Jean Gebser on Integral Consciousness

The following gems are excerpts from Feuerstein’s “Structures of Consciousness,” an overview of Jean Gebser’s theories and life’s work. It’s a nice list comparing the “postmodern” or Western psyche’s transition from its state of “deficiency” to a new, more whole state of being. It’s definitely something to print out and place on your wall:

Haste is replaced by silence and the capacity for silence;

goal-oriented, purposive thought is replaced by unintentionalness;

the pursuit of of power is replaced by the genuine capacity for love;

quantitative idle motion is replaced by qualitative spiritual process;

manipulation is replaced by the patient acceptance of the providential powers;

mechanistic classification and organization is replaced by the “being-in-order;”

prejudice is replaced by the renunciation of value judgments, that is to say, the emotional short-circuit is replaced by unsentimental tolerance;

action is replaced by poise;

homo faber is replaced by homo integer

the divided human being is replaced by the whole human being;

the emptiness of the limited world is replaced by the open expanse of the open world.

Feuerstein follows up a few pages later with another list:

self-consciousness—mind transcending freedom
ego-fulfillment—ego transcendence
search for perfection—present happiness
self-opacity—self transparency
space fixity—space freedom
obsession with and fear of time—time freedom
past or future orientedness—presentiation
now-orientedness—living in the full continuum of time
boundness, maskedness—openness
rigidity, defensiveness—fluency, availability
intolerance/toleration—playful tolerance
control—letting be
alienation—participatory freedom
internalized responsibility—personal responsiveness
emotional dependence/independence—freedom of feeling
observer consciousness—participatory consciousness
forced action—responsive doing
purposive orientation—humorous participation
categorization—-name transcendence
abstraction, obsession with thinking—bodily presence
knowledge—understanding, wisdom
dogmatism—acknowledgement of the multivalency of life
fear of intimacy—freedom for intimacy
doubt—reverence for life
guilt—freedom from the superego
exploitative orientation—service
falling in or out of love—being love

How do current authors and writers on “consciousness” compare? Are they similar, dis-similar? I consider this list to be a guidepost along the meandering Way, especially with the sheer number of books, followings and organizations that all claim they are embodiments or expressions of some new consciousness. At any rate, hope you enjoy it!


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