June 25, 2010

Gebser, Origins and the Mutation of Consciousness

Awakening to Origin
by Jeremy Johnson

Not too many people are familiar with Gebser, including the integral folks who only receive his philosophy through Ken Wilber's plotted maps and points. I'd like to take a few minutes to share with you a few poetic insights Gebser was able to share through his life's work.

For anyone totally unfamiliar with him, Gebser was a prolific intellectual mystic. His writings give you a sense of urgency and awakening, as if every fiber of his being was compelled to put to paper something that only his soul had received by illumination.

I'm writing this blog not so much to make an intellectual case or argument for his ideas, but only to show you the theme he wished readers to consider. His life's work, Ever Present Origin, invites us into a new mode of perceiving the world. It takes the reader through hundreds of pieces of literature, artwork, and poetry throughout the ages, marking the transitions in thinking and relating to the world. We become immersed in a book about the evolution of consciousness, which can't easily be disconnected (if at all) from the evolution of culture.

Gebser was able to note that we have undergone at least 4 major mutations: archaic, magic, mythic, mental-rational. These categories, however, must be understood in context of their content. One cannot simply look at the list and understand it, they are best understood by reading the cultural artifacts themselves. Each of them pertain to how we relate to space and time.

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