the ego-“I” loathes to do (Vitz. or separate and separative point of view) itself. there is more to existence than merely this ladder. and Indivisible.

in place) to directly enter into heartCommunion with Me (the Avataric SelfRevelation of the Reality. the true means to God-Realization is simple: stop doing it! No amount of development will ever ease or replace this obligation. or Truth. there is really only one means to God-Realization: you must take the “plunge”! Any other understanding only confuses the issue.” a surprising development could be said to occur: the ladder is not actually discarded. p. And. Where and As you Are. a painful denial of Ecstasy). but (by surrendering your “self. final piece of wood keeps them buoyed. And. so as to position yourself to discard it.” or the act of self-contraction. “Radical” Non-Dualism and the seventh stage of life. 45). therefore. something like a telescope. Where Primitive relatedness Is Freely Drowned. Perhaps nowhere is the contrast between the Great Tradition and “Radical” NonDualism more evident than in this passage. or Real God In Place (or As That Which Is Always Already The Case. To overcome the Illusion of Relatedness one must come to a dual understanding: 1) realize that the ego-“I” is actually an obstruction to God (and. this one. for even the sixth stage of life has its own sense of ego-“I” to overcome. The “Brightness” Is Indifferent (Beyond “difference”) In the Deep—There. [T]he “radical” approach to Realization of Reality (or Truth. more to the point. To think that no more ladder exists simply because only one rung is left is an illusion. so close to the ocean that they are everything except immersed within it.tence is to die. or of “differentiation. Although Wilber claims you must first climb the ladder. You need only to understand it. and Self-Evidently Divine) Self-Recognition Realizes Only SelfExisting and Self-Radiant Love-Bliss where the conditional patterns of merely apparent modification rise and fall in their folds. nevermind your apparent unpreparedness to do so. Truth. mistakenly thinking that God-Realization involves “climbing” out of samsara only ends up obscuring the real process of God-Realization. Volume 24 . one 12 only reaches the top rung. even that of the causal. at the point of one’s “highest climb. (Adi Da. each rung simply enfolding within the others until only one is left. you don’t need to experience the ladder first to discard it (at any or all of its rungs). and (in this Manner) to Realize Reality. When “Bright” SelfRecognition Rests Most Deeply In Its Fathomless Shine. Rather. Wilber speaks of the ladder metaphor in this manner: “But according to the traditions. on the other hand. The S/self in its entirety must accept and submit to being absorbed into God. or Real God) is not to go gradually “higher and higher” (and. contrary to Wilber’s account. sixth stage sage—no matter how truly illustrious and profound—is simply perched upon their final plank of wood. or waves of My Avatarically SelfTransmitted Divine Spirit-Energy) Are (each in its moment) Divinely Self-Recognized On and In and As the Deep (or Self-Existing and SelfRadiant Consciousness Itself. Pervasive In the The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. or patterns. The causal.… At last. for Enlightenment actually occurs based upon an entirely different dynamic. a ladder discarded only after having served its extraordinary purpose” (1997. In other words. Most Perfectly Beyond and Prior to ego-“I. it is exactly (and only) by understanding the hierarchical nature of samsara that we can in fact climb out of it. this Realization Shines in the world and Plays “Bright” Demonstrations on the waves. 276) Put somewhat differently. And the same is true at every stage of life—indeed. However. There is nowhere else to go in scaling the ladder but the top rung. p.… Therefore. It is at this point that you discard the ladder—when you understand that it is unnecessary. Deep (Inherently egoless. all conditions (or all motions. the truth is you must discard the ladder right now. the Play of motions Is Translated In Love-Bliss.” which act is the prismatic fault that Breaks the Light. That Is the Only Real God). thus. Indeed. the error of the Great Tradition is this: in having climbed the ladder. 2005.” or total body-mind. 2000a. more and more “away”). or envisions It as seeming two. Consequently. and more). to Me—just as it is. and 2) realize that this is something you are doing—even right now. It is the ego-“I” that stands between S/self and God— and it does so at every stage of life. the difference between this spiritual realization and the misguided judgment of so many unfortunate souls who have made headlines in recent years requires an understanding of exactly what it is that must die: the ego-“I”—not the human body. In a manner of speaking. yield an entirely different participation in Reality: In the only-by-Me Revealed and Given seventh stage of life. sixth stage sage. yet. it collapses. At first. including the sixth stage (however subtle its presence at that point). It is all around them.

Water-Stand—and. Nondualism and the Divine Domain 13 .” To see how this reference could be made is understandable. and understanding this fundamental paradox is the only means by which one can understand their true relationship to God. CA: Dawn Horse Press. Beck. Albany. (1995). New York: Viking. San Rafael. (1996). 2001a. God-Realization is a matter of being absorbed into that which is truly Unmanifest. Advaita Vedanta.com. The state that Wilber advocates as nondual is really nothing more than the causal Self emerging in the midst of the collapse of the self/other duality. In The Dawn Horse Testament. (2002). Middletown. The unique sixth stage foreshadowings of the Only-By-Me revealed and demonstrated and given seventh stage of life. Clearly. pp. for the S/self is also not God. Adi Da (1997). CA: Dawn Horse Press. CA: Dawn Horse Press.) (1991). Living enlightenment. Honolulu. CA: Dawn Horse Press. I: The abundant ego). (2002). The primal wound. Griffiths. prior to being “born” as the various levels of being). The seven stages of life. (Adi Da. NE: Writer’s Showcase. B.C. Middletown. Adi Da (2001b). Middletown. this difference is of ultimate significance. even as it exists at the truly profound level of the causal Self—only trivializes the very real dynamic of separation that exists in its midst. 345. E. its realization is predicated upon the development—rather than the dissolution—of manifest being. D. One cannot Realize God by pretending the difference between them does not exist. The “Apex” Paradox: The role of the ego in psychology and spirituality and its implications for clinical practice (Vol. CA: Dawn Horse Press. & Gila. References Adi Da (1991). Although the “Unborn” is an utterly profound state of reality. 39-49. (1991). Notes. for the difference between them is extremely subtle. CA: Dawn Horse Press. What is Enlightenment? 22. Middletown. as is the case with Avatar Adi Da. (1962). NE: Writer’s Showcase. In The Seventeen Companions of the True Dawn Horse (Book Ten). R. (2003b). D. Lincoln. (2003a). This is precisely why Avatar Adi Da is the unique and only means to seventh stage God-Realization—for He Is That Very Reality which is to be Realized. Adi Da (in press). Merely considering the S/self to be God— indeed. CA: Dawn Horse Press. (1997). Vedanta and Christian faith. Adi Da (2000a). NY: State Univ. for the causal Self does exist prior to involution (i. Eleutherios. The guru and the pandit: Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber in dialogue. therefore. In The Seventeen Companions of the True Dawn Horse (Book One). Cohen. Psychosynthesis. CA: Dawn Horse Press. Lenox. & Wilber. K. as Real God. London: Allen and Unwin. The seven spiritual laws of success. Yet. like a Sea of Blankets. A. Oxford. Cohen. (1966). Adi Da (2001a). All the Deep Unfolds To Waken In the Once Neglected (Now Un-Covered) Light of SelfIlluminated and Eternal Day. Firman. (1999). UK: Blackwell Publishers. E. The Dawn Horse Testament. A. However. But it is the latter that makes the difference. They have not fully Embodied it. at most. Daniels. II: The aberrant ego). Internet: BurtonDaniels. Wilber (2000b) refers to this state as the “Unborn. Spiral dynamics. C. (1965). Chopra. Ultimately. Conze. only intuited the seventh stage of life. Drifted in the deeper land. & Cowan. nevermind how spontaneous and without reason. B. Middletown. Assagioli. Clearlake. Middletown. J. CA: Amber-Allen Publishing. confusing the sixth and seventh stages is easy to do. Middletown.e. In The Basket of Tolerance. Hridaya Rosary (Four Thorns of HeartInstruction). In appreciation of Wilber’s spectrum/quadrant theory. Adidam (Eds. In The Five Books of the Adidam Revelation (Book Five). The traditions have. MA: Moksha Press. B. Buddhist thought in India. In The Five Books of the Adidam Revelation (Book Four). Lincoln. CA: Dawn Horse Press.. Middletown. Real God Is the Indivisible Oneness of Unbroken Light. The “Apex” Paradox: The role of the ego in psychology and spirituality and its implications for clinical practice (Vol. it does not exist prior to the Illusion of Relatedness— nor. A. HI: EastWest Center Press. 346) Conclusion God both is and is not the S/self. Daniels. of New York Press. One can Realize God only by eliminating that difference— which is only one’s own doing. Daniels. Adi Da (2000b). Deutsche. B.E.

(1998). Lee. mind.). (1999a). As a way of clarifying what Wilber means by his nomenclature. Larson. The passion of the western mind. K. International Philosophical Quarterly. Boston & London: Shambhala. S. Indeed. while the levels of “body” and “matter” are differentiated into the two lowest levels instead. see Adi Da (2000b. 2000) as follows: spirit. 2). really. Grand Rapids. Footnotes 1This sequence of S/self structure is summarized in Wilber (1995. New York: Noonday Press. etheric level) are omitted in Wilber’s model. Jung (Vol. Amherst. (1998). New York: Ballantine Books. Adi Da: The promised God-Man is here. Middletown. A thousand teachings (M. and the sixth stage of life conforms to the primal Self of the causal level. Buddhism. (1990). E. (1993). for the emotions (i. Integral psychology. Honesdale. mental. Press. far exceeding those attained by the vast majority of humanity at this time. Loy. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 30(3). Indeed. 5These may be easily confused for one another. 4). matter.E. (2000a). CT: Yale Univ. NJ: Princeton Press. (1990). Nonduality. MO: South Asia Books. Tarnas. (1995).). G. Trans. Fine (Eds. R. New York: Broadway Books. and the self: Synthesis of Eastern and Western approaches. J. Chopra (1995). Louis. Princeton. Object relations theory. spirituality.D. etheric. Sartre. Muzuka. see Daniels (2003a. and gross. & Ajaya. J. Two patterns of transcendence: A reply to Washburn. Cairns. C. Boston & London: Shambhala.. body. etheric. MI: William B. (1968). S. ecology. K.G. (2003). Sengaku. Cohen (2002). NJ: Princeton Univ. Verma. Psychoanalysis: The Major Concepts. there is a significant difference in the two schemas. 59-74. (1994). (1960). C. Wilber. Wilber. Press. respectively. S. (1997).). Jung. there is a significant difference between the two schemas. R. Suzuki. Boston & London: Shambhala. The eye of spirit. The Essential Writings (F. nonetheless.) (1987). the fifth stage of life conforms to the higher mind of the subtle level.T. (1919/1971). 2001a). (Eds. The seventh stage of life subsumes them all as the inherent Substance and SourceCondition of Existence.). K. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. a somewhat simplistic correlation can be drawn between these levels of being and certain domains of science: matter represents physics and geology. as the subtle actually subsumes the mental and etheric within it. and lower mental levels. Wilber. Rama. Sex. especially as it relates to the ego. E. The technique of psychoanalysis proper. St.W. H. 30(1). (1995). 4For a fuller treatment of these aspects of the seventh stage of life. Satorakashananda (1977). the fourth stage of life is a transitional state between the lower and higher levels. D. NY: Humanity Books. C. (2000b). The transcendence of the ego (F. (1991).e.E. Boston & London: Shambhala. Weiss. And the problem is that therapists…want to hold onto the egoic 14 The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. Boston & London: Shambhala. Trans. subtle..).. London: Routledge and Kegan-Paul. These levels of “lesser” enlightenment are advocated in the recent works of numerous authors— for example. of Tokyo Press. Moore & B.G.. S. really need to let go of self and egoic self-esteem altogether. Husserl. body represents chemistry and biology. & Bhattacharya. K. Yoga and psychotherapy. R. Avatar Adi Da (2001a) agrees with this five-tier structure overall. Jung. Instinct and the unconscious. 2005. (1993).Hegel. soul. Potter. C. b). Trans. Indeed. New York: HarperCollins. at this time science has no correlates for the subtle and causal levels of being (i. Cohen and Wilber give this example: “You really. New York: Dell. represent extraordinary states of awareness. Wilber. K. Volume 24 . Man and his symbols. The schema of these levels of being relates to Avatar Adi Da’s revelation of the seven stages of life as follows: the first three stages of life conform to the gross. He depicts this sequence as consisting of the following levels of being: causal. D. Wilber. 113-136. G. Pulver. Princeton. (1964). (1999b). 8). P. Columbia. note that even in being “lesser. which is so critical at this stage of evolution. Studies in the Lankavatara Sutra. Tokyo: Univ.). Psychology as religion (2nd ed. However. Shankara (1979). K. Vitz. One taste. P. Unfortunately.e. soul and spirit). Buddhist phenomenology. In B. In The Collected Works (Vol.G. Structurally. (1957). Wilber. G. K. MO: Vedanta Society. 2For a fuller account of the S/self. and Beck & Cowan (1996). Cartesian meditations (D. CA: Dawn Horse Press. Although they fall short of the most profound level of Enlightenment—“Radical” Non-Dualism and the seventh stage of life—they. the remarkable few capable of attaining these stages of life represent an enormous boon to humanity. Ballentine. The marriage of sense and soul. Kirkpatrick. In The Collected Works of C. Avatar Adi Da indicates that there are three basic tiers overall. Ed. Encyclopedia of Indian philosophy (Vol. 3However. and mind represents psychology and sociology. New Haven. Wilber. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. The goal and the way.” the states of spiritual attainment emulated here are profound and exhalted levels of being and should not be dismissed or taken lightly. K. PA : Himalayan Pubs. Williams & R. Introduction..

. see Adi Da (2000b) and Daniels (2002). although these precepts sound similar to the revelation of Avatar Adi Da. 2003).… [Yet] as one goes deeper and deeper into the process of transformation.” If the rungs of the ladder could be conceived of as being in flux or fluid. The metaphor of the river is employed to suggest the “flux” and “fluidity” of development—over against that of a rigidly linear course. This approach to Enlightenment is what Avatar Adi Da calls either Emanationism or Transcendentalism. pp. Consequently. Avatar Adi Da has Incarnated precisely for the fulfillment of this purpose (see Lee. Wilber’s use of the river is in no way the same. it gradually becomes clear what a daunting foe the ego really is. present relationship of worship and devotion. all spiritual masters have necessarily worked within the cultural constraints imposed by their particular time and place. 7To this point. precisely because they do not take into account the Illusion of Relatedness. 8Note that Wilber has sought to distance himself from the criticism that his theory is linear by employing the imagery of a “river” to replace that of the “ladder”.org Nondualism and the Divine Domain 15 . Only in the last half of the twentieth century has technology and affluence allowed for the creation of a true world community. then it would serve the exact same purpose as that of the river—and the situation would remain essentially the same: a ladder (i. they are not actually situated in the context of the seventh stage of life. For a fuller treatment of these different approaches to spiritual awareness and awakening. the right side of the heart is the anatomical reference point for both the sixth stage of life and the causal Self—which are ultimately subsumed within the anatomical reference point of the seventh stage of life: amrita nadi. and what a poison narcissism is” (2002. 6According to Avatar Adi Da’s (2000b. Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to the author at Daniel_Sleeth@adidam. However.self-contraction and make it feel good about itself. they advocate the evolution of Enlightenment.e. “river”) floating in the ocean. 2001a) schema of development. all-inclusive revelation. Although this more “watery” metaphor may appear to have some similarity to that of the ocean. which only ends up making God into a goal of spiritual practice—rather than an ongoing. Rather. the conditions have only recently occurred whereby the provincialism of local customs and loyalties could be overcome and the Great Tradition consummated in a single. Wilber has chosen the river to suggest the “flow” of development (that it courses through many eddies and cross currents)—not its “Source” or “Substance. 4546).

1997. popularized by Bonaventure. transpersonal psychology reconnects with this tradition and has to be aware of the legacy: to achieve the theoretical. It is mostly within the context of clinical psychology. Seligman. Oeser. H istorians and theoreticians of science have repeatedly noted that the progress of a scientific discipline is not simply a cumulative process of increasing knowledge along the lines of accepted methology. Collingwood. and most notably through its humanistic psychological expressions. which not only suggest different modes of action contradictory to those of competing theories. 1969. This notion is explained and linked up with the Western mystical tradition. where many rivalling theories exist. Glass. coming from antiquity and specifically from the neo-Platonic tradition. 1996). Volume 24 . a similiar concept has been developed which became known as the spark of the soul. this suggestion does not seem to depict the whole situation. as a scientific discipline. where even the consensus on what methods to base scientific evidence on is debated (Chambless. Goldfried. 1977. The impulse to found yet another movement 16 The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. 1980. therefore. 1994. Toulmin. 1989. Clinical psychology seems to be very much in a preparadigmatic stage. 1977) competing for priority. integration of both types of experience by drawing on the experiential nature of this concept and fostering good research. Beitman. Bunge & Ardila. And yet they seem to be effective to some degree independent of their theoretical underpinnings and irrespective of the fact that they are using seemingly opposite interventions (Goldfried. It is only in some disciplines within psychology. 1979b. Spark of the soul signifies an "organ of the mystical experience. One could make a case that a systems theoretical perspective with an associated emergentist type of ontology is the most useful paradigm for psy- chological research nowadays (Bunge. 1955. Psychology. Fleck. 1987). Laudan.Higher Self – Spark of the Mind – Summit of the Soul: Early History of an Important Concept of Transpersonal Psychology in the West Harald Walach The Higher Self is a concept introduced by Roberto Assagioli. Sanderson. By introducing this concept. Shoham. 1979a. 2005. but that this progress is achieved by both working within given frameworks of accepted presuppositions and by discussing and debating the very foundations (Kuhn. with inner experience relegated to the private and mystical realm. into transpersonal psychology. 1998). During the middle ages it was developed into a psychology of mysticism by Thomas Gallus." It is argued that the split introduced into history between outer and inner experience has lain dormant ever since the 13th century. with many different research paradigms in Kuhn’s sense (Kuhn. like in experimental or applied psychology. 1976). Here. that insiders and outsiders alike deplore a kind of “preparadigmatic” state of psychology as a whole. but also rest on theoretical presuppostions excluding each other. Fensterheim & Raw. While this might be acceptable for some branches of psychology. et al. that a comparatively unitary canon of methods and accepted standards of problem solving seems to have been accepted by the whole community. and radicalized by the Carthusian writer Hugh of Balma. Victor. 1980. It is understandable. Weinberger. & Norcross. is comparatively young with a history of roughly 150 years. that a new movement arose at the end of the 60s. 1998). the first blinded psychological experiment dating back to Peirce’s and Jastrow’s attempt to find out about the smallest perceptible sense difference in 1883 (Kaptchuk. Wachter & Messer. 1993. 1995. Messer & Woodfolk. and certainly not within clinical psychology. Castonguay & Goldfried. and if possible scientific. 1987. & Arnkoff. 1998). 1995. Oeser. 1995. which called itself “Transpersonal Psychology” (Sutich. This history is sketched and the meaning of the term illustrated. or summit of the mind. the founder of psychosynthesis. 1985.

1991. Therefore. Robinson. from Eastern sources as well (Besmer. 1995. 1972. 1998). Assagioli underlined that the process of integration and synthesis which human development represents is neither a random nor a simple cumulative process. Originally one of the early advocates of psychoanalysis in Italy (Assagioli. to use a modern metaphoric language. 1934. 1985b.” or “religious. This centre. such as: the experience that individual purpose is always an act of transcending the individual self and relating with a “transpersonal” value (Frankl. 1969. and last but not least the realization that spiritual expriences within the framework of spiritual traditions are both important and possibly irreducible elements of human experience (Goleman. Lu. 1985.” without clear definitions of these terms (Lukoff. The lower unconscious can roughly be compared to what Freud intended with this notion: past and unconscious experiences. 1975. 1977. Lundh. 1998. he called Higher Self. But most important of all is his concept of Higher Self. 1971. 1969. 1988). 1973. The higher unconscious.1972. 1974. One could even say that the higher unconscious was something like an Aristotelian final cause or entelechy for human development. 1985c. 1985d). motivational and action oriented quasi-independent part of the personality. our bio-psychological past. who developed a psychological model of personality and clinical change which he called “psychosynthesis” (Assagioli. 1988. drives and impulses. incidentally. Bergin. Armstrong. inspiration and intuition. While many theoreticians and practitioners of transpersonal psychology have heavily relied on impulses from Eastern philosophies and traditions. Tart. 1998). 1994. & Turner. 1974). 1992. 1985a. he used the depth-psychological terminology introduced by Freud and developed by Jung and differentiated it. Thalbourne & Delin. 1973. however.” “mystical. 1991. because very likely the concept of a schema would cover what Assagioli meant by subpersonalities. 1991. but one which seems to be mediated. his psychology looks as if he had invented all the concepts himself. 1984. This is a notion akin to Jung’s concept of “complex. 1996. Assagioli pointed towards the importance of the human will as a resource for integration and development. 1974. Thalbourne. 1970. & Lu. 1980. Schuller. psychosynthesis is one of the “Western” types of transpersonal psychologies. Atwood & Maltin. and also a kind of repository of future developmental possibilities. While these traditions have lost their importance within sciHigher Self 17 . Thalbourne. although Assagioli seems to have derived many of his concepts and strategies also from theosophy and. supervised or even fostered by something like a transpersonal attractor. Engler. 1998). 1976. 1999). Complexes of experiences he called sub-personalities. Some emphasize the esoteric and theosophic heritage (Schuller. “higher” drives like altruistic impulses or artistic inspiration. 1986. 1979. for an outsider.within the already widely disparate field of clinical psychology. 1975). neo-Platonic and mystical traditions. and thereby. It is wrong. 1984. 1973). 1988). His main thrust was to discriminate between what he called lower and higher unconscious and to introduce the concept of the Higher Self (Figure 1). Stein & Markus. Turner. 1978. Thalbourne & Delin. usually associated with repeated experiences or social roles. he quickly developed a psychological concept of his own. Sutich. 1911). to suppose that Transpersonal Psychology is a unitary school. foreshadowed an important modern movement within self-regulation theory (Kuhl. 1996. It is my aim here to show that the notion of Higher Self has a long tradition in the West which can be located mainly within the Platonic. 1995. 1984. Barnhouse. In that Assagioli tried to differentiate the Jungian notion of collective unconscious into the part which comprises the impulses towards development and wholeness from that which stands for disintegrative forces (Assagioli. 1986. 1991).” meaning an emotional. in contrast. Lukoff. Thereby. was a notion to differentiate “higher” impulses from the lower unconscious and to describe them: esthetic values. as it were. 1991. Rusting. Psychosynthesis One of the early members of the transpersonal movement and original coeditor of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology was the Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974). Fadiman & Frager. Washburn. 1975. Lukoff. It would be very interesting to study this concept in relation to modern schema-theoretic approaches (Ciompi. 1976. therefore. It is rather a loose connection of many movements and groups whose common denominator probably is the emphasis on and interest in experiences which are termed “spiritual. which both acts as the inner guideline and impulse—as well as a regulating and attracting goal. the historical awareness that religious and spiritual needs have always been and likely will remain part of human life and therefore should be part and parcel of any scientific endeavour to understand human psychology (Wilber. seems to have been the realization that there were realities and experiences pointing beyond the personal self (Maslow. Assagioli usually was very scant with bibliographic details of his sources.

laid the foundation for the later teaching of an immortal soul or rather. 1983) explicitly said that the highest part of the soul.” which literally reads as “from outside through the door. cosmic seed. The fragment.on the soul” (Aristoteles. p. I want to sketch out this tradition and therebey connect the seemingly unconnected modern practice and terminology with the tradition. Volume 24 . “The Apology of Socrates” (Plato. * Higher Self (organizing principle) higher unconscious field of consciousness collective unconscious Me middle unconscious subpersonalities lower unconscious Figure 1. meaning surrounding. an immortal part within the soul. who has traced the history of this concept. it is now within transpersonal psychology and by the mediation of Assagioli’s psychosynthesis that one of the most interesting concepts of this tradition starts to surface again. but also in the centre of man. who first seemed to have mentioned a concept like “spiritual self ” in the modern scientific tradition.” Although his “de anima” was a work rather of natural philosophy. 1964). he pointed to this super. Since one other work of Aristotle. central to his innermost personality there is something godly. Yoga psychology. Rather I wish to draw the attention of readers to the mystical tradition and its likely influence on the modern shape of the concept of Higher Self as expressed by Assagioli and other writers. Likely sources will have to include the writings of Blavatsky and Bailey. 1976). namely the Stoic teaching of the universal fire as the source of everything and the trace of this fire in everything as a fiery.” “hearth.” “the innermost of the house”. Even Aristotle. Plato. Heidegger. and thus point to its importance and possible explanatory power. Endre von Ivanka (1964). which tried to understand and outline the natural workings of the soul. Roots in Antiquity The first written trace of the idea that there is 18 some higher. and Jewish Kabbalist sources. It will remain a task on its own to be accomplished in a separate paper to follow the history of Assagioli’s sources through modern psychology and from the theosophical tradition. but never advises him in the positive to do something. The Greek word “ETHOS” signifies “home.ence. Socrates. 1967. can be understood in the sense: The god(ly) is home to man. This can. as most texts by Heraklitos.” confirms that he experiences an inner voice that is sometimes warning him against doing things.or trans-natural part of the soul. holding man. of course. be understood in different ways and needs interpretation. the agent intellect. All those direct sources of Assagioli’s will not be the topic of this paper. there also is a Stoic root to it. 301ff ). which reads: ETHOS ANTHROPO DAIMON. has pointed out that apart from the Platonic and neo-Platonic traditions of the concept of Spark of the Soul. in his “De anima . who otherwise was more inclined towards biology and natural philosophy and tried to eschew some of the pitfalls of Platonic thinking. bringing a trace of the ideal worlds of immutable ideas and of the Beauty and Good with it into the human being. with his teaching that the soul stems from the realm of ideas from where it comes into the body. came from “outside-THYRATHEN. the active part of the intellect. 2005. Plato developed a model of the soul in which one part of the soul was striving towards the good. which later was merged with Stoic and other ideas. Since this history is extremely complicated and complex. then. The journey will lead us from the predecessors of the notion in antiquity to the first formulation of a transpersonal type of psychology by mystical writers of the middle ages to the modern concept. Assagioli’s Personality Model. William James. I will only point out the more important turns and steps. We next explicitly meet the idea of some inner God or godlike inner voice in the famous Platonic dialogue. But one possible and probably sensible reading and translation would be: “home for man is the god(ly)”. which is The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. who because of that in the end is sentenced to death for “introducing new gods. in his famous “letter on humanism” has pointed toward this fragment in this sense (Heidegger. spiritual nature within man we can see in the fragment B119 (around 500 BC) of Heraklitos (Weber.

a philosopher from the Areopague.. I have seen a beauty wonderfully great and felt assurance that then most of all I belonged to the better part. .. which is attributed to Christianity. This model. The founder of this neo-Platonist movement was Plotinos (204-270 AD) (Plotin. this anonymous monk of the 5th century could secure himself highest Higher Self 19 . in the Acts of the Apostles. incidentally. 1977). emanates the material world. this divine part of the soul reunites with the One. Plotinos himself is said to have had contacts with Eastern sages while traveling in Egypt (see the Biography of Plotinos by his disciple and follower Porphyrios. becomes divine. 70) Proclos was important insofar as he probably was the teacher of a Syrian monk who was known in later centuries as Pseudo-Dionysios (Ps. is said to have preached to the Athenians and to have converted one Dionysios. However. and set firm in it I have come to that supreme actuality. Plotinos called the principal source of everything “the One. Balthasar. 1965).thought to have contained the more esoteric aspect of his psychology. very much akin to Eastern practices of meditation like Yoga or Zen. In his “Ten doubts on providence” (Proklos. a trace of the One. is lost.1f ) These quotes illustrate Plotinos’ psychology pretty clearly: He saw the soul as “containing” two parts. he says: For in us also there is inherent a certain occult vestige of the One. Using this alias name. The higher part. But it is a well accepted fact meanwhile that the followers of Aristotle and those who still had access to the rest of his works. as well as his Islamic interpreters. Plotinos. the “active intellect” comes from outside. we can only speculate what he really meant by the saying. perfecting and establishing herself. the intellect. 3. 4. as far as is possible for this to be accomplished by her. and all things. he thought. out of which everything emanates in four stages: first the NOUS. It is the impulse within the soul to return. by receding the faculties and powers of the soul from the outside world and turning inwards until. and very likely was inspired by contacts between the Greek culture and the East (O’Meara.. in mystical contemplation. This was possible. but seems to derive from the neo-Platonist tradition. This was one of the main sources of the contemplative traditions in the West. (1953. seek reunion with the One (Beierwaltes. is the source for much of later aversions against the body. and we remain with all the rest of our intelligible part above. A few quotes from Plotinos may illustrate his ideas: For the soul is many things. a higher and lower part. Plotinos taught. had quite a few experiences like that which left in him the desire to be totally gone from this world and reunited. of course. a consequent idealist ontology which starts from the insight or experience that pure consciousness is primary. was like a mark of the divine. 8.21 ff ). turn round to the One again and. both the things above and the things below down to the limits of all life. by contemplation. which was experienced by the individual as a desire to reunite with the One. interpreted him in the sense that this active part of the intellect was a spiritual and immortal part of the soul (Merlan. (Enn III. which is printed in the first volume of the Loeb edition of Plotinos’ works). and in which the soul. Therefore he was ashamed of his body. p. in modern terminology. one of Plotinos’ followers and the systematizer of Plotinos’ ideas (Beierwaltes. The next step was made within the neo-Platonic tradition of those Platonists. I have actually lived the best life and come to identity with the divine. 1974). so his biographer Porphyrios tells us and as Plotinos testified himself.but there is a higher part (of the soul) which the transitory pleasures do not please. and its life is comfortable (Enn IV 8. (Enn IV 8. and is. and we are each one of us an intelligible universe. and lives.” which he conceived to be all and everything in one. The idea of a special part of the soul was finally introduced by Proclos.-Dionysios). at last.. making contact with this lowerworld by the powers of the soul below. which to him seemed like a hindrance. The hallmark of his teaching is. who revived the Academy and its teaching after nearly 500 years. This. is akin to Eastern cosmologies.. From the intellect emanates the world soul which gives life to everything. beyond every limitation. but with the intelligible world by its powers above. as it were. there is an imprint of the divine One in every single soul. but by its ultimate fringe we are tied to the world below. a trace of the One which is at the same time mark of and spurn to the One.23) Often I have woken up out of the body to my self and have entered into myself. the Areopagite. which is pure intelligibility and reservoir of the world of ideas in the Platonic sense. And from this. which is more divine than our intellect. 1982). a divine life. 1963). in total stillness. Saint Paul. of course. 1953. 8. & Haas.. going out from all other things. 1966).

seems to have melted together with the Stoic teaching of the “seeds of the eternal fire” to form what became known as “scintilla synderesis. It signalled a part of Figure 2. quoted Ps. must be to seek reunion with God. for example. or later on Adam de la Hale. mentions the fact that in the contemplative-mystical experience the soul is taken out of its normal state.” a place free of sin even in the sinner. “in ignorance.veritas aliena cognoscere 20 experitur affectus unicionem ad Deum nec potest comprehendre intellectus imperia liberi arbitrii motus voluntarii appetitus divinorum ratio vires naturales naturales apprehensiones affectus .-Dionysios more often than Saint Augustine. endowed with Apostolic authority. his absolute otherness and difference and the impossibility to know him. have been highly influential in the middle ages.” was centred around the immense greatness of God. Thomas Gallus (1219 . 1948). Saint Thomas Aquinas.The book of the spirit and the soul. what it really meant and what its true ethymology is. Augustine’s. Cap. The teachings of Ps. like Phillip the Chancelor.Victor. as it were. 1957. or the image of God in Christian terminology. The main theme of his book “Mystical Theology. It was Thomas Gallus or Thomas of St. and that there is an “occult power” within the soul. Development During the Middle Ages Somewhere along the line during the Dark Ages this neo-Platonic idea of a special part of the soul as the trace of the One. For the philosophers of the middle ages it primarily was a moral concept. also known as Thomas of Vercelli or Commentator Vercellensis. But in parallel to this moral usage another one turned up out of the slumber of the dark ages in the mystical tradition.Victor in Paris and university teacher in consummatio intellectus apex mentis synderesis supra naturam et industriam robur mentis industria vera an falsa natura intellectus . The main psychological text of the middle ages. this neo-Platonic tradition made its way into the Christian middle ages. Volume 24 . Philosophers of the 12th century. who reintroduced the concept of the “scintilla synderesis” as a mystical notion. which is the faculty of union of man with God. even by Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century. the “Liber de spiritu et anima . Alcher of Clairvaux. or God as he is conceived in the Judaic-Christian tradition is identified with the neo-Platonic One. p. used the term “synderesis” to signify the fact that even the worst of sinners always had a door open towards the good. neo-Platonism baptized. and thus granting freedom of conversion at any time.-Dionysius takes up the teachings of Proclos and also speaks of a higher part of the soul. of course. but was known in the middle ages as a text of St. Synderesis is a complicated term. This was the place where God spoke through the true voice of consciousness. which was untouched and untouchable by human sin.-Dionysios the Areopagite (Ps.bonitas sua propria cognoscere The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. 1949. 797). that he always could convert himself and turn to God.-Dionysius Areopagita. In this moral sense this term seems to have been used for quite a long time.authority since his writings were long thought to have been inspired by the Apostle himself.1247) is mentioned as a canon of St. XXIV. Thus. and it is still unclear. 1996. 1987). the human soul.” the spark of the synderesis. the “synderesis. And man’s endeavour. since there was a place within him which remained untouched by all the evil he brought on himself by his sins (Lottin. In this teaching the neo-Platonic One is identified as God. but without naming this power (Pseudo-Augustinus & Alcher von Clairveaux. Ps. Scheme of Thomas Gallus’ psychology. 2005.” beyond rational thinking and knowing.” which is attributed to the Cistercian author. 1942.

” The middle ages only tributed such nicknames and titles of honour to wellknown and important writers. with the moral concept of consciousness. with God alone. This is activated by grace only. which is beyond any operation of the mind.” This is the “organ” of the contemplative. and posits 3*3 faculties of the soul. the affect is concerned with goodness and the soul’s own states (bonitas. as it were. which corresponds to the highest hierarchy of angels. There we find the natural.-Dionysius the Areopagite (Thomas Gallus. They work naturally. only the very highest. Thomas Gallus was not a minor writer. sensual apprehensions (naturales apprehensiones). and is the central power of the mind (robur mentis). the Seraphim. whose sole purpose and aim is the unification with God.1219. Here the “spark of the soul” has made its entry into the teaching of the West. This scintilla synderesis belongs solely to the affect. 14). he says: In this book he (i..-Dionysios’ teaching of the celestial hierarchies. this free will would have been a part of the synderesis. which is the highest part of the soul. Thus it is understandHigher Self 21 . The highest part of the affect here are the commands of the free will (imperia liberi arbitrii). He was well regarded by posteriority and widely read. it is beyond human nature and active effort (supra naturam et industriam). and thereby is concerned with the highest good of the soul. by the way. into the Western. he achieved two things. With Thomas Gallus. is activated by the will and by effort of energy (industria). This is the first explicit mentioning of a specific faculty of the soul. at a higher level with propositional and intellectual truth. according to the 3*3 hierarchies of angels. mainly consisted in reading. a faculty or organ for the mystical experience. is extremely rare. 1936). By doing this. aliena cognoscere)—at the lower level with sensory truth. suo propria cognoscere)— at a lower level with the subjective and sensual goodness. 1990). p. which is the spark of the synderesis and which alone can be united to the Holy Spirit. There are two major faculties: intellect (intellectus). 1934. Of this upper triad of the soul. Pagan philosophers..e. a more profound way of knowing God. compartments 4-6. when there is another power that exceeds the intellect no less than the intellect exceeds reason and the reason exceeds imagination. the neo-Platonic teaching of a trace of the One has combined with various strands of Christian teaching. at a higher level with the intellectually and morally good. This second level. as it were. One could also interpret this as the conscious level of our human rational faculties. compartments 1-3 as it were. In his commentary on the “Mystic Theology” (which. a copy is obtainable by interlibrary loan from the university library in Mainz. Here in Thomas Gallus. and by doing this. consist of the natural faculties of the soul (vires naturales). the affect already comes out of its natural slumber.-Dionysios the Areopagite.summit of the mind”. we find a whole compartment above the rational powers of the soul which he calls synderesis.thought the highest cognitive power was found in the intellect. It is schematically reconstructed in Figure 2. and the simple discernment of basic truths and falsity (vera an falsa). Note that in former psychologies some 50 or 100 years earlier. and experiences a desire for the divine (appetitus divinorum)..” spark of the soul or principal affection. Germany) of Ps. These are the compartments 7-9 so to speak. The main part of this psychology. the synderesis.. neo-Platonic tradition. denoted as the rational faculty (ratio).the commentator from Vercelli. Augustian terminology and made this strain of contemplative tradition more accessible to the West.principal affection.. which he outlined in his commentary on Isiah. where he lived and studied (Barbet. is called the “apex mentis .spark of the synderesis”. In this specific place in the soul a human being is divine. to form an explicit psychological notion of the “scintilla synderesis. Dionysius) hands down. But he wrote a summary himself in one of his commentaries which has survived and has been edited (Thomas Gallus. unitive experience of ecstatic oneness of the soul with God. as it were. gains experiential. At some stage he was transferred to the abbey of Vercelli in Piemont. commenting and interpreting the works of Ps. The first level of the soul. subconsciously in modern parlance (natura). and in it the highest faculties of the human soul are perfected (consummatio intellectus). or “principalis affectio . and affect (affectus). While the intellect is concerned with the outside world and truth (veritas. But at the border toward the next level. In that summary he aligns the inner structure of the soul with Ps. And he developed a psychology which could incorporate these teachings. This power is the principal affectio. His work. is lost. apart from his monastic and ecclesiastic duties. whence his title of honour “commentator Vercellensis . and is able to unite with God him/herself. mystical knowledge of God. which made him important for posteriority: He translated the meaning of the Greek terms which were close to the pagan. or at other places “scintilla synderesis .

This ascent is conceived according to his— more Augustinian—psychology. p. He says: These six steps of the ascent to God are according to six hierarchically ordered faculties of the soul. are still together. Volume 24 . only in radical extinction of thinking. which he also calls apex affectus. 1961. which leads to a unification with God in the scintilla synderesis. Walach (1994) has argued that he probably was a Franciscan friar opposing St. Hugh of Balma (Walach. but the fact that Eckhart was in Paris in 1276/7 and in 1312 makes a connection a possibility. unless the fire of the holy spirit ignites him in his very centre. general. It was Hugh of Balma who radicalized this teaching. “The Cloud of Unknowing” (Anonymous. This process. the intellect. university teachers and theologians for having relinquished the true path towards insight and knowledge. p. do not concern the main impact of his teaching.The ways to Zion mourn”. This is also evidenced by Thomas Gallus’ psychology. Bonaventure in familiarizing the spiritual readership with the concept of a higher part of the soul: the Carthusian author. and. 1995). 1929). His basic message is simple: Only in the total withdrawal of the soul from every outward orientation. which was also known as “Mystical Theology” or as The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. There is now available a recent English (Martin. the mystical path. 1997b) and German translation (Walach.able that his teachings were taken up by others and handed down. which can be dated round about the years of 12601270. and thereby was seminal for the later contemplative or mystical tradition. which is concerned with the soul’s own inner states.. except in old and rare prints until very recently. which is concerned with the outer world. And every faculty of the soul has a certain role to fulfill in this. Bonaventure has taken up the notion introduced by Thomas Gallus of a summit or spark of the soul. such that he can really be called one of the fathers of Western mysticism. (Bonaventura. the understanding. popularized it. and being one of the major authors of the Franciscan community and a widely read theological teacher. and the faculty of affect. 1981). true peace and freedom be gained. Hugh of Balma is usually known only to specialists due to missing editions and literally missing access to his writings. And the apex of the affect is totally taken over and transformed into God. VII. is mystical and most secret. which in fact is inner experience. 4. which also is inspired by Carthusian spirituality. the Franciscan friar. as well as a criti22 cal edition of his text (Hugo de Balma. 150) Thus. unless he receives it.-Dionysios and Thomas Gallus. In his book “Itinerarium mentis in Deum .The mind’s itinerary to God” he described the mystical ascent (Bonaventura. another author was possibly even more influential than St. One can make a point that. as taught by Ps. and only in concentrating all the soul’s powers into the affect. 1961). and he does not desire it. where the faculty of intellect. his biography. He influenced the 14th and 15th century movement of lay devotion. the senses. however. accepted version is that he was a Carthusian prior. thus aiming only at the mystical union with all desire and all power and in ardent love. This was taken up extensively about 100 years after his presumed active period. pre-modern science and mystical speculation. as a kind of side effect. While the official. and the summit of the soul or the spark of the synderesis (apex mentis seu synderesis scintilla).6. Here is a textual example from Hugh’s lengthy tract. if it is to be perfect. I. In parallel. Opinions about the author. up to Hugh of Balma. Walach. true knowledge of many other things. his motives and the basic thrust of his teachings vary widely.) It is within this latter spark of the soul. These details. Saint Bonaventure. however. can true knowledge of God. and which is the only aim and bliss of the soul. summit of the affect. all intellectual activities have to be given up. the rational faculties. mystical and classical theology. (Bonaventura. and he does not receive it. “Viae Sion lugent . Noboby understands it. . Bonaventure and who had to retreat into the charterhouse for personal safety and ecclesiastical peace. unless he desires it. 1961. the imagination. 1996). His teaching was highly influential. the so called devotio moderna. and professor of theology was one of them (Gilson. His influence on Meister Eckhart remains to be traced. outer and inner experience were one. 2005. that the mystical experience takes place: In this step. 1994). 1994. his work was translated into many languages. in Bonaventure the neo-Platonic-Dionysian theme of an imprint of the One or an organ for the mystical experience has been combined with the more traditional Augustinian psychology familiar at the schools of theology and has been firmly established in what became one of the key texts of the Western Christian mystical traditions. and printed in many editions. He severely attacks all school teaching and academic wisdom. 59f.. He very likely was the main source for the contemplative text.

1965) of the 16th and 17th century. failed. be it nature. as nature. Inner experience or mystical experience has been delegated to lay piety and private worship. comes to mind here. he did not see as a fixed system but as a suggestion open to and in demand of further exploration—the Higher Self is an active centre. These hints may suffice for a first approach. but is outside the scope of this paper. Whitehead’s beautiful metaphor of “God luring” entities towards him. p. this concept returns. in the present moment. by the way. which were written down and copied widely. little fortress of the soul. for which experience is experience of something (else). In his psychology–which. spark of the syndere- sis. we are able to feel already now. by virtue of the unification of the glowing. theological and scientific branch. and Ignatius of Loyola. mystical branch. The psychology of these mystical writers. About this rising it is said that it happens without knowledge. Here he also calls this central part of the soul spark of the soul. but certainly goes as far as the Spanish mystics (Pablo Maroto. or rather by not-knowing. variably named summit of the mind. And from there it made its way into the teaching of other mystics. especially within psychosynthesis. which would certainly be possible. It seems evident that what Assagioli had in mind by this notion is probably very similar to what was expressed in the tradition by the terms “spark of the soul. mostly to Dominican sisters. It certainly would be interesting to sketch further this history in the West and in later times. to rise ardently and glowingly with surging strivings to his beloved. This concept has mainly disappeared from the academic agenda ever since Hugh of Balma. During the middle ages. principal affect.“De triplici via ad sapientiam . It has since lived and survived in the circles of pious groups. as we saw. ardent love that. It seems to be an interesting fact that. then. the Dominican friar and preacher has taken this notion up and popularized it in the vernacular in his sermons. and spiritual development of the psyche. This type of knowledge was handed down in the “Mystical Theology” (of Ps. and therefore can be the place and the means of the mystical experience of union with God. Experience has started to become experience of outer things. 1956). for which experience is eminently experience of oneself. what the mind is incapable of grasping.” “spark of the synderesis. like Tauler or Seuse. of mystical thought in the West.” While the mystical tradition used the term more in the context of the mystical experience of union with God. And it would be even more interesting to draw the parallels with and underline differences to Eastern traditions. of the rational faculty. A concept was born. Its influence is still not completely traced and established. there is a part which is like a “better” part of a divine nature. Meister Eckhart.” counter-academic. God within. which has henceforth remained present in the West: the notion of a higher part of the soul. as world. Higher Self: The Heritage and the Future Agenda It is within psychosynthesis as described by Assogioli that the concept of a Higher Self makes it quasi-official reappearance on the agenda of modern psychology. It rises up in the summit of the affective power. world or God. activating and thereby pulling the individual toward his or her development. if not the most important one. It is conceived as the very centre or summit of the soul.” academic. and was more or less driven out of universities and schools. 1993).The Threefold Way to Wisdom”: The other type of knowing is more eminent than the other two: it consists in the most ardent unifying love. spark of the soul. the mystical tradition has drifted away from orthodox teaching. like Theresa of Avila. Assagioli assigns more mundane tasks to the Higher Self. who likely tried to influence academic opinion. (Walach. 265) This text. John of the Cross.Dionysius). It was ascribed to Bonaventure and thereby became widely known and eminently important. without any mediating agent. More than 100 text witnesses are extant. is one of the major manifestos. or into the circles of lay people (Ruh. testifying to its wide distribution. in monasteries and in the writings and teachings of mystical writers. within transpersonal psychology. as God.” “summit of the mind. By letting go of any activity of imagination. has culminated in a notion. Since the latter half of the 13th century. an enormous number. and in an “esoteric. which in reality makes the spirit able. this was identical to Higher Self 23 . the founder of the Jesuit order and of the meditative-experiential tradition of the spiritual exercises (Beyer. within the human mind. The Higher Self of Assagioli has a psychological function: unification. 1994. It is in Hugh of Balma that the academic tradition of the West branches into an “exoteric. which looks at everything from the outside. of the mind and of the understanding. however. which signifies that. albeit mainly outside academical traditions.

it describes the same basic experience. or even more effective than conventional treatment. it seems. to which everyone is drawn. we know virtually nothing. prayer or whatever other type. it is by no means enough nor is it good enough. the essence of what is meant by the Higher Self or the spark of the soul in the middle ages seems to be the same: Both signify the highest part of the soul. As I have tried to show. We acknowledge that sometimes psychological problems have to be solved before or after spiritual experiences. healing. Frankl’s dictum that the spirit is never ill. If this is so. There are several strands of empirical and theoretical research which recommend itself in that way. If it is true that within transpersonal psychology some of the legacies of the mystical tradition are present. 2005. to let oneself be drawn by the call of God. which forbids entities beyond necessity. We feel reminded of Viktor E. like selfesteem. which is thought to be an imaginative counterpart of contacting one’s Higher Self. since history is not simply a rehearsal of the same piece of music all over again. or salutogenetic resources? Traditions usually have a pragmatic answer: True experiences transform people and leave them changed such that they are able to do things or perform tasks which they previously were unable to. The historical distance from the middle ages can be traced in the fact that nowadays we also recognize psychological needs more readily. of course. our godlike nature. and that the power of such a mystical experience can be severely hampered by psychological malfunctioning of the rest of the person. Only if presented in the widely read mainstream journals with high impact and rigorous review will such material be taken seriously. One way would be to point out phenomena which cannot be explained well by the ruling paradigms of academic psychology and which will suggest a concept like the Higher Self as an explanatory construct. basically untouched by psychological suffering.The best known of these is probably the inner journey to the wise man. Then. or coping skills. this is a kind of ever present synthesizing and motivating activity. which is not very convincing to sceptics and critics: What is the criterion that in any experience of Higher Self. Volume 24 . there is no clear advantage for such a concept to everyday research and theorizing. in other words to reintroduce the topics of transpersonal psychology within academic main-stream psychology and research. the mystical tradition has pulled away from the official academic strand of research and teaching. In the Zen-tradition The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. Specifically. To be quite sure: By the rules and standards of academic psychology a concept like that of the Higher 24 Self is at the first glance utterly unscientific: there is no way of verifying or falsifying it. for the mystical writers of the middle ages this was the innate spurn to embark on the spiritual quest. there would be the reductive argument which is difficult to counter apart by selfevidence. only the soul. I venture to say that in the Higher Self of psychosynthesis. At present. and it probably would be cut away by Ockham’s razor. Therefore. Both attribute to this part an active role in the unification of the personality. and there are some tasks which come with it. the old concept of “spark of the soul” makes its reappearance. this has some important ramifications. interventions tapping the spiritual resources should be researched and documented well. one has indeed made contact with a spiritual or transpersonal realm? Why has it to be “trans-” and is not simply something like a strong resource. proving to the scientific community and the public that therapies using transpersonal resources. and on the effectiveness of therapies which base their concept more on a spiritual understanding of man. quite natural and a health resource rather than hazard. We need data on the effectiveness of interventions like that. Granted that a modern psychological stance has something to add and to offer to the purely mystical or spiritual position. in imagination. Christ-nature or Buddha-nature.deification: becoming God-like or union with God. Both traditions see the experience of this innermost part. of Higher Nature. sound and available as a resource. then one task would obviously be to reconnect this strand of thinking and experiencing with the main stream of the scientific endeavour. as the most important and most fulfilling experience. Apart from the different and clerical language this is couched in. utilizing this as a resource. It should be shown beyond doubt that spiritual experiences are quite common. One guiding principle would be the possibility that basic human experiences and conditions are universal but interpreted differently according to different historical and cultural backgrounds. Historical and theoretical research should establish firm links between concepts of different cultures and times. Assagioli has suggested some imagination exercises for helping the individual growth process. can be effective. Transpersonal therapies should take up the burden of empirical research and evaluation. or Spark of the Soul. Although there is some research into that direction. or rather in this or similar concepts of Transpersonal Psychology. While for Assagioli. in modern parlance.

Il Subcosciente. Walsh. References Anonymous. In dictionnaire de spiritualité. Adliswil/Zürich: Verlag Astrologisch-Psychologisches Institut. 606-624). (1991). Frankfurt: Klostermann. and quantitative self-report. 1. W. Grundzüge seiner metaphysik. The dimension beyond psychosynthesis. v. R. good theory and good empirical theory testing should be mandatory also for transpersonal psychology. these types of validation of experiences. & Maltin. In that sense voices coming from the transpersonal camp and demanding a “new” science are not all that helpful. It would probably be wise to utilize the modern trend towards neuroscience. Gigon. D.. it seems. Vom Himmel. J. We need experience in the full sense of the word. 368-382. Plotinos reportedly had quite a few spiritual experiences himself. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. are not public knowledge. Prinzipien. The rationale is not much different from that of common tests: What can be tested for (intelligence. L. but linked up with philosophical and traditional terminology. or the spark of the soul. integrated into and linked up with existing knowledge and paradigms. July 1999. Beierwaltes. Proklos. Nendeln: Kraus. (1974). I’ll give you something completely new. London: Harper Collins. how to really integrate what is “new” with what is there. Higher Self 25 . Hibbert Journal. not only as inner experience and not only as outer experience. Von der Seele. Psychosynthese. which explained the same phenomena as well as the old theories plus could make testable predictions and integrate some odd phenomena left unexplained by Newtonian mechanics. It was inner experience. Transpersonal development. 33. as well as the methodology that comes with it. The Higher Self or Spark of the Soul initially was a concept derived from experience. We need something similar today. R. The cloud of unknowing: The classics of Western spirituality. Assagioli. if integration is to happen at all. Atti del IV Congresso Internationale di Filosofia. as well as phenomenologically by studying qualitative reports. Die schulung des willens. experiences. R. likely exists. methoden und techniken. Transpersonal experience in childhood. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. (1981). Assagioli. Maybe they never will be. Assagioli. As yet. R. 14. Quantum mechanics was successful not because it was new. fMRI. facts and theories remain unrecognized unless they can be combined with. Germany. Ed. Von der Dichtkunst. if they cannot at the same time point out. (1986).there is something like that in the testing for the understanding of a Koan. which alone can yield an argument against reductive reasoning. R. Symbols of transpersonal experiences. Thomas Gallus. Assagioli.. as probably did the other writers. to introduce the topics of transpersonal psychology into mainstream research. T. In that sense. 184-201. (1983). Maybe some simple surrogate tests could be devised. It was supported by the Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene. (1990). subjective in the first place. neuroimaging and the concepts derived from there. Übers. The knowledge of the spiritual traditions can be helpful in this. Armstrong. but because it could integrate what was there into a new framework. (1984). Putting eastern philosophies into western psychotherapies. 35-55. Freiburg. but as what it originally was: inner and outer exprience combined into one mode with two faces. American Journal of Psychotherapy.. In Anonymous. Assagioli. and to combine this with existing models as far as possible. Barbet. Psychoanalysis and psychosynthesis. (1991). school aptitude). (1911). both empirically by EEG. (1969). Something like that would be necessary for a science of spiritual experiences. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. by J. Jung and psychosynthesis. Author Note This paper is based on a talk held at the 3rd World Congress of Psychotherapy in Vienna. One way would be to promote research into meditation. transl. Methoden der psychotherapie und der selbsttherapie. nor should be. introd. R. and thus intersubjective in result. A catalogue of “traces” which should be detectable in the psychological make-up or in the daily lives or achievements of people with true “experiences” of their higher nature should be worked out. Assagioli. München: DTV. History shows that phenomena. Assagioli. New York: Paulist Press. (1965). & hrsg. 207-230. In such a notion of science and experience there would be a place for a concept derived from inner experience like the Higher Self. Aristoteles. 16. R. (pp. Bologna. (1934). O. motor performance. Paderborn: Junfermann. Atwood. (pp. A successful new paradigm is not a paradigm which suggests: Throw away the old stuff. J. 3345. 45. 800-816). (1988). but eventually will have to undergo empirical tests as well.

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This quality of vitality of the symbolic and metaphoric realms of knowing is at the heart of Campbell’s teachings and one we would do well to retrieve. it may come out of a revisioned care of language itself as a transport vehicle towards the transcendent or invisible realms of being that poetry exposes us to through its aesthetic and linguistic corridors. Language and landscape are intimate first cousins. for it guides us to the proposition that in the active life of the imagination of a culture. I am not all things and I have not all things. as well as the poetry of John Keats. whose 100th birthday we celebrate this year (1904-2004). 74). psychic and spiritual energy.” he asserts in Flight of the Wild Gander (1951/2002) “derives from the vitality of its symbols as metaphors” (p. revealed in many of his 28 books and journals the intimate connection of mythology to the earth’s foundational soil.The Myth of Nature and the Nature of Myth: Becoming Transparent to Transcendence Dennis Patrick Slattery Pacifica Graduate Institute The works by the American mythologist. As long as I am this or that. being neither this nor that. In addition. and now. language too is crucial. of words themselves. in the way we both disabuse and pollute. and towards the transcendent in the other. For even our morality—indeed. What we do to words mirrors with exacting frequency what we do to the world. If there is to be a renewed mythos. Campbell would. Joseph Campbell. p. are all things. I believe. in Huxley. And both are showing signs of permanent exhaustion. or nurture and elevate the status. to the dead and to language’s continued vitality. By doing so. diagnose the accelerating rapacity of the earth’s resources as yet another consequence of an earlier malady wherein “matter and spirit begin to separate. For today we would be wise to place the earth’s journey at the forefront of any pilgrimage towards revitalizing the planet. Beginning with a brief overview of some of the major tenets of Campbell’s guiding force of the “monomyth.107) The mythologist Joseph Campbell.” which gathers all the various world mythologies as inflections of one universal story.” Campbell refers to such a divorce as “mythic dissociation” (1972/1993. our morality above all— depends on the historical resonance of its foundationThe Nature of Myth 29 . of an entire planet. The purpose of yoking mythology to poetry is to realign consciousness along a mytho-poetic axis of insight and understanding. The “life of a mythology. or have this or that. in The Dominion of the Dead (2003). Meister Eckhart. I detect his impulses moving in two directions: into the body and into the natural order in one direction. though not divorced from matter but actually inhering within it. he antedated the ecology movement as well as a fuller consciousness of the earth’s terminal illnesses if not diagnosed and treated with some careful prescription policies available for continued refills. The Perennial Philosophy (1970. As I continue to read and absorb his elegant insights into the essential place of a shared and coherent mythos in the life of the individual and of an entire people. then you are omnipresent and. within Mother Earth. seems to be one of Campbell’s perennial and abiding concerns. p. perhaps even to the transcendent Other that is in fact—tat tvam asi—thou art the other. In his incisive study on the importance of our ancestors. xx). Robert Pogue Harrison observed that “in the age of the new barbarism. especially his “Ode to a Nightingale.” offer new ways to reimagine our relation to the earth. words lose their moral memory. Become pure till you neither are nor have either this or that. This essay will explore these regions rather than move to the topic that put him on the world map: that of the hero’s journey (1948/2004). the essay then moves into a discussion of Keats’ poem in order to reveal the power of poetic utterance in reconfiguring a vital mythology.

The term “World. let us link for a moment both Hegel and Campbell to one more crucial historical figure. p. the Story beyond the story that everlasting reiteration of unchanging principles and events inflected in particular and unique ways” what Joyce called a universal monomyth that imbeds itself in the various localities of a specific culture in time. Here is Hegel early in his epic work. that the image of “the everflowing fountain expresses a continual flow of interest toward the unconscious. a kind of constant attention or ‘religio. in self-expression. which Carl Jung observes in Mysterium Coniunctionis in a section entitled “An Alchemical Allegory.” none of which brooks “the false eloquence of the times” (p.” that all the varieties of world mythologies are inflections of one story. and to deify them. and spirit are more aligned than alien to some fundamental hidden unity that perhaps the metaphors of poetry are best equipped with a greater alacrity than other forms of expression. more blissful and enduring repetition of physical desire and satisfaction” (p. is our substantial object.You would like to make gold because poverty is the greatest plague. we see that they are symptoms of the unconscious. they are of the same essence” (Rilke. 2005.al words: liberty. xvi). wealth the highest good” (1963/1989.…unfolds this its one nature in the phenomena of the World’s existence” (1834/1991. Campbell. in his Introduction to the revised The Hero’s Journey. which implies that psyche. as it were. the world spirit that the philosopher Georg W. indeed. 193). in this last book which he completed in his eightieth year. The symptoms of literalism’s malady include an arresting or blockage of psychic energy’s flow. believed. p. John Keats. substance and energy. (p. Campbell underscores Rilke’s insight when he coins the phrase “mythic identification” (1951/2002. that the phenomenon we investigate—Universal History— belongs to the realm of Spirit. which I take as the expression of the everyday shorn of its transcendent reverberations. This languid soul has indeed heard and heeded the call and entered the vocational woods of poetic creation. 86). Ranier Maria Rilke. The Philosophy of History (1834/1991): It must be observed at the outset. par. and in writing is directly yoked to a disrespect and indifference to the matter and. 10). p. This ode recollects and records a transcendent pilgrimage into the imaginal realm. Perhaps in entertaining the hero’s journey. nature. In this vein.xix). Volume 24 .” “is the source of your fantasy. to provide images that relate the everyday to the eternal” (2004. guided by the song of an invisible bird that turns an ordinary event in the life of an exhausted soul into a mythical journey that revitalizes and shifts his vision towards the mysteries of a transcendent realm. equality. I say this because there is implicit in the metaphor of this journey the possibility that the hero is an encompassing metaphor for the life energy The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. p. ((1990/2003. The latter part of this essay must. following the Irish writer. Joseph Campbell’s entire work contains a Hegelian impulse. Hegel (17701831) believed was the nugget resting deep in the heart of the earth. 257). but also controlled and intended statements of spiritual principles which are as constant in history as the human nervous system” (1948/1968. who writes in his thoughtful responses to a young poet that “Spiritual creativity originates from the physical.38). 160) to capture the sense of a hidden transcendent unity of truth. Phil Cousineau.But Spirit.’ which might also be called devotion” (par. He furthers this revelation at the heart of The Hero With a Thousand Faces in writing that “to grasp the full power of mythological figures. we have read it too literally. duty.F. What Keats’ ode exposes is an essential and exhausting poverty inherent in literalism. and the course of its development. is “to see the life value of the facts round about. compassion.” includes both physical and psychical Nature…. who in his short but gifted life created some of the most remarkable poetry on the themes that Campbell and others believed were at the heart of any pulsating desire to restore the mythic impulse to the heartbeat of the common citizen. more needs to be cultivated regarding the intimate connections in thought between these two titans. then. include a brief exploration of “Ode to a Nightingale” by the 19th century English poet. sacrifice. Jung believed. The function of the poet. James Joyce who gave him the term “monomyth. He further links 30 these two impulses that allow for some new creation to enter the world when he reflects that “spiritual creativity is a gentler. writes that “the monomyth is in effect a metamyth. a philosophical reading of the unity of mankind’s spiritual history. 38). 191). deploying similar words to delineate an analogous idea. I believe that carelessness in speech. 16) Hegel’s insight comes seductively close to a key tenet of Campbell’s reflections on world mythologies as he continues: “the rational necessary course of the World-Spirit—that Spirit whose nature is always one and the same. to transmit to a receptive audience. p. 1929/1992 p. Campbell asserts. the fountain of your soul….

pp. p. and those who know that they are not facts” (2001. the death of language—its cadavers are strewn around us everywhere: in clichés. Finally. to know and respect that ultimate mystery that transcends all forms (2001. 34) having their origins in the energies of the organs of the body. they carry a religious function: to awaken and maintain in the person an experience of awe. for that too is a category of thought…”(p. 48). the universe as it is. p. they allow us to cross boundaries otherwise impossible. which is a mode of transportation. “There seem to be only two kinds of people: Those who think that metaphors are facts. among other venues. empty words. or polluted.5). matter. becomes sidetracked. myths. they also transport us past time. slogans. strict denotation. both in conflict and in complement to one another. Given this metaphorical quality that points to and exposes a mystery beyond contradiction and duality. 3. to go from one place to another. At the heart of the hero’s journey is this proposal: “The effect of the successful adventure of the hero is the unlocking and release again of the flow of life into the body of the world” (1948/2004. according to Campbell. 41). p. even a mythic heritage. 4. and they center us in the connotative dimensions of a world that is essentially and furiously denotative (2001. he asserts in The Inner Reaches of Outer Space that “the energy by which the body is pervaded is the same as that which illuminates the world and maintains alive all beings. which is another way of asserting that myths promote our “learning to live the divine life within you” (p. 51). In allowing the energy of the world soul to permeate one’s own body.itself that flows. diluted. one opens oneself to the mythic impulse which is to make us “transparent to transcendence” (2003. in its energetic language. as he writes in Flight of the Wild Gander. What for Campbell is the life process comprises for Hegel the World Spirit that animates and informs the World soul. the vitality and energy of the metaphors and symbols we create to describe the ineffable bear directly on what intensity of value the divine lives within and among us. physical world at the same time that it clears a space for accommodating the transcendent. xvi). The first group are the atheists and the second are “religious. he affirms that “myth is a constant regeneration. serve four functions: 1. Campbell insists that “the life of a mythology springs from and depends on the metaphoric vigor of its symbols…which can convey some realization of the infinite” (2001. newspeak. The death throes of the soul reveal themselves in. Within this field of metaphor. mediated by the social customs that comprise a specific historical time and place.” he explains. and to reveal the underlying unity of human embodiment and the cosmos. p. vulgarity and profanity. Perhaps analogies are birthed right here. Myths. 39). providing a consistent image of the order of the cosmos. p. A new mythos would gain much energy if it planted Campbell’s observation in the forefront of its assertion as a central tenet of its development. For Campbell. A new mythos must therefore be diligent and dedicated to preserving speech as well as preserving species. 2. The Nature of Myth 31 . The hero may be imagined as energy itself. it is the interior of flesh. p. are the “texts of rites of passage” (p. 6). begins in the body.8). Archetypes are biologically grounded… (p. Thus.3-4)). they help carry the individual through various stages and crises of life. the two breaths being the same” (2002. sound-bytes and a general lack of vitality in selfexpression. one’s own psyche. an identification with the life process” (2003. He furthers this idea in The Power of Myth (1988): “the archetypes of the unconscious are manifestations of the organs of the body and their powers. body and earth in a constant but benevolent dialogic tension between the body’s interiority and the world’s matter. they are interpretive. and its metaphorical or symbolic resonances. to allow us “transparence” to the latter. end-stopped. is from two Greek words: meta=to pass over. a common source. where the outer and the inner worlds meet” (2002. even as it connects us to the natural. Only metaphor has this exclusively powerful quality of allowing us to enter domains not readily accessible to the rational mind. this metaphorical quality lying vibrantly at the heart of myths and myth-making.” However. A renewed or revisioned mythos might then include an ability to reimagine the relation of spirit. they align consciousness to the mysterium tremendum. the life force that permeates all matter. therefore. even a partnership between energy flows through shared matter. he writes earlier in the same volume that “The divine is transcendent even of the category of transcendence. p. 40). is offered more than once by Campbell when he quotes the 19th century poet Novalis: “The seat of the soul is there. increased. p. space. Campbell reveals in his writing how both the world’s material. its physicality. worn out phrases. for the psyche. A key to this web of relationships. but which finally shares a universal origin. and phorein=to move or carry. The word “metaphor. an efficient and very economic delivery system of sorts. 40). decreased. Metaphors carry us from one place to another. 40).

I offer the following wobbly neologism to capture something of such a partnership: mythophysiology—a mythos of flesh. xix). learning to read the body as metaphorical of something beyond and within itself constitutes an angle of seeing in the construction of a revitalized myth in order that an individual. for Campbell. x). or archetypes. and more on the nature of a historical sensibility imaginally kindled that arouses one’s soul within a larger fabric of meaning and intentions. of our particular spirit informing it with ancestral culture” (p. 60). etc. in an organic and animal way. the place of society where the human body breathes itself into the social matrix. serves as a compendium of his thought on the matrix of mythic consciousness that anticipates or is in tandem with Stan Grof ’s vision of a wholistic order. James Hillman. and a) that awesome ultimate mystery which is both beyond and within himself and all things. Campbell intuited something profound about the body’s relation to myth and meaning but chose not to pursue it in depth. (p. is to get people to identify with something outside of themselves” (1990/2002. which is the essence of life itself. xiv). for the quality of being connected to ancestry has been muted considerably in today’s future-obsessed consciousness. and we can here highlight the indispensable place of a historical imagination in retrieving the humanity of our species. His most cogent and sustained opus. They are the historical progenitors. horrifying.” whose organizing impulse is to remember 32 and reflect unconsciously “the history which formed it and which its continuity would uphold…” (p. erotic field…“ (2002. a mediating middle cosmos through which the microcosm of the individual is brought into relation with the macrocosm of the universe” (p. and the images who walk in on us are our ancestors…. a second womb of sorts. By contrast. This is not a new myth but a reclaimed one. A new or revitalized mythos. has its own organizing structures. yet now discovered order of the pageant of the spheres” (p. Human history may then be understood as a biography of an entire species. is to foster the centering and unfolding of the individual in integrity. The fourth point is the only one I wish to access here: The fourth and most vital. The human is bound up with the humus and is why burial figures as the generative institution of human nature. b) the universe (the macrocosm). goals and purposes of a people’s mythology. gravitational. but when unbridled become terrific. Volume 24 . Campbell writes in Flight of the Wild Gander (1990/2002) that “myths and rites constellate a mesocosm. undoubtedly influenced by Vico. 93). So. 6) Stanislav Grof ’s own work. such an observation rests on a fundamental premise in all of Campbell’s musings on world mythologies: “the highest concern of all myths. each of us is influenced by “history’s hundred channels” which “show culture at work in the channels of the soul. p. the four volume The Masks of God. He called these “bioenergies. may assist us in reclaiming the ancestral imagination to allow for a fuller vision of our place in historical time. 130). that shapes it and is contoured by it. would seek to reclaim the wisdom of the dead. taking the word nature in its full etymological sense (from nasci. or an entire people. xi)….in that “marsupial pouch” that for Campbell characterizes. as well as a record of the pilgrimage of humanitas. burying” (2003. By the same token. a new or renewed mythos would also ideally push against the blind obsession with the individual in order to allow one to see that a myth of a communal. the body. grasp in a sensate way an intuition of place and of belonging to something beyond themselves. global order is necessary and must take precedence over the rights and appetites of the seemingly autonomous self. then. p. which Robert Pogue Harrison tells us. p. perhaps less an emphasis on historical events and facts at this juncture. citing the work of Gimbatisto Vico. A new mythos would exchange hubris for humus. p. c) his culture (the mesocosm). Campbell reiterates and in truth. writes in Healing Fiction (1983) of the central importance of history’s qualitative hold on psyche. 2005. of the human body” (2002. Given such a connection. destructive” (p. reveals that the word “humanitas in Latin comes first and properly from humando. in accord with d) himself (the microcosm). Creative Mythology (1968). like mythology generally. redesigns his list of four qualities. The land of the dead is the country of ancestors. 60). whose mythos is surcharged with planned obsolescence. which my colleague Robert Romanyshyn has eloquently described as “a gestural body. Human embodiment. life on earth “is to mirror in the human body the almost hidden. p. to which I have only The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. He argues convincingly against the preoccupation with the “historical ego. He observed that “mythos and dream are motivated from a single psycho-physical source. 130). [which is ] a magnetic. ceremonies. The human imagination is moved by the conflicting urgencies of the organs—including the brain. most critical function of a mythology. “to be born”. then. 123). Early in the beginning of volume 4.

318). (pp. The Odes of John Keats (1795-1821) are among the most famous and finely wrought in literature by such a young poet. Such a shift of capacity—a key and critical word here—rests on the ability to recognize the myth of mechanism that has dominated a vision of nature and her structure for hundreds of years. And from that penetration through the boundaries that might inhibit or resist the rest of us in our tracks. or imitation of a psychic action. be in line and in the spirit of both Grof ’s life’s work and Joseph Campbell’s sustained project of uncovering the “elementary ideas” of Adolf Bastian and the archetypal principles at the bedrock level of the psyche ordained and given authentic currency by C. On Stories (2001). 299).recently come. 711). in order to shatter those boundaries that Stan Grof believes keep us arrested within limits that are more arbitrary than absolute (2000. for. two southern poets of the last century. 298). cultural forces shifted the inflection to one of the image of the cosmos as a mythical or series of overlapping mythical tonalities. showing that our individual psyches are. the nature of myth. 202-03) Let me turn in the last part of this excursus to the realm of poetry. some insight that has particularly powerful mythic resonances. p. properly. Jung. In such a paradigm. Instead of “the image of the cosmos as a mechanical system” that assumes it can then be understand by “dissection” and explanation (p. I would say. perhaps a mytho-poiesis of nature. There the nature and structure of the narratives we tell. I believe. would finally reach its fullest expression. that unveils and makes more transparent. and drew this conclusion: “How does the ordinary person come to the transcendent? For a start. Poets are the antithesis of those souls caught in hell. a manifestation of cosmic consciousness and intelligence that flows through all of existence. Campbell reflected on it in a “Discussion” transcribed at the back of Thou Art That. poiesis is a making or a shaping of something that has been apprehended. for poets do not eschew the world so much as they enter it more fully than the rest of us may be capable. When asked about the experience of the transcendent and how one might achieve its status. 100). poetry is capable of producing an organic mythology. p. are fertilized by the same principles that organize and order the cosmic as well as social and individual orders. especially in Psychology of the Future (2000): “Spiritual intelligence is the capacity to conduct our life in such a way that it reflects [a] deep philosophical and metaphysical understanding of reality and of ourselves” (p. to the process of poiesis that only the human being is fully equipped to create. are in a sense homologous—and perhaps even holotropic?—of the structure of the world we inhabit. I want to lean on his words a bit to complete this essay by briefly exploring one of the finest poets in our tradition who successfully and securely wedded the imagination to the mundane. returns with a boon that is worth contemplating as we tend to the right measure of our own voyage. in writing of Allen Tate and John Crowe Ransom. its praxis is to create by analogy a mimetic representation of some vision. these souls are landlocked.G. For Campbell. they could have been etched yesterday or even tomorrow. In other words. there exists an intimacy between the myth of nature. a full and authentic mimesis. While written in the early part of the 19th century. as Richard Kearney develops this idea in a powerful little book. “Hell. In such a relationship. We never completely lost contact with this cosmic consciousness because we are never fully separated from it. Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale” (1819) renders that dual awareness in dramatic form as he implicitly outlines the lineaments of a mythological sensibility we must retrieve. As such. as the poet Wallace Stevens observes. as both Stan Grof and Joseph Campbell rightly insist on. such that they find it impossible to leave their safe harbors and sail towards the transcendent. You need not have the experience to get the message. or at least some indication of the message” (p. Both Joseph Campbell and Stan Grof would find a strong partnership in the observation expressed by the latter writer in The Holotropic Mind (1990): New scientific findings are beginning to support beliefs of cultures thousands of years old. study poetry. Nature and narrative grow like seedlings from the same plot of ground. a mythology of organs and origins. 92). As I stated in the title of this paper. Learn how to read a poem. having suffered through the concrete world in a unique way. Such a shift would. They are the figures in the culture to whom we turn. is the condition of people who are so bound to their ego lives and selfish values that they cannot open out to a transpersonal grace” (2001. the poet is a partner in the hero’s journey who. p. resonates a similar holistic view. in the last analysis. “the poets’ sensibilities have large orbits” (1997. organisms and the interfaces of both divine and human orders commingling and mutually influencing one another. nature becomes transformed into narrative. Any The Nature of Myth 33 . that Aristotle discovered in the 5th century BCE in Greece. For the Greeks. even drydocked.

In short. a living testimony of the future. p. and possibly poetry is merely the strange rhetoric of that parallel” (1997. Now more than ever it seems rich to die. yet is anchored securely in the voice of the bird—an image. is to become a priest of the imagination who utters psyche’s presence back into the world as both a sacramental mission and as a sacred imperative./Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains”( 1819. last gray hairs/Where youth grows pale. and perhaps by poetry’s innate wisdom. only heard: “Already with thee! tender is the night.’ that is. to easeful Death. some elixir of life that would revive and restore a connection to the natural order. Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme To take into the air my quiet breath. 722-23) Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale” testifies to such a transcendent possibility as well as our capacity to nest imaginally in just that brooding domain. pp. 205). and a drowsy numbness pains/My sense. in part. from the dead. the languid soul is immediately transported into another level of consciousness which transcends the boundaries of time and space. one of our toughest and most elegant voices of the poet and the critic. that is to say. p. as though of hemlock I had 34 drunk. could have been musing on Keats’ Ode when he wrote: “There is always an analogy between nature and the imagination. The poet’s task. Volume 24 . as Keats reveals it in that ode. the song of an invisible nightingale singing in the dark shadows of the forest’s trees. The response he feels—for odes convey as much feeling as thought or action—is moved by desire for a life of depth. one which is attuned not just to the foliage but to the smells of “the coming musk-rose. begins in lethargy: “My heart aches. “where palsy shakes a few. full of dewy wine. (1997. xvii). 205) as he (in fact it could be a man or a woman) falls Lethe-wards into the ennui of forgetfulness. to reclaim from the past. “entering the forest at its darkest part. for disinterring a relation that has been truncated and buried. for an élan vital. spawned by imagination. and spectre-thin. 206). His ode is like a remembrance. but with words’ bodies themselves—the power of words’ organic vitality to form a world and to transcend the ordinary world of sense by such a conveyance. and dies” (p. otherwise one is following another’s path (2001. our response must be both mythic and poetic. its narrator. namely. his attitude.hope for a viable future of the planet and the politics that outline and contour its habitation must include the dual tasks of retrieval of the past and the renewal of the future. re-animated by the feminine light of the moon and the dark vegetation. in a moment of eternal time. by the oppressive sense of life’s decay and death. (p. Now. Thus poetry becomes and is a transcendent analogue composed of the particulars of reality. Keats lamented the loss of psyche’s place in the natural order through the “strange rhetoric” that Stevens confirms is the poetic response to the ordinary. Wallace Stevens. where he moves slowly “Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways” (p. His world darkens as he reflects on his attraction. p. where no one had cut a path before. “a draught of vintage” that has been cooled a long time “in the deep-delved earth/Tasting of Flora and the country green./Dance. The voice of the figure in the poem. The almost instantaneous transformation into the mysterious realm of nature through an imaginal leap instills in him what I would call a natural imagination./And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne. What this voice seeks is some vitality in his own life. sad. Campbell insists the heroic journey must originate in pathlessness and in isolation. 2005. Keats envisioned already the growing pulse in the Western psyche in the 19th century to denude matter of its mystery through a stranger metaphysic that also felt the need to confirm the loss of divinity from the created order. 206). His soul is. through the invisible bird’s song as guide. as he intervenes and interposes the appearances of that sense. The narrator’s desire seems motivated./ [and] the murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves” (p. Said another way. Bliss eventuates out of personal blisters. 206). 206). for it returns to conscious awareness the absolutely essential role of the imagination as an instrument for reclaiming of the dead. 715). and Provencal song” (p. and in fact is inspirited by. suddenly. Stevens completes his brilliant reflections on the nature and effects of analogy regarding poetry by stating what seems so appropriate to Keats’ poem: their words [the poets’] have made a world that transcends the world and a life livable in that transcendence…. He hears at the same time. Such will be his catalyst to heed the sound of the call and venture out. In “Ode to a Nightingale” he renders an experience that is no less epiphanic. In an earlier poem. the poet’s task is not just concerned with the world’s body. by the poetic impulse of the psyche. 206) The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. between soul and matter./Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays” (p.”Ode to Psyche” (1819). I suspect—of the animal mundi herself—not seen. created by the poet’s sense of the world.

the thinly-bordered imagined realm “of silence and slow time. his imagination has uncovered the transcendent quality alive in the song’s immanence. with an awareness of mythic time and space which situates us between flux and permanence.This call by Death is both crucial and necessary. But as suggested in the archetypal pattern of Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. 207). it includes as well a shift from a strictly solar to a lunar consciousness. initiation. x). One possible answer is “yes” to both. a connection to the natural and transcendent orders of being. By the same token. a form of death of the self as it enters through the shining corridor of reverie. The heroic is never completely unmoored from its humic and humble foundations: Forlorn! The very word is like a bell To toll me back from thee to my sole self! (p. both cadaverous and calcified. with the past. 207). to history. (p. 908). or the “transcendent” realm cited earlier by Wallace Stevens and given several currency values in Campbell’s work. immortal Bird!/ No hungry generations tread thee down” (p. as the voice of the poem does. and renewal: “Was it a vision. Within such a sacred posture. But now the nightingale’s song fades “over the still stream. He further asserts that any salvific impulse in humanity to preserve itself must be based on a humic foundation. “one whose contents have been buried so that they may be reclaimed by the future” (p. p. which has now achieved in his imagination mythical status.” he continues to hear the fading echoic resonances of the bird’s song. and with a clever oral pun on the word “sole. with a historical sensibility. to a deeper connection to one’s “sole” self. for unless the dead are now acknowledged as the central core of our legacy of the living. if not increases its volume. to make public in a larger venue what one has discovered. 207). The Nature of Myth 35 . or perhaps more accurately. xi). when. a waking and sleeping experience. then we could suggest that a revitalized mythology must then include a poetic and imaginal response to the matter of the world. As priest.” a line Keats crafts in “Ode On a Grecian Urn” (p. to voice. and return—with some gift of remembrance. She stood in tears amid the alien corn. to the vast community of the dead. Indeed. the permanence of flux and the flux of permanence itself. the voice of Keats’ poem not only retrieves the numinous quality inherent in the natural order. to a renewed relationship with the dead. which at the same instant has married this sole soul to history. Harrison offers a dramatic image of this observation: “Our psyches are the graveyards of impressions. If we are able to slow down sufficiently to hear Keats’ call. a catalyst or a transport vehicle that led him from the isolated and solitary regime of the personal into the more communal and historically imbedded transpersonal. he or she must not rest content with the new experience or challenge. 207) On his return. 207) for the particular bird whose song led him into his initial reverie now swells its orbit./Up the hill-side. and a return to share. is to simultaneously enter by analogy into the world of the dead and the unborn at the same stroke. In the metaxis of dream and perceptual waking is the space of contemplation. but that voice is also led to it by a kind of poesy. or a waking dream? /Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?” (p. the same patterns of responses will remain stubbornly in place. desires. the heroic figure must return to the ground from which one originated to complete the cycle of departure. to move into the natural order. Or. and archetypes that confound the law of obsolescence” (2003. to become the sound that has echoed through the corridors of history from time immemorial. the solitary and lifeless voice of the narrator at the beginning has been revitalized by this seemingly ordinary connection to nature that has gestated in the poetic imagination and now leafs into a mythological experience. p. traumas. sick for home. however. the song of the bird. via the mystery of language. in the construction of a new mythos for the world. But with a reverent bow to the dead emerges a recognition of history’s legacy: The voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown: Perhaps the self-same song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth. it seems to me. in a language that is clean and freshly strewn with original analogies to wake the imagination from its dreary and often habituated slumbers. 207) This passage bears witness to an entry in one of Wallace Stevens’ notebooks: “The poet is the priest of the invisible” (1997. It has found its earth home once again. reflection. remembrance. in its mythopoetic veracity: “Thou wast not born for death. two losses most in need of retrieval grow from the soil of lament in the poem’s voice: the dead. and now ‘tis buried deep/In the next valley-glades” (p. as well as a sense of the historical connection that binds us all as one into a common humanity: what we all share each in our separate ways is a relation to the past and to the dead. to a mythical experience. A temporal event has been transformed. he consecrates the mundane into the transcendent.

Grof. (Ed. The holotropic mind: The three levels of human consciousness and how they shape our lives. Novato. CA: New World Library.M. New York: Penguin Publishing. Letters to a young poet. Marie Louise von Franz. Hegel. J. (2000). (2002). (1983). for the vitality of the magic of metaphorical and symbolic realities to be heard by those suffering from “a drowsy numbness” which pains their senses.C. (R. Buffalo. vol. J. C. Flight of the wild gander: Explorations in the mythological dimension. G. Pathways to bliss: Mythology and personal transformation. J.). Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to the author at dslattery@pacifica. (1991). (1968).P. The perennial philosophy. Stevens: Collected poetry and prose. Myths to live by. Campbell. (B. The hero with a thousand faces. (1988). PA: Trivium Books. J. S. Healing fiction. J. Bollingen Series XX. Original work published 1944. (2003). Hillman. Original work published 1929. will there by any hope. R. Novato. Novato. (Joan M. founded on a fertile loam of intuition. Campbell. Thou art that: Transforming religious metaphor. Albany. Original work published 1944. W. Pittsburgh. each with his or her uniquely beveled and honed eloquent language. Novato. (1997). R.J: Princeton University Press. Redford. New York: NRDC Publications.Only by taking this last step in the journey—making public. S. Romanyshyn. Trans. Volume 24 . Campbell. Campbell. (2001). Great Books in Philosophy Series. Burnham.). Novato. New York: Harper and Row Publishers.) New York: Doubleday. (1959). S. J. Original work published 1990. R. numbs their souls and provokes increased consumption. J. Trans. Princeton: NJ: Princeton University Press. Surely the pioneering work of Joseph Campbell. Novato. Campbell. CA: New World Library. xi-xii). Carl Jung. New York: Viking Press. Huxley. Kearney. CA: New World Library. Mysterium coniunctionis. James Hillman. R. The masks of God. Campbell. New York: Routledge Press. CA: New World Library. (2004). (1990). Rilke. References Bush. Original work published 1948. Harrison ends his Preface to The Dominion of the Dead (2003) with this observation: “sometimes the best way to retrieve a legacy is by freeing it from its original framework and reinscribing it in new ones” (pp.edu The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. California: 13-18 June 2004. CA: New World Library. (1989). Creative mythology. The Classic Wisdom Collection. Original work published 1822. The hero’s journey: Joseph Campbell on his life and work. Original work published 1951. 4. Stevens. New York: The Library of America. to my mind. (1993). The dominion of the dead.). San Francisco: Harper. NY: Station Hill Publishing. J. Natural resources defense council pamphlet on the environment. J. R. Ginette Paris and others. Selected poems and letters by John Keats. have all exercised just such a profound liberation of the past so that it can don and wear the shimmering and shadowy new wardrobes of a revitalized and freshly languaged future. On stories. The philosophy of history. Barrytown. NY: SUNY Press. Bollingen Series XVII. (2001). Editor. N. J. Grof.G. New York: Houghton Mifflin. Marion Woodman. Stan Grof. (2002). but in a more imaginal and reasoned response.). 36 Campbell. Jung. 2005. Author Note This paper is based upon a presentation at the Sixteenth International Transpersonal Conference in Palm Spring. Ways of the heart: Essays toward an imaginal psychology. (2004). NY: Prometheus Press. Campbell. (J. (1970). John Keats. Original work published 1986. D. Sibree. not in shrill outcries of literal laments.Hull. The inner reaches of outer space: Metaphor as myth and as religion. CA: New World Library. (1972). Psychology of the future: Lessons from modern consciousness research. Flowers. (2003). (1973). The power of myth. Princeton. Campbell. Trans. Harrison. A. Rick Tarnas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Christine Downing.F.

besides. there are also important differences. An outline of training in the neutral mask is given. whether works of philosophy. are discriminated and discussed. The second part of the paper will describe the experience of actors who do this work— the transformations they report—and how the mask can be a way of research into the myth. psychology. so I should also add that I am referring to how David was teaching it ten years ago. theology or folklore. and their influence. 1991a. The nature of this transformational environment will be further illuminated by setting it alongside Stanislav Grof ’s model of healing in non-ordinary states of consciousness (Grof. In the years since the publication of The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Campbell. I n his preface to The Masks of God. and the larger vision put forth in his writings. because it is amazingly congruent with mask work. p. I will offer an account of how those clues. I am acknowledging that there is a broad tradition but specifically referring to the neutral mask work as I learned it from David Latham. focusing on the approach of David Latham. when I trained with him. 1985. and some preliminary conclusions drawn based on experiences reported by student-actors and the author’s observations during his own research and his practice as actor and teacher. Archetype and the Neutral Mask: Actor Training and Transformation in Light of the Work of Joseph Campbell and Stanislav Grof Ashley Wain University of Western Sydney This paper explores the influence of transpersonal thinking. When I write of “the mask work” in this context. Joseph Campbell writes that within its four volumes are given all the motifs contained in the unified symphony of humanity’s spiritual heritage. xx). Artists tend. on actor training using the neutral mask. and while there are many similarities and common or recurring elements in these different approaches. particularly in work with the neutral mask. provides an excellent orienting vehicle for the unique combination of creative work and personal transfor- mation that this work represents. Both are discussed.Myth. The following account of the neutral mask. 1987). and what it has revealed regarding these in my own research. In this paper. Personal background and mask training There are many different approaches to the neutral mask. he placed together under the umbrella of “myth”—have been put to use in fields as varied as screenwriting and organisational learning. have served poetic ends in actor training and performance. a powerful contemporary mask widely-used in actor training in Europe. however. and to my own interpretation and development of that work. The influence of Campbell on this area of the arts can be seen to have two major elements: his monomyth is used as a guiding structure for improvisations in the training process and his vision. as experienced by the author in his own training. 1993). based on my own Neutral Mask 37 . Campbell’s insights into this symphony—the artefacts of which. These correspondences open up two areas of inquiry: the transformative effect of the mask work when conducted in a transpersonally-oriented set. David Latham. Joseph Campbell’s vision of myth has come to be a part of the mask work through my teacher. and the use of the neutral mask as an approach to the study of myth and archetype. archetype and journey. suggesting ways in which they might be put to use by reasonable men to reasonable ends—or by poets to poetic ends—or by madmen to nonsense and disaster” (Campbell. including the mythological perspective of Joseph Campbell and the holotropic perspective of Stanislav Grof. not to stay the same for too long. Australia and North America. “with many clues. Points of correspondence with the vision of Campbell and Grof.

When the mask is introduced. When I arrived from my hometown of Perth. p. Masks. breath. which for novice actors carries associations with the new age or Hinduism. We worked to make the spine responsive. exercises to evoke movement that is inspired by breath and infused with image. into a performance space and an audience space. David Latham always affirmed wherever we went. simply telling the story of our imagination to a single witness as it unfolded. We also began to journey inwardly. will trace the broad outlines of the work. It it is up to the students to discover what it is through their own curiosity. it lives in a state of inner calm. and they are told very little about the nature of the mask. to rediscover the basis of the mask and to find what makes it vibrate in yourself. ideokinesis. 2000. In acting. lying on the floor. The neutral mask is not a particular character. freedom. While it is important to allow the performer to make their own sense of the work. I had just finished a degree in philosophy and politics and I was intellectually-oriented—not very aware of my body or my feelings. 2005. Preparation for the mask also involves work with the various centres in the body (chest. often without. After this it will be possible to play it from within” (Lecoq. 1982).” however. up her spine and down the front of her body. The story of the birth of this mask is very illuminating. In voice. which demonstrate the extraordinary capacity of the mask to induce shifts in consciousness. sexual places. the division of the room. and to be present. Volume 24 . by acting in it. Some pull the mask off quickly. For the actor understanding is a matter of action. It’s a definite moment: “Today we begin work with The Mask. have long been an important part tool of initiation and transformation. writes that “To enter into a mask means to feel what gave birth to it. the immediate experience and one’s capacity to communicate it is the important thing—the actual energetic freedom and creative mastery of the actor. it is done quite formally. and many other exercises. and then moving from these energies. It has no psychology. It does not do one thing on the inside and another on the outside. solar plexus). sometimes in conjunction with an image. The students are not told what they should experience. lengthening our spines. Using concepts like chakra in an acting class causes some people to become resistant and others to become over-excited. no agendas. 1996). Jacques Lecoq.” One student reported that she felt “her breath” moving through her in a circle.” Various elements come together to create a sacred space and the impression of an initia38 tion: the way the teacher handles the masks. the late. observer and teacher. Too many concepts associated with other realms of endeavour and modes of discourse can become a serious obstacle. First. and by observing it as an audience member (SaintDenis & Saint-Denis. Australia. There is never any clapping.experience as an actor. It is found in nearly every culture and its association with ritual and with non-ordinary states of consciousness is well-known (Eldredge. stretching. students are asked simply to wear the mask in front of the group. These inner journeys and the movement improvisations might begin with personal themes but they soon move through violence. flexible and present to awareness. no past. it is action. or just plain weird places. others say that they felt “possessed. renowned teacher of neutral mask. 1984). another spoke of an intoxicating and seductive power like he had never experienced before (Holloway. David Latham never used the word “chakra. to begin training. It has been argued that the mask is the most ubiquitous of human artifacts. a Frenchman. we spent six weeks lying on the floor sensing our breath. It has no plans. It does not hold to a fixed point of view. and imagination. Our training was three years full-time—a very intense three years— and in the first six weeks we were completely immersed in exercises to increase our awareness of body. based on their own experience. It is totally transparent. It was discovered in the theatre of Jacques Copeau. a few thousand miles away. In acting we did a great deal of work to become aware of impulses. 2001). the founder of The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. The student-actors often report experiencing a sense of peace. of doing. the fact that students are only permitted to wear black. I trained as an actor at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. or terror. religious places. It is what it sees. exercises that loosen and awaken the body and imagination and connect these with the breath. In movement we practised Feldenkrais work (Feldenkrais. impulses. 1980). This simple exercise yields a range of often powerful experiences. 55). It teaches an actor to be simple. of course. Alexander (Alexander. it is possible to make some general remarks about its nature. the presentation of definite taboos. and specific exercises to prepare us for the mask. It has no differentiated attitude. no problems. It has no inner conflict. imagining the breath moving down the front of the spine into the centres. It is unnecessary. like a theatre. and releasing all kinds of tiny muscles. such as being in a desert. groin. those who are not performing are always in the audience. plain clothing. attending the images and energies that emerged there.

in the mask. they must pare back unnecessary gesture and action. the “daily mask. These identifications often begin with an invitation to the students to contact an image. it must be the body of the mask. prior to conditioning.” It is a world of essences. freedom and elemental aliveness. and so on). “Beneath every mask…there is a neutral mask” (Lecoq. p. a body without conflict. with archetypes (e. We can begin to see the affinity between mask and Campbell’s vision of myth when he suggests that “the basic theme of all mythology—that there is an invisible plane supporting the visible one” (Campbell. fear. 1990). wrote about how this became “the discovery of a mysterious world. an actress found herself blocked. Jacques Lecoq. the late. felt within) while in contact with an audience—makes up the crux of the actors work. and even onto colours. on the surface. one approach to understanding a mask is to ask. with the elements (Water. the imagination of a playwright or the psychological world of a character.” Somehow these simple themes and simple actions brought forth. If masks reveal the invisible. Its actions must be prior to culture. We ask: what is the living gesture of a certain colour? How does yellow move? Mime de fond Neutral Mask 39 . however hard she tried. at the beginning. 38). Copeau was disillusioned with the superficiality and clutter of the French theatre before World War 1 and with the Vieux-Colombier he attempted to create performances that had simplicity. To everyone’s amazement. simply to cover their faces. p. of elemental beginnings. of course. the eternal archetypes.g. The mask improvisation involves “completing the image. one encounters a physical sensation which reveals the dynamism of the life of this tree… It is as if the body had a skin for touching the space within and another for touching the space without” (Wylie. she said goodbye. It has been shipwrecked. intimately connected to nature. mask. 1985. theatre and often ritual are concerned with making this invisible reality visible on this plane1. 71). The actors begin to discover this through performing simple human actions—waking up for the first time. Olive Oil. There’s a roughly equivalent duality in Stan Grof ’s work in which he distinguishes “holotropic” and “hylotropic” states or realities (Grof. he discovered something. Unlike many spiritual practices. After this Copeau asked his students to make themselves simple “neutral” masks.” They “would make up very simple exercises with various themes: waiting. Glass. music and words. 1988. it is what we practice again and again. p. the persona. It is always interestingly.” The work moves on to identifications. This invisible inner reality could be a realm of spirits. resonance. The use of a particular mask determines. appear to have movement. This is what Lecoq calls mime but it is mime de fond. He explains it like this: “Take for example. what invisible thing or being will come through. from any culture. mime of depth. embodying the invisible presence (which is. she was then able to play the scene freely and truthfully. we wait. 78). In the simplest terms. One day in the rehearsal of a difficult emotional scene. Rudlin. The mask covers the face. like colours. anguish” such as “the families of sailors. discovery. The actor’s transformation into the mask character could be seen as the holotropic reality emerging into the hylotropic.the Vieux-Colombier theatre and its school (Copeau. The Seven Deadly Sins. it lives outside time. not mime of form. 1994. They discover that for the mask to work. great emotion and a power that astonished their audience: “the characters possessed a greater reality and a greater vitality” (Copeau et al. voice and speech of the performer or shaman. 2000. Fire. they must shed their idiosyncrasies. “What of the invisible world does it make visible?” Because the neutral mask has no past. we realize the sailors will not return. would be able to understand: “ah. an outdoor world. to have life. Aluminium Foil. watching from the shore for the arrival of a boat. & Paul. Air and Earth). In desperation. 237-238). Copeau’s son-in-law Jean Daste. what a mask does is make the invisible visible. with substances (Plastic. The important thing is that some facet of this unmanifest world is made manifest through the body. 40). “for the first time.. the observation of a tree: in going beyond the ideas which surround it. Rubber. The same process is applied even for identifications with elements that do not. and the personal feelings it arouses.” The actor must adapt their body and action to the mask. so that any person. The Warrior. in which everything is done “for the first time. unable to play it. in a world that is “prior” to culture. p. Copeau took his handkerchief and covered the actress’ face. and so release what Reich would call their character armour. throwing a stone.. great French acting teacher says that it “allows one to find the essential…the word of all words” (Wylie. 80). It shares with ritual and spiritual practice an interest in a normally invisible reality. 1990. The Innocent. ah. He calls it “the mask of masks” and says. the last goodbye to the beloved.” We are searching for simplicity and universality. 1994. without attitude. p. which seek to touch this reality inwardly.” Completing the image—entering into it. pp. the Major Arcana of the Tarot).

You share the gift and you sleep. He asked if I had been given a gift. and it can come out. is in the actor. one at the roots of both my artistic life and personal being. as if there was only one way the story could unfold. in the distance you can see a forest and you set out towards it. “what happens.” but he kept digging until I mentioned what I had been told just before the end. killed a giant snake. like the elements and archetypes. sometimes very simply. you return with this gift to the world you came from. A powerful element of this experience was the sense of necessity which imbued my actions. You cross a sandy beach and then you enter the forest. where I was torn apart by fish.” Then I got up and took off the mask. not wanting to leave. it is not about “acting it out. The details of the journey are changed all the time. He will tell students: At daybreak you emerge from the sea. He said “that’s your gift.” The point is not to tick the boxes: that would be a travesty of the work. from the first gentle slopes to the rocks and the vertical cliff face which tests your climbing skills. All the personal associations. David Latham has a way of talking so that the words resonate in the body. ending up in the arms of a great Silence I knew was God. were one harmonious and necessary unfoldment. The point. The impact of hearing this for the first time. is to really do it. In experience they seem to arise from the body. in an archaic place inside myself. p. Journey & the Monomyth Beyond these simple identifications there are Journeys based on the monomyth (Campbell. David talks about this work as nourishing the roots of one’s talent. Many students will ask for the structure to be repeated. When you pass this test you are given a gift. The point is to go through the personal associations to the mythic resonance. I tried to explain that I had and there was some confusion until I realised that he thought I had actually died. I lay there for a long time.“involves an identification with things in order to make them live…mime is a way of rediscovering a thing with freshness” (Lecoq. The mask knew what had to happen. because we are actors. You see the image. 22). you are the image. because I had lain there so still for so long. with no planning or guidance about the specific content this structure brings forth. 2000. Suddenly. it is not about making something up. was extraordinary. an artist.” The forms arise from the deeper physical and imaginative connection with the structure itself. By way of contrast. but they are told. Lecoq’s journey relies for its structure on the natural world. The point is that. the mythic metaphors and the actual physical actions in all their rhythms. When he said “You Wake Up. and this first experience remains for me a touchstone. as a student before any contact with 40 Campbell’s work. Once you reach the summit. as if I was touching something archaic within myself. without warning. you come out of the forest and find yourself facing a mountain. and you answer the call. You travel along a road of trials where you meet forces that help you and forces that hinder you. and one which has proved both unexpectedly rich and difficult to live out fully. Afterwards David Latham told me he thought I had died. There was a sense of remembering. You move through trees and vegetation which grow ever more densely as you search for a way out. You cross a threshold and enter a new world. Volume 24 . the image is in you and you are in it. a vast panorama opens up: a river runs through a The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. according to a precise inner logic that was at once my own and beyond me. in which many possible identifications are integrated into an unfolding story of transformation. 1993).” it was clear that it was no ordinary waking up—that “You Wake Up” was an action of intensity and scope. to find it truthfully and become it completely so that the invisible is made visible and palpable. They must improvise this with complete physical and imaginal commitment. You receive the call to set out on a journey. until I understood that my journey was into the ocean.” After that I understood how being an actor. and I knew too. until He told me to “Do it with love. Sometimes it occurs in pairs or groups. could be a truly profound journey. At the end of the road of trials you face a great test. Of course. then you begin to climb. This work frees and connects the imagination and the body and expands the actors’ range of expression and feeling. happens. The actor will be told something like: You wake up. and got stuck on a beach-wasteland facing the ocean. 2005. This represents one major influence of Campbell on my teacher David Latham. You ‘absorb’ the image of this mountain. My first journey was spread out over two classes: I rode a dragon. I said “no. with very specific content. they have impact. You will remember what you remember. so that one can feel memories waking up inside. sometimes it is given in great detail.

beneath our surface characteristics. a kind of meta-framework—what Grof would refer to. where a sandstorm is blowing up. The power of the images is deeply respected. the actor takes off the mask. p. I would like to point to two elements that seem important. the work occurs within an atmosphere of play. The founda- tion of the craft thus reaches into the deepest source of our being.” Neutral Mask 41 . He told me that he just knew that he wanted people—his students and actors—“to bring out what was in them. art and psychology. p. and finally the sun sets.valley and then there is a plain and finally in the distance. In this way. (Latham. but nevertheless it is still theatre. and the philosophical basis of his work had become the triangle of myth. but even the most powerful identification is regarded as a symbol: it lives in and through the body of the actor. 2). You manage by grabbing hold of the trees. but allowing them to be the driving force of the work in its content and its form. He was interested in “training an actor in such a way that the actor’s work exists in the duality of that which is psychological and that which is universal” (Latham. For David. metaphor is central. for inner states. it is not about methods. 1976. the actors rerun the journey in extreme conditions: There is a raging sea and the wave throws you up onto the beach. cross the stream. I once asked him what he began with when he started teaching. we can go to the universal through the personal. he affirmed it. and this is where the neutral mask is very effective. We can experience how. and not only bringing those to the work. 41) It’s important to remember that as the mask moves through these environments it becomes them. as the “set” (Grof. 1992). for acting. David Latham affirms wherever his students journey to in their imagination and their improvisation. (Lecoq. the essence of our humanness. p. making connections that have psychological connotations and universal connotations. individually. which uses the via negativa. The only thing David said more than “yes” was “let it go. however. not by negating it. perverse. and this points to the second significant way that Campbell’s work has influenced it: it serves as the cornerstone of an overarching. it is. (Lecoq. 1992. as Campbell would say. it is what it sees. heart and openness and its effect on the working atmosphere are profound and significant. to maintain it honestly requires great personal trust. By the time I met David Latham and began working with him. walk through the plain. 4) Although it might be simplistic to try to analyse. sexual. the universal depths. are universal. In David Latham’s work. The image is in the actor and the actor is in the image. a desert. Later. it is about revealing. The second element of Campbell’s vision that David brought to the work was a profound and intensely lived understanding of metaphor. he had been absorbing Joseph Campbell’s work for nearly twenty years. 42) Campbell’s orientation as a facilitating vision or “set” Lecoq encourages his students to be aware of the “symbolic overtones” of the natural environments they move through—crossing the river can be a metaphor for adolescence. 14). p. This distinguishes him very clearly from the Lecoq tradition. which is in flood. the profoundly personal. Part of doing this is uncovering the “roots” and nurturing these roots. he says “‘yea’ to it all” (Campbell. revealing at a deeper and deeper level. I remember David’s appreciation of all the places we went—not just allowing but appreciation of the powerful. At the end. The sand is being swept by a rainstorm. myth is a metaphor and theatre is a metaphor (Latham. emotional. Finally you reach the desert. Underlying it is a sense of trust that wherever you go will be OK. the mask is a metaphor. Although it seems simple.” Something deep within responds to this attitude. 2000. 28). You come down the mountain. 1992. He was interested in all of you—whatever you wanted to bring out. Firstly. in non-ordinary states of consciousness work. such an attitude has depth and richness. then into the desert. 1991b. for example. “a highly played game of ‘as if ’” (Campbell. violent. and you slide down towards the river. the most intimate places. Even the physical exercises serve as metaphors. an understanding that the depths of the individual are universal and that these depths will eventually emerge. p. developed over long years of personal struggle and innovation. in the space available. p. The forest is on fire. 2000. but also a holy atmosphere. David writes that his work is not about invention. 20). communally and culturally. something as profoundly integrated and organic as an individual teacher’s art. sometimes in terrifyingly powerful ways. p. Once you are on the mountain there is an earthquake followed by avalanches. To use Campbell’s phrase. More than this. facilitating vision. 1991c.

“the mask is theatre. It is. The journey awakens the chan- The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. It is the still point and the silence that makes movement and speech possible. From my description above. and so clears the channels of expression and feeling in the body.There are many connections and correspondences between Campbell’s vision of myth and metaphor and masking generally. Grof writes that “The main objective of the techniques of experiential psychotherapy is to activate the unconscious. Effects of Journey Work The transformation mediated by the mask training is not aiming at therapy or at some version of enlightenment: it is a transformation of the talented beginner into an artist-craftsman in the service of theatre. 267). by means of profound informed figurations. the principle of masking itself. and all are playful: between the stillness at the centre and the dynamism of the world’s and the mask’s movements. there comes the sense of play. In LSD Psychotherapy. In it. the journey of the student through the mask training looks like a journey through the transpersonal level of Grof ’s cartography: identifying with Fire. the mask is prior to time. 1987. a powerful crucible for deep personal transformation. 166) and “The NOSC tends to change the dynamic equilibrium underlying the symptoms. in Primitive Mythology (Campbell. p. Volume 24 . Grof writes about the importance of the “as-if framework. and yet mask remains the same. The seeming paradox within these images is literal with the mask: it doesn’t move. 1993. a trust in the overall trajectory of the psyche. The craft of actors is in large part to do with the development of their instrument.3 Behind all the masks. and consume them in the process” (Grof. 21-26). there is the neutral mask. and the use of non-ordinary states of consciousness. In Campbell’s terms. themselves.”2 Like myth. pp. as well as the acting out of the monomyth. Campbell’s whole conception can be seen to turn on the metaphor of masking: he writes about the “Masks of God.” Neutral is “a fulcrum point which doesn’t exist” (Eldredge & Huston. 267). 73)— another version of the masks of God metaphor. it is made of papier mache. the actor transforms into the elemental forms of reality and lives through the movements of the world. a whole other set of common elements and parallels became apparent. to unblock the energy bound in emotional and psychosomatic symptoms. 1998.” Latham’s approach to the mask also shares with Grof ’s work a willingness to affirm whatever comes up. 1993. David Latham would say. 2001. the principle of play and transformation. the movement of the process from personal to universal or transpersonal. Finally. The transformation of the actor-person builds the actor-instrument. p. the body becomes not just a vehicle for the imagination. particular forms) turn back. realms of the unconscious are like movies the creative principle is screening on different channels (Grof. 123). Finally. with different kinds of matter. as he eloquently demonstrates at the outset of his four-volume masterwork. and to convert the stationary balance of this energy into a stream of experience” (Grof. 1987. The forms that arise in the mask are nothing if not “profound informed configurations. it should be clear that there is a similar process going on in the mask. to that ultimate mystery which fills and surrounds all existence” (Campbell. “Myth is the revelation of a plenum of silence within and around every atom of existence” (Campbell. with The Tree. The first of these is the ‘as-if ’ framework and the idea of the cosmos as a play of the divine: in Grof ’s cosmology. The practice of “completing the image” brings actors up to and through their physical limitations again and again. I would add. it is the World Axis. 196). 1991b. one can get stuck by literalizing one’s experience.” Once I came across Stanislav Grof ’s writings. given these similarities. 1995. The essence of the neutral mask is silence and stillness. The affinity is even more acute when we consider the neutral mask specifically. with archetypes.” the costumes of that transcendent Source from which words (and. 1988). p. These are important because they bridge Campbell’s vision with the process of personal and transpersonal transformation that is so much a part of such in-depth performance training. p. some of which his model shares with Campbell. and “Myth is a directing of the mind and heart. transform them into a stream of unusual experiences. The structure of the mask training therefore parallels the transformative path that the soul can take spontaneously in other kinds of non-ordinary states of consciousness work. The point is to support the actors in discovering in themselves deep sources for their work while at the same time developing their capacity to express those sources in performance. p. which Campbell explicitly associated with the spiritual journey (Campbell. Campbell says. p.” calling it “that territory of experiential ambiguity which seems optimal for thera42 peutic work” (Grof. 2005. and I will now discuss the kinds of changes actors report in this work. by “menu-eating. but in a sense saturated with imagination. it becomes permeable to essences. when both are present in awareness. more simply. the centre of “the turning wheel of terror-joy. In other words. p. 167).

4 This offers an actor an incredible range of physical expression he or she probably has not imagined up until this point. the ratty commendations and condemnations to get close to the POOFS. on the effects of the mask work on them beyond the studio. as Lecoq says. He writes that “For everyone. Changes in perception of the world Participants often report a change in their perceptions: thinking new thoughts. While the main trajectory of discovery in the neutral mask is toward the theatre. after a powerful experience of Water: “I couldn’t sit still. on the reports of other actors I have trained or observed and on my own experiences with the mask. but they would also occur outside of the studio. 1). 2000. sensations of greater weight or sublime lightness. the monomyth and myth generally. the neutral mask becomes a point of reference” (Lecoq. Spiritual Emergence(y) Perhaps not surprisingly. from deep inside of me was flowing a stream of clear. imaginatively and energetically. the body remembers the forms—the rhythms. bright. each time making discoveries about theatre.” Other students give reports that suggest something similar. It is quite common for the energy of the elements to keep flowing for some time. or for whole theatrical creations.an inside heat. emotionally. One student reported that she “noticed quite a lot of heat in [her] life. one of the rare effects is something like a spiritual emergence(y). if it seemed appropriate. weights. I had forgotten that life could feel like this. At various times. I’ll talk about two things that emerged from this research: what the participants reported about changes in themselves. One actor. One research intensive I conducted involved actors working with the monomyth on a daily basis for two weeks. like another reality overlaying this one. 38). The actor becomes the metaphor. gestures. who brings the invisible into forms that point back to the silence. One actor wrote. reported that she felt what she called. I would experience. like [she was] burning up. without discovering. 1995).” Another after becoming fire talked about “the fire in [her] belly consuming and burning through [her] resentments” in the days after her Fire identification. for characters (fiery revolutionaries. new rhythms and feelings. 2004). the world becoming new and different. that it also points toward life. and powerful dreams that would continue after I woke up. The following accounts are based on the experiences reported by the actors during this intensive. and actors were invited to comment. the one who carries across the meaning of the invisible. I couldn’t even sit down. and it wasn’t stopping. air-heads. these “happenings” would sometimes be the source of her mask work. 2001. huge waves of emotion. For myself. More importantly. and which can include powerful experiences likely to be pathologized by mainstream psychiatry. outside of the class. “qualities opening up inside” and “intimate movements that are more than physical. clean energy and it wasn’t stopping. For this student the mask was one catalyst for a powerful spiritual emergency that continued for months afterwards. sudden. She describes “sifting through the thoughts. 1998). in the Grofs’ terms (Grof & Grof. The experiences and insights of the mask point both ways. it opens up inner experience... an enormous upsurge of elemental energies. Awakening of Energy and Essence Various energetic experiences frequently occur. it became a reference point not only for acting but. For myself. During the mask work. often when she thought of the work. “little poofs of magic cloud” in her chest. I am convinced. it was as if the mask work opened the inner floodgates.nels of energy in the body and after the training. a whole universe of body memories. the world and myself. the emotions. by which I mean that the work provokes a transformational process that continues explicitly and strongly outside of the class. slippery characters). Many actors also report energetic effects not specifically related to the specific identifications. nobody could work with the neutral mask.” An increase in their sense of presence and the presence of their fellow actors is also a common observation. and I have kept returning to it. which are more than merely physical. it has become like a pendulum that swings between theatre and life. for the world. para. perhaps even more so. and what we learned about archetype. p. which were chosen specifically to support the development of their journey work. In my own research I wanted to include this second trajectory. These become sources for the actor. seeing in a different way. and is more reminiscent of the lataif level as Almaas describes it—a level between energy and the substance of essence (Almaas. in conjunction with many other exercises. who had done some work with the Diamond Approach (Almaas. Her description suggests more than an emotion. I kept jumping up on my feet and even that wasn’t enough… it was another day and night before it began to subside” (Holloway. This makes sense if we consider that once you have identiNeutral Mask 43 . actions—that evoke particular connections.

where architects would mime the spaces they designed. however. metaphorical dimension. that is. and toward knowledge by identity. Lecoq is very explicit about this: “Mime is pre-eminently a research art” (Wylie. to identify himself with the world by re-enacting it with his entire being” (Wylie. The following observations and discussion grows out of this process. I am basic and simple—PURE—and everything makes wonderful. metaphorical presence. and so on. This means that. the numinosity of the archetype fades. the performer can then use their craft as a kind of research. I am of the world and its greatness. like a shaman. 75). I am released from all burden and control. usually accompanied by intuitive insights and visions in both the performer and observer. which began to infuse her personal life more as the work went on: For a short while after each session.” Mask and Mime as Research into the Mythic Dimension The second line of inquiry in the research intensive was to study what the mask work can teach us— about myth. how it is related to inspiration. what releases and blocks these qualities. its extraordinary leaps and lunges. “Man understands that which moves by his ability to ‘mimic’ it. not-knowing. p. trees. aesthetic. toward knowing as if for the first time. 2001. Archetype One thing I have observed about archetypes is that if the actor loses touch with the timelessness and stillness of the mask. An actor becoming toothpaste can reveal its banality. people. in my environs. teach about courage. It is utterly beautiful. I feel I have surrendered to the world and have an immense trust of it . Afterwards he said “I was disturbed by how far I went. it ceases to have that mythic. by seeing an actor become it: how it consumes. is there anything beyond that?” Even though we speak of working with images. literally held by it. a dualistic way of putting it. and each movement . but it seemed to come out a bit messy. For the performer it is not enough to simply have the inner experience. “The action of miming becomes a form of knowledge” (Lecoq. and within my own movement.of the light. which is a direct experience of the inner nature of the subject of the identification. compassion and wisdom. cars and so on . archetype and the monomyth generally. but it also points to what it can contribute to these areas. The neutral mask adds to the clarity of this 44 research by mime because any personal idiosyncrasies are starkly illuminated by it and create a sense of dissonance in the observers and often the performer. in its depth. 22). I feel enveloped by the world. and the resulting bruises. A connected phenomenon is that the clarity and precision in the outward form seems connected strongly to the degree of openness and not-knowing that the actor feels. if The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies.is so astounding. the poignant and even beautiful humanness of the death and decay of our bodies. by the mask and our aesthetic responses. more mundane observations about the qualities of presence that the mask manifests. indescribable sense. An actor can understand a lot about Fire by becoming it. and so partly build out of concepts. The process of research then is guided.” She found that this intelligent guidance “came out of the clearness of the space. Over time these insights accumulate and integrate with other. 2000. I remember one actor who touched something very deep. This is. One part of his school in Paris was a Laboratory for the Exploration of Movement. One participant in the two-week intensive reported quite a remarkable change. p. and yet I feel my own profound stillness within its flow. 1994. which leads us to move beyond our conditioned responses. 80). Volume 24 . 663). The performer’s craft distinguishes the mask work from therapy and mysticism. or a movingly intimate understanding of ashes to ashes. to enter the essence of a thing. as if it is guiding me. toward identification with essences. gradually building a body of knowledge about the world in its inner. 1994. “per-form” is “by means of ” or “in accordance with” the form (Soanes. An archetype that they think they know. p. p. It loses its mythic quality. it gleams brilliant intelligence—and I am part of that. you have to find the form—etymologically.there is no fear. Discovery of intrinsic intelligence/non-mental knowing The same student talked about contacting a guiding intelligence through the work: “beyond our own intellectual knowing or constructs… lodged in our body’s instinct. 2005.fied with a tree. I experience a type of bliss—a re-experiencing of myself in the world. Becoming Earth can reveal the beautiful unity of suffering. rarely has the richness and resonance in performance of one that comes from that state of deep stillness and mystery. you will never look at trees the same way again. I felt out of control. The best form comes out of nothing.” David Latham said to him: “When you’re out of control. for example.

it can go to a depth where he no longer sees any image at all.. When a thing is perfect. to inquire. As teachers of mask. Hence to study. and this seems to apply to the actor as well. and although the work was fascinating and rich. it is dead. in the beginning. they expanded to meet it. Symmetrical masks have no life. For the sense of a mythic journey to emerge. We work physically to do this. to gradually find the impulses and the movement. Observing fire between classes does not usually bring the same numinosity. using a very detailed process. not only in the outward expression. What had. this also appears to be the case. In a sense. He is being the stillness. The Great Test is the apex of the journey. however imperfect the form may have been. 164). hackneyed and trite. it didn’t live in the same way as it did in mask. their bodies became more open to the archetype. You don’t know what will happen in the next moment. We chose the most powerful and dramatic identifications from the training and we worked. it has no movement. The breaking open that happens with the gathering expression of all Neutral Mask 45 . the archetype of the journey can become a mere phrase.” says Campbell (1988. no thirst for transformation. when the energies took the actors beyond themselves. The body seems to shape itself. and was perhaps a more “perfect” embodiment of the archetypal form than the original improvisations. Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan writes of the train wheel being turned from off-centre (Inayat Khan.an actor finds a deep personal connection with the image. and the relevant archetypes came to life. p. I would say this is true for the world too: the journey isn’t a journey unless you are actually changed by it. Most often the actor finds the useful sources in childhood or adolescence. the fundamental transition at which the momentum—the energy and the rhythms—of the journey thus far.. to find the forms independently as the actor observes it. Something a little off-centre has to be turning the wheel. The structure is useless if the actor has no passion for adventure. and the form seems to emerge out of the body itself.. 126). of their release in falling and so on. condense and reach their limit of intensity. to seek or to live with intensity through new and profound experiences are all modes of travelling. “The trials are designed to see to it that the intending hero should really be a hero. We often need to use a series of physical tasks to help the actor lift their energy to level of a true trial.. 1994). the journey is about the intensity of the experiences. so that the performance had a repeatable form.. 1971. Another observation is that any archetype proves easier to contact when we have encountered its expressions in the natural world deeply and concretely on many levels. in the quality of their presence. 1993. organic spontaneity and power that is often present when the actor draws on the memory of a bushfire tearing through their hometown. to put it another way. or. the drama was lost because. spiritual and symbolic equivalents of the journey. pushed them to their limits was now something they could encompass. their associations? Everquest? Outward Bound? How many of us have felt the long passage through different territories on a journey that we did not know we would return from? How many of us have come back from long years away and faced our place of origin and only then discovered that we were not at all the same? How many of us have absorbed the loss and the maturity of that adventure? Divorced from its physical dimension. p. p. but more fundamentally in the centre. This experience of the quality or archetype coming out of the body. Journey In the case of the journey. I once tried to make a performance that would capture and express the magnificent theatre of mask class. as the students rehearsed. 428). calling on the actor to find the limits of their strength in pushing. and actually the neutral mask is not really neutral: there is a deliberate imperfection. to wake up the actors’ imaginations to the profound reality of the universal dimension. Theatrically. unless you are receptive to the terrain through which you move. or the intelligence of the body is something that Tarnas points to in Grof ’s work: participants often have the insight that the body is “the repository and vessel of the archetypal” (Tarnas. What I’m saying here is that the mask teaches us that an archetype divorced from the physical loses its grandeur.. we work to shake the concept loose of its easy associations. To live with intensity through new and profound experiences—how many of the young actors that we see have really journeyed? What are their frames of reference. and while the performance was interesting. “ (Cirlot. Cirlot writes that “From the spiritual point of view. the journey is never merely a passage through space but rather an expression of the urgent desire for discovery and change. If it was symmetrical it would be dead. The muscles must remember. In the mask. not about ticking the boxes of a pregiven structure. it does not work unless we see the actor transformed by the environments and events they are experiencing. there is something important about going to the physical limit and just beyond it. centred in it.

in Grof ’s terms. and usually is aware. not a domestic resonance. In fact the true mythic quality requires them. Unless the call is strong and specific (but not necessarily “known”) at the beginning. A strong call is connected to the principle of the end being present at the beginning. must be stronger. The presence of the mask is more than time. the soul and the spirit. toward the reality of the inner. it is bad theatre.” 4Compare Grotowski: “Performer knows how to link body images to the song. and forms. when it is pared down to the essential. p. All of these elements together comprise. the actors cannot carry their baggage in their body-armour. 2Because the mask has no character. The neutral mask actor may be aware. but timeless or mythic associations.5 Author Note This paper is based on a presentation to the 16th International Transpersonal Association Conference: Mythic Imagination and Modern Society.” The chest lifts a little too high. (The stream of life is articulated in images. 15). of all kinds of personal connections. less permeable. which I call the “fake mythic. it can come without a huge physical struggle. The use of mask and mime as a means of research also points to the importance of aesthetics to the processes of knowledge in this domain. 3The crucial thing though is that words. the “feeling of the whole” which he 46 views as essential to all art and a crucial element of the actor’s art (Chekhov. and carry new life across from that source into the manifest world. or performs an action like the last good bye. as you might find in an actor trained in Strasberg’s method. We might also say that it is to do with the end in the beginning and the stillness within the movement. As Joseph Campbell says “The basic principle of all mythology is this. and indeed we find that the urge to go on the journey. xl). The question for the actor is “What is the quality of your adventure?” “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. We also find that an insipid call draws forth only a trickling stream. the body becomes more rigid. 269). if they are good metaphors. who is a bridge 1The The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. The mythic quality doesn’t exclude the lightness and simplicity. but attempted by creating a kind of honey quality in the movement.” Campbell writes (1988. they point beyond themselves to the source of life. so to say. Without this. art and psychology. when there is nothing that is added to the action. On many occasions. in order to embody it. Because the mask has no past. Without a strong need to complete the journey. And this is thanks to Performer.) The witnesses then enter into states of intensity because. That’s the invisible world of the mask. in fact. June 2004 Footnotes mask is “engaged in making present a presence and making present an absence” (Eldredge. If it isn’t the work can attain a puffed-up. Volume 24 . in the face of a raging river the mask becomes the river. as she moves through a mythic landscape. p. They have to find a neutral body. and this means that the primary images are not usually personal associations. this is when the journey really opens to a sacred dimension.the hero’s resources (catharsis). and metaphor means “to carry across. It provides an opening into which—speaking in terms of energy not action—The Gift can descend. of presence. the pull of the call. so the end is implicit in its presence at the beginning. usually given by the call. the mythic dimension of our own depth. of the beginning in the end” (Campbell. holotropic—oriented toward the whole. the actor must. and it is also one of the invisible worlds within us. the hero very easily becomes transformed into the surrounding environment. These correspondences point to the integrity of David Latham’s triangle of myth. 122). There is no interest. Interestingly. Palm Springs. the directness of the mask. shed her idiosyncrasies. they feel presence. 2005. facing enormously powerful obstacles. but the mask is innately universal. the mask tunes us into the mythic depths to actions that have universal resonance. sticky-significant quality. no drama or epic energy in the journey unless there is a powerful forward movement. Significance is not given by the focused and specific intensity of the performer’s presence as they face a specific trial. p. We observe that the moment of The Gift is almost always a transition into greater subtlety. 1996. and yet this often the point at which rhythm and quality of the actor’s movement will become most clearly numinous. often seems to be a shedding of a coarser way of moving. than death. I would say that the journey becomes mythic when there is a true and specific call that is stronger than death. rather than toward matter. as if trying to expand the movement beyond itself. 1993. in that all three might be called. point to. If we find the right body and behaviour. p. expressing the movement toward wholeness. It has a mythic. The metaphor is therefore the bridge. according to Michael Chekhov. it is boring. California. 1991.

com. Saint-Denis.). The adventure of self-discovery: Dimensions of consciousness and new perspectives in psychotherapy and inner exploration. (1991a). That which transpires behind that which appears: The experience of Sufism. Grof. Realms of the human unconscious: Observations from LSD research. Grof. Soanes. Performer. (1991c). Campbell.: McFarland & Company. 1).). UK: Oxford University Press. The potent self.between the witness and this something. In P. B. & Saint-Denis. N. York Beach: ME. Campbell. J. Heinemann. (1976). New York: E. N. 122). The power of myth. J. New York: State University of New York Press. New York: Penguin. J. 1996. London: Thorsons. London: Theatre Arts Books. (2001). London: Fontana Press. Reflections on the art of living: A Joseph Campbell companion.). S. Paper presented at the Theatre Training Conference. (Ed. Actor training in the neutral mask. J. (1990). The use of the self. (1985). Copeau. References Alexander. London. S. Feldenkrais. IL: Northwestern University Press. Melbourne. p. (1996). (1984). Jefferson. (2001). H. Oxford. New York: Harper Collins. M. Grotowski. Burlingame. Northcote VIC 3070. The masks of God: Creative mythology.au or 11 Prospect Grove. New Lebanon. New York: Arkana. C. S. (1991b). In R. New York. M. CA: Redwood Press. & Huston. Grof. J. Satyric and heroic mimes: Attitude as the way of the mime in ritual and beyond.. Samuel Weiser. CA: Centreline Press. A brief history of everything. Grof. The passion of the Western mind. Eldredge.. S. Vol. Campbell. Cirlot. The stormy search for the self: Understanding and living with spiritual emergency. C. Australia: Penguin Arkana. J. LSD psychotherapy. Anglesea. The actor and the journey. Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to the author at ashwain@alphalink. Dutton. New York: The State University of New York Press. K. Australia. Essence. p. maker of bridges” (Grotowski. Almaas. Eldredge.P. Grof. Acting (re)considered. New York: Ballantine. Schechner & L. Chekhov. S. S.). 376-380).). Albany. H. A. NY: SUNY Press. Campbell. In this sense. FL: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. M. Neutral Mask 47 . S. Holloway. R. (1980). E. (2001). On the technique of acting. 377). he deems the validity claims for knowledge in the interior-subjective domain of reality (the “I” quadrant) to be “aesthetic” (Wilber. (1982). The masks of God: Primitive mythology (Revised ed. Woolford (Eds. (1993). Wylie. & Paul. S. Lecoq. New York: Doubleday. The moving body (D. Melbourne. The Grotowski sourcebook (pp. V. (1996). Australia: Hill of Content.. Oxford dictionary of current English (Third ed. Unpublished manuscript. (1987). J. (1998). death and transcendence in psychotherapy. Grof. Boston: Shambhala. Almaas. NY: Omega Publications. Campbell. J. F. Bradby. 17th July). D. M. Mask improvisation for actor training and performance: The compelling image. New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications. (1993). New York: Routledge. Training for the theatre: Premises & promises. & Grof. Performer is pontifex. N. (1995). The hero with a thousand faces. J. National Institute of Dramatic Art. (1971).. Tarnas. H. A dictionary of symbols. New York: Routledge. Trans. P. A. (1994). Inayat Khan. H. Copeau—texts on theatre. 5In Wilber’s model.C. A. Evanston. The cosmic game: Explorations of the frontiers of human consciousness. Beyond the brain: Birth. Ringwood. Zarrilli (Ed. (2000). (1988). The inner journey home: Soul’s realization of the unity of reality. Rudlin. New York: Harper Collins. Downey. (2004). London: Methuen. (1995). 2001. Sarasota. (2001). A. Latham. (1991). S. (1994). (1992.. (1998). Wilber. J. K.

cognition.. He suggested that there are five basic ways of producing alterations of consciousness: (1) by reducing exteroceptive stimulation and/or motor activity. The author investigates examples of both types of experience. while ecstatic high-arousal states may be induced by increased activity in the sympathetic half. Tart’s “systems model” of consciousness (1983) provides a useful–if tentative–view of the problem. (These are termed HD and ICE states). These researchers may only be investigating the “footprints” of mystical and spiritual experience. attempts to explain mystical experiences in neurological (or neuropsychological) terms. prayer. These include nature. despair or depression. Alister Hardy’s research (1979) showed that. The philosopher Colin McGinn (1993) has written that “You might as well assert that numbers emerge from biscuits or ethics from rhubarb” as suggest that the “soggy clump of matter” which is the brain produces consciousness (p.g.g. if we concentrate our attention to an intense degree or if we experience intense emotion). rather than the experience itself. but has some similarities with the explanation I am going to suggest. and compares and contrasts them. This view applies to altered states of consciousness rather than to higher states in particular. and also has 48 The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. which is responsible for our awareness of boundaries. claiming that meditative experiences of serenity may stem from a high level of activity in the parasympathetic half of the autonomic nervous system. emotions–and that if any one process is altered sufficiently (e. But as Wilber (e.The Sources of Higher States of Consciousness Steve Taylor In this paper. it is argued that “higher states of consciousness”–or mystical experiences–have two main sources: they can be caused by a disruption of the normal homeostasis of the human organism and also by an intensification of the “consciousness-energy” that constitutes our being. while they may sometimes seem purely to be a matter of chance–or “grace”–there are many potential triggers of spiritual/mystical experiences. 2005.g. and (5) by changes in the body chemistry or neurophysiological functioning. It is concluded that the second type of experience is the only one which is truly positive and which can become a fully integrated and permanent higher state of consciousness. but does not seek to explain the cause of the experiences. There are. of course. This again applies to altered states rather than solely to higher states. They have also linked mystical experiences with the autonomic nervous system. and even claimed to induce such experiences with a “helmet” which produces weak complex magnetic fields. an overall consciousness shift may result. Volume 24 . and quiet reflection. music. (3) by increasing alertness or mental involvement. Alexander’s extensive research (e. At the same time there is the difficulty of explaining subjective experience in purely objective terms. He suggested that states of consciousness are the result of the interaction of a large number of neurological and psychological processes–such as attention. (2) by increasing exteroceptive stimulation and/or motor activity and/or emotion. (4) by decreasing alertness or relaxing the critical faculties. Physicalist theories of higher states of consciousness are subject to the same “explanatory gap” as theories which suggest how the brain might produce consciousness itself. Ludwig’s model (1966) is also helpful. we can just as easily see these brain states as results of higher states of consciousness rather than causes of them. perception. Persinger (1987) has linked mystical/religious experiences to stimulation of the temporal lobes. 160). 1996) has pointed out. This research establishes an important link. And we can say the same for the suggestion that increased or decreased activity in different parts of this soggy clump of matter might produce higher states of consciousness.. D’Aquili and Newberg (2000) have suggested that mystical experiences of “oneness” correlate with decreased activity in the posterior superior parietal lobe of the brain.. music. T he question of why and how higher states of consciousness occur has never received a clear answer. 1990) has shown a clear link between the regular practice of transcendental meditation and such experiences.

a sense of oneness with the manifest world (or a sense of transcending boundaries). I’ve never seen anything as beautiful ever again. Burkhert. especially if the imbalance continues for a long period (Green. we are liable to illness and even death. 1987). and so on. participants who went without sleep for five days displayed symptoms identical to schizophrenia.” This may be. for example. “high arousal” active or ecstatic states–and “trophotropic” higher states–that is. But there is also a possibility that we will experience higher states of consciousness. the conscious effort to mortify their physical desires made by many–particularly Christian–saints and mystics. dancing. However. Disrupting the Equilibrium Fischer (1971) made an important distinction between “ergotropic” higher states of consciousness–that is. shining. blood sugar. since these two types of mystical experience follow from the two distinct sources I intend to identify. 1987). I will suggest. sweating and shivering. Each leaf seemed to be pulsating and growing. They were all vivid. A prolonged lack of food–which disrupts homeostasis by causing a lower level of blood glucose. “low arousal” passive and serene experiences. High arousal states are associated with triggers such as drugs. as a means of inducing temporary higher states of consciousness. We will see later that asceticism achieves this partly through a long term process of taming physical desires (thereby conserving “consciousness-energy”). as also did the initiates of the Roman and Greek mystery cults as a preparation for rituals (Krippner. Maintaining homeostasis is both involuntary and voluntary. which must remain at–or quickly return to–an optimum level. The 14th century German mystic. Asceticism is sometimes seen as a morbid and neurotic expression of the antiphysical dualistic ideology of monotheistic religions such as Christianity. an awareness of what Becker (1973) called the “raw experience” of the world. a sense of inner peace and wholeness. These include: an intensified perception of the phenomenal world. This is actually fairly easy to do. by breathing. as we will see. But we are also obliged to consciously aid the process by performing physical functions like eating. 2000b). Sleep deprivation can certainly cause altered states of consciousness. This includes such factors as body temperature. Underhill.g. digesting food. This connection between physical deprivation and higher states of consciousness may partly explain the tradition of asceticism. particularly a more intense perception of reality. for example. Scholars–and mystics and spiritual seekers themselves–generally agree that there are certain fundamental features of mystical/spiritual experience. the basis of the longstanding connection between fasting and both altered and higher states of consciousness. but it is probable that ascetics also used pain and discomfort in a more short term way. Wilber. for example. drinking and sleeping. Our bodies continually strive to maintain a state of homeostasis. When we do not manage to do this for some reason and suffer an internal imbalance. glowing. 2000. and I felt a feeling of ecstasy..similarities with my model. Throughout history human beings have made a conscious effort to produce ergotropic high arousal states. James. 1902/85. not all of these features are common to both types of higher states of consciousness from both sources. as well as a leather belt containing 150 inwardfacing sharp brass nails. never sheltered from the cold in the winter or Higher States 49 . Disrupting homeostasis can be used as what Andresen and Forman (2000) refer to as a “technology of spiritual experience. To a large extent our bodies maintain homeostasis automatically. But some ascetics were motivated by a desire to transcend ordinary consciousness and reach a higher state in which they experienced the presence of God (or Spirit) in the world and felt themselves one with the radiance of his being. even though there is no certainty that they will occur. spent years wearing a hair shirt and an iron chain. and a sense of becoming a deeper and truer Self (e. On the last morning she was “so tired that I was absolutely loaded with energy” and decided to walk home instead of getting the bus: I was walking down a lane which had fields on either side of it. 1911/60. whereas low arousal states are associated with triggers such as meditation and relaxation. the optimum condition of our biological functioning. In Oswald’s experiments (1970). He never had a bath in 25 years. and this is certainly true to some degree. This distinction is valid. Henry de Suso. with visual hallucinations and acute paranoia. higher levels of insulin and a lower body temperature–appears to make the hold which ordinary consciousness has over us much looser. I walked past a tree and each leaf seemed to be coming out at me. The shamans of native cultures often use fasting and sleep deprivation as preparation for soul flights and vision quests. salt concentration. But higher states of consciousness can result too. fasting and breath-control. The following report was given me by a nurse who had been working night shifts without sleeping properly during the day.

1964). and if we exhale faster and more deeply than usual we build up a higher than usual concentration of carbon dioxide–and both of these non-homeostatic states can. Certain kinds of chanting The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. Normally we inhale and exhale at the same rate. human beings have always used drugs for transcendental and ritualistic purposes. 121). but I would maintain that the root of both types of experience is the same internal imbalance and that the only real difference is one of degree. in physiology and neurology. al-Shebli. All drugs alter the normal chemical balance of the human organism. hunger or sleep deprivation when it is possible to disrupt homeostasis more directly simply by ingesting certain chemicals? Of course. alcohol. The Neolithic peoples of Europe smoked opium and cannabis for apparent religious or ritualistic purposes 5. generate higher states of consciousness. 1902/1985). At the end of the day he would dash his hands and feet against the wall (Attar. Not in an “Oh my god. to prolonged fasting and violent self-flagellation would be as senseless as it would be for an aspiring cook to behave like Charles Lamb’s Chinaman. who burned down the house in order to roast a pig. took a bundle of sticks with him into his cellar every day. 1990). 1977. but because there wasn’t this distinction between “me” and “it.000 years ago. the Native Americans ingested sacred plants such as fly-agaric mushrooms and peyote. usually crushed to earth by the cold facts and dry criticisms of the sober hour” (1902/1985. But if we inhale faster and more deeply than usual we build up a higher than usual concentration of oxygen. seemed to have a powerful presence. has transcendental properties. p. Or as we might rephrase it: why bother with pain. the early Indo-European conquerors of India worshipped their drink Soma (probably made from “magic” mushrooms). p. in psychology and psychiatry and parapsychology (Huxley. Smith. William James maintained that ‘The sway of alcohol over mankind is 50 unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature. it seems. It might seem controversial to suggest that drug-induced spiritual experiences are essentially the same in kind as the above experiences of sleep-deprivation and lack of food. however. the aspiring mystic should turn for technical help to the specialists–in pharmacology.and hyperventilation as a means of inducing higher states of consciousness (Jilek. By far the most powerful in terms of their transcendental effects. but all drugs undoubtedly can generate them in the right circumstances. 1993. while adepts of the Greek Eleusinian mysteries ingested kykeon (Rudgley. I’m a blade of grass!” kind of way. They seemed to have personalities or souls. Of course. McKenna. They were all separate on one level but on another they were all just one thing. I lay down on the grass and looked around and when I sat up I felt like I was one of the blades of grass. as a means of intensifying or altering consciousness. The Sufi mystic. Many Native American groups–such as the Salish. As Huxley pointed out: For an aspiring mystic to revert. an experience of oneness with the cosmos. an identity and being. At the same time they were all interconnected. 1989). Even our one socially-sanctioned drug. By far the most direct way of disrupting the equilibrium.” This experience features many of the characteristics of higher states of consciousness I mentioned previously: a heightened perception of the reality of the phenomenal world. 2005. Volume 24 .1993. and preserve a balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen levels. not all drug experiences are transcendental experiences. trees and stones and blades of grass. 387). and therefore disrupt homeostasis. such as altering our normal breathing patterns. One acquaintance who experimented with magic mushrooms gave me the following report: Everything I looked at. however. in the present state of knowledge. It is likely that part of the motivation for these appalling practices was a discovery that by contravening their physical needs and thereby disrupting homeostasis. they were able to free themselves from ordinary consciousness. if he so desires) what are the chemical conditions of transcendental experience. in that drug experiences are likely to be much more powerful. There are other methods of inducing higher states of consciousness through disrupting homeostasis. the Algonquians and Kiowa–used both hypo. is by using drugs. with which he would beat himself whenever he found his attention wandering from contemplation of Allah. are psychedelic drugs. Knowing as he does (or at least can know.touched or scratched any part of his body apart from his hands and feet (James. I looked at a meadow which was full of wild plants and bushes and weeds and in some way–which I can’t really describe–everything in it was one. and an awareness of the oneness of all phenomena.

Similarly. it seems. Higher (and altered) states of consciousness occur when the chemical conditions that regulate ordinary consciousness are relaxed. but only infrequently in higher states. blood pressure. This may also be the root of the connection between dancing and higher states of consciousness. However. that ordinary consciousness and homeostasis are closely interlinked. It seems clear. or in the case of pain. higher states of conHigher States 51 . Any change in any one of these conditions is enough to dismantle the whole structure. rather than merely being chemically produced themselves. it’s important to point out that disrupting homeostasis certainly does not always result in a higher state of consciousness. leave their own identity. Part of the purpose of the pranayama exercises of yoga is to induce temporary higher states of consciousness. Rudmin wrote: In line with evolutionary theory. would potentially induce a higher state of consciousness (Feuerstein. and experience divine possession” (in Spenser. as it were. And at the same time it conserves energy.practised by tribal peoples. In view of this it seems justifiable to say that. it is clear that a breath control technique such as kevali-kumbhaka. the Dervish orders of Islam used dancing as a means of inducing the state of consciousness which they called “passing away. but even they can frequently produce psychotic symptoms. or the chemical changes produced directly by drugs–does not seem to be so significant. hormonal and metabolic changes and increased heart rate and blood pressure. The question of why disrupting homeostasis can result in higher states of consciousness is difficult to answer exactly. with paranoia and hallucinations. trigger altered states of consciousness (including higher states). the “shadowy” vision of reality which ordinary consciousness gives us evolved as a kind of survival mech- anism. This might suggest that I am attempting to reduce higher states of consciousness to chemical causes. as with the increasing motor activity of frenzied dancing. Any disruption to homeostasis can. This suggests that. 157). The initiates of the Greek and Roman mystery cults used frenzied dancing–as well as self-flagellation and drugs–as a means of disrupting homeostasis so that they could be. in which the aim is simply to hold the breath for as long as possible. p. become at home with the gods. It almost always results in altered states of consciousness. involve a meditative concentrative aspect) and painful ordeals. extreme tiredness may often result in psychotic and delusional states. As a result. Psychedelic drugs appear to most reliable way of inducing higher states through non-homeostasis. It screens out reality so that we can concentrate properly on the business of day to day survival. when we disrupt homeostasis we also disrupt ordinary consciousness1. The exact chemical nature of the disruption to homeostasis–in the case of sleep deprivation. it is widely accepted that this active mode of ordinary consciousness is adaptive and functional and serves to enhance the survival of the species. Although the essential purpose of pranayama is long-term regulation of prana–and inseparable from the physical exercises of hatha yoga.and interpersonal actions (1994. p. ordinary consciousness is our optimum mode of consciousness. as the “filter theory” of higher states of consciousness put forward by Huxley (after Bergson). 1950.” Here we can probably assume that prolonged energetic dancing produces an internal imbalance because of a high body temperature. and later developed by Naranjo and Ornstein (1971) suggests. All of these are examples of the fifth category in Ludwig’s model: changes in the body chemistry or neurophysiological functioning. For example. “filled with divine awe…assimilate themselves to the holy symbols. a depressed immune system and hormonal and metabolic changes. It simplifies and actively processes information and guides and monitors our intra. at least to some extent. We can put forward similar cases for other ritualistic and religious practices such as drumming (which may also. From the point of view of survival. But the important point may be rather that ordinary consciousness is strictly chemically moderated. 1990). dehydration and exhaustion. 60). It may be that. His second category–increasing exteroceptive stimulation and/or motor activity and/or emotion–can also be seen as related to disrupting homeostasis. Our perception becomes automatized so that we can transfer energy that would normally be channelled into the act of perception into the business of practical survival. however. The optimum physical state of homeostasis equates with the optimum psychological state (from the point of view of survival) of ordinary consciousness. homeostasis works to regulate and maintain ordinary consciousness. in the words of a contemporary observer. 1987). Or as Floyd W. like chanting. since in most cases the increasing level of these factors is likely to produce an internal imbalance. such as the “throat music” of the Inuit. also appear to involve a rapid rhythmic hyperventilation which produces altered and higher states (Metzner.

the purpose of which is to conserve attentional energy so that we can focus our minds elsewhere (Norman & Challice. Consciousness-energy is clearly distinct from energy as we normally think of it. We have the sense that our level of consciousness-energy continually fluctuates. typing or playing a musical instrument are initially painstaking conscious processes. On an everyday level. 1992. they begin to weaken and fade away. which are part of our lives. the pragmatic systems of automatic selection are set aside or break down. Consciousness-energy is the active principle of consciousness. Gross. 1973). We also conserve this energy through the phenomenon of automatization. we usually feel cheerful and optimistic. Csikszentmihalyi.sciousness are ontologically more fundamental and authentic. Novak (1996) makes an important connection between our normal shadowy vision of the world and psychic energy. be classified as the second major source of higher states of consciousness..g. and we certainly feel subjectively that it exists. Consciousness as a witness may be fun52 damentally independent. attending to our experience and thinking logically and discursively. 1981.g. books or the internet). This is not to say that consciousness is in its essence a form of energy–De Quincey (2002) has argued that this cannot be the case. for some reason. paying attention towards an object spends attentional energy on it. we halt this constant outflow of consciousnessenergy.. Marchetti. Deikman. if there is a surplus of consciousness-energy. Activities such as driving. according to how much we have expended through concentrating or attending to stimuli. perceptual stimuli such as sights and sounds. 2004) without making it clear exactly what this energy is. Others talk more obliquely of mental effort (e. Psychologists often assume the existence of psychic energy (e. such as in acute psychosis or in LSD states. and independent (at least to a large extent) to the chemical energy which we absorb from food and which fuels the functioning of our bodies. and verbal information from the media. Novak claimed that energy bound in defences and fantasies can be released in present-centeredness. Consciousness-Energy and Higher States of Consciousness In a discussion on the psychological effects of meditation. and also through the effort we make to process the various forms of information (e. 1996) or “pool of attentional resources” (Kahneman. Deikman also makes a connection between mystical experiences and energy when he suggests that they are brought about by a deautomatization of hierarchically ordered structures that ordinarily conserve attentional energy for maximum efficiency in achieving the basic goods of survival…Under special conditions of dysfunction. Novak. 1995. the energy which we use in being conscious. she or he deprives the automatized structures of consciousness (which produce “thought-chatter”) of attention. Volume 24 . receptive and present-centred awareness. seeming to assume the existence of some form of mental energy without actually using the term. we might feel lethargic or run down. when. Our moods seem to be affected by our level of consciousness-energy too–when we feel mentally drained we often feel depressed. since there is always a witnessing “I” which is apart from the flow of energy. He notes that the “endless associational chatter” of our minds monopolises our psychic energy. and build up a high concentration within our The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. but at a certain point there is a switch to fully automatic processing. in favour of alternate modes of consciousness (Deikman. However. but consciousness as awareness and as consciousness as cognition are bound up with psychic energy.g. in the acts of perceiving the phenomenal world. and that ordinary consciousness may be thought of as–at least to some extent–a more artificial. leaving none available for us to devote to what he calls the “open. 2005. we accept its existence almost as a given.g. through the concentrative effort we make to deal with the tasks and chores which fill our lives. 259). As a result.2 It might be said that we normally expend our consciousness-energy in three main ways: through what Novak identifies as the “endless associational chatter” of our egos. They can also occur when there is an intensification of what I term consciousness-energy. p. whereas when we feel mentally buoyant. 2004a. Csikszentmihalyi. when a person meditates. Both these views hint at what can.. including the effort to communicate with other human beings. This is roughly equivalent to the term “psychic energy”–I prefer consciousness-energy because it emphasises the interrelationship between this energy and consciousness. If we have been concentrating hard. with a high level of consciousnessenergy..” However. or under special goal conditions such as exists in religious mystics. 2003) or attentional energy (e. which “frees up” the energy that they normally monopolise. As a result. we feel alert and vibrant. As Marchetti (2004) puts it. 1980). chemically-generated construct. I believe.

so when we focus our attention elsewhere. Or again. 2004b). which runs through our minds. for example. And this contributes to the sense of bliss which spiritual ICE states feature. a conscious attempt to intensify and still our consciousness-energy.7. The Hindu text the Moksha-Dharma compares the transcendental Self to a sun. and notes that through the process of concentration (dharana). the rays of the sun–or the whirls of consciousness–are gathered up and focused inwardly. The thought chatter of the ego is fed by attention. standing for 'intensification of consciousness-energy') and higher states of consciousness resulting from homeostasis disruption is that the former are–in Stace’s terminology (1964/88)–more introvertive. and the terms “drawing in. Our automatized perception means that we usually give very little consciousnessenergy to the act of perceiving our surroundings. At the same time as monopolising a large portion of our consciousness-energy. p. 1990). bliss is the nature of being or consciousness–being-consciousness-bliss (Sat Chit Ananda) is the essence of reality. ICE states feature a stilling of consciousness-energy. 1979). 223). walking alone in the countryside she is absorbing and processing comparatively little information and being relatively inactive. he states that to achieve union with God. Gregory of Sinai described spiritual experience as “the total lifting of the powers of the soul to what may be discerned of the entire majesty of glory” (in Happold. it fades away. Meister Eckhart described how mystical experience occurs when “you are able to draw in your [intellectual and sensory] powers to a unity and forget all those things and their images which you have absorbed” (1979. and give rise to higher states of consciousness. As a result we perceive our surroundings with first-time vision. One of the main differences between ICE states (as I will term them from now on. the constant thought-chatter. However. and relief (Hardy. Meditators have. italics added). ICE states also often involve a profound sense of inner peace and contentment. whereas homeostasis disruption (HD) states are centred around a different mode of experiencing the phenomenal world.” and “lifting”–and also the “gathering up” of the whirls of consciousness described in the Moksha-Dharma–refer to what I describe as generating a high concentration of consciousness-energy. wholeness. and attains a state of samadhi (Feuerstein. ICE states have a powerful affective dimension that HD states lack. This is probably. otherwise consciousness-energy would not be concentrated enough to produce a spiritual state. literal experience of the stillness and purity of consciousness in these moments. or even bliss. likely to experience this bliss when the energy of our being is intensely concentrated. for example. and a sense of purity–and this is not so much an affective state. As the Indian mystical traditions make clear. 1986. reported great senses of peace. In addition. That is. which means that perception no longer needs to be automatic. there is a constant inward storm of thought. We are. Similarly. Meditation is. when the chatter of our minds fades away–and when we conserve energy in the other ways I mentioned–there is a surplus of consciousness-energy. We process very little information from our environment. (In the long term it is an attempt to permanently halt the associational chatter of the mind. this is one interpretation of what may happen in meditation practice. during meditation we largely close the other main channels through which we expend energy. we are liable to experience higher states of consciousness. as a direct. the reason why spiritual or mystical experiences often occur in natural surroundings. Usually if a person is. which is logical when we consider that it is probably directly caused by the high concentration of consciousness-energy which meditation can generate. therefore.own being. if a point is reached where the chattering ego becomes so weakened that it disappears as a psychic habit. which may lead to a permanent alteration of the structures of consciousness. As Novak suggests. both in the short and long term. This sense of inner peace appears to be generally absent from HD experiences. Examples of these were given by many participants of Deikman’s experimental meditation sessions (Deikman. and are awake to the is-ness and animacy of natural phenomena. for instance. p. There is always a sense of inner stillness. There is another cause of this sense of inner peace that requires explanation. 20). In the Christian mystical tradition. the yogin experiences the intense radiance of the Self. As a result. It has to. and the only task we have to concentrate on is focusing our attention. St. creates a constant psychic disturbance. we might say. since there is no need for energy to be conserved. Many mystics and spiritual teachers have spoken of mystical experience in similar terms to these. The terms “powers” and “powers of the soul” here are equivalent to the term consciousness-energy. p. “a man must collect all his powers as if into a corner of his soul” (1979.” “collecting. there are situations in which ICE states may occur more accidentally. As well as an intensification. In spiritual states caused by an ICE this storm fades away.) However. and so largely closing two of the main chanHigher States 53 . In Meister Eckhart’s (1996) phrase.

quietening the chattering of the ego-self. It becomes a focus for the attention.g. (p. the contemplation of art and creative work (Hardy. until an ICE state is generated. and seemed to be beyond the boundary of my physical self. The following example–again from Hardy–is a good example of an ICE state induced by music: I was sitting one evening. listening to a Brahms symphony. I went out for walk one evening alone. 103). the conscious mind gets exhausted and other areas of consciousness are activated” (p. 1979. Similarly. as Jenny Wade comments. resulting in a sense of inner peace and wholeness and a familiarity-free perception of is-ness and all-pervading spirit. almost any activity which involves a degree of concentration and which takes place in a quiet and still setting–and which can therefore result in an intensification and stilling of life-energy–could give rise to a spiritual experience. is a prominent trigger of spiritual states. 1961) might be explained in these terms. Music. 72). and believes that he acquired this ability through fishing. This may also be part of the reason why sex can be a powerful trigger of spiritual states. but not drowsily. He notes how poetry depends upon the ability to focus the mind. since the exertions of some sports can easily create internal imbalances. He describes the effect of staring at a float for long 54 periods: “All the nagging impulses that are normally distracting your mind dissolve…once they have dissolved. Volume 24 . As the psychiatrist Thaddeus Kostrulaba (1976) wrote. 72) The high incidence of spiritual experiences amongst athletes and sportspeople (e. 54). The following are good examples of higher states of consciousness (presumably) induced by nature from Hardy’s The Spiritual Nature of Man (1979): Last summer. when walking on Hampstead Heath alone. The sheer pleasure of sex can shift our attention away from the egomind. suddenly I became aware that there was no separateness between myself and other people. As a result. Sex can. However. 62) In my early twenties…in Wales. 1995. the poet Ted Hughes described a meditative state he often experienced while fishing. The path led up to a narrow precipice walk along the hill’s edge. and quietens the chattering ego. Some of these may be due to homeostasis disruption. drugs” (p. that there was no such things as death. we should give some attention to other aspects of higher states of consciousness. 2002) can be explained in similar terms.. after discussing the universal use of mantras to induce different states of consciousness. p. 120). This is particularly the case with sports that involve long periods of monotonous rhythmic activity. and we can assume that the music acted as a concentrative device. Your whole being rests lightly on your float. reducing the outflow further. how can we explain the sense of one-ness that comes with spiritual experiences in these terms? Unlike the sense of inner peace. and I must have become completely relaxed. meditation. Then an intense feeling of ‘light’ and ‘love’ uplifted and enfolded me (Hardy. And at the same time the beauty of nature may have a similar effect to a mantra in meditation. p. However. at somewhere between 30 and 40 minutes. such as long distance running or swimming. p. taken over by something outside myself if which I was yet a part. and while I was there…the setting sun blazed out turning the whole world crimson and gold. As a consequence the chattering might fade away. Laski. The fact that the person was inactive and had closed his eyes had already reduced his or her outflow of consciousness-energy. this sense of one- The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. “take people to the same realms as trance. The activity itself serves as a focusing device. Other significant triggers of spiritual experience. you enter one of the orders of bliss. My eyes were closed. sports also often involve an intense degree of concentration. for similar reasons. very alert” (1967. directing it away from the chattering of the ego. therefore. Taylor. such as literature. after sex we may experience what D. 2005. too. and I was pervaded by a feeling of great peace and joy. 85). which may fall silent. Murphy & Whyte. Lawrence described as “the strange. Other Aspects of ICE states So far I have discussed two different aspects of higher states of consciousness in relation to ICE states: an intensified perception of the phenomenal world (perhaps including an awareness of the presence of brahman in the world) and a sense of inner peace. (p. there was a gust of wind and felt as if I had been swept into the very heart of all that glory and colour.H. In theory. which may generate ICE states. Eventually.nels through which consciousness-energy drains away. “I think the same process occurs in the repetitive rhythm of long-distance running. for I became aware of a feeling of ‘expansion’. soothing flood of peace which goes with true sex” (1973. For example. feeling calm and at peace with the world.

As mentioned previously. which can occur temporarily in higher states of consciousness or as a gradually evolving feature of long-term spiritual development. 1984. Like asceticism. “entheogens” (e. The experience may be primarily related to ego-dissolution. as it does in deep sleep. If anything. I believe. detachment has been seen as part of the ascending world-rejecting tradition which posits an artificial and dangerous duality between matter and spirit.171. to rid themselves of all possessions or to relinquish ambitions or interests of their own. Our sense of ego appears to be largely maintained by this chatter. we would not expect this aspect to feature in them. Self still exists. ICE states in particular may provide another source of this experience of oneness. 1990. However. the practice of meditation does this by teaching the chattering ego the habit of quietness. They might choose to live alone in the forest or desert. According to the Yoga philosophy of Patanjali. Michael Murphy. Traditionally. The energy is our Self. Reports of HD-induced higher states of consciousness do not. food and relationships–offers the opportunity for spiritual growth. Hardy.ness is–as we have seen–also a feature of spiritual experiences resulting from homeostasis disruption. to take vows of silence or celibacy. at the essence of our being. Another important aspect of spiritual experiences is the sense of becoming who we really are. we are one with the cosmos. 1993) and my own personal experiences of them3. by permanently reducing or restricting its outflow. But the spiritual life involves more than meditation. pp.. As many spiritual traditions hold. so that an ICE state equates with a sense of connection to a truer self. This new sense of self is vividly evoked in Paul Brunton’s famous description of meditating in the presence of Ramana Maharishi: The brain has passed into a state of complete suspension. it has turned into something sublimely all-embracing. This can be achieved through disrupting homeostasis–since the separate self-system is an integral part of our ordinary optimum survival consciousness which homeostasis partly serves to maintain–or through a silencing of associational chatter. focusing our energies exclusively upon spiritual development is likely to cause an imbalance and a neglect of Higher States 55 . generally feature this sense of becoming one with a truer and deeper self. It’s certainly true that.) Since HD states do not depend on an intensification of consciousness-energy. as the Integral Philosophy recently developed by Ken Wilber. a transcendence or dismantling of the separate-self system which creates the illusion of separateness and duality. the “restriction of the whirls of consciousness” allows the transcendental Self to appear (in Feuerstein. There is an identity shift from the ego-self to the True Self. We tap into the ocean of Spirit that pervades all reality. 1979..g. I remain perfectly calm and fully aware of who I am and what is occurring. This kind of radical spirituality is opposed to many contemporary spiritual teachings (e. I believe this to be the case. radiant self. Walsh. our true identity. 2003)–literally.” Long Term Spiritual Development Long-term spiritual development can also be interpreted in terms of an intensifying and stilling of consciousness-energy. (1972. Something that is far superior to the unimportant personality which was I. Yet my awareness has been drawn out of the narrow confines of separate personality. spiritual aspirants have forced themselves to extremes of renunciation and detachment in an effort to permanently transform their state of being. and others suggests. especially once the superficial thought-maintained self of the ego has faded away. The consciousness-energy that constitutes our being is one and the same as the consciousness-energy which pervades the cosmos. Ouspensky.g. revealers of the god within–is misleading. Therefore. yet there is not the slightest loss of consciousness. which insist that there is no distinction between the spiritual and the mundane and that every aspect of our lives–including business. atman is one with brahman. but it is a changed. 1977. they should be termed “extheogens. Huxley. And based on my own examination of reports of HD states (e. Cope. 1999). some deeper diviner being. McKenna. arises into consciousness and becomes me. In this respect the term that is sometimes used for psychedelic drugs. when we experience a powerful intensification of consciousness-energy.g. 304-5) The important point here may be that our true sense of self is embedded in consciousness-energy. This suggests that the experience is not strictly related to ICE states. One way of looking at regular spiritual practice–whether it is daily meditation practice or mindfulness exercises or a monastic life of renunciation–is as a concerted effort to generate a permanently high concentration of consciousness-energy (and to permanently still consciousness-energy to some degree). the sense that we have made contact with a deeper and truer part of our own being. As the Vedanta tradition tells us. we also effectively experience the essence of the whole universe.. p. Therefore when the chatter becomes silent the separate self-system may fade away.

when he attempts to “harmonize his relationship to life at large and to the transcendental reality” (p. I personally hold the non-dualist view that there is no distinction between spirit and the world and that in principle every act of our lives–from eating to washing the dishes and sex and socialising–is sacred and spiritual. As Underhill notes again. 1960). since there is always the danger that the sexual energy may simply be repressed–freeing the consciousness-energy which is normally devoted to sexual desires and activity. And similarly. This underlying purpose of detachment was noted by Underhill (1960). we can see the practice of celibacy as. Underhill (1960) noted that possessions “are a drain upon the energy of the self. ojas. Tapas usually involves chastity (brahmacarya) and the subjugation of the senses (indirya-jaya) and is believed to generate an intense form of energy. Theresa. The purpose of detachment and mortification is to produce a transformation of being. As Swami Prabhavananda (1952) wrote: “Sexual activity. who describes it as a process of “stripping or purging away of those superfluous. it becomes subliminated as spiritual energy” (p. The first two stages of Patanjali’s eight-limbed path of yoga also involve rigorous selfcontrol and an effort to tame the body of desire. The effort to tame physical appetites does not necessarily–and should not–entail a mind/body duality or a sense of disgust towards the body. Catherine of Sinea. and of reducing The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. ‘There are men who completely dissipate the powers of the soul in the outward man. At that point she abandoned her solitude and was frenetically active for the rest of her life. I should make it clear that I am certainly not advocating a retreat from the world. become the focus of energy. spent three years living as a hermit and an ascetic until she attained a state of deification. John of the Cross. which is sometimes experienced as heat (the literal meaning of the word tapas). converting non-Christians and serving the poor and sick (Underhill. a method of freeing the monk or mystic from the responsibility of having to care and provide for a family. for example. We should not see asceticism purely as a matter of punishing the body for its sinful desires. 186). 72). As Meister Eckhart noted. and also a means of–hopefully. And similarly.102). p. at which point they often relinquished their lives of detachment and became extremely active. When that force is conserved through abstinence. can be seen as a method of stopping our thoughts being occupied and our energies being drained away by possessions. it should be seen as a question of taming or controlling what ascetics called “the body of desire” in order to conserve–and redirect–the consciousness-energy which it normally monopolises. 117). of permanently taming our desires so that they no longer monopolise our consciousness energy. 212). This is another aspect of asceticism. The same is true of other mystics such as St. They are processes directed to a particular end: a release from what Underhill calls the selfhood’s tyranny and from the dominance (and energy-monopolisation) of our lower. and harmful things which dissipate the precious energies of the self ” (p. “to check the powerful survival instinct and rechannel it to serve a higher purpose” (p. making a determined effort to permanently close down the channels through which consciousness-energy drains away. a permanent redistribution of consciousnessenergy. The purpose of yama (often translated as restraint) is. The practice of voluntary poverty. The practices should be seen purely as a matter of economy. ‘The mortifying process is necessary…because those senses have usurped a place beyond their station. However. Francis of Assisi. 2005. 186). the yogic ascetisicm of tapas was defined by Swami Prabhavananda (1969) as “the practice of conserving energy and directing it toward the goal of yoga…obviously. and St. Volume 24 . Underhill actually refers to a wrong distribution of this energy. St. Many mystics strove for years to attain this freedom. 204). St. teaching. which the adept can use at the niyama (discipline) stage. and the thoughts and fantasies of sex. hedonistic impulses. unreal. 220). we must exercise self-discipline. Silence and solitude are clearly two other ways of concentrating or intensifying consciousness-energy. which equates with a permanently higher state of consciousness. use up a great portion of our vital force. or ascendance to the higher transpersonal realms. the purpose of the life of a renunciate is clear: he or she is attempting to drastically limit the outflow of consciousness-energy–or more specifically. as Feuerstein (1990) puts it. on the one hand. we must control our physical appetites and passions” (p. This frees up psychospiritual energy.other important areas of our lives. or implying that everyday life is opposed to spirituality. for example. In a similar way. We should note that both detachment and mortification (or asceticism) are not –at least ideally–ongoing or permanent processes. At the same time as serving as a means of inducing temporary spiritual states through homeostasis-disruption. steadily drained the vitality of the self ” (p. preventing her from attaining that intenser life for which she was made” (p. in order to do 56 this. These are the people who direct all their aims and intelligence towards transient possessions’ (1990.

taken-for-granted world and making the individual aware that higher realms of reality do exist. HD states can also be dangerous. There is some evidence that drug-induced higher states of consciousness encourage individuals to investigate methods of gradual long-term consciousness transformation (e.g.g. HD states can never give rise to the low arousal void experience of what Robert Forman (2000) describes as the Pure Consciousness Event. They may be intro- vertive void experiences of pure consciousness. As I mentioned above. p. Many scholars have written at length on the question of whether drug-induced higher states of consciousness are comparable with those induced by or related to long term spiritual practices or seemingly proffered by the grace of God (e. the latter do not.2). This can only come from ICE states. Above I have dealt with four different aspects of higher states of consciousness: (a) an intensified perception of the phenomenal world (b) a sense of inner peace and wholeness (c) a sense of oneness with the manifest world. enduring structures of consciousness. and a reluctance to make the long term disciplined effort which permanent spiritual transformation requires. Stace. An ICE state which is consciously induced by meditation will be introvertive. 1961). or a sense of transcending boundaries and (d) a sense of becoming a deeper and truer Self. HD states can only give “peek” experiences into the transpersonal domains. Zaehner. ICE states can be both introvertive and extrovertive. HD states are primarily sensory or perceptual experiences. Tart. only they can create permanent. 528-9). An ICE state that occurs in the countryside.. These can be useful. rupturing the familiar. have a very low risk of negative or psychotic states. They always involve the phenomenal world. But the spiritual experiences they generate are of a different character. Probably the most important difference between HD and ICE states. 1991). or extrovertive experiences of perceiving is-ness.g. As Walsh noted of psychedelic drugs in particular. In Wilber’s terms (e. pp. there is a Timothy Leary. HD and ICE states are two different technologies of spiritual experience. but they do not appear to feature the affective characteristics of (b) and (d). by shutting her eyes.. The individual may not actually be ontologically ready to process the Higher States 57 . but only sometimes. is that only the latter can build towards a permanently transformed consciousness. we can say that HD states are never–in Stace’s terminology (1964/1988)–introvertive. however. under some circumstances” (2003.. simply because the meditator has closed her senses to the external world. 1964. ICE states. HD states certainly feature (a) and (c). “[they] can induce genuine mystical experiences. For every Ram Dass. I also pointed out that in ICE states the characteristic (c) is likely to be more powerful than in HD states because of the essential oneness of consciousness-energy with the consciousness-force of the cosmos. 1964/1988. in which we avoid excessive desires and excessive activity. but do not go the extreme of punishing the body or neglecting other areas of our development besides the spiritual. half way between hedonism and asceticism. since these actually involve a purification and intensification of consciousness. On the other hand. wonder and oneness. sitting in quietness and focusing her attention on a mantra (or another object of concentration). or while long-distance running or listening to music. Huston Smith. This does not mean going to the extremes of the ascetics— in my view it is probably only necessary to follow the “middle way” that Buddhism recommends. Often they will not generate any discernable change in consciousness (this is especially the case with forms of physical deprivation such as sleep and hunger). Being given these experiences for free may create a passive attitude towards them. they are likely to generate other altered states of consciousness besides higher states. and reliably generate transpersonal or mystical states. in some people. Or as Smith puts it. and have been used as such throughout human history. ICE states versus HD states This is not the place for an extended discussion and comparison of HD and ICE mystical states. Similarly. Whether ICE states are introvertive or extrovertive depends simply upon the circumstances in which they occur. “Drugs appear to induce religious experiences: it is less evident that they can produce religious lives” (1964. This may not always be the case though. on the other hand. simple because the individual is already in open communication with the external world. there are a few salient points that I would like to mention. and even when they do. HD and ICE states correspond to Fischer’s (1971) ergotropic high arousal and trophotropic low arousal experiences. such as hallucinatory experiences or psychotic episodes. one of the differences between ICE and HD states is that while the former feature all four of these. they might come as a bolt out of the blue.its outflow by keeping ourselves apart from the demands and the hectic activity of normal life. A major problem with HD states is their unreliability. 2000). will be extrovertive. However. they are always extrovertive.

and between ourselves and our own bodies. However. HD mystical experiences are clearly genuine. Volume 24 . This might not apply so much to children. p. and lead to schizophrenia or psychosis. 2000) this is impossible. This strongly suggests that ICE states are superior to HDs. they gradually tame the chattering ego and produce a permanent intensification of consciousness-energy. For example. Whereas meditative ICE states are constructive–that is. but rather The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies.g.. subtle. and gradually create a new psychic structure–HD states are essentially destructive: they produce a powerful blast which immobilises the ego. drug use and self-mutilation have been traditionally been used to induce mystical or spiritual states. in that they can only be extrovertive. in Wilber’s model. benevolent. that the greater the intensification and purification of consciousness-energy. the higher the level of consciousness. then children and native peoples clearly do have access to the transpersonal realms. As well creating a sense of “otherness” between us and the world. as so many spiritual teachers have stated. Spirit-charged cosmos that it really is. whereas ICE states usually involve some form of mental concentration and a degree of self-discipline. at least HD states have the apparent advantage–which is part of their appeal–of requiring no effort. Rhawn Joseph (2000) recognises that practices such as food and water deprivation. we can equally see the hyperactivity of the limbic system as a correlate–or an effect–of the mystical or spiritual state that is produced when homeostasis disruption means that ordinary consciousness can no longer be regulated and maintained.. and lack an affective dimension. and guided. instead of the radiant.experience. since the intensity of their instinctive desires and heightened emotionality would itself produce a large outflow of consciousness-energy. In Wilber’s model of transpersonal development (e. causal and non-dual)? (My suggestion would be. why is it that disrupting homeostasis does generate higher states of consciousness in some instances but not in others? Or. and their psychic equilibrium may be disturbed as a result. how do ICE states correlate with the different levels of mystical or transpersonal experiences (e. it becomes hyperactive and can no longer efficiently delete and filter out stimuli. and that they would be therefore more open to spiritual states than us. since in both cases their sense of ego is less developed and less active than ours. And I would certainly not degrade HD mystical experiences to the extent that scholars such as Zaehner (1961) and Masters and Houston (1966) have done by claiming that psychedelic experiences may be analogous to mystical experiences but are not the same thing—or else that they only superficially resemble them. and links this to arousal of the brain’s limbic system. our over-active and overseparate egos–although not the ego in itself–are an enemy. there is the danger that the separate self-system may collapse altogether. they monopolise our consciousness-energy. but deficient in that they do not feature aspects of higher states of consciousness common to ICE states. and if this blast is regularly repeated the ego-structure will be eroded away. since individuals first have to move through the egoic and for58 mal-operational levels before they can stabilise themselves at the transpersonal realms (although Wilber admits that they may have brief peek or peak experiences). meaningful. 2 The existence of this energy makes sense in terms of the theory of consciousness put forward by Robert Forman and others. 124). to the point where it is no longer able to re-form itself. of course. there would also appear to be a correlate with increased activity in the sympathetic half of the autonomic nervous system. if properly instructed. and appears to produce less associational chatter. However.) This model of higher states of consciousness suggests a new view of the issue of whether children and native or tribal peoples might be more spiritual than adult Westerners. if we see an intensification of consciousness-energy as the source of spiritual states. resulting in intensified perceptual awareness. again. Particularly with intense use of psychedelic drugs. very briefly. which suggests that the brain itself doesn’t produce consciousness. pain. so that we see the world as one-dimensional and inanimate place. can integrate the new knowledge and preserve his equilibrium” (1988.g. In fact. Endnotes 1 Neurologically. This essay leaves some questions unanswered. Following Newberg and D’Aqulli’s research. we might assume that there would be a reduced outflow of consciousness-energy in their case. the psychic. when the limbic system is denied its normal input. William Johnston argued that “meditation is safer than drugs because the meditation. However. We might say that they are one-dimensional. 2003 for a related discussion). The important point is that. higher states of consciousness associated with homeostasis disruption appear to correlate with hyperactivity of the limbic system. 2005. but could easily be true for native peoples (see Taylor. As he sees it. In fact this is the only long-term psychic change which the regular inducement of higher states of consciousness through HD can lead to.

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the stars are bright. seeds of distrust toward foreigners have been sown. as practiced for thousands of years by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin. and the pilgrim is welcome to join in the work. It was also the home state of Chico Mendez. who.” whose work.5. hosting some of the heaviest cocaine trafficking in South America. cre is the holy land for work with Daime in Brazil. Through all the communities. both indigenous and Catholic/Afro-Brazilian. a powerful presence of evangelical Christianity. was initiated by a disciple of Irineu. In spite of these abuses. has so alienated the healers of the forest that they have begun keeping their medicines to themselves. Beneath blazing fluorescent lights. Acre hosts a landscape dotted with the churches of Daime. Sean. but this is wondrous strange! And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. stands illuminated in the front yard. Horatio: Hamlet: Oh day and night. with marked Afro-Brazilian elements. Bordering Peru and Bolivia. facing one another beneath a huge. I first arrive in Alto Santo. two main streams developed: The Church of the Universal Flowing Light. My botanist friend. the doors of most churches remain open. tropical sea. a neighborhood thirty minutes outside of Rio Branco. Shakespeare Hamlet 1.173-74. the Brazilian frontier state of Acre. and still possesses 90% of its original forest.S. Within the movement originating with Mestre Irineu. in the night. certain Daime communities have closed their doors to participation by Westerners after getting what they perceived as bad press. The extent of this tragedy is not easily imagined until the degree of knowledge of these peoples is fathomed. Among the Indians bio-piracy by Westerners. and I had come in our pilgrimage through the churches of ayahuasca to the small city of Rio Branco to experience the roots of the movement in Brazil. organized and imbued with an environmental vision the forest workers of the Amazon–a fight he continued up to the day of his assassination by a local rancher and strongman. which light up at night like phosphorescent jellyfish floating in a dark. and serious rural poverty. As well. It is warm. or “little boat. and sell the sacrament at a huge profit. in which the author weaves together accounts of his own healing experience. it is the westernmost state of the Amazon rain basin. or will no longer donate bottles of ayahuasca to hipsters who smuggle them into the U. And there A are the native traditions underlying the lineage of Mestre Irineu. Darly Alves da Silva. or Santo Daime. arising and co-evolving out of their seamless communion with the forest: the womb and gift of Pachamama. which claims to hold most truly to the original form transmitted by the Mestre. and the slat-board pioneer houses we pass are dark. Acre is still very much raw frontier. I see two lines of men and women dancing. who use ayahuasca as a sacrament. Daniel Pereira de Mattos (known as Frei Daniel). It also portrays the extraordinary variation and vitality of the communities there.Fear No Spirits: A Pilgrim’s Journey through the Brazilian Churches of Ayahuasca Robert Tindall This is an intimate account of a pilgrimage through the “Holy Land” of Daime. I get out of the car and hear music and singing—a sound like a polka Fear No Spirits 61 . traveling dirt roads through area recently carved out of the jungle. open air structure. A gigantic cross with two crossbeams (the Caravaca Cross adopted from Northern Spain—the second crossbeam represents the second coming of Christ). and the Barquinha. who ingratiate themselves into local tribes and smuggle out their healing plants only to patent them and reap profits for themselves (sending back baseball caps and t-shirts by way of compensation). Then a vision leaps electric out of the night. in resistance to the massive land theft and senseless deforestation being practiced by the wealthy newcomers to Acre in the 1980’s.

It turned out he was a Daimista.band riding in the back of a flatbed truck on their way to heaven. I open my eyes. Sean and I encountered Luis. open and immeasurably happy. (Fardado is sometimes translated as “star-person”–giving a New Age airiness to a fundamentally military conception: farda in Portuguese describes a “military uniform”). as a blazing figurehead on the prow of the ship of my soul. The high pitch of the women’s voices gives me the image of a psychedelic subway train charging. A proto-fascist ruling clique has seized power in my beloved homeland. Someone sitting next to me hands me a hymnal. May the humble inherit the earth. bass and classical guitar. beating out their steps with maracas they hold in their right hands. dazzled by the lights and colors and already buzzing from a shot of ayahuasca I had drunk earlier at the Barquinha church. conga drum. And he spoke an English he had learned from his mother. The music has stopped. and we proceed to discuss the Buddhist doctrine of sunyata. jams away in the space between the two lines. cutting through the darkness with his omniscience. related to Christ. gazing into another world. and elucidated a very complicated system of correspondences between deities: Oxala. waiting for my signal to stop. my guiding spirit. and I can understand the Portuguese being spoken around me. bright white with epaulettes and a white cap like a fez with a braid wound around it. where a dignified man with a bushy moustache waits like an amiable bartender. related to stones and through his spouse. but then I close my eyes and listen and angelic mists and swirling mandalas begin to draw me on. is the new frontier for humanity. or spirits. electric guitar. the power of justice. a world of exquisite possibilities. getting down the four-step but give up trying to sing from the hymnal at the same time. through the night. relentless and happy. the masculine father spirit. Struggling with our bags and attempting to orient ourselves after the three-day bus ride from Rio de Janeiro to Rio Branco. He looks as if he were wearing a Noh mask. Then Henrique begins to ask me penetrating questions about the United States. This. composed of accordion. I make my bows. The Barquinhas wear sailor’s suits when they make a major journey. He offered his assistance. I scrambled to take notes. the power of the forest and native healing wisdom. Some days later he met us at our hotel and oriented us to the work of the Barquinhas. as well as his opinions about the communities we had come to visit. I sit and try to follow the hymns of the dancers. My language acquisition abilities have suddenly been radically enhanced. I study him. moving back and forth in a tightly disciplined line. multi-colored trailers descending from their shoulders. It gave me some pause. his expression truly transported. as waves of agony rise and break within me. explaining that the church of the little boat is a synthesis of Catholic Christianity with Umbanda and Candomble. I see the women wear white dresses with green sashes. I take a maraca and join the line. The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. isn’t it?” he asks. Volume 24 . the Holy Mother. the Yoruba spiritual practices brought over by the slaves from Africa. I cannot speak for grief. I see that the men also wear a silver brooch in the shape of a Star of David with a crescent moon resting within. As I enter. Later I am taken to the altar and introduced to the figure in the photo: it is Mestre Raimundo Irineu Serra. and other Orixas. and seemed to engage the world around him with a boundless optimism. which instead of provoking my usual liberal self-righteousness stir an immense 62 well of sadness within me. The man smiles at me and pours. tambourine. During the ceremony I see my guardian angel. I see a new frontier. or Xango. a new people without artifice. The men wear white suits with a green pinstripe descending their pant legs. They are right to do so. I realize. related to Mary. but the Portuguese is very fast. The altar is covered with bottles of ayahuasca. The usual rivalries among groups existed in Rio Branco. 2005. Yemanja. I drink and a seat is set out for me. It appears to be happening right here. the one for representing vision into other worlds. a professor of mathematics and physics at the University of Acre. and its relation to work with entheogens. and I realize the carven prows of those old Viking ships were no mere decorations. I look within and see an altar with a candle burning before a photo taken during the 1930s of a stocky forest worker. Henrique looks at me with comprehension. which helps some. a young lawyer from São Paulo who had recently transplanted himself in Rio Branco to work on environmental issues and indigenous rights. a member of a Barquinha church. too. The women are wearing silver crowns. He was small of stature. feminine power. A band. indicating they are fardados. such as Oxossi. As I draw closer. As the music commences again. I am led in a numinous daze across the concrete floor to a booth at the far end of the structure. to waterfalls. I decided. emptiness. Oxum. clean cut and alert. “The daime is working on you. I enter into conversation with Henrique. They are doing a four-step dance.

Musicians accompany the prayer. At their backs. We continue down a flight of stairs and enter the patio of the church. is the European Holy Family. their garments and eyes pearly white. We drink again and go out to the structure with the floor of packed red earth. Luis explains they are the Holy Family. Finally a bell rings. the Yorimba. It all seems a blaze of light. one of women and the other of men. the line is forming anew. sounds I cannot imagine the human vocal apparatus being capable of making. As the ayahuasca begins to take hold. I feel his hand on my forehead as I relinquish my addictions: to coffee. Luis comes up to us and announces. Their skin is deeply black. Arriving the following evening. I look out and sure enough. except the floor is of hard packed. The mantric cycle of praise commences. We and everyone else step over the dog. Okay. a statue of São Sebastião. It could be any Catholic church in Latin America. Then in the middle of a song I come to Christ and lay my burden down before him. Piercing whistling tears through the air. or rather. have come and the group possessed by the old African spirits files out. I feel completely comfortable with them. I notice the curtains are slowly parting in front of the altar. I hear a voice say to me. I now have an opportunity to study the figures arranged in the sand in the center.” he explains. We go back in and take our seats. Fear no spirits. make the sign of the cross with the cup. and he reappears dressed in white and gestures for us to come. “We’re moving on into the Umbanda portion of the work now. I notice miniature figures arranged in a village scene. in imitation of the opening of the heavenly realm. The ayahuasca is very bitter and strong. A massive banquet table with a white tablecloth surrounded by chairs sits in the middle of the room. and they are spread out in a tableau of village life. Rows of seats line the back and side of the church. I wander off and sit on the wrong side. to hyper-vigilance. spread out on a surface of sand. little white-skinned baby Fear No Spirits 63 . two fingers of their right hand raised at the level of their faces like antennae. like a spiritual storm front. and see the shell of my former self in California and feel deep compassion for the man I have been. to finding the perfect woman. I see people rising from their seats and standing. A musician tuning his guitar gestures me back. its exterior a muted orange painted over smooth adobe.” Sean and I look at each other in astonishment. thin and tall like a reed. How can we take any more? We already feel irradiated by spirit. smiling. I don’t fear spirits. In fact.” he says. We were going to get to experience Umbanda soon. the white-haired. unlike in the Santo Daime church in Alto Santo. standing beside her. I look around and note that most of the faces are African in descent. men on the other. except I can recognize the Credo being repeated over and over. I think. upon the table. a cross lit up at the entryway. We go out and see two lines have formed. who are filing forward to drink ayahuasca. I start to say. the old blacks. We reach the head of the line. and São Sebastião. are given the sacrament. the patriarch. Then the curtains slowly close. Something very powerful begins moving. through the church. the guitar and Catholic liturgy weaving fresh neural pathways through my mind. with its little bell tower and niches for saints. A curtain has been drawn over the altar. The curtain is parting more rapidly now. capable of walking a hundred miles at a stretch through arid ground. and Sean and I sit quietly in the pews.despairing of distinguishing mantra from yantra and tantra. But no matter.” but then I shrug and go out and drink. Luis leaves us. “The evening is just beginning. covering the entire front of the church. the Holy Ancestors. Seated in profound miração I behold the blazing guardian of my spirit boat as an intricate ritual of prostration is carried out by men and women in sailor’s suits facing the altar before me. as if on the other side of the world. Women on one side. Then Luis reappears beside us. and there was to be a major work soon. The spirits of the preto velhos. and the community vanishes to doff their sailor suits. the Heavenly Father. chained to a tree and pierced by arrows. respecting its presence there. and the names of Jesus. But the lines to drink are forming again outside. a vanishing. most of which I don’t understand. ample matriarch enthroned in the center. “Time to drink again. red earth. and then the ayahuasca strikes like a blinding cloud of light. Within we cross a clean floor of white tile and face an altar covered with images of saints. one fellow playing the banjo. and drink. In the center. a cycle of worship of São Sebastião in which they drank ayahuasca every night. Mary. and enter. a stupefaction. “I think I may actually have had enough already. very erect. The community was in the midst of a twenty-day long romería. we pass through a wooden gate and enter an open structure like the one where people danced in Alto Santo. The core of the community takes their places around the banquet table. a dirty little scamp of a dog curled up right on the threshold. my long journey filled with wounds and bewilderment.

I have a deep feeling of gratitude for my experience of it. It’s a couple days later. a young man. The old man comes around in the circle of dancers again and we watch him. inchoate. with the spirits of Umbanda. “Yep. have an illusion of a right to elbow room that Brazilians know doesn’t exist. I am grateful that I am allowed to dance on the periphery and not drawn in. I begin. Changing the subject. He pretends not to be observing us. The band commences. drinking ayahuasca and dancing with the spirits. and poured libations to summon the unnumbered dead. “See that old man?” Sean asks me. Are we not all equal in this? Are we not all dreaming? The bus comes and we board. and I begin to understand the dance. He must love us too. ayahusaca working through the body. scintillating around the forms of the dancers in white. blazing.. liminal. In fact. the sick and simple are brought forward. Volume 24 . stooped forward in a posture of aged dignity close to the altar. and Sean has been pretty much shut up in his hotel room since the night at the Barquinha. He’s been checking us out.” Luis and I are supposed to meet in the center of Rio Branco. conga drums prominent. has had all its fundamental premises blown this evening. tipping his head in the old forest worker’s direction. The dance concludes in the dark of the early morning. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. and I hesitate the opinion that sometimes anger can help set things straight. a voice crying from the wilderness. “Whatever you do. Then the power goes out. or mediumship. using the tobacco for purification and to send messages to the divinity. Luis turns to me and says. Sean has taken a seat and I walk over and clap him on the back. a terminal where the spirits negotiate their transit to other worlds. but bars selling pitchers of juice made to order from the cornucopia of fruit growing in the Amazon compensate for the stench. I am not ready to experience atuação. then are dreamt of in your philosophy. Ever.” My own life in California is so inconceivably distant and inapplicable. A bardo space. playing guitar and watching Brazilian television. The only useful shred of the Western Intellectual Tradition I can think of is. he explains to me that when the preto velhos come that The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. Luis appears and while we wait for a local bus to take us to the Barquinha church. A four step inside a square. but I smile and give him the thumbs-up sign. He 64 turns to me from the front seat and says. Power of old Africans. This evening is solely a work of mantra. we even accept anger as a kind of social lubricant. I don’t know how I am going to return to my life in California after this. I can only nod in agreement. men and women moving in two circles. After a time I see Luis. I’m out and about. The drums beat. his hair and beard gone wild. widdershins. A smell of burning plastic wafts through the marketplace. pipe in mouth.” I look back and realize he is right. Young women are led around and in by their elders. 2005. My Western intellect. We’re both smiling in rapture.” We decide we love this old man. not far from where I stood earlier in the day watching children leap from the girders of the bridge into the brown swirling waters of the river fifty feet below. It is dark. I do fear these spirits. “Man. We talk about the situations in Brazil especially designed to push a North American’s buttons. of praise.” It’s a slow dance. stringy from a life of hard work. awkwardly. The earth becomes wet with spit. We move in a circle around the center. and a sign of the strength of the evangelical movement in Acre.Jesus in cradle. then a step forward. In the center. I’ve been sick. He breaks into a huge grin and nods back at us. Luis turns and looks me in the eyes.” “I want to be an old man like him. An old man is dancing out there in the crowd. don’t stop dancing. Somehow he makes me think of a young Abe Lincoln. his arms folded behind his back. dirt poor. Rather it absorbs our energy. Joseph and Mary and Donkey in attendance. I fall silent. hunched over close to the earth. “There are more things in Heaven and Earth. but eventually get the hang of it. a mulatto. and candles are lit. I realize. Fierce defense in preservation of the world is one thing. What voice speaks through him? I wonder. pulse rising from the earth. and while I still don’t know what to make of tantra. a dance to draw energy and life out of the earth. angels guarding the way to his cradle. Horatio. The truth is. the votive pit in Hades in which Odysseus spilled the blood of the ewe and ram.. The Brazilians don’t seem to do anything halfway in this land of spirits. North Americans. many women and a few men are smoking pipes. Anger at a person or situation is another. “There is never any reason to get angry. Sean and I ride back together in a taxi. which I had imagined as being fairly open. but the center does not radiate out. spitting and bowing. comes ranting through the station. but have the same problem as he: What does one do with one’s life after having gone to the heavenly realms? The world seems dull and grey in comparison.

evening and atuar in the bodies and minds of the mediums of the church, I can go for an interview with one of them. He will translate for me. I will need him especially because the old Africans speak with very thick, archaic accents. Later that evening a little girl comes and taps my thigh while I sit in the church, gesturing for me to follow. I enter a back room with another floor of hard packed red earth. Those who had been possessed by the preto velhos earlier in the evening have taken up their places within, lined up against the walls in their consultories, altars of African and Christian figures by their sides, pipes smoking. It’s a scene transported straight from Africa. Luis meets me at the door and leads me up to small black woman with a grave but pleasant expression, sitting close to the earth on a stool, a pipe in her hand. She is not old, but somehow she gives the impression of being wizened. I take another stool and sit before her. I’m told I can ask her any question, if I have an illness she can work on it, anything I want. I ask a question and the answer she gives is simple and clear—grandmotherly wisdom. She adds it would help if I light a candle to my guardian spirit and take a shower with certain herbs. I relax. Whoever these old Africans may be, they’re thoroughly down to earth. “Open your hands,” she tells me. She stands and puts her palms on mine, and then lightly feathers my forehead, saying prayers over me. She sits back down and regards me shrewdly. I thank her. I tell her I am very happy to be here. “You are very welcome to our church,” she replies. Luis, who has been translating, adds, “I think they like you.” I make a short bow and go out. The romería finishes for the evening, but the daime is not done with me. Standing outside trying to speak I find my eyes closing and my consciousness drifting off. My interlocutor, Laura, realizes I am beginning another miração and she finds me a chair and puts me at the foot of the cross in the garden. The daime is coming on very strong indeed, and I suddenly feel nauseous with fear and adrift in a dark cloud. I take out my prayer beads and struggling to seize the tiller of my consciousness, begin my abbreviated form of the rosary. Soon my head is tilted back and a warm light is pouring down from above—am I imagining this? Is this really a hand I feel on my forehead? Margerie from São Paulo appears out of the night, delighted, and pulls up a seat beside me as I am swept into warm colors and light in profound adoration of

Maria. I open my eyes and it is as if they have finally focused: I am in a garden of eternity. The colored lights on the cross that had drawn me upward go out, and a little girl runs up and leaves a candle burning before us. Through the miração, I see a woman in white kneeling across the way. As Maria speaks to me waves of gentleness reach recesses of my heart I had despaired of touching. I am crying with joy. Laura joins us. The women are delighted, stroking my back and laughing with me, and first Laura sings a hymn to Maria, and then Margerie gets excited and leafs through a book in the darkness and finds one of her own. I feel left out because I don’t know a song to Maria. But then I remember The Beatles’ “Let it Be.” I sing. Cheesy as it sounds, it is exquisite, like breathing diamonds and stars out into the universe. The last time we see Luis he takes us to his home. We cross the Rio Branco and enter the park named after Chico Mendez, pass the scored rubber trees and enter a small compound of slat-board houses raised upon stilts. A family is washing themselves at the community water trough as we file by upon the wooden planks that provided a walkway through the mud. A simple padlock hangs at his door. We enter the tiny space, dominated by a refrigerator, fan, and an ironing board. A few books sit on his shelf. The room bespeaks his voluntary, disciplined frugality. We sit on his bed and he pours us glasses of guarana, the ubiquitous Brazilian soft drink. Luis’ work is going well. He tells us how his plans to set up collectives and train forest workers, allowing them to reap the wealth of the forest while sustaining it for future generations, are meeting acceptance in the new socialist-minded government of Lula. As well, the power to enforce these new environmental and indigenous rights laws is being given, without which they would be meaningless in Brazil. In my last image of Luis he is standing with a hymnal in his hand, singing for us about the stars guiding us on, about the caboclos–helping spirits of the Umbanda spiritual tradition related to the spirit of the natives of the forest—and about Santa Maria, the sacred use of cannibas sativa, more commonly known as marijuana, to worship the Virgin Mary. The songs have the simplicity and melodic beauty of medieval plainchant, as well as the depth of religious feeling. His high, clear voice competes with the television that his neighbors, right on the other side of the thin slatboard wall separating their domiciles, have turned on and set blasting. Luis shows no impatience at all. A buffalo emerges out of the darkness with a slow,
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stately gait, an apparition of gentle strength in the thick jungle surrounding the Forteleza. It is two weeks after my visit to the Santo Daime community in Alto Santo, weeks filled with ceremonies that seem to have anointed my eyes with spirit: the buffalo moves as symbol, both part of and transcendent to the world. As we had searched down roads of thick mud, pulling up to fazendeiro’s shacks to ask directions, the sun set over the vast, open landscape dotted by cattle and gigantic palm trees and I wondered if we would ever find this elusive “fortress” out there in the jungle. But we did, and as we ascend a winding path I can see on the horizon above another brilliantly lit open-air structure like the church at Alto Santo. The sound of singing reaches our ears, accompanied by the hum of a generator. Beneath the Caravaca Cross, I attempt to scrape the mud off my shoes. The feeling out here is raw frontier, only the most basic essentials, the church floating on its little concrete slab like a postage stamp on a verdant sea. The scenario is similar to the one at Alto Santo. Men and women are dancing opposite one another with the maracas, the band jamming away in the center. But there are differences. Here the men wear business suits; blue slacks and jacket, white shirt and blue tie. It gives me pause. While the guys in the suits at Alto Santo meant business, the fact the suits were white with a green pinstripe gave them the aspect of a chorus line in a cabaret, taking the edge off of my own Pavlovian reactions to the uniform. This seems almost evangelical. A little alarm goes off in my mind. Suits spell danger, the world of narrow-minded authority I have never learned to fully trust. I am taken to drink. A very ample cup is poured for me. I toss it down and go and sit, feeling some resistance in myself and wondering what it could be. I watch the little children of the Forteleza, who dance in their own sections, singing the hymns from memory, and then running off to play together. I attempt to follow the music, to surrender myself to the experience, but the reverse is happening. The monotony of the singing, the concrete, the florescent lights, are becoming unendurable. Why can’t they use natural lights? I complain. It is impossible to travel through florescent lights. They’re a brick wall into the world of spirit. I stare at the concrete pad, feeling absolutely cut off from the earth. Suddenly my body launches me out of the structure, across the lawn, past someone vomiting in the darkness to the outer perimeter of the compound, where I lean upon a post and look off into the jungle. I’m feeling torn between worlds. The jungle is out there calling while I am stuck with my obligations within the compound. The human world against the 66

natural world. As I have done so many times in my life, I lean against the fence and gaze with yearning into the freedom outside. My head drops onto the post. A miração washes over me, and I hear the voice of grandmother ayahuasca speaking to me. She says, “You have the ability to transform into an animal. It’s a precious gift you have been given, but not everyone can understand it. You can live in both worlds, the human and the animal, and move back and forth without impedance.” I am deep in this dream when I hear the sound of approaching footsteps behind me. I turn around and see that two men in suits, fardadoes, have come out for me. Ah yes, the Brazilian imperative to incorporate into the group. “Yes, I am fine. Quite well, actually. Thank you so much for coming to check on me. I will return momentarily....” I dissemble, but to no avail. I realize they are concerned that in my state a spirit might attack me or I will be led off by a will-o’-thewisp into the forest. I surrender and return to the safety of the church. I know I am radiating foreignness at the moment, but I cannot sit with the others, and I find a seat on the outskirts and clutch my prayer beads, holding on for the rest that is to come. It comes hard, waves of repressed material bubbling up and bursting in my mind. It is the apuração, the stage of purification, the emptying out of the storehouses of consciousness. Working my prayer beads, struggling toward the light, I find myself gesticulating and grimacing and can imagine what I must look like to the watchful fardadoes. But there is nothing for it. I am holding on for dear life. Then a spirit flashes into my consciousness. An Apollonian face, a superhero in green with eternal, beautiful young man’s vitality. Hermes, messenger of the gods. His piercing eyes meet mine and I know him and his hand flashes out and he slaps a jewel into my forehead and is gone. “A spirit just came and put a jewel in my forehead,” I say to myself in the rich silence he leaves in his wake. “Cool.” Jewels, of course, have medicinal properties. As the miração unfolds further, I see how my masculine life was being subtly warped by my adversarial relationship to my father, how my resisting of his conservative perspectives was preventing the growth of aspects of my own masculinity. I see the only possible stance toward my father is veneration, and to allow all superfluous material to fall away. After all, he is the father that gave me life, and through him is one avenue to the Father. Only through complete acceptance of my own father could I develop as a fully real-

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ized male in my own right, I realize. I can stand again, and I go in to join the congregation. As soon as I pick up a maraca to enter the line the music stops. Standing there like the guy who missed the train, someone approaches me and takes me to meet the padrinho, Luis Mendez do Nascimento, who had been a disciple of Mestre Irineu. He is a small, thin old man, a forest worker with a beaming face who when I am introduced asks me if the Forteleza had been difficult to find. I answer it was “well-hidden,” and we both burst into delighted laughter. People are taking seats in preparation for something. I find myself seated smack in the middle of the congregation, fully integrated back into the human world listening to an impassioned, learned disquisition on the economic history of Acre. The speaker, a university professor, orates before us without notes, focusing his story around the figure of the seringueiro, the rubber-tapper whose impoverished, solitary existence, as well as his heartless exploitation by the capitalists and landowners, is remembered and honored at the Forteleza. It was, I realized, a Marxist analysis—or a Christian one—where the poor worker, the least of men, is the fundament of the entire economic superstructure, and as the gospels repeatedly stress, the very person of Christ. The padrinho sits, his legs crossed like a gentleman, listening with rapt attention, as does the rest of the congregation. As the narrative takes up the story of Chico Mendez, given with great veneration and a specificity of detail that reflects the depth of grief still existing within the elders of the community, I realize that the man has been speaking for over two hours and there is still no sign of restlessness in the group. Nor is his energy flagging, unlike my own. The discourse concludes with a vision of humanity’s collaboration with the forest, of the salvific power now emerging from it, and of economic justice for all people of Acre. I am again struck by wonder for this frontier of humanity. Where in the United States, I think, would people sit and attend to a discourse of such depth and vision about their own community and its future, as we once had done in the founding and early days of our own country? The speechifying continues far into the morning. I realize through my exhausted haze that the padrinho is welcoming me to the church. Then to my astonishment, in the ultimate gesture of acceptance of me as a visitor, he cries out, “Viva os Estados Unidos!” “Long Live the United States!” There are few places indeed upon this earth where the common people will still cry

out for the long life of the United States of America. But now I understand. Venerate the father, and by so doing awake him to his true nature. The Kaxinawa Indians are sitting in plain view the entire time, but it takes me two weeks to notice them. Finally, browsing through the brilliant seed necklaces and bows and arrows in a little trading post in the center of the park in Rio Branco, I take a good look at the Indian behind the counter: small indeed in stature, high cheekbones, jet black hair, a sing-song accent to his Portuguese, and a deep sense of self-possession in his brown eyes. Suddenly inspired, I reach into my backpack and pull out my journal, flipping hastily to the back pages where I have my list of contacts. “You wouldn’t happen to know Fabiano Kaxinawa?” I asked in my clumsy Portuguese. “Yes. I am him,” he responds with amusement. According to the Kaxinawa1, knowledge of ayahuasca was received by their ancestor from a village of anacondas. A hunter named Yube, seeing an anaconda emerge from a lake and transform into a beautiful woman, made love to her and returning to her village, married her. After a year his snake wife told him there would be a ceremony with nixi pai, ayahuasca, and warned him not to drink: “You will become scared and will call out the name of my people and they will kill you.” But the hunter drank anyways and cried out in terror, “The snakes are swallowing me!” When the hunter cried out, his wife coiled herself lovingly around him and began singing sweetly in his right ear. Then his mother-in-law did the same thing, singing in his left ear. Finally, his father-in-law coiled himself around all three of them and placing his face upon the hunter’s forehead, accompanied the song as well. But still, the anacondas were offended and he only managed to escape from the lake with the help of a little bods fish who returned him to his human wife and home. But his anaconda family got him in the end, crushing all the bones in his body. He remained alive only long enough to instruct the people in the making of the brew and the songs he had learned in the snake world. He died and where he was buried four kinds of ayahuasca grew from his limbs, each of which when drunk show a different part of his life. The work is held far outside of Rio Branco, at a center the Kaxinawa have created as a bridge between cultures. Recognizing that isolation is no longer an option for them, but also clear they do not wish to lose themselves into the maelstrom of dislocation and economic anonymity of Brazilian culture, they have opted to become bicultural. The Kaxinawa themselves come
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like the forest sings to itself. Then a young guitarist who accompanied us turns out to be a strange bird: a daime evangelist.). But the Kaxinawa work with ayahuasca. 2005. I am weary too of the fundamentalism of Daime. the weary repetition of the word Jesus—not as a mantra to enter the divine. makes me lament anew the cold mechanisms of my own culture with its straight-cut roads lined with advertisements—the culture responsible for. honed to transparency by his habitat. The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. 3135). thereby 68 opening and creating a dreaming way through the forest. The image of a people gathering to sing for one another. The Kaxinawa sit patient and vigilant. the earth. End Note 1 The Kaxinawa ayahuasca myth is adopted from “Two Ayahuasca Myths from the Cashinahua of Northwestern Brazil” by Elsje Maria Lagrou (2000). temporarily lifting the mind up. in its native tongue. seems a rude imposition upon this world. The brew they chose is a light one. Author Note “Fear no Spirits” is excerpted from a forthcoming book. salvadores.to the center to learn Portuguese. and I saw that evening that daime is only a brief portion of the territory of grandmother ayahuasca. even as we attempt to praise it with our barbaric Indo-European tongues and instruments. And so the natives rock us into the night with invocations and sounds such as we have never encountered before. but not going to the root of our being’s dilemma. a lean aerodynamic ascetic. ending each song with bursts of child-like giggling. they sing into the night like an animal sings into it. and then to an apprenticeship with the master healer Juan Flores Salazar at his Mayantuyacu center in the jungle outside of Pucallpa. Ayahuasca reader (pp. His attempts to dominate the group go on until I begin grumbling that if I don’t have to hear the word “Jesus” again for a year I won’t be at all displeased. while non-natives such as ourselves come to be educated in the ways of the Kaxinawa.com.” a narrative pilgrimage into the medicines of the Amazon rainforest. happily joining in with the songs about our precious savior Jesus. the pilgrim continues on his way to Takiwasi. fresh. I and the forest and the albatross all caught up in the same dream of Pachamama. Peru. As we leave a huge white bird cuts the early morning sky. a very gentle visitation which. In L. M. That I am fooling myself and will return to California with some good stories but the same old self. rough-hewn and primitive to uneducated European eyes. the killing of 85% of the Kaxinawa people. Volume 24 . F. accompanying themselves with flute and maracas. feathers of flight spring from their upper arms. even the guitar itself. particular things. NM: Synergetic Press. dear. all stomach and bill. I watch him with awe as he sails over the forest. White (Eds. that ayahuasca really is just a sort of Prozac. The doctrine. to bring me home again. Portuguese and English. Two ayahuasca myths from the Cashinahua of Northwestern Brazil. (2000). The young men of the tribe wear headdresses and crowns of feathers. who turns out to be an apprentice shaman. as of this date. to wish them happiness and good-fortune on their way. not daime. but as a vaguely oppressive fixture of belief—and the casting of the entire movement into a New Testament mold. our ground. how to ride a bicycle. Santa Fe. explains to us that the entire tribe gathers to sing that piece whenever someone is leaving the village for a long journey. Walking through the compound we encounter classrooms with chalkboards and ancestral figures. messengers. At the end of one. from which a rich symphony of sound is now emerging. how to work an ATM and a cellular phone. A fear is eating at me as we take our places for the ceremony in an elegant wooden structure with a high sloped roof of woven palm fronds. a center for the treatment of addiction. Correspondence regarding this paper should be directed to Robert Tindall at tigrillo@gmail. When the evangelical portion of the evening subsides. E. “The Jaguar that Roams the Mind. We wear red stripes on our faces. E. Fabiano. Luna and S. References Lagrou. when it comes. makes me put my hands on the earth: things. After the Brazilian section.

Why Does the Universe Exist? An Advaita Vedantic Perspective
Adam J. Rock, Ph.D.
The University of New South Wales Wagga Wagga, NSW Australia

Debates concerning causal explanations of the universe tend to be based on a priori propositions (e.g., Edwards, 1973; Smith, 1995; Swinburne, 1978). The present paper, however, addresses the metaphysical question, “Why does the universe exist?” from the perspective of a school of Hindu philosophy referred to as advaita vedanta and two of its a posteriori derived creation theories: the theory of simultaneous creation (drishti-srishti vada) and the theory of non-causality (ajata vada). Objections to advaita vedanta are also discussed. It is concluded that advaita vedanta has the potential to make a significant contribution to contemporary metaphysical debate in general and our understanding of the question, “Why does the universe exist?” in particular.

The Problem Heidegger (1959) considered the question, “Why does the universe exist?”1 to be the “fundamental problem of metaphysics” (p. 61). A number of scholars suggested that such a question can be answered. For example, Gilson (1941, p. 139) asserted that the cause of the universe is a “pure Act of existence” that is absolute and hence self-sufficient. In contrast, the question is frequently deemed an insoluble riddle and, thus, inherently meaningless2 or simply ill-conceived. For instance, Huxley (1964, p. 108) suggested that one must learn to accept that the universe is an “irreducible mystery,” while Russell (Russell & Copelston, 1973) contended that there is no ground whatsoever for the assumption that the universe as a whole must have a cause. One particularly noteworthy argument for the meaninglessness of the question, “Why does the universe exist?” is derived from the modern logic of Wittgenstein (1981/1922) and elucidated by Koestenbaum (1962), Waisman (1967; cited in Edwards, 1973, p. 806) and others. Essentially, the argument is that “the question of why there is something and not nothing is either ill-formed or profitless, since any intelligible answer will merely invite the same question” (Blackburn, 1996, p. 40). This argu-

ment was advanced in Edwards’ (1973) influential essay “Why?”: In any of its familiar senses, when we ask anything of x, why it happens or why it is what it is- whether x is the collapse of an army, a case of lung cancer, the theft of a jewel, or the stalling of a car - we assume that there is some set of conditions, other than x, in terms of which it can be explained. We do not know what this other thing is that is suitably related to x, but unless it is in principle possible to go beyond x, and find such another thing, the question does not make any sense. Now, if by “the universe” we mean the totality of things, then our x in “Why does the universe exist?” is so all-inclusive that it is logically impossible to find anything which could be suitably related to that whose explanations we appear to be seeking. (p. 809) Edwards’ (1973) thesis may be summarised by Wittgenstein’s (1981/1922, p. 183) statement that, “the sense of the world must lie outside the world.” It seems rather obvious that an explanation as to why someone, for example, engages in serial murder can

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only be provided by a set of conditions that exist “outside” and, thus, temporally prior to the act of serial murder (e.g., the cognitive rehearsal of violent sexual fantasies, damage to the limbic system of the brain). The explanation clearly does not exist within the definitional boundaries of serial murder as “the premeditated murder of three or more victims committed over time, in separate incidents, in a civilian context, with the murder activity being chosen by the offender” (Keeney, 1992; cited in Keeney & Heide, 1994, p. 384). It is perhaps noteworthy that Edwards’ (1973) thesis is illustrative of an anti-metaphysical position that arguably pre-empts the answer by ruling out—on a priori grounds-–the possibility of a transcendent entity that may function as a causal agent. Edwards’ (1973) argument is sound provided that his a priori definition of the universe and assumptions about knowledge are correct. Edwards’ (1973) acknowledges that if it can be convincingly argued that there exists a metaphysical entity that transcends and includes the universe, then it is possible that the question “Why does the universe exist?” can be answered, and is therefore meaningful. More recently, philosophers have been engaged in intricate debate over internal and external causal explanations of the universe. Swinburne (1979), for example, argued that, “if the only causes of its past states are prior states, the set of past states as a whole will have no cause and so no explanation” (p. 78). Swinburne (1979) maintained, however, that if it were such that God causes the set of past states, then an external causal explanation would be possible. In contrast, Rowe (1989) contended that whilst each past state of the universe may be causally explained by prior past states, there is no causal reason for the set of states of the universe because a set is an abstract object and is thereby precluded from entering into causal relations. Similarly, Smith (1995) concluded that “it is nomologically necessary that a beginningless universe has an internal causal explanation (be it deterministic or probabilistic) but no external causal explanation” (p. 310). The present author suggests that a commonality exemplified by the preceding arguments pertaining to causal explanations of the universe (e.g., Edwards, 1973; Rowe, 1989; Swinburne, 1979; Smith, 1995) is that they were all formulated a priori. Consequently, there exists a lacuna in the literature with regards to an application of theories constructed a posteriori to the question, “Why does the universe exist?” Psychological research suggests that some experiential—and concep70

tual—knowledge is “state-specific” (Tart, 1972; 1998) or “state-dependent” (Fischer, 1980); that is, certain knowledge may be obtained in altered states of consciousness (ASCs) that is inaccessible during one’s ordinary or normal waking conscious. Indeed some ASCs (e.g., kevala nirvikalpa samadhi) purportedly involve experiences of, for example, the manifestation and dissolution of the universe (e.g., Maharaj, 1987a). It is arguable that such experiences may provide valuable insights into the external and internal causal mechanisms of the universe that are unobtainable a priori. The purpose of this essay is to apply the school of Hindu philosophy referred to as advaita vedanta to the question “Why does the universe exist?” The present author will take the question, “Why does the universe exist?” to mean, “What is the causal explanation of the universe?”3 Advaita vedanta is being consulted because it consists—in part—of two creation theories that directly impinge on the preceding question. Furthermore, in contrast to modern logicians, the ontology outlined in the doctrine of advaita vedanta was purportedly constructed a posteriori using metaphysical knowledge acquired through ASCs (e.g., samadhi). In the advaita system, mystical experience is facilitated by the aspirant practicing one of four main yogas: Karma, Jnana, Bhakti, or Rajas (Prabhavananda & Isherwood, 1978). For these reasons, it is arguable that advaita vedanta is well-positioned to address the question, “Why does the universe exist?” The present paper will commence with a brief summary of the advaita doctrine. Second, discussion will revolve around two creation theories associated with advaita: the theory of simultaneous creation (drishti-shrishti-vada) and the theory of non-causality (ajata vada). Finally, objections to the advaita theory will be considered. Before proceeding, a number of qualifying statements need to be made. First, the present paper is not concerned with the epistemological status of knowledge claims made by practitioners of advaita. For the purpose of this essay it will be assumed that the yogi’s perceptions are veridical as opposed to delusory. Second, throughout this essay Kaufmann’s (1991) definition of the universe as “all space, along with all the matter and radiation in space” (p. 631) will be adopted as opposed to Edwards’ (1973) definition of the universe as “the totality of things” (p. 809). Kaufmann’s (1991) definition is being used on the grounds that it constitutes the orthodox view of the term “universe.” Finally, this essay does not attempt to provide a definitive answer to the question, “Why does

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the universe exist?” But rather, it sets itself the far more modest task of analysing the preceding question from an advaitic perspective. Advaita Vedanta: An overview Advaita (literally non-dualism) as articulated by Sankaracharya is a doctrine of the vedantic school of Hindu philosophy (Blackburn, 1996). Vedanta refers to the philosophy of the Vedas (Shastri, 1959). Veda (from vid “to know”) may be defined as “knowledge.” It is the “name of the most ancient Sanskrit scriptures, considered to be a direct revelation from God to the mystics of the past” (Easwaran, 1986, p. 236). As previously stated, the doctrine of advaita vedanta was purportedly constructed a posteriori using metaphysical knowledge acquired through various ASCs facilitated by the aspirant practising one of four main yogas: Karma, Jnana, Bhakti, or Rajas (Prabhavananda & Isherwood, 1978). These four Yogas represent different methods aimed at erasing the ego (ahamkara) through selfless work, the discriminative power of the intellect (buddhi), devotion to a Personal God or spiritual teacher (guru), and meditation, respectively. Such techniques facilitate ASCs referred to as samadhi in which one has a direct experience of Absolute Reality (Brahman). Sri Ramana Maharshi (1985b) delineates three different grades of samadhi: (1) Savikalpa samadhi. The lowest level of samadhi in which one is required to maintain constant effort otherwise the obscuration of Brahman will occur. (2) Kevala nirvikalpa samadhi. The stage prior to liberation (moksha) characterised by effortless awareness of one’s true identity as Brahman and the temporary cessation of ahamkara. It further entails the absence of bodily awareness and an inability to perceive the sensory world. However, this state is transitory. Its conclusion is signified by the reemergence of bodily awareness and subsequently ahamkara. (3) Sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi. The final attainment of moksha in which ahamkara is irrevocably annihilated. In this state the cessation of all subjectobject duality occurs as one perceives that all is Brahman. (Maharshi, 1985b) As previously stated, advaita postulates an Absolute principle, an Ultimate Reality referred to as Brahman (Aurobino, 1995; Guenon, 1981; Maharshi, 1997a). The three characteristics of Brahman are existence (sat), consciousness (chit) and bliss (ananda; Balsekar, 1982; Maharshi, 1997b). In the advaita doc-

trine the individual soul (jiva) is held to be identical with Brahman. This phase of Brahman is referred to as Atman (Maharshi, 1988; Prabhavananda & Isherwood, 1981; Raju, 1967; Shastri, 1959). In the Yoga-Vasishtha it is held that because Brahman is infinite it can produce no thing other than itself (Shastri, 1969). Therefore the entire universe including mind (manas), intellect (buddhi), and intelligence (chit) must be regarded as Brahman (Shastri, 1969). In the Viveka-Chudamani, for instance, it is stated that: “It [Brahman] is that one Reality which appears to our ignorance as the manifold universe of names and forms and changes” (Prabhavananda & Isherwood, 1978, p. 76). This thesis is echoed in the three-fold logic of Sankaracharya in which it is contended that: (a) Brahman is real, (b) The universe is unreal, and (c) The universe is Brahman (Maharshi, 1985a, p. 187). It seems a logical absurdity that the universe can be simultaneously unreal and yet identical to an entity that is real. Ramana Maharshi (1985a) clarifies this apparent contradiction, however, by suggesting that when veridically perceived as Brahman the universe is real, however when perceived as distinct from Brahman (i.e., as a collection of discrete objects experienced through the various sensory modalities in space and time) the universe is considered an illusion (maya). This point may be further elucidated by what is referred to as the “rope and snake” analogy. A subject enters a dimly light room and sees a coiled up piece of rope [Brahman] and mistakenly perceives it as a snake [the universe]. At that moment the snake appears as wholly existent to the subject whereas the rope is considered non-existent. In reality, however, the snake is an illusory substratum that has been projected onto the rope by the subject’s ignorance (Maharshi, 1985a). It has been suggested that the universe in the orthodox sense of “all space, along with all the matter and radiation in space” (Kaufmann, 1991, p. 631) is not absolutely real. However, the universe is not absolutely non-existent either for the simple reason that it is present as a delusory perception in normal waking consciousness (Prabhavananda & Isherwood, 1978). Insofar as a delusion is experienced it must be accredited some degree of ontological status. An examination of the question “Why does the universe exist?” will now be undertaken with reference to two creation theories associated with the advaita doctrine: the theory of simultaneous creation (drishti-srishti vada) and the theory of non-causality (ajata vada).

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1987a. He thought ‘shall I send forth worlds.e. advaita regards the theory of non-causality (ajata vada) as the ultimate truth.. you cannot think the thinker of the thought. Ajata vada argues that “nothing exists except the one reality [Brahman]” which is eternal and unchanging (Maharshi. 184) stated that. In a similar vein. First. This statement requires further explanation. Drishti-srishti vada asserts that the cause of the seer’s sense of beingness and hence the universe is Brahman4. causality and discrete objects are all regarded as nonveridical perceptions that take place in the mind of the The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies.. that through which we hear).e. because the intellect subsides at that precise location” (p. this is the first miracle. When the dissolution of Beingness into Brahman occurs during ASCs such as samadhi. you cannot know the knower of the known” (Swami & Yeats.” This sloka is an example of the doctrine of “simultaneous creation” (Drishti-srishti vada). for then it would cease to be the subject. the origin of the Universe. “All that you see depends on the seer. p. one only. just as a rope gives rise to an illusory snake” (Sastry.. the nature of this cause is held to be unknowable for two reasons. 38). p. there was nothing else blinking whatsoever. The Theory of Non-Causality (Ajata Vada)5 Whereas drishti-shrishti vada is considered a relative truth (i. ego or sense of self (ahamkara). feel.The Theory of Simultaneous Creation (Drishti-srishti vada) Sri Ramana Maharshi (1985a. 1992. at the time of dissolution. from ether.e. “You cannot see the seer of sight. He could also perceive Himself. 1979. (p. 72 The second reason is contained in Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s (1987a) personal account of his experience of drishti-srishti vada: In my original non-knowing state I did not know my sense of Being. As Absolute subjectivity Brahman cannot directly experience itself as a perceptible object. This is what is meant in the Brihadaranyaka-Upanishad when it is stated that. Then in a flash I observed this enormous manifest world and also my body. 1979. 1990. sense impressions relating to space-time. and see)” (Vasu. Brahman) are non-experiential and hence unknowable then it is logically impossible to formulate a complete causal explanation of the universe if one accepts Popper’s (1959) assertion that the conjunction of universal statements with initial conditions is required for a complete causal explanation. rather than there being a gradual process of creation (i. So where is the question of remembering? With Beingness attention starts later. 184).. Statements attesting to this thesis abound in the advaitic literature. If the “initial conditions” (i. p. Although drishti-srishti vada postulates a metaphysical entity referred to as Brahman as the cause of the universe. and mind (manas) is generated (Chapple. in Sri Sankaracharya’s commentary of the Bhagavad Gita it is explicitly stated that Brahman is the cause of the universe: “The Knowable supports beings during sthiti. it is true from the standpoint that we are human beings attempting to achieve liberation from maya). Volume 24 . from air. Crudely put. 3. and manas also takes place. 1970. 38). 1985a. Wilber (1993) illustrated this point by comparing the situation to a sword that cannot cut itself. the “big bang” theory). It generates them at the time of utpatti. p. He sent forth these worlds’” (Vasu. the cessation of buddhi. “In the beginning all this was self. Nisargadatta Maharaj (1987b) delivers the following affirmation: “It is a non-attentive state. since one and the same thing cannot be both the agent and the object of an action” (Vasu. 202). an eye that cannot see itself. ajata vada represents a denial of the orthodox view that the universe has a cause. you cannot hear the hearer of sound. The Vedanta-sutras of Badarayana echo the sentiments of Sankaracharaya: “From the Self (Brahman) sprang ether (Akasa. 37) The salient point contained in the preceding quotation is Nisargadatta Maharaj’s (1987a) reference to Brahman as a “non-knowing state” (p. p. and It devours them at pralaya. ahamkara. But all of a sudden that Beingness was felt spontaneously. “If the Self could perceive His own properties. 1979. Later. through Beingness the “inner organ” (antahkarana) comprised of intelligence (buddhi). 56). 331). It is suggesting that the universe comes into existence simultaneously with the emergence of the “I” thought (the seer’s sense of beingness). p. a tongue that cannot taste itself.e. the Aitareya-Upanishad holds that. p. This argument is reiterated in Baladeva’s commentary to the Vedanta-sutras of Badarayana in which he wrote. which is absurd. I conceived that the entire universe has manifested in the speck of my Beingness only. fire (that through which we hear. 58). air (that through which we hear and feel). p. 352). Apart from the seer. 202). For example. the period of the sustenance of the Universe. It follows that if one’s previously existent cognitions and mental processes are rendered non-existent at the borderline of Beingness and Brahman then Brahman is a “non-experiential state” (Maharaj. i. p. there is no seen. 138). 2005. or a finger that cannot touch its own tip. Hence.… The borderline between Being and NonBeingness is intellect boggling.

then how does one come to know that such a state exists? Furthermore. obviously. by which we attain a knowledge of philosophy. on what grounds are proponents of advaita justified in asserting that the characteristics of Brahman are existence (sat). Furthermore. If a = b. along with all the matter and radiation in space” (Kaufmann. asserting that the causes of the universe’s past states are prior past states (Smith. by which we arise to a knowledge of transcendent realities” (p. thus. b is also imperceptible. if the cessation of one’s long-term memory system (a cognitive function) occurs during this state. p. if the subject is unable to experience itself as a perceptible object and if from an advaitic standpoint everything is the subject (i. it must be phenomenologically contentless and therefore attributeless. one would be unable to recall the experience. along with all the matter and radiation in space” (Kaufmann. and the universe is subject to space-time. “Why does the veridically perceived universe exist?” with reference to an external causal explanation. Proponents of this theory. 631) for it too must ultimately be Brahman.ignorant (ajani). As Wilber (1996) stated. does this not place restrictions on a metaphysical entity which is supposedly unrestricted? Furthermore. Finally. It is arguable that modern logicians commit a category error by using rationalism rather than a posteriori knowledge of transcendent realities to address the metaphysical question. consciousness (chit). “Reason cannot grasp the essence of absolute reality. surprisingly. if delusory perceptions are constituents of the universe—and the universe is an uncaused appearance in Brahman—then delusory perceptions are also uncaused appearances in Brahman. One may further enquire as to why a delusory perception of the universe as “all space. regard the substance of the universe as being identical to Brahman (Maharshi. 631) does not exist. To quote Wittgenstein (1981/ 1922. then you will create two opposites where there are in fact none. 1991. logic dictates that space-time must also be enfolded in Brahman. “if p follows from q. “Why does the universe exist?” is clearly unanswerable provided that one takes the question to mean. 1991. Wilber (1996) explicated three modes of knowing: “the eye of flesh. Modes of Knowing and Category Errors Extrapolating from St. and objects.” where p is the universe and q is Brahman. First. Furthermore. there would be nothing to recall because. it is an example of confusing two different modes of knowing: the eye of reason with the eye of contemplation. 3). Bonaventure. and the mind itself. “Why does the universe exist?” To utilise Wilber’s (1996) terminology. Consequently. and when it tries.e. p. p.. It is noteworthy. for the sake of argument. and bliss (ananda)? Second. thus. as drishti-srishti vada contends. 19). and a is imperceptible. and the eye of contemplation. existing in a state of latency. if Brahman is non-experiential. 1991. then the question. along with all the matter and radiation in space” (Kaufmann. if the universe is an emanation of the eternal Brahman. the sense of ‘p’ is contained in that of ‘q’. This raises a further question. 631) exists? However. Consequently. Yet. if as drishti-srishti vada suggests Brahman is a non-knowing state in which one’s sense of Beingness and cognitive functioning have been extinguished. It is arguable that the expression of atemporality as the manifest content of Brahman does not necessarily preclude the existence of latencies such as temporality. One may recall that the term “advaita” translates as “nondual. if one accepts that the universe cannot be a candidate for causal explanation by virtue of being an uncaused appearance in Brahman. that ajata vada does affirm the reality of the universe but only when veridically perceived as an uncaused appearance in Brahman. logic. one is precluded from invoking an internal causal explanation of the universe—that is. it generates only dualistic incompatibilities” (p. 1985a). if Brahman is atemporal and therefore unable to ‘step’ down into time and space as the ajata vada doctrine argues. practitioners have provided phenomenological reports of this altered state in various advaitic texts. and therefore each of these opposites can Why Does the Universe Exist? 73 . one’s long-term memory system was still functioning during this state. 107). the universe in the orthodox sense of “all space. Consequently. the eye of reason. logical problems associated with advaita vedanta are also based on a category error. however. by which we perceive the external world of space. 1995)—on the grounds that space-time and. Brahman) then one should be unable to experience a delusory perception of the universe as “all space. If Brahman is attributeless. one is unable to address the question. time. Even if. past states and prior past states are considered delusory perceptions from an ajata vada perspective. then. p. “What is the causal explanation of the universe?” Objections to Advaita Vedanta In the present author’s view there seem to be certain logical problems with various components of the advaita doctrine.” Wilber (1996) argued that if one attempts to translate nondual Reality into dualistic reason.

Brahman) are unknowable.g.. 2. For instance. the injunctions used by practitioners of advaita vedanta (e. Furthermore. shows why reason only generates paradox when it tries to grasp God or the Absolute (p. methods of self-inquiry (Maharshi. It was further contended that experiential knowledge of the manifestation and dissolution of the universe is accessible during certain ASCs associated with advaita vedanta (e. samadhi). and mind (manas) and also one’s bodily awareness that may provide insight into the mindbody problem.. the nature of personal identity. along with all the matter and radiation in space” (Kaufmann. from the standpoint of drishti-srishti vada. together with certain singular statements.” (p. a complete causal explanation of the universe cannot be formulated on the grounds that the “initial conditions” (i. 1985). 19).. to return to Kant. “Why does the universe exist?” in particular. 2005. and (2) 74 when veridically perceived the universe is an uncaused appearance in Brahman. thereby facilitating the recognition that sensory impressions relating to time and causality are nonveridical perceptions that take place in the mind of the ignorant (ajani). Karma.e. an advocate of the advaita doctrine may argue that the aforementioned logical problems are the result of a misguided attempt to use mind to transcend mind. Consequently. in contrast to modern logicians. One may also experience Brahman as the eternal and unchanging reality (Maharshi. Brahman cannot be rendered an object of conscious awareness and thus experienced. It was suggested that such experiences might provide valuable insights into the external and internal causal mechanisms of the universe that are unobtainable a priori. the latter is a scientific cosmological question. Popper (1959) asserted that: To give a causal explanation of an event means to deduce a statement which describes it. 1972. 631) is held to be a delusory perception. then it can also be answered. 1980). Conclusion It was argued there exists a lacuna in the literature with regards to an application of theories constructed a posteriori to the question. for example. the initial conditions. employing the human intellect for the purpose of reasoning about a metaphysical entity constitutes a category error. that is. “Why does the universe exist?” may not be addressed via a causal explanation because: (1) the universe in the orthodox sense of “all space..” time). “Why does the universe exist?” The present author suggests that.. Two a posteriori derived creation theories associated with advaita vedanta (e. 187) 3.be rationally argued with equal plausibility-and that. the question.g. Bhakti and Rajas yogas) are. Consequently. in essence. the question “Why does the universe exist?” is unanswerable because: (1) The human intellect is annihilated at the precise location at which the universe dissolves into its purported cause (a metaphysical entity referred to as Brahman).g.g. p.. one experiences alterations in the “inner organ” (antahkarana) comprised of intelligence (buddhi).g. Wittgenstein (1981/ 1922) wrote that “for an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be expressed. 1988) that are held to provide experiential knowledge regarding. whilst the former is a metaphysical question. Author Note The author would like to thank Stanley Krippner and Peter Baynes for valuable suggestions and comments.. ego or sense of self (ahamkara).We have thus two different The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. but not during ordinary or normal waking conscious—and is thus “state specific” (Tart.. End Notes 1. using as premises of the deduction one or more universal laws. “Why does the universe exist?” It was argued that. The question “Why does the universe exist?” may be differentiated from the question “How did the universe come into being?” on the grounds that. (2) As Absolute Subject-ivity. Extrapolating from the theory of ajata vada. Consequently. kevala nirvikalpa samadhi). during the various grades of samadhi. Clearly the a posteriori perspective used in the present paper may be applied to other metaphysical “problems” (e. The riddle does not exist. If a question can be put at all. 1998) or “state dependent” (Fischer. Volume 24 . Jnana. the theory of simultaneous creation and the theory of non-causality) were subsequently applied to the question. 1991. the mind-body “problem. personal identity. the ontology outlined in the doctrine of advaita vedanta was purportedly constructed a posteriori using metaphysical knowledge acquired through ASCs (e. the present author suggests that a posteriori derived philosophical systems such as advaita vedanta have the potential to make a significant contribution to contemporary metaphysical debate in general and our understanding of the question.

UK: Oxford University Press. p.) (pp. (1959). Scholem. 59-60). 1985. An important question is whether all of these various mystical philosophies are referring to the same metaphysical entity or whether. The bhagavad gita and its message. (1990). B.’ It is from universal statements in conjunction with initial conditions that we deduce the singular statement. J. 1969). New York: W. Godman (Ed. 1).” In R. 1961. Matt. W. (1985). S. (1941). 44). T. Gilson. W. (1995). Similarly. Idel. 1980. Interestingly. Mahayana Buddhism postulates a Transcendental Reality. In D. Keeney. i.K. epistemology. Brahman and En-sof are qualitatively distinct. A modern introduction to philosophy (3rd ed. Maharshi. Kabbalah: New perspectives. but it must have been good. (1990). New Delhi: Oriental Books Reprint Corporation. Heidegger. (1994).” the “Indifferent Unity. the vast majority of mystical philosophies assert that a metaphysical entity of some kind is the cause of the universe. (1980). The Kabbalah: Its implications for humanistic psychology. Guenon. 306-11). (1962). Evans-Wentz. WI: Lotus Light Publications. London: Chatto & Windus. Many aspects of the ajata-vada doctrine have already been alluded to in a previous section of this essay entitled “Avaita Vedanta: An Overview. 47-65. J. State-bound knowledge: “I can’t remember what I said last night. S. both of which are necessary ingredients of a complete causal explanation. Man and his becoming: According to the vedanta. (1981).C. Oxford. 288-304). 22-74). (1954). which is the “Outbreather and Inbreather of infinite universes throughout the endlessness of duration” (Evan-Wentz. New York: Oxford University Press Kaufmann. Hoffman. One may also find in the literature pertaining to Taoism (Chinese mysticism) the assertion that universe was created by a Nameless principle sometimes referred to as the tao: “It was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang” (Huxley. M. Katz. CT: Yale University Press. 5. 181-192). Creation theories and the reality of the world. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. London: Athlone. They are (1) universal statements. The unseen seer and the field: Consciousness in Samkhya and Yoga. Bombay: Chetana.K.). Edwards & A.). (1988). 9. UK: Oxford University Press. Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry. The sense of subjectivity. p. The problem of pure consciousness (pp.T. In R. M. R. Chapple. Idel. R. ‘This thread will break’. Language. it is held that in the beginning there is only the “Root of all Roots.” En-Sof (Scholem. (1982). Experience and interpretation in mysticism. p. For example. Gender differences in serial murder: A preliminary analysis. E. P. hypotheses of the character of natural laws.’’ Therefore my comments in this section shall be necessarily brief.). (1996). see Katz (1978) and Franklin (1990). (1973). Oxford.. Oxford.). for example. Oxford. & Heide. The Tibetan book of the great liberation.H. Huxley. 796-810). Freeman and Company. E. (1978).). 33-47. R. New York: Yale University Press. Be as you are: The teachings of Ramana Maharshi (pp. R. Forman (Ed. Essays of a humanist. Why Does the Universe Exist? 75 .). 1954. Perennial philosophy. Huxley. 2. Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj. Understanding mysticism (pp. Edwards. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.. (1964). C. M. Katz (Ed. UK: Oxford University Press. K. 53-70).).. Forman (Ed. S. Franklin. (1985a). A. London: Arkana. (1991). and (2) singular statements. 20. Y. The problem of pure consciousness (pp.C. God and philosophy.” the “Great Reality. 1961. S. (1980). and mysticism. Fischer. in the writings of the Kabbalah in regard to the mystical philosophy of Jerusalem. Blackburn. An introduction to metaphysics. New Haven: Yale University Press.kinds of statement. which apply to the specific event in question and which I call ‘initial conditions. In R. 12) from which emanate the ten seifrot (literally rays) which constitute the physical universe (Hoffman. Twin Lakes. the One-Mind. P. London: Arkana. Woods (Ed. Universe (3rd ed. New York: The Free Press. 1996. 1988. London: Triad Grafton Books. References Aurobindo.T. Koestenbaum. The Oxford dictionary of philosophy (2nd ed. For an excellent discussion of this ontological issue. Easwaran. E.The initial conditions describe what is usually called the ‘cause’ of the event in question (pp. New Haven. Balsekar. Pap (Eds. Mysticism and philosophical analysis (pp. UK: Oxford University Press. The bhagavad gita. In S. 4.). 383-398.e. Why? In P. (1986). R.

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He made an insightful distinction between idealist and materialist approaches to spirituality. graciously hosted over 200 participants from more than 20 countries. Vitor Rodriguez (Portugal) offered a glimpse into his clinical experience with the diagnosis and treatment of psychic attack. Jason Wright (UK) drew on his work with addicts to weave a story of how psychological healing can grow out of rebuilding narratives that are the very fabric of “self. Gennady Brevde. He began with a fascinating clinical story that shows the practical value of an esoteric approach. Correspondence regarding this introduction. Vladimir Maykov. with the support of several other organizations.SPECIAL TOPIC: RUSSIAN SOUL: A REPORT FROM THE EUROPEAN TRANSPERSONAL ASSOCIATION Russian Soul: A Report from the European Transpersonal Association 2005 Conference in Moscow Glenn Hartelius T he 2005 European Transpersonal Association (EUROTAS) conference exemplified its theme of “Human Consciousness and Human Values in an Interconnected World. He spoke from a uniquelyinformed vantage point. Rupert Tower (UK) used an enchanting Russian fairy tale to lead us into the shadow. These were selected for their ability to reflect the flavor of the conference and for highlighting topics that were more original in character or less widely known. translating tirelessly between English and Russian. The following pages constitute a small tour of the conference. offering a series of six presentations drawn from the 70-some offerings on the program. and a team of volunteers guided us through four days of presentations (June 23-26).” Jason’s work reaches deep into theoretical and scientific realms to understand experiences of transformation he witnesses with his clients. Vladimir Maykov (Russia) opened the conference by situating it in the context of a Russian transpersonal project that reaches back to antiquity. as one of the most accomplished members of the Russian transpersonal community and part of the underground transpersonal movement in the late Soviet era. or the EUROTAS conference can be directed to the author at payattention1@mac. Mark Burno (Russia) shared fruits from 30 years of practice using “spiritual culture” as an avenue to therapy.com Special Topic: Russian Soul 77 . any articles in this special topic section.” The Russian Association of Transpersonal Psychology and Psychotherapy. Tanna Jakubowicz (Poland) rounded out this special topics section with an inspiring call to direct action. frankly broaching issues of power and leadership in psychotherapy training organizations.

In fact. there is an ancient layer of shamanism—a practice that continues in Russia to this day. In the West. In the end. space holds a 78 special place in Russian consciousness. Fyodorov. Unlike any other country in the world. But there is almost a full absence of personality in the Western sense of the word. the Russian soul must spend its life striving to become a personality—trying to become functional in society. Contemporary shamans live and work in places such as Buryat. In the modern layer. A. Transpersonalism is thus inherent in the Russian soul. Yakutiya. and then it spends its life striving to become a spiritual being. Gurdjieff. typified by the image of St. Although there are many aspects to hesychasm. In addition.M. Russia is geographically connected to Asia. Volume 24 . it includes both a practice in which the saying of prayers is synchronized with the breath. Rather. Mamardashvili. democracy. Second is a layer of Russian paganism: Celtic paganism held sway over western Russia for centuries and left its imprint. laying the groundwork for the founding of the Russian Association of Humanistic Psychology in 1990.V. the body is born and.I. This symbol has been central to Russian national imagery for five hundred years. Blavatsky. Lihachev. the anthroposophy of R. Russia. Tolstoy and F.P.K. First. Tuvinia. Schestov. the more you cry. market economy and declaration of human rights. and the tradition of Russian cosmism of such visionaries as S. there is no strict adherence to any one epistemology or theoretical framework. Mihejkin. M.transpersonal. K. Losev. it becomes a personality. and Russian Orthodox Church. Steiner. We can see three distinct layers underlying the Russian transpersonal tradition. George lancing the dragon. In the 1970s and 80s a broader transpersonal underground developed. as noted by the academician D. The first of these is the Russian Orthodox Church. I identify seven different roots of Russian transpersonalism.M. Dostoevsky. The continuous historical development of this transpersonal urge was interrupted early in the 20th century. yielding a community in which intensive searches are conducted in many directions. the soul behind Russian transpersonalism.ru The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. it becomes a spiritual being. as the pure potentiality of life that pulls you out of bondage. Nalimov. Many academic scientists have been drawn to this perspective. Then there is a more modern layer. the existentialist writings of authors such as L. lawful state. The Russian transpersonal project of today is more highly professional and many-sided than ever before. This rich tapestry underlies Russian thinkers and writers of recent centuries who embody within their works the principles and spirit of transpersonalism.S. Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to the author at www.N. In addition to Russian Christianity. Bakhtin. is poised to speak with the entire world in the common language of the transpersonal. The gap between that time and ours was bridged by a small cohort of thinkers and practitioners who escaped from Stalin’s terror and raised Russian transpersonalism from the ashes: men such as V. shortly after Perestroika. through wounding. Tsilokovsky.F. and academician V. In Russia. How does this wounding manifest itself? Personal development is different in Russia than in the West.N. there is the Russian religious philosophy of N. Clearly.The Transpersonal Tradition in Russian Culture Vladimir Maykov T he transpersonal tradition is deeply rooted in Russian culture. In May of 2002 we took a further step toward professional development with the founding of the Russian Association of Transpersonal Psychology and Psychotherapy. covering the last thousand years. 2005. Pyatigorsky and V. Celtic pagan tradition. and a contemplative phenomenon in which one’s chest begins to vibrate and shake. Together these inform the modern transpersonal project in Russia. There is an archetypal wounding of the Russian soul. M. A. Berdyaev and L. with its correlatives of civil society. the Fourth Way of G. the Near East and Europe.E. and Khakassiya. Vertnadsky. Even though the transpersonal vision is new in the West. Russian Orthodox mysticism invokes altered states of consciousness. which includes the mystical doctrine of hesychasm. Russia has its own shamanic culture. Russians experience space as open sky. a country with centuries-old transpersonal roots. it is traditional in Russia. Altai. the body is born. which establish its origins in distant antiquity. Yet it is not easy to explain our inner being. the theosophy of E. It has been said that excavating the Russian soul is like peeling an onion: the more you penetrate its layers. you are left with empty nothingness.

uk). and the cultural milieu from which they arise. this is not simply the end of the matter. a set of neurons fire Special Topic: Russian Soul 79 . The focus moves away from the artifact of this process (i. I became fascinated with this as process. that I might want to live? Although narcissistic.coretrust. From a Buddhist perspective. Here I am thinking about process as does Pickering (1999) in terms of Alfred North Whitehead’s process philosophy. consider the following elucidation of the perceptual process as understood by Abhidhamma practice seen in conjunction with processes of consciousness as defined by cognitive neuroscience. a London-based center that uses a holistic multi-disciplinary approach to addiction involving complementary therapies and psychotherapy (individually and in groups).. onticly and diachronically secure). inadequate parenting and dysfunction. Approaches to Consciousness (2004). Lancaster identifies the fact that the process of identifying a “self. it seems to me. which occurred whilst on a lonely holiday to Turkey in 1997. In the process of seeing an object. In therapy this question can and often does transform into the more useful question. I was unable to sustain my image of self as a “thing” (i. From here it becomes possible to explore how the self-image of the client is organized. this question opens the door to useful inquiry. Here then we return to the inspirational images that open this short paper. composed of culturally-meaningful signs—and negotiated through narrative. What is this self that I experience? Following from the imagery above and my multidisciplinary work at the CORE Trust (note. breed.” or “I-tagging. For example. However. in the “continual creative advance of nature. in a semiotic and narrative context. Lancaster recognizes the link between cognitive neuroscience approaches and mystical approaches. As I lay beside my hotel pool exhausted from looking at rocks piled up by the ancients. Whitehead (1933) considers transitional processes. and how its organization might be made secure enough to be sustained over time. Following Pickering’s argument. Les Lancaster brings together cognitive neuroscience and mysticism to explore the nature of consciousness. this self is an illusion.e. In its raw form this basic question is an insoluble and often torturous dilemma: Should I live. and die in us. I would view these processes as being essentially semiotic in nature — that is. There are six stages in Lancaster’s model of this process: 1. I shall use his ideas here to think about how we might generate and sustain the process of self. How do we approach this? What might be the mechanism of this self-process? In his book. it piques us with the question. it occurred to me that ideas live in us as we live in the world. structures of activity.Synthesis and Plurality: Stories of the Self Jason Wright T his essay was inspired by an epiphany. the assumptions about the nature and qualities of the self that are at stake remain unexamined. how we might think about redefining those narratives.e.” comes late in this sequence of six events that make up the perceptual process. and the evolution of those structures to be inherent in the character of reality. Access to this process would then mean access to the possibility of more effective and more useful narratives. What self am I. readers interested in learning more about CORE are encouraged to visit www. Here we meet James Hillman’s (1983) idea that you need to heal the story. of course. then the key to transformation in psychotherapy is moving beyond the personal self to the process behind it: transcending the fixed ideas of self and encountering the self as an ongoing process. that an image of self exists at the point where a person’s inner conscious and unconscious stories and outer stories of community and culture meet. with the whole project held as a community. Rather. We are the medium of ideas—they live. For the purposes of understanding consciousness. However this is not a self as thing but as a process that alters with the ever-changing tides of inner and outer narrative.co. This self-image is identified as me. the personal self ) and into the process itself. In this context we understand the unifying intention to all the therapies is a spiritual one: we work within a transpersonal metaphor and see the fundamental issue facing the addicted person is the choice of whether or not to live: to live even in the face of devastating early-life trauma and alienation. a process that can radically change the self-experience of the client. and as imagery that helps me describe the work I have done over the last 12 years treating people who are struggling with addiction. Rather. not the person.” If the self is also such a process. or not? Here. I work at the CORE Trust.

Sometimes I feel as if I lend an alternate self to the client—both as a stop-gap tool for coping and as an example of the narrative reconstruction process— until such time as the client grasps the process enough to do his or her own reconstruction. including the narrative interpretation. particularly with respect to difficulties in relating to people. The client’s narrative of these symptoms as drivers of her addictive behavior indicated a compatibility between her ideas and those held by CORE as an institution. speaking rarely. through meditation or other mystical processes. with significant defining features such as violence. Identity of an “object” is established separate from the background information. Through altering the relationship between the narrative of self and the narratives of experience. and she had one sister. How does this operate in my practice as a transpersonal psychotherapist working with addicted people? The essential frame is to effect a de-identification with the self. The goal. Various schemata are activated through neural resonance. In individual therapy she identified her violent and abusive experiences in childhood as causing problems. and her linkage of violence and intimacy. but late in the perceptual process. The important feature to grasp is that this activity goes on outside of normal awareness. 4. the kernel of the story is here. B attended well during her time at CORE.and are analyzed through the visual cortex. the client and her therapist explored issues of trust and relationship. but had gone on to work in demanding and prestigious jobs. Her father had been deceased for 10 years. It was not possible for her to determine the safest way to meet the needs of the CORE project as caregiver. and thereby allows the possibility for a greater number of associative schemata to reach consciousness. Under mundane conditions the nature of I-tagging is powerful. There is no literal translation for the word javana. and would lay down on the floor hiding her face. Lancaster suggests that such deconstruction. this is the moment when the I-narrative and the perceptual process come together. She left home and school at age 15. Here we are immediately into the ground of psychotherapeutic work. For Lancaster. to the thoughts of the world. She had been treated violently by both parents throughout her childhood. The advantage of studying this process from a mystical perspective such as Abhidhamma is that it points out this deconstruction of the perceptual process. her mother was still alive. 2. The sense of I-ness is added prior to the normal waking experience of consciousness. be that in a classical psychoanalytic frame such as a Winnicott’s (1951) model of transitional space or a Hillman’s (1983. if there is one. memory is updated by relaying back the current perception. death. polydrug habits and difficulties with eating. 5. Finally. Toward the end of the fifth month. and then not in a self-disclosing manner. The client presented to CORE with alcohol. it becomes possible to develop more effective and more useful narratives. These are the bare bones of the personal narrative. 6. 3. 2005. B was beginning to recognize that she had agency in relationship and was not simply the victim of The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. Volume 24 . so she attempted to control the situation by evoking her familiar narrative cycle of non-compliance and the violence it historically evoked. 1996) view of narrative reconstruction or soul making from a case history to teleological soul history. The sense of self is continually reinforced by registering new I-tagged perceptions into the individual-meaning narrative. The perceived object is incorporated in the individual’s ongoing meaning narrative. one that 80 enables the client to cope with his or her experience creatively rather than destructively—a narrative that is open and containing rather than destructive and constraining. or the mind of God. Working with a client in this way requires some skill and art at perceiving the individual content streams within the client’s narrative and then helping the client to re-weave them.image within “me” in order to imagine differing possibilities. examined her difficulties with shame. Within the analytic frame of repetition compulsion. Concurrently in her individual therapy. Here the CORE narrative and her personal narrative came into conflict. offers the opportunity to decrease the reinforcing nature of the I-tag. She found it difficult to talk in group. Perhaps the best way to illustrate it is with a brief clinical example: B was 41 at the time of presentation. In Abhidhamma this is known as javana. Here is the experience of shared narrative ideas that is essential to developing the therapeutic work. but experienced initial ambivalence toward the community. chronic low self-esteem and habitual self-destructiveness. Here then we are back to the key for transformational process in psychotherapy: moving beyond the personal self-image to the process behind it. but it conveys an active role in the perceptual process—there is a clear transition from perceptual mechanism to narrative. a tendency to isolate herself. and action in the world. is to develop an overarching narrative with the client. The memory process responds to the input.

com References Aitken. historic experiences that had previously been unbearable began to emerge into consciousness. and enlightening. The conflict between the two narrative streams became unbearable and she relapsed into addictive behavior. and new self-image. contained her and. Cambridge. (1951). she was able to bear the memory of her father’s sexual abuse. In response she wrote: It’s very strange. J. Dogen. and perhaps to a normative narrative. UK: Polity Press. Shear (Eds. just fragmentary memories of agues. I still have bad days when I plummet to the depths of despair and self-hatred instantaneously. A. L. Her personal narrative was being negotiated within the containing narrative framework of CORE. N. 232–35).” In B. p. She was able both to contain and reveal difficult feelings and the story behind them. When I got to CORE. B. That the myriad things advance and confirm the self is enlightenment. Wiley. Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to the author at jasonwright@mac. to read a case history of yourself. The souls code. As of this moment. As part of this process.circumstance. it doesn’t begin to explain the circumstances or the level of distress that I felt to start using when I was 12.) Exeter. She became capable of tolerating her experiences and re-envisioning herself. Science and the modern world. N. That is true liberation. “Gandhi. Transpersonal psychotherapy is not just about the content of our being. 229-242). My linear narrative didn’t start until I was nine. the client is still in psychotherapy and has remained clean for 15 months since leaving CORE. and I am fortunate that support is available through CORE’s weekly after-care treatment that I attend. someone else’s version of your narrative. clean and sober life. J (1996). trying to find a way I could cause myself more pain than what I already felt. and Deep Ecology. (1999).). In Through paediatrics to psychoanalysis (pp. The semiotic self. Through CORE I have repaired myself enough to attempt a fulfilling. which through time and the process of the psyche develop into the image or icon called “self. Sessions (Eds. this new and more useful selfimage better contains her narrative and her experiences. 1985. Devall & G. Whitehead. Salt Lake City. whilst developing a new overarching narrative in which she was no longer trapped in her circumstances as a victim. Healing fiction. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Hillman. That the self advances and confirms the myriad things is called delusion. and cannabis.W. Over the next few months the client explored many of her intimate relationship. Gallagher & J. However. UT: Peregrine Smith Books. I self-harmed: burning myself.). Pickering. Deep Ecology: Living As If Nature Mattered (pp. J. Transitional objects and transitional phenomena. but also learning to be aware of the context within which we experience being itself. Firstly of course it isn’t long enough. It is through the interaction of differing narratives that such changes in the client’s narrative stream were possible.” Through deconstruction of the narrative stream it is possible to engage the underlying process and avoid over-identification with the images it throws up. the client’s non-compliant behavior in group was still at issue. particularly with members of her immediate family. she read her own case history. bouncing my head off walls. Special Topic: Russian Soul 81 . Hillman. London: Institute of PsychoAnalysis and Karnac Books. Winnicott. Most significantly. but I can contain my feelings without using. The self as semiotic process.Models of the Self (pp. and a deeper sense of self slowly emerged. stitching my fingers together. We are back to the main idea for defining self: a set of confluent narratives woven into a master narrative. Before alcohol. UK: Imprint Academic. New York: Random House. (2004). (1933). tranquilizers. R. Substance free. (1983). (1994). (1985). D. 232). but couldn’t understand. as later did heroin. New York: Stanton Hill Press. Lancaster. I’d used alcohol for 29 years and drugs for 26…. cocaine and speed made me not care whether I felt pain or not. UK: Cambridge University Press. in this context. In S. Alcohol made me not feel pain. CORE. Approaches to consciousness. 62-83. She is continuing in higher education. Ultimately the newfound story. She considered that she might be able to pull the parts of her self together to feel more whole. (Aitkin. Here we evidence a fundamental alteration of the client’s narratives in relation to herself. it became apparent that there wasn’t a time without the feelings that made me want to self-destruct…. Another strange thing is how completely different I feel for the vast majority of the time. Cambridge.

Although she is an excellent swimmer. “Do you know you are harming this woman?” “No I am not! I just love her. the possibil82 ity of psychic attack is something we cannot directly test for empirically due to ethical constraints (we would have to consider the fact that if the attacks were effective. If you follow their advice. As a result. using particular techniques. I bring this young woman into deep relaxation and. and the young woman is able to resume her life. Here we have a scientific problem: there is no proof of an afterlife. 1997.” but only about aggressive “entities. Jahn. This is a man who had recently died. the man agrees to leave the young woman and goes “across” with a being of light.” After some further conversation. Then I ask her to tell me what is happening. She sees that at times he suddenly pulls her out of her physical body. it is necessary to understand such attacks. In my experience there are three sources of such attacks: 1) the presences of those who have died. But if the folktales speak truly. Nelson. and those who suffer from them need and deserve skilled assistance. 1997. “Do you know you are dead?” The young woman reports that he says. it may happen that you end up in some trouble. even in waist-deep water. I underwent many of them over a period of 20 years.” “But you are harming her. Ostrander & Schroeder. I help her approach a state where she can access information about her condition. it will be necessary The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. many religions and traditions describe the phenomenon of psychic attack. Within a few days the fainting spells cease. and he or she tells you it is only coming from inside you—so. After giving the woman some instructions for creating a psychic defense against his unwanted presence. Then I ask. After a few moments. Dobyns & Bradish. 1997.The Psychic Defense Vitor Rodrigues I want to introduce my subject by telling you about the case of a client who came to me. the glories of penetrating other realms. If you follow this advice. threatening her life. he is apparently able to recall his death.” For the psychologist who encounters these phenomena. 1997). she is not epileptic. I say. But all religious traditions talk about outer demons as well. In any case. and 3) living persons. causing her to faint. but also possible to influence biological systems at a distance (Nelson. What such teachers say is partially true: you are dealing with your inner demons. In the end. 2005. Her EEG and EKG are normal. to have meaning in your life. Picture an independent young woman who suddenly begins to have fainting spells. You have your moments of light. Jahn & Dunne 1994. She describes that she sees a man. but a therapeutic strategy that involves the soul of a dead person is effective in relieving a condition that standard treatments cannot resolve. Schlitz & Braud. Bradish. On the other hand. then there are some dangers in these realms—even for those who are not on a path. it is not as important to argue about what kind of reality is represented by such processes as it is to find ways to assist those who suffer them. This is all true: it is nice to learn a spiritual path. parapsychology research suggests it is not only possible to influence thoughts at a distance (Radin. She tells me that he had had sort of a crush on her. she is likely to faint and end up floating facedown in the water. From my adolescence onward. You go to the teacher for help. I speak to this man that she is experiencing. Until we have more scientific-sounding words to talk about this dynamic. In the end. Some teachers naively tell you that you should meditate a lot. I myself had to learn a lot about psychic attacks. However. 1994). Gradually I came to understand how these episodes were constructed and how to deal with them. they would be damaging to the subjects). to expand. Dunne. as illustrated by the previous story. she cannot swim. Dalton. but then you hit anxiety. Medical tests detect no problem. “What do you mean? I am alive!” I ask him to remember when he died. I believe they are right—even if you do not speak about “demons. Perhaps we should take seriously the possibility that these occurrences are on some level real. These dangers include more than the souls of the deceased. meditate more. by causing her to faint. 2) other entities. They are a real feature of the spiritual dimension of human life. the father of a friend. 1997. Bem & Honorton. Volume 24 . Many teachers picture the wonders of conscious expansion. there is at least some chance that you may experience a serious breakdown. she cannot work or drive.

A charge is an object filled with bad feelings and bad intentions. Repulsive odors. all of these symptoms may arise from causes other than psychic attack. 12. Nightmares (most are from indigestion. 15. stress. 2.” of course. and personal problems. 14. or a piece of clothing that has been worn for some time. a feeling of oppressive darkness that is darker than the absence of light. A persistent stinging in parts of the body. 2001). to a psychologist. Unexplained illness that cannot be diagnosed by medicine. One way to understand outer demons is as subtle presences that connect with us through these inner flaws and who cultivate those flaws. or as if some specters or demons are present—-sometimes the dream experience is one of being encaged or otherwise imprisoned). such as a dead cat. A sense of constriction and despair. what kind of a model can we use to understand outer “demons?” “Inner demons. while other clients have seen a vampire at the door. then puts it some place to rot. If we assume there is some kind of real phenomenon behind such reports. 13. but no one is there. 16. blood. Waking up and feeling as if movement is impossible. 1997). The intended outcome is that the negative qualities in the knife will induce the victim to use the blade to kill himself. it is possible that the symptom may result from such an attack. A sound of bells that comes from nowhere. the sorcerer gets a cat or rat. as if a force is preventing full return to the body that can be felt as total paralysis lasting for some minutes or even hours. and some will ask for help from demonic entities. mostly if several symptoms like the ones above are showing up together. Once the connection is established. or the sensing of a threat that may occur with nausea). Fortunately. Typically. Pressure on the back of the neck. which of course. 3. feeling a burdensome weight. photograph. Fortune. uncontrollable emotion. A dajida is a witchcraft doll prepared by the practitioner of dark arts and sympathetically connected to the victim by means of a sample. such as rottenness. Part of the effect is through suggestion. some will try to project their own negative energy onto you. reinforced by the folkloric beliefs of the victim. though it is difficult to do such experiments ethically. Some classical experiments seem to produce interesting effects. occurring as a sudden feeling of intense anguish or fear. Direct visions (e. and saw black serpents in her hair. this is not so easy to accomplish. it is believed that what the practitioner does to the doll will happen to the victim at a distance. connects it to the victim in the same manner as a dajida. However. that are suspended in a precise location. producing a specific pain. A feeling that someone is blowing on the back of your neck. weakness. sperm. or back of head. 7. Two of the main procedures of classic witchcraft are the dajida and the charge. 1930. Fatigue. greeds and ambitions. Unfortunately I have found very few authors dealing with the matter of psychic attacks in a somewhat realistic way (Bailey. or a bedcover has seemed to become a python). 5.to use traditional terms—at the risk of speaking in language associated with medieval superstition. is a probable sign of schizophrenia. saliva. such as a bit of that person’s hair. but in my experience many people who hear voices clearly are not schizophrenic—that is. Paranoia—the feeling that someone or something is after you. Panic attacks (while most such attacks result from stress and worry. they are living normal productive lives and some small percentage of these may result from psychic attacks). Symptoms of psychic attack include the following: 1. nails. The rotting process is intended to have repercussions on the victim. when more conventional causes or cures do not work. as if someone is pressing with a finger. and “normal explanations” have Special Topic: Russian Soul 83 . but other incidents have a quality of vividness and may feel as if an octopus or some other threatening thing is grabbing the person. a girlfriend of mine was combing her hair in front of the mirror.g. Naturally. are our own unfinished business—unwholesome fears. Psychic attacks can also come from humans. 10. Another variation is a cursed stabbing knife that is placed where the victim will find it. But in some ways the doll also helps the practitioner project his or her own energy and intention. 8.. 9. Hearing threatening voices. 11. these unwholesomenesses lead to evil actions. 4. Strange pains that do not respond to painkillers. Some will try to perform interesting rituals. and 17. some are different in origin and come on when everything in life is OK. However. Sudden. see Ostrander & Schroeder. spine. worry. Left unchecked. intense. Unexplained fainting. a few related experiments have been done under laboratory conditions (for some hints at a modern version. 6.

. Jahn.. 471-489. (1997). Bradish. Jahn. Nelson. eventually it will amount to black magic: the manipulation of psychic energies for your own purposes. D. York Beach. H. 12(3). Ostrander. (1930/2001). Radin. & Braud. R. Does psi exist? Replicable evidence for an anomalous process of information transfer. J. (1997). New York: Marlowe & Company. (1930). so God’s plan is your plan. Alternative Therapies. (1994). According to the spiritual traditions of the world this different thing. 62-73. FieldREG II: Consciousness field effects: Replications and explorations. If done properly.. Bem. If not. & Schroeder. B. Distant intentionality and healing: Assessing the evidence. G. Journal of Scientific Exploration. J. A linear pendulum experiment: Effects of operator intention on damping rate. which is really our soul. which are omitted from this review. The conscious universe. If a person such as my client wants to develop her power. we learn to let go of our own personalities so something different can happen spontaneously inside of us. J. will start moving in harmony with God’s plan for the purposes of love. D. she will have power—but she must use that power with love. C. Psychic self-defense.telepac. she must deal with her inner demons. 2005. This is a coincidence: moving in unity with everything. Proceedings of presented papers at the Parapsychological Association 40th Annual Convention held in Conjunction with The Society for Psychical Research. Dunne. References Bailey. L. R.pt 84 The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. M. 425-454. As power develops. A. New York: Lucis. Journal of Scientific Exploration.. Vulnerability to such attacks can also be decreased by the development of personal and spiritual power. North Carolina: Parapsychological Association. Cary. D. S. K. Nelson. J. Dobyns. Fortune. ME: Samuel Weiser.. B. (1997).. Y. 4-18. R. Exploring the links: Creativity and psi in the Ganzfeld. 8(4). Letters on occult meditation. D. D. & Dunne. and beauty. Psychological Bulletin. New York: HarperEdge. 3(6).. & Honorton. There are specific protocols for treatment of such conditions. Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to the author at psicosophos@mail. J. justice. Dalton. Volume 24 . W. (1997). 115(1).first been ruled out. Schlitz. G. R. Psychic discoveries. G. & Bradish. (1997). (1994).

In Russia.” So. but is also Something emitted by ourselves. to find their own psychotherapy. I have worked out this psychotherapeutic method over more than 30 years (see Burno. Personal Growth (Rogers). Burno T herapy by means of spiritual culture is a psychotherapeutic approach in which the leading psychotherapeutic mechanism is that of creative self-expression. Because of this. For the idealist it must be this way: the face of Christ should not be full-blooded and alive. as to a receiver. that is. He understood idealism as a state of captivity to altruistic ideals. Special Topic: Russian Soul 85 . Idealism as a Physiologic Factor (1908). This same distinction can be seen in psychotherapy. religious worldview. This approach is more of an idealistic relationship to a transcendent spirituality. If the face were lifelike. This session is called “Polenov and Rublev. his or her own body is the source of spirit. As such. and the hair is just an inarticulate mass. we can say that Pushkin and Chekov are spiritual writers. and so forth. a physician with a materialistic worldview. there are many intellectuals with this materialistic understanding of spirituality. Here we see the face of Jesus. the Russian notion of spirituality is broader. the state of creative inspiration is often understood as something sent from Above. is one of the fathers of Russian clinical psychotherapy in the natural-scientific approach. With the help of many others. this state is called Freedom (Fromm). In Russia. Self-Actualization (Maslow). creative inspiration. natural history. It reminds us of how the girl in Gogol’s story speaks of the stars in the sky. Psychosynthesis (Assagioli). but also those with a more idealistic nature. 1917). For such a person. therapy by means of spiritual culture may be creative inspiration that takes a more religious. but we do not know whether the neck is male or female. in accordance with one’s own nature. Transpersonal State (Grof ). or it may take the natural-scientific form of creative self-expression. Then we view an icon by Anton Roublev. these then become real orienting points for following one’s own spiritual nature: one’s own nature. This method helps not only people of a materialistic outlook. 2005). The essence of the method is as follows: The patients with painful feelings of inferiority study elements of clinical psychiatry. In order to live naturally. they are more in the natural-scientific stream. In this way. we would not see the stream of Spirit flowing from his eyes. 2002. Here is an excerpt from a group session on creative self-expression that helps individuals to feel their own outlook and understand whether they are more idealistic and religious or natural-scientific in their own nature. idealistic form. but it is secondary: body (matter) emits spirit. we have one image of spirit for idealists and another for materialists. characterology. Logos (Frankl). Alexander Yarotsky (1908. of God. but without an idealistic. The approach is different for differing patients. This image of Christ is the glance of the transcendental world.On Therapy by Means of Spiritual Culture Mark E. Jesus is a young but wise man: wholly human. Yarotsky named his classical book. Such people feel the state of creative inspiration as an emission of their own bodies. Spirit is no less important to the materialist. In Western tradition. the famous Russian artist and monk of the 15th century. there are more people of a materialistic nature of soul than in the West or the Far East. “The angels open the windows of their houses. and psychotherapy in order to learn to express themselves creatively in harmony with their natural characterological peculiarities. realistically depicted. emitting spirit. Yet the state of creative inspiration can be felt in different ways according to the nature of the particular soul. an individual with a more idealistic nature will experience spirituality and creative inspiration quite differently than one with a more materialist bent. This is realistic pictorial art on a religious theme.” In Polenov’s picture. She says. one must study one’s own natural features. For example. it includes not only what is sent to us from Above. The nose looks rather like a duck’s bill. So. for it is the origin of Spirit.” It begins by viewing a painting by the Russian artist Vasiliy Polenov entitled “Christ and the Sinner.

(1908). Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to the author at Weshniakowskaja Street 4-1-101 Moscow 111402 Russia 86 The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. A. I. Native psychotherapy in Russia. 4(2). 71-76. Yuruev: Yuryevsky Universitet. (1917). E. Archives of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. Volume 24 . Russky Vrach . 2005. A. I. (2005). O psykoterapii pri hronicheskih vnutrenih boleznyah. Burno. Archives of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. M. M. 49-53. E. Yarotsky. 7(1). Therapy by means of creative self expression. 3(25-28).References Burno. Idealizm kak fiziologichesky factor. Yarotsky. 433-444. (2002).

and the czar let him go. and then a falcon and flew in front of the czar’s daughter’s window. Finally I wish to suggest innovative forms of holding authority and leadership for the 21st century. but the youth said “No. found the youth and demanded that his head must come off his shoulders. but the czar read his book of magic and found out where the youth had gone. “All right. In the discussion that follows. But a very bold young man got up and said. pp. “So. he saw the nest of the Magovei bird (a magic bird in Russian fairy tales) on a green oak tree and dropped down into her nest. The latter procedure. is disagreeable and therefore not popular. The bird was not there at the time. she said. the czar. and was again admitted to the czar’s daughter’s room where he turned into his own form. The youth changed himself into a fly. but when she came back and saw the bold youth sitting there. bold young man. called “The Black Magician Czar. The next day he went to open fields and turned himself into a blade of grass. experienced psychotherapy colleagues outside of the Centre for Transpersonal Psychology who act as representatives for their training organisations within the Humanistic and Integrative Section of the U. The youth departed once more. They had a nice feast and spent the night together and tried to plan a way to escape the czar. flew into the palace and then became a piece Special Topic: Russian Soul I want to begin by telling you a Russian fairytale loosely taken from Marie-Louise Von Franz (1987. the czar again consulted his magic book and discerned the youth’s hiding place. your head must come off!” The bold young man went off to hide. Tomorrow I will hunt for you and if you don’t succeed in hiding yourself. shape-changing into several animals. The Black Magician Czar There was a czar who was a black magician and a very powerful ruler. But once again the czar consulted his magic book.” And the czar answered. Flying over mountains and cliff. The next day the czar issued the same challenge and again a bold young man suffered the same fate. Council for Psychotherapy. The youth left the palace. “Czar. I will examine how power and leadership are held. I can hide from you and escape. Based in large part on their experiences of encountering the Shadow during difficult transitions and periods of conflict within their organisations. And he himself. On the third day there was another dinner party and the czar made the same offer. but only on the third attempt. She saw him and opened the window and he flew in.” (Jung.” describes an encounter with the Shadow and how to cope with it.” Everybody who sat there remained silent and turned pale. par. 335) cut off the youth’s head (and found great pleasure in his evil game). There was a third bold young man who said he could escape him. a pike. He went out of the city and shape-changed into a weasel. but by making the darkness conscious. hide yourself. however. took a sharp sword and 87 . “now your head must come off your shoulders!” But the youth replied that it had been arranged that he should have three tries. One day he gave a dinner party for all his subjects and said to them: ”Whoever can run away and hide himself from me shall have half my kingdom and my daughter as his wife. and shape-changed into a grey wolf.K. 1967.Creativity lies at the Edge of Disintegration: Addressing the Shadow of Power and Leadership within Psychotherapy Training Organisations Rupert Kinglake Tower “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light. “What impertinence!” She seized him by the collar and flew with him out of the nest. and after my death he can rule over my whole empire. across the blue sea and put him on the magician czar’s window. I will also draw upon six informal qualitative interviews that I conducted with senior. Inside her room he turned himself back into a young man and had a nice private dinner with the czar’s daughter. This tale. and then a falcon. and sent his servants to find him and bring him before him. and the czar agreed. 236-9). However.” he said.” as he still had another chance to hide. the last one. a drill. Then he turned himself into a ring she put on her finger. and how later generations may unconsciously carry the Shadow for the founders.

He represents openness to a wider. Those young men who also attempt to adopt a power attitude are swiftly beheaded. a shameful. Experience of power dynamics within psychotherapy organisations seemed to indicate that more often than not leaders promoted initially a visionary drive towards personal and professional excellence and integration. where the idea of the organisation as a unity (the ego ideal) contrasts radically with reality. or vulnerability. It was the denial of this reality. which cannot be misused by evil forces. mighty czar. I have now come voluntarily. there was a loss of recognition that a necessary part of being human was the acknowledgement and ownership of one’s own capacity for envy. “Good morning. 10). Typically. Volume 24 . the failure to recognize faults within themselves and to discern the fantasy nature of the organisational ideal. 1990. secret underside to organisational life” (Schwartz. immediacy. which contained many inherent strengths. misuses power. The czar looked in his book and thought that he must be there. so the two were married and had a wonderful wedding feast. Anyone that metaphorically speaking wished to “grow up” and assume responsibility for new ideas and new input that deviated from or appeared to threaten the organizational norm. The black czar’s magical book seems to represent a closed system of magic. individually and collectively. where it felt safe enough to question. The youth became the czar’s son-in-law and got half the empire. The interviews also showed that when an organization goes through the demise or departure of a founder. was likely to be cut down in czar-like fashion. debate. 2005. and on the death of the czar he was to ascend the throne. that caused a rot to gain hold from within. and his primary 88 motivation to possess power. the stone flew out of her hand and there stood the youth. They hunted and hunted. deeper consciousness that utilises wit and emotional intelligence. he said. a firestone. The second and third day passed. and an instinctual living basic nature of the psyche. bold young man. which misinterprets the way of the feminine. fragility. nastiness and destructiveness. Now your head must come off your shoulders. where the character of organisational life more viscerally resembles a “snakepit” in which “there must be for each of us. since he had not found the youth. The czar is a diabolical “negative shadow” figure whose primary drive is to dominate and retain power. The Abuse of Power and Authoritarian Leadership The tale of “the Black Magician Czar” expresses the debilitating effects of the ruthless drive and desire for power. What seemed increasingly to be held in the Shadow in these instances were the qualities of ordinary humanness–the permission to express fallibility. The czar’s willingness to kill the bold freshness of ardent youth reflects a drama prevalent with an omnipotent fantasy of omniscience. any perceived challenge to the leaders’ authority. An organisation is an ongoing drama enacted by fallible players. So they went back to the empire. Meanwhile the black magician began to read and search his magic book. competitiveness. Now I should have half the kingdom and your daughter as my wife!” The czar could do nothing. and seeks possession through personal will alone. Alongside this. but over time this gradually tipped over into a narrow form of perfectionism and inflated “magnificence” with an exaggerated focus on an organisational ideal that denied and became rapidly out of step with reality. mighty czar”.” “No. processing space of not knowing. and these shadow qualities would be projected onto the imagined perpetrators. he could no longer be alive on the earth. and lay down by the fireplace. “you have sought me for three days and had given up the search. The “Black Magician Czar” describes a kind of incestuous situation between the father and the daughter where the feminine principle is a captive of the masculine principle. “Good morning. The czar thought that. a distinct transitional stage showed itself The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. The czar himself joined in the hunt. or anyone who dared to hold a different vision to the status quo would be isolated. p. to be unsure or unclear sometimes about where the project was going. connects us with our spontaneity.of flint. 2003). and to acknowledge limitation–and a degree of trust in staying with the mess and chaos of a creative. eventually in some cases leading to organisational decay and breakdown. Any possibility of dialogue is prevented through an atmosphere of terror and dehumanisation (Biran. but his servants found the nest but no youth. and he knows a way to approach the feminine principle so that he is helped three times. disagree and voice criticism. She took the flint stone and rubbed it on some steel. The hero in this tale succeeds because he is able to receive knowledge directly from its natural source. He is unable to recognise the limits of reality or the existence of the other.” the youth said. One morning the maid got up and started to lay the fire. which told him the youth was in the Magovei bird’s nest.

2005. Eds. Listen to the voice within: A Jungian approach to pastoral care. 103-112).: Princeton University Press. It is within the oft unspoken. H. R.” London: Continuum. “Social Dreaming” is increasingly used within analytical training institutes and mainstream organisations to build a communal relationship with the Shadow and unconscious processes. Therapeutic Communities (pp. (Eds. individual differences and anxieties are denied. 36(4). 1979. There are several methods for mediating with shadow influences that can aid such a process of internal self-examination. that possibility lies to co-habit more fruitfully with our Shadow sides and remain open to our unruly complexity amidst all its savagery and beauty. R. (1987). The Jungian analyst Robert Hobson calls this the “therapeutic community disease” (Hobson. Nothing to lose: Psychotherapy. Trans. Greenleaf. Hobson.com Special Topic: Russian Soul 89 . Beggs. Shadow and evil in fairytales. 490-502. Perry. name and respect the destructive and creative forces of the personal and archetypal Shadow that will always be present in some form or another within our organisational life. a potential Saviour Hero who will bring revitalizing purpose to the organization. Group Analysis. Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to the author at rupert. Buddhism and living life. However.J. H. unassuming acts of determination to bear difference. 2005). and the Shadow goes underground. but outer groups are constellated. References Biran. messiness and diverse ideas remain and flourish but are held. strengths and personal attributes. E. G. The shadow of the object. G. M-L. there seems to be inner cohesion. and be shared by individuals that are able to provide many differing qualities of leadership in differing circumstances according to their particular style. A gifted individual steps forward within the vacuum with revolutionary ideas opposed to the original Vision and is experienced by self and others as magical. 13. inevitably the pain. N. (1987). Narcissistic process and corporate decay: The theory of the organisational ideal. (1990). and (3) the Catastrophe. Hinshelwood & N. Another emerging approach to leadership and service is “servant-leadership” which emphasises an ethical awareness and appropriate use of power by the encouragement of a long-term.amidst the vacuum and chaos. London: Karnac. C. J. 232). & L. C. and it may drop and fall. F. hold it too tightly. The collected works of C. TX: Spring Publications. Jung. and disillusionment. C. London: Free Association Books. Jung: Vol. Beazley. where difference. Gordon. p. The Servant-leader within: A transformative path (H. 1987) of the transcendent function can reveal itself. C. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. It is in the holding of the tensions of these polarities that the “unthought known” (Bollas. (2005). 2003). In R. There is an African proverb that holding power is like holding an egg. & McCormick. p.tower@btopenworld. Princeton. L. Hull. (1967). London: SPCK Publishing. 98). Spears. unnoticed. He outlines three phases: (1) The coming of the Messiah. R. N. Collective leadership is yet another paradigm in which mutual interconnection configures the presence of collective leadership. death. Hold it too loosely. rage and mourning for what was lost with the original founder has to be faced. devolve. Manning. (2) the Enlightenment. (GordonLawrence. Initially a period of intellectual stimulation follows. (2003). (1991). New York: New York University Press. allowing leadership to shift. (2005). 1991).). Schwartz. The Messianic community. Dallas. prior to finding a reframed identity.). The difficulty of transforming terror into dialogue. Von Franz. C.). The saviour fantasy must be relinquished. transformational philosophy to life and work – in essence a way of being – that is committed to an individual’s personal growth within organisations and promotes a sense of community (Greenleaf. breakdown and usually unnamed destructive components of the process force themselves into consciousness (Perry. and in open-hearted gestures of kindness and the courage of forgiveness. (1979). W. Introduction to social dreaming: Transforming thinking. The nature of leadership is no longer that of a spiritual parent to a child. but of peer to peer. Creative methods such as these may help us to own. and it may break. Bollas. (2003). Alchemical studies (Bollingen Series 20. Wellings. and only then can the organization begin to remain present with what Nigel Wellings and Elizabeth McCormick refer to as “Fallow Chaos” by facing the unpalatable but unavoidable journey that “to do or be something new we must first let go of something or some part of ourselves that is old” (Wellings & McCormick. New York: Paulist Press.

Why? Because this is the right answer to the burning problems of the world and the painful dilemma of being human. spiritually homeless. and victims who become oppressors. “The future is brought into the present by people who conspire together—that is. it has great impact on the entire human civilization. “I am persuaded again and again that. breathe together. Great Spirit are among the many names for this one ground from which all life springs. Ain Sof. who are left naked like slaves and beggars of a “better” world. love. compassion. anger. peace and justice. fear. I imagine this work to be one of supporting already-existing trends in our culture such as: 1. Holy Spirit. perceives the world as one organism based on the shared ground underlying all spiritual traditions. studying mysical Judaism. cultivating the real nature of man as a manifestation of the The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies.” In my vision I saw that the most urgent and beautiful task is helping people to tap into a deep source of spiritual abundance. willing to contribute to common goodness. The real pain in the lives of most people may not be about starvation as much as about lacking trust—a deprivation of higher purpose and meaning. My intention is to join all people who are concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now and who are awake enough to contribute to the process of healing. we see two struggling forces. Earth is being devoured because most people are disconnected from the Source of Life.” Even if spiritual emptiness is a phenomenon particular to the West. These “developed” societies pump natural resources out of the soil of the Third World and dump back their junk and toxic waste. We need politics of awareness based on morality and a new morality based on love for all living beings. “We are the ones we have been waiting for. unsated. We can all see that transpersonal and holistic awareness is becoming more popular. When we are deeply connected to the whole. It takes new moral energy to create new political will. equally important work is to learn how to transform and reconcile inner conflict so we do not cast our shadow on the world. How can we respond to this situation? How do we heal and seal the hole in the soul of our society? As Ian Gordon Brown (1994) used to say. This is the cause of deep despair. if not all. finally arriving at this place with no name. As Eyad 90 el Sarraj (2002) observed. When we look at the world from an eagle’s eye view. speaking at Harvard University. “The hopelessness that comes from a situation that keeps getting worse. In practical terms. We have an ongoing history of genocide and holocausts—a long chain of cruel wars between oppressors and victims. said. Volume 24 . thereby stripping of natural dignity and spirituality the inhabitants. The new order. We need to establish direct connection between our spiritual practice and service for the world. In this way. lying dormant in the deepest roots of most. wisdom. My concern is how to make this world a better place to live. But if you ask me what I believe in. [is] a despair where living becomes no different than dying. to conquer other territories and exploit natural resources. transformation and reconciliation. thirsty. Deep down in the ground there are the same seeds of truth. both rich and poor nations are left spiritually bereft. battling for spheres of influence and control over territories and human minds. A second. The old order is a fragmented world based on the illusion of separateness.” A saying attributed to the Hopi Indians says. 2005. Promoting the renaissance of holistic culture. I have followed many paths. set by unitive consciousness. uprooted from the earth. It is the spiritual starvation of the so-called developed world that causes physical poverty and starvation in underdeveloped nations. cultures there is an essential similarity. Buddhism and shamanism. because re+ligare means reconnecting and love has the greatest bonding power.We Were Made for These Times Tanna Jakubowicz-Mount H aving Jewish roots. drawing from old spiritual traditions. oppression and wars—the emptiness inside us that leads us to reach for everything outside us. There are no spectators in this struggle. something that could be made—if the will to do so existed—a genuinely unifying starting point for that new code of human coexistence that would be firmly anchored in the great diversity of human traditions” (1995). Czech president Vaclav Havel. we feel relieved and happy. I might confess that I practice the religion of love. In this state of mind we can embrace and respect all diversities as a manifestation of the One.

and exist in a boundless network of reflections and relationships. fostering a new sense of planetary consciousness that is interfaith and multicultural. The tribal human is preoccupied mostly with the tribal drives of the first three chakras—basically having to do with territory and survival. E.com/estes.html. Suicide bombers: Dignity. Brochure of the third conference. so more people can gain access to spiritual experiences. “Letter to a young activist during troubled times. Inspiring new women’s movements to reclaim feminine power and wisdom. standing for International Direct Radiant Action Network. and to bring in more love and respect for the Earth and all living beings. 31(4).uk/ archive /modules. P. 2. Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to the author at mandala@mandala. C. London. 2005. In the words of Clarissa Pinkola Estes. (2002).mdl-net.com. and the need for hope.mavenproductions. 5. http://www. 2005 Havel. retrieved July 30. Journal of Palestine Studies.uk. “we were made for these times” (2003). Developing the politics of awareness. Enhancing the evolution of humankind from homo tribus to homo holos. 3. My idea is to create INDRA-net. Co-creating a new code of co-existence based on the values that underlie the great spiritual traditions. retrieved July 31. Address delivered at Harvard University. This is our opportunity to trigger the tipping point. V. (2003).” http://www.true nature of all creation.znak. 2005 Estes. G. to transform a minority perception into a majority embrace. el Sarraj. despair. The guardians of the old order are very well armed and organized. and embrace the entire Earth community. The holistic human is able to raise awareness to the heart and the crown chakra level. reclaiming the sacredness of life and death. My personal vision is to set up a network of international action so we can inspire each other to do this most urgent work with the people who are within our reach. and 6.pl/eurodialog/ed/0/havel.pl Special Topic: Russian Soul 91 . I believe we have a special responsibility in this time in history. retrieved July 30. 4. Supporting culture and communication without violence.x. We need to encourage each other to intensify our activities and make them more effective. European Transpersonal Association. (1994). References Brown. Indra’s diamond net is an ancient vision of the world in which all beings have the nature of a diamond.en. http://peaceuk. and find their way home.php?name =News&file=print&sid=193. (1995).html. I.co. We need to think about what kind of actions we can develop.co.

meet in a jiffy. you do not extend your eye and hand automatically: you just admire. distorts. which is learning to dance with the situation. But then it struck me that there might be something else: dancing in space. Ah. and get it all dribbling right on top of you. 1976. right? Grand elusion’s game. Here is the first. But here’s the thing: her whole mode of interaction with the world is seduction. you allow a move from the other side. Who else is pink enough. Surface and depth closer even than skin and flesh. Who will really play with him. In preparation I have cleansed myself so staunchly. pp. then. 2005. to tell safe from sex. Sure. So do not trust. Instead of impulsively making a move from your side. is that a psychiatrist’s evaluation?). would turn the sweet free flow of flirt into an embarrassed stain. have been wondering and wondering how you and I might truly meet. Already perfect. (Trungpa. betrays. I read The Myth of Freedom autobiographically. sanding down the dance floor so that our dear feet wouldn’t get scuffed as we fox-trot up and back the hall. 92 This is unrelationship. a heap smart. . all delight and horror on the spot: nothing implies nothing. there is still ordinary life and ordinary desire. 88-89) So I fell for Kathleen. seduces. pretty much that’s what happens. or never. exceptionally sensual.READERS’ COMMENTARY A Love Letter Kidder Smith Bowdoin College Suppose you see right through someone and that person does not want you to see right through and becomes horrified and runs away…. If you trust you are in Others’ hands. so anybody’s promising would wreck the scene. someone’s blood suddenly all sticky between your fingers. owned only in the sense that her smile seemed once to belong to her. no floor at all. It is like the single yak That defeats the wolves. The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. Short: no time for “pure” or “need” or “fear” before it all moves off away. Yet after all. . But maybe it wouldn’t be that much fun. She’s even a tantric. sweetheart. Remaining in solitude You can never be defeated. Dear Kat. fabricates. So she hides. only nothing happened. and do tell me your name again. she’s a beauty queen. repairing all my kinks and crevices. an earnest young man. Elusive. It was flirt. gone enough. And who will flirt with me? Maybe only Kat. and slam your breakfast clear against the wall? Much love. Flirt is just joydreadful. it’s as if you give it all away every second. the ball as it hits the gut strings. When you want something very badly. Volume 24 . Kidder Sounds like an ideal solution. . who will stay with us all the way through? Elsewhere he writes: Do not trust. The above comes from a great loneliness. here enough? Who else could drop dyadic partnership (ugh. does anything ever land? And how. let’s hope I’m a good dancer. And in that absence she is as present as ever. No means to measure sweet or slimy. to engage her? So I wrote this love letter. and it tries to be all so exalted. as Trungpa’s own love story. I. change minds forty times by tiffin. So I wrote some codas. that of the romantic.

In the goddess that she is. 1998. The goddess is his first manifestation. Kathleen. all at once.edu Reader’s Commentry 93 . always is: the sex of the ocean with the ocean. such romantic longing. so sharpened. he’s blushing. he is utter stillness. and so is Kidder’s tender joy. and in the love that she is. has no necessity of further opening. When she is silent. And in the end Kathleen didn’t want to play. Kat flutters there in her constant pure aversion. no. is her intense refinement into pure love. But Kidder is also dakini. (1998).For trust is surrendering oneself. holding Kathleen’s warm hand. Boston: Shambhala Publications. where is up or down? What wind. May I have this dance. with your well-sharpened. playflirt. his clear radiance and gentle voice. Timely rain—Selected poetry of Chogyam Trungpa. such a flirt! What does Kathleen want? To be the single yakini. but if you spill the materials. If the goddess is love. For Kali is ultimate love. with full breasts and hips. When she has urgent play. * * * Perhaps a bit demanding. no. trust your hairs. almost ancient tools. look out for the tiny razors. his speech splashes like light warm June drops of rain. moving outward toward the human realm. 13-14). the large truck of almost-flying concoctions. The myth of freedom and the way of meditation. churning. he shows up in all places. So here is the second coda. What does Kidder want? Ah. pp. he’s twenty-two. don’t use your skin. there it will splash for so long she will BATHE in it. swirl and swirl and swirl. so fine. and surely beyond telling. But what if Kali’s cutting isn’t the only play? What if Kat and I were both the goddess. Yes. reuniting from within. Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to the author at kidder@bowdoin. It is still so serious. swaying. that’s all. Boston: Shambhala Publications. (Trungpa. If the goddess is all places at once. the goddess. Jesus. deep trust. dakini comes up behind and tweaks her boo. yes. If the goddess glows her fullness. yes. to trust. all the faces of love. and maybe in a human partner. calling. T. I hold you. in and out of key. The flirtdreadjoy is a place of shaking invisible sheets. never trust. whose water. C. turning her head to giggle when you are there admiring her loud HARKING neck. You don’t see the giggle. I cannot say. such an invitation. earth. it is more compelling to her insides. * * * There is one more coda. Kathleen writes: Is there anyone who will ensure that your corpse will be taken off the hook on the wall behind Ereshkigal’s throne. genderless. Ah. in my love. (1976). It is a very deep passion. kindness. break open the huge churning barrel of the truck. drop your arm. Kat? Ever in the big truth. Never. a sky-goer. Trungpa. And when they sex. invocation of trust. That’s a progression. I must ask her at some point. * * * A friend of mine read this letter. nor can there be a resolution in this. * * * The Last Word There is no last word. fed the food and water of rebirth. he dances her love songs. and brought to the surface again? Yes. let that sway of your hairs dissolve into her body. C. that of the goddess and dakini. When the goddess is seductive. transshaping. dissolving at touch. References Trungpa. your tools. And. he is the emptiness aspect of her forms. who is who is who? Which rain falls. he emails me: It is so fine. he dwells in the secret interstices of her womb. side by side. giving and receiving. She can run from the truck’s interior designs. yes. the sea that never breaks. maybe. that of Jesus. is primal That. holding all warm forms. where bliss is pain is bliss. And the goddess can make love with the goddess. I will come for you over and over and over until your immortal soul no longer needs me. He wants it all: unrelationship’s brutal beauty. * * * So Jesus wins this hand. That’s the point. in her red turtleneck and jeans. Trungpa. whispers Jesus. sisterhood. Jesus emerges from her. hard for humans to hear. Drop the tools more. yes. If the goddess is form. bringing life as well as death.

she organized the fourth European Transpersonal Conference in Warsaw in 1997. He also founded the Transpersonal Institute in 1994 and the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in 1997. 2005. the ontology and epistemology of shamanic journeying imagery. in East-West psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. human embodiment. Ph. He was one of the first Soviet teachers of transpersonal psychology and. Dennis Patrick Slattery (United States) is Core Faculty in the Mythological Studies and Depth Psychology Programs at Pacifica Graduate Institute. reviews and popular culture essays for newspapers and magazines. Burton Daniels (United States) has been a counselor since 1987. She is president of the Polish Transpersonal Forum and. and the University of Algarve Faculty of Medicine. and serves as president of the Russian Association for Transpersonal Psychology and Psychotherapy. has developed and taught more than 20 training programs in transpersonal therapy.S. literature. and poetry. clinician and teacher. He is completing a Ph.D. Avatar Adi Da Samraj. and is currently working as a family therapist. through which he has edited approximately 50 books. and philosophical problems associated with psychology. He has had a wide range of training from psychodynamic to transpersonal psychotherapy. (Russia) is a leader of transpersonal studies in Russia. Volume 24 . He is the author of eight books and has taught at the University of Lisbon. His research interests include altered states of consciousness. He received a master’s degrees in psychology from Sonoma State University and Argosy University. French. In addition to authoring several books. Vladimir Maykov. Adam Rock (Australia) received a Ph. as former vice-president of the European Transpersonal Association. He has a particular interest in developing critical methodologies for the felt sense. in Gestalt Therapy and Bioenergetics. Vitor Rodrigues (Portugal) has a private psychology/ psychotherapy practice and is president of both the European Transpersonal Association and the Portuguese-Brazilian Transpersonal Association.D. He has taught for 37 years. He regularly lectures and conducts workshops and journalistic interviews on transpersonal subjects. as well as author or editor of eight books on psychology. is author of over 225 articles. His most recent books are: Grace in the Desert: Awakening to the Gifts of Monastic Life (2004) and Just Below the Water Line: Selected Poems (2004). He has been a practitioner of Adidam since 1983 and currently lives in the ashram of his spiritual master. in psychology from Charles Sturt University in 2005. Tanna Jakubowicz-Mount (Poland) is a psychotherapist specializing in transpersonal therapy. Glenn Hartelius (United States) is a mind/body theorist. She holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Warsaw University and completed postgraduate studies in the U. he founded an international project to publish transpersonal psychology texts in Russian. He has 234 published works in English. 94 The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. the Nursing School of Evora. since 1990.ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS Mark Burno (Russia) holds a Doctor of Medical Science degree and is professor in the Department of Psychotherapy of the Russian Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education in Moscow and president of the Professional Psychotherapeutic League (national umbrella organization of the psychotherapists of Russia).D. Russian and other Slavic languages.

the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research. Research in Complementary Medicine/Forschende Komplementärmedizin.D. focusing on leadership and organizational/group dynamics. 22. Steve Taylor (United Kingdom) Steve Taylor teaches at the University of Manchester and Salford College. He has also taught at various schools and companies for nearly a decade. In addition.Kidder Smith (United States) is Professor of History and Asian Studies at Bowdoin College where he teaches courses on East Asian cultures and religions. He is currently Chair for The Centre of Transpersonal Psychology and Clinical Director for the CORE Trust. he has held the office of Chair of the Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic section. This may be the last paper he writes for some time. he trained in Holotropic Breathwork with Stanislav Grof and Tav Sparks and is the author of an article on this experience. He is also the director of the Section for the Evaluation of Complementary Medicine at Freiburg University Hospital. It was a Book of the Year in the Independent (UK) newspaper. he has led process groups with addicts. and director of the European office of the Samueli Institute. with a foreword by Stanley Krippner. and has a private practice in central London. Germany. He has presented and published research papers for the UK Market Research Society. He is the author of a study of time perception. He holds a Ph. His essays and articles have appeared in a variety of publications. and is on the editorial board of a number of journals in the area of complementary medicine. acupuncture and spiritual healing). More recently. editor of the journal. and a new baby boy. Recently his research interests have covered mindfulness meditation and spirituality. He holds positions as a board member for both the European Transpersonal Association and The College of Psychoanalysts. (United States) is a long-time Zen student in the tradition of the Diamond Sangha and now practices at Ring of Bone Zendo. Out of Time (Paupers' Press. as well as devised and directed performances. and the British Journal of Social Psychology.A. California. His essay Primal Spirituality and the Onto/Phylo Fallacy appeared in IJTS vol. where he has conducted work in the evaluation and conceptual foundations of complementary medicine (mainly homeopathy. the Journal of DH Lawrence Studies and New Renaissance. 6000 Years of Insanity and the Dawning of a New Era. published in Radical Spirit: Spiritual Writings from the Voices of Tomorrow. He lives and teaches in Oakland. England. He is cofounder and vice president of the German Association of Transpersonal Psychology. in clinical psychology and a Ph. Jason Wright (United Kingdom) is a transpersonal and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. His book. The Fall: the Evidence for a Golden Age.D. Harald Walach (Germany/United Kingdom) is a research professor in psychology with the University of Northampton. He trained as an actor at the Victorian College of the Arts and has appeared in leading roles at various theatres. Robert Tindall. He has also worked extensively on the medieval genres of the chivalric quest and has investigated Amazonian medicines in Peru. where he is researching numinous and essential experience in actor training and performance. He has worked in management roles over the last 20 years in the arts and qualitative marketing. UK). in theory and history of science. As a UK Council for Psychotherapy registered psychotherapist. M. He is married with a 2 year old son. About the Contributors 95 .D. was recently published by O books. Ashley Wain (Australia) is a Ph. and has been called "an astonishing work" (Colin Wilson) and "one of the most notable works of the first years of our century which I am convinced will become one of the most important books of the whole century" (Elias Capriles). candidate in social ecology at the School of Contemporary Arts at the University of Western Sydney. Rupert Tower (United Kingdom) is a UK Council for Psychotherapy Registered Transpersonal Psychotherapist working in private practice and Director of the Centre for Transpersonal Psychology based in London. including The Journal of Consciousness Studies.

USA Søren Brier. Australia Wlodzislaw Duch. Norway Daniel Holland. K.D. Kiran Kumar. USA Don Diespecker.D. Great Britain Joachim Galuska. USA David Fontana. Associate Professor University of Detroit Mercy BOARD OF EDITORS Manuel Almendro. USA Bruno Just. Professor Emeritus Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center Douglas A. Canada Olga Louchakova. Denmark Mario Simões. 2005. USA S.BOARD OF EDITORS Harris Friedman. Ph. Ph. Germany Laura Boggio Gilot. USA 96 The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. Australia Sean Kelly. Israel Jacek Brewczynski. Poland James Fadiman. India Charles Laughlin. USA Axel Randrup. Venezuela Michael Daniels. Italy Loyd Henriksen. Canada/USA Jeffrey Kuentzel. Volume 24 . Canada John Welwood. Denmark Elias Capriles. Portugal Charles Tart. USA Rosanna Vitale. Great Britain John Davis. Spain Liora Birnbaum. MacDonald.

g. spirituality. research. and postmodern perspectives on transpersonal studies. conceptions of consciousness. Emphasis is given to reader comments that are scholarly in nature and which clarify and/or extend concepts and/or ideas discussed in published articles. Ideally. psychology. systems of knowing.. applications of transpersonal theory and/or practice (e. biology. methodological. ecology. contributions of specific disciplines to transpersonal studies (e. professional conferences). The IJTS publishes original theoretical. issues important to the development of transpersonal studies (e. related to global sustainability. 97 . and human potential. health care. Though there is no restriction on who may publish in the IJTS. Reader Comments: A third section of the journal is dedicated primarily to reader reactions. and special events (e. practice. and practice/application will find representation in each edition of the journal. medicine.g. history of transpersonal studies. research..g. and comments to articles published in IJTS.. methodological. expanded self/identity. transpersonal studies in designated geographically or politically bounded areas such as in Europe or China). and practices while embracing theoretical. However. responses. that is. and artistic articles which focus upon topics falling within the domain of transpersonal studies.. empirical (both qualitative and quantitative). Articles published in this section embody eclectic topics of study and/or approaches to inquiry and expression.g. and discourse in the area of transpersonal studies. and cross-disciplinary pluralism. practice-oriented. also included are reviews of notable recently published books. Each edition of the IJTS consists of three sections: General: The General section is dedicated to original articles of high quality which are judged to be of potential interest to a wide audience of readers. The Journal is committed to maintaining a focus on transpersonal experience. art. Special Topics: The second section contains several articles dedicated to a specific theme or topic germane to transpersonal studies. organizational systems. ecstatic experience. entheogenic/psychedelic research. Transpersonal studies may be generally described as a multidisciplinary movement concerned with the exploration of higher consciousness. analytic. transpersonal approaches in anthropology. IJTS is committed to ensure that the fullest possible range of approaches to inquiry and expression are represented in the articles published. articles from other journals.EDITORIAL POLICY AND MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION GUIDELINES The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies (IJTS) is dedicated to theory. emphasis is given to the publication of articles from a spectrum of international contributors. and music). concepts. a diversity of articles on theory. Examples of potential themes/topics include the following: Qualitative and quantitative methodologies in transpersonal studies. and psychotherapy). sociology.

most preferably. Contributing authors are responsible for obtaining written permission. etc. Manuscripts deemed unsuitable are returned to the corresponding author without undergoing the peer-review process. add US$15.00 per volume. an abstract and biography are not required. CA 94111 Destinations in the USA are sent via media mail.50 per IJTS packet. Manuscripts submitted for the Reader Comments section may or may not receive peer review.00 per IJTS packet. If submitting on disk. include an abstract (up to 120 words) and a biographical statement for each author (up to 175 words). 20. through electronic means. add US$3. Editor. the author will be asked to send a hard copy of the final draft accompanied by a matching disk or. article from another source. When submitting manuscripts for the General or Special Topics sections. For hardcopy submissions.). or US$7.. notes. file name. MacDonald. and format (e. Please send manu- scripts as an IBM PC-compatible attachment in Word or Wordperfect format. Editors review all manuscripts at time of submission to assess their general suitability for publication in the IJTS. 18. references. Michigan. 3rd Floor San Francisco. The disk should be clearly labeled with authors’ names. Wordperfect). For manuscripts submitted to the Reader Comments section.Manuscript Submission All manuscripts should be written in English and prepared in accordance with the guidelines of the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 21. Volume 24 . Manuscripts submitted to IJTS must be original and neither previously published nor under consideration for publication elsewhere.edu. page proofs and a copyright transfer agreement will be sent to the first author and must be returned within one week. references. etc.00 per packet).5" floppy disk containing a copy of the manuscript to the address below. Thereafter. or Send Order Request to: Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center 747 Front Street. Non-USA destinations are sent via surface mail. All statements are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or staff of IJTS. (Canada and Mexico add US$4. send an IBM PC formatted CD rom or 3. and 19 To Order: www. to reprint copywritten material. Manuscripts may initially be submitted in hard copy.000 words (including text.00 per volume or US$6. Ph. For airmail. Editor International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Department of Psychology University of Detroit Mercy 4001 West McNichols Road Detroit. Manuscripts submitted for the General or Special Topics sections which are deemed suitable for consideration for publication are subsequently peerreviewed. and 22 $30 17. or. 415. Electronic submissions should be emailed to Douglas A. or US$20. on disk. When a manuscript is accepted for publication. where appropriate.95 per volume. The Publisher and Editors are not responsible for the loss or damage of materials sent to them. or special event which is the basis of the manuscript.g.) and the cover letter should specify the IJTS article. 2005.1380.saybrook. title of submitted manuscript.000 words (including text.249. MacDonald. 19. 18. Word. Submission of a manuscript assumes commitment to publish it in the IJTS if it is accepted.edu. provide the final draft to the editors in the form of an e-submission. Manuscripts for the General and Special Topics sections should not exceed 10. Submissions for the Reader Comments section should not exceed 4. if possible. For Priority mail. Make checks or money orders payable to: Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center 98 The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. book. USA 48221 Back Issues The following back issues are available: IJTS Packet 1 Volumes:IJTS Packet 2 Volumes: $50 17. send four copies of manuscripts to the address below: Douglas A. at the following email address: macdonda@udmercy.D.

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