September 13, 2008

Jean Gebser, Aurobindo and Human Consciousness

Evolution of Consciousness According to Jean Gebser

By Ulrich J. Mohrhoff

“Everything that happens to us, then, is only the answer and echo of what and how we ourselves are.” -- Jean Gebser
This article introduces and summarizes The Ever-Present Origin, the magnum opus of cultural historian and evolutionary philosopher Jean Gebser, largely in his own words. According to Gebser, human consciousness underwent a series of mutations each of which has enriched reality by a new (qualitative) dimension. At present humanity is again undergoing such a mutation: this time from the mental, perspectival structure of consciousness to the integral, aperspectival structure or, using the terminology of Sri Aurobindo, from mind to supermind. The integrality of this consciousness consists in part in its ability to integrate the preceding consciousness structures, rather than suppressing them (as the mental structure does) and hence being adversely affected by them. The article concludes with a brief account of the Mother’s personal experience of this mutation.

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