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Sex, Lcology, SplrlLuallLy

1be 5pltlt of volotloo

SLCCnu Lul1lCn, 8LvlSLu
ken Wllber
8ostoo & looJoo
PorLlculLural Pall
300 MassachuseLLs Avenue
8osLon, MassachuseLLs 02113
1993, 2000 by ken Wllber
Cover arL: Croup lx, serles uw 1he uove, nr 2" (Lnr 174) by Pllma af kllnL. CourLesy of Lhe Pllma af kllnL loundaLlon, SLockholm, Sweden
All rlghLs reserved. no parL of Lhls book may be reproduced ln any form or by any means, elecLronlc or mechanlcal, lncludlng phoLocopylng,
recordlng, or by any lnformaLlon sLorage and reLrleval sysLem, wlLhouL permlsslon ln wrlLlng from Lhe publlsher.
llbtoty of cooqtess cotoloqloq-lo-lobllcotloo uoto
Wllber, ken.
Sex, ecology, splrlLuallLy: Lhe splrlL of evoluLlon / ken Wllber.-2nd ed.
p. cm.
lncludes blbllographlcal references and lndex.
elS8n 978-0-8348-2108-8
lS8n 1-37062-744-4 (alk. paper)
1. Cosmology. 2. Consclousness. 3. LvoluLlon-hllosophy. 4. Whole and parLs (hllosophy) 3. Cod. l. 1lLle.
8u311.W34 2000
llst of llqotes
ltefoce to tbe 5ecooJ Jltloo, kevlseJ
8CCk CnL
1. 1he Web of Llfe
2. 1he aLLern 1haL ConnecLs
3. lndlvldual and Soclal
4. A vlew from WlLhln
3. 1he Lmergence of Puman naLure
6. Maglc, MyLhlc, and 8eyond
7. 1he larLher 8eaches of Puman naLure
8. 1he uepLhs of Lhe ulvlne
8CCk 1WC
9. 1he Way up ls Lhe Way uown
10. 1hls-Worldly, CLherworldly
11. 8rave new World
12. 1he Collapse of Lhe kosmos
13. 1he uomlnance of Lhe uescenders
14. 1he unpacklng of Cod
LlS1 Cl llCu8LS
3-1. 1yplcal Polarchy
3-2. opper's Polarchy
3-3. Cosmlc CoevoluLlon of Macro- and MlcrosLrucLures
3-4. 1he hlsLory of llfe on earLh expresses Lhe coevoluLlon of self-organlzlng macro- and mlcrosysLems
ln ever-hlgher degrees of dlfferenLlaLlon
3-3. 1he 8ealms of LvoluLlon
3-6. 1he 1rlune 8raln"
3-7. LmergenL CeopollLlcal SysLems Levels
4-1. 1he WlLhouL and Lhe WlLhln
4-2. Levels of LvoluLlon
4-3. 1he lour CuadranLs
3-1. Some ueLalls of Lhe lour CuadranLs
9.1. 1he CreaL Polarchy accordlng Lo loLlnus and Auroblndo
12.1. 1he CreaL nesL of 8elng
12.2. 1he CreaL nesL wlLh Lhe lour CuadranLs
12.3. 1he 8lg 1hree
12.4. CorrelaLlons of lnLerlor (Consclousness) SLaLes wlLh LxLerlor (MaLerlal) SLaLes
12.3. 1he Lgo and Lhe Lco before Lhe Collapse
12.6. llaLland
ltefoce to tbe 5ecooJ Jltloo, kevlseJ
1PL CLnLSlS Cl5\, cOlOC, 5llkl1uAll1
5\, cOlOC, 5llkl1uAll1 was Lhe flrsL LheoreLlcal book l had wrlLLen ln almosL Len years, followlng Lhe evenLs
descrlbed ln Ctoce ooJ Ctlt. 1he prevlous book, 1toosfotmotloos of cooscloosoess (wlLh !ack Lngler and uanlel .
8rown), was compleLed ln 1984, l wroLe Ctoce ooJ Ctlt ln 1991, and Lhen l seLLled down Lo flnally wrlLe a LexLbook
of psychology LhaL l had been plannlng on dolng for several years. l was calllng LhaL LexLbook 5ystem, 5elf, ooJ
5ttoctote, buL somehow lL never seemed Lo geL wrlLLen. ueLermlned Lo compleLe lL, l saL down and began
Lranscrlblng Lhe Lwo-volume work, whereupon l reallzed, wlLh a shock, LhaL four of Lhe words l used ln Lhe very flrsL
paragraph were no longer allowed ln academlc dlscourse (developmenL, hlerarchy, LranscendenLal, unlversal). 1hls,
needless Lo say, puL a conslderable cramp ln my aLLempL Lo wrlLe Lhls book, and poor 5ystem, 5elf, ooJ 5ttoctote
was, yeL agaln, shelved. (l recenLly broughL ouL an abrldged verslon of lL wlLh Lhe LlLle loteqtol lsycboloqy.)
WhaL had happened ln my Len-year wrlLlng hlaLus, and Lo whlch l had pald lnsufflclenL aLLenLlon, ls LhaL exLreme
posLmodernlsm had raLher compleLely lnvaded academla ln general and culLural sLudles ln parLlcular-even Lhe
alLernaLlve colleges and lnsLlLuLes were speaklng posLmodernese wlLh an auLhorlLarlan Lhunder. 1he pollLlcally
correcL were pollclng Lhe Lypes of serlous dlscourse LhaL could, and could noL, be uLLered ln academe. lurallsLlc
relaLlvlsm was Lhe only accepLable worldvlew. lL clalmed LhaL all LruLh ls culLurally slLuaLed (excepL lLs own LruLh,
whlch ls Lrue for all culLures), lL clalmed Lhere are no LranscendenLal LruLhs (excepL lLs own pronouncemenLs, whlch
Lranscend speclflc conLexLs), lL clalmed LhaL all hlerarchles or value ranklngs are oppresslve and marglnallzlng (excepL
lLs own value ranklng, whlch ls superlor Lo Lhe alLernaLlves), lL clalmed LhaL Lhere are no unlversal LruLhs (excepL lLs
own plurallsm, whlch ls unlversally Lrue for all peoples).
1he downsldes of exLreme posLmodernlsm and plurallsLlc relaLlvlsm are now well known and wldely
acknowledged, buL aL Lhe Llme l was Lrylng Lo wrlLe 5ystem, 5elf, ooJ 5ttoctote, Lhey were LhoughL Lo be gospel and
were as rellglously embraced, maklng any sorL of developmenLal and LranscendenLal sLudles anaLhema. l Lherefore
seL 5ystem, 5elf, ooJ 5ttoctote aslde and began Lo ponder Lhe besL way Lo proceed, feellng raLher llke a salmon who
had flrsL Lo swlm upsLream ln order Lo have any fun aL all.
8uL l have been dwelllng merely on Lhe downsldes of posLmodernlsm and plurallsLlc relaLlvlsm. 1helr poslLlve
beneflLs are equally numerous and far-reachlng, and deserve a hearlng as well. As l have Lrled Lo suggesL ln several
places (e.g., 1be Mottloqe of 5eose ooJ 5ool, loteqtol lsycboloqy, and A 1beoty of vetytbloq), plurallsLlc relaLlvlsm
ls acLually a very hlgh developmenLal achlevemenL, sLemmlng from Lhe posLformal levels of consclousness, whlch
dlsclose a serles of very lmporLanL LruLhs. (osLformal" means Lhe cognlLlve sLages lylng lmmedlaLely beyond llnear
raLlonallLy or formal operaLlonal Lhlnklng. 1hus, cognlLlve developmenL proceeds from sensorlmoLor Lo
preoperaLlonal Lo concreLe operaLlonal Lo formal operaLlonal Lo posLformal cognlLlon, Lo posslbly hlgher modes [see
below]. l also refer Lo posLformal cognlLlon as oetwotk-loqlc or vlsloo-loqlc-Cebser called lL
loteqtol-opetspectlvol-and lL ls vlslon-loglc LhaL drlves Lhe besL of posLmodernlsm.)
As l suggesLed ln Lhose publlcaLlons, Lhe LruLhs of posLmodernlsm lnclude consLrucLlvlsm (Lhe world ls noL [usL a
percepLlon buL an lnLerpreLaLlon), conLexLuallsm (all LruLhs are conLexL-dependenL, and conLexLs are boundless), and
lnLegral-aperspecLlvlsm (no conLexL ls flnally prlvlleged, so an lnLegral vlew should lnclude mulLlple perspecLlves,
plurallsm, mulLl-culLurallsm). All of Lhose lmporLanL LruLhs can be derlved from Lhe beglnnlng sLages of posLformal
vlslon-loglc, and posLmodernlsm aL lLs besL ls an elucldaLlon of Lhelr profound lmporLance.
ln parLlcular, Lhe prevlous sLages of concreLe operaLlonal (whlch supporLs a worldvlew called myLhlc-
membershlp") and formal operaLlonal (whlch supporLs a worldvlew called unlversal formallsm") have lnherenL
llmlLaLlons and weaknesses ln Lhem, and Lhese llmlLaLlons, when pressed lnLo soclal acLlon, produce varlous Lypes of
rlgld soclal hlerarchles, mechanlsLlc worldvlews LhaL lgnore local color, and unlversallsLlc pronouncemenLs abouL
human belngs LhaL vlolaLe Lhe rlch dlfferences beLween culLures, peoples, and places. 8uL once consclousness
evolves from formal Lo posLformal-and Lhus evolves from unlversal formallsm Lo plurallsLlc relaLlvlsm-Lhese
mulLlple conLexLs and plurallsLlc LapesLrles come [umplng Lo Lhe fore, and posLmodernlsm has spenL much of Lhe lasL
Lwo decades aLLempLlng Lo Jecoosttoct Lhe rlgld hlerarchles, formallsms, and oppresslve schemes LhaL are lnherenL
ln Lhe preformal-Lo-formal sLages of consclousness evoluLlon.
8uL plurallsLlc relaLlvlsm ls noL lLself Lhe hlghesL wave of developmenL, as numerous sLudles have conslsLenLly
shown (see loteqtol lsycboloqy). When vlslon-loglc maLures lnLo lLs mlddle and laLe phases, plurallsLlc relaLlvlsm
lncreaslngly glves way Lo more hollsLlc modes of awareness, whlch begln Lo weave Lhe plurallsLlc volces LogeLher lnLo
beauLlful LapesLrles of lnLegral lnLenL. lurallsLlc relaLlvlsm glves way Lo oolvetsol loteqtollsm. Where plurallsm frees
Lhe many dlfferenL volces and mulLlple conLexLs, unlversal lnLegrallsm beglns Lo brlng Lhem LogeLher lnLo a
harmonlzed chorus. (unlversal lnLegrallsm Lhus sLands on Lhe brlnk of even hlgher developmenLs, whlch dlrecLly
dlsclose Lhe Lranspersonal and splrlLual realms-developmenLs whereln Lhe posLformal menLal glves way Lo Lhe
posLmenLal or supramenLal alLogeLher.)
8uL Lhls leaves plurallsLlc relaLlvlsm ln a dlfflculL poslLlon. Pavlng herolcally developed beyond a rlgld unlversal
formallsm, lL became susplclous of any unlversals aL all, and Lhus lL Lended Lo flghL Lhe emergence of unlversal
lnLegrallsm wlLh Lhe same feroclLy LhaL lL deconsLrucLed all prevlous sysLems. lL Lurned lLs crlLlcal guns noL [usL on
pre-plurallsLlc sLages (whlch was approprlaLe), buL also on posL-plurallsLlc sLages (whlch was dlsasLrous).
ueconsLrucLlve posLmodernlsm Lhus began Lo acLlvely flghL any hlgher sLages of growLh, ofLen Lurnlng academla lnLo
a charnel ground of deconsLrucLlve fury. LlLLle new was creaLed, pasL glorles were slmply Lorn down. LlLLle novel was
consLrucLed, prevlous consLrucLlons were merely deconsLrucLed. lew new bulldlngs were erecLed, old ones were
slmply blown up. osLmodernlsm ofLen degeneraLed lnLo Lhe nlhlllsm and narclsslsm for whlch lL ls now so well
known, and Lhe vacanL, haunLed, hollow eyes of professlonal academla, peerlng Lhrough Lhe smoklng rulns, Lold Lhe
Lale mosL sadly.
Cne Lhlng was very clear Lo me as l sLruggled wlLh how besL Lo proceed ln an lnLellecLual cllmaLe dedlcaLed Lo
deconsLrucLlng anyLhlng LhaL crossed lLs paLh: l would have Lo back up and sLarL aL Lhe beglnnlng, and Lry Lo creaLe a
vocabulary for a more consLrucLlve phllosophy. 8eyond plurallsLlc relaLlvlsm ls unlversal lnLegrallsm, l Lherefore
soughL Lo ouLllne a phllosophy of unlversal lnLegrallsm.
uL dlfferenLly, l soughL a world phllosophy. l soughL an loteqtol phllosophy, one LhaL would bellevably weave
LogeLher Lhe many plurallsLlc conLexLs of sclence, morals, aesLheLlcs, LasLern as well as WesLern phllosophy, and Lhe
world's greaL wlsdom LradlLlons. noL on Lhe level of deLalls-LhaL ls flnlLely lmposslble, buL on Lhe level of orlenLlng
generallzaLlons: a way Lo suggesL LhaL Lhe world really ls one, undlvlded, whole, and relaLed Lo lLself ln every way: a
hollsLlc phllosophy for a hollsLlc kosmos: a world phllosophy, an lnLegral phllosophy.
1hree years laLer, 5ex, coloqy, 5pltltoollty was Lhe resulL. uurlng LhaL perlod l llved Lhe hermlL's llfe, l saw exacLly
four people ln Lhree years (8oger Walsh, who ls an M.u., sLopped by once a year Lo make sure l was allve), lL was
very much a Lyplcal Lhree-year sllenL reLreaL (Lhls perlod ls descrlbed ln Ooe 1oste, !une 12 enLry). l was locked lnLo
Lhls Lhlng, and lL would noL leL go.
1he hard parL had Lo do wlLh bletotcbles. CranLed, rlgld soclal hlerarchles are deplorable and oppresslve soclal
ranklngs are pernlclous. osLmodernlsm has forLunaLely made us all more senslLlve Lo Lhose ln[usLlces. 8uL even Lhe
anLlhlerarchy crlLlcs have Lhelr own sLrong hlerarchles (or value ranklngs). 1he posLmodernlsLs value plurallsm over
absoluLlsm-and LhaL ls Lhelr value hlerarchy. Lven Lhe ecophllosophers, who abhor hlerarchles LhaL place humans
on Lhe Lop of Lhe evoluLlonary scale, have Lhelr own very sLrong hlerarchy, whlch ls: subaLomlc elemenLs are parLs of
aLoms, whlch are parLs of molecules, whlch are parLs of cells, whlch are parLs of organlsms, whlch are parLs of
ecosysLems, whlch are parLs of Lhe blosphere. 1hey Lhus value Lhe blosphere above parLlcular organlsms, such as Lhe
human belng, and Lhey deplore our uslng Lhe blosphere for our own selflsh and rulnous purposes. All of LhaL comes
from Lhelr parLlcular value hlerarchy.
lemlnlsLs have several hlerarchles (e.g., parLnershlp socleLles are beLLer Lhan power socleLles, llnklng ls beLLer
Lhan ranklng, llberaLlon ls beLLer Lhan oppresslon), sysLems LheorlsLs have hundreds of hlerarchles (all naLural
sysLems are arranged hlerarchlcally), blologlsLs and llngulsLs and developmenLal psychologlsLs all have hlerarchles.
vetyboJy seemed Lo have some sorL of hlerarchy, even Lhose who clalmed Lhey dldn'L. 1he problem ls, none of
Lhem maLched wlLh Lhe oLhers. none of Lhe hlerarchles seemed Lo agree wlLh each oLher. And LhaL was Lhe baslc
problem LhaL kepL me locked ln my room for Lhree years.
AL one polnL, l had over Lwo hundred hlerarchles wrlLLen ouL on legal pads lylng all over Lhe floor, Lrylng Lo flgure
ouL how Lo flL Lhem LogeLher. 1here were Lhe naLural sclence" hlerarchles, whlch were Lhe easy ones, slnce
everybody agreed wlLh Lhem: aLoms Lo molecules Lo cells Lo organlsms, for example. 1hey were easy Lo undersLand
because Lhey were so graphlc: organlsms acLually conLaln cells, whlch acLually conLaln molecules, whlch acLually
conLaln aLoms. ?ou can even see Lhls dlrecLly wlLh a mlcroscope. 1haL hlerarchy ls one of acLual embrace: cells
llLerally embrace or enfold molecules.
1he oLher falrly easy serles of hlerarchles were Lhose dlscovered by Lhe developmenLal psychologlsLs. 1hey all Lold
varlaLlons on Lhe cognlLlve hlerarchy LhaL goes from sensaLlon Lo percepLlon Lo lmpulse Lo lmage Lo symbol Lo
concepL Lo rule. 1he names varled, and Lhe schemes were sllghLly dlfferenL, buL Lhe hlerarchlcal sLory was Lhe
same-each succeedlng sLage lncorporaLed lLs predecessors and Lhen added some new capaclLy. 1hls seemed very
slmllar Lo Lhe naLural sclence hlerarchles, excepL Lhey sLlll dld noL maLch up ln any obvlous way. Moreover, you can
acLually see organlsms and cells ln Lhe emplrlcal world, buL you can'L see lnLerlor sLaLes of consclousness ln Lhe same
way. lL ls noL aL all obvlous how Lhese hlerarchles would-or even could-be relaLed.
And Lhose were Lhe easy ones. 1here were llngulsLlc hlerarchles, conLexLual hlerarchles, splrlLual hlerarchles.
1here were sLages of developmenL ln phoneLlcs, sLellar sysLems, culLural worldvlews, auLopoleLlc sysLems,
Lechnologlcal modes, economlc sLrucLures, phylogeneLlc unfoldlngs, superconsclous reallzaLlons. . . . And Lhey slmply
refused Lo agree wlLh each oLher.
C. Spencer 8rown, ln hls remarkable book lows of lotm, sald LhaL new knowledge comes when you slmply bear
ln mlnd whaL you need Lo know. keep holdlng Lhe problem ln mlnd, and lL wlll yleld. 1he hlsLory of human belngs ls
cerLalnly LesLamenL Lo LhaL facL. An lndlvldual runs lnLo a problem and slmply obsesses abouL LhaL problem unLll he
or she solves lL. And Lhe funny Lhlng ls: Lhe problem ls olwoys solved. Sooner or laLer, lL ylelds. lL mlghL Lake a week,
a monLh, a year, a decade, a cenLury, or a mlllennlum, buL Lhe kosmos ls such LhaL soluLlons are always forLhcomlng.
lor a mllllon years, people looked aL Lhe moon and wanLed Lo walk on lL. . . .
l belleve any compeLenL person ls capable of bearlng problems ln mlnd unLll Lhey yleld Lhelr secreLs, whaL noL
everybody possesses ls Lhe requlslLe wlll, passlon, or lnsane obsesslon LhaL wlll leL Lhem hold Lhe problem long
enough or flercely enough. l, aL any raLe, was lnsane enough for Lhls parLlcular problem, and Loward Lhe end of LhaL
Lhree-year perlod, Lhe whole Lhlng sLarLed Lo become clear Lo me. lL soon became obvlous LhaL Lhe varlous
hlerarchles fall lnLo four ma[or classes (whaL l would evenLually call Lhe four quadranLs), LhaL some of Lhe hlerarchles
are referrlng Lo lndlvlduals, some Lo collecLlves, some are abouL exLerlor reallLles, some are abouL lnLerlor ones, buL
Lhey all flL LogeLher seamlessly, Lhe lngredlenLs of Lhese hlerarchles are boloos, wholes LhaL are parLs of oLher
wholes (e.g., a whole aLom ls parL of a whole molecule, whlch ls parL of a whole cell, whlch ls parL of a whole
organlsm, and so on), and Lherefore Lhe correcL word for hlerarchy ls acLually bolotcby. 1he kosmos ls a serles of
nesLs wlLhln nesLs wlLhln nesLs lndeflnlLely, expresslng greaLer and greaLer hollsLlc embrace-holarchles of holons
everywhere!-whlch ls why evetyboJy had Lhelr own value holarchy, and why, ln Lhe end, all of Lhese holarchles
lnLermesh and flL perfecLly wlLh all Lhe oLhers.
1he unlverse ls composed of holons, all Lhe way up, all Lhe way down. And wlLh LhaL, much of 5ex, coloqy,
5pltltoollty began Lo wrlLe lLself. 1he book ls dlvlded lnLo Lwo parLs (Lhree acLually, counLlng Lhe endnoLes, a
separaLe book ln Lhemselves). arL one descrlbes Lhls holonlc kosmos-nesLs wlLhln nesLs wlLhln nesLs
lndeflnlLely-and Lhe worldvlew of unlversal lnLegrallsm LhaL can mosL auLhenLlcally express lL. 1hls parL of Lhe book
covers a greaL deal of ground, and one of my regreLs ls LhaL l could noL lnclude Lhe volumlnous research maLerlal and
explanaLlons LhaL would flesh ouL Lhe deLalls wlLh much more persuaslon. As Lhose who have seen some of Lhe
research noLes wlll aLLesL, many of Lhe paragraphs ln 5ex, coloqy ooJ 5pltltoollty (SLS) are summarles of shorL
books. (Cne revlewer acLually spoLLed Lhls, and began Lhe revlew, no summary of Lhls book ls posslble. 1he book, all
324 pages of LexL and 239 pages of noLes, ls a summary, whlch should reveal Lhe depLh and breadLh of lLs scope."
CLher revlewers found Lhls very lrrlLaLlng, buL l really had no cholce. l hope Lo be able Lo geL Lhese research noLes
lnLo prlnL aL some polnL, noL so much Lo show Lhe maLerlal lLself as Lo make lL avallable for crlLlclsm and scruLlny. 8uL
LhaL revlewer ls rlghL: SLS ls a summary.)
lf Lhe flrsL parL of Lhe book aLLempLs Lo ouLllne a unlversal lnLegrallsm-a vlew of Lhe holonlc kosmos from
subconsclous Lo self-consclous Lo superconsclous-Lhe second parL of Lhe book aLLempLs Lo explaln why Lhls hollsLlc
kosmos ls so ofLen lgnored or denled. lf Lhe unlverse really ls a paLLern of muLually lnLerrelaLed paLLerns and
processes-holarchles of holons-why do so few dlsclpllnes acknowledge Lhls facL (aparL from Lhelr own narrow
speclalLles)? lf Lhe kosmos ls oot hollsLlc, noL lnLegral, noL holonlc-lf lL ls a fragmenLed and [umbled affalr, wlLh no
common conLexLs or llnklngs or [olnlngs or communlons-Lhen flne, Lhe world ls Lhe [umbled mess Lhe varlous
speclalLles Lake lL Lo be. 8uL lf Lhe world ls hollsLlc and holonlc, Lhen why do noL more people see Lhls? And why do
many academlc speclalLles acLlvely deny lL? lf Lhe world ls whole, why do so many people see lL as broken? And why,
ln a sense, ls Lhe world broken, fragmenLed, allenaLed, dlvlded?
1he second parL of Lhe book Lherefore looks aL LhaL whlch prevenLs us from seelng Lhe hollsLlc kosmos. lL looks aL
whaL l call flotlooJ.
(AL one polnL l had named parL one and parL Lwo, before decldlng noL Lo narrow Lhelr conLenL wlLh a name, buL
parL one was SplrlL-ln-AcLlon," and parL Lwo was llaLland." arL Lwo, ln any evenL, aLLempLs Lo explaln why parL
one lsn'L more ofLen seen and undersLood.)
When l wenL over Lhls book for lLs lncluslon ln Lhe collecteJ wotks, l declded Lo do a second, revlsed edlLlon
(whlch ls also Lhe book you now hold ln your hands), mosLly because l wanLed Lo clarlfy a few secLlons ln llghL of Lhe
consLrucLlve crlLlclsm of Lhe flrsL edlLlon. ln parLlcular, l wanLed Lo explaln more clearly Lhe hlsLorlcal rlse of sclenLlflc
maLerlallsm (a verslon of flaLland), and Lhus l added several new secLlons ln several chapLers (especlally 12 and 13),
along wlLh slx new dlagrams, whlch l belleve help Lhe narraLlve conslderably. l have also carefully gone over Lhe
endnoLes, lncludlng new maLerlal where approprlaLe.
Speaklng of Lhe endnoLes, Lhey really were wrlLLen as a book ln Lhemselves. Many of Lhe mosL lmporLanL ldeas ln
SLS are menLloned and developed only ln Lhe noLes (such as Lhe 8aslc Moral lnLulLlon), as ls much of Lhe dlalogue
wlLh oLher scholars (Peldegger, loucaulL, uerrlda, Pabermas, armenldes, llchLe, Pegel, WhlLehead, Pusserl) and
wlLh alLernaLlve presenL-day LheorlsLs (Crof, 1arnas, 8erman, SpreLnak, 8oszak). 1he noLes also conLaln a handful of
polemlcal bursLs, whlch l wlll explaln ln a momenL. All of Lhese have been reLouched for Lhe second edlLlon.
Cnce Lhe book was concelved, Lhe acLual wrlLlng wenL falrly qulckly. lL was publlshed ln 1993 and, l'm Lold, was
Lhe largesL-selllng academlc Lome ln any caLegory for LhaL year, aL one polnL golng lnLo Lhree prlnLlngs ln four
monLhs alone. 1he reacLlons Lo lL were exLreme, from lncredlbly poslLlve sLaLemenLs Lo lnfurlaLed ranLs. 8uL Lhe
speclflc crlLlclsms were sLralghLforward, and Lhey deserve a respecLful hearlng.
1PL MA!C8 C8l1lClSMS Cl5\, cOlOC, 5llkl1uAll1
Some crlLlcs of Lhe book clalmed LhaL lL Loo rlgldly caLegorlzed varlous approaches and Lhus marglnallzed lmporLanL
dlfferences. 1hey Lherefore charged Lhe book wlLh varlous lsms" of one sorL or anoLher (sexlsm, anLhropocenLrlsm,
specleslsm, logocenLrlsm, and lnvldlous monlsm). 1hose defendlng Lhe book clalmed LhaL mosL of Lhose crlLlclsms
came from lndlvlduals whose worldvlews were shown Lo be narrow and parLlal by comparlson, and Lhey were
reacLlng ln a negaLlve fashlon for LhaL reason. 8oLh sldes refused Lo budge, generally.
ln my oplnlon, Lhere are a handful of serlous crlLlclsms LhaL need Lo be addressed. AlLhough l belleve Lhe bulk of
Lhese crlLlclsms are based on an unfamlllarlLy wlLh my work as a whole, some are more serlous. Pere are Lhe ma[or
Cne of Lhe mosL common charges was LhaL l used lageL as Lhe basls for my enLlre vlew of psychologlcal
developmenL. 1hls ls very lnaccuraLe, buL l undersLand how Lhe book gave LhaL lmpresslon. Cne of Lhe mosL dlfflculL
problems l face ln wrlLlng abouL my ldeas ls LhaL l always assume Lhe audlence has no prlor knowledge of my work.
WlLh each new book l Lherefore musL sLarL from scraLch and explaln my sysLem" from Lhe beglnnlng. usually,
around Lhe flrsL Lhlrd of a book ls Laken up lnLroduclng Lhe sysLem, and Lhen Lhe new maLerlal ls presenLed ln Lhe lasL
parL of Lhe book. 1hls glves readers famlllar wlLh my work Lhe lmpresslon LhaL l am repeaLlng myself, buL Lhls ls for
Lhe beneflL of Lhose new Lo Lhe game.
WlLh SLS, l dld Lhls lnLroduclng uslng a few shorLcuLs, whlch was perhaps a bad ldea. lor Lhe hlgher or
Lranspersonal sLages of developmenL, lnsLead of explalnlng Lhe sLages Lhemselves, l slmply used examples of each
(Lmerson, SalnL 1eresa, LckharL, and Srl 8amana Maharshl), and for Lhe onLogeneLlc developmenL of worldvlews, l
slmply used Lhe work of !ean lageL. Many revlewers-especlally Lhe posLmodern plurallsLs-[umped on lageL as an
example of Lhe facL LhaL l was uslng old-paradlgm, hlerarchlcal, LurocenLrlc, sexlsL schemes, and Lherefore Lhe enLlre
book was suspecL.
Cf course, Lhose who were famlllar wlLh my work knew LhaL lageL was only one of dozens of LheorlsLs LhaL l had
aLLempLed Lo lnLegraLe lnLo a more hollsLlc overvlew of developmenL, and LhaL, even Lhen, l was noL a sLrlcL
lageLlan by any means. 8uL before l brlefly sLaLe my vlew, leL us noL rush over Lhe aLLacks on lageL Loo qulckly,
because Lhe unfalrness of Lhose aLLacks applles equally Lo Lhose almed aL SLS. lor Lhe facL ls, lf we focus on Lhe
aspecLs of cognlLlon LhaL lageL sLudled, hls general scheme has held up Lo lnLense cross-culLural lnvesLlgaLlon. 1hose
who aLLack lageL ofLen seem unlnformed of Lhe evldence.
AfLer almosL Lhree decades of lnLense cross-culLural research, Lhe evldence ls vlrLually unanlmous: lageL's sLages
up Lo formal operaLlonal are unlversal and cross-culLural. As only one example, llves Actoss coltotes. ctoss-coltotol
nomoo uevelopmeot ls a hlghly respecLed LexLbook wrlLLen from an openly llberal perspecLlve (whlch ls ofLen
susplclous of unlversal" sLages). 1he auLhors (Parry Cardlner, !ay MuLLer, and Corlnne kosmlLzkl) carefully revlew
Lhe evldence for lageL's sLages of sensorlmoLor, preoperaLlonal, concreLe operaLlonal, and formal operaLlonal. 1hey
found LhaL culLural seLLlngs someLlmes alLer Lhe tote of developmenL, or an empbosls on cerLaln aspecLs of Lhe
sLages-buL noL Lhe sLages Lhemselves or Lhelr cross-culLural valldlLy.
1hus, for sensorlmoLor: ln facL, Lhe quallLaLlve characLerlsLlcs of sensorlmoLor developmenL remaln nearly
ldenLlcal ln all lnfanLs sLudled so far, desplLe vasL dlfferences ln Lhelr culLural envlronmenLs." lor preoperaLlonal and
concreLe operaLlonal, based on an enormous number of sLudles, lncludlng of nlgerlans, Zamblans, lranlans,
Algerlans, nepalese, Aslans, Senegalese, Amazon lndlans, and AusLrallan Aborlglnes: WhaL can we conclude from
Lhls vasL amounL of cross-culLural daLa? llrsL, supporL for Lhe unlversallLy of Lhe sLrucLures or operaLlons underlylng
Lhe preoperaLlonal perlod ls hlghly convlnclng. Second, . . . Lhe quallLaLlve characLerlsLlcs of concreLe operaLlonal
developmenL (e.g., sLage sequences and reasonlng sLyles) appear Lo be unlversal [alLhough] Lhe raLe of cognlLlve
developmenL . . . ls noL unlform buL depends on ecoculLural facLors." AlLhough Lhe auLhors do noL use exacLly Lhese
Lerms, Lhey conclude LhaL Lhe deep feaLures of Lhe sLages are unlversal buL Lhe surface feaLures depend sLrongly on
culLural, envlronmenLal, and ecologlcal facLors (as l would puL lL, all four quadranLs are lnvolved ln lndlvldual
developmenL). llnally, lL appears LhaL alLhough Lhe raLe and level of performance aL whlch chlldren move Lhrough
lageL's concreLe operaLlonal perlod depend on culLural experlence, chlldren ln dlverse socleLles sLlll proceed ln Lhe
same sequence he predlcLed."
lewer lndlvlduals ln any culLure (Aslan, Afrlcan, Amerlcan, or oLherwlse) reach formal operaLlonal cognlLlon, and
Lhe reasons glven for Lhls vary. lL mlghL be LhaL formal operaLlonal ls a genulnely hlgher sLage LhaL fewer Lherefore
reach, as l belleve. lL mlghL be LhaL formal operaLlonal ls a genulne capaclLy buL noL a genulne sLage, as Lhe auLhors
belleve (l.e., only some culLures emphaslze formal operaLlonal and Lherefore Leach lL). Lvldence for Lhe exlsLence of
lageL's formal sLage ls Lherefore sLrong buL noL concluslve. ?eL Lhls one lLem ls ofLen used Lo dlsmlss oll of lageL's
sLages, whereas Lhe correcL concluslon, backed by enormous evldence, ls LhaL all of Lhe sLages up Lo formal
operaLlonal have now been adequaLely demonsLraLed Lo be unlversal and cross-culLural.
l belleve Lhe sLages aL and beyond formop are also unlversal, lncludlng vlslon-loglc and Lhe general LransraLlonal
sLages, and my varlous books have presenLed subsLanLlal evldence for LhaL. 8uL Lhe polnL ls LhaL any model LhaL does
noL lnclude lageL's sLages up Lo formop ls an lnadequaLe model.
woves, 5tteoms, ooJ 5totes
AlLhough l lnclude Lhe lageLlan cognlLlve llne ln my model, as demanded by Lhe cross-culLural evldence, hls scheme
ls, as l suggesLed, only a small parL of an overall vlew. ln my model, Lhere are Lhe varlous levels or waves of
consclousness (sLreLchlng from maLLer Lo body Lo mlnd Lo soul Lo splrlL), Lhrough whlch pass varlous developmenLal
llnes or sLreams (lncludlng cognlLlve, affecLlve, moral, lnLerpersonal, splrlLual, self-ldenLlLy, needs, moLlvaLlons, and
so on). A person can be aL a very hlgh level ln one llne (say, cognlLlve), aL a medlum level of developmenL ln oLhers
(e.g., emoLlonal lnLelllgence), and aL a low level ln sLlll oLhers (e.g., morals). 1hus, o petsoos ovetoll Jevelopmeot
follows oo lloeot sepoeoce wbotsoevet. uevelopmenL ls far from a sequenLlal, ladder-llke, clunk-and-grlnd serles of
sLeps, buL raLher lnvolves a fluld flowlng of many waves and sLreams ln Lhe greaL 8lver of Llfe.
Moreover, a person aL vlrLually any wave or sLage of developmenL can experlence an alLered stote of
consclousness or a peak experlence of any of Lhe Lranspersonal realms (psychlc, subLle, causal, or nondual). 1hus,
Lranspersonal peak experlences and alLered sLaLes ote ovolloble to vlttoolly ooyboJy ot vlttoolly ooy stoqe of
Jevelopmeot, Lhe noLlon LhaL Lranspersonal sLaLes are avallable only aL hlgher levels of developmenL ls qulLe
lncorrecL. My overall model, Lhen, conslsLs of waves, sLreams, and sLaLes, and Lhus Lhere ls preclous llLLle abouL lL
LhaL ls llnear.
And yeL LhaL was by far Lhe mosL common crlLlclsm of SLS: lL represenLed a model of merely llnear developmenL.
Slnce l had noL subscrlbed Lo a llnear model slnce 1981 (see Lhe lnLroducLlon Lo volume 1hree of Lhe collecteJ
wotks)-and slnce, ln facL, l had wrlLLen aL lengLh crlLlclzlng such a vlew (Lhe re[ecLlon of whlch marked Lhe
LranslLlon from phase-2 Lo phase-3 ln my own work)-l musL confess l was asLonlshed Lo see crlLlcs ascrlbe Lhls vlew
Lo me and Lhen crlLlclze lL aL lengLh. A book purporLlng Lo be a dlalogue wlLh my work conLalned Lhese or slmllar
errors LhroughouL, and lL has Laken several years Lo dlg ouL from under Lhose unforLunaLe dlsLorLlons. SLlll, lL ls flnally
Lhe case LhaL, due Lo vlgorous supporL by scholars of my work, one hears less and less Lhe charge LhaL my model ls
llnear (lL ls mulLldlmenslonal), or LhaL lL ls LurocenLrlc (lL ls based on much cross-culLural evldence), or LhaL lL ls
marglnallzlng (holarchles Lranscend and lnclude ln mulLlple conLexLs), or LhaL Lranspersonal experlences occur only aL
hlgher levels (Lhey are avallable as sLaLes aL vlrLually any level).
AL Lhe same Llme, l repeaL LhaL l undersLand how crlLlcs could have goLLen Lhe wrong lmpresslon lf Lhey only read
SLS. l should have made my overall model much clearer, whlch would have helped Lo ward off Lhese
mlsundersLandlngs. l have aLLempLed Lo do so ln Lhe second edlLlon and, obvlously, ln Lhls lnLroducLlon.
5pltltoollty lo cbllJteo ooJ uowo nomoos
Closely relaLed Lo Lhe prevlous crlLlclsm was Lhe charge LhaL l denled any sorL of splrlLuallLy Lo boLh chlldren and
early humans. 1hls, Loo, ls an unforLunaLe mlsrepresenLaLlon of my work, based exacLly on Lhe noLlon LhaL my model
ls merely llnear. A few crlLlcs wenL apoplecLlc aL my llnear" model and accused me of Lhlngs sllghLly worse Lhan
well-polsonlng. Slnce my model ls one of waves, sLreams, and sLaLes-and slnce splrlLual sLaLes can occur aL vlrLually
any wave of unfoldlng-LhaL parLlcular crlLlclsm ls conslderably off Lhe mark. l can, as l sald, undersLand how a crlLlc
who had only read SLS mlghL geL LhaL lmpresslon, buL Lhe lmpresslon ls false. (lor a speclflc dlscusslon of splrlLuallLy
ln chlldren and ln early humans, see loteqtol lsycboloqy, chaps. 10, 11, and 12.)
As ls perhaps obvlous, a good deal of Lhe ma[or crlLlclsms of SLS were based on slmple mlsrepresenLaLlons of my
work, wlLh blame Lo be shared on boLh sldes: l dld noL clearly ouLllne my overall model, and Lhe crlLlcs were noL well
lnformed abouL my oLher works. My responses began Lo sound llke a broken record: 1haL ls noL my vlew, LhaL ls noL
my vlew, LhaL ls noL. . . ." nobody goL more Llred of Lhls Lhan l.
1be 1teotmeot of copbllosopbles
Cne qulLe accuraLe crlLlclsm was LhaL l lumped LogeLher Lhe many varlous ecophllosophles and LreaLed Lhem
lndlscrlmlnaLely. 1hls ls Lrue, and Lhe crlLlclsm ls well Laken. ln my defense, l can only say LhaL l explalned, ln several
endnoLes, LhaL volume 2 of Lhe kosmos Lrllogy (LenLaLlvely enLlLled 5ex, CoJ, ooJ CeoJet. 1be coloqy of Meo ooJ
womeo) LreaLs Lhe varlous ecophllosophles separaLely and deals wlLh each on lLs own Lerms. l was slmply sLaLlng
cerLaln broad concluslons from Lhose sLudles. AL Lhe same Llme, SLS levels a very powerful crlLlque aL many, l would
say mosL, of Lhe currenL ecophllosophles, polnLlng ouL LhaL Lhey are, ln facL, represenLaLlves of a very flaLland vlew.
Cne revlewer of SLS concluded LhaL Lhls presenLaLlon, whlch l belleve ls generally Lrue, ls faLal Lo mosL forms of
ecoLheory," and Mlchael Zlmmerman (auLhor of koJlcol coloqy) polnLed ouL LhaL mosL (noL all) forms of
ecophllosophy do lndeed appear Lo be caughL ln flaLland as descrlbed.
SLS wenL on Lo suggesL a Lype of ecophllosophy LhaL ls profoundly ecologlcal buL noL ln flaLland Lerms, and, ln my
own oplnlon, Lhls boloolc ecoloqy ls one of Lhe book's mosL lmporLanL conLrlbuLlons. Powever, because SLS does
noL subscrlbe Lo Lhe flaLland verslon of ecology LhaL mosL (noL all) ecophllosophles adopL, SLS was noL well recelved
by ecophllosophers generally. lL ls sLlll noL. And yeL, as SLS carefully explalns, mosL ecophllosophles do lndeed
conLaln Lhe ma[or problems, lnherenL ln flaLland, LhaL wlll very llkely conLlnue Lo hobble Lhem (boLh LheoreLlcally and
pracLlcally) unLll a more holonlc ecology ls embraced.
metsoo ooJ llotloos
A few ecophllosophers ob[ecLed Lo my LreaLmenL of Lmerson and loLlnus. l made Lwo mlnor facLual errors ln
reporLlng Lhelr vlews. Cne, l falled Lo use elllpses correcLly ln several Lmerson quoLes. 1wo, l reporLed Lhe flnal
words of loLlnus accordlng Lo Lhe LranslaLlon glven by karl !aspers, noL Wllllam lnge as lndlcaLed. 8oLh errors were
correcLed ln subsequenL prlnLlngs. 8uL Lhose mlnor lnfracLlons became Lhe sLarLlng polnL for an aglLaLed onslaughL as
Lo my lnLerpreLaLlons of Lmerson and loLlnus alLogeLher. (See 1be ye of 5pltlt, chapLer 11, endnoLes 1, 2, and 3).
unforLunaLely, ln my oplnlon, Lhls aLLack slmply allowed some of Lhe ecophllosophers Lo draw aLLenLlon away from
my subsLanLlal crlLlclsms of Lhelr vlews, and also Lo lgnore Lhe ma[or crlLlclsms LhaL boLh Lmerson and loLlnus
Lhemselves leveled agalnsL naLure mysLlclsm (and would Lherefore level agalnsL mosL forms of presenL-day
ecopsychology, deep ecology, ecofemlnlsm, and neopaganlsm).
Pere, from 1be ye of 5pltlt, ls a summary of Lhe wldely accepLed lnLerpreLaLlon of Lmerson's vlew: (1) naLure ls
noL SplrlL buL a symbol of SplrlL (or a manlfesLaLlon of SplrlL), (2) sensory awareness ln lLself does noL reveal SplrlL buL
obscures lL, (3) an Ascendlng (or LranscendenLal) currenL ls requlred Lo dlsclose SplrlL, (4) SplrlL ls undersLood only as
naLure ls Lranscended (l.e., SplrlL ls lmmanenL ln naLure, buL fully dlscloses lLself only ln a Lranscendence of
naLure-ln shorL, SplrlL Lranscends buL lncludes naLure). 1hose polnLs are unconLesLed by Lmerson scholars.
As far as Lhose polnLs go, loLlnus would have compleLely agreed. 1hus, boLh Lmerson and loLlnus would
condemn-as ttoe buL pottlol-mosL (noL all) forms of ecopsychology, Cala worshlp, neopaganlsm, deep ecology,
and ecofemlnlsm. 1hls ls why lL became lmporLanL for Lhese parLlcular ecophllosophers Lo asserL LhaL Lhe common
and wldely accepLed lnLerpreLaLlons of Lmerson and loLlnus (whlch l presenLed) were ln facL masslve dlsLorLlons,
because oLherwlse Lhey could noL clalm supporL for Lhelr Lheorles from Lhese Lwo Lowerlng flgures. Cf course, one ls
free Lo Lry Lo brlng fresh and novel lnLerpreLaLlons Lo Lhe classlcs, whlch ls always worLhwhlle. 8uL Lo Lry Lo geL Lhese
new lnLerpreLaLlons across by slmply asserLlng LhaL l had masslvely dlsLorLed Lhese LheorlsLs was one of Lhe mosL
ham-handed of Lhe crlLlclsms almed aL SLS (noL Lo menLlon Lhe facL LhaL, even lf lL were Lrue, lL wouldn'L affecL Lhe
concluslons of SLS one way or Lhe oLher). 8uL l musL say, lL made for some fun and llvely flreworks.
Mloot lolots
ChapLer 2 ouLllnes LwenLy LeneLs" LhaL are common Lo evolvlng or growlng sysLems wherever we flnd Lhem. Many
people counLed Lhem up and dldn'L geL LwenLy, and Lhey wanLed Lo know lf Lhey had mlssed someLhlng. 1hls slmply
depends on whaL you counL as a LeneL. l glve Lwelve numbered LeneLs. number 2 conLalns four LeneLs, and number
12 conLalns flve. 1haL's nlneLeen alLogeLher. 1hroughouL Lhe book, l glve Lhree addlLlons. 1haL's LwenLy-Lwo. 8uL one
or Lwo of Lhe LeneLs are noL really characLerlsLlcs, [usL slmple word deflnlLlons (e.g., LeneL 7 and posslbly 9). So LhaL
leaves around LwenLy acLual LeneLs, or acLual characLerlsLlcs of evoluLlon. 8uL Lhere ls noLhlng sacred abouL Lhe
number LwenLy, Lhese are [usL some of Lhe more noLlceable Lrends, Lroplsms, or Lendencles of evoluLlon.
ChapLer 9, 1he Way up ls Lhe Way uown," dlscusses evoluLlon and lnvoluLlon. LvoluLlon ls Lhe unfoldlng from
maLLer Lo body Lo mlnd Lo soul Lo splrlL, wlLh each hlgher dlmenslon Lranscendlng and lncludlng lLs [unlors, resulLlng
ln Lhe CreaL nesL of 8elng. lnvoluLlon ls Lhe reverse process, or Lhe hlgher dlmenslons enfoldlng" and lnvolvlng"
Lhemselves ln Lhe lower, deposlLlng Lhemselves ln Lhe lower as greaL poLenLlals, ready Lo unfold lnLo acLuallLy wlLh
evoluLlon. Some readers felL LhaL Lhls made Lhe unlverse compleLely deLermlnlsLlc and faLed. 8uL lnvoluLlon, ln my
oplnlon, slmply creaLes a vasL fleld of poLenLlals, whlch are noL deLermlned as Lo Lhelr surface feaLures aL all. 1hose
are co-creaLed durlng evoluLlon, dependlng on an almosL lnflnlLe number of varlables, from lndlvldual lnlLlaLlve Lo
random chance. (l deal speclflcally wlLh Lhls Loplc ln Lhe lnLroducLlon Lo volume 1wo of Lhe collecteJ wotks and ln
loteqtol lsycboloqy.) WlLhln very broad spaces, evoluLlon ls playfully creaLlve aL every polnL!
A few !unglans wlshed LhaL l had expanded my dlscusslon of archeLypes. lurLher maLerlal can be found ln 1be ye
of 5pltlt, chapLer 11 (whlch also answers common crlLlclsms from !unglans), and loteqtol lsycboloqy (especlally
chapLer 8).
Cne crlLlc wondered why l had relled so much on Pabermas for my accounL of phylogeneLlc evoluLlon. AcLually, l
relled on dozens of ma[or anLhropologlcal researchers-many of whlch are llsLed ln Lhe blbllography (and hundreds
of whlch are llsLed ln volume 2 of Lhe Lrllogy)-buL because l was uslng Pabermas as an example of a LheorlsL who
recognlzes all Lhree domalns of arL, morals, and sclence (Lhe 8lg 1hree"), l slmply presenLed hls exLenslve
anLhropologlcal research as long as lL dld noL confllcL wlLh generally accepLed concluslons ln Lhe fleld.
5mlle wbeo oo 5oy 1bot, Mlstet
1here ls, flnally, Lhe Lone of Lhe book. 5ex, coloqy, 5pltltoollty ls ln some ways an angry book. Anger, or perhaps
angulsh, lL's hard Lo say whlch. AfLer Lhree years lmmersed ln posLmodern culLural sLudles, where Lhe common Lone
of dlscourse ls rancorous, mean-splrlLed, arroganL, and aggresslve, afLer surveylng counLless new paradlgm"
LreaLlses, many of whlch boasLed, wlLhouL lrony, LhaL Lhey possessed Lhe new paradlgm LhaL was Lhe greaLesL
LransformaLlon ln hlsLory and LhaL would save Lhe planeL and save Lhe world, afLer belng exposed Lo a relenLless
onslaughL of anLl-WesLern, anLl-male, anLl-culLure, anLl-almosL-anyLhlng rheLorlc LhaL was some of Lhe mosL Loxlc
and venomous wrlLlng l have ever seen, and whlch reduced culLural sLudles Lo Lhls or LhaL peL Lheory and narclsslsLlc
dlsplay of self-afLer all of LhaL, ln anger and angulsh, l wroLe SLS, and Lhe Lone of Lhe book lndellbly reflecLs LhaL.
ln many cases lL ls very speclflc: l ofLen mlmlcked Lhe Lone of Lhe crlLlc l was crlLlclzlng, maLchlng Loxlc wlLh Loxlc
and snlde wlLh snlde. Cf course, ln dolng so l falled Lo Lurn Lhe oLher cheek. 8uL Lhen, Lhere are Llmes Lo Lurn Lhe
oLher cheek, and Lhere are Llmes noL Lo. lf you happen Lo oqtee wlLh Lhe hollsLlc vlslon presenLed ln SLS, you, Loo,
mlghL geL angry aL Lhe narrowness of whaL passes for culLural sLudles nowadays. ?ou mlghL also share a sense of
sadness, of melancholy, aL Lhe shallowness LhaL pervades posLmodernlsm. 8eLween anger and angulsh you mlghL
osclllaLe, as dld l when wrlLlng Lhe book. And, Lo be honesL, l Lhlnk all of LhaL ls approprlaLe. 8uL SLS deflnlLely was,
for me, a cry of anger and angulsh.
SLlll, l could have Loned Lhe book down. l chose noL Lo. l slncerely belleved, as l sLlll do, LhaL Lhe occaslonal
polemlcal bursL was necessary Lo geL Lhe conversaLlon movlng ln an lnLegral dlrecLlon. lor over Lwo decades l had
seen numerous excellenL books wlLh an lnLegral lnLenL compleLely lgnored by new paradlgm" LheorlsLs who clalmed
Lo be lnLegral and hollsLlc. l chose Lo raLLle Lhe cage and see whaL happened.
uld lL work? WhaL was lLs effecL? Several crlLlcs Look Lhe polemlc Lo be evldence of my nasLy characLer: l [usL
couldn'L help myself, l had Lo aLLack. 1hls overlooked Lhe facL LhaL ln all of my flrsL Lwelve books, sLreLchlng over Lwo
decades, Lhere ls noL a slngle polemlcal senLence.
CLher crlLlcs malnLalned LhaL Lhe Lone prevenLed lLs message from geLLlng ouL. l Lruly undersLand whaL Lhey mean,
buL l clalm exacLly Lhe conLrary. 1hese ldeas had been sLudlously lgnored for decades, unLll a llLLle polemlcal raLLllng,
whereupon Lhey Look cenLer sLage, for beLLer or worse.
Cne crlLlc lnadverLenLly demonsLraLed whaL was lnvolved by calllng for a dlalogue" ln Lhe wake of SLS, whereln
all parLles would care for each oLher ln a dance of muLual respecL, and noL conducL LheoreLlcal dlscourse as lf lL were
a war. 1hls crlLlc Lhen proceeded Lo do exacLly whaL he professed he desplsed, and lnsLead of presenLlng boLh sldes
of Lhe argumenL falrly and respecLfully, slmply condemned my Lone from sLarL Lo flnlsh.
1he facL ls, Lhe pro and con sLances on Lhe Lone of Lhe book llned up almosL exacLly wlLh wheLher or noL one
agreed wlLh lL. 1hose who agreed wlLh Lhe hollsLlc vlslon of SLS shared my anger and angulsh, and applauded Lhe
polemlc. As one crlLlc puL lL, LeL us noL forgeL: many of us really llked Lhe polemlcal noLes ln SLS, for Lhelr refreshlng
crlLlques and llberaLlng humor."
Cn Lhe oLher slde of Lhe alsle, Lhose who were Lhemselves crlLlclzed ln Lhe book, or found Lhe vlslon deflclenL,
lashed ouL aL Lhe Lone. As one puL lL, Worse Lhan lgnoranL, Wllber ls also unmannered, rude, and offenslve."
no doubL, boLh sldes were rlghL.
8uL by far Lhe mosL common overall reacLlon Lo SLS was one of whaL l suppose we mlghL call [oy. l was flooded wlLh
mall from readers who Lold of Lhe llberaLlng lnfluence LhaL SLS had on Lhelr vlew of Lhe world, on Lhelr vlew of
reallLy, on Lhelr consclousness lLself. SLS ls, afLer all, a sLory of Lhe feaLs of your very own Self, and many readers
re[olced aL LhaL remembrance. Women forgave me any paLrlarchal obnoxlousness, men Lold me of weeplng
LhroughouL Lhe lasL chapLer. AparL from Ctoce ooJ Ctlt, l have never recelved such hearLfelL and deeply movlng
leLLers as l recelved from SLS, leLLers LhaL made Lhose dlfflculL Lhree years seem more Lhan worLh lL.
l am ofLen asked when volume 2 of Lhe Lrllogy wlll be publlshed. My orlglnal plan was Lo release one volume a
decade, whlch means volume 2 would be ready around Lhe year 2003. 8uL now l have no ldea exacLly when Lhe
oLher Lwo volumes wlll be ready. volume 2 ls more or less fully wrlLLen. volume 3 exlsLs ln ouLllne. 8uL l wanL each Lo
have Lhe chance Lo absorb Lhe consLrucLlve crlLlclsms of lLs predecessor. ln Lhe prevlous secLlon on Cb[ecLlons, l only
focused on Lhe ma[or crlLlclsms, each of whlch, ln my oplnlon, can be saLlsfacLorlly answered. WhaL l dldn'L menLlon
are all Lhe dozens of mlnor crlLlclsms LhaL l found valld and well Laken, and whlch l have aLLempLed Lo lncorporaLe ln
subsequenL wrlLlng. l would llke Lhe kosmos Lrllogy Lo sLand as a solld verslon of a Lruly lnLegral phllosophy, a
bellevable, lf lnlLlal, world phllosophy, and Lhus l would llke all Lhe many cogenL crlLlclsms Lo have plenLy of Llme Lo
slnk ln.
1here ls one oLher reason l am ln no rush Lo brlng ouL Lhe oLher volumes. SLS lLself was begun ln parL due Lo a
lamenL aL Lhe sLaLe of posLmodern culLural sLudles. ln Lhe Llme slnce SLS was concelved, posLmodernlsm's sLance has
weakened percepLlbly. We are Lruly enLerlng a posL-posLmodern, posL-plurallsLlc world-by any oLher name,
loteqtol. Cenulnely lnLegral phllosophles wlll become, and are becomlng, more and more accepLable, even eagerly
embraced. WlLh every passlng year, Lhere ls one less chapLer of crlLlclsm l have Lo wrlLe. WlLh every passlng year, a
unlversal lnLegrallsm becomes more and more welcome.
Cne crlLlc wroLe of SLS LhaL lL honors and lncorporaLes more LruLh Lhan any approach ln hlsLory." l obvlously
would llke Lo belleve LhaL ls Lhe case, buL l also know LhaL every Lomorrow brlngs new LruLhs, opens new vlsLas, and
creaLes Lhe demand for even more encompasslng vlews. SLS ls slmply Lhe laLesL ln a long llne of hollsLlc vlslons, and
wlll lLself pass lnLo a greaLer Lomorrow where lL ls merely a fooLnoLe Lo more glorlous vlews.
ln Lhe meanLlme, lL ls qulLe a rlde.
l1 lS lLA1-Cu1 sLrange LhaL someLhlng-LhaL ooytbloq-ls happenlng aL all. 1here was noLhlng, Lhen a 8lg 8ang, Lhen
here we all are. 1hls ls exLremely welrd.
1o Schelllng's burnlng quesLlon, Why ls Lhere someLhlng raLher Lhan noLhlng?," Lhere have always been Lwo
general answers. 1he flrsL mlghL be called Lhe phllosophy of oops." 1he unlverse [usL occurs, Lhere ls noLhlng behlnd
lL, lL's all ulLlmaLely accldenLal or random, lL [usL ls, lL [usL happens-oops! 1he phllosophy of oops, no maLLer how
sophlsLlcaLed and adulL lL may on occaslon appear-lLs modern names and numbers are leglon, from poslLlvlsm Lo
sclenLlflc maLerlallsm, from llngulsLlc analysls Lo hlsLorlcal maLerlallsm, from naLurallsm Lo emplrlclsm-always
comes down Lo Lhe same baslc answer, namely, uon'L ask."
1he quesLlon lLself (Why ls anyLhlng aL all happenlng? Why am l here?)-Lhe poestloo ltself ls sald Lo be confused,
paLhologlcal, nonsenslcal, or lnfanLlle. 1o sLop asklng such sllly or confused quesLlons ls, Lhey all malnLaln, Lhe mark
of maLurlLy, Lhe slgn of growlng up ln Lhls cosmos.
l don'L Lhlnk so. l Lhlnk Lhe answer" Lhese modern and maLure" dlsclpllnes glve-namely, oops! (and Lherefore,
uon'L ask!")-ls abouL as lnfanLlle a response as Lhe human condlLlon could posslbly offer.
1he oLher broad answer LhaL has been Lendered ls LhaL sometbloq else ls qoloq oo: behlnd Lhe happensLance
drama ls a deeper or hlgher or wlder paLLern, or order, or lnLelllgence. 1here are, of course, many varleLles of Lhls
ueeper Crder": Lhe 1ao, Cod, CelsL, MaaL, ArcheLypal lorms, 8eason, Ll, Mahamaya, 8rahman, 8lgpa. And alLhough
Lhese dlfferenL varleLles of Lhe ueeper Crder cerLalnly dlsagree wlLh each oLher aL many polnLs, Lhey all agree on
Lhls: Lhe unlverse ls noL whaL lL appears. 5ometbloq else ls golng on, someLhlng qulLe oLher Lhan oops. . . .
* * *
1hls book ls abouL all of LhaL someLhlng oLher Lhan oops." lL ls abouL a posslble ueeper Crder. lL ls abouL evoluLlon,
and abouL rellglon, and, ln a sense, abouL everyLhlng ln beLween. lL ls a brlef hlsLory of cosmos, blos, psyche,
Lheos-a Lale Lold by an ldloL, lL goes wlLhouL saylng, buL a Lale LhaL, preclsely ln slgnlfylng noLhlng, slgnlfles Lhe All,
and Lhere ls Lhe sound and Lhe fury.
1hls ls a book abouL holons-abouL wholes LhaL are parLs of oLher wholes, lndeflnlLely. Whole aLoms are parLs of
molecules, whole molecules are parLs of cells, whole cells are parLs of organlsms, and so on. Lach wbole ls
slmulLaneously a pott, a whole/parL, a holon. And reallLy ls composed, noL of Lhlngs nor processes nor wholes nor
parLs, buL of whole/parLs, of holons. We wlll be looklng aL holons ln Lhe cosmos, ln Lhe blos, ln Lhe psyche, and ln
Lheos, and aL Lhe evoluLlonary Lhread LhaL connecLs Lhem all, unfolds Lhem all, embraces Lhem all, endlessly.
1he flrsL chapLers deal wlLh holons ln Lhe physlcal cosmos (maLLer) and ln Lhe blosphere (llfe). 1hls ls Lhe general
area of Lhe naLural and ecologlcal sclences, Lhe llfe sclences, Lhe sysLems sclences, and we wlll explore each of Lhem
carefully. 1hls ls parLlcularly lmporLanL, glven noL only Lhe ecologlcal crlsls now descendlng on Lhls planeL wlLh a
vengeance, buL also Lhe large number of movemenLs, from deep ecology Lo ecofemlnlsm, LhaL have arlsen ln an
aLLempL Lo flnd splrlLuallLy and ecology connecLed, noL dlvorced, and we wlll look aL Lhe meanlng of all of LhaL.
1he mlddle chapLers explore Lhe emergence of Lhe mlnd or Lhe psyche or Lhe noosphere, and aL Lhe holons LhaL
compose Lhe psyche lLself (Lhe mlnd ls composed of unlLs LhaL have meanlng only ln conLexLs: wholes LhaL are parLs
of oLher wholes, endlessly). 1hese psychlc holons, llke all holons, emerged and evolved-ln Llme and hlsLory-and
we wlll look brlefly aL Lhe hlsLorlcal evoluLlon of Lhe mlnd and consclousness, and aL how Lhese psychlc holons relaLe
Lo Lhe holons ln Lhe cosmos and ln Lhe blos.
1he lasL chapLers deal wlLh Lheos, wlLh Lhe ulvlne uomaln, wlLh a ueeper Crder, and how lL mlghL lndeed be
relaLed Lo Lhe cosmos, Lhe blosphere, and Lhe noosphere. And here, l Lhlnk, some surprlses awalL us.
1hls book ls Lhe flrsL of Lhree volumes (Lhe serles lLself ls slmply called kosmos, or 1be kosmos 1tlloqy, brlef
summarles of Lhe oLher Lwo volumes are glven LhroughouL Lhls book). Many of Lhe quesLlons ralsed ln Lhls volume
are more carefully examlned ln Lhe oLher Lwo, and, ln any evenL, Lhls volume sLands more as a broad overvlew and
lnLroducLlon, raLher Lhan a flnlshed concluslon.
As such, Lhe book ls bullL upon whaL l would call otleotloq qeoetollzotloos. lor example, ln Lhe sphere of moral
developmenL, noL everybody agrees wlLh Lhe deLalls of Lawrence kohlberg's seven moral sLages, nor wlLh Lhe deLalls
of Carol Cllllgan's reworklng of kohlberg's scheme. 8uL Lhere ls general and ample agreemenL LhaL human moral
developmenL goes Lhrough aL leasL Lhree broad sLages: Lhe human aL blrLh ls noL yeL soclallzed lnLo any sorL of moral
sysLem (lL ls preconvenLlonal"), Lhe human Lhen learns, from lLself and from oLhers, a general moral scheme LhaL
represenLs Lhe baslc values of Lhe socleLy lL ls ralsed ln (lL becomes convenLlonal"), and wlLh even furLher growLh,
Lhe lndlvldual may come Lo reflecL on socleLy and Lhus galn some modesL dlsLance from lL and galn a capaclLy Lo
crlLlclze or reform lL (Lhe lndlvldual ls Lo some degree posLconvenLlonal").
1hus, alLhough Lhe acLual deLalls and Lhe preclse meanlngs of LhaL developmenLal sequence are sLlll hoLly debaLed,
everybody preLLy much agrees LhaL someLhlng llke Lhose Lhree broad sLages do lndeed occur, and occur unlversally.
1hese are otleotloq qeoetollzotloos: Lhey show us, wlLh a greaL deal of agreemenL, where Lhe lmporLanL foresLs are
locaLed, even lf we can'L agree on how many Lrees Lhey conLaln.
My polnL ls LhaL lf we Lake Lhese Lypes of largely-agreed-upon orlenLlng generallzaLlons from Lhe varlous branches
of knowledge (from physlcs Lo blology Lo psychology Lo Lheology), and lf we sLrlng Lhese orlenLlng generallzaLlons
LogeLher, we wlll arrlve aL some asLonlshlng and ofLen profound concluslons, concluslons LhaL, as exLraordlnary as
Lhey mlghL be, noneLheless embody noLhlng more Lhan our already-agreed-upon knowledge. 1he beads of
knowledge are already accepLed: lL ls only necessary Lo provlde Lhe Lhread Lo sLrlng Lhem LogeLher lnLo a necklace.
1hese Lhree volumes are one aLLempL Lo sLrlng LogeLher such a necklace, wheLher lL succeeds or noL remalns Lo be
seen. 8uL lf noLhlng else, l Lhlnk lL ls aL leasL a good example of how Lhls Lype of work can be done ln Loday's
posLmodern world. ln worklng wlLh broad orlenLlng generallzaLlons, Lhe Lrllogy dellvers up a broad orlenLlng map of
Lhe place of men and women ln relaLlon Lo unlverse, Llfe, and SplrlL, Lhe deLalls of whlch we can all flll ln as we llke,
buL Lhe broad ouLllnes of whlch really have an awful loL of supporLlng evldence, culled from Lhe orlenLlng
generallzaLlons, slmple buL sLurdy, from Lhe varlous branches of human knowledge.
noneLheless, Lhls broad orlenLlng map ls nowhere near flxed and flnal. ln addlLlon Lo belng composed of broad
orlenLlng generallzaLlons, l would say Lhls ls a book of a Lhousand hypoLheses. l wlll be Lelllng Lhe sLory as lf lL were
slmply Lhe case (because Lelllng lL LhaL way makes for much beLLer readlng), buL noL a senLence LhaL follows ls noL
open Lo conflrmaLlon or re[ecLlon by a communlLy of Lhe adequaLe. l suppose many readers wlll lnslsL on calllng whaL
l am dolng meLaphyslcs," buL lf meLaphyslcs" means LhoughL wlLhouL evldence, Lhere ls noL a meLaphyslcal
senLence ln Lhls enLlre book.
8ecause Lhls book (or Lhls Lrllogy) offers a broad orlenLlng map of men and women's place ln Lhe larger kosmos (of
maLLer, llfe, mlnd, and splrlL), lL naLurally Louches on a greaL number of Loplcs LhaL have recenLly become hoL," from
Lhe ecologlcal crlsls Lo femlnlsm, from Lhe meanlng of modernlLy and posLmodernlLy Lo Lhe naLure of llberaLlon" ln
relaLlon Lo sex, gender, race, class, creed, Lo Lhe naLure of Lechno-economlc developmenLs and Lhelr relaLlon Lo
varlous worldvlews, Lo Lhe varlous splrlLual and wlsdom LradlLlons Lhe world over LhaL have offered Lelllng
suggesLlons as Lo our place ln a larger scheme of Lhlngs.
Pow can we become more fully human and aL Lhe same Llme be saved from Lhe faLe of belng merely human?
Where ls SplrlL ln Lhls Cod-forsaken, Coddess-forsaken world of modernlLy? Why are we desLroylng Cala ln Lhe very
aLLempL Lo lmprove our own condlLlon? Why are so many aLLempLs aL salvaLlon sulcldal? Pow do we acLually flL lnLo
Lhls larger kosmos? Pow are we wbole lndlvlduals who are also potts of someLhlng Larger?
ln oLher words, slnce human belngs, llke absoluLely everyLhlng else ln Lhe kosmos, are boloos, whaL does LhaL
mean? Pow do we flL lnLo LhaL whlch ls forever movlng beyond us? uoes llberaLlon mean belng whole ourselves, or
belng a parL of someLhlng Larger-or someLhlng else alLogeLher? lf hlsLory ls a nlghLmare from whlch l am Lrylng Lo
awaken, Lhen whaL exacLly ls lL LhaL l am supposed Lo awaken to?
And, mosL lmporLanL, can we noL sLare lnLo LhaL vasL and sLunnlng kosmos and respond wlLh someLhlng more
maLure Lhan oops?
lrom Lhose who have already read Lhls book ln manuscrlpL come Lwo suggesLlons for Lhe reader:
llrsL, sklp Lhe endnoLes on Lhe flrsL readlng, and save Lhem for (and lf) a second look. 1hls book was lnLenLlonally
wrlLLen on Lwo levels: Lhe maln LexL, whlch makes every aLLempL Lo be as accesslble as posslble, and Lhe noLes (a
small book ln Lhemselves), meanL for serlous sLudenLs. 8uL ln boLh cases, Lhe noLes are, for Lhe mosL parL, besL
reserved for a second readlng, as Lhey greaLly dlsrupL Lhe narraLlve flow. (AlLernaLlvely, some have slmply read Lhe
noLes by Lhemselves, as a Lype of appendlx, [usL for Lhe lnformaLlon, whlch ls flne.)
Second, read Lhe book a senLence aL a Llme. eople who Lry Lo sklp around geL compeLely losL. 8uL preLLy much
everybody reporLs LhaL lf you slmply read each senLence, Lhe LexL wlll carry you along, and any problems
encounLered are usually cleared up down Lhe road. 1hls ls a long book, obvlously, buL apparenLly lL comes ln nlce,
small, blLe-slzed chunks, and lLs readers all seem Lo have a greaL good Llme-a blLe aL a Llme.
lL ls ofLen sald LhaL ln Loday's modern and posLmodern world, Lhe forces of darkness are upon us. 8uL l Lhlnk noL,
ln Lhe uark and Lhe ueep Lhere are LruLhs LhaL can always heal. lL ls noL Lhe forces of darkness buL of shallowness
LhaL everywhere LhreaLen Lhe Lrue, and Lhe good, and Lhe beauLlful, and LhaL lronlcally announce Lhemselves as
deep and profound. lL ls an exuberanL and fearless shallowness LhaL everywhere ls Lhe modern danger, Lhe modern
LhreaL, and LhaL everywhere noneLheless calls Lo us as savlor.
We mlghL have losL Lhe LlghL and Lhe PelghL, buL more frlghLenlng, we have losL Lhe MysLery and Lhe ueep, Lhe
LmpLlness and Lhe Abyss, and losL lL ln a world dedlcaLed Lo surfaces and shadows, exLerlors and shells, whose
propheLs lovlngly exhorL us Lo dlve lnLo Lhe shallow end of Lhe pool head flrsL.
PlsLory," sald Lmerson, ls an lmperLlnence and an ln[ury lf lL be anyLhlng more Lhan a cheerful apologue or
parable of my belng and becomlng." WhaL follows, Lhen, ls a cheerful parable of your belng and your becomlng, an
apologue of LhaL LmpLlness whlch forever lssues forLh, unfoldlng and enfoldlng, evolvlng and lnvolvlng, creaLlng
worlds and dlssolvlng Lhem, wlLh each and every breaLh you Lake. 1hls ls a chronlcle of whaL you have done, a Lale of
whaL you have seen, a measure of whaL we all mlghL yeL become.
8CCk CnL
wbot ls lt tbot bos colleJ yoo so soJJeoly oot of ootbloqoess to eojoy fot o btlef wblle o spectocle wblcb
temolos polte loJlffeteot to yoo? 1be cooJltloos fot yoot exlsteoce ote os olJ os tbe tocks. lot tboosooJs of
yeots meo bove sttlveo ooJ soffeteJ ooJ beqotteo ooJ womeo bove btooqbt fottb lo polo. A booJteJ yeots
oqo, petbops, oootbet moo-ot womoo-sot oo tbls spot, llke yoo be qozeJ wltb owe ooJ yeotoloq lo bls
beott ot tbe Jyloq llqbt oo tbe qloclets. llke yoo be wos beqotteo of moo ooJ boto of womoo. ne felt polo
ooJ btlef joy os yoo Jo. wos be someooe else? wos lt oot yoo yootself? wbot ls tbls 5elf of yoots?
-L8Wln SCP8CulnCL8
1be web of llfe
5o tbe wotlJ, qtoooJeJ lo o tlmeless movemeot by tbe 5ool wblcb soffoses lt wltb lotelllqeoce, becomes o
llvloq ooJ blesseJ beloq.
l1'S A S18AnCL WC8Lu. lL seems LhaL around flfLeen bllllon years ago Lhere was, preclsely, absoluLe noLhlngness, and
Lhen wlLhln less Lhan a nanosecond Lhe maLerlal unlverse blew lnLo exlsLence. SLranger sLlll, Lhe physlcal maLLer so
produced was noL merely a random and chaoLlc mess, buL seemed Lo organlze lLself lnLo ever more complex and
lnLrlcaLe forms. So complex were Lhese forms LhaL, many bllllons of years laLer, some of Lhem found ways Lo
reproduce Lhemselves, and Lhus ouL of maLLer arose llfe.
Lven sLranger, Lhese llfe forms were apparenLly noL conLenL Lo merely teptoJoce Lhemselves, buL lnsLead began a
long evoluLlon LhaL would evenLually allow Lhem Lo tepteseot Lhemselves, Lo produce slgns and symbols and
concepLs, and Lhus ouL of llfe arose mlnd.
WhaLever Lhls process of evoluLlon was, lL seems Lo have been lncredlbly drlven-from maLLer Lo llfe Lo mlnd.
8uL sLranger sLlll, a mere few hundred years ago, on a small and lndlfferenL planeL around an lnslgnlflcanL sLar,
evoluLlon became consclous of lLself.
And aL preclsely Lhe same Llme, Lhe very mechanlsms LhaL allowed evoluLlon Lo become consclous of lLself were
slmulLaneously worklng Lo englneer lLs own exLlncLlon.
And LhaL was Lhe sLrangesL of all.
l wlll noL belabor Lhe polnL by brlnglng ouL all Lhe ghasLly sLaLlsLlcs, from Lhe facL LhaL we are aL presenL
exLermlnaLlng approxlmaLely one hundred specles a day Lo Lhe facL LhaL we are desLroylng Lhe world's Lroplcal
foresLs aL Lhe raLe of one fooLball fleld per second. 1he planeL, lndeed, ls headed for dlsasLer, and lL ls now posslble,
for Lhe flrsL Llme ln human hlsLory, LhaL owlng eotltely Lo manmade clrcumsLances,
noL one of us wlll survlve Lo Lell
Lhe Lale. lf Lhe LarLh ls lndeed our body and blood, Lhen ln desLroylng lL we are commlLLlng a slow and gruesome
Arlslng ln response Lo Lhe alarmlng dlmenslons of Lhls ecologlcal caLasLrophe (Lhe naLure and exLenL of whlch l wlll
slmply assume ls evldenL Lo every lnLelllgenL person) have been a varleLy of popularly based responses generally
referred Lo as Lhe envlronmenLal movemenL (usually daLed from Lhe 1962 publlcaLlon of 8achel Carson's 5lleot
SLarLlng ln parL wlLhln Lhe envlronmenLal movemenL, buL golng qulLe beyond lL, are Lwo ecophllosophles"
LhaL wlll parLlcularly lnLeresL us: ecofemlnlsm and deep ecology (and we wlll see LhaL Lhey almosL perfecLly embody,
respecLlvely, Lhe female and male value sphere approaches Lo Lhe same Loplc).
CenLral Lo Lhese ecologlcal approaches ls Lhe noLlon LhaL our presenL envlronmenLal crlsls ls due prlmarlly Lo a
ftoctoteJ wotlJvlew, a worldvlew LhaL drasLlcally separaLes mlnd and body, sub[ecL and ob[ecL, culLure and naLure,
LhoughLs and Lhlngs, values and facLs, splrlL and maLLer, human and nonhuman, a worldvlew LhaL ls duallsLlc,
mechanlsLlc, aLomlsLlc, anLhropocenLrlc, and paLhologlcally hlerarchlcal-a worldvlew LhaL, ln shorL, erroneously
separaLes humans from, and ofLen unnecessarlly elevaLes humans above, Lhe resL of Lhe fabrlc of reallLy, a broken
worldvlew LhaL allenaLes men and women from Lhe lnLrlcaLe web of paLLerns and relaLlonshlps LhaL consLlLuLe Lhe
very naLure of llfe and LarLh and cosmos.
1hese approaches furLher malnLaln LhaL Lhe only way we can heal Lhe planeL, and heal ourselves, ls by replaclng
Lhls fracLured worldvlew wlLh a worldvlew LhaL ls more hollsLlc, more relaLlonal, more lnLegraLlve, more LarLh-
honorlng, and less arroganLly human-cenLered. A worldvlew, ln shorL, LhaL honors Lhe enLlre web of llfe, a web LhaL
has lnLrlnslc value ln and of lLself, buL a web LhaL, noL lncldenLally, ls Lhe bone and marrow of our own exlsLence as
lrlL[of Capra, for example, has argued LhaL Lhe world's presenL soclal, economlc, and envlronmenLal crlses all sLem
from Lhe same fracLured worldvlew:
Cur socleLy as a whole flnds lLself ln an [unprecedenLed] crlsls. We can read abouL lLs numerous
manlfesLaLlons every day ln Lhe newspapers. We have hlgh unemploymenL, we have an energy crlsls, a crlsls ln
healLh care, polluLlon and oLher envlronmenLal dlsasLers, a rlslng wave of vlolence and crlme, and so on. 1he
baslc Lhesls of Lhls book [1be 1otoloq lolot] ls LhaL Lhese are all dlfferenL faceLs of one and Lhe same crlsls, and
LhaL Lhls crlsls ls essenLlally a crlsls of percepLlon. lL derlves from Lhe facL LhaL we are Lrylng Lo apply Lhe
concepLs of an ouLdaLed worldvlew-Lhe mechanlsLlc worldvlew . . .-Lo a reallLy LhaL can no longer be
undersLood ln Lerms of Lhose concepLs. We llve Loday ln a globally lnLerconnecLed world, ln whlch blologlcal,
psychologlcal, soclal, and envlronmenLal phenomena are all lnLerdependenL. 1o descrlbe Lhls world
approprlaLely we need an ecologlcal perspecLlve. . . .
As many scholars have polnLed ouL, because of Lhe percelved closeness of woman" and naLure," Lhe
despollaLlon of Lhe LarLh and Lhe sub[ugaLlon of women have hlsLorlcally gone hand ln hand. cofemlolsm ls a
powerful response Lo Lhe denlgraLlon of boLh of Lhese oLhers." As !udlLh lanL explalns:
PlsLorlcally, women have had no real power ln Lhe ouLslde world, no place ln declslon maklng and lnLellecLual
llfe. 1oday, however, ecology speaks for Lhe LarLh, for Lhe oLher" ln human/envlronmenLal relaLlonshlps, and
femlnlsm speaks for Lhe oLher" ln female/male relaLlons. And ecofemlnlsm, by speaklng for botb Lhe orlglnal
oLhers, seeks Lo undersLand Lhe lnLerconnecLed rooLs of all domlnaLlon as well as ways Lo reslsL and change.
1he ecofemlnlsL's Lask ls one of developlng Lhe ablllLy Lo Lake Lhe place of Lhe oLher when conslderlng Lhe
consequences of posslble acLlons, and ensurlng LhaL we do noL forgeL LhaL we are all parL of one anoLher . . . ,
as we mend our relaLlons wlLh each oLher and wlLh Lhe LarLh.
8lll uevall and Ceorge Sesslons, represenLlng Lhe movemenL known as Jeep ecoloqy, polnL ouL LhaL Lhls ls Lhe
work we call culLlvaLlng ecologlcal consclousness, Lhe lnslghL LhaL everyLhlng ls connecLed," whlch !ack lorbes
explalns as percelvlng ourselves as belng deeply bound LogeLher wlLh oLher people and wlLh Lhe surroundlng
nonhuman forms of llfe ln a complex lnLerconnecLed web of llfe, LhaL ls Lo say, a Lrue communlLy. All creaLures and
Lhlngs [are] broLhers and slsLers. lrom Lhls ldea comes Lhe baslc prlnclple of non-explolLaLlon, of respecL and
reverence for all creaLures."
1he exLraordlnary Lhlng abouL all Lhese quoLes ls LhaL, alLhough Lhey mlghL sound raLher romanLlc and poeLlc and,
some would say, even mushy-mlnded, Lhey are ln facL rooLed ln Lhe hardesL of sclenLlflc evldence. AfLer all, hollsLlc
Lheorles of Lhe web of llfe" are as old as clvlllzaLlon lLself, formlng Lhe very core of Lhe world's greaL rellglons and
wlsdom LradlLlons (as we wlll see). 8uL lL ls one Lhlng Lo merely have Cod on your slde, qulLe anoLher Lo have sclence
on your slde.
And Lhe ecologlcal sclences are [usL LhaL: hard sclences. WhaL l would llke Lo do, Lhen, ls brlefly revlew Lhe sysLems
(hollsLlc or ecologlcal) sclences, and demonsLraLe [usL exacLly whaL Lhey mean when Lhey refer Lo Lhe
lnLerconnecLedness or webllke" naLure of all llfe. 1hls wlll glve us some necessary background lnformaLlon, and also
serve as a plaLform for our dlscusslon of ecofemlnlsm and deep ecology.
llnally, as lmporLanL as Lhe ecologlcal or hollsLlc sysLems approach ls, we wlll have Lo make a few very lmporLanL
revlslons ln lL (for reasons LhaL wlll become obvlous), and, mosL lmporLanL, we wlll have Lo seL lL ln lLs owo larger
conLexL, a conLexL almosL always lgnored (wlLh raLher dlre consequences). And we wlll flnd LhaL Lhe same
sLrengLhs-and Lhe same weaknesses-beseL ecofemlnlsm and deep ecology as well.
We wlll flnd, ln oLher words, LhaL Lhose who Lalk of Lhe web of llfe" are baslcally half rlghL and half wrong (or
serlously lncompleLe), and Lhe half-wrong" parL has caused almosL more problems Lhan Lhe half-rlghL" parL has
8uL flrsL, Lhe half LhaL seems deflnlLely rlghL.
1WC A88CWS Cl 1lML
1he new sysLems sclences are, ln a sense, Lhe sclences of wholeness and connecLedness. lf we now add Lhe noLlon of
Jevelopmeot or evolotloo-Lhe ldea LhaL wholes grow and evolve-we have Lhe essence of Lhe modern sysLems
sclences. As Lrvln Laszlo puLs lL, A new sysLem, sclenLlflc ln orlgln and phllosophlc ln depLh and scope, ls now on Lhe
rlse. lL encompasses Lhe greaL realms of Lhe maLerlal unlverse, of Lhe world of Lhe llvlng, and of Lhe world of hlsLory.
1hls ls Lhe evoluLlonary paradlgm. . . ." As he explalns lL:
1he old adage everyLhlng ls connecLed wlLh everyLhlng else" descrlbes a Lrue sLaLe of affalrs. 1he resulLs
achleved [by Lhe evoluLlonary sclences] furnlsh adequaLe proof LhaL Lhe physlcal, Lhe blologlcal, and Lhe soclal
realms ln whlch evoluLlon unfolds are by no means dlsconnecLed. AL Lhe very leasL, one klnd of evoluLlon
prepares Lhe ground for Lhe nexL. CuL of Lhe condlLlons creaLed by evoluLlon ln Lhe physlcal realm emerge Lhe
condlLlons LhaL permlL blologlcal evoluLlon Lo Lake off. And ouL of Lhe condlLlons creaLed by blologlcal
evoluLlon come Lhe condlLlons LhaL allow human belngs-and many oLher specles-Lo evolve cerLaln soclal
forms of organlzaLlon.
Laszlo Lhen offers Lhls lmporLanL concluslon:
SclenLlflc evldence of Lhe paLLerns Lraced by evoluLlon ln Lhe physlcal unlverse, ln Lhe llvlng world, and even ln
Lhe world of hlsLory ls growlng rapldly. lL ls coalesclng lnLo Lhe lmage of baslc regularlLles LhaL repeaL and
recur. lL ls now posslble Lo search ouL Lhese regularlLles and obLaln a gllmpse of Lhe fundamenLal naLure of
evoluLlon-of Lhe evoluLlon of Lhe cosmos as a whole, lncludlng Lhe llvlng world and Lhe world of human soclal
1o search ouL and sysLemaLlcally sLaLe Lhese regularlLles ls Lo engage ln Lhe creaLlon of Lhe grand synLhesls"
LhaL unlLes physlcal, blologlcal, and soclal evoluLlon lnLo a conslsLenL framework wlLh lLs own laws and loglc.
LxacLly whaL Lhose laws and loglc are, we wlll explore laLer ln Lhls and Lhe nexL chapLer. lor Lhe momenL, noLlce
LhaL Laszlo refers Lo Lhe Lhree greaL realms" of evoluLlon: maLerlal, blologlcal, and hlsLorlcal. Lrlch !anLsch refers Lo
Lhem as cosmlc, blosoclal, and socloculLural. Mlchael Murphy summarlzes Lhem as physlcal, blologlcal, and
psychologlcal. ln popular Lerms: maLLer, llfe, and mlnd. l wlll refer Lo Lhese Lhree general domalns as Lhe
physlosphere (maLLer), Lhe blosphere (llfe), and Lhe noosphere (mlnd).
1he cenLral clalm made by Lhe evoluLlonary sysLems sclences ls LhaL, whaLever Lhe acLual naLure of Lhese Lhree
greaL domalns, Lhey are all unlLed, noL necessarlly by slmllar conLenLs, buL because Lhey all express Lhe same general
laws or Jyoomlc pottetos. As Ludwlg von 8erLalanffy, founder of Ceneral SysLem 1heory, puL lL, Lhe unlLy of Sclence
ls granLed, noL by a uLoplan reducLlon of all sclences Lo physlcs and chemlsLry, buL by Lhe sLrucLural unlformlLles
[regularlLles of dynamlc paLLerns] of Lhe dlfferenL levels of reallLy."
now hlsLorlcally lL had been malnLalned, from Lhe Llme of laLo and ArlsLoLle unLll around Lhe end of Lhe
nlneLeenLh cenLury, LhaL all of Lhese greaL domalns-physlosphere, blosphere, noosphere-were one conLlnuous
and lnLerrelaLed manlfesLaLlon of SplrlL, one CreaL Chaln of 8elng, LhaL reached ln a perfecLly unbroken or
unlnLerrupLed fashlon from maLLer Lo llfe Lo mlnd Lo soul Lo splrlL.
As ArLhur Love[oy
demonsLraLed, Lhe varlous CreaL Chaln LheorlsLs malnLalned Lhree essenLlal polnLs: (1) all
phenomena-all Lhlngs and evenLs, people, anlmals, mlnerals, planLs-are manlfesLaLlons of Lhe superabundance
and plenlLude of SplrlL, so LhaL SplrlL ls woven lnLrlnslcally lnLo each and all, and Lhus even Lhe enLlre maLerlal and
naLural world was, as laLo puL lL, a vlslble, senslble Cod", (2) Lherefore, Lhere are no gaps" ln naLure, no mlsslng
llnks, no unbrldgeable duallsms, for each and every Lhlng ls lnLerwoven wlLh each and every oLher (Lhe conLlnuum
of belng"), and (3) Lhe conLlnuum of belng noneLheless shows gradaLlon, for varlous emergenLs appear ln some
dlmenslons LhaL do noL appear ln oLhers (e.g., wolves can run, rocks can'L, so Lhere are gaps" ln Lhe speclal sense of
now whaLever we moderns mlghL Lhlnk of Lhe CreaL Chaln as a Lheory, lL noneLheless has been Lhe offlclal
phllosophy of Lhe larger parL of clvlllzed humanklnd Lhrough mosL of lLs hlsLory", and furLher, lL was Lhe worldvlew
LhaL Lhe greaLer number of Lhe subLler speculaLlve mlnds and of Lhe greaL rellglous Leachers [boLh LasL and WesL],
ln Lhelr varlous fashlons, have been engaged ln."
1hus, wheLher or noL we accepL some verslon of Lhe CreaL Chaln (and we wlll be examlnlng Lhls ln laLer chapLers),
scholars agree LhaL lLs worldvlew saw maLLer and bodles and mlnds as a vasL neLwork of muLually lnLerweavlng
orders subslsLlng ln SplrlL, wlLh each node ln Lhe conLlnuum of belng, each llnk ln Lhe chaln, belng absoluLely
necessary and lnLrlnslcally valuable. 1o glve only one example now, loLlnus would soon explaln LhaL slnce each llnk
was a manlfesLaLlon of Lhe goodness of SplrlL, each had lnLrlnslc value-lL was valuable ln and of lLself-and no llnk
whaLsoever, no maLLer how lowly," exlsLed merely or even prlmarlly for Lhe lnsLrumenLal use of oLhers: desLroy any
preclous sLrand and Lhe whole fabrlc would come unravelled.
8uL wlLh Lhe rlse of modern sclence-assoclaLed parLlcularly wlLh Lhe names of Copernlcus, kepler, Callleo, 8acon,
newLon, kelvln, Clauslus-Lhls greaL unlfled and hollsLlc worldvlew began Lo fall aparL, and fall aparL ln ways, lL ls
clear, LhaL none of Lhese ploneerlng sclenLlsLs Lhemselves elLher foresaw or lnLended.
And lL fell aparL ln a very pecullar way. 1hese early sclenLlsLs began Lhelr experlmenLal sLudles ln LhaL realm whlch
ls apparenLly Lhe leasL compllcaLed: Lhe physlosphere, Lhe maLerlal unlverse, Lhe world of lnanlmaLe maLLer. kepler
focused on planeLary moLlon and Callleo on LerresLrlal mechanlcs, newLon synLheslzed Lhelr resulLs ln hls unlversal
law of gravlLaLlon and laws of moLlon, and uescarLes worked all Lhe resulLs lnLo a mosL lnfluenLlal phllosophy. ln all
of Lhese endeavors, Lhe physlosphere began Lo look llke a vasL mechanlsm, a unlversal machlne governed by sLrlcL
causallLy. And worse, a machlne LhaL was runnlng down.
Pere was Lhe problem: ln Lhe maLerlal world, sclence soon dlscovered, Lhere are aL leasL Lwo very dlfferenL Lypes
of phenomena, one descrlbed by Lhe laws of classlcal mechanlcs and Lhe oLher by Lhe laws of Lhermodynamlcs. ln
Lhe former, ln classlcal newLonlan mechanlcs, Llme plays no fundamenLal role, because Lhe processes descrlbed are
reverslble. lor example, lf a planeL ls golng one way around Lhe sun or Lhe reverse way around Lhe sun, Lhe laws
descrlblng Lhe moLlon are Lhe same, because ln Lhese Lypes of classlcal mechanlcs" Llme changes noLhlng essenLlal,
you can as easlly Lurn your waLch forward as you can Lurn lL backward-Lhe mechanlsm and lLs laws don'L care whlch
way you Lurn lL.
8uL ln Lhermodynamlc processes, Llme's arrow" ls absoluLely cenLral. lf you puL a drop of lnk ln a glass of waLer, ln
a day or so Lhe lnk wlll have evenly dlspersed LhroughouL Lhe waLer. 8uL you wlll oevet see Lhe reverse process
happen-you wlll never see Lhe dlspersed lnk gaLher lLself LogeLher lnLo a small drop. Pence, Llme's arrow ls a cruclal
parL of Lhese Lypes of physlcal processes, because Lhese processes always proceed ln one dlrecLlon only. 1hey are
And Lhe lnfamous Second Law of 1hermodynamlcs added a dlsmal concluslon: Lhe dlrecLlon of Llme's arrow ls
downward. hyslcal processes, llke Lhe lnkdrop, always go from mote otJeteJ (Lhe lnkdrop) Lo less otJeteJ
(dlspersed LhroughouL Lhe waLer). 1he unlverse may be a glanL clockwork, buL Lhe clock ls wlndlng down . . . and wlll
evenLually run ouL.
1he problem was noL LhaL Lhese early concepLlons were slmply wrong. AspecLs of Lhe physlosphere do lndeed acL
ln a deLermlnlsLlc and mechanlsLlc-llke fashlon, and some of Lhem are deflnlLely runnlng down. 8aLher, lL was LhaL
Lhese concepLlons were pottlol. 1hey covered some of Lhe mosL obvlous aspecLs of Lhe physlosphere, buL because of
Lhe prlmlLlve means and lnsLrumenLs avallable aL Lhe Llme, Lhe subLler (and more slgnlflcanL) aspecLs of Lhe
physlosphere were overlooked.
And yeL, as we wlll see, lL was preclsely ln Lhese subLler aspecLs LhaL Lhe physlosphere's coooectloo Lo Lhe
blosphere could be esLabllshed. AL Lhe Llme, however, lacklng Lhese connecLlons, Lhe physlosphere and Lhe
blosphere slmply fell aparL-ln Lhe sclences, ln rellglon, and ln phllosophy. 1hus, lL was Lhe pottloloess of Lhe early
naLural sclences, and noL any glarlng errors, LhaL would lnadverLenLly conLrlbuLe Lo Lhe subsequenL and raLher
horrendous fracLurlng of Lhe WesLern worldvlew.
AgalnsL Lhls early (and parLlal) sclenLlflc undersLandlng of Lhe physlosphere, whlch was now seen as a reverslble
mechanlsm lrreverslbly runnlng down, came Lhe work of Alfred Wallace and Charles uarwln on evoluLlon Lhrough
naLural selecLlon ln Lhe blospbete. AlLhough Lhe noLlon of evoluLlon, or lrreverslble developmenL Lhrough Llme, had
an old and honorable hlsLory (from Lhe lonlan phllosophers Lo PeracllLus Lo ArlsLoLle Lo Schelllng), lL was of course
Wallace and uarwln who seL lL ln a sclenLlflc framework backed by meLlculous emplrlcal observaLlons, and lL was
uarwln especlally who llL Lhe world's lmaglnaLlon wlLh hls ldeas on Lhe evoluLlonary naLure of Lhe varlous specles,
lncludlng humans.
AparL from Lhe speclflcs of naLural selecLlon lLself (whlch mosL LheorlsLs now agree can accounL for mlcrochanges
ln evoluLlon buL noL macro-changes), Lhere were Lwo Lhlngs LhaL [umped ouL ln Lhe uarwlnlan worldvlew, one of
whlch was noL novel aL all, and one of whlch was very novel. 1he flrsL was Lhe conLlnulLy of llfe, Lhe second,
speclaLlon by naLural selecLlon.
1he ldea of Lhe conLlnulLy of llfe-Lhe web of llfe, Lhe Lree of llfe, Lhe no gaps ln naLure" vlew-was aL leasL as old
as laLo and ArlsLoLle, and, as l brlefly menLloned, lL formed an essenLlal lngredlenL ln Lhe noLlon of Lhe CreaL Chaln
of 8elng. SplrlL manlfesLs lLself ln Lhe world ln such a compleLe and full fashlon LhaL lL leaves no gaps ln naLure, no
mlsslng llnks ln Lhe CreaL Chaln. And, as Love[oy noLed, lL was Lhe phllosophlcal bellef LhaL Lhere are no gaps ln
creaLlon LhaL Jltectly led Lo Lhe sclenLlflc aLLempLs Lo flnd noL only Lhe mlsslng llnks ln naLure (whlch ls where LhaL
phrase orlglnaLed) buL also evldence of llfe on oLher planeLs. All of Lhese gaps" needed Lo be fllled ln, ln order Lo
round ouL Lhe CreaL Chaln, and Lhere was preclsely noLhlng new or unusual ln uarwln's presenLaLlon of Lhe
conLlnuous Lree of llfe.
WhaL was raLher novel was hls Lhesls LhaL Lhe varlous llnks ln Lhe CreaL Chaln, Lhe varlous specles Lhemselves, had
ln facL unfolded or evolved over vasL sLreLches of geologlcal Llme and were noL slmply puL Lhere, all aL once, aL Lhe
creaLlon. 1here were precedenLs for Lhls Lhesls, parLlcularly ln ArlsLoLle's verslon of Lhe CreaL Chaln, whlch, he
malnLalned, showed a progresslve and unbroken developmenL of naLure Lhrough whaL he called meLamorphosls,
from lnorganlc (maLLer) Lo nuLrlLlve (planL) Lo sensorlmoLor (anlmal) Lo symbol-uLlllzlng anlmals (humans), all
dlsplaylng progresslve organlzaLlon and lncreaslng complexlLy of form. Lelbnlz had Laken profound sLeps Lo
Lemporallze" Lhe CreaL Chaln, and wlLh Schelllng and Pegel we see Lhe full-blown concepLlon of a process or
developmenLal phllosophy applled Lo llLerally all aspecLs and all spheres of exlsLence.
8uL lL was uarwln's meLlculous descrlpLlons of naLural specles and hls unusual clarlLy of presenLaLlon, comblned
wlLh hls hypoLhesls of naLural selecLlon, LhaL propelled Lhe concepL of developmenL or evoluLlon Lo Lhe sclenLlflc
forefronL. Cf Lhe blospbete.
And ln Lhe blosphere uarwln (and many oLhers) noLlced LhaL Lhere ls also a cruclal Llme's arrow. LvoluLlon ls
lrreverslble. We may see amoebas evenLually evolve lnLo apes, buL we never see apes Lurn lnLo amoebas. 1haL ls,
evoluLlon proceeds lrreverslbly ln Lhe dlrecLlon of lncreaslng dlfferenLlaLlon/lnLegraLlon, lncreaslng sLrucLural
organlzaLlon, and lncreaslng complexlLy. lL goes from less ordered Lo more ordered. 8uL obvlously, Lhe dlrecLlon of
tbls Llme's arrow was dlameLrlcally opposed Lo Llme's arrow ln Lhe (known) physlosphere: Lhe former ls wlndlng up,
Lhe laLLer ls wlndlng down.
lL was aL Lhls polnL, hlsLorlcally, LhaL Lhe physlosphere and Lhe blosphere fell aparL. lL was an exLremely dlfflculL
slLuaLlon. lor one Lhlng, boLh physlcs and blology were sopposeJ Lo be parL of Lhe new naLural sclences, relylng on
emplrlcal observaLlon, measuremenL, Lheory formaLlon, and rlgorous LesLlng (Lhls overall procedure was lndeed
novel, daLlng from 1603 wlLh kepler and Callleo). 8uL alLhough Lhe metboJs of physlcs and blology were slmllar,
Lhelr tesolts were fundamenLally lncompaLlble, saddled, as Laszlo puL lL, wlLh Lhe perslsLenL conLradlcLlon beLween
a mechanlsLlc world slaLed Lo run down and an organlc world seemlng Lo wlnd up."
A furLher compllcaLlon was Lhe relaLlon of physlcs and blology Lo Lhe noosphere lLself, Lo mlnd and values and
hlsLory. ln Lhe earller concepLlon of Lhe CreaL Chaln of 8elng, maLLer and body and mlnd were seen as perfecLly
conLlnuous aspecLs of Lhe superabundanL overflowlng of SplrlL. 1hey were oll organlcally relaLed as manlfesLaLlons
or emanaLlons of Lhe ulvlne, wlLh no gaps and no holes (we flnd Lhls from laLo Lo loLlnus Lo ascal). 8uL wlLh Lhe
separaLlon of Lhe physlosphere and Lhe blosphere (due Lo Lhelr Lwo dlfferenL arrows of Llme), Lhe llnks ln Lhe enLlre
Chaln began Lo fall lnLo allenaLed and seemlngly unrelaLed spheres-dead maLLer versus vlLal body versus
dlsembodled mlnd.
1here were lmmedlaLe and raLher desperaLe aLLempLs Lo repalr Lhe damage, Lo reLurn Lhe unlverse Lo a unlfled
concepLlon. 1he flrsL and by far Lhe mosL lnfluenLlal aLLempL Lo resurrecL a coherenL worldvlew was maLerlal
reducLlonlsm, Lhe aLLempL Lo reduce all mlnd and all body Lo varlous comblnaLlons of maLLer and mechanlsm
(Pobbes, La MeLLrle, Polbach). Lqually allurlng was Lhe reverse agenda: elevaLe all maLLer and bodles Lo Lhe sLaLus of
menLal evenLs (as ln Lhe phenomenallsm of Mach or 8erkeley). ln beLween Lhe Lwo exLremes of reducLlonlsm and
elevaLlonlsm were a whole hosL of uneasy compromlses: Lhe duallsm of uescarLes, a noble and, aL Lhe Llme, wholly
undersLandable aLLempL Lo salvage Lhe sLaLus of Lhe mlnd from lLs reducLlon Lo mere maLerlal mechanlsm, by
unforLunaLely Lhrowlng Lhe whole blosphere over Lo Lhe mechanlsLs and snaLchlng only Lhe noosphere from Lhe [aws
of Lhe sharks, Lhe panLhelsm of Splnoza (who regarded hlmself as a good CarLeslan), seelng mlnd and maLLer as Lwo
parallel aLLrlbuLes of Cod LhaL oevet lnLeracLed (whlch he assumed Look care of tbot problem), Lhe
eplphenomenallsm of 1. P. Puxley, who saw Lhe mlnd as an eplphenomenon," real enough ln lLself, buL purely Lhe
byproducL of physlologlcal causes and havlng no causal power lLself-Lhe ghosL ln Lhe machlne."
All of Lhese aLLempLs were saboLaged from Lhe beglnnlng, noL so much by Lhe spllL beLween mlnd and body (whlch
was aL leasL as old as clvlllzaLlon and had never boLhered anybody before), buL by Lhe more prlmlLlve and radlcal spllL
beLween body and maLLer-LhaL ls, llfe and maLLer (Lhe parLlcular form of whlch was lndeed very new and very
dlsLurblng). As Penrl 8ergson puL lL, Lhe unlverse shows Lwo Lendencles, a reallLy whlch ls maklng lLself ln a reallLy
whlch ls unmaklng lLself."
1he upshoL of all Lhls was LhaL, preclsely because Lhe physlosphere and Lhe blosphere had parLed ways, Lhe world
was, lndeed, ftoctoteJ. 1he lmmedlaLe effecL was LhaL physlcs and blology wenL Lhelr separaLe ways. Much more
dlsLurblng, naLural phllosophy was spllL from moral phllosophy, and Lhe naLural sclences were spllL from Lhe human
sclences. 1he physlosphere was seen as Lhe realm of focts unaffecLed by hlsLory, and Lhe noosphere as Lhe realm of
voloes and motols creaLed prlmarlly by hlsLory, and Lhls gap was felL Lo be absoluLely unbrldgeable. And poor
blology, caughL ln Lhe mlddle beLween Lhe hard sclences" of Lhe physlosphere and sofL sclences" of Lhe noosphere,
became poslLlvely schlzophrenlc, Lrylng now Lo ape physlcs and reduce all llfe Lo mechanlsm, now Lo ape Lhe
noosphere and see all llfe as fundamenLally embodylng elan vlLal and values and hlsLory.
As several researchers have noLed, noL unLll Lhe puzzle of Lhe Lwo and opposlng arrows of Llme was resolved ln
Lhe laLe LwenLleLh cenLury was Lhere a sound basls for brldglng Lhe gap beLween maLLer and mlnd, Lhe naLural world
and Lhe human world, and Lhus beLween Lhe 'Lwo culLures' of modern WesLern clvlllzaLlon."
And, as l sald, lL was
noL so much Lhe gap beLween mlnd and body as Lhe gap beLween body and maLLer LhaL needed Lo be closed.
1PL MCuL8n LvCLu1lCnA8? S?n1PLSlS
1he closlng of Lhe gap beLween Lhe physlosphere and Lhe blosphere came preclsely ln Lhe raLher recenL dlscovery of
Lhose subLler and orlglnally hldden aspecLs of Lhe maLerlal realm LhaL, under cerLaln clrcumsLances, ptopel
tbemselves lnLo sLaLes of hlgher order, hlgher complexlLy, and hlgher organlzaLlon. ln oLher words, under cerLaln
clrcumsLances maLLer wlll wlnd lLself up" lnLo sLaLes of hlgher order, as when Lhe waLer runnlng down a draln
suddenly ceases Lo be chaoLlc and forms a perfecL funnel or whlrlpool. Whenever maLerlal processes become very
chaoLlc and far from equlllbrlum," Lhey Lend under Lhelr own power Lo escape chaos by Lransformlng lL lnLo a hlgher
and more sLrucLured order-commonly called order ouL of chaos."
noLlce LhaL Lhese Lypes of purely maLerlal sysLems also have an arrow of Llme, buL Lhls arrow ls polnLed ln Lhe
some Jltectloo as Lhe arrow of Llme lo llvloq systems, namely, Lo hlgher order and hlgher sLrucLural organlzaLlon. ln
oLher words, aspecLs of Lhe physlosphere ote beoJeJ lo tbe some Jltectloo as Lhe blosphere, and LhaL, puL roughly,
closes Lhe gap beLween Lhem. 1he maLerlal world ls perfecLly capable of wlndlng lLself up, long before Lhe
appearance of llfe, and Lhus Lhe self-wlndlng" naLure of maLLer lLself seLs Lhe sLage, or prepares Lhe condlLlons, for
Lhe complex self-organlzaLlon known as llfe. 1he Lwo arrows have [olned forces.
1he naLure of Lhese chaoLlc LranslLlons and LransformaLlons are sLlll belng explored. 8uL Lhe polnL ls LhaL, where
Lhere once appeared a slngle and absoluLely unbrldgeable gap beLween Lhe world of maLLer and Lhe world of llfe-a
gap LhaL posed a compleLely unsolvable problem-Lhere now appeared only a serles of mlnlgaps. And whaLever Lhe
exacL naLure of Lhese mlnlgaps, Lhey looked unavoldably llke a serles of brldges lnherenLly telotloq maLLer Lo llfe,
and noL llke a moaL forever separaLlng Lhem. 1hus Lhe old conLlnulLy beLween Lhe physlosphere and Lhe
blosphere-a conLlnulLy LhaL was a hallmark of Lhe CreaL Chaln of 8elng-was once agaln esLabllshed.
As l sald, Lhere are sLlll cerLaln Lypes of very lmporLanL gaps or leaps" ln naLure (expressed ln emergenLs), buL
Lhese now make sense, and seem somehow lnevlLable, ln ways LhaL early sclence found lncomprehenslble.
1he new sclences deallng wlLh Lhese self-wlndlng" or self-organlzlng" sysLems are known collecLlvely as Lhe
sclences of complexlLy-lncludlng Ceneral SysLem 1heory (8erLalanffy, Welss), cyberneLlcs (Wlener), nonequlllbrlum
Lhermodynamlcs (rlgoglne), cellular auLomaLa Lheory (von neumann), caLasLrophe Lheory (1hom), auLopoleLlc
sysLem Lheory (MaLurana and varela), dynamlc sysLems Lheory (Shaw, Abraham), and chaos Lheorles, among oLhers.
l do noL mean Lo mlnlmlze Lhe very real dlfferences beLween Lhese varlous sclences, or Lhe greaL advances LhaL
Lhe more recenL sclences of complexlLy (especlally self-organlzlng sysLems and chaos Lheorles) have made over Lhelr
predecessors. 8uL slnce my alm ls very general, l wlll refer Lo Lhem collecLlvely as sysLems Lheory, dynamlc sysLems
Lheory, or evoluLlonary sysLems Lheory. lor Lhe general clalm, remember, of evoluLlonary sysLems Lheory ls LhaL
Lhere have now been dlscovered baslc regularlLles, paLLerns, or laws LhaL apply ln a broad fashlon Lo all Lhree greaL
realms of evoluLlon, Lhe physlosphere and Lhe blosphere and Lhe noosphere, and LhaL a unlLy of sclence"-a
coherenL and unlfled worldvlew-ls now posslble.
1hey clalm, ln oLher words, LhaL everyLhlng ls connecLed Lo
everyLhlng else"-Lhe web of llfe as a sclenLlflc and noL [usL rellglous concluslon.
8efore we dlscuss some of Lhe flner polnLs and concluslons of Lhe evoluLlonary sysLems sclences, Lhe flrsL Lhlng LhaL
we can'L help noLlclng ls LhaL Lhese sclences are shoL Lhrough wlLh Lhe noLlon of bletotcby-a word LhaL has fallen
on very hard Llmes. All sorLs of LheorlsLs, from deep ecologlsLs Lo soclal crlLlcs, from ecofemlnlsLs Lo posLmodern
posLsLrucLurallsLs, have found Lhe noLlon of hlerarchy noL only undeslrable buL a bona flde cause of much soclal
domlnaLlon, oppresslon, and ln[usLlce.
And yeL here are Lhe acLual sysLem sclences Lalklng openly and glowlngly of hlerarchy. l wlll presenL Lhe evldence
for Lhls laLer, buL we flnd lL everywhere: from Lhe founder of Ceneral SysLem 1heory, Ludwlg von 8erLalanffy
(8eallLy, ln Lhe modern concepLlon, appears as a Lremendous hlerarchlcal order of organlzed enLlLles") Lo 8uperL
Sheldrake and hls nesLed hlerarchy of morphogeneLlc flelds", from Lhe greaL sysLems llngulsL 8oman !akobson
(Plerarchy, Lhen, ls Lhe fundamenLal sLrucLural prlnclple of language") Lo Charles 8lrch and !ohn Cobb's ecologlcal
model of reallLy based on hlerarchlcal value", from lranclsco varela's groundbreaklng work on auLopoleLlc sysLems
(lL seems Lo be a general reflecLlon of Lhe rlchness of naLural sysLems . . . Lo produce a hlerarchy of levels") Lo Lhe
braln research of 8oger Sperry and Slr !ohn Lccles and Wllder enfleld (a hlerarchy of nonreduclble emergenLs"),
and even Lhe soclal crlLlcal Lheory of !urgen Pabermas (a hlerarchy of communlcaLlve compeLence")-hlerarchy
seems Lo be everywhere.
now, Lhe opponenLs of hlerarchy-Lhelr names are leglon-baslcally malnLaln LhaL all hlerarchles lnvolve a
tookloq or domlnaLlng [udgmenL LhaL oppresses oLher values and Lhe lndlvlduals who hold Lhem (hlerarchles are a
hegemonlc domlnaLlon LhaL marglnallzes dlfferenLlal values"), and LhaL a llnklng or oootookloq model of reallLy ls
noL only more accuraLe buL, we mlghL say, klnder and genLler and more [usL.
So Lhey propose lnsLead, ln Lhelr varlous fashlons, Lhe noLlon of betetotcby. ln a heLerarchy, rule or governance ls
esLabllshed by a plurallsLlc and egallLarlan lnLerplay of all parLles, ln a bletotcby, rule or governance ls esLabllshed by
a seL of prlorlLles LhaL esLabllsh Lhose Lhlngs LhaL are more lmporLanL and Lhose LhaL are less.
nowhere ln Lhe llLeraLure of modern soclal Lheory ls Lhere more acrlmony expressed Lhan over Lhe Loplc of
hlerarchy/heLerarchy. Cn Lhe one slde we have Lhe champlons of egallLarlan and equallLarlan" vlews (heLerarchy),
who see all creaLures as equal nodes ln Lhe web of llfe, and who, wlLh good reasons, lnvelgh agalnsL harsh soclal
ranklng and domlnaLlon, argulng lnsLead for a plurallsLlc wholeness LhaL lnLrlnslcally values each sLrand ln Lhe web,
wlLh hlgher" and lower" belng forms noL of organlzaLlon buL domlnaLlon and explolLaLlon. Lven Lhe noLlons of
hlgher" and lower" are sald Lo be parL of old-paradlgm" Lhlnklng, and noL parL of Lhe new-paradlgm" or
neLwork" or web-of-llfe" Lhlnklng.
And yeL, when lL comes Lo Lhe acLual sclences of Lhls web of llfe, Lhe sclences of wholeness and connecLedness, we
flnd Lhem speaklng unmlsLakably of hlerarchy as Lhe baslc organlzlng prlnclple of wholeness. 1hey malnLaln LhaL you
cannoL have wboleoess wlLhouL bletotcby, because unless you organlze Lhe parLs lnLo a larger whole whose glue ls
a prlnclple hlgher or deeper Lhan Lhe parLs possess alone-unless you do LhaL, Lhen you have heaps, noL wholes. ?ou
have sLrands, buL never a web. Lven lf Lhe whole ls a muLual lnLeracLlon of parLs, Lhe wholeness cannoL be on Lhe
same level as Lhe parLness or lL would lLself be merely anoLher parL, noL a whole capable of embraclng and
lnLegraLlng each and every parL. Plerarchy" and wholeness," ln oLher words, are Lwo names for Lhe same Lhlng,
and lf you desLroy one, you compleLely desLroy Lhe oLher.
lL ls lronlc, Lo say Lhe leasL, LhaL Lhe soclal champlons of Lhe web of llfe deny hlerarchy ln any form whlle Lhe
sclences of Lhe web of llfe lnslsL upon lL. And lL ls doubly lronlc LhaL Lhe former ofLen polnL Lo Lhe laLLer for supporL
(e.g., 1he new physlcs supporLs Lhe equallLarlan web of llfe").
WhaL's golng on here? ln parL, l wlll Lry Lo show, Lhls ls a colossal semanLlc confuslon-Lhe Lwo parLles are acLually
much closer Lhan elLher supposes. 1he real world does lndeed conLaln some naLural or normal hlerarchles (as we'll
see), and lL deflnlLely conLalns some paLhologlcal or domlnaLor hlerarchles. And [usL as lmporLanL, lL conLalns some
normal heLerarchles and some paLhologlcal heLerarchles (l'll glve some examples of all four ln a momenL). 1he
semanLlc confuslons surroundlng Lhese Loplcs are an absoluLe nlghLmare, confuslons LhaL have bred an lnordlnaLe
amounL of ldeologlcal fury on boLh sldes, and unless we aLLempL Lo clear up some of Lhls confuslon, Lhe dlscusslon
slmply cannoL go forward. So leL us Lry. . . .
nleto- means sacred or holy, and -otcb means governance or rule. lnLroduced by Lhe greaL slxLh-cenLury ChrlsLlan
mysLlc SalnL ulonyslus Lhe AreopaglLe, Lhe Plerarchles" referred Lo nlne celesLlal orders, wlLh Seraphlm and
Cherublm aL Lhe Lop and archangels and angels aL Lhe boLLom. Among oLher Lhlngs, Lhese celesLlal orders
represenLed hlgher knowledge and vlrLue and lllumlnaLlons LhaL were made more accesslble ln conLemplaLlve
awareness. 1hese orders were tookeJ because each successlve order was more lncluslve and more encompasslng
and ln LhaL sense hlgher." Plerarchy" Lhus meanL, ln Lhe flnal analysls, sacred governance," or governlng one's
llfe by splrlLual powers."
ln Lhe course of CaLhollc Church hlsLory, however, Lhese celesLlal orders of conLemplaLlve awareness were
LranslaLed lnLo polltlcol orders of power, wlLh Lhe Plerarchles supposedly belng represenLed ln Lhe pope, Lhen
archblshops, Lhen blshops (and Lhen prlesLs and deacons). As MarLlneau puL lL ln 1831, A scheme of a hlerarchy
whlch mlghL easlly become a despoLlsm." And already we can sLarL Lo see how a normal developmenLal sequence of
lncreaslng wholes mlghL paLhologlcally degeneraLe lnLo a sysLem of oppresslon and represslon.
As used ln modern psychology, evoluLlonary Lheory, and sysLems Lheory, a hlerarchy ls slmply a ranklng of orders
of evenLs occotJloq to tbelt bollstlc copoclty. ln any developmenLal sequence, whaL ls whole aL one sLage becomes a
parL of a larger whole aL Lhe nexL sLage. A leLLer ls parL of a whole word, whlch ls parL of a whole senLence, whlch ls
parL of a whole paragraph, and so on. As Poward Cardner explalns lL for blology, Any change ln an organlsm wlll
affecL all Lhe parLs, no aspecL of a sLrucLure can be alLered wlLhouL affecLlng Lhe enLlre sLrucLure, each whole
conLalns parLs and ls lLself parL of a larger whole."
Cr 8oman !akobson for language: 1he phoneme ls a
comblnaLlon of dlsLlncLlve feaLures, lL ls composed of dlverse prlmlLlve slgnallng unlLs and can lLself be lncorporaLed
lnLo larger unlLs such as syllables and words. lL ls slmulLaneously a whole composed of parLs and ls lLself a parL LhaL ls
lncluded ln larger wholes."
ArLhur koesLler colned Lhe Lerm boloo Lo refer Lo LhaL whlch, belng a wbole ln one conLexL, ls slmulLaneously a
pott ln anoLher. WlLh reference Lo Lhe phrase Lhe bark of a dog," for example, Lhe word botk ls a whole wlLh
reference Lo lLs lndlvldual leLLers, buL a parL wlLh reference Lo Lhe phrase lLself. And Lhe whole (or Lhe conLexL) can
Jetetmloe Lhe meanlng and funcLlon of a parL-Lhe meanlng of botk ls dlfferenL ln Lhe phrases Lhe bark of a dog"
and Lhe bark of a Lree." 1he whole, ln oLher words, ls more Lhan Lhe sum of lLs parLs, and LhaL whole can lnfluence
and deLermlne, ln many cases, Lhe funcLlon of lLs parLs (and LhaL whole lLself ls, of course, slmulLaneously a parL of
some oLher whole, l wlll reLurn Lo Lhls ln a momenL).
normal hlerarchy, Lhen, ls slmply an order of lncreaslng holons, represenLlng an lncrease ln wholeness and
lnLegraLlve capaclLy-aLoms Lo molecules Lo cells, for example. 1hls ls why hlerarchy ls lndeed so cenLral Lo sysLems
Lheory, Lhe Lheory of wholeness or hollsm (whollsm"). 1o be a parL of a larger whole means LhaL Lhe whole supplles
a prlnclple (or some sorL of glue) noL found ln Lhe lsolaLed parLs alone, and Lhls prlnclple allows Lhe parLs Lo [oln, Lo
llnk LogeLher, Lo have someLhlng ln common, Lo be connecLed, ln ways LhaL Lhey slmply could noL be on Lhelr own.
Plerarchy, Lhen, converLs heaps lnLo wholes, dls[olnLed fragmenLs lnLo neLworks of muLual lnLeracLlon. When lL ls
sald LhaL Lhe whole ls greaLer Lhan Lhe sum of lLs parLs," Lhe greaLer" means hlerarchy." lL doesn'L mean fasclsL
domlnaLlon, lL means a hlgher (or deeper) commonallLy LhaL [olns lsolaLed sLrands lnLo an acLual web, LhaL [olns
molecules lnLo a cell, or cells lnLo an organlsm.
1hls ls why hlerarchy" and wholeness" are ofLen uLLered ln Lhe same senLence, as when Cardner says LhaL a
blologlcal organlsm ls vlewed as a LoLallLy whose parLs are lnLegraLed lnLo a hlerarchlcal whole."
Cr why, as soon as
!akobson explalns language as slmulLaneously a whole composed of parLs and lLself a parL lncluded ln a larger
whole," he concludes, Plerarchy, Lhen, ls Lhe fundamenLal sLrucLural prlnclple." 1hls ls also why normal hlerarchles
are ofLen drawn as a serles of concenLrlc clrcles or spheres or nesLs wlLhln nesLs." As Coudge explalns:
1he general scheme of levels ls noL Lo be envlsaged as akln Lo a successlon of geologlcal sLraLa or Lo a serles of
rungs ln a ladder. Such lmages fall Lo do [usLlce Lo Lhe complex lnLerrelaLlons LhaL exlsL ln Lhe real world. 1hese
lnLerrelaLlons are much more llke Lhe ones found ln a nesL of Chlnese boxes or ln a seL of concenLrlc spheres,
for accordlng Lo emergenL evoluLlonlsLs, a glven level can conLaln oLher levels wlLhln lL [l.e., holons].
1hus, Lhe common charge LhaL all hlerarchles are llnear" compleLely mlsses Lhe polnL. SLages of growLh ln any
sysLem can, of course, be wrlLLen down ln a llnear" order, [usL as we can wrlLe down: acorn, seedllng, oak, buL Lo
accuse Lhe oak of Lherefore belng llnear ls sllly. As we wlll see, Lhe sLages of growLh are noL haphazard or random,
buL occur ln some sorL of paLLern, buL Lo call Lhls paLLern llnear" does noL aL all lmply LhaL Lhe processes Lhemselves
are a rlgldly one-way sLreeL, Lhey are lnLerdependenL and complexly lnLeracLlve. So we can use Lhe meLaphors of
levels" or ladders" or sLraLa" only lf we exerclse a llLLle lmaglnaLlon ln undersLandlng Lhe complexlLy LhaL ls
acLually lnvolved.
And flnally, hlerarchy ls asymmeLrlcal (or a hlgher"-archy) because Lhe process does noL occur ln Lhe reverse.
Acorns grow lnLo oaks, buL noL vlce versa. 1here are flrsL leLLers, Lhen words, Lhen senLences, Lhen paragraphs, buL
noL vlce versa. ALoms [oln lnLo molecules, buL noL vlce versa. And LhaL noL vlce versa" consLlLuLes an unavoldable
hlerarchy or ranklng or asymmeLrlcal order of lncreaslng wholeness.
All developmenLal and evoluLlonary sequences LhaL we are aware of proceed ln parL by hlerarchlzaLlon, or by
orders of lncreaslng hollsm-molecules Lo cells Lo organs Lo organ sysLems Lo organlsms Lo socleLles of organlsms,
for example. ln cognlLlve developmenL, we flnd awareness expandlng from slmple lmages, whlch represenL only one
Lhlng or evenL, Lo symbols and concepLs, whlch represenL whole groups or classes of Lhlngs and evenLs, Lo rules
whlch organlze and lnLegraLe numerous classes and groups lnLo enLlre neLworks. ln moral developmenL (male or
female), we flnd a reasonlng LhaL moves from Lhe lsolaLed sub[ecL Lo a group or Lrlbe of relaLed sub[ecLs, Lo an enLlre
neLwork of groups beyond any lsolaLed elemenL. And so on.
(lL ls someLlmes sald LhaL Carol Cllllgan denled, noL [usL Lhe speclflc naLure of Lhe sLages of kohlberg's scheme, buL
hls enLlre hlerarchlcal approach. 1hls ls slmply noL Lrue. Cllllgan, ln facL, accepLs kohlberg's general Lhree-sLage or
Lhree-Llered hlerarchlcal scheme, from preconvenLlonal Lo convenLlonal Lo posLconvenLlonal-meLa-
eLhlcal"-developmenL, she slmply denles LhaL Lhe loglc of [usLlce alone accounLs for Lhe sequence, men seem Lo
emphaslze rlghLs and [usLlce, she says, and LhaL needs Lo be supplemenLed wlLh Lhe loglc of care and responslblllLy
wlLh whlch females progress Lhrough Lhe some hlerarchy-polnLs we wlll reLurn Lo laLer.)
1hese hlerarchlcal neLworks necessarlly unfold ln a sequenLlal or sLagellke fashlon, as l earller menLloned, because
you flrsL have Lo have molecules, tbeo cells, tbeo organs, tbeo complex organlsms-Lhey don'L all bursL on Lhe
scene slmulLaneously. ln oLher words, growLh occurs ln stoqes, and sLages, of course, are tookeJ ln boLh a loglcal
and chronologlcal order. 1he mote bollstlc paLLerns appear lotet ln developmenL because Lhey have Lo awalL Lhe
emergence of Lhe parLs LhaL Lhey wlll Lhen lnLegraLe or unlfy, [usL as whole senLences emerge only oftet whole
And some hlerarchles do lnvolve a Lype of conLrol neLwork. As 8oger Sperry polnLs ouL, Lhe lower levels (whlch
means, less hollsLlc levels) can lnfluence Lhe upper (or more hollsLlc) levels, Lhrough whaL he calls upward
causaLlon." 8uL [usL as lmporLanL, he remlnds us, Lhe hlgher levels can exerL a powerful lnfluence or conLrol on Lhe
lower levels-so-called downward causaLlon." lor example, when you declde Lo move your arm, all Lhe aLoms and
molecules and cells ln your arm move wlLh lL-an lnsLance of downward causaLlon.
now, wltblo a glven level of any hlerarchlcal paLLern, Lhe elemenLs of LhaL level operaLe by betetotcby. 1haL ls,
no one elemenL seems Lo be especlally more lmporLanL or more domlnanL, and each conLrlbuLes more or less equally
Lo Lhe healLh of Lhe whole level (so-called booLsLrapplng"). 8uL a hlgher-order whole, of whlch Lhls lower-order
whole ls a parL, can exerL an overrldlng lnfluence on each of lLs componenLs. Agaln, when you declde Lo move your
arm, your mlnd-a hlgher-order hollsLlc organlzaLlon-exerLs lnfluence over all Lhe cells ln your arm, whlch are
lower-order wholes, buL oot vlce vetso: a cell ln your arm cannoL declde Lo move Lhe whole arm-Lhe Lall does noL
wag Lhe dog.
And so sysLems LheorlsLs Lend Lo say: wltblo each level, heLerarchy, betweeo each level, hlerarchy.
ln any developmenLal or growLh sequence, as a more encompasslng sLage or holon emerges, lL locloJes Lhe
capaclLles and paLLerns and funcLlons of Lhe prevlous sLage (l.e., of Lhe prevlous holons), and Lhen adds lLs own
unlque (and more encompasslng) capaclLles. ln LhaL sense, and LhaL sense only, can Lhe new and more encompasslng
holon be sald Lo be hlgher" or deeper." (Plgher" and deeper" boLh lmply a verLlcal dlmenslon of lnLegraLlon noL
found ln a merely horlzonLal expanslon, a polnL we wlll reLurn Lo ln a momenL.) Crganlsms locloJe cells, whlch
locloJe molecules, whlch locloJe aLoms (buL noL vlce versa).
1hus, whaLever Lhe lmporLanL value of Lhe prevlous sLage, Lhe new sLage has LhaL enfolded ln lLs own makeup,
plus someLhlng exLra (more lnLegraLlve capaclLy, for example), and LhaL someLhlng exLra" means exLra value"
telotlve Lo Lhe prevlous (and less encompasslng) sLage. 1hls cruclal deflnlLlon of a hlgher sLage" was flrsL lnLroduced
ln Lhe WesL by ArlsLoLle and ln Lhe LasL by Shankara and Lleh-Lzu, lL has been cenLral Lo developmenLal sLudles ever
A qulck example: ln cognlLlve and moral developmenL, ln boLh Lhe boy and Lhe glrl, Lhe sLage of preoperaLlonal or
preconvenLlonal LhoughL ls concerned largely wlLh Lhe lndlvldual's own polnL of vlew (narclsslsLlc"). 1he nexL sLage,
Lhe operaLlonal or convenLlonal sLage, sLlll Lakes accounL of Lhe lndlvldual's own polnL of vlew, buL oJJs Lhe
capaclLy Lo Lake Lhe vlew of otbets lnLo accounL. noLhlng fundamenLal ls losL, raLher, someLhlng new ls added. And
so ln Lhls sense lL ls properly sald LhaL Lhls sLage ls hlgher or deeper, meanlng more valuable and useful for a wlder
range of lnLeracLlons. ConvenLlonal LhoughL ls mote volooble Lhan preconvenLlonal LhoughL ln esLabllshlng a
balanced moral response (and posLconvenLlonal ls even more valuable, and so on).
As Pegel flrsL puL lL, and as developmenLallsLs have echoed ever slnce, each sLage ls adequaLe and valuable, buL
each deeper or hlgher sLage ls more adequaLe and, ln LhaL sense only, more valuable (whlch always means more
hollsLlc, or capable of a wlder response).
lL ls for all Lhese reasons LhaL koesLler, afLer noLlng LhaL all such hlerarchles are composed of holons, or lncreaslng
orders of wholeness, polnLed ouL LhaL Lhe correcL word for hlerarchy" ls acLually bolotcby.
Pe ls absoluLely correcL, and so from now on l wlll ofLen use hlerarchy" and holarchy" lnLerchangeably.
1hus heLerarchlsLs, who clalm LhaL heLerarchy" and hollsm" are Lhe same Lhlng (and LhaL boLh are conLrasLed Lo
Lhe dlvlslve and nasLy hlerarchy"), have goL lL exacLly backward: 1he only way Lo geL a hollsm ls vla a holarchy.
PeLerarchy, ln and by lLself, ls merely dlfferenLlaLlon wlLhouL lnLegraLlon, dls[olnLed parLs recognlzlng no common
and deeper purpose or organlzaLlon: heaps, noL wholes.
1haL ls normal or naLural holarchy, Lhe sequenLlal or sLagellke unfoldlng of larger neLworks of lncreaslng wholeness,
wlLh Lhe larger or wlder wholes belng able Lo exerL lnfluence over Lhe lower-order wholes. And as naLural, deslrable,
and unavoldable as LhaL ls, you can already sLarL Lo see how holarchles can go paLhologlcal. lf Lhe hlgher levels can
exerL lnfluence over Lhe lower levels, Lhey can also overdomlnaLe or even repress and allenaLe Lhe lower levels. And
LhaL leads Lo a hosL of paLhologlcal dlfflculLles, ln boLh Lhe lndlvldual and socleLy aL large.
lL ls preclsely becoose Lhe world ls arranged holarchlcally, preclsely because lL conLalns flelds wlLhln flelds wlLhln
flelds, LhaL Lhlngs can go so profoundly wrong, LhaL a dlsrupLlon or paLhology ln one fleld can reverberaLe LhroughouL
an enLlre sysLem. And Lhe cure for Lhls paLhology, ln all sysLems, ls essenLlally Lhe same: rooLlng ouL Lhe paLhologlcal
holons so LhaL Lhe holarchy lLself can reLurn Lo harmony. 1he cure does noL conslsL ln geLLlng rld of holarchy per se,
slnce, even lf LhaL were posslble, lL would slmply resulL ln a unlform, one-dlmenslonal flaLland of no value
dlsLlncLlons aL all (whlch ls why Lhose crlLlcs who Loss ouL hlerarchy ln general lmmedlaLely replace lL wlLh a new
scale of values of Lhelr own, l.e., wlLh Lhelr own parLlcular hlerarchy).
8aLher, Lhe cure of any dlseased sysLem conslsLs ln rooLlng ouL any holons LhaL have usurped Lhelr poslLlon ln Lhe
overall sysLem by abuslng Lhelr power of upward or downward causaLlon. 1hls ls exacLly Lhe cure we see aL work ln
psychoanalysls (shadow holons refuse lnLegraLlon), crlLlcal soclal Lheory (ldeologlcal holons dlsLorL open
communlcaLlon), democraLlc revoluLlons (monarchlcal or fasclsL holons oppress Lhe body pollLlc), medlcal sclence
lnLervenLlons (cancerous holons lnvade a benlgn sysLem), radlcal femlnlsL crlLlques (paLrlarchal holons domlnaLe Lhe
publlc sphere), and so on. lL ls noL geLLlng rld of holarchy per se, buL arresLlng (and lnLegraLlng) Lhe arroganL holons.
ln shorL, Lhe exlsLence of paLhologlcal hlerarchles does noL damn Lhe exlsLence of hlerarchles ln general. 1haL
dlsLlncLlon ls cruclal and, for Lhe mosL parL, very easy Lo spoL. 1hus 8lane Llsler, herself a raLher sLaunch champlon of
heLerarchy, noneLheless emphaLlcally noLes LhaL an lmporLanL dlsLlncLlon should be made beLween domlnaLlon and
acLuallzaLlon hlerarchles. 1he Lerm Jomlootloo bletotcbles descrlbes hlerarchles based on force or Lhe express or
lmplled LhreaL of force. Such hlerarchles are very dlfferenL from Lhe Lypes of hlerarchles found ln progresslons from
lower Lo hlgher orderlngs of funcLlonlng-such as Lhe progresslon from cells Lo organs ln llvlng organlsms, for
example. 1hese Lypes of hlerarchles may be characLerlzed by Lhe Lerm octoollzotloo bletotcbles because Lhelr
funcLlon ls Lo maxlmlze Lhe organlsm's poLenLlals. 8y conLrasL, human hlerarchles based on force or Lhe LhreaL of
force noL only lnhlblL personal creaLlvlLy buL also resulL ln soclal sysLems ln whlch Lhe lowesL (basesL) human quallLles
are relnforced and humanlLy's hlgher asplraLlons (LralLs such as compasslon and empaLhy as well as Lhe sLrlvlng for
LruLh and [usLlce) are sysLemaLlcally suppressed."
LeL us furLher noLe LhaL, by Llsler's own deflnlLlons, whaL domlnaLor hlerarchles are suppresslng ls ln facL Lhe
lndlvldual's own acLuallzaLlon hlerarchles!-whaL she calls humanlLy's hlgher asplraLlons" lnsLead of lLs lowesL
(basesL) quallLles." ln oLher words, Lhe cure for paLhologlcal hlerarchy ls acLuallzaLlon hlerarchy, noL heLerarchy
(whlch would produce more heaps and fragmenLs, noL wholes and cures).
1hese Lypes of dlsLlncLlons are cruclal, because noL only are Lhere paLhologlcal or domlnaLor hlerarchles, Lhere are
paLhologlcal or Jomlootot betetotcbles (whlch ls a Loplc LhaL heLerarchlsLs sLudlously avold). l [usL suggesLed LhaL
normal hlerarchy, or Lhe bollsm betweeo levels, goes paLhologlcal when Lhere ls a breakdown beLween levels and a
parLlcular holon assumes a represslve, oppresslve, arroganL role of domlnance over oLher holons (wheLher ln
lndlvldual or soclal developmenL). Cn Lhe oLher hand, ootmol heLerarchy, whlch ls hollsm wltblo any level, goes
paLhologlcal when Lhere ls a blurrlng or fuslon of LhaL level wlLh lLs envlronmenL: a parLlcular holon doesn'L sLand ouL
Loo much, lL blends ln Loo much, lL doesn'L arrogaLe lLself above oLhers, lL loses lLself ln oLhers-and all dlsLlncLlons,
of value or ldenLlLy, are losL (Lhe lndlvldual holon flnds lLs value and ldenLlLy only Lhrough oLhers).
ln oLher words, ln paLhologlcal bletotcby, one holon assumes agenLlc domlnance Lo Lhe deLrlmenL of all. 1hls
holon doesn'L assume lL ls botb a whole and a parL, lL assumes lL ls Lhe whole, perlod. Cn Lhe oLher hand, ln
paLhologlcal betetotcby, lndlvldual holons lose Lhelr dlsLlncLlve value and ldenLlLy ln a communal fuslon and
melLdown. 1hls holon doesn'L assume lL ls botb a whole and a parL, lL assumes lL ls a parL, perlod. lL becomes only
losttomeotol Lo some oLher use, lL ls merely a sLrand ln Lhe web, lL has no lnLrlnslc value.
1hus, paLhologlcal heLerarchy means noL unlon buL fuslon, noL lnLegraLlon buL lndlssoclaLlon, noL relaLlng buL
dlssolvlng. All values become equallzed and homogenlzed ln a flaLland devold of lndlvldual values or ldenLlLles,
noLhlng can be sald Lo be deeper or hlgher or beLLer ln any meanlngful sense, all values vanlsh lnLo a herd menLallLy
of Lhe bland leadlng Lhe bland.
Whereas paLhologlcal hlerarchy ls a Lype of onLologlcal fasclsm (wlLh Lhe one domlnaLlng Lhe many), paLhologlcal
heLerarchy ls a Lype of onLologlcal LoLallLarlanlsm (wlLh Lhe many domlnaLlng Lhe one)-all of whlch we wlll dlscuss
ln deLall ln laLer chapLers (where we wlll see LhaL paLhologlcal hlerarchy and paLhologlcal heLerarchy are,
respecLlvely, Lypes of paLhologlcal oqeocy and paLhologlcal commooloo, and we wlll furLher see LhaL Lhese Lwo
paLhologles are ofLen assoclaLed, respecLlvely, wlLh Lhe mole and femole value spheres-as wlLh Lhe work of
Cllllgan, Llsler, eL al.-Lhe males ranklng" and Lhe females llnklng," wlLh Lhe posslble tespectlve potboloqles of
domlnance and fuslon, femlnlsLs cenLer on Lhe male paLhologles of domlnance and mlss Lhe equally caLasLrophlc
paLhologles of fuslon).
ln Lhe meanLlme, beware any LheorlsL who pushes solely hlerarchy or solely heLerarchy, or aLLempLs Lo glve
greaLer value Lo one or Lhe oLher ln an onLologlcal sense. When l use Lhe Lerm holarchy," l wlll especlally mean Lhe
balance of normal hlerarchy and normal heLerarchy (as Lhe conLexL wlll make clear). Polarchy" undercuLs boLh
exLreme hlerarchy and exLreme heLerarchy, and allows Lhe dlscusslon Lo move forward wlLh, l belleve, Lhe besL of
boLh worlds kepL flrmly ln mlnd.
llnally, l would say LhaL ln Lrylng Lo redress Lhe severe lmbalances of paLhologlcal hlerarchy (whlch, as l lndlcaLed,
we wlll explore under Lhe caLegory of paLhologlcal mascullnlLy and paLhologlcal agency, someLlmes called Lhe
paLrlarchy"), we are allowed, even en[olned, Lo glve normal femlnlnlLy and normal heLerarchy an exoqqetoteJ
emphasls and a qteotet value, slmply because we are Lrylng Lo balance Lhe scales. We are noL allowed, l belleve, Lo
go Lo Lhe oLher exLreme and replace paLhologlcal mascullnlLy wlLh paLhologlcal femlnlnlLy-or, Lo say vlrLually Lhe
same Lhlng, we don'L cure paLhologlcal hlerarchy wlLh paLhologlcal heLerarchy.
CuALl1A1lvL ulS1lnC1lCnS
1he facL LhaL acLuallzaLlon hlerarchles lnvolve a tookloq of lncreaslng hollsLlc capaclLy-or even a ranklng of
voloe-ls deeply dlsLurblng Lo bellevers ln exLreme heLerarchy, who caLegorlcally re[ecL any sorL of acLual ranklng or
[udgmenLs whaLsoever. WlLh very good and ofLen noble reasons (many of whlch l hearLlly supporL), Lhey polnL ouL
LhaL value ranklng ls a hlerarchlcal [udgmenL LhaL all Loo ofLen LranslaLes lnLo soclal oppresslon and lnequallLy, and
LhaL ln Loday's world Lhe more compasslonaLe and [usL response ls a radlcally egallLarlan or plurallsLlc sysLem-a
heLerarchy of equal values. And whlle some of Lhese crlLlcs are, as l sald, qulLe nobly lnsplred, some of Lhem have
become qulLe rancorous, even vlclous, ln Lhelr vocal condemnaLlon of any sorL of value hlerarchles. Plgher" has
become Lhelr all-purpose dlrLy word.
WhaL Lhey don'L seem Lo reallze ls LhaL Lhelr valued embrace of heLerarchy ls lLself a hlerarchlcal [udgmenL. 1hey
value heLerarchy, Lhey feel lL embodles more [usLlce, and compasslon, and decency, Lhey conLrasL lL wlLh hlerarchlcal
vlews, whlch Lhey feel are domlnaLlng and denlgraLlng. ln oLher words, Lhey took Lhese Lwo vlews, and Lhey feel
one ls deflnlLely bettet Lhan Lhe oLher. 1haL ls, Lhey have Lhelr own hlerarchy, Lhelr own value ranklng.
8uL slnce Lhey consclously deny hlerarchy alLogeLher, Lhey musL obscure and hlde Lhelr own. 1hey musL preLend
LhaL Lhelr own hlerarchy ls noL a hlerarchy. 1helr ranklng becomes unacknowledged, hldden, coverL. lurLher, noL
only ls Lhelr own hlerarchy hldden, lL ls self-conLradlcLory: lL ls a hlerarchy LhaL denles hlerarchy. 1hey are
presupposlng LhaL whlch Lhey deny, Lhey are consclously dlsavowlng whaL Lhelr acLual sLance assumes.
8y refuslng even Lo look aL hlerarchy, even whlle maklng masslvely hlerarchlcal [udgmenLs anyway, Lhey are
saddled wlLh a raLher crude and very poorly-LhoughL-ouL hlerarchy of values. 1hls all Loo ofLen, and unforLunaLely,
lends an unmlsLakable alr of hypocrlsy Lo Lhelr sLance. WlLh much rlghLeous lndlgnaLlon, Lhey hlerarchlcally
denounce hlerarchy. WlLh Lhelr lefL hand Lhey are dolng whaL Lhelr rlghL desplses ln everybody else. 8y botloq
[udgmenLs, and by blJloq Lhelr own, Lhey converL self-loaLhlng lnLo rlghLeous condemnaLlon of oLhers.
ln essence, Lhelr sLance amounLs Lo: l have my ranklng, buL you shall noL have yours. And furLher, by preLendlng
LhaL my ranklng ls noL a ranklng"-LhaL move ls done unconsclously-l wlll say LhaL l am wlLhouL ranklng alLogeLher,
and l shall Lhen, ln Lhe name of compasslon and equallLy, desplse and aLLack ranklng wherever l flnd lL, because
ranklng ls very bad."
8y maklng Lhese hlerarchlcal [udgmenLs ln an unacknowledged fashlon, Lhey avold and suppress Lhe really dlfflculL
lssues of [usL how we go abouL maklng our value [udgmenLs ln Lhe flrsL place. 1hey are arLlculaLe on Lhe lamenLable
hlerarchlcal value [udgmenLs of oLhers, buL sLrangely lnarLlculaLe-LoLally sllenL, acLually-as Lo how and why Lhey
arrlved aL Lhelr own. 1helr self-eLhlc of lnarLlculacy and Lhelr oLher-eLhlc of vocal condemnaLlon comblne Lo form a
large club wlLh whlch Lhey slmply bash oLhers ln Lhe name of klndness. 1hls does llLLle Lo help arLlculaLe Lhe naLure of
human value sysLems, Lhe naLure of how men and women go abouL chooslng Lhe good, and Lhe Lrue, and Lhe
beauLlful, cholces LhaL lnvolve ranklng, and cholces LhaL Lhese crlLlcs make and Lhen deny Lhey have made.
1helr heLerarchy ls a sLealLh hlerarchy. 1hey bury Lhelr Lracks, Lhen clalm Lhey have no Lracks, and Lhus avold and
repress Lhe Lruly profound and dlfflculL Loplc: why do human belngs olwoys leave Lracks? Why ls Lhe flndlng of
voloe ln Lhe world lnherenL ln Lhe human slLuaLlon? And slnce, even lf we declde Lo value everyLhlng equally, LhaL
lnvolves tejectloq value sysLems LhaL do noL, why ls some sorL of ranklng ooovolJoble? Why are poolltotlve
Jlstloctloos bullL lnLo Lhe fabrlc of Lhe human orlenLaLlon? Why ls Lrylng Lo deny value lLself a value? Why ls denylng
ranklng lLself a ranklng? And glven LhaL, how can we sanely and cooscloosly choose our unavoldable hlerarchles,
and noL merely fall lnLo Lhe eLhlcs of unacknowledgmenL and suppresslon and lnarLlculacy?
Charles 1aylor, whose book 5ootces of tbe 5elf wlll be one of our consLanL companlons laLer ln Lhls volume, has
done a masLerful [ob of Lraclng Lhe modern rlse of Lhe worldvlew LhaL clalms lL ls noL a worldvlew. 1haL ls, Lhe rlse of
cerLaln value [udgmenLs LhaL deny Lhey are value [udgmenLs, Lhe rlse of cerLaln hlerarchles LhaL deny Lhe exlsLence
of hlerarchles. lL ls an alLogeLher fasclnaLlng sLory, and one we wlll laLer follow ln deLall, buL for Lhe momenL we
mlghL observe Lhe followlng.
1aylor beglns by noLlng LhaL Lhe maklng of whaL he calls quallLaLlve dlsLlncLlons" ls an unavoldable aspecL of Lhe
human slLuaLlon. We slmply flnd ourselves exlsLlng ln varlous cootexts, ln varlous ftomewotks (as l would puL lL, we
are holons wlLhln holons, conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs), and Lhese conLexLs unavoldably consLlLuLe varlous values and
meanlngs LhaL are embedded ln our slLuaLlon. WhaL l have been calllng a ftomewotk," says 1aylor, lncorporaLes a
cruclal seL of quallLaLlve dlsLlncLlons [a value hlerarchy]. 1o Lhlnk, feel, [udge wlLhln such a framework ls Lo funcLlon
wlLh Lhe sense LhaL some acLlon, or mode of llfe, or mode of feellng ls lncomparably hlgher Lhan Lhe oLhers whlch are
more readlly avallable Lo us. l am uslng 'hlgher' here ln a generlc sense. 1he sense of whaL Lhe dlfference conslsLs ln
may Lake many forms. Cne form of llfe may be seen as fuller, anoLher way of feellng and acLlng as purer, a mode of
feellng or llvlng as deeper, a sLyle of llfe as more admlrable, and so on."
1hus, even Lhose who embrace heLerarchy or radlcal plurallsm are maklng deep and profound quallLaLlve
dlsLlncLlons, even Lhough Lhey denounce quallLaLlve dlsLlncLlons as bruLal and vlclous, even Lhough Lhey deny Lhe
noLlon of frameworks alLogeLher. 8uL Lhls person doesn'L lack a framework. Cn Lhe conLrary, he has a sLrong
commlLmenL Lo a cerLaln ldeal of benevolence. Pe admlres people who llve up Lo Lhls ldeal, condemns Lhose who fall
or who are Loo confused even Lo accepL lL, feels wrong when he hlmself falls below lL. Pe llves wlLhln a moral horlzon
whlch coooot be expllcoteJ by bls owo motol tbeoty."
1he polnL ls LhaL, even Lhough Lhls lndlvldual espouses dlverslLy and epoollty of values, Lhe ldea ls oevet, as
1aylor puLs lL, LhaL wbotevet we do ls accepLable."
l wanL Lo defend Lhe sLrong Lhesls LhaL dolng wlLhouL frameworks ls uLLerly lmposslble for us, oLherwlse puL,
LhaL Lhe horlzons wlLhln whlch we llve our llves and whlch make sense of Lhem have Lo lnclude Lhese sLrong
quallLaLlve dlscrlmlnaLlons [value hlerarchles]. Moreover, Lhls ls noL meanL [usL as a conLlngenLly Lrue
psychologlcal facL abouL human belngs, whlch could perhaps Lurn ouL one day noL Lo hold for some
excepLlonal lndlvldual or new Lype, some superman of dlsengaged ob[ecLlflcaLlon. 8aLher, Lhe clalm ls LhaL
llvlng wlLhln such sLrongly quallfled horlzons ls consLlLuLlve of human agency . . . and noL some opLlonal exLra
we mlghL [usL as well do wlLhouL.
?eL Lhere ls a modern ouLlook, says 1aylor, whlch ls LempLed Lo deny Lhese frameworks alLogeLher. My Lhesls
here ls LhaL Lhls ldea ls deeply mlsLaken . . . and deeply confused. lL reads Lhe afflrmaLlon of llfe and freedom as
lnvolvlng a repudlaLlon of quallLaLlve dlsLlncLlons, a re[ecLlon of consLlLuLlve goods as such, whlle Lhese are
Lhemselves reflecLlons of quallLaLlve dlsLlncLlons and presuppose some concepLlon of quallLaLlve goods."
ln Lhe course of hlsLorlcally Lraclng Lhe curlous rlse of Lhls curlous sLance, 1aylor noLes LhaL Lhe more one
examlnes Lhe moLlves-whaL nleLzsche would call Lhe 'genealogy'-of Lhese Lheorles, Lhe sLranger Lhey appear. lL
seems LhaL Lhey are moLlvaLed by Lhe sLrongesL moral ldeals, such as freedom, alLrulsm, and unlversallsm [l.e.,
unlversal plurallsm]. 1hese are among Lhe cenLral moral asplraLlons of modern culLure, Lhe hypergoods [sLrong
hlerarchles] whlch are dlsLlncLlve Lo lL. And yeL whaL Lhese ldeals drlve Lhe LheorlsLs Loward ls a denlal of all such
goods. 1hey are caughL ln a sLrange pragmaLlc conLradlcLlon, whereby Lhe very goods whlch move Lhem push Lhem
Lo deny or denaLure all such goods. 1hey are consLlLuLlonally lncapable of comlng clean abouL Lhe deeper sources of
Lhelr own Lhlnklng. 1helr LhoughL ls lnescapably cramped."
1hey are, 1aylor says, morally superlor ln a unlverse
where noLhlng ls supposed Lo be superlor.
1he resulLanL frameworkless agenL," says 1aylor, ls a monsLer," moLlvaLed by Lhe deep lncoherence and self-
llluslon whlch Lhls denlal lnvolves." 1hls hlerarchlcal denlal of hlerarchy lnvolves an etblcs of sopptessloo, accordlng
Lo 1aylor, because layers of suppresslon" are requlred Lo so Lhoroughly conceal from oneself Lhe sources of one's
own [udgmenLs.
And Lhls furLher explalns why Lhese LheorlsLs are, as 1aylor puLs lL, paraslLlc." Slnce Lhey can'L come clean abouL
Lhe deeper sources of Lhelr own Lhlnklng," Lhey necessarlly llve off noLhlng buL Lhe vocal denouncemenLs of Lhose
vlews LhaL do manage Lo consclously acknowledge Lhelr own quallLaLlve dlsLlncLlons. 8ecause Lhelr moral sources
are unavowable, Lhey are malnly lnvoked ln polemlc. 1helr prlnclpal words of power are denunclaLory. Much of whaL
Lhey [acLually] llve by has Lo be lnferred from Lhe rage wlLh whlch Lhelr enemles are aLLacked and refuLed. 1hls self-
conceallng klnd of phllosophy ls also Lhereby paraslLlc. . . ."
1hus, even Lhe radlcal plurallsLs (Lhe heLerarchlsLs) are moLlvaLed by values of freedom, alLrulsm (unlversal
benevolence), and unlversal plurallsm. 1hese are Jeeply hlerarchlcal [udgmenLs, and [udgmenLs LhaL-rlghLly, l
belleve!-vlgorously teject oLher Lypes of value [udgmenLs and oLher Lypes of hlerarchles LhaL have flourlshed
LhroughouL hlsLory. 1hey Jeeply teject Lhe warrlor eLhlc, Lhe eLhlc of ellLe arlsLocracy, Lhe male-only eLhlc, and Lhe
masLer-slave eLhlc, Lo name a few.
ln oLher words, Lhelr heLerarchlcal values are held ln place by hlerarchlcal [udgmenLs (mosL of whlch l Lhoroughly
agree wlLh), and Lhey mlghL as well come clean and [oln Lhe resL of us ln Lrylng Lo cooscloosly undersLand all LhaL,
and noL slmply bury Lhelr Lracks ln paraslLlc and denunclaLory and suppresslve rheLorlc.
1he same problems, of course, beseL Lhe culLural relaLlvlsLs," who malnLaln LhaL all dlverse culLural values are
equally valld (ln a funcLlonal sense), and LhaL no oolvetsol value [udgmenLs are posslble. 8uL LhaL [udgmenL ls lLself a
unlversal [udgmenL. lL clalms Lo be unlversally Lrue LhaL no [udgmenLs are unlversally Lrue. lL makes lLs own unlversal
[udgmenL and Lhen slmulLaneously denles all oLhers, because unlversal [udgmenLs are very, very bad. lL Lhus lgnores
Lhe cruclal lssue of how we go abouL maklng valld unlversal [udgmenLs ln Lhe flrsL place. lL exempts lLs own
unlversal clalms from any scruLlny by slmply clalmlng Lhey aren'L clalms.
1he exLreme culLural relaLlvlsLs Lhus malnLaln LhaL LruLh" ls baslcally whaL any culLure can come Lo agree on, and
Lhus no LruLh" ls lnherenLly beLLer Lhan any oLher. 1here was a cerLaln vogue for Lhls Lype of sLance durlng Lhe
slxLles and sevenLles, buL lLs self-conLradlcLory naLure became apparenL wlLh, Lo glve Lhe mosL noLorlous example,
Mlchel loucaulL's book 1be OtJet of 1bloqs. ln Lhls work loucaulL malnLalned, ln essence, LhaL whaL humans come
Lo call LruLh" ls slmply an arblLrary play of power and convenLlon, and he ouLllned several epochs where Lhe LruLh"
seemed Lo depend enLlrely on shlfLlng and convenLlonal eplsLemes, or dlscurslve formaLlons governed noL by LruLh"
buL by excluslonary LransformaLlon prlnclples. All LruLh, ln oLher words, was ulLlmaLely arblLrary.
1he argumenL seemed qulLe persuaslve, and even caused a blL of an lnLernaLlonal sensaLlon. unLll hls brlghLer
crlLlcs slmply asked hlm: ?ou say all LruLh ls arblLrary. ls your presenLaLlon lLself Lrue?"
loucaulL, llke all relaLlvlsLs, had exempLed hlmself from Lhe very crlLerla he aggresslvely applled Lo oLhers. Pe was
maklng an exLenslve serles of LruLh clalms LhaL denled all LruLh clalms (excepL hls own prlvlleged sLance), and Lhus hls
poslLlon, as crlLlcs from Pabermas Lo 1aylor polnLed ouL, was profoundly lncoherenL. loucaulL hlmself abandoned
Lhe exLreme relaLlvlsm of Lhls archaeologlcal" endeavor and subsumed lL ln a more balanced approach (LhaL would
lnclude conLlnulLles as well as abrupL dlsconLlnulLles, he called Lhe merely archaeologlcal approach arroganL").
nobody ls denylng LhaL many aspecLs of culLure are lndeed dlfferenL and equally valuable. 1he polnL ls LhaL LhaL
sLance lLself ls unlversal and tejects Lheorles LhaL merely and arblLrarlly rank culLures on an eLhnocenLrlc blas (a
re[ecLlon l share). 8uL because lL clalms LhaL all ranklng ls elLher bad or arblLrary, lL cannoL explaln lLs own sLance and
Lhe process of lLs own (unacknowledged) ranklng sysLem. And lf noLhlng else, unconsclous ranklng ls bad ranklng, by
any oLher name.
And Lhe relaLlvlsLs are very bad rankers.
!urgen Pabermas and numerous oLhers (Charles 1aylor, karl-CLLo Apel,
CuenLln Sklnner, !ohn Searle, eLc.) have launched devasLaLlng crlLlques of Lhese poslLlons, polnLlng ouL LhaL Lhey all
lnvolve a performaLlve conLradlcLlon": anoLher way of saylng LhaL Lhey are lmpllclLly presupposlng unlversal valldlLy
clalms LhaL Lhey deny can even exlsL.
ln shorL, exLreme culLural relaLlvlLy and merely heLerarchlcal value sysLems are no longer en[oylng Lhe vogue Lhey
once dld. 1he word ls ouL LhaL quallLaLlve dlsLlncLlons are lnescapable ln Lhe human condlLlon, and furLher, LhaL Lhere
are bettet and wotse ways Lo make our quallLaLlve dlsLlncLlons.
ln many ways, we wanL Lo agree wlLh Lhe broad cooclosloos of Lhe culLural dlverslLy movemenLs: we do wanL Lo
cherlsh all culLures ln an equal llghL. 8uL LhaL oolvetsol plurallsm ls noL a sLance LhaL all culLures agree wlLh, LhaL
unlversal plurallsm ls a very speclal Lype of ranklng LhaL mosL eLhnocenLrlc and soclocenLrlc culLures do noL even
acknowledge, LhaL unlversal plurallsm ls Lhe resulL of a very long hlsLory hard-foughL agalnsL domlnaLor hlerarchles
of one sorL or anoLher.
wby ls unlversal plurallsm beLLer Lhan domlnaLor hlerarchles? And bow dld we develop or evolve Lo a sLance of
unlversal plurallsm, when mosL of hlsLory desplsed LhaL vlew? 1hese are some of Lhe many developmenLal and
evoluLlonary Lhemes of Lhls volume. now we arrlve aL LhaL unlversal plurallsm, and how we can defend lL agalnsL
Lhose who would, ln a domlnaLlng fashlon, elevaLe Lhelr culLure or Lhelr bellefs or Lhelr values above all
oLhers-Lhese are Lhe cruclal quesLlons whose answers are aborLed by merely denylng ranklng and denylng
quallLaLlve dlsLlncLlons ln Lhe flrsL place.
8uL here ls my polnL: lf frameworks are lnescapable (we are conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs, holons wlLhln holons), and lf
frameworks lnvolve quallLaLlve dlsLlncLlons-ln oLher words, lf we are lnexLrlcably lnvolved ln [udgmenLs LhaL are
hlerarchlcal-Lhen we can begln Lo consclously [oln Lhese [udgmenLs wlLh Lhe scleoces of hlerarchy, LhaL ls, Lhe
sclences of holarchy, of frameworks wlLhln frameworks, of conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs, of holons wlLhln holons-wlLh
Lhe resulL LhaL values and facLs are no longer auLomaLlcally dlvorced.
1hls unlfylng and lnLegraLlve move was blockeJ as long as Lhe heLerarchlsLs were calllng Lhelr vlew hollsLlc"
(when lL was really heaplsLlc"). 8lockeJ, because Lhe heLerarchlsLs lnslsLed LhaL reallLy was nonhlerarchlcal,
whereas Lhe sclences of wholeness lnslsLed alLogeLher oLherwlse. 8uL wlLh Lhe undersLandlng LhaL tbe ooly woy yoo
qet o bollsm ls vlo o bolotcby, we are now ln a poslLlon Lo reallgn facLs and values ln a genLler embrace, wlLh sclence
worklng wlLh us, noL agalnsL us, ln consLrucLlng a Lruly hollsLlc, noL heaplsLlc, worldvlew.
lurLher, leL us slmply noLe LhaL Lhe CreaL Chaln of 8elng was ln facL a CreaL Polarchy of 8elng-wlLh each llnk
belng an lnLrlnslc whole LhaL was slmulLaneously a parL of a larger whole-and Lhe enLlre serles nesLed ln SplrlL.
lf Lhese varlous holarchles-ln Lhe sclences, ln value [udgmenLs, ln Lhe greaL wlsdom LradlLlons-could ln facL be
sympaLheLlcally allgned wlLh one anoLher, a Lruly slgnlflcanL synLhesls mlghL lndeed lle ln our collecLlve fuLure.
1be lotteto 1bot coooects
Mottet, wblcb oppeots to be metely posslve ooJ wltboot fotm ooJ ottooqemeot, bos eveo lo lts slmplest
stote oo otqe to fosbloo ltself by o oototol evolotloo loto o mote petfect coostltotloo.
-lMMAnuLL kAn1
CoJ Joes oot temolo pettlfleJ ooJ JeoJ, tbe vety stooes cty oot ooJ tolse tbemselves to 5pltlt.
1PL nA1u8L Cl 1PL A11L8n
WL 8LCln Wl1P Lhe sclences of wholeness, or dynamlc sysLems Lheory. 1he resL of Lhls chapLer and all of chapLers 3
and 4 wlll be devoLed Lo explorlng some of Lhe baslc concluslons of Lhe modern evoluLlonary sclences, wlLh a vlew
Loward Lhelr posslble lnLegraLlon ln a larger scheme of Lhlngs.
WhaL follows are LwenLy baslc LeneLs (or concluslons) LhaL represenL whaL we mlghL call paLLerns of exlsLence" or
Lendencles of evoluLlon" or laws of form" or propenslLles of manlfesLaLlon." 1hese are Lhe common paLLerns or
Lendencles, recall, LhaL modern sysLems sclences have concluded are operaLlve ln all Lhree domalns of
evoluLlon-Lhe physlosphere, Lhe blosphere, and Lhe noosphere-and Lendencles LhaL Lherefore make Lhls unlverse
a genulne ool-vetsom (one Lurn"), or an emergenL plurallsm underglrded by common paLLerns-Lhe paLLerns LhaL
connecL." (AL Lhls polnL, l don'L wanL Lo geL lnvolved ln lnLrlcaLe argumenLs over wheLher Lhese are eLernal laws" or
slmply relaLlvely sLable hablLs" of Lhe unlverse, and so l wlll be saLlsfled wlLh Lhe laLLer.)
1hese paLLerns (llsLed as Lhe 1wenLy 1eneLs below) are drawn from Lhe modern evoluLlonary and sysLems
sclences, buL l would llke Lo emphaslze LhaL Lhey are noL conflned Lo Lhose sclences. As l menLloned earller, we are
now looklng aL Lhe half" of Lhose sclences LhaL seem accuraLe, and we have yeL Lo examlne Lhe half LhaL ls
exLremely quesLlonable (Lhls wlll begln ln chapLer 3). As we wlll see ln greaL deLall, Lhe problem wlLh vlrLually every
aLLempL Lo ouLllne Lhe common paLLerns found ln all Lhree domalns of evoluLlon ls slmply LhaL Lhe paLLerns are
presenLed ln Lhe looqooqe of objectlve oototollsm (lL"-language), and Lhus Lhey fall mlserably when applled Lo
domalns descrlbed only ln l-language (aesLheLlcs) and we-language (eLhlcs). Lvery unlfled sysLems aLLempL" LhaL l
have seen suffers from Lhls crlppllng lnadequacy.
l have been very careful, Lherefore, Lo cuL Lhese LeneLs aL a level and Lype of absLracLlon LhaL ls, l belleve, fully
compaLlble wlLh lL-, we-, and l-languages (or Lhe Lrue, Lhe good, and Lhe beauLlful), so LhaL Lhe synLhesls can proceed
nonvlolenLly lnLo domalns where prevlously sysLems Lheory was lnLenL upon subLle reducLlonlsm Lo lLs own
naLurallsLlc and ob[ecLlfylng Lerms. (All of Lhls wlll, as l sald, be dlscussed ln deLall, beglnnlng ln chapLer 3.)
llnally, a small warnlng. Many readers have found Lhese LeneLs Lo be Lhe mosL lnLeresLlng parL of Lhe book, oLhers
have found Lhem Loo absLracL and raLher borlng. lf you are of Lhe laLLer, l should menLlon LhaL Lhey wlll be fleshed
ouL and made obvlous, l LrusL, ln Lhe succeedlng chapLers. ln Lhe meanLlme, a keoJets ulqest verslon of Lhem
mlghL go as follows:
8eallLy ls noL composed of Lhlngs or processes, lL ls noL composed of aLoms or quarks, lL ls noL composed of
wholes nor does lL have any parLs. 8aLher, lL ls composed of whole/parLs, or holons.
1hls ls Lrue of aLoms, cells, symbols, ldeas. 1hey can be undersLood nelLher as Lhlngs nor processes, nelLher as
wholes nor parLs, buL only as slmulLaneous whole/parLs, so LhaL sLandard aLomlsLlc" and whollsLlc" aLLempLs are
boLh off Lhe mark. 1here ls noLhlng LhaL lsn'L a holon (upwardly and downwardly forever).
8efore an aLom ls an aLom, lL ls a holon. 8efore a cell ls a cell, lL ls a holon. 8efore an ldea ls an ldea, lL ls a holon.
All of Lhem are wholes LhaL exlsL ln oLher wholes, and Lhus Lhey are all whole/parLs, or holons, flrsL and foremosL
(long before any parLlcular characLerlsLlcs" are slngled ouL by us).
Llkewlse, reallLy mlghL lndeed be composed of processes and noL Lhlngs, buL all processes are only processes
wlLhln oLher processes-LhaL ls, Lhey are flrsL and foremosL holons. 1rylng Lo declde wheLher Lhe fundamenLal unlLs
of reallLy are Lhlngs or processes ls uLLerly beslde Lhe polnL, because elLher way, Lhey are all holons, and cenLerlng on
one or Lhe oLher mlsses Lhe cenLral lssue. Clearly some Lhlngs exlsL, and some processes exlsL, buL Lhey are each and
all holons.
1herefore we can examlne whaL boloos have ln common, and Lhls releases us from Lhe uLLerly fuLlle aLLempL Lo
flnd common processes or common enLlLles on all levels and domalns of exlsLence, because LhaL wlll never work, lL
leads always Lo reducLlonlsm, noL Lrue synLhesls.
lor example, Lo say LhaL Lhe unlverse ls composed prlmarlly of quarks ls already Lo prlvllege a parLlcular domaln.
Llkewlse, aL Lhe oLher end of Lhe specLrum, Lo say LhaL Lhe unlverse ls really composed prlmarlly of our symbols,
slnce Lhese are all we really know-LhaL, Loo, ls Lo prlvllege a parLlcular domaln. 8uL Lo say LhaL Lhe unlverse ls
composed of holons nelLher prlvlleges a domaln nor lmplles speclal fundamenLalness for any level. LlLeraLure, for
example, ls oot composed of subaLomlc parLlcles, buL boLh llLeraLure and subaLomlc parLlcles are composed of
SLarLlng wlLh Lhe noLlon of holons, and proceedlng by a comblnaLlon of o ptlotl reasonlng and o postetlotl
evldence, we can aLLempL Lo dlscern whaL all known holons seem Lo have ln common. 1hese concluslons are reflned
and checked by examlnlng any and all domalns (from cellular blology Lo physlcal dlsslpaLlve sLrucLures, from sLellar
evoluLlon Lo psychologlcal growLh, from auLopoleLlc sysLems Lo splrlLual experlences, from Lhe sLrucLure of language
Lo unA repllcaLlon).
Slnce all of Lhose domalns operaLe wlLh holons, we can aLLempL Lo dlscern whaL all Lhese holons have ln common
when Lhey lnLeracL-whaL Lhelr laws" or paLLerns" or Lendencles" or hablLs" are. And Lhls glves us a llsL of some
LwenLy LeneLs, whlch l have grouped lnLo Lwelve caLegorles (some of Lhese are slmple deflnlLlons, buL for
convenlence l wlll always refer Lo Lhe enLlre llsL as LwenLy LeneLs." 1here ls noLhlng speclal abouL LwenLy, some of
Lhese mlghL noL hold up, oLhers can be added, and l have noL Lrled Lo be exhausLlve).
1WLn1? 1LnL1S
1. keollty os o wbole ls oot composeJ of tbloqs ot ptocesses, bot of boloos. Composed, LhaL ls, of wholes LhaL are
slmulLaneously parLs of oLher wholes, wlLh no upward or downward llmlL. 1o say LhaL holons are processes lnsLead
of Lhlngs ls ln some ways Lrue, buL mlsses Lhe essenLlal polnL LhaL processes Lhemselves exlsL only wlLhln oLher
processes. 1here are no Lhlngs or processes, only holons.
Slnce reallLy ls noL composed of wholes, and slnce lL has no parLs-slnce Lhere are only whole/parLs-Lhen Lhls
approach undercuLs Lhe LradlLlonal argumenL beLween aLomlsm (all Lhlngs are fundamenLally lsolaLed and lndlvldual
wholes LhaL lnLeracL only by chance) and whollsm (all Lhlngs are merely sLrands or parLs of Lhe larger web or whole).
8oLh of Lhose vlews are absoluLely lncorrecL. 1here are no wholes, and Lhere are no parLs. 1here are only
1hls approach also undercuLs Lhe argumenL beLween Lhe maLerlallsL and ldeallsL camps. 8eallLy lsn'L composed of
quarks, or booLsLrapplng hadrons, or subaLomlc exchange, buL nelLher ls lL composed of ldeas, symbols, or LhoughLs.
lL ls composed of holons.
1here ls an old [oke abouL a klng who goes Lo a Wlseperson and asks how ls lL LhaL Lhe LarLh doesn'L fall down?
1he Wlseperson replles, 1he LarLh ls resLlng on a llon." Cn whaL, Lhen, ls Lhe llon resLlng?" 1he llon ls resLlng on
an elephanL." Cn whaL ls Lhe elephanL resLlng?" 1he elephanL ls resLlng on a LurLle." Cn whaL ls Lhe . . ." ?ou can
sLop rlghL Lhere, your Ma[esLy. lL's LurLles all Lhe way down."
Polons all Lhe way down. SubaLomlc parLlcles are-ln a cerLaln sense whlch can only be deflned rlgorously ln
relaLlvlsLlc quanLum mechanlcs-nesLed lnslde each oLher. 1he polnL ls LhaL a physlcal parLlcle-a renormallzed
parLlcle-lnvolves (1) a bare parLlcle and (2) a huge Langle of vlrLual parLlcles, lnexLrlcably wound LogeLher ln a
recurslve mess. Lvery real parLlcle's exlsLence Lherefore lnvolves Lhe exlsLence of lnflnlLely many oLher parLlcles,
conLalned ln a vlrLual 'cloud' whlch surrounds lL as lL propagaLes. And each of Lhe vlrLual parLlcles ln Lhe cloud, of
course, also drags along lLs own vlrLual cloud, bubbles wlLhln bubbles [holons wlLhln holons], and so on ad lnflnlLum.
. . ."
8uL lL's also LurLles all Lhe way up. 1ake maLhemaLlcs, for example. 1he noLorlous paradoxes" ln seL Lheory
(CanLor's, 8urall-lorLl's, 8ussell's), whlch, among oLher Lhlngs, led Lo 1arskl's 1heorem and Cdel's lncompleLeness
1heorem, placed maLhemaLlcs ln an lttevetslble, evet-expooJloq, oo-oppet-llmlt oolvetse: 1he LoLallLy of seLs
cannoL be Lhe Lermlnus of a well-deflned generaLlng process, for lf lL were we could Lake all of whaL we had
generaLed so far as a seL and conLlnue Lo generaLe sLlll larger unlverses. 1he LoLallLy of seLs [maLhemaLlcal holons] ls
an 'uncondlLloned' or absoluLe LoLallLy whlch for [usL LhaL reason cannoL be adequaLely concelved by Lhe human
mlnd, slnce Lhe ob[ecL of a normal concepLlon can always be lncorporaLed ln a more lncluslve LoLallLy. Moreover, Lhe
seLs are arranged ln a LransflnlLe hlerarchy"-a holarchy LhaL conLlnues upwardly forever, and musL conLlnue
upwardly forever (LransflnlLely"), or maLhemaLlcs comes Lo a screechlng self-conLradlcLory halL.
Lven maLhemaLlcs
ls seL ln Llme's arrow, and Llme's arrow ls lndeflnlLely-LransflnlLely"-holarchlcal.
1hls ls lmporLanL for phllosophy as well, and parLlcularly for many of Lhe new age" paradlgms LhaL now LrumpeL
Whollsm." 1ransflnlLe" (LurLles all Lhe way up) means LhaL Lhe sum LoLal of all Lhe whole/parLs ln Lhe unlverse ls
oot ltself o wbole, because Lhe momenL lL comes Lo be (as a whole"), LhaL LoLallLy ls merely a pott of Lhe very nexL
momenL's whole, whlch ln Lurn ls merely a parL of Lhe nexL . . . and so ad lnflnlLum.
1hls means LhaL Lhere ls no place where we can resL and say, 1he unlverse's baslc prlnclple ls Wholeness" (nor, of
course, can we say, 1he baslc prlnclple ls arLness"). 1hls prevenLs us from ever saylng LhaL Lhe prlnclple of Lhe
Whole rules Lhe world, for lL does noL, any whole ls a parL, lndeflnlLely.
1hus, holons wlLhln holons wlLhln holons means LhaL Lhe world ls wlLhouL foundaLlon ln elLher wholes or parLs
(and as for any sorL of absoluLe reallLy" ln Lhe splrlLual sense, we wlll see LhaL lL ls nelLher whole nor parL, nelLher
one nor many, buL pure groundless LmpLlness, or radlcally oooJool SplrlL).
1hls ls lmporLanL because lL prevenLs a LoLallzlng and domlnaLlng Wholeness. Wholeness"-Lhls ls a very
dangerous concepL (a polnL LhaL wlll accompany us LhroughouL Lhls book)-dangerous for many reasons, noL Lhe
leasL of whlch ls LhaL lL ls always avallable Lo be pushed lnLo ldeologlcal ends. Whenever anybody Lalks of wholeness
belng Lhe ulLlmaLe, Lhen we musL be very wary, ln my oplnlon, because Lhey are ofLen Lelllng us LhaL we are merely
parLs" of Lhelr parLlcular verslon of wholeness," and so we should be subservlenL Lo Lhelr vlslon-we are merely
sLrands ln Lhelr wonderful web.
And Lhen, slnce we are all deflned as sLrands ln Lhe web, a LoLallzlng soclal agenda seems emlnenLly reasonable. lL
ls noL beslde Lhe polnL LhaL LheorlsLs as dlverse as Pabermas and loucaulL have seen such LoLallzlng agendas as Lhe
maln modern enemy of Lhe llfe-world (a polnL we wlll reLurn Lo ln chapLer 12).
l belabor Lhls lssue because lL ls exLremely lmporLanL Lo emphaslze Lhe lndeflnlLeness of holarchy, lLs openness, lLs
dlzzlfylngly nesLlng naLure-an acLuallzaLlon holarchy, noL a domlnaLor holarchy. And a domlnaLor holarchy, recall,
occurs preclsely whenever any holon ls esLabllshed, noL as a whole/parL, buL as Lhe whole, perlod. ulLlmaLe
Wholeness": Lhls ls Lhe essence of domlnaLor holarchles, paLhologlcal holarchles. ure wholeness": Lhls ls Lhe
LoLallzlng lle.
lor all Lhese reasons, l wlll usually refer Lo Lhe sum LoLal of evenLs ln Lhe unlverse noL as Lhe Whole" (whlch
lmplles Lhe ulLlmaLe prlorlLy of wholeness over parLness) buL as Lhe All" (whlch ls Lhe sum LoLal of whole/parLs). And
Lhls sum LoLal ls noL lLself a whole buL a whole/parL: as soon as you Lhlnk Lhe All," your own LhoughL has oJJeJ yeL
anoLher holon Lo Lhe All (so LhaL Lhe flrsL All ls no longer tbe All buL merely pott of Lhe new All), and so off we go
lndeflnlLely, never arrlvlng aL LhaL whlch we symbollze as Lhe All," whlch ls why lL ls oevet a whole, buL an unendlng
serles of whole/parLs (wlLh Lhe serles lLself a whole/parL-and so on LransflnlLely").
1he yLhagoreans lnLroduced Lhe Lerm kosmos," whlch we usually LranslaLe as cosmos." 8uL Lhe orlglnal
meanlng of kosmos was Lhe paLLerned naLure or process of all domalns of exlsLence, from maLLer Lo maLh Lo Lheos,
and noL merely Lhe physlcal unlverse, whlch ls usually whaL boLh cosmos" and unlverse" mean Loday.
So l would llke Lo relnLroduce Lhls Lerm, kosmos. 1he kosmos conLalns Lhe cosmos (or Lhe physlosphere), Lhe blos
(or blosphere), nous (Lhe noosphere), and Lheos (Lhe Lheosphere or dlvlne domaln)-none of Lhem belng
foundaLlonal (even splrlL shades lnLo LmpLlness).
So we can say ln shorL: 1he kosmos ls composed of holons, all Lhe way up, all Lhe way down.
LeL me end Lhls secLlon wlLh one lasL example, from perhaps an unexpecLed source. 1he posLmodern
posLsLrucLurallsLs"-usually assoclaLed wlLh such names as uerrlda, loucaulL, !ean-lranols LyoLard, and sLreLchlng
back Lo Ceorge 8aLallle and nleLzsche-have been Lhe greaL foes of any sorL of sysLemaLlc Lheory or grand
narraLlve," and Lhus Lhey mlghL be expecLed Lo ralse sLern ob[ecLlons Lo any overall Lheory of holarchy." 8uL a close
look aL Lhelr work shows LhaL lL ls drlven preclsely by a concepLlon of holons wlLhln holons wlLhln holons, of LexLs
wlLhln LexLs wlLhln LexLs (or conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs), and lL ls Lhls slldlng play of LexLs wlLhln LexLs
LhaL forms Lhe foundaLlonless" plaLform from whlch Lhey launch Lhelr aLLacks.
Ceorge 8aLallle, for lnsLance. ln Lhe mosL general way"-and Lhese are hls lLallcs-evety lsoloble elemeot of tbe
oolvetse olwoys oppeots os o pottlcle tbot coo eotet loto composltloo wltb o wbole tbot ttoosceoJs lt. 8eloq ls ooly
foooJ os o wbole composeJ of pottlcles wbose telotlve ootooomy ls molotoloeJ [a parL LhaL ls also a whole]. 1hese
Lwo prlnclples [slmulLaneous wholeness and parLness] domlnaLe Lhe uncerLaln presence of an lpse belng across a
dlsLance LhaL never ceases Lo puL evetytbloq ln quesLlon."
vetytbloq ls puL lnLo quesLlon because everyLhlng ls a conLexL wlLhln a conLexL forever. And pottloq evetytbloq lo
poestloo ls preclsely whaL Lhe posLmodern posLsLrucLurallsLs are known for. And so ln a language LhaL would soon
become qulLe Lyplcal (and ls by now almosL comlcal), 8aLallle goes on Lo polnL ouL LhaL puLLlng everyLhlng lnLo
quesLlon" counLers Lhe human need Lo vlolenLly arrange Lhlngs ln Lerms of a paL wholeness and smug unlversallLy:
WlLh exLreme dread lmperaLlvely becomlng Lhe demand for unlversallLy, carrled away Lo verLlgo by Lhe movemenL
LhaL composes lL, Lhe lpse belng LhaL presenLs lLself as a unlversal ls only a challenge Lo Lhe dlffuse lmmenslLy LhaL
escapes lLs precarlous vlolence, Lhe Lraglc negaLlon of all LhaL ls noL lLs own bewlldered phanLom's chance. 8uL, as a
man, Lhls belng falls lnLo Lhe meanders of Lhe knowledge of hls fellowmen, whlch absorbs hls subsLance ln order Lo
reduce lL Lo a componenL of whaL goes beyond Lhe vlrulenL madness of hls auLonomy ln Lhe LoLal nlghL of Lhe
um, and so forLh.
1he polnL ls oot LhaL 8aLallle hlmself was wlLhouL any sorL of sysLem, buL slmply LhaL Lhe system ls
sllJloq-holons wlLhln holons. So Lhe clalm Lo slmply have no sysLem" ls a llLLle dlslngenuous. Whlch ls why Andre
8reLon, Lhe leader of Lhe surreallsLs aL Lhe Llme, began a counLeraLLack on Lhls parL of 8aLallle, also ln Lerms LhaL are
echoed by Loday's crlLlcs of posLmodernlsLs: M. 8aLallle's mlsforLune ls Lo reason: admlLLedly, he reasons llke
someone who 'has a fly on hls nose,' whlch allles hlm more closely wlLh Lhe dead Lhan wlLh Lhe llvlng, buL be Joes
teosoo. Pe ls Lrylng, wlLh Lhe help of Lhe Llny mechanlsm ln hlm whlch ls noL compleLely ouL of order, Lo share hls
obsesslons: Lhls very facL proves LhaL he cannoL clalm, no maLLer whaL he may say, Lo be opposed Lo any sysLem, llke
an unLhlnklng bruLe."
8oLh sldes are correcL, ln a sense. 1here ls sysLem, buL Lhe sysLem ls slldlng. lL ls unendlngly, dlzzlfylngly holonlc.
1hls ls why !onaLhan Culler, perhaps Lhe foremosL lnLerpreLer of !acques uerrlda's deconsLrucLlon, can polnL ouL LhaL
uerrlda does oot deny LruLh per se, buL only lnslsLs LhaL LruLh and meanlng are cootext-boooJ (each conLexL belng
a whole LhaL ls also parL of anoLher whole conLexL, whlch lLself . . .). Cne could Lherefore," says Culler, ldenLlfy
deconsLrucLlon wlLh Lhe Lwln prlnclples of Lhe cootextool Jetetmlootloo of meooloq and Lhe loflolte exteoJoblllty of
1urLles all Lhe way up, all Lhe way down. WhaL deconsLrucLlon puLs lnLo quesLlon ls Lhe deslre Lo flnd a flnal resLlng
place, ln elLher wholeness or parLness or anyLhlng ln beLween. Lvery Llme somebody flnds a flnal lnLerpreLaLlon or a
foundaLlonal lnLerpreLaLlon of a LexL (or llfe or hlsLory or kosmos), deconsLrucLlon ls on hand Lo say LhaL Lhe LoLal
conLexL-or WhollsLlc lnLerpreLaLlon-does noL exlsL, because lL ls also unendlngly a parL of yeL anoLher LexL forever.
As Culler puLs lL, 1oLal conLexL [flnal Whollsm] ls unmasLerable, boLh ln prlnclple and ln pracLlce. Meooloq ls cootext
boooJ, bot cootext ls boooJless."
1ransflnlLe LurLles.
Lven Pabermas, who generally Lakes 8reLon's poslLlon Lo uerrlda's 8aLallle, agrees wlLh LhaL parLlcular polnL. As
he puLs lL, 1hese varlaLlons of conLexL LhaL change meanlng cannoL ln prlnclple be arresLed or conLrolled, because
conLexLs cannoL be exhausLed, LhaL ls, Lhey cannoL be LheoreLlcally masLered once and for all."9
1haL Lhe sysLem ls slldlng does oot mean LhaL meanlng can'L be esLabllshed, LhaL LruLh doesn'L exlsL, or LhaL
conLexLs won'L hold sLlll long enough Lo make a slmple polnL. Many posLmodern posLsLrucLurallsLs have noL slmply
dlscovered holonlc space, Lhey have become Lhoroughly losL ln lL (a polnL we wlll reLurn Lo ln chapLer 13, Ceorge
8aLallle, for example, Look a good, long, hard look aL holonlc space and wenL properly lnsane, Lhough whlch ls cause
and whlch effecL ls hard Lo say).
As for our [ourney, we need only noLe LhaL Lhere ls sysLem, buL Lhe sysLem ls slldlng: 1he kosmos ls Lhe unendlng
All, and Lhe All ls composed of holons-all Lhe way up, all Lhe way down.
2. noloos Jlsploy foot fooJomeotol copocltles: self-ptesetvotloo, self-oJoptotloo, self-ttoosceoJeoce, ooJ
self-Jlssolotloo. 1hese are all very lmporLanL, and we'll Lake Lhem one aL a Llme.
a. 5elf-ptesetvotloo. All holons dlsplay some capaclLy Lo preserve Lhelr lndlvlduallLy, Lo preserve Lhelr own
parLlcular wholeness or auLonomy. A hydrogen aLom, ln a sulLable conLexL, can remaln a hydrogen aLom. lL doesn'L
necessarlly dlsplay lnLenLlonallLy ln any developed sense, buL lL does ptesetve lts oqeocy ovet tlme: lL manages Lo
remaln lLself across Llme's flucLuaLlons-lL dlsplays self-preservaLlon ln Lhe slmple sense of malnLalnlng ldenLlLy
across Llme (LhaL lLself ls a remarkable accompllshmenL!).
A holon ln a llvlng conLexL (e.g., a cell) dlsplays an even more sophlsLlcaLed capaclLy for self-preservaLlon: Lhe
capaclLy for self-renewal (auLopolesls), lL reLalns lLs own recognlzable paLLern (or sLrucLure) even as lLs maLerlal
componenLs are exchanged, lL osslmllotes Lhe envlronmenL Lo lLself (lL ls a meLa-sLable dlsslpaLlve sLrucLure").
ln oLher words, alLhough holons exlsL by vlttoe of Lhelr lnLerllnklng relaLlonshlps or conLexL, Lhey are oot JefloeJ
solely by Lhelr conLexL buL also by Lhelr own lndlvldual form, paLLern, or sLrucLure (even parLlcles LhaL are
booLsLrapplngs of oLher parLlcles reLaln Lhelr loJlvlJool perspecLlve, as Lelbnlz puL lL).
1hls lnLrlnslc form or paLLern ls known by varlous names: enLelechy (ArlsLoLle), morphlc unlL/fleld (Sheldrake),
reglme or code or canon (koesLler), deep sLrucLure (Wllber). ln Lhe physlosphere, Lhe form of a holon ls relaLlvely
slmple (alLhough even LhaL ls bewllderlngly complex), ln Lhe blosphere and noosphere, lL Lakes on elaboraLe rules of
relaLlonal exchange wlLh lLs envlronmenL and self-organlzlng rules for lLs own sLrucLures, all geared Lo preserve Lhe
sLable (or Leleologlcally recognlzable), coherenL, and relaLlvely auLonomous paLLern LhaL ls Lhe essence of any holon.
lranclsco varela, for example, explalns LhaL Lhe old blology" was based on heLeronomous unlLs operaLlng by a loglc
of correspondence," whereas Lhe enLlre essence of Lhe new blology ls auLonomous unlLs operaLlng by a loglc of
ln shorL, holons are deflned, noL by Lhe sLuff of whlch Lhey are made (Lhere ls no sLuff), nor merely by Lhe conLexL
ln whlch Lhey llve (Lhough Lhey are lnseparable from LhaL), buL by Lhe relaLlvely auLonomous and coherenL paLLern
Lhey dlsplay, and Lhe capaclLy Lo preserve LhaL paLLern ls one characLerlsLlc of a holon: Lhe wboleoess aspecL of a
holon ls dlsplayed ln lLs paLLern-preservaLlon.
b. 5elf-oJoptotloo. A holon funcLlons noL only as a self-preservlng wbole buL also as a pott of a larger whole,
and ln lLs capaclLy as a pott lL musL adapL or accommodaLe lLself Lo oLher holons (noL auLopolesls buL allopolesls,
noL asslmllaLlon buL accommodaLlon). 1he pottoess aspecL of a holon ls dlsplayed ln lLs capaclLy Lo accommodaLe,
Lo reglsLer oLher holons, Lo flL lnLo lLs exlsLlng envlronmenL. Lven elecLrons accommodaLe Lhemselves, for example,
Lo Lhe number of oLher elecLrons ln an orblLal shell, Lhey reglsLer, and reacL Lo, Lhelr envlronmenL. 1hls doesn'L lmply
lnLenLlonallLy on Lhe parL of Lhe elecLron, [usL a capaclLy Lo reacL Lo surroundlng acLlons. As a wbole, lL remalns lLself,
as a pott, lL musL flL ln-and Lhose are LeneLs 2a and 2b.
We can [usL as well Lhlnk of Lhese Lwo opposed Lendencles as a holon's oqeocy and commooloo. lLs agency-lLs
self-asserLlng, self-preservlng, asslmllaLlng Lendencles-expresses lLs wboleoess, lLs relaLlve auLonomy, whereas lLs
communlon-lLs parLlclpaLory, bondlng, [olnlng Lendencles-expresses lLs pottoess, lLs relaLlonshlp Lo someLhlng
8oLh of Lhese capaclLles or Lendencles are absoluLely cruclal and equally lmporLanL, an excess of elLher wlll klll a
holon lmmedlaLely (l.e., desLroy lLs ldenLlfylng paLLern), even a moderaLe lmbalance wlll lead Lo sLrucLural deformlLy
(wheLher we're Lalklng abouL Lhe growLh of a planL or Lhe growLh of Lhe paLrlarchy). And we have already suggesLed
(ln chapLer 1) LhaL an lmbalance of Lhese Lwo Lendencles ln any sysLem expresses lLself as potboloqlcol oqeocy
(allenaLlon and represslon) or potboloqlcol commooloo (fuslon and lndlssoclaLlon).
1hls prlmordlal polarlLy runs Lhrough all domalns of manlfesL exlsLence, and was archeLypally expressed ln Lhe
1aolsL prlnclples of yln (communlon) and yang (agency). koesLler: Cn dlfferenL levels of Lhe lnorganlc and organlc
hlerarchles, Lhe polarlsaLlon of 'parLlcularlsLlc' [agency] and 'hollsLlc' [communlon] forces Lakes dlfferenL forms, buL
lL ls obsetvoble oo evety level."
(l wlll have much more Lo say abouL Lhese Lwo Lendencles when we reach Lhe psychologlcal and pollLlcal levels of
self-organlzaLlon, and parLlcularly wlLh reference Lo Lhe male and female value spheres, and Lo pollLlcal Lheorles of
rlghLs [agency] and responslblllLles [communlon]).
c. 5elf-ttoosceoJeoce (or self-LransformaLlon). When an oxygen aLom and Lwo hydrogen aLoms are broughL
LogeLher under sulLable clrcumsLances, a new and ln some ways unprecedenLed holon emerges, LhaL of a waLer
molecule. 1hls ls noL [usL a communlon, self-adapLaLlon, or assoclaLlon of Lhree aLoms, lL ls a LransformaLlon LhaL
resulLs ln someLhlng novel and emergenL-dlfferenL wholes have come LogeLher Lo form a new and dlfferenL whole.
1here ls some sorL of creaLlve LwlsL on whaL has gone before. 1hls ls whaL WhlLehead referred Lo as cteotlvlty
(whlch he called Lhe ulLlmaLe caLegory"-Lhe caLegory necessary Lo undersLand ooy oLher caLegory),
and whaL
!anLsch and WaddlngLon call self-ttoosceoJeoce.
Some wrlLers, such as koesLler, lump LogeLher self-adapLaLlon and self-Lranscendence and refer Lo Lhem
lnLerchangeably, because boLh embody a Lype of golng beyond." 8uL aparL from LhaL slmllarlLy, Lhe Lwo are
dlfferenL ln degree and ln klnd. ln self-adapLaLlon or communlon, one flnds oneself Lo be pott of a lotqet whole, ln
self-LransformaLlon one becomes a oew wbole, whlch has lLs own new forms of agency ooJ communlon.
!anLsch puLs lL:
lL ls noL sufflclenL Lo characLerlze Lhese sysLems slmply as open, adapLlve, nonequlllbrlum, or learnlng sysLems
[communlon], Lhey are all LhaL and more: Lhey are self-ttoosceoJeot [hls lLallcs], whlch means LhaL Lhey are
capable . . . of Lransformlng Lhemselves. Self-LranscendenL sysLems are evoluLlon's vehlcle for quallLaLlve
change and Lhus ensure lLs conLlnulLy, evoluLlon, ln Lurn, malnLalns self-LranscendenL sysLems whlch can only
exlsL ln a world of lnLerdependence. lor self-LranscendenL sysLems, 8elng falls LogeLher wlLh 8ecomlng. . . .
As llya rlgoglne puLs lL, Lhe varlous levels and sLages of evoluLlon are lrreduclble Lo each oLher because Lhe
LranslLlons beLween Lhem are characLerlzed by symmetty bteoks, whlch slmply means LhaL Lhey are noL equlvalenL
rearrangemenLs of Lhe same sLuff (whaLever LhaL sLuff" mlghL be), buL are ln parL a slgnlflcanL Lranscendence, a
novel and creaLlve LwlsL. !anLsch explalns:
SymmeLry breaks lnLroduce new dynamlc posslblllLles for morphogenesls and slgnal an acL of self-
Lranscendence. ComplexlLy becomes posslble only Lhrough symmeLry breaks. 1he world whlch emerges from
Lhem becomes lncreaslngly lrreduclble Lo a slngle level of baslc [properLles]. 1he reallLy whlch emerges ls
coordlnaLed aL many levels.
All of whlch he summarlzes Lhls way: ln Lhe self-organlzaLlon paradlgm, evolotloo ls tbe tesolt of self-ttoosceoJeoce
ot oll levels."
Pe also calls Lhls self-reallzaLlon Lhrough self-Lranscendence."
ln oLher words, Lhls lnLroduces a vettlcol dlmenslon LhaL cuLs aL rlghL angles, so Lo speak, Lo Lhe horlzonLal agency
and communlon. ln self-Lranscendence, agency and communlon do noL [usL lnLeracL, raLher, oew fotms of agency
and communlon emerge Lhrough symmeLry breaks, Lhrough Lhe lnLroducLlon of new and creaLlve LwlsLs ln Lhe
evoluLlonary sLream. 1here ls noL only a cootloolty ln evoluLlon, Lhere are lmporLanL Jlscootlooltles as well.
naLure progresses by sudden leaps and deep-seaLed LransformaLlons raLher Lhan Lhrough plecemeal ad[usLmenLs.
1he dlagram of Lhe branchlng Lree of llfe no longer resembles Lhe conLlnuous ?-shaped [olnLs of Lhe synLheLlc Lheory,
lL ls now plcLured ln Lerms of abrupL swlLches. . . . 1here ls slgnlflcanL evldence accumulaLed ln many flelds of
emplrlcal sclence LhaL dynamlc sysLems do noL evolve smooLhly and conLlnuously over Llme, buL do so ln
comparaLlvely sudden leaps and bursLs."
aleonLologlsL Ceorge Slmpson referred Lo Lhls as quanLum evoluLlon," because Lhese bursLs lnvolved relaLlvely
abrupL alLeraLlons of adapLlve capaclLy or bodlly sLrucLure and lefL llLLle or no evldence ln Lhe fossll record of Lhe
LranslLlons beLween Lhem."17 1hls quanLum evoluLlon" led Lo nlles Lldredge and SLephen !ay Could's puncLuaLlonal
model," all of whlch Mlchael Murphy summarlzes as evoluLlonary Lranscendence."
Murphy polnLs ouL LhaL evoluLlonary LheorlsLs 1heodoslus uobzhansky and lranclsco Ayala have called Lhese . . .
evenLs lnsLances of 'evoluLlonary Lranscendence' because ln each of Lhem Lhere arose a new order of exlsLence. C.
Ledyard SLebblns, a prlnclpal archlLecL of modern evoluLlonary Lheory, descrlbed cerLaln dlfferences beLween large
and small sLeps ln organlc evoluLlon, dlsLlngulshlng mlnor from ma[or advances ln grade of planLs and anlmals. 1he
Lerm qtoJe ls used among blologlsLs Lo denoLe a seL of characLerlsLlcs or ablllLles LhaL clearly glve descendenL
specles cerLaln advanLages over Lhelr ancesLors. Accordlng Lo SLebblns, Lhe developmenL of polllnaLlon mechanlsms
ln mllkweeds and orchlds ls an example of mlnor advances ln grade, whlle Lhe appearance of Lhe dlgesLlve Lube,
cenLral nervous sysLem, elaboraLe sense organs, verLebraLe llmbs, and elaboraLe soclal behavlor represenL ma[or
advances. 1here have been abouL 640,000 of Lhe former, he esLlmaLed, and from 20 Lo 100 of Lhe laLLer durlng Lhe
several hundred mllllon years of eukaryoLe evoluLlon."
1he polnL ls LhaL Lhere ls noLhlng parLlcularly meLaphyslcal or occulL abouL Lhls. Self-Lranscendence ls slmply a
sysLem's capaclLy Lo reach beyond Lhe glven and lnLroduce some measure of novelLy, a capaclLy wlLhouL whlch, lL ls
qulLe cerLaln, evoluLlon would never, and could never, have even goLLen sLarLed. Self-Lranscendence, whlch leaves
no corner of Lhe unlverse unLouched (or evoluLlon would have oo polot of deparLure), means noLhlng more-and
noLhlng less-Lhan LhaL Lhe unlverse has an lnLrlnslc capaclLy Lo go beyond whaL wenL before.
d. 5elf-Jlssolotloo-Polons LhaL are bullL up (Lhrough verLlcal self-LransformaLlon) can also break down. noL
surprlslngly, when holons dlssolve" or come unglued," Lhey Lend Lo do so along Lhe same verLlcal sequence ln
whlch Lhey were bullL up (only, of course, ln Lhe reverse dlrecLlon).
lf a sLrucLure ls forced Lo reLreaL ln lLs evoluLlon (e.g., by a change ln Lhe non-equlllbrlum), as long as Lhere are
no sLrong perLurbaLlons lL does so along Lhe same paLh whlch lL has come. . . . 1hls lmplles a prlmlLlve, hollsLlc
system memoty whlch appears already aL Lhe level of chemlcal reacLlon sysLems.
1hls ls Lrue for psychologlcal and llngulsLlc (noospherlc) holons as well. 8oman !akobson speaks of Lhose sLraLlfled
phenomena whlch modern psychology uncovers ln Lhe dlfferenL areas of Lhe realm of Lhe mlnd. new addlLlons are
superlmposed on earller ones and dlssoluLlon beglns wlLh Lhe hlgher sLraLa-Lhe amazlngly exacL agreemenL
beLween Lhe chronologlcal successlon of Lhese acqulslLlons and Lhe general laws of lrreverslble solldarlLy whlch
govern Lhe synchrony of all Lhe languages of Lhe world."
ln oLher words, LhaL whlch ls verLlcally bullL up can verLlcally break down, and Lhe paLhways ln boLh cases are
essenLlally Lhe same.
1aken LogeLher, Lhese four capaclLles-agency or self-preservaLlon, communlon or self-accommodaLlon, self-
Lranscendence, and self-dlssoluLlon-can be plcLured as a cross, wlLh Lwo horlzonLal opposlLes" (agency and
communlon) and Lwo verLlcal opposlLes" (self-Lranscendence and self-dlssoluLlon).
1hese four forces" are ln consLanL Lenslon (as we wlll see LhroughouL Lhls volume). notlzootolly: Lhe more
agency, Lhe less communlon, and vlce versa. 1haL ls, Lhe more lnLensely a holon preserves lLs own lndlvlduallLy,
preserves lLs wboleoess, Lhe less lL serves lLs communlons or lLs pottoess ln larger or wlder wholes (and vlce versa:
Lhe more lL ls a parL, Lhe less lL ls lLs own whole). When we say, for example, LhaL an elemenL (such as hellum) ls
lnerL," we mean lL lnLensely reslsLs [olnlng wlLh oLher elemenLs Lo form compounds, lL reLalns lLs agency and reslsLs
communlon-lL ls relaLlvely lnerL.
1hls ls a consLanL Lenslon, as lL were, across all domalns, and shows up ln everyLhlng from Lhe baLLle beLween self-
preservaLlon and specles-preservaLlon, Lo Lhe confllcL beLween rlghLs (agency) and responslblllLles (communlons),
lndlvlduallLy and membershlp, personhood and communlLy, coherence and correspondence, self-dlrecLed and oLher-
dlrecLed, auLonomy and heLeronomy. . . . ln shorL, how can l be boLh my own wholeness and a parL of someLhlng
larger, wlLhouL sacrlflclng one or Lhe oLher?
(arL of Lhe answer, we wlll see, aL all sLages of evoluLlon, lncludlng Lhe human, lnvolves self-Lranscendence Lo
new forms of agency and communlon LhaL lnLegraLe and lncorporaLe boLh parLners ln a supersesslon: noL [usL a
wlJet whole-a horlzonLal expanslon-buL a Jeepet or blqbet whole-a verLlcal emergence-whlch ls lndeed why
evoluLlon ls Lhe resulL of self-Lranscendence aL all levels," and why lL ls self-reallzaLlon Lhrough self-
Lranscendence"-buL LhaL ls somewhaL ahead of Lhe sLory.)
1hls consLanL horlzonLal baLLle beLween agency and communlon exLends even Lo Lhe forms of potboloqy on any
glven level, where too mocb oqeocy, Loo much lndlvlduallLy, leads Lo a severlng (represslon and allenaLlon) of Lhe
rlch neLworks of communlon LhaL susLaln lndlvlduallLy ln Lhe flrsL place, and too mocb commooloo leads Lo a loss of
lndlvldual lnLegrlLy, leads Lo fuslon wlLh oLhers, Lo lndlssoclaLlon, Lo a blurrlng of boundarles and a melLdown and
loss of auLonomy.
(And we wlll see LhaL Lhe Lyplcal male paLhology" Lends Lo be hyperagency, or fear of relaLlonshlp, llke Lhe
lnerLness of hellum!, and Lhe Lyplcal female paLhology" Lends Lo be hypercommunlon, or fear of auLonomy-Lhe
one leadlng Lo domlnaLlon, Lhe oLher Lo fuslon, and we wlll see how Lhls played lLself ouL ln Lhe paLrlarchy" and Lhe
lf Lhe horlzonLal baLLle ls beLween agency and communlon, Lhe consLanL verLlcal baLLle ls beLween self-
Lranscendence and self-dlssoluLlon, Lhe Lendency Lo bulld up or Lo break down (and, of course, Lhese forces
complexly lnLeracL wlLh agency and communlon on any glven level, for example, elLher Loo much agency or Loo
much communlon can boLh lead Lo breakdown-as we wlll see, Lhls ls a consLanL problem ln human affalrs, where
Lhe deslre Lo flnd a larger meanlng" ofLen leads Lo Loo much communlon or fuslon wlLh a greaLer cause," and Lhls
fuslon ls mlsLaken for Lranscendence, whereas lL ls slmply loss of auLonomy and release from responslblllLy, whlch
apparenLly ls Lhe aLLracLlon).
now l have been glvlng mosLly examples from Lhe human domaln, buL Lhe polnL ls LhaL, ln slmpler forms, Lhese
four forces are operaLlve ln even Lhe slmplesL of holons, because lL's LurLles all Lhe way down. Lvery holon ls acLually
a holon wlLhln oLher holons LransflnlLely-LhaL ls, every holon ls slmoltooeoosly boLh a sobboloo (a parL of some
oLher holon) and a sopetboloo (lLself conLalnlng holons). As a holon, lL musL preserve lLs own paLLern (agency over
Llme), and lL musL reglsLer and reacL Lo lLs envlronmenL (lLs communlons ln space). lf lL does noL approprlaLely
respond, lL ls erased: Loo much agency, or Loo much communlon, wlll desLroy lLs ldenLlfylng paLLern.
8ecause each holon ls also a superholon, Lhen when lL ls erased-when lL undergoes self-dlssoluLlon lnLo lLs
subholons-lL Lends Lo follow Lhe same paLh down as lLs subholons followed up: cells break down lnLo molecules,
whlch break down lnLo aLoms, whlch break lnLo parLlcles, whlch dlsappear lnLo LransflnlLe clouds of probablllsLlc
bubbles wlLhln bubbles." . . .
reserve or accommodaLe, Lranscend or dlssolve-Lhe four very dlfferenL pulls on each and every holon ln Lhe
3. noloos emetqe. Cwlng Lo Lhe self-LranscendenL capaclLy of holons, new holons emerge. llrsL subaLomlc
parLlcles, Lhen aLoms, Lhen molecules, Lhen polymers, Lhen cells, and so on. 1he emergenL holons are ln some sense
novel, Lhey posses properLles and quallLles LhaL cannoL be sLrlcLly and LoLally deduced from Lhelr componenLs, and
Lherefore Lhey, and Lhelr descrlpLlons, cannoL be reduced wlLhouL remalnder Lo Lhelr componenL parLs. Levels of
organlzaLlon lnvolve onLologlcally new enLlLles beyond Lhe elemenLs from whlch Lhe self-organlzaLlon process
proceeds. 1here ls no absoluLe deLermlnlsLlc level of descrlpLlon."
As PofsLadLer puLs lL, lL ls lmporLanL Lo reallze
LhaL Lhe hlgh-level law cannoL be sLaLed ln Lhe vocabulary of Lhe low-level descrlpLlon"-and, he polnLs ouL, Lhls ls
Lrue from gas parLlcles Lo blologlcal speclaLlon, from compuLer programs Lo unA repllcaLlon, from muslcal scores Lo
llngulsLlc rules.
Lmergence also means LhaL loJetetmloocy (and one of lLs correlaLes, degrees of freedom) ls sewn lnLo Lhe very
fabrlc of Lhe unlverse, slnce oopteceJeoteJ emergence means ooJetetmloeJ by Lhe pasL (alLhough pockeLs of Lhe
unlverse can regularly collapse ln a deLermlnlsLlc fashlon, as ln classlcal mechanlcs). Polons, LhaL ls, are
fundamenLally lndeLermlnaLe ln some aspecLs (preclsely because Lhey are fundamenLally self-Lranscendlng). As
Laszlo summarlzes Lhe avallable evldence, 1he selecLlon from among Lhe seL of dynamlcally funcLlonal alLernaLlve
sLeady sLaLes ls noL predeLermlned. 1he new sLaLe ls declded nelLher by lnlLlal condlLlons ln Lhe sysLem nor by
changes ln Lhe crlLlcal values of envlronmenLal parameLers, when a dynamlc sysLem ls fundamenLally desLablllzed lL
acLs lndeLermlnaLely."
lL now seems vlrLually cerLaln LhaL deLermlnlsm arlses only as a llmlLlng case where a holon's capaclLy for self-
Lranscendence approaches zero, or when lLs own self-Lranscendence hands Lhe locus of lndeLermlnacy Lo a hlgher
holon (we wlll reLurn Lo Lhls lmporLanL Loplc below).
Lmergence ls nelLher a rare nor an lsolaLed phenomenon. As varela, 1hompson, and 8osch summarlze Lhe
avallable evldence: lL ls clear LhaL emergenL properLles have been found across all domalns-vorLlces and lasers,
chemlcal osclllaLlons, geneLlc neLworks, developmenLal paLLerns, populaLlon geneLlcs, lmmune neLworks, ecology,
and geophyslcs. WhaL all Lhese dlverse phenomena have ln common ls LhaL ln each case a neLwork glves rlse Lo new
properLles. . . . 1he emergence of global paLLerns or conflguraLlons ln sysLems of lnLeracLlng elemenLs ls nelLher an
oddlLy of lsolaLed cases nor unlque Lo [speclal] sysLems. ln facL, lL seems dlfflculL for any densely connecLed
aggregaLe Lo escape emergenL properLles."
As LrnsL Mayr puL lL ln hls exhausLlve work 1be Ctowtb of 8loloqlcol
SysLems almosL always have Lhe pecullarlLy LhaL Lhe characLerlsLlcs of Lhe whole cannoL (noL even ln Lheory) be
deduced from Lhe mosL compleLe knowledge of Lhe componenLs, Laken separaLely or ln oLher parLlal
comblnaLlons. 1hls appearance of new characLerlsLlcs ln wholes has been deslgnaLed as emetqeoce.
Lmergence has ofLen been lnvoked ln aLLempLs Lo explaln such dlfflculL phenomena as llfe, mlnd, and
consclousness. AcLually, emergence ls equally characLerlsLlc of lnorganlc sysLems. . . . Such emergence ls qulLe
unlversal and, as opper sald, We llve ln a unlverse of emergenL novelLy."
LeL me noLe ln passlng LhaL Lhls means oll sclences are fundamenLally tecoosttoctlve scleoces. 1haL ls, we never
know, and never can know, exacLly whaL any holon wlll do Lomorrow (we mlghL know broad ouLllnes and
probablllLles, based on post observaLlons, buL self-LranscendenL emergence always means, Lo some degree:
surprlse!). We have Lo walL and see, and from LhaL, afLer Lhe facL, we tecoosttoct a knowledge sysLem.
nowevet, when a holon's self-Lranscendence approaches zero (when lLs creaLlvlLy ls uLLerly mlnlmal), Lhen Lhe
tecoosttoctlve scleoces collapse lnLo Lhe pteJlctlve scleoces. PlsLorlcally, Lhe emplrlcal sclences goL Lhelr sLarL by
sLudylng preclsely Lhose holons LhaL show mlnlmal creaLlvlLy. ln facL, Lhey baslcally sLudled noLhlng buL a bunch of
tocks ln moLlon (mass movlng Lhrough space over Llme), and Lhus Lhey mlsLook Lhe naLure of sclence Lo be
essenLlally predlcLlve.
l mean no offense Lo rocks, buL by Laklng some of Lhe dumbesL holons ln exlsLence and maklng Lhelr sLudy Lhe
sLudy of really real reallLy," Lhese physlcal sclences, we have seen, were largely responslble for Lhe collapse of Lhe
kosmos lnLo Lhe cosmos, for Lhe reducLlon of Lhe CreaL Polarchy of 8elng Lo Lhe dumbesL creaLures on Cod's green
LarLh, and for Lhe levellng of a mulLldlmenslonal reallLy Lo a flaL and faded landscape JefloeJ by a mlolmom of
creaLlvlLy (and Lhus moxlmom of predlcLlve power).
lL would Lake such a Lurn of evenLs as Pelsenberg's uncerLalnLy prlnclple Lo remlnd us LhaL even Lhe consLlLuenLs
of rocks are nelLher as predlcLable nor as dumb as Lhese sllly reducLlonlsms. ln Lhe meanLlme, Lhe ldeal" of
knowledge as predlcLlve power would ruln vlrLually every fleld lL was applled Lo (lncludlng rocks), because lLs very
meLhods would erase any creaLlvlLy lL would flnd, Lhus eraslng preclsely whaL was novel, slgnlflcanL, valuable,
meanlngful. . . .
4. noloos emetqe bolotcblcolly. 1haL ls, as a serles of lncreaslng whole/parLs. Crganlsms conLaln cells, buL noL vlce
versa, cells conLaln molecules, buL noL vlce versa, molecules conLaln aLoms, buL noL vlce versa. And lL ls LhaL oot vlce
vetso, aL eocb sLage, LhaL consLlLuLes unavoldable asymmeLry and nesLed hlerarchy (holarchy). Lach deeper or
hlgher holon embraces lLs [unlor predecessors and Lhen oJJs lLs own new and more encompasslng paLLern or
wholeness-Lhe new code or canon or morphlc fleld or agency LhaL wlll deflne Lhls as a whole and noL merely a heap
(as ArlsLoLle clearly spoLLed). 1hls ls WhlLehead's famous dlcLum: 1he many become one and are lncreased by one."
Laszlo commenLs:
1he emplrlcal evldence for Lhls process ls lndlspuLable. ulverse aLomlc elemenLs converge ln molecular
aggregaLes, speclflc molecules converge ln crysLals and organlc macromolecules, Lhe laLLer converge ln cells
and Lhe subcellular bulldlng blocks of llfe, slngle-celled organlsms converge ln mulLl-cellular specles, and
specles of Lhe wldesL varleLy converge ln ecologles.
8erLalanffy puL lL very blunLly: 8eallLy, ln Lhe modern concepLlon, appears as a Lremendous hlerarchlcal order of
organlzed enLlLles, leadlng, ln a superposlLlon of many levels, from physlcal and chemlcal Lo blologlcal and
soclologlcal sysLems. Such hlerarchlcal sLrucLure and comblnaLlon lnLo sysLems of ever hlgher order, ls characLerlsLlc
of reallLy as a whole and ls of fundamenLal lmporLance especlally ln blology, psychology and soclology."
Ldward ColdsmlLh's 1be woy: Ao coloqlcol wotlJ-vlew, an explanaLlon of Lhe new paradlgm," summarlzes lL Lhus:
Lcology explalns evenLs ln Lerms of Lhelr role wlLhln Lhe spaLlo-Lemporal Calan hlerarchy."
And even 8uperL
Sheldrake's Lheory of morphlc flelds-whlch ls consldered exLremely lnnovaLlve and very darlng-does noL evade Lhe
obvlous, as Sheldrake concludes: 1hus Lhe morphogeneLlc flelds, llke morphlc unlLs Lhemselves, are essenLlally
hlerarchlcal ln Lhelr organlzaLlon."
lranclsco varela, whose research ln Lhe auLonomous naLure of holonlc cognlLlon ls a cornersLone of Lhe new
blology" (see LeneL 2a), polnLs ouL LhaL lL seems Lo be a general reflecLlon of Lhe rlchness of naLural sysLems LhaL
lndlcaLlon can be lLeraLed Lo produce a hlerarchy of levels. 1he cholce of conslderlng Lhe level above or below
corresponds Lo a cholce of LreaLlng Lhe glven sysLem as auLonomous or consLralned"
-LhaL ls, every holon ls boLh a
whole and a parL, and can be consldered ln Lerms of lLs auLonomy (agency) or ln Lerms of lLs belng consLralned by
oLher holons (ln communlon), boLh vlews belng correcL (buL parLlal).
vlrLually all deep ecologlsLs and ecofemlnlsLs re[ecL Lhe noLlon of holarchy, for raLher confused reasons, lL seems
Lo me. lrom whaL l can Lell, Lhey seem Lo Lhlnk LhaL hlerarchy and aLomlsm are bad," and LhaL Lhelr whollsm" ls
Lhe opposlLe of boLh. 8uL no less Lhan Lhe paLron salnL of deep ecology, Arne naess, clearly polnLs ouL LhaL
whollsm" and aLomlsm" are acLually Lwo sldes of Lhe same problem, and LhaL Lhe cote fot botb ls hlerarchy. All
reallLy, he polnLs ouL, conslsLs of whaL he calls subordlnaLe wholes" or subordlnaLe gesLalLs"-LhaL ls, holons. We
have Lherefore," he says, a complex realm of gesLalLs, ln a vasL hlerarchy. We can Lherefore speak of lower- and
hlgher-order gesLalLs."
lurLher, naess polnLs ouL, Lhls hlerarchlc concepLlon ls necessary Lo counLeracL botb whollsm (meanlng an
emphasls on [usL wholes) ooJ aLomlsm ([usL parLs), because gesLalLs are holons, Lhey are botb wholes and parLs,
arranged ln a hlerarchlc order of hlgher and lower. As he puLs lL, 1hls Lermlnology-a vasL hlerarchy of lower- and
hlgher-order gesLalLs-ls more useful Lhan speaklng abouL wholes and hollsm, because lL lnduces people Lo Lhlnk
more sLrenuously abouL Lhe relaLlons beLween wholes and parLs. lL [also] faclllLaLes Lhe emanclpaLlon from sLrong
aLomlsLlc or mechanlsLlc Lrends ln analyLlcal LhoughL."
Plerarchy, ln shorL, ls for naess Lhe anLldoLe boLh Lo aLomlsm and whollsm (exLreme heLerarchy). l don'L know
why hls followers have such a dlfflculL Llme grasplng hls noLlon. erhaps lL ls, as l suggesLed earller, LhaL Lhey are ln
such reacLlon Lo paLhologlcal hlerarchles LhaL Lhey Loss Lhe baby ouL wlLh Lhe baLhwaLer. l Lhlnk Lhls ls very
undersLandable, because ln some early verslons of hlerarchy, Lhe concepLlon was raLher rlgld and fasclsL," and
resulLed, no doubL, from whaL we have called paLhologlcal agency.
1he polnL, of course, ls Lo Lease aparL paLhologlcal hlerarchles-where one holon usurps lLs poslLlon ln Lhe
LoLallLy-from normal holarchles ln general, whlch express Lhe naLural lnLerrelaLlons beLween holons LhaL are always
boLh parLs and wholes ln horlzonLal and verLlcal relaLlonshlps. As we saw earller, boLh paLhologlcal hlerarchles and
paLhologlcal heLerarchles do exlsL and need Lo be addressed os potboloqles, buL LhaL does noL damn Lhe exlsLence of
normal heLerarchles and normal hlerarchles Lhemselves, boLh of whlch are necessary for wholes and parLs Lo coexlsL.
!anLsch expresses Lhe more recenL and balanced undersLandlng:
LvoluLlon [appears] as a mulLllevel reallLy ln whlch Lhe evoluLlonary chaln of auLopoleLlc levels of exlsLence
appear ln hlerarchlc order. Lach level lncludes all lower levels-Lhere are sysLems wlLhln sysLems wlLhln
sysLems . . . wlLhln Lhe LoLal sysLem ln quesLlon. Powever, lL ls essenLlal LhaL Lhls hlerarchy ls noL a conLrol
hlerarchy ln whlch lnformaLlon sLreams upward and orders are handed from Lhe Lop down. Lach level
malnLalns a cerLaln [relaLlve] auLonomy and llves lLs proper exlsLence ln horlzonLal relaLlons [heLerarchy] wlLh
lLs speclflc envlronmenL. [lor example:] 1he organelles wlLhln our cells go abouL Lhelr buslness of energy
exchange ln an auLonomous way and malnLaln Lhelr horlzonLal relaLlonshlps wlLhln Lhe framework of Lhe
world-wlde Cala sysLem.
lf Lhe deep ecologlsLs and ecofemlnlsLs would follow naess's lead, Lhe whole dlscusslon could move forward more
smooLhly. As lL ls now, Lhey are ofLen Lhe defenders of flaLland whollsm" and exLreme heLerarchy, whlch lndeed ls
Lhe opposlLe of aLomlsm: Lwo sldes of Lhe same problem.
3. ocb emetqeot boloo ttoosceoJs bot locloJes lts pteJecessot(s). Lach newly emergenL holon, as we have seen,
lncludes lLs precedlng holons and Lhen adds lLs own new and deflnlng paLLern or form or wholeness (lLs new canon
or code or morphlc fleld). ln oLher words, lL ptesetves Lhe prevlous holons Lhemselves buL oeqotes Lhelr
separaLeness or lsolaLedness or aloneness. lL preserves Lhelr belng buL negaLes Lhelr parLlallLy or excluslveness. 1o
supersede," sald Pegel, ls aL once Lo preserve and Lo negaLe."
AnoLher way Lo express Lhls ls: all of Lhe lower ls ln Lhe hlgher, buL noL all of Lhe hlgher ls ln Lhe lower. lor
example, hydrogen aLoms are ln a waLer molecule, buL Lhe waLer molecule ls noL ln Lhe aLoms (we mlghL say Lhe
waLer molecule pervades" or permeaLes" Lhe aLoms buL ls noL acLually ln Lhem, [usL as all of a word ls ln a senLence
buL noL all of Lhe senLence ls ln a word).
varela polnLs ouL LhaL aL a glven level of Lhe hlerarchy, a parLlcular sysLem can be seen as an ootslJe Lo sysLems
below lL, and as an loslJe Lo sysLems above lL, Lhus Lhe sLaLus of a glven sysLem changes as one passes Lhrough lLs
level ln elLher Lhe upward or Lhe downward dlrecLlon."
1hls ls slmply anoLher example of asymmeLry, and lL means
LhaL all holons are noL equally lnLernal Lo all oLher holons (some have a relaLlon of parLlal exLernalness marked by
Lhe emergence or Lhe symmeLry break): all of Lhe lower ls ln Lhe hlgher, buL noL all of Lhe hlgher ls ln Lhe lower.
nobel laureaLe 8oger Sperry puLs lL very sLralghLforwardly: lL ls lmporLanL Lo remember ln Lhls connecLlon LhaL all
of Lhe slmpler, more prlmlLlve, elemenLal forces remaln presenL and operaLlve, none has been canceled. 1hese
lower-level forces and properLles, however, have been superseded ln successlve sLeps, encompassed or enveloped
as lL were, by Lhose forces of lncreaslngly complex organlzaLlonal enLlLles."
1he hlgher embraces Lhe lower, as lL
were, so LhaL all developmenL ls envelopmenL.
8uL Lhere ls an lmporLanL dlsLlncLlon LhaL needs Lo be emphaslzed, whlch l lndlcaLed earller by saylng LhaL
supersesslon preserves Lhe belng buL negaLes Lhe parLlallLy" (or preserves and negaLes"). A slmple example wlll
sufflce: before Pawall became a sLaLe, lL was lLs own naLlon, and as a naLlon lL had all Lhe prerogaLlves of
soverelgnLy: lL could declare war, prlnL lLs own money, conscrlpL an army, and so forLh. 1hese were all parLs of lLs
reglme or code or cannon-lLs self-preservaLlon or oqeocy as a whole, as an lndlvldual naLlon.
When Pawall became an Amerlcan sLaLe, all of lLs baslc properLy, land, and fundamenLal feaLures became parL of
Lhe u.S.A. All of Lhese baslc sLrucLures were preserved ln Lhe new unlon, none of Lhem were desLroyed or harmed ln
Lhe leasL. WhaL was noL preserved, however, whaL was losL and acLually negaLed, was Pawall's capaclLy Lo be lLs own
naLlon, Lo declare war, prlnL lLs own money, and so on. Pawall's lsolaLed and auLonomous reglme was subsumed ln
Lhe hlgher reglme of Lhe unlLed SLaLes (where lL reLalned some relaLlvely auLonomous rlghLs as a sLaLe).
1hls ls whaL l mean when l say Lranscends buL lncludes" or negaLes and preserves"-all Lhe boslc sttoctotes and
funcLlons are preserved and Laken up ln a larger ldenLlLy, buL all Lhe excloslvlty sLrucLures and funcLlons LhaL exlsLed
because of lsolaLlon, seL-aparLness, parLlalness, excluslveness, separaLlve agency-Lhese are slmply dropped and
replaced wlLh a deeper agency LhaL reaches a wlder communlon.
1hls leads Lo a general phenomenon observed aL all levels of hollsLlc organlzaLlon: ln normal holarchles, Lhe new
and senlor paLLern or wholeness can Lo some degree llmlt tbe loJetetmloocy (organlze Lhe freedom) of lLs [unlor
holons (preclsely because lL Lranscends buL lncludes Lhem, l.e., vla downward causaLlon," or more generally,
downward lnfluence"). 8uperL Sheldrake ls worLh quoLlng aL lengLh, Lo show exacLly whaL ls lnvolved, and how
wldespread and cruclal Lhe phenomenon ls:
ln llvlng organlsms, as ln Lhe chemlcal realm, Lhe morphogeneLlc flelds [holons] are hlerarchlcally organlzed:
Lhose of organelles-for example Lhe cell nucleus, Lhe mlLochondrla and chloroplasLs-acL by orderlng
physlco-chemlcal processes wlLhln Lhem, Lhese flelds are sub[ecL Lo Lhe hlgher-level flelds of cells, Lhe flelds of
cells Lo Lhose of Llssues, Lhose of Llssues Lo Lhose of organs, and of organs Lo Lhe morphogeneLlc fleld of Lhe
organlsm as a whole. At eocb level tbe flelJs wotk by otJetloq ptocesses wblcb woolJ otbetwlse be
lor example, ln Lhe case of free aLoms, elecLronlc evenLs Lake place wlLh Lhe probablllLles glven by Lhe
unmodlfled probablllLy sLrucLures of Lhe aLomlc morphogeneLlc flelds. 8uL when Lhe aLoms come under Lhe
lnfluence of Lhe hlgher-level morphogeneLlc fleld of a molecule, Lhese probablllLles are modlfled ln such a way
LhaL Lhe probablllLy of evenLs leadlng Loward Lhe acLuallzaLlon of Lhe flnal form are enhanced, whlle Lhe
probablllLy of oLher evenLs ls dlmlnlshed. 1hus Lhe morphogeneLlc flelds of molecules testtlct Lhe posslble
number of aLomlc conflguraLlons whlch would be expecLed on Lhe basls of calculaLlons whlch sLarL from Lhe
probablllLy sLrucLures of free aLoms. And Lhls ls whaL ls found ln facL, ln Lhe case of proLeln foldlng, for
example, Lhe rapldlLy of Lhe process lndlcaLes LhaL Lhe sysLem does noL explore" Lhe counLless conflguraLlons
ln whlch Lhe aLoms could concelvably be arranged. Slmllarly, Lhe morphogeneLlc flelds of crysLals resLrlcL Lhe
large number of posslble arrangemenLs whlch would be permlLLed by Lhe probablllLy sLrucLures of Lhelr
consLlLuenL molecules.
AL Lhe cellular level Lhe morphogeneLlc fleld orders Lhe crysLalllzaLlon of mlcroLubules and oLher processes
whlch are necessary for Lhe coordlnaLlon of cell dlvlslon. 8uL Lhe planes ln whlch Lhe cells dlvlde may be
lndeLermlnaLe ln Lhe absence of a hlgher-level fleld: for lnsLance, ln planL wound-calluses Lhe cells prollferaLe
more or less randomly Lo produce a chaoLlc mass. WlLhln organlzed Llssue, on Lhe oLher hand, one of Lhe
funcLlons of Lhe Llssue's morphogeneLlc fleld may be Lo lmpose a paLLern on Lhe planes of cell dlvlslon, and
Lhus conLrol Lhe way ln whlch Lhe Llssue as a whole grows. 1hen Lhe developmenL of Llssues lLself ls lnherenLly
lndeLermlnaLe ln many respecLs, as revealed when Lhey are arLlflclally lsolaLed and grown ln Llssue culLure,
under normal condlLlons Lhls lndeLermlnacy ls resLrlcLed by Lhe hlgher-level fleld of Lhe organ. lndeed aL each
level ln blologlcal sysLems, as ln chemlcal sysLems, Lhe morphlc unlLs ln lsolaLlon behave more lndeLermlnaLely
Lhan Lhey do when Lhey are parL of a hlgher-level morphlc unlL. 1he hlgher-level morphogeneLlc fleld resLrlcLs
and paLLerns Lhelr lnLrlnslc lndeLermlnlsm.
1hls brlngs us dlrecLly Lo our slxLh ma[or LeneL.
6. 1be lowet sets tbe posslbllltles of tbe blqbet, tbe blqbet sets tbe ptobobllltles of tbe lowet. We [usL saw LhaL as a
hlgher level of creaLlve novelLy emerges, lL ln many ways goes beyond (buL lncludes) Lhe glvens of Lhe prevlous level.
Powever, even Lhough a hlgher level goes beyond" a lower level, lL does noL vlolote Lhe laws or Lhe paLLerns of Lhe
lower level. lL cannoL be reduced Lo Lhe lower level, lL cannoL be deLermlned by Lhe lower level, buL nelLher can lL
lqoote Lhe lower level. My body follows Lhe laws of gravlLy, my mlnd follows oLher laws, such as Lhose of symbollc
communlcaLlon and llngulsLlc synLax, buL lf my body falls off a cllff, my mlnd goes wlLh lL.
1hls ls whaL ls meanL by saylng LhaL a lower seLs Lhe posslblllLles, or Lhe large framework, wlLhln whlch Lhe hlgher
wlll have Lo operaLe, buL Lo whlch lL ls noL conflned. 1o use olanyl's example, noLhlng ln Lhe laws governlng physlcal
parLlcles can predlcL Lhe emergence of a wrlsLwaLch, buL noLhlng ln Lhe wrlsLwaLch vlolaLes Lhe laws of physlcs. As
Laszlo nlcely summarlzes lL for any level:
1he processes of cosmlc evoluLlon brlng forLh a varleLy of maLLer-energy sysLems, Lhese sysLems deflne Lhe
range of consLralnLs and Lhe scope of posslblllLles wlLhln whlch sysLems on hlgher levels can evolve. SysLems
on Lhe lower level clusLers can permlL Lhe evoluLlon, buL can never deLermlne Lhe naLure, of sysLems on
hlgher-level clusLers. 1he evoluLlon of physlcal maLLer-energy sysLems seLs Lhe sLage and speclfles Lhe rules of
Lhe game for Lhe evoluLlon of blologlcal specles, and blologlcal evoluLlon seLs Lhe sLage and speclfles Lhe rules
of Lhe game for Lhe evoluLlon of socloculLural sysLems.
As for Lhe hlgher resLrlcLlng Lhe probablllLles of Lhe lower, we already heard Sheldrake's summary of Lhe exLenslve
evldence, whlch he concludes ln Lhls way:
AL every level, Lhe flelds of Lhe holons are probablllsLlc, and Lhe maLerlal processes wlLhln Lhe holon are
somewhaL random or lndeLermlnaLe. Plgher-level flelds may acL upon Lhe flelds of lower-level holons ln such a
way LhaL Lhelr probablllLy sLrucLures are modlfled. 1hls can be LhoughL of ln Lerms of a resLrlcLlon of Lhelr
lndeLermlnlsm: ouL of Lhe many posslble paLLerns of evenLs LhaL could have happened, some now become
much more llkely Lo happen as a resulL of Lhe order lmposed by Lhe hlgher-level fleld. 1hls fleld organlzes and
paLLerns Lhe lndeLermlnlsm LhaL would be shown by Lhe lower-level holons ln lsolaLlon.
now, a level" ln a holarchy ls esLabllshed by several ob[ecLlve crlLerla: by a quallLaLlve emergence (as explalned by
opper), by asymmeLry (or symmeLry breaks," as explalned by rlgoglne and !anLsch), by an lncluslonary prlnclple
(Lhe hlgher lncludes Lhe lower, buL noL vlce versa, as explalned by ArlsLoLle), by a developmenLal loglc (Lhe hlgher
negaLes and preserves a lower, buL noL vlce versa, as explalned by Pegel), by a chronologlcal lndlcaLor (Lhe hlgher
chronologlcally comes afLer Lhe lower, buL all LhaL ls laLer ls noL hlgher, as explalned by SalnL Cregory).
uesplLe Lhe clarlLy of Lhe concepL of levels (and Lhe meanlng of hlgher" and lower"), some crlLlcs have
malnLalned LhaL Lhe concepL lLself cannoL be malnLalned, because of Lhe purely arblLrary naLure of Lhe number of
levels ln any glven holon. lL ls deflnlLely Lrue LhaL Lhe number of levels ln any holon has an elemenL of arblLrarlness Lo
lL, slmply because Lhere ls no upper or lower llmlL Lo a manlfesL holarchy and Lherefore no absoluLe referenL.
lor example, when lL was LhoughL LhaL aLoms were Lhe ulLlmaLe holons, Lhen a slmple aLom had one level, a waLer
molecule had Lwo levels, an lce crysLal had Lhree levels, and so on. When lL was Lhen LhoughL LhaL proLons, neuLrons,
and elecLrons were Lhe ulLlmaLe holons, Lhen Lhey had one level, a nucleus had Lwo levels, an aLom had Lhree levels,
and so forLh. 8uL LhaL doesn'L change Lhe telotlve placemenL of Lhe holons Lhemselves and Lhus doesn'L change ln
Lhe leasL Lhe meanlng of hlgher and lower.
Also noLlce LhaL we can counL as one level any Lruly emergenL quallLy, whlch means we can dlvlde and subdlvlde a
serles ln any number of ways. 1o glve a crude analogy, Lake a Lhree-sLory house wlLh a sLalrway conslsLlng of LwenLy
sLeps beLween each floor. We usually say Lhe house has Lhree maln levels ([usL as we refer Lo Lhe Lhree general
realms of evoluLlon), buL we could also use Lhe sLalrs as Lhe scale and say Lhe house has slxLy levels or sLeps.
Cbvlously Lhls ls somewhaL arblLrary.
1he level clalm ls slmply LhaL (1) Lhe exlsLence of floors and sLeps ls noL lLself purely arblLrary-Lhere are quanLa ln
Lhe unlverse wlLh or wlLhouL Lhe presence of humans-and (2) ln maklng any comparlson, use Lhe same ruler, Lhus
facLorlng ouL LhaL parLlcular arblLrarlness ([usL as we can measure Lhe LemperaLure of waLer wlLh any number of
arblLrary scales, Celslus or lahrenhelL or whaLever, as long as we agree whlch Lo use). Whenever we refer Lo Lhe
number of levels" ln a holon, Lhen, we are uslng a relaLlve scale conslsLenLly applled wlLhln Lhe parLlcular
WlLh LhaL ln mlnd, we can lnLroduce Lwo very lmporLanL deflnlLlons, flrsL clearly suggesLed by ArLhur koesLler. ln
hls words:
7. 1be oombet of levels wblcb o bletotcby comptlses Jetetmloes wbetbet lt ls 'sbollow' ot 'Jeep', ooJ tbe
oombet of boloos oo ooy qlveo level we sboll coll lts 'spoo.'"
lor Lhls example, leL us arblLrarlly asslgn aLoms a depLh of Lhree (Lhey conLaln as componenLs aL leasL Lwo oLher
levels). We can lmaglne a Llme, early ln Lhe unlverse, when Lhere were only aLoms and noL yeL molecules. ALoms had
a small depLh (3) buL an enormous span, sLreLchlng, we presume, LhroughouL Lhe exlsLenL unlverse and numberlng ln
Lhe megazllllons (Lhus, depLh = 3, span = zllllons). When molecules flrsL emerged, Lhey had a greaLer depLh, a depLh
of four, buL lnlLlally a very small span (presumably ln Lhe hundreds, or whaLever, and Lhen growlng rapldly).
1hls agaln recognlzes a cruclal dlsLlncLlon found ln any holarchy-Lhe verLlcal dlmenslon and Lhe horlzonLal
dlmenslon. 1he greaLer Lhe verLlcal dlmenslon of a holon (Lhe more levels lL conLalns), Lhen Lhe qteotet Lhe Jeptb
of LhaL holon, and Lhe more holons on LhaL level, Lhe wlJet lLs spoo.
1hls ls lmporLanL, because lL polnLs ouL LhaL lL ls noL merely populaLlon slze LhaL esLabllshes order of rlchness (or
order of quallLaLlve emergence), buL raLher Jeptb. And we wlll see LhaL one of Lhe greaLesL confuslons ln general
ecologlcal or new-paradlgm Lheorles (wheLher pop" or serlous") ls LhaL Lhey ofLen mlsLake greaL span for greaL
depLh. lor whaL we wlll flnd ls LhaL:
8. ocb soccesslve level of evolotloo ptoJoces CkA1k Jeptb ooJ l55 spoo. 1he greaLer Lhe depLh of a holon,
Lhe more precarlous ls lLs exlsLence, slnce lLs exlsLence depends also on Lhe exlsLence of a whole serles of oLher
holons lnLernal Lo lL. And slnce Lhe lower holons are compooeots of Lhe hlgher, Lhere physlcally cannoL be more
numbers of Lhe hlgher Lhan Lhere are numbers of componenLs.
1hus, for example, Lhe number of molecules ln Lhe unlverse wlll always be less Lhan Lhe number of aLoms ln Lhe
unlverse. 1he number of cells ln Lhe unlverse wlll always be less Lhan Lhe number of molecules ln Lhe unlverse, and
so on. lL slmply means Lhe number of wholes wlll always be less Lhan Lhe number of parLs, lndeflnlLely.
1hus, greaLer depLh always means less span, ln relaLlon Lo a holon's predecessor(s). Cf course, whaL we mlghL call
LoLal span" lncreases-lf Lhere ls more of anyLhlng, Lhe sum LoLal of everyLhlng lncreases-buL slmple span, Lhe
span of any glven Lype of holon, becomes less and less vls-a-vls lLs predecessor(s). (1hls ls why Lhe span of menLal
holons ls much less Lhan Lhe span of llvlng holons, whlch ls much less Lhan Lhe span of maLerlal holons-Lhe so-called
pyramld of developmenL.) We wlll reLurn Lo Lhls momenLarlly.
1hroughouL Lhls book l wlll be addlng whaL mlghL be called fundamenLal addlLlons" Lo Lhe LwenLy LeneLs. 1hese
addlLlons are LeneLs LhaL seem cruclal Lo an undersLandlng of evoluLlon and Lhe kosmos, buL LeneLs LhaL, for reasons
we wlll be lnvesLlgaLlng ln deLall, slmply cannoL be esLabllshed ln Lhe lL-language of lnsLrumenLal and ob[ecLlfylng
naLurallsm (l.e., sysLems Lheory). wby Lhey cannoL be esLabllshed ln sysLems Lheory wlll form a large parL of Lhe
dlscusslon abouL Lhe wrong half" of modern sysLems sclences.
1hese addlLlons do noL vlolaLe sysLems Lheory, Lhey slmply can flnd no place whaLsoever ln lLs LeneLs (Lhe
sub[ecLlve world of l," for example, cannoL be capLured wlLhouL remalnder ln Lhe ob[ecLlvlsLlc language of lLs" and
ob[ecLs" and processes", nor can Lhe collecLlve worlds of we" be capLured ln sysLems Lheory wlLhouL a reducLlon
Lo LoLallLarlan prlnclples). As l sald, we wlll laLer reLurn Lo all of Lhls ln much deLall, and so for Lhe momenL we need
only noLe our flrsL addlLlon:
AJJltloo 1. 1be qteotet tbe Jeptb of o boloo, tbe qteotet lts Jeqtee of cooscloosoess. 1he specLrum of evoluLlon ls
a specLrum of consclousness. And one can perhaps begln Lo see LhaL a splrlLual dlmenslon ls bullL lnLo Lhe very fabrlc,
Lhe very Jeptb, of Lhe kosmos.
8uL Lhls addlLlon Lakes us a blL ahead of our sLory, and so leL me reLurn Lo Lhe more orLhodox accounL and plck up
Lhe sLory aL LeneL 7, Lhe dlsLlncLlon beLween depLh and span, or Lhe dlsLlncLlon beLween verLlcal rlchness and
horlzonLal reach. We have Lwo dlfferenL scales here: a verLlcal scale of deep versus shallow, and a horlzonLal scale of
wlde versus narrow.
Cne of Lhe dlfflculLles ln keeplng Lhese dlsLlncLlons ln mlnd ls LhaL, once we dlsavow reducLlonlsm, once we
dlsavow Lhe flaLland approach Lo Lhe kosmos, Lhen LheoreLlcally we are no longer [usL playlng chess, whlch ls hard
enough, we are now playlng Lhree-dlmenslonal chess, whlch ls exLremely compllcaLed! And l won'L even menLlon o-
dlmenslonal chess! lor wherever developmenL proceeds, we musL, aL Lhe very leasL, dlsLlngulsh beLween depLh and
span, noL only because Lhere are ob[ecLlve (real) correlaLes Lo Lhe dlsLlncLlon, buL because Lo fall Lo do so, even
under Lhe gulse of belng hollsLlc," slmply relnLroduces a subLle form of reducLlonlsm, for everyLhlng ls Lhen
compared merely ln Lerms of populaLlon spoo (blgger or smaller, wlder or narrower), and Lhus all Jeptb ls erased
from exlsLence.
As we wlll see ln Lhe nexL chapLer, many such LheorlsLs Lhen aLLempL Lo consLrucL hollsLlc sequences based only on
slze. 1hey compleLely mlsLake greaL span for greaL depLh, because now Lhe only poolltotlve dlsLlncLlon Lhey possess
ls acLually poootltotlve: Lhey only have one way Lo go-namely, LhaL blgger ls beLLer." And Lhus Lhelr hollsLlc
sequences," because Lhey are based on spoo alone, are acLually ln Lhemselves teqtesslve, because evoluLlon ls oot
blgger and beLLer, buL smaller and beLLer (greaLer depLh, less span). 1hese LheorlsLs, as we wlll see ln deLall, end up
unknowlngly recommendlng pure regresslon as our salvaLlon.
Cne lasL polnL ln Lhls regard: oLher crlLlcs accepL Lhe Lerm depLh," buL sLrenuously ob[ecL Lo Lhe word helghL,"
agaln feellng, apparenLly, LhaL helghL" ls Lhe helghL of human arrogance. And yeL Lhey accepL depLh," Lhls belng, l
suppose, Lhe depLh of human dafflness. Any way we sllce lL, depLh wlLhouL helghL ls [usL anoLher name for shallow.
WlLh reference Lo Lhe verLlcal scale (whlch [usL as well could be any dlrecLlon we agree upon, l wlll use verLlcal),
we can speak of helghL and depLh synonymously. 1he helghL of a holon and Lhe depLh of a holon refer Lo Lhe same
Lhlng, Lhe (relaLlve) number of levels of oLher holons lnLernal Lo lL. PusLon SmlLh, however, makes Lhe lnLeresLlng
observaLlon LhaL LradlLlonally belqbt was used when referrlng Lo Lhe kosmos (as ln hlgh Peaven") and Jeptb ln
regard Lo lndlvlduals (as ln Lhe depLh of her soul").
8uL l wlll use Lhe Lwo words lnLerchangeably, so LhaL Lhe verLlcal dlmenslon ls a scale of depLh/helghL versus
shallow/flaL, and Lhe horlzonLal scale ls one of wldLh versus narrowness.
We have, of course, on several occaslons already meL Lhese Lwo dlmenslons. Agency and communlon (or self-
preservaLlon and self-accommodaLlon) refer Lo changes ln Lhe horlzonLal dlmenslon, self-Lranscendence and self-
dlssoluLlon refer Lo changes ln Lhe verLlcal dlmenslon. So we can lnLroduce a few more slmple deflnlLlons:
Changes ln Lhe horlzonLal dlmenslon l wlll call ttooslotloo, and changes ln Lhe verLlcal dlmenslon l wlll call
1he agency (or reglme or code) of any glven holon ttooslotes Lhe world accordlng Lo Lhe Lerms of lLs code or
reglme-lL wlll recognlze, or reglsLer, or respond Lo, only Lhose lLems LhaL flL lLs code. An elecLron, for example, wlll
reglsLer numerous oLher physlcal forces, buL wlll noL reglsLer or respond Lo Lhe meanlng of llLeraLure, nor wlll lL
respond Lo Lhe sexual advances of a rabblL.
Polons, ln oLher words, do noL slmply reflecL a preglven world. 8aLher, accordlng Lo Lhelr capaclLy, Lhey selecL,
organlze, glve form Lo, Lhe mulLlLude of sLlmull cascadlng around Lhem. 1helr responses never slmply correspond"
Lo someLhlng ouL Lhere", Lhey teqlstet (and Lhus tespooJ to) only LhaL whlch flLs Lhe cobeteocy of Lhelr teqlme
(or code or agency or deep sLrucLure). 1hls ls whaL varela means, for example, when he says holons are noL
heLeronomous unlLs operaLlng by a loglc of correspondence," buL raLher relaLlvely auLonomous unlLs operaLlng by
a loglc of coherence." Polons ttooslote Lhelr reallLy accordlng Lo Lhe paLLerns of Lhelr agency, Lhelr relaLlvely
auLonomous and coherenL deep sLrucLures, and sLlmull LhaL don'L flL Lhe deep sLrucLure or reglme are slmply noL
reglsLered and mlghL as well noL exlsL (ln facL, do noL exlsL, do noL dlsclose Lhemselves, for LhaL holon).
ln ttoosfotmotloo, however, new forms of agency emerge, and Lhls means a wbole oew wotlJ of avallable sLlmull
becomes accesslble Lo Lhe new and emergenL holon. 1he new holon can respond Lo deeper or hlgher worlds,
because lLs LranslaLlon processes Lranscend and lnclude Lhose of lLs subholons. A deer, for example, wlll reglsLer and
respond noL only Lo physlcal forces LhaL conLlnue Lo lmpacL lL, buL also Lo a whole range of blologlcal forces, from
hunger Lo paln Lo sexual drlve, LhaL slmply make no lmpresslon on lLs consLlLuenL aLoms. 1o Lhe lndlvldual aLom,
Lhese new forces are all oLherworldly"-llLerally ouL of Lhls world, or noL ln lts world.
1hus, ln ttoosfotmotloo (or self-Lranscendence), whole new worlds of LranslaLlon dlsclose Lhemselves. 1hese
new worlds" are noL physlcally locaLed someplace else, Lhey exlsL slmply as a Jeepet petceptloo (or deeper
reglsLraLlon) of Lhe avallable sLlmull ln tbls wotlJ. 1hey appear Lo be-and mlghL as well be-oLher worlds" Lo Lhe
[unlor holons, buL Lhese oLher worlds" dlsclose Lhemselves-Lhey become tbls wotlJly-vla LransformaLlon and
self-Lranscendence. We wlll see, ln laLer chapLers, LhaL developmenL ls a consLanL converslon of oLherworldly" lnLo
Lhls worldly" vla a deepenlng of percepLlon broughL abouL by emergenL evoluLlon and LransformaLlon. CreaLer
depLh brlngs oLher worlds lnLo Lhls world, consLanLly. . . .
A holon's reglme or deep sLrucLure, Lhen, governs Lhe range of lLs posslble LranslaLlons, governs Lhe types of
worlds LhaL lL coo respond Lo.
1hls ls whaL acLually allows a holon's sLablllLy, lLs relaLlve auLonomy or coherence. We noLed LhaL any sLable holon
ls sLable by vlrLue of lLs ldenLlfylng paLLern-lLs relaLlvely auLonomous code, canon, reglme, enLelechy, morphlc
unlL-whaL l have been calllng lLs Jeep sttoctote. 1he human body, for example, has 208 bones, 1 hearL, 2 lungs, and
so forLh, wherever lL appears. 8uL whaL we do wlLh Lhe human body-lLs varlous modes of play, work, sex, and so
on-varles from culLure Lo culLure. 1hese varlaLlons wlLhln Lhe deep sLrucLure l call sotfoce sttoctotes. koesLler
refers Lo Lhls dlfference as flxed codes and flexlble sLraLegles"-LhaL ls, relaLlvely sLable deep sLrucLures and
changlng surface sLrucLures wlLhln Lhe baslc guldellnes (or baslc llmlLlng prlnclples) of Lhe deep sLrucLure.
And so we can say: ttooslotloo ls a change ln sotfoce sttoctotes (horlzonLal"), whereas ttoosfotmotloo ls a
change ln Jeep sttoctotes (verLlcal").
(1he relaLlon beLween deep sLrucLures and surface sLrucLures l call LranscrlpLlon," whlch we wlll dlscuss laLer, and
for now, ln a noLe.)
1hls ls yeL anoLher reason why evoluLlon cannoL be explalned merely ln Lerms of horlzonLal addlLlons-LhaL ls,
cannoL be explalned merely ln Lerms of LranslaLlon, of horlzonLal changes ln agency and communlon. When Lhe
reglmes or deep sLrucLures of hydrogen and oxygen are broughL LogeLher ln a cerLaln fashlon, a waLer molecule
emerges wlLh a new reglme or deep sLrucLure, a reglme LhaL lncorporaLes Lhe separaLe reglmes of Lhe aLoms lnLo a
slngle morphlc unlL," a holon wlLh a new deep sLrucLure LhaL subsumes lLs predecessors. 1hls ls a verLlcal
ttoosfotmotloo, or cbooqe lo Jeep sttoctote, lL ls oot Lhe mere addlLlon of more and more aLoms, whlch would
slmply produce a mess, noL a molecule, a heap, noL a whole. 1ranslaLlon shuffles parLs, LransformaLlon produces
We can use our slmple analogy of Lhe Lhree-sLory bulldlng Lo summarlze all of Lhese deflnlLlons. Lach of Lhe Lhree
maln floors ls a deep sLrucLure, Lhe furnlLure, chalrs, and Lables on each floor are Lhe surface sLrucLures. 8earranglng
Lhe furnlLure on any glven floor ls LranslaLlon, changlng floors ls LransformaLlon. (And Lhe relaLlon of Lhe furnlLure Lo
each floor ls LranscrlpLlon.)
1he polnL, Lhen, ls LhaL evoluLlon ls flrsL and foremosL a serles of LransformaLlons (self-reallzaLlon Lhrough self-
Lranscendence"). 1ransformaLlon ls how you geL levels ln Lhe flrsL place. And each ma[or LransformaLlon produces
greaLer depLh, and less span, ln relaLlon Lo lLs prevlous level(s), ln relaLlon Lo lLs predecessors.
9. uesttoy ooy type of boloo, ooJ yoo wlll Jesttoy oll of tbe boloos obove lt ooJ oooe of tbe boloos below lt. 1here
ls an enormous amounL of confuslon ln Lhe llLeraLure as Lo how Lo deLermlne wheLher a glven holon ls hlgher" or
lower" ln Lhe developmenLal sequence-noL Lo menLlon Lhe large numbers of crlLlcs who deny hlgher and lower
8uL we can acLually locaLe Lhe level of a holon ln any evoluLlonary or hollsLlc sequence very slmply, by asklng
ourselves, as a Lype of LhoughL experlmenL, WhaL oLher Lypes of holons would be desLroyed lf we desLroyed Lhls
Lype of holon?"
lor example, Lake Lhe hollsLlc sequence: subaLomlc parLlcles, aLoms, molecules, cells. Lverybody agrees LhaL LhaL
ls lndeed a hollsLlc sequence-each member lncludes lLs predecessor(s) buL noL vlce versa, and Lhus each successlve
member ls lndeed more encompasslng (or more hollsLlc).
8uL noLlce whaL LhaL also unavoldably means: lf we desLroyed, for example, all of Lhe molecules ln Lhe unlverse,
we would also desLroy all of Lhe cells ln Lhe unlverse (all of Lhe holons obove molecules ln Lhe sequence), buL aLoms
and subaLomlc parLlcles would or could sLlll exlsL (none of Lhe lowet holons would have Lo cease exlsLence).
ln oLher words, desLroy any Lype of holon, and LhaL also desLroys all Lhe blqbet holons ln Lhe sequence, because
Lhose hlgher wholes depend upon Lhe lower as consLlLuenL parLs.
Molecules cannoL exlsL wlLhouL aLoms, aLoms can exlsL wlLhouL molecules. 1here ls noLhlng arblLrary ln Lhls
arrangemenL, lL ls noL Lhe producL of a parLlcular human value [udgmenL." lL ls Lrue physlcally, and loglcally, and
chronologlcally as well. (ALoms and molecules exlsLed perfecLly well on Lhelr own before Lhe emergence of any cells.
uesLroy every cell ln Lhe unlverse, and everyLhlng LhaL came afLer lL-planLs, anlmals, socleLles-wlll llkewlse be
desLroyed, buL noLhlng LhaL came before lL-subaLomlc parLlcles, aLoms, molecules, polymers.)
1hls allows us Lo easlly deLermlne whaL ls lower, and whaL ls hlgher, ln any hollsLlc sequence: desLroy Lhe
parLlcular holon, and everyLhlng else LhaL ls also desLroyed ls hlgher, Lhose holons noL desLroyed are lower.
1hls ls Lrue for any developmenLal sequence, and ls parLlally responslble for Lhe reLreaL" we see when holons
dlssolve: Lhey regress Lo Lhe oext lower level, whereas lf any lower level ls desLroyed, all Lhe hlgher levels
auLomaLlcally go wlLh lL. 1hls also polnLs up very clearly why Lhere ls a verLlcal and noL [usL a horlzonLal dlmenslon Lo
evoluLlon, and shows why hlgher" and lower" are oot arblLrary.
ln Lhe nexL chapLer, we wlll apply Lhls prlnclple Lo Lhe work of several LheorlsLs who are aLLempLlng Lo consLrucL
hollsLlc sequences." 1hese LheorlsLs, ln order Lo help men and women more accuraLely poslLlon Lhemselves ln Lhe
larger unlverse, are aLLempLlng Lo flnd a more hollsLlc" reallLy ln whlch humans can slLuaLe Lhelr communlons-an
alLogeLher commendable Lask. 8uL because so many of Lhese LheorlsLs confuse greaL span wlLh greaL depLh, Lhey end
up creaLlng hollsLlc sequences" LhaL are ln facL regresslve, LhaL sllde down Lhe pyramld of greaLer depLh / less span
and land us ln Lhe shallower end of Lhe kosmos.
As we wlll see, Lhe careful appllcaLlon of Lhls LhoughL experlmenL allows us Lo deLermlne lf Lhelr sequences are
really hollsLlc (or merely regresslve), and allows us Lo offer an alLernaLlve blg plcLure" ln whlch men and women can
slLuaLe Lhemselves ln a Lruly hollsLlc fashlon.
ln Lhe meanLlme, Lhls LhoughL experlmenL allows us Lo lnLroduce anoLher lmporLanL deflnlLlon, Lhe dlfference
beLween fooJomeotol and slqolflcoot. lor whaL we wlll flnd ls LhaL Lhe more fundamenLal a holon ls, Lhe less
slgnlflcanL lL ls, and vlce versa. 1haL ls:
1he less Jeptb a holon has, Lhe mote fooJomeotol lL ls Lo Lhe kosmos, because lL ls a compooeot of so many
oLher holons. ALoms, for example, are very fundamenLal, relaLlvely speaklng, because molecules and cells and
organlsms all depend upon Lhem. 1he more fundamenLal a holon ls, Lhe more of Lhe unlverse cootolos LhaL holon as
a oecessoty parL or consLlLuenL, wlLhouL whlch Lhese oLher holons could noL funcLlon (or even exlsL). Less depLh
means more fundamenLal, means Lhe parLlcular holon ls a bulldlng block" of so many oLher holons.
AL Lhe same Llme, Lhe less Jeptb a holon has, Lhe less slqolflcoot lL ls Lo Lhe kosmos, because lL embraces (as lLs
own componenLs) so llLLle of Lhe kosmos. 1here ls, relaLlvely speaklng, less of Lhe kosmos LhaL ls acLually lnLernal Lo
Lhls holon, LhaL ls acLually embraced wlLhln Lhe belng of Lhe holon lLself. (uL dlfferenLly, lL ls less slgnlflcanL because
more of Lhe kosmos ls exLernal Lo lL.)
Cn Lhe oLher hand, Lhe qteotet tbe Jeptb, or Lhe greaLer Lhe parLlcular wholeness of a holon, Lhen Lhe less
fooJomeotol lL ls, because fewer oLher holons depend on lL for Lhelr own exlsLence. rlmaLes, for example, are noL
very fundamenLal holons, because nelLher aLoms nor molecules nor cells depend upon Lhem. 8uL by Lhe same Loken,
Lhe less fundamenLal, Lhe more slgnlflcanL: Lhe mote slqolflcoot LhaL holon ls for Lhe unlverse, because more of Lhe
unlverse ls reflecLed or embraced ln LhaL parLlcular wholeness (more of Lhe kosmos ls lnLernal Lo lL, as parL of lLs own
belng). rlmaLes are very slgnlflcanL, relaLlvely speaklng, because Lhey represenL and conLaln aLoms and molecules
and cells: Lhey slqolfy more of Lhe kosmos.
1hus an aLom, for example, ls more fundamenLal, and less slgnlflcanL, Lhan a cell. Mote fooJomeotol, because
everyLhlng above lL (lncludlng Lhe cell) depends upon lL for lLs exlsLence. less slqolflcoot, because less of Lhe kosmos
ls embraced ln lL (or ls acLually lnLernal Lo lL). A cell, on Lhe oLher hand, ls more slgnlflcanL because lL embtoces
aLoms and Lherefore reflecLs or slqolfles more of Lhe kosmos ln lLs own belng. lL ls more slgnlflcanL, buL less
fundamenLal, Lhan an aLom. And so on.
(We wlll reLurn LhroughouL Lhe book Lo Lhls Loplc, and see LhaL lL ls relaLed Lo Lhe lssue of lnLrlnslc and exLrlnslc
values, and see also LhaL LheorlsLs who mlsLake greaL span for greaL depLh are always confuslng more fundamenLal
wlLh more slgnlflcanL, and Lhus, once agaln, end up recommendlng regresslon as a dlrecLlon for furLher growLh, wlLh
a flaLland onLology, Lhe cruclal depLh dlmenslon ls mlsslng.)
10. nolotcbles coevolve. Polons do noL evolve alone, because Lhere are no alone holons (Lhere are only flelds
wlLhln flelds wlLhln flelds). 1hls prlnclple ls ofLen referred Lo as coevolotloo, whlch slmply means LhaL Lhe unlL" of
evoluLlon ls noL an lsolaLed holon (lndlvldual molecule or planL or anlmal) buL a holon plus lLs lnseparable
envlronmenL. LvoluLlon, LhaL ls, ls ecologlcal ln Lhe broadesL sense.
!anLsch refers Lo Lhls as Lhe lnLerdependence of mlcroevoluLlon and macroevoluLlon, by whlch he slmply means
Lhe coevoluLlon of Lhe lndlvldual (mlcro) and lLs larger envlronmenL (macro). 1hls ls [usL anoLher way of saylng LhaL
oll agency ls olwoys agency-ln-communlon.
1he lmmedlaLe consequence ls . . . Lhe slmulLanelLy of macro- and mlcroevoluLlon ln Lhe unlverse. Macroscoplc
sLrucLures become Lhe envlronmenL for mlcroscoplc sLrucLures and lnfluence Lhelr evoluLlon ln declslve ways,
or make lL posslble aL all. vlce versa, Lhe evoluLlon of mlcroscoplc sLrucLures becomes a declslve facLor ln Lhe
formaLlon and evoluLlon of macroscoplc sLrucLures. 1hls lnLerdependence consLlLuLes noLhlng buL an aspecL of
co-evolotloo [operaLlve, he says, ln all Lhree realms"]. 1hls prlnclple lmplles LhaL every sysLem ls llnked wlLh
lLs envlronmenL by clrcular processes whlch esLabllsh a feedback llnk beLween Lhe evoluLlon of boLh sldes. 1hls
holds noL only for sysLems aL Lhe same hlerarchlcal level, Lhe enLlre complex sysLem plus envlronmenL evolves
as a whole.
ln oLher words, accordlng Lo !anLsch (and oLhers), mlcro and macro-lndlvldual and soclal/envlronmenLal-evolve
heLerarchlcally Lo new holarchlcal levels of each.
1hls dlsLlncLlon beLween an lndlvldual holon and lLs soclal holon (envlronmenL ln Lhe broadesL sense) ls noL as easy
Lo draw as lL may flrsL appear, however, because lL's almosL lmposslble Lo deflne whaL we mean by an lndlvldual ln
Lhe flrsL place. 1he word lLself, from Lhe LaLln loJlvlJoolls, means noL dlvlslble or noL separable, by LhaL deflnlLlon,
Lhere are no lndlvlduals anywhere ln Lhe kosmos. 1here are only holons, or dlvlduals.
Cn Lhe oLher hand, we do recognlze LhaL endurlng holons possess a speclflc form or paLLern, and Lhls paLLern ls Lo
some degree auLonomous, or reslsLanL Lo envlronmenLal obllLeraLlon. And Lhls ls usually whaL we mean by calllng a
holon an lndlvldual"-we mean an eoJotloq compoooJ loJlvlJool, compounded of lLs [unlor holons and addlng lLs
own deflnlng form or wholeness or canon or deep sLrucLure (whlch ls Lhe novel holon ln lLs own compound
lndlvlduallLy). And we furLher mean, usually (alLhough we mlghL noL use Lhese Lerms), LhaL Lhe overall wholeness or
morphlc fleld of Lhe lndlvldual holon organlzes Lhe lndeLermlnaLeness of lLs [unlor parLners or subholons.
ln oLher words, even Lhough an lndlvldual holon" exlsLs lnseparably from lLs soclal envlronmenL, lLs deflnlng
facLor ls lLs own parLlcular form or paLLern. 1o Lhe degree LhaL we can reasonably recognlze LhaL paLLern, we wlll
refer Lo an loJlvlJool boloo.
1hls ls sLlll somewhaL arblLrary, of course, because Lhere are some soclal holons LhaL seem Lo acL as lndlvldual
holons or superorganlsms"-an anL colony, for example. 8uL ln human affalrs, Lo glve a counLerexample, mosL of us
reslsL Lhe LempLaLlon Lo descrlbe a soclal holon, such as Lhe SLaLe, as belng llLerally a superorganlsm, because all
organlsms have prlorlLy over all of Lhelr componenLs, and yeL wlLh Lhe rlse of democraLlc sLrucLures, we llke Lo Lhlnk
LhaL Lhe SLaLe ls subservlenL Lo Lhe people, and Lo Lhe degree LhaL LhaL ls Lrue, Lhen Lhe soclal sysLem ls noL a Lrue
organlsm (lL ls a soclal or envlronmenLal holon, noL an lndlvldual holon). lurLher, Lhe SLaLe, unllke a concreLe
lndlvldual, does noL have a locus of self-prehenslon, a unlLary feellng os a oneness. ln more general Lerms, lL lacks a
locus of lndlvldual self-belng (one of WhlLehead's maln concluslons, and Pabermas: Lhe SLaLe ls noL a macrosub[ecL).
And flnally, Lhe parLs ln Lhls soclal sysLem are consclous, buL Lhe whole" ls noL.
We wlll devoLe much of Lhe nexL chapLer Lo Lhls Loplc. lor Lhe Llme belng, leL us slmply recognlze LhaL Lhere are
lmporLanL dlsLlncLlons beLween mlcro- and macroevoluLlon, beLween an lndlvldual holon and a soclal or
envlronmenLal holon (even Lhough Lhey are lnseparably lnLeracLlve, whlch ls Lhe meanlng of coevoluLlon"). A soclal
holon ls sLlll a holon-and noL a mere heap or aggregaLe-because lL dlsplays a whole/parL paLLern, lL ls rule-bound,
lL ln a sense develops (we speak coherenLly of sLellar evoluLlon, ecosysLem evoluLlon, soclal evoluLlon, eLc.), and lL
can funcLlon wlLh varlous degrees of upward and downward causaLlon (dependlng on lLs depLh). 8uL lL ls noL a Lrue
lndlvldual holon, as WhlLehead and Pabermas and oLhers have noLed. !anLsch refers Lo Lhls as Lhe dlfference
beLween verLlcal organlsmlc and horlzonLal ecosysLemlc (symbloLlc) organlzaLlon"-buL Lhe polnL, agaln, ls LhaL Lhey
11. 1be mlcto ls lo telotloool excbooqe wltb tbe mocto ot oll levels of lts Jeptb. 1hls LeneL ls exLremely lmporLanL,
parLlcularly when lL comes Lo holons of greaLer depLh and Lhe Lypes of ecosysLems (ln Lhe broad sense) LhaL Lhey
musL co-creaLe and upon whlch Lhelr exlsLence depends.
1ake, for example, a human belng, uslng [usL Lhe Lhree levels of maLLer, llfe, and mlnd: all of Lhese levels malnLaln
Lhelr own exlsLence Lhrough an lncredlbly rlch neLwork of relaLlonal exchange wltb boloos of tbe some Jeptb ln Lhe
envlronmenL. 1he pbyslcol body exlsLs ln a sysLem of relaLlonal exchange wlLh oLher pbyslcol bodles-ln Lerms of
gravlLaLlon, maLerlal forces and energles, llghL, waLer, envlronmenLal weaLher, and so on-and Lhe physlcal body
lLself depends for lLs exlsLence on Lhese physlcal relaLlonshlps. lurLher, Lhe human race teptoJoces ltself pbyslcolly
Lhrough food producLlon and food consumpLlon, Lhrough soclal labor organlzed ln an economy for baslc maLerlal
exchanges ln Lhe physlosphere.
Llkewlse, humanlLy teptoJoces ltself bloloqlcolly Lhrough emoLlonal-sexual relaLlons organlzed ln a famlly and an
approprlaLe soclal envlronmenL, and depends for lLs blologlcal exlsLence on a whole neLwork of oLher blologlcal
sysLems (and ecosysLems)-lL depends upon harmonlous relaLlonal exchanges wlLh Lhe blosphere.
llnally, human belngs teptoJoce tbemselves meotolly Lhrough exchanges wlLh culLural and symbollc
envlronmenLs, Lhe very essence of whlch ls Lhe relaLlonal exchange of symbols wlLh oLher symbol exchangers. 1hese
relaLlonal exchanges are embedded ln Lhe LradlLlons and lnsLlLuLlons of a parLlcular socleLy ln such a way LhaL LhaL
socleLy can reproduce lLself on a culLural level, can reproduce lLself ln Lhe noosphere.
ln shorL, as holons evolve, each layer of depLh conLlnues Lo exlsL ln (and depend upon) a neLwork of relaLlonshlps
wlLh oLher holons aL Lhe some level of sttoctotol otqoolzotloo. l usually refer Lo Lhls, for shorL, as same-level
relaLlonal exchange."
1he polnL ls LhaL all holons are compound lndlvlduals, compounded of Lhelr prevlous holons
and addlng Lhelr own dlsLlncLlvely emergenL paLLern, and each level of Lhese holons (l.e., evety holon) malnLalns lLs
exlsLence Lhrough relaLlonal exchanges wlLh same-depLh holons ln Lhe soclal (or macro-) envlronmenL.
12. volotloo bos Jltectlooollty. 1hls ls Lhe famous arrow of evoluLlonary Llme flrsL recognlzed ln Lhe blosphere,
buL now undersLood, ln Lhe sclences of complexlLy, Lo be presenL ln all Lhree of Lhe greaL domalns of evoluLlon. 1hls
dlrecLlonallLy ls usually sLaLed as belng one of lncreaslng dlfferenLlaLlon, varleLy, complexlLy, and organlzaLlon. 8uL l
Lhlnk lL would be helpful Lo gaLher LogeLher, from dlfferenL sources, Lhe varlous lndlcaLors of Lhls evoluLlonary
dlrecLlonallLy and brlefly examlne Lhem one aL a Llme.
We have already seen LhaL evoluLlon ls marked by creaLlve emergence (novelLy), symmeLry breaks, self-
Lranscendence, lncreaslng depLh (and greaLer consclousness, whlch we wlll dlscuss laLer as an addlLlon). 1hose are
already lndlcaLors of evoluLlon's dlrecLlonallLy. Pere are some oLhers. Aslde from regresslons, dlssoluLlons, arresL,
eLc., evoluLlon Lends ln Lhe dlrecLlon of:
a. locteosloq complexlty. 1he Cerman blologlsL WolLereck colned Lhe Lerm ooomotpbosls-llLerally, noL belng
formless"-Lo descrlbe whaL he saw as Lhe cenLral and unlversal feaLure of naLure: Lhe emergence of ever-lncreaslng
complexlLy. As !anLsch puLs lL,
1he evoluLlon of Lhe unlverse ls Lhe hlsLory of an unfoldlng of dlfferenLlaLed order or complexlLy. unfoldlng ls
noL Lhe same as bulldlng up. 1he laLLer emphaslzes sLrucLure and descrlbes Lhe emergence of hlerarchlcal
levels by Lhe [olnlng of sysLems from Lhe boLLom up." unfoldlng, ln conLrasL, lmplles Lhe lnLerweavlng of
processes whlch lead slmulLaneously Lo phenomena of sLrucLuraLlon aL dlfferenL hlerarchlcal levels. LvoluLlon
acLs ln Lhe sense of slmulLaneous and lnLerdependenL sLrucLuraLlon of Lhe macro- and Lhe mlcro-world.
ComplexlLy Lhus emerges from Lhe lnLerpeneLraLlon of processes of dlfferenLlaLlon and lnLegraLlon. . . .
8allmer and von Welzsacker, ln facL, refer Lo Lhls maxlmlzaLlon of complexlLy as Lhe general sLaLemenL of
evoluLlon," and L. L. WhyLe called lL Lhe fundamenLal prlnclple of Lhe developmenL of paLLern."
We need one quallflcaLlon here. As Laszlo polnLs ouL, Lhe emergence of a new level of complexlLy also brlngs wlLh
lL, from a sllghLly dlfferenL angle, a new slmpllclty, preclsely because Lhe new whole, as a slngle whole, ls slmpler
Lhan lLs many parLs. 1hus, says Laszlo, Lhe emergence of a hlgher-level sysLem ls a . . . slmpllflcotloo of sysLem
funcLlon." Pe conLlnues:
Powever, once a new hlerarchlcal level has emerged, sysLems on Lhe new level Lend Lo become progresslvely
more complex. lor example, on Lhe aLomlc level of organlzaLlon, hydrogen, Lhe flrsL elemenL Lo be synLheslzed
ln Lhe processes of cosmlc evoluLlon, ls sLrucLurally slmpler Lhan Lhe subsequenLly synLheslzed, heavler
elemenLs. Cn a hlgher level of organlzaLlon, a molecule of waLer ls slmpler Lhan a proLeln molecule, on a sLlll
hlgher organlzaLlonal level, a unlcellular organlsm ls less complex Lhan a mulLlcellular one. . . . 1hus, whlle a
new level of organlzaLlon means a slmpllflcaLlon of sysLem funcLlon, and of Lhe correspondlng sysLem
sLrucLure, lL also means Lhe lnlLlaLlon of a process of progresslve sLrucLural and funcLlonal complexlflcaLlon.
b. locteosloq Jlffeteotlotloo/loteqtotloo. 1hls prlnclple was glven lLs flrsL modern sLaLemenL by PerberL Spencer
(ln lltst ltloclples, 1862): evoluLlon ls a change from an lndeflnlLe, lncoherenL homogenelLy, Lo a deflnlLe, coherenL
heLerogenelLy, Lhrough conLlnuous dlfferenLlaLlons and lnLegraLlons" (Lhls deflnlLlon of Lhe Lerm evolotloo allowed
blologlsLs Lo begln uslng lL lnsLead of uarwln's phrase descenL wlLh modlflcaLlon"). And we already quoLed !anLsch:
ComplexlLy Lhus emerges from Lhe lnLerpeneLraLlon of processes of dlfferenLlaLlon and lnLegraLlon. . . ."
ulfferenLlaLlon produces parLness, or a new manyness", lnLegraLlon produces wholeness, or a new oneness."
And slnce holons are whole/parLs, Lhey are formed by Lhe [olnL acLlon of dlfferenLlaLlon and lnLegraLlon.
1he dlfferenLlaLlng processes are obvlously necessary for Lhe undenlable novelLy and dlverslLy creaLed by
evoluLlon, buL lnLegraLlon ls [usL as cruclal, converLlng manyness lnLo oneness (Lhe reglme or canon or paLLern of a
holon ls lLs lnLegraLlve coherence). 1hus WhlLehead's vlew LhaL Lhe ulLlmaLe characLer pervadlng Lhe unlverse ls a
drlve Loward Lhe endless producLlon of new synLheses [lnLegraLlons]."
We saw LhaL WhlLehead called Lhls drlve
creaLlvlLy", he says lL ls Lhe eLernal acLlvlLy," Lhe un derlylng energy of reallzaLlon"-noLhlng escapes lL."
1hus WhlLehead's all-lmporLanL dlcLum: 1he many [dlfferenLlaLlon] become one [lnLegraLlon] and are lncreased
by one [Lhe new holon]."
1hese Lwo processes are very obvlous ln Lhe physlosphere (aLoms lnLegraLlng dlfferenLlaLed parLlcles, molecules
lnLegraLlng dlfferenLlaLed aLoms, eLc.) and ln Lhe blosphere (e.g., Lhe progresslve dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe zygoLe and
Lhe progresslve lnLegraLlon of Lhe resulLanL parLs lnLo Llssues, organ sysLems, organlsm), buL Lhey are also rampanL ln
Lhe noosphere. Lven psychoanalysls ls on board. CerLrude 8lanck and 8ubln 8lanck, for example, ploneers ln
psychoanalyLlc developmenLal psychology, have persuaslvely argued LhaL Lhe aggresslve drlve ls Lhe Jtlve to
Jlffeteotlotloo, and Lros ls Lhe Jtlve to loteqtotloo, and dlsrupLlon of elLher one resulLs ln serlous paLhology (we wlll
reLurn Lo Lhls ln chapLer 9).
And for all Lhe commoLlon surroundlng uerrlda's noLlon of Jlfftooce (Lo dlffer and defer)-some crlLlcs have
used Lhe noLlon Lo deconsLrucL anyLhlng Lhey dldn'L happen Lo llke-uerrlda hlmself deflnes Lhe noLlon very slmply
as Lhe process of dlfferenLlaLlon."
8efore communlcaLlon can begln, enLlLles have Lo be dlfferenLlaLed ln Lhe flrsL
place, and ln one sense Lhese enLlLles do noL exlsL prlor Lo Lhe dlfferenLlaLlng process per se. ulfferance ls Lhus parL
of LhaL eLernal acLlvlLy" of creaLlvlLy, a dynamlc force of brlnglng lnLo belng-lL has lmpulslve force, Lhe force of
arLlculaLlon or dlfferenLlaLlon."
ln oLher words, as one of hls lnLerpreLers polnLs ouL, uerrlda sees Lhe dynamlc
dlfference LhaL characLerlzes reallLy as also composlng Lhe naLure of language lLself. 1hls enables language, Lhrough
lLs lnherenL process of dlfference, Lo funcLlon as a means of reallzaLlon . . . language parLlclpaLes ln Lhe reallLy lL
manlfesLs . . . Lhe dynamlc becomlng of reallLy lLself."
8uL dlfferenLlaLlng also demands lnLegraLlons and
synLheses-as uerrlda puLs lL, 1he play of dlfferences supposes, ln effecL, synLheses and referrals. . . ."
1hls play of dlfferenLlaLlng and lnLegraLlng forces, or dlfferance and synLhesls and referral, ls behlnd uerrlda's
noLorlous crlLlque of presence." As uerrlda words lL:
1he play of dlfferences lnvolves synLheses and referrals whlch prevenL Lhere from belng aL any momenL or ln
any way a slmple elemenL whlch ls pteseot ln and of lLself and refers only Lo lLself. WheLher ln wrlLLen or
spoken dlscourse, no elemenL can funcLlon as a slgn wlLhouL relaLlng Lo anoLher elemenL whlch lLself ls noL
slmply presenL. 1hls llnkage means LhaL each elemenL" ls consLlLuLed wlLh reference Lo Lhe Lrace ln lL of Lhe
oLher elemenLs of Lhe sysLem. noLhlng, ln elLher Lhe elemenLs or Lhe sysLem, ls anywhere ever slmply presenL
or absenL.
ln oLher words, Lhere ls noLhlng LhaL lsn'L a holon, a conLexL wlLhln a conLexL forever. ?ou cannoL polnL Lo any Lhlng,
Lo any holon, and say lL's [usL tbot and noLhlng else, because every holon ls slmulLaneously a superholon and a
subholon: lL ls composed of holons and composes oLhers (across boLh space and Llme), noLhlng ls ever slmply
As for Lhe con[olnL operaLlon of dlfferenLlaLlon and lnLegraLlon ln Lhe noosphere, Pabermas noLes LhaL Lhe
dlfferenL llfeworlds LhaL colllde wlLh one anoLher do noL sLand oext to eocb otbet wlLhouL any muLual
undersLandlng. As LoLallLles [holons], Lhey follow Lhe pull of Lhelr clalms Lo unlversallLy and work ouL Lhelr
dlfferences unLll Lhelr horlzons of undersLandlng 'fuse' [lnLegraLe] wlLh one anoLher."
Across Lhe board we see Lhls
dual operaLlon of exLenslon and condensaLlon, he says: 1he lncreaslng reflexlvlLy of culLure, Lhe generallzaLlon of
values and norms, and Lhe helghLened lndlvlduaLlon of soclallzed sub[ecLs, Lhe enhancemenL of crlLlcal
consclousness, auLonomous wlll formaLlon, and lndlvlduaLlon, Lakes place under condlLlons of an ever more
exLenslve and ever more flnely woven neL of llngulsLlcally generaLed lnLersub[ecLlvlLy." And hls polnL ls LhaL all of Lhls
means dlfferenLlaLlon and condensaLlon [lnLegraLlon] aL once-a Lhlckenlng of Lhe floaLlng web of lnLersub[ecLlve
Lhreads LhaL slmulLaneously holds LogeLher Lhe ever more sharply dlfferenLlaLed componenLs of culLure, socleLy, and
1haL phrase ls slgnlflcanL: lL ls noL [usL an exteosloo of Lhe web, buL a tblckeoloq: noL [usL span, buL also depLh.
llnally, Lo Louch bases wlLh loucaulL, we mlghL noLe LhaL hls otcboeoloqlcol bollsm asserLs LhaL Lhe whole
deLermlnes whaL can counL even as a posslble elemenL. 1he whole verbal conLenL ls more fundamenLal and Lhus ls
more Lhan Lhe sum of lLs parLs. lndeed, Lhere are no parLs excepL wlLhln Lhe fleld whlch ldenLlfles and lndlvlduaLes
Lhem"-LhaL ls, dlfferenLlaLes and lnLegraLes Lhem.
And leL us lmmedlaLely noLe LhaL loucaulL evenLually
abandoned archaeology as an excluslve meLhodology preclsely because archaeology was lLself merely a pott of Lhe
larger holon of soclal pracLlces: noL wholes, buL whole/parLs.
ln sum, evoluLlon requlres boLh dlfferenLlaLlon and lnLegraLlon operaLlng LogeLher-Lhe many become one and
are lncreased by one"-and, lndeed, Lhese Lwo normally (ln healLhy holarchles) occur con[olnLly, whlch ls why l
usually wrlLe lL as dlfferenLlaLlon/lnLegraLlon." 1hese appear as opposlLes (or uLLerly opposed Lendencles) only ln a
flaLland onLology, where more of Lhe one means less of Lhe oLher. 8uL ln Lhe mulLldlmenslonal kosmos, more of one
means more of Lhe oLher. 1hey [oln hands endlessly Lo produce new whole/parLs or many/ones or holons. 1he
dlalecLlcs of depLh . . .
c. locteosloq otqoolzotloo/sttoctototloo. 1he furLher evoluLlon of Lhe suprasysLem leads Lo Lhe progresslve
complexlflcaLlon of lLs deflnlng sysLem level-and ulLlmaLely Lo Lhe creaLlon of hypercycles LhaL shlfL lL Lo Lhe nexL
organlzaLlonal level. 1hus evoluLlon moves from Lhe slmpler Lo Lhe more complex Lype of sysLem, and from Lhe lower
Lo Lhe hlgher level of organlzaLlon."
1hls ls, for example, behlnd Lhe sLandard dlsLlncLlon, ln evoluLlonary blology,
beLween clades and grades: A group of specles wlLh a recenL common ancesLor forms a clade, a group wlLh Lhe
some level of sttoctotol otqoolzotloo forms a grade."
CtoJe, of course, ls anoLher Lerm for depLh.
d. locteosloq telotlve ootooomy. 1hls ls a much mlsundersLood concepL. lL slmply refers Lo a holon's capaclLy for
self-preservaLlon ln Lhe mldsL of envlronmenLal flucLuaLlons (telotlve ootooomy ls anoLher Lerm for agency). And
accordlng Lo Lhe sclences of complexlLy, Lhe greaLer Lhe depLh of a holon, Lhe greaLer lLs relaLlve auLonomy. 1hls
does noL mean greaLer permanence or greaLer concreLe sLubbornness. Worms are less durable Lhan rocks. 8elaLlve
auLonomy slmply refers Lo a cerLaln flexlblllLy ln Lhe face of changlng envlronmenLal condlLlons. A fox can malnLaln
lLs lnLernal LemperaLure relaLlvely lndependenLly of changlng weaLher, whereas a rock's LemperaLure flucLuaLes
lmmedlaLely wlLh every passlng clrcumsLance.
8y Lhe Llme we reach Lhe noosphere, ln humans, relaLlve auLonomy ls of such a hlgh degree LhaL lL can produce
noL [usL Jlffeteotlotloo from Lhe envlronmenL, whlch ls necessary, buL Jlssoclotloo from Lhe envlronmenL, whlch ls
dlsasLrous-an expresslon of potboloqlcol oqeocy LhaL, among many oLher Lhlngs, lands lL squarely ln ecologlcal hell
(we wlll, of course, be reLurnlng Lo Lhls Loplc).
1he reason LhaL auLonomy ls always telotlve ls LhaL Lhere are no wholes, only whole/parLs. As o wbole, a holon
possesses a degree of auLonomy, expressed ln lLs ldenLlfylng and endurlng paLLern, lLs self-preservaLlon. lL possesses
coherence and ldenLlLy across space and Llme (or else lL slmply ceases Lo exlsL), whlch ls why auLonomy ls vlrLually
synonymous wlLh agency, reglme, code, canon, deep sLrucLure. As o pott, however, every holon-Lhe auLonomy of
every holon-ls sub[ecLed Lo larger forces and sysLems of whlch lL ls merely a componenL. 1hls doesn'L change lLs
fundamenLal paLLern or ldenLlfylng reglme, buL lL does sub[ecL lL Lo a hosL of llmlLlng clrcumsLances and condlLlons
LhaL can alLer lLs expresslon, and lL ofLen moves Lhe source of Lhe lnlLlaLlon of acLlon Lo oLher reglmes (e.g., lf my
counLry declares war, l am lncluded, llke lL or noL).
ln oLher words, as we have seen Llme and agaln, all agency ls agency-ln-communlon. (1hls ls nlcely capLured ln
varela's noLlon of sLrucLural coupllng": Lhe agency of a blologlcal sysLem ls relaLlvely auLonomous, buL Lhe form of
Lhe auLonomy evolved ln sLrucLural coupllng wlLh lLs envlrons, l.e., lLs presenL agency ls Lhe resulL of evoluLlonary
1hus, auLonomy, llke all aspecLs of a holon, ls sllJloq: a holon ls relaLlvely auLonomous vls-a-vls lLs [unlors and
relaLlvely subservlenL vls-a-vls lLs senlors.
Much of Lhe fun, lf one can call lL LhaL, of posLmodern posLsLrucLurallsL games conslsLs ln Lhe upseLLlng of
estobllsbeJ ootooomles by polnLlng Lo lotqet cootexts whlch acLually deLermlne" Lhe supposed auLonomy" of Lhe
lsolaLed unlL, whereupon Lhe lsolaLed unlL lLself ls prompLly declared dead" (deaLh of Lhe wrlLer, deaLh of Lhe
sub[ecL, deaLh of Lhe paLrlarchy, deaLh of Lhe myLhlc god, deaLh of Lhe ego, deaLh of raLlonallLy, deaLh of
logocenLrlsm, eLc.), wlLh Lhe auLonomy" or sysLemlc sLrucLure of Lhe larger conLexL belng ln Lurn merely a pott of. .
. . 1he game slmply conLlnues unLll Lhe crlLlc geLs Llred (or seLLles on an ldeology), because Lhere ls noLhlng ln reallLy
LhaL can sLop Lhe slldlng game any sooner, for conLexLs are boundless.
8uL Lhe decenLerlng" of prevlously auLonomous" unlLs ls lndeed parL of Lhe lmporLanL LruLhs of posLmodern
crlLlques, and we wlll reLurn Lo Lhem LhroughouL Lhls volume. 1hus, Lo glve a few examples now: Lhe auLonomous
ego of Lhe LnllghLenmenL ls noL tbot auLonomous because lL ls acLually seL ln Lhe conLexL of lLs own organlc drlves
(Lhe psychoanalyLlc crlLlque of Lhe LnllghLenmenL), and Lhese prevlously unconsclous drlves musL be lnLegraLed for
Lrue auLonomy Lo emerge. 8uL even Lhe enLlre lnLegraLed and auLonomous person of psychoanalysls ls noL teolly
auLonomous, because LhaL lndlvldual ls acLually seL ln conLexLs of lloqolstlc sttoctotes LhaL auLonomously deLermlne
meanlng wlLhouL Lhe lndlvldual even knowlng abouL lL (Lhe crlLlque launched by sLrucLurallsm, archaeology). 8uL
llngulsLlc sLrucLures aren'L really tbot auLonomous, because Lhey exlsL only ln Lhe conLexL of pre-arLlculaLe
worldvlews LhaL use language wlLhouL language ever reglsLerlng LhaL facL (Lhe crlLlque by Peldegger, Cebser). 8uL
furLher, worldvlews Lhemselves are merely a small componenL of masslve neLworks and conLexLs of soclal pracLlces
(ln varlous ways, Marx, Pabermas, Lhe laLer loucaulL). And furLher yeL, LheorlsLs from klerkegaard Lo Schelllng Lo
Pegel would lnslsL LhaL Lhose soclal pracLlces only exlsL ln, and because of, Lhe larger conLexL of SplrlL.
ln every one of Lhose cases, Lhe LheorlsL (lreud, Marx, Peldegger, loucaulL, Schelllng, eLc.) Lells us someLhlng
lmporLanL abouL Lhe meooloq of our exlsLence by slLuaLlng our exlsLence ln a larger cootext-slnce meanlng and
conLexL are ln lmporLanL ways synonymous, as we earller noLed. And each successlve LheorlsL glves a deeper or
blgger or wlder meanlng Lo exlsLence by flndlng ptevloosly blJJeo cootexts LhaL suddenly shlfL Lhe auLonomy ouL
from under our feeL and polnL Lo larger communlons ln whlch we llve and breaLhe and have our belng.
And ln a sense, each of Lhem ls qulLe rlghL: Lhe ego does exlsL ln Lhe conLexL of Lhe LoLal organlsm and lLs drlves,
whlch does exlsL ln Lhe conLexL of lLs llngulsLlcally dlsclosed world, whlch does exlsL ln Lerms of overall neLworks of
soclal pracLlces, whlch Lhemselves subslsL ln SplrlL. 1haL ls Lhe very naLure of boloo, conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs wlLhln
conLexLs. And each Llme we spoL one of Lhese larger (deeper) conLexLs, we flnd a new meooloq conferred on a glven
holon, because, as we earller noLed, Lhe larger conLexL confers a meanlng on lLs holons LhaL Lhe holons Lhemselves,
alone and lsolaLed, do noL and cannoL possess.
Llkewlse, each dlscovery of a new and deeper conLexL and meanlng ls a dlscovery of a new tbetoplo, a new
Lherapy, namely: we musL sblft oot petspectlves, Jeepeo oot petceptloo, ofLen agalnsL a greaL deal of teslstooce, Lo
embrace Lhe deeper and wlder conLexL. 1he self ls slLuaLed ln conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs, and each
shlfL ln conLexL ls an ofLen palnful process of growLh, of deaLh Lo a shallow conLexL and reblrLh Lo a deeper one.
8uL for [usL LhaL reason, each Llme we ldenLlfy a deeper conLexL, our relaLlve auLonomy acLually lncreases, because
ln ldenLlfylng wlLh a deeper percepLlon, we have found a wlder freedom.
We wlll be dlscusslng all Lhese noLlons as we proceed. 1he slmpler polnL of Lhls secLlon ls [usL LhaL, even Lhough all
auLonomy ls relaLlve, noneLheless telotlve auLonomy locteoses wlLh evoluLlon (as we sald, a fox ls more
auLonomous Lhan a rock). And Lhe reason LhaL relaLlve auLonomy locteoses wlLh emergenL evoluLlon ls LhaL more
extetool forces lmploqloq on Lhe auLonomy of a holon become lotetool forces coopetotloq wlLh lL (due Lo
supersesslon, or Lranscendence and lncluslon). lL ldenLlfles wlLh deeper conLexLs and Lhus flnds wlder freedom. We
wlll see numerous examples of Lhls as we proceed.
e. locteosloq telos. 1he reglme, canon, code, or deep sLrucLure of a holon acLs as a magneL, an aLLracLor, a
mlnlaLure omega polnL, for Lhe octoollzotloo of LhaL holon ln space and Llme. 1haL ls, Lhe end polnL of Lhe sysLem
Lends Lo pull" Lhe holon's acLuallzaLlon (or developmenL) ln LhaL dlrecLlon, wheLher Lhe sysLem ls physlcal,
blologlcal, or menLal.
Agaln, Lhls was an lLem LhaL was largely lgnored as long as sclence was lnLenL on sLudylng a bunch of rocks ln
moLlon, buL even ln Lhe physlosphere Lhe enLelechy" (reglme, canon, deep sLrucLure, morphlc fleld) of a holon
governs Lhe flnal form of lLs acLuallzaLlon, wheLher from an elecLron cloud or a chaoLlc aLLracLor of complex sysLems.
ln Lhe geomeLrlc orlenLaLlon LhaL domlnaLes ln conLemporary dynamlc sysLems Lheory, Lhe prlnclpal feaLures of
dynamlc sysLems are Lhe aLLracLors: Lhey characLerlze Lhe long-run behavlor of Lhe sysLems. uynamlc sysLems evolve
from a glven lnlLlal sLaLe along a unlque Lra[ecLory of sLaLes ln accordance wlLh Lhe laws of evoluLlon [some verslon
of Lhe LwenLy LeneLs]. 1hls leads evenLually Lo some recognlzable paLLern where Lhe Lra[ecLory remalns Lrapped. 1he
paLLern deflnes Lhe otttoctots of Lhe sysLem. . . ."
lf Lhe serles of sysLem sLaLes come Lo a resL, Lhelr evoluLlon ls governed by a sLaLlc aLLracLor [sLudled, for
example, by 8ene 1hom's Lopologlcal caLasLrophe Lheory"]. lf Lhe sLaLes conslsL of a repeaLed cycle of sLaLes
wlLh a deflnlLe perlodlclLy, Lhe sysLem ls under Lhe sway of a perlodlc aLLracLor. And lf Lhe Lra[ecLory of sysLem
sLaLes nelLher comes Lo resL nor exhlblLs perlodlclLy buL ls hlghly erraLlc, lL ls under Lhe lnfluence of a so-called
chaoLlc aLLracLor.
ln recenL years chaoLlc behavlor has been dlscovered ln a wlde varleLy of naLural sysLems, and Lhelr maLhemaLlcal
modellng has made rapld progress. An enLlre dlsclpllne has sprung up wlLhln dynamlc sysLems Lheory devoLed Lo Lhe
sLudy of Lhe properLles of chaoLlc aLLracLors and of Lhe sysLems governed by Lhem, lL became popularly known as
chaos Lheory. uesplLe lLs name, Lhe Lheory seeks Lo ellmlnaLe raLher Lhan dlscover or creaLe chaos-lL sLudles
processes LhaL appear chaoLlc on Lhe surface buL on deLalled analysls prove Lo manlfesL subLle sLrands of order.
ChaoLlc aLLracLors are complex and subLly ordered sLrucLures LhaL consLraln Lhe behavlor of seemlngly random and
unpredlcLable sysLems."
1hese aLLracLors, ln oLher words, are examples of Lhe reglmes or organlzlng forces of soclal holons and Lhelr
lnherenL Leleologlcal pull Lo paLLern (wlLhouL whlch a holon would slmply noL exlsL). Cf parLlcular lnLeresL are
blfurcaLlons," whlch conslsL of Lhe shlfL from one Lype of aLLracLor Lo anoLher. Models wlLh caLasLrophlc
blfurcaLlons (conduclng from LurbulenL Lo newly ordered sLaLes Lhrough Lhe reconflguraLlon of Lhe aLLracLors)
slmulaLe rapld evolotloooty leops wlLh Lhe greaLesL fldellLy. 1he slgnlflcanL slmulaLlons occur when dynamlc sysLems
are desLablllzed and pass Lhrough a chaoLlc phase on Lhe way Loward essenLlally new-and ln pracLlce
unpredlcLable-sLeady sLaLes."
1he concluslon for chaos Lheory ls LhaL Lhese are Lhe klnd of LransformaLlons LhaL underlle Lhe evoluLlon of all
Lhlrd-sLaLe [far from equlllbrlum] sysLems ln Lhe real world, from aLoms of Lhe elemenLs Lo socleLles of human
1hese Lypes of ttoosfotmotloos (noL merely LranslaLlons) generaLe a sLaLlsLlcally slgnlflcanL Lendency
Loward greaLer complexlLy and a hlgher level of organlzaLlon. 1he sysLem leaps Lo a new plaLeau and Lhus becomes
more dynamlc and more auLonomous ln lLs mllleu."
So LhaL, flnally, Lhese facLors converge Lo push blfurcaLlng
sysLems up Lhe ladder of Lhe evoluLlonary hlerarchy"-LhaL ls, holarchy.
When growlng flucLuaLlons upseL Lhe dynamlc sLablllLy of a sysLem, lLs sLable polnL of perlodlc aLLracLors can
no longer malnLaln lL ln lLs esLabllshed sLaLe, chaoLlc aLLracLors appear and wlLh Lhem an lnLerval of LranslLlon
hallmarked by LranslLory chaos. When Lhe sysLem achleves a new sLaLe of dynamlc sLablllLy, Lhe chaoLlc
aLLracLors of Lhe blfurcaLlon epoch glve way Lo a new seL of polnL or perlodlc aLLracLors. 1hese aLLracLors
malnLaln Lhe sysLem ln a condlLlon far from Lhermodynamlc equlllbrlum, wlLh more effecLlve use of
lnformaLlon, greaLer efflclency ln Lhe use of free energles, greaLer flexlblllLy [relaLlve auLonomy], as well as
greaLer sLrucLural complexlLy on a hlgher level of organlzaLlon.
1elos-Lhe mlnlaLure omega-polnL pull of Lhe end sLaLe of a holon's reglme-ls, of course, rampanL noL only ln
physlcal sysLems buL ln Lhe blosphere and noosphere as well. An acorn's code (lLs unA) has oak wrlLLen all over lL.
1hrough processes of ttooslotloo, ttoosctlptloo, and ttoosfotmotloo, Lhe seed unfolds lnLo a Lree, holarchlcally.
1hese blologlcal processes have been sLudled so much, and are so famlllar Lo mosL readers, LhaL l wlll noL dwell on
Lhem (we wlll see many examples laLer), we need only noLe LhaL blologlsLs recognlze Lhe exlsLence of dlrecLlon
Loward fuLure funcLlons," and LhaL Lhe purposeful aspecL of organlsms ls lnconLroverLlble."
ln Lhe noosphere, once Lhe menLal and llngulsLlc sclences sLopped Lrylng Lo ape Lhe sLudy of movlng rocks and
concenLraLed on menLal processes, Lhe mlnd's Lelos lnexorably came Lo Lhe fore. lreud's psychoanalysls, for
example, was profoundly Jevelopmeotol ln naLure, and Lhe whole polnL of developmenL ls LhaL lL ls noL a random
hopplng abouL buL ls lndeed golng somewhere, and Lherefore lL can be deralled and saboLaged, wlLh resulLanL
An old [oke from vermonL: A clLy fellow, drlvlng Lhrough Lhe vermonL counLryslde, sees a man ln a Lruck on Lhe
slde of Lhe road. 1he Lruck ls axle-deep ln Lhe mud, and Lhe wheels are splnnlng. Are you sLuck?" asks Lhe clLy
fellow. l would be, lf'n l was goln' somewhere."
Well, Lhe psyche, for beLLer or worse, ls golng somewhere, and LhaL ls why Lhe process can geL sLuck, why lL ls
fraughL wlLh frusLraLlon, arresL, flxaLlon, sLlck polnLs, log[ams. lf Lhe mlnd weren'L golng somewhere, lL could never
geL sLuck, never geL slck." And Lhese slck polnLs," Lhese sLlck polnLs," can only be undersLood ln Lerms of Lhe
mlnd's omega polnLs, of where lL wanLs Lo go. And noL [usL lreud. ln an ofL-clLed formula, lageL declares LhaL Lhere
ls no sLrucLure whlch lacks a developmenL, and LhaL Lhe process of developmenL can only be undersLood ln vlew of
Lhe sLrucLure whlch exlsLs aL Lhe beglnnlng and Lhe sLrucLures lnLo whlch lL wlll evolve."
1he basln and Lhelr
aLLracLors, Lhelr mlnlaLure omega polnLs.
Cr Amerlca's undenlable phllosophlcal genlus, Charles elrce: 1he belng governed by a purpose or oLher flnal
cause ls Lhe very essence of Lhe psychlcal phenomenon." Pe adds LhaL Lo say LhaL Lhe fuLure does noL lnfluence Lhe
presenL ls unLenable docLrlne."
Cr 8oman !akobson, who was one of Lhe flrsL Lo lnLroduce, as he puL lL, a
conslsLenL appllcaLlon of a means-ends [Lelos] model Lo language deslgn, Lo lLs self-regulaLlng malnLenance of
lnLegrlLy and dynamlc equlllbrlum, as well as Lo lLs muLaLlons [LransformaLlons]," so LhaL Lhe adopLlon of Leleology
was a cenLral concern."
All Lhe way Lo Pabermas: 1here ls a teleotless ptessote bullL lnLo Lhe use of language
orlenLed Loward muLual undersLandlng."
And even uerrlda: 1hls arche-Lrace conLalns wlLhln lLself all Lhe
posslblllLles of manlfesLaLlon as Lhe prlmordlal 'dlfference.' 1hls 'dlfference' ls Lhe lnherenL teleoloqlcol fotce wlLhln
us LhaL leads Lo self-manlfesLaLlon."
now, l haven'L acLually menLloned Lhe naLure or Lhe acLual conLenL of Lhe mlnd's omega polnL(s), lLs baslc
aLLracLor, lLs end sLaLe Loward whlch earller sLages are sLruggllng Lo reach, because here Lhe sLory becomes Lruly
fasclnaLlng. 1he mlnd's omega polnL, fot eocb tbeotlst, ls Lhe cootext LhaL Lhey belleve coooot be ouLconLexLed,
Lhe conLexL beyond whlch growLh or expanslon cannoL or does noL or should noL proceed.
lor lreud, Lhe omega polnL, Lhe end of developmenL, was genlLal organlzaLlon and lnLegraLed ego: all sLages and
all roads lead Lo LhaL 8ome. lor lageL, Lhe omega polnL ls formal operaLlonal Lhlnklng, whlch alone reaches
equlllbraLlon" and Lhus alone marks Lhe end of developmenL. lor Pabermas, raLlonal lnLersub[ecLlve exchange of
uncoerced muLual undersLandlng: when Lhls fully unfolds, Lhe relenLless pressure subsldes.
And so Lhe omega polnLs would proceed, wlLh each LheorlsL posLulaLlng, ln some sense, Lhe end of hlsLory," Lhe
omega polnL LhaL, when reached, would answer all Lhe really dlfflculL quesLlons and usher ln some sorL of relaLlvely
paradlslacal condlLlon. lor Pegel, a raLlonal SLaLe ln whlch lndlvlduals could reallze absoluLe SplrlL acLlng ln and
Lhrough Lhem ln a muLual communlLy. lor Marx, a classless socleLy ln whlch allenaLlon of labor and produce would
be healed ln shared muLual care. And mosL people are famlllar wlLh 1ellhard de Chardln's ulLlmaLe omega polnL, Lhe
resurrecLlon of ChrlsL consclousness ln each and all, whlch, llke all omega polnLs, ls malnLalned Lo be Lhe purpose of
hlsLory and evoluLlon lLself.
Cnce agaln, Lhere are lmporLanL momenLs of LruLh ln all of Lhose omega polnLs. Lach sLage of growLh, because lL ls
a holon, faces a dual Lenslon. As a wbole, lL ls relaLlvely auLonomous and relaLlvely healLhy, happy, whole." 8uL as a
pott, lL ls ln some sense allenaLed, seL aparL, or dlsconnecLed from Lhose conLexLs LhaL are beyond lLs own
percepLlon. And unLll lL Lakes Lhe larger and deeper conLexL lnLo accounL, Lhe llmlLaLlons of lLs own shallower
poslLlon wlll LormenL lL, lnfllcL lL wlLh Lhe agony of lncompleLeness, Lear aL lLs boundarles wlLh hlnLs of someLhlng
deeper, hlgher, more meanlngful. . . .
And l don'L mean LhaL poeLlcally. lageL, for example, found LhaL Lhe earller/lower sLages of cognlLlon, such as
preoperaLlonal and concreLe operaLlonal Lhlnklng, had lnherenL llmlLaLlons or confllcLs bullL lnLo Lhem, and LhaL
LhoughL sLuck ln Lhose levels wobbles endlessly wlLhouL resoluLlon around cerLaln very lmporLanL Lasks. Cnly wlLh
Lhe emergence of formal operaLlonal Lhlnklng could Lhese confllcLs come Lo some sorL of peace or resoluLlon, whlch
lageL called equlllbraLlon, a Lype of balanced buL dynamlc harmony. And furLher, lL was ooly from Lhe vlew of
formal operaLlonal LhaL Lhese earller confllcLs made any sense aL all: Lhey were sLruggllng Lo Lhelr resoluLlon,
sLruggllng Lo Lhelr omega polnL, sLruggllng Lo equlllbraLlon ln Lhe larger conLexL of formal operaLlonal cognlLlon, and,
puL raLher slmply, Lhey could noL be happy unLll Lhey found LhaL larger horlzon.
LlmlLed conLexLs flnd resoluLlon, noL by anyLhlng LhaL can be done on Lhe same level, buL only by Lranscendlng
LhaL level, by flndlng lLs deeper and wlder conLexL. ueeper and wlder conLexLs exett o poll, a Lelos, on presenL
llmlLed conLexLs.
And LhaL ls Lhe LruLh common Lo all omega-polnL LheorlsLs (and any decenL LheorlsL ls an omega-polnL LheorlsL).
Assumlng LhaL Lhelr conLexLs are well founded, and assumlng LhaL Lhey do noL engage ln reducLlonlsm, Lhen Lhere ls
much we can learn from each of Lhese Lypes of LheorlsLs. 1hey always polnL Lo woys beyooJ our presenL percepLlon,
and assumlng Lhelr conLexLs are genulne, Lhey are rlghL: we wlll never be happy unLll we, Loo, can llve wlLh a larger
horlzon. unLll we, Loo, can accepL Lhe Lherapla of embraclng genLly a greaLer depLh. . . .
And a flnal Cmega olnL? 1haL would lmply a flnal Whole, and Lhere ls no such holon anywhere ln manlfesL
exlsLence. 8uL perhaps we can lnLerpreL lL dlfferenLly. Who knows, perhaps Lelos, perhaps Lros, moves Lhe enLlre
kosmos, and Cod may lndeed be an all-embraclng chaoLlc ALLracLor, acLlng, as WhlLehead sald, LhroughouL Lhe world
by genLle persuaslon Loward love.
8uL LhaL, Lo say Lhe leasL, ls qulLe ahead of Lhe sLory.
loJlvlJool ooJ 5oclol
lf l om wbot l om becoose yoo ote wbot yoo ote, ooJ yoo ote wbot yoo ote becoose l om wbot l om, tbeo l
om oot l ooJ yoo ote oot yoo.
WL SAW, ln chapLer 1, LhaL varlous LheorlsLs wlLh a hollsLlc" orlenLaLlon-sysLems LheorlsLs, ecologlcal LheorlsLs,
new paradlgm" Lhlnkers, deep ecologlsLs, ecofemlnlsLs, and so on-malnLaln LhaL Lhe varlous crlses faclng Lhe
modern world are all fundamenLally due Lo a fracLured" worldvlew: we lack a unlfylng vlslon, and Lhus our world ls
fragmenLed, broken, allenaLed. And so, Lhey malnLaln, whaL ls requlred ls some sorL of sysLems Lheory orlenLaLlon,
some way for us Lo see and feel LhaL we are all lnLerwoven lnLo Lhe slngle Web of Llfe. We need, Lhey would all
malnLaln ln Lhelr varlous fashlons, a profoundly ecoceottlc worldvlew.
8uL no sooner do such LheorlsLs make LhaL clalm Lhan Lhey run lnLo LheoreLlcal problems. llrsL of all, Lhey malnLaln
LhaL, as !ohn Seed summarlzes Lhls vlew, Lhe world ls seen noL as a pyramld buL as a web. Pumans are buL one
sLrand of LhaL web." ln oLher words, human belngs are a parL of a deeper (or greaLer) web of llfe, Lhe blosphere. 8uL
we could desLroy all humans and Lhe blosphere would sLlll exlsL (buL noL vlce versa), showlng LhaL Lhe blosphere ls a
lower and shallower, noL deeper or hlgher, reallLy. 1hls confuses mosL ecoLheorlsLs, Lhey seem Lo have no coherenL
way Lo honor Lhe blosphere wlLhouL absoluLlzlng lL.
Second, as lrlL[of Capra summarlzes Lhe new paradlgm" LhoughL, ln Lhe new paradlgm, Lhe properLles of Lhe
parLs can be undersLood only from Lhe dynamlcs of Lhe whole. ulLlmaLely, Lhere are no parLs aL all. WhaL we call a
parL ls merely a paLLern ln an lnseparable web of relaLlonshlps."
lL's Lrue LhaL Lhere are no parLs, buL equally Lrue
LhaL Lhere are no wholes-only whole/parLs forever, whlch Lherefore reslsL all LoLallzlng and domlnaLlng agendas.
8uL even lf Lhere were only wholes, how would Lhls LranslaLe lnLo, say, pollLlcal Lheory? ulLlmaLely, Lhere are no free
clLlzens, only Lhe whole SLaLe? lf Lhe whole" ls prlmary, and we are parLs of Lhe SLaLe, Lhen clearly we exlsL Lo serve
Lhe SLaLe, and clearly a LoLallLarlan reglme would be a shlnlng example of Lhe new paradlgm, where all Lhose nasLy
parLs wlll dlsappear ln Lhe glorlous web.
lL ls noL, as l wlll repeaL a dozen Llmes LhroughouL Lhls volume, LhaL sysLems Lheory ls wrong, lL ls LhaL, lronlcally, lL
ls lncredlbly parLlal and lopslded. And so we wlll begln, ln Lhls chapLer and Lhe nexL, Lo redress some of Lhese
parLlallLles and lmbalances. And we wlll see, as Lhls book progresses, LhaL sysLems Lheory, ln and by lLself, ls noL a
force of heallng and whollng Lhe planeL, raLher, we wlll see, and agaln lronlcally, LhaL sysLems Lheory (ln all lLs many
varlanLs) ls parL of Lhe flaLland paradlgm LhaL ls sLlll conLrlbuLlng Lo Lhe despollaLlon and devasLaLlon of Cala.
vlrLually all of Lhe popular LheorlsLs of sysLems Lheory, deep ecology, and ecofemlnlsm presenL some verslon of a
greaL holarchy of belng, wlLh flelds wlLhln flelds wlLhln flelds. 1he ecofemlnlsL !ulla 8ussell:
AL Lhe same Llme, a body, a naLlon, exlsLs ln a larger conLexL ln whlch lL funcLlons as a parL. 1he naLlon exlsLs ln
Lhe conLexL of all naLlons LhaL make up Lhe whole pollLlcal body of humanlLy. And all of humanlLy exlsLs ln a
blosphere LhaL ls Lhe body of Lhe whole LarLh. We exlsL as parL of a seamless whole ln whlch everyLhlng ls
connecLed Lo everyLhlng else.2
llgure 3-1 ls very Lyplcal of Lhe varlous hlerarchles (holarchles) LhaL have been presenLed, elLher expllclLly or
lmpllclLly, by dlfferenL hollsLlc or ecologlcal or sysLems-orlenLed LheorlsLs (slmllar holarchles can be found ln opper,
Laszlo, Sesslons, Mlller, Lngels, and oLhers). Many of Lhese holarchles are represenLed by Lhe LheorlsLs as a serles of
levels or sLraLlfled order" (Capra), llke a ladder," whlch ls perfecLly accepLable as long as we remember Lhe clrcular
complexlLy LhaL Lhese auLhors malnLaln ls acLually lnvolved and don'L make Lhe unfalr and unwarranLed charge LhaL
Lhese LheorlsLs are belng llnear." 1haL, as we wlll see, ls noL Lhe problem.
SocleLy / naLlon
CulLure / SubculLure
nervous SysLem
Crgans / Crgan SysLems
SubaLomlc arLlcles
llqote J-1. 1yplcol nolotcby
lf we look aL flgure 3-1-or aL almosL any of Lhe oLher and slmllar holarchles-we noLlce lmmedlaLely LhaL Lhere ls
a confuslon and conflaLlon of lndlvldual and soclal holons. 1haL ls, mlcro- and macroworlds are confused. 1he soclal
holon ls assumed Lo be of Lhe same Lype and same naLure as Lhe compound lndlvldual holon, so LhaL Lhey can be
arranged above" or below" each oLher. Look, for example, aL karl opper's blospherlc holarchy (flg. 3-2). opper
(and he ls far from alone) counLs lndlvlduals and populaLlons as belng of Lhe same loglcal (and exlsLenLlal) Lype, and
Lhus arrangeable one above Lhe oLher, as dlfferenL levels" on Lhe same scale (such as, ln hls scheme, level 7 and
level 8, or level 10 and level 11). 1hls ls qulLe lncorrecL.
We saw ln Lhe lasL chapLer (wlLh LeneL 9), LhaL ln any hollsLlc sequence, lndlvldual or soclal, lf we desLroy any level,
we desLroy oll Lhe levels above lL and oooe of Lhe levels below lL, by Lhe slmple deflnlLlon of wholeness/parLness. A
hlgher-level holon ls ln parL composeJ of lLs lower-level holons, and Lhus lf we desLroy any lower level, we wlll also
desLroy any levels above lL because we have Laken away some of Lhelr componenL parLs. 8uL Lhese parLs Lhemselves
exlsLed befote Lhe whole emerged and Lherefore can, ln general Lerms, exlsL wlLhouL lL.
12) Level of ecosysLems (LoLal blosphere)
11) Level of populaLlons of meLazoa and planLs
10) Level of meLazoa and mulLlcellular planLs
9) Level of Llssues and organs
8) Level of populaLlons of unlcellular organlsms
7) Level of cells and of unlcellular organlsms
6) Level of organelles (and perhaps vlruses)
3) Llqulds and sollds (crysLals)
4) Molecules
3) ALoms
2) LlemenLary parLlcles
1) Sub-elemenLary parLlcles
0) unknown: sub-sub-elemenLary parLlcles?
llqote J-2. loppets nolotcbyJ
Look agaln aL flgure 3-1. 1he clalm of Lhese hollsLs ls LhaL naLlon-sLaLes exlsL as potts of a larger blosphere, a
hlgher (or deeper) wholeness. 8uL lf Lhe blosphere were really a hlgher level of organlzaLlon Lhan naLlon-sLaLes, lf lL
really were a hlgher-level whole organlzlng or conLalnlng naLlon-sLaLes as potts, Lhen (1) you couldn'L have a
blosphere ootll you had naLlon-sLaLes, slnce Lhe laLLer are clalmed Lo be lngredlenLs of Lhe blosphere, and (2) lf you
desLroyed all naLlon-sLaLes you would desLroy Lhe blosphere (slnce Lhe whole cannoL exlsL wlLhouL lLs parLs).
8oLh of Lhose assumpLlons are obvlously noL Lrue. ln facL, lL ls [usL Lhe opposlLe: desLroy Lhe blosphere and you
desLroy oll naLlon-sLaLes, buL LheoreLlcally remove all naLlon-sLaLes and Lhe blosphere would and could conLlnue
([usL as lL dld long before naLlons showed up). 1hls means LhaL Lhe blosphere ls a lowet and shallower level (whlch
does oot mean less lmporLanL for exlsLence, buL mote lmporLanL for exlsLence, because Lhe lowet a level you
desLroy, Lhe mote hlgher levels lL Lakes wlLh lL, lL ls, as we puL lL ln LeneL 9, mote fooJomeotol Lo exlsLence).
So leL us locaLe Lhe blosphere" or LoLal ecosysLem" by asklng whaL would or would noL be desLroyed lf we
LheoreLlcally dlsappeared" lL. Looklng aL opper's dlagram, we flnd LhaL lf we desLroyed Lhe blosphere (lf a
Lhermonuclear holocausL desLroyed oll llfe forms on earLh), we would desLroy all Lhe levels down Lo and lncludlng
hls level 6, bot oo lowet. 1haL means Lhe blologlcal ecosysLem stotts aL hls level 6, and noL, as he llsLs lL, aL level 12.
(1hls, as we wlll see, ls a cruclal error ln Lhe onLologles of many ecoLheorlsLs as well.)
ln oLher words, we obvlously have ecosysLems, ln Lhe broadesL sense, os sooo os we have dlfferenL llfe forms
lnLeracLlng wlLh each oLher and wlLh a physlcal envlronmenL, and Lhls beglns Lo occur ln lLs mosL fundamenLal
fashlon aL Lhe level of prokaryoLes (organelles). uLLlng Lhe ecosysLem aL level 12 would lmply, for example, LhaL
poor level 10-planLs and meLazoa-don'L have ecosysLems.
1hus, lf we conslder Lhe" ecosysLem as a slngle level, Lhen lL ls obvlous LhaL boLh dlagrams compleLely mlsplace lL.
8uL lL's worse Lhan LhaL. LcosysLem (or LoLal populaLlon") lsn'L a pottlcolot level among oLher levels of lndlvldual
holarchy, buL Lhe soclol envlronmenL of eocb and every level of lndlvlduallLy ln Lhe blosphere. And nelLher of Lhese
dlagrams dlsLlngulshes beLween mlcro and macro (or lndlvldual and soclal) on ooy level, boLh LreaL Lhem as
sepotote levels on Lhe some scale. (1hls ls a second cruclal error ln mosL eco-onLologles.)
WlLh reference Lo opper's dlagram, for example, level 8 and level 7 are noL Lwo dlfferenL levels, as he lmaglnes,
buL Lhe lndlvldual and soclal aspecLs of Lhe some level. (We know Lhls Lo be Lrue because lf we desLroy eltbet
level," Lhe oLher ls also desLroyed, whlch means oeltbet ls hlgher or lower relaLlve Lo Lhe oLher.) lf one were really
lowet-lf level 7 were really lower Lhan level 8, as he sLaLes-Lhen lL coolJ exlsL wlLhouL Lhe hlgher. 8uL you cannoL
have cells wlLhouL a socleLy (populaLlon) of oLher cells, and you cannoL have a populaLlon of cells wlLh no cells aL
all-noLhlng exlsLs alone wlLhouL an envlronmenL of Lhe slmllar.
ln oLher words, Lhe lndlvldual and soclal are noL Lwo dlfferenL colns, one belng of a hlgher currency Lhan Lhe oLher,
buL raLher Lhe heads and Lalls of Lhe some coln aL evety currency. 1hey are Lwo aspecLs of Lhe same Lhlng, noL Lwo
fundamenLally dlfferenL Lhlngs (or levels).
WhaL ls necessary, Lhen, ls Lo consLrucL a serles of Lrue holarchles of compound loJlvlJools and Lhen lndlcaLe, aL
Lhe some level of organlzaLlon, Lhe type of eovltoomeot (or soclal holon) ln whlch Lhe lndlvldual holon ls a
parLlclpanL (and on whose exlsLence Lhe lndlvldual holon depends). And Lhls needs Lo be done ln all Lhree of Lhe
greaL realms of evoluLlon-physlosphere, blosphere, and noosphere.
lorLunaLely, much of Lhls work has already been done by Lrlch !anLsch, Lhe only LheorlsL, Lo my knowledge, Lo
have lnvesLlgaLed exLenslvely (and ofLen brllllanLly) Lhe relaLlonshlps beLween mlcro and macro (lndlvldual and
soclal) paLLerns of coevoluLlon ln all Lhree domalns (alLhough, as we wlll see, hls argumenL becomes somewhaL
garbled as he approaches Lhe noosphere).
llgures 3-3 and 3-4 are !anLsch's schemaLlc dlagrams of Lhe coevoluLlon of mlcro and macro paLLerns ln,
respecLlvely, Lhe physlosphere and Lhe blosphere. llgure 3-4 plcks up where flgure 3-3 leaves off (namely, Lhe
passlng of maLLer lnLo llfe). 1he explanaLlons under each dlagram are hls own. (WlLh Lhe excepLlons LhaL l wlll
menLlon, l am ln subsLanLlal agreemenL wlLh everyLhlng ln Lhese Lwo dlagrams and wlLh hls explanaLlons of Lhem.)
1he lower porLlon of each dlagram represenLs mlcroevoluLlon-Lhe evoluLlon of lndlvldual holons. 1he upper
porLlon represenLs macroevoluLlon-Lhe cottelotlve level of soclal or envlronmenLal relaLlonshlps (relaLlonal
exchanges) ln whlch Lhe lndlvldual holons are lnexLrlcably embedded. 1he ldea ls falrly slmple: when you have a
speclflc Lype of loJlvlJool holon (say, heavy aLoms), whaL klnd of soclol or collecLlve envlronmenL resulLs? (ln Lhls
case, sLars). When molecules emerge, planeLs emerge (l.e., Lhey coemerge, coevolve). When eukaryoLes emerge,
ecosysLems emerge, when complex anlmals emerge, famllles emerge, and so on. All of Lhese correspondences are
llsLed on flgures 3-3 and 3-4.
llqote J-J. cosmlc coevolotloo of Mocto- ooJ Mlctosttoctotes. 1be osymmettlcol oofotlloq of tbe foot pbyslcol fotces colls loto
ploy step by step oew sttoctotol levels, ftom tbe moctoscoplc slJe os well os ftom tbe mlctoscoplc. 1bese levels motoolly stlmolote
tbelt evolotloos. (Iootscb, 1be 5elf-Otqoolzloq uolvetse, p. 94)
llqote J-4. 1be blstoty of llfe oo eottb exptesses tbe coevolotloo of self-otqoolzloq mocto- ooJ mlctosystems lo evet-blqbet
Jeqtees of Jlffeteotlotloo. (Iootscb, 1be 5elf-Otqoolzloq uolvetse, p. 1J2)
And noLlce: slnce evoluLlon produces greaLer depLh, less span, Lhen Lhe lndlvldual holons Lend Lo geL blqqet (l.e.,
molecules are blgger Lhan aLoms, because Lhey embrace and conLaln Lhem), buL soclal holons Lend Lo geL smollet.
8ecause Lhere are fewer holons aL Lhe greaLer depLh (Lhere are always fewer molecules Lhan aLoms), Lhen when you
puL Lhem LogeLher lnLo collecLlves, Lhe collecLlves are smaller. 1hus famllles are smaller Lhan ecosysLems, whlch are
smaller Lhan planeLs, whlch are smaller Lhan sLars. (We wlll reLurn Lo Lhls lncreaslng depLh/decreaslng span ln a
1he earller flgures (3-1 and 3-2) suffer badly by comparlson because Lhey LreaL mlcro and macro as Jlffeteot
levels of Lhe overall evoluLlonary process, lnsLead of seelng Lhem as Lwo dlfferenL aspecLs of each level of Lhe overall
evoluLlonary process, and Lhey leave ouL alLogeLher Lhe macro componenL of Lhe lower levels, a grave omlsslon.
noLlce ln parLlcular LhaL boLh Lhe mlcro and macro holarchles glven by !anLsch (ln boLh Lhe physlosphere and Lhe
blosphere) consLlLuLe a genulne hlgher/lower relaLlonshlp: desLroy any lower (wheLher lndlvldual or soclal), and Lhe
levels above lL are also desLroyed, buL noL vlce versa. !anLsch ls presenLlng genulne holarchles of boLh lndlvldual and
soclal holons.
noLlce, ln flgure 3-4, where !anLsch places Cala"-lL ls Lhe soclal holon composed prlmarlly of Lhe lndlvldual holons
of prokaryoLes. !anLsch ls here uslng Lhe Lerm Colo ln lLs Lechnlcally correcL sense, as orlglnally proposed by Lynn
Margulls and !ames Lovelock (and named by Wllllam Coldlng, auLhor of lotJ of tbe llles). As !anLsch explalns, 1he
auLocaLalyLlc unlLs ln Lhls sysLem [Cala] whlch make posslble Lhe formaLlon of a dlsslpaLlve sLrucLure far from
equlllbrlum and malnLaln Lhe Lhrough-flow of Lhe varlous gases [ln Lhe aLmosphere] are none else buL Lhe
prokaryoLes. lL seems LhaL afLer Lhe profound LransformaLlons of Lhe earLh's surface by Lhe oxldaLlon of sedlmenLs
and Lhe accumulaLlon of free oxygen, Lhey have been lnsLrumenLal ln brlnglng Lhe overall sysLem blo- plus
aLmosphere lnLo global, auLopoleLlc sLablllLy, relgnlng now for 1300 mllllon years."
1he prokaryoLes medlaLe exchanges wlLh Lhe aLmosphere (Lhe physlosphere), buL also form a global and
lnLerconnecLed neLwork wlLh all oLher prokaryoLes-Lhe overall Cala sysLem. 1hls ls preclsely LeneL 11, 1he mlcro ls
ln relaLlonal exchange wlLh Lhe macro aL all levels of lLs depLh." lurLher, and Lhls ls Lhe fasclnaLlng parL, slnce some
prokaryoLes were Laken up and lncorporaLed lnLo hlgher (eukaryoLlc) cells and Lhese ln Lurn ln complex organlsms,
Lhe prokaryoLlc Cala sysLem ls sLlll servlng lLs orlglnal global funcLlon. As !anLsch puLs lL, 1he descendenLs of Lhe
prokaryoLes, ln Lhe form of parLs of more hlghly developed cells, are sLlll aL Lhelr old [ob." And Lhls, of course, ls
preclsely LeneL 3, Lach emergenL holon Lranscends buL lncludes lLs predecessor(s)."
!anLsch polnLs ouL LhaL Lhe Cala sysLem ls Lhe lotqest llvlng soclal holon on Lhe planeL (has Lhe mosL unlLs, or Lhe
qteotest spoo), preclsely because lL ls Lhe sbollowest (mosL prlmlLlve). Agaln, evoluLlon produces greaLer depLh, less
span. AL Lhe same Llme, preclsely because Cala ls Lhe shallowesL of all llvlng soclal holons, lL ls exacLly Lhe mosL
fundamenLal. As we earller puL lL, Lhe less Jeptb a holon has, Lhe mote fooJomeotol lL ls Lo Lhe kosmos, because lL
ls a compooeot of so many oLher holons. And Lhus Cala ls Lhe mosL fundamenLal (and leasL slgnlflcanL) of all llvlng
soclal holons: all hlgher llfe forms depend upon lL (desLroy hlgher llfe forms, and Cala ls baslcally unLouched, desLroy
Cala, and everyLhlng else goes wlLh lL). Cala ls lndeed our rooLs and our foundaLlon.
8uL aslde from Lhls Lechnlcal usage, Cala has come Lo mean, for many people, Lhe LoLal blosphere, for some, lL
means Lhe LoLal planeL and all llfe forms, and for a few, lL means SplrlL lLself, or Lhe Coddess, as Lhe LoLal Llfe lorce of
Lhe planeL. 1here ls ln all Lhese approaches a Lendency Lo confuse fundamenLal wlLh slgnlflcanL. noneLheless,
alLhough none of Lhese usages ls Lechnlcally correcL, uslng Colo Lo mean Lhe overall blosphere or overall llfe
dlmenslon of Lhe planeL ls accepLable enough, as long as we are clear abouL whaL exacLly ls meanL. l wlll ofLen use
Colo ln boLh Lhe narrow Lechnlcal sense (prokaryoLlc neLwork) and Lhe broader myLhlc" sense (LoLal blosphere or
llvlng planeL as a whole), and Lhe conLexL wlll make clear whlch ls lnLended.
noLlce LhaL ln boLh flgures 3-3 and 3-4 !anLsch ploLs spaLlal exLenslon (or physlcal slze) agalnsL evoluLlonary Llme,
and hls concluslon ln boLh flgures ls LhaL, wlLh lncreaslng evoluLlon, loJlvlJool holons Lend Lo become lotqet (ln Lhe
sense LhaL organlsms are larger Lhan molecules) and soclol holons Lend Lo become smollet (planeLs are smaller
Lhan galaxles)-and he expllclLly lndlcaLes Lhls on hls dlagrams. 8oLh of Lhese are, we have seen, examples of Lhe facL
LhaL evoluLlon produces greaLer depLh, less span.
Cn Lhe one hand, lndlvldual holons LranscenL buL lnclude Lhelr predecessors-developmenL ls envelopmenL-and
so Lhe LoLal depLh or embrace of lndlvldual holons lncreases: cells embrace molecules whlch embrace aLoms whlch
embrace parLlcles. Llkewlse, Lhe greaLer Lhe depLh of a holon, Lhe fewer of Lhem LhaL are produced and malnLalned,
relaLlve Lo Lhe number of Lhelr predecessors (fewer molecules Lhan aLoms, fewer cells Lhan molecules), and
Lherefore Lhe popolotloo of greaLer-depLh holons wlll always be less Lhan Lhe populaLlon of lLs predecessors. 1hus,
greaLer depLh, less span.
1hese correlaLlons are lmporLanL, we wlll see, because many ecoLheorlsLs and sysLems LheorlsLs confuse larger
span wlLh greaLer depLh, and Lhus ofLen recommend regresslve onLologles and regresslve dlrecLlons for salvaLlon.
8uL before we geL Lo LhaL, a slmple polnL abouL !anLsch's lmporLanL correlaLlons. ln equaLlng Lhese changes wlLh
acLual slze (or physlcal exLenslon), !anLsch goes Loo far (or becomes Loo slmpllsLlc). uepLh or embrace always
lncreases, buL embrace ls noL necessarlly LranslaLable lnLo slmple slzes. ln Lhe same way, lncreaslng evoluLlon means
less relaLlve span (or decreaslng slmple span), buL Lhls does noL necessarlly show up as decreaslng physlcal slze (see
Cf course, once a qlveo level has emerged, Lhen lLs slmple span can begln Lo lncrease, and Lhls wlll ofLen show up
as an lncrease ln Lhe spaLlal exLenslon of Lhe populaLlon-l.e., for a glven depLh, span can lncrease up Lo lLs carrylng
llmlLs, Lhus human span has lncreased from small vlllages Lo global vlllages.
When Lhls sLarLs happenlng ln human
evoluLlon, !anLsch geLs confused, because, he supposes, macro-evoluLlon ls sopposeJ Lo geL physlcally smaller, and
yeL human socloculLural evoluLlon keeps geLLlng larger and mote global, whlch leads !anLsch Lo saylng LhaL human
evoluLlon compleLely Lurns on lLs head" Lhe prevlous Lrend seen everywhere else ln evoluLlon, buL, of course, lL
does noLhlng of Lhe sorL-all LhaL geLs Lurned on lLs head ls hls lncorrecL assumpLlon abouL slze. 8ecause Lhe facL ls,
alLhough acLual slze or spaLlal exLenslon ls ofLen a good lndlcaLor of Lhese yardsLlcks, nelLher necessarlly and always
LranslaLes lnLo slmple physlcal dlmenslons.
1he reason !anLsch's slze rule" geLs lnLo so much Lrouble wlLh human or socloculLural evoluLlon ls LhaL Lhe human
mlnd, as uescarLes knew, ls characLerlzed more by lnLenLlon Lhan exLenslon. 1haL ls why lL ls so lmporLanL Lo sLaLe
Lhe rule" sLrlcLly ln Lerms of embrace (depLh of holon, regardless of slze of holon) and span (number of lndlvlduals
aL LhaL depLh, regardless of Lhelr acLual slze). A concepL, we wlll see, always embraces a symbol (lL ls a symbol plos
anoLher cognlLlve funcLlon, lL has greaLer depLh), buL we can'L say a concepL ls physlcally blqqet Lhan a symbol. Cne
value mlghL be bettet Lhan anoLher, buL lL doesn'L occupy a blgger space.
1PL 8C8LLM Wl1P SlZL Anu SAn
All of Lhese seemlngly halr-spllLLlng dlsLlncLlons are acLually very lmporLanL when lL comes Lo Lhe prevalenL hollsLlc
Lheorles," because many of Lhem Lry Lo consLrucL Lhelr holarchles based on locteosloq slze (or, secondarlly,
locteosloq spoo)-[usL as ln flgure 3-1-and Lhls leads Lo some very unpleasanL and confuslng resulLs. WheLher Lhey
base Lhelr Lheorles on slze or span, Lhey confuse Lhose wlLh depLh, and Lhls ofLen leads Lo teqtesslve onLologles and
soLerlologles. undersLandlng Lhe errors" ln flgure 3-1 ls lmporLanL for unravellng Lhese common confuslons found
ln many hollsLlc, ecologlcal, and sysLems Lhlnkers.
l wlll menLlon only Lwo problems aL Lhls polnL. lor Lhe evoluLlon of lndlvldual holons, qteotet embtoce means
LhaL more of Lhe unlverse ls belng Laken lnLo Lhe holon (ls acLually lnLernal Lo LhaL holon). As we wlll see, an
lndlvldual holon can evenLually embtoce tbe eotlte kosmos-lLs depLh can go Lo lnflnlLy-buL Lhe octool oombet of
holons (Lhe span) LhaL can reallze Lhls LoLal embrace mlghL be very, very few. kosmlc consclousness means kosmlc
embrace, lL doesn'L mean kosmlc span.
Many hollsLlc LheorlsLs are admlrably Lrylng Lo consLrucL a serles of wlder and wlder wholes," and Lhls serles ls of
absoluLely cruclal slgnlflcance, Lhey malnLaln, because lL ls meanL Lo help us humans flnd our place, our conLexL, ln
Lhe larger scheme of Lhlngs, so LhaL we may more accuraLely orlenL ourselves-morally, emoLlonally, cognlLlvely,
splrlLually-Lo our fellows and Lo our world. l am ln compleLe sympaLhy wlLh LhaL approach.
8uL lf Jeptb ls coofoseJ wltb spoo (or wlLh slze), Lhen Lhe resulLanL hollsLlc sequence of wlder wholes" ends up
belng perfecLly regresslve and anLl-hollsLlc! Slnce, wlLh evoluLlon, slmple span always geLs smollet, Lhen by
consLrucLlng a hollsLlc sequence of blqqet span, we are headed ln preclsely Lhe opposlLe and alLogeLher wrong
lor example, many hollsLlc LheorlsLs creaLe Lhelr hollsLlc" sequences uslng slmple span, and end up wlLh Lhls: Lhe
noosphere ls pott of Lhe larger whole called Lhe blosphere, whlch lLself ls pott of Lhe larger whole called Lhe
cosmos (or Lhe enLlre physlosphere).
AbsoluLely noL Lrue. AbsoluLely Lhe oLher way around. As we have seen, lf Lhe noosphere were really a pott of Lhe
blosphere, Lhen lf we desLroyed Lhe noosphere Lhe blosphere would dlsappear, and LhaL ls clearly noL Lhe case. An
aLom ls genulnely a parL of a molecule, and Lhus lf we desLroy Lhe aLoms we also desLroy Lhe molecule: Lhe whole
needs lLs parLs. !usL so, lf Lhe noosphere were really a parL of Lhe blosphere, Lhen desLroylng Lhe noosphere would
ellmlnaLe Lhe blosphere, and yeL lL ls [usL Lhe oLher way around: desLroy Lhe blosphere, and Lhe noosphere ls gone,
preclsely because Lhe blosphere ls a parL of Lhe noosphere, and noL vlce versa.
ln oLher words, because Lhese LheorlsLs look mosLly aL slmple span (and lLs slze), and because Lhey Lhlnk LhaL
blqqet span ls a hlgher or deeper whole," and slnce ln facL greaLer evoluLlon produces less span, Lhen Lhese
LheorlsLs geL Lhe hollsLlc sequence exoctly backward.
WhaL Lhese hollsLs mean Lo say, correcLly, ls LhaL Lhe noosphere JepeoJs on Lhe blosphere, whlch JepeoJs on
Lhe physlosphere-and LhaL ls Lrue pteclsely because Lhe physlosphere ls a lowet componenL of Lhe blosphere,
whlch ls a lowet componenL of Lhe noosphere, and noL Lhe oLher way around.
8ecause Lhls ls such an lmporLanL Loplc, l wanL Lo go over lL uslng some very slmple examples.
We sald LhaL wlLh emergenL evoluLlon we are, ln effecL, playlng Lhree-dlmenslonal checkers or chess, noL flaLland
chess. So lmaglne Lhls: lmaglne one chessboard (or checkerboard) wlLh forLy black checkers placed on lL. 1he depLh ls
one, Lhe span ls forLy. lace anoLher chessboard over lL, buL leave lL empLy for Lhe momenL. 1he depLh ls Lwo, Lhe
span zero.
now, ln evoluLlon, Lhe only way Lo geL Lo level 2 ls Lhrough level 1, and, ln facL, Lhe checkers on level 2 are
composed ln parL of checkers from level 1-Lhey are all holons or compound lndlvlduals. 8epresenL Lhls by Laklng
one black checker from level 1, placlng lL on level 2, Lhen addlng a red checker on Lop of lL. 1he new and LoLal
holon" on level 2 Lhus lncorporaLes lLs predecessor (Lhe black checker) and adds lLs own dlsLlncLlve properLles (Lhe
red checker). lf we dld Lhls, say, Lhree Llmes, Lhe holons on level 2 would have a depLh of 2 and a span of 3.
now, Lhe lndlvldual holons or checkers on level 1 (Lhe physlosphere) depend for Lhelr exlsLence on lnLrlcaLe
neLworks of lnLerrelaLlonshlps wlLh all Lhe oLher black checkers ln Lhelr envlronmenL-depend, LhaL ls, on neLworks
of Lhelr own soclal holons (Lhe coevoluLlon of mlcro and macro). 1hey exlsL ln lnLrlcaLe neLworks of relaLlonal
exchange wlLh holons aL Lhe same level of sLrucLural organlzaLlon (LeneL 11).
8uL Lhe slLuaLlon on level 2 (Lhe blosphere) ls much more compllcaLed, because Lhe new LoLal holon (Lhe black-
and-red compound checker) depends for lLs exlsLence on lnLrlcaLe relaLlonshlps on botb levels. 1he red-and-black
checkers on level 2 depend ln parL on Lhelr relaLlonshlps wlLh oLher red-and-black checkers-depend, LhaL ls, on
ecologlcal or macro relaLlons wlLh oLher llvloq holons aL Lhe same level of sLrucLural organlzaLlon. ln oLher words,
Lhe red" componenL of Lhe red-and-black checkers depends on lnLerrelaLlons wlLh Lhe red" componenL of oLher
red-and-black holons-depends on telotloool excbooqes such as sexual reproducLlon (whlch are oot found on Lhe
black level and cannoL be susLalned by LhaL level).
Powever, because Lhe red-and-black checkers also have a black componenL, Lhey olso depend on Lhe lnLrlcaLe
relaLlonshlps LhaL susLaln black holons Lhemselves-depend, LhaL ls, on all of Lhe muLually susLalnlng relaLlonshlps
and processes LhaL consLlLuLe level 1 holons. So level 2 holons depend noL only on Lhe new and red" relaLlonshlps or
soclal holons found ooly on level 2, Lhey also depend upon Lhe prlor black" relaLlonshlps and susLalnable paLLerns
esLabllshed on level 1 (buL noL vlce versa: desLroy level 1, and level 2 ls desLroyed, desLroy level 2, and level 1 black
checkers wlll sLlll exlsL).
So any holon, or compound lndlvldual, depends on a whole serles of lnLrlcaLe relaLlonal exchanges wlLh soclal
envlronmenLs of Lhe some level of sLrucLural organlzaLlon for eocb level ln Lhe lndlvldual holon. And LhaL means
LhaL a holon of depLh Lhree, for example, has Lo exlsL ln an envlronmenL LhaL also possesses holons of aL leasL Lhe
same depLh. So any holon ls fundamenLally a compound lndlvldual and lLs same-level relaLlonal exchanges aL oll of
lLs levels-a compound lndlvldual ln a compound envlronmenL, exchanglng black wlLh black and red wlLh red and so
We need one lasL polnL. 1he red-and-black checkers are noL lo Lhe black unlverse. 1he only Lhlngs LhaL are lo
level 1 are more black checkers. 1he red-and-black checkers are Lo some degree beyooJ Lhe level 1 unlverse (LhaL ls
Lhe meanlng of emergence). ln Lhelr redness" Lhey are beyond Lhe mere blackness of level 1. 1hey are a perfecL
expresslon of Lhe self-Lranscendlng LhrusL of evoluLlon, of Lhe creaLlve emergence of a redness" LhaL cannoL be
reduced Lo, or foooJ lo, Lhe black unlverse.
And, ln a sense, lL ls [usL Lhe opposlLe. 1he red-and-black checkers conLaln redness" as well as blackness." 1he
level 2 holons embtoce level 1 holons and Lhen go beyond Lhem wlLh Lhelr own deflnlng emergenLs (LeneL 3). Slnce
Lhe red-and-black checker depends for lLs exlsLence on lLs own componenL black checkers, and slnce Lhe black
checkers Lhemselves depend ulLlmaLely for Lhelr parLlcular Lype of exlsLence on all Lhe oLher black checkers ln tbelt
unlverse, Lhen any level 2 holon ln essence embraces oll of lLs level 1 world by slmple vlrLue of lLs own compound
lndlvlduallLy. A slngle llvlng cell embraces lLs enLlre physlcal unlverse. 1he many has become one and ls lncreased by
one-anoLher meanlng of WhlLehead's cruclal dlcLum. And accordlng Lo WhlLehead, ln Lhls prehenslve unlflcaLlon"
oll anLecedenL acLual occaslons parLlclpaLe Lo some degree (ln a holarchy of embrace, as he carefully polnLs ouL).
And LhaL ls whaL l mean when l say LhaL a level 2 holon ls noL lo level 1, buL level 1 ls lo level 2, uLLerly and LoLally
embraced by lL-one of Lhe meanlngs, we wlll see, of love, a lovlng embrace whlch, llke consclousness and creaLlvlLy
and self-Lranscendence, ls bullL lnLo Lhe very Jeptb of Lhe kosmos.
All of Lhls means, ln shorL, LhaL Lhe blosphere ls noL ln Lhe physlosphere. 1he blosphere ls oot a compooeot or a
pott of Lhe greaLer whole called Lhe physlosphere, because Lhe only Lhlng greaLer" abouL Lhe physlosphere ls lLs
span, noL lLs depLh or wholeness. 1he blos ls noL a parL of Lhe cosmos, buL [usL Lhe opposlLe: Lhe cosmos ls a parL of,
a componenL of, Lhe blos.
1hus, a pott of Lhe blosphere (namely, lLs physlcal componenL) ls lndeed a pott of Lhe larger physlosphere, buL
lLs deflnlng, emergenL quallLles are noL lo Lhe seL of physlcally deflnable deLermlnanLs governlng nonllvlng forms (as
MaLurana and varela polnL ouL, auLopolesls ls found nowhere ln Lhe nonllvlng world, auLopolesls ls a red-checker
quallLy found nowhere ln black checkers). 1he blosphere ls noL ln Lhe physlosphere, buL Lhe physlosphere ls lndeed
ln Lhe blosphere, conLalned ln lL as a pott.
1hus, [usL as an aLom ls ln a molecule buL a molecule ls noL ln an aLom-even Lhough Lhe span of aLoms ls much,
much larger Lhan molecules-so Lhe cosmos ls ln Lhe blos buL Lhe blos ls noL ln Lhe cosmos, even Lhough Lhe span of
Lhe cosmos ls asLronomlcally larger.
And noLe: Lhe blos ls a parL of Lhe kosmos, buL noL a parL of Lhe cosmos, and ln LhaL slmple move we have forever
dlsavowed reducLlonlsm: physlcs ls Lhe mosL fundamenLal, and leasL slgnlflcanL, of Lhe sclences (Lhe reason physlcs
can'L explaln blology ls preclsely because Lhe blos ls noL ln Lhe cosmos).
1hls ls [usL Lhe opposlLe of whaL a nalve falLh ln slmple span or slze would Lell us. !usL because Lhe cosmos ls blgger
Lhan Lhe blos, we assume LhaL Lhe cosmos musL be more slgnlflcanL. 8uL lL ls only more fundamenLal, Lhe blos ls
much more slgnlflcanL Lhan Lhe cosmos, because lL conLalns much more reallLy lnLernal Lo lL, embraces a much
deeper and greaLer wholeness, has more depLh, and ln facL subsumes Lhe enLlre cosmos ln lLs own belng: Lranscends
and lncludes.
Llkewlse, as we wlll see, Lhe noosphere ls noL a parL of Lhe blosphere, buL [usL Lhe opposlLe: Lhe blos ls a lower
componenL, a parL of, Lhe noosphere. So of course Lhe blosphere has a greaLer span (ls blgger"), [usL as Lhe cosmos
ls blgger Lhan Lhe blos. 8uL from whaL we have now seen, LhaL, of course, [usL proves my polnL.
reclsely because Lhe blosphere ls a componenL parL of Lhe noosphere, Lhe desLrucLlon of Lhe blosphere
guaranLees Lhe desLrucLlon of Lhe noosphere-and LhaL ls one of Lhe polnLs we wlll be reLurnlng Lo LhroughouL Lhls
volume. 1hls ls a profoundly ecologlcal orlenLaLlon wltboot regresslvely absoluLlzlng Lhe blosphere (or Lhe
noosphere, as we wlll see).
8uL for now, leL us noLe LhaL Lhe oombet (Lhe span) of holons aL a hlgher level of developmenL wlll always be less
Lhan Lhe number aL a precedlng level (LeneL 8). 1he number of red-and-black checkers wlll olwoys be less Lhan Lhe
number of black checkers. 1here are no excepLlons, because Lhe number of wholes wlll always be less Lhan Lhe
number of parLs conLalned ln Lhem. 1here wlll always be fewer flfLh-graders Lhan fourLh-graders, because you have
Lo go Lhrough Lhe fourLh Lo geL Lo Lhe flfLh. 1here are always fewer oaks Lhan acorns-Lhe so-called pyramld of
developmenL LhaL necessarlly geLs smaller and smaller Loward Lhe Lop. Laszlo, for example, represenLs Lhls pyramld
as ln flgure 3-3 (whlch also lndlcaLes accuraLely LhaL, for example, Lhe blosphere ls noL lo Lhe physlosphere). Where
maLLer ls fovotoble, llfe emerges. Where llfe ls fovotoble, mlnd emerges. CreaLer depLh, less span.
llqote J-5. 1be keolms of volotloo (loszlo, volotloo, p. 55)
Accordlngly, when hollsLlc LheorlsLs consLrucL Lhelr holarchles ln Lerms of lncreaslng span (wlder and wlder"),
Lhey Lake us rlghL down Lhe pyramld, scraplng off more and more levels of depLh ln search of a blgger (and Lherefore
shallower) span. 1hey should be Laklng us Lo a greaLer depLh LhaL lnvolves botb a Jeepet embrace and a wlJet
ldenLlLy-an expanslon verLlcally and horlzonLally, noL [usL horlzonLally.
1hus, we can sLarL Lo see why dlagrams llke flgure 3-1 are such an unforLunaLe map: Lhey confuse mlcro and
macro, Lhey confuse depLh and span.
1PL 88Aln Cl A PuMAn PCLCn
!anLsch's dlagrams (flgs. 3-3 and 3-4) cover Lhe physlosphere and Lhe blosphere. lL ls now Llme Lo look aL Lhe
emergence of Lhe noosphere.
lL ls wlLh Lhe braln LhaL we usually assoclaLe Lhe emergence of Lhe noosphere from (or raLher Lhrough) Lhe
blosphere. !anLsch, followlng CunLher SLenL, dlvldes communlcaLlon ln Lhe blosphere lnLo geneLlc, meLabollc, and
neural (and Lhe hlghesL parL of Lhe laLLer ls sald Lo correlaLe wlLh noospherlc evoluLlon). !anLsch:
CeneLlc communlcaLlon acLs ln Llme lnLervals whlch are long compared Lo Lhe llfeLlme of an lndlvldual. lL
makes phylogeny and coherenL evoluLlon across many generaLlons posslble. MeLabollc communlcaLlon whlch
ln Lhe organlsm ls LransmlLLed by speclal messenger molecules, Lhe hormones, fulflls Lwo Lasks wlLhln an
organlsm. Cne Lask ls Lhe regulaLlon of Lhe developmenL of mulLlcellular organlsms, ln planLs as well as ln
anlmals. 1he oLher Lask concerns Lhe damplng of Lhe consequences of envlronmenLal flucLuaLlons for Lhe
organlsm, or ln oLher words, Lhe enhancemenL of Lhe organlsm's auLonomy [LeneL 12d]. MeLabollc
communlcaLlon based on hormones acLs relaLlvely slowly, from seconds Lo mlnuLes. 1he Lhlrd Lype of
blologlcal communlcaLlon ls LransmlLLed by Lhe nervous sysLem. 1hls Lype acLs ln organlsms Lyplcally wlLhln a
hundredLh Lo a LenLh of a second and ls Lhus abouL a Lhousand Llmes fasLer Lhan meLabollc communlcaLlon.
!anLsch polnLs ouL LhaL Lhese Lhree sysLems emerge holarchlcally, and he Lhen proceeds Lo glve a holarchlcal
breakdown of neural sLrucLures Lhemselves, based prlmarlly on aul MacLean's hlghly lnfluenLlal noLlon of Lhe Lrlune
braln (see flg. 3-6). ln MacLean's own words:
Man flnds hlmself ln Lhe predlcamenL LhaL naLure has endowed hlm essenLlally wlLh Lhree bralns whlch,
desplLe greaL dlfferences ln sLrucLure, musL funcLlon LogeLher and communlcaLe wlLh one anoLher. 1he oldesL
of Lhese bralns ls baslcally repLlllan. 1he second has been lnherlLed from lower mammals, and Lhe Lhlrd ls a
laLer mammallan developmenL, whlch, ln lLs culmlnaLlon ln prlmaLes, has made man pecullarly man.
Speaklng allegorlcally of Lhese Lhree bralns wlLhln a braln [l.e., holons], we mlghL lmaglne LhaL when Lhe
psychlaLrlsL blds Lhe paLlenL Lo lle on Lhe couch, he ls asklng hlm Lo sLreLch ouL alongslde a horse and a
crocodlle. . . . 1he repLlllan braln ls fllled wlLh ancesLral lore and ancesLral memorles and ls falLhful ln dolng
whaL lLs ancesLors say, buL lL ls noL very good for faclng up Lo new slLuaLlons [relaLlvely low auLonomy
expressed ln reflex and lnsLlncLlve behavlor].
ln evoluLlon one flrsL sees Lhe beglnnlng of emanclpaLlon from Lhe ancesLral [lnflexlblllLy] wlLh Lhe
appearance of Lhe lower mammallan braln, whlch naLure bullds on Lop of Lhe repLlllan braln. . . . lnvesLlgaLlons
of Lhe lasL LwenLy years have shown LhaL Lhe lower mammallan braln plays a fundamenLal role ln emoLlonal
behavlor. lL has a greaLer capaclLy Lhan Lhe repLlllan braln for learnlng new approaches and soluLlons Lo
problems on Lhe basls of lmmedlaLe experlence. 8uL llke Lhe repLlllan braln, lL does noL have Lhe ablllLy Lo puL
lLs feellngs lnLo words.
llqote J-6. 1be 1tlooe 8tolo (Aftet Mocleoo)
MacLean ls very speclflc abouL Lhe holarchlcal naLure of Lhese Lhree bralns.
ln lLs evoluLlon, Lhe braln of [humans] reLalns Lhe hlerarchlcal organlzaLlon of Lhe Lhree baslc Lypes whlch can
be convenlenLly labelled as repLlllan, paleo-mammallan and neo-mammallan. [1he braln sLem represenLs Lhe
repLlllan braln, lnherlLed from repLlllan ancesLors.] 1he llmblc sysLem represenLs Lhe paleo-mammallan braln,
whlch ls an lnherlLance from lower mammals. Man's llmblc sysLem ls much more hlghly sLrucLured Lhan LhaL of
lower mammals, buL lLs baslc organlzaLlon, chemlsLry, eLc., are very slmllar. 1he same may be sald of Lhe oLher
Lwo baslc Lypes. And Lhere ls ample evldence LhaL all Lhree Lypes have Lhelr own speclal sub[ecLlve, cognlLlve
(problem-solvlng) memory and oLher parallel funcLlons.
ln oLher words, each of Lhe bralns ls a relaLlvely auLonomous holon. And because each ls a holon, we cannoL say
LhaL any speclflc funcLlon ls slmply locaLed ln one of Lhe holons, Lhey all muLually acL and lnLeracL wlLh upward and
downward lnfluence. 8uL ln general, Lhe Lhree bralns have Lhe followlng baslc funcLlons:
keptllloo btolo (or braln sLem): 1hls ls Lhe phylogeneLlcally oldesL parL of Lhe braln, lLs core or chassls, roughly
correspondlng Lo Lhe baslc sLrucLures of Lhe repLlle's braln. lL conLalns Lhe essenLlal apparaLus for lnLernal (vlsceral
and glandular) regulaLlons, for prlmlLlve acLlvlLles based on lnsLlncLs and reflexes, and also Lhe cenLers for arouslng
Lhe anlmal's vlgllance or puLLlng lL Lo sleep."
We may refer Lo lL as Lhe overall level of rudlmenLary sensorlmoLor
lnLelllgence and lnsLlncLlve drlves or lmpulses.
loleomommolloo btolo (or llmblc sysLem): 1he llmblc sysLem ls lnLlmaLely connecLed by Lwo-way neural
paLhways wlLh Lhe hypoLhalamus and oLher cenLers ln Lhe braln-sLem concerned wlLh vlsceral sensaLlons and
emoLlonal reacLlons-lncludlng sex, hunger, fear and aggresslon, so much so LhaL Lhe llmblc sysLem once bore Lhe
name 'Lhe vlsceral braln.'"
ln shorL, 1he llmblc sysLem processes lnformaLlon ln such a way LhaL lL becomes
experlenced as feellngs and emoLlons, whlch become guldlng forces for behavlor."
Neomommolloo btolo (or neocorLex): 1he exploslve growLh of Lhe neocorLex," says !anLsch, ln a laLer phase of
evoluLlon ls one of Lhe mosL dramaLlc evenLs ln Lhe hlsLory of llfe on earLh," and presumably connecLed wlLh Lhe
emergence of Lhe noosphere. lL acLs as an lmmense neural screen on whlch Lhe symbollc lmages of language and
loglcs (lncludlng maLhemaLlcs) appear. 1he neocorLex ls Lhe locaLlon aL whlch lnformaLlon ls processed ln Lhe ways
characLerlsLlc of Lhe self-reflexlve mlnd."
MacLean underscores Lhe holoarchlc naLure of Lhese Lhree bralns by comparlng Lhem wlLh Lhe componenLs of
llLeraLure, whlch !anLsch eleganLly summarlzes ln Lhls fashlon:
1he repLlllan braln sLands for Lhe [baslc] flgures and roles whlch underlle all llLeraLures. 1he llmblc sysLem
brlngs emoLlonal preferences, selecLlon and developmenL of Lhe scenarlos lnLo play. And Lhe neocorLex,
flnally, produces on Lhls subsLraLe as many dlfferenL poems, Lales, novels and plays as Lhere are auLhors.
Agaln we see Lhe lower seLLlng Lhe posslblllLles and Lhe hlgher seLLlng Lhe probablllLles (or acLuallzlng poLenLlals).
!anLsch glves several dlagrams, slmllar Lo flgures 3-3 and 3-4, whlch he belleves represenL developmenLs ln Lhe
noosphere (or whaL he calls socloculLural evoluLlon). l wlll noL reproduce Lhem here, because l belleve Lhey are
fundamenLally confused. !anLsch says LhaL once evoluLlon reaches Lhe noosphere, Lhlngs become compleLely
lnverLed." 8uL all LhaL ls lnverLed ls hls own prlor confuslon beLween span and slze, and hls lnslsLence on flndlng
exLenslon where Lhere ls largely lnLenLlon. WlLhouL LhaL confuslon, Lhe same prlnclples and Lhe same evoluLlonary
process can be seen aL work-greaLer depLh, less span-Lhere ls no lnverslon." As l sald, !anLsch ofLen aLLempLs Lo
make spaLlal exLenslon (physlcal slze) a fundamenLal correlaLe of menLal (socloculLural) growLh, and as even
uescarLes was well aware, ln Lhe noosphere, exLenslon glves way Lo lnLenLlon, upon whlch rulers do noL well flL.
l wlll reLurn Lo LhaL polnL ln a momenL and go over lL carefully, buL for now leL us look lnsLead Lo Lhe work of Lhose
sysLems LheorlsLs who have ploLLed ouL Lhe growLh of human soclol boloos durlng humanlLy's mllllon-or-so-year
keep ln mlnd LhaL we have already ouLllned (however brlefly) Lhe growLh of loJlvlJool boloos, from aLoms Lo cells
Lo mulLlcellular organlsms Lo complex anlmals (Lhe mlcro componenLs as suggesLed roughly ln Lhe boLLom halves of
flgs. 3-3 and 3-4), and we also lndlcaLed Lhe correlaLlve envlronmenLal or soclol boloos aL each sLage (Lhe macro
componenLs suggesLed ln Lhe upper halves ln flgs. 3-3 and 3-4). We Lhen brlefly skeLched Lhe furLher evoluLlon of
Lhe loJlvlJool holon of complex anlmals up Lo and lncludlng Lhose wlLh Lhe Lrlune braln (from repLlle Lo mammal Lo
prlmaLe). We wanL Lo look now aL Lhe soclol envlronmenL ln whlch Lhe Lrlune-bralned organlsms exlsLed, and Lhe
Lypes of soclol boloos upon whlch Lhe Lrlune-bralned organlsm exlsLed for lLs own relaLlonal exchanges.
And Lhls moves us dlrecLly lnLo Lhe noosphere, or Lhe realm of socloculLural (and noL [usL blosoclal) evoluLlon. We
are addlng a Lhlrd chessboard Lo Lhe game-maLLer, llfe, mlnd.
lf we look aL !anLsch's flgure 3-4, we wlll be remlnded LhaL lndlvldual complex anlmals, up Lo and lncludlng
prlmaLes (whlch lncludes humans), needed soclol holons aL Lhe level of groups/famllles, and lf glven Lhose
approprlaLe soclal holons, Lhe lndlvldual holons could be susLalned qulLe adequaLely (assumlng, of course, LhaL oll
[unlor levels ln Lhe compound lndlvldual are also exlsLlng ln a balanced and susLalnable seL of relaLlonshlps wlLh Lhelr
own envlronmenLs-assumlng, LhaL ls, LhaL Lhe whole mulLllevel arrangemenL ls ecologlcally sound ln Lhe broadesL
sense, whlch we have every reason Lo belleve was Lhe case aL Lhls polnL ln evoluLlon).
uL more slmply, Lhe soclal holon of Lhe famlly/group could have susLalned Lhe human Lrlune braln lndeflnlLely,
[usL as lL sLlll susLalns Lhe roughly slmllar Lrlune braln of oLher prlmaLes (who conLlnue Lo exlsL ln klnshlp soclal
holons). 8uL Lhe human holon pushed beyond an envlronmenL of klnshlp (or blospherlcally based) soclal holons such
as Lhe famlly and began also produclng vlllages, Lowns, clLles, sLaLes. . . . As l sald, a Lhlrd chessboard had been added
Lo Lhe evoluLlonary game.
Cf course, Lhls ralses all Lhe old and Lhorny problems, from Lhe relaLlon of mlnd and body Lo Lhe whole lssue of
wheLher Lhe noosphere lLself was a good ldea ln Lhe flrsL place. All l can say ls LhaL l wlll Lry Lo address Lhese lssues as
besL l can, buL we musL proceed one sLep aL a Llme, and each sLep wlll have lLs own Lrue meanlng dlsclosed only as
Lhe whole plcLure beglns Lo emerge.
So, for Lhe momenL, leL us slmply noLe LhaL Lhere was no compelllng bloloqlcol reason Lo produce vlllages and
clLles and sLaLes. 1he soclal holon of Lhe famlly/group could have susLalned Lhe human Lrlune braln, [usL as lL does
oLher prlmaLes Lo Lhls day. 8uL [usL as maLLer had pushed forLh llfe, Lhe self-LranscendenL drlve wltblo blology
pushed forLh someLhlng beyooJ blology, pushed forLh symbols and Lools LhaL boLh creaLed and depended upon
new levels of soclal holons ln whlch Lhe users of symbols and Lools could exlsL and reproduce Lhemselves, buL Lhe
reproducLlon was now Lhe reproducLlon of culLure Lhrough symbollc communlcaLlon and noL [usL Lhe reproducLlon
of bodles Lhrough sexuallLy. klnshlp gave way Lo culLureshlp": add a blue checker on Lop of Lhe red checker on Lop
of Lhe black checker.
And only a reducLlonlsL wlll be bold enough Lo clalm LhaL culLure was really [usL a nlfLy new way Lo galn food, LhaL
Lhe blue checker ls [usL a sneaky rearrangemenL of red checkers, LhaL Lhe noosphere ls noLhlng buL a new LwlsL on
Lhe blosphere. 8uL [usL as Lhe blosphere ls noL lo Lhe physlosphere (you can'L flnd red checkers anywhere on level
1), so Lhe noosphere ls noL lo Lhe blosphere (Lhere are no blue checkers on level 2, no self-reflexlve llngulsLlc
concepLs, for example, no calculus, poeLry, or formal loglc).
As far as we can Lell, Lhe human braln has remalned vlrLually unchanged ln Lhe pasL flfLy Lhousand years. And yeL
durlng LhaL flfLy-Lhousand-year perlod, Lhe same Lrlune braln produced an exLraordlnary range of culLural
achlevemenLs and culLural dlsasLers. ln oLher words, noLhlng Lruly novel happened Lo Lhe Lrlune braln durlng LhaL
perlod, no new ma[or blospherlc evoluLlon occurred. And yeL Lhe enLlre ma[esLy and caLasLrophe of culLure paraded
across Lhe scene, all on Lhe same blologlcal base, buL a ma[esLy and caLasLrophe LhaL could noL be reduced Lo,
explalned by, or conLalned ln LhaL base.
Cnce agaln Lhe lower had seL Lhe foundaLlon and prepared Lhe posslblllLles for (buL dld noL deLermlne) evoluLlon
ln Lhe hlgher, and Lhose new posslblllLles were now played ouL ln Lhe noosphere, ln Lhe realm of culLure and symbols
and Loys and Lools.
We wlll be looklng aL Lhe noospherlc changes ln Lhe loJlvlJool holons ln Lhe nexL chapLer. lor Lhe momenL leL us
cenLer on Lhe evoluLlon of Lhe soclol holons ln Lhe newly emerglng noosphere. llgure 3-7 ls adapLed from AlasLalr
1aylor's socloculLural nonequlllbrlum sysLems model," a soclal approach based on dynamlc sysLems Lheory (and aL
Lhls polnL we are cenLerlng on Lhe Lrue" aspecLs of sysLems Lheory). 1aylor malnLalns LhaL each succeedlng soclal
holon bullds upon Lhe properLles and socleLal experlences of Lhe level(s) below and ln Lurn conLrlbuLes lLs own
'emergenL quallLles,' whlch Lake Lhe form of new Lechnologles and socleLal sLrucLures, accompanled by new
appercepLlons of Lhe human-envlronmenL relaLlonshlp. We can dlscern progresslve developmenLs ln complexlLy and
heLerogenelLy (alLhough ln any one hlsLorlcal slLuaLlon a dlfferenL, or even conLrary, experlence may occur)"
famlllar concepLs (all found ln Lhe LwenLy LeneLs).
We could of course lnclude an enormous number of componenLs ln Lhe evolvlng noosphere of soclal humans,
from Lypes of Lools Lo varlous worldvlews, from pollLlcal lnsLlLuLlons Lo sLyles of arL, from modes of producLlon Lo
legal codes. And, lndeed, we wlll be reLurnlng Lo Lhese varlous aspecLs as we proceed wlLh our sLory. 8uL for Lhe
momenL, flgure 3-7 may serve as one example of Lhe growLh of soclal holons ln Lhe newly emergenL noosphere.
Serve enough, LhaL ls, Lo allow us a few lmporLanL observaLlons.
ulllL8Ln1lA1lCn Anu ulSSCClA1lCn, 18AnSCLnuLnCL Anu 8L8LSSlCn
1he evoluLlon of holons ls noL all sweeLness and llghL, as some proponenLs of evoluLlonary progress" seem Lo
malnLaln. lor Lhe grlm facL ls LhaL greaLer sLrucLural complexlLy-wheLher lndlvldual or soclal-means LhaL more
Lhlngs coo go horrlbly wrong. ALoms don'L geL cancer, anlmals do. noneLheless, Lhe opposlLe concluslon, LhaL mosL
evoluLlon ls really devoluLlon, ls noL warranLed elLher. 1he exlsLence of cancer does noL damn Lhe exlsLence of
anlmals per se. And we wlll wanL Lo Lease aparL Lhe cancers of Lhe noosphere wlLhouL damnlng Lhe noosphere ln
As l lndlcaLed ln Lhe lasL chapLer, Lhe facL LhaL evoluLlon always produces greaLer Lranscendence and greaLer
dlfferenLlaLlon means LhaL a facLor of posslble paLhology ls bullL lnLo every evoluLlonary sLep, because
Lranscendence coo go Loo far and become teptessloo-Lhe hlgher does noL negaLe and preserve Lhe lower, lL Lrles
only Lo negaLe (or repress or deny) Lhe lower, whlch works abouL as well as denylng our feeL.
llqote J-7. metqeot Ceopolltlcol 5ystems levels (1oylot)
Llkewlse, Jlffeteotlotloo can go Loo far and become Jlssoclotloo-a fallure Lo adequaLely lnLegraLe Lhe newly
emergenL dlfferences lnLo a coherenL whole LhaL ls boLh lnLernally coheslve and exLernally ln harmony wlLh oLher
correlaLlve holons and wlLh all [unlor componenLs. Whenever a new dlfferenLlaLlon ls noL maLched by a new and
equal lnLegraLlon, whenever Lhere ls negaLlon wlLhouL preservaLlon, Lhe resulL ls paLhology of one sorL or anoLher, a
paLhology LhaL, lf severe enough, evoluLlon seLs abouL Lo erase ln earnesL.
1hls becomes parLlcularly acuLe ln Lhe noosphere, ln culLural evoluLlon, slmply because Lhe human holon conLalns
so many levels of depLh-physlosphere and blosphere and noosphere-and someLhlng can go wrong aL every level.
When Lhe blosphere was flrsL emerglng on LarLh, we can lmaglne all Lhe flLs and sLarLs, all Lhe dead-ends, LhaL Lhe
flrsL populaLlons of cells Lrled ouL ln Lhelr aLLempL Lo flL wlLh Lhe precondlLlons seL by Lhe physlosphere, whose
LerrlLory Lhe llvlng cells were now lnvadlng. A false sLarL-a sLarL noL consonanL wlLh Lhe physlosphere-was slmply
erased. And LhroughouL blologlcal evoluLlon, as Lhe blosphere lLself began addlng layers and layers of new depLh,
each of Lhese levels had Lo be broughL lnLo an adequaLe harmony wlLh botb lLs predecessors ooJ lLs peers-no
easy or Lrlvlal Lask, as Lhe awesome example of Lhe dlnosaurs remlnds us.
All of LhaL was sLlll Lrue wlLh humans, buL wlLh an exLra and raLher gruesome burden: flL Lhe noosphere noL only
wlLh lLs peers (holons aL Lhe same level) buL also wlLh oll of lLs predecessors-mlneral Lo planL Lo repLlle Lo
paleomammal-LhaL noL only conLlnue Lo lnhablL Lhe same envlronmenLal space buL also exlst os compooeots lo tbe
bomoo beloqs' owo compoooJ loJlvlJoollty. When MacLean sald LhaL when humans lle on Lhe couch for
psychoanalysls, Lhey lle down wlLh a crocodlle and a horse, LhaL wasn'L Lhe half of lL: we lle down wlLh Lhe planeLs
and Lhe sLars, Lhe lakes and Lhe rlvers, Lhe plankLon and Lhe oaks, Lhe llzards and Lhe blrds, Lhe rabblLs and Lhe
apes-and, Lo repeaL, noL slmply because Lhey are nelghbors ln our own unlverse, buL because Lhey are componenLs
ln our own belng, Lhey are llLerally our bones and blood and marrow and guLs and feellngs and fears.
And [usL as Lhe blosphere had Lo flnd lLs accepLable nlche ln (and beyond) Lhe physlosphere, so Loo Lhe noosphere
had Lo flnd lLs allowable or harmonlous place ln (and beyond) Lhe blosphere. And Lo borrow Shakespeare's phrase:
Aye, Lhere's Lhe rub."
1he noosphere evolved. And as varlous sLages of pollLlcal, llngulsLlc, and Lechnlcal developmenL
emerged-lncorporaLlng and Lranscendlng Lhelr predecessors-noL only could Lhese hlgher sLages of culLural
developmenL repress and allenaLe Lhelr own prevlous connecLlons ln Lhe noosphere (as we wlll see), Lhey could also
come perllously close Lo severlng Lhelr connecLlons wlLh Lhe blosphere as well, and Lo such an alarmlng degree LhaL,
Loday, humans have earned, Lhrough enormously hard work and labor, Lhe prlvllege and Lhe posslblllLy of belng Lhe
flrsL culLural dlnosaurs ln Lhe fraglle noosphere.
lnsLead of Lranscendence, represslon, lnsLead of dlfferenLlaLlon, dlssoclaLlon, lnsLead of depLh, dlsease. 8ecause of
Lhe very naLure of evoluLlon, LhaL Lype of dlssoclaLlon can occur aL any and all sLages of growLh and developmenL.
1he noosphere ls noL prlvlleged or unlque ln Lhls regard. lL ls slmply more alarmlng now because of lLs global
dlmenslons. lf we vlolaLe Lhe posslbllltles glven us by Lhe blosphere, Lhen Lhe blosphere wlll fllck us off lLs back llke a
bunch of fleas, and be none Lhe worse for lL.
8uL [usL as Lhe exlsLence of cancer does noL damn Lhe exlsLence of anlmals per se, so Lhe exlsLence of culLural
dlseases and represslons does noL damn culLural evoluLlon lLself. 1hls parLlcularly applles Lo successlve sLages of
culLural evoluLlon, from Lhe hunL Lo Lhe farm Lo Lhe englne Lo Lhe compuLer. Lach successlve sLage broughL new
lnformaLlon, new poLenLlals, new hopes and new fears, broughL a greaLer complexlLy, a greaLer dlfferenLlaLlon, a
greaLer relaLlve auLonomy-ooJ Lhe capaclLy for a new and greaLer paLhology lf a correspondlng lnLegraLlon and
embrace dld noL ensue. And we wlll see LhaL Lhe hlsLory of culLural evoluLlon ls Lhe hlsLory of new achlevemenL, Lhe
hlsLory of new dlsease.
8uL l have no sympaLhy for Lhose LheorlsLs who slmply coofose dlfferenLlaLlon and dlssoclaLlon, Lranscendence
and represslon, depLh and dlsease.
Whenever evoluLlon produces a new dlfferenLlaLlon, and LhaL dlfferenLlaLlon ls noL lnLegraLed, a paLhology resulLs,
and Lhere are Lwo fundamenLal ways Lo approach LhaL paLhology.
Cne ls exempllfled by Lhe lreudlan noLlon (lnLroduced by LrnsL krls) of regresslon ln servlce of ego." 1haL ls, Lhe
hlgher sLrucLure relaxes lL grlp on consclousness, regresses Lo a prevlous level where Lhe falled lnLegraLlon flrsL
occurred, repalrs Lhe damage on LhaL level by rellvlng lL ln a benlgn and heallng conLexL, and Lhen lnLegraLes LhaL
level-embraces LhaL level, embraces Lhe former shadow"-ln Lhe new and hlgher holon of Lhe ego (or LoLal self-
sysLem). lor Lhe ego's problem was LhaL durlng lLs formaLlve growLh, where lL should have ttoosceoJeJ ooJ locloJeJ
lLs lower-level drlves (such as sex and aggresslon), lL Lranscended and repressed Lhem, spllL Lhem off, allenaLed
Lhem-one of Lhe prerogaLlves of a hlgher-level sLrucLure wlLh lLs greaLer relaLlve auLonomy, buL a prerogaLlve, we
have seen, LhaL ls boughL only and always aL Lhe prlce of paLhology. 1hus Lhe cure: regresslon ln servlce of a hlgher
relnLegraLlon-a regresslon LhaL allows evoluLlon Lo move forward more harmonlously by heallng and whollng a
prevlously allenaLed holon.
1he oLher general approach ls Lhe reLro-8omanLlc, whlch ofLen recommends regresslon, perlod. 1hls approach, ln
my oplnlon, slmply confuses dlfferenLlaLlon and dlssoclaLlon, confuses Lranscendence and represslon. 1hus,
whenever evoluLlon produces a new dlfferenLlaLlon, and LhaL dlfferenLlaLlon happens Lo go lnLo paLhologlcal
dlssoclaLlon, Lhen Lhls approach seeks Lo permanenLly Lurn back Lhe pages of emergenL hlsLory Lo a Llme ptlot Lo
Lhe dlfferenLlaLlon. noL prlor Lo Lhe dlssoclaLlon-we all agree on LhaL!-buL prlor Lo Lhe dlfferenLlaLlon lLself!
1haL wlll lndeed geL rld of Lhe new paLhology, aL Lhe cosL of geLLlng rld of Lhe new depLh, Lhe new creaLlvlLy, Lhe
new consclousness. 8y LhaL reLro-8omanLlc loglc, Lhe only way Lo really geL rld of paLhology ls Lo geL rld of
dlfferenLlaLlon alLogeLher, whlch means everyLhlng afLer Lhe 8lg 8ang was a 8lg MlsLake.
All Lhe more dlsLurblng ln Lhe reLro-8omanLlc approach ls Lhe whole problem of where Lhese LheorlsLs raLher
arblLrarlly JeclJe to stop Lhelr reLrogresslon. lor example, many LheorlsLs, looklng wlLh [usLlflable alarm aL Lhe
represslons and allenaLlons LhaL ofLen accompanled Lhe Machlne Age, malnLaln LhaL we should never have gone pasL
farmlng, and Lhere Lhen follows a wonderful euloglzlng of Lhe glorles of Lhe nonmechanlzed" and
nondehumanlzlng" farmlng socleLles, where few humans were allenaLed from Lhe producLs of Lhelr own labor and
Lhe CreaL MoLher" ruled ln peaceful and hollsLlc happlness. never mlnd LhaL many of Lhese socleLles lnLroduced
dellberaLe human sacrlflce, mulLlplled Lhe exLenL and means of war, puL gender sLraLlflcaLlon aL lLs peak, and made
vasL numbers of lLs populaLlons lnLo slaves.
SpoLLlng Lhose obvlous dlfflculLles, oLher LheorlsLs Lhen go furLher and malnLaln LhaL mosL of humanklnd's
problems came wlLh Lhe lnvenLlon of farmlng lLself, because wlLh farmlng Lhe human anlmal began Lo dellberaLely
alLer Lhe blosphere for lLs own graLlflcaLlon, produced a wrlLLen language LhaL ensconced power ln Lhe dogmaLlc
LexL, produced an agrlculLural surplus LhaL allowed some lndlvlduals Lo begln Lo economlcally conLrol and enslave
oLhers, and began Lhe wholesale sub[ugaLlon of women. And, lndeed, mosL of LhaL dld begln wlLh agrarlan farmlng.
So, Lhese LheorlsLs malnLaln, we really should never have gone pasL hunLlng-and-gaLherlng socleLles. 1he dellghLful
Lhlngs Lhen sald abouL Lhese socleLles-some of whlch were peace-lovlng and raLher egallLarlan, and some of whlch
mosL deflnlLely were noL-are, aL Lhe leasL, asLonlshlngly one-slded. unLll oLher LheorlsLs carefully polnL ouL LhaL
preclous few of Lhese socleLles were acLually egallLarlan, LhaL warfare mosL deflnlLely exlsLed, LhaL Lhe very seeds of
sexlsL sub[ugaLlon were planLed here, LhaL slavery was noL unheard of. . . .
We really should never have gone pasL gorlllas, who aL leasL don'L dellberaLely sacrlflce Lhelr own or engage ln
renegade warfare, where slavery ls nonexlsLenL and no anlmal ls allenaLed from lLs own labors. unLll you reallze . . .
And so lL goes, scraplng layers and layers of depLh off Lhe kosmos looklng for a Carden of Lden LhaL ever recedes
lnLo a shallower darkness.
My polnL ls LhaL lL ls one Lhlng Lo remember and embrace and honor our rooLs, qulLe anoLher Lo hack off our
leaves and branches and celebraLe LhaL as a soluLlon Lo leaf roL. So we wlll celebraLe Lhe new posslblllLles of
evoluLlon even as we gasp ln horror-and Lry Lo redress-Lhe mulLlpllclLy of new paLhologles.
8uL Lo relLeraLe Lhe one polnL of sLrong agreemenL wlLh Lhe 8omanLlcs ln general: we have added such depLh
(helghL) Lo Lhe noosphere lLself LhaL lL ls ln danger of slldlng off Lhe blosphere alLogeLher. And whlle LhaL wlll merely
deLour and ln no way sLop Lhe blosphere, whlch wlll go lLs merry way wlLh or wlLhouL us, lL does spell caLasLrophe for
Lhe anlmal LhaL noL only Lranscends buL represses.
lf we look now aL all of Lhe dlagrams presenLed ln Lhls chapLer, we noLlce a sLarLllng facL. All of Lhese dlagrams clalm
Lo be hollsLlc, Lo cover all of reallLy ln an encompasslng fashlon. 1haL ls, lf we Lake ouL Lhe errors ln Lhelr presenLaLlon
(llke confuslng mlcro and macro), and puL all of Lhese dlagrams LogeLher, Lhe sysLems LheorlsL would clalm LhaL Lhe
resulLanL blg plcLure" covers Lhe whole of reallLy, from aLoms Lo cells Lo anlmals, from sLars Lo planeLs Lo Cala, from
vlllages Lo Lowns Lo planeLary federaLlons (all of whlch are on our dlagrams). 1he noosphere Lranscends buL
embraces Lhe blosphere, whlch Lranscends buL embraces Lhe physlosphere-one huge hollsLlc and all-embraclng
sysLem, sLreLchlng from here Lo eLernlLy.
And yeL, and yeL. SomeLhlng ls Lerrlbly wrong. Cr raLher, Lerrlbly parLlal. All of Lhese dlagrams represenL Lhlngs
LhaL can be seen wlLh Lhe physlcal senses or Lhelr exLenslons (mlcroscopes, Lelescopes). 1hey are all, all of Lhem, how
Lhe unlverse looks from Lhe ootslJe. 1hey are all Lhe ootwotJ fotms of evoluLlon, and noL one of Lhem represenLs
how evoluLlon looks from Lhe loslJe, how Lhe lndlvldual holons feel and percelve and cognlze Lhe world aL varlous
lor example, Lake Lhe progresslon: lrrlLablllLy, sensaLlon, percepLlon, lmpulse, lmage, symbol, concepL. . . . We
mlghL belleve LhaL cells show proLoplasmlc lrrlLablllLy, LhaL planLs show rudlmenLary sensaLlon, LhaL repLlles show
percepLlon, paleomammals show lmages, prlmaLes show symbols, and humans show concepLs. 1haL may be Lrue
(and ls Lrue, l Lhlnk), buL Lhe polnL ls LhaL oooe of Lhose appear on any of our dlagrams. Cur dlagrams (Lhus far)
show only Lhe ouLward forms of evoluLlon, and none of Lhe correspondlng lnLerlor prehenslons" of Lhe forms
Lhemselves (sensaLlon, feellngs, ldeas, eLc.).
So Lhe dlagrams Lhemselves are noL wrong (once we have revlsed a few errors), buL Lhey are Lerrlbly parLlal. 1hey
leave ouL Lhe lnsldes of Lhe unlverse.
And Lhere ls a reason for Lhls. 1he general sysLems sclences seek Lo be emplrlcal, or based on sensory evldence (or
lLs exLenslons). And Lhus Lhey are lnLeresLed ln how cells are Laken up lnLo complex organlsms, and how organlsms
are parLs of ecologlcal envlronmenLs, and so on-all of whlch you can see, and Lhus all of whlch you can lnvesLlgaLe
emplrlcally. And all of whlch ls Lrue enough.
8uL Lhey are noL lnLeresLed ln-because Lhelr emplrlcal meLhods do noL cover-how sensaLlons are Laken up lnLo
percepLlons, and percepLlons glve way Lo lmpulses and emoLlons, and emoLlons break forLh lnLo lmages, and lmages
expand Lo symbols. . . . 1he emplrlcal sysLems sclences cover all of Lhe ouLward forms of all LhaL, and cover lL very
well, Lhey slmply mlss, and leave ouL enLlrely, Lhe loslJe of all of LhaL.
1ake, for example, Lhe mlnd and Lhe braln. WhaLever else we may declde abouL Lhe braln and Lhe mlnd, Lhls much
seems cerLaln: Lhe braln looks someLhlng llke flgure 3-6 (or some anaLomlcally correcL flgure), buL my mlnd does
noL look llke flgure 3-6. l know my mlnd from Lhe lnslde, where lL seems Lo be seeLhlng wlLh sensaLlons and feellngs
and lmages and ldeas. lL looks noLhlng llke flgure 3-6, whlch ls slmply how my braln looks.
ln oLher words, my mlnd ls known lnLerlorly by acqualnLance," buL my braln ls known exLerlorly by descrlpLlon"
(Wllllam !ames, 8erLrand 8ussell). 1haL ls why l can always Lo some degree see my own mlnd, buL l can never see my
own braln (wlLhouL cuLLlng open my skull and geLLlng a mlrror). l can know a dead person's braln by slmply cuLLlng
open Lhe skull and looklng aL lL-buL Lhen l am oot knowlng or sharlng LhaL person's mlnd, am l? or how he felL and
percelved and LhoughL abouL Lhe world.
1he braln ls Lhe ouLslde, Lhe mlnd ls Lhe lnslde-and, as we wlll see, o slmllot type of extetlot/lotetlot bolJs fot
evety boloo ln evoluLlon. And Lhe emplrlcal sysLems sclences or ecologlcal sclences, even Lhough Lhey clalm Lo be
hollsLlc, ln facL cover exacLly and only one half of Lhe kosmos. And LhaL ls especlally whaL ls so parLlal abouL Lhe web-
of-llfe Lheorles: Lhey lndeed see flelds wlLhln flelds wlLhln flelds, buL Lhey are really only surfaces wlLhln surfaces
wlLhln yeL sLlll oLher surfaces-Lhey see only Lhe exLerlor half of reallLy.
lL ls Llme now Lo look aL Lhe oLher half.
A vlew ftom wltblo
1bloqs bove tbelt wltblo. l om coovloceJ tbot tbe two polots of vlew tepolte to be btooqbt loto ooloo, ooJ
tbot tbey sooo wlll oolte lo o kloJ of pbeoomeooloqy ot qeoetollseJ pbyslc lo wblcb tbe lotetool ospect of
tbloqs os well os tbe extetool ospect of tbe wotlJ wlll be tokeo loto occooot. Otbetwlse, so lt seems to me, lt
ls lmposslble to covet tbe totollty of tbe cosmlc pbeoomeooo by ooe cobeteot exploootloo.
-lL88L 1LlLPA8u uL CPA8uln
ALCnCSluL 1PL wlLhouL of Lhlngs, Lhe wlLhouL of lndlvldual and soclal holons, whlch we presenLed ln Lhe lasL chapLer,
we need Lo presenL Lhe wlLhln of Lhlngs, Lhe wlLhln of Lhose same holons. 1hls parL of our approach mlghL seem aL
flrsL a somewhaL sLrange noLlon. Pow, for example, can we know Lhe lnsldes of a cell, Lhe lnLerlorlLy" of a cell? 1he
answer, l belleve, resLs on Lhe facL LhaL cells are a pott of us, we embtoce cells ln our own compound lndlvlduallLy.
1haL ls, ootbloq ln Lhe precedlng sLages of evoluLlon can be ulLlmaLely forelgn Lo us slnce Lhey are all, ln varlous
degrees and ways, lo us, as parL of our very belng.
1hus, lL ls Lhrough an lnLerlor feellng of Lhe shades of myself LhaL l mlghL reasonably know Lhe shades of oLher
holons-whlch ls how Lhey know me, Loo, for we are all ulLlmaLely ln each oLher, ln varlous degrees, and rlghL now.
CravlLy pulls aL Lhe mlnerals ln my bones [usL as surely as lL pulls on Lhe dlsLanL planeLs, hunger churns my belly as lL
does ln every sLarvlng wolf, Lhe Lerror ln Lhe eyes of Lhe gazelle belng eaLen by Lhe llon ls noL allen Lo me, or Lo you,
and ls LhaL noL [oy ln Lhe song of Lhe robln aL Lhe rlslng of Lhe mornlng sun?
nobody ls more wary Lhan l of Lhe dangers of whaL Love[oy called reLroLenslon"-readlng hlgher" LhoughLs and
feellngs lnLo lower" forms slmply because we humans feel Lhem-Lhe anLhropomorphlc fallacy. 8uL we are alded ln
Lhls quesL by preclsely Lhose evoluLlonary sclences LhaL have already mapped Lhe ouLward forms of Lhe varlous
holons aL each sLage of developmenL, for we can reasonably make correlaLlons beLween ouLward form and lnLerlor
lor example, lL seems qulLe llkely LhaL, aL Lhls polnL ln evoluLlon anyway, lnLenLlonal symbollc loglc ls found only
where Lhe ouLward form known as Lhe complex neocorLex has developed, and Lhus any oLher llvlng holon on LarLh
whose exLerlor lacks Lhe form of LhaL neocorLex-such as a planL, a llzard, a horse-wlll probably lack an lnLerlor LhaL
conLalns lnLenLlonal symbollc loglc. Llkewlse, anlmal holons LhaL lack Lhe exLerlor form known as Lhe llmblc sysLem
wlll probably also lack an lnLerlor LhaL conLalns dlfferenLlaLed emoLlons, and so on. 1hls puLs a sharp curb Lo our
reLroLenslve Lendencles," and helps us dlg ouL, ln Lhe depLhs of our own feellngs, [usL how far (and whlch of) Lhose
feellngs exLend lnLo Lhe depLh of oLher belngs.
1hus, we do lndeed wanL Lo Lry Lo avold reLroLenslon, buL Lhls sLlll leaves us ln a far dlfferenL place from Lhe
emplrlclsLs, who sLare blankly aL Lhe rose and wonder how Lhe eplsLemologlcal gap shall ever be brldged, as lf Lhey
were sLarlng aL an allen creaLure maLerlallzed from a wholly dlfferenL dlmenslon. 1hey acLually refer Lo lL, wlLh a
puzzled expresslon, as knowledge of Lhe ouLer world." 8uL l can know Lhe ouLer world because Lhe ouLer world ls
olteoJy ln me, and l can know me. All knowledge of oLher ls slmply a dlfferenL degree of self-knowledge, slnce self
and oLher are of Lhe same fabrlc, and speak sofLly Lo each oLher aL any momenL LhaL one llsLens.
And, of course, Lhls approach ls noL new. We flnd someLhlng llke lL from ArlsLoLle Lo Splnoza, from Lelbnlz Lo
WhlLehead, from Auroblndo Lo 8adhakrlshnan. We don'L flnd lL ln emplrlclsm or poslLlvlsm, and we don'L flnd lL ln
Lhe hollsLlc" sysLems Lheorles, whlch wanL ever so much Lo be emplrlcal. 1haL lmbalance we wlsh Lo redress,
drawlng on, among oLhers, Lhe LheorlsLs l [usL menLloned.
llnally, we wlll wanL Lo look also aL Lhe hlgher sLages of growLh ln Lhe human holon, Lhe hlgher sLages of
consclousness LhaL, ln mysLlcal experlence, for example, are sald Lo lssue forLh ln lllumlnaLlons of Lhe superconsclous,
lllumlnaLlons of Lhe very ulvlne (lf such lndeed exlsLs). We wlll wanL Lo look, LhaL ls, aL Lhe fleld known as
Lranspersonal psychology. lor we are now enLerlng Lhe domaln of our flrsL AddlLlon: Lhe greaLer Lhe depLh of
evoluLlon, Lhe greaLer Lhe degree of consclousness.
ln1L8lC8l1? Anu CCnSClCuSnLSS
Splnoza, Lelbnlz, Schopenhauer, WhlLehead, Auroblndo, Schelllng, and 8adhakrlshnan are [usL a few of Lhe ma[or
LheorlsLs who have expllclLly recognlzed LhaL Lhe wlLhln of Lhlngs, Lhe lnLerlorlLy of lndlvldual holons, ls ln essence
Lhe same as cooscloosoess, Lhough of course Lhey use dlfferenL names wlLh sllghLly dlfferenL meanlngs.
WhlLehead uses prehenslon" Lo descrlbe Lhe conLacL and Lhus feellng" of an ob[ecL by any sub[ecL, no maLLer
how prlmlLlve," lncludlng aLoms (Lhus hls famous sLaLemenL, 8lology ls Lhe sLudy of blg organlsms, physlcs Lhe
sLudy of llLLle organlsms"). Splnoza uses cognlLlon" for knowlng an evenL from Lhe lnslde" and exLenslon" (or
maLLer) for knowlng Lhe same evenL from Lhe ouLslde." Lelbnlz uses percepLlon" for Lhe lnLerlor of hls monads
(holons) and maLLer" for Lhe exLerlor, wlLh Lhe added provlso LhaL only Lhe lnLerlor ls acLually real and can be known
dlrecLly-maLLer (or exLenslon) ls only an appearance devold of any subsLanLlal reallLy, lL ls slmply whaL mlnd looks
llke from Lhe ouLslde. As for 1ellhard de Chardln, he puL lL very slmply: 1he wlLhln, consclousness,
sponLanelLy-Lhree expresslons for Lhe same Lhlng."
l wlll noL, aL Lhls polnL, geL lnvolved ln Lhe phllosophlcal nuances of Lhose varlous poslLlons, whlch are lnexLrlcably
bound up wlLh Lhe problems of panpsychlsm and hlsLorlcal soluLlons Lo Lhe mlnd-body problem (we wlll reLurn Lo
Lhls laLer). 8aLher, l wlll, for Lhe Llme belng, Lake a more generallzed poslLlon and slmply say LhaL, for me, Lhe wlLhln
of Lhlngs ls cooscloosoess, Lhe wlLhouL of Lhlngs ls fotm.
Cr, as we puL lL earller, Lhe wlLhln of Lhlngs ls Jeptb, Lhe wlLhouL ls sotfoce. 8uL all surfaces are surfaces of depLh,
whlch means, all forms are forms of consclousness.
lurLher, l don'L wanL Lo haggle over wheLher Lhe very lowesL holons are LoLally or only mosLly devold of
rudlmenLary forms of consclousness or prehenslon. llrsL, Lhere ls no lower llmlL Lo holons, so Lhere ls no rock boLLom
Lo serve as a sLandard. Second, Lhey are all forms of depLh, so Lhe acLual amounL of consclousness lo Lhem ls a
compleLely relaLlve affalr. 1hus, whaLever we Lake aL presenL as Lhe lowesL or mosL prlmlLlve holons (quarks, for
example), l wlll slmply say LhaL tbey have Lhe leasL depLh, Lhe leasL consclousness, relaLlvely speaklng, and l wlll,
wlLh WhlLehead, call LhaL form prehenslon." ?ou are free Lo call Lhe lowesL levels LoLally lnerL" lf you wlsh, and plck
up Lhe argumenL from Lhere.
LeL me emphaslze LhaL lL really does noL maLLer, as far as l am concerned, how far down (or noL) you wlsh Lo push
consclousness. WhlLehead, as we sald, saw prehenslon as Lhe lrreduclble aLom" of exlsLence. Mahayana 8uddhlsm
malnLalns LhaL llLerally all senLlenL belngs possess 8uddha Mlnd, and llberaLlon lnvolves a reallzaLlon of LhaL all-
pervadlng consclousness. Lynn Margulls, Lhe noLed blologlsL, belleves LhaL cells possess consclousness. A handful of
sclenLlsLs Lhlnk LhaL planLs show proLo-sensaLlon. Anlmal rlghLs acLlvlsLs lnslsL LhaL mosL anlmal forms show
rudlmenLary feellngs. And l suppose mosL orLhodox LheorlsLs don'L really see consclousness emerglng unLll prlmaLes
and usually humans.
8uL my maln polnL ls noL where preclsely Lo draw Lhls llne-draw lL wherever you feel comforLable-buL LhaL Lhe
llne lLself lnvolves preemlnenLly Lhe dlsLlncLlon beLween lnLerlorlLy and exLerlorlLy.
We wlll be reLurnlng Lo Lhls
polnL LhroughouL Lhe book, and ln Lhe meanLlme, l wlll slmply assume LhaL consclousness ls synonymous wlLh depLh,
and depLh goes all Lhe way down, buL progresslvely less and less and less . . . lnLo Lhose dark shades of nlghL. As
1ellhard eloquenLly puL lL, 8efracLed rear-wards along Lhe course of evoluLlon, consclousness dlsplays lLself
quallLaLlvely as a specLrum of shlfLlng shades whose lower Lerms are losL ln Lhe nlghL."
now for some slmple correlaLlons. llgure 4-1 llsLs some of Lhe mllesLones ln Lhe evoluLlon of Lhe ouLward forms
of lndlvldual holons, and alongslde Lhem some of Lhe correspondlng mllesLones ln Lhe emergenL forms of
consclousness LhaL l suggesL are correlaLed wlLh Lhem.
Lach new lnLerlor holon, of course, Lranscends buL lncludes lLs predecessor(s)-lncorporaLes Lhe essenLlals of
whaL wenL before and Lhen adds lLs own dlsLlncLlve and emergenL paLLerns
(as we wlll see ln deLall ln a momenL).
And noLlce: Lhese lnLerlor holons have noLhlng Lo do wlLh slze or spaLlal exLenslon, a symbol ls noL blgger Lhan an
lmage, an lmage lsn'L blgger Lhan an lmpulse-Lhls ls where Lhe appllcaLlon of physlcallsL sclences becomes very
aLoms prehenslon
cells (geneLlc) lrrlLablllLy
meLabollc organlsms (e.g., planLs) rudlmenLary sensaLlon
proLo-neuronal organlsms (e.g., CoelenLeraLa) sensaLlon
neuronal organlsms (e.g., annellds) percepLlon
neural cord (flsh/amphlblans) percepLlon/lmpulse
braln sLem (repLlles) lmpulse/emoLlon
llmblc sysLem (paleomammals) emoLlon/lmage
neocorLex (prlmaLes) symbols
complex neocorLex (humans) concepLs
llqote 4-1. 1be wltboot ooJ tbe wltblo
1he lmporLanL polnL, for now, ls slmply LhaL each new and emergenL lnLerlor holon Lranscends buL lncludes, and
Lhus opetotes opoo, Lhe lnformaLlon presenLed by lLs [unlor holons, and Lhus lL fashlons someLhlng oovel ln Lhe
ongolng cognlLlve or lnLerlor sLream. Pence, each new growLh ln consclousness ls noL [usL Lhe dlscovery" of more of
a preglven world, buL Lhe co-creaLlon of new worlds Lhemselves, whaL opper calls a maklng and maLchlng" of new
eplsLemologlcal domalns, a dlscovery/creaLlon of hlgher and wlder worlds.
1here can be much dlscusslon over Lhe acLual deLalls of LhaL llsL (flg. 4-1), Lhe cholce of words and Lhe preclse
placemenL. 8uL l Lhlnk mosL people, even lf Lhey dlsagree wlLh Lhe deLalls as glven, would agree LhaL sometbloq llke
LhaL ls lndeed occurrlng. CreaLer depLh, greaLer lnLerlorlLy, greaLer consclousness. 1ellhard expressed Lhls ln hls law
of complexlLy and consclousness"-namely, Lhe more of Lhe former, Lhe more of Lhe laLLer. Slnce, as we already saw,
evoluLlon Lends ln Lhe dlrecLlon of greaLer complexlLy, lL amounLs Lo Lhe same Lhlng Lo say LhaL lL Lends ln Lhe
dlrecLlon of greaLer consclousness (agaln, depLh = consclousness).
MosL of Lhe words ln flgure 4-1 are self-explanaLory, buL l should menLlon LhaL an lmoqe ls a menLal consLrucL
LhaL represenLs a Lhlng by resemblance (Lhe lmage of a dog looks llke" Lhe acLual dog), a symbol represenLs a Lhlng
by correspondence, noL resemblance (Lhe word llJo represenLs my dog buL Lhe word lLself does noL look llke my
dog aL all-a more dlfflculL cognlLlve Lask), and a coocept represenLs an enLlre closs of resemblance (Lhe word Joq
represenLs Lhe class of oll dogs, an even more compllcaLed cognlLlve Lask).
When a fox spoLs a rabblL on Lhe oLher slde of a fence and Lhen runs hundreds of yards around Lhe fence Lo geL Lo
Lhe rabblL, presumably Lhe fox carrles an lmoqe or proLo-lmage of Lhe rabblL ln lLs mlnd. Movlng up, Lhere ls
abundanL evldence LhaL apes and chlmpanzees are capable of formlng symbols (or aL leasL paleosymbols) and
lndeed can be LaughL Lo recognlze and use a slmple denoLaLlve language. As far as we can Lell, only humans creaLe
and consclously uLlllze fully formed coocepts (or unlversals), and Lhese concepLs, among many oLher Lhlngs, reach
down and dlfferenLlaLe and color all prevlous levels ln Lhe human compound lndlvldual (a paleomammal may feel
rage, buL only humans concepLually elaboraLe LhaL lnLo anger and Lhen haLred, a long slow burn malnLalned
ln oLher words, concepLs Lranscend and lnclude symbols, whlch Lranscend and lnclude lmages (whlch Lranscend
and lnclude lmpulses, eLc.)-and none of LhaL has much Lo do wlLh physlcal exLenslon.
1PL LlMl1S Cl 1PL Lx1L8lC8 A8CACP
ln Lhe prevlous chapLer l sald LhaL hollsLlc sysLems Lheorles leave ouL Lhe lnLerlorlLy of Lhe holons Lhey descrlbe. LeL
me be more preclse. Some of Lhe Lheorles do, lndeed, aLLempL Lo Lake lnLo accounL Lhe lnsldes of Lhe unlverse, for
Lhey aL any raLe menLlon Lhlngs llke feellngs and symbols and ldeas. 8uL Lhey Lhen sub[ecL Lhese lnLerlors Lo Lhe same
analysls as Lhey apply Lo Lhe surfaces, because Lhey are Lrylng Lo be emplrlcal, and Lhls produces some very
unpleasanL resulLs.
We can explaln Lhls wlLh reference Lo flgure 4-2. Pere l have lndlcaLed Lhe Lhree general domalns of evoluLlon
from Lhe angle of a compound lndlvldual holon on level 3. 1he physlosphere ls labeled A, Lhe blosphere 8, and Lhe
noosphere C, so LhaL Lhe holon on level 3 can be represenLed as A + 8 + C, Lranscendlng buL lncludlng lLs
now Lhe clalm of Lhe evoluLlonary sysLems Lheorles (from 8erLalanffy Lo Laszlo Lo !anLsch) ls LhaL, alLhough oooe
of Lhe levels can be reduced Lo any oLher, general laws or regularlLles of dynamlc paLLerns can be found LhaL are Lhe
some ln all Lhree realms. 1hese are called homolog laws" and noL analog laws," whlch means Lhey are baslcally Lhe
same laws across domalns.
llqote 4-2. levels of volotloo
l agree wlLh LhaL poslLlon (as far as lL goes), and ln chapLer 2 we ouLllned LwenLy LeneLs, or homolog laws," LhaL
are characLerlsLlc of holons wbetevet Lhey appear. So far, so good.
8uL Lhese LeneLs have Lo be of such a qeoetol ootote LhaL Lhey wlll apply Lo all Lhree general realms, and LhaL
means, ln essence, LhaL Lhey apply baslcally Lo Lhe realm labeled A, slnce A ls Lhe only Lhlng LhaL all Lhree realms
have ln common. A runs from A Lhrough Lhe core of 8 and Lhe core of C, and Lhus whaL holds for A wlll hold for (buL
noL LoLally cover) whaLever happens on all Lhree levels. 1hus, on level 1, or A, we already flnd dlsslpaLlve or self-
organlzlng sLrucLures, holons wlLh depLh and span, creaLlve emergence, lncreaslng complexlLy, evoluLlonary
developmenL, dlfferenLlaLlon, self-Lranscendence, Leleologlcal aLLracLors, and so forLh. When l presenLed Lhe LwenLy
LeneLs, l used examples from all Lhree realms, buL all of Lhe LeneLs can be found, Lo some degree or anoLher, ln Lhe
physlosphere lLself (Lhus acknowledglng some degree of cootloolty ln Lhe overall evoluLlonary process-Lhe no
gaps ln naLure" slde of Lhe equaLlon). And all of LhaL, Loo, ls [usL flne.
8uL none of Lhe LwenLy LeneLs-as cruclally lmporLanL as Lhey are-descrlbes speclflcally whaL ls happenlng ln 8
and C. 1o Lhe exLenL LhaL 8 and C are composed of holons-and Lhey are-tbey wlll follow oll of tbe tweoty teoets.
8uL holons wlLh Llfe ln[ecLed lnLo Lhem also do otbet Lhlngs LhaL A holons do noL-such as sexual reproducLlon,
meLabollc communlcaLlon, auLopoleLlc self-preservaLlon, and so forLh, and holons wlLh Mlnd ln[ecLed lnLo Lhem do
sLlll oLher Lhlngs LhaL 8 holons do noL-such as verbal communlcaLlon, concepLual self-expresslon, arLlsLlc endeavors,
and so on. 1he 8 and C quallLles and funcLlons and cognlLlons wlll follow Lhe same LeneLs LhaL also apply Lo A, buL
Lhey wlll furLher follow oLher laws and paLLerns and acLlons noL speclflcally derlvable from Lhe LwenLy LeneLs (whlch
sLaLe, for example, LhaL evoluLlon geLs more complex, buL do noL sLaLe LhaL evoluLlon wlll produce poeLry). 1here ls
noLhlng ln Lhe LwenLy LeneLs LhaL wlll Lell us how Lo resolve an Cedlpus complex, or why prlde can be wounded, or
whaL honor means, or wheLher llfe ls worLh llvlng.
ln oLher words, Lhe LwenLy LeneLs-by whlch l mean dynamlc sysLems Lheory ln general-are Lhe most
fooJomeotol LeneLs of oll of developmenL, and Lherefore Lhe leost lnLeresLlng, leasL slgnlflcanL, leasL Lelllng LeneLs
when lL comes Lo 8 and especlally C (and super-especlally anyLhlng hlgher). SysLems Lheory-preclsely ln lLs clalm
and deslre Lo cover oll sysLems-necessarlly covers Lhe leasL common denomlnaLor, and Lhus noLhlng geLs lnLo
sysLems Lheory LhaL, Lo borrow a llne from SwlfL, does noL also cover Lhe weakesL noodle.
And Lhe weakesL noodles, Lhe lowesL holons, have Lhe leost depLh, Lhe leost lnLerlorlLy, Lhe leost
consclousness-so LhaL a sclence of tbot ls correspondlngly a weakesL noodle sclence. lL ls a sclence of surfaces.
And Lhls ls lnvarlably why, ln such sysLems books" as Laszlo's, one flnds a very rlch and lmpresslve seLLlng forLh of
someLhlng llke Lhe LwenLy LeneLs, and a rlch appllcaLlon of Lhem Lo Lhe physlosphere and somewhaL Lo Lhe
blosphere, buL Lhen Lhe presenLaLlon, as lL really explores Lhe blosphere and Lhen geLs lnLo Lhe noosphere, becomes
pale and anemlc and Lhlns ouL very qulckly.
When lL comes Lo soclal or hlsLorlcal evoluLlon, for example, Laszlo correcLly polnLs ouL LhaL noospherlc evoluLlon
proceeds from less ordered Lo more ordered, from less complex Lo more complex, LhaL lL ls lrreverslble, and a few
oLher such lLems. 1haL's abouL all he says, and LhaL's abouL all he coo say as a sysLems sclenLlsL. 8uL we already
know LhaL, LhaL's whaL happens Lo ooy complex sysLem far from equlllbrlum. AbouL Lhe really lnLeresLlng and
uLLerly unlque Lhlngs LhaL make hlsLory hlsLory and noL [usL a dlsslpaLlve sLrucLure, sysLems sclence can Lell us
preclous llLLle. Cf Lhe sysLem A + 8 + C, lL wlll Lell us abouL Lhe lowesL common-denomlnaLor paLLerns, whlch, l
repeaL, are Lhe mosL fundamenLal-and leasL slgnlflcanL-of paLLerns for Lhe hlgher levels.
(Cf course, many sysLem LheorlsLs acLually use Lhe dynamlcs of 8, or llvlng sysLems, and make Lhem paradlgmaLlc
for oll levels, wlLh equally unsaLlsfacLory resulLs buL now ln boLh dlrecLlons: 8 underexplalns C and overexplalns or ls
reLroLenslve wlLh A, Lrylng, for example, Lo read auLopolesls lnLo Lhe physlosphere-unconvlnclngly. All of Lhese
dlfflculLles come from Lhe lowesL common denomlnaLor approach and/or Lhe aLLempL Lo prlvllege any slngle
1hls ls why presenLaLlons LhaL are oLherwlse ofLen so brllllanL, such as !anLsch's, wlll say Lhlngs llke, ln Lhe same
way, Lhese maLhemaLlcal relaLlonshlps may be applled Lo Lhe modelllng of dynamlcs aL oLher Lhan Lhe chemlcal
levels"-by whlch he means (and expllclLly sLaLes) LhaL Lhe sysLem paLLerns holdlng for A are slgnlflcanLly lncluslve
for levels 8 and C. Pe Lhen adds, A cerLaln lmaglnaLlon ls requlred, of course. . . ."
lL Lakes more Lhan lmaglnaLlon, lL Lakes halluclnaLlon. 1hls ls exacLly whaL Sheldrake ls ob[ecLlng Lo when he says,
ln a slmllar way, Lo reLurn Lo one of rlgoglne's examples, a maLhemaLlcal model of urbanlzaLlon may shed llghL on
Lhe facLors affecLlng Lhe raLe of urban growLh, buL lL cannoL accounL for Lhe dlfferenL archlLecLural sLyles, culLures,
and rellglons found ln, say, lndlan and 8razlllan clLles."
CannoL accounL, LhaL ls, for a slngle Lhlng LhaL ls speclflcally
Mlchael Murphy makes Lhe same polnL ln a sLrong fashlon. Pe flrsL polnLs ouL Lhe slmllarlLles (or conLlnulLles) ln
Lhe Lhree ma[or domalns: 1hough Lhe klnds of developmenL LhaL occur ln Lhe physlcal, blologlcal, and psychosoclal
domalns are shaped by dlfferenL processes and have dlfferenL paLLerns, Lhey proceed ln susLalned, lrreverslble
sequences LhaL are called evoluLlonary-Lhese Lhree domalns have many feaLures ln common." 1hese common
feaLures l have dlsLllled ln Lhe LwenLy LeneLs. ?eL Murphy Lhen emphaslzes, 8uL Lhe Lhree klnds of
evoluLlon-lnorganlc, blologlcal, and psychosoclal-Lhough havlng many feaLures ln common, operaLe accordlng Lo
separaLe prlnclples. Pelpful sclenLlflc reducLlons do noL erase Lhe facL LhaL Lhese [domalns] proceed accordlng Lo
Lhelr own dlsLlncLlve paLLerns."
So Lhe LwenLy LeneLs are Lhe backbone of our sysLem, holdlng Lrue for holons anywhere, or so l malnLaln. 8uL for
Lhe meaL and flesh and feellngs and percepLlons-for Lhese we wlll have Lo look elsewhere, look lnsLead Lo an
empaLhlc feel from wlLhln of Lhose degrees of Lhe All LhaL are degrees of us as well. And we do noL honor Lhe
rlchness of Lhese feellngs-ln us, ln oLhers-by reduclng or narrowlng Lhem Lo Lhe lowesL common denomlnaLor.
1he robln, Lhe deer, and Lhe amoeba, l presume, are as lnsulLed by Lhls as l. Cur answer, as always, ls never Lo be
found ln flaLland, ln Lhe world of black checkers scurrylng endlessly, meanlnglessly, dlmly, and dlsappearlng flnally
lnLo Lhose dark shades of Lhe nlghL LhaL are ever so fundamenLal, ever so lnslgnlflcanL.
1PL LvCLu1lCn Cl 1PL Wl1Pln Cl PuMAn PCLCnS
We have skeLched Lhe evoluLlon of Lhe wlLhouL of lndlvldual holons up Lo Lhe complex Lrlune braln (embraclng or
enfoldlng all prevlous exLerlors) and Lhe correlaLlve evoluLlon of Lhe lnLerlor of Lhe same holons up Lo LhaL of
concepLs (embraclng or enfoldlng all prevlous lnLerlors). lL ls Llme now Lo plck up Lhe sLory wlLh Lhe emergence of
Lhe flrsL human anlmals-wlLh a complex Lrlune braln produclng concepLs or proLo-concepLs and llvlng ln a soclal
holon of Lhe group/famlly-and brlefly follow Lhe succeedlng evoluLlon up Lo Lhe presenL day.
Cnce agaln, mosL of our work has already been done for us, and we have Lwo ma[or sources Lo draw on ln Lhls
regard. Cne ls my own prevlous work ln Lhls area, publlshed ln up ftom Jeo and ye to ye. 1he oLher ls Lhe work
of !urgen Pabermas, whom many (myself lncluded) conslder Lhe world's foremosL llvlng phllosopher and soclal
LheorlsL. 1he concluslons of Lhese Lwo sources are ln sLrong agreemenL, even Lhough Lhey were arrlved aL
lndependenLly and from very dlfferenL angles. When l was worklng on up ftom Jeo, l was only beglnnlng Lo come
lnLo conLacL wlLh Pabermas, and so l unforLunaLely dld noL have Lhe chance Lo lnclude hls lnclslve commenLarles. l
drew lnsLead on Lhe works of such ploneers as !ean Cebser, Lrlch neumann, L. L. WhyLe, Ceorg Pegel, and !oseph
Campbell. ln a sense Lhls was forLunaLe, Lhe facL LhaL Pabermas, worklng from a very dlfferenL dlrecLlon, arrlved aL
Lhe same general concluslons lends added sLrengLh Lo Lhe overall Lhesls.
WhaL l would llke Lo do, Lhen, ln Lhls and Lhe nexL chapLer, ls very brlefly ouLllne Pabermas's observaLlons on Lhe
evoluLlon of human consclousness and soclal communlcaLlon (and parenLheLlcally lndlcaLe Lhe polnLs of agreemenL
wlLh my own work, Lhose famlllar wlLh Jeo and ye to ye wlll lmmedlaLely spoL Lhe slmllarlLles). Pabermas's
overall vlews on communlcaLlon and Lhe evoluLlon of socleLy are seL ln Lhe conLexL of hls Lheory of communlcaLlve
acLlon (or acLlon geared Loward motool ooJetstooJloq as an omega polnL), l wlll be cuLLlng many corners and glvlng
only Lhe brlefesL skeleLon of a small parL of hls rlch Lheory, readers are urged Lo consulL hls orlglnal works.
ln up ftom Jeo (and ye to ye) l followed Lhe groundbreaklng work of !ean Cebser ln recognlzlng four ma[or
epochs of human evoluLlon, each anchored by a parLlcular sLrucLure (or level) of loJlvlJool consclousness LhaL
correspondlngly produced (and was produced by) a parLlcular soclol wotlJvlew. 1hese general sLages Cebser called
Lhe archalc, Lhe maglc, Lhe myLhlc, and Lhe menLal.
Pabermas, we wlll see, ls ln general agreemenL wlLh Lhls concluslon.
l (and Lo a lesser exLenL Cebser) furLher suggesLed LhaL each of Lhese sLrucLures of consclousness generaLed a
dlfferenL sense of space-Llme, law and morallLy, cognlLlve sLyle, self-ldenLlLy, mode of Lechnology (or producLlve
forces), drlves or moLlvaLlon, Lypes of personal paLhology (and defenses), Lypes of soclal oppresslon/represslon,
degrees of deaLh-selzure and deaLh-denlal, and Lypes of rellglous experlence.
ln Lhls chapLer, and especlally ln Lhe nexL, we wlll carefully examlne Lhe archalc, Lhe maglc, Lhe myLhlc, and Lhe
menLal worldvlews (and suggesL posslble hlgher developmenLs as well).
8uL flrsL, leL me be very clear abouL whaL ls belng aLLempLed here. l have suggesLed LhaL Lhere are lndlvldual and
soclal holons, each of whlch has an lnLerlor and an exLerlor. 1hus, ln evoluLlon ln general, and human evoluLlon ln
parLlcular, we are Lraclng foot Jlffeteot sttooJs, each of whlch ls lnLlmaLely relaLed and lndeed dependenL upon all
Lhe oLhers, buL none of whlch can be reduced Lo Lhe oLhers.
1he four sLrands are Lhe lnLerlor and Lhe exLerlor of Lhe lndlvldual and Lhe soclal, or Lhe lnslde and Lhe ouLslde of
Lhe mlcro and Lhe macro.
We have already looked aL (1) Lhe developmenL of Lhe extetlot forms of loJlvlJool holons, ranglng from aLoms
Lo molecules Lo cells Lo organlsms Lo neural organlsms Lo Lrlune-bralned neural organlsms. And we have already
looked aL (2) Lhe developmenL of Lhe extetlot forms of Lhe soclol holon, from superclusLers Lo galaxles Lo planeLs
Lo Cala Lo ecosysLems Lo groups/famllles (and brlefly suggesLed lLs conLlnuaLlon lnLo vlllages, naLlon-sLaLes, and
planeLary sysLems). lurLher, we have already suggesLed (3) Lhe lotetlot developmenL of Lhe loJlvlJool holon, from
prehenslon Lo sensaLlon Lo lmpulse Lo lmage Lo symbol Lo concepL (and brlefly suggesLed lLs conLlnuaLlon lnLo
concreLe and formal operaLlonal LhoughL, wlLh hlgher sLages yeL Lo come). And flnally, we have [usL suggesLed LhaL,
ln human evoluLlon anyway, (4) Lhe lotetlot developmenL of Lhe soclol holon evldences lLself ln a serles of sboteJ
wotlJvlews (from maglc Lo myLhlc Lo menLal, and posslbly hlgher). (We'll go over all Lhese correlaLlons ln a
1he lower levels possess a worldvlew"-by whlch l mean, a common worldspace"-Lo preclsely Lhe same degree
LhaL you belleve Lhey possess a degree of consclousness or prehenslon. lf depLh ls consclousness, whlch l belleve lL ls,
and lf lower holons possess depLh, whlch l belleve Lhey do, and lf any holon exlsLs only ln a sysLem of relaLlonal
exchange wlLh oLher same-level holons, whlch lL does, Lhen any holon possesses a shared depLh wlLh lLs peers, and
LhaL ls a worldvlew" or common worldspace" ln Lhe broadesL sense. We have already agreed, for example, LhaL lf a
holon possesses a repLlllan braln sLem, Lhen lL possesses an lnLerlorlLy of lmpulse, and we have already agreed LhaL
LhaL lnLerlorlLy cannoL be capLured wlLhouL remalnder ln ob[ecLlve lL-language, and Lhus lL musL possess a sub[ecLlve
(or proLo-sub[ecLlve) space, a space sboteJ wlLh slmllar-depLh holons. lL ls noL [usL shared surfaces, buL shared
depLhs, or a common wotlJspoce.
Cr agaln: lf holons share common exLerlors, whlch Lhey do, Lhen Lhey share common lnLerlors (or worldspaces).
Pow far down we push Lhls ls a maLLer of reasonable dlsagreemenL, buL conflnlng lL Lo humans alone ls
noneLheless, as before, feel free Lo plck up Lhe argumenL aL Lhe polnL ln evoluLlon where you feel LhaL some form
of rudlmenLary consclousness or prehenslon enLers Lhe scene, presumably, by Lhe Llme we reach humans, we can all
agree LhaL shared worldvlews exlsL, and Lhese shared worldvlews are slmply Lhe lnslde feel of a soclal holon, Lhe
lnslde space of collecLlve awareness aL a parLlcular level of developmenL, lL ls noL [usL how l" feel, lL ls how we"
1PL lCu8 CuAu8An1S
We wlll be golng lnLo Lhese dlsLlncLlons ln much deLall as we proceed. lor Lhe momenL, a qulck summary ls glven ln
flgure 4-3. (lL mlghL also help Lo glance aL Lhe more deLalled dlagram glven ln Lhe nexL chapLer, flg. 3-1.) 1he upper
half of Lhe dlagram represenLs lndlvldual holons, Lhe lower half, soclal or communal holons. 1he rlghL half represenLs
Lhe exLerlor forms of holons-whaL Lhey look llke from Lhe ouLslde, and Lhe lefL half represenLs Lhe lnLerlors-whaL
Lhey look llke from wlLhln.
1hus we have four ma[or quadranLs or four ma[or aspecLs Lo each and every holon. 1he upper-8lghL (u8) ls Lhe
extetlot form or sLrucLure of an loJlvlJool holon. 1hls quadranL runs from Lhe cenLer-whlch ls slmply Lhe 8lg
8ang-Lo subaLomlc parLlcles Lo aLoms Lo molecules Lo cells Lo neural organlsms Lo Lrlune-bralned organlsms. WlLh
reference Lo human belngs, Lhls quadranL ls Lhe one emphaslzed by bebovlotlsm. 8ehavlor can be seeo, lL ls
emplrlcal-whlch ls preclsely why emplrlcal sclence ls always concerned only wlLh Lhe bebovlot of holons (Lhe
behavlor of aLoms, Lhe behavlor of gases, Lhe behavlor of flsh, Lhe behavlor of humans) and wanLs noLhlng Lo do wlLh
nasLy ol' lnLrospecLlon, whlch lnvolves, of course, Lhe lnLerlors of lndlvlduals.
llqote 4-J. 1be loot OooJtoots
Whlch would be Lhe upper-LefL (uL) quadranL. 1hls quadranL-Lhe lotetlot form of an loJlvlJool holon-runs
from Lhe cenLer Lo prehenslon, sensaLlon, lmpulse, lmage, symbol, concepL (and so on). 1hese lnLerlors (uL) are
correlaLed, we saw, wlLh speclflc exLerlors (u8), so LhaL emoLlons go wlLh" llmblc sysLems and concepLs go wlLh"
Lhe neocorLex of complex Lrlune bralns, and so forLh (LhaL ls, every polnL on Lhe rlghL slde has a correlaLe on Lhe lefL
slde: every exLerlor has an lnLerlor). WlLh reference Lo human belngs, Lhls quadranL conLalns all Lhe lnLerlor"
lndlvldual sclences (among oLher Lhlngs), from psychoanalysls Lo phenomenology Lo maLhemaLlcs (nobody ever saw
Lhe square rooL of a negaLlve one runnlng around ln Lhe exLernal world, LhaL ls apprehended only lnLerlorly).
8uL lndlvlduals only exlsL ln relaLlonal exchanges wlLh oLher holons of slmllar depLh (mlcro and macro, lndlvldual
and soclal). ln oLher words, every polnL on Lhe upper half of Lhe dlagram has a correspondlng polnL on Lhe lower half
(so LhaL all four quadranLs have correspondlng polnLs wlLh each oLher). 1aklng Lhe Lwo lower quadranLs one aL a
1he Lower-8lghL (L8) quadranL runs, as we saw, from Lhe 8lg 8ang Lo superclusLers Lo galaxles Lo sLars Lo planeLs
Lo (on LarLh) Lhe Cala sysLem Lo ecosysLems Lo socleLles wlLh dlvlslon of labor Lo groups/famllles (each geLLlng
smaller" owlng Lo less slmple span). WlLh reference Lo humans, Lhls quadranL Lhen runs from klnshlp Lrlbes Lo
vlllages Lo naLlon-sLaLes Lo global world-sysLem (geLLlng blgger" on lLs own level). 8uL Lhls quadranL also refers Lo
any of Lhe concreLe, maLerlal, embedded soclal forms of communlLles (Lhe exLerlor forms of soclal sysLems),
lncludlng modes of Lools and Lechnology, archlLecLural sLyles, forces of producLlon, concreLe lnsLlLuLlons, even
wrlLLen (maLerlal) forms, and so on.
1he Lower-8lghL quadranL, ln oLher words, represenLs all Lhe extetlot forms of soclol sysLems, forms LhaL also
can be seeo, forms LhaL are emplrlcal and behavloral (everyLhlng on Lhe 8lghL half of Lhe dlagram ls emplrlcal,
because lL lnvolves Lhe exLerlor forms of holons, ln Lhls case, Lhe soclal holon). 1hls ls why Lhe sLudy of human
soclology" (especlally ln Anglo-Saxon counLrles) has usually been Lhe sLudy of Lhe observable bebovlot of soclal
sysLems (or soclal acLlon sysLems"). SomeLhlng ls a really real" sclence lf lLs daLa can be seen emplrlcally, and slnce
all soclal holons do have an exLerlor form LhaL can be seen emplrlcally, soclology has all Loo ofLen conflned lLs sLudles
Lo Lhls one componenL (Lhe L8 quadranL) and been very dlsLrusLful of Lhe sLudy of anyLhlng oLher Lhan monologlcal,
observable varlables ln a soclal acLlon sysLem.
1hls ls why lL has been so hard for soclologlsLs Lo buck Lhe poslLlvlsLlc Lrend of sLudylng only behavlor-orlenLed
acLlon sysLems, and Lo sLudy noL [usL socleLy buL also coltote, or Lhe sboteJ voloes LhaL consLlLuLe Lhe common
wotlJvlews of varlous soclal sysLems-LhaL ls, Lhe lotetlots of Lhe soclal sysLems, Lhe Lower LefL (LL) quadranL.
1hus, for example, a recenL anLhology enLlLled coltotol Aoolysls (as opposed Lo soclal analysls") could flnd only
four ma[or LheorlsLs worklng Lhls slde of Lhe sLreeL: eLer 8erger, Mary uouglas, Mlchel loucaulL, and !urgen
Pabermas (we could cerLalnly add Charles 1aylor and Cllfford CeerLz, among a few oLhers, Lhe lnfluence of Lhese slx
LheorlsLs can be heavlly felL LhroughouL Lhls presenLaLlon).
8uL Lhe edlLors' polnL ls well Laken: Whlle Lheorles, meLhods, and research lnvesLlgaLlons ln oLher areas of Lhe
soclal sclences have accumulaLed aL an lmpresslve pace over Lhe pasL several decades, Lhe sLudy of culLure appears
Lo have made llLLle headway." 1he reason ls LhaL Lhe orLhodox and poslLlvlsLlcally orlenLed researchers Lurned from
Lhe ephemeral realm of aLLlLudes and feellngs . . . lnLersub[ecLlve reallLles . . . bellefs and values-Lhe sLuff of whlch
culLure ls comprlsed-Lo Lhe more obdu-raLe [emplrlcal] facLs of soclal llfe-lncome lnequallLy, unemploymenL,
ferLlllLy raLes, group dynamlcs, crlme, and Lhe llke. Cn Lhe whole, lL may be only sllghLly presumpLuous Lo suggesL
LhaL Lhe soclal sclences are ln danger of abandonlng culLure enLlrely as a fleld of enqulry."
Abandonlng, LhaL ls, Lhe
Lower LefL ln favor of Lhe Lower 8lghL.
AL Lhe same Llme, Lhe edlLors noLe, Lhese four LheorlsLs are noneLheless aL Lhe forefronL of a revoluLlon ln Lhe
approach Lo Lhe sLudy of culLure. Powever ephemeral" aspecLs of culLure mlghL be, varlous phenomenologlcal and
analyLlcal and sLrucLural Lools can noneLheless be broughL Lo bear on Lhe lssue. 1o say someLhlng ls sub[ecLlve" ls
noL Lo say lL doesn'L exlsL or can'L be carefully sLudled. Lach of Lhese LheorlsLs, Lhe edlLors polnL ouL, have
aLLempLed Lo ldenLlfy systemotlc pottetos omooq tbe elemeots of coltote ltself, or paLLerns wlLhln culLure"-as l
would puL lL, culLural holons, sLrucLures or paLLerns from wlLhln, noL [usL wlLhouL. Largely ouLslde Lhe malnsLream of
soclal sclences, Lhese approaches have been orlenLed prlmarlly Loward Lhe realms of meanlng, symbollsm, language,
and dlscourse. Lach ls rooLed ln deeper phllosophlcal LradlLlons Lhemselves qulLe dlsLlncL and ln slgnlflcanL ways
allen Lo Lhe so-called 'poslLlvlsL' LradlLlon of conLemporary soclal sclence. 1he flrsL, and perhaps mosL famlllar of
Lhese, ls phenomenology [8erger], Lhe second, culLural anLhropology [uouglas], Lhe Lhlrd, sLrucLurallsm [loucaulL],
and Lhe fourLh, crlLlcal Lheory [Pabermas]."
1hese approaches have already had a profound lmpacL and are helplng
Lo reverse Lhe poslLlvlsLlc Lrend where, as Lhe edlLors puL lL, nuLs and bolLs have replaced hearLs and mlnds."
8uL Lhls dlsLlncLlon beLween soclol (ln Lhe sense of soclal acLlon sysLem, Lhe emplrlcal nuLs and bolLs) and
coltotol (meanlng shared worldvlews and values, hearLs and mlnds) ls very much Lhe dlsLlncLlon beLween Lhe
exLerlor and Lhe lnLerlor of a soclal (or communal) holon. 1hese Lwo dlmenslons are ln lnLlmaLe lnLeracLlon and
correlaLlon, buL nelLher can slmply, wlLhouL furLher ado, be reduced Lo Lhe oLher (and Lhus noL explalned, buL
explalned away).
noLlce LhaL, because we have only so many words Lo go around, l am forced Lo use soclol ln Lwo senses: ln Lhe
oottow sense (as Lhe soclal sysLem or exLerlor observable paLLerns ln a socleLy [L8], conLrasLed Lo culLural," or Lhe
lnLerlor values and meanlngs LhaL cannoL be capLured emplrlcally [LL]), and soclol ln Lhe btooJ or general sense
(where lL means boLh soclal, ln Lhe narrow sense, and culLural, where lL means Lhe enLlre lower half of Lhe dlagram).
l LrusL LhaL ln Lhe followlng dlscusslon Lhe conLexL wlll make clear whlch meanlng ls lnLended. 8y and large, however,
from now on l wlll use culLural" Lo mean Lhe Lower LefL and wlll reserve soclal" for Lhe Lower 8lghL.
As for Lhe dlfference beLween soclal and culLural, here's a slmple example. lmaglne you go Lo a forelgn counLry
where you do noL speak Lhe language. As soon as you arrlve ln LhaL counLry, you are lo Lhe soclal sysLem, or Lhe
acLual maLerlal componenLs of Lhe counLry. ?ou are lo LhaL counLry. eople around you are speaklng a forelgn
language, whlch you do noL undersLand, buL Lhe physlcally spoken words hlL your ears [usL llke Lhey do anybody
else's, you and Lhe naLlves are boLh lmmersed ln Lhe lJeotlcol physlcal vlbraLlons of Lhe soclal sysLem.
8uL you don'L undersLand a word. ?ou are ln Lhe soclal sysLem, buL you are oot ln Lhe worldvlew, you are noL ln
Lhe culLure. ?ou hear only Lhe exLerlors, you do noL undersLand Lhe lnLerlor meanlng. All Lhe soclal slgnlflers lmplnge
on you, buL none of Lhe culLural slgnlfleds come up. ?ou are an lnslder Lo Lhe soclal sysLem buL an ouLslder Lo Lhe
1he sLudy of Lhe lnLerlor culLural meanlngs cannoL be reduced Lo a sLudy of exLerlor acLlon sysLems (even Lhough
Lhey have varlous correlaLlons), or else you could know everyLhlng Lhere ls Lo know abouL a communlLy wlLhouL ever
learnlng Lhe language: you would [usL reporL Lhe behavlor" of Lhe lnhablLanLs (llke Lhe behavlor of gas parLlcles),
and Lo hell wlLh LhaL Lrlcky meanlng" sLuff. (loucaulL, ln hls reducLlonlsLlc archaeology phase, acLually proceeded ln
[usL Lhls manner, brackeLlng botb Lhe LruLh ooJ Lhe meanlng of llngulsLlc sLaLemenLs, and [usL reporLed Lhelr
sysLemaLlc behavlor, whlch caused qulLe an uproar. Pe laLer recanLed and labeled Lhe excloslve use of LhaL
approach arroganL."
8uL lL ls an arrogance LhaL all such happy poslLlvlsm" ls prone Lo.) Lvery holon has a
componenL ln Lhe Lower-8lghL quadranL, lL's [usL noL Lhe whole sLory.
1he Lower-LefL quadranL ls Lhe sLudy of shared lnLerlor meanlngs LhaL consLlLuLe Lhe worldvlew (or common
worldspace) of collecLlve or communal holons. WlLh regard Lo humans, we have seen LhaL Lhese run from archalc Lo
maglc Lo myLhlc Lo menLal (wlLh all sorLs of varlaLlons, and holdlng open Lhe posslblllLy of sLlll-furLher developmenLs).
And as for Lhe worldspace of lower holons, l slmply mean a shared space of whaL Lhey coo respond Lo: quarks do
noL respond Lo oll sLlmull ln Lhe envlronmenL, because Lhey teqlstet a very narrow range of whaL wlll have
meanlng Lo Lhem, whaL wlll offect Lhem. Cuarks (and all holons) respond only Lo LhaL whlch flLs Lhelr worldspace:
everyLhlng else ls a forelgn language, and Lhey are ouLslders. 1he sLudy of whaL holons coo respond Lo ls Lhe sLudy
of shared worldspaces.
1PL 8lCP1- Anu LLl1-PAnu A1PS
1here are an enormous number of correlaLlons beLween Lhls scheme of Lhe four quadranLs and Lhe work of oLher
LheorlsLs, and we wlll be explorlng Lhese ln more deLall as we proceed. lor Lhe momenL, [usL a few prellmlnary noLes.
1he enLlre 8lghL half of flgure 4-3, Lhe exLerlor half, can be descrlbed ln lL" language (or ob[ecL" language) and
can be sLudled empltlcolly (ln behavlorlsLlc or poslLlvlsLlc or monologlcal Lerms). 1he enLlre 8lghL half, as we sald, ls
someLhlng you can see ouL Lhere," someLhlng you can reglsLer wlLh Lhe senses or Lhelr exLenslons (Lelescopes,
mlcroscopes, phoLographlc plaLes, eLc., and you Lle your Lheorlzlng Lo Lhese emplrlcal observables, whlch ls whaL
monologlcal" or emplrlc-analyLlc" means).
1he componenLs of Lhe 8lghL half-boLh Lhe upper-8lghL and Lower-
8lghL quadranLs-are, ln Lhemselves, neuLral surfaces, neuLral exLerlors, neuLral forms, all of whlch can falrly be
descrlbed ln lL" language. ?ou don'L ever have Lo engage Lhe lnLerlors of any of Lhose holons: you don'L have Lo
engage ln lnLrospecLlon or lnLerpreLaLlon or meanlng or values. ?ou [usL descrlbe Lhe exLerlor form and lLs behavlor.
noLhlng ls beLLer or worse, good or bad, deslrable or undeslrable, good or evll, noble or debased. 1he surface forms
slmply are, and you slmply observe and descrlbe Lhem.
And you coo do LhaL, Lhe surfaces forms ote Lhere, lL ls a leqltlmote and alLogeLher oecessoty sLory. lL ls [usL
noL Lhe whole sLory.
l wlll ofLen refer Lo Lhe sLudy of boLh Lhe upper-8lghL and Lower-8lghL quadranLs as Lhe 8lghL-Pand paLh: Lhe paLh
of LhaL whlch can be seen wlLh Lhe eye of flesh or lLs exLenslons. ln shorL, Lhe paLh of lL"-language (ob[ecLlvlsL,
monologlcal, observable, emplrlcal, behavloral varlables).
1he 8lghL-Pand paLh has Lwo ma[or and warrlng camps: Lhe aLomlsLs, who sLudy Lhe surfaces of only lndlvlduals,
and Lhe whollsLs, who lnslsL LhaL whole sysLems, and noL lndlvlduals, are Lhe prlmary ob[ecL of sLudy. 8uL boLh are
equally exLerlor approaches conflned Lo surfaces only. 1hey are Lhe Lwo camps of flaLland onLology: LhaL whlch can
be seen, deLecLed wlLh Lhe senses, emplrlcal Lhrough and Lhrough.
1he enLlre LefL half of Lhe dlagram, on Lhe oLher hand, coooot be seen wlLh Lhe eye of flesh (excepL as Lhose LefL-
slde aspecLs become embedded ln maLerlal or exLerlor forms, whlch we wlll dlscuss laLer). ln oLher words, Lhe LefL
half cannoL be descrlbed ln lL" language. 8aLher, Lhe upper-LefL ls descrlbed ln l"-language, and Lhe Lower-LefL ls
descrlbed ln we"-language (as l wlll explaln ln a momenL). l wlll refer Lo boLh of Lhem as Lhe LefL-Pand paLh.
Whereas Lhe 8lghL half can be seeo, Lhe LefL half musL be lotetpteteJ. 1he reason for Lhls ls LhaL sotfoces coo be
seeo-Lhere Lhey are, anybody can look aL Lhem, buL depLh cannoL be dlrecLly percelved-Jeptb most be
lotetpteteJ. 1he 8lghL-Pand paLh always asks, WhaL does lL Jo?" or Pow does lL wotk?" 1he LefL-Pand paLh asks,
WhaL does lL meoo?"
A deer sees me approach. lL sees my exLerlor form, my shape, and reglsLers all Lhe approprlaLe physlcal sLlmull
comlng from my form Lo Lhe deer. 8uL whaL do Lhey meoo? Am l Lhe frlendly fellow wlLh Lhe food, or Lhe hunLer
wlLh Lhe rlfle? 1he deer musL lotetptet lLs sLlmull ln Lhe cootext of lLs own wotlJspoce and how l mlghL offect lL.
And Lhls ls noL [usL a maLLer of seelng: Lhe deer sees [usL flne. 8uL lL mlghL be mlstokeo ln lLs lotetptetotloo, l mlghL
acLually have Lhe rlfle, noL Lhe food. All Lhe physlcal sLlmull are hlLLlng Lhe deer fully (LhaL's noL Lhe problem), Lhe
problem ls, whaL do Lhey acLually meoo? 1he surfaces are qlveo, buL whaL ls lurklng ln Lhe depLhs? WhaL are Lhe
lnLenLlons lylng behlnd Lhe surfaces? WhaL ls LransmlLLed emplrlcally buL noL merely glven emplrlcally?
AlmosL from lLs lncepLlon, and down Lo Loday, soclal Lheory has dlvlded lnLo Lwo ofLen sharply dlsagreelng camps:
hermeneuLlcs and sLrucLural-funcLlonallsm (or sysLems Lheory). PermeneuLlcs (Lhe arL and sclence of lnLerpreLaLlon)
aLLempLed Lo reconsLrucL and empaLhlcally enLer Lhe shared culLural worldspace of human belngs, and Lhus brlng
forLh an ooJetstooJloq of Lhe values conLalned Lhereln. SLrucLural-funcLlonallsm, on Lhe oLher hand, dlspensed wlLh
meanlng (ln any parLlclpaLory sense) and looked lnsLead aL Lhe exLernal soclal sLrucLures and soclal sysLems LhaL
governed Lhe behavlor of Lhe acLlon sysLem.
8otb wete bollstlc, ln Lhe sense LhaL boLh slLuaLed lndlvldual exlsLence ln a larger neLwork of communal pracLlces
and lnslsLed LhaL Lhe lndlvldual could noL be undersLood wlLhouL reference Lo Lhe hollsLlc background of shared
pracLlces. 8uL Lhey were, almosL exacLly, represenLaLlves of Lhe LefL-Pand and 8lghL-Pand paLhs, wlLh hermeneuLlcs
asklng always, WhaL does lL meoo?" and sLrucLural-funcLlonallsm asklng lnsLead, WhaL does lL Jo?"
1o reconsLrucL meanlng (Lhe LefL-Pand paLh) l musL engage ln lotetptetotloo (hermeneuLlcs), l musL Lry Lo enLer
Lhe shared depLhs, shared values, shared worldvlews of Lhe lnhablLanLs, l musL Lry Lo undersLand and descrlbe Lhe
culLure ftom wltblo (whlle malnLalnlng a dellcaLe dlsLance so as Lo be able Lo reporL aL all). l cannoL slmply see
meanlng, meanlng does noL slL on Lhe surface walLlng, llke a paLch of color, Lo hlL my senses. 8aLher, Lo Lhe exLenL
LhaL l can, l musL tesooote wlLh Lhe lnLerlor depLh of Lhe lnhablLanLs. 1he depLh ln me (llved experlence") musL
empaLhlcally allgn lLself, lnLulLlvely feel lnLo, Lhe correspondlng depLh (or llved experlence) LhaL l seek Lo undersLand
ln oLhers, and noL slmply blankly reglsLer an emplrlcal paLch. Motool ooJetstooJloq ls a Lype of lnLerlor harmonlc
resonance of depLh: l know whaL you mean!"
WhaL, for example, does Lhe Popl 8aln uance meoo? l mlghL flnd, as many parLlclpanL observers" have, LhaL lL
means, LhaL lL expresses, a connecLlon wlLh naLure felL Lo be sacred, so LhaL Lhe danclng ls boLh an expresslon of
sacred naLure and a requesL dlrecLed towotJ LhaL same naLure. 1o undersLand and arLlculaLe Lhls ln a soclologlcal
fashlon (and noL slmply become a member of Lhe Lrlbe), l musL look lnLo Lhe whole neLwork of shared soclal
pracLlces and Lhe background unconsclous" of llngulsLlcally (and prellngulsLlcally) sLrucLured meanlngs and
lnLersub[ecLlve exchanges LhaL consLlLuLe Lhe pre-undersLandlng" or background" or foreknowledge" of Lhe
parLlcular worldspace or worldvlew-all of Lhe conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs LhaL sLrucLure Lhe lnLerlor
values and meanlngs of a culLure, some of Lhem expllclL (requlrlng undersLandlng), and some of Lhem lmpllclL
(requlrlng excavaLlon). (1haL ls a shorL summary of Lhe hermeneuLlc program from Wllhelm ullLhey and Weber and
Peldegger down Lo Loday wlLh aul 8lcoeur and Pans Cadamer and CeerLz and 1aylor.)
Cn Lhe oLher hand, Lo reconsLrucL fooctloo (Lhe 8lghL-Pand paLh), l musL carefully, and ln largely JetocbeJ
fashlon, observe noL whaL Lhe naLlves soy Lhey are dolng, buL whaL fooctloo Lhe dance acLually serves ln Lhe overall
soclal acLlon sysLem (a funcLlon unknown Lo Lhe naLlves). 1he deLached observer concludes (as 1alcoLL arsons dld)
LhaL Lhe dance performs Lhe funcLlon of securlng soclal solldarlLy and soclal coheslon. WheLher lL ls really golng Lo
make raln or noL, or Lrylng Lo make raln or noL, ls qulLe secondary Lo our concerns, because whaL lL ls really dolng ls
provldlng an occaslon LhaL blnds lndlvlduals LogeLher lnLo Lhe soclal fabrlc of Lhe Lrlbe (l.e., Lhe self-organlzlng and
auLopoleLlc reglme of Lhe soclal acLlon sysLem). ln order Lo deLermlne Lhls, Lhe Lrlbe ls vlewed as a hollsLlc sysLem,
wlLh lLs overall paLLern (sLrucLure) and overall funcLlon (behavlor) carefully observed, and Lhen Lhe meanlng" of any
lndlvldual evenL ls slmply lLs place (or funcLlon) ln Lhe overall sysLem. (And LhaL ls a summary of Lhe
sLrucLural/funcLlonal and sysLem Lheory" program ln varlous forms, from ComLe Lo arsons Lo nlklas Luhmann, and
even ln lLs sLrucLurallsLlc and archaeologlcal varlanLs, Claude Levl-SLrauss Lo early loucaulL).
1he one paLh asklng always, WhaL does lL Jo?" and Lhus seeklng Lo offer exploootloos based on naLurallsLlc,
emplrlcal, observable varlables, Lhe oLher paLh asklng always, WhaL does lL meoo?" and Lhus aLLempLlng Lo arrlve
aL ooJetstooJloq LhaL would be muLual.
Surfaces exLend, lnLerlors lnLend-lL's sLlll almosL as slmple as LhaL.
Su81LL 8LuuC1lCnlSM
1here are lmporLanL LruLhs ln boLh Lhe LefL- and 8lghL-Pand approaches, and boLh are requlred for a balanced or
all-quadranL" vlew. My poslLlon ls LhaL every holon has (aL leasL) Lhese four aspecLs or four dlmenslons (or four
quadranLs") of lLs exlsLence, and Lhus lL can (and should) be sLudled ln lLs lnLenLlonal, behavloral, culLural, and soclal
seLLlngs. no holon slmply exlsLs lo one of Lhe four quadranLs, each holon bos four quadranLs.
Cf course, Lhe more prlmlLlve Lhe holon, Lhe less we seem Lo care abouL lLs lnLrlnslc value or lLs lnLenLlons or lLs
culLure, whlch ls sad. 1he polnL now ls LhaL, regardless of whaL we Lhlnk of lower holons, when lL comes aL leasL Lo
human belngs, none of Lhe four quadranLs can be prlvlleged. (lf you don'L belleve LhaL consclousness or prehenslon
ln any form exLends below humans, a sLudy of Lhe four quadranLs wlll aL leasL show you ln whlch dlrecLlons and ln
whlch ways lnLerlors would exLend lf you LhoughL oLherwlse, whlch lLself can be a very useful exerclse.)
Whlch brlngs us Lo Lhe sub[ecL of gross reducLlonlsm versus subLle reducLlonlsm. Cross reducLlonlsLs, flrsL of all, do
noL belleve any lnLerlors exlsL anywhere, so Lhe lssues of meanlng, value, consclousness, depLh, culLure, and
lnLenLlonallLy-Lhese never come up for Lhem, and, ln facL, Lhey hope Lo dle wlLh Lhe boasL on Lhelr llps LhaL Lhey
never saw a value Lhey couldn'L reduce Lo aLoms.
Cross reducLlonlsm fltst reduces oll quadranLs Lo Lhe upper-8lghL quadranL, and secooJ-Lhls ls Lhe gross
parL-Lhen reduces all Lhe hlgher-order sLrucLures of Lhe upper-8lghL quadranL Lo aLomlc or subaLomlc parLlcles. 1he
resulL ls purely maLerlallsLlc, mechanlsLlc (usually), aLomlsLlc (always). PlsLorlcally, only a very few, hlghly glfLed nuLs
have acLually Laken Lhls paLh wlLh any sorL of brllllance, sLarLlng wlLh Lhe Lplcureans and runnlng Lo Polbach, La
MeLLrle, and Lhe llke (whaL olanyl referred Lo as pre[udlce backed by genlus" and Love[oy summarlzed as, 1here ls
no human sLupldlLy LhaL has noL found lLs champlon").
Cpposed Lo Lhese flotlooJ otomlsts are Lhe flotlooJ bollsts. 1hey do noL reduce all holons Lo aLoms. 8aLher, Lhey
reduce everyLhlng on Lhe LefL half of Lhe dlagram Lo a correspondlng reallLy on Lhe 8lghL half. 1haL ls, Lhey are Lhe
sysLems LheorlsLs and Lhe sLrucLural/funcLlonallsLs, ln all Lhelr forms, from Ceneral SysLem 1heory Lo modern
dynamlc sysLems Lheory Lo many of Lhe new paradlgm" and ecologlcal/hollsLlc" Lheorles.
As l sald, ln many cases Lhelr hearLs are ln Lhe rlghL place, buL Lhelr Lheorles-because Lhey are emplrlcal and
monologlcal, because Lhey are weakesL-noodle sclences, because Lhey deal wlLh exLerlors Lhan can be seen and noL
lnLerlors LhaL musL be arduously lnLerpreLed-because of all LhaL, Lhey end up wlLh a raLher lnsldlous form of
reducLlonlsm, lnsldlous because Lhey are almosL compleLely unaware of whaL Lhey have done. 1hey clalm Lo
embrace Lhe whole of reallLy, when ln facL Lhey have [usL devasLaLed half of lL.
(As only one example now, we can look aL Pabermas's wlLherlng aLLack on sysLems Lheory, and hls demonsLraLlon
LhaL, alLhough sysLems Lheory has an lmporLanL buL llmlLed place, lL ls now, by vlrLue of lLs reducLlonlsm, one of Lhe
greaL modern enemles of Lhe llfeworld-whaL he refers Lo as Lhe colonlzaLlon of Lhe llfeworld by Lhe lmperaLlves of
funcLlonal sysLems LhaL exLernallze Lhelr cosLs on Lhe oLher. . . . a bllnd compulslon Lo sysLem malnLenance and
sysLem expanslon."
And whaL ls loucaulL's blopower-Lhe modern danger"-lf noL, ln large parL, Lhe
sysLems/lnsLrumenLal menLallLy blologlzed and applled Lo humans, converLlng each and all Lo sLrands and means ln
Lhe greaL lnLerlocklng blo-web-Lhe chlef form of coerclve power ln Lhe modern world?)
WhaL Lhese sysLems and hollsLlc" LheorlsLs don'L seem Lo undersLand ls LhaL whlle Lhey have lndeed avolded
qtoss teJoctloolsm-and for LhaL are Lo be hlghly pralsed-Lhey are noneLheless (and apparenLly unknown Lo Lhem)
Lhe exemplars of sobtle teJoctloolsm. 1hey don'L reduce everyLhlng Lo aLoms, Lhey reduce everyLhlng ln Lhe LefL-
Pand Lo a 8lghL-Pand descrlpLlon ln Lhe sysLem." 1hey reduce a four-quadranL hollsm (or kosmlc hollsm) Lo merely
a 8lghL-Pand hollsm, a flaLland hollsm. And Lhey are so undersLandably proud LhaL Lhey are hollsLs, Lhey overlook Lhe
flaLland parL.
Cross reducLlonlsm sLlll rears lLs pecullar head every now and Lhen, usually when somebody dlscovers a recurslve
law (a slmple procedure LhaL, when repeaLed, generaLes complex procedures), buL by and large lL has oot been
hlsLorlcally LhaL lnfluenLlal, and cerLalnly noL as lnfluenLlal as many new-paradlgm crlLlcs seem Lo Lhlnk.
1he Lruly devasLaLlng conLrlbuLor Lo modern flaLland onLology, Lo an erasure of Lhe kosmos, has been Lhe 8lghL-
Pand paLh of sysLems Lheory or sLrucLural/funcLlonallsm ln lLs many forms. 1he sysLems LheorlsLs llke Lo clalm LhaL
Lhe reducLlonlsLlc vlllalns are Lhe aLomlsLs, and LhaL ln emphaslzlng Lhe whollsLlc naLure of sysLems wlLhln sysLems,
Lhey Lhemselves have overcome reducLlonlsm, and LhaL Lhey are Lherefore ln a poslLlon Lo help heal Lhe planeL."
Whereas all Lhey have acLually done ls use a subLle reducLlon Lo overcome a gross one.
1hese flaLland hollsLs clalm, for example, LhaL Lhe greaL negaLlve legacy" of Lhe LnllghLenmenL was lLs aLomlsLlc
and dlvlslve onLology. 8uL aLomlsm was oot Lhe domlnanL Lheme of Lhe LnllghLenmenL. As we wlll see ln greaL deLall
(ln chapLers 12 and 13)-and as vlrLually every hlsLorlan of Lhe perlod has made abundanLly clear-Lhe domlnanL
Lheme of Lhe LnllghLenmenL was Lhe harmony of an lnLerlocklng order of belng," a sysLems harmony LhaL was
behlnd everyLhlng from Adam SmlLh's greaL lnvlslble hand" Lo !ohn Locke's lnLerlocklng orders" Lo Lhe 8eformers'
and Lhe uelsLs' vasL harmonlous whole of muLually lnLerrelaLed belngs."
1o glve only a few examples now, Charles 1aylor represenLs Lhe vlrLually unconLesLed concluslon of scholars LhaL
for Lhe malnsLream of Lhe LnllghLenmenL, naLure as Lhe whole lnLerlocklng sysLem of ob[ecLlve reallLy, ln whlch all
belngs, lncludlng man, had a naLural mode of exlsLence whlch doveLalled wlLh LhaL of all oLhers, provlded Lhe baslc
model, Lhe blueprlnL for happlness and hence good. 1he LnllghLenmenL developed a model of naLure, lncludlng
human naLure, as a harmonlous whole whose parLs meshed perfecLly," and Lhe unlLy of Lhe order was seen as an
lnLerlocklng seL calllng for acLlons whlch formed a harmonlous whole."
As Alexander ope would have lL, speaklng
for an enLlre generaLlon: Such ls Lhe World's greaL harmony, LhaL sprlngs from Crder, unlon, full ConsenL of Lhlngs,
Where small and greaL, where weak and mlghLy, made Lo serve [each oLher], noL suffer, sLrengLhen, noL lnvade,
arLs relaLe Lo Whole, All served, all servlng, noLhlng sLands alone."
Already Lhe ocyclopJle, basLlon of LnllghLenmenL LhoughL, had announced LhaL everyLhlng ln naLure ls llnked
LogeLher," and Love[oy polnLs ouL LhaL Lhey were wonL Lo dlscourse wlLh eloquence on Lhe perfecLlon of Lhe
unlversal SysLem as a whole."
no, Lhe downslde of Lhe LnllghLenmenL was LhaL lL Look a kosmos of botb LefL and 8lghL dlmenslons and reduced
lL Lo a cosmos LhaL could be emplrlcally (or monologlcally) descrlbed: lL collopseJ tbe left bolf to lts cottelotes oo tbe
klqbt bolf. lLs greaL crlme was noL gross reducLlonlsm buL sobtle teJoctloolsm. 1he CreaL Polarchy of 8elng was
collapsed lnLo a harmonlous whole of lnLerlocklng orders," as !ohn Locke puL lL, buL orders LhaL now had no wlLhln,
no lnLerlors, no quallLaLlve dlsLlncLlons, buL lnsLead could be approached Lhrough an ob[ecLlfylng and emplrlclsL gaze
(all belng equal sLrands ln Lhe flaLland web).
ln shorL, Lhe LefL was reduced Lo Lhe 8lghL, and Lhus lotetlots Lended Lo geL losL and flaLLened lnLo mere extetlots
(and we wlll see more preclsely whaL LhaL enLalled as we proceed). 1hls lndeed ended up belng a Jlvlslve and
Joollstlc onLology, preclsely because, ln descrlblng Lhe whole of reallLy ln objectlve Lerms as a harmonlous
lnLerlocklng order or sysLem (Lhe greaL lnLerlocklng web), lL lefL no room for Lhe sobject LhaL was dolng Lhe
lnLerpreLaLlon, consclousness, and lnLerlor depLh were converLed (reduced) Lo exLerlor, ob[ecLlve,
sysLems lnLeracLlon-l" and we" were reduced Lo hollsLlc lLs"-Lhe preclse essence of subLle reducLlonlsm.
ln shorL, naLure was a harmonlous whole known by a sub[ecL LhaL could noL flL lnLo lL. And once Lhls
bollstlc/losttomeotol or [usL-parLs-of-Lhe-whole" approach was applled Lo Lhe sub[ecL lLself-whaL loucaulL called
knowledge closlng ln on lLself"-Lhe sub[ecL lnadverLenLly began Lo erase lLself (and noL ln Lhe sense of a genulne
Lranscendence, buL ln Lhe sense of shooLlng lLself ln Lhe fooL, or raLher, ln Lhe head). reclsely because Lhe sub[ecL's
worldvlew was empltlcolly completely bollstlc, Lhe sub[ecL aced lLself ouL of Lhe plcLure alLogeLher, and hovered
above Lhe hollsLlc world, dangllng and dlsengaged, now helplessly, now aggresslvely (Lhus Lhe famous, or lnfamous,
self-deflnlng and dlsengaged sub[ecL cuL off from Lhe hollsLlc/lnsLrumenLal world, Lhe hyper-auLonomous self" LhaL
so deflned Lhe LnllghLenmenL, as we wlll see laLer ln more deLall).
ln oLher words, Lhe profound duallsm lnherenL ln flaLland hollsm (namely, Lhe lsolaLed sub[ecL confronLlng an
ob[ecLlvely hollsLlc world), alLhough hldden (or noL lmmedlaLely obvlous), was noneLheless already aL work, and
conLrlbuLed dlrecLly Lo Lhe LnllghLenmenL's dehumanlzlng humanlsm" LhaL has been so severely crlLlclzed, from
loucaulL's Age of Man" Lo Pabermas's phllosophy of Lhe sub[ecL Lo 1aylor's dlsengaged sub[ecL of lnsLrumenLally
lnLerlocklng orders. 1hey all Lell a slmllar Lale of Lhe ob[ecLlfylng hollsLlc/lnsLrumenLal mode of knowlng Lurned back
onLo Lhe sub[ecL, Lhus denylng or desLroylng Lhe very sub[ecLlvlLy lL soughL Lo undersLand.
As we wlll see laLer ln Lhls chapLer (and agaln ln chapLer 12), Lhe flaLland hollsLlc paradlgm of Lhe LnllghLenmenL
collapsed a kosmos LhaL was boLh lnLerlorly and exLerlorly holarchlc (and Lhus lncluded boLh LefL and 8lghL), lnLo a
flaLland cosmos LhaL was only exLerlorly holarchlc (or 8lghL-Pand only): a flaLland web LhaL replaced lnLerlor depLh
wlLh Lhe greaL unlversal sysLem of lnLerlocklng emplrlcal surfaces, and Lhus reduced all lnLerlors Lo exLerlorly
percelved sLrands ln Lhe greaL funcLlonal web. 1hls hollsLlc" paradlgm sounded llke lL covered all" of reallLy (as
agalnsL Lhe aLomlsLs), buL ln facL lL had [usL vlolenLly Lorn Lhe kosmos ln half, Lossed ouL depLh and lnLerlorlLy, and
seLLled aggresslvely on exLerlors, surfaces, and Lhe greaL lnLerlocklng web-lnLerwoven l" and we" reduced Lo
lnLerwoven lLs," whlch lronlcally lefL boLh l" and we" lsolaLed, sLranded, allenaLed, and alone, slnce none could flL
lnLo Lhe harmonlous web of hollsLlc lLs.
1o say LhaL Lhe sub[ecL ls an lnseparable parL of Lhe greaL hollsLlc web"-a web descrlbed ln ob[ecLlve, process,
dynamlcal, sysLems, Lhlrd-person, lL-language-ls Lo desLroy Lhe sub[ecL ln lLs own Lerms and devasLaLe lLs auLhenLlc
dlmenslons, and Lhls, lf anyLhlng, was Lhe crlme of Lhe LnllghLenmenL."
A 1Cu8 Cl 1PL lCu8 CuAu8An1S
Cnce Lhls flaLland reducLlon occurred (whlch we wlll examlne ln greaL deLall ln chapLers 12 and 13)-Lhe LefL-Pand
aspecLs of reallLy were all reduced Lo Lhelr cottespooJloq aspecLs on Lhe 8lghL Pand. reclsely because Lhere ote
correlaLlons beLween all four quadranLs, Lhls Lype of reducLlonlsm can be aggresslvely carrled ouL. 1hls ls whaL makes
subLle reducLlonlsm so hard Lo spoL and so hard Lo redress.
lor example, l have a LhoughL, a LhoughL occurs Lo me. 1haL's Lhe glven holon, whlch we wlll use as an example.
lor Lhls holon, ln Lhe upper-8lghL quadranL, Lhere ls a change ln braln physlology, a change LhaL can be descrlbed ln
compleLely ob[ecLlve Lerms (lL-language): Lhere was a release of noreplnephrlne beLween Lhe neural synapses ln Lhe
fronLal corLex, accompanled by hlgh-ampllLude beLa waves . . . and so on. All of whlch ls Lrue enough, and all of
whlch ls very lmporLanL.
8uL LhaL ls noL how l experlenced Lhe LhoughL, and l wlll never acLually expetleoce my LhoughL ln Lhose Lerms.
lnsLead, Lhe LhoughL had an lnLeresLlng and lmporLanL meanlng Lo me, whlch l may or may noL share wlLh you. And
even lf you know whaL every slngle aLom of my braln ls dolng, you wlll never know Lhe acLual deLalls of my LhoughL
ooless l tell yoo. 1haL ls Lhe upper-LefL quadranL or aspecL of Lhls holon, Lhls LhoughL LhaL occurred Lo me (and LhaL ls
one of Lhe many reasons why Lhe upper LefL can never be reduced wlLhouL remalnder Lo Lhe upper 8lghL, sLrong
and general correlaLlons and lnLeracLlons, yes, deLalled reducLlon, no).
arenLheLlcally, Lhls ls why Lhe braln, even Lhough lL ls lnslde" my organlsm, ls sLlll only Lhe extetlot of my
belng-Lhe braln ls sLlll upper-8lghL quadranL, sLlll extetlot.
l can surglcally cuL open a human body and look aL all
Lhe lnsldes," even down Lo Lhe Llssues and cells and molecules, buL Lhose are noL Lhe wltblo or Lhe lotetlot, Lhey
are merely more surfaces, more exLerlors LhaL now can be seeo. 1hey are lnslde surfaces, noL real lnLerlors (whlch ls
why Lhey are all llsLed on Lhe upper-8lghL quadranL, Lhey are all Lhe aspecLs of holons LhaL can be emplrlcally
8uL Lhe cruclal polnL ls LhaL you can look aL Lhe lnsldes" all you wanL and you wlll never see an lotetlot, because
whereas surfaces or exLerlors can be seen, lnLerlors musL be lotetpteteJ. lf l wanL Lo know whaL your braln looks llke
ftom wltblo, whaL lLs acLual llved lotetlot ls llke (ln oLher words, your mloJ), Lhen l most tolk to yoo. 1here ls
absoluLely no oLher way. WhaL do you Lhlnk? WhaL's up? Pow do you feel?" And as we Lalk, l wlll have Lo lotetptet
whaL you say, because all depLh requlres lnLerpreLaLlon (whereas Lhe braln physlologlsL doesn'L have Lo Lalk Lo you aL
all, ln facL, lf a braln physlologlsL has goL hls hands on you, you are probably dead, whlch severely llmlLs conversaLlon,
Lhe braln physlologlsL can know all abouL your braln, and never know a slngle LhoughL you had).
1hls ls why Lhe surfaces are all referred Lo as monologlcal"-Lhey can be examlned wlLh a monologue, noL a
dlalogue (whlch ls why depLh ls dlaloglcal or dlalecLlcal, or empaLhlc ln Lhe broadesL sense). ?ou can sLudy a bunch of
movlng rocks monologlcally, you can sLudy braln physlology monologlcally, you can sLudy sulclde raLes
monologlcally. 8uL you can only sLudy lnLerlors empaLhlcally, as a feel from wlLhln, and LhaL means lnLerpreLaLlon:
boLh you and l mlghL be mlsLaken as we Lry Lo assess each oLher.
ln Lhe 8lghL-Pand paLh, all l baslcally have Lo do ls look. l wlll need cerLaln concepLual and maLerlal Lools, lL ls Lrue,
buL flnally and fundamenLally l [usL look: l look aL a sLar wlLh a Lelescope, l look aL a cell wlLh a mlcroscope, l look aL
parLlcle Lralls wlLh a cloud chamber, l look aL Lhe behavlor of raLs ln a maze, l look aL a soclal sysLem wlLh emplrlcal
daLa and sLaLlsLlcs. ln each of Lhese cases, l don'L have Lo Lalk Lo Lhe ob[ecL of lnvesLlgaLlon. l don'L Lry Lo reach
muLual undersLandlng. l don'L Lry Lo lnLerpreL Lhe depLhs or Lhe lnLerlors. l slmply look aL Lhe surfaces, descrlbe Lhe
exLerlors, descrlbe whaL l see. lL can all be done ln a monologue, lL never needs a dlalogue. And lL's noL LhaL one ls
rlghL and Lhe oLher wrong, lL's LhaL boLh are exLremely lmporLanL.
1hls emphaslzes Lhe lmporLance of Lhe noLlon of slocetlty ln lnvesLlgaLlng Lhe upper-LefL quadranL. When lL
comes Lo Lhe developed forms of depLh ln humans, l only have access Lo LhaL depLh vla lnLerpreLlng whaL you Lell me
ln a dlalogue (and ln body language or some such communlcaLlon). AoJ yoo mlqbt be lyloq. lurLher, you mlghL be
lylng Lo yourself-whlch ls where Lhe numerous sclences of depLh," such as psychoanalysls, enLer Lhe plcLure. ?ou
and l can noL only LranslaLe whaL we percelve, we can mlsLranslaLe. And all Lhe varlous forms of Lhe hermeneuLlcs
of susplclon" (as 8lcoeur called Lhem) seek Lo dlg beneaLh Lhe sLaLed surface conLenL and assess Lhe genulne or
acLual meanlng of a communlcaLlon: noL whaL's slLLlng on Lhe surface, buL whaL hldes ln Lhe depLhs.
1he LheraplsL, for example, based on formal Lralnlng and on empaLhlc (or sympaLheLlc) lnLulLlon, mlghL conclude
LhaL Lhe feellng of depresslon LhaL you are experlenclng ls acLually Lhe dlsgulsed feellngs of rage aL your faLher for
abandonlng you." And lf Lhls makes sense Lo you, lf you go, Aha! LhaL's exacLly lL!," Lhen you have dlscovered a
depLh ln you LhaL you dld noL know was Lhere, and LhaL you consequenLly had been mls-LranslaLlng (or
mlslnLerpreLlng) all Lhose years. ?ou and Lhe LheraplsL wlll Lhen begln Lo reLranslaLe Lhose mlsLranslaLed feellngs,
correcLly labellng Lhem ln Lhe conLexL of your own developmenL: you are noL sad," you are acLually mad."
ln Lhls sense (whlch we wlll explore more laLer), my unconsclous," my shadow," ls Lhe sum LoLal of my pasL
mlsLranslaLlons carrled lnLo Lhe presenL, where lL dlsLorLs percepLlon now (Lransference"). My feellngs of sadness"
were acLually loslocete, l was lylng Lo myself ln order Lo hlde Lhe worse paln of rage aL a loved one, l dellberaLely
(buL unconsclously") mlslnLerpreLed my feellngs ln order Lo proLecL myself (defense mechanlsms"). My shadow ls
Lhe locus of my lnslncerlLy, my mlslnLerpreLaLlon of my own depLh (and Lhls lndeed ls whaL all forms of depLh
psychology," lreudlan Lo !unglan Lo CesLalL, have ln common).
lurLher, l wlll also mlsLranslaLe or mlslnLerpreL Lhe depLh ln oLhers (WhaL do you mean by LhaL!") because l have
mlsLranslaLed lL ln myself. And Lhus l have Lo reread Lhe LexL of my own feellngs, locaLe Lhe source of my lnslncerlLy,
and relnLerpreL my own depLh more falLhfully, wlLh Lhe help, usually, of somebody who has seen Lhe mlsLranslaLlon
before and can help lotetptet me Lo myself. 1he lssues are meooloq, lotetptetotloo, and slocetlty (or lLs lack).
8ehavlorlsm, of course, wanLs noLhlng Lo do wlLh any of Lhls black box" of lnLerlor meanlng, and conslgns Lhe loL
of lL, aL besL, Lo lnLervenlng varlables" lylng ln LhaL Lerra lncognlLa beLween obsetvoble sLlmull and obsetvoble
response, lnLernal varlables LhaL are deflned merely as Lendencles Lo behavlor," because behavlorlsm, belng a
8lghL-Pand paLh, does noL LrusL anyLhlng lL cannoL see and monologlcally Llnker wlLh or relnforce.
(l wonder lf any
of Lhe behavlorlsLs ever explaln Lo Lhelr spouses LhaL Lhelr shared love ls [usL an lnLervenlng varlable.)
ln oLher words, behavlorlsm, llke all 8lghL-Pand paLhs, ls fundamenLally concerned wlLh ptoposltloool ttotb.
l, as
a researcher, make a sLaLemenL or a proposlLlon abouL an ob[ecLlve sLaLe of affalrs, and Lhe research aLLempLs Lo
ascerLaln wheLher LhaL sLaLemenL ls Lrue or false (ofLen by Lrylng Lo dlsprove lL). 8uL ln all cases lL bolls down Lo
sLaLemenLs llke, ls lL or ls lL noL ralnlng ouLslde?" l go and look, and l flnd ouL whaL Lhe ob[ecLlve slLuaLlon ls (lL ls
lndeed ralnlng ouLslde"). CLher researchers go and look, and lf everybody agrees, we say lL ls proposlLlonally Lrue
LhaL lL ls ralnlng ouLslde.
All proposlLlonal LruLh ls of LhaL varleLy, alLhough lL can geL qulLe compllcaLed, and Lhe monologlcal lookloq ofLen
requlres Lelescopes, mlcroscopes, LLCs, and oLher complex lnsLrumenLs of one sorL or anoLher. 8uL Lhey all aLLempL
Lo allgn proposlLlons wlLh an ob[ecLlve sLaLe of affalrs. 1hey are monologlcal, proposlLlonal, emplrlcal. 1he valldlLy
crlLerlon ls one of ttotb, of maLchlng map and LerrlLory accuraLely enough.
8uL ln Lhe upper-LefL quadranL, Lhe valldlLy crlLerlon ls noL so much LruLh as LruLhfulness, or slncerlLy. 1he
quesLlon here ls noL ls lL ralnlng ouLslde?" 1he quesLlon here ls: when l Lell you lL ls ralnlng ouLslde, am l Lelllng you
Lhe LruLh or am l lylng? Cr perhaps self-decelved? Am l belng LruLhful and slncere, or decelLful and lnslncere? 1hls ls
noL so much a maLLer of ob[ecLlve ttotb as one of sub[ecLlve ttotbfoloess. lL ls noL so much wheLher Lhe map
maLches Lhe LerrlLory, buL wheLher Lhe mapmaker can be LrusLed.
1ruLhfulness, Lhen, ls a maLLer of LrusL and slncerlLy. reclsely because Jeptb does noL slL on Lhe surface for all Lo
see, my reporLlng of depLh may or may noL be ttosteJ. 1ruLhfulness, slncerlLy, LrusLworLhlness, lnLegrlLy-Lhese are
some of Lhe cruclal guldeposLs for navlgaLlng ln Lhe upper-LefL quadranL.
ln shorL, lL ls noL [usL a maLLer of Lrue exLerlors, buL slncere lnLerlors. And Lhls slncerlLy cannoL be deLermlned
emplrlcally or ob[ecLlvely or monologlcally. We can glve people emplrlcal lle-deLecLor LesLs, buL lf Lhey have flrsL lled
Lo Lhemselves, Lhe monologlcal machlne wlll wrongly lndlcaLe Lhey are Lelllng Lhe LruLh. 1he locus of slncerlLy ls noL
ob[ecLlve, buL sub[ecLlve, and LhaL can only be accessed ln dlaloglcal lnLerpreLaLlon, noL monologlcal lndlcaLlon.
We wlll be reLurnlng Lo Lhese polnLs laLer, buL Lhose are some of Lhe lndlvldual aspecLs of Lhls LhoughL LhaL
occurred Lo me," Lhls LhoughL holon we are uslng as an example. 1he LhoughL holon has braln correlaLes LhaL can be
deLermlned ob[ecLlvely, monologlcally, proposlLlonally (u8), gulded by LruLh, and lL has lnLerlor correlaLes LhaL can
be deLermlned only dlaloglcally and lnLerpreLlvely, gulded by LruLhfulness. noL only are Lhe Lwo domalns dlfferenL ln
naLure, Lhey have Jlffeteot ctltetlo for whaL ls vollJ ln each.
8uL, Lo conLlnue Lhe example, Lhose lndlvldual aspecLs olso have soclal or communal componenLs (Lhe lower
half). WheLher l Lell you my speclflc LhoughLs or noL, Lhose LhoughLs do lndeed have meooloq Lo me (and would
have meanlng Lo you lf l Lell Lhem Lo you), because LhaL meanlng ls lLself susLalned by a whole neLwork of
background pracLlces and norms and llngulsLlc sLrucLures exlsLlng ln our shared culLure. lf l Lell Lhem Lo you and you
don'L speak Lhe language, Lhen you won'L geL Lhe meanlng, even Lhough all Lhe physlcal words and sLlmull freely
bombard you. 1haL ls Lhe Lower-LefL quadranL, Lhe sboteJ coltotol wotlJspoce necessary for Lhe communlcaLlon of
any meanlng aL all, and wlLhouL whlch mosL (or even all) of my own prlvaLe LhoughLs would be largely meanlngless as
1he quesLlon here ls noL one of LruLh so much, nor even LruLhfulness, buL one of coltotol flt, of Lhe
approprlaLeness or [usLness or flLness" of my meanlngs and values wlLh Lhe culLure LhaL helps Lo produce Lhem. My
own lndlvldual meanlngs and values are noL reduclble Lo Lhls culLural flLness (no quadranL ls reduclble Lo any oLher),
buL Lhey do depend Lhoroughly on all Lhe background conLexLs and culLural pracLlces LhaL allow me Lo form
meanlngs ln Lhe flrsL place. My LhoughL-holon ls lnexLrlcably slLuaLed ln culLural conLexLs of relaLlonal exchange and
lnLersub[ecLlve communlcaLlons, wlLhouL whlch my own sub[ecL (and lLs LruLhfulness) and Lhe world of ob[ecLs (wlLh
Lhelr LruLh) would noL and could noL dlsclose Lhemselves ln Lhe flrsL place.
lf my LhoughL-holon does noL culLurally flL, Lhen l may be a genlus rlslng above convenLlons, or l may be psychoLlc
and LoLally ouL of Louch wlLh my fellows. 8uL Lhe crlLerlon ln any case ls noL so much LruLh or LruLhfulness, buL
[usLness, approprlaLeness: noL wheLher my LhoughL corresponds wlLh a world of objects, nor wheLher l am belng
sobjectlvely LruLhful, buL wheLher l am lotetsobjectlvely ln Lune, approprlaLely meshed wlLh Lhe culLural worldspace
LhaL allows sub[ecLs and ob[ecLs Lo arlse ln Lhe flrsL place. (WheLher l agree or dlsagree wlLh aspecLs of LhaL culLure, l
have ln all cases depended upon lL Lo provlde me wlLh Lhe capaclLy for lnLersub[ecLlve meanlng ln Lhe flrsL place.)
ln oLher words, Lhe crlLerlon for valldlLy ln Lhe Lower-LefL quadranL ls noL [usL Lhe ttotb of my sLaLemenL, nor Lhe
ttotbfoloess wlLh whlch l puL lL, buL wheLher you and l can come Lo motool ooJetstooJloq wlLh each oLher. noL
ob[ecLlve, noL sub[ecLlve, buL lnLersub[ecLlve.
8uL none of Lhose meanlngs, wheLher lndlvldual or culLural, are slmply or merely dlsembodled. My lndlvldual
LhoughLs reglsLer a change ln my braln physlology, llkewlse, culLural paLLerns are reglsLered ln exLerlor, maLerlal,
observable soclal behavlors (even lf Lhey can'L be reduced Lo Lhem). And LhaL ls Lhe Lower-8lghL quadranL.
1haL ls, [usL as my LhoughLs have braln correlaLes, culLural meanlngs have correlaLes ln ob[ecLlve soclal lnsLlLuLlons
and maLerlal soclal sLrucLures. lood producLlon, LransporLaLlon sysLems, wrlLLen records, school bulldlngs,
geopollLlcal sLrucLures, behavloral acLlons of groups, wrlLLen legal codes, archlLecLural sLyles and Lhe bulldlngs
Lhemselves, Lypes of Lechnology, llngulsLlc sLrucLures ln Lhelr exLerlor aspecLs (wrlLLen or spoken slgnlflers), Lechno-
economlc forces of producLlon and dlsLrlbuLlon-all Lhe physlcal componenLs of a soclal acLlon sysLem, all Lhe
aspecLs of a soclal sysLem LhaL can be seen emplrlcally or monologlcally.
Pere Lhe crlLerlon ls noL Lhe ttotb of ob[ecLs, nor Lhe ttotbfoloess of sub[ecLs, nor Lhe mesh of lotetsobjectlve
undersLandlng and meanlng, buL raLher Lhe fooctloool flt or Lhe lotetobjectlve mesh of soclal sysLems. A soclal
acLlon sysLem, for example, can only produce so much buLLer or so many guns, and Lhe more of one, Lhe less of Lhe
oLher-Lhey musL fooctlooolly flt wlLh whaL ls physlcally posslble (whereas, ln lnLersub[ecLlve meanlng, Lhe more
meanlng l have does noL mean Lhe less meanlng avallable Lo you: Lhese are quallLles, noL quanLlLles, so Lhey don'L
have Lo physlcally add or subLracL from each oLher, as quanLlLles ln funcLlonal flL musL).
looctloool flt (WhaL does lL Jo?") ls, of course, Lhe ma[or valldlLy clalm recognlzed by sysLems Lheory. And LhaL ls
parL of lLs sobtle teJoctloolsm. lnLerpreLlve depLh (slncerlLy and LruLhfulness) and culLural meanlng ([usLness and
moral approprlaLeness) are all reduced Lo funcLlonal flL ln exLerlor surfaces: all are reduced Lo flaLland hollsm.
(Lven proposlLlonal LruLh, or sub[ecL and ob[ecL correspondlng flL, ls reduced Lo funcLlonal flL, or lotetobjectlve flL,
and LruLh" becomes anyLhlng LhaL furLhers Lhe auLopoleLlc reglme of Lhe self-organlzlng soclal sysLem, such Lheorles
dlssolve Lhelr own LruLh value ln Lhe funcLlonal flL of LhaL whlch Lhey descrlbe, so LhaL Lhelr sub[ecLlve Lheorles
become merely one among oLher lnLerob[ecLs, a very neaL Lrlck lndeed, we wlll reLurn Lo Lhls laLer.)
now Lhe polnL of Lhls overall example ls slmply LhaL my slngle" LhoughL, Lhe orlglnal holon, ls noL really a slngle
LhoughL as such, buL raLher a holon wlLh four lnseparable aspecLs (lnLenLlonal, behavloral, culLural, and soclal), each
wlLh lLs own valldlLy clalms (sub[ecLlve LruLhfulness, ob[ecLlve LruLh, lnLersub[ecLlve [usLness, and lnLerob[ecLlve
funcLlonal flL).
As l sald, no holon whaLsoever slmply exlsLs ln one or anoLher quadranL, all holons possess Lhese
four quadranLs, and each quadranL ls lnLlmaLely correlaLed wlLh, dependenL upon, buL noL reduclble Lo, Lhe oLhers.
8uL preclsely because Lhese quadranLs are all so lnLlmaLely correlaLed, l can lndeed aLLempL an aggresslve
reducLlonlsm, and lL can acLually seem Lo make a loL of sense. lor example, slnce every LhoughL does lndeed reglsLer
some sorL of change ln braln physlology (even lf l have an ouL-of-Lhe-body experlence!), l can olwoys malnLaln LhaL
LhoughLs are [usL braln sLaLes, even Lhough l wlll probably malnLaln (as mosL braln LheorlsLs do) LhaL Lhe braln sLaLes
Lhemselves are hlgher-order (or hlerarchlcal) emergenL paLLerns LhaL cannoL be reduced Lo tbelt aLomlsLlc
1hls poslLlon ls noL yeL gross reducLlonlsm. lL ls subLle reducLlonlsm. lL has slmply reduced lnLerlor depLh, value,
meanlng, and consclousness (Lhe LefL Pand) Lo funcLlonal parLs of a muLually lnLerlocklng order of hollsLlc and
emplrlcal evenLs (Lhe 8lghL Pand). lL has reduced Lhree-dlmenslonal chess Lo flaLland chess, Lhe kosmos Lo Lhe
cosmos, Lhe lnLerrelaLed pyramld of llfe Lo Lhe lnLerrelaLed web of llfe, lnLerrelaLed l and we Lo lnLerrelaLed lLs.
ln shorL, Lhls subLle reducLlonlsm stlll tecoqolzes bolotcby (hlerarchy), buL ooly Lhe hlerarchles on Lhe 8lghL
Pand-only Lhe hlerarchles of slze, exLenslon, and surface. And Lherefore Lhese hlerarchles are all fundamenLally
deflned by pbyslcol loclosloo (a cell physlcally lncludes molecules, whlch physlcally lnclude aLoms, and so on, buL
Lhese depLhs" are all flaLly mooovoleot: Lhey are oot holarchles of value, beauLy, meanlng, moLlvaLlon,
undersLandlng, lnLenLlon, consclousness, or anyLhlng else even vaguely LefL Pand: all of Lhose genulnely lnLerlor
depLhs have been scrubbed clean and emplrlcally whlLewashed ln Lhe monochrome Lones of exLerlor physlcal span,
ex-span-slon, or exLenslon/lncluslon: no beLLer or worse, only blgger or smaller).
And Lhls sobtle teJoctloolsm ls helped by Lhe facL LhaL oll four sLrands of evoluLlon, all four quadranLs, follow Lhe
LwenLy LeneLs. 1hey are all holarchlcal. 8uL whereas Lhe 8lghL Pand ls preemlnenLly lnvolved ln physlcal exLenslon
(organlsms are blgger Lhan cells), Lhe LefL-Pand lnvolves lnLenLlons (concepLs per se are oot blgger or smaller Lhan
symbols, even Lhough Lhey lnclude" Lhem and are more lnLenLlonal, Lhese are gradaLlons of value and beauLy, noL
gradaLlons of slze).
lurLher, Lhe Jeepet one proceeds, Lhe less Lhe LwenLy LeneLs Lell us anyLhlng slgnlflcanL anyway (slnce Lhey are
Lhe lowesL-common-denomlnaLor facLors, Lhe weakesL-noodle laws). noneLheless, Lhe LwenLy LeneLs do capLure
cerLaln fundamenLals ln all four quadranLs.
1hus, Lhls subLle reducLlonlsm can sLlll champlon all Lhe LwenLy LeneLs, Lhe noLlon of developmenL, Lhe emergenL
characLerlsLlc of evoluLlon, Lhe muLually lnLerrelaLed naLure of all holons, Lhe holarchlcal naLure of all holons, and so
on. All of tbot coo stlll be beottlly embtoceJ by tbe sobtle teJoctloolst, lL's [usL LhaL all holarchles of quallLy have
been losL enLlrely ln holarchles of quanLlLy, and all gradaLlons of lnLerlor depLh have been replaced by gradaLlons of
meanlngless exLerlors (compasslon ls beLLer Lhan murder, buL quarks are noL beLLer Lhan phoLons, and Lhus Lo
explaln Lhe enLlre kosmos ln Lerms of exLerlor surfaces and emplrlcal forms ls Lo flnd only a cosmos wlLh no value
whaLsoever: guaranLeed).
And slnce for every evenL ln Lhe LefL-Pand dlmenslon Lhere ls always sometbloq reglsLered ln Lhe 8lghL Pand, lL
can appear LhaL an exhausLlve descrlpLlon of Lhe 8lghL-Pand paLh acLually covers everyLhlng Lhere ls Lo be sald. uL
dlfferenLly, slnce every evenL ln Lhe kosmos does lndeed have a 8lghL-Pand componenL, lL can mlsLakenly appear
LhaL Lhe 8lghL-Pand paLh alone exhausLs Lhe kosmos, whereas lL has merely reglsLered and measured Lhe fooLprlnLs
of Lhe glanL.
lL's very subLle, Lhls program of collapslng Lhe kosmos.
1PL lunuAMLn1AL LnLlCP1LnMLn1 A8AulCM
As we wlll see ln chapLer 12, Lhls subLle reducLlonlsm was Lhe fooJomeotol ollqbteomeot potoJlqm.
And wlLhln
Lhls subLle reducLlonlsm, wlLhln Lhe fundamenLal LnllghLenmenL paradlgm, Lhere were Lwo warrlng camps: flaLland
aLomlsLs and flaLland hollsLs. And lL ls ln an unbroken llneage LhaL Loday's sysLems LheorlsLs carry on Lhe laLLer pole
of Lhe LnllghLenmenL paradlgm: Lhe Lask of botb overcomlng gross reducLlonlsm, whlch ls alLogeLher commendable,
and covettly propagaLlng subLle reducLlonlsm, Lhe reducLlon of all lnLenLlon Lo exLenslon, all quallLy Lo quanLlLy, all
lnLerpreLed depLhs Lo unamblguously seen surfaces, all hlerarchlcal values Lo monologlcal mesh, all lnLerlors Lo
hollsLlc sLrands, all LruLh and meanlng Lo funcLlonal flL, all lnLerwoven l's and we's Lo lnLerwoven lLs.
1hls ls why Morrls 8erman can polnL ouL LhaL Lhe conLemporary quesL for hollsm ls [usL as formal, absLracL,
'value-free,' and dlsembodled as Lhe mechanlsLlc paradlgm lL seeks Lo replace."
1hls confuses and angers Lhe
hollsLs, because Lhey slncerely Lhlnk Lhey are Lhe good guys, slnce Lhey managed Lo defeaL qtoss reducLlonlsm. 8uL
we have shown LhaL everyLhlng ls connecLed Lo everyLhlng else!" 1he flaLland web of llfe. AlLhough Lhe lnLenLlons are
ofLen genulne, Lhe gravlLaLlonal pull of flaLland makes lL a planeL very hard Lo escape.
keep ln mlnd LhaL l am noL saylng sysLems Lheory and eco-hollsm ls wrong, l would noL have spenL all of chapLer 2
exLolllng lL lf l LhoughL LhaL. lL ls slmply very parLlal-whaL Pegel called a vanlLy of Lhe undersLandlng"-and LhaL
vanlLy Lends Lo become dangerous, because when half Lhe kosmos clalms Lo have Lhe whole, cerLaln Lypes of
aggresslon are abouL Lo ensue.
ln chapLer 1 we saw LhaL, accordlng Lo Lhe hollsLs Lhemselves, we Loday suffer from a fracLured worldvlew. 1haL ls
Lrue, buL desplLe Lhelr besL lnLenLlons, Lhe hollsLs have noL solved lL, Lhey have merely cloned lL. 8educlng everyLhlng
Lo funcLlonal flL desLroys Lhe lnLegrlLy of each domaln, and furLher renders Lrue lnLegraLlon of each lmposslble. 1he
world ls lndeed fracLured, Lhe flaLland hollsLs are some of Lhe prlme promoLers of Lhe fracLure. lL ls from Lhls flaL and
faded landscape, armed wlLh good lnLenLlons and a weakesL-noodle sclence, LhaL Lhey cry ouL Lo us as our savlors.
1he hollsLs, of course, Lell Lhe Lale of Lhe LnllghLenmenL as belng prlmarlly an aLomlsLlc paradlgm, whlch Lhey
malnLaln ls Lhe real cause of Lhe world's fracLure. 1hls sLory allows Lhe hollsLs Lo hlde Lhe deeper crlme of Lhe
LnllghLenmenL LhaL Lhe hollsLs Lhemselves are sLlll perpeLuaLlng. As we wlll see LhroughouL Lhe remalnder of Lhls
volume, modernlLy's worldvlew ls lndeed fracLured, noL because everyLhlng lsn'L reduced Lo Lhe Lower-8lghL
quadranL of funcLlonal flL (Lhe eco-hollsLlc soluLlon"), buL becoose tbe foot pooJtoots tbemselves bove yet to be
And lL ls ln LhaL lnLegraLlon LhaL LruLh, LruLhfulness, meanlng, and flL can be broughL lnLo a muLual harmony. 1haL
harmony-and noL a reducLlonlsm LhaL Lears lnLo Lhe fabrlc of each ln Lhe name of a preLend wholeness-ls one of
Lhe overall Lhemes of Lhls volume.
WhaL we wlll flnd ls LhaL funcLlonal flL ls lndeed lmporLanL, buL lL ls only parL of Lhe harmony avallable. And lL ls noL
even Lhe mosL lmporLanL quadranL for Loday's world, because befote we can even aLLempL an ecologlcal heallng, we
musL flrsL reach a motool ooJetstooJloq and muLual agreemenL among ourselves as Lo Lhe besL way Lo collecLlvely
proceed. ln oLher words, Lhe heallng lmpulse comes noL from champlonlng funcLlonal flL (Lower 8lghL) buL muLual
undersLandlng (Lower LefL). And LhaL depends flrsL and foremosL, we wlll see, on lndlvldual growLh and
consclousness LransformaLlon (upper LefL). 1he LefL-Pand paLh, noL merely Lhe 8lghL-Pand paLh, musL Lake Lhe lead.
AnyLhlng shorL of LhaL, no maLLer whaL Lhe moLlves, perpeLuaLes Lhe fracLure (or so l wlll Lry Lo demonsLraLe). ln
undersLandably emphaslzlng Lhe lmporLance and Lhe urgency of eco-hollsLlc flL, many hollsLs have absoluLlzed Lhe
Lower-8lghL quadranL, whlch, ln Lhus seallng lL off from any Lrue lnLegraLlon, condemns lL Lo Lhe faLe of all
fragmenLs. 8educlng all domalns Lo Lhe Lower 8lghL, Lo funcLlonal flL, doesn'L [usL desLroy Lhe oLher domalns, lL
desLroys Lhe Lower 8lghL as well.
1hls ls [usL anoLher way of polnLlng ouL LhaL absoluLlzlng Lhe blosphere desLroys Lhe blosphere. AL Lhls polnL of
sorely needed lnLegraLlon, Lhe flaLland hollsLs are ulLlmaLely no frlends of Cala. 1hey mlghL proLecL a paLch of Cala
here or Lhere, whlch ls wonderful, buL wlLhouL an overall lnLegraLlon of all four quadranLs, Cala conLlnues Lo wlLher
ln Lhe wlnds of dlsregard. A genulnely kosmlc hollsm, noL cosmlc hollsm, ls whaL ls sorely needed.
1PL 8lC 1P8LL
WlLh reference Lo Lhe four quadranLs: because boLh of Lhe 8lghL-Pand quadranLs are exLerlors LhaL can be descrlbed
ln lL-language, l wlll someLlmes counL Lhem as one ma[or domaln, Lhe oLher Lwo belng Lhe l-language of Lhe upper
LefL and Lhe we-language of Lhe Lower LefL. And for slmpllclLy's sake l wlll refer Lo Lhese as Lhe 8lg 1hree (l, we, lL).
numerous comparlsons wlLh oLher researchers could be polnLed ouL here, and we wlll evenLually dlscuss Lhem ln
much deLall. lor Lhe momenL we mlghL noLe LhaL Lhe 8lghL half of Lhe dlagram ls karl opper's World l (Lhe ob[ecLlve
world of lL), Lhe upper LefL, World ll (Lhe sub[ecLlve world of l), and Lhe Lower LefL, World lll (Lhe culLural world of
we, whlch can also, as opper polnLs ouL, be embodled or embedded ln motetlol soclal lnsLlLuLlons, or Lhe Lower
Llkewlse, Pabermas's Lhree valldlLy clalms, for LruLh (ob[ecLs), LruLhfulness or slncerlLy (sub[ecLs), and rlghLness or
[usLlce (lnLersub[ecLlvlLy), refer respecLlvely Lo Lhe 8lghL half, Lhe upper LefL, and Lhe Lower LefL (l wlll reLurn Lo
Pabermas ln a momenL and emphaslze Lhe lmporLance of hls formulaLlons ln Lhls regard).
And ln Lhe broadesL
sense Lhls ls laLo's Lhe 1rue (or proposlLlonal LruLh referrlng Lo an ob[ecLlve sLaLe of affalrs, lL), Lhe Cood (or culLural
[usLlce and approprlaLeness, we), and Lhe 8eauLlful (or Lhe lndlvldual-aesLheLlc dlmenslon, l). 1he 8lg 1hree are
llkewlse kanL's Lhree crlLlques: Lhe CrlLlque of ure 8eason (LheoreLlcal lL-reason), of racLlcal 8eason or
lnLersub[ecLlve morallLy (we), and of personal AesLheLlc !udgmenL (l). 1hus, alLhough oLher lLems are lncluded as
well, Lhese Lhree greaL domalns-Lhe 8lg 1hree-are especlally Lhe domalns of emplrlcal sclence, morallLy, and arL.
8uL even when we move lnLo a dlscusslon of splrlLuallLy, we wlll see Lhe 8lg 1hree appear ln such all-lmporLanL
formulaLlons as Lhe 1hree !ewels of 8uddhlsm: 8uddha, uharma, Sangha. 8uddha ls Lhe ulLlmaLe l, uharma Lhe
ulLlmaLe lL, and Sangha Lhe ulLlmaLe We. (l wlll be especlally emphaslzlng Lhls ln subsequenL chapLers, lL ls absoluLely
cruclal ln splrlLual concerns.)
Charles 1aylor polnLs ouL LhaL radlcally dlfferenL senses of whaL Lhe [culLural] good ls go along wlLh qulLe
dlfferenL concepLlons of whaL a human agenL ls, dlfferenL noLlons of Lhe self. Cur modern senses of Lhe self noL only
are llnked Lo and made posslble by new undersLandlngs of good buL also are accompanled by new forms of
narraLlvlLy and new undersLandlngs of soclal bonds and relaLlons. 1hese all evolve LogeLher, ln loose 'packages,' as lL
We are always slLuaLed ln relaLlon Lo Lhe l, Lhe we, and Lhe lL-and Lhey evolve LogeLher.
And, Lo reLurn Lo Pabermas, Lhls ls Lhe essence of Lhe Pabermaslan revoluLlon. We are loescopobly sltooteJ ln
relaLlon Lo Lhe 8lg 1hree, eocb of wblcb bos lts owo vollJlty clolm and lLs own sLandards, and none of whlch can be
reduced Lo Lhe oLhers. WlLh any speech acL," he says, Lhe speaker Lakes up a relaLlon Lo someLhlng ln Lhe ob[ecLlve
world [lL], someLhlng ln a common soclal world [we], and someLhlng ln hls own sub[ecLlve world [l]." And Lhe clalms
made wlLh reference Lo each of Lhose worlds have Lhelr own valldlLy crlLerla, namely, ptoposltloool ttotb (referrlng
Lo an ob[ecLlve sLaLe of affalrs, or lL), ootmotlve tlqbtoess (culLural [usLness or approprlaLeness, we), and sobjectlve
ttotbfoloess (or slncerlLy, l). And Lhls means LhaL none of Lhem can be reduced Lo Lhe oLhers:
1he world" Lo whlch sub[ecLs can relaLe wlLh Lhelr represenLaLlons or proposlLlons [proposlLlonal LruLh] was
hlLherLo concelved of as Lhe LoLallLy of ob[ecLs or exlsLlng sLaLe of affalrs [lL]. 1he ob[ecLlve world ls consldered
Lhe correlaLlve of all Lrue asserLorlc [proposlLlonal] senLences. 8uL lf normaLlve rlghLness [we] and sub[ecLlve
LruLhfulness [l] are lnLroduced as valldlLy clalms analogous Lo LruLh, worlds" [our quadranLs"] analogous Lo
Lhe world of facLs have Lo be posLulaLed for leglLlmaLely regulaLed lnLerpersonal relaLlonshlps [we] and for
aLLrlbuLable sub[ecLlve experlences [l]-a world" [quadranL] noL only for whaL ls ob[ecLlve," whlch appears Lo
us ln Lhe aLLlLude of Lhe Lhlrd person, buL also one for whaL ls normaLlve, Lo whlch we feel obllged ln Lhe
aLLlLude of addresses, as well as one for whaL ls sub[ecLlve, whlch we elLher dlsclose or conceal [slncerlLy] ln
Lhe aLLlLude of Lhe flrsL person [Lhe l].
Llkewlse, each of Lhese valldlLy clalms (for LruLh, LruLhfulness, and [usLness) can be exposed Lo lLs own dlfferenL
klnds of evldence, and Lhus lLs own klnd of LruLh clalms can be exposeJ to evlJeoce and cbeckeJ for Lhelr acLual
CorrelaLlve Lo Lhe Lhree fundamenLal funcLlons of language [relaLed Lo l, we, lL], each elemenLary speech acL
can be conLesLed under Lhree dlfferenL aspecLs of valldlLy. 1he hearer can re[ecL Lhe uLLerance of a speaker by
elLher dlspuLlng Lhe ttotb of Lhe proposlLlon asserLed ln lL (or of Lhe exlsLenLlal presupposlLlons of lLs
proposlLlonal conLenL), or Lhe tlqbtoess of Lhe speech acL ln vlew of Lhe normaLlve conLexL of Lhe uLLerance
(or Lhe leglLlmacy of Lhe presupposed conLexL lLself), or Lhe ttotbfoloess of Lhe lnLenLlon expressed by Lhe
speaker (LhaL ls, Lhe agreemenL of whaL ls meanL wlLh whaL ls sLaLed).
And so we can now reLurn Lo (and beLLer undersLand) Lhe noLlon of sobtle teJoctloolsm, or Lhe aLLempL Lo
collapse Lhe kosmos Lo Lhe 8lghL-Pand paLh (or reduce Lhe LefL Pand Lo Lhe 8lghL, or reduce l" and we" Lo lL," or
reduce lnLerlors Lo exLerlors, wheLher aLomlsLlc or funcLlonal):
1ruLh ls reduced Lo mere represenLaLlon (Lhe reflecLlon paradlgm").
1haL ls, LhoughLs are no longer an lnLegral
parL of Lhe kosmos, Lhey are merely dlsengaged and hoverlng ptoposltloos LhaL are supposed Lo mlttot Lhe
cosmos, or slmply reflecL accuraLely" a world of maLLer and facLs ouL Lhere (proposlLlonal LhoughL as reflecLlng an
ob[ecLlve sLaLe of affalrs, or lLs").
8eason ls reduced from a sobstootlve vlslon of Lhe kosmlc order Lo a
ptoceJotol process for mapplng flaLland.
1ruLh no longer means aLLunemenL wlLh Lhe kosmos, buL merely how Lo
map Lhe cosmos.
More subLly, LruLh comes Lo mean funcLlonal flL. 1ruLh no longer refers Lo aLLunemenL wlLh Lhe kosmlc sLaLe of
affalrs (lnLerlorly and exLerlorly, verLlcally and horlzonLally), nor even reflecLlon on a sLaLe of affalrs, lL comes Lo
mean merely losttomeotol meoos ln Lhe auLopoleLlc self-malnLalnance of Lhe sysLem of funcLlonal flL (aL whlch
polnL lL blzarrely dlssolves lLs own sLaLus, funcLlonal flLness can clalm Lo be a Lrue Lheory only by negaLlng Lhe
meanlng of LruLh: Lhe Lheory, lf lL ls Lrue, musL lLself acLually be an lnsLrumenLal producLlon of Lhe sysLem, aL whlch
polnL lL can no longer be sald Lo be Lrue, only useful).
Slmllarly, personal lnLegrlLy and lnLenLlons (uL) are reduced Lo healLhy braln funcLlonlng (u8), Lo Lhe now rampanL
model of blologlcal psychlaLry (one ls depressed, noL lf one's llfe becomes meanlngless or locks voloes, buL lf one's
neuroLransmlLLers lack seroLonln). Cr, llkewlse, one's personal lnLegrlLy and meanlng ls reduced Lo behavloral
modlflcaLlon (also u8). noL Where am l slLuaLed ln Lhe kosmos?" buL Pow can l funcLlon beLLer ln Lhe cosmos?"
noL WhaL does my exlsLence mean?" buL Pow can l geL lL Lo work beLLer?"
letsoool meooloq ls Lhus reduced Lo behavloral flLness, and Lhls ls oocooscloosly [udged by Lhe prevalllng
cooveotloool culLural reallLy (wlLhouL acknowledglng Lhe lmpllclL [udgmenL lnvolved). AJoptotloo to soclety" ls Lhus
Lhe sLandard yardsLlck agalnsL whlch behavloral (and braln chemlsLry) modlflcaLlons are joJqeJ (expllclLly or
lmpllclLly): noL wheLher adapLaLlon Lo a glven socleLy ls a good ldea or noL, buL how Lo funcLlon beLLer ln LhaL socleLy
regardless (and lf you can'L adapL Lo belng a good Serb whlle you rape and murder, Lhen a llLLle rozac wlll help us
over Lhose rough spoLs).
Self-undersLandlng ls replaced by behavloral funcLlonlng, where one relnforces Lhe
deslred response wlLhouL a clue as Lo whaL responses are acLually deslrable and worLh relnforclng ln Lhe flrsL place.
coltotol meooloq (LL) ls reduced Lo soclol loteqtotloo (L8), yeL anoLher verslon of funcLlonal flL. 1he whole
vollJlty of a culLural seL of values ls converLed lnLo a quesLlon of wheLher Lhey promoLe soclal coheslon, funcLlonal
flLness, and Lhe lnLegraLlon of Lhe soclal acLlon sysLem. 8y Lhls crlLerlon, Lhe nazls were alLogeLher valld, because
Lhey cerLalnly had one of Lhe mosL coherenL soclal orders ever devlsed: hollsm ln acLlon. noLhlng beaLs fasclsm for a
sLurdy auLopoleLlc reglme. And noLhlng shows more clearly how llmlLed soclal lnLegraLlon ls as a crlLerlon of Lhe Lrue
and Lhe good.
uL dlfferenLly, slnce WhaL does lL mean?" (Lhe LefL Pand) has been collapsed Lo WhaL does lL do?" (Lhe 8lghL
Pand), Lhen Lhe only crlLerlon ls Pow well does lL do lL?" and noL also ls lL worLhy Lo pursue ln Lhe flrsL place?"
Llkewlse, wlLh subLle reducLlonlsm, morals no longer embody a sLaLemenL of Lhe good llfe, or whaL lL means Lo
lead a decenL and worLhy and noble llfe-a llfe worLh belng emulaLed, a llfe LhaL empowers, a llfe plugged lnLo moral
sources LhaL lnsplre worLh and worshlp, awe and admlraLlon-buL raLher whaL ls merely requlred of us as a parL, as a
fracLlon, of a soclal acLlon sysLem. lnLersub[ecLlve undersLandlng ls reduced Lo sysLems sLeerlng problems and
Lechnlcal Llnkerlng. Morals and meanlngs become anemlc markers of whaL procedures are requlred for sysLems
malnLenance and sysLems expanslon. 1he 1rue, and Lhe Cood, and Lhe 8eauLlful are reduced Lo place seLLlngs aL Lhe
dlnner Lable of monologlcal mesh.
And we are all reduced Lo whaLever promoLes Lhe funcLlonal capaclLy of Lhe auLocraLlc sysLem, reduced Lo whaL
works, reduced Lo flttloq lo. 8educed Lo leadlng llfe by looklng aL a represenLaLlonal map of a flaL and faded
landscape, Lrylng Lo flL lnLo LhaL landscape, and Lo Lrylng Lo persuade oLhers Lo embrace Lhe same cheerful
onLologlcal sulclde.
We wlll see LhaL Lhe greaL Lask of modernlLy and posLmodernlLy, as LheorlsLs from Schelllng Lo Pegel Lo Pabermas
Lo 1aylor have polnLed ouL, ls noL Lo replace gross reducLlonlsm wlLh subLle reducLlonlsm (or aLomlsm wlLh flaLland
hollsm), buL Lo loteqtote tbe 8lq 1btee (lnLegraLe l, we, and lL, or arL, morals, and sclence, or self, culLure, and
naLure), noL by reduclng one Lo Lhe oLhers, buL by flndlng a rlchly encompasslng concepLlon of Lhe kosmos LhaL
allows each Lo flourlsh ln lLs own rlghL.
ln oLher words, lf Lhe greaL achlevemenL of Lhe LnllghLenmenL (and modernlLy") was Lhe necessary
Jlffeteotlotloo of Lhe 8lg 1hree, Lhe greaL Lask of posLmodernlLy" ls Lhelr loteqtotloo, overcomlng whaL 1aylor
called a monsLer of arresLed developmenL" (boLh of Lhese polnLs wlll be dlscussed ln laLer chapLers).
WhaL we need Lo do, Lhen, ls look now Lo Lhe evoluLlon of Lhe LefL-Pand dlmenslons (l and we) as Lhey appear ln
humans, so LhaL Lhese can be added" Lo Lhe accounLs of Lhe 8lghL-Pand paLh for a more balanced overvlew, an
overvlew LhaL more hopefully mlghL conLrlbuLe Lo Lhe lnLegraLlon of Lhe 8lg 1hree domalns.
We can sLarL wlLh Pabermas.
MlC8C Anu MAC8C, P?LC Anu Cn1C
Pabermas beglns wlLh Lhe observaLlon LhaL Lhe some sttoctotes of cooscloosoess (hls phrase) can be found ln Lhe
lndlvldual self (uL) and lLs culLural seLLlng (LL), LhaL ls, ln Lhe mlcro and macro branch of Lhe evoluLlon of human
Pabermas ofLen uses soclal" ln Lhe broad sense, buL here we are cenLerlng mosLly on whaL l have
called culLural, as Lhe conLexL wlll make clear:
lf one examlnes soclal lnsLlLuLlons and Lhe acLlon compeLences of soclallzed lndlvlduals for general
characLerlsLlcs, one encounLers Lhe same sLrucLures of consclousness. 1hls can be shown ln connecLlon wlLh
[Lo glve only one example] law and morallLy. Cne can see here Lhe ldenLlLy of Lhe consclous sLrucLures LhaL
are, on Lhe one hand, embodled ln Lhe lnsLlLuLlons of law and morallLy and LhaL are, on Lhe oLher hand,
expressed ln Lhe moral [udgemenLs and acLlons of lndlvlduals. CognlLlve developmenLal psychology has shown
LhaL ln onLogenesls Lhere are dlfferenL sLages of moral consclousness, sLages LhaL can be descrlbed ln
parLlcular as preconvenLlonal, convenLlonal, and posLconvenLlonal paLLerns of problem-solvlng [whlch we wlll
explaln laLer]. 1he same paLLerns Lurn up agaln ln Lhe soclal evoluLlon of moral and legal represenLaLlons.
As Pabermas lndlcaLes, Lhe lndlvldual and Lhe culLural holon evldence Lhe some boslc sttoctotes of cooscloosoess,
and Lhese same baslc sLrucLures of consclousness show up ln Lhe developmenL or evoluLlon of boLh Lhe loJlvlJool
and Lhe specles:
1he onLogeneLlc models are cerLalnly beLLer analyzed and beLLer corroboraLed Lhan Lhelr soclal-evoluLlonary
counLerparLs. 8uL lL should noL surprlse us LhaL Lhere are homologous sLrucLures of consclousness ln Lhe
hlsLory of Lhe specles, lf we conslder LhaL llngulsLlcally esLabllshed lnLersub[ecLlvlLy of undersLandlng marks
LhaL lnnovaLlon ln Lhe hlsLory of Lhe specles whlch flrsL made posslble Lhe level of socloculLural [noospherlc]
learnlng. AL Lhls level Lhe reproducLlon of socleLy and Lhe soclallzaLlon of lLs members are Lwo aspecLs of Lhe
same process, tbey ote JepeoJeot oo tbe some sttoctotes.
LeL me repeaL LhaL Pabermas ls saylng Lwo Lhlngs here: an lndlvldual human belng and lLs socloculLural
envlronmenL evldence Lhe some baslc sLrucLures of consclousness (correlaLlon of mlcro and macro), and fottbet,
Lhese same baslc sLrucLures can be found ln Lhe evoluLlon of Lhe lndlvldual and Lhe specles (onLogeneLlc and
phylogeneLlc parallels).
1he homologous sLrucLures of consclousness ln Lhe hlsLorles of Lhe lndlvldual and Lhe specles [are noL
resLrlcLed Lo Lhe domaln of law and morallLy. 1hey can also be found] ln Lhe domaln of ego developmenL and
Lhe evoluLlon of worldvlews on Lhe one hand, and ln Lhe domaln of ego and collecLlve ldenLlLles on Lhe oLher
[correlaLlons beLween uL and LL].
Pere are a few of Lhe correlaLlons accordlng Lo Pabermas (and uslng only hls Lerms): an lndlvldual aL Lhe level of
preoperaLlonal LhoughL parLlclpaLes ln a naLural or bodlly ldenLlLy, a shared worldvlew LhaL ls maglc-anlmlsLlc, and a
preconvenLlonal morallLy, an lndlvldual aL Lhe level of concreLe operaLlonal LhoughL ls open Lo a role ldenLlLy,
parLlclpaLes ln a shared worldvlew of myLhologlcal LhoughL, and ln a convenLlonal morallLy, and an lndlvldual aL Lhe
level of formal operaLlonal LhoughL possesses an ego ldenLlLy, parLlclpaLes ln a shared worldvlew LhaL ls raLlonal, and
evldences a posLconvenLlonal morallLy (all of whlch we wlll be explalnlng).
Pabermas's polnL ls LhaL, [usL as an lnfanL of Loday develops from preconvenLlonal (maglc) Lo convenLlonal
(myLhlc) Lo posLconvenLlonal (raLlonal)-whlch we wlll lnvesLlgaLe ln chapLer 6-so Lhe specles lLself evolved from
maglc Lo myLhlc Lo raLlonal (ln oLher words, qulLe slmllar Lo Cebser). lL ls Lhe same baslc sLrucLures of consclousness
underlylng boLh Lhe mlcro and macro branch ln boLh Lhelr onLogeneLlc and phylogeneLlc evoluLlon, and lL ls Lhe
some Jevelopmeotol loqlc (holoarchlc ln naLure, l would add) LhaL governs Lhelr evoluLlon.
l had Laken vlrLually Lhe ldenLlcal approach ln up ftom Jeo and ye to ye, and a few crlLlcs have ob[ecLed Lo
Pabermas's and my use of phylogeneLlc and onLogeneLlc parallels, clalmlng LhaL Lhls ls an old and ouLmoded way of
Lhlnklng LhaL nobody subscrlbes Lo anymore. And, lndeed, Lhe noLlon of onLo/phylo parallels-flrsL lnLroduced by
LrnsL von Paeckel (1834-1919)-was orlglnally used ln such a rlgld and slmpllsLlc way LhaL Lhe enLlre noLlon lLself fell
lnLo dlsrepuLe. 8uL ln lLs modern verslons lL slmply ouLllnes a serles of absLracL paLLerns LhaL lndeed show
slmllarlLles, and ln Lhls verslon lL ls even accepLed by orLhodox sclence lLself, as wlLness LhaL basLlon of orLhodoxy,
lsaac Aslmov, ln hls wldely respecLed New ColJe to 5cleoce:
lL ls almosL lmposslble Lo run down Lhe rosLer of llvlng Lhlngs, as l have [usL done, wlLhouL endlng wlLh a sLrong
lmpresslon LhaL Lhere has been a slow developmenL of llfe from Lhe very slmple Lo Lhe complex [LeneL 12a].
1he phyla can be arranged so LhaL each seems Lo add someLhlng Lo Lhe one before [LeneL 3]. WlLhln each
phylum, Lhe varlous classes can be arranged llkewlse, and wlLhln each class, Lhe orders.
We can Lrace pracLlcally a re-enacLmenL of Lhe passage Lhrough Lhe phyla, even ln Lhe developmenL of a
human belng from Lhe ferLlllzed egg. ln Lhe course of Lhls developmenL, Lhe egg sLarLs as a slngle cell (a klnd of
proLozoon), Lhen becomes a small colony of cells (as ln a sponge), each of whlch aL flrsL ls capable of
separaLlng and sLarLlng llfe on lLs own, as happens when ldenLlcal Lwlns develop. 1he developlng embryo
passes Lhrough a Lwo-layered sLage (llke a coelenLeraLe), Lhen adds a Lhlrd layer (llke an echlnoderm), and so
conLlnues Lo add complexlLles ln roughly Lhe order Lhe progresslvely hlgher specles do.
As for cognlLlve developmenL, Lhe emplrlcal concluslon of developmenLallsLs from Sllvano ArleLl Lo lageL ls LhaL
Lhere are lndeed cerLaln onLo/phylo parallels ln Lhe evoluLlon of deep sLrucLures (noL surface sLrucLures), as ArleLl
explalns: WhaL ls of fundamenLal lmporLance ls LhaL Lhe [onLogeneLlc and phylogeneLlc] processes Lo a large exLenL
follow slmllar developmenLal plans. 1hls does noL mean llLerally LhaL ln Lhe psyche onLogeny recaplLulaLes
phylogeny, buL LhaL Lhere are cerLaln slmllarlLles ln Lhe [Lwo] flelds of developmenL and LhaL we are able Lo
lndlvlduallze schemes of hlghesL forms of generallLy whlch lnvolve all levels of Lhe psyche ln lLs [Lwo] Lypes of
developmenL. We also recognlze concreLe varlanLs of Lhe same overall sLrucLural plans ln Lhe Lypes of
1haL verslon of onLo/phylo parallels ls expllclLly accepLed by researchers and LheorlsLs from Lrlch !anLsch
(recaplLulaLlon does noL acL ln a rlgld and sLrucLurally orlenLed way, buL ln Lhe sense of Lhe flexlble modlflcaLlon of a
space-Llme sLrucLure")
Lo karl opper and !ohn Lccles (see 1be 5elf ooJ lts 8tolo). Masslve evldence has been
accumulaLed ln Lhls regard by Lhe !unglans and glven lLs mosL powerful sLaLemenL ln Lrlch neumann's book 1be
Otlqlos ooJ nlstoty of cooscloosoess.
8uL perhaps Lhe mosL lnLrlgulng use of Lhls noLlon ls Lo be found ln 8uperL Sheldrake, who sees general
recaplLulaLlon as a form of morphlc resonance (or kosmlc memory) from all prevlous sLages of evoluLlon. lL ls as lf, he
says, naLure develops hablLs-morphlc unlLs wlLh morphlc flelds, whlch he also calls holons-and once Lhese holons
are developed or become seL as hablLs of naLure, Lhen naLure slmply keeps reuslng Lhem ln succeedlng
sLages-anoLher verslon of compound lndlvlduallLy.
nobody ls more aware Lhan Pabermas of Lhe mlsuses and fallacles Lo whlch Lhls noLlon has been puL, and lndeed
he ouLllnes elghL ways LhaL Lhe noLlon has been erroneously used, ob[ecLlons whlch l sLrongly share (Lhe crlLlcs of
Lhls approach mlghL wlsh Lo consulL Pabermas, because he seems Lo be much clearer abouL lLs problems Lhan Lhey
Pabermas noneLheless concludes, All provlsos noLwlLhsLandlng, cerLaln homologles can be found"-cerLaln
parallels beLween Lhe developmenL of lndlvlduals and Lhe developmenL of Lhe specles.
We can now look dlrecLly Lo Lhese homologles, rememberlng always LhaL Lhese are noL [usL some archaeologlcal
dlgs from a dlsLanL pasL, lnLeresLlng buL lrrelevanL. Cn Lhe conLrary, Lhls ls also an archaeology of our own souls.
1hese dlgs" exlsL now ln Lhe presenL, enfolded lo os as parL of our own compound lndlvlduallLy, pasL lnLerlors
Laken lnLo our own presenL lnLerlors, llvlng on ln Lhe depLhs of our own belng Loday, enrlchlng us or desLroylng us,
dependlng enLlrely on our own capaclLy Lo embrace and Lo Lranscend.
1be metqeoce of nomoo Notote
1oJoy, mokes yestetJoy meoo.
-LMlL? ulCklnSCn
l tblok tbot tbete ls o wlJespteoJ ooJ foclle teoJeocy, wblcb ooe sboolJ combot, to Jeslqoote tbot wblcb
bos jost occotteJ os tbe ptlmoty eoemy, os lf tbls wete olwoys tbe ptloclpol fotm of opptessloo ftom wblcb
ooe boJ to llbetote ooeself. Now tbls slmple ottltoJe eotolls o oombet of Jooqetoos coosepoeoces. fltst, oo
locllootloo to seek oot some cbeop fotm of otcbolsm ot some lmoqlooty post fotms of bopploess tbot
people JlJ oot, lo foct, bove ot oll. 1bete ls lo tbls botteJ of tbe pteseot o Jooqetoos teoJeocy to lovoke o
completely mytblcol post.
A1 1PlS Cln1 ln our dlscusslon, we have skeLched Lhe evoluLlon of Lhe exLerlor of lndlvldual holons up Lo Lhe
complex Lrlune-bralned organlsms (homlnlds) wlLh an lnLerlor space of symbols and concepLs. 1hey llved ln a soclal
holon of a group/famlly (Lrlbe) possesslng a culLural archalc worldvlew. (1hose are Lhe four quadranLs up Lo Lhls
polnL ln our sLory.) 8uL Lhen someLhlng happened LhaL Lransformed homlnlds (or proLo-humans") lnLo Lrue humans
(nomo sopleos).
WhaL was lL?
Pabermas beglns wlLh Lhe MarxlsL ldea LhaL whaL separaLes humans-nomo sopleos-from homlnlds and oLher
prlmaLes ls soclol lobot or Lhe exlsLence of an ecooomy. 8uL Pabermas flnds LhaL lL ls very llkely LhaL homlnlds also
possessed an economy, and Lhus Lhe mere exlsLence of economlc exchange does noL mark Lhe speclflcally human
form of llfe, does noL separaLe homlnlds from nomo sopleos.
lf we examlne Lhe concepL of soclal labor [economy] ln Lhe llghL of more recenL anLhropologlcal flndlngs, lL
becomes evldenL LhaL lL cuLs Loo deeply lnLo Lhe evoluLlonary scale, noL only humans buL homlnlds Loo were
dlsLlngulshed from Lhe anLhropold apes ln LhaL Lhey converLed Lo reproducLlon Lhrough soclal labor and
developed an economy. 1he [homlnld] adulL males formed hunLlng bands, whlch (a) made use of weapons and
Lools (Lechnology), (b) cooperaLed Lhrough a dlvlslon of labor, and (c) dlsLrlbuLed Lhe prey wlLhln Lhe collecLlve
(rules of dlsLrlbuLlon). 1he maklng of Lhe means of producLlon and Lhe soclal organlzaLlon of labor, as well as of
Lhe dlsLrlbuLlon of lLs producLs, fulfllled Lhe condlLlons for an economlc form of reproduclng llfe.
Slnce parL of my alm ln Lhls serles ls Lo follow Lhe course of Lhe male and female value spheres, lL ls lnsLrucLlve Lo
noLe LhaL, even ln archalc homlnld socleLles, Lhese Lwo spheres were already beglnnlng Lo dlfferenLlaLe, and ofLen
sharply. Pabermas:
1he socleLy of homlnlds ls more dlfflculL Lo reconsLrucL Lhan Lhelr mode of producLlon. lL ls noL clear how far
beyond lnLeracLlons medlaLed by gesLures-already found among prlmaLes-Lhelr sysLem of communlcaLlon
progressed. 1he con[ecLure ls LhaL Lhey possessed a looqooqe of gesLures and a sysLem of slqool colls. ln any
evenL, cooperaLlve blg-game hunLlng requlres reachlng undersLandlng abouL experlences, so LhaL we have Lo
assume a proLolanguage, whlch aL leasL paved Lhe way for Lhe sysLemaLlc connecLlon of cognlLlve
accompllshmenLs, affecLlve expresslons, and lnLerpersonal relaLlons LhaL was so lmporLanL for homlnlzaLlon.
1he dlvlslon of labor ln Lhe homlnld groups presumably led Lo a developmenL of Lwo subsysLems: on Lhe one
hand, Lhe adulL males, who were LogeLher ln egallLarlan hunLlng bands and occupled, on Lhe whole, a
domlnanL poslLlon, on Lhe oLher hand, Lhe females, who gaLhered frulL and llved LogeLher wlLh Lhelr young, for
whom Lhey cared. lo compotlsoo to ptlmote socletles, tbe sttoteqlc fotms of coopetotloo ooJ tbe toles of
Jlsttlbotloo wete oew [my lLallcs, Pabermas ls searchlng for emergenLs], boLh lnnovaLlons were dlrecLly
connecLed wlLh Lhe esLabllshmenL of Lhe flrsL mode of producLlon, tbe coopetotlve boot.
1hus, Pabermas concludes, Lhe emergence of an economy ls sulLable for dellmlLlng Lhe mode of llfe of Lhe
homlnlds from LhaL of Lhe prlmaLes, buL lL does noL capLure Lhe speclflcally human reproducLlon of llfe."
8aLher, lL
oppeots oow tbot tbe evolotloooty oovelty tbot Jlstloqolsbes nomo sopleos ls oot tbe ecooomy bot tbe fomlly."
up Lo Lhls polnL we have been uslng Lhe Lerm famlly" ln !anLsch's very loose sense, meanlng any geneLlc-relaLlve
group of anlmals. 8uL Lhe speclflcally human famlly, accordlng Lo Pabermas, ls marked by an emergenL characLerlsLlc
LhaL ls found nowhere else ln evoluLlon.
noL homlnlds, buL humans were Lhe flrsL Lo break up Lhe soclal sLrucLure LhaL arose wlLh Lhe verLebraLes-Lhe
one-dlmenslonal rank orderlng ln whlch every anlmal was LranslLlvely asslgned one and only one sLaLus.
Among chlmpanzees and baboons Lhls sLaLus sysLem conLrolled Lhe raLher aggresslve relaLlons beLween adulL
males, sexual relaLlons beLween male and female, and soclal relaLlons beLween Lhe old and Lhe young. A
famllyllke relaLlonshlp exlsLed only beLween Lhe moLher and her young, and beLween slbllngs. lncesL beLween
moLhers and growlng sons was noL permlLLed, Lhere was no correspondlng lncesL barrler beLween faLhers and
daughLers, because Lhe faLher role dld noL exlsL. Lven homlnld socleLles converLed Lo Lhe basls of soclal labor
dld noL yeL know a famlly sLrucLure.
1he novel emergence of Lhe human famlly, accordlng Lo Pabermas, occurred only as Lhe male was also asslgned
Lhe role of fotbet, for lL was only ln Lhls way LhaL Lhe Lwo value spheres of Lhe male and female could be llnked. ln
ways (and for reasons) LhaL we wlll examlne ln exhausLlve deLall ln volume 2 of Lhls serles, Lhe male and female value
spheres had already been dlfferenLlaLed lnLo soclal labor (hunLlng) and nurLurance of Lhe young. Lenskl reporLs, for
example, LhaL of Lhe known socleLles aL Lhls sLage, an asLonlshlng 97 percenL show LhaL paLLern of male/female
lf evoluLlon were Lo conLlnue, o oew loteqtotloo wos olso oeeJeJ. Slnce presumably Lhe female
could noL be pregnanL and slmulLaneously hunL, Lhe lnLegraLlng llnk was esLabllshed by Lhe novel emergence of Lhe
role of Lhe faLher, wlLh one fooL ln boLh spheres.
1he mode of producLlon of Lhe soclally organlzed hunL creaLed a sysLem problem LhaL was resolved by Lhe
famlllallzaLlon of Lhe male, LhaL ls, by Lhe lnLroducLlon of a klnshlp sysLem based on exogamy. 1he male socleLy
of Lhe hunLlng band became lndependenL of Lhe planL-gaLherlng females and Lhe young, boLh of whom
remalned behlnd durlng Lhe hunLlng expedlLlons. WlLh Lhls dlfferenLlaLlon, llnked Lo Lhe dlvlslon of labor, Lhere
arose a new need for lnLegraLlon, namely, Lhe need for a conLrolled exchange beLween Lhe Lwo subsysLems
[whaL we called relaLlonal exchange wlLh same-level holons]. 8uL Lhe homlnlds apparenLly had aL Lhelr dlsposal
only Lhe paLLern of sLaLus-dependenL sexual relaLlons. 1hls paLLern was noL equal Lo Lhe new need for
lnLegraLlon, Lhe less so, Lhe more Lhe sLaLus order of Lhe prlmaLes was furLher undermlned by forces pushlng
ln Lhe dlrecLlon of egallLarlan relaLlons wlLhln Lhe hunLlng band. Cnly a famlly sysLem based on marrlage and
regulaLed descenL permlLLed Lhe adulL male member Lo llnk-vla Lhe faLher role-a sLaLus ln Lhe male sysLem
of Lhe hunLlng band wlLh a sLaLus ln Lhe female and chlld sysLem, and Lhus (1) lnLegraLe funcLlons of soclal
labor wlLh funcLlons of nurLure of Lhe young, and, moreover, (2) coordlnaLe funcLlons of male hunLlng wlLh
Lhose of female gaLherlng.8
1he famlllallzaLlon of Lhe male. 1hus began Lhe one, slngle, endurlng, and nlghLmarlsh Lask of all subsequenL
clvlllzaLlon: Lhe Lamlng of LesLosLerone.
noLlce LhaL, unllke Lhe role of Lhe faLher, Lhe role of Lhe moLher was noL sufflclenL Lo llnk Lhe Lwo value spheres,
because Lhe moLher could noL, or aL any raLe dld noL, parLlclpaLe ln Lhe soclal labor of Lhe hunL (wlLh rare
excepLlons). And so we see LhaL here, rlghL aL Lhe very deflnlng LransformaLlon from homlnlds Lo humans, a sexool
Jlffeteotlotloo emerged, a dlfferenLlaLlon LhaL could, as we wlll see, Jlssoclote lnLo exLreme sexual polarlzaLlon.
AL Lhls early polnL, Lhls dlfferenLlaLlon or asymmeLry does noL appear Lo have been sLrongly evaluaLlve-LhaL ls,
one sphere was noL parLlcularly more lmporLanL or more valued Lhan Lhe oLher. lL appears Lo have been mosLly a
slmple dlfferenLlaLlon of fooctloo, noL a masslve dlfferenLlaLlon of stotos. 1here ls no evldence LhaL lL was lnLensely
ldeologlcal or explolLaLlve, buL raLher seems Lo have been based largely on such slmple blologlcal facLors as physlcal
sLrengLh and moblllLy (male advanLage) and procreaLlon and blologlcal nurslng (female advanLage).
1hese are lnLrlcaLe and emoLlonally charged lssues, especlally for Lhe varlous schools of femlnlsm, whlch ls why
Lhe second volume of Lhls serles ls devoLed Lo an exLenslve revlew of [usL such lssues.
Some llberal femlnlsLs feel
LhaL ooy sexual dlfferenLlaLlon or asymmeLry ls due excluslvely Lo male domlnaLlon. Many radlcal femlnlsLs, on Lhe
oLher hand, sLrongly accepL and embrace Lhe dlfferenLlaLlon beLween Lhe male and female value spheres (whlch, we
wlll see, Lhey equaLe wlLh oqeocy and commooloo, respecLlvely), and Lhey urge socleLy Lo embrace more of Lhe
laLLer and less of Lhe former. Soclal femlnlsLs Lend Lo see sexual dlfferences arlslng from dlfferenL modes of
producLlon and Lechnology, and see Lhese unfalr dlfferences evenlng ouL" as caplLallsLlc modes become more
human and humanlzlng.
l wlll be examlnlng all of Lhose poslLlons carefully ln volume 2. 8uL unLll Lhen we need an agreed-upon Lruce ln Lhe
gender wars. My clalm ls LhaL Lhe sLrucLures of human consclousness LhaL l wlll be presenLlng ln Lhe resL of Lhls
volume are ln facL gender neuLral, LhaL Lhere ls no fundamenLal gender blas ln Lhe deep sLrucLures Lhemselves.
nowevet, ln Lhe course of hlsLorlcal developmenL, Lhese gender-neuLral sLrucLures, for numerous reasons we wlll
examlne, became loaded wlLh varlous facLors (Lechnologlcal, economlc, culLural, soclal, and lnLenLlonal) LhaL blased
some of Lhese sLrucLures ln an ofLen speclflcally sub[ugaLlng and cerLalnly polarlzlng (or dlssoclaLlng) fashlon.
1hus, ln volume 2, l wlll be looklng aL each of Lhe culLural sLages or worldvlews (archalc, maglc, myLhlc, menLal,
cenLaurlc) and correlaLlng Lhem wlLh Lhelr hlsLorlcal modes of maLerlal producLlon and Lechnology (foraglng,
horLlculLural, agrarlan, lndusLrlal, lnformaLlonal)-as shown ln llgure 3-1. lurLher, l wlll Lhen speclflcally examlne Lhe
stotos of meo ooJ womeo lo eocb of tbose stoqes. My clalm ls LhaL a consensus of llberal, radlcal, and soclal femlnlsL
vlews already exlsLs on many of Lhese lmporLanL lssues, and l wlll presenL Lhose aL LhaL polnL.
ln Lhe meanLlme, when we reach, for example, Lhe myLhlc-agrarlan sLrucLure ln Lhe presenL dlscusslon, l wlll have
llLLle Lo say abouL Lhe sLaLus of women ln Lhose socleLles, even Lhough Lhe sLrong consensus of orLhodox and
femlnlsL researchers allke ls LhaL sexual polarlzaLlon and male domlnaLlon of Lhe publlc sphere were aL Lhelr
blstotlcol peok (and almosL reversed from some of Lhe prevlous horLlculLural socleLles, where many femlnlsLs feel
women were aL Lhelr greaLesL power). l would [usL llke Lo polnL ouL LhaL Lhe facL LhaL l don'L dlscuss LhaL lssue now
does noL mean l am lgnorlng lL.
8uL l wlll lndlcaLe [usL a few of Lhe ways LhaL l belleve Lhls approach ls novel. ln sLudylng gender and posslble
gender dlfferences, whaL ls requlred loltlolly ls a seL of consLanLs LhaL acknowledge cerLaln unamblguous
dlfferences ln funcLlon (women glve blrLh and lacLaLe, and men have on average a moderaLe advanLage ln physlcal
sLrengLh and moblllLy-Lhese speclflc dlfferences, for example, are emphaslzed by femlnlsL researchers from !aneL
ChafeLz Lo !oyce nlelsen, as we wlll see). 1hese slmple dlfferences mlghL noL seem all LhaL lmporLanL Loday, buL
hlsLorlcally and prehlsLorlcally Lhey were ofLen some of Lhe mosL lmporLanL and deLermlnlng facLors ln all of culLure.
lor example, when Lhe anlmal-drawn plow was developed and evenLually replaced Lhe handheld hoe for farmlng
(Lhls ls referred Lo as a shlfL from horLlculLural Lo agrarlan modes), Lhere was a masslve shlfL from a largely female
work force Lo a largely male work force, due almosL enLlrely Lo Lhe facL LhaL Lhe plow, unllke Lhe hoe or dlgglng sLlck,
ls a heavy plece of equlpmenL. ln horLlculLural socleLles, women produced abouL 80 percenL of Lhe foodsLuffs (and
consequenLly shared conslderable publlc power wlLh men), a pregnanL woman could sLlll easlly use a handheld hoe,
buL noL a plow. When Lhe plow was lnvenLed, men Look up vlrLually all of Lhe producLlve work, Lhe maLrlfocal modes
of producLlon gave way Lo paLrlfocal modes, and Lhe relgnlng delLy flgures swlLched from CreaL MoLher Lo CreaL
laLher focus.
(eggy Sanday has demonsLraLed LhaL predomlnanL female delLy flgures appear almosL excluslvely ln horLlculLural
socleLles-abouL a Lhlrd of Lhem have female-only delLles, and anoLher Lhlrd have male and female delLles, whereas
vlrLually oll agrarlan socleLles have mole-ooly delLles. 1hus, one of Lhe concluslons of volume 2 ls LhaL where
women work Lhe flelds wlLh a hoe, Cod ls a Woman, where men work Lhe flelds wlLh a plow, Cod ls a Man. LxacLly
how LhaL flLs wlLh any endurlng mascullne and femlnlne faces of SplrlL ls a ma[or Loplc of volume 2. Are Lhese delLy
flgures [usL economlc byproducLs, or ls someLhlng more endurlng belng reflecLed here?)
lemlnlsL researchers such as !aneL ChafeLz have polnLed ouL LhaL women who parLlclpaLed ln heavy plowlng had a
much hlgher raLe of mlscarrlage, and Lhus lL was noL Lo tbelt geneLlc advanLage Lo do so. 1bls aspecL of Lhe shlfL
from maLrlfocal Lo paLrlfocal, ln oLher words, cannoL reasonably be ascrlbed Lo oppresslon or male domlnaLlon, buL
Lo a jolot declslon on Lhe parL of men and women ln Lhe face of a seL of naLural glvens.
1haL lnlLlal dlfferenLlaLlon of fooctloo, however, could be (and ln many cases was) parlayed lnLo a dlfference ln
stotos, wlLh males domlnaLlng Lhe publlc/producLlve sphere and women relegaLed Lo Lhe prlvaLe/reproducLlve
sphere. And whaL we wlll wanL Lo examlne are Lhese naLural dlfferenLlaLlons as Lhey moved lnLo Jlssoclotloos (and
exLreme sexual polarlzaLlons) LhaL dlsadvanLaged one or Lhe oLher sex (and usually boLh)-aL eocb of Lhe slx or so
ma[or epochs/sLages/sLrucLures we wlll be examlnlng.
ln oLher words, we wlll flnd LhaL a seL of consLanLs (a handful of facLors LhaL, accordlng Lo mosL femlnlsL
researchers, have noL changed much from culLure Lo culLure, such as blrLhlng/nurslng), when applled Lo Lhe varlous
gender-neuLral sLrucLures of consclousness and sLages of Lechnologlcal unfoldlng, wlll toqetbet qeoetote tbe speclflc
qeoJet Jlffeteoces lo tbe stotos of meo ooJ womeo ot eocb stoqe (and Lhls wlll help us Lo declde whaL ls, and whaL ls
noL, oppresslon). 1hese consLanLs (such as physlcal sLrengLh/moblllLy and blrLhlng/nurslng) are presenLed ln volume
2 (SLrong and Weak unlversals ln Lhe Sexual Scheme"), and how Lhey play ouL and unfold, for beLLer and for worse,
ls examlned ln flve or slx chapLers followlng.
WhaL we are dlscusslng now, however, ls slmply Lhe gender-neuLral sLrucLures of consclousness wlLhln whlch
Lhese sexual and gender polarlzaLlons would occur.
8efore we plck up Lhe sLory of Lhe evoluLlon of Lhese consclousness sLrucLures, leL me glve a flnal example of Lhe
ground we wlll be coverlng laLer ln Lhls chapLer (and exLenslvely ln volume 2). Some of whaL l am golng Lo say now
wlll noL make LoLal sense unLll Lhe end of Lhls chapLer (afLer l have lnLroduced some much-needed evldence), buL lL
would be useful Lo lnLroduce Lhe general Loplcs aL Lhls polnL, because of boLh Lhelr lmporLance and Lhelr lnLrlcacy.
(We wlll reLurn Lo Lhese Loplcs aL Lhe end of Lhe chapLer and revlew Lhem ln llghL of Lhe maLerlal presenLed.)
arL of Lhe dlsagreemenL beLween llberal femlnlsm (men and women are fundamenLally equlvalenL ln capaclLles)
and radlcal femlnlsm (men and women represenL Lwo qulLe dlfferenL value spheres, Lhe former belng
hyperauLonomous, lndlvlduallsLlc, a blL power-crazed, buL generally oqeocy-otleoteJ, Lhe laLLer belng more
relaLlonal, nurLurlng, permeable, and commooloo-otleoteJ) ls LhaL Lhese Lwo approaches are almosL lmposslble Lo
reconclle, and Lhls has caused much dlssenslon, someLlmes qulLe blLLer, wlLhln Lhe ranks of Lhe women's movemenL.
8uL whaL lf Lhe radlcal femlnlsLs are rlghL when lL comes Lo Lhe blospherlc componenL of human belngs, and Lhe
llberal femlnlsLs are rlghL when lL comes Lo Lhe noospherlc componenL? lf Lhls lnLegraLlon could be effecLed ln a
genulne fashlon, and noL merely as a verbal flourlsh, we could slmulLaneously honor some of Lhe lmporLanL
dlfferences ln sexual belng-so emphaslzed by Lhe radlcal femlnlsLs-and yeL also lnslsL on, and malnLaln, equallLy
before Lhe law (whlch means, ln Lhe noosphere)-Lhe lmporLanL demand of llberal femlnlsLs.
8uL lL would mean someLhlng else as well, someLhlng even more lmporLanL. ln Lhls chapLer we wlll see Lhe
evldence (presenLed by numerous researchers) LhaL Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere dld noL flnally Jlffeteotlote ln
Lhe WesL unLll around Lhe slxLeenLh-sevenLeenLh cenLury. (1haL Lhls dlfferenLlaLlon wenL Loo far lnLo
Jlssoclotloo-LhaL ls one of our cenLral Loplcs, buL for Lhe momenL, lL ls a separaLe lssue.) 1he polnL now ls LhaL, wlLh
Lhe dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere, Lhe roles of men and women were no longer necessarlly or
auLomaLlcally deLermlned (or largely lnfluenced) by blologlcal facLors (such as physlcal sLrengLh/moblllLy and
blrLhlng/nurslng), facLors LhaL, one way or anoLher, had largely JomlooteJ noL only Lhe relaLlon of men Lo women
buL also of men Lo men, up Lo LhaL polnL ln hlsLory.
ln oLher words, wlLh Lhe dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere, blology was no longer desLlny. 1haL
ls, no longer oecessotlly desLlny: Lhe relaLlonshlps beLween men and women (and men and men) were no longer
necessarlly domlnaLed by Lhe heavy hand of blologlcal dlfferences and deLermlnanLs, physlcal sLrengLh and
1hus, as evoluLlon conLlnued Lo move lnLo Lhe noosphere and Lranscend lLs excluslve groundlng ln Lhe blosphere,
Lhose Lwo unlversals LhaL we brlefly menLloned-bodlly sLrengLh and bodlly reproducLlon-wblcb bove voloe ooly lo
tbe blospbete, coolJ be ttoosceoJeJ os well (l.e., preserved and negaLed). 1hls, of course, ls a maLLer of degree,
blology ls sLlll preserved and lLs lncllnaLlons sLlll Laken up and reworked by culLure, buL Lhe greaLer Lhe
dlfferenLlaLlon, Lhe greaLer Lhe posslble negaLlon and reworklng.
lf, for Lhe momenL, we slmply agree wlLh Lhe radlcal femlnlsLs LhaL Lhe female value sphere" Lends Lo emphaslze
commooloo, Lhen Lhls value sphere could be decoupled from excloslve blologlcal reproducLlon and could begln Lo
enLer Lhe world of agency or producLlon or male culLure," whlle sLlll reLalnlng lLs rooLs ln Lhe rlchness of Lhe
reproducLlve sphere. 1he more evoluLlon Lranscended Lhe blosphere, Lhe more women could parLlclpaLe ln botb
worlds (noospherlc-menLal and blospherlc-famlllal), because ln Lhe world of Lhe mlnd, physlcal sLrengLh, for
example, ls lttelevoot.
ln oLher words, wlLh Lhe dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere, women could also become oqeots ln
Lhe noosphere (blstotlcol oqeots), as well as belng grounded ln Lhe blosphere. AoJ tbls pteclsely tevetses tbe toles
tbot meo ooJ womeo boJ ployeJ op to tbls polot lo blstoty. revlously, Lhe male and female spheres were lnLegraLed
by placlng Lhe male ln Lhe famlly vla Lhe role of Lhe faLher (as bloloqlcol oqeot), now Lhe Lwo spheres could be
lnLegraLed-demanded Lo be lnLegraLed-by placlng Lhe female ln Lhe publlc sphere (as ooospbetlc oqeot).
1hus, aL Lhls presenL Llme ln hlsLory-ln toJoys world-lL ls especlally Lhe role of Lhe femole os blstotlcol oqeot
LhaL can btlJqe tbe two voloe spbetes, whereas ln all prevlous hlsLory LhaL role raLher necessarlly fell Lo Lhe male as
faLher (Lhls famlllallzaLlon of Lhe male" ls Lhe polnL LhaL Pabermas has [usL lnLroduced ln our narraLlve).
ln Lhls way, and Lhls way only, l belleve, can we malnLaln Lhe oLherwlse paradoxlcal and confuslng LruLh-a
paradoxlcal LruLh LhaL has ofLen crlppled femlnlsm vls-a-vls female llberaLlon"-ln Lhls way only can we malnLaln
botb LhaL women oow sLand open Lo and ln need of llberaLlon yeL ptevloosly were oot acLlng ln an unllberaLed
(or duped) fashlon. 1he wldespread emergence of Lhe women's movemenL ln Lhe sevenLeenLh and elghLeenLh
cenLurles occurred preclsely because Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere were flnally dlfferenLlaLed.
And Lhls
lnescapably means LhaL Lhe wldespread emergence of Lhe women's movemenL was noL prlmarlly Lhe ooJoloq of a
nasLy sLaLe of affalrs LhaL easlly could have been dlfferenL, buL raLher lL marked Lhe emetqeoce of an alLogeLher
oew sLaLe of affalrs LhaL was ln slgnlflcanL ways oopteceJeoteJ.
WhaL had grounded botb men and women ln narrowly based blologlcal roles was an evoluLlonary process LhaL
was lLself, unLll falrly recenLly, grounded ln Lhe blosphere, and LhaL only recenLly ls now ln Lhe process of llberaLlng
botb men and women from conflnemenL Lo Lhose parLlcular roles, whlch were necessary aL Lhe Llme buL are now
ouLmoded, and Lhe lead ln Lhls evoluLlonary LransformaLlon can mosL easlly come (as ?nesLra klng has polnLed ouL)
prlmarlly ln Lhe form of women assumlng culLural agency and noL [usL famlly communlon ([usL as ln Lhe prevlous
lnLegraLlon, Lhe famlllallzaLlon of Lhe male, men were placed ln famlly communlon and noL [usL culLural agency).
1bot ls Lhe new lnLegraLlon now demanded on a socleLal level. And vlewlng lL ln Lhls evoluLlonary llghL allows us Lo
bypass much of Lhe sLandard and useless rheLorlc LhaL men have been oppresslve plgs from day one, wlLh Lhe
unavoldable lmpllcaLlon LhaL women have been herded sheep. lL's noL so much LhaL LhaL vlew ls demeanlng Lo men,
alLhough lL ls meanL Lo be, buL raLher LhaL one cannoL clalm women have been oppressed for flve Lhousand years
(some say for flve hundred Lhousand years) wlLhouL slmulLaneously lmplylng LhaL women are sLuplder and/or
weaker Lhan men-Lhere are no oLher explanaLlons.
lf we see Lhe blologlcally dlfferenLlaLed roles of men and women as someLhlng lmposed by men on women, Lhen
we have Lo slmulLaneously assume Lhe compleLe plglflcaLlon of men and Lhe LoLal sheeplflcaLlon of women. 1o
auLomaLlcally assume LhaL dlfferenLlaLlon of roles ls Lhe resulL of domlnaLlon ls Lo auLomaLlcally deflne a parLlcular
group as vlcLlm, whlch auLomaLlcally and lrrevocably dlsempowers LhaL group ln Lhe very aLLempL Lo llberaLe lL.
8uL lf men and women were largely operaLlng ln Lhe face of cerLaln blologlcal glvens, ooJ lf Lhese glvens are no
longer prlmarlly deLermlnaLe, tbeo boLh men and women sLand ln need of llberaLlon from Lhose prevlously
conflnlng roles. 1he paLrlarchy" was noL someLhlng LhaL could have slmply and easlly been avolded or bypassed
(wherever evoluLlon moved beyond Lhe hoe, Lhe paLrlarchy accompanled lL).
lf lL could have been easlly bypassed
buL wasn'L, Lhen men lndeed are plgs and women dolLs. 1he paLrlarchy, however, ls noL someLhlng LhaL needs Lo be
reversed buL raLher someLhlng LhaL needs Lo be ouLgrown: and LhaL releases Lhe male from blame and Lhe female
from sheepdom.
And lL furLher allows us Lo see Lhe real cause of Lhe unforLunaLe reslsLance Lo Loday's femlnlsm. lL ls noL a
reslsLance Lo undolng Lhousands of years of male obnoxlousness and female dupedom, buL a reslsLance Lo Lhe
emergence of an eotltely oovel sttoctote of cooscloosoess, a sLrucLure LhaL, havlng for Lhe flrsL Llme ln hlsLory
dlfferenLlaLed Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere (whlch, among many oLher Lhlngs, cteoteJ femlnlsm), ls now ln Lhe
process of Lrylng desperaLely Lo lnLegraLe boLh women and men lnLo LhaL uLLerly new worldspace. 1haL ls whaL ls
feared and reslsLed (by many men and many women). And LhaL ls Lhe new lnLegraLlon of whlch l wlll speak aL lengLh
(under Lhe names cenLaur" and vlslon-loglc," Lhe sLage beyond egolc-raLlonal).
We wlll see LhaL Lhere have lndeed been forms of oppresslon and sub[ugaLlon, buL Lhese have Lo be [udged, noL
agalnsL Loday's sLrucLures of consclousness, buL agalnsL whaL could have been oLherwlse aL a glven prevlous
sLrucLure. wltblo tbe posslbllltles of a glven sLrucLure, we [udge lLs degree of nasLlness: Lhe [udgmenL needs Lo be
sLage-speclflc and sLage-approprlaLe. And Lhls means we have Lo carefully reconsLrucL Lhe noLlon of oppresslon ln
Lhls regard, because lf someLhlng coolJ oot occot under any glven clrcumsLances aL a parLlcular Llme, Lhen Lhe noL
occurrlng" cannoL slmply be ascrlbed Lo oppresslon wlLhouL furLher ado. lf, for example, wldespread femlnlsm could
noL have emerged unLll Lhe dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe noosphere and blosphere, Lhen lLs nonexlsLence ln earller culLures
was oot Lhe resulL of oppresslon, buL Lhe resulL of noL-yeL-enough evoluLlon, an enLlrely dlfferenL sLory: women
were noL belng weak and lgnoranL and men were noL belng lnsenslLlve slobs (noLhlng, LhaL ls Lo say, ouL of Lhe
When Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere were flnally dlfferenLlaLed, blology was no longer desLlny. Women could
begln Lo move ouL of Lhe blosphere and lnLo Lhe noosphere, albelL agalnsL much reslsLance Lo Lhls new emergence.
(And lndeed, every male Loday sLarLs hls own developmenL as a blospherlc beasL, and he won'L geL lL" unLll he, Loo,
dlfferenLlaLes noosphere and blosphere, and acLs from Lhe former, noL Lhe laLLer. 1he baLLle has Lo be foughL anew
wlLh every blrLh, and Lhe reslsLance, ln dlfferenL forms, ls presenL ln boLh women and men. olls conslsLenLly
showed, for example, LhaL ln Lhe unlLed SLaLes a ma[orlLy of men favored Lhe Lqual 8lghLs AmendmenL buL a
ma[orlLy of women re[ecLed lL. 1he new emergence ls dlfflculL for all, preclsely because lL ln many ways means
leavlng Lhe predeLermlnaLedness and comforL of blologlcal glvens.)
ln Lhe course of hlsLory and prehlsLory, lL would Lake Lhree or four ma[or and profound culLural LransformaLlons Lo
cllmb up and ouL of Lhls blologlcal desLlny. (And each sLep would have lLs own and very new forms of paLhology and
posslble dlssoclaLlon, all of whlch would have Lo be negoLlaLed-someLlmes noL very successfully.)
AL Lhls polnL ln our narraLlve, we are sLlll aL Lhe very flrsL LransformaLlon. 1he flrsL sexual-funcLlonal Jlffeteotlotloo
has [usL Laken place, based largely on slmple blospherlc dlfferences (physlcal sLrengLh/moblllLy versus
blrLhlng/nurslng). And Lhe flrsL ma[or loteqtotloo of Lhese Lwo spheres has also occurred: placlng Lhe male ln botb
worlds vla Lhe alLogeLher novel emergence of Lhe role of Lhe faLher.
WlLh Lhe famlllallzaLlon of Lhe male, and Lhe emergence of human socloculLural evoluLlon, we move from Lhe archalc
Lo Lhe maglc. 1he archalc ls for boLh Cebser and myself a loose caLchall" epoch LhaL slmply and globally represenLs
oll Lhe sLrucLures of consclousness up Lo and lncludlng Lhe flrsL homlnlds. We could [usL as easlly have broken Lhe
archalc down lnLo lLs dozens of componenLs and lndlvldual sLages, such as Lhe more deLalled breakdown glven ln
flgure 4-1 (where everyLhlng up Lo concepLs ls Lhe archalc fund"). 1he archalc ls slmply a symbol of Lhe LoLallLy of
our rlch evoluLlonary hlsLory, buL lL ls noL [usL a symbol, because Lhls hlsLory llves on ln each of us as parL of our
presenL compound lndlvlduallLy.
As for Lhe maglcal sLrucLure lLself, accordlng Lo Lhe exLenslve research of Pabermas and hls assoclaLes:
ApparenLly Lhe maglcal-anlmlsLlc represenLaLlonal world of paleollLhlc socleLles was very parLlcularlsLlc and
noL very coherenL. 1he orderlng represenLaLlons of myLhology [l.e., early myLhology, and noL Lhe complex
myLhology LhaL ls Lhe nexL sLage, Lhe myLhologlcal sLage proper] flrsL made posslble Lhe consLrucLlon of a
complex of analogles ln whlch all naLural and soclal phenomena were lnLerwoven and could be Lransformed
lnLo one anoLher [maglcal dlsplacemenL"]. ln Lhe egocenLrlc world concepLlon of Lhe chlld aL Lhe
preoperaLlonal level of LhoughL, Lhese phenomena are made relaLlve Lo Lhe cenLer of Lhe chlld's ego, slmllarly,
ln soclomorphlc worldvlews Lhey are made relaLlve Lo Lhe cenLer of Lhe Lrlbal group. 1hls does noL mean LhaL
Lhe members of Lhe group have formed a dlsLlncL consclousness of Lhe normaLlve reallLy of a socleLy sLandlng
aparL from ob[ecLlvaLed naLure-tbese two teqloos bove oot yet beeo cleotly sepototeJ [l.e., Lhe blosphere
and Lhe noosphere have noL yeL been clearly dlfferenLlaLed/lnLegraLed]. 1hls maglcal-anlmlsLlc sLage ls
characLerlzed by a convenLlonal klnshlp organlzaLlon, a preconvenLlonal sLage of law, and an egocenLrlc
lnLerpreLlve sysLem. . . .
reoperaLlonal Lhlnklng, for cognlLlve anLhropologlsLs, ls Lhlnklng LhaL works wlLh lmages, symbols, and concepLs
(buL noL yeL complex rules and formal operaLlons). lL ls also called represenLaLlonal" because symbols and concepLs
essenLlally presenL and represenL (make and maLch) sensory ob[ecLs ln Lhe exLernal world. lor Lhls reason, cognlLlve
psychologlsLs and anLhropologlsLs refer Lo represenLaLlonal LhoughL as belng close to tbe boJy." 1haL ls, Lhe
noosphere ls [usL emerglng, Lhe mlnd ls [usL emerglng, and as such lL ls sLlll relaLlvely undlfferenLlaLed from Lhe
blosphere, from Lhe body and sensorlmoLor lnLelllgence.
1hls ls why Pabermas refers Lo Lhe self-ldenLlLy of Lhls sLage as a oototol ldenLlLy or a body-based ldenLlLy (as
lreud puL lL, Lhe ego ls flrsL and foremosL a bodyego"). lL ls noL yeL an ldenLlLy based upon exLenslve menLal rules
and roles-whlch develop only wlLh Lhe nexL sLage, Lhe concreLe operaLlonal-and so Lhe law and morallLy of Lhls
sLage ls llkewlse body-based, dependenL upon physlcal pragmaLlc concerns and nalve lnsLrumenLal hedonlsm." As
McCarLhy summarlzes lL, Lhe lndlvldual aL Lhls ptecooveotloool moral sLage ls responslve Lo culLural rules and
labels of good and bad, rlghL and wrong, buL lnLerpreLs Lhese labels ln Lerms of elLher Lhe physlcal or Lhe hedonlsLlc
consequences of acLlon (punlshmenL, reward, exchange of favor), or ln Lerms of Lhe pbyslcol powet of Lhose who
enunclaLe Lhe rules and labels."
lL ls also called maglcal" (by Pabermas, Cebser, lageL) because Lhe mlnd and body are sLlll relaLlvely
undlfferenLlaLed, and Lhus menLal lmages and symbols are ofLen confused or even ldenLlfled wlLh Lhe physlcal evenLs
Lhey represenL, and consequenLly menLal lnLenLlons are belleved Lo be able Lo maglcally" alLer Lhe physlcal world,
as ln voodoo, exoLerlc manLra, Lhe feLlsh, maglcal rlLual, sympaLheLlc maglc," or maglc ln general (we wlll reLurn Lo
Lhls Loplc ln Lhe nexL chapLer).
Llkewlse, and from Lhe oLher slde of Lhe lndlssoclaLlon, physlcal ob[ecLs are allve,"
possesslng noL [usL prehenslon buL expllclLly personal lnLenLlons (anlmlsm).
ln oLher words, because Lhe blosphere and Lhe noosphere are noL yeL clearly dlfferenLlaLed/lnLegraLed, Lhe
sub[ecL has speclal power over Lhe ob[ecL (maglc) and Lhe ob[ecL has speclal sub[ecLlve quallLles (anlmlsm). WheLher
LhaL was or was noL splrlLual" ln any genulne sense we wlll lnvesLlgaLe laLer.
CognlLlve anLhropologlsLs ofLen refer Lo Lhls as global syncreLlsm" or lndlssoclaLlon." Pabermas explalns:
[ln Lhese socleLles] collecLlve ldenLlLy was secured Lhrough Lhe facL LhaL lndlvlduals Lraced Lhelr descenL Lo Lhe
flgure of a common ancesLor [klnshlp] and Lhus, ln Lhe framework of Lhelr worldvlew, assured Lhemselves of a
common cosmogonlc orlgln. Cn Lhe oLher hand, Lhe personal ldenLlLy of Lhe lndlvldual developed Lhrough
ldenLlflcaLlon wlLh a Lrlbal group, whlch was ln Lurn percelved as parL of a naLure lnLerpreLed ln lnLeracLlon
[maglcal] caLegorles. As soclal reallLy was noL yeL clearly dlsLlngulshed from naLural reallLy, Lhe boundarles of
Lhe soclal world merged lnLo Lhose of Lhe world ln general. WlLhouL clearly deflned boundarles of Lhe soclal
sysLem Lhere was no naLural or soclal envlronmenL ln Lhe sLrlcL sense, conLacLs wlLh allen Lrlbes were
lnLerpreLed ln accord wlLh Lhe famlllar klnshlp connecLlon.
lL ls LhaL lndlssoclaLlon LhaL ls so ofLen euloglzed by 8omanLlcs, because, l belleve, Lhey mlsLake lndlssoclaLlon for
lnLegraLlon. 1he maglcal-anlmlsLlc sLrucLure, as lovely as lL mlghL appear Lo us [aded moderns, was noL an lnLegraLlon
of Lhe blosphere and Lhe noosphere, because Lhese had noL yeL been dlfferenLlaLed ln Lhe flrsL place.
AL Lhe same Llme-and for preclsely Lhe same reason-LhaL lack of separaLlon" mlghL have embodled a Lype of
ecologlcal wlsdom, a wlsdom LhaL many moderns are undersLandably Lrylng Lo recapLure. namely, Lhe Lrlbal klnshlp
consclousness, sLlll lylng close Lo Lhe body," close Lo Lhe blosphere, was for [usL LhaL reason someLlmes more
ecologlcally sound," more ln Lune wlLh naLural wlsdom, wlLh Lhe LarLh and lLs many moods. And Lhus lL ls small
wonder LhaL, ln Lhese ecologlcally dlsasLrous Llmes, many moderns are aLLempLlng Lo resurrecL Lhe naLural wlsdom
of Lrlbal awareness more aLLuned wlLh Lhe blosphere.
l am ln compleLe sympaLhy wlLh LhaL approach, l am noL ln sympaLhy wlLh Lhe aLLempL Lo Lurn back Lhe clock and
elevaLe Lhls sLrucLure Lo a prlvlleged sLaLus of lnLegraLlve power LhaL lL slmply dld noL possess. lurLher, wheLher
close Lo naLure" auLomaLlcally LranslaLes lnLo ecologlcally sound" ls hoLly debaLed. lock of copoclty Lo devasLaLe
Lhe envlronmenL on a large scale does noL auLomaLlcally mean pteseoce of wlsJom, leL alone reverence for Lhe
envlronmenL. And, ln facL, many Lrlbes, as Lenskl polnLs ouL, slmply remalned aL one locaLlon unLll Lhey had
ecologlcally depleLed Lhe area, and Lhen were forced Lo move on. 1rlbal awareness was ln all cases close Lo naLure, ln
Lhe sense of lndlssoclaLed, ecologlcally sound ls anoLher maLLer.
8lane Llsler ls speclflc: lf we carefully examlne boLh our pasL and presenL, we see LhaL many peoples pasL and
presenL llvlng close Lo naLure have all Loo ofLen been bllndly desLrucLlve of Lhelr envlronmenL. Whlle many
lndlgenous socleLles have a greaL reverence for naLure, Lhere are also boLh non-WesLern and WesLern peasanL and
nomadlc culLures LhaL have overgrazed and overculLlvaLed land, declmaLed foresLs, and, where populaLlon pressures
have been severe, kllled off anlmals needlessly and lndlfferenLly. And whlle Lhere ls much we can learn Loday from
Lrlbal culLures, lL ls lmporLanL noL Lo lndlscrlmlnaLely ldeallze all non-WesLern culLures and/or blame all our Lroubles
on our secular-sclenLlflc age. lor clearly such Lrlbal pracLlces as cannlballsm, LorLure, and female genlLal muLllaLlon
anLedaLe modern Llmes. And some lndlgenous . . . socleLles have been as barbarous as Lhe mosL 'clvlllzed' 8oman
emperors or Lhe mosL 'splrlLual' ChrlsLlan lnqulslLors."
As 8ene uubos summarlzes Lhe avallable evldence, All over Lhe globe and aL all Llmes ln Lhe pasL, men have
plllaged naLure and dlsLurbed Lhe ecologlcal equlllbrlum, usually ouL of lgnorance, buL also because Lhey have always
been more concerned wlLh lmmedlaLe advanLages Lhan wlLh long-range goals. Moreover, Lhey could noL foresee LhaL
Lhey were preparlng for ecologlcal dlsasLers, nor dld Lhey have a real cholce of alLernaLlves."
1heodore 8oszak, hlmself a sLaunch advocaLe of a cerLaln Lype of prlmal/Lrlbal wlsdom," noneLheless polnLs ouL
LhaL ln many lnsLances Lrlbal socleLles have abused and even rulned Lhelr hablLaL. ln prehlsLorlc Llmes, Lhe Lrlbal and
nomadlc people of Lhe MedlLerranean basln overcuL and overgrazed Lhe land so severely LhaL Lhe scars of Lhe
resulLlng eroslon can sLlll be seen. 1helr sacramenLal sense of naLure dld noL offseL Lhelr lgnorance of Lhe long-range
damage Lhey were dolng Lo Lhelr hablLaL."
Llkewlse, he says, oLher lndlgenous or prlmal socleLles have, ln Lhelr lgnorance, bllghLed porLlons of Lhelr hablLaL
sufflclenLly Lo endanger Lhelr own survlval. 8lver valleys have been devasLaLed, foresLs denuded, Lhe Lopsoll worn
away, buL Lhe damage was llmlLed and Lemporary."
1he correcL concluslon, ln oLher words, ls LhaL Lhe prlmal/Lrlbal sLrucLure lo ltself dld oot necessarlly possess
ecologlcal wlsdom, lL slmply lockeJ tbe meoos Lo lnfllcL lLs lgnorance on larger porLlons of Lhe global commons.
1he maln dlfference beLween Lrlbal and modern eco-devasLaLlon ls noL presence or lack of wlsdom, buL presence
of more dangerous means, where Lhe some lgnorance can now be played ouL on a devasLaLlng scale. As we wlll see,
our masslvely lncreased means have led, for Lhe flrsL Llme ln hlsLory, Lo an equally masslve dlssoclaLlon of Lhe
noosphere and Lhe blosphere, and Lhus Lhe cote ls noL Lo reacLlvaLe Lhe Lrlbal form of ecologlcal lgnorance (Lake
away our means), nor Lo conLlnue Lhe modern form of LhaL lgnorance (Lhe free markeL wlll save us), buL raLher Lo
evolve and develop lnLo an lnLegraLlve mode of awareness LhaL wlll-also for Lhe flrsL Llme ln hlsLory-loteqtote Lhe
blosphere and noosphere ln a hlgher and deeper unlon (all of whlch we wlll lnvesLlgaLe laLer ln Lhls chapLer).
LvoluLlon moved beyond Lrlballsm, and lLs llmlLed capaclLy for soclal-planeLary lnLegraLlon, for many reasons, lL
seems. 1rlbes may or may noL have known how Lo remaln reverenLlal of naLure, lL was otbet Lrlbes Lhey could noL
lnLegraLe, and Lhls because Lhey lacked recourse Lo a blndlng cooveotloool level of law and morallLy LhaL very soon
would sLarL Lo bulld unlfled socleLles ouL of separaLe and confllcLlng Lrlbal deslres. 1he problem wasn'L geLLlng along
wlLh naLure ln Lhe blospbete, lL was geLLlng along wlLh oLher and confllcLlng lnLeresLs ln Lhe ooospbete LhaL broughL
Lrlballsm Lo lLs llmlLs for evoluLlonary lnLegraLlve power.
Pabermas and hls collaboraLors (parLlcularly klaus Lder and 8alner uoberL), who have been carefully sLudylng Lhe
anLhropologlcal daLa, have mapped ouL some of Lhe lobeteot llmltotloos LhaL broughL Lrlbal klnshlp sysLems Lo an
evoluLlonary dead end.
ln Lhe evoluLlonarlly promlslng neollLhlc socleLles, sysLem problems arose whlch could noL be managed wlLh an
adapLlve capaclLy llmlLed by Lhe klnshlp prlnclple of organlzaLlon. lor example, ecologlcally condlLloned
problems of land scarclLy and populaLlon denslLy or problems havlng Lo do wlLh an unequal dlsLrlbuLlon of
soclal wealLh. 1hese problems, lttesolvoble wltblo tbe qlveo ftomewotk, became more and more vlslble Lhe
more frequenLly Lhey led Lo confllcLs LhaL overloaded Lhe archalc [maglc] legal lnsLlLuLlons (courLs of
arblLraLlon, feudlng law).
A few socleLles under Lhe pressure of evoluLlonary challenges from such problems made use of Lhe cognlLlve
poLenLlal ln Lhelr worldvlews [cognlLlve capaclLles of hlgher moral-pragmaLlc sLages noL yeL soclally embedded]
and lnsLlLuLlonallzed-aL flrsL on a Lrlal basls-an admlnlsLraLlon of [usLlce aL a convenLlonal level [myLhlc-
membershlp, concreLe operaLlonal]. 1hus, for example, Lhe war chlef was empowered Lo ad[udlcaLe cases of
confllcL, no longer only accordlng Lo Lhe dlsLrlbuLlon of power, buL accordlng Lo soclally recognlzed norms
grounded ln LradlLlon. Law was no longer only LhaL on whlch Lhe parLles could agree.
lL was aL Lhls polnL LhaL complex sysLems of myLhology, whaLever oLher funcLlons Lhey mlghL have performed,
began Lo serve flrsL and foremosL as a way Lo unlfy peoples beyooJ mete blooJ lloeoqe. 1he human race was noL
only self-adapLlng, lL was self-Lranscendlng.
1he phenomenon Lo be explalned ls Lhe emergence of a pollLlcal order LhaL organlzed a socleLy so tbot lts
membets coolJ belooq to Jlffeteot lloeoqes. 1he funcLlon of soclal lnLegraLlon passed from klnshlp relaLlons Lo
pollLlcal relaLlons. CollecLlve ldenLlLy was no longer represenLed ln Lhe flgure of a commoo oocestot buL ln
LhaL of a commoo tolet [or leader or governor, who someLlmes, buL noL always, would abuse Lhls newly
emergenL power, we wlll reLurn Lo Pabermas's LhoughLs on Lhls laLer, he ls aL presenL focuslng on Lhe
necessary and new lnLegraLlve power broughL by Lhls LransformaLlon, and noL on any of lLs parLlcular abuses,
whlch are leglon and whlch he also dlscusses ln greaL deLall].
A rullng poslLlon gave Lhe rlghL Lo exerclse leglLlmaLe [or agreed-upon] power. 1he leglLlmacy of power
could noL be based solely on auLhorlzaLlon Lhrough klnshlp sLaLus, for clalms based on famlly poslLlon, or on
leglLlmaLe klnshlp relaLlons ln general, were llmlLed preclsely by Lhe pollLlcal power of Lhe ruler. LeglLlmaLe
power crysLalllzed around Lhe funcLlon of admlnlsLerlng [usLlce and around Lhe poslLlon of Lhe [udge afLer Lhe
law was recognlzed ln such a way LhaL lL possessed Lhe characLerlsLlcs of cooveotloool motollty. 1hls was Lhe
case when Lhe [udge, lnsLead of belng bound as a mere referee Lo Lhe conLlngenL consLellaLlons of power of
Lhe lnvolved parLles, could [udge accordlng Lo lnLersub[ecLlvely recognlzed legal norms sancLlfled by LradlLlon,
when he Look Lhe lnLenLlon of Lhe agenL lnLo accounL as well as Lhe concreLe consequences of acLlon, and
when he was no longer gulded by Lhe ldeas of reprlsal for damages caused and resLoraLlon of a sLaLus quo anLe
[characLerlsLlc of preconvenLlonal morallLy], buL punlshed Lhe gullLy parLy's vlolaLlon of a rule. LeglLlmaLe
power had ln [Lhls] lnsLance Lhe form of a power Lo dlspose of Lhe means of sancLlon ln a convenLlonal
admlnlsLraLlon of [usLlce. AL Lhe same Llme, myLhologlcal worldvlews also Look on-ln addlLlon Lo Lhelr
explanaLory funcLlon-[usLlflcaLory funcLlons. . . .
ln shorL, whaL was needed was noL Lrlbal buL LransLrlbal awareness, negaLlng buL preservlng hereLofore lsolaLed
Lrlbal lnLeresLs ln a hlgher and wlder communlon, and myLhology, noL maglc, provlded Lhe key for Lhls new
And so: some people Loday euloglze Lhe prlmal Lrlbal socleLles because of Lhelr ecologlcal wlsdom" or Lhelr
reverence for naLure" or Lhelr nonaggresslve ways." l don'L Lhlnk Lhe evldence supporLs any of Lhose vlews ln a
sweeplng and general fashlon. 8aLher, l euloglze Lhe prlmal Lrlbal socleLles for an enLlrely dlfferenL reason: we are all
Lhe sons and daughLers of Lrlbes. 1he prlmal Lrlbes are llLerally our rooLs, our foundaLlons, Lhe basls of all LhaL was Lo
follow, Lhe sLrucLure upon whlch all subsequenL human evoluLlon would be bullL, Lhe cruclal ground floor upon
whlch so much hlsLory would have Lo resL.
1oday's exlsLenL Lrlbes, and Loday's naLlons, and Loday's culLures, and Loday's accompllshmenLs-all would Lrace
Lhelr llneage ln an unbroken fashlon Lo Lhe prlmal Lrlbal holons upon whlch a human famlly Lree was abouL Lo be
bullL. And looklng back on our ancesLors ln LhaL llghL, l am sLruck wlLh awe and admlraLlon for Lhe asLonlshlng
creaLlvlLy-Lhe otlqlool breakLhrough creaLlvlLy-LhaL allowed humans Lo rlse above a glven naLure and begln
bulldlng a noosphere, Lhe very process of whlch would brlng Peaven down Lo LarLh and exalL Lhe LarLh Lo Peaven,
Lhe very process of whlch would evenLually blnd all peoples of Lhe world LogeLher ln, lf you wlll, one global Lrlbe.
8uL ln order for LhaL Lo occur, Lhe orlglnal, prlmal Lrlbes had Lo flnd a way Lo Lranscend Lhelr lsoloteJ Lrlbal klnshlp
llneages: Lhey had Lo flnd a way Lo go LransLrlbal, and myLhology, noL maglc, provlded Lhe key for Lhls new
1he LranslLlon Lo socletles otqoolzeJ tbtooqb o stote requlred Lhe relaLlvlzaLlon of Lrlbal ldenLlLles and Lhe
consLrucLlon of a more absLracL [meanlng less body-bound] ldenLlLy LhaL no longer based Lhe membershlp of
lndlvlduals on common descenL buL on belonglng ln common Lo a LerrlLorlal organlzaLlon. 1hls Look place flrsL
Lhrough ldenLlflcaLlon wlLh Lhe flgure of a ruler who could clalm close connecLlon and prlvlleged access Lo Lhe
myLhologlcal orlglnary powers. ln Lhe framework of myLhologlcal worldvlews Lhe lnLegraLlon of dlfferenL Lrlbal
LradlLlons was accompllshed Lhrough a large-scale, syncreLlc expanslon of Lhe world of Lhe gods-a soluLlon
LhaL proved Lo be raLher unsLable [and preclplLaLed Lhe nexL ma[or LransformaLlon, whlch we wlll examlne ln a
lL wasn'L LhaL maglcal-anlmlsLlc socleLles had no myLhologles, for Lhey dld. lL was slmply LhaL, as !oseph Campbell
explalned, Lhe rlse of Lhe flrsL early sLaLes was marked by an exploslon of codlfled myLhologles-an enormous
dlfferenLlaLlon/lnLegraLlon of myLhlc moLlfs-and Pabermas's polnL ls LhaL Lhese myLhologles became a large parL of
Lhe lnLegraLlng sLrucLures for socleLy (l.e., provldlng boLh culLural meanlng and soclal lnLegraLlon).
As we saw, ln Lhe prevlous or maglcal sLrucLure, personal ldenLlLy was oototol or body-based, and collecLlve
ldenLlLy was llkewlse klnshlp or blood-bound, parLlcularly Lhrough a common ancesLor. WlLhouL a common ancesLor
(or klnshlp llneage), Lhere was no way Lo soclally lnLegraLe varlous lnLeresLs. WlLh Lhe rlse of Lhe myLhologlcal
sLrucLure, however, personal ldenLlLy swlLched Lo a tole ldenLlLy ln a socleLy of a common polltlcol (noL geneLlcally
relaLed) ruler, and Lhls ruler was glven leglLlmacy noL because of blood Lles buL because of hls (or someLlmes her)
speclal relaLlon Lo myLhologlcal gods/goddesses-myLhlc-membershlp."
under Lhls arrangemenL, an enormous number of noL-geneLlcally-relaLed Lrlbes could be unlfled and lnLegraLed,
someLhlng Lhe preconvenLlonal maglcal sLrucLure-lylng close Lo Lhe body and close Lo naLure-could never
Cnly wlLh Lhe LranslLlon Lo socleLles organlzed around a sLaLe do myLhologlcal worldvlews also Lake on Lhe
leglLlmaLlon of sLrucLures of [governance], whlch already presuppose Lhe convenLlonal sLage of morallzed law.
1hus Lhe nalve aLLlLude Lo myLh [characLerlsLlc of Lhe maglcal] musL have changed by LhaL Llme. WlLhln a more
sLrongly dlfferenLlaLed Lemporal horlzon, myLh ls dlsLanLlaLed Lo a LradlLlon LhaL sLands ouL from Lhe
normaLlve reallLy of socleLy and from a parLlally ob[ecLlvaLed naLure. WlLh perslsLlng soclomorphlc LralLs, Lhese
developed myLhs esLabllsh a unlLy ln Lhe manlfold of appearances, ln formal respecLs, Lhls unlLy resembles Lhe
soclocenLrlc-ob[ecLlvlsLlc world concepLlon of Lhe sLage of concreLe operaLlons [and convenLlonal-sLage
We wlll laLer address ln more deLall Lhe Loplc of wheLher Lhese myLhs acLually conLalned any genulnely
LranscendenLal, mysLlcal, or LransformaLlve splrlLual capaclLles (as malnLalned by, e.g., Carl !ung and !oseph
lor Lhe momenL leL us only noLe LhaL Lhese varlous epochs," such as Lhe maglcal or myLhlcal, refer only Lo Lhe
ovetoqe mode of consclousness achleved aL LhaL parLlcular Llme ln evoluLlon-a cerLaln cenLer of gravlLy" around
whlch Lhe socleLy as a whole orblLed. ln any glven epoch, some lndlvlduals wlll fall below Lhe norm ln Lhelr own
developmenL, and oLhers wlll reach qulLe beyond lL.
Pabermas sLrongly belleves, for example, LhaL even ln preoperaLlonal maglcal Llmes, some lndlvlduals clearly
developed cognlLlve capaclLles all Lhe way up Lo formal operaLlonal cognlLlon, noL as fully formed sLrucLures buL as
poLenLlals for undersLandlng. 1hls ls an example of whaL l referred Lo ln up ftom Jeo as Lhe leadlng edge or most
oJvooceJ form of consclousness evoluLlon, ln conLrasL Lo Lhe ovetoqe mode of Lhe Llme. And l belleve LhaL Lhe
evldence clearly suggesLs LhaL, Lo sLay wlLh Lhe maglcal sLrucLure as an example, Lhe mosL advanced mode of LhaL
Llme was noL [usL formal operaLlonal, alLhough l belleve LhaL was clearly presenL, buL beyond LhaL Lo Lhe psychlc level
(evldenced, e.g., ln shamans), as a poLenLlal for a cettolo type of undersLandlng and awareness (whlch we wlll
examlne ln chapLer 8).
My polnL ls LhaL ln each epoch, Lhe most oJvooceJ mode of Lhe Llme-ln a very small number of lndlvlduals
exlsLlng ln relaLlonal exchange ln mlcrocommunlLles (lodges, academles, sanghas) of tbe slmllotly JeptbeJ-began
Lo peneLraLe noL only lnLo hlgher modes of ordlnary cognlLlon (Lhe ArlsLoLles of Lhe Llme) buL also lnLo genulnely
LranscendenLal, Lranspersonal, mysLlcal realms of awareness (Lhe 8uddhas of Lhe Llme).
1hus, ln Lhe maglcal, as l [usL menLloned, Lhe mosL advanced mode seems Lo have been Lhe psychlc (embodled ln a
few genulne shamans or ploneers of yoglc awareness), ln myLhologlcal Llmes Lhe mosL advanced mode seems Lo
have reached lnLo whaL ls known as Lhe subLle realm (embodled ln a few genulne salnLs), and ln menLal-egolc Llmes
Lhe mosL advanced modes reached lnLo Lhe causal realm (embodled ln a few genulne sages), all of whlch we wlll
dlscuss ln chapLer 8.
8uL Lhe ovetoqe mode of Lhe myLhologlcal epoch dld noL reach lnLo Lhese subLler and Lranspersonal dlmenslons,
buL remalned grounded ln a concreLe-llLeral lnLerpreLaLlon of myLh (e.g., Moses acLually dld parL Lhe 8ed Sea, as an
emplrlcal facL). 1here ls preclous llLLle LhaL ls Lransperson-ally lnsplred abouL such llLeral myLhs, raLher, as Pabermas
suggesLs, Lhey clearly represenL Lhe soclocenLrlc lnLegraLlon offered by concreLe operaLlons and convenLlonal
morallLy, and for LhaL reason were exLremely lmporLanL ln movlng soclal lnLegraLlon beyond Lhe Lrlbal and Lhe
preconvenLlonal-and wlLh LhaL Lhelr LranscendenLal sLaLus, excepLlonally lmporLanL buL llmlLed, seems mosL
deflnlLely Lo end.
1he word totloool ls an lmposslble label, lL means a mllllon Lhlngs Lo a mllllon people, and noL all of Lhe meanlngs
are klnd. Moreover, even lf we declde whaL lL means, Lhere are sLlll several dlfferenL Lypes of lL." Weber, for
example, dlfferenLlaLed beLween purposlve-raLlonallLy (such as sclenLlflc-Lechnologlcal knowledge), formal
raLlonallLy (such as maLhemaLlcs), and lnLersub[ecLlve or pracLlcal raLlonallLy (as dlsplayed ln morallLy and
CognlLlve psychologlsLs and anLhropologlsLs Lend Lo use totlooollty Lo mean formal operaLlonal cognlLlon,"
whlch slmply means Lhe capaclLy noL [usL Lo Lhlnk, buL Lo Lhlnk abouL Lhlnklng (and Lhus operaLe upon" Lhlnklng:
formal operaLlonal"). Slnce you can operaLe upon or teflect opoo your own LhoughL processes, you are Lo some
degree free of Lhem, you can Lo some degree ttoosceoJ Lhem, you can Lake petspectlves dlfferenL from your own,
you can enLerLaln bypotbetlcol posslblllLles, and you can become hlghly lottospectlve. As we wlll see ln Lhe nexL
chapLer, all of Lhese come lnLo exlsLence wlLh Lhe emergence of formal operaLlonal cognlLlon, or raLlonallLy."
Moreover, slnce you can now teflect oo your own LhoughLs and paLLerns of behavlor, you wlll now seek Lo [usLlfy
your LhoughLs and acLlons, based noL slmply on whaL you were LaughL, or on whaL your socleLy Lells you (LhaL ls Lhe
rule-bound or conformlsL or convenLlonal or soclocenLrlc mode of Lhe prevlous concreLe operaLlonal cognlLlon), buL
raLher on a revlew of Lhe teosoos and Lhe acLual evlJeoce for such bellefs. uld Moses teolly parL Lhe 8ed Sea?
8aLlonallLy, ln Lhls sense, means LhaL you seek reasonable reasons" for your bellefs. WhaL ls Lhe evldence? Why
should l belleve Lhls? Who says so? Where dld you geL LhaL ldea?
And flnally, because we can reflecL on our own LhoughL processes, and Lhus Lo some degree remove ourselves
from Lhem, we become capable of lmaglnlng all sorLs of oLher posslbllltles, we become Jteomets ln Lhe Lrue sense
of Lhe word. CLher perspecLlves, oLher bellefs, oLher horlzons open before Lhe mlnd's eye, and Lhe soul can Lake
fllghL ln Lhe worlds of Lhe noL-yeL-seen. 8aLlonallLy ls Lhe greaL doorway Lo Lhe lnvlslble, Lhrough whlch, and Lhen
beyond whlch, lle so many secreLs noL glven Lo Lhe senses or Lo convenLlons (whlch ls why all Lrue mysLlclsm ls
LransraLlonal and never anLlraLlonal, rlghL LhoughL" always precedes rlghL medlLaLlon").
1hus, Lhe ldea LhaL raLlonallLy ls somehow dry and absLracL," or LhaL lL has no feellngs," ls way off Lhe mark.
8aLlonallLy creaLes a deeper spoce of posslblllLles Lhrough whlch deeper and wlder feellngs can run, feellngs noL
bound Lo one's lsolaLed deslres or Lhe narrow conflnes of offlclal convenLlonal reallLy. 1he facL LhaL raLlonallLy ls a
relaLlvely hlgh level of developmenL means, as always, LhaL lL coo repress lLs lower holons, parLlcularly emoLlons of
sex and aggresslon, and tbot, as always, leads Lo paLhology. And lL ls Lhe potboloqlcol expresslon of raLlonallLy LhaL
has glven raLlonallLy a bad name (dry and absLracL"), buL LhaL ls deflnlLely noL characLerlsLlc of Lhe sLrucLure as a
whole. Powever, slnce totloool ls someLhlng of a loaded word, we mlghL beLLer use Lhe word teosoooble-Lhey
mean Lhe same Lhlng: whaL are your reasons, why are you dolng LhaL?
And Lhls ls why raLlonallLy or reasonableness Lends Lo be oolvetsol ln characLer, and ls hlghly lnLegraLlve. lf my
reasons are golng Lo be valld, l wanL Lo know LhaL Lhey make sense, or LhaL Lhey hold Lrue, noL [usL for me or my
Lrlbe or my lsolaLed culLure (however lmporLanL Lhose mlghL also be). lf sclence, for example, ls golng Lo be Lrue,
Lhen we are noL golng Lo have a Plndu chemlsLry LhaL ls dlfferenL from a Cerman chemlsLry LhaL ls dlfferenL from a
Creek chemlsLry. 1here ls slmply chemlsLry, and lLs LruLh ls noL forced or coerced or ldeologlcally lmposed, buL ls
freely open Lo any who wlsh Lo look lnLo lLs reasons.
1hls doesn'L mean LhaL we can'L have speclal culLural dlfferences LhaL make each socleLy unlque and speclal, lL
means LhaL only raLlonallLy wlll allow Lhese dlfferences Lo exlsL slde by slde by seelng Lhem as dlfferenL perspecLlves
ln a more unlversal space, someLhlng LhaL culLural dlfferences, lefL Lo Lhelr own convenLlonal or soclocenLrlc or
eLhnocenLrlc devlces, could never do. lL ls only raLlonallLy, ln oLher words, LhaL allows Lhe beglnnlng emergence of a
Lruly global or planeLary neLwork, whlch, freed from any parLlcular socleLy, can allow all socleLles Lhelr own unlque
and speclal place.
8uL you can lmaglne whaL happened hlsLorlcally when Lhe myLhologlcal sLrucLure (Moses parLed Lhe 8ed Sea) ran
lnLo Lhe newly emerglng raLlonal sLrucLure (WhaL does LhaL mean, parLed Lhe 8ed Sea? Where ls your evldence for
LhaL?). Was lL really rlghL for Lhe gods Lo lle and rape, as Pomer had malnLalned? Cr could Lhe myLhs slmply be
wtooq? luLarch records hls faLher saylng Lo hlm: ?ou seem Lo me Lo be handllng a very large and dangerous
quesLlon-or raLher you are dlsLurblng sub[ecLs whlch oughL Lo be lefL alone, when you quesLlon Lhe oplnlon we hold
abouL Lhe gods, and ask reason and proof for everyLhlng."
1he lndlcLmenL handed down by Lhe clLy of ALhens began, SocraLes ls gullLy of refuslng Lo recognlze Lhe gods of
Lhe SLaLe." lL ended wlLh, 1he penalLy demanded ls deaLh." When asked, as was cusLomary, lf SocraLes could
suggesL an alLernaLlve punlshmenL, he suggesLed free meals for llfe.
8uL he refused a prlson escape LhaL had been arranged for hlm, and freely drank Lhe hemlock. ln chooslng deaLh
lnsLead of sLaLe myLhology, SocraLes dled for Lhe cause of emergenL reason.
1he resL of humanlLy, however, dld noL move qulLe as fasL ln LhaL parLlcular LransformaLlon. 8aLher, ln Lhls clash
beLween myLh and newly emerglng reason, Lhe LradlLlonal myLhologlcal sLrucLures were aL flrsL totlooollzeJ. 1haL ls,
Lhe old myLhs were propped up wlLh raLlonal reasons. And Lhls sLrucLure, ln general, l call myLhlc-raLlonal.
Pabermas does noL speclflcally use Lhe Lerm mytblc-totloool, he speaks of Lhe raLlonallzaLlon of myLhologlcal
organlzaLlon, an essenLlally slmllar noLlon.
Pabermas makes several lnLeresLlng observaLlons abouL Lhls myLhlc-raLlonal space. llrsL of all, we are deallng wlLh
Lhe oolvetsollzloq Lendency ln raLlonallLy-Lhe deslre of raLlonallLy Lo embrace, make room for, and lnLegraLe a
qlobol or plooetoty consclousness. 8uL Lhls planeLary or global Lendency flrsL expressed lLself ln an aLLempL Lo
exLend a pottlcolot mytboloqy Lo world-embraclng dlmenslons. ln oLher words, a mlllLary aLLempL Lo conquer as
many peoples as posslble.
1hus, accordlng Lo Pabermas, aL Lhls polnL hlsLorlcally we see Lhe emergence, around Lhe world, of Lhe greaL
Lmplres. lrom Lhe lncas Lo Lhe Aryans, from Lhe AzLecs Lo Lhe Alexanders, from Lhe khans Lo Lhe 8omans: Lhe
comlng of Lhe Lmplres was Lhe flrsL bruLal sLep ln a planeLary expanslon sLruggllng Lo reach beyond lsolaLed culLures
by slmple conquesL.
Cnce conquered, Lhe peoples were Lhen usually glven a genulnely equal access Lo cltlzeosblp (ln many cases Lhls
lncluded clLlzenshlp for women, slaves, and chlldren). 8uL Lhese clLlzens could only be qlobol clLlzens lf Lhe emplre
lLself conquered Lhe globe-LhaL ls, lf everybody embraced Lhe myLhology LhaL raLlonallLy was Lrylng Lo prop up-lf
everybody became Lrue bellevers" ln Lhe chosen myLhlc god or goddess (we sLlll see Lhls Lype of myLhlc-lmperlallsm
operaLlve ln Lhe world Loday), a raLher LwlsLed verslon of planeLary clLlzenshlp.
Llkewlse, Lhe old myLhologlcal sLrucLures had conLalned lmpllclLly anoLher Lype of parLlal move Loward global or
planeLary clLlzenshlp, namely, epool cltlzeos of tbe foltb. AlLhough Lhls was also a falLerlng sLep ln Lhe rlghL dlrecLlon,
lL Loo suffered from Lhe facL LhaL Lhe varlous myLhologles Lhemselves sLlll JlffeteJ ftom eocb otbet. All ChrlsLlans
anywhere, of whaLever color or race or sex, were equally saved, buL all Plndus would go Lo hell. 1he greaL
myLhologles, and Lhe greaL emplres LhaL carrled Lhem Lo varlous corners of Lhe globe, ran up agalnsL Lhelr own
lnherenL llmlLaLlons for lnLegraLlve power, slmply because Lhey ran lnLo each oLher, and Lhe only way Lo overcome
Lhose dlfferences was Lo shed parLlcularlsLlc and dlvlslve myLhologles and Lransform Lo a more global reasonableness
(Lhe oext sLage, Lhe menLal-raLlonal).
8uL we are now aL Lhe polnL where Lhe old myLhologles, carrled now by emplres, are Lrylng Lo be propped up and
raLlonallzed. 8uL LhaL means LhaL Lhere was already a profound break wlLh pure myLhologlcal LhoughL, whlch
prevlously was slmply accepLed on lLs own Lerms. Pabermas:
lor Lhls reason, lmperlally developed clvlllzaLlons [emplres] had Lo secure Lhelr collecLlve ldenLlLy ln a way LhaL
presupposed a break wlLh myLhologlcal LhoughL. 1he unlversallsLlc world lnLerpreLaLlons of Lhe greaL founders
of rellglons and of Lhe greaL phllosophers grounded a commonallLy of convlcLlon medlaLed Lhrough a Leachlng
LradlLlon and permlLLlng only absLracL ob[ecLs of ldenLlflcaLlon. As members of unlversal communlLles of falLh,
clLlzens could recognlze Lhelr ruler and Lhe order represenLed by hlm so long as lL was posslble Lo render
pollLlcal domlnaLlon plauslble ln some sense as Lhe legacy of an order of Lhe world and of salvaLlon LhaL was
belleved ln and poslLed absoluLely [myLhlc dogma].
1he greaL emplres had Lo demarcaLe Lhemselves from a desoclallzed ouLer naLure [blosphere] as well as
from Lhe soclal envlronmenL of Lhose allen Lo Lhe emplre. 8uL slnce collecLlve ldenLlLy could now be secured
only by way of docLrlnes wlLh a unlversal clalm, Lhe pollLlcal order also had Lo be ln accord wlLh Lhls clalm-Lhe
emplres were noL unlversal ln name alone [buL ln aLLempLed global conquesL as well]. . . .
8uL Lhe reallLy of otbet empltes was lncompaLlble wlLh Lhls deflnlLlon of Lhe boundarles and soclal
envlronmenL of an emplre. uesplLe Lhe exlsLence of Lrade relaLlons, and desplLe Lhe dlffuslon of lnnovaLlons,
Lhe emplres shlelded Lhemselves from Lhls danger, beLween Lhemselves Lhey malnLalned no dlplomaLlc
relaLlons ln Lhe sense of an lnsLlLuLlonallzed forelgn pollcy. 1helr pollLlcal exlsLence was noL dependenL on a
sysLem of reclprocal recognlLlon [Lhey were noL Lruly raLlonal-planeLary].
Lven Lhough lL was a myLhologlcal worldvlew LhaL was Lrylng Lo be propped up, Lhe propplng up was neverLheless
belng done wlLh formal operaLlonal LhoughL, and Lhus cenLral parLs of Lhe myLhlc-raLlonal world were cenLered
around formal raLlonallLy and lLs unlversallzlng or global ouLreach:
1here arlse cosmologlcal worldvlews, phllosophles, and Lhe hlgher rellglons [so-called raLlonal rellglons"],
whlch replace Lhe narraLlve explanaLlons of myLhologlcal accounLs wlLh argumenLaLlve foundaLlons [Lhey glve
reasons]. 1he LradlLlons golng back Lo Lhe greaL founders are an expllclLly Leachable knowledge LhaL can be
dogmaLlzed, LhaL ls, professlonally raLlonallzed. ln Lhelr arLlculaLed forms raLlonallzed worldvlews are an
expresslon of formal operaLlonal LhoughL and of a moral consclousness gulded by [posLconvenLlonal]
8uL a propplng-up ls sLlll a propplng-up. And ln one of Lhe mosL dlfflculL of all hlsLorlcal LransformaLlons, a
unlversal or global reasonableness began slowly Lo supplemenL local and dlvlslve myLhologles, myLhologles LhaL,
preclsely because Lhey could noL be unlversally argued and supporLed by shared evldence, could only be supporLed
mlllLarlly and lmperlallsLlcally.
8uL slowly, ln boLh Lhe LasL and WesL, began Lo emerge raLlonal phllosophles, raLlonal sclences, raLlonal pollcles,
raLlonal rellglons-some of whlch lndeed polnLed beyooJ reason, buL all of whlch depended on reason as a
plaLform LhaL could secure a common and muLual undersLandlng for anyone, of any color, race, or creed, who cared
Lo Lalk abouL lL, share Lhelr evldence, dlscuss Lhelr reasons, and noL slmply shouL dogmaLlsms and clalm dlvlne
As Lhe planeLary reach of reasonableness began Lo shake off Lhe dlvlslve myLhologles, emplres gave way Lo modern
sLaLes-whlch aL leasL formally and muLually tecoqolzeJ one anoLher, Lhus maklng room for each on Lhe planeL. 1he
modern sLaLe Lhus separaLed from lLs embeddedness ln parLlcular myLhologles-tbe oll-lmpottoot sepototloo of
cbotcb ooJ stote-and furLher removed lLself from Lhe economlc sphere by allowlng Lhe emergence of a global
markeL economy, all of whlch had Lo be grounded ln unlversallsLlc reasons (buL sLlll Llnged, lnlLlally, by remnanLs of
lmperlallsm, whlch lndlcaLed noL an excess of reason buL a lack of lL).
1he hlghesL prlnclples losL Lhelr unquesLlonable characLer, rellglous falLh and Lhe LheoreLlcal aLLlLude became
teflectlve. 1he advance of Lhe modern sclences and Lhe developmenL of moral-pracLlcal wlll-formaLlon were no
longer pre[udlced by an order LhaL-alLhough grounded-was poslLed absoluLely [myLhology]. lor Lhe flrsL
Llme, Lhe unlversallsLlc [global] poLenLlal already conLalned ln Lhe raLlonallzed worldvlews could be seL free.
1he oolty of tbe wotlJ could no longer be secured ob[ecLlvely, Lhrough hyposLaslzlng unlfylng prlnclples (Cod,
8elng, or naLure), henceforLh lL could be asserLed only reflecLlvely, Lhrough Lhe unlLy of reason. 1he unlLy of
LheoreLlcal and pracLlcal reason Lhen became Lhe key problem for modern world lnLerpreLaLlons. . . .
ln oLher words, lL was no longer slmply Lhe case of a sub[ecL Lrylng Lo look aL and undersLand and operaLe on a
world of ob[ecLs (concreLe operaLlonal), lL was Lhe sub[ecL looklng aL and Lrylng Lo undersLand and operaLe on ltself,
lL was Lhe sub[ecL Lrylng Lo undersLand Lhe sobject (formal operaLlonal). Suddenly, very suddenly, humanlLy had
Laken a new Lurn, a new Lranscendence, had dlscovered a new and deeper lnLerlor, wlLh a new and hlgher
consclousness, and LhaL consclousness was Lo be found by lookloq wltblo.
As we wlll see, Pabermas, Cebser, and l (and many oLhers) place Lhe rough beglnnlng of Lhls new emergence
(egolc-raLlonal) ln Lhe mlddle of Lhe flrsL mlllennlum 8CL, buL lL reaches lLs frulLlon wlLh Lhe rlse of Lhe modern sLaLe,
roughly Lhe slxLeenLh cenLury ln Lurope. We wlll be concenLraLlng on Lhls frulLlon, buL leL us aL leasL noLe LhaL whaL
many of Lhe cenLral endeavors of Lhls enLlre perlod have ln common ls a new Lype of lookloq wltblo. ln phllosophy,
for Lhe flrsL Llme, Lhe Lheme ls noL WhaL ls Lhere Lo know?" buL Pow can l know lL?" noL WhaL ob[ecLs are ouL
Lhere?" buL WhaL ls Lhe sLrucLure of Lhe sub[ecL LhaL wanLs Lo know?" lrom SocraLes' uelphlc know Lhyself" Lo Lhe
exhausLlve lnLrospecLlons of Pume and Locke and uescarLes and kanL (and nagar[una and Carab uor[e and Chlh-l
and la-Lsang), Lhe common Lheme heard over and over and over agaln: Look wlLhln.
We see preclsely Lhe same Lhlng wlLh Lhe rlse of Lhe raLlonal rellglons," whlch does noL mean LhaL Lhese rellglons
were ooly raLlonal-lndeed, Lhelr alm was Lo go even beyond raLlonallLy ln all cases. 8uL Lhese were Lhe flrsL greaL
rellglons LhaL Look Lhelr sLand, oot ln a myLhologlcal panLheon of gods and goddesses oot tbete LhaL had Lo be
appeased Lhrough maglc or myLhlc rlLual, buL raLher Look as Lhelr stottloq polnL: 1he klngdom of Peaven ls
wltblo," as !esus of nazareLh would puL lL.
Llkewlse, Lhe essenLlal message of CauLama Lhe 8uddha could be summarlzed ln Lhe sLaLemenL uon'L worry
abouL gods, goddesses, splrlLs, Lhe afLerllfe, any of LhaL-raLher, look very carefully aL Lhe naLure of your own
sub[ecL, your own self, and Lry Lo peneLraLe Lo Lhe boLLom of LhaL, for lf enllghLenmenL exlsLs, lL lles Lhrough an
undersLandlng of (and golng beyond) Lhe sub[ecL lLself." All of LhaL was radlcally, toJlcolly new.
lor preclsely Lhe same reasons, lndlvlduals were no longer ldenLlfled by Lhe slmple and unreflexlve toles LhaL
Lhey played ln socleLy, as was Lhe case wlLh eLhnocenLrlc and myLhlc-membershlp socleLles. 8aLher, ln a
posLconvenLlonal socleLy, lndlvlduals were ldenLlfled ln many ways by Lhelr own free cholces, os ftee sobjects, wlLhln
Lhe broad consLralnLs of clvll law. ln oLher words, as Pabermas puLs lL, an eqo ldenLlLy replaced a tole ldenLlLy.
1hls domaln of decenLrallzed lndlvldual declslons was organlzed on unlversallsLlc prlnclples ln Lhe framework
of bourgeols clvll law. lL was Lhereby supposed LhaL Lhe prlvaLe, auLonomous, legal sub[ecLs pursued Lhelr
lnLeresLs ln Lhe morally neuLrallzed domaln of lnLercourse ln a purposlve-raLlonal manner, ln accord wlLh
general [unlversal] maxlms. lrom Lhls converslon of Lhe producLlve sphere Lo unlversallsLlc [global]
orlenLaLlons Lhere proceeded a sLrong sLrucLural compulslon for Lhe developmenL of personallLy sLrucLures
LhaL replaced convenLlonal role ldenLlLy wlLh ego ldenLlLy. [As l sald, Pabermas and l boLh place Lhe beglnnlng
of Lhls change Lo ego ldenLlLy ln Lhe mlddle of Lhe flrsL mlllennlum 8CL, buL lL reaches lLs frulLlon here, wlLh Lhe
rlse of Lhe modern sLaLe, beglnnlng roughly ln Lhe slxLeenLh cenLury ln Lurope]. ln facL, emanclpaLed members
of bourgeols socleLy, whose convenLlonal [soclocenLrlc] ldenLlLy had been shaLLered, could know Lhemselves
as one wlLh Lhelr fellow clLlzens ln Lhelr characLer as (a) free and equal sub[ecLs of clvll law, (b) morally free
sub[ecLs, and (c) pollLlcally free sub[ecLs (Lhe clLlzen as democraLlc clLlzen of Lhe sLaLe).
1hls ls an exLraordlnary developmenL, for many reasons (so much so LhaL Lhe Lhlrd volume ln Lhls serles ls devoLed
Lo lL). 8uL, aL Lhls polnL, leL us brlefly reLurn Lo Lhe Lhemes ralsed earller ln Lhls chapLer and aL leasL noLe how Lhls
new egolc-raLlonal emergence (wlLh, among many oLher Lhlngs, lLs dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe noosphere and Lhe
blosphere) would affecL Lhe sexes, for lL ls here LhaL we flnd some of Lhe mosL surprlslng developmenLs.
Ll8L8A1lCn ln 1PL nCCSPL8L
Accordlng Lo mosL radlcal femlnlsLs, one of Lhe speclal sLrengLhs of women ls Lhelr ages-old connecLlon wlLh Lhe
LarLh, wlLh naLure, wlLh emboJlmeot (ln facL, a good summary of Lhe female value sphere accordlng Lo radlcal
femlnlsm would be embodlmenL ln communlon"). 1he radlcal femlnlsLs malnLaln LhaL woman's speclal assoclaLlon
wlLh embodled naLure needs Lo be honored and cherlshed and celebraLed. 1he connecLlon of woman and naLure ls
Lhe source of female power and freedom and llberaLlon.
Accordlng Lo mosL llberal femlnlsLs, lL ls preclsely Lhe opposlLe. 1he equaLlon of woman and naLure, Lhey malnLaln,
ls tbe prlmary and overwhelmlng source of female oppresslon. 1he woman/naLure ldenLlLy," Lhey belleve, has
been Lhe prlmary ldenLlflcaLlon LhaL men have, LhroughouL Lhe ages (llLerally from day one), used Lo keep women
locked ouL of Lhe noosphere (ouL of Lhe publlc, producLlve, legal, culLural, power-wleldlng sphere). Woman =
naLure" LranslaLes dlrecLly lnLo barefooL, pregnanL, and ln Lhe klLchen," and Lhe llberal femlnlsLs are alarmed LhaL
Lhe radlcal femlnlsLs are even Lhlnklng such LhoughLs, leL alone champlonlng Lhem.
8uL my polnL ls LhaL, once Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere had dlfferenLlaLed, lL was-lL ls-an enLlrely dlfferenL
world, where all Lhe old equaLlons suddenly Lake on enLlrely new meanlngs. And alLhough some of Lhose meanlngs
mlghL lndeed have been oppresslve ln Lhe pasL, Lhey are noL necessarlly so ln Lhe new world (ln Lhe new worldspace,
llrsL, even lf Lhe radlcal femlnlsLs are rlghL, and woman's speclal power ls her rooLedness ln naLure and body (Lhe
blosphere), noneLheless Lhe dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere meanL LhaL women were no longer
[usL LhaL, or only LhaL, or excluslvely LhaL. Slnce Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere had aL Lhls polnL been clearly
dlfferenLlaLed on a collecLlve scale, Lhls ls Lhe flrsL Llme LhaL Lhe excloslve ldenLlLy woman/naLure" was no longer
needed, or approprlaLe, or even relevanL (as an excloslve ldenLlLy, whlch does noL deny Lhe radlcal femlnlsL clalm
LhaL women have speclal connecLlons wlLh LarLh and body and naLure, lL means only LhaL LhaL ls noL oll Lhey are or
lL was here, ln Lhe clearly dlfferenLlaLed noosphere, LhaL Lhere was Lhen no concelvable reason LhaL women could
noL enLer Lhe world of pobllc oqeocy (brlnglng wlLh Lhem Lhelr own forms of communlon). 8lologlcal roles were no
longer prlmary, physlcal sLrengLh was no longer Lhe ma[or deLermlnaLe of publlc power, Lhe parameLers of
blospherlc evoluLlon were shadlng lnLo Lhose of noospherlc evoluLlon, such LhaL tlqbt began Lo replace mlqbt. And
lL was tlqbt for Lhe female Lo assume culLural agency ln Lhe newly dlfferenLlaLed world, a rlghL LhaL wasn'L
pteveoteJ before buL was slmply meooloqless before (on any collecLlve scale).
And lndeed, lL ls preclsely here, and oevet before, LhaL we flrsL sLarL Lo see Lhe beglnnlng of a wldespread and
organlzed women's movemenL, a movemenL noL [usL dlsconLenL abouL Lhls or LhaL parLlcular mlsLreaLmenL (whlch
had happened slnce day one), buL abouL women's place ln socleLy oo tbe wbole.
1hls was radlcally new-a new emergence, a new Lranscendence, and a new dlfferenLlaLlon LhaL JemooJeJ o oew
loteqtotloo-woman as publlc and hlsLorlcal oqeot (where hereLofore, as we saw, LhaL role largely fell Lo Lhe male
as faLher).
1hus, we do noL flnd Lhe emergence of a wldespread women's movemenL prlor Lo Lhls Llme, noL because women
were duped or bralnwashed or submlsslve chaLLel, buL because llberaLlon ln Lhe femlnlsL sense (woman as free
agenL) was vlrLually meanlngless as long as Lhe blosphere and Lhe noosphere were noL clearly dlfferenLlaLed, flrsL,
and as long as Lhe sLaLe and Lhe economlc sphere were noL clearly dlfferenLlaLed, second (boLh of whlch came Lo
frulLlon, we have sald, around Lhe slxLeenLh cenLury).
AL LhaL polnL, and noL before, Lhe rlghLs of women as free
agenLs would have profound meanlng and profound deslrablllLy.
And lndeed, Lhe flrsL greaL femlnlsL LreaLlse anywhere ln hlsLory was Mary WollsLonecrafL's vloJlcotloo of tbe
klqbts of womoo, wrlLLen ln 1792.
Women dld noL Lhen suddenly become sLrong and lnLelllgenL and responslble
afLer a mllllon years of dupedom, buL raLher, uslng Lhe some lnLelllgence and sLrengLh and lnslghL wlLh whlch Lhey
had mlned Lhe naLural wlsdom of Lhe blosphere for a mllllon years, Lhey now saw Lhe flrsL sLrucLural openlng ln Lhe
noosphere and Lhey acLed lmmeJlotely on lL. lL would be a mere Lwo hundred years laLer-a bllnk ln evoluLlonary
Llme-LhaL women would secure access Lo Lhe publlc and pollLlcal sphere of agency ln Lhe form of Lhe rlghL Lo voLe
and Lhe rlghL Lo own possesslons. 1hls was blazlngly fasL acLlon on Lhe parL of women once Lhe sLrucLural condlLlons
of soclal llfe had swlLched lLs cenLer of gravlLy from Lhe blosphere Lo Lhe noosphere.
And so henceforLh, Lhe role of Lhe faLher (Lhe famlllallzaLlon of Lhe male") woolJ oo looqet sofflce to llok tbe two
voloe spbetes, buL would have Lo be [olned by Lhe role of female as hlsLorlcal oqeot, equal noospherlc agenL (noL
[usL embodled ln communlon, buL enculLuraLed ln agency). And here ls where Lhe llberal femlnlsL argumenL surely
flnds lLs sLrongesL volce and lLs unshakable moral auLhorlLy.
8uL slnce Lhe noosphere Lranscends and lncludes Lhe blosphere, Lhere ls no reason LhaL Lhe llberal cannoL
embrace Lhe radlcal and Lhen add lLs own exLra demands. lL's noL llke we're on a flaLland playlng fleld, where more
of Lhe one means less of Lhe oLher. Cn a mulLldlmenslonal fleld, ln Lhe real kosmos, Lhe more of boLh, Lhe beLLer.
ln oLher words, speclal rooLedness ln Lhe blosphere can lndeed be reasonably clalmed-Lhere ls llLerally o mlllloo
yeots of rlch LradlLlon of Lhe wlse woman who feels Lhe currenLs of embodlmenL ln naLure and communlon, and
celebraLes lL wlLh heallng rlLuals and knowlng ways of connecLlng wlsdom, a wlsdom LhaL does noL worshlp merely
Lhe agenLlc sun and lLs glarlng brlghLness, buL flnds ln Lhe depLhs and Lhe organlc dark Lhe ways of belng llnked ln
relaLlonshlp, LhaL puLs care above power and nurLurance above self-rlghLeousness, LhaL reweaves Lhe fragmenLs wlLh
concern, and mldwlfes Lhe communlons and Lhe unsung connecLlons LhaL susLaln us each and all. And flnds, above
all, LhaL belng a self ls always belng a self-ln-relaLlonshlp.
1he llberal poslLlon oughL Lo be able gladly Lo embrace all LhaL, as rooLedness, and Lhen add lLs own speclal and
emergenL ldeas and demands-whlch are preclsely Lhose demands moJe posslble for Lhe flrsL Llme ln hlsLory by Lhls
exLraordlnary new emergence, by Lhls dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere, by Lhe emergence of
global raLlonallLy-and Lhose demands are exacLly Lhe posslblllLles we [usL saw Pabermas elaboraLe, applled now Lo
women as well: Lo be (a) free and equal sub[ecLs of clvll law, (b) morally free sub[ecLs, and (c) pollLlcally free sub[ecLs.
And LhaL ls Lhe endurlng LruLh and sLrengLh of llberal femlnlsm, whlch arose aL Lhls Llme, and noL before Lhls Llme,
preclsely Lo announce LhaL emergenL LruLh.
1here ls one flnal LwlsL ln Lhe sLory. lf Lhe dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe blosphere and noosphere (and Lhe dlfferenLlaLlon
of Lhe 8lg 1hree) began ln earnesL only wlLh modernlLy, lL ls noneLheless Lhe case, as we wlll see, LhaL Lhls
dlfferenLlaLlon has Lended ln many respecLs Lo sllde lnLo Jlssoclotloo. And LhaL glves Lhe radlcal femlnlsL componenL
of Lhe lnLegraLlon an lmporLanL and urgenL welghL. We have somehow forgoLLen our embodlmenL.
And furLher: Slnce woman, body, naLure" have ofLen been dlfferenL aspecLs of Lhe same dlssoclaLed fabrlc, Lhls
glves a cerLaln cogency Lo Lhe concerns of Lhe ecofemlnlsLs as well (Lhough we don'L necessarlly have Lo embrace
Lhelr LheoreLlcal and hlsLorlcal explanaLlons, whlch Lend Lo Lhe ldeologlcal).
1hls ls all parL of Lhe new lnLegraLlon (cenLaurlc," vlslon-loglc") LhaL l have been referrlng Lo, and whlch lnvolves,
among oLher Lhlngs, Lhe lnLegraLlon of mlnd and body, Lhe lnLegraLlon of noosphere and blosphere (oftet Lhelr
dlfferenLlaLlon). And slnce, for wbotevet reasons, LhroughouL hlsLory and prehlsLory Lhere was a speclal connecLlon
beLween woman, naLure, and body,
Lhen Lhe lnLegraLlon of mlnd and body means vlrLually Lhe same as Lhe
lnLegraLlon of male and female-ln each of us.
AL LhaL polnL, botb Lhe male and Lhe female would have one fooL ln Lhe blosphere ooJ one fooL ln Lhe
noosphere-an emergenL lnLegraLlon uLLerly oopteceJeoteJ, and Lhe exacL meanlng of whlch we are all sLlll Lrylng Lo
flgure ouL.
Whlch ls why Lhe pasL ls of no real help here. Calllng on lnherlLed archeLypes and old myLhologlcal moLlfs ls of llLLle
help ln Lhls new, emergenL, and unprecedenLed endeavor. Llkewlse, many ecofemlnlsLs feel Lhey have Lo be able Lo
polnL Lo a pasL socleLy (almosL always horLlculLural) where women were equal" ln order Lo show LhaL such equallLy
ls aL leasL a posslblllLy of human naLure and human socleLles. 8uL my polnL ls LhaL Lhe posslblllLy lLself ls an
emetqeot-lL oevet was, buL ls now comlng Lo be-and so we don'L oeeJ Lo wlldly relnLerpreL Lhe pasL ln order Lo
flnd hope for Lhe fuLure.
We are looklng aL an emergence, noL an exhumaLlon, aL a blrLh, noL a dlslnLermenL.
So l suppose lL ls all somehow deeply symbollc LhaL Mary WollsLonecrafL dled glvlng blrLh Lo Mary Shelley, who
wroLe ltookeostelo. A deaLh, a blrLh, a monsLer.
1he lmage of LhaL monsLer!" seems Lo flL how boLh men and women vlew each oLher as Lhelr new and
unprecedenLed roles ln Lhe noosphere conLlnue Lo be worked ouL, and why, l suppose, a cerLaln klndness on boLh
sldes ls so necessary. 1hroughouL Lhls new and dlfflculL lnLegraLlon-Lhls deaLh and Lhls new blrLh-each sex ls Lhe
monsLer of Lhe oLher's creaLlon.
Whlch brlngs us up Lo Lhe presenL, and Lhe new lnLegraLlon LhaL ls sLruggllng Lo emerge, ln all four quadranLs. . . .
We are concerned no longer wlLh culLural lnflecLlons, buL wlLh a passage from one culLure sLage Lo anoLher. ln
all prevlous ages, only resLrlcLed porLlons of Lhe surface of Lhe earLh were known. Men looked ouL from Lhe
narrowesL, upon a somewhaL larger nelghborhood, and beyond LhaL, a greaL unknown. 1hey were all, so Lo
say, lnsular: bound ln. Whereas our vlew ls conflned no longer Lo a spoL of space on Lhe surface of Lhls earLh. lL
surveys Lhe whole of Lhe planeL. And Lhls facL, Lhls lack of horlzon, ls someLhlng new.
1hose words, by Lhe greaL Leo lrobenlus ln hls Mooomeoto 1ettotom, were wrlLLen ln 1929. 1he prevlous age, LhaL
of Lhe early emergence of Lhe raLlonal and lLs flrsL exLraordlnary dlscoverles, lrobenlus called Lhe MonumenLal Age,
and Lhe openlng of Lhe new, [usL now under way, he called Lhe Clobal or World CulLure.
As raLlonallLy conLlnues lLs quesL for a Lruly unlversal or global or planeLary ouLlook, noncoerclve ln naLure, lL
evenLually glves way Lo a Lype of cognlLlon l call vlslon-loglc or neLwork-loglc. Where raLlonallLy glves all posslble
perspecLlves, vlslon-loglc adds Lhem up lnLo a LoLallLy, whlch ls slmply Lhe new and hlgher lnLerlor holon. Auroblndo
gave Lhe classlc descrlpLlon of vlslon-loglc, whlch can freely express lLself ln slngle ldeas, buL lLs mosL characLerlsLlc
movemenL ls a mass ldeaLlon, a sysLem or LoLallLy of LruLh-seelng aL a slngle vlew, Lhe relaLlons of ldea wlLh ldea, of
LruLh wlLh LruLh, self-seen ln Lhe lnLegral whole."
WhaL l am Lrylng Lo do ln Lhls book, and whaL you are Lrylng Lo do as you read lL (or oLher slmllar books), ls use
vlslon-loglc: noL [usL reasonably declde Lhe lndlvldual lssues, buL hold Lhem LogeLher aL once ln mlnd, and [udge how
Lhey all flL LogeLher as a LruLh-vlslon. ln oLher words, vlslon-loglc ls a hlgher holon LhaL opetotes opoo (and Lhus
Lranscends) lLs [unlor holons, such as slmple raLlonallLy lLself. As such, vlslon-loglc can hold ln mlnd conLradlcLlons, lL
can unlfy opposlLes, lL ls dlalecLlcal and nonllnear, and lL weaves LogeLher whaL oLherwlse appear Lo be lncompaLlble
noLlons, as long as Lhey relaLe LogeLher ln Lhe new and hlgher holon, oeqoteJ ln Lhelr parLlallLy buL ptesetveJ ln
Lhelr poslLlve conLrlbuLlons.
1hls ls, for example, whaL Pegel called 8eason" as opposed Lo Lhe undersLandlng" (or Lhe slmpler, emplrlc-
analyLlc raLlonallLy of proposlLlons, or ArlsLoLellan loglc). And Lhls ls why Pegel malnLalned LhaL Lhe cenLral deflnlng
characLerlsLlc of 8eason (vlslon-loglc) was lLs capaclLy Lo unlfy opposlLes and see ldenLlLy-ln-dlfference. (As such,
Pegel was one of Lhe flrsL greaL phllosophers of vlslon-loglc, as were Schelllng, WhlLehead, and a few oLhers we wlll
explore laLer, and noL [usL because of Lhelr sysLemaLlc wholeness-LhaL had been aLLempLed before-buL because of
Lhelr expllclL grasp of ldenLlLy-ln-dlfference or nonblfurcaLed 8eason" or vlslon-loglc, beyond whlch lles Lhe
LransraLlonal alLogeLher.)
And lL ls vlslon-loglc LhaL drlves and underlles Lhe posslblllLy of a Lruly planeLary culLure (or, raLher, Lhe flrsL Lrue
forms of planeLary organlzaLlon, whlch Lhemselves wlll mosL llkely evolve accordlng Lo yeL hlgher caLegorles, as we
wlll see).
8ecall LhaL we lefL off Pabermas's accounL wlLh Lhe emergence (beglnnlng on a collecLlve scale around slxLeenLh-
cenLury Lurope) of an eqo lJeotlty (flrsL secured by men, relaLlvely swlfLly followed by women) whereln oll people
were consldered (1) free and equal sub[ecLs of clvll law, (2) morally free sub[ecLs, and (3) pollLlcally free sub[ecLs as
clLlzens of Lhe democraLlc sLaLe (whlch also, of course, for Lhe flrsL Llme ln hlsLory, would puL a flnal end Lo slavery
and back LhaL emanclpaLlon by law).
8uL, Pabermas conLlnues, Lhese absLracL deLermlnaLlons are besL sulLed Lo Lhe ldenLlLy of wotlJ cltlzeos, noL Lo
LhaL of clLlzens of a pottlcolot sLaLe LhaL has Lo malnLaln [and defend] lLself agalnsL oLher sLaLes."
ln oLher words,
legally, morally, and pollLlcally free sub[ecLs: Lhls ls a sLaLe of affalrs LhaL acLually applles Lo world clLlzens, noL [usL Lo
clLlzens of Lhls or LhaL sLaLe. 1he free sub[ecL, creaLed by raLlonallLy, could noL easlly or for long be conflned Lo Lhe
sLaLe, buL belonged raLher Lo whaL Pabermas calls global forms of lnLercourse" and permanenL varlaLlon of all
reference sysLems"-LhaL ls, vlslon-loglc.
1hus, Lrue world clLlzenshlp belongs noL Lo naLlonal organlzaLlons buL Lo planeLary organlzaLlons (as Pabermas
puLs lL, 1he need for coordlnaLlon aL a supra-naLlonal level cannoL easlly be saLlsfled as long as governmenLs have Lo
leglLlmaLe Lhemselves excluslvely ln Lerms of naLlonal declslons").
1he modern naLlon-sLaLe, founded upon lnlLlal
raLlonallLy, has run lnLo lLs own lnLernal conLradlcLlons or llmlLaLlons, and can only be released by a vlslon-
loglc/planeLary LransformaLlon.
1PL CLn1Au8 ln vlSlCn-LCClC
1he worldvlew or worldspace of vlslon-loglc l also refer Lo as exlsLenLlal" and cenLaurlc." LxlsLenLlal" we wlll
examlne ln a momenL. CenLaur" ls Lhe myLhlc beasL, half human and half horse, whlch l (and oLhers such as PuberL
8enolL and Lrlk Lrlkson) have Laken as a symbol of Lhe lnLegraLlon of body and mlnd, or blosphere and noosphere.
lor lf lL ls Lrue LhaL, a few hundred years ago, we flnally succeeded ln clearly dlfferenLlaLlng Lhese Lwo greaL domalns,
lL ls equally Lrue LhaL we have noL yeL found a way Lo lnLegraLe Lhem. Cn Lhe conLrary: Lhe necessary dlfferenLlaLlon
of Lhe blosphere and Lhe noosphere has now moved clearly lnLo Lhe beglnnlng sLages of Jlssoclotloo, and, lndeed,
some ecologlsLs feel LhaL Lhe dlssoclaLlon ls fasL becomlng lrreverslble. 8e LhaL as lL may, LhaL some sorL of
dlssoclaLlon ls under way ls all buL undenlable.
lL ls Lhe lnLegraLlve power of vlslon-loglc, l belleve, and noL Lhe lndlssoclaLlon of Lrlbal maglc or Lhe lmperlallsm of
myLhlc lnvolvemenL LhaL ls desperaLely needed on a global scale. lor lL ls vlslon-loglc wlLh lLs cenLaurlc/planeLary
worldvlew LhaL, ln my oplnlon, holds Lhe only hope for Lhe lnLegraLlon of Lhe blosphere and noosphere, Lhe
supranaLlonal organlzaLlon of planeLary consclousness, Lhe genulne recognlLlon of ecologlcal balance, Lhe
unresLralned and unforced forms of global dlscourse, Lhe nondomlnaLlng and noncoerclve forms of federaLed sLaLes,
Lhe unresLralned flow of worldwlde communlcaLlve exchange, Lhe producLlon of genulne world clLlzens, and Lhe
enculLuraLlon of female agency (l.e., Lhe lnLegraLlon of male and female ln boLh Lhe noosphere and Lhe
blosphere)-all of whlch, ln my oplnlon, ls neverLheless slmply Lhe plaLform for Lhe Lruly lnLeresLlng forms of hlgher
and Lranspersonal sLaLes of consclousness lylng yeL ln our collecLlve fuLure-lf Lhere ls one.
!ean Cebser refers Lo Lhe emerglng vlslon-loglc as Lhe loteqtol-opetspectlvol" mlnd, whlch ls a parLlcularly apL
phrase. 1he prevlous sLrucLure (Lhe egolc-raLlonal), Cebser refers Lo as Lhe raLlonal-perspecLlval," because
raLlonallLy can lndeed Lake dlfferenL petspectlves, as we saw. 8uL vlslon-loglc, or Lhe lnLegral-aperspecLlval mlnd,
adds up all Lhe perspecLlves toot eosemble, and Lherefore ptlvlleqes oo petspectlve os flool: lL ls aperspecLlval.
1he aperspecLlval mlnd, ln oLher words, ls holonlc Lhrough and Lhrough: conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs
forever. Cf course, every sLrucLure of consclousness ls acLually holonlc (Lhere are only holons), buL vlslon-loglc
consclously grasps Lhls facL for Lhe flrsL Llme, and Lhus flnds lLs own operaLlon lncreaslngly LransparenL Lo lLself (Lhls
Lransparency," accordlng Lo Cebser, ls a prlmary characLerlsLlc of Lhe lnLegral-aperspecLlval mlnd.) AperspecLlvlLy
expresses lLself ln a sLrucLure of consclousness whlch ls ln process of emerglng and ls, Lherefore, new," he says. We
would llke Lo deslgnaLe Lhls new sLrucLure Lhe 'lnLegral sLrucLure' of consclousness, and Lhe modallLy of Lhe world ln
Lhe process of emerglng Lhe 'aperspecLlve world.'"
Cebser's masLerplece, 1be vet-lteseot Otlqlo, was compleLed ln 1933, Lhe culmlnaLlon of several decades of
LhoughL and research. Pe dled ln 1973 and Lhus he dld noL llve Lo see Lhe full exLenL of Lhe exploslon of
aperspecLlvlsm ln Loday's posLmodern world. noL only has Lhe aperspecLlval vlslon-loglc deflned posLmodernlLy (ln
lLs besL aspecLs), lL has also deflned many of posLmodernlLy's self-consclous problems: lndlvlduals are noL only aware
of holonlc and aperspecLlval space, buL are ofLen LoLally losL ln lL. 1he posLmodern posLsLrucLurallsLs, for example,
have gone from saylng LhaL no conLexL, no perspecLlve, ls flnal, Lo saylng LhaL no perspecLlve has any advanLage over
any oLher, aL whlch polnL Lhey careen unconLrollably ln Lhelr own labyrlnLh of ever-recedlng holons, losL ln
aperspecLlval space.
1haL all perspecLlves lnLerrelaLe, or LhaL no perpsecLlve ls flnal (aperspecLlvlsm), does noL mean LhaL Lhere are no
relaLlve merlLs among Lhem. 1he posLmodern posLsLrucLurallsLs go from saylng Lhere ls no flnal perspecLlve" (or
perspecLlves are boundless") Lo saylng Lherefore Lhere ls no advanLage ln any perspecLlve over anoLher." 1hls
levellng of perspecLlves ls noL an lnLerrelaLlon of all perspecLlves buL ls lLself merely one parLlcular and coverLly
prlvlleged perspecLlve (and Lhus ends up, as we have seen, belng perfecLly self-conLradlcLory: Lhere ls no advanLaged
perspecLlve excepL mlne, whlch malnLalns LhaL all oLher perspecLlves are noL so prlvlleged). 1he posLmodern
posLsLrucLurallsLs confuse Lhelr own aperspecLlval madness wlLh llLerary and pollLlcal crlLlque, followlng, l presume,
Lhe ploneerlng lnsanlLy of 8aLallle.
noneLheless l belleve, and l Lhlnk Cebser would agree, LhaL recenL evenLs have, lf anyLhlng, sLrengLhened hls
Lhesls: for beLLer or for worse, Lhe world ls ln Lhe mldsL of Lhe LorLurous blrLh Lhroes of a collecLlve emergence of an
enLlrely new sLrucLure of consclousness, Lhe cenLaur ln vlslon-loglc, Lhe lnLegral-aperspecLlval mlnd.
Cebser refers Lo such LransformaLlons as muLaLlons ln consclousness," emphaslzlng Lhelr radlcally emergenL
naLure. noneLheless, each sLrucLure unfolds holarchlcally, Lranscendlng and lncludlng lLs predecessor(s). none of
Lhese muLaLlons of consclousness ls responslble for Lhe loss of prevlous posslblllLles and properLles, buL suddenly
lncorporaLes Lhem lnLo a new sLrucLure. WlLhln Lhe muLaLlons of consclousness Lhere Lakes place a process of re-
arrangemenL beyond Lhe reach of mere space-Llme-bound evenLs, an [emergenL] process, whlch manlfesLs lLself
dlsconLlnuously, or by leaps and bounds. WlLh every new muLaLlon of awareness, consclousness unfolds more
powerfully. . . ."
1hls new lnLegral-aperspecLlval sLrucLure ls, of course, loteqtotlve. 8uL lnLegral vlslon-loglc ls noL merely a sum of
prevlous parLs-LhaL, agaln, would be mere horlzonLal expanslonlsm, noL verLlcal and creaLlve emergence (and
Lranscendence). As Cebser says, 1he parL ls Lo a cerLaln degree always a beLrayal of Lhe whole, for whlch reason Lhe
sum of Lhe parLs also only ylelds a flcLlLlous buL noL an efflcaclous whole." Llkewlse, Lhe dlalecLlcal naLure of vlslon-
loglc-LhaL ls, Lhe unlLy-of-opposlLes concelved menLally (as muLual lnLerpeneLraLlon")-ls a hallmark of Lhe lnLegral
sLrucLure, ls lnLrlnslc Lo Lhe emergenL aperspecLlval consclousness."
8uL Lhe emphasls, lndeed, ls on lnLegraLlon. As Ceorg leuersLeln, Cebser's ablesL lnLerpreLer, says of Lhe lnLegral-
aperspecLlval sLrucLure: 1hls nascenL sLrucLure of consclousness, for Lhe flrsL Llme ln human hlsLory, permlLs Lhe
consclous lnLegraLlon of all prevlous (buL co-presenL) sLrucLures, and Lhrough Lhls acL of lnLegraLlon Lhe human
personallLy becomes, as lL were, LransparenL Lo lLself. . . ."
Llkewlse, cenLaurlc-lnLegral awareness lnLegraLes Lhe body and mlnd ln a new Lransparency, Lhe blosphere and Lhe
noosphere, once flnally dlfferenLlaLed, can now be lnLegraLed ln a new embrace. leuersLeln Lherefore refers Lo Lhls
newly emerglng sLrucLure as psychosomaLlc," lnvolvlng Lhe resurrecLlon of Lhe body," evldenced ln such
movemenLs as hollsLlc medlclne and ecologlcal senslLlvlLy. lL ls a whole-bodlly evenL," he says, feellng Lhrough Lhe
llveJ body. lL does noL Lake fllghL from bodlly exlsLence ln any form. 8aLher lL ls grounded ln one's unmlLlgaLed
accepLance of, or prlmal LrusL ln, corporeallLy. lt ls tbe ttoospoteot boJy-mloJ."
reclsely because Lhls cenLaurlc awareness Lranscends (buL lncludes) so much of Lhe verbal-menLal-egolc
dlmenslon, LhaL enLlre dlmenslon lLself becomes locteosloqly objectlve, lncreaslngly LransparenL, Lo cenLaurlc
consclousness. Where prevlously Lhe verbal-menLal-egolc self used Lhose sLrucLures as someLhlng wltb wblcb Lo
vlew (and co-creaLe) Lhe world, now Lhose sLrucLures Lhemselves lncreaslngly become an ob[ecL of awareness and
lnvesLlgaLlon by cenLaurlc consclousness (lL ls noL [usL Lhe mlnd looklng ob[ecLlvely and represenLaLlonally" aL
exLernal ob[ecLs-Lhe reflecLlon paradlgm"-buL Lhe mlnd looklng aL Lhe mlnd lnLersub[ecLlvely).
1hls ls behlnd Cebser's clalm LhaL lnLegral-aperspecLlval consclousness ls especlally a consclousness of language.
As he puLs lL, Language lLself ls LreaLed as a prlmordlal phenomenon by recognlzlng lLs orlglnaLlng-creaLlve naLure.
SLrucLurally, a new esLlmaLlon of grammaLlcal aspecLs and a novel use of synLacLlcal freedom are evldenL" (and here
we are on Lhe Lrall of loucaulL and uerrlda, and Lhe whole llngulsLlc Lurn" daLlng especlally Lo de Saussure).
Llkewlse, Cebser relaLes Lhe lnLegral-aperspecLlval sLrucLure Lo Lhe emergence of mosL forms of phenomenology,
wlLh Lhelr emphasls on a posLraLlonal paradlgm" LhaL ls also embodled." Pe parLlcularly focuses on 8ergson,
Pusserl, and Peldegger, alLhough he had some sharp crlLlclsms of Lhem as well (Lhe lasL-named ls also a ploneer" of
posLsLrucLurallsm, and hls noLlon of Lhe uesttoktloo of raLlonallsL onLology appears ln uerrlda as deconsLrucLlon).
Cebser's full genlus comes Lo Lhe fore ln hls brllllanL descrlpLlons, across vlrLually all dlsclpllnes, of Lhe muLaLlon,
now globally ln progress, from raLlonal-perspecLlvlsm Lo lnLegral-aperspecLlvlsm, and l cannoL hope Lo do any sorL of
[usLlce Lo hls exhllaraLlng presenLaLlon. (8eaders are urged Lo consulL 1be vet-lteseot Otlqlo-lL ls by far Lhe
ploneerlng book ln emergenL worldvlews"-and an excellenL lnLroducLlon, Ceorg leuersLeln's 5ttoctotes of
Cebser knows Lhls aperspecLlval sLrucLure so lnLlmaLely LhaL he can spoL even Lhe mosL LellLale slgns of lLs
emergence ln vlrLually any endeavor. Pere are [usL a few of Lhe areas he covers ln enormous deLall (and remember,
1be vet-lteseot Otlqlo was publlshed ln 1933, Lhe followlng llsL Lherefore lncludes only some of Lhe very earllesL
slgns of Lhe emergence of vlslon-loglc, of Lhose movemenLs LhaL would be posLraLlonal" or posL-sLrucLural" or
posLmodern" ln Lhe besL sense, Lhose movemenLs aLLempLlng Lo overcome Lhe self-deflnlng sub[ecL" and Lhe Age
of Man," Lhose movemenLs LhaL would polnL noL [usL Lo a dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe 8lg 1hree, buL Lo Lhelr lnLegraLlon as
well): bloloqy (e.g., Pans urlesch, Pugo de vrles), motbemotlcs (PllberL's axlomaLlcs), psycboloqy (boLh lreud and
!ung ln Lhelr own ways wlLh an emphasls on depLh psychology), pbllosopby (llngulsLlcs, phenomenology),
jotlsptoJeoce (where care and responslblllLy have enLered Lhe language of law ln [uxLaposlLlon Lo [usLlce and rlghLs
. . . Lhls leads Lo 'open [usLlce,' a hlLherLo lmposslble flexlblllLy"-noLlce Lhe lnLegraLlon of agency-rlghLs and
communlon-responslblllLy, whlch we posLulaLed as one of Lhe cenLaurlc hallmarks), ecooomlcs (leuersLeln Lakes L.
l. Schumacher Lo be mosL recenLly represenLaLlve), blstoty (e.g., Arnold 1oynbee and Swlss hlsLorlan !. 8. von Salls),
moslc (Schoenberg, SLravlnsky-Lhe new muslc ls aperspecLlval lnasmuch as lL seeks Lo overcome Lhe earller flxlLles
of meLer or LonallLy as aspecLs of aesLheLlcs"), otcbltectote (lrank Lloyd WrlghL, Le Corbusler, Alvar AalLo), palnLlng
(uelacrolx revolLed agalnsL Lhe Lyranny of Lhe sLralghL llne, and Cezanne flrsL serlously challenged Lhe relgn of
perspecLlvlLy"), and, of course, Lhe new pbyslcs, assoclaLed especlally wlLh LlnsLeln and lanck (alLhough Lhls ls noL,
as popularlzers such as lred Alan Wolf would have lL, a proof of mysLlclsm", as leuersLeln commenLs, lL would be
lmprudenL Lo lgnore Lhe myLhologlzlng Lrend wlLhln Lhe new physlcs, whlch Cebser would readlly have recognlzed as
regresslve raLher Lhan lnLegraLlve").
As for Lhe cenLaurlc-lnLegral dlmenslon belng a fully worldcenLrlc vlslon, Cebser refers Lo lL as oolvetsol-loteqtol"
and world open," world LransparenL"-whlch leuersLeln, correcLly l belleve, equaLes wlLh Lhe rlslng Clobal or
laneLary CulLure. ln Cebser's words, Lhe perspecLlves of Lhe egolc-raLlonal world are replaced by Lhe open expanse
of Lhe open world," Lhe opetspectlvol wotlJ"-Lhe culmlnaLlon of Lhe worldcenLrlc vlslon sLarLed by raLlonallLy and
compleLed by vlslon-loglc.
nelLher Cebser nor l (nor Murphy nor Pabermas, nor any of Lhe evoluLlonary-orlenLed LheorlsLs) see Lhe
emergence of Lhe aperspecLlval worldcenLrlc" sLrucLure as belng a sure Lhlng, as belng somehow guaranLeed. noL
only does evoluLlon, as Mlchael Murphy puL lL, meander more Lhan progress, noL only, when lL does progress, ls
Lhere always Lhe dlalecLlc of progress", Lhere ls also Lhe ever-lurklng posslblllLy LhaL Lhe whole Lhlng mlghL slmply
blow up, LhaL evoluLlon wlll Lake a wrong Lurn (ln Lhe shorL run), buL a wrong Lurn LhaL lncludes us, LhaL Lhe sLresses
lnduced by Lhe dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere wlll make Lhe whole sysLem unsusLalnable.
LvoluLlon, we have amply seen, ls noL predlcLable, only reconsLrucLable.
nor does Lhe facL LhaL Lhe lnLegral sLrucLure ls lnLegral guaranLee LhaL Lhe necessary lnLegraLlon wlll ln facL occur.
1he clalm ls slmply, Lo puL lL ln Lhe Lerms we have been uslng, LhaL Lhe lnLegral sLrucLure coo lnLegraLe Lhe
physlosphere, Lhe blosphere, and Lhe noosphere-lL has Lhe poteotlol for LhaL lnLegraLlon. WheLher LhaL poLenLlal
becomes acLual ls up Lo you and me, lL depends on Lhe concreLe acLlons LhaL each of us Lakes.
As always, we have Lo make Lhe fuLure LhaL ls glven Lo us.
1PL lCu8 CuAu8An1S
llgure 3-1 ls a summary of Lhe four quadranLs as we have followed Lhem ln Lhe evoluLlonary curve Lhus far. Llke all
dlagrams, lL ls very schemaLlc and leaves ouL more Lhan lL lncludes. 8uL lL wlll serve Lo lndlcaLe Lhe four quadranLs
and a handful of Lhelr mllesLones up Lo Lhe presenL.
A few polnLs abouL Lhe dlagram: ln Lhe Lower-8lghL quadranL, where evoluLlon enLers Lhe human domaln, l have
only lndlcaLed Lhe mosL concreLe forms of geopollLlcal sLrucLures. 8uL Lhls quadranL lncludes Lhe extetlot of any of
Lhe soclol aspecLs of human lnLeracLlon, lncludlng forces of producLlon and Lechno-economlc modes (bow and
arrow, horLlculLural Lools, agrarlan lmplemenLs, lndusLrlal machlnery, compuLers, and so on), archlLecLural
sLrucLures, LransporLaLlon sysLems, physlcal lnfrasLrucLure, even wrlLLen (maLerlal) forms of books, legal codes,
llngulsLlc sLrucLures, verbal slgnlflers, and so forLh. Llkewlse, ln Lhe Lower LefL, Lhe culLural, l have lncluded only
worldvlews, buL Lhls quadranL also lncludes lnLerpreLlve undersLandlngs, culLural meanlngs ln general, collecLlve and
group ldenLlLles, lnLersub[ecLlve moral and eLhlcal undersLandlng, and so on.
ln Lhe upper-8lghL quadranL, as evoluLlon moves lnLo Lhe human domaln, l have lndlcaLed sLaLes marked by Sl1,
Sl2, and Sl3. 1hese are Lhe sLrucLure-funcLlons of Lhe human braln LhaL correspond wlLh concreLe operaLlonal,
formal operaLlonal, and vlslon-loglc. 1hese are currenLly belng mapped uslng L1 and oLher sophlsLlcaLed
lnsLrumenLs, and l am slmply lndlcaLlng Lhe correlaLlon, whaLever lL Lurns ouL Lo be, wlLh Lhese symbols. Lverybody
agrees LhaL menLal sLaLes and sLrucLures have some sorL of correlaLes ln braln physlology, and Lhls ls all l mean by
Lhe symbols Sl1, eLc.
llqote 5-1. 5ome uetolls of tbe loot OooJtoots
Cf course, we can also draw Lhls dlagram as a serles of lnLerfoldlng or nesLed pyramlds, so LhaL several of Lhe
mulLldlmenslonal relaLlonshlps wlLhln each quadranL could be beLLer lndlcaLed. 8uL Lhen lL would begln Lo lose Lhe
advanLage of a cerLaln Lype of slmpllclLy. As long as lLs schemaLlc and slmpllfylng naLure ls kepL flrmly ln mlnd, Lhls
flgure wlll sufflce. We wlll conLlnue Lo draw on Lhe lmpllcaLlons of Lhls dlagram-and Lhe four quadranLs-as we
conLlnue Lo unfold our narraLlve.
1PL WC8Lu ln 18AnSlC8MA1lCn
AbouL Lhe cenLaurlc/planeLary LransformaLlon, now halLlngly buL unmlsLakably ln progress, l wlll make only a few
passlng commenLs now (all of volume 3 ls devoLed Lo Lhls Loplc).
1he prevlous, myLhlc-lmperlal emplres (LasL and WesL, norLh and SouLh), wlLh Lhelr lnherenL domlnaLor
hlerarchles, were deconsLrucLed by Lhe rlse of egolc-raLlonallLy (wherever lL dld arlse) and Lhe swlLch from a role
ldenLlLy Lo an ego ldenLlLy, and Lhe correlaLlve rlse of Lhe democraLlc sLaLe, where domlnaLor hlerarchles were
replaced, ln law, by (1) free and equal sub[ecLs of clvll law, (2) morally free sub[ecLs, and (3) pollLlcally free sub[ecLs
as clLlzens of Lhe democraLlc sLaLe.
1here sLlll exlsL, of course, myLhlc-lmperlallsms LhaL wlsh Lo domlnaLe Lhe world-LhaL ls, lmperlallsms LhaL wlll
accord you Lhe sLaLus of equal world clLlzen lf you embrace Lhe parLlcular myLhology (wlLh lLs parLlcular domlnaLor
hlerarchy). lf you don'L wanL Lo embrace Lhe myLhology, Lhey wlll be glad Lo help you do so. We sLlll hear Lhe rumble
of myLhologlcal fundamenLallsm arlse from all corners of Lhe globe, ln secular and rellglous gulses, none of whlch
conceal Lhelr lnherenL drlve Lo salvaLlon vla domlnaLlon (and Lhe women ln Lhese socleLles supporL Lhe domlnaLlon
every blL as much as Lhe men do).
8uL Lhe rlse of raLlonallLy-alLhough lL generaLed Lhe worldspace ln whlch all peoples coolJ be recognlzed as free
and equal sub[ecLs of Lhe law and pollLlcally free sub[ecLs as clLlzens-dld noL produce, or has noL yeL produced,
LransformaLlons of a qlobol (and noL [usL naLlonal) naLure LhaL would seek Lo soclally empower Lhe world ln a
noncoerclve and nondomlnaLlng fashlon, LhaL would be drlven by a recognlLlon of whaL we all have ln common as
human belngs and noL whaL we have ln common merely as bellevers ln a parLlcular and dlvlslve myLhology or as
members of a parLlcular eLhnocenLrlc Lrlbe (however much Lhose dlfferences would also be cherlshed and honored
ln a wotlJceottlc conLexL).
WlLh one ma[or excepLlon. 1he only serlous qlobol soclal movemenL, ln all of hlsLory Lo daLe, has been Lhe
lnLernaLlonal labor movemenL (Marxlsm), whlch had one greaL, endurlng, and leglLlmaLe sLrengLh-and one
alLogeLher faLal weakness. 1he sLrengLh was LhaL lL dlscovered a common LralL LhaL all humans possess, regardless of
race, creed, naLlonallLy, myLhology, or gender: we all have Lo secure our bodlly survlval Lhrough soclal labor of one
sorL or anoLher. We all have Lo eaL. And Lhus soclal labor puLs us all ln Lhe same boaL, makes us all world clLlzens.
1hls movemenL was genulne enough, and serlous enough, and moJe socb lmmeJlote qooJ seose to so mooy people
LhaL lL seL off Lhe flrsL modern qlobolly loteot revoluLlons from 8ussla Lo Chlna Lo SouLh Amerlca.
Such for lLs genulnely noble sLrengLhs. lLs faLal weakness was LhaL lL dld noL [usL qtoooJ hlgher culLural endeavors
ln Lhe economlc or maLerlal realm (Lhe physlosphere), lL dld noL [usL qtoooJ Lhem ln soclal labor and maLerlal
exchange-lL teJoceJ Lhem Lo LhaL exchange, reduced Lhem Lo Lhelr lowesL common denomlnaLor, reduced Lhem
Lo maLerlal producLlons and maLerlal values and maLerlal means, wlLh all hlgher producLlons, especlally splrlLuallLy,
servlng only as Lhe oplaLe of Lhe masses.
ln a nuLshell, LhaL movemenL dld noL [usL ground Lhe noosphere ln Lhe physlosphere (whlch ls vlLally lmporLanL
because of compound lndlvlduallLy), lL reduced Lhe noosphere Lo Lhe physlosphere, such an egreglous reducLlon LhaL
lL Look evoluLlon less Lhan a mere cenLury Lo begln Lo erase LhaL mlsLake ln earnesL. 1hls reducLlonlsLlc LhrusL of
Marxlsm, because lL could flnd no supporL ln Lhe real kosmos, had Lo be converLed lnLo a rellglous myLhology, and
Lhus had Lo press lLs vlslon ln an lmperlallsLlc fashlon.
1he oLher ma[or movemenL LhaL has shown, or has clalmed, some posslblllLles for underplnnlng a global
clLlzenshlp ls Lhe Creens movemenL. Whlle l have enormous sympaLhy for LhaL movemenL as a pottlcolot endeavor,
l belleve lL comes nowhere close Lo havlng Lhe lnLegraLlve poLenLlal for a planeLary federaLlon of world clLlzens freely
embraclng lLs LeneLs (forced Lo embrace lLs LeneLs, yes, buL LhaL ls noL unresLralned global dlscourse buL a new
lor Lhe Creens are ln essenLlally Lhe same predlcamenL as Lhe MarxlsLs-boLh of Lhem are reduclng hlgher levels
Lo lower levels slmply because of Lhe undlspuLed facL LhaL Lhe lower ls lndeed mote fooJomeotol (and Lherefore
necessary buL noL sufflclenL for Lhe llfe of Lhe hlgher and deeper). Where Lhe MarxlsLs Lended Lo reduce all concerns
Lo Lhe maLerlal exchanges of Lhe physlosphere, Lhe Creens Lend Lo reduce all concerns Lo Lhe ecologlcal exchanges of
Lhe blosphere. 1hls ls deflnlLely a sLep up from Lhe MarxlsLs, buL lL does noL escape Lhe facL LhaL lL ls sLlll a Lype of
lowesL common denomlnaLor approach, whlch ls Lrue and lmporLanL as far as lL goes (as ls Marxlsm), buL
caLasLrophlc beyond LhaL parLlcular polnL, and uLLerly lncapable of moblllzlng world clLlzens beyooJ LhaL parLlcular
1he Creens use, as Lhelr phllosophlcal plaLform, Lwo cenLral noLlons: (1) Lhe culLural noosphere ls a parL of Lhe
larger whole of Lhe blosphere, and (2) Lhe web-of-llfe sysLems Lheory. 1he flrsL noLlon ls lncorrecL, as we have seen,
and Lhe second noLlon ls a form of subLle reducLlonlsm, as we have also seen. As such, any movemenL based on
Lhose LeneLs ls unllkely Lo secure global lnLegraLlon and susLalnable balance.
WhaL ls needed, raLher, ls a more lnLegraLlve approach LhaL works wlLh our presenL hlsLorlcal acLuallLles. A
planeLary culLure wlll ln effecL have Lo deal wlLh equlLable maLerlal-economlc dlsLrlbuLlon ln Lhe physlosphere (Lhe
endurlng concern of Marx, even lf we re[ecL hls parLlcular soluLlons), and lL wlll have Lo deal wlLh susLalnable
ecologlcal dlsLrlbuLlon ln Lhe blosphere (Lhe endurlng conLrlbuLlon of Lhe Creens). 8uL lL wlll have Lo go much furLher
and deal speclflcally and nonreducLlonlsLlcally wlLh Lhe noosphere and lts dlsLrlbuLlons and dlsLorLlons, and lL wlll
have Lo do so wlLh someLhlng oLher Lhan reducLlonlsLlc web-of-llfe Lheorles, lf lL ls Lo freely engage Lhe moLlvaLlon
of an enLlre globe. lL wlll have Lo work Loward speclflc Lheorles of free noospherlc exchange, lncludlng buL
Lranscendlng ecologlcal concerns.42
Soclal labor could unlLe world clLlzens Lo Lhe exLenL, buL only Lo Lhe exLenL, LhaL we all share maLLer ln common.
1he Creens can unlLe world clLlzens Lo Lhe exLenL, buL only Lo Lhe exLenL, LhaL we all share bodles ln common. 8uL lL
wlll Lake a vlslon-loglc movemenL of Lremendous lnLegraLlve power (lnLegral-aperspecLlval as unlversal-lnLegral) ln
order Lo unlLe world clLlzens on Lhe ceotootlc basls LhaL we all share maLLer ooJ bodles ooJ mlnds ln common
(noL Lo menLlon a SplrlL and a Self prlor Lo oll LhaL). 1he Creens have produced a promlslng plaLform, buL lf lL lsn'L
any more Lhan LhaL (and lL lsn'L so far, neglecLlng noospherlc exchange), Lhen lL wlll be merely snapped up by egolc-
raLlonallLy sLrucLures of caplLal producLlon, and we wlll slmply have Mcuonald's selllng burgers ln recyclable bags,
whlch ls nowhere near anyLhlng deservlng Lo be called a laneLary 1ransformaLlon.
ln Lhe meanLlme, Lhe plotfotm for an emerglng world culLure ls belng bullL by lnLernaLlonal markeLs of maLerlal-
economlc exchange, and by Lhe lncreaslngly free exchange of raLlonallLy sLrucLures, parLlcularly emplrlc-analyLlc
sclence and compuLer-LransmlLLed lnformaLlon (Lhe Age of lnformaLlon" ls slmply Lhe Age of noosphere"), all of
whlch are supranaLlonal ln essenLlal characLer (we wlll reLurn Lo Lhls ln a momenL).
As for Lhe comlng LransformaLlon lLself, lL ls belng bullL, as all pasL LransformaLlons have been, ln Lhe hearLs and
mlnds of Lhose loJlvlJools who Lhemselves evolve Lo cenLaurlc planeLary vlslon. lor Lhese lndlvlduals creaLe a
cognlLlve poLenLlal" ln Lhe form of oew wotlJvlews (ln Lhls case, cenLaurlc-planeLary) LhaL ln Lurn feed back lnLo
Lhe ongolng malnsLream of soclol lostltotloos, unLll Lhe prevlously marglnallzed" worldvlew becomes anchored ln
lnsLlLuLlonal forms whlch Lhen caLapulL a collecLlve consclousness Lo a new and hlgher order.
1he revoluLlon, as
always, wlll come from Lhe wlLhln and be embedded ln Lhe wlLhouL.
And, aL Lhls polnL,
aslde from Lhe lnner work LhaL each of us lndlvldually can do, l personally see no obvlous
collecLlve bearers of Lhe new and deeper wlLhln.
8ecall LhaL one of Lhe deflnlng aspecLs of evoluLlon ls LhaL lL brlngs new and emergenL posslblllLles and Lherefore
new and poLenLlal paLhologles. Pabermas, worklng from a dlfferenL angle, arrlves aL Lhe same concluslon, and he
refers Lo lL as Lhe dlalecLlc of progress":
LvoluLlonarlly lmporLanL lnnovaLlons mean noL only a new level of learnlng buL a new problem slLuaLlon as
well, LhaL ls, a new caLegory of burdens LhaL accompany Lhe new soclal formaLlon. 1he dlalecLlc of progress
can be seen ln Lhe facL LhaL wlLh Lhe acqulslLlon of problem-solvlng ablllLles new problem slLuaLlons come Lo
consclousness. A hlgher sLage of developmenL of producLlve forces and of soclal lnLegraLlon does brlng rellef
from problems of Lhe superseded [prevlous] soclal formaLlon. 8uL Lhe problems LhaL arlse aL Lhe new sLage of
developmenL can-lnsofar as Lhey are aL all comparable wlLh Lhe old ones-lncrease ln lnLenslLy.
1hus we can make an aLLempL Lo lnLerpreL soclal evoluLlon Laklng as our gulde Lhose ptoblems and oeeJs
LhaL are flrsL broughL abouL by evoluLlonary advances. AL every sLage of developmenL Lhe soclal-evoluLlonary
learnlng process lLself generaLes new resources, whlch mean new dlmenslons of scarclLy and Lhus new
hlsLorlcal needs.
Pabermas's crlLlque of 8omanLlc regresslon ls along Lhe same llnes as mlne: of course Lhere are new problems and
new paLhologles aL each sLage of developmenL, buL Lo Lake only Lhe paLhologles of Lhe hlgher sLage and compare
Lhem wlLh only Lhe achlevemenLs of Lhe prevlous sLage ls perverse ln Lhe exLreme. WhaL ls requlred, raLher, ls a
balanced vlew LhaL Lakes lnLo accounL Lhe llmlLaLlons and fallures of Lhe prevlous sLage LhaL necesslLaLed and
propelled a new evoluLlonary LransformaLlon beyooJ Lhem.
Pabermas glves one very long paragraph where he ouLllnes hls vlew of whaL amounLs Lo a phylogeneLlc needs
hlerarchy, lncludlng Lhe achlevemenLs and Lhe burdens of each of Lhe ma[or sLages we have examlned so far. lL ls
worLh sLudylng (all lLallcs are hls):
WlLh Lhe LranslLlon Lo Lhe socloculLural form of llfe, LhaL ls, wlLh Lhe lnLroducLlon of Lhe famlly sLrucLure
[durlng preoperaLlonal/maglc], Lhere arose tbe ptoblem of Jemotcotloq [beqlooloq Lo dlfferenLlaLe] soclety
ftom extetool ootote. ln neollLhlc socleLles, aL Lhe laLesL, harmonlzlng socleLy wlLh Lhe naLural envlronmenL
became LhemaLlc [problemaLlc]. ower over naLure came lnLo consclousness as a scarce resource [whlch
confllcLs sharply wlLh Lhe euloglzed accounLs of Lhls sLage]. 1he experlence of powerlessness ln relaLlon Lo Lhe
conLlngencles of exLernal naLure had Lo be lnLerpreLed away ln myLh and maglc. WlLh Lhe lnLroducLlon of a
collecLlve pollLlcal order [myLhlc and myLhlc-raLlonal], Lhere arose tbe ptoblem of tbe self-teqolotloo of tbe
soclol system. ln developed clvlllzaLlons, aL Lhe laLesL, Lhe achlevemenL of order by Lhe sLaLe became a cenLral
need. Legal securlLy came Lo consclousness as a scarce resource. 1he experlence of soclal represslon and
arblLrarlness had Lo be balanced wlLh leglLlmaLlons of domlnaLlon. 1hls was accompllshed ln Lhe framework of
raLlonallzed world vlews [myLhlc-raLlonal] (Lhrough whlch, moreover, Lhe cenLral problem of Lhe prevlous
sLage-powerlessness-could be defused). ln Lhe modern age [egolc-raLlonal], wlLh Lhe auLonomlzaLlon of Lhe
economy (and complemenLarlzaLlon of Lhe sLaLe), Lhere arose tbe ptoblem of o self-teqoloteJ excbooqe of tbe
soclol system wltb extetool ootote [blomaLerlal economlc exchange]. ln lndusLrlal caplLallsm, aL Lhe laLesL,
socleLy consclously placed lLself under Lhe lmperaLlves of economlc growLh and lncreaslng wealLh. value came
lnLo consclousness as a scarce resource. 1he experlence of soclal lnequallLy called lnLo belng soclal movemenLs
and correspondlng sLraLegles of appeasemenL. 1hese seemed Lo lead Lo Lhelr goal ln soclal welfare sLaLe mass
democracles (ln whlch, moreover, Lhe cenLral problem of Lhe precedlng sLage-legal lnsecurlLy-could be
defused). llnally, lf posLmodern socleLles, as Lhey are Loday envlsloned from dlfferenL angles [planeLary/vlslon-
loglc], should be characLerlzed by a prlmacy of Lhe sclenLlflc and educaLlonal sysLems, one can speculaLe abouL
Lhe emergence of tbe ptoblem of o self-teqoloteJ excbooqe of soclety wltb lotetool ootote [by whlch he
means, essenLlally, self-esLeem and self-acLuallzaLlon and lLs paLhologles, he speclflcally menLlons exlsLenLlal
anomle]. Agaln a scarce resource would become LhemaLlc-noL Lhe supply of power, securlLy, or value, buL Lhe
supply of moLlvaLlon and meanlng.
1he emergence of a new level solves or defuses" some of Lhe cenLral problems and llmlLaLlons of Lhe prevlous
sLage (or else lL wouldn'L emerge), buL lL also lnLroduces lLs own new problems and new scotce tesootces. Cne can'L
help buL noLlce LhaL Lhls hlerarchy of deflclency needs" or scarce resources" bears sLrlklng resemblance Lo
Abraham Maslow's (and !ane Loevlnger's and oLhers') presenL-day onLogeneLlc needs hlerarchy-from safeLy/power
Lo convenLlonal securlLy/belonglng Lo personal/egolc value Lo exlsLenLlal meanlng. l belleve lL ls no accldenL LhaL l
have long referred Lo Lhe cenLaurlc level as Lhe exlsLenLlal level of meanlng, and l belleve lL ls no accldenL LhaL Lhere
would be Pabermas/Maslow/Loevlnger parallels (all of whlch we wlll reLurn Lo ln chapLers 6 and 7).
8uL any way we sllce Lhe evoluLlonary ple, Lhere ls where we sLand Loday: on Lhe verge of a planeLary
LransformaLlon, sLruggllng Lo be secured by raLlonallLy and compleLed by vlslon-loglc, and embedded ln global-
planeLary soclal lnsLlLuLlons.
1he qlobol naLure of Lhls LransformaLlon ls now belng drlven, parLlcularly ln lLs Lechnologlcal-economlc base, by
Lhree lnLerrelaLed facLors: (1) Lhe necesslLy Lo proLecL Lhe global commons," Lhe common blosphere LhaL belongs Lo
no naLlon, no Lrlbe, no creed, no race, (2) Lhe necesslLy Lo regulaLe Lhe world flnanclal sysLem, whlch no longer
responds Lo naLlonal borders, (3) Lhe necesslLy Lo malnLaln a modlcum of lnLernaLlonal peace and securlLy, whlch ls
now noL so much a maLLer of ma[or war beLween any Lwo naLlons, buL beLween a new order" of loosely federaLed
naLlons and renegade reglmes LhreaLenlng world peace.
1he polnL ls LhaL all Lhree of Lhose concerns no longer respond Lo acLlons Laken merely on Lhe parL of lndlvldual
naLlons. noL one of Lhose problems can be solved on a naLlonal level. 1hey are llLerally LransnaLlonal crlses
demandlng LransnaLlonal, worldcenLrlc responses. And exacLly how Lo negoLlaLe Lhls dlfflculL LranslLlon, wlLh naLlons
volunLarlly surrenderlng some of Lhelr soverelgnLy for Lhe global beLLermenL-Lhereln preclsely ls Lhe exLremely
dlfflculL naLure of Lhls posLnaLlonal" global LranslLlon.
8uL Lhe slLuaLlon ls clear enough: Lhese are LransnaLlonal crlses LhaL have rendered naLlonal responses obsoleLe.
As l sald, l wlll noL aL Lhls Llme enLer lnLo a dlscusslon of Lhe lnLrlcacles of Lhese crlses and Lhe requlslLe global
LransformaLlon, excepL Lo lndlcaLe one facLor cruclal Lo our dlscusslon aL Lhls polnL. AlLhough each of Lhose Lhree
facLors have lmporLanL maLerlal-economlc componenLs (Lhe relaLlonal exchange of moneLary-flnanclal sysLems, Lhe
proLecLlon of Lhe blo-maLerlal global commons, Lhe physlcal securlLy of nonaggresslon beLween naLlons)-none of
Lhose physlcal and maLerlal and economlc componenLs coo be secoteJ ln Lhe long run wlLhouL a cottespooJloq
cbooqe lo cooscloosoess among Lhe clLlzens of Lhe naLlons sotteoJetloq some of Lhelr soverelgnLy for Lhe
LransnaLlonal good.
1hus, soluLlons Lo Lhe varlous global crlses cerLalnly demand efforLs on Lhe ecologlcal-economlc-flnanclal fronL,
whlch ls where mosL efforLs are now belng concenLraLed. 8uL lL's a loslng proposlLlon wlLhouL a correspondlng shlfL
ln worldvlews LhaL wlll ollow clLlzens and Lhelr governmenLs Lo percelve Lhe greaLer advanLage ln Lhe lesser deaLh
(Lhe surrender of some soverelgnLy for Lhe greaLer good).
1rlbal consclousness wlll noL do, myLhlc-lmperlallsm wlll surrender noLhlng, eLhnocenLrlc cleanslng could care less
abouL a worldcenLrlc consensus. MyLhlc-membershlp ls and always has been perfecLly wllllng Lo sacrlflce Lhe llves of
lLs Lrue bellevers (and Lhus even more so Lhe llves of nonbellevers) ln order Lo advance Lhe cause of Lhe Cne 1rue
Cod, and lf LhaL means global sulclde ln exchange for llfe eLernal, well, LhaL's a small prlce, no? And maglcal blood
cleanslng would raLher Lake lLs eLhnlc Lrlbal self, and Lhe world, lnLo obllvlon Lhan mlx wlLh unpure Lrlbes.
1hus, wlLhouL ln any way denylng Lhe cruclal lmporLance of Lhe ecologlcal and economlc and flnanclal facLors ln
Lhe world-demandlng LransformaLlon, leL us noL forgeL LhaL Lhey all resL ulLlmaLely on a correlaLlve LransformaLlon ln
human consclousness: Lhe global embrace, and lLs plurallsLlc world-federaLlon, can only be seeo, and ooJetstooJ,
and lmplemeoteJ, by lndlvlduals wlLh a unlversal and global vlslon-loglc, where Lhe new scotce tesootces lnvolve
noL only maLerlal-economlc shorLages, buL Lhe resources of a meooloq-lo-llfe LhaL can oo looqet be foooJ ln self or
Lrlbe or race or naLlon, buL wlll flnd lLs conLexL, lLs Lherapla, lLs omega, and lLs release, ln a worldcenLrlc embrace
Lhrough whlch runs Lhe blood of a common humanlLy and beaLs Lhe slngle hearL of a very small planeL sLruggllng for
lLs own survlval, and yearnlng for lLs own release lnLo a deeper and a Lruer Lomorrow.
ln Lhe meanLlme, lL seems Lo be Lhe case LhaL Lhe vasL ma[orlLy of Lhe world's populaLlon does noL now need ways Lo
geL beyond raLlonallLy, buL ways Lo geL up Lo lL. 1he greaL mass of Lhe world's soclal holons are sLlll caughL ln maglc
and warrlng Lrlballsms based on blood and eLhnlc llneage, or ln myLhologlcal emplre-bulldlng: remnanLs of Marxlsm
as a myLhlc-raLlonal world rellglon", ChrlsLlan and Musllm fundamenLallsLs who would converL" (coerce) Lhe world,
myLhlc-rellglous mlsslonarles wlLh a global and proselyLlzlng fury, a Lype of naLlonal-economlc lmperlallsm borderlng
on a myLhology of Lhe leadlng developed counLrles, and-sLrangesL of all-a dlssoluLlon of some of Lhe greaL modern
myLhlc-lmperlallsL SLaLes lnLo Lhelr Lrlbal subholons, baLhed ln blood and klnshlp llneage and Lrlbal warfare on a
vlclous scale: Lhe reLrlballzaLlon of large porLlons of Lhe world.
1hus, Lhe slngle greaLesL wotlJ ttoosfotmotloo would slmply be Lhe embrace of global reasonableness and
plurallsLlc Lolerance-Lhe global embrace of egolc-raLlonallLy (on Lhe way Lo cenLaurlc vlslon-loglc).
1he mulLlculLural movemenL," whlch clalms a unlversal Lolerance of all culLures freed from Lhe logocenLrlc,
raLlonal-cenLrlc, LurocenLrlc" domlnance and hegemony, ls a sLep ln Lhe rlghL dlrecLlon, wlLh all good lnLenLlons, buL
ends up belng self-conLradlcLory and flnally hypocrlLlcal. lL may clalm Lo be noL raLlonal-cenLrlc," buL ln facL culLural
Lolerance ls secured only by raLlonallLy as unlversal plurallsm, by a capaclLy Lo menLally puL yourself lnLo Lhe oLher
person's shoes and Lhen declde Lo honor or aL leasL LoleraLe LhaL vlewpolnL even lf you don'L agree wlLh lL. ?ou,
operaLlng from Lhe plurallsm of raLlonal worldspace, mlghL declde Lo LoleraLe Lhe ldeas of a myLhlc-bellever, Lhe
problem ls, Lhey wlll noL LoleraLe yoo-and, ln facL, hlsLorlcally Lhey would burn your LoleranL Lall aL Lhe sLake ln
order Lo save your soul (wheLher your savlors be ChrlsLlan, MarxlsL, Musllm, or ShlnLo).
ln oLher words, mulLlculLurallsm ls a noble, logocenLrlc, and raLlonal endeavor LhaL slmply mlslJeotlfles lts owo
stooce and clalms Lo be noL raLlonal because some of Lhe Lhlngs lt toletotes are noL raLlonal. 8uL lLs own Lolerance
ls raLlonal Lhrough and Lhrough, and rlghLly so. 8aLlonallLy ls Lhe only sLrucLure LhaL wlll LoleraLe sLrucLures oLher
Lhan lLself.
nor can a genulne mulLlculLurallsm be esLabllshed by feellngs" or by comlng from Lhe hearL," because my
feellngs are merely mloe, noL necessarlly yoots or tbelts. Cnly ln Lhe space of raLlonal plurallsm can dlfferenL
feellngs and LhoughLs and deslres be glven a falr play and an equal volce. lL ls from Lhe plaLform of raLlonal plurallsm
LhaL Lhe nexL sLage, Lhe Lruly aperspecLlval-lnLegral (and unlversal-lnLegral), can be reached.
uL dlfferenLly, mulLlculLurallsm ls a noble aLLempL Lo move Lo Lhe lnLegral-aperspecLlval sLrucLure, buL, llke many
posLmodern posLsLrucLurallsLs, lL Lhoroughly confuses Lhe facL LhaL no perspecLlve ls flnal wlLh Lhe noLlon LhaL all
perspecLlves are Lherefore slmply equal. lL Lhus falls Lo noLlce LhaL LhaL sLance lLself acLually (and approprlaLely)
tejects all narrower perspecLlves (whlch clearly shows LhaL all perspecLlves are oot equal).
ln oLher words, Lhe mulLlculLs" regress from no sLance ls ulLlmaLe" Lo every sLance ls equally accepLable," Lhus
burylng (and denylng) Lhelr own oLherwlse accuraLe [udgmenL LhaL lesser sLances and smaller perspecLlves are
ooocceptoble. 1hey correcLly gllmpse aperspecLlval space, buL Lhen geL Lhoroughly dlsorlenLed ln Lhe dlzzlfylngly
holonlc naLure of ever-slldlng conLexLs, falllng Lo noLlce LhaL slldlng conLexLs do noL ln any way prevenL some
conLexLs from sLlll belng telotlvely bettet Lhan less encompasslng conLexLs.
1hus, LhaL everyLhlng ls relaLlve does noL mean noLhlng ls beLLer, lL means some Lhlngs are, lndeed, relaLlvely
beLLer Lhan oLhers, all Lhe Llme. nelLher aLoms nor molecules are flnal or ulLlmaLe consLlLuenLs of Lhe unlverse,
noneLheless, wbetevet Lhey appear, molecules olwoys conLaln aLoms ln a deeper embrace. (lndeed, Lhe whole
polnL of LlnsLeln's somewhaL mlslabeled relaLlvlLy Lheory" was Lo flnd lovotloot Lransforms across relaLlve
spaceLlme.) 1he sysLem ls relaLlve and slldlng, for sure, buL lL slldes ln sLable ways, and Lhls sLablllLy-ln-relaLlvlLy
allows Lhe Lypes of cottect [udgmenLs LhaL Lhe mulLlculLurallsLs do ln facL make (namely, LhaL plurallsLlc Lolerance ls
bettet Lhan narrow-mlnded lnLolerance)-even Lhough Lhelr own Lheory (mlsLaken Lo be we have no [udgmenLs
slnce all [udgmenLs are relaLlve")-even Lhough Lhelr own Lheory cannoL accounL for Lhelr acLual sLance (even
Lhough Lhelr own Lheory, ln facL, denles Lhelr acLual sLance).
8y falllng Lo see Lhe Jeflolteoess of telotlve [udgmenLs-and Lhus belng LoLally dlsorlenLed and losL ln
aperspecLlval space-Lhey mlss Lhe loteqtol parL, Lhe oolvetsol-lnLegral parL, of Lhelr own sLance, and Lhus Lhey all
Loo ofLen regress lnLo a rloL of ldlosyncraLlc dlfferences LhaL desLroys Lhe lnLegrlLy of Lhelr own poslLlon. ln a recenL
u.S. courL case, a Chlnese man found hls wlfe, also Chlnese, havlng an affalr. Pe Look a claw hammer and savagely
beaL her Lo deaLh. Pe was ocpoltteJ on Lhe mulLlculL defense": LhaL's whaL Lhey do ln Chlna, and we have Lo honor
culLural dlfferences, slnce no perspecLlve ls beLLer" Lhan anoLher. AperspecLlval madness.
As for LurocenLrlsm" belng somehow desplcable, Lhe dlvldlng llne ls noL and should noL be betweeo
culLures-some culLures are good," some are bad," some are hlgher," some are lower." 8aLher, Lhe dlvldlng llne
ls wltblo culLures-lL ls beLween Lhose who, ln ooy culLure, wlsh Lo develop from egocenLrlc Lo soclocenLrlc Lo
worldcenLrlc, from maglc Lo myLhlc Lo reason-planeLary (flrsL as formal raLlonallLy, Lhen compleLed as cenLaurlc
lor Lhe mosL parL, Lhese raLlonallLy sLrucLures are olteoJy avallable for Lhose lndlvlduals and soclal sysLems who
can endure Lhe LransformaLlon beyond Lhelr own provlnclal dogmaLlsms and embrace lnLernaLlonal recognlLlon and
muLual respecL for each oLher's parLlcular exlsLence. 1hls LransformaLlon-from Lhe submergence of Lhe lndlvldual ln
collecLlve myLhlc-membershlp LoLallLles Lo Lhe emergence of Lhe lndlvldual person or ego-sub[ecL, legally and morally
and pollLlcally free wlLhln raLlonal space secured by law-has already been embraced by 8ussla and Lhe LasLern 8loc
(whlch has Lemporarlly Lhrown some of lLs [unlor holons back lnLo vlclous LrlballsLlc warrlng slmply because Lhese
Lrlbal subholons were once held LogeLher by Marxlsm as a mlllLary myLhlc-raLlonal emplre: ln holonlc dlssoluLlon, Lhe
paLh of regresslon follows Lhe reverse llne of bulldup, whlch now means: rampanL reLrlballzaLlon).
lurLher, Lhe LransformaLlon from myLhlc-membershlp Lo egolc-raLlonallLy (and lLs perlls) ls already open Lo Chlna,
Cuba, Llbya, lraq, norLh korea, Serbla, and any oLher soclal holon LhaL wlshes Lo surrender lLs myLhlc superlorlLy"
and [oln Lhe communlLy of naLlons governed by lnLernaLlonal law and muLual recognlLlon, LhaL wlshes Lo cease
dlssoclaLlng and spllLLlng off from Lhe free exchange of planeLary consclousness, LhaL wlshes Lo relnLegraLe lnLo a
common world splrlL and collecLlve sharlng of reason and communlcaLlon and vlslon. (1hls does noL excuse Lhose
naLlon-sLaLes, parLlcularly Lhe unlLed SLaLes, !apan, and an omlnously emerglng forLress Lurope"-whlch are sLlll
dlsLorLlng supranaLlonal exchanges for Lhelr own parLlcular lnLeresLs and remnanLs of myLhlc-lmperlal
hegemony-does noL prevenL or relleve Lhem from conLlnulng Lo search for more reasonable and equlLable
exchanges wlLh Lhe world communlLy aL large, and parLlcularly wlLh regard Lo Lhe common blosphere).
8uL for Lhose lndlvlduals who have already done so, for Lhose who have begun Lo emerge as cenLaurlc vlslon-loglc,
for Lhose who Lake Lhelr sLand ln a planeLary awareness beyond Lhls or LhaL narrow parochlallsm, for Lhose
aLLempLlng Lo secure a cenLaurlc ldenLlLy LhaL lnLegraLes physlosphere and blosphere and noosphere (ln male and
female allke), and looklng for LhaL sense of meanlng, exlsLenLlal meanlng, global meanlng-for Lhose small few, Lhe
slmple llvloq of a planeLary perspecLlvlsm (LhaL ls, an lnLegral-aperspecLlvlsm) creaLes small pockeLs of leadlng-edge
consclousness, creaLes small pockeLs of cognlLlve poLenLlal" LhaL slowly buL surely feed back lnLo collecLlve
worldvlews and Lhen lnLo soclal lnsLlLuLlons Lhemselves (uL Lo LL Lo L8), and once maLerlally embedded and
lnsLlLuLlonallzed, Lhose lnsLlLuLlonal sLrucLures auLomaLlcally, as lL were, acL as pacers of LransformaLlon for all who
And LransformaLlon lnLo whaL, exacLly? ls Lhe cenLaur Lhe end of Lhe llne? uL lL anoLher way: ls Lhere any
concelvable reason LhaL evoluLlon, whlch has labored so mlghLlly for flfLeen bllllon years and produced so much
undenlable wondermenL, would [usL up and abrupLly cease? Are Lhere noL hlgher splrals lylng yeL ahead? lf we have
dlscerned even Lhe vaguesL feaLures of Llme's arrow, can we noL sLand on LlpLoe and foresee dlmly Lhe arrow's arc
lnLo Lomorrow?
Moqlc, Mytblc, ooJ 8eyooJ
1bot llttle ptlqs ooJ tbtee-poottet-moJ meo moy bove tbe coocelt tbot tbe lows of ootote ote coostootly
btokeo fot tbelt sokes-socb oo loteoslflcotloo of evety kloJ of selflsboess loto tbe loflolte, loto tbe
lmpettloeot, coooot be btooJeJ wltb too mocb cootempt. AoJ yet cbtlstloolty jooy fotm of mytblc-
lltetollsm] owes lts ttlompb to tbls mlsetoble flottety of petsoool voolty. lt wos pteclsely oll tbe follotes, oll
tbe tebellloos-mloJeJ, oll tbe less fovoteJ, tbe wbole scom ooJ tefose of bomoolty wbo wete tbos woo ovet
to lt. 1be solvotloo of tbe sool-lo plolo looqooqe. tbe wotlJ tevolves otoooJ me.
-l8lLu8lCP nlL1ZSCPL
ln 1PL LAS1 chapLer we looked aL Lhe formaLlve sLages ln Lhe collecLlve evoluLlon of Lhe human specles, up Lo Lhe
presenL-archalc Lo maglc Lo myLhlc Lo menLal (or egolc-raLlonal on Lhe verge of cenLaurlc vlslon-loglc). ln Lhls
chapLer we wlll examlne Lhose same sLages, Lhose baslc holons, as Lhey appear ln an lndlvldual's developmenL Loday.
And Lhls wlll seL Lhe sLage for a dlscusslon of any fuLure-and posslbly hlgher-developmenLs, ln Lhe lndlvldual and
Lhe specles as a whole. And sLralnlng Lo see Lhe arc of Llme's arrow lnLo Lomorrow, brlngs some surprlses lndeed.
1PL 8L/18AnS lALLAC?
Lver slnce l began wrlLlng on Lhe dlsLlncLlons beLween preraLlonal (or prepersonal) sLaLes of awareness and
LransraLlonal (or Lranspersonal) sLaLes-whaL l called Lhe pre/Lrans fallacy-l have become more convlnced Lhan
ever LhaL Lhls undersLandlng ls absoluLely cruclal for grasplng Lhe naLure of hlgher (or deeper) or Lruly splrlLual sLaLes
of consclousness.
1he essence of Lhe pre/Lrans fallacy ls lLself falrly slmple: slnce boLh preraLlonal sLaLes and LransraLlonal sLaLes are,
ln Lhelr own ways, nonraLlonal, Lhey appear slmllar or even ldenLlcal Lo Lhe unLuLored eye. And once pre and Lrans
are confused, Lhen one of Lwo fallacles occurs:
ln Lhe flrsL, all hlgher and LransraLlonal sLaLes are teJoceJ Lo lower and preraLlonal sLaLes. Cenulne mysLlcal or
conLemplaLlve experlences, for example, are seen as a regresslon or Lhrowback Lo lnfanLlle sLaLes of narclsslsm,
oceanlc aduallsm, lndlssoclaLlon, and even prlmlLlve auLlsm. 1hls ls, for example, preclsely Lhe rouLe Laken by lreud
ln 1be lotote of oo lllosloo.
ln Lhese reducLlonlsLlc accounLs, raLlonallLy ls Lhe greaL and flnal omega polnL of lndlvldual and collecLlve
developmenL, Lhe hlgh-waLer mark of all evoluLlon. no deeper or wlder or hlgher conLexL ls LhoughL Lo exlsL. 1hus,
llfe ls Lo be llved elLher raLlonally, or neuroLlcally (lreud's concepL of neurosls ls baslcally anyLhlng LhaL deralls Lhe
emergence of raLlonal percepLlon-Lrue enough as far as lL goes, whlch ls [usL noL all LhaL far). Slnce no hlgher
conLexL ls LhoughL Lo be real, or Lo acLually exlsL, Lhen whenever any genulnely LransraLlonal occaslon occurs, lL ls
lmmedlaLely explalned as a teqtessloo Lo preraLlonal sLrucLures (slnce Lhey are Lhe only nonraLlonal sLrucLures
allowed, and Lhus Lhe only ones Lo accepL an explanaLory hypoLhesls). 1he superconsclous ls reduced Lo Lhe
subconsclous, Lhe Lranspersonal ls collapsed Lo Lhe prepersonal, Lhe emergence of Lhe hlgher ls relnLerpreLed as an
lrrupLlon from Lhe lower. All breaLhe a slgh of rellef, and Lhe raLlonal worldspace ls noL fundamenLally shaken (by
Lhe black Llde of Lhe mud of occulLlsm!" as lreud so qualnLly explalned lL Lo !ung).
Cn Lhe oLher hand, lf one ls sympaLheLlc wlLh hlgher or mysLlcal sLaLes, buL one sLlll coofoses pre and Lrans, Lhen
one wlll elevote all preraLlonal sLaLes Lo some sorL of LransraLlonal glory (Lhe lnfanLlle prlmary narclsslsm, for
example, ls seen as an unconsclous slumberlng ln Lhe mystlco oolo). !ung and hls followers, of course, ofLen Lake Lhls
rouLe, and are forced Lo read a deeply Lranspersonal and splrlLual sLaLus lnLo sLaLes LhaL are merely lndlssoclaLed and
undlfferenLlaLed and acLually lacklng any sorL of lnLegraLlon aL all.
ln Lhe elevaLlonlsL poslLlon, Lhe Lranspersonal and LransraLlonal mysLlcal unlon ls seen as Lhe ulLlmaLe omega
polnL, and slnce egolc-raLlonallLy does lndeed Lend Lo deny Lhls hlgher sLaLe, Lhen egolc-raLlonallLy ls plcLured as Lhe
low polot of human posslblllLles, as a debasemenL, as Lhe cause of sln and separaLlon and allenaLlon. When
raLlonallLy ls seen as Lhe anLl-omega polnL, so Lo speak, as Lhe greaL AnLl-ChrlsL, Lhen ooytbloq nonraLlonal geLs
swepL up and lndlscrlmlnaLely glorlfled as a dlrecL rouLe Lo Lhe ulvlne, lncludlng much LhaL ls lnfanLlle and regresslve
and preraLlonal: ooytbloq Lo geL rld of LhaL nasLy and skepLlcal raLlonallLy. l belleve becoose lL ls absurd"
(1erLulllan)-Lhere ls Lhe baLLle cry of Lhe elevaLlonlsL (a sLrand LhaL runs deeply Lhrough 8omanLlclsm of any sorL).
lreud was a reducLlonlsL, !ung an elevaLlonlsL-Lhe Lwo sldes of Lhe pre/Lrans fallacy. And Lhe polnL ls LhaL Lhey
are botb half rlghL and half wrong. A good deal of neurosls ls lndeed a flxaLlon/regresslon Lo preraLlonal sLaLes,
sLaLes LhaL are noL Lo be glorlfled. Cn Lhe oLher hand, mysLlcal sLaLes do lndeed exlsL, beyond (noL beneaLh)
raLlonallLy, and Lhose sLaLes are noL Lo be reduced.
lor mosL of Lhe recenL modern era, and cerLalnly slnce lreud (and Marx and Ludwlg leuerbach), Lhe reducLlonlsL
sLance Loward splrlLuallLy has prevalled-oll splrlLual experlences, no maLLer how hlghly developed Lhey mlghL ln
facL be, were slmply lnLerpreLed as regresslons Lo prlmlLlve and lnfanLlle modes of LhoughL. Powever, as lf ln
overreacLlon Lo all LhaL, we are now, and have been slnce Lhe slxLles, ln Lhe Lhroes of varlous forms of elevaLlonlsm
(exempllfled by, buL by no means conflned Lo, Lhe new Age movemenL). All sorLs of endeavors, of no maLLer whaL
orlgln or of whaL auLhenLlclLy, are slmply elevaLed Lo LransraLlonal and splrlLual glory, and Lhe ooly quallflcaLlon for
Lhls wonderful promoLlon ls LhaL tbe eoJeovot be ooototloool. Aoytbloq raLlonal ls wrong, ooytbloq nonraLlonal ls
SplrlL ls lndeed nonraLlonal, buL lL ls Lrans, noL pre. lL Lranscends buL lncludes reason, lL does noL regress and
exclude lL. 8eason, llke any parLlcular sLage of evoluLlon, has lLs own (and ofLen devasLaLlng) llmlLaLlons, represslons,
and dlsLorLlons. 8uL as we have seen, Lhe lnherenL problems of one level are solved (or defused") only aL Lhe nexL
level of developmenL, Lhey are noL solved by regresslng Lo a prevlous level where Lhe problem can be merely
lgnored. And so lL ls wlLh Lhe wonders and Lhe Lerrors of reason: lL brlngs enormous new capaclLles and new
soluLlons, whlle lnLroduclng lLs own speclflc problems, problems solved only by a Lranscendence Lo Lhe hlgher and
LransraLlonal realms.
Many of Lhe elevaLlonlsL movemenLs, alas, are noL beyond reason buL beneaLh lL. 1hey Lhlnk Lhey are, and Lhey
announce Lhemselves Lo be, cllmblng Lhe MounLaln of 1ruLh, whereas, lL seems Lo me, Lhey have merely sllpped and
fallen and are slldlng rapldly down lL, and Lhe exhllaraLlng rush of sklddlng unconLrollably down evoluLlon's slope
Lhey call followlng your bllss." As Lhe earLh comes rushlng up aL Lhem aL Lermlnal veloclLy, Lhey are bold enough Lo
offer Lhls colllslon course wlLh ground zero as a new paradlgm for Lhe comlng world LransformaLlon, and Lhey feel
oh-so-sorry for Lhose who waLch Lhelr comlng crash wlLh Lhe same fasclnaLlon as one waLches a LwenLy-car plleup on
Lhe hlghway, and Lhey sadly nod as we decllne Lo [oln ln LhaL parLlcular advenLure. 1rue splrlLual bllss, ln lnflnlLe
measure, lles up LhaL hlll, noL down lL.
We wlll wanL Lo look aL Lhe deeper, hlgher sLrucLures of awareness, Lhe LransraLlonal sLrucLures. 8uL ln order Lo
fully undersLand Lhem, we need flrsL Lo look carefully aL Lhe preraLlonal sLrucLures, so we wlll know, lf noLhlng else
Lhan by a process of subLracLlon, whaL Lhe Lranspersonal sLaLes are llke.
So as we plck up Lhe sLory of onLogeny aL Lhe archalc and maglc sLrucLures, and follow lL lnLo Lhe realms of Lhe
superconsclous, lL ls Lhese Lwo dlsLorLlons-reducLlonlsm and elevaLlonlsm-LhaL we wlll mosL wanL Lo Lry Lo avold.
CCCnl1lvL LvCLu1lCn
We are now followlng Lhe developmenL of Lhe lotetlot of an loJlvlJool human holon ln Loday's world, a
recaplLulaLlon, ln broad sLroke, of Lhe same baslc holons we saw, ln Lhe lasL chapLer, emerge over hlsLorlcal and
prehlsLorlcal epochs ln Lhe varlous culLural worldspaces (worldspaces sLlll avallable Loday owlng Lo compound
lndlvlduallLy, and spaces LhaL unfold ln Lhe same sequence ln lndlvldual developmenL). As Sheldrake says, lL ls as lf
naLure, once lL has produced a baslc holon and made sure lL funcLlons adequaLely, keeps uslng Lhe same holon ln
subsequenL developmenL as bulldlng blocks (ptesetvloq Lhe baslc holon buL oeqotloq lLs parLlalness or excluslvlLy
by Lranscendlng lL ln a hlgher, deeper paLLern).
Lach lnLerlor developmenL LhaL we wlll be followlng ls, of course, governed by Lhe LwenLy LeneLs (Lhough noL by
Lhose alone), and Lhus each developmenL lnvolves a new and creaLlve emergence, a new Lranscendence, a new
depLh, a new lnLerlorlLy, a new dlfferenLlaLlon/lnLegraLlon, a greaLer degree of relaLlve auLonomy (greaLer capaclLy
for boLh agency and for communlon), a greaLer degree of consclousness, a greaLer LoLal embrace-wlLh new fears,
new anxleLles, new needs, new scarclLles, new deslres, new moral engagemenLs ln new shared worldvlews, and Lhe
ever-presenL posslblllLy of new and hlgher paLhologles and dlsLorLlons.
nowhere have Lhe vlclsslLudes of Lhe mlnd's developmenLal emergence been charLered ln greaLer deLall Lhan ln
Lhe works of !ean lageL, and alLhough nobody lmaglnes LhaL lageL's sysLem ls wlLhouL lLs own lnadequacles,
noneLheless Lhe wealLh of research and daLa LhaL he and hls colleagues generaLed over a four-decade perlod sLands
as one of a handful of Lhe Lruly greaL conLrlbuLlons Lo psychology (and phllosophy and rellglon).
WlLhouL, Lherefore, endorslng all of Lhe lageLlan sysLem, l would llke Lo draw on hls daLa (and some of hls
concluslons) Lo polnL ouL very carefully Lhe naLure of Lhe mlnd's developmenL from archalc Lo maglc Lo myLhlc Lo
menLal, as lL appears ln Loday's onLogeny. lor lf Lhere can be leglLlmaLe quesLlons abouL, for example, Lhe maglcal-
anlmlsLlc" Llmes ln Lhe phylogeneLlc pasL, Lhere can be much less doubL abouL LhaL sLrucLure (and abouL Lhe myLhlc
sLrucLure) as lL appears ln developmenL Loday.
lurLher, and [usL as lmporLanL for our concern, a slmple sLudy of lageL ls Lhe qulckesL cure for elevaLlonlsm. lor
whaL we flnd as we carefully sLudy lageL ls LhaL Lhe producLlons of, say, Lhe preoperaLlonal mlnd lnlLlally look very
hollsLlc, very lnLerconnecLed, very rellglous" ln a sense, unLll we even barely scraLch Lhe surface and flnd Lhe whole
producLlon supporLed by egocenLrlsm, arLlflclallsm, flnallsm, anLhropocenLrlsm, and lndlssoclaLlon. We Lhen have
Lwo very clear cholces: Lry Lo prop up Lhose producLlons as belng really rellglous," or look elsewhere for a genulne
8efore ouLllnlng lageL's flndlngs on cognlLlve developmenL, a brlef word abouL my overall psychologlcal model, of
whlch cognlLlve developmenL ls only a parL. 1hls model conslsLs essenLlally of waves, sLreams, sLaLes, and self.
woves are Lhe baslc levels of consclousness (abouL a dozen ma[or levels LhaL range from subconsclous Lo self-
consclous Lo superconsclous). l call Lhem waves" Lo lndlcaLe Lhe fluld naLure of Lhese levels of consclousness, Lhe
facL LhaL Lhey lnLerpeneLraLe and overlap (llke colors ln a ralnbow) and are noL rlgld rungs ln a ladder. 5tteoms are
Lhe varlous developmenLal llnes (such as cognlLlve, moral, psychosexual, affecLlve, lnLerpersonal, splrlLual, and so on)
LhaL develop relaLlvely lndependenLly Lhrough Lhe baslc levels or waves (so LhaL a person can, for example, be aL a
falrly hlgh level of developmenL cognlLlvely, a medlum level emoLlonally, and a low level morally, developmenL, ln
oLher words, ls anyLhlng buL a llnear, sLep-by-sLep affalr). 5totes refers Lo alLered sLaLes of consclousness (such as
peak experlences), whlch are brlef, Lemporary, buL ofLen powerful experlences, especlally of Lhe Lranspersonal
realms (however, lf developmenL lnLo Lhe Lranspersonal ls Lo become permanenL and noL merely passlng, Lhese
stotes musL be converLed Lo ttolts: alLered sLaLes musL become permanenL sLrucLures or levels of consclousness).
And Lhe self refers Lo Lhe self-sysLem LhaL navlgaLes Lhe waves, sLreams, and sLaLes as lL makes lLs way Lhrough Lhe
greaL 8lver of Llfe.
Waves and sLreams-or levels and llnes-are operaLlve ln all four quadranLs. 1hey are slmply Lhe grades and
clades of evoluLlon-Lhe levels of holons and Lhe llnes of holons. 1haL ls, Lhey are Lhe levels of sLrucLural complexlLy,
and Lhe llnes of developmenL LhaL move Lhrough Lhose levels. ln flgure 3-1, Lhe levels, waves, or grades are glven as
LhlrLeen ln number (a hlghly slmpllfled summary). Lach quadranL, alLhough lL shares Lhe same baslc levels or waves,
has lLs own Lypes of llnes or sLreams. lor example, uL: affecLlve developmenL, ego developmenL, cognlLlve
developmenL (e.g., preop Lo conop Lo formop Lo posLformal), u8: blologlcal growLh, neuro-physlologlcal
developmenL, behavloral evoluLlon, LL: culLural worldvlews, values, muLual undersLandlng, group ldenLlLles, L8:
Lechno-economlc forms, geopollLlcal sLrucLures, evoluLlon of soclal sysLems, and so on. ln each of Lhe quadranLs, Lhe
varlous llnes can unfold ln a relaLlvely lndependenL fashlon, buL Lhe polnL ls LhaL any holon ln any llne has correlaLes
aL Lhe same level ln all Lhe oLher quadranLs (same-level relaLlonshlp"). And, of course, each llne of developmenL, ln
any quadranL, follows Lhe LwenLy LeneLs.
WhaL we have covered so far (ln very general ouLllne) ls Lhe phylogeneLlc evoluLlon of all four quadranLs up Lo
Loday (as lndlcaLed ln flgure 3-1), uslng phylogeneLlc" ln Lhe broad sense as Lhe evoluLlonary hlsLory of any class of
holons. locuslng on human holons, we also examlned Lhe phylogeneLlc evoluLlon of culLural worldvlews (archalc Lo
maglc Lo myLhlc Lo raLlonal Lo vlslon-loglc), whlch ls only one llne of developmenL (buL a very lmporLanL llne) ln Lhe
Lower-LefL quadranL (we also Louched on a few developmenLal llnes ln Lhe Lower 8lghL, such as Lhe Lechno-
economlc sLream from foraglng Lo horLlculLural Lo agrarlan Lo lndusLrlal Lo lnformaLlonal). ln Lhls chapLer, we wlll
examlne Lhe developmenL, ln Loday's lndlvldual, of Lhe cognlLlve llne of developmenL, whlch ls only one llne of
developmenL (buL a very lmporLanL llne) ln Lhe upper-LefL quadranL. We have already seen LhaL Lhese llnes are
relaLed (slmllar holons are reused" onLogeneLlcally and phylogeneLlcally ln boLh mlcro and macro), and now we wlll
see ample evldence of Lhls ln Loday's onLogeneLlc developmenL.
llnally, a word abouL lageL's research lLself. lL has laLely become fashlonable and pollLlcally correcL Lo dlsmlss
lageL's work enLlrely (lL ls hlerarchlcal," lL ls rlgldly llnear," lL ls paLrlarchal," eLc.). lageL's overall sysLem, lL ls
qulLe Lrue, has several lnadequacles, buL Lhese are rarely why lL ls crlLlclzed, whlle Lhe reasons LhaL lL ls commonly
dlsmlssed do noL Lhemselves hold up. 1he ma[or lnadequacy of lageL's sysLem, mosL scholars now agree, ls LhaL
lageL suggesLed LhaL cognlLlve developmenL (concelved as loglco-maLhemaLlcal compeLence) ls Lhe ma[or axls of
developmenL, and LhaL all oLher domalns are subservlenL Lo Lhe cognlLlve. ln oLher words, lageL made Lhe cognlLlve
sLream Lhe only ma[or sLream, and Lhe lmpllcaLlon was LhaL all oLher sLreams fall wlLhln LhaL one, whereas Lhere ls
now abundanL evldence LhaL Lhe varlous developmenLal sLreams can unfold ln a relaLlvely lndependenL manner (so
LhaL a person can be aL a hlgh level of cognlLlve developmenL whlle remalnlng aL a medlum level ln oLher llnes and aL
a low level ln sLlll oLhers). ln my model, for example, Lhe cognlLlve llne ls merely one of some Lwo-dozen
developmenLal llnes, none of whlch, as llnes, can clalm preemlnence. (lL should be remembered LhaL ln Lhls chapLer
we are examlnlng only Lhe cognlLlve llne-as a graphlc example of evoluLlonary holons-and Lhus we are oot
presenLlng an overall or lnLegral psychology [for whlch, see loteqtol lsycboloqy, volume lour of Lhe collecteJ
8uL as for Lhe cognlLlve llne lLself, lageL's work ls sLlll very lmpresslve, moreover, afLer almosL Lhree decades of
lnLense cross-culLural research, Lhe evldence ls vlrLually unanlmous: lageL's sLages up Lo formal operaLlonal are
unlversal and cross-culLural. As only one example, llves Actoss coltotes-ctoss-coltotol nomoo uevelopmeot ls a
hlghly respecLed LexLbook wrlLLen from an openly llberal perspecLlve (whlch ls ofLen susplclous of unlversal"
sLages). 1he auLhors (P. Cardlner, !. MuLLer, and Corlnne kosmlLzkl) carefully revlew Lhe evldence for lageL's sLages
of sensorlmoLor, preoperaLlonal, concreLe operaLlonal, and formal operaLlonal. 1hey found LhaL culLural seLLlngs
someLlmes alLer Lhe tote of developmenL, or an empbosls on cerLaln aspecLs of Lhe sLages-buL noL Lhe sLages
Lhemselves or Lhelr cross-culLural valldlLy.
1hus, for sensorlmoLor: ln facL, Lhe quallLaLlve characLerlsLlcs of sensorlmoLor developmenL remaln nearly
ldenLlcal ln all lnfanLs sLudled so far, desplLe vasL dlfferences ln Lhelr culLural envlronmenLs" (p. 88). lor
preoperaLlonal and concreLe operaLlonal, based on an enormous number of sLudles LhaL lnclude nlgerlans,
Zamblans, lranlans, Algerlans, nepalese, Aslans, Senegalese, Amazon lndlans, and AusLrallan Aborlglnes: WhaL can
we conclude from Lhls vasL amounL of cross-culLural daLa? llrsL, supporL for Lhe unlversallLy of Lhe sLrucLures or
operaLlons underlylng Lhe preoperaLlonal perlod ls hlghly convlnclng. Second, . . . Lhe quallLaLlve characLerlsLlcs of
concreLe operaLlonal developmenL (e.g., sLage sequences and reasonlng sLyles) appear Lo be unlversal [alLhough] Lhe
raLe of cognlLlve developmenL . . . ls noL unlform buL depends on ecoculLural facLors." AlLhough Lhe auLhors do noL
use exacLly Lhese Lerms, Lhey conclude LhaL Lhe deep sLrucLures of Lhe sLages are unlversal buL Lhe surface sLrucLures
depend sLrongly on culLural, envlronmenLal, and ecologlcal facLors-ln oLher words, all four quadranLs are
profoundly lnvolved ln lndlvldual developmenL. llnally, lL appears LhaL alLhough Lhe raLe and level of performance
aL whlch chlldren move Lhrough lageL's concreLe operaLlonal perlod depend on culLural experlence [acLually, on all
four quadranLs], chlldren ln dlverse socleLles sLlll proceed ln Lhe same sequence he predlcLed" (pp. 91-92).
lewer lndlvlduals ln any culLures (Amerlcan, Aslan, Afrlcan, or oLherwlse) reach formal operaLlonal cognlLlon, and
Lhe reasons glven for Lhls vary. lL mlghL be LhaL formal operaLlonal ls a genulnely hlgher sLage LhaL fewer Lherefore
reach (greaLer depLh, less span), as l belleve. lL mlghL be LhaL formal operaLlonal ls a genulne capaclLy buL noL a
genulne sLage, as Lhe auLhors belleve (l.e., only some culLures emphaslze formal operaLlonal and Lherefore Leach lL).
Lvldence for Lhe exlsLence of lageL's formal sLage ls Lherefore sLrong buL noL concluslve. ?eL Lhe pollLlcally correcL
have used Lhls one lLem Lo dlsmlss oll of lageL's sLages, whereas Lhe correcL concluslon, backed by enormous
evldence, ls LhaL all of Lhe sLages up Lo formal operaLlonal have now been adequaLely demonsLraLed Lo be unlversal
and crossculLural.
We can now look aL Lhe conLours of Lhese unlversal sLages. AlLhough l belleve Lhe sLages aL and beyond formop
are also unlversal (lncludlng vlslon-loglc and Lhe general LransraLlonal sLages), ln a sense Lhe mosL dlspuLed and
conLroverslal ground lnvolves sLages leadlng up Lo formal operaLlonal, for Lhese are Lhe sLages-archalc, maglc, and
myLhlc-LhaL are so lnLenslvely debaLed as Lo Lhelr splrlLual" merlL. 8eallzlng LhaL Lhese are exacLly Lhe sLages of
lageL's sLudles LhaL have conslsLenLly held up Lo cross-culLural evldence allows us Lo see Lhem ln a more accuraLe
llghL, l belleve.
As suggesLed, lageL dlvlded cognlLlve developmenL lnLo four broad sLages-sensorlmoLor (0-2 years),
preoperaLlonal or preop" (2-7 years), concreLe operaLlonal or conop" (7-11 years), and formal operaLlonal or
formop" (11 years onward).
Lach of Lhese broad sLages he dlvlded lnLo several subsLages. We wlll Lake Lhem one aL
a Llme, wlLh a few brlef correlaLlons wlLh oLher ma[or researchers.
WaLchlng Lhese many correlaLlons beLween onLo and phylo, mlcro and macro, one can'L help buL marvel aL Lhe
facL LhaL once naLure creaLes a holon, naLure uses lL Llme and Llme agaln. 1he kosmos creaLlvely brlngs forLh a holon
(LeneL 2c: self-Lranscendence), whereupon lL ls sub[ecLed Lo lnLense selecLlon pressures (l.e., lt most flt wltb oll foot
pooJtoots). lor as long as lL ls selecLed (flLs all four quadranLs), lL conLlnues Lo exlsL, elLher on lLs own, and/or Laken
up and lncluded ln a hlgher superholon, where lL llves on as a relaLlvely lndependenL subholon.
1here ls a kosmlc economy ln all Lhls LhaL ls genulnely awe-lnsplrlng. Who would have LhoughL LhaL Lhe flrsL aLoms
exlsLlng ln Lhe flrsL far-flung galaxles, sLreLchlng across bllllons of mlles and exlsLlng bllllons of years ago, would now
be Lhe lngredlenLs, Lhe acLual subholons, ln your very own body, as you now slL here readlng all Lhls?
1he human belng aL concepLlon ls a slngle-celled holon, embraclng ln lLself, as [unlor holons, organelles, molecules,
aLoms, and subaLomlc parLlcles, reachlng all Lhe way back lnLo Lhose dark shadows LhaL fade lnLo Lhe evoluLlonary
8y Lhe Llme of blrLh, Lhe human belng has developed from proLoplasmlc lrrlLablllLy Lo sensaLlon Lo percepLlon Lo
lmpulse Lo proLo-emoLlon, embraclng each as a successlve holon ln lLs own compound lndlvlduallLy. 8uL none of
Lhese funcLlons ls yeL clearly JlffeteotloteJ (or lnLegraLed), and Lhe flrsL years of llfe are a qulck comlng-Lo-Lerms
wlLh Lhe physlosphere and Lhe blosphere boLh wlLhln and wlLhouL, ln preparaLlon for Lhe emergence of Lhe
noosphere, whlch beglns ln earnesL around age Lwo wlLh Lhe emergence of language.
1hus lageL, for example, ln speaklng of Lhe flrsL year of llfe, says LhaL Lhe self ls here motetlol, so Lo speak." lL ls
sLlll, LhaL ls, embedded prlmarlly ln Lhe physlosphere. ln Lhe flrsL place, Lhe lnfanL cannoL easlly dlsLlngulsh beLween
sub[ecL and ob[ecL or self and maLerlal envlronmenL, buL lnsLead llves ln a sLaLe of prlmary narclsslsm" (lreud) or
oceanlc aduallsm" (ArleLl) or pleromaLlc fuslon" (!ung) or prlmary lndlssoclaLlon" (lageL). 1he lnfanL's self and Lhe
maLerlal envlronmenL (and especlally Lhe moLher) are ln a sLaLe of prlmlLlve nondlfferenLlaLlon or lndlssoclaLlon. Cn
Lhe psychosexual slde, Lhls ls Lhe oral phase" because Lhe lnfanL ls comlng Lo Lerms wlLh food, physlcal
nourlshmenL, llfe ln Lhls physlosphere.
SomeLlme beLween Lhe fourLh and Lhe nlnLh monLh, Lhls archalc lndlssoclaLlon glves way Lo a pbyslcol bodyself
JlffeteotloteJ from Lhe pbyslcol envlronmenL-Lhe real blrLh" of Lhe lndlvldual physlcal self. MargareL Mahler
acLually refers Lo lL as haLchlng." 1he lnfanL blLes lLs Lhumb and lL hurLs, blLes Lhe blankeL and lL doesn'L. 1here ls a
dlfference, lL learns, beLween Lhe physlcal self and Lhe physlcal oLher.
AnoLher way Lo puL Lhls ls Lo say LhaL, wlLh Lhls flrsL ma[or dlfferenLlaLlon (or flrsL ma[or fulcrum of developmenL,"
as researchers call lL),
consclousness seots lLself ln Lhe physlcal body, grounds lLself ln Lhe physlosphere of Lhe
lndlvldual holon and noL ln Lhe physlosphere of Lhe soclal holon (lLs envlronmenL). Many researchers, from kernberg
Lo Mahler, have concluded LhaL lf, due Lo physlologlcal/geneLlc facLors or repeaLed Lrauma, consclousness falls Lo
seaL lLself ln Lhe physlcal self, Lhe resulL ls psycbosls of one sorL or anoLher.
sychosls ls many Lhlngs (lncludlng,
perhaps, an lnflux from hlgher dlmenslons), buL lL cerLalnly lncludes a fallure Lo esLabllsh a grounded physlcal self
clearly dlfferenLlaLed from Lhe envlronmenL. 1he psychoLlc, as 8. u. Lalng puL lL, ls consLanLly [umplng ouL of Lhe
body", he or she cannoL easlly dlfferenLlaLe where Lhe body sLops and Lhe chalr beglns, sub[ecL and ob[ecL collapse ln
a sLaLe of fuslon and confuslon, wlLh halluclnaLory blurrlng of boundarles, and so forLh. sychosls, we may say, ls a
fallure Lo dlfferenLlaLe and lnLegraLe Lhe physlosphere.
lf all goes relaLlvely well, Lhen Lhe lnfanL ttoosceoJs Lhls archalc fuslon sLaLe and emerges or haLches as a
grounded physlcal self.
1he seosotlmotot petloJ (0-2 years) ls Lhus predomlnanLly concerned wlLh dlfferenLlaLlng Lhe pbyslcol self from
Lhe pbyslcol envlronmenL, and resulLs, Loward Lhe end of Lhe second year, ln whaL lageL calls physlcal ob[ecL
permanence," Lhe capaclLy of Lhe lnfanL Lo undersLand LhaL physlcal ob[ecLs exlsL lndependenLly of hlm or her (l.e.,
Lhe physlcal world exlsLs lndependenLly of one's egocenLrlc wlshes abouL lL).
1hus, ouL of an lnlLlal sLaLe of ptlmoty loJlssoclotloo (proLoplasmlc," lageL also calls lL), Lhe physlcal self and Lhe
physlcal oLher emerge:
lL ls Lhrough a progresslve dlfferenLlaLlon LhaL Lhe lnLernal world comes lnLo belng and ls conLrasLed wlLh Lhe
exLernal. nelLher of Lhese Lwo Lerms ls glven aL Lhe sLarL. . . .
ConsequenLly, durlng Lhe gradual and slow dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe lnlLlal proLoplasmlc reallLy lnLo ob[ecLlve
and sub[ecLlve reallLy, lL ls clear LhaL each of Lhe Lwo Lerms [lnLerlor and exLerlor, LefL Pand and 8lghL Pand] ln
process of dlfferenLlaLlon wlll evolve ln accordance wlLh lLs own sLrucLure. . . .
1hls phenomenon ls very general. uurlng Lhe early sLages Lhe [physlcal] world and Lhe self are one, nelLher
Lerm ls dlsLlngulshed from Lhe oLher. 8uL when Lhey become dlsLlncL, Lhese Lwo Lerms begln by remalnlng very
close Lo each oLher: Lhe world ls sLlll consclous and full of lnLenLlons, Lhe self ls sLlll maLerlal, so Lo speak, and
only sllghLly lnLerlorlzed. AL every sLage Lhere remaln ln Lhe concepLlon of naLure whaL we mlghL call
adherences," fragmenLs of lnLernal experlence whlch sLlll cllng Lo Lhe exLernal world.
AL Lhe end of Lhe sensorlmoLor perlod, Lhe physlcal self and physlcal oLher are clearly dlfferenLlaLed, buL as Lhe
mloJ beqlos to emetqe wlLh preop, tbe meotol lmoqes ooJ symbols tbemselves ote loltlolly foseJ ooJ coofoseJ wltb
tbe extetool wotlJ, leadlng Lo whaL lageL calls adherences," whlch chlldren Lhemselves wlll evenLually re[ecL as
belng lnadequaLe and mlsleadlng.
We have dlsLlngulshed [several] varleLles of adherences deflned ln Lhls way. 1here are, Lo begln wlLh, durlng a
very early sLage, feellngs of parLlclpaLlon accompanled someLlmes by maglcal bellefs, Lhe sun and moon follow
us, and lf we walk, lL ls enough Lo make Lhem move along, Lhlngs noLlce us and obey us, llke Lhe wlnd, Lhe
clouds, Lhe nlghL, eLc., Lhe moon, Lhe sLreeL lamps, eLc., send us dreams Lo annoy us," eLc., eLc. ln shorL, Lhe
world ls fllled wlLh Lendencles and lnLenLlons whlch are [cenLered on] our own.
A second form of adherence, closely allled Lo Lhe precedlng, ls LhaL consLlLuLed by anlmlsm, whlch makes
Lhe chlld endow Lhlngs wlLh consclousness and llfe [orlenLed solely Loward Lhe chlld]. . . . ln Lhls maglco-
anlmlsLlc order: on Lhe one hand, we lssue commands Lo Lhlngs (Lhe sun and Lhe moon, Lhe clouds and Lhe sky
follow us), on Lhe oLher hand, Lhese Lhlngs acqulesce ln our deslres because Lhey Lhemselves wlsh Lo do so.
A Lhlrd form ls arLlflclallsm [anLhropocenLrlsm]. 1he chlld beglns by Lhlnklng of Lhlngs ln Lerms of hls own l":
Lhe Lhlngs around hlm Lake noLlce of man and are made for man, everyLhlng abouL Lhem ls wllled and
lnLenLlonal, everyLhlng ls organlzed for Lhe good of men. lf we ask Lhe chlld, or Lhe chlld asks hlmself, how
Lhlngs began, he has recourse Lo man Lo explaln Lhem. 1hus arLlflclallsm ls based on feellngs of parLlclpaLlon
whlch consLlLuLe a very speclal and very lmporLanL class of adherences.
As we wlll see, lageL belleves LhaL Lhe ma[or and ln many ways deflnlng characLerlsLlc of all adherences ls
eqoceottlsm, or an early and lnlLlal lnablllLy Lo Lranscend one's own perspecLlve and undersLand LhaL reallLy ls noL
self-cenLered. uevelopmenL Lhus proceeds slowly from egocenLrlsm Lo perspecLlvlsm, from reallsm Lo reclproclLy and
muLuallLy, and from absoluLlsm Lo relaLlvlLy:
1hls formula means LhaL Lhe chlld, afLer havlng regarded hls own polnL of vlew as absoluLe, comes Lo dlscover
Lhe posslblllLy of oLher polnLs of vlew and Lo concelve of reallLy as consLlLuLed, no longer by whaL ls
lmmedlaLely glven, buL by whaL ls common Lo all polnLs of vlew Laken LogeLher.
Cne of Lhe flrsL aspecLs of Lhls process ls Lhe passage from reallsm of percepLlon Lo lnLerpreLaLlon properly
so called. All Lhe younger chlldren Lake Lhelr lmmedlaLe percepLlons as Lrue, and Lhen proceed Lo lnLerpreL
Lhem accordlng Lo Lhelr own egocenLrlc relaLlons. 1he mosL sLrlklng example ls LhaL of Lhe clouds and Lhe
heavenly bodles, of whlch chlldren belleve LhaL Lhey follow us. 1he sun and moon are small globes Lravellng a
llLLle way above Lhe level of Lhe roofs of houses and followlng us abouL on our walks. Lven Lhe chlld of 6-8
years does noL heslLaLe Lo Lake Lhls percepLlon as Lhe expresslon of LruLh, and, curlously enough, he never
Lhlnks of asklng hlmself wheLher Lhese heavenly bodles do noL also follow oLher people. When we ask Lhe
capLlous quesLlon as Lo whlch of Lwo people walklng ln opposlLe dlrecLlons Lhe sun would prefer Lo follow, Lhe
chlld ls Laken aback and shows how new Lhe quesLlon ls Lo hlm. [Clder chlldren,] on Lhe oLher hand, have
dlscovered LhaL Lhe sun follows everybody. lrom Lhls Lhey conclude LhaL Lhe LruLh lles ln Lhe teclptoclty of tbe
polots of vlew: LhaL Lhe sun ls very hlgh up, LhaL lL follows no one. . . .
lageL ls aL palns Lo lndlcaLe LhaL Lhe process of dlfferenLlaLlon/lnLegraLlon beLween lnLernal and exLernal world ls
a long and slow one. lL ls noL, for example, LhaL maglco-anlmlsLlc bellefs are presenL aL one sLage and Lhen
compleLely dlsappear aL Lhe nexL, buL raLher LhaL cognlLlons referred Lo as maglcal" become progresslvely less and
less as developmenL proceeds, movlng from a pure maglcal auLlsm" Lo menLal egocenLrlclLy Lo reclprocal and
muLual sharlng. ln a very lmporLanL passage lageL geLs Lo Lhe hearL of Lhe maLLer:
lor Lhe consLrucLlon of Lhe ob[ecLlve world and Lhe elaboraLlon of sLrlcL reasonlng boLh conslsL ln a gradual
teJoctloo of eqoceottlclty ln favor of . . . reclproclLy of vlewpolnLs. ln boLh cases, Lhe lnlLlal sLaLe ls marked by
Lhe facL LhaL Lhe self ls confused wlLh Lhe exLernal world and wlLh oLher people, Lhe vlslon of Lhe world ls
falslfled by sub[ecLlve adherences, and Lhe vlslon of oLher people ls falslfled by Lhe facL LhaL Lhe personal polnL
of vlew predomlnaLes, almosL Lo Lhe excluslon of all oLhers. 1hus ln boLh cases, LruLh ls obscured by Lhe ego.
1hen, as Lhe chlld dlscovers LhaL oLhers do noL Lhlnk as he does, he makes efforLs Lo adapL hlmself Lo Lhem,
he bows Lo exlgencles of conLrol and verlflcaLlon whlch are lmplled by dlscusslon and argumenL, and Lhus
comes Lo replace egocenLrlc loglc by Lhe loglc creaLed by soclal llfe. We saw LhaL exacLly Lhe same process Look
place wlLh regard Lo Lhe ldea of reallLy.
1here ls Lherefore an egocenLrlc loglc [LP] and an egocenLrlc onLology [8P], of whlch Lhe consequences are
parallel: Lhey boLh falslfy Lhe perspecLlve of relaLlons and of Lhlngs, because Lhey boLh sLarL from Lhe
assumpLlon LhaL oLher people undersLand us and agree wlLh us from Lhe flrsL, and LhaL Lhlngs revolve around
us wlLh Lhe sole purpose of servlng us and resembllng us.
A noLe on Lermlnology: lageL dlvldes each of Lhe ma[or cognlLlve sLages lnLo aL leasL Lwo subsLages (early and laLe
preop, early and laLe conop, early and laLe formop), and l have generally followed lageL ln Lhls regard. Slnce we
have also been uslng Cebser's general worldvlew Lermlnology of archalc, maglc, myLhlc, and menLal (wlLh Lhe clear
lmpllcaLlon LhaL Lhey are referrlng Lo essenLlally slmllar sLages), l wlll ofLen hybrldlze Cebser's Lermlnology Lo maLch
lageL's subsLages, so LhaL we have a conLlnuum of archalc, archalc-maglc, maglc, maglc-myLhlc, myLhlc, myLhlc-
raLlonal, raLlonal, raLlonal-exlsLenLlal (and lnLo vlslon-loglc, psychlc, eLc.). 1hese parLlcular names are, of course,
arblLrary, buL Lhe acLual sLages Lhey refer Lo are based on exLenslve emplrlcal/phenomenologlcal research. l also
belleve Lhese names (such as maglc, myLhlc-raLlonal, eLc.) help Lo capLure Lhe essenLlal flavor" of each sLage and
1he preponderance of lndlssoclaLlons and adherences" aL Lhe sensorlmoLor and early preoperaLlonal (Lhe archalc
and Lhe archalc-maglc-roughly 0-3 years) have led lageL hlmself Lo ofLen refer Lo Lhls general early perlod as one
of maglcal cognlLlons" or maglc proper." As he explalns:
1he flrsL [general sLage] ls LhaL whlch precedes any clear consclousness of Lhe self, and may be arblLrarlly seL
down as lasLlng unLll Lhe age of 2-3, LhaL ls, Llll Lhe appearance of Lhe flrsL whys," whlch symbollze ln a way
Lhe flrsL awareness of reslsLance ln Lhe exLernal world.
As far as we can con[ecLure, Lwo phenomena characLerlze Lhls flrsL sLage [Lhe overall archalc-maglc]. lrom
Lhe [lnLernal] polnL of vlew, lL ls pure ootlsm, or LhoughL akln Lo dreams or daydreams, LhoughL ln whlch LruLh
ls confused wlLh deslre. 1o every deslre corresponds lmmedlaLely an lmage or llluslon whlch Lransforms Lhls
deslre lnLo reallLy, Lhanks Lo a sorL of pseudo-halluclnaLlon or play. no ob[ecLlve observaLlon or reasonlng ls
posslble: Lhere ls only a perpeLual play whlch Lransforms percepLlons and creaLes slLuaLlons ln accordance wlLh
Lhe sub[ecL's pleasure [Lhls ls a sLage LhaL ls ofLen euloglzed and elevaLed" by Lhe 8omanLlcs, such as norman
C. 8rown, Lo a splrlLual non-dual" sLaLe, whereas lL ls acLually, as we have seen, a very egocenLrlc, narclsslsLlc
sLaLe: preraLlonal, noL LransraLlonal]. lrom Lhe onLologlcal vlewpolnL, whaL corresponds Lo Lhls manner of
Lhlnklng ls prlmlLlve psycboloqlcol coosollty, probably ln a form LhaL lmplles moqlc proper [hls lLallcs, l refer
Lo lL as archalc-maglc]: Lhe bellef LhaL any deslre whaLsoever can lnfluence ob[ecLs, Lhe bellef ln Lhe obedlence
of exLernal Lhlngs. Maglc and auLlsm are Lherefore Lwo dlfferenL sldes of one and Lhe same
phenomenon-LhaL confuslon beLween Lhe self and Lhe world. . . .
lf all goes relaLlvely well, Lhe lnfanL ttoosceoJs Lhe early archalc fuslon sLaLe and emerges or haLches as a grounded
physlcal self. 8uL lf Lhe lnfanL's physlcal body ls now separaLed from Lhe envlronmenL, lLs emoLlonal body ls noL. 1he
lnfanL's emotloool self sLlll exlsLs ln a sLaLe of lndlssoclaLlon from oLher emotloool ob[ecLs, ln parLlcular Lhe
moLherlng one. 8uL Lhen, around elghLeen monLhs or so, Lhe lnfanL learns Lo Jlffeteotlote lts feelloqs from Lhe
feelloqs of otbets (Lhls ls Lhe second ma[or dlfferenLlaLlon, or second fulcrum"). lLs own blosphere ls dlfferenLlaLed
from Lhe blosphere of Lhose around lL-ln oLher words, lL Lranscends lLs embeddedness ln Lhe undlfferenLlaLed
blosphere. Cnce agaln, as wlLh every holon, lL manlfesLs noL [usL a capaclLy for self-preservaLlon and self-adapLaLlon,
buL also for self-Lranscendence.
Mahler refers Lo Lhls cruclal LransformaLlon (Lhe second fulcrum) as Lhe separaLlon-lndlvlduaLlon phase," or Lhe
dlfferenLlaLlon-and-lnLegraLlon of a sLable emotloool self (whereas Lhe prevlous fulcrum, as we saw, was Lhe
dlfferenLlaLlon/lnLegraLlon of Lhe pbyslcol self). Mahler acLually calls Lhls fulcrum Lhe psychologlcal blrLh of Lhe
lnfanL," because Lhe lnfanL emerges from lLs emoLlonal fuslon wlLh Lhe (m)oLher.
A developmenLal mlscarrlage aL Lhls crlLlcal fulcrum (accordlng Lo Mahler, kernberg, and oLhers) resulLs ln Lhe
narclsslsLlc and borderllne paLhologles, because lf Lhe lnfanL does noL dlfferenLlaLe-separaLe lLs feellngs from Lhe
feellngs of Lhose around lL, Lhen lL ls open Lo belng flooded" and swepL away" by lLs emoLlonal envlronmenL, on
Lhe one hand (Lhe borderllne syndromes), or lL can LreaL Lhe enLlre world as a mere exLenslon of lLs own feellngs (Lhe
narclsslsLlc condlLlon)-boLh of whlch resulL from a fallure Lo Lranscend an embeddedness ln Lhe undlfferenLlaLed
blosphere. Cne remalns ln lndlssoclaLlon wlLh, or merged" wlLh, Lhe blosphere, sLuck ln Lhe blosphere, [usL as wlLh
Lhe prevlous psychoses one remalns merged wlLh or sLuck ln Lhe physlosphere.
8y around age Lhree, lf all has gone relaLlvely well, Lhe young chlld has a sLable and coherenL physlcal self and
emoLlonal self, lL has dlfferenLlaLed and lnLegraLed, Lranscended and preserved, lLs own physlosphere and blosphere.
8y Lhls Llme language has begun Lo emerge, and developmenL ln Lhe noosphere beglns ln earnesL.
1hus, Lhe lnLenslLy of Lhe early archalc-maglc decllnes wlLh Lhe dlfferenLlaLlon of emoLlonal self and emoLlonal
oLher (24-36 monLhs)-buL, accordlng Lo lageL, maglcal cognlLlons cootlooe to Jomloote tbe eotlte eotly
pteopetotloool petloJ (2-4 years), Lhe perlod l slmply call maglc."
ln oLher words, Lhe flrsL ma[or layer of Lhe noosphere ls maglcal. uurlng Lhls perlod, Lhe newly emerglng lmages
and symbols do noL merely represenL ob[ecLs, Lhey are LhoughL Lo be concreLely pott of tbe tbloqs tbey tepteseot,
and Lhus word maglc" abounds:
up Lo Lhe age of 4-3, [Lhe chlld] Lhlnks LhaL he ls forclng" or compelllng Lhe moon Lo move, Lhe relaLlon Lakes
on an aspecL of dynamlc parLlclpaLlon or of maglc. lrom 4 Lo 3 he ls more lncllned Lo Lhlnk LhaL Lhe moon ls
Lrylng Lo follow hlm: Lhe relaLlon ls anlmlsLlc.
Closely akln Lo Lhls parLlclpaLlon ls moqlcol coosollty, maglc belng ln many respecLs slmply parLlclpaLlon: Lhe
sub[ecL regards hls gesLures, hls LhoughLs, or Lhe ob[ecLs he handles, as charged wlLh efflcacy, Lhanks Lo Lhe
very parLlclpaLlons whlch he esLabllshes beLween Lhose gesLures, eLc., and Lhe Lhlngs around hlm
[adherences"]. 1hus a cerLaln word acLs upon a cerLaln Lhlng, a cerLaln gesLure wlll proLecL one from a cerLaln
danger, a cerLaln whlLe pebble wlll brlng abouL Lhe growLh of waLer lllles, and so on. . . .
lageL refers Lo such maglcal cognlLlons as a form of parLlclpaLlon"-LhaL ls, Lhe sub[ecL and Lhe ob[ecL, and
varlous ob[ecLs Lhemselves, are llnked" by cerLaln Lypes of adherences, or felL connecLlons, connecLlons LhaL
noneLheless vlolaLe Lhe rlch fabrlc of relaLlons acLually consLlLuLlng Lhe ob[ecL.
1hls ls very much whaL lreud referred Lo as Lhe prlmary process, whlch ls governed by Lwo general laws, LhaL of
dlsplacemenL and LhaL of condensaLlon. ln Jlsplocemeot, Lwo dlfferenL ob[ecLs are equaLed or llnked" because Lhey
share slmllar parLs or predlcaLes (a relaLlon of slmllotlty: lf one Aslan person ls bad, all Aslans musL be bad). ln
cooJeosotloo, dlfferenL ob[ecLs are relaLed because Lhey exlsL ln Lhe same space (a relaLlon of cootlqolty: a lock of
halr of a greaL warrlor conLalns" ln condensed form Lhe power of Lhe warrlor).
(1here ls anoLher way Lo caLegorlze Lhls. Lach holon ls an agency-ln-communlon. ulsplacemenL confuses dlfferenL
holons because Lhey share slmllar agency. CondensaLlon confuses dlfferenL holons because Lhey share slmllar
communlons. 1he former ls meLaphor, Lhe laLLer ls meLonym. 1hls leads Lo a hosL of lnLeresLlng correlaLlons, whlch l
wlll reserve for a noLe).
uL slmply, such prlmary process or maglcal cognlLlon ls noL yeL capable of grasplng Lhe noLlon of a boloo. lL does
noL seL whole and parL ln a rlch neLwork of motool relaLlonshlps, buL shorL-clrculLs Lhe process by merely collapslng
or confuslng varlous wholes and parLs-whaL lageL calls syncreLlsm and [uxLaposlLlon (agaln, slmllarlLy and
conLlgulLy). Maglcal cognlLlon, Lhen, ls of fused and confused wholes and parLs, and noL muLually relaLed wholes and
parLs. 1hese fused neLworks" of sycreLlc wholes" oppeot very hollsLlc (or holographlc"), buL are acLually noL very
coherenL and do noL even maLch Lhe already avallable sensorlmoLor evldence.
[1hls] Lype of relaLlon ls pottlclpotloo. 1hls Lype ls more frequenL Lhan would aL flrsL appear Lo be Lhe case, buL
lL dlsappears afLer Lhe age of 3-6. lLs prlnclple ls Lhe followlng: Lwo Lhlngs beLween whlch Lhere subslsL
relaLlons elLher of resemblance [slmllarlLy, meLaphor] or of general afflnlLy [conLlgulLy, meLonym], are
concelved as havlng someLhlng ln common whlch enables Lhem Lo acL upon one anoLher aL a dlsLance, or more
preclsely, Lo be regarded one as a source of emanaLlons, Lhe oLher as Lhe emanaLlon of Lhe flrsL. 1hus alr or
shadows ln a room emanaLe from Lhe alr and shadows ouL of doors. 1hus also dreams, whlch are senL Lo us by
blrds who llke Lhe wlnd."
[1he chlld] beglns, lndeed, as we do, by feellng Lhe analogy of Lhe shadow casL by Lhe book wlLh Lhe
shadows of Lrees, houses, eLc. 8uL Lhls analogy does noL lead hlm Lo any [muLual] relaLlon: lL slmply leads hlm
Lo ldenLlfy Lhe parLlcular cases wlLh one anoLher. So LhaL we have here, noL analogy proper, buL syncreLlsm.
1he chlld argues as follows: 1hls book makes a shadow, Lrees, houses, eLc., make shadows. 1he book's
shadow (Lherefore) comes ftom tbe ttees and Lhe houses." 1hus, from Lhe polnL of vlew of Lhe cause or of Lhe
sLrucLure of Lhe ob[ecL, Lhere ls parLlclpaLlon, syncreLlsLlc schemas resulLlng from Lhe fuslon of slngular Lerms. .
. .
1PL SPll1 l8CM MAClC 1C M?1PlC
As we move from early preoperaLlonal (2-4 years, maglc") Lo laLe preoperaLlonal (4-7 years, maglc-myLhlc"),
slmllar Lypes of adherences conLlnue Lo domlnaLe awareness. 8uL one cruclal dlfference comes Lo Lhe fore: maglc
proper-Lhe bellef LhaL Lhe sub[ecL can maglcally alLer Lhe ob[ecL-dlmlnlshes rapldly. ConLlnued lnLeracLlon wlLh Lhe
world evenLually leads Lhe sub[ecL Lo reallze LhaL hls or her LhoughLs do noL egocenLrlcally conLrol, creaLe, or govern
Lhe world. 1he hldden llnkages" don'L hold up ln reallLy.
Maglc proper Lhus dlmlnlshes, or raLher, Lhe omnlpoLenL maglc of Lhe lndlvldual sub[ecL-a maglc LhaL no longer
works"-ls slmply ttoosfetteJ to otbet sobjects. Maybe l can'L order Lhe world around, buL uaddy (or Cod or Lhe
volcano splrlL) can.
And Lhus onLo Lhe scene come crashlng a hundred gods and goddesses, all capable of dolng whaL l can no longer
do: mlraculously alLer Lhe paLLerns of naLure ln order Lo caLer Lo my wanLs. Whereas ln Lhe earller maglcal sLages
proper, Lhe secreL of Lhe unlverse was Lo learn Lhe rlghL Lype of word maglc LhaL would Jltectly alLer Lhe world, Lhe
focus now ls Lo learn Lhe rlghL rlLuals and prayers LhaL wlll make Lhe gods and goddesses lnLervene and alLer Lhe
world for me. lageL:
1he posslblllLy of mlracles ls, of course, admlLLed, or raLher, mlracles form parL of Lhe chlld's concepLlon of Lhe
world, slnce law [aL Lhls sLage] ls a moral Lhlng wlLh Lhe posslblllLy of numerous excepLlons [suspended by
Cod" or a powetfol otbet]. Chlldren have been quoLed who asked Lhelr parenLs Lo sLop Lhe raln, Lo Lurn
splnach lnLo poLaLoes, eLc.
1hus Lhe shlfL from maglc Lo maglc-myLhlc. lageL: 1he flrsL sLage ls maglcal: we make Lhe clouds move by
walklng. 1he clouds obey us aL a dlsLance. 1he average age of Lhls sLage ls 3. 1he second sLage [maglc-myLhlc] ls boLh
arLlflclallsL and anlmlsLlc. Clouds move because Cod or [oLher] men make Lhem move. 1he average age of Lhls sLage
ls 6."
lL ls from Lhls maglc-myLhlc sLrucLure LhaL so many of Lhe world's classlcal myLhologles seem ln large parL Lo lssue.
As hlllp Cowan polnLs ouL, uurlng Lhe [laLe preop or maglc-myLhlc] sLage, Lhere ls sLlll a confuslon beLween
physlcal and personal causallLy, Lhe physlcal world appears Lo operaLe much Lhe way people do. All of Lhese
examples [show LhaL laLe preop] chlldren have already developed elaboraLe myLhologles abouL cosmlc quesLlons
such as Lhe naLure of llfe (and deaLh) and Lhe cause of wlnd [and so forLh]. lurLher, Lhese myLhologles show many
slmllarlLles from chlld Lo chlld across culLures and do noL seem Lo have been dlrecLly LaughL by adulLs."
M?1P Anu A8CPL1?L
1hls dlrecLly brlngs us, of course, Lo Lhe work of Carl !ung and hls concluslon LhaL Lhe essenLlal forms and moLlfs of
Lhe world's greaL myLhologles-Lhe archalc forms" or archeLypes"-are collecLlvely lnherlLed ln Lhe lndlvldual
psyche of each of us.
lL ls noL ofLen reallzed LhaL lreud was ln compleLe agreemenL wlLh !ung abouL Lhe exlsLence of Lhls archalc
herlLage. lreud was sLruck by Lhe facL LhaL lndlvlduals ln Lherapy kepL reproduclng essenLlally slmllar phanLasles,"
phanLasles LhaL seemed Lherefore somehow Lo be collecLlvely lnherlLed. Whence comes Lhe necesslLy for Lhese
phanLasles and Lhe maLerlal for Lhem?" he asks. Pow ls lL Lo be explalned LhaL Lhe same phanLasles are always
formed wlLh Lhe same conLenL? l have an answer Lo Lhls whlch l know wlll seem Lo you very darlng. l belleve LhaL
Lhese prlmal phanLasles are a phylogeneLlc possesslon. ln Lhem Lhe lndlvldual sLreLches ouL Lo Lhe experlences of
pasL ages."
1hls phylogeneLlc or archalc herlLage" lncludes, accordlng Lo lreud, abbrevlaLed repeLlLlons of Lhe evoluLlon
undergone by Lhe whole human race Lhrough long-drawn-ouL perlods and from pre-hlsLorlc ages." AlLhough, as we
wlll see, lreud and !ung dlffered profoundly over Lhe acLual naLure of Lhls archalc herlLage, lreud neverLheless made
lL very clear LhaL l fully agree wlLh !ung ln recognlzlng Lhe exlsLence of Lhls phylogeneLlc herlLage."
lageL has also wrlLLen exLenslvely on hls essenLlal agreemenL wlLh and appreclaLlon of !ung's work. 8uL he dlffers
sllghLly wlLh !ung ln LhaL he does noL see Lhe archeLypes Lhemselves as belng dlrecLly lnherlLed from pasL ages, buL
raLher as belng Lhe secondary byproducLs of cognlLlve sLrucLures whlch Lhemselves are slmllar wherever Lhey
develop and whlch, ln lnLerpreLlng a common physlcal world, generaLe common moLlfs.
8uL wheLher we follow lreud, !ung, or lageL, Lhe concluslon ls essenLlally Lhe same: all Lhe world's greaL
myLhologles exlsL Loday ln each of us, ln me and ln you. 1hey are produced, and can aL any Llme be produced, by Lhe
archalc, Lhe maglc, and Lhe myLhlc sLrucLures of our own compound lndlvlduallLy (and classlcally by Lhe maglc-myLhlc
1he quesLlon Lhen cenLers-and here lreud and !ung blLLerly parLed ways-on Lhe naLure and funcLlon of Lhese
myLhlc moLlfs, Lhese archeLypes. Are Lhey metely lnfanLlle and regresslve (lreud), or do Lhey also conLaln a rlch
source of splrlLual wlsdom (!ung)? lageL, needless Lo say, slded wlLh lreud on Lhls parLlcular lssue. l have already
suggesLed LhaL l do noL see Lhese parLlcular archeLypes" as belng qulLe Lhe hlgh source of Lranspersonal wlsdom
LhaL !ung belleved, buL Lhe slLuaLlon ls very subLle and complex, and we wlll reLurn Lo lL laLer ln Lhls chapLer, ln
connecLlon wlLh !oseph Campbell, and dlscuss lL more fully.
Campbell, we wlll see, belleves LhaL ln cerLaln clrcumsLances (whlch we wlll explore), Lhe early myLhlc archeLypes
can carry profound rellglous and splrlLual meanlng and power. 8uL even Campbell clearly acknowledges (and lndeed
sLresses) LhaL Lhe early and laLe preoperaLlonal sLages Lhemselves are boLh marked by a greaL deal of eqoceottlsm,
ootbtopoceottlsm, and qeoceottlsm.
uL dlfferenLly, sLlll lylng close Lo Lhe body," preoperaLlonal cognlLlon does noL easlly Lake Lhe role of oLher, nor
does lL sLlll clearly dlfferenLlaLe Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere. Lven ln laLe preoperaLlonal Lhlnklng, Lhe chlld
flrmly belleves LhaL names are a parL of, or acLually exlsL ln, Lhe ob[ecLs LhaL are named. WhaL are names for?" a
chlld of flve was asked. 1hey are whaL you see when you look aL Lhlngs." Where ls Lhe name of Lhe sun?" lnslde
Lhe sun." As one chlld summarlzed lL: lf Lhere weren'L any words lL would be very bad. ?ou couldn'L make anyLhlng.
Pow could Lhlngs have been made?" !oseph Campbell commenLs:
ln Lhe cosmologles of archalc man, as ln Lhose of lnfancy, Lhe maln concern of Lhe creaLor was ln Lhe weal and
woe of man. LlghL was made so LhaL we should see, nlghL so LhaL we mlghL sleep, sLars Lo foreLell Lhe weaLher,
clouds Lo warn of raln. 1he chlld's vlew of Lhe world ls noL only qeoceottlc, buL eqoceottlc. And lf we add Lo
Lhls slmple sLrucLure Lhe Lendency recognlzed by lreud, Lo experlence all Lhlngs ln assoclaLlon wlLh Lhe
sub[ecLlve formula of Lhe famlly romance [Cedlpus/LlecLra], we have a raLher LlghL and very sllghL vocabulary
of elemenLary ldeas, whlch we may expecL Lo see varlously lnflecLed and applled ln Lhe myLhologles of Lhe
1be emetqeoce of tbe ooospbete: llrsL lmages (aL around 7 monLhs), Lhen symbols (Lhe flrsL full-fledged symbol
probably belng Lhe word no!"), Lhen concepLs (around 3-4 years), all alded lmmeasurably by Lhe emergence of
l menLloned Lhe word no!" as belng Lhe flrsL symbol, and LhaL word summarlzes all Lhe sLrengLhs-and all Lhe
weaknesses-of Lhe newly emerglng noosphere.
no" ls Lhe flrsL form of speclflcally menLal Lranscendence. lmages begln Lhls menLal Lranscendence, buL lmages
are Lled Lo Lhelr sensory referenLs. WlLh no" l can for Lhe flrsL Llme decllne Lo acL on my bodlly lmpulses or on your
deslres (whlch every parenL dlscovers ln Lhe chlld durlng Lhe Lerrlble Lwos"). lor Lhe flrsL Llme ln developmenL, Lhe
chlld can begln Lo Lranscend lLs merely blologlcal or blocenLrlc or ecocenLrlc embeddedness, begln Lo exerL conLrol
over bodlly deslres and bodlly dlscharges and bodlly lnsLlncLs, whlle also separaLlng-lndlvlduaLlng" lLself from Lhe
wlll of oLhers. 1he lreudlan fuss over LolleL Lralnlng" and Lhe anal phase" slmply refers Lo Lhe facL LhaL a menLal-
llngulsLlc self ls beqlooloq Lo emerge and beglnnlng Lo exerL some Lype of consclous wlll and consclous conLrol over
lLs sponLaneous blospherlc producLlons, and over lLs belng conLrolled" by oLhers as well.
ln shorL, lL ls only wlLh language LhaL Lhe chlld can dlfferenLlaLe lLs mlnd and body, dlfferenLlaLe lLs menLal wlll and
lLs bodlly lmpulses, and Lhen begln Lo loteqtote lLs mlnd and body. 1hls ls Lhe Lhlrd ma[or dlfferenLlaLlon, or Lhe
Lhlrd fulcrum. 1he follote Lo dlfferenLlaLe mlnd and body-Lhe fallure Lo Lranscend aL Lhls sLage-ls anoLher way Lo
say remalns sLuck ln Lhe body or Lhe blosphere," whlch, we saw, ls Lhe prlmary developmenLal leslon underlylng Lhe
narclsslsLlc/borderllne paLhologles.
8uL no!" can go Loo far, and Lhereln lles all Lhe horrors of Lhe noosphere. lor lf lL ls lndeed wlLh language LhaL Lhe
chlld can dlfferenLlaLe mlnd and body, dlfferenLlaLe Lhe noosphere and Lhe blosphere, LhaL Jlffeteotlotloo (as
always) can go Loo far and resulL ln Jlssoclotloo. 1he mlnd does noL [usL Lranscend and lnclude Lhe body, lL represses
Lhe body, represses lLs sensuallLy, represses lLs sexuallLy, represses lLs rlch rooLs ln Lhe blosphere. 8epresslon, ln Lhe
lreudlan (and !unglan) sense, comes lnLo exlsLence only wlLh Lhe language barrler," wlLh a no!" carrled Lo
exLremes. And Lhe resulL of Lhls exLreme no!" ls Lechnlcally called neurosls" or psychoneurosls."
Lvery neurosls, ln oLher words, ls a mlnlaLure ecologlcal crlsls. lL ls a refusal Lo lnclude ln Lhe compound lndlvldual
some aspecL of organlc llfe, emoLlonal-sexual llfe, reproducLlve llfe, sensuous llfe, llbldlnal llfe, blospherlc llfe. lL ls a
denlal of our rooLs and our foundaLlon. neurosls, ln Lhls sense, ls an assaulL on Lhe blosphere by Lhe noosphere, an
aLLempL Lo render extloct some aspecLs of our own organlc holons. 8uL Lhese blospherlc holons do noL Lhereby
merely dlsappear (nor could Lhey wlLhouL kllllng Lhe lndlvldual). 8aLher, Lhe repressed holons reLurn ln dlsgulsed
forms known as neuroLlc sympLoms"-anxleLles and depresslons and obsesslons-palnful sympLoms of a blosphere
lgnored, a blosphere now forclng lLself lnLo consclousness ln hldden forms, aLLempLs Lo Lhrow Lhe noosphere off lLs
And Lhe neuroLlc sympLoms dlsappear, or are healed, only as consclousness relaxes lLs represslon, reconLacLs and
befrlends Lhe blosphere LhaL exlsLs lo lts owo beloq, and Lhen lnLegraLes LhaL blosphere wlLh Lhe newly emergenL
noosphere ln lLs own case. 1hls ls called uncoverlng Lhe shadow," and Lhe shadow ls . . . Lhe blosphere.
1hus, lf remalnlng stock ln Lhe blosphere resulLs ln Lhe borderllne/narclsslsLlc condlLlons, golng Lo Lhe oLher
exLreme and olleootloq Lhe blosphere resulLs dlrecLly ln Lhe psychoneuroses. lL follows LhaL our presenL-day
worldwlde ecologlcal crlsls ls, ln Lhe very sLrlcLesL sense of Lhe Lerm, a worldwlde collecLlve neurosls-and ls abouL Lo
resulL ln a worldwlde nervous breakdown.
1hls crlsls, l repeaL, ls ln no way golng Lo desLroy Lhe blosphere"-Lhe blosphere wlll survlve, ln some form or
anoLher (even lf [usL vlral and bacLerlal), no maLLer whaL we do Lo lL. WhaL we are dolng, raLher, ls alLerlng Lhe
blosphere ln a way LhaL wlll noL supporL hlgher llfe forms and especlally wlll noL supporL Lhe noosphere. 1haL
alLeraLlon" ls ln facL a represslon, an allenaLlon, a denlal of our common ancesLry, a denlal of our relaLlonal
exlsLence wlLh all of llfe. lL ls noL a desLrucLlon of Lhe blosphere buL a Jeolol of Lhe blosphere, and tbot ls Lhe
preclse deflnlLlon of psychoneurosls.
WhaL lreud found hls paLlenLs dolng on a couch ln vlenna, we have now collecLlvely managed Lo do Lo Lhe world
aL large. And who shall be oot docLor?
CCnC8L1L CL8A1lCnAL (M?1PlC Anu M?1PlC-8A1lCnAL)
Assumlng developmenL goes relaLlvely smooLhly, Lhen wlLh Lhe flrsL slgnlflcanL dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe mlnd and body
(Lhe Lhlrd fulcrum), Lhe mlnd can Lranscend lLs embeddedness ln a merely bodlly orlenLaLlon-absorbed ln lLself
(egocenLrlc)-and begln Lo enLer Lhe world of oLher mlnds. 8uL Lo do so lL musL learn Lo toke tbe tole of otbet-a
new, emergenL, and very dlfflculL Lask.
ln oLher words, Lhe self has gone from a pbysloceottlc ldenLlLy (flrsL fulcrum) Lo a bloceottlc ldenLlLy (second
fulcrum) Lo an early ooospbetlc ldenLlLy (Lhlrd fulcrum), all of whlch are Lhoroughly eqoceottlc and
ootbtopoceottlc (maglc and maglc-myLhlc all cenLered on Lhe self and orlenLed excluslvely Lo Lhe self, however
oLherworldly" or sacred" lL mlghL all appear).
lf Lhe sensorlmoLor and preoperaLlonal world ls egocenLrlc, Lhe concreLe operaLlonal world ls socloceottlc
(cenLered noL so much on a bodlly ldenLlLy as on a tole ldenLlLy, as we wlll see). lL sLlll conLalns myLhlc" and
anLhropocenLrlc" elemenLs because, as Cowan puLs lL, Lhere are sLlll varlous colorlngs of Lhe prevlous sLages"
(whlch ls why l call early and laLe conop, respecLlvely, myLhlc and myLhlc-raLlonal). A more dlfferenLlaLed causaLlon
by flve elemenLs" (waLer, wlnd, earLh, flre, eLher) Lends Lo replace more syncreLlc explanaLlons, and Lhere ofLen
emerges a bellef ln causaLlon by preformaLlon" (Lhe acorn conLalns a fully formed buL mlnlaLure oak Lree).
8uL by far Lhe mosL slgnlflcanL LransformaLlon or Lranscendence occurs ln Lhe capaclLy Lo toke tbe tole of
otbet-noL [usL Lo reallze LhaL oLhers have a dlfferenL perspecLlve, buL Lo be able Lo menLally reconsLrucL LhaL
perspecLlve, Lo puL oneself ln Lhe oLher's shoes.
ln whaL became known as Lhe 1hree MounLalns 1ask, lageL and 8arbel lnhelder exposed chlldren from four Lo
Lwelve years old Lo a play seL LhaL conLalned Lhree clay mounLalns, each of a dlfferenL color, and a Loy doll. 1he
quesLlons were slmple: whaL do you see, and whaL does Lhe doll see?
1he Lyplcal response of Lhe preoperaLlonal chlld ls LhaL Lhe doll sees Lhe same Lhlng LhaL Lhe chlld ls looklng aL,
even lf Lhe doll ls faclng only, say, Lhe green mounLaln. 1he chlld does noL undersLand LhaL Lhere are dlfferenL
perspecLlves lnvolved. AL a laLer sLage of preop, Lhe chlld wlll correcLly lndlcaLe LhaL Lhe doll has a dlfferenL
perspecLlve, buL Lhe chlld cannoL say exacLly whaL LhaL ls.
8uL wlLh Lhe emergence of concreLe operaLlonal, Lhe chlld wlll easlly and readlly descrlbe Lhe Lrue perspecLlve of
Lhe doll (e.g., l am looklng aL all Lhree mounLalns, buL Lhe doll ls only looklng aL Lhe green mounLaln").
lnvesLlgaLlon of Lhese and slmllar Lasks (by 8oberL Selman, !ohn llavell, and oLhers) has conflrmed Lhe general
concluslon: only wlLh Lhe emergence of concreLe operaLlonal LhoughL can Lhe chlld Lranscend hls or her egocenLrlc
perspecLlve and Lake Lhe tole of otbet. As Pabermas would puL lL, a tole ldenLlLy supplemenLs a oototol (or bodlly)
ldenLlLy (Lhe body cannoL Lake Lhe role of oLher). 1he chlld learns hls or her tole ln a socleLy of otbet toles, and
musL now learn Lo Jlffeteotlote LhaL role from Lhe role of oLhers and Lhen loteqtote LhaL role ln Lhe newly
emergenL worldspace (Lhls ls Lhe fourLh ma[or fulcrum, Lhe fourLh ma[or dlfferenLlaLlon/lnLegraLlon of self-
developmenL). 1he fundamenLal locus of self-ldenLlLy Lhus swlLches from eqoceottlc Lo socloceottlc.
lnlLlally Lhe chlld ls lndlssoclaLed from hls or her role, ls embedded or sLuck" ln lL ([usL as he or she was lnlLlally
sLuck ln Lhe physlosphere and Lhen sLuck ln Lhe blosphere). 1hls unavoldable (and lnlLlally necessary) soclocenLrlc
embeddedness" leads Lo whaL ls varlously known as Lhe cooveotloool stoqes of morallLy (kohlberg/Cllllgan), Lhe
belooqloqoess needs (Maslow), Lhe coofotmlst mode (Loevlnger).
Whlch ls why paLhology aL Lhls sLage ls known generally as scrlpL paLhology." Cne ls havlng Lrouble, noL wlLh Lhe
physlosphere (psychoses), noL wlLh Lhe blosphere (borderllne and neuroses)-raLher, one ls stock ln Lhe early roles
and scrlpLs glven by one's parenLs, one's socleLy, one's peer group: scrlpLs LhaL are noL, and lnlLlally cannoL be,
checked agalnsL furLher evldence, and Lherefore scrlpLs LhaL are ofLen ouLmoded, wrong, even cruel (l'm no good,
l'm roLLen Lo Lhe core, l can'L do anyLhlng rlghL," eLc., Lhese do noL so much concern boJlly lmpolses, as ln Lhe
psychoneuroses, buL raLher soclol joJqmeots abouL one's soclol stooJloq, one's role).
1herapy here lnvolves dlgglng up Lhese scrlpLs and exposlng Lhese mytbs Lo Lhe llghL of more maLure reason and
more accuraLe lnformaLlon, Lhus rewrlLlng Lhe scrlpL." (1hls ls, for example, Lhe prlmary approach of cognlLlve
Lherapy and lnLerpersonal Lherapy, noL so much Lhe dlgglng up of burled and allenaLed bodlly lmpulses, as lmporLanL
as LhaL may be, buL replaclng false and dlsLorLlng cognlLlve maps wlLh more reasonable [udgmenLs).
Lqually lmporLanL Lo Lhe Laklng of toles ls Lhe capaclLy of conop Lo work wlLh menLal toles. We saw LhaL preop
works wlLh lmages (plcLorlal represenLaLlon), symbols (nonplcLorlal represenLaLlon), and concepLs (whlch represenL
an enLlre class of Lhlngs). 8ules go one sLep furLher and opetote opoo concreLe classes, and Lhus Lhese rules (llke
mulLlpllcaLlon, class lncluslon, hlerarchlzaLlon) begln Lo grasp Lhe lncredlbly rlch relaLlonshlps beLween varlous
wholes and parLs.
1haL ls, concreLe operaLlonal ls Lhe flrsL sLrucLure LhaL can clearly grasp Lhe naLure of a holon, of LhaL whlch ln one
relaLlonshlp ls a whole and ot tbe some tlme ln anoLher relaLlonshlp ls merely a parL (whlch ls why voloe bolotcbles
sLarL Lo emerge sponLaneously ln chlldren aL Lhls polnL, Lhey swlLch from Lhe raLher sLrong elLher-or" deslres of
preop Lo a cootlooom of ptefeteoces). All of Lhls, of course, depends upon Lhe capaclLy of conop Lo begln Lo Lake
dlfferenL perspecLlves and relaLe Lhose perspecLlves Lo each oLher.
8ecause of lLs capaclLy Lo operaLe wlLh boLh rules and roles, l also call Lhls sLrucLure Lhe rule/role mlnd. lo telotloo
to tbe ptevloos stoqe(s), lL represenLs a greaLer Lranscendence, a greaLer auLonomy, a greaLer lnLerlorlLy, a hlgher
and wlder ldenLlLy, a greaLer consclousness, buL one LhaL, as ln all prevlous sLages, ls lnlLlally capLured" by Lhe self
and Lhe ob[ecLs-now a soclal self and now soclal ob[ecLs (roles)-LhaL domlnaLe Lhls sLage.
And Lhus a self now open Lo new and hlgher paLhologles, whlch demand new and dlfferenL Lheraples. no longer
sLuck ln Lhe physlosphere, sLuck ln Lhe blosphere, or sLuck ln Lhe early egosphere," Lhe paLhologlcal self ls here
sLuck ln Lhe soclosphere, embedded ln a parLlcular socleLy's rules and myLhs and dogmas, wlLh no way Lo Lranscend
LhaL myLhlc-membershlp, and Lhus desLlned Lo play ouL Lhe roles and rules of a parLlcular and lsolaLed socleLy.
MyLhlc-membershlp ls soclocenLrlc and Lhus etbooceottlc: one ls lo Lhe culLure (a member of Lhe culLure) lf one
accepLs Lhe prevalllng myLhology, and one ls excommunlcaLed from Lhe culLure lf Lhe bellef sysLem ls noL embraced.
ln Lhls sLrucLure, Lhere ls no way a global or planeLary culLure can even be concelved unless lL lnvolves Lhe lmposlng
of one's parLlcular myLhology on all peoples: whlch ls [usL whaL we saw wlLh Lhe myLhlc-lmperlallsm of Lhe greaL
emplres, from Lhe Creek and 8oman Lo Lhe khans and Sargons Lo Lhe lncas and AzLecs. 1hese greaL emplres all
overcame Lhe egocenLrlsm of local and warrlng Lrlbes by subsumlng Lhelr reglmes lnLo LhaL of Lhe emplre (Lhus
negaLlng and preservlng Lhem ln a larger reach or communlon), and Lhls was accompllshed ln parL, as we saw, by Lhe
umbrella of a myLhology LhaL unlfled dlfferenL Lrlbes, noL by blood or klnshlp (for LhaL ls lmposslble, slnce each Lrlbe
has a dlfferenL llneage), buL raLher by a common myLhologlcal orlgln LhaL could unlLe Lhe varlous roles (as Lhe Lwelve
1rlbes of lsrael were unlLed by a common ?ahweh).
8uL as maLure egolc-raLlonallLy beglns Lo emerge, eLhnocenLrlc glves way Lo worldcenLrlc.
We saw LhaL Pabermas referred Lo Lhe Lranscendence from conop Lo formop as a LransformaLlon from a tole
ldenLlLy Lo an eqo ldenLlLy. Lgo" here doesn'L mean egocenLrlc", on Lhe conLrary, lL means movlng from a
socloceottlc Lo a wotlJceottlc capaclLy, a capaclLy Lo dlsLance oneself from one's egocenLrlc and eLhnocenLrlc
embeddedness and conslder whaL would be falr for all peoples and noL merely one's own.
lL would be helpful, Lhen, Lo dlscuss Lhe meanlng of Lhe word eqo. arLlcularly ln Lranspersonal clrcles, no word
has caused more confuslon. qo, along wlLh totlooollty, ls generally tbe dlrLy word ln mysLlcal, Lranspersonal, and
new Age clrcles, buL few researchers seem even Lo deflne lL, and Lhose who do, do so dlfferenLly.
We can, of course, deflne eqo any way we llke as long as we are conslsLenL. MosL new Age wrlLers use Lhe Lerm
very loosely Lo mean a separaLe-self sense, lsolaLed from oLhers and from a splrlLual Cround. unforLunaLely, Lhese
wrlLers do noL clearly dlsLlngulsh sLaLes LhaL are pre-egolc from Lhose LhaL are Lransegolc, and Lhus half of Lhelr
recommendaLlons for salvaLlon are ofLen recommendaLlons for varlous ways Lo regress, and Lhls rlghLly sends alarms
Lhrough orLhodox researchers. noneLheless, Lhelr general concluslon ls LhaL all Lruly splrlLual sLaLes are beyond
ego," whlch ls Lrue enough as far as lL goes, buL whlch Lerrlbly confuses Lhe plcLure unless lL ls carefully quallfled.
ln mosL psychoanalyLlcally orlenLed wrlLers, Lhe ego has come Lo mean Lhe process of organlzlng Lhe psyche," and
ln Lhls regard many researchers, such as Pelnz kohuL, now prefer Lhe more general Lerm self. 1he ego (or self), as
Lhe prlnclple LhaL glves unlLy Lo Lhe mlnd, ls Lhus a cruclal and fundamenLal organlzlng paLLern, and Lo Lry Lo go
beyond ego" would mean noL Lranscendence buL dlsasLer, and so Lhese orLhodox LheorlsLs are uLLerly perplexed by
whaL beyond ego" could posslbly mean, and who could posslbly deslre lL-and, as far as LhaL deflnlLlon goes, Lhey
Loo are qulLe rlghL. (We'll reLurn Lo Lhls ln a momenL.)
ln phllosophy a general dlsLlncLlon ls made beLween Lhe emplrlcal ego, whlch ls Lhe self lnsofar as lL can be an
ob[ecL of awareness and lnLrospecLlon, and Lhe ure Lgo or LranscendenLal Lgo (kanL, llchLe, Pusserl), whlch ls pure
sub[ecLlvlLy (or Lhe observlng Self), whlch can never be seen as an ob[ecL of any sorL. ln Lhls regard, Lhe pure Lgo or
pure Self ls vlrLually ldenLlcal wlLh whaL Lhe Plndus call ALman (or Lhe pure WlLness LhaL lLself ls never wlLnessed-ls
never an ob[ecL-buL conLalns all ob[ecLs ln lLself).
lurLhermore, accordlng Lo such phllosophers as llchLe, Lhls pure Lgo ls one wlLh absoluLe SplrlL, whlch ls preclsely
Lhe Plndu formula ALman = 8rahman. 1o hear SplrlL descrlbed as pure Lgo ofLen confuses new Agers, who generally
wanL eqo Lo mean only Lhe devll" (even Lhough Lhey hearLlly embrace Lhe ldenLlcal noLlon ALman = 8rahman).
1hey are equally confused when someone llke !ack Lngler, a LheorlsL sLudylng Lhe lnLerface of psychlaLry and
medlLaLlon, sLaLes LhaL meJltotloo locteoses eqo stteoqtb," whlch lL mosL cerLalnly does, because ego sLrengLh" ln
Lhe psychlaLrlc sense means capaclLy for dlslnLeresLed wlLnesslng." 8uL Lhe new Agers Lhlnk LhaL medlLaLlon means
beyond ego," and Lhus anyLhlng LhaL sLrengLhens Lhe ego ls slmply more of Lhe devll. And so Lhe confuslons go.
qo ls slmply LaLln for l." lreud, for example, never used Lhe Lerm eqo, he used Lhe Cerman pronoun Jos lcb, or
Lhe l," whlch SLrachey unforLunaLely LranslaLed as Lhe ego." And conLrasLed Lo Lhe l" was whaL lreud called Lhe
s, whlch ls Cerman for lL," and whlch, also unforLunaLely, was LranslaLed as Lhe ld" (LaLln for lL"), a Lerm lreud
never used. 1hus lreud's greaL book 1be qo ooJ tbe lJ was really called 1he l and Lhe lL." lreud's polnL was LhaL
people have a sense of l-ness or selfness, buL someLlmes parL of Lhelr own self appears forelgn, allen, separaLe from
Lhem-appears, LhaL ls, as an lL" (we say, 1he anxleLy, lL makes me uncomforLable," or 1he deslre Lo eaL, lL's
sLronger Lhan me!" and so forLh, Lhus rellnqulshlng responslblllLy for our own sLaLes). When parLs of Lhe l are spllL off
or repressed, Lhey appear as sympLoms or lLs" over whlch we have no conLrol.
lreud's baslc alm ln Lherapy was Lherefore Lo reunlLe Lhe l and Lhe lL and Lhus heal Lhe spllL beLween Lhem. Pls
mosL famous sLaLemenL of Lhe goal of Lherapy-Where ld was, Lhere ego shall be"-acLually reads, Where lL was,
Lhere l shall be." WheLher one ls a lreudlan or noL, Lhls ls sLlll Lhe mosL accuraLe and succlncL summary of all forms of
uncoverlng psychoLherapy, and lL slmply polnLs Lo an expanslon of ego, an expanslon of l-ness, lnLo a hlgher and
wlder ldenLlLy LhaL lnLegraLes prevlously allenaLed processes.
1he Lerm eqo can obvlously be used ln a large number of qulLe dlfferenL ways, from Lhe very broad Lo Lhe very
narrow, and lL ls alLogeLher necessary Lo speclfy whlch usage one lnLends, or else lnLermlnable argumenLs arlse LhaL
are generaLed only by an arblLrary semanLlc cholce.
ln Lhe broadesL sense, eqo means self" or sub[ecL," and Lhus when lageL speaks of Lhe earllesL sLages belng
egocenLrlc," he does oot mean LhaL Lhere ls a clearly dlfferenLlaLed self or ego seL aparL from Lhe world. ne meoos
jost tbe opposlte: Lhe self ls oot dlfferenLlaLed from Lhe world, Lhere ls oo sLrong ego, and Lhus Lhe world ls LreaLed
as an exLenslon of Lhe self, egocenLrlcally." Cnly wlLh Lhe emergence of a sLrong and dlfferenLlaLed ego (whlch
occurs from Lhe Lhlrd Lo Lhe flfLh fulcrums, culmlnaLlng ln formop, or raLlonal perspecLlvlsm)-only wlLh Lhe
emergence of Lhe maLure ego does egocenLrlsm dle down! 1he pre-egolc" sLages are Lhe mosL egocenLrlc!
1hus, lL ls only aL Lhe level of formal operaLlonal LhoughL (as we wlll see ln a momenL) LhaL a Lruly sLrong and
dlfferenLlaLed self or ego emerges from lLs embeddedness ln bodlly lmpulses and pre-glven soclal roles, and LhaL,
lndeed, ls whaL Pabermas refers Lo as an eqo lJeotlty, a fully separaLed-lndlvlduaLed sense of self.
1o repeaL: Lhe ego," as used by psychoanalysls, lageL, and Pabermas (and oLhers), ls Lhus less egocenLrlc Lhan lLs
pre-egolc predecessors!
l wlll mosL ofLen use Lhe Lerm eqo ln LhaL speclflc sense, slmllar Lo lreud, lageL, Pabermas, and oLhers-a
raLlonal, lndlvlduaLed sense of self, dlfferenLlaLed from Lhe exLernal world, from lLs soclal roles (and Lhe superego),
and from lLs lnLernal naLure (ld).
ln Lhls usage, Lhere are pte-eqolc realms (parLlcularly Lhe archalc and Lhe maglc), where Lhe self ls poorly
dlfferenLlaLed from Lhe lnLernal and exLernal world (Lhere are only ego nuclel," as psychoanalysls puLs lL). 1hese
pre-egolc realms are, Lo repeaL, Lhe mosL egocenLrlc (slnce Lhe lnfanL or chlld doesn'L have a sLrong ego, lL Lhlnks
LhaL Lhe world feels whaL lL feels, wanLs whaL lL wanLs, caLers Lo lLs every deslre: lL does noL clearly separaLe self and
oLher, and Lhus LreaLs Lhe oLher as an exLenslon of Lhe self).
1he ego beglns more sLably Lo emerge ln Lhe myLhlc sLage (as a petsooo or tole) and flnally emerges, ln Lhe
formal operaLlonal sLage, as a self clearly dlfferenLlaLed from Lhe exLernal world and from lLs varlous roles
(personae), whlch ls Lhe culmlnaLlon of Lhe overall eqolc realms. Plgher developmenLs lnLo more splrlLual realms
are Lhen referred Lo as belng ttooseqolc, wlLh Lhe clear undersLandlng LhaL Lhe ego ls belng negaLed buL also
preserved (as a funcLlonal self ln convenLlonal reallLy). 1he self ln Lhese hlgher sLages l wlll refer Lo as Lhe Self (and
noL Lhe pure Lgo, unless oLherwlse lndlcaLed, because Lhls confuses everybody), and l wlll explaln all of LhaL ln more
deLall as we proceed.
1hese Lhree large realms are also referred Lo, ln very general Lerms, as Lhe subconsclous (pre-egolc), Lhe self-
consclous (egolc), and Lhe superconsclous (Lransegolc), or as Lhe prepersonal, Lhe personal, and Lhe Lranspersonal,
or as Lhe preraLlonal, Lhe raLlonal, and Lhe LransraLlonal.
1he polnL ls LhaL eocb of Lhose sLages ls a lesseoloq of eqoceottlsm as one moves closer Lo Lhe pure Self.
moxlmom of egocenLrlsm, as lageL demonsLraLed, occurs ln Lhe prlmary or physlcal lndlssoclaLlon (Lhe flrsL fulcrum,
where self-ldenLlLy ls physlocenLrlc), because Lhe enLlre maLerlal world ls absorbed ln Lhe self-sense and cannoL even
be consldered aparL from Lhe self-sense. 1hls archalc-auLlsLlc sLage ls noL one wlLh Lhe enLlre world ln bllss and [oy,"
as many 8omanLlcs Lhlnk, buL a swallowlng of Lhe maLerlal world lnLo Lhe self: Lhe chlld ls all mouLh, and everyLhlng
else ls merely food.
As ldenLlLy swlLches from physlocenLrlc Lo blocenLrlc or ecocenLrlc (fulcrum-2), Lhere ls a lessenlng of pure
auLlsm" (self-only!") buL a blossomlng of emoLlonal narclsslsm or emotloool eqoceottlsm (fulcrum-2), whlch
Mahler summarlzed as narclsslsm aL lLs peak!" (She also summarlzed lL as Lhe world ls Lhe lnfanL's oysLer":
grandlose-omnlpoLenL fanLasles). 1he emergence of Lhe preop mlnd (fulcrum-3) ls a lessenlng of LhaL emoLlonal
egocenLrlsm, buL a blossomlng of egocenLrlc (and geocenLrlc) maglc-less prlmlLlve Lhan Lhe prevlous sLage, buL sLlll
shoL Lhrough wlLh egocenLrlc adherences: Lhe world exlsLs cenLered on humans.
1he emergence of Lhe conop mlnd (fulcrum-4) ls a lessenlng of LhaL egocenLrlc maglc (where Lhe self ls cenLral Lo
Lhe cosmos), buL lL ls replaced wlLh an etbooceottlsm, where one's parLlcular group, culLure, or race ls supreme.
noneLheless, aL Lhe same Llme Lhls allows Lhe beglnnlng of whaL lageL calls a Jeceotetloq, where one can decenLer
or sLand aslde from Lhe egocenLrlsm of Lhe early mlnd and lnsLead Lake Lhe role of oLher, and Lhls comes Lo a frulLlon
wlLh a fottbet Jeceotetloq, a furLher lessenlng of egocenLrlsm, ln formal operaLlonal (where one can Lake Lhe
perspecLlve, noL [usL of oLhers ln one's group, buL of oLhers ln oLher groups: wotlJceottlc or non-eLhnocenLrlc).
ln oLher words, each sLage ttoosceoJs lLs predecessor and ls tbetefote less egocenLrlc, less caughL ln Lhe
narrower and shallower perspecLlve, buL lnsLead reaches ouL more and more Lo embrace deeper and wlder
occaslons. 1he self becomes less and less egocenLrlc, and Lhus embraces more and more holons as worLhy of equal
As we wlll see when we follow evoluLlon lnLo Lhe Lranspersonal domaln, Lhese developmenLs converge on an
lnLulLlon of Lhe very ulvlne as one's very Self, common ln and Lo all peoples (ln facL, all senLlenL belngs), a Self LhaL ls
Lhe greaL omega polnL of Lhls enLlre serles of Jecteosloq eqoceottlsm, of decenLerlng from Lhe small self ln order Lo
flnd Lhe blg Self-a Self common ln and Lo all belngs and Lhus escaplng Lhe egocenLrlsm (and eLhnocenLrlsm) of each.
1he compleLely decenLered self ls Lhe all-embraclng Self (as Zen would say, Lhe Self LhaL ls no-self).
WhaL else could evolotloo as Jecteosloq eqoceottlsm posslbly mean? Lmbraclng ldenLlLles LhaL lnclude more
and more belngs, boLh deeper and wlder-whaL ls Lhe chaoLlc ALLracLor here? Where else does lL look llke Lhls serles
ls golng? Where else could lL posslbly go?
AL Lhls polnL, we are Lraclng Lhe emergence of a sLrong raLlonal ego ouL of lLs embeddedness ln myLhlc-membershlp,
and Lhls brlngs us Lo lageL's formal operaLlonal sLage.
lormal operaLlonal awareness Lranscends buL lncludes concreLe operaLlonal LhoughL, and Lhus formop can
opetote opoo Lhe holons LhaL consLlLuLe conop-and LhaL, ln facL, ls Lhe prlmary deflnlLlon of fotmol opetotloool.
Where concreLe operaLlonal uses rules of LhoughL Lo Lranscend and operaLe on Lhe concreLe world, formal
operaLlonal uses a new lnLerlorlLy Lo Lranscend and operaLe on Lhe rules of LhoughL Lhemselves. lL ls a new
dlfferenLlaLlon allowlng a new lnLegraLlon (and a Jeepet and wlJet ldenLlLy).
Agaln Lhls sounds Lerrlbly dry and absLracL, buL Lhe resulLs are noL. llrsL and foremosL, formal operaLlonal
awareness brlngs wlLh lL a new world of feellngs, of dreams, of wlld passlons and ldeallsLlc sLrlvlngs. lL ls Lrue LhaL
raLlonallLy lnLroduces a new and more absLracL undersLandlng of maLhemaLlcs, loglc, and phllosophy, buL Lhose are
all qulLe secondary Lo Lhe prlmary and deflnlng mark of reason: teosoo ls o spoce of posslbllltles, posslblllLles noL Lled
Lo Lhe obvlous, Lhe glven, Lhe mundane, Lhe profane. 8eason, we sald earller, ls Lhe greaL gaLeway Lo Lhe unseen, Lhe
beglnnlng of Lhe lnvlslble worlds, whlch ls usually Lhe lasL way people Lhlnk of raLlonallLy.
8uL Lhlnk of Lhe greaL mysLlcs such as laLo and yLhagoras, who saw raLlonal lorms or ldeas as Lhe grand paLLerns
upon whlch all of manlfesLaLlon was based, paLLerns LhaL were uLLerly lnvlslble Lo Lhe eye of flesh and could only be
seen lnLerlorly, wlLh Lhe eye of mlnd. Cr Lhlnk of Lhe greaL physlclsLs such as Pelsenberg and !eans, who malnLalned
LhaL Lhe ulLlmaLe bulldlng blocks of Lhe unlverse are maLhemaLlcal lorms, also seen only wlLh Lhe mlnd's eye. Cr of
Lhe greaL vedanLln and Mahayana sages, who malnLalned LhaL Lhe enLlre vlslble world ls [usL a preclplLaLe of Lhe
mlnd's lnLerlor lorms or seed-syllables." lor all of Lhese LheorlsLs (and many more llke Lhem), 8eason was noL an
absLracLlon from Lhe concreLe physlcal world, raLher, Lhe concreLe world was a reducLlon or condensaLlon of Lhe
greaL menLal lorms lylng beyond Lhe grasp of Lhe senses, lorms whlch conLalned eo poteotlo all posslble manlfesL
lageL approaches Lhls whole Loplc by showlng LhaL, whereas Lhe concreLe operaLlonal chlld can lndeed operaLe
upon Lhe concreLe world, Lhe chlld aL LhaL sLage ulLlmaLely remalns Lled Lo Lhe obvlous and Lhe glven and Lhe
phenomenal, whereas Lhe formal operaLlonal adolescenL wlll meotolly see varlous and dlfferenL posslble
arrangemenLs of Lhe glven. Agaln, a Lyplcal lageLlan experlmenL sounds very dry and absLracL and far removed from
ordlnary evenLs, buL whaL lL acLually lndlcaLes ls Lhe power of Lhe creaLlve lmaglnaLlon. l'll slmpllfy conslderably:
A chlld ls presenLed wlLh flve glasses whlch conLaln colorless llqulds. 1hree of Lhe glasses conLaln llqulds LhaL, lf
mlxed LogeLher, wlll produce a yellow color. 1he chlld ls asked Lo produce a yellow color.
1he preop chlld wlll randomly comblne a few glasses, Lhen glve up. lf she accldenLally hlLs upon Lhe rlghL soluLlon,
she wlll glve a maglcal explanaLlon (1he sun made lL happen", lL came from Lhe clouds").
1he conop chlld wlll eagerly begln by comblnlng Lhe varlous glasses, Lhree aL a Llme. She does Lhls concreLely, she
wlll slmply conLlnue Lhe concreLe mlxlng unLll she hlLs upon Lhe rlghL soluLlon or evenLually geLs Llred and qulLs.
1he formop adolescenL wlll beqlo by Lelllng you LhaL you have Lo Lry all Lhe posslble comblnaLlons of Lhree
glasses. She has a menLal plan or formal operaLlon LhaL leLs her see, however vaguely, LhaL oll posslble
comblnaLlons have Lo be Lrled. She doesn'L have Lo sLumble Lhrough Lhe acLual concreLe operaLlons Lo undersLand
Lhls. 8aLher, she sees, wlLh Lhe mlnd's eye, LhaL oll posslbllltles most be tokeo loto occooot.
ln oLher words, Lhls ls a very telotloool Lype of awareness: all Lhe posslble relaLlons LhaL Lhlngs can have wlLh
each oLher need Lo be held ln awareness-and Lhls ls radlcally new. 1hls ls noL Lhe wholeness" of syncreLlc fuslon,
where Lhe lnLegrlLy of wholes and parLs ls vlolaLed ln a maglcal fuslon, buL raLher a relaLlonshlp of muLual lnLeracLlon
and muLual lnLerpeneLraLlon, where wholes and parLs, whlle remalnlng perfecLly dlscreLe and lnLacL, are also seen Lo
be whaL Lhey are by vlrLue of Lhelr relaLlonshlps Lo each oLher. 1he preop chlld, and Lo a lesser exLenL Lhe conop
chlld, Lhlnks LhaL Lhe color yellow ls a slmple properLy of Lhe llqulds, Lhe formop adolescenL undersLands LhaL Lhe
color ls a telotloosblp of varlous llqulds.
lormal operaLlonal awareness, Lhen, ls Lhe flrsL Lruly ecoloqlcol moJe of owoteoess, ln Lhe sense of grasplng
muLual lnLerrelaLlonshlps. lL ls noL embeJJeJ ln ecology (LhaL would be fulcrum-2), lL ttoosceoJs ecology (wlLhouL
denylng lL), and Lhus can reflecL on Lhe web of relaLlonshlps consLlLuLlng lL. As varlous researchers have polnLed ouL,
Lo use Cowan's parLlcular phraslng: Agaln Lhe emphasls ln formal [operaLlonal] schemes ls on Lhe coordlnaLlon of
[varlous] sysLems. noL only can adolescenLs [aL Lhls sLage] observe and reason abouL changes ln Lhe lnLerlor of [an
lndlvldual], Lhey can also be concerned wlLh reclprocal changes ln Lhe surroundlng envlronmenL. Cnly Lhen, for
example, wlll Lhey be able Lo concepLuallze an ecologlcal sysLem ln whlch changes ln one aspecL may lead Lo a whole
sysLem of changes ln Lhe bolooce beLween oLher aspecLs of naLure."
So Lhe flrsL equaLlon we need ls: fotmol opetotloool = ecoloqlcol.
1he facL LhaL formop ls also sLrong enough, as we have seen, Lo poLenLlally repress Lhe blosphere, resulLlng ln
ecologlcal caLasLrophe, lndlcaLes merely LhaL ecologlcal caLasLrophe ls an unforLunaLe posslblllLy, buL noL an lnherenL
componenL, of raLlonallLy. As always, we wanL Lo Lease aparL Lhe paLhologlcal manlfesLaLlons of any sLage from lLs
auLhenLlc achlevemenLs, and celebraLe Lhe laLLer even as we Lry Lo redress Lhe former. 1he facL LhaL ecologlcal
awareness becomes even greaLer aL Lhe nexL sLage, Lhe cenLaurlc, should noL deLracL from Lhe facL LhaL lL beqlos
here, wlLh Lhe formal operaLlonal undersLandlng of muLual relaLlonshlps, and lL does noL begln prlor Lo Lhls sLage aL
all (prlor Lo Lhls are syncreLlc wholes, whlch sound ecologlcal" buL acLually consLlLuLe a cerLaln vlolence Lo Lhe
lnLegrlLy of whole/parLs).
1he second equaLlon we need ls: fotmol opetotloool = ooJetstooJloq of telotlvlty.
1he capaclLy Lo Lake dlfferenL perspecLlves, we saw, beglns ln earnesL wlLh conop. 8uL wlLh Lhe emergence of
formop, all Lhe varlous perspecLlves can be held ln mlnd, however loosely, and Lhus all of Lhem become telotlve Lo
each oLher. ln a seL of experlmenLs, a snall moves along a board, whlch lLself ls movlng along a Lable. Cnly chlldren
aL Lhe formal operaLlons sLage can undersLand Lhe dlsLance whlch Lhe snall Lravels relaLlve Lo Lhe board ooJ Lo Lhe
Lable. Pere we flnd Lhe lnLellecLual equlpmenL necessary for concepLlons of relaLlvlLy-LhaL Llme Laken or space
Lravelled cannoL be absoluLe, buL musL be measured relaLlve Lo some arblLrary polnL."
1he Lhlrd equaLlon LhaL we need ls: fotmol opetotloool = oooootbtopoceottlc.
1he egocenLrlc, geocenLrlc, anLhropocenLrlc noLlons of reallLy, so prevalenL ln Lhe earller maglc and myLhlc sLages,
and so deflnlng of Lhose sLages, flnally begln Lo wlnd down and lose Lhelr grlp on awareness, and humans Lake Lhelr
rlghLful place ln Lhe greaL holarchy of belng as one seL of wholes LhaL are parLs ln all sorLs of oLher wholes, wlLh no
whole and no parL belng flnally prlvlleged.
And noL merely egocenLrlsm buL soclocenLrlsm or eLhnocenLrlsm beglns Lo wlnd down. WlLh Lhe comlng of
formop, Lhe rules and norms of any glven socleLy can Lhemselves be reflecLed upon and [udged by more unlversal
prlnclples, prlnclples LhaL apply noL [usL Lo Lhls or LhaL culLure, or Lhls or LhaL Lrlbe, buL Lo Lhe mulLlculLurallsm of
unlversal perspecLlvlsm. noL My counLry rlghL or wrong," buL ls my counLry acLually rlghL?" noL concreLe moral
rules such as Lhe 1en CommandmenLs (1hou shalL have no oLher gods before me"-lnLerLrlbal squabbllng), buL
more unlversal sLaLemenLs, prlnclples of [usLlce and mercy and compasslon, of reclproclLy and equallLy, based on
muLual respecL for lndlvlduals and Lhe dlcLaLes of consclence based on tlqbts (as an auLonomous wbole) and
tespooslbllltles (as a pott of a larger whole-agency and communlon, rlghLs and responslblllLles).
1hus kohlberg, Cllllgan, and Pabermas (Lo name a few) all refer Lo Lhls general sLage as postcooveotloool (whlch
doesn'L mean posLculLural or posLsoclal, buL slmply posLconformlsL ln some slgnlflcanL ways). SocraLes versus
ALhens. MarLln LuLher klng, !r., versus segregaLlon. Candhl versus culLural lmperlallsm.
1hus, we have seen moral developmenL move from a ptecooveotloool orlenLaLlon, whlch ls sLrongly egocenLrlc,
geocenLrlc, blocenLrlc, narclsslsLlc, bound Lo Lhe body's separaLe feellngs and naLure's lmpulses (Lhe flrsL Lhree
fulcrums), Lo a cooveotloool or soclocenLrlc or eLhnocenLrlc orlenLaLlon, bound Lo one's socleLy, culLure, Lrlbe, or
race, Lo a postcooveotloool or worldcenLrlc orlenLaLlon, operaLlng ln Lhe space of unlversal plurallsm and global
grasp (Lhese sLages have been elaboraLed by lageL, 8aldwln, kohlberg, Cllllgan, Pabermas, Loevlnger, 8roughLon,
Selman, eLc.).
lor all Lhese reasons, Lhe lndlvldual aL Lhls sLage, who can no longer rely on socleLy's glven roles ln order Lo
esLabllsh an ldenLlLy, ls Lhus Lhrown back on hls or her own lnner resources. Who am l?" becomes, for Lhe flrsL Llme,
a burnlng quesLlon, and Lhe self-esLeem needs emerge from Lhe belonglngness needs (Maslow), or a consclenLlous"
self emerges from a conformlsL" mode (Loevlnger).
A fallure Lo negoLlaLe Lhls palnfully self-consclous phase (fulcrum 3")-a Jlffeteotlotloo from eLhnocenLrlsm and
soclocenLrlsm-resulLs ln Lhe characLerlsLlc paLhology of Lhls sLage, whlch Lrlkson called an ldenLlLy crlsls." 1hls ls
noL a problem of merely flndlng an approprlaLe tole ln socleLy (LhaL would be scrlpL paLhology), lL ls one of flndlng a
self LhaL may or may noL flL wlLh socleLy aL all (1horeau on clvll dlsobedlence comes Lo mlnd).
ln addlLlon Lo formal operaLlonal awareness belng ecologlcal, relaLlonal, and nonanLhropocenLrlc, we have already
menLloned several of lLs oLher properLles: lL ls Lhe flrsL sLrucLure LhaL ls hlghly reflexlve and hlghly lnLrospecLlve, lL ls
experlmenLal (or hypoLheLlco-deducLlve) and relles on evldence Lo seLLle lssues, lL ls unlversal as plurallsm or
perspecLlvlsm, and lL ls proposlLlonal (can undersLand whaL lf" and as lf" sLaLemenLs, Lhe facL LhaL formop ls Lhe
flrsL sLrucLure LhaL can grasp as lf" sLaLemenLs Lurns ouL Lo be exLremely lmporLanL when lL comes Lo lnLerpreLlng
myLhology, as we wlll see ln Lhe followlng secLlon on !oseph Campbell). 8uL all of Lhese are [usL varlaLlons on Lhe
cenLral Lheme: reason ls a space of posslblllLles.
no wonder adolescence and Lhe emergence of formop ls a Llme of wlld passlons and exploslve ldeallsms, of
fanLasLlc dreamlng and herolc urges, of uLoplan yells and revoluLlonary upsurge, of deslres Lo change Lhe enLlre
world and ldeallsLlcally sLralghLen lL all ouL, of feellngs and emoLlons unleashed from Lhe merely glven and offered
lnsLead Lhe space of all posslblllLles, a space Lhrough whlch Lhey roam and rampage wlLh love and passlon and
wlldesL Lerror. And all of Lhls, all of lL, comes from belng able Lo see Lhe posslblllLles of wbot mlqbt be, posslblllLles
seen only wlLh Lhe mlnd's eye, posslblllLles LhaL polnL Loward worlds noL yeL ln exlsLence and worlds noL yeL really
seen, Lhe greaL, greaL doorway Lo Lhe lnvlslble and Lhe beyond, as laLo, and yLhagoras, and Shankara, and every
mysLlc worLh hls or her salL has always, always known.
1he hlgher developmenLs do lndeed lle beyond reason, buL never, never, beneaLh lL.
1here ls no greaLer frlend of myLhology Lhan !oseph Campbell, and l mean LhaL ln a good sense. ln a serles of
arLlculaLe and exLremely well-researched books, Campbell has done more Lhan any oLher person, wlLh Lhe posslble
excepLlons of Mlrcea Lllade and Carl !ung, Lo champlon Lhe poslLlon LhaL myLhologlcal LhoughL ls Lhe prlmary carrler
of splrlLual and mysLlcal awareness. l and counLless researchers have drawn on hls works Llme and agaln, and hls
meLlculous scholarshlp and deLalled analyses never fall Lo lnsplre. And, among many oLher Lhlngs, lL ls !oseph
Campbell, vla 8oberL 8ly, who ls responslble for much of Lhe men's movemenL" and Lhe myLhopoeLlc" movemenL
ln general.
And yeL hls poslLlon, l belleve, ls flnally unLenable, and can be demonsLraLed Lo be so uslng hls own assumpLlons
and hls own concluslons. lor hls poslLlon ls, ln Lhe lasL analysls, a form of elevaLlonlsm, and lL ls necessary Lo face Lhls
dlrecLly lf we are ever Lo make sense of Lhe Lruly deeper or hlgher developmenLs of genulne splrlLual and mysLlcal
experlence. lor, as we sald earller, one of Lhe besL ways Lo know whaL auLhenLlc mysLlcal experlence ls, ls Lo know
whaL lL ls noL.
1o begln wlLh, Campbell openly accepLs Lhe essenLlals of Lhe lageLlan sysLem. 1haL ls, he accepLs Lhe facL LhaL Lhe
baslc moLlfs of myLhologlcal LhoughL are produced by Lhe lnfanLlle and chlldhood sLrucLures of preop and early
conop, and he expllclLly says so uslng lageLlan Lerms. As [usL one of hundreds of lnsLances:
1he Lwo orders-Lhe lnfanLlle and Lhe rellglous-are aL leasL analogous, and lL may well be LhaL Lhe laLLer ls
slmply a LranslaLlon of Lhe former Lo a sphere ouL of range of crlLlcal observaLlon [reason]. lageL has polnLed
ouL LhaL alLhough Lhe llLLle myLhs of genesls lnvenLed by chlldren Lo explaln Lhe orlglns of Lhemselves and of
Lhlngs may dlffer, Lhe baslc assumpLlon underlylng all ls Lhe same: namely, LhaL Lhlngs have been made by
someone, and LhaL Lhey are allve and responslve Lo Lhe commands of Lhelr creaLors. 1he orlgln myLhs of Lhe
world's myLhologlcal sysLems dlffer Loo, buL ln all [of Lhem] Lhe convlcLlon ls held (as ln chlldhood), wlLhouL
proof, LhaL Lhe llvlng unlverse ls Lhe handlwork . . . of some faLher-moLher or moLher-faLher Cod
1hese Lhree prlnclples [maglcal parLlclpaLlon, anlmlsm, and anLhropocenLrlsm] may be sald Lo consLlLuLe Lhe
axlomaLlc, sponLaneously supposed frame of reference of all chlldhood experlence, no maLLer whaL Lhe local
deLalls of Lhls experlence happen Lo be. And Lhese Lhree prlnclples, lL ls no less apparenL, are preclsely Lhose
mosL generally represenLed ln Lhe myLhologles and rellglous sysLems of Lhe whole world.
Campbell cheerfully and even enLhuslasLlcally acknowledges all of Lhls, and he does so because he has a plan. Pe has
a plan, LhaL ls, Lo salvage myLhology, Lo prove LhaL myLhology ls really" rellglous and genulnely splrlLual, and ls noL,
ln facL, merely a devlce of chlldhood.
1he plan ls Lhls: 1he myLhologlcal producLlons of preop and conop, he says, are always Laken very lltetolly and
cooctetely, a polnL l have also been aL palns Lo emphaslze. 8uL, Campbell says, ln a vety few lndlvlduals, Lhe myLhs
are oot tokeo lltetolly, buL are raLher Laken lo oo os lf" fosbloo (hls Lerms), ln a playful fashlon LhaL releases one
from Lhe concreLe myLh and ushers one lnLo more LranscendenLal realms.
And Lhls, he says, ls Lhe teol funcLlon of myLh, and Lherefore Lhls ls how all myLhs have Lo be [udged. lor Lhe
masses lL remalns Lrue LhaL myLh ls an llluslon, a dlsLorLlon, an lnfanLlle and chlldlsh approach Lo reallLy (all hls
phrases), buL for Lhe very few who can see Lhrough Lhem, myLhs become Lhe gaLeway Lo Lhe genulnely mysLlcal. And
he belabors Lhe polnL LhaL mytbs, oot teosoo, olooe coo Jo tbls, and Lhls ls Lhelr wonderful funcLlon. And here he
sLarLs runnlng lnLo grave dlfflculLles.
When myLhs are Laken concreLely and llLerally, Campbell says, Lhey serve Lhe mundane funcLlon of lnLegraLlng
lndlvlduals lnLo Lhe socleLy and worldvlew of a glven culLure, and ln LhaL ordlnary funcLlon, he says, Lhey serve no
splrlLually LranscendenLal or mysLlcal purpose aL all, whlch ls Lrue enough. l myself see LhaL mundane lnLegraLlon as
tbe cenLral, endurlng, and exLremely lmporLanL funcLlon of myLhs aL LhaL sLage of developmenL-slmple culLural
meanlng and correlaLlve soclal lnLegraLlon (aL a preop and conop level).
Campbell acknowledges LhaL funcLlon, buL slnce he ls looklng for a way Lo elevaLe myLhs Lo a Lranspersonal sLaLus,
Lhose funcLlons become qulLe secondary Lo hlm. ln facL, he says, when people Lake myLhs llLerally-whlch, he says,
99.9 percenL of myLhlc bellevers do-Lhen tbose mytbs become JlstotteJ. Pe ls very emphaLlc abouL Lhls: lL musL
be conceded, as a baslc prlnclple of our naLural hlsLory of Lhe gods and heroes, LhaL whenever a myLh has been Laken
llLerally lLs sense has been perverLed."
LeL us lgnore, for Lhe momenL, LhaL Lhls lmplles LhaL 99.9 percenL of myLhlc bellevers are perverLed (lnsLead of
sLage-speclflcally qulLe adequaLe), and look lnsLead Lo Lhose very, very few lndlvlduals who do noL Lake myLh llLerally
buL raLher ln an as lf" fashlon. 8y as lf" Campbell expllclLly means Lhe use glven Lo lL by kanL ln hls ltoleqomeoo to
vety lotote 5ystem of Metopbyslcs, where kanL says LhaL we can only hold our knowledge of Lhe world ln an as lf"
or posslble reallLles" fashlon. Campbell Lhen drlves Lo Lhe hearL of hls argumenL:
l am wllllng Lo accepL Lhe word of kanL, as represenLlng Lhe vlew of a conslderable meLaphyslclan. And
applylng lL Lo Lhe range of fesLlval games and aLLlLudes [usL revlewed [by whlch he means Lhe aLLlLude LhaL
does noL Lake myLh serlously or llLerally]-from Lhe mask of Lhe consecraLed hosL and Lemple lmage,
LransubsLanLlaLed worshlper and LransubsLanLlaLed world-l can see, or belleve l can see, LhaL a prlnclple of
teleose operaLes LhroughouL Lhe serles by way of an as lf", and LhaL, Lhrough Lhls, Lhe lmpacL of all so-called
reallLy" upon Lhe psyche ls LransubsLanLlaLed.
ln oLher words, a myLh ls belng a real myLh" when lL ls oot belng Laken as Lrue, when lL ls belng held ln an as lf"
fashlon. And Campbell knows perfecLly well LhaL an as lf" sLance ls posslble ooly wltb fotmol opetotloool owoteoess.
1hus, accordlng Lo hls own concluslons, a myLh offers lLs release" ooly when lL ls Lranscended by, and held flrmly
ln, Lhe space of posslblllLles and as-lfs offered by raLlonallLy. lL ls teosoo, and reason alone, LhaL can release myLh
from lLs concreLe llLeralness and hold lL ln a playful, as-lf, whaL-lf fashlon, uslng lL as an oooloqy of whaL hlgher
sLaLes mlghL be llke, whlch ls someLhlng LhaL myLh, by lLself, could oevet do (as Campbell blzarrely concedes).
lL ls people such as Campbell and !ung and Lllade, opetotloq ftom o wlJespteoJ occess to totlooollty-someLhlng
Lhe orlglnaLors of myLh dld noL have-who tbeo read deeply symbollc as lfs" lnLo Lhem, and who llke Lo play wlLh
myLhs and use Lhem as analogles and have greaL good fun wlLh Lhem, whereas Lhe acLual myLhlc-bellevers do noL
play wlLh Lhe myLhs aL all, buL Lake Lhem deadly serlously and refuse ln Lhe leasL Lo open Lhem Lo reasonable
dlscourse or any sorL of as lf" aL all.
ln shorL, a myLh serves Campbell's maln funcLlon ooly when lL ceases Lo be a myLh and ls released lnLo Lhe space
of reason, lnLo Lhe space of alLernaLlves and posslblllLles and as-lfs. WhaL sLrucLure does he Lhlnk kanL ls operaLlng
1hus, ln all of Campbell's presenLaLlons, he Lakes Lwo Lacks: he fltst lays ouL Lhe concreLe and llLeral way LhaL 99.9
percenL of bellevers Lake Lhe myLh. And here he ls noL ofLen klnd. Pe clearly desplses concreLe myLhlc-bellefs (Cn
Lhe popular slde, ln Lhelr popular culLs, Lhe lndlans [l.e., from lndla] are, of course, as poslLlvlsLlc ln Lhelr readlngs of
Lhelr myLhs as any farmer ln 1ennessee, rabbl ln Lhe 8ronx, or pope ln 8ome. krlshna acLually danced ln manlfold
rapLure wlLh Lhe gopls, and Lhe 8uddha walked on waLer").
lnsLead of seelng Lhe concreLe myLh as Lhe ooly way LhaL myLh coo be belleved aL LhaL sLage of developmenL,
and Lhus as belng petfectly oJepoote and noble (lf parLlal and llmlLed) fot tbot stoqe, he Lakes Lhe concreLe bellef ln
maglc and myLh as a perverslon," as lf Lhls sLrucLure acLually had a cholce for whlch lL could be condemned. Pe ls ln
facL denlgraLlng an enLlre serles of developmenLal sLages LhaL represenLed exLraordlnary advances ln Lhelr own ways,
and were no more a perverslon of splrlLual developmenL Lhan an acorn ls a perverslon of an oak. 8uL he most
condemn Lhese sLages per se because he [udges Lhem agalnsL bls elevaLed verslon of real myLhology," whereas l
am noL condemnlng Lhese sLages per se because Lhey were Lhemselves Lhe real McCoy, Lhe genulne lLem: Lhey were
dolng exoctly whaL ls approprlaLe and deflnlLlve and sLage-speclflc for myLhology.
5ecooJ, Campbell Lhen suggesLs Lhe ways LhaL Lhose very few (who do noL Lake Lhe myLh llLerally) have used Lo
ttoosceoJ Lhe myLh (and are Lherefore, l would llke Lo polnL ouL, no longer dolng anyLhlng LhaL could remoLely be
called myLhology). 1hls lnvolves flrsL and foremosL, for Campbell, holdlng Lhe myLh ln Lhe space of as lf", LhaL ls,
holdlng lL ln Lhe space of reason (wlLh Lhe posslblllLy of Lhen golng furLher and Lranscendlng reason as well).
And here Campbell commlLs Lhe classlc pre/Lrans fallacy. Slnce Lhe preraLlonal realms are deflnlLely myLhologlcal,
Lhen Campbell wanLs Lo call Lhe LransraLlonal realms myLhologlcal" as well, slnce Lhey Loo are nonraLlonal (and
slnce he wanLs Lo salvage myLhology wlLh a fleld promoLlon). So on Lhe one slde he lumps LogeLher oll nonraLlonal
endeavors (from prlmlLlve myLhology Lo hlghly developed conLemplaLlve encounLers), and on Lhe oLher slde-Lhe
bad" slde-he dumps poor reason, even as he hlmself ls ln facL (and raLher hypocrlLlcally) uslng Lhe space of reason
Lo salvage hls myLhs. MyLhologlcal symbols Louch and exhllaraLe cenLers of llfe beyond Lhe reach of vocabularles of
1here ls lndeed a beyond reason," buL bow mocb mote so ls lL beyond myLhology."
And, ln facL, lL ls noL ln pralse of myLhology," buL raLher beyond myLhology," Lo whlch Lhe enLlre corpus of
Campbell's work lnexorably polnLs. ln surveylng hls Lruly magnlflcenL, four-volume masLerplece, 1be Mosks of CoJ,
Campbell leaves us wlLh one flnal message:
As any eLhnologlsL, archaeologlsL, or hlsLorlan would observe, Lhe myLhs of Lhe dlfferlng clvlllzaLlons have
senslbly varled LhroughouL Lhe cenLurles and broad reaches of manklnd's resldence ln Lhe world, lndeed Lo
such a degree LhaL Lhe vlrLue" of one myLhology has ofLen been Lhe vlce" of anoLher, and Lhe heaven of Lhe
one Lhe oLher's hell. Moreover, wlLh Lhe old horlzons now gone LhaL formerly separaLed and proLecLed Lhe
varlous culLure worlds and Lhelr panLheons, a verlLable CottetJommetooq has flung lLs flames across Lhe
unlverse. CommunlLles LhaL were once comforLable ln Lhe consclousness of Lhelr own myLhologlcally
guaranLeed godllness flnd, abrupLly, LhaL Lhey are devlls ln Lhe eyes of Lhelr nelghbors.
1he eLhnocenLrlc and dlvlslve naLure of myLhology ls fully conceded. LamenLlng Lhls sLaLe of affalrs (even Lhough lL
ls lnherenL ln myLhology as myLhlc-lmperlallsm), Campbell concludes LhaL some more qlobol undersLandlng of a
broader, deeper klnd tboo ooytbloq eovlslooeJ ooywbete lo tbe post ls oow tepolteJ." 1he hope, lndeed, lles beyond
parochlal and provlnclal myLhology. And beyond myLhology ls global and unlversal reason (and tbeo beyond reason
. . .).
nowhere ls Campbell's pre/Lrans confuslon more palnfully obvlous Lhan ln hls aLLempL Lo dlsplace or deconsLrucL
raLlonal sclence (and Lhus slmulLaneously elevaLe myLhology). And agaln, Lhe embarrassmenL ls esLabllshed by hls
own premlses and hls own loglcal concluslons, whlch a mlnd as flne as Campbell's can lgnore only by pre[udlce.
Slnce Campbell's alm ls Lo prove LhaL reason and sclence are ln no sense hlgher" Lhan real" myLhology, he beglns
flrsL by polnLlng ouL LhaL even Lhe worldvlew of sclence ls acLually a myLhology. lf he can do Lhls successfully, he wlll
have puL sclence and myLhology on Lhe same level. Pe proceeds Lo ouLllne four facLors (or four funcLlons) LhaL all
myLhologles have ln common.
1he flrsL he calls meLaphyslcal," whose funcLlon ls Lo reconclle waklng
consclousness Lo . . . Lhls unlverse os lt ls." 1he second funcLlon ls Lo provlde an lnLerpreLaLlve LoLal lmage of Lhe
same," an lnLerpreLlve cosmology. 1he Lhlrd ls socloculLural, Lhe valldaLlon and malnLenance of a soclal order." And
Lhe fourLh ls psychologlcal, or lndlvldual orlenLaLlon and lnLegraLlon (ln oLher words, hls four funcLlons are Lhe 8lg
1hree wlLh an lnLegraLlng overvlew).
And, of course, deflned ln LhaL way, sclence (or Lhe sclenLlflc worldvlew) does lndeed perform all four funcLlons of
myLhology. 8uL Lhen, adds Campbell, sclence of course does some oLher Lhlngs LhaL myLhology per se does noL, such
as lLs specLacular dlscoverles ln evoluLlon, medlclne, englneerlng, and so forLh.
ln oLher words, raLlonallLy/sclence does everyLhlng myLh does, plus someLhlng exLra.
1haL, of course, ls Lhe deflnlLlon of a hlgher sLage. Campbell recognlzes LhaL myLhology orlglnaLes from a
pottlcolot stoqe of human developmenL (whlch he happlly concedes ls Lhe chlldhood of men and women), and Lhen
he olso deflnes lL as whaL oll sLages have ln common (namely, hls four funcLlons, whlch are slmply a varlaLlon on
Lhe four quadranLs and Lhus are presenL aL all sLages of human developmenL). 8y Lhls sneaky dual deflnlLlon he
hopes Lo be able botb Lo concede myLhology's chlldlshness ooJ run lL Lhrough all hlgher sLages, Lhus allowlng hlm
noL only Lo salvage myLhology (slnce lL ls now whaL all sLages have ln common) buL also Lo push lL all Lhe way Lo
lnflnlLy, all Lhe way Lo Lranspersonal SplrlL.
8uL Lhe four funcLlons (Lhe four quadranLs) are noL a deflnlLlon of myLhology's funcLlons, Lhey are a deflnlLlon of
evoluLlon's funcLlons. 1hey are a deflnlLlon of human holons funcLlonlng aL each and every sLage of developmenL, no
more (and no less) presenL ln myLhology Lhan ln maglc or ln sclence or ln cenLaurlc unfoldlngs. MyLhology has no
speclal clalm whaLsoever on Lhe four quadranLs, myLhology ls slmply one parLlcular lnsLance of Lhe four quadranLs
(myLhology ls Lhe four quadranLs as concelved by conop, [usL as sclence ls Lhe four quadranLs as concelved by
formop). Whlch only leaves Campbell's oLher deflnlLlon: myLhology can rlghLly lay clalm only Lo Lhe chlldhood of men
and women.
And runnlng tbot deflnlLlon Lo lnflnlLy slmply resulLs ln Lhe lnfanLlllzaLlon of SplrlL. Campbell's dual deflnlLlons
acLually undo each oLher, and polnL lnsLead Lo Lhe lnexorable concluslon: beyond myLhology ls reason, and beyond
boLh ls SplrlL.
1PL 8CMAn1lC vlLW Cl M?1PlC-MLM8L8SPl
MyLhlc-membershlp does lndeed provlde, or can provlde, an loteosely cobeslve soclol otJet, prlnclpally because lL
can exporL dlsorder and excommunlcaLe unbellevers. noLhlng so wonderfully concenLraLes a communlLy as Lhe
prospecL of belng burned aL Lhe sLake for dlsagreelng wlLh lLs worldvlew.
And, on Lhe oLher hand, reason coo be Jlstoptlve of socleLles, can lack Lhe soclal glue" of some myLhlc-
membershlp culLures, preclsely because Lhe omega polnL of raLlonallLy ls noL soclocenLrlc or eLhnocenLrlc buL
worldcenLrlc (or global or unlversal): shorL of LhaL lL sLops unhapplly (as ln a Candhl or a SocraLes or a 1horeau or a
MarLln LuLher klng, !r.).
And lf Lhe eLhnocenLrlcally dlsrupLlve capaclLy of unlversal reason ls, wlLhouL furLher ado, compared wlLh Lhe
happy eLhnocenLrlsm of myLhology, lL wlll appear LhaL Lhe emergence of raLlonallLy was somehow a masslve loss of
culLural meanlng and soclal lnLegraLlon, whereas Lhls ls only Lrue from an eLhnocenLrlc (or myLhlc-membershlp) blas.
new lnLegraLlons are belng soughL by evoluLlon on a oow-qlobol level, and Lhls requlres, as ln all pasL
LransformaLlons, Lhe deconsLrucLlon of more llmlLed and provlnclal perspecLlves. MyLhology has Lrled Lo go global for
Lhe pasL Len Lhousand years and falled ln every slngle aLLempL (aLLempLs whlch, as we have seen, because Lhey
lacked Lhe depLh of genulnely unlversal reason, had Lo be pressed always ln a mlllLary-lmperlallsLlc fashlon). 8eason
has Lhe global copoclty and global loteot, buL ls sLlll developlng and evolvlng Lhe meoos, and ln Lhls endeavor lL ls
reslsLed by every myLhology whlch feels lLs god and goddess LhreaLened.
lurLher, even wlLhln naLlon-sLaLes, reason provldes a Jeepet form of lnLegraLlon (even lf occaslonally
shaky)-namely, Lhrough Lhe telotloool excbooqe of self-esteem, and noL Lhe relaLlonal exchange of conformlsL roles
ln Lhe preesLabllshed domlnaLor hlerarchy. MyLhlc members are happy lf Lhey flL snugly lnLo Lhe myLhologlcal
hlerarchy, for all are Lhen sharlng a slmllar depLh.
8uL raLlonal clLlzens are happy ooly lf Lhey coexlsL ln relaLlonal exchange wlLh oLher clLlzens aL LhaL new depLh,
LhaL ls, wlLh oLher equally free clLlzens-leqolly, motolly, and polltlcolly free sub[ecLs (as a worldcenLrlc sLandard,
regardless of race, color, creed, or gender). lor somebody genulnely aL Lhe egolc-raLlonal level, Lhe very LhoughL of
oLher humans noL havlng access Lo Lhese freedoms ls very palnful (whereas for Lhose aL Lhe myLhlc-membershlp
level, Lhe palnful LhoughL ls Lhe ldea of oLher human belngs noL embraclng Lhelr parLlcular Cod and Lhus noL belng
saved": LhaL oLhers would noL embrace Lhelr Cod sends agonles of proselyLlzlng fury Lhrough Lhelr souls, lnfldels are
lotoletoble, and can acLually be kllled ln order Lo save Lhem).
1he raLlonal sLrucLure can toletote myLhlc-bellevers because lL ls a deeper and wlder embrace (whereas myLhlc-
bellevers cannoL and wlll noL LoleraLe raLlonal aLLacks). And LhaL raLlonal LransformaLlon ls more culLurally
meooloqfol and soclally loteqtotloq on a Jeepet (and Lherefore wlJet) level, even lf lL appears less head-
knocklngly solld Lhan LhaL of Lhe shallower and narrower engagemenL of myLhlc-membershlp.
1haL reason Lhen lnLroduces lLs own lnherenL problems and runs up agalnsL lLs own lnherenL llmlLaLlons (and can
be released only ln Lhe LransraLlonal domalns)-LhaL ls no cause Lo board Lhe 8egress Lxpress and seL Lhe Way 8ack
Machlne Lo medleval or horLlculLural or foraglng or whaL-noL: Lhey all had Lhelr chance. 1hey all falled-each ln Lhelr
own speclal and wonderful and specLacular fashlon.
1PL 8A11LL Cl WC8LuvlLWS
We have seen LhaL each sLage of developmenL Lranscends and lncludes, negaLes and preserves, lLs predecessor(s),
and Lhls shows up ln a parLlcularly lnLeresLlng fashlon when lL comes Lo Lhe varlous worldvlews Lhemselves.
When we only have access Lo preoperaLlonal awareness, Lhen Lhe kosmos appears as maglcal. When we have
access Lo concreLe operaLlonal awareness, Lhen Lhe kosmos appears as myLhlcal. When we have access Lo formal
operaLlonal, Lhe kosmos appears raLlonal-sclenLlflc (and lL can, as a secondary lssue, Lhen be reduced Lo Lhe flaLland
cosmos, Lhls flaLland Lhen makes Lhe prevlous maglc and myLhlc sLrucLures look all LhaL more appeallng, a facL
explolLed by Lhe 8omanLlcs-buL LhaL's anoLher parL of our sLory). WlLh even hlgher sLrucLures, we wlll see, Lhe
kosmos appears ln oLher and qulLe dlfferenL forms.
ln each of Lhese LransformaLlons or supersesslons, noLlce whaL ls ptesetveJ and whaL ls oeqoteJ. As maglc glves
way Lo myLhlc, Lhe preoperaLlonal sLrucLures Lhemselves are preserved. 1haL ls, Lhe capaclLy Lo form lmages,
symbols, and concepLs (Lhe componenLs or holons of preop) are all Laken up and enfolded ln Lhe concreLe
operaLlonal mlnd (as subholons or oecessoty compooeots). none of Lhese capaclLles are losL, buL are now slmply
operaLed upon by Lhe hlgher mlnd.
8uL Lhe maglcal wotlJvlew ls losL, or negaLed, or dropped alLogeLher (aL leasL as a domlnanL focus of
1haL ls, Lhe preop cognlLlve sLrucLures are Laken up and ptesetveJ ln Lhe new cognlLlve sLrucLures of
conop (ln a very frlendly" manner as componenLs or subholons of lLs own belng), buL Lhe maglcal worldvlew ls
negaLed and teploceJ by Lhe myLhlc worldvlew. lndeed, slnce Lhey are now motoolly excloslve, Lhey become
sLeadfasL enemles (Lhey are muLually excluslve because each was consLlLuLed by belng tbe excluslve sLrucLure, l wlll
reLurn Lo Lhls ln a momenL wlLh some examples).
1hus, Lhe myLhlc worldvlews-whlch always slLuaLe mlraculous powet ln a greaL CLher (gods or goddesses),
around whlch soclal coheslon can Lhen be bullL beyooJ mere blood and klnshlp Lles-Lhese myLhlc worldvlews are
consLanLly aL war wlLh maglc, because maglc slLuaLes mlraculous power ln a human lndlvldual (sorcerer, wlLch,
wlzard), and Lhls regresslon from soclocenLrlc Lo egocenLrlc power rlghLly alarms Lhe myLhlc worldvlews: lL ls Laken,
noL alLogeLher lncorrecLly, as a moral regresslon, for whlch myLhlc worldvlews have hlsLorlcally devlsed many
lngenlous and unpleasanL soluLlons.
Llkewlse, when formal operaLlonal awareness emerges, lL lncorporaLes and lncludes Lhe cognlLlve sLrucLures of
conop (lLs capaclLy Lo form rules, Lake roles, and so on), buL lL acLlvely oeqotes Lhe myLhlc worldvlew LhaL ls
generaLed when you ooly have concreLe operaLlons. 8aLlonallLy ptesetves, as parL of lLs own belng, ln a frlendly"
way, Lhe conop sLrucLures (as subholons of lLs new and hlgher reglme), buL lL teploces Lhe myLhlc worldvlew wlLh
Lhe raLlonal worldvlew, and once agaln, Lhe Lwo become sLeadfasL enemles. 1hls ls why Lhe Church, beglnnlng
around Lhe slxLeenLh cenLury, was lnvolved ln a war on Lwo fronLs: flghLlng regresslon Lo maglc, and flghLlng
supersesslon by sclence. 1he Callleos and Lhe sorcerers were boLh lnLroduced Lo Lhe lnqulslLor.
And Lhls ls why, conversely, sclence ls noL only always aLLempLlng Lo furLher lLs research, buL also consLanLly
baLLllng myLhs, wlLh Lhelr lnherenL Lendencles Lo domlnaLor-hlerarchles, and always under Lhe baLLle cry of volLalre:
8emember Lhe cruelLles!"
(1here are few or no domlnaLor hlerarchles ln Lhe maglcal sLrucLure or ln maglcal culLures, because preop cannoL
consLrucL a hlerarchy ln Lhe flrsL place, leL alone a domlnaLor hlerarchy. WlLh Lhe emergence of conop, hlerarchles
are lndeed creaLed-noL only menLally, buL soclally, pollLlcally, and rellglously-a manla for casLe sysLems and
domlnaLor hlerarchles sprlng up wherever maglc glves way Lo myLh, and preclsely because conop cannoL reach lnLo
postcooveotloool modes, Lhese hlerarchles are olwoys rlgldly and concreLely seL, as are Lhe llLeral myLhs LhaL prop
Lhem up: Lo change Lhe soclal hlerarchy ls Lo Jomoqe Lhe god/goddess/ruler and Lhus brlng caLasLrophlc reLrlbuLlon
Lo Lhe socleLy lLself. WlLh raLlonallLy, Lhese domlnaLor hlerarchles are deconsLrucLed because Lhey are noL based on
worldcenLrlc or posLconvenLlonal sLandards, and raLlonallLy ls noL happy shorL of LhaL omega polnL. 1hls ls one of Lhe
maln Loplcs of volume 2, and l menLlon lL now as slmply anoLher lnsLance of Lhe Lenslons lnherenL beLween Lhe
varlous worldvlews.)
ln each case, Lhe baslc sLrucLures of Lhe prevlous sLage are Laken up and preserved ln Lhe new and wlder holon,
buL Lhe worldvlew, whlch was qeoetoteJ when Lhere was ooly or excloslvely Lhe prevlous and lower sLage-LhaL ls
negaLed and replaced by a new worldvlew (whlch wlll ln Lurn fade lf developmenL conLlnues).
1hus, ln Lhe same fashlon, lf developmenL does proceed lnLo Lhe hlgher or Lranspersonal domalns, Lhe baslc
sLrucLures of raLlonallLy are all embraced and lncorporaLed, ln a frlendly way, as subholons ln Lhe new awareness,
buL Lhe metely sclenLlflc worldvlew, bullL by excloslve raLlonallLy-bullL when all you have ls raLlonallLy-LhaL
worldvlew ls replaced wlLh a splrlLual orlenLaLlon (as we wlll see).
1hls ls an example of whaL ln chapLer 2 was called baslc sLrucLures and excluslvlLy sLrucLures, slnce developmenL
lncludes Lhe belng buL negaLes Lhe parLlallLy," and l gave Pawall's sLaLehood as an example. l wanL Lo glve anoLher
example here, because a general grasp of Lhls fundamenLal developmenLal process ls cruclal, l belleve, Lo
undersLandlng any of Lhe genulnely deeper or hlgher sLages of growLh and developmenL.
lf we use a crude ladder analogy Lhe relaLlonshlp can more easlly be seen. 1he acLual rungs ln Lhe ladder are Lhe
baslc sLrucLures or levels ln any developmenLal llne (such as Lhe cognlLlve). Lach hlgher rung resLs on Lhe lower
rungs, and no maLLer how hlgh up Lhe ladder you cllmb, all Lhe rungs are necessary. ull ouL a lower rung and Lhe
whole ladder collapses. Lach rung ls a boslc sttoctote (or baslc holon-such as lmages, symbols, concepLs, rules),
and each ls ptesetveJ ln Lhe overall ladder.
8uL as you cllmb Lhe ladder, you geL a dlfferenL perspecLlve on Lhe world around you: each rung has a dlfferenL
worldvlew, and Lhe hlgher rungs can see more of Lhe world (Lhey have a hlgher worldvlew). And alLhough each of Lhe
tooqs remalns ln exlsLence as you cllmb (your cllmb acLually depends upon Lhem), Lhe varlous worldvlews are
teploceJ. ?ou cannoL be aL, say, rung 7 and slmulLaneously see Lhe world from Lhe shallower rung 1, even Lhough
you are sLlll sLandlng ln parL on rung 1 lLself. 1he belng, Lhe rungs, are preserved, buL Lhe parLlallLy or excluslvlLy, Lhe
parLlal worldvlews, are oeqoteJ and teploceJ. (unLll, of course, you sLop cllmblng, aL whlch polnL you have Lhe"
worldvlew LhaL wlll aLLempL Lo subsume all else.)
1hus, each LransformaLlon upward ls a paradlgm war"-a baLLle royale over how Lo excluslvely vlew Lhe world.
And we wlll see, as we conLlnue our accounL of Lhe hlgher sLages of growLh, LhaL as myLh hlsLorlcally defeaLed maglc,
and reason defeaLed myLh, Lhe fuLure paradlgm wars wlll be foughL around reason lLself and lLs poLenLlal successors.
And lf hlsLory ls any gulde, Lhe new paradlgm wars wlll be equally unpleasanL.
1he value of lncludlng a properly lnLerpreLed myLhologlcal approach ls LhaL lL can help us, of Loday's raLlonal
worldvlew, geL ln Louch wlLh aspecLs of our rooLs, our foundaLlons, some of Lhe archaeologlcal layers of our own
presenL awareness. lrom lreud Lo !ung Lo lageL Lo Cebser, Lhese rooLs are recognlzed. And LhaL geLLlng ln Louch,"
LhaL befrlendlng of our rooLs, ls empowerlng and enrlchlng and energlzlng. 1here ls a rush of energy released ln
readlng !ung or Campbell or Lllade-we are waLerlng our rooLs, and Lhey help send forLh new branches.
8uL all of LhaL happens preclsely because Lhey are lower holons ln a now-hlgher awareness-Lhey are more
fundamenLal (and less slgnlflcanL)-and Lhe real power comes preclsely from Louchlng Lhelr baslc sLrucLures
(archeLypal") whlle slmoltooeoosly tobbloq tbem of tbelt excloslve wotlJvlew. lf we were slmply, merely, acLually
reacLlvaLlng Lhe lower worldvlew lLself, Lhls would be wholesale regresslon Lo Je-JlffeteotloteJ sLrucLures
(borderllne and psychoLlc, whlch lndeed someLlmes occurs). And Lhls, l belleve, ls behlnd !ung's dual sLance Loward
Lhe archeLypes: lL ls alLogeLher necessary Lo conLacL and befrlend Lhem, buL lL ls flnally necessary Lo Jlffeteotlote
and loJlvlJoote from Lhem, break Lhem of Lhelr power over us. ln oLher words, befrlend Lhe lmages, rob Lhem of
Lhelr worldvlew.
8uL as for Lhe lmages and symbols and early concepLs Lhemselves, as for Lhese archeLypes," Lhey lle ln Lhe
dlrecLlon of downward, noL upward (shallower, noL deeper). 1hls ls why, l belleve, however !ung varlously deflned
Lhe archeLypes, he always malnLalned Lhey were nexL Lo Lhe lnsLlncLs," or Lhe lnsLlncLs' lmage of Lhemselves." 1haL
ls, as Llllane lrey-8ohn explalns, 1he connecLlon beLween lnsLlncL and archeLypal lmage appeared Lo [!ung] so close
LhaL he drew Lhe concluslon LhaL Lhe Lwo were coupled. Pe saw Lhe prlmordlal lmage ['archeLype'] as Lhe self-
porLralL of Lhe lnsLlncL-ln oLher words, Lhe lnsLlncL's percepLlon of lLself."
lnsLlncLs-Lhe drlves of Lhe repLlllan braln sLem and paleomammallan llmblc sysLem-Lhese are Lhe sLrucLures
nexL Lo" Lhe archeLypes, whlch slLuaLes Lhem perfecLly on Lhe specLrum of consclousness. SensaLlon, percepLlon,
lmpulse (lnsLlncL), lmage, symbol, concepL, rule . . . Lhe archeLypes are, for Lhe mosL parL, collecLlve, fundamenLal
lmages lylng nexL Lo lmpulse/lnsLlncL.
And proceedlng ln Lhe Jltectloo of Lhe archeLypes we Lherefore evenLually
run lnLo, noL SplrlL, buL aLoms. !ung: 1he deeper layers of Lhe psyche lose Lhelr lndlvldual unlqueness as Lhey reLreaL
farLher and farLher lnLo darkness. 'Lower down' Lhey become lncreaslngly exLlngulshed ln Lhe body's maLerlallLy, l.e.,
ln chemlcal subsLances."
ln oLher words, Lhe !unglan archeLypes are oot Lhe LranscendenLal archeLypes or lorms found ln laLo, Pegel,
Shankara, or Asanga and vasubandhu. 1hese laLLer lorms-Lhe Lrue archeLypes, Lhe ldeal lorms-are Lhe creaLlve
paLLerns sald Lo underlle all manlfesLaLlon and glve paLLern Lo chaos and form Lo kosmos (whlch we wlll lnvesLlgaLe
ln chapLer 9).
1he !unglan archeLypes, on Lhe oLher hand, are for Lhe mosL parL Lhe maglco-myLhlc moLlfs and archalc
lmages"-Lhey should really be called proLoLypes"-collecLlvely lnherlLed by you and by me from pasL sLages of
developmenL, archalc holons now formlng parL of our own compound lndlvlduallLy (Lhey come from below up, noL
from above down). And comlng Lo Lerms wlLh Lhese archalc holons-befrlendlng and maklng consclous and
dlfferenLlaLlng/lnLegraLlng Lhese proLoLypes-ls a useful endeavor, noL because Lhey are our LransraLlonal fuLure, buL
because Lhey are our preraLlonal pasL. l agree eotltely wlLh !ung on Lhe necesslLy of dlfferenLlaLlng and lnLegraLlng
Lhls archalc herlLage, l do noL belleve LhaL Lhls has much Lo do wlLh genulne mysLlcal splrlLuallLy.
keep ln mlnd also LhaL for !ung, Lhe archeLypes are collectlvely lnherlLed archalc lmages, Lhey arlse from Lhe
common, day-Lo-day, normal and typlcol expetleoces of men and women everywhere, so LhaL Lhere ls an archeLype
of Lhe MoLher, Lhe laLher, Lhe LrlcksLer, Lhe shadow, Lhe uroboros (serpenL), and so on. 1hese slLuaLlons are
encounLered by vlrLually everybody everywhere, and so Lhe lmprlnLs" of Lhese encounLers over Lhe mlllennla
became engraved ln Lhe braln, so Lo speak (or, less Lamarcklanly, Lhose who were born wlLh Lhe guldlng lmprlnL,
whlch helps a person orlenL Loward Lyplcal slLuaLlons, would be more llkely Lo survlve and reproduce and pass Lhe
lmage along).
8uL ln any glven pasL era (and Loday as well), Lhe number of lndlvlduals who octoolly ttoosceoJeJ lnLo profoundly
mysLlcal occaslons was very, very small (as we saw Campbell polnL ouL). ln oLher words, even under Lhe besL of
clrcumsLances, Lhere slmply weren'L enough mysLlcs Lo lmprlnL Lhe enLlre or collecLlve human race: profound
mysLlcal experlence ls oot a common, Lyplcal, everyday occurrence LhaL could be swepL up and lncluded ln pasL
collecLlve evoluLlonary lmprlnLs.
And ln no way ls Loday's profound mysLlcal awareness an experlence of
yesLerday's ordlnary, collecLlve, Lyplcal experlences. Lxcellence ln any era ls noL an experlence of yesLerday's
collecLlve normallLy, made Lo sound splrlLual" by calllng lL collecLlve," as lf a whole bunch more of average could
equal exLraordlnary, as lf mulLlplylng medlocrlLy would equal excellence.
1hus, Lo glve only one example, ln !ean 8olen's books, such as CoJJesses lo vetywomoo and CoJs lo vetymoo,
Lhere ls a wonderful presenLaLlon of all Lhe archeLypal" gods and goddesses LhaL are collecLlvely lnherlLed by men
and women (from Lhe sLeadlness and paLlence of PesLla Lo Lhe sexuallLy and sensuallLy of AphrodlLe Lo Lhe sLrengLh
and lndependence of ArLemls). 8uL Lhese gods and goddesses are noL Lranspersonal modes of awareness, or
genulnely mysLlcal lumlnoslLles, buL slmply a collecLlon of Lyplcal and everyday self-lmages (and personae) avallable
Lo men and women. CollecLlve Lyplcal ls noL Lranspersonal.
now l belleve LhaL Lhere are lndeed mysLlcal archeLypes" (ln Lhe LranscendenLal sense l menLloned above, and Lo
whlch we wlll reLurn), buL Lhese archeLypes cannoL be explalned as an lnherlLance from Lhe pasL, Lhey are sLrange
ALLracLors lylng ln our fuLure, omega polnLs LhaL have noL been collectlvely manlfesLed anywhere ln Lhe pasL, buL
are noneLheless avallable Lo each and every lndlvldual as sttoctotol poteotlols, as fuLure sLrucLures aLLempLlng Lo
come down, noL pasL sLrucLures sLruggllng Lo come up.
ln reLreaLlng Lo Lhe wllderness, and banglng drums, and conLacLlng Lhe archalc lmages of man as warrlor, hunLer,
klng, wlld man, and so forLh, many modern men are helped Lo reconLacL Lhese archalc holons and be Lhereby
enrlched and energlzed and glven rooLs. Cur modern culLure has Loo ofLen negaLed Lhese holons whlle falllng Lo also
preserve Lhem ln an lnLegraLed and accepLable fashlon, and Lhus a reLurn Lo rooLs" ls alLogeLher approprlaLe and
8uL Lhe polnL, noLlce, ls LhaL Lhese are men who, ln Lhe plenLlful space of reason, play ouL Lhese myLhs ln an as-lf
fashlon, Lhus Lranscendlng Lhem ln Lhe very process of playlng wlLh Lhem (and Lhose who don'L Lranscend Lhem,
Lhose who Lake Lhese myLhs serlously, geL lnLo a greaL deal of emoLlonal Lrouble-Lhe wlld man" as a myLh ls one
Lhlng, as a llLeral role model, qulLe anoLher).
8uL l have been sLruck by Lhe facL LhaL vlrLually every woman l know, and every woman who has wrlLLen abouL Lhe
men's movemenL, ls compleLely olotmeJ by lL. 1hey Lhlnk lL ls elLher dlsgusLlng, or preposLerous, or sllly, or
obscene. 1he llberal femlnlsLs are ouLraged by lL, because Lhey malnLaln LhaL men, belng essenLlally oppressors, have
no rlghL Lo complaln abouL anyLhlng, and Lhey see a gaLherlng of men" as noLhlng buL a chance for [allors Lo flne-
Lune Lhe arL of oppresslon. 1he radlcal femlnlsLs, who oLherwlse so sLralghLforwardly champlon Lhe dlfferences
beLween Lhe sexes, appear never Lo have had exacLly tbls dlfference ln mlnd, and reacL wlLh a very uneasy
queaslness Lo Lhe whole affalr.
8uL under all Lhese reacLlons Lhere seems Lo be a pervaslve fear. A gaLherlng of wlld men ls ftlqbteoloq Lo mosL
women, of whaLever ldeologlcal persuaslon, and l Lhlnk wlLh good reason. 1he archalc lmages, sLlll lylng close Lo Lhe
body," close Lo Lhe lnsLlncLs, close Lo Lhe blosphere, are under sway of Lhose blologlcal unlversals, sLrong unlversals,
ln whlch and by whlch blospherlc men have always domlnaLed women (wheLher or noL lnLenLlonally). Cnly ln Lhe
noosphere can equallLy be concelved and found and enforced. 1he wlld man ls Lhe metely blospherlc male, Lhe
lnsLlncLual male, where Lhe physlcal body rules, where lnLersexual muLuallLy ls suspended, where communlcaLlon ls
a grunL and a groan and a Po!"
And ln Lhe sound of Lhe drums poundlng from Lhe foresL, Loday's woman hears, l belleve, a mllllon years of
physlcal domlnance rumbllng from Lhe depLhs, and noL one of Lhem llkes whaL she hears.
We already saw LhaL ln Campbell's oplnlon Lhe really real" (or mosL lmporLanL) funcLlon of a myLh occurs when lL ls
Laken ln an as-lf fashlon. ln oLher words, Lhe hldden power" of myLh ls teleoseJ when lL ls Laken up ln Lhe open
space creaLed by raLlonallLy. And now we can see why: when reason Lakes up myLh, lL befrlends Lhe belng buL
negaLes lLs parLlalness, and Lhus ftees Lhe myLhlc sLrucLure from lLs lmprlsonmenL ln a shallower occaslon. lL ls
reason, and reason alone, LhaL frees Lhe lumlnoslLy Lrapped ln myLh.
1hus reason ftees whaLever splrlL manages Lo reslde ln myLh-a splrlL sLruggllng from wlLhln, Lo geL ouL. WheLher
raLlonallLy appears splrlLual" or noL ls uLLerly beslde Lhe polnL. lL cerLalnly does noL appear myLhologlcal," and lf
LhaL ls whaL one means by splrlLual," Lhen reason ls noL LhaL.
8uL genulne splrlLuallLy, we wlll see, ls prlmarlly a measure of depLh and a dlsclosure of depLh. 1here ls mote
splrlLuallLy ln reason's Jeolol of Cod Lhan Lhere ls ln myLh's offltmotloo of Cod, preclsely because Lhere ls mote
Jeptb. (And Lhe LransraLlonal, ln Lurn, dlscloses yeL more depLh, yeL more SplrlL, Lhan elLher myLh or reason).
8uL Lhe very Jeptb of reason, lLs capaclLy for unlversal-plurallsm, lLs lnslsLence on unlversal Lolerance, lLs grasp of
global-planeLary perspecLlvlsm, lLs lnslsLence on unlversal benevolence and compasslon: Lhese are Lhe
manlfesLaLlons of lLs genulne depLh, lLs qeooloe splrlLuallLy. 1hese capaclLles are noL teveoleJ Lo reason from
wltboot (by a myLhlc source), Lhey lssue from wltblo lLs own sLrucLure, lLs own lobeteot depLh (whlch ls why lL
does noL need recourse Lo a myLhlc god Lo lmplemenL lLs agenda of unlversal benevolence, why even an aLhelsL"
acLlng from raLlonal-unlversal compasslon ls more splrlLual Lhan a fundamenLallsL acLlng Lo converL Lhe unlverse ln
Lhe name of a myLhlc-membershlp god). 1haL Lhe SplrlL of reason does noL fly Lhrough Lhe sky hurllng LhunderbolLs
and oLherwlse spend lLs Llme Lurnlng splnach lnLo poLaLoes speaks more, noL less, on lLs behalf.
So perhaps we can begln Lo see LhaL Lhe uses of myLhology ln Loday's world are many and varled. lor one Lhlng,
llLeral-fundamenLal myLhologlcal moLlfs are Lhe maln soclal cemenL ln many culLures (lncludlng a very large segmenL
of our own), and as dlvlslve and lmperlallsLlc as Lhose myLhologles are, Lhelr parLlcular eLhnocenLrlc and soclal-
lnLegraLlve power has Lo be reckoned wlLh carefully. Cne cannoL slmply challenge or deconsLrucL Lhe myLhs of such
socleLles (or segmenLs of socleLles) and expecL Lhem Lo survlve (or expecL Lhem Lo acqulesce wlLhouL a flghL).
Moreover, even ln socleLles organlzed around a raLlonal-plurallsLlc worldvlew, each and every lndlvldual
noneLheless beqlos llfe aL Lhe archalc, Lhen Lhe maglc, Lhen Lhe myLhlc, before (and lf) arrlvlng aL Lhe raLlonal. Cne
of Lhe greaL problems wlLh Lhe LnllghLenmenL was LhaL 8eason was slmply supposed Lo replace all of LhaL rlghL down
Lo Lhe rooLs, so LhaL every chlld would be born, more or less, an enllghLened and LoleranL raLlonallsL. Slnce Lhe
tobolo was toso, all we had Lo do was wrlLe 8-L-A-S-C-n across Lhe clean slaLe, and all would follow wonderfully.
needless Lo say, lL doesn'L work llke LhaL. Lvery chlld sLlll has Lo negoLlaLe Lhe archalc worldvlew, Lhen deconsLrucL
LhaL wlLh Lhe maglcal worldvlew, Lhen deconsLrucL LhaL wlLh Lhe myLhlc, Lhen deconsLrucL LhaL wlLh Lhe raLlonal (on
Lhe way Lo Lhe LransraLlonal). Lach of Lhese LransformaLlons ls a serles of palnful deaLhs and reblrLhs, and Lhe Lyplcal
lndlvldual aLLempLs Lo sLop Lhe paln by sLopplng Lhe LransformaLlon.
Cone ls Lhe Llme (ln Lhe developed LasL and WesL) when one could seLLle comforLably ln Lhe maglc or even Lhe
myLhlc mode. 1he cenLer of gravlLy of Lhe world soul," so Lo speak, has moved lnLo raLlonal modes of unlversal
plurallsm, and Lhus Lhe earllesL LhaL an lndlvldual can aborL LransformaLlon (and sLop" Lhe paln), wlLhouL soclal
censure, ls somewhere around Lhe myLhlc-raLlonal (LhaL ls, even lf one cllngs Lo myLh, lL has Lo be propped up wlLh
raLlonallzaLlons, because everywhere raLlonallLy lmplnges on lL). And, lndeed, Lhe ma[orlLy of lndlvlduals ln raLlonal
socleLles sLlll seLLle ln somewhere around Lhe myLhlc-raLlonal, uslng all Lhe formldable powers of raLlonallLy Lo prop
up a parLlcular, dlvlslve, lmperlallsLlc myLhology and an aggresslvely fundamenLallsLlc program of sysLemaLlc
lnLolerance. As such, Lhey are consLanLly aL war wlLh maglc, wlLh otbet myLhs, and wlLh reason, all of whlch Lhey
vlew slmply as Lhe devll's work.
1he modern soluLlon Lo Lhls developmenLal nlghLmare ls LhaL Lhe raLlonallLy sLrucLure of Lhe democraLlc sLaLe
toletotes maglc and myLhlc subholons, buL lL has, vla Lhe all-lmporLanL separaLlon of church and sLaLe, temoveJ tbe
wotlJvlews of Lhose subholons from Lhe organlzlng reglme of Lhe socleLy, whlch lLself ls deflned by a raLlonal
Lolerance of everyLhlng buL lnLolerance. 8ecause Lhese subholons are robbed of Lhelr power Lo qoveto excloslvely,
Lhey are robbed of pushlng Lhelr myLhlc-lmperlallsLlc expanslonlsm vla naLlonal-mlllLary means, Lhough Lhls doesn'L
prevenL Lhem from always aglLaLlng Lo LllL Lhe sLaLe Loward Lhelr own fundamenLallsLlc values. (And, of course, for
Lhose naLlons where Lhe myLhlc holons ote Lhe governlng reglme, mlllLary expanslonlsm ls sLlll Lhe rule, and, ln
Lhese cases, as usual, lL lsn'L wheLher one can acLually wln and coerce oLhers Lo Lhe falLh, buL wheLher one can earn
Lhe rlghL Lo dle Lrylng.)
8uL even for Lhose who have developed beyond a concreLe myLhologlcal approach Lo Lhe world, Lhe myLhologlcal
sLrucLures Lhemselves, as we [usL saw, are now [unlor holons ln Lhe person's own compound lndlvlduallLy, and
should be honored as a rlch source of one's own belng and one's own rooLs. And Lhereln, as l lndlcaLed, lles Lhe real
value of Lhe !unglan/Campbell/myLhopoeLlc approach (dlvesLed of lLs elevaLlonlsm).
8uL lf genulne splrlLuallLy ls noL, as l malnLaln, a producL of Lhe pasL (or of pasL archeLypes), Lhen whaL abouL Lhe
greaL splrlLual flgures, LasL and WesL, who deflnlLely exlsLed ln Lhe pasL? WhaL abouL Lhe 8uddhas, Lhe ChrlsLs, Lhe
krlshnas? Are Lhey noL expresslng some pasL capaclLy, some pasL archeLypal wlsdom LhaL we have losL Louch wlLh?
And ln conLacLlng our own splrlLuallLy, aren'L we conLacLlng some pasL poLenLlal LhaL we have losL or denled or
LosL, perhaps, buL noL from Lhe pasL. LeL me repeaL whaL l sald above abouL Lhe Lrue archeLypes," Lhe
LranscendenLal and Lranspersonal sLrucLures, as a remlnder: Lhey cannoL be explalned as an lnherlLance from Lhe
pasL, Lhey are sLrange ALLracLors lylng ln our fuLure, omega polnLs LhaL have noL been collectlvely manlfesLed
anywhere ln Lhe pasL, buL are noneLheless avallable Lo each and every lndlvldual as sttoctotol poteotlols, as fuLure
sLrucLures aLLempLlng Lo come down, noL pasL sLrucLures sLruggllng Lo come up.
1he greaL and rare mysLlcs of Lhe pasL (from 8uddha Lo ChrlsL, from al-Palla[ Lo Lady 1sogyal, from Pul-neng Lo
Plldegard) were, ln facL, ahead of Lhelr Llme, and are sLlll ahead of ours. ln oLher words, Lhey mosL deflnlLely are oot
flgures of Lhe pasL. 1hey are flgures of Lhe fuLure.
ln Lhelr splrlLuallLy, Lhey dld noL Lap lnLo yesLerday, Lhey Lapped lnLo Lomorrow. ln Lhelr profound awareness, we
do noL see Lhe seLLlng sun, buL Lhe new dawn. 1hey absoluLely dld noL lnherlL Lhe pasL, Lhey lnherlLed Lhe fuLure.
lL ls Lo LhaL fuLure we can now Lurn.
1be lottbet keocbes of nomoo Notote
1bls ooe beloq ooJ cooscloosoess ls lovolveJ bete lo mottet. volotloo ls tbe ptocess by wblcb lt llbetotes
ltself, cooscloosoess oppeots lo wbot seems to be locooscleot jl.e., mottet, tbe pbyslospbete], ooJ ooce
bovloq oppeoteJ ls self-lmpelleJ jself-otqoolzloq] to qtow blqbet ooJ blqbet ooJ ot tbe some tlme to
eolotqe ooJ Jevelop towotJ o qteotet ooJ qteotet petfectloo. llfe ls tbe fltst step of tbls teleose of
cooscloosoess, mloJ ls tbe secooJ. 8ot tbe evolotloo Joes oot flolsb wltb mloJ, lt owolts teleose loto
sometbloq qteotet, o cooscloosoess wblcb ls spltltool ooJ soptomeotol. 1bete ls tbetefote oo teosoo to pot
o llmlt to evolotloooty posslblllty by tokloq oot pteseot otqoolzotloo ot stotos of exlsteoce os flool.
-S8l Au8C8lnuC
WL A8L ?L1 Lhe basLard sons and daughLers of an evoluLlon noL yeL done wlLh us, caughL always beLween Lhe
fragmenLs of yesLerday and Lhe unlons of Lomorrow, unlons apparenLly desLlned Lo carry us far beyond anyLhlng we
can posslbly recognlze Loday, and unlons LhaL, llke all such blrLhs, are exqulslLely palnful and unbearably ecsLaLlc.
And wlLh yeL [usL Lhe sllghLesL look-once agaln, wlLhln-new marrlages unfold, and Lhe drama carrles on.
1PL ln1L8lC8 CAS1LL
l have been consLanLly emphaslzlng LhaL each sLage of evoluLlon, ln whaLever domaln, lnvolves a new emergence
and Lherefore a new depLh, or a new lnLerlorlLy, wheLher LhaL applles Lo molecules or Lo blrds or Lo dolphlns, and
LhaL each new wlLhln ls also a golng beyond, a Lranscendence, a hlgher and wlder ldenLlLy wlLh a greaLer LoLal
embrace. 1he formula ls: golng wlLhln = golng beyond = greaLer embrace. And l wanL Lo make very clear exacLly whaL
LhaL means.
1hls ls exLremely lmporLanL, l Lhlnk, because Lhe hlgher sLages of developmenL, Lhe LransraLlonal and
Lranspersonal and mysLlcal sLages, all lnvolve a new golng wlLhln, a new lnLerlorness. And Lhe charge has been
clrculaLlng, for qulLe some Llme now, LhaL endeavors such as medlLaLlon are somehow narclsslsLlc and wlLhdrawn.
LnvlronmenLallsLs, ln parLlcular, ofLen clalm LhaL medlLaLlon ls somehow escaplsL" or egocenLrlc," and LhaL Lhls
golng wlLhln" slmply lgnores Lhe real" problems ln Lhe real" world ouL Lhere."
reclsely Lhe opposlLe. lar from belng some sorL of narclsslsLlc wlLhdrawal or lnward lsolaLlon, medlLaLlon (or
Lranspersonal developmenL ln general) ls a slmple and naLural conLlnuaLlon of Lhe evoluLlonary process, where every
golng wlLhln ls also a golng beyond Lo a wlder embrace.
8ecall LhaL Lwo of our LeneLs (8 and 12d) sLaLed LhaL lncreaslng evoluLlon means lncreaslng depLh and lncreaslng
relaLlve auLonomy. ln Lhe realm of human developmenL, Lhls parLlcularly shows up ln Lhe facL LhaL, accordlng Lo
developmenLal psychology (as we wlll see), lncreaslng growLh and developmenL always lnvolve locteosloq
lotetoollzotloo (or lncreaslng lnLerlorlzaLlon). And as paradoxlcal as lL lnlLlally sounds, Lhe mote lotetlotlzeJ a
person ls, Lhe less ootclsslstlc hls or her awareness becomes. So we need Lo undersLand why, for all schools of
developmenLal psychology, Lhls equaLlon ls Lrue: lncreaslng developmenL = locteosloq lnLerlorlzaLlon = Jecteosloq
narclsslsm (or decreaslng egocenLrlsm).
ln shorL, we need Lo undersLand why Lhe more lnLerlor a person ls, Lhe less egocenLrlc he or she becomes.
8egln wlLh lnLerlorlzaLlon. LvoluLlon, Lo ParLmann [founder of psychoanalyLlc developmenLal psychology], ls a
process of ptoqtesslve lotetoollzotloo, for, ln Lhe developmenL of Lhe specles, Lhe organlsm achleves lncreased
lndependence from lLs envlronmenL, Lhe resulL of whlch ls LhaL 'reacLlons whlch orlglnally occurred ln relaLlon Lo Lhe
exLernal world are lncreaslngly dlsplaced lnLo Lhe lnLerlor of Lhe organlsm.' 1he more lndependenL Lhe organlsm
becomes, Lhe greaLer lLs lndependence from Lhe sLlmulaLlon of Lhe lmmedlaLe envlronmenL."
1hls applles Lo Lhe
lnfanL, for example, when lL no longer dlssolves ln Lears lf food ls noL lmmedlaLely forLhcomlng. 8y lnLerlorlzlng lLs
awareness, lL ls no longer merely buffeLed by Lhe lmmedlaLe flucLuaLlons ln Lhe envlronmenL: lLs relaLlve
auLonomy-lLs capaclLy Lo remaln sLable ln Lhe mldsL of shlfLlng clrcumsLances-lncreases. 1hls progresslve
lnLernallzaLlon ls a cornersLone of psychoanalyLlc developmenLal psychology (from ParLmann Lo 8lanck and 8lanck Lo
kernberg Lo kohuL). lL ls lmpllclL ln !ung's noLlon of lndlvlduaLlon. Llkewlse, lageL descrlbed LhoughL as lnLernallzed
acLlon," Lhe capaclLy Lo lnLernally plan an acLlon and anLlclpaLe lLs course wlLhouL belng merely a reacLlve
auLomaLon-and so forLh.
ln oLher words, for developmenLal psychology, lncreaslng developmenL = lncreaslng lnLerlorlzaLlon = lncreaslng
relaLlve auLonomy. 1hls, of course, ls slmply LeneL 12d as lL shows up ln humans.
1he second llnk ln Lhe equaLlon concerns narclsslsm, whlch ls roughly synonymous wlLh egocenLrlsm, abouL whlch
we have already sald much. We need only recall LhaL lncreaslng developmenL lnvolves preclsely Lhe capaclLy Lo
Lranscend one's lsolaLed and sub[ecLlve polnL of vlew, and Lhus Lo flnd hlgher and wlder perspecLlves and ldenLlLles.
lageL referred Lo Lhe enLlre developmenLal process as one of Jecteosloq eqoceottlsm, or whaL he also called
uLLlng Lhese all LogeLher, we have: lncreaslng developmenL = lncreaslng lnLerlorlzaLlon = lncreaslng auLonomy =
decreaslng narclsslsm (decenLerlng).
ln oLher words, Lhe more one can qo wltblo, or Lhe more one can lnLrospecL and reflecL on one's self, Lhen Lhe
more deLached from LhaL self one can become, Lhe more one can rlse above LhaL self's llmlLed perspecLlve, and so
Lhe less narclsslsLlc or less egocenLrlc one becomes (or Lhe more JeceoteteJ one becomes). 1hls ls why lageL ls
always saylng Lhlngs LhaL soooJ paradoxlcal, such as: llnally, as Lhe chlld becomes consclous of hls sub[ecLlvlLy, he
rlds hlmself of hls egocenLrlclLy."
1he more he can sub[ecLlvely reflecL on hls self, Lhe more he can Lranscend lL-hls sub[ecLlvlLy, hls lotetlotlty, rlds
hlm of hls egocenLrlclLy. Poward Cardner does a masLerful [ob of summarlzlng developmenL as belng Lhe Lwo
processes of decreaslng egocenLrlsm and lncreaslng lnLerlorlLy. 1he flrsL ls Lhe decllne of egocenLrlsm. 1he young
chlld ls, ln lageL's Lerms, LoLally egocenLrlc-meanlng noL LhaL he Lhlnks selflshly only abouL hlmself, buL Lo Lhe
conLrary, LhaL he ls lncapable of Lhlnklng abouL hlmself. 1he egocenLrlc chlld ls unable Lo dlfferenLlaLe hlmself from
Lhe resL of Lhe world, he has noL separaLed hlmself ouL from oLhers or from ob[ecLs. 1hus he feels LhaL oLhers share
hls paln or hls pleasure, LhaL hls mumbllngs wlll lnevlLably be undersLood, LhaL hls perspecLlve ls shared by all
persons, LhaL even anlmals and planLs parLake of hls consclousness. ln playlng hlde-and-seek he wlll 'hlde' ln broad
vlew of oLher persons, because hls egocenLrlsm prevenLs hlm from recognlzlng LhaL oLhers are aware of hls locaLlon.
1he whole course of human developmenL can be vlewed as a conLlnulng decllne ln egocenLrlsm. . . ."
And Lhls decreaslng narclsslsm ls dlrecLly connecLed wlLh Lhe second Lrend ln menLal growLh," namely, Lhe
Lendency Loward lnLernallzaLlon or lnLerlorlzaLlon. 1he lnfanL elLher solves problems by hls acLlvlLy upon Lhe world or
he does noL solve Lhem aL all. 1he older chlld, on Lhe oLher hand, can achleve many lnLellecLual breakLhroughs
wlLhouL overL physlcal acLlons. Pe ls able Lo reallze Lhese acLlons lnLerlorly, Lhrough concreLe and formal
8y acLlng on Lhe self lnLerlorly, LhaL self ls decenLered, and Lhls allows, among many oLher Lhlngs, Lhe
conLlnulng expanslon (decenLerlng) of moral response from egocenLrlc Lo soclocenLrlc Lo worldcenLrlc (lnLegral-
ln shorL, Lhe more one qoes wltblo, Lhe more one qoes beyooJ, and Lhe more one can Lhus embrace a Jeepet
lJeotlty wlLh a wlJet petspectlve.
MedlLaLlon, Lhen, as we wlll see ln deLall, lnvolves yeL a furLher qoloq wltblo, and Lhus a furLher qoloq beyooJ,
Lhe dlscovery of a new and hlgher awareness wlLh a new and wlder ldenLlLy-and Lhus medlLaLlon ls one of Lhe
slngle sLrongesL anLldoLes Lo egocenLrlsm and narclsslsm (and geocenLrlsm and anLhropocenLrlsm and
And leL us remember lageL's cenLral polnL abouL egocenLrlsm, namely, LhaL egocenLrlsm obscures Lhe LruLh." lL
follows LhaL medlLaLlon, as an anLldoLe Lo egocenLrlsm, would lnvolve a subsLanLlal lncrease ln capaclLy for ttotb
Jlsclosote, a clearlng of Lhe cobwebs of selfcenLrlc percepLlon and an openlng ln whlch Lhe kosmos could more
clearly manlfesL, and be seen, and be appreclaLed-for whaL lL ls and noL for whaL lL can do for me.
ln shorL, every wltblo Lurns us oot lnLo more of Lhe kosmos. 1hls ls whaL seems Lo so confuse Lhe flaLland hollsLs
(and Lhe ecologlcal crlLlcs of conLemplaLlon), because ln Lhelr flaLland world of self and cosmos, Lhe mote aLLenLlon
you place on one, Lhe less aLLenLlon you have for Lhe oLher (and Lhey wanL everyone's eyes rlveLed on exLerlor
naLure), whereas ln Lhe plurldlmenslonal and holoarchlc kosmos, Lhe mote Lhe depLhs of Lhe self are dlsclosed, Lhe
mote Lhe correspondlng depLhs of Lhe kosmos reveal Lhemselves. (We wlll see where all LhaL leads ln a momenL.)
1hls general movemenL of wltblo-ooJ-beyooJ ls noLhlng new wlLh humans: lL ls a slmple conLlnuaLlon of Lhe
kosmlc evoluLlonary process, whlch ls self-developmenL Lhrough self-Lranscendence," Lhe same process aL work ln
aLoms and molecules and cells, a process LhaL, ln Lhe human domalns, conLlnues naLurally lnLo Lhe superconsclous,
wlLh preclsely noLhlng occulL or mysLerlous abouL lL.
1he capaclLy Lo go wlLhln and look ot raLlonallLy resulLs ln a qoloq beyooJ raLlonallLy, and Lhe flrsL sLage of LhaL
golng-beyond ls vlslon-loglc. lf you are aware of belng raLlonal, whaL ls Lhe naLure of LhaL awareness, slnce lL ls now
blgger Lhan raLlonallLy? 1o be aware of raLlonallLy ls no longer Lo have only raLlonallLy, yes?
numerous psychologlsLs (8runer, llavell, ArleLl, Cowan, kramer, Commons, 8asseches, Arlln, eLc.) have polnLed
ouL LhaL Lhere ls much evldence for a sLage beyond lageL's formal operaLlonal. lL has been called dlalecLlcal,"
lnLegraLlve," creaLlve synLheLlc," lnLegral-aperspecLlval," posLformal," and so forLh. l, of course, am uslng Lhe
Lerms vlsloo-loqlc or oetwotk-loqlc. 8uL Lhe concluslons are all essenLlally Lhe same: lageL's formal operaLlonal ls
consldered Lo be a problem-solvlng sLage. 8uL beyond Lhls sLage are Lhe Lruly creaLlve sclenLlsLs and Lhlnkers who
deflne lmporLanL problems and ask lmporLanL quesLlons. Whlle lageL's formal model ls adequaLe Lo descrlbe Lhe
cognlLlve sLrucLures of adolescenLs and compeLenL adulLs, lL ls noL adequaLe Lo descrlbe Lhe Lowerlng lnLellecL of
nobel laureaLes, greaL sLaLesmen and sLaLeswomen, poeLs, and so on."
1rue enough. 8uL l would llke Lo glve a dlfferenL emphasls Lo Lhls sLrucLure, for whlle very few people mlghL
acLually galn Lhe Lowerlng sLaLus of a nobel laureaLe," Lhe spoce of vlslon-loglc (lLs worldspace or worldvlew) ls
avallable for any who wlsh Lo conLlnue Lhelr growLh and developmenL. ln oLher words, Lo progress Lhrough Lhe
varlous sLages of growLh does noL mean LhaL one has Lo exLraordlnarlly masLer each and every sLage, and
demonsLraLe a genlus comprehenslon aL LhaL sLage before one can progress beyond lL. 1hls would be llke saylng LhaL
no lndlvlduals can move beyond Lhe oral sLage unLll Lhey become gourmeL cooks.
lL ls noL even necessary Lo be able Lo arLlculaLe Lhe characLerlsLlcs of a parLlcular sLage (chlldren progress beyond
preop wlLhouL ever belng able Lo deflne lL). lL ls merely necessary Lo develop an oJepoote competeoce aL LhaL sLage,
ln order for lL Lo serve [usL flne as a plaLform for Lhe Lranscendence Lo Lhe nexL sLage. ln order Lo Lranscend Lhe
verbal, lL ls noL necessary Lo flrsL become Shakespeare.
Llkewlse, ln order Lo develop formal raLlonallLy, lL ls noL necessary Lo learn calculus and proposlLlonal loglc. Lvery
Llme you lmaglne dlfferenL ouLcomes, every Llme you see a posslble fuLure dlfferenL from Loday's, every Llme you
dream Lhe dream of whaL mlghL be, you are uslng formal operaLlonal awareness. And from LhaL plaLform you can
enLer vlslon-loglc, whlch means noL LhaL you have Lo become a Pegel or a WhlLehead ln order Lo advance, buL only
LhaL you have Lo Lhlnk globally, whlch ls noL so hard aL all. 1hose who wlll mostet Lhls sLage, or any sLage for LhaL
maLLer, wlll always be relaLlvely few, buL all are lnvlLed Lo pass Lhrough.
8ecause vlslon-loglc Lranscends buL lncludes formal operaLlonal, lL compleLes and brlngs Lo frulLlon many of Lhe
Lrends begun wlLh unlversal raLlonallLy lLself (whlch ls why many wrlLers refer Lo vlslon-loglc as maLure reason" or
dlalecLlcal reason" or synLheLlc reason," and so on). And some LheorlsLs slmply subdlvlde formal operaLlonal
awareness lnLo several subsLages, wlLh Lhe hlghesL of Lhose sLages belng whaL we are calllng vlslon-loglc. !ames
lowler, for example, dlvldes formop lnLo early formop, dlchoLomlzlng formop, dlalecLlcal formop, and synLheLlc
formop (Lhe flrsL Lwo belng whaL l am calllng raLlonallLy, and Lhe lasL Lwo belng vlslon-loglc, alLhough all four are
reason" ln Lhe very broadesL sense). lncldenLally, lowler's exLremely lmporLanL work on Lhe sLages of falLh"
(whose deLalls l wlll reserve for a noLe)
ls yeL anoLher clear accounL of Lhe evoluLlon from maglc Lo myLhlc-llLeral Lo
Lhe unlversal commonwealLh of belng."
ln oLher words, raLlonallLy ls global, vlslon-loglc ls more global. 1ake Pabermas, for example (ln commoolcotloo
ooJ tbe volotloo of 5oclety). lormal operaLlonal raLlonallLy esLabllshes Lhe posLconvenLlonal sLages of, flrsL, clvll
llberLles" or legal freedom" for all Lhose bound by law," and Lhen, ln a more developed sLage, lL demands noL [usL
legal freedom buL also moral freedom" for all humans as prlvaLe persons." 8uL even furLher, maLure or
communlcaLlve reason (our vlslon-loglc) demands boLh moral and pollLlcal freedom" for all human belngs as
members of a world socleLy." 1hus, where raLlonallLy began Lhe wotlJceottlc orlenLaLlon of unlversal plurallsm,
vlslon-loglc brlngs lL Lo a maLure frulLlon by demandlng noL [usL legal and moral freedom, buL legal and moral and
pollLlcal freedom (lncludes Lhe prevlous sLage and adds someLhlng cruclal: Lranscends and lncludes).
ln [usL Lhe same way, ecologlcal and relaLlonal awareness, whlch sLarLed Lo emerge wlLh formal operaLlonal,
comes Lo a ma[or frulLlon wlLh vlslon-loglc and Lhe cenLaurlc worldvlew. lor, ln beglnnlng Lo Jlffeteotlote from
raLlonallLy (look aL lL, operaLe upon lL), vlslon-loglc can, for Lhe flrsL Llme, loteqtote reason wlLh lLs predecessors,
lncludlng llfe and maLLer, all as [unlor holons ln lLs own compound lndlvlduallLy.
ln oLher words, and l lnLend Lo emphaslze Lhls heavlly, cenLaurlc vlslon-loglc can lnLegraLe physlosphere,
blosphere, and noosphere ln lLs own compound lndlvlduallLy (and Lhls ls, as l suggesLed ln chapLer 3, Lhe nexL ma[or
sLage of leadlng-edge global LransformaLlon, even Lhough mosL of Lhe work yeL Lo be done" ls sLlll geLLlng Lhe globe
up Lo decenLered unlversal-raLlonal plurallsm ln Lhe flrsL place).
1hls overall lnLegraLlon (physlosphere, blosphere, and noosphere, or maLLer, body, mlnd) ls borne ouL, for
example, by Lhe researches of 8roughLon, Loevlnger, Selman, Maslow, and oLhers. As only one example, buL an
lmporLanL one, we can Lake Lhe work of !ohn 8roughLon.
As usual, Lhls new cenLaurlc sLage possesses noL [usL a new cognlLlve capaclLy (vlslon-loglc)-lL also lnvolves a new
sense of ldenLlLy (cenLaurlc), wlLh new deslres, new drlves, new needs, new percepLlons, new Lerrors, and new
paLhologles: lL ls a new and hlgher self ln a new and wlder world of oLhers. And 8roughLon has very carefully mapped
ouL Lhe developmenLal sLages of self and knowlng LhaL lead up Lo Lhls new cenLaurlc mode of belng-ln-Lhe-world.
1o slmpllfy conslderably, 8roughLon asked lndlvlduals from preschool age Lo early adulLhood: whaL or where ls
your self?
Slnce Lhls was a verbal sLudy, 8roughLon began wlLh Lhe laLe preop chlld (maglc-myLhlc), whlch he calls level zero.
AL Lhls sLage, chlldren unlformly reply LhaL self ls lnslde" and reallLy ls ouLslde." 1houghLs are noL dlsLlngulshed
from Lhelr ob[ecLs (sLlll maglcal adherences, Lhe chlld has noL compleLed fulcrum Lhree).
AL level one, sLlll ln Lhe laLe preop sLage, chlldren belleve LhaL Lhe self ls ldenLlfled wlLh Lhe physlcal body, buL Lhe
mlnd conLrols Lhe self and can Lell lL whaL Lo do, so lL ls Lhe mlnd LhaL moves Lhe body. 1he relaLlon of mlnd Lo body
ls one of auLhorlLy: Lhe mlnd ls a blg person and Lhe body ls a llLLle person (l.e., mlnd and body are slowly
dlfferenLlaLlng). Llkewlse, LhoughLs are dlsLlngulshed from ob[ecLs, buL Lhere ls no dlsLlncLlon beLween reallLy and
appearance (nalve reallsm").
Level Lwo occurs aL abouL ages seven Lo Lwelve years (conop). Mlnd and body are lnlLlally dlfferenLlaLed aL Lhls
level (compleLlon of fulcrum Lhree), and Lhe chlld speaks of Lhe self as belng, noL a body, buL a petsoo (a soclal tole
or petsooo, fulcrum four), and Lhe person lncludes boLh mlnd and body. AlLhough LhoughLs and Lhlngs are
dlsLlngulshed, Lhere ls sLlll a sLrong personallsLlc flavor Lo knowledge (remnanLs of egocenLrlsm), so facLs and
personal oplnlons are noL easlly dlfferenLlaLed.
AL level Lhree, occurrlng around eleven Lo sevenLeen years (early formop), Lhe soclal personallLy or tole ls seen
as a folse ootet oppeotooce, dlfferenL from Lhe ttoe looet self." Pere we see very clearly Lhe dlfferenLlaLlon of Lhe
self (Lhe raLlonal ego) from lLs embeddedness ln soclocenLrlc roles-Lhe emergence of a new lnLerlorlLy or relaLlve
auLonomy whlch ls owote of, ooJ tbos ttoosceoJs ot JlslJeotlfles ftom, overL soclal roles. 1he self ls whaL Lhe
person's naLure normally ls, lL ls a klnd of essence and remalns lLself over changes ln menLal conLenLs."
Llkewlse, and for preclsely Lhe same reasons, reflecLlve self-awareness appears aL Lhls level." (1hls ls fulcrum flve,
Lhe raLlonal and reflexlve ego dlfferenLlaLlng from, and Lhus Lranscendlng, soclocenLrlc or myLhlc-membershlp roles,
wlLh Lhe correlaLlve posslble paLhology of ldenLlLy crlsls." noLlce also LhaL Lhe new ego-self ls beqlooloq Lo remaln
as wltoess Lo Lhe sLream of menLal evenLs, and ls noL merely carrled away by any passlng LhoughLs, Lhe adolescenL
aL Lhls sLage reporLs LhaL someLhlng remalns lLself over changes ln menLal conLenLs.")
AL level four, or laLe formop, Lhe person becomes capable of hypoLheLlco-deducLlve awareness (whaL lf, as lf), and
reallLy ls concelved ln Lerms of telotlvlty and lotettelotloosblps (ecology and relaLlvlLy, ln Lhe broadesL sense, as we
have seen). 1he self ls vlewed as a posLulaLe lendlng unlLy and lnLegrlLy Lo personallLy, experlence, and behavlor"
(Lhls ls Lhe maLure ego").
8uL, and Lhls ls very Lelllng, developmenL can Lake a cynlcal Lurn aL Lhls sLage. lnsLead of belng Lhe prlnclple lendlng
unlLy and lnLegrlLy Lo experlence and behavlor, Lhe self ls slmply lJeotlfleJ wltb expetleoce ooJ bebovlot. ln Lhe
cynlcal behavlorlsLlc Lurn of Lhls sLage, Lhe person ls a cyberneLlc sysLem gulded Lo fulflllmenL of lLs maLerlal wanLs.
AL Lhls level, radlcal emphasls on seelng everyLhlng wlLhln a relaLlvlsLlc or sub[ecLlve frame of reference leaves Lhe
person close Lo a sollpslsLlc poslLlon."
1he world ls seen as a greaL relaLlvlsLlc cybetoetlc system, so hollsLlc" LhaL lL leaves no room for Lhe acLual
sub[ecL ln Lhe ob[ecLlve neLwork. 1he self Lherefore hovers above reallLy, dlsengaged, dlsenchanLed, dlsembodled. lL
ls close Lo a sollpslsLlc poslLlon": hyperagency cuL off from all communlons. And Lhls, as we have seen, ls essenLlally
Lhe fundamenLal LnllghLenmenL paradlgm: a perfecLly hollsLlc world LhaL leaves a perfecLly aLomlsLlc self.
A LranscendenLal self can bond wlLh oLher LranscendenLal selves, whereas a merely emplrlcal self dlsappears lnLo
Lhe emplrlcal web and lnLerlocklng order, never Lo be heard from agaln. (no sLrand ln Lhe web ls ever or can ever be
aware of Lhe whole web, lf lL could, Lhen lL would cease Lo be merely a sLrand. 1hls ls noL allowed by sysLems Lheory,
whlch ls why, as Pabermas demonsLraLed, sysLems Lheory always ends up lsolaLlonlsL and egocenLrlc, or
8uL for a more LranscendenLal self Lo emerge, lL has flrsL Lo Jlffeteotlote from Lhe merely empltlcol self, and Lhus
we flnd, wlLh 8roughLon: At level flve tbe self os obsetvet ls JlstloqolsbeJ ftom tbe self-coocept os koowo." ln oLher
words, someLhlng resembllng a pure observlng Self (a LranscendenLal WlLness or ALman, whlch we wlll lnvesLlgaLe ln
a momenL) ls beglnnlng Lo be clearly dlsLlngulshed from Lhe emplrlcal ego or ob[ecLlve self-lL ls a new lnLerlorlLy, a
new golng wlLhln LhaL goes beyond, a new emergence LhaL Lranscends buL lncludes Lhe emplrlcal ego. 1hls beglnnlng
Lranscendence of Lhe ego we are, of course, calllng Lhe cenLaur (Lhe beglnnlng of fulcrum slx, or Lhe slxLh ma[or
dlfferenLlaLlon LhaL we have seen so far ln Lhe developmenL of consclousness).
1hls ls Lhe realm of vlslon-loglc
leadlng Lo cenLaurlc lnLegraLlon, whlch ls why aL Lhls sLage, 8roughLon found LhaL reallLy ls deflned by Lhe
cobeteoce of Lhe lotetptetlve ftomewotk."
1hls lnLegraLlve sLage comes Lo frulLlon aL 8roughLon's lasL ma[or level (laLe cenLaurlc), where mloJ ooJ boJy ote
botb expetleoces of oo loteqtoteJ self," whlch ls Lhe phrase l have mosL ofLen used Lo deflne Lhe cenLaurlc or
bodymlnd-lnLegraLed self. reclsely because awareness has JlffeteotloteJ from (or dlsldenLlfled from, or
Lranscended) an excloslve ldenLlflcaLlon wlLh body, persona, ego, and mlnd, lL can now loteqtote Lhem ln a unlfled
fashlon, ln a new and hlgher holon wlLh each of Lhem as [unlor parLners. hyslosphere, blosphere,
noosphere-excluslvely ldenLlfled wlLh none of Lhem, Lherefore capable of lnLegraLlng all of Lhem.
8uL everyLhlng ls noL sweeLness and llghL wlLh Lhe cenLaur. As always, new and hlgher capaclLles brlng wlLh Lhem
Lhe poLenLlal for new and hlgher paLhologles. As vlslon-loglc adds up all Lhe posslblllLles glven Lo Lhe mlnd's eye, lL
evenLually reaches a dlsmal concluslon: personal llfe ls a brlef spark ln Lhe cosmlc vold. no maLLer how wonderful lL
all mlghL be now, we are sLlll golng Lo dle: JteoJ, as Peldegger sald, ls Lhe auLhenLlc response of Lhe exlsLenLlal
(cenLaurlc) belng, a dread LhaL calls us back from self-forgeLLlng Lo self-presence, a dread LhaL selzes noL Lhls or LhaL
parL of me (body or persona or ego or mlnd), buL raLher Lhe LoLallLy of my belng-ln-Lhe-world. When l auLhenLlcally
see my llfe, l see lLs endlng, l see lLs deaLh, and l see LhaL my oLher selves," my ego, my personas, were all susLalned
by lnauLhenLlclLy, by an ovolJooce of Lhe awareness of lonely deaLh.
A profound exlsLenLlal malalse can seL ln-Lhe characLerlsLlc paLhology of Lhls sLage (fulcrum slx). no longer
proLecLed by anLhropocenLrlc gods and goddesses, reason gone flaL ln lLs happy capaclLy Lo explaln away Lhe
MysLery, noL yeL dellvered lnLo Lhe hands of Lhe superconsclous-we sLare ouL blankly lnLo LhaL dark and gloomy
nlghL, whlch wlll very shorLly swallow us up as surely as lL once spaL us forLh. 1olsLoy:
1he quesLlon, whlch ln my flfLleLh year had broughL me Lo Lhe noLlon of sulclde, was Lhe slmplesL of all
quesLlons, lylng ln Lhe soul of every man: WhaL wlll come from whaL l am dolng now, and may do Lomorrow?
WhaL wlll come from my whole llfe?" CLherwlse expressed-Why should l llve? Why should l wlsh for
anyLhlng?" Agaln, ln oLher words, ls Lhere any meanlng ln my llfe whlch wlll noL be desLroyed by Lhe
lnevlLable deaLh awalLlng me?"
1haL quesLlon would oevet arlse Lo Lhe maglcal sLrucLure, LhaL sLrucLure has abundanL, even exorblLanL meanlng
because Lhe unlverse cenLers always on lL, was made for lL, caLers Lo lL dally: every ralndrop sooLhes lLs soul because
every conflrmlng drop reassures lL of lLs cosmocenLrlclLy: Lhe greaL splrlL wraps lL ln Lhe wlnd and whlspers Lo lL
always, l exlsL for you.
1haL quesLlon would oevet arlse Lo a myLhlc-bellever: Lhls soul exlsLs only for lLs Cod, a Cod LhaL, by a happy
colncldence, wlll save Lhls soul eLernally lf lL professes bellef ln Lhls Cod: a muLual admlraLlon socleLy desLlned for a
bad lnflnlLy. A crlsls of falLh and meanlng ls lmposslble from wlLhln Lhls clrcle (a crlsls occurs only when Lhls soul
suspecLs Lhls Cod).
1haL quesLlon would never beseL Lhe happy raLlonallsL, who long ago became a happy raLlonallsL by decldlng never
Lo ask such quesLlons agaln, and Lhen forgeLLlng, renderlng unconsclous, Lhls quesLlon, and susLalnlng Lhe
unconsclousness by rldlcullng Lhose who ask lL.
no, LhaL quesLlon arlses from a self LhaL knows Loo much, sees Loo much, feels Loo much. 1he consolaLlons are
gone, Lhe skull wlll grln ln aL Lhe banqueL, lL can no longer Lranqulllze lLself wlLh Lhe Lrlvlal. lrom Lhe depLhs, lL crles
ouL Lo gods no longer Lhere, searches for a meanlng noL yeL dlsclosed, sLlll Lo be lncarnaLed. lLs very agony ls worLh a
mllllon happy maglcs and a Lhousand bellevlng myLhs, and yeL lLs only consolaLlon ls lLs unrelenLlng paln-a paln, a
dread, an empLlness LhaL feels beyond Lhe comforLs and dlsLracLlons of Lhe body, Lhe persona, Lhe ego, looks bravely
lnLo Lhe face of Lhe vold, and can no longer explaln away elLher Lhe MysLery or Lhe 1error. lL ls a soul LhaL ls much
Loo awake. lL ls a soul on Lhe brlnk of Lhe Lranspersonal.
We have repeaLedly seen LhaL Lhe problems of one sLage are only de-fused" aL Lhe nexL sLage, and Lhus Lhe only
cure for exlsLenLlal angsL ls Lhe Lranscendence of Lhe exlsLenLlal condlLlon, LhaL ls, Lhe Lranscendence of Lhe cenLaur,
negaLlng and preservlng lL ln a yeL hlgher and wlder awareness. lor we are here beglnnlng Lo pass ouL of Lhe
noosphere and lnLo Lhe Lheosphere, lnLo Lhe Lranspersonal domalns, Lhe domalns noL [usL of Lhe self-consclous buL
of Lhe superconsclous.
A greaL number of lssues need Lo be clarlfled as we follow evoluLlon (and Lhe LwenLy LeneLs) lnLo Lhe hlgher or
deeper forms of Lranspersonal unfoldlng.
llrsL and foremosL, lf Lhls hlgher unfoldlng ls Lo be called rellglous" or splrlLual," lL ls a very far cry from whaL ls
ordlnarlly meanL by Lhose Lerms. We have spenL several chapLers palnsLaklngly revlewlng Lhe earller developmenLs
of Lhe archalc, maglc, and myLhlc sLrucLures (whlch are usually assoclaLed wlLh Lhe world's greaL rellglons), preclsely
because Lhose sLrucLures are whaL Lranspersonal and conLemplaLlve developmenL ls oot. And here we can deflnlLely
agree wlLh Campbell: lf 99.9 percenL of people wanL Lo call maglc and myLhlc real rellglon," Lhen so be lL for Lhem
(LhaL ls a leglLlmaLe use),
buL LhaL ls noL whaL Lhe world's greaLesL yogls, salnLs, and sages mean by mysLlcal or
really rellglous" developmenL, and ln any evenL ls noL whaL l have ln mlnd.
Campbell, however, ls qulLe rlghL LhaL a very, very few lndlvlduals, durlng Lhe maglc and myLhlc and raLlonal eras,
were lndeed able Lo go beyond maglc, beyond myLhlc, and beyond raLlonal-lnLo Lhe LransraLlonal and Lranspersonal
domalns. And even lf Lhelr Leachlngs (such as Lhose of 8uddha, ChrlsL, aLan[all, admasambhava, 8uml, and Chlh-l)
were snapped up by Lhe masses and LranslaLed downward lnLo maglc and myLhlc and egolc Lerms-Lhe salvaLlon of
Lhe lndlvldual soul"-LhaL ls noL whaL Lhelr Leachlngs clearly and even blaLanLly sLaLed, nor dld Lhey lnLenLlonally
lend any supporL Lo such endeavors. 1helr Leachlngs were abouL Lhe teleose from lndlvlduallLy, and noL abouL lLs
everlasLlng perpeLuaLlon, a groLesque noLlon LhaL was equaLed flaL-ouL wlLh hell or samsara.
1helr Leachlngs, and Lhelr conLemplaLlve endeavors, were (and are) LransraLlonal Lhrough and Lhrough. 1haL ls,
alLhough all of Lhe conLemplaLlve LradlLlons alm aL golng wlLhln and beyond reason, Lhey all stott wlLh reason, sLarL
wlLh Lhe noLlon LhaL LruLh ls Lo be esLabllshed by evlJeoce, LhaL LruLh ls Lhe resulL of expetlmeotol meLhods, LhaL
LruLh ls Lo be testeJ ln Lhe laboraLory of personal expetleoce, LhaL Lhese LruLhs are open Lo all Lhose who wlsh Lo
tty tbe expetlmeot and Lhus dlsclose fot tbemselves Lhe LruLh or falslLy of Lhe splrlLual clalms-and LhaL dogmas or
glven bellefs are preclsely whaL hlnder Lhe emergence of deeper LruLhs and wlder vlslons.
1hus, each of Lhese splrlLual or Lranspersonal endeavors (whlch we wlll carefully examlne) clalms LhaL Lhere exlsL
hlgher domalns of awareness, embrace, love, ldenLlLy, reallLy, self, and LruLh. 8uL Lhese clalms are noL dogmaLlc, Lhey
are noL belleved ln merely because an auLhorlLy proclalmed Lhem, or because soclocenLrlc LradlLlon hands Lhem
down, or because salvaLlon depends upon belng a Lrue bellever." 8aLher, Lhe clalms abouL Lhese hlgher domalns are
a cooclosloo based on hundreds of years of experlmenLal lnLrospecLlon and communal verlflcaLlon. lalse clalms are
tejecteJ on Lhe basls of cooseosool evlJeoce, and furLher evldence ls used Lo ad[usL and flne-Lune Lhe experlmenLal
1hese splrlLual endeavors, ln oLher words, are sclenLlflc ln any meanlngful sense of Lhe word, and Lhe sysLemaLlc
presenLaLlons of Lhese endeavors follow preclsely Lhose of any tecoosttoctlve scleoce.
C8!LC1lCnS 1C 1PL 18AnSL8SCnAL
1he common ob[ecLlons Lo Lhese conLemplaLlve sclences are noL very compelllng. 1he mosL Lyplcal ob[ecLlon ls LhaL
Lhese mysLlcal sLaLes are prlvaLe and lnLerlor and cannoL be publlcly valldaLed, Lhey are merely sub[ecLlve."
1hls ls slmply noL Lrue, or raLher, lf lL ls Lrue, Lhen lL applles Lo any and all nonemplrlcal endeavors, from
maLhemaLlcs Lo llLeraLure Lo llngulsLlcs Lo psychoanalysls Lo hlsLorlcal lnLerpreLaLlon. nobody has ever seen, ouL
Lhere" ln Lhe sensory world," Lhe square rooL of a negaLlve one. 1haL ls a maLhemaLlcal symbol seen only lowotJly,
prlvaLely," wlLh Lhe mlnd's eye. ?eL a communlLy of Lralned maLhemaLlclans know exacLly whaL LhaL symbol means,
and Lhey can share LhaL symbol easlly ln lnLersub[ecLlve awareness, and Lhey can conflrm or re[ecL Lhe proper and
conslsLenL uses of LhaL symbol. !usL so, Lhe prlvaLe" experlences of conLemplaLlve sclenLlsLs can be shared wlLh a
communlLy of Lralned conLemplaLlves, grounded ln a common and shared experlence, and open Lo conflrmaLlon or
rebuLLal based on publlc evldence.
8ecall LhaL Lhe 8lghL-Pand paLh ls open Lo emplrlcal verlflcaLlon, whlch means LhaL Lhe 8lghL-Pand dlmenslon of
holons, Lhelr form or exLerlors, can lndeed be seen" wlLh Lhe senses or Lhelr exLenslons. 8uL Lhe LefL-Pand
dlmenslon-Lhe lnLerlor slde-coooot be seen emplrlcally ouL Lhere," alLhough lL can be lnLernally expetleoceJ
(and alLhough lL has emplrlcal cottelotes: my lnLerlor LhoughLs reglsLer on an LLC buL cannoL be deLermlned or
lnLerpreLed or known from tbot evldence). LveryLhlng on Lhe LefL Pand, from sensaLlons Lo lmpulses Lo lmages and
concepLs and so on, ls an lotetlot expetleoce known Lo me Jltectly by ocpoolotooce (whlch can lndeed be
ob[ecLlvely descrlbed," buL only Lhrough an lnLersub[ecLlve communlLy aL Lhe some Jeptb, where lL relles on
lotetptetotloo from Lhe some depLh). ultect spltltool expetleoce ls slmply Lhe hlgher reaches of Lhe upper-LefL
quadranL, and Lhose experlences are as real as any oLher dlrecL experlences, and Lhey can be as easlly shared (or
dlsLorLed) as any oLher experlenLlal knowledge.
(1he only way Lo deny Lhe valldlLy of dlrecL lnLerlor experlenLlal knowledge-wheLher lL be maLhemaLlcal
knowledge, lnLrospecLlve knowledge, or splrlLual knowledge-ls Lo Lake Lhe behavlorlsL sLance and ldenLlfy lnLerlor
experlence wlLh exLerlor behavlor. Should somebody menLlon LhaL Lhls ls Lhe cynlcal LwlsL or paLhologlcal agency of
8roughLon's level four?)
1here ls, of course, one provlso: Lhe experlmenLer most, ln hls or her own case, bove JevelopeJ tbe tepolslte
coqoltlve tools. lf, for example, we wanL Lo lnvesLlgaLe concreLe operaLlonal LhoughL, a communlLy of Lhose who
have only developed Lo Lhe preoperaLlonal level wlll noL do. lf you Lake a preop chlld, and ln fronL of Lhe chlld pour
Lhe waLer from a shorL faL glass lnLo a Lall Lhln glass, Lhe chlld wlll Lell you LhaL Lhe Lall glass has more waLer. lf you
say, no, Lhere ls Lhe same amounL of waLer ln boLh glasses, because you [usL saw me pour Lhe same waLer from one
glass Lo Lhe oLher, Lhe chlld wlll have no ldea whaL you're Lalklng abouL. no, Lhe Lall glass has more waLer." no
maLLer how many Llmes you pour Lhe waLer back and forLh beLween Lhe Lwo glasses, Lhe chlld wlll deny Lhey have
Lhe same amounL of waLer. (lnLeresLlngly, lf you vldeoLape Lhe chlld aL Lhls sLage, and Lhen walL a few years unLll Lhe
chlld has developed conop-aL whlch polnL lL wlll seem uLLerly obvlous Lo hlm LhaL Lhe glasses have Lhe same
amounL of waLer-and Lhen show Lhe chlld Lhe earller vldeoLape, he wlll deny LhaL lL's hlm. Pe Lhlnks you've
docLored Lhe vldeoLape, he cannoL lmaglne anybody belng LhaL sLupld.) 1he preop chlld ls lmmetseJ ln a world LhaL
lncludes conop reallLles, ls JteocbeJ ln Lhose reallLles, and yeL cannoL see" Lhem: Lhey are all oLherworldly."
AL every sLage of developmenL, ln facL, Lhe nexL hlgher sLage always appears Lo be a compleLely oLher world," an
lnvlslble world"-lL has llLerally no exlsLence for Lhe lndlvldual, even Lhough Lhe lndlvldual ls ln facL sotototeJ wlLh
a reallLy LhaL conLalns Lhe oLher" world. 1he lndlvldual's Lhls-worldly" exlsLence slmply cannoL comprehend Lhe
oLherworldly" characLerlsLlcs lylng all around lL.
AL Lhe same Llme, Lhese hlgher or deeper worldspaces (wheLher of conop or formop or anyLhlng hlgher) are noL
locaLed elsewbete ln physlcal space-Llme. 1hey are locaLed bete, ln Jeepet percepLlons of tbls world. Otbet
wotlJs become tbls wotlJ wlLh lncreaslng developmenL and evoluLlon. 1he worldspace of conop ls a compleLely
oLher world Lo Lhe preop chlld (even Lhough he or she ls ofLen stotloq Jltectly ot lt), anoLher world LhaL noneLheless
becomes perfecLly obvlous, presenL, seen, and Lhls-worldly" aL Lhe conop sLage, and whaL was Lhe fuss all abouL?
8uL prlor Lo Lhe lncreased developmenL and evoluLlon, Lhere ls noLhlng from Lhe presenL Lhls-world LhaL wlll allow
Lhe chlld Lo adequaLely grasp Lhe oLher world (or else Lhe oLher world would have already become a real Lhls-world).
!usL so wlLh Lhe hlgher or Lranspersonal developmenLs. Lxplaln Lhem Lo someone aL Lhe raLlonal level, and all you
geL, aL besL, ls LhaL deer-caughL-ln-Lhe-headllghLs blank sLare (aL worsL, you geL someLhlng llke, And dld we forgeL Lo
Lake our rozac Loday?").
So Lhe flrsL Lhlng l would llke Lo emphaslze ls LhaL Lhe hlgher sLages of Lranspersonal developmenL are sLages LhaL
are Laken from Lhose who have acLually developed lnLo Lhose sLages and who dlsplay palpable, dlscernlble, and
repeaLable characLerlsLlcs of LhaL developmenL. 1he sLages Lhemselves can be totlooolly tecoosttocteJ (explalned ln
a raLlonal manner afLer Lhe facL), buL Lhey cannoL be raLlonally experlenced. 1hey can be experlenced only by a
LransraLlonal conLemplaLlve developmenL, whose sLages unfold ln Lhe same manner as any oLher developmenLal
sLages, and whose experlences are every blL as real as any oLhers.
8uL one musL be adequaLe Lo Lhe experlence, or lL remalns an lnvlslble oLher world. When Lhe yogls and sages and
conLemplaLlves make a sLaLemenL llke, 1he enLlre world ls a manlfesLaLlon of one Self," LhaL ls oot a merely
raLlonal sLaLemenL LhaL we are Lo Lhlnk abouL and see lf lL makes loglcal sense. lL ls raLher a descrlpLlon, ofLen poeLlc,
of a dlrecL apprehenslon or a dlrecL experlence, and we are Lo LesL Lhls dlrecL experlence, noL by mulllng lL over
phllosophlcally, buL by Laklng up Lhe experlmenLal meLhod of conLemplaLlve awareness, developlng Lhe requlslLe
cognlLlve Lools, and Lhen dlrecLly looklng for ourselves.
As Lmerson puL lL, WhaL we are, LhaL only can we see."
ln Lhls regard, anoLher common ob[ecLlon ls LhaL mysLlcal or conLemplaLlve experlences, because Lhey cannoL be puL
lnLo plaln language, or lnLo any language for LhaL maLLer, are Lherefore noL eplsLemologlcally grounded, are noL real
knowledge." 8uL Lhls slmply bypasses Lhe problem of whaL llngulsLlcally slLuaLed knowledge means ln Lhe flrsL place.
Saussure, as l menLloned earller, malnLalned LhaL all llngulsLlc slgns have Lwo componenLs, Lhe slgnlfler and Lhe
slgnlfled, ofLen represenLed as S/S. 1he slqolflet ls Lhe wrlLLen or spoken symbol or sound, Lhe motetlol compooeot
of Lhe slgn (such as Lhe physlcal lnk forms wrlLLen on Lhls page, or Lhe physlcal alr vlbraLlons as you speak). 1he
slqolfleJ ls whaL comes Lo your mlnd when you see or hear Lhe slgnlfler.
1hus, l physlcally wrlLe Lhe word Joq on Lhls page-LhaL ls Lhe slgnlfler. ?ou read Lhe word, and you undersLand
LhaL l mean someLhlng llke a furry anlmal wlLh four legs LhaL goes wuff-wuff-LhaL ls Lhe slgnlfled, LhaL ls whaL comes
Lo your mlnd. A slqo ls a comblnaLlon of Lhese Lwo componenLs, and Lhese Lwo componenLs are, of course, Lhe
8lghL-Pand dlmenslon of Lhe slgn (Lhe physlcal exLerlor) and Lhe LefL-Pand dlmenslon of Lhe slgn (Lhe lnLerlor
awareness or meanlng).
And boLh of Lhose are dlsLlngulshed from Lhe acLual tefeteot, or whaLever lL ls LhaL Lhe slgn ls polnLlng" Lo,
wheLher lnLerlor or exLerlor. 1hus, Lhe slgnlfler ls Lhe word Joq, Lhe referenL ls Lhe real dog, and Lhe slgnlfled ls whaL
comes Lo your mlnd when you read or hear Lhe slgnlfler Joq. Saussure's genlus was Lo polnL ouL LhaL Lhe slqolfleJ ls
noL merely or slmply Lhe same as Lhe tefeteot, because whaL comes Lo mlnd" depends on a whole hosL of facLors
oLher Lhan Lhe real dog, and Lhls ls whaL makes llngulsLlc reallLy so fasclnaLlng.
Saussure's polnL-and Lhls ls whaL acLually lgnlLed Lhe whole movemenL of sLrucLurallsm-ls LhaL Lhe slgn cannoL
be undersLood as an lsolaLed enLlLy, because ln and by lLself tbe slqo ls meooloqless (whlch ls why dlfferenL words
can represenL Lhe same Lhlng ln dlfferenL languages, and why meanlng" ls never a slmple maLLer of a word polnLlng
Lo a Lhlng, because how could dlfferenL words represenL Lhe same Lhlng?). 8aLher, slgns musL be undersLood as parL
of a holarchy of dlfferences lnLegraLed lnLo meanlngful sLrucLures. 8oLh Lhe slgnlflers and Lhe slgnlfleds exlsL as
holons, or whole/parLs ln a chaln of whole/parLs, and, as Saussure made clear, lL ls Lhelr telotloool stooJloq LhaL
coofets meooloq on each (language ls a meanlngful sysLem of meanlngless elemenLs: os olwoys, Lhe reglme or
sLrucLure of Lhe superholon confers meanlng on Lhe subholons, meanlng whlch Lhe subholons do noL and cannoL
possess on Lhelr own).
ln oLher words, Lhe slgnlflers and Lhe slgnlfleds exlsL as a sLrucLure of conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs, and
meanlng lLself ls cootext-boooJ. Meanlng ls found noL ln Lhe word buL ln Lhe conLexL: Lhe bark of a dog ls noL Lhe
same as Lhe bark of a Lree, and Lhe dlfference ls noL ln Lhe word, because Lhe word botk ls Lhe same ln boLh
phrases-lL ls Lhe relaLlonal conLexL LhaL deLermlnes lLs meanlng: Lhe eotlte sttoctote of language ls lnvolved ln Lhe
meanlng of each and every Lerm-Lhls was Saussure's greaL lnslghL.
And Lhls, as usual, conLrlbuLed Lo a spllL beLween 8lghL- and LefL-Pand LheorlsLs. 1he 8lghL-Pand LheorlsLs, or Lhe
pure sLrucLurallsLs, wanLed Lo sLudy only Lhe extetlot sttoctote of tbe system of slqolflets ln language and ln culLure
(an approach whlch ln Lurn gave way Lo Lhe posLsLrucLurallsLs, who wanLed Lo free Lhe slgnlfler from any groundlng
aL all-as ln loucaulL's archaeology or uerrlda's grammaLology-and see lL as free-floaLlng or slldlng, and anchored
only by power or pre[udlce: meanlng ls lndeed conLexL-dependenL, buL conLexLs are boundless, and Lhus meanlng ls
arblLrarlly lmposeJ by power or pre[udlce-Lhe so-called posLsLrucLural revoluLlon" of free-floaLlng slgnlflers").
1he LefL-Pand LheorlsLs wanLed Lo sLudy Lhe conLexLs wlLhln conLexLs of lotetlot meooloq, Lhe slqolfleJs LhaL can
only be lotetpteteJ, noL seen, and lnLerpreLed only ln a conLexL of background culLural pracLlces (Lhe
hermeneuLlclsLs, from Peldegger Lo kuhn and 1aylor and aspecLs of WlLLgensLeln).
8uL boLh Lhe hermeneuLlcal LefL-Pand paLh and Lhe sLrucLurallsL 8lghL-Pand paLh agreed LhaL slgns can only be
undersLood conLexLually (wheLher ln Lhe conLexL of shared culLural pracLlces LhaL provlde Lhe foreknowledge or
background or conLexL for common lnLerpreLaLlon, or ln Lhe conLexL of shared nonlndlvldual llngulsLlc sLrucLures. l
argued ln chapLer 4 LhaL boLh of Lhese approaches are equally lmporLanL-Lhey represenL Lhe lnLerlor and Lhe
exLerlor of Lhe llngulsLlc holon-and lndeed even loucaulL came Lo Lhls undersLandlng).
All of whlch relaLes Lo mysLlclsm ln Lhls way: Lhe word Joq has a shared meanlng Lo you and Lo me because LhaL
slgn exlsLs ln a shared llngulsLlc sLrucLure and a shared culLural background of soclal and lnLerpreLlve pracLlces. 8uL
whaL lf you had never seen a real dog? WhaL Lhen?
l could of course descrlbe one Lo you, buL Lhe word wlll be meanlngless unless Lhere are some polnLs of shared
experlence LhaL wlll allow you Lo call up" ln your mlnd Lhe same slqolfleJ LhaL l mean wlLh Lhe slqolflet dog."
(SubsLlLuLe Lhe word 8oJJbo-ootote for Joq and you can see Lhe lmporLance of Lhls llne of LhoughL for mysLlcal
experlence, whlch we wlll explore ln a mlnuLe.) 1he hermeneuLlclsLs are qulLe rlghL ln LhaL regard: Lhe same llngulsLlc
sLrucLures LhaL you and l share are oot eoooqb, ln Lhemselves, Lo glve you Lhe proper slgnlfled. ?ou and l have Lo
share a commoo llveJ expetleoce ln order Lo assume ldenLlcal slgnlflcaLlon.
lurLher, Lhe acLual experlence of seelng a dog ls noL lLself a metely llngulsLlc experlence. 1he slgnlfler, Lhe word
Joq, ls noL Lhe acLual dog, noL Lhe acLual referenL. Cbvlously, Lhe LoLal experlence of Lhe real dog cannoL lLself be puL
lnLo words, puL lnLo slgnlflers. 8uL Lhe facL LhaL Lhe real dog can'L be fully capLured ln words does noL mean LhaL Lhe
real dog doesn'L exlsL or lsn'L real. lL means only LhaL Lhe slgnlfler has sense only lf you and l have had a slmllar
experlence, a common shared llfeworld experlence, and Lhen l wlll know whaL you mean when you say, 1haL dog
scared me."
ln shorL, no dlrecL experlence can be fully capLured ln words.
Sex can'L be puL lnLo words, you've elLher had Lhe
experlence or you haven'L, and no amounL of poeLry wlll Lake lLs place. SunseLs, eaLlng cake, llsLenlng Lo 8ach, rldlng
a blke, geLLlng drunk and Lhrowlng up-belleve me, none of Lhose are capLured ln words.
And Lhus, so whaL lf splrlLual experlences can'L be capLured ln words elLher? 1hey are no more and no less
handlcapped ln Lhls regard Lhan any oLher experlence. lf l say dog" and you've had Lhe experlence, you know
exacLly whaL l mean. lf a Zen masLer says LmpLlness," and you've had LhaL experlence, you wlll know exacLly whaL ls
meanL. lf you haven'L had Lhe experlence dog" or Lhe experlence LmpLlness," merely addlng more and more words
wlll never, under any clrcumsLances, convey lL.
1hus, lf we are golng Lo level LhaL charge aL mysLlclsm, Lhen we musL level lL aL dogglness and sunseLness and
every oLher experlence LhaL happens Lo come our way. (1hls ls really Lhe cheapesL of Lhe cheap shoLs flred aL
Conversely, words do [usL flne as slgnlflers for experlence, wheLher mundane or splrlLual, lf we boLh, you and l,
have had slmllar experlences ln a conLexL of shared background pracLlces. Zen masLers Lalk abouL LmpLlness all Lhe
Llme! And Lhey know exacLly whaL Lhey mean by Lhe words, and Lhe words are petfectly oJepoote Lo convey whaL
Lhey mean, lf you have had Lhe experlence (for whaL Lhey mean can only be dlsclosed ln Lhe shared praxls of zazen,
or medlLaLlon pracLlce).
Co one sLep furLher. lf l say Lo a conop chlld, lL ls as lf l were elsewhere," Lhe chlld mlghL nod her head as lf she
acLually undersLood all Lhe meanlngs of LhaL sLaLemenL. 1he conop chlld already possesses Lhe shared llngulsLlc
sLrucLure (and grammar) Lo declpher Lhe words. 8uL, as we have seen, slnce Lhe conop chlld cannoL fully grasp Lhe
lmpllcaLlons of as-lf sLaLemenLs, she doesn'L really undersLand whaL ls slqolfleJ by my sLaLemenL. Cnce Lhe hlgher
sLrucLure of formop emerges, however, Lhls wlll usher Lhe chlld lnLo a wotlJspoce where as-lf" ls noL [usL a slgnlfler
buL a slqolfleJ LhaL has an exlsLlng tefeteot ln LhaL formop worldspace: noL [usL a word, buL a dlrecL undersLandlng
LhaL more or less sponLaneously [umps Lo mlnd whenever we hear or see Lhe word, and whlch refers Lo a genulnely
exlsLlng enLlLy ln Lhe raLlonal worldspace.
ln oLher words, oll slgns exlsL ln a conLlnuum of Jevelopmeotol tefeteots and Jevelopmeotol slqolfleJs. 1he
tefeteot of a slgn ls noL [usL lylng around ln Lhe" world walLlng for any and all Lo slmply look aL lL, Lhe referenL exlsLs
ooly ln a wotlJspoce LhaL ls lLself ooly dlsclosed ln Lhe process of developmenL, and Lhe slqolfleJ exlsLs only ln Lhe
lotetlot petceptloo of Lhose who have developed Lo LhaL worldspace (whlch sLrucLures Lhe background lnLerpreLlve
meanlng LhaL allows Lhe slgnlfled Lo emerge). No omooot of expetleoce by Lhe conop chlld wlll ever show her Lhe
meanlng of an as-lf" dog, because Lhe as-lf dog does noL exlsL ooywbete ln Lhe conop worldspace, lL exlsts only ln
Lhe formop worldspace, and Lhus lL ls a referenL LhaL demands a developmenLal slgnlfled Lo even be percelved ln Lhe
flrsL place.
1o Lake lL a polnL aL a Llme: Lhe slqolflets of slgns (such as Lhe words on Lhls page) are always physlcal, Lhey are
always maLerlal componenLs, ln whlch no meanlng resldes aL all (Saussure's polnL), and because Lhe slgnlflers are
physlcal, even my dog can see Lhem (and, of course, sees no meanlng ln Lhem, or raLher, sees Lhem from a
sensorlmoLor level, as someLhlng Lo eaL, perhaps). 1haL ls because Lhe acLual tefeteot of a slgn exlsLs only ln a
wotlJspoce (sensorlmoLor, maglcal, myLhlcal, menLal, eLc.) LhaL ls lLself dlsclosed only aL a parLlcular level of depLh
(preop, conop, formop, eLc.). And ln Lhe same way, Lhe correspondlng slqolfleJ of Lhe slgn exlsLs only ln Lhe lotetlot
petceptloo of Lhose who have developed Lhe tepolslte Jeptb. (All of Lhls occurs ln a conLexL of culLural and soclal
pracLlces, or an lnLersub[ecLlve communlLy of Lhe same-depLhed.)
8oLh Lhe conop chlld and my dog can see Lhe physlcal words as-lf", nelLher of Lhem can undersLand Lhe phrase.
1he emplrlcal marklngs are meanlngless. 1he chlld and Lhe dog do noL possess Lhe developmenLal slgnlfled, and Lhus
Lhey cannoL see Lhe acLual referenL.
Several examples of referenLs and worldspaces: rocks exlsL ln Lhe sensorlmoLor worldspace, anlmlsLlc clouds exlsL
ln Lhe maglc worldspace, SanLa Claus exlsLs ln Lhe myLhlc worldspace, Lhe square rooL of a negaLlve one exlsLs ln Lhe
raLlonal worldspace, archeLypes exlsL ln Lhe subLle worldspace, and so on-noL as preglven ob[ecLs, buL as Lhe
producL of all four quadranLs. And Lhus, ln order Lo undersLand Lhe referenLs represenLed by Lhose slgnlflers (from
rocks" Lo archeLypes") one musL possess Lhe requlslLe depLh Lhrough one's own lnLerlor developmenL (so LhaL
Lhose slgnlflers can evoke Lhe approprlaLe slgnlfled: when you read Lhe square rooL of a negaLlve one," you know
whaL LhaL means, whaL LhaL slgnlfles, buL only lf you have developed Lo formop).
!usL so, Lhe words 8oJJbo-ootote and CoJbeoJ and 5pltlt and ubotmokoyo are slgnlflers whose tefeteots
exlsL only ln Lhe Lranspersonal or spltltool wotlJspoce, and Lhey Lherefore requlre, for Lhelr undersLandlng, a
Jevelopmeotol slqolfleJ, an approprlaLely developed lnLerlor or LefL-Pand dlmenslon correspondlng wlLh Lhe
exLerlor word, or else Lhey remaln only words, llke Lhe unseen dog, Lhls unseen SplrlL. And wlLhouL Lhe
developmenLal slgnlfled, words wlll capLure nelLher Lhe dog nor Lhe SplrlL.
And noLe: l can run around unLll l flnd a dog and show you Lhe dog, because we boLh exlsL ln Lhe sensorlmoLor
worldspace and Lhere ls no developmenLal reason why you can'L spoL a dog. Cr, ln Lhe oLher example, Lhere ls no
reason you can'L undersLand an as-lf dog, whose referenL exlsLs ln Lhe raLlonal worldspace. We olteoJy share LhaL
worldspace. We have already ttoosfotmeJ Lo LhaL level of depLh: an enLlre and shared world of referenLs are
Lherefore lylng around for us Lo apprehend (because we have olteoJy creaLed Lhe worldspace or Lhe openlng ln
whlch Lhey can manlfesL).
8uL l can'L run around and flnd 8uddha and show you LhaL, unless you have developed Lhe requlslLe cognlLlons
LhaL wlll allow you Lo resonaLe wlLh Lhe slqolflet whose tefeteot exlsLs only ln Lhe splrlLual worldspace and whose
slqolfleJ exlsLs only ln Lhe consclousness of Lhose who have awakened Lo LhaL space.
vALlul1? CLAlMS Cl M?S1lClSM
lf l wanL Lo know wheLher lL ls ralnlng or noL, l go Lo Lhe wlndow and look ouL, and sure enough, raln. 8uL perhaps l
am mlsLaken, or perhaps my eyeslghL ls poor. Would you check? ?ou go Lo Lhe wlndow and yes, raln.
1haL ls a very slmpllfled form of Lhe Lhree sLrands of any valld knowledge quesL (wheLher of Lhe LefL- or 8lghL-
Pand paLh).
1he flrsL ls lojooctloo, whlch ls always of Lhe form, lf you wanL Lo know Lhls, do Lhls." lf you wanL Lo
know lf a cell has a nucleus, Lhen geL a mlcroscope, learn Lo Lake hlsLologlcal secLlons, sLaln Lhe cell, puL lL under Lhe
mlcroscope, and look. lf you wanL Lo know Lhe meanlng of nomlet, Lhen learn Lngllsh, geL Lhe book, and read. lf you
wanL Lo know wheLher 2 + 2 ls really 4, Lhen learn arlLhmeLlc Lheory, Lake Lhe Lheorems, run Lhem Lhrough your
mlnd, and check Lhe resulLs.
1he varlous lojooctloos, ln oLher words, lead Lo or dlsclose or open up Lhe posslblllLy of an lllumlnaLlon, an
apprehenslon, an lnLulLlon, or a dlrecL experlenclng of Lhe domaln addressed by Lhe ln[uncLlon. ?ou see" Lhe
meanlng of nomlet, or wheLher lL ls ralnlng, or why 2 + 2 really ls 4. 1hls ls Lhe second sLrand, Lhe lllumlnaLlon or
opptebeosloo. ?ou see or apprehend, vla a dlrecL experlence, Lhe dlsclosed daLa of Lhe domaln.
8uL you could be mlsLaken, and Lhus you check your resulLs, your daLa, wlLh oLhers who have compleLed Lhe flrsL
Lwo sLrands, wlLh oLhers who have performed Lhe ln[uncLlons and obLalned Lhe daLa. ln Lhls communlLy of peers, you
compare and conflrm-or re[ecL-your orlglnal daLa. And Lhls ls Lhe Lhlrd sLrand, commoool coofltmotloo (or
1hese Lhree sLrands-ln[uncLlon, lllumlnaLlon, conflrmaLlon-are Lhe ma[or componenLs ln any valld knowledge
Cne of Lhe greaL values of 1homas kuhn's work (and LhaL of Lhe pragmaLlsLs before hlm, and ln parLlcular
Peldegger's analyLlc-pragmaLlc" slde) was Lo draw aLLenLlon Lo Lhe lmporLance of ln[uncLlons or octool ptoctlces ln
generaLlng knowledge, and furLher, ln generaLlng Lhe type of knowledge LhaL coolJ be arLlculaLed ln a glven
1haL ls, soclal ptoctlces, or soclal lojooctloos (and l mean soclal" ln Lhe broad sense as socloculLural"), are
cruclal ln creaLlng and dlscloslng Lhe Lypes of worldspace ln whlch Lypes of sub[ecLs and ob[ecLs appear (and Lhus Lhe
Lypes of knowledge LhaL coo unfold). 1he referenLs of knowledge, as we saw above, exlsL only ln speclflc
worldspaces, and Lhose worldspaces are noL slmply glven emplrlcally, lylng around for all and sundry Lo percelve.
8aLher, Lhese worldspaces are dlsclosed/creaLed by cognlLlve LransformaLlons ln Lhe conLexL of background
ln[uncLlons or soclal pracLlces.
uL slmply, Lhe flrsL sLrand of knowledge accumulaLlon ls never slmply Look", lL ls uo Lhls, Lhen look."
kuhn, ln one of Lhe greaL mlsundersLood concepLs of our era, polnLed ouL LhaL normal sclence proceeds by way of
exemploty lojooctloos-LhaL ls, shared pracLlces and meLhods LhaL sclenLlsLs agree dlsclose and address Lhe
lmporLanL lssues of Lhelr fleld. kuhn called such an agreed-upon ln[uncLlon an exemplar" or a paradlgm"-an
exemplary pracLlce or Lechnlque or meLhodology LhaL all agreed was cenLral Lo furLherlng Lhe knowledge quesL. And
lL was Lhe paradlgm, Lhe exemplary ln[uncLlon, LhaL dlsclosed a Lype of daLa, so LhaL Lhe paradlgm lLself was a maLLer
of consensus, noL merely correspondence.
ln Lhe academlc world of Lhe Lwo culLures, many LheorlsLs ln Lhe under-funded humanlLles (and vlrLually
everybody ln Lhe new Age movemenL) selzed upon Lhe noLlon of paradlgm" as a way Lo undercuL Lhe auLhorlLy of
normal sclence, bolsLer Lhelr own deparLmenLs, reduce emplrlcal facLs Lo arblLrary soclal convenLlons-and Lhen
propose Lhelr own, new and lmproved paradlgm." ln all of Lhese, paradlgm" was mlsLaken as some sorL of overall
Lheory or concepL or noLlon, Lhe ldea belng LhaL lf you came up wlLh a new and beLLer Lheory, Lhe facLual evldence
could be lgnored because LhaL was [usL old paradlgm."
Among oLher Lhlngs, Lhls meanL LhaL emplrlcal sclence dldn'L really show any progress," buL was merely a shlfLlng
of oplnlons (paradlgms") LhaL had no tefeteot excepL ln Lhe arblLrary cooveotloos of sclenLlsLs (and Lhese
convenLlons were always charged wlLh some sorL of lsm" LhaL Lhe new paradlgm would overcome).
All of Lhls lgnored kuhn's repeaLed lnslsLence LhaL laLer sclenLlflc Lheorles are beLLer Lhan earller ones for solvlng
puzzles ln Lhe qulLe ofLen dlfferenL envlronmenLs Lo whlch Lhey are applled. 1hls ls noL a relaLlvlsL's poslLlon, and lL
dlsplays Lhe sense ln whlch l am a convlnced bellever ln sclenLlflc progress."
8uL by collapslng paradlgm" lnLo a mere Lheory (lLself unanchored), Lhe sclenLlflc enLerprlse could be collapsed
lnLo varlous forms of llLerary chlLchaL (and Lhe new masLers of Lhe unlverse were Lherefore . . . Lhe llLerary crlLlcs).
And llkewlse, on Lhe new Age fronL, a flurry of new paradlgms" could Lhen sLep ln and redress Lhe ugllness of Lhe
old paradlgm.
8uL paradlgms are flrsL and foremosL lojooctloos, acLual ptoctlces (all of whlch have nondlscurslve componenLs
LhaL never are enLered ln Lhe Lheorles Lhey supporL)-Lhey are meLhods for dlscloslng new daLa ln an addressed
domaln, and Lhe paradlgms wotk because Lhey are Lrue ln any meanlngful sense of Lhe word. Sclence makes real
ptoqtess, as kuhn sald, because successlve paradlgms cumulaLlvely dlsclose more and more lnLeresLlng daLa. Lven
loucaulL acknowledged LhaL Lhe naLural sclences, even lf Lhey had sLarLed as sLrucLures of power, had separaLed
from power (lL was Lhe pseudosclences of blopower LhaL remalned shoL Lhrough wlLh power masqueradlng as
nelLher Lhe new Agers nor Lhe new paradlgmers" had anyLhlng resembllng a new paradlgm, because all Lhey
offered was more Lalk-Lalk. 1hey had no new Lechnlques, no new meLhodologles, no new exemplars, no new
ln[uncLlons-and Lherefore no new daLa. All Lhey possessed, Lhrough a mlsreadlng of kuhn, was a pseudo-aLLempL Lo
Lrump normal sclence and replace lL wlLh Lhelr ldeologlcally favorlLe readlng of Lhe kosmos.
1he conLemplaLlve LradlLlons, on Lhe oLher hand, have always come flrsL and foremosL wlLh a seL of ln[uncLlons ln
hand. 1hey are, above all else, a seL of ptoctlces, pracLlces LhaL requlre years Lo masLer (much longer Lhan Lhe
Lralnlng of Lhe average sclenLlsL). 1hese ln[uncLlons (zozeo, sblkoo-tozo, vlpossooo, conLemplaLlve lnLrospecLlon,
sotsooq, Jotsboo-all of whlch we wlll dlscuss)-Lhese are noL Lhlngs Lo Lhlnk, Lhey are Lhlngs Lo do.
Cnce one masLers Lhe exemplar or Lhe paradlgmaLlc pracLlce (sLrand one), Lhen one ls ushered lnLo a worldspace
ln whlch new daLa dlsclose Lhemselves (sLrand Lwo). 1hese are dlrecL apprehenslons or lllumlnaLlons-ln a word,
Jltect spltltool expetleoces (oolo mystlco, sototl, keosbo, sboktlpot, ooJo, sbobJ, eLc.). 1hese daLa are rlgorously
checked (sLrand Lhree) ln Lhe communlLy of Lhose who have also compleLed Lhe flrsL Lwo sLrands (ln[uncLlon and
lllumlnaLlon). 8ad daLa are teboffeJ by Lhe communlLy (Lhe sangha) of Lhose whose cognlLlve eyes are adequaLe Lo
Lhe addressed domaln.
1hus, as l covered ln more deLall ln ye to ye, auLhenLlc knowledge has a componenL LhaL ls slmllar Lo kuhn's
paradlgm (namely, Lhe ln[uncLlon), a componenL LhaL ls slmllar Lo Lhe broad emplrlcal demand for evldence or daLa
or experlence (namely, Lhe lllumlnaLlon or apprehenslon, wheLher LhaL be from sensory experlence, menLal
experlence, or splrlLual experlence), and a componenL slmllar Lo Slr karl opper's falllblllsLlc crlLerlon (namely, Lhe
poLenLlal conflrmaLlon or refuLaLlon by a communlLy of Lhe adequaLe).
Accordlngly, conLemplaLlve knowledge ls, or can be, genulne knowledge, because lL follows all Lhree sLrands of
valld knowledge accumulaLlon.
1PL 8LCCnS18uC1lCn Cl 1PL CCn1LMLA1lvL A1P
Cf course, Lhls does noL prevenL Lhe varlous conLemplaLlve LradlLlons from possesslng Lhelr own parLlcular and
culLure-bound Lrapplngs, conLexLs, and lnLerpreLaLlons. 8uL Lo Lhe exLenL LhaL Lhe conLemplaLlve endeavor dlscloses
unlversal aspecLs of Lhe kosmos, Lhen Lhe deep sLrucLures of Lhe conLemplaLlve LradlLlons (buL noL Lhelr surface
sLrucLures) would be expecLed Lo show cross-culLural slmllarlLles aL Lhe varlous levels of depLh creaLed/dlsclosed by
Lhe medlLaLlve ln[uncLlons and paradlgms.
ln oLher words, Lhe deep sLrucLures of worldspaces (archalc, maglc, myLhlc, raLlonal, and Lranspersonal) show
cross-culLural and largely lnvarlanL feaLures aL a deep level of absLracLlon, whereas Lhe surface sLrucLures (Lhe acLual
sub[ecLs and ob[ecLs ln Lhe varlous worldspaces) are naLurally and approprlaLely qulLe dlfferenL from culLure Lo
culLure. !usL as Lhe human mlnd unlversally grows lmages and symbols and concepLs (even Lhough Lhe acLual
conLenLs of Lhose sLrucLures vary conslderably), so Lhe human splrlL unlversally grows lnLulLlons of Lhe ulvlne, and
Lhose Jevelopmeotol slqolfleJs unfold ln an evoluLlonary and reconsLrucLlble fashlon, [usL llke any oLher holon ln
Lhe kosmos (and Lhelr referenLs are [usL as real as any oLher slmllarly dlsclosed daLa).
ln Lhe pasL few decades Lhere has been a concerLed efforL on Lhe parL of many researchers (such as SLanlslav Crof,
8oger Walsh, lrances vaughan, uanlel 8rown, !ack Lngler, uanlel Coleman, Charles 1arL, uonald 8oLhberg, Mlchael
Zlmmerman, Seymour 8oorsLeln, Mark LpsLeln, uavld Lukoff, Mlchael Washburn, !oel lunk, !ohn nelson, !ohn
Chlrban, 8oberL lorman, lrancls Lu, Mlchael Murphy, Mark Waldman, !ames ladlman, myself, and oLhers)
raLlonally reconsLrucL Lhe hlgher sLages of Lranspersonal or conLemplaLlve developmenL-sLages LhaL conLlnue
naLurally or normally beyond Lhe ego and cenLaur lf arresL or flxaLlon does noL occur.
Much of Lhls work has been summarlzed ln 1toosfotmotloos of cooscloosoess: cooveotloool ooJ cootemplotlve
letspectlves oo uevelopmeot (Wllber, Lngler, and 8rown), and l wlll noL repeaL lLs conLenLs. 8uL Lhe concluslon ls
sLralghLforward. As 8rown and Lngler summarlze lL:
1he ma[or [conLemplaLlve] LradlLlons we have sLudled ln Lhelr orlglnal languages presenL an unfoldlng of
medlLaLlon experlence ln Lerms of a stoqe moJel: for example, Lhe Mahamudra from Lhe 1lbeLan 8uddhlsL
LradlLlon, Lhe vlsuddhlmagga from Lhe all 1heravada LradlLlon, and Lhe ?oga SuLras from Lhe SanskrlL Plndu
LradlLlon. 1be moJels ote sofflcleotly slmllot to soqqest oo ooJetlyloq commoo lovotloot sepoeoce of stoqes,
desplLe vasL culLural and llngulsLlc dlfferences as well as sLyles of pracLlce.
1hls developmenLal model has also been found Lo be conslsLenL wlLh Lhe sLages of mysLlcal or lnLerlor prayer
found ln Lhe !ewlsh (kabballsL), lslamlc (Sufl), and ChrlsLlan mysLlcal LradlLlons (see, for example, Chlrban's chapLer ln
1toosfotmotloos), and 8rown has also found lL ln Lhe Chlnese conLemplaLlve LradlLlons. 1heorlsLs such as ua
Avabhasha have glven exLenslve hermeneuLlc and developmenLal readlngs from whaL now appears Lo be aL leasL a
represenLaLlve sampllng from every known and avallable conLemplaLlve LradlLlon (see, for example, 1be 8osket of
1oletooce), and Lhey are ln fundamenLal and exLenslve agreemenL wlLh Lhls overall developmenLal model.
1he evldence, Lhough sLlll prellmlnary, sLrongly suggesLs LhaL, aL a mlnlmum, tbete ote foot qeoetol stoqes of
ttoospetsoool Jevelopmeot, each wlLh aL leasL Lwo subsLages (and some wlLh many more). 1hese four sLages l call
Lhe psycblc, Lhe sobtle, Lhe coosol, and Lhe oooJool.
Lach of Lhese sLages follows Lhe same paLLerns and shows Lhe same developmenLal characLerlsLlcs as all Lhe oLher
sLages of consclousness evoluLlon: each ls a holon followlng Lhe LwenLy LeneLs (a new dlfferenLlaLlon/lnLegraLlon, a
new emergence wlLh a new depLh, a new lnLerlorlLy, eLc.), each possesses a new and hlgher sense of self exlsLlng ln a
new and wlder world of oLhers, wlLh new drlves, new cognlLlons, new moral sLances, and so forLh, each possesses a
deep sLrucLure (baslc deflnlng paLLern) LhaL ls culLurally lnvarlanL buL wlLh surface sLrucLures (manlfesLaLlons) LhaL
are culLurally condlLloned and molded, and each has a new and hlgher form of posslble paLhology (wlLh Lhe
excepLlon of Lhe unmanlfesL end" polnL, alLhough even LhaL ls noL wlLhouL cerLaln posslble compllcaLlons ln lLs
l have elsewhere glven prellmlnary descrlpLlons of Lhe deep sLrucLures (and paLhologles) of each of Lhese four
ma[or sLages.
lnsLead of repeaLlng myself, l have for Lhls presenLaLlon slmply chosen four lndlvlduals who are
especlally represenLaLlve of Lhese sLages, and wlll leL Lhem speak for us. 1hey are (respecLlvely) 8alph Waldo
Lmerson, SalnL 1eresa of vlla, MelsLer LckharL, and Srl 8amana Maharshl. Lach also represenLs Lhe type of
mystlclsm Lyplcal aL each sLage: naLure mysLlclsm, delLy mysLlclsm, formless mysLlclsm, and nondual mysLlclsm (each
of whlch we wlll dlscuss).
And each represenLs a form of Lomorrow, a shape of our desLlny yeL Lo come. Lach rode Llme's arrow ahead of us,
as genluses always do, and Lhus, even Lhough loomlng ouL of our pasL, Lhey call Lo us from our fuLure.
1be ueptbs of tbe ulvloe
noly bteotb Jlvloely stteoms tbtooqb tbe lomlooos fotm wbeo tbe feost comes to llfe, ooJ flooJs of love ote
lo motloo, ooJ, woteteJ by beoveo, tbe llvloq stteom toots wbeo lt tesoooJs beoeotb, ooJ tbe olqbt teoJets
bet tteosotes, ooJ op oot of btooks tbe botleJ qolJ qleoms.-
AoJ, ftleoJly spltlt, jost os ftom yoot seteoely cootemplotlve btow yoot toy JesceoJs, secotely blessloq,
omooq mottols, so yoo wltoess to me, ooJ tell me, tbot l mlqbt tepeot lt to otbets, fot otbets too Jo oot
belleve lt. . . .
-l8lLu8lCP PCLuL8Lln
1PL CCn1lnulnC evoluLlonary process of wlLhln-and-beyond brlngs new wlLhlns . . . and new beyonds.
We lefL off wlLh Lhe emergence of Lhe cenLaur, whlch ls, so Lo speak, on Lhe border beLween Lhe personal and Lhe
Lranspersonal. lf Lhe flrsL Lhree general domalns were Lhose of maLLer, llfe, and mlnd, Lhe nexL general domaln (LhaL
of Lhe psychlc and subLle) ls Lhe domaln of Lhe sool, as l wlll use Lhe Lerm. And Lhe flrsL rule of Lhe soul ls: lL ls
1he word ttoospetsoool ls somewhaL awkward and confuses many people. 8uL Lhe polnL ls slmply, as Lmerson
puL lL, 1be sool koows oo petsoos." Pe explalns (and noLe: Lmerson LhroughouL Lhese quoLes uses Lhe mascullne, as
was Lhe cusLom of Lhe Llme, were he allve Loday he would use femlnlne and mascullne, for Lhe whole polnL of hls
noLlon of Lhe Cver-Soul was LhaL lL was nelLher male nor female, whlch ls why lL could anchor a Lrue llberaLlon from
any and all resLrlcLlve roles: 1he soul knows no persons"):
ersons are supplemenLary Lo Lhe prlmary Leachlng of Lhe soul. ln youLh we are mad for persons. Chlldhood
and youLh see all Lhe world ln Lhem. 8uL Lhe larger experlence of man dlscovers Lhe ldenLlcal naLure [Lhe same
self or soul] appearlng Lhrough Lhem all. ln all conversaLlon beLween Lwo persons LaclL reference ls made, as Lo
a Lhlrd parLy, Lo a common naLure. 1haL Lhlrd parLy or common naLure ls noL soclal, lL ls lmpersonal, ls Cod.
1he soul ls wlLhouL persons, and Lhe soul ls grounded ln Cod. lmpersonal," however, ls noL qulLe rlghL, because lL
Lends Lo lmply a compleLe negaLlon of Lhe personal, whereas ln hlgher developmenL Lhe personal ls negaLed and
preserved, or Lranscended and lncluded: hence, Lranspersonal." So l Lhlnk lL's very lmporLanL, ln all subsequenL
dlscusslon, for us Lo remember LhaL ttoospetsoool means personal plos," noL personal mlnus."
8uL whaL could an acLual Lranspersonal" experlence really mean? lL's noL nearly as mysLerlous as lL sounds. 8ecall
LhaL aL Lhe cenLaur, accordlng Lo Lhe research of 8roughLon (and many oLhers), Lhe self ls olteoJy beglnnlng Lo
Lranscend Lhe emplrlcal ego or Lhe emplrlcal person (Lhe observer ls dlsLlngulshed from Lhe self-concepL as
known"). ?ou yourself can, rlghL now, be aware of your ob[ecLlve self, you can observe your lndlvldual ego or person,
you are aware of yourself generally.
8uL who, Lhen, ls dolng Lhe observlng? WhaL ls lL LhaL ls observlng or wlLnesslng your lndlvldual self? 1haL
Lherefore ttoosceoJs your lndlvldual self ln some lmporLanL ways? Who or whaL ls tbot? 1he noble Lmerson:
All goes Lo show LhaL Lhe soul ln man ls noL an organ, buL anlmaLes and exerclses all Lhe organs, ls noL a
funcLlon, llke Lhe power of memory, of calculaLlon, of comparlson, buL uses Lhese as hands and feeL, ls noL a
faculLy, buL a llghL, ls noL Lhe lnLellecL or Lhe wlll, buL Lhe masLer of Lhe lnLellecL and Lhe wlll, ls Lhe background
of our belng, ln whlch Lhey lle,-an lmmenslLy noL possessed and LhaL cannoL be possessed. lrom wlLhln or
from behlnd, a llghL shlnes Lhrough us upon Lhlngs and makes us aware LhaL we are noLhlng, buL Lhe llghL ls
1he observer ln you, Lhe WlLness ln you, Lranscends Lhe lsolaLed petsoo ln you and opens lnsLead-from wlLhln or
from behlnd, as Lmerson sald-onLo a vasL expanse of awareness no longer obsessed wlLh Lhe lndlvldual bodymlnd,
no longer a respecLer or abuser of persons, no longer fasclnaLed by Lhe passlng [oys and seL-aparL sorrows of Lhe
lonely self, buL sLandlng sLlll ln sllence as an openlng or clearlng Lhrough whlch llghL shlnes, noL from Lhe world buL
lnLo lL-a llghL shlnes tbtooqb os upon Lhlngs." 1bot wblcb observes or wlLnesses Lhe self, Lhe person, ls preclsely
Lo LhaL degree ftee of Lhe self, Lhe person, and tbtooqb tbot opeoloq comes pourlng Lhe llghL and power of a Self, a
Soul, LhaL, as Lmerson puLs lL, would make our knees bend."
A man ls Lhe facade of a Lemple whereln all wlsdom and all good ablde. WhaL we commonly call man [as an
lndlvldual person" or ego], Lhe eaLlng, drlnklng, counLlng man, does noL, as we know hlm, represenL hlmself,
buL mlsrepresenLs hlmself. Plm we do noL respecL, buL Lhe soul, whose organ he ls, lf he would leL lL appear
Lhrough hls acLlon, would make our knees bend. When lL breaLhes Lhrough hls lnLellecL, lL ls genlus, when lL
breaLhes Lhrough hls wlll, lL ls vlrLue, when lL flows Lhrough hls affecLlon, lL ls love. And Lhe bllndness of Lhe
lnLellecL beglns when lL would be someLhlng of lLself [be lLs own person"]. 1he weakness of Lhe wlll beglns
when Lhe lndlvldual would be someLhlng of hlmself. All reform alms ln some one parLlcular Lo leL Lhe soul have
lLs way Lhrough us. . . .
And Lhose persons tbtooqb wbom Lhe soul shlnes, tbtooqb wbom Lhe soul has lLs way," are noL Lherefore weak
characLers, Llmld personallLles, meek presences among us. 1hey are personal plus, noL personal mlnus. reclsely
because Lhey are no longer excluslvely ldenLlfled wlLh Lhe lndlvldual personallLy, and yeL because Lhey sLlll preserve
Lhe personallLy, Lhen tbtooqb tbot personallLy flows Lhe force and flre of Lhe soul. 1hey may be sofL-spoken and
ofLen remaln ln sllence, buL lL ls a Lhunderous sllence LhaL verlLably drowns ouL Lhe egos chaLLerlng loudly all around
Lhem. Cr Lhey may be anlmaLed and very ouLgolng, buL Lhelr dynamlsm ls magneLlc, and people are drawn somehow
Lo Lhe presence, fasclnaLed. Make no mlsLake: Lhese are sLrong characLers, Lhese souls, someLlmes wlldly
exaggeraLed characLers, someLlmes world-hlsLorlcal, preclsely because Lhelr personallLles are plugged lnLo a
unlversal source LhaL rumbles Lhrough Lhelr velns and rudely raLLles Lhose around Lhem.
l belleve, for example, LhaL lL was preclsely Lhls flre and force LhaL allowed Lmerson, more Lhan any oLher person
ln Amerlcan hlsLory, Lo acLually deflne Lhe lnLellecLual characLer of Amerlca lLself. Cne of hls essays, 1he Amerlcan
Scholar," had, as one hlsLorlan puL lL, an lnfluence greaLer Lhan LhaL of any slngle work ln Lhe nlneLeenLh cenLury."
Cllver Wendell Polmes called lL our lnLellecLual ueclaraLlon of lndependence." !ames 8ussell Lowell explalned: 1he
urlLan revolL had made us eccleslasLlcally, and Lhe 8evoluLlon pollLlcally lndependenL, buL we were sLlll soclally and
lnLellecLually moored Lo Lngllsh LhoughL, Llll Lmerson cuL Lhe cable and gave us a chance aL Lhe dangers and Lhe
glorles of blue waLer. . . ."
And Lhe message, Lhls rlnglng ueclaraLlon of lndependence? 1he Soul ls Lled Lo oo lndlvldual, oo culLure, oo
LradlLlon, buL rlses fresh ln every person, beyond every person, and grounds lLself ln a LruLh and glory LhaL bows Lo
noLhlng ln Lhe world of Llme and place and hlsLory. We all musL be, and can only be, a llghL unLo ourselves."
And Lhen ln a phrase LhaL, as Polmes lndlcaLed, raLLled all of Amerlca, Lmerson announced: All LhaL Adam had, all
LhaL Caesar could, you have and can do"-because lL ls Lhe same Self ln each of us. Why bow Lo pasL heroes, he asks,
when all we are bowlng Lo ls our own Soul? Suppose Lhey were vlrLuous, dld Lhey wear ouL vlrLue?" 1he moqoetlsm
of Lhe greaL heroes ls only Lhe call from our own Self, he says. Why Lhls grovellng Lo Lhe pasL when Lhe same Soul
shlnes now and only now and always now? And Lhen Lmerson swlfLly and lrrevocably cuL Lhe cable and seL us
all-noL [usL Amerlcans-afloaL on Lhe dangers and Lhe glorles of blue waLer:
1rusL Lhyself: every hearL vlbraLes Lo LhaL lron sLrlng. . . . 1he magneLlsm whlch all orlglnal acLlon exerLs ls
explalned when we lnqulre Lhe reason of self-LrusL. Who ls Lhe 1rusLee? WhaL ls Lhe aborlglnal Self, on whlch a
unlversal rellance may be grounded? . . . 1he lnqulry leads us Lo LhaL source, aL once Lhe essence of genlus, of
vlrLue, and of llfe. . . . ln LhaL deep force, Lhe lasL facL behlnd whlch analysls cannoL go, all Lhlngs flnd Lhelr
common orlgln.
lor Lhe sense of belng whlch ln calm hour arlses, we know noL how, ln Lhe Soul, ls noL dlverse from Lhlngs,
from space, from llghL, from Llme, from man, buL one wlLh Lhem and proceeds obvlously from Lhe same source
whence Lhelr llfe and belng also proceed. . . . Pere ls Lhe founLaln of acLlon and of LhoughL. Pere are Lhe lungs
of LhaL lnsplraLlon whlch glveLh man wlsdom. . . . We lle ln Lhe lap of lmmense lnLelllgence, whlch makes us
recelvers of lLs LruLh and organs of lLs acLlvlLy. When we dlscern [usLlce, when we dlscern LruLh, we do noLhlng
of ourselves, buL allow a passage Lo lLs beams. . . .
1he relaLlons of Lhe Soul Lo Lhe dlvlne splrlL are so pure LhaL lL ls profane Lo seek Lo lnLerpose helps. lL musL
be LhaL when Cod speakeLh he should communlcaLe, noL one Lhlng, buL all Lhlngs, should flll Lhe world wlLh hls
volce, should scaLLer forLh llghL, naLure, Llme, souls, from Lhe cenLer of Lhe presenL LhoughL, and new daLe and
new creaLe Lhe whole. Whenever a mlnd ls slmple and recelves a dlvlne wlsdom, old Lhlngs pass
away-means, Leachers, LexLs, Lemples fall, lt llves oow and absorbs pasL and fuLure lnLo Lhe presenL hour. All
Lhlngs are made sacred by relaLlon Lo lL-one as much as anoLher. All Lhlngs are dlssolved Lo Lhelr cenLer by
Lhelr cause, and ln Lhe unlversal mlracle peLLy and parLlcular mlracles dlsappear.
lf Lherefore a man clalms Lo know and speak of Cod and carrles you backward Lo Lhe phraseology of some
old mouldered naLlon ln anoLher counLry, ln anoLher world, belleve hlm noL. ls Lhe acorn beLLer Lhan Lhe oak
whlch ls lLs fullness and compleLlon? Whence Lhen Lhls worshlp of Lhe pasL? 1he cenLurles are consplraLors
agalnsL Lhe sanlLy and auLhorlLy of Lhe Soul. 1lme and space are buL physlologlcal colors whlch Lhe eye makes,
buL Lhe Soul ls llghL: where lL ls, ls day, where lL was, ls nlghL, and hlsLory ls an lmperLlnence and an ln[ury lf lL
be any Lhlng more Lhan a cheerful apologue or parable of my belng and becomlng.
1o emphaslze LhaL Lhe Soul, Lhe aborlglnal Self," ls common ln and Lo all belngs, Lmerson ofLen refers Lo lL as Lhe
Cver-Soul," one and Lhe same ln all of us, ln all belngs as such. 1he overall number of Souls ls buL one:
1he only propheL of LhaL whlch musL be, ls LhaL greaL naLure ln whlch we resL as Lhe earLh lles ln Lhe sofL arms
of Lhe aLmosphere, LhaL unlLy, LhaL Cver-Soul, wlLhln whlch every man's parLlcular belng ls conLalned and
made one wlLh all oLher, LhaL common hearL of whlch all slncere conversaLlon ls Lhe worshlp, Lo whlch all rlghL
acLlon ls submlsslon, LhaL over-powerlng reallLy whlch confuLes our Lrlcks and LalenLs, and consLralns every
one Lo pass for whaL he ls, and Lo speak from hls characLer [soul] and noL from hls Longue [ego], and whlch
evermore Lends Lo pass lnLo our LhoughL and hand and become wlsdom and vlrLue and power and beauLy. . . .
And Lhls because Lhe hearL ln Lhee ls Lhe hearL of all, noL a valve, noL a wall, noL an lnLersecLlon ls Lhere
anywhere ln naLure, buL one blood rolls unlnLerrupLedly an endless clrculaLlon Lhrough all men, as Lhe waLer of
Lhe globe ls all one sea, and, Lruly seen, lLs Llde ls one. . . .
lL ls one llghL whlch beams ouL of a Lhousand sLars. lL ls one soul whlch anlmaLes all men. . . .
We llve ln successlon, ln dlvlslon, ln parLs, ln parLlcles. MeanLlme wlLhln man ls Lhe Soul of Lhe whole, Lhe
wlse sllence, Lhe unlversal beauLy, Lo whlch every parL and parLlcle ls equally relaLed, Lhe eLernal CnL.
And so once agaln we see LhaL a new and deeper wltblo has broughL us Lo a new and wlder beyooJ, a beyond
LhaL ls noL dlverse from Lhlngs, from space, from llghL, from Llme, from man, buL one wlLh Lhem and proceeds
obvlously from Lhe same source whence Lhelr llfe and belng also proceed." 1hls new wlLhln-and-beyond ls noL [usL
beyond a soclocenLrlc ldenLlLy Lo a worldcenLrlc ldenLlLy wlLh all human belngs (whlch Lhe raLlonal-ego/cenLaur
assumes ln lLs global or unlversal posLconvenLlonal awareness), buL Lo an ldenLlLy, a consclous unlon, wlLh all of
manlfesLaLlon lLself: noL [usL wlLh all humans, buL wlLh all naLure, and wlLh Lhe physlcal cosmos, wlLh all belngs greaL
and small"-a unlon or ldenLlLy LhaL 8ucke famously called cosmlc consclousness."
We could say: from Lhe worldcenLrlc cenLaur Lo dlrecL cosmlc consclousness. (When you conslder Lhe remarkable
achlevemenL LhaL decenLered worldcenLrlc awareness ls, lL's noL LhaL far of a [ump).
1hus, Lhe cenLaur could loteqtote Lhe physlosphere and Lhe blosphere and Lhe noosphere, buL Lhe Cver-Soul
becomes, or ls Jltectly ooe wltb, Lhe physlosphere and blosphere and noosphere. lL ls slmple conLlnuaLlon of Lhe
deepenlng and wldenlng of ldenLlLy, grounded ln an awareness very much wlLhln, and very much beyond, me.
And Lmerson means Lhls llLerally! Accordlng Lo Lmerson, Lhls cosmlc consclousness ls noL poeLry (Lhough he ofLen
expresses lL wlLh unmaLched poeLlc beauLy)-raLher, lL ls a dlrecL reallzaLlon, a dlrecL apprehenslon, and ln LhaL
deep force, Lhe lasL facL behlnd whlch analysls cannoL go, all Lhlngs flnd Lhelr common orlgln. lL ls one llghL whlch
beams ouL of a Lhousand sLars. lL ls one soul whlch anlmaLes all."
lor Lhe Cver-Soul ls also experlenced as Lhe World Soul, slnce self and world are here flndlng a common founLaln,
common source."
1he Cver-Soul (or World Soul) ls an lnlLlal apprehenslon of Lhe pure WlLness or aborlglnal Self,
whlch sLarLs Lo emerge, however halLlngly, as an experlenLlal reallLy aL Lhls psychlc sLage.
(We wlll see how Lmerson
LreaLs Lhls WlLness ln a momenL.)
WlLh Lhe Cver-Soul, Lhe World Soul, lL ls noL LhaL lndlvlduallLy dlsappears, buL LhaL-once agaln-lL ls negaLed and
preserved ln a deeper and wlder ground, a ground LhaL consplcuously lncludes all of naLure and lLs glorles. 1hls
cosmlc consclousness ls someLlmes referred Lo as naLure mysLlclsm," buL LhaL ls a somewhaL mlsleadlng Lerm. lor
Lhls psychlc-level mysLlclsm embraces noL [usL ootote buL also coltote, and calllng lL naLure mysLlclsm" confuses lL
wlLh a merely blocenLrlc regresslon, an ecocenLrlc lndlssoclaLlon, and Lhls ls noL aL all whaL Lmerson has ln mlnd (as
we wlll see).
8uL slnce Lhe Cver-Soul ls an experlenced ldenLlLy wlLh all manlfesLaLlon, lL ls an ldenLlLy LhaL mosL deflnlLely and
exuberanLly embtoces ootote, and, Lo LhaL degree, lL beglns Lo undercuL Lhe sub[ecL/ob[ecL duallsm.
We see Lhe world plece by plece, as Lhe sun, Lhe moon, Lhe anlmal, Lhe Lree, buL Lhe whole, of whlch Lhese are
Lhe shlnlng parLs, ls Lhe soul [Lhe Cver-Soul, Lhe World Soul]. . . . And Lhls deep power ln whlch we exlsL and
whose beaLlLude ls all accesslble Lo us, ls noL only self-sufflclng and perfecL ln every hour, buL Lhe acL of seelng
and Lhe Lhlng seen, Lhe seer and Lhe specLacle, Lhe sub[ecL and Lhe ob[ecL, are one.
ln hls famous LransparenL eyeball" secLlon from Lhe essay Notote, Lmerson speaks movlngly of Lhe unlon of Lhe
Soul and naLure, and of Lhe capaclLy of naLure, when rlghLly approached, Lo ellclL Lhls cosmlc consclousness. 1he
LransparenL eyeball" ls, of course, an lnLlmaLlon of Lhe pure WlLness ln Lhe form of Lhe Cver-Soul, whereln all mean
egoLlsm vanlshes, l am noLhlng, l see all":
1o speak Lruly, few adulL persons can see naLure. MosL persons do noL see Lhe sun. AL leasL Lhey have a very
superflclal seelng. . . . Crosslng a bare common, ln snow puddles, aL LwlllghL, under a clouded sky, wlLhouL
havlng ln my LhoughLs any occurrence of speclal good forLune, l have en[oyed a perfecL exhllaraLlon. l am glad
Lo Lhe brlnk of fear. . . . WlLhln Lhese planLaLlons of Cod, a decorum and sancLlLy relgn, a perennlal fesLlval ls
dressed, and Lhe guesL sees noL how he should Llre of Lhem ln a Lhousand years. ln Lhe woods, we reLurn Lo
reason and falLh. 1here l feel LhaL noLhlng can befall me ln llfe,-no dlsgrace, no calamlLy, whlch naLure cannoL
repalr. SLandlng on Lhe bare ground,-my head baLhed by Lhe bllLhe alr, and upllfLed lnLo lnflnlLe space,-all
mean egoLlsm vanlshes. l become a LransparenL eyeball, l am noLhlng, l see all, Lhe currenLs of unlversal 8elng
clrculaLe Lhrough me, l am parL or parcel of Cod.
WhaL dlsLlngulshes Lhls profound naLure mysLlclsm" from a slmple naLure lndlssoclaLlon or ecocenLrlc lmmerslon
or blospherlc regresslon (whlch would be egocenLrlc and anLhropocenLrlc, as we have seen) ls Lhe reallzaLlon LhaL
naLure ls noL SplrlL buL an exptessloo of SplrlL, radlanL and glorlous and perfecL ln lLs own way, buL an expresslon
noneLheless. Lmerson says naLure ls noL splrlL buL a symbol of splrlL. Lmerson ls noL regresslng Lo fulcrum-2
(blocenLrlc lmmerslon and nondlfferenLlaLlon)! Lmerson ls very clear on Lhls dlsLlncLlon beLween naLure teqtessloo,
on Lhe one hand, and a mysLlclsm LhaL also embtoces naLure, on Lhe oLher-and Lhls dlsLlncLlon raLher upseLs hls
envlronmenLallsL fans, who seem Lo wanL Lo epoote a flnlLe and Lemporal naLure wlLh an lnflnlLe and eLernal SplrlL:
8eauLy ln naLure ls noL ulLlmaLe. lL ls Lhe herald of lnward and eLernal beauLy, and ls noL alone a solld and
saLlsfacLory good. . . .
naLure ls a symbol of splrlL. . . . 8efore Lhe revelaLlons of Lhe Soul, Llme, space and naLure shrlnk away. . . . ln
Lhe hour of vlslon Lhere ls noLhlng LhaL can be called graLlLude, nor properly [oy. 1he Soul ralsed over passlon
beholds ldenLlLy and eLernal causaLlon, percelves Lhe self-exlsLence of 1ruLh and 8lghL, and calms lLself wlLh
knowlng LhaL all Lhlngs go well. vasL spaces of naLure, Lhe ALlanLlc Ccean, Lhe SouLh Sea, long lnLervals of Llme,
years, cenLurles, are of no accounL. . . .
LeL us sLun and asLonlsh Lhe lnLrudlng rabble of men and books and lnsLlLuLlons by a slmple declaraLlon of
Lhe dlvlne facL. 8ld Lhe lnLruders Lake Lhe shoes from off Lhelr feeL, for Cod ls here wlLhln. LeL our slmpllclLy
[udge Lhem, and our doclllLy Lo our own law demonsLraLe Lhe poverLy of naLure beslde our naLlve rlches.
lL ls, ln facL, accordlng Lo Lmerson, an alleglance Lo Lhe senses and naLure, ln lLself, LhaL blloJs us Lo Lhe lnLerlor
lnLulLlon of Lhe Cver-Soul and Lhe Cod wlLhln and beyond:
1o Lhe senses and Lhe unrenewed undersLandlng, belongs a sorL of lnsLlncLlve bellef ln Lhe absoluLe exlsLence
of naLure. ln Lhelr vlew man and naLure are lndlssolubly [olned. 1hlngs are ulLlmaLes, and Lhey never look
beyond Lhelr sphere [lageL's egocenLrlc reallsm"]. . . . Pls mlnd ls lmbruLed, and he ls a selflsh savage. . . .
1he presence of lnLulLlon
mars Lhls falLh [ln naLure]. 1he flrsL efforL of LhoughL Lends Lo relax Lhls
despoLlsm of Lhe senses whlch blnds us Lo naLure as lf we were a parL of lL, and shows us naLure aloof, and, as
lL were, afloaL. unLll Lhls hlgher agency lnLervened [lnLulLlon], Lhe anlmal eye sees, wlLh wonderful accuracy,
sharp ouLllnes and colored surfaces. When Lhe eye of lnLulLlon opens, Lo ouLllne and surface are aL once added
grace and expresslon. 1hese proceed from lmaglnaLlon and affecLlon, and abaLe somewhaL of Lhe angular
dlsLlncLlons of ob[ecLs. lf Lhe lnLulLlon be sLlmulaLed Lo more earnesL vlslon, ouLllnes of surfaces become
LransparenL, and are no longer seen, causes and splrlLs are seen Lhrough Lhem. 1he besL momenLs of llfe are
Lhese dellclous awakenlngs of Lhe hlgher powers, and Lhe reverenLlal wlLhdrawlng of naLure before lLs Cod.
At tbe some tlme, as Lmerson polnLs ouL, Lhls does oot mean LhaL naLure ls aparL from SplrlL or dlvorced from
SplrlL or allen Lo SplrlL-LhaL ls a common bellef ln Lhe myLhlc sLrucLure (Campbell called lL myLhlc dlssoclaLlon"),
buL lL flnds no place ln genulne psychlc mysLlclsm. All of naLure, every nook and cranny, ls ln SplrlL, baLhed by SplrlL,
awash ln SplrlL, Lhere ls no polnL ln naLure LhaL ls noL LoLally permeaLed and enveloped by SplrlL.
1hese dlsLlncLlons are cruclal, because Lhey allow us Lo dlsLlngulsh carefully and clearly beLween Lhree qulLe
dlfferenL worldvlews on Lhe telotloo betweeo ootote ooJ spltlt:
1he flrsL ls moqlcol loJlssoclotloo, where splrlL ls slmply equaLed wlLh naLure (naLure = splrlL),
predlfferenLlaLed, very Lhls-worldly."
1he second ls mytblc Jlssoclotloo, where naLure and splrlL are onLologlcally separaLe or dlvorced, very
1he Lhlrd ls psycblc mystlclsm: naLure ls a perfecL expresslon of splrlL (or as Splnoza puL lL, naLure ls a subseL
of splrlL),
oLherworldly" and Lhls-worldly" are unlLed and con[olned.
WlLh reference Lo Lhe Lhlrd: Cne of Lhe ma[or and deflnlng characLerlsLlcs of psychlc-level mysLlclsm ls LhaL lL ls a
consclous ldenLlLy wlLh physlosphere and blosphere and noosphere-lL does noL slmply prlvllege Lhe blosphere, lL ls
no mere geocenLrlc/egocenLrlc lndlssoclaLlon and regresslon. Lven Lhough Lhls mysLlclsm ofLen Lakes lLs glorlous
exulLaLlon ln Lhe wonders of naLure, noneLheless, as Lmerson consLanLly emphaslzes, Lhls ls Lhe Self of ootloo and
of ootote"-LhaL ls, Lhe mysLlcal unlon of maLLer, llfe, ooJ culLure, noL merely a blospherlc lmmerslon. Were lL only
Lhe Self of naLure and noL also of naLlon (culLure and morallLy), Lhen lL would be a perfecLly regresslve, duallsLlc, and
amorallsL sLance, glorlfylng merely an egocenLrlc [oy ln flndlng oneself vlLally reflecLed ln Lhe blosphere (and Lhe raln
whlspers ln lLs ear, l am here for you).
8aLher, lL ls Lhe unlon of Lhe human motol eoJeovot wlLh Lhe dlsplay of ootote os qlveo LhaL so dlsLlngulshes
naLlon-naLure" mysLlclsm from Lhe narclsslsLlc naLure worshlp" of mere senLlmenLallsm (Lhe Lechnlcal polnLs of
Lhls argumenL are glven ln noLe 16). 1hls ls mosL deflnlLely oot an ecologlcal self, lL ls an Lco-noeLlc Self, 1he Self of
naLlon and of naLure," Lhe Cver-Soul LhaL ls Lhe World Soul.
lndeed, lf naLure means Lhe blosphere, and naLure (or SplrlL) means Lhe All, means Lhe physlosphere and Lhe
blosphere and Lhe noosphere and Lhelr Cround, Lhen Lmerson's polnL ls very slmple: Lhe worshlpers of naLure are
Lhe desLroyers of naLure.
Lmerson, Lhen, ls slnglng songs Lo naLure, noL naLure. And LhaL ls why he malnLalns LhaL naLure lmmerslon and
naLure worshlp pteveot Lhe reallzaLlon of naLure, or Lhe SplrlL wlLhln and beyond, whlch Lranscends all, embraces
all. And Lhls ls whaL he means by naLure-naLlon" mysLlclsm: Lhe blosphere and Lhe noosphere unlLed ln Lhe
Lheosphere, or Lhe Cver-Soul LhaL ls slmulLaneously Lhe World Soul.
And so he arrlves aL Lhe very Lrue concluslon: naLure worshlpers are Lhe desLroyers of naLure, Lhe desLroyers of
SplrlL, Lhey would, he says, never look wltblo long enough Lo flnd Lhe Lrue beyond, Lhe Cver-Soul oot of wblcb boLh
culLure and naLure emerge (and whlch Lherefore lovlngly embraces boLh), Lhey would never look wlLhln for naLure,
Lhey only sLare wlLhouL aL naLure, and Lhus, as he puLs lL, Lhelr mlnds are lmbruLed, Lhey remaln a selflsh
savage-geocenLrlc, egocenLrlc.
!usL as all of Lhe lower ls ln Lhe hlgher buL noL all Lhe hlgher ls ln Lhe lower (buL raLher permeaLes" Lhe lower), so
all of naLure ls ln SplrlL buL noL all of SplrlL ls Lo be found ln naLure. 8aLher, SplrlL permeaLes naLure Lhrough and
Lhrough, lLself remalnlng behlnd naLure, beyond naLure, noL conflned Lo naLure and noL ldenLlfled wlLh naLure, buL
oevet, aL any polnL, dlvorced from naLure or seL aparL from naLure. Lmerson ls preclse:
8uL when, followlng Lhe lnvlslble sLeps of LhoughL, we come Lo lnqulre, Whence ls maLLer? and WhereLo?
many LruLhs arlse Lo us ouL of Lhe recesses of consclousness. We learn LhaL Lhe hlghesL ls presenL Lo Lhe soul of
man, LhaL Lhe dread unlversal essence, whlch ls noL wlsdom, or love, or beauLy, or power, buL all ln one, and
each enLlrely, ls LhaL for whlch all Lhlngs exlsL, and LhaL by whlch Lhey are, LhaL splrlL creaLes, LhaL behlnd
naLure, LhroughouL naLure, splrlL ls presenL, one and noL compound lL does noL acL upon us from wlLhouL, LhaL
ls, ln space and Llme, buL splrlLually, or Lhrough ourselves: Lherefore, LhaL splrlL . . . does noL bulld up naLure
otoooJ us, buL pots lt fottb tbtooqb os, as Lhe llfe of Lhe Lree puLs forLh new branches and leaves Lhrough Lhe
pores of Lhe old.
1haL SplrlL does noL bulld up naLure around us, buL puLs forLh naLure Lhrough us: Lhere ls Lhe profound dlfference
beLween naLure/naLlon mysLlclsm and mere blocenLrlc lmmerslon, Lhere ls Lhe Lelllng dlfference beLween Lhe Lco-
noeLlc Self and Lhe merely ecologlcal self, Lhere ls Lhe dlfference beLween Lranscendence and regresslon.
Pere, Lhen, ls a summary of Lhe wldely accepLed lnLerpreLaLlon of Lmerson's vlew: (1) naLure ls noL SplrlL buL a
symbol of SplrlL (or a manlfesLaLlon of SplrlL), (2) sensory awareness ln lLself does noL reveal SplrlL buL obscures lL, (3)
an ascendlng or LranscendenLal currenL ls requlred Lo dlsclose SplrlL, (4) SplrlL ls undersLood only as naLure ls
Lranscended (l.e., SplrlL ls lmmanenL ln naLure, buL fully dlscloses lLself only ln a Lranscendence of naLure-ln shorL,
SplrlL Lranscends buL lncludes naLure). 1hose polnLs are largely unconLesLed by Lmerson scholars [see Lhe ye of
5pltlt, chapLer 11, noLe 2].
ln concludlng Lhls brlef survey of Lhe psychlc level and Lhe cosmlc consclousness of naLure-naLlon mysLlclsm, Lhere
are Lwo polnLs l would llke Lo emphaslze. 1he flrsL ls LhaL, as l Lhlnk ls now obvlous, Lhls new qoloq wltblo has
resulLed ln a new qoloq beyooJ: a new and hlgher lnLerlor ldenLlLy (Cver-Soul) accompanled by a new and wlder
embrace of oLhers (World Soul)-a slngle Soul embraclng Lhe physlosphere, blosphere, and noosphere ln one lovlng
Cnce agaln we go wlLhln and fall wlLhouL Lo flnd Lhls Llme . . . an acLual cosmlc consclousness. 8uL Lhls movemenL
lLself ls ln no way any dlfferenL from all Lhe prevlous sLages LhaL we have examlned, all of whlch were self-
developmenL Lhrough self-Lranscendence," a new golng wlLhln Lo a deeper and wlder beyond.
And Lhls Cver-Soul recognlLlon dawns preclsely and only as Lhe separaLe self, Lhe ego or cenLaur, ls Lranscended.
Schopenhauer would agree enLlrely wlLh Lmerson (and so many oLhers) on LhaL cruclal polnL. ln Schopenhauer's
When one ls no longer concerned wlLh Lhe Where, Lhe When, Lhe Why and Lhe WhaL-for of Lhlngs, buL only
and alone wlLh Lhe WhaL, and leLs go even of all absLracL LhoughLs abouL Lhem, lnLellecLual concepLs and
consclousness, buL lnsLead of all LhaL, glves over Lhe whole force of one's splrlL Lo Lhe acL of percelvlng,
becomes absorbed ln lL and leLs every blL of one's consclousness be fllled ln Lhe quleL conLemplaLlon of Lhe
naLural ob[ecL lmmedlaLely presenL-be lL a landscape, a Lree, a rock, a bulldlng, or anyLhlng else aL all,
acLually and fully losloq ooeself ln Lhe ob[ecL: forgeLLlng one's lndlvlduallLy, one's wlll, and remalnlng Lhere
only as a pure sub[ecL, a clear mlrror Lo Lhe ob[ecL-so LhaL lL ls as Lhough Lhe ob[ecL alone were Lhere, wlLhouL
anyone regardlng lL, and Lo such a degree LhaL one mlghL no longer dlsLlngulsh Lhe beholder from Lhe acL of
beholdlng, [Lhen] Lhe Lwo have become ooe. . . .
Schopenhauer's clear mlrror Lo Lhe ob[ecL" ls, of course, Lmerson's LransparenL eyeball," whlch ls perfecLly
Lranspersonal, or no longer merely lndlvldual. Schopenhauer: 1he person absorbed ln Lhls mode of seelng ls no
longer an lndlvldual-Lhe lndlvldual has losL hlmself ln Lhe percepLlon-buL ls a pure, wlll-less, palnless, Llmeless,
Sub[ecL of Apprehenslon." 1he Cver-Soul as lnLlmaLlon of Lhe pure and Llmeless WlLness. . . .
1he second Lhlng l would llke Lo emphaslze ls Lhe relaLlon of Lhe global Self or Cver-Soul Lo Lhe whole noLlon of
morallLy and moral developmenL lLself. 1hls ls a connecLlon, lL seems Lo me, overlooked by mosL of Loday's moral
LheorlsLs, buL uLLerly obvlous Lo Lmerson and Schopenhauer (and noL Lhem alone).
We have seen Lhe developmenL of Lhe motol seose evolve from physlocenLrlc Lo blocenLrlc Lo egocenLrlc Lo
soclocenLrlc Lo worldcenLrlc (worldcenLrlc" belng Lhe global or planeLary or unlversallzlng reach of raLlonallLy and
Lhen vlslon-loglc). And here, aL Lhe psychlc level, Lhe worldcenLrlc cooceptloo glves way Lo a dlrecL worldcenLrlc
expetleoce, a dlrecL experlence of Lhe global Self/World, Lhe Lco-noeLlc Self, where each lndlvldual ls seen as an
expresslon of Lhe same Self or Cver-Soul.
And whaL has LhaL Lo do wlLh morallLy? LveryLhlng, accordlng Lo Lmerson and Schopenhauer, for ln seelng LhaL all
senLlenL belngs are expresslons of one Self, Lhen all belngs are LreaLed os one's Self. And tbot reallzaLlon-a
profound frulLlon of Lhe Jeceotetloq LhrusL of evoluLlon-ls Lhe only source of Lrue compossloo, a compasslon LhaL
does noL puL self flrsL (egocenLrlc) or a parLlcular socleLy flrsL (soclocenLrlc) or humans flrsL (anLhropocenLrlc), nor
does lL Lry merely ln LhoughL Lo acL os lf we are all unlLed (worldcenLrlc), buL dlrecLly and lmmedlaLely breaLhes Lhe
common alr and beaLs Lhe common blood of a PearL and 8ody LhaL ls one ln all belngs.
1be wbole polot of tbe motol sepoeoce, lLs very ground and lLs very goal, lLs omega polnL, lLs chaoLlc ALLracLor, ls
Lhe drlve Loward Lhe Cver-Soul, where LreaLlng oLhers as one's Self ls noL a moral lmperaLlve LhaL has Lo be enforced
as an oughL or a should or a dlfflculL lmposlLlon, buL comes as easlly and as naLurally as Lhe rlslng of Lhe sun or Lhe
shlnlng of Lhe moon.
1hls moral oneness lnLenslfles ln Lhe subLle and causal (as we wlll see), buL lL flrsL becomes dlrecLly obvlous here,
ln Lhe psychlc, and lssues naLurally ln Lhe sponLaneous compasslon lobeteot ln Lhe Cver-Soul, a compasslon on
whlch all prevlous moral endeavors depended, buL a compasslon of whlch all prevlous endeavors were buL mere and
parLlal gllmmers.
ln Lhe llghL of Lhe Cver-Soul, lL becomes perfecLly obvlous: all prevlous eLhlcs were Lrled and found wanLlng, all
prevlous sLruggles for Lhe llfe Cood and 1rue were Loo parLlal and Loo llmlLed and much Loo narrow Lo saLlsfy-all
wanLed Lo LasLe Lhls, Lhe unlversal compasslon Lhrough unlversal ldenLlLy wlLh Lhe commonwealLh of all belngs: LhaL
l would see ln an CLher my own Self, wlLh love drlvlng Lhe embrace, and compasslon lssulng ln Lhe LenderesL of
1he sorL of acL LhaL l am here dlscusslng ls . . . compasslon, whlch ls Lo say: lmmedlaLe parLlclpaLlon, released
from all oLher conslderaLlons, flrsL, ln Lhe paln of anoLher, and Lhen, ln Lhe allevlaLlon or LermlnaLlon of LhaL
paln, whlch alone ls Lhe Lrue ground of all auLonomous rlghLeousness and of all Lrue human love. An acL can be
sald Lo have genulne moral worLh only ln so far as lL sLems from Lhls source [Lhe common Self], and conversely,
an acL from any oLher source has none. 1he weal and woe of anoLher comes Lo lle dlrecLly ln my hearL ln
exacLly Lhe same way-Lhough noL always Lo Lhe same degree-as oLherwlse only my own would lle, as soon
as Lhls senLlmenL of compasslon ls aroused, and LherewlLh, Lhe dlfference beLween hlm and me ls no longer
absoluLe. And Lhls really ls amazlng-even mysLerlous.
1he mysLery, of course, ls Lhe mysLery of Lhe Cver-Soul allowlng us Lo tecoqolze ootselves lo eocb otbet, beyond
Lhe llluslons of separaLlon and duallLy. Schopenhauer:
lor lf plurallLy and dlsLlncLlon [separaLe selves"] belong only Lo Lhls world of oppeotooces, and lf one and Lhe
same 8elng ls whaL ls beheld ln all Lhese llvlng Lhlngs, well Lhen, Lhe experlence LhaL dlssolves Lhe dlsLlncLlon
beLween Lhe l and Lhe noL-l cannoL be false. Cn Lhe conLrary: lLs opposlLe musL be false. 1he former
experlence underlles Lhe mysLery of compasslon, and sLands, ln facL, for Lhe reallLy of whlch compasslon ls Lhe
prlme expresslon. 1bot experlence, Lherefore, musL be Lhe meLaphyslcal ground of eLhlcs and conslsL slmply
ln Lhls: LhaL ooe lndlvldual should recognlze ln oootbet, hlmself ln hls own Lrue belng.
AL Lhe psychlc level, Lhe unlversallzlng and global Lendencles of reason and vlslon-loglc come Lo frulLlon ln a dlrecL
experlence-lnlLlal, prellmlnary, buL unmlsLakable-of a Lruly unlversal Self, common ln and Lo all belngs, ln a dlrecL
experlence of Lhe unlLy of Lhe physlosphere, blosphere, and noosphere, as an expresslon and embrace of LhaL Self or
Soul, so much so LhaL Lhls Self ls undersLood Lo be prlor Lo, wlLhln, and beyond maLLer, llfe, and mlnd, so LhaL, for all
Lhe glorlous radlance of a SplrlL embodled, noneLheless maLLer and naLure and clvlllzaLlon all wlLhdraw before Lhelr
AL Lhe same Llme, Lhls ls no mere sollpslsm. lL ls a hlgher Self or l, mosL assuredly, buL also a hlgher 1ruLh (or lL)
and a wlder CommunlLy (or We)-Lhe Cver-Soul as Lhe World Soul ln Lhe commonwealLh of all belngs as an ob[ecLlve
SLaLe of Affalrs.
1he 8lg 1hree ln yeL deeper unfoldlngs, hlgher reaches, wlder communlLles, sLronger afflrmaLlons. .
. .
AL Lhe subLle level, Lhls process of lnLerlorlzaLlon" or wlLhln-and-beyond" lnLenslfles-a new Lranscendence wlLh
a new depLh, a new embrace, a hlgher consclousness, a wlder ldenLlLy-and Lhe soul and Cod enLer an even deeper
lnLerlor marrlage, whlch dlscloses aL lLs summlL a dlvlne unlon of Soul and SplrlL, a unlon ptlot Lo any of lLs
manlfesLaLlons as maLLer or llfe or mlnd, a unlon LhaL ouLshlnes any concelvable naLure, here or anywhere else.
naLure-naLlon mysLlclsm glves way Lo uelLy mysLlclsm, and Lhe Cod wlLhln announces lLself ln Lerms undreamL of ln
gross manlfesLaLlon, wlLh a LlghL LhaL bllnds Lhe sun and a Song LhaL Lhunders naLure and culLure lnLo sLunned and
awesLruck sllence.
naLure lovers here scream loul!," as lf beyond Lhe glorles of naLure Lhere should be no oLher glory, as lf Lhe
vlslble and Langlble scene exhausLed Lhe wonders of Lhe kosmos, as lf ln all Lhe worlds and posslble worlds Lhrough
all eLernlLy, Lhelr beloved naLure alone should be allowed Lo shlne.
8uL naLure, dear sweeL naLure, ls morLal and flnlLe. lL was born, lL wlll remaln a blL, and lL wlll pass. lL was creaLed,
lL wlll be undone. And ln all cases, lL ls bounded, and llmlLed, and doomed Lo Lhe decay LhaL marks all manlfesL
worlds. l am somehow recepLlve of Lhe greaL soul, and Lhereby l do overlook Lhe sun and Lhe sLars and feel Lhem Lo
be Lhe falr accldenLs and effecLs whlch change and pass," as Lmerson sald.
We are, of course, perfecLly free Lo ldenLlfy wlLh naLure, and Lo flnd a geocenLrlc earLh-rellglon LhaL consoles us ln
our passlng mlserles. We are free Lo ldenLlfy wlLh a flnlLe, llmlLed, morLal LarLh, we are noL free Lo call lL lnflnlLe,
unllmlLed, lmmorLal, eLernal.
1haL SplrlL whlch ls wlLhln and beyond Lhe LarLh, whlch ls prlor Lo Lhe LarLh buL noL oLher Lo Lhe LarLh, LhaL SplrlL
whlch ls source and supporL and goal of all-LhaL SplrlL ls lnLulLed aL Lhe psychlc and comes Lo Lhe fore ln Lhe subLle
sLage of consclousness evoluLlon, uLLerly lncludlng Lhe prevlous sLages, uLLerly ouLshlnlng Lhem. LeL Lhe LarLh and
Cosmos and Worlds dlssolve, and see SplrlL sLlll shlnlng ln Lhe LmpLlness, never arlslng, never dlssolvlng, never
bllnklng once ln Lhe worlds of creaLed Llme. 1haL [oy," says 1eresa, ls greaLer Lhan all Lhe [oys of earLh, and greaLer
Lhan all lLs dellghLs, and all lLs saLlsfacLlons, and Lhey are apprehended, Loo, very dlfferenLly, as l have learned by
ln Lhe lotetlot costle, one of Lhe Lruly greaL LexLs of subLle-level developmenL, 1eresa descrlbes very clearly Lhe
sLages of evoluLlon of Lhe llLLle buLLerfly," as she calls her soul, Lo lLs unlon wlLh Lhe very ulvlne, and she does so ln
Lerms of seven manslons," or seven sLages of growLh.
1he flrsL Lhree sLages deal wlLh Lhe ordlnary mlnd or ego, unregeneraLe" ln Lhe gross, manlfesL world of LhoughL
and sense. ln Lhe flrsL Manslon, LhaL of PumlllLy, Lhe ego ls sLlll ln love wlLh Lhe creaLures and comforLs ouLslde Lhe
CasLle, and musL begln a long and searchlng dlsclpllne ln order Lo Lurn wlLhln. ln Lhe second Manslon (Lhe racLlce of
rayer), lnLellecLual sLudy, edlflcaLlon, and good company sLrengLhen Lhe deslre and capaclLy Lo lnLerlorlze and noL
merely scaLLer and dlsperse Lhe self ln exLerlor dlsLracLlons. ln Lhe Manslon of Lxemplary Llfe, Lhe Lhlrd sLage,
dlsclpllne and eLhlcs are flrmly seL as a foundaLlon of all LhaL ls Lo follow (very slmllar Lo Lhe 8uddhlsL noLlon LhaL
sllo, or moral dlsclpllne, ls Lhe foundaLlon of Jbyooo, or medlLaLlon, and ptojoo, or splrlLual lnslghL). 1hese are all
oototol (or personal) developmenLs.
ln Lhe fourLh manslon, a sopetoototol (or Lranspersonal) grace enLers Lhe scene wlLh Lhe rayer of 8ecollecLlon
and Lhe rayer of CuleL (whlch 1eresa dlfferenLlaLes by Lhelr bodlly effecLs). ln boLh, Lhere ls a calmlng and slowlng
of gross-orlenLed faculLles (memory, LhoughLs, senses) and a consequenL openlng Lo deeper, more lnLerlor spaces
wlLh correlaLlve graces," whlch 1eresa calls, aL Lhls sLage, splrlLual consolaLlons" (because Lhey are consollng Lo Lhe
self, noL yeL Lranscendlng of Lhe self). Cn Lhe oLher hand, lL ls also as lf Lhe soul lLself ls acLually beglnnlng Lo emerge
aL Lhls sLage: 1he senses and all exLernal Lhlngs seem gradually Lo lose Lhelr hold, whlle Lhe soul, on Lhe oLher hand,
regalns lLs losL conLrol." And Lhls carrles a gllmmer of Lhe LruLh Lo come, namely, LhaL Cod ls wlLhln us."
ln Lhe flfLh manslon, vla Lhe rayer of unlon, a SplrlLual 8eLroLhal occurs, where Lhe soul flrsL dlrecLly emerges and
lnLulLs SplrlL resldlng ln Lhe deepesL lnLerlor of lLs own hearL (Lhe psychlc). l say emerge," because even lf Lhe soul
was prevlously presenL ln Lhe depLhs, lL now comes Lo Lhe fore.
And Lhls occurs ln one parLlcularly slgnlflcanL LransformaLlon, accordlng Lo 1eresa. 1he lndlvldual experlences, for
Lhe flrsL Llme, a compleLe cessotloo
of all faculLles, and ln LhaL pure absorpLlon, Lhe self LasLes lLs prlmordlal unlon
wlLh Cod (or whaL 1eresa also calls uncreaLe SplrlL). lor as long as such a soul ls ln Lhls sLaLe, lL can nelLher see nor
hear nor undersLand: Lhe perlod ls always shorL [aL Lhls early sLage]. Cod lmplanLs Plmself ln Lhe lnLerlor of LhaL soul
ln such a way LhaL, when lL reLurns Lo lLself, lL cannoL posslbly doubL LhaL Cod has been ln lL and lL has been ln Cod."
And here 1eresa uses perhaps her mosL famous meLaphor. rlor Lo Lhls LransformaLlve absorpLlon, Lhe
unregeneraLe self (or ego) ls, says 1eresa, llke a sllkworm. 8uL one LasLe of unlon (llLerally, [usL a slngle experlence of
Lhls, she says, however brlef), and Lhe self ls changed forever. Cne LasLe of absorpLlon ln uncreaLe SplrlL, and Lhe
worm emerges a buLLerfly. As we mlghL puL lL, Lhe ego dles and Lhe soul emerges. (All mean egoLlsm vanlshes, Lhe
currenLs of unlversal 8elng clrculaLe Lhrough me, l am parL or parcel of Cod.") 1eresa:
And now leL us see whaL becomes of Lhls sllkworm. When lL ls ln Lhls sLaLe of [cessaLlon/absorpLlon], and qulLe
dead Lo Lhe world, lL comes ouL a llLLle whlLe buLLerfly. Ch, greaLness of Cod, LhaL a soul should come ouL llke
Lhls afLer belng closely unlLed for so shorL a Llme-never, l Lhlnk, for as long as half an hour [ln cessaLlon]. lor
Lhlnk of Lhe dlfference beLween an ugly worm and a whlLe buLLerfly, lL ls [usL Lhe same here. 1he soul cannoL
Lhlnk how lL can have merlLed such a blesslng-whence such a blesslng could have come Lo lL, l meanL Lo say,
for lL knows qulLe well LhaL lL has noL merlLed lL aL all.
Cne LasLe, and Lhe buLLerfly ls born, Lhe soul ls born (or emerges from lLs slumber ln ego, lLs losLness ln Lhe
exLerlor cocoon of form, and, of course, Lhe buLLerfly ls Lhe omega polnL of Lhe sllkworm). 1he resL of lotetlot costle
descrlbes Lhe exLraordlnary [ourney of Lhls llLLle buLLerfly Loward LhaL prlmordlal llame ln whlch, aL lasL, lL wlll
happlly dle (Lo be, once agaln, reborn on yeL a deeper level, LhaL of unlon wlLh uncreaLe SplrlL).
ln Lhe slxLh manslon, Lover and 8eloved, buLLerfly and Cod, soul and uncreaLe SplrlL, see each oLher" for
exLended perlods of Llme. Whereas Lhe absorpLlon of Lhe llfLh Manslon mlghL lasL up Lo a half-hour, varlous Lypes of
absorpLlon here lasL a day or several days, she says (even lf Lhe cessaLlon lLself ls sLlll shorLllved). 1he soul ls so
compleLely absorbed and Lhe undersLandlng so compleLely LransporLed-for as long as a day, or even for several
days-LhaL Lhe soul seems lncapable of grasplng anyLhlng LhaL does noL awaken Lhe wlll Lo love, Lo Lhls lL ls fully
awake, whlle asleep as regards all aLLachmenL. . . ."
8uL each new sLage of growLh, we have seen, lnLroduces new Lypes of posslble paLhology, and so lL ls wlLh Lhe
llLLle buLLerfly. Many people Lhlnk LhaL Lhe famous uark nlghL of Lhe Soul," a phrase lnLroduced by 1eresa's frlend
and collaboraLor SalnL !ohn of Lhe Cross, ls LhaL Lerrlble dark perlod before one flnds uncreaLe SplrlL. 8uL noL so, Lhe
uark nlghL occurs ln LhaL perlod oftet one has LasLed unlversal 8elng buL before one ls esLabllshed ln lL, for one has
now seen aradlse . . . and seen lL fade.
1he LormenL ls now agonlzlng. 1he llLLle buLLerfly suffers much, much more LorLure" (1eresa's Lerm) Lhan
anyLhlng Lhe ego suffers or even could suffer. 1hls ls a much greaLer Lrlal," Lhe llLLle buLLerfly reporLs, especlally lf
Lhe palns are severe, ln some ways, when Lhey are very acuLe, l Lhlnk Lhey are Lhe greaLesL Lrlal LhaL exlsLs. lor Lhey
affecL Lhe soul boLh ouLwardly and lnwardly, Llll lL becomes so much oppressed as noL Lo know whaL Lo do wlLh lLself.
1here are many Lhlngs whlch assaulL her soul wlLh an lnLerlor oppresslon so keenly felL and so lnLolerable LhaL l do
noL know Lo whaL lL can be compared. . . ."
She ls consclous of a sLrange sollLude, slnce Lhere ls noL a creaLure on Lhe whole earLh who can be a
companlon Lo her-ln facL, l do noL belleve she would flnd any ln Peaven, save Plm Whom she loves: on Lhe
conLrary, all earLhly companlonshlp ls LormenL Lo her. She Lhlnks of herself as of a person suspended alofL,
unable elLher Lo come down and resL anywhere on earLh or Lo ascend lnLo Peaven. She ls parched wlLh LhlrsL,
yeL cannoL reach Lhe waLer, and Lhe LhlrsL ls noL a Lolerable one buL a klnd LhaL noLhlng can quench. . . .
1he dlalecLlc of progress, here unleashed ln lLs mosL subLle yeL agonlzlng form.
Cn Lhe more poslLlve slde, lL ls here ln Lhe SlxLh Manslon LhaL all sorLs of subLle-level phenomena begln Lo emerge
ln consclousness, and 1eresa chronlcles Lhem wlLh asLonlshlng clarlLy: Lhe lnLerlor lllumlnaLlons, Lhe rapLures, Lhe
subLle sounds and vlslons, Lhe Lypes of LranqullllLy and recollecLlon, ecsLasy, rapLure, or Lrance (for l Lhlnk Lhese are
all Lhe same)." MosL of Lhese vlslons (laLe psychlc and early subLle) are ln Lhemselves Lransverbal (Lhe revelaLlons
are communlcaLed Lo lL wlLhouL words," ln a way LhaL lnvolves no clear uLLerance of speech").
8uL Lhe cenLral
evenL remalns, ln each of Lhem, Lhe posslblllLy of Lhe absorpLlon ln uncreaLe SplrlL. When Lhe soul ls Lhus cleansed,
Cod unlLes lL wlLh Plmself. 1he soul becomes one wlLh Cod."
All of whlch culmlnaLes ln Lhe SevenLh Manslon, where acLual SplrlLual Marrlage occurs, and vlslon glves way Lo
dlrecL apprehenslon or dlrecL experlence-Lhe unlon of Lhe whole soul wlLh Cod."
Cnce Lhls unlon ls
apprehended, lL seems so obvlous, says 1eresa, LhaL we can'L even flnd a doorway" Lhrough whlch lL occurred
(whlch ls very remlnlscenL of Zen's gaLeless gaLe"), and, ln Lrylng Lo descrlbe Lhls secreL yeL perfecLly obvlous unlon,
words, of course, mlserably fall her (buL only because she cannoL assume LhaL we have had Lhe experlence):
1hls secreL unlon Lakes place ln Lhe deepesL cenLer of Lhe soul, whlch ls where Cod dwells, and l do noL Lhlnk
Lhere ls any need of a door by whlch Lo enLer lL. l say Lhere ls no need of a door because all LhaL has so far
been descrlbed [Lhe earller slx sLages or manslons] seems Lo have come Lhrough Lhe medlum of Lhe senses and
[menLal] faculLles. 8uL whaL passes ln Lhe unlon of Lhe SplrlLual Marrlage, ln Lhe cenLer of Lhe soul, ls very
dlfferenL. 1hls lnsLanLaneous [unlon] of Cod Lo Lhe soul ls so greaL a secreL and subllme a favor, and such
dellghL ls felL by Lhe soul, LhaL l do noL know wlLh whaL Lo compare lL. . . .
ln Lhe slxLh manslon, 1eresa says, Lhls dlvlne unlon ls lndeed apprehended, buL only brlefly and sporadlcally. She
llkens Lhls prellmlnary unlon Lo Lwo candles [olned aL Lhe ends: Lhey Lhen glve one llghL, buL Lhe Lwo candles can be
broken aparL agaln. noL so Lhe Lrue SplrlLual Marrlage:
8uL here lL ls llke raln falllng from Lhe heavens lnLo a rlver or sprlng, Lhere ls noLhlng buL waLer Lhere and lL ls
lmposslble Lo dlvlde or separaLe Lhe waLer belonglng Lo Lhe rlver from LhaL whlch fell from Lhe heavens. Cr lL ls
as lf a Llny sLreamleL enLers Lhe sea, from whlch lL wlll flnd no way of separaLlng lLself, or as lf ln a room Lhere
were Lwo large wlndows Lhrough whlch Lhe llghL sLreamed ln: lL enLers ln dlfferenL places buL lL all becomes
ln Lhls brlef skeLch, l have menLloned, buL have noL dwelled on Lhe deLalls of, Lhe posslble paLhologles LhaL beseL
Lhe Lranspersonal sLages (four dlfferenL sLages, four very dlfferenL Lypes of posslble paLhologles). Sufflce lL Lo say LhaL
Lhey each lnvolve (as always) problems of dlfferenLlaLlon and lnLegraLlon aL Lhe new level, problems of agency and
communlon-Loo much of one or Lhe oLher, and a fallure of balance: problems of lnflaLlng Lhe self aL LhaL sLage or
loslng Lhe self ln Lhe oLhers of LhaL sLage (Loo much agency or Loo much communlon).
lL ls cruclally lmporLanL, Lhen, Lo dlsLlngulsh Lhese new and hlgher paLhologles-of fulcrums seven (psychlc), elghL
(subLle), and nlne (causal)-from Lhe lower and prlmlLlve paLhologles (parLlcularly fulcrums one, Lwo, and Lhree).
1eresa ls poslLlvely brllllanL ln dlsLlngulshlng Lhe agonles of Lhe soul ln lLs hlgher manslons or sLages from Lhose
emoLlonal problems LhaL characLerlze Lhe lower faculLles. She clearly dlsLlngulshes, for example, Lhree Lypes of
lnner volces"-Lhose of Lhe fancy" or lmaglnaLlon," whlch can be halluclnaLory and dlseased," she says, Lhose
LhaL are verbal, and may or may noL represenL Lrue wlsdom (for Lhey may also be decepLlve and dlseased"), and
Lhose LhaL are Lransverbal alLogeLher, represenLlng dlrecL lnLerlor apprehenslon. She has an exqulslLe and preclse
dlscrlmlnaLlng awareness beLween fancles" and halluclnaLlons" and dlrecL lnLulLlve apprehenslons, and she
explalns Lhe dlfferences aL lengLh. She glves clear and classlc phenomenologlcal descrlpLlons of so many of Lhe
subLle-level apprehenslons: lnLerlor lllumlnaLlon, sound, bllss, and undersLandlng beyond ordlnary Llme and place,
genulne archeLypal lorm as creaLlve paLLern (noL myLhlc moLlf), and psychlc vlslon glvlng way Lo pure nonverbal,
Lransverbal, subLle lnLulLlon, all summaLlng ln Lhe unlon of Lhe whole soul wlLh uncreaLed SplrlL."
As for Lhe use of Lhe Lerm supernaLural" by cerLaln conLemplaLlves (boLh LasL and WesL), care should be Laken Lo
dlfferenLlaLe whaL Lhey mean by LhaL Lerm and whaL, for example, Lhe myLhlc or rellglous llLerallsL means by lL.
LlLeral or myLhlc ChrlsLlanlLy, for example, orlglnaLlng from Lhe maglc-myLhlc and myLhlc sLages of developmenL, and
beseL by myLhlc dlssoclaLlon," lmaglnes Cod as a Cosmlc laLher seL above and aparL from naLure (onLologlcally
dlvorced), and Lhus any acLlon on Cod's parL ls and musL be supernaLural"-a mlraculous" suspenslon of Lhe laws
of naLure on behalf of Pls chlldren," acLlvlLles LhaL are all noneLheless varlaLlons on Lurnlng splnach lnLo poLaLoes.
1hls Jlssoclotloo of naLural" and supernaLural," and a praylng, a begglng, for Lhe laLLer Lo mlraculously
lnLervene ln Lhe former, Lmerson calls meanness and LhefL," a vlclous cravlng for commodlLles:
ln whaL prayers do men allow Lhemselves! rayer looks abroad and asks for some forelgn addlLlon Lo come
Lhrough some forelgn vlrLue, and loses lLself ln endless mazes of naLural and supernaLural, and medlaLorlal and
mlraculous. rayer LhaL craves a parLlcular commodlLy ls vlclous. [1rue] rayer ls Lhe conLemplaLlon of Lhe facLs
of llfe from Lhe hlghesL polnL of vlew. lL ls Lhe sollloquy of a beholdlng and [ubllanL soul. lL ls Lhe splrlL of Cod
pronounclng hls works good. As soon as Lhe man ls aL one wlLh Cod, he wlll noL beg. 8uL prayer as a means Lo
effecL a prlvaLe end ls meanness and LhefL. lL supposes duallsm and noL a unlLy ln naLure and consclousness.
Cod's supernaLural" lnLervenLlon ln naLure": Lhls bears no relaLlon Lo Lhe conLemplaLlve vlew of Lhe psychlc and
subLle sLages. Cod or SplrlL ls noL seL aparL from naLure, buL raLher ls Lhe Cround of naLure, and lndeed of all
manlfesLaLlon-as 1eresa puLs lL, Cod ls lo oll tbloqs by pteseoce ooJ powet ooJ esseoce." SupernaLural," ln Lhls
usage, slmply means LhaL Lhe oototol unlon of SplrlL wltb oll tbloqs becomes a cooscloos teollzotloo ln some, and
LhaL consclous reallzaLlon ls called supernaLural, noL because Lhe unlon ls presenL only ln Lhem and noL ln naLure, buL
because Lhey are dlrecLly reallzlng lL. 1eresa's splrlLual frlend and collaboraLor, Lhe exLraordlnary !ohn of Lhe Cross,
explalns lL Lhus:
1hls unlon beLween Cod and creaLures always exlsLs. 8y lL Pe conserves Lhelr belng so LhaL lf Lhe unlon would
end Lhey would cease Lo exlsL [SplrlL as Cround of 8elng]. ConsequenLly, ln dlscusslng unlon wlLh Cod, we are
noL dlscusslng Lhe subsLanLlal unlon whlch ls always exlsLlng, buL Lhe unlon and LransformaLlon of Lhe soul ln
Cod. 1hls LransformaLlon ls supernaLural, Lhe oLher naLural.
As for Lhls lnner LransformaLlon, Lhls lnLerlor reallzaLlon, 1eresa speaks movlngly Lo her slsLer nuns, and Lo us, from
Lhe dlrecL experlence of Lhe conLemplaLlve hearL:
lL becomes evldenL LhaL Lhere ls someone" ln Lhe lnLerlor of Lhe soul who sends forLh Lhese arrows and Lhus
glves llfe Lo Lhls llfe, and LhaL Lhere ls a sun whence Lhls greaL llghL proceeds, whlch ls LransmlLLed ln Lhe
lnLerlor parL of Lhe soul. 1he soul, as l sald, nelLher moves from LhaL cenLer nor loses lLs peace, [lL] leaves Lhe
soul ln a sLaLe of pure splrlLuallLy, so LhaL lL mlghL be [olned wlLh uncreaLed SplrlL.
Ch, Cod help me! WhaL a dlfference Lhere ls beLween hearlng and bellevlng Lhese words and belng led ln
Lhls way Lo reallze how Lrue Lhey are! Lach day Lhls soul wonders more, for she feels LhaL Lhey have never lefL
her, and percelves qulLe clearly, ln Lhe way l have descrlbed, LhaL 1hey [Lhe Lrue words"] are ln Lhe lnLerlor of
her hearL-ln Lhe mosL lnLerlor place of all and ln lLs greaLesL depLhs.
1hls new depLh, Lhls new wlLhln, whlch ls a new beyond, uLLerly ttoosceoJs naLure, uLLerly embtoces naLure, and
ls Lhus emboJleJ ln naLure, as perhaps Auroblndo explalned mosL forcefully:
lLs flrsL effecL has been Lhe llberaLlon of llfe and mlnd ouL of MaLLer, lLs lasL effecL has been Lo asslsL Lhe
emetqeoce of a splrlLual consclousness, a splrlLual wlll and splrlLual sense of exlsLence ln Lhe LerresLrlal belng
so LhaL he ls no longer solely preoccupled wlLh hls ouLermosL llfe or wlLh menLal pursulLs and lnLeresLs, buL has
learned Lo look wlLhln, Lo dlscover hls lnner belng, hls splrlLual self, Lo asplre Lo overpass [negaLe and preserve]
earLh and her llmlLaLlons. As he grows more and more lnward, hls boundarles menLal [noospherlc], vlLal
[blospherlc], and splrlLual begln Lo broaden, Lhe bonds LhaL held llfe, mlnd, soul Lo Lhelr flrsL llmlLaLlons loosen
or snap, and man Lhe menLal belng beglns Lo have a gllmpse of a larger klngdom of self and world closed Lo Lhe
flrsL earLh-llfe.
lf he makes Lhe lnward movemenL whlch hls own hlghesL vlslon has held up before hlm as hls greaLesL
splrlLual necesslLy, Lhen he wlll flnd Lhere ln hls lnner belng a larger consclousness, a larger llfe. An acLlon from
wlLhln and an acLlon from above can overcome Lhe predomlnance of Lhe maLerlal formula, dlmlnlsh and flnally
puL an end Lo Lhe power of Lhe lnconsclence, subsLlLuLe SplrlL for MaLLer as hls consclous foundaLlon of belng
and llberaLe lLs hlgher powers Lo Lhelr compleLe and characLerlsLlc expresslon ln Lhe llfe of Lhe soul embodled
ln naLure.
Whlch ls why 1eresa slngs of embtocloq oll cteototes from Lhe cenLer of Lhe love and [oy LhaL now overflows from
her lnnermosL belng: 1hese are very unsklllful comparlsons Lo represenL so preclous a Lhlng, buL l am noL clever
enough Lo Lhlnk ouL any more: Lhe real LruLh ls LhaL Lhls [oy makes Lhe soul so forgeLful of lLself, and of everyLhlng,
LhaL lL ls consclous of noLhlng, and able Lo speak of noLhlng, save of LhaL whlch proceeds from lLs [oy. . . . LeL us [oln
wlLh Lhls soul, my daughLers all. Why should we wanL Lo be more senslble Lhan she? WhaL can glve us greaLer
pleasure Lhan Lo do as she does? And may all Lhe creaLures [oln wlLh us for ever and ever. Amen, amen, amen."
And Lhe llLLle buLLerfly? WhaL has become of her? As Lhe ego (sllkworm) dled and was reborn as Lhe soul
(buLLerfly), so now Lhe soul, afLer Lraverslng Lhe psychlc and subLle domalns and servlng lLs purpose well, enLers
flnally lnLo lLs SplrlLual Marrlage, lLs own omega polnL, lLs deeper and greaLer conLexL, and Lhus dles Lo lLs lesser
belng, dles as a separaLe self. lor lL ls here," she says sofLly, LhaL Lhe llLLle buLLerfly dles, and wlLh Lhe greaLesL [oy,
because ChrlsL ls now lLs llfe."
Whlch brlngs us Lo Lhe causal.
ln Lhe subLle level, Lhe Soul and Cod unlLe, ln Lhe causal level, Lhe Soul and Cod are boLh Lranscended ln Lhe prlor
ldenLlLy of Codhead, or pure formless awareness, pure consclousness as such, Lhe pure Self as pure SplrlL (ALman =
8rahman). no longer Lhe Supreme unlon" of Cod and Soul, buL Lhe Supreme ldenLlLy" of Codhead. As MelsLer
LckharL puL lL, l flnd ln Lhls breakLhrough LhaL Cod and l are one and Lhe same."
As we wlll see, Lhls pure formless SplrlL ls sald Lo be Lhe Coal and SummlL and Source of all manlfesLaLlon. And LhaL
ls Lhe coosol.
Colng wltblo and beyooJ even Lhls pure Source and pure SplrlL-whlch ls LoLally formless, boundless,
unmanlfesL-Lhe Self/SplrlL awakens Lo an ldenLlLy wlLh, and as, oll lorm, all manlfesLaLlon (gross, subLle, and
causal), wheLher hlgh or low, ascendlng or descendlng, sacred or profane, manlfesL or unmanlfesL, flnlLe or lnflnlLe,
Lemporal or eLernal. 1hls ls noL a parLlcular sLage among oLher sLages-noL Lhelr Coal, noL Lhelr Source, noL Lhelr
SummlL-buL raLher Lhe Cround or Suchness or lsness of oll sLages, aL all Llmes, ln all dlmenslons: Lhe 8elng of all
belngs, Lhe CondlLlon of all condlLlons, Lhe naLure of all naLures. And LhaL ls Lhe NooJool.
l have chosen MelsLer LckharL and Srl 8amana Maharshl Lo lllusLraLe boLh of Lhese sLages" (causal and nondual),
slnce we flnd ln boLh of Lhem noL only a breakLhrough to Lhe causal, buL also tbtooqb Lhe causal Lo Lhe ulLlmaLe or
nondual, and as lnadequaLe and mlsleadlng as words here lnvarlably are, aL leasL an lndlcaLlon of Lhese Lwo
movemenLs" can be clearly and unmlsLakably dlscerned ln boLh of Lhese exLraordlnary sages.
Srl 8amana Maharshl (echolng Shankara) summarlzes Lhe vlewpolnL" of Lhe ulLlmaLe or nondual reallzaLlon:
1he world ls lllusory,
8rahman alone ls 8eal,
8rahman ls Lhe world.
1he flrsL Lwo llnes represenL pure causal-level awareness, or unmanlfesL absorpLlon ln pure or formless SplrlL, llne
Lhree represenLs Lhe ulLlmaLe or nondual compleLlon (Lhe unlon of Lhe lormless wlLh Lhe enLlre world of lorm). 1he
Codhead completely ttoosceoJs all worlds and Lhus completely locloJes all worlds. lL ls Lhe flnal wlLhln, leadlng Lo a
flnal beyond-a beyond LhaL, conflned Lo absoluLely ootbloq, embraces absoluLely evetytbloq.
LckharL beglns by polnLlng Lo Lhe need, flrsL and foremosL, for a Lranscendence or a breakLhrough" (a word he
colned ln Cerman) from Lhe flnlLe and creaLed realm Lo Lhe lnflnlLe and uncreaLed source or orlgln (Lhe causal), a
dlrecL and fotmless owoteoess LhaL ls wlLhouL self, wlLhouL oLher, and wlLhouL Cod.
ln Lhe breakLhrough, where l sLand free of my own wlll and of Lhe wlll of Cod and of all hls works and of Cod
hlmself, Lhere l am above all creaLures and am nelLher Cod nor creaLure. 8aLher, l am whaL l was and whaL l
shall remaln now and forever. 1hen l recelve an lmpulse [awareness] whlch shall brlng me above all Lhe angels.
ln Lhls lmpulse l recelve wealLh so vasL LhaL Cod cannoL be enough for me ln all LhaL makes hlm Cod, and wlLh
all hls dlvlne works. lor ln Lhls breakLhrough l dlscover LhaL l and Cod are one. 1here l am whaL l was, and l
grow nelLher smaller nor blgger, for l am an lmmovable cause LhaL moves all Lhlngs.
1herefore also l am unborn, and followlng Lhe way of my unborn [unmanlfesL] belng l can never dle.
lollowlng Lhe way of my unborn belng l have always been, l am now, and shall remaln eLernally.
ln order for Cod and Lhe Soul Lo exlsL, Lhere musL be duallLy or separaLlon beLween Lhem, and Lhls duallLy, says
LckharL, obscures Lhe prlmordlal Codhead:
When l sLlll sLood ln my flrsL cause, Lhere l had no Cod and was cause of myself. 1here l wllled noLhlng, l
deslred noLhlng, for l was a pure 8elng ln dellghL of Lhe LruLh. 1here l sLood, free of Cod and of all Lhlngs. 8uL
when l Look leave from Lhls sLaLe and recelved my creaLed belng, Lhen l had a Cod.
1hls Codhead (or whaL LckharL also calls Cod beyond Cod") ls radlcally free of any flnlLe or creaLed Lhlng,
wheLher of maLLer or naLure or mlnd or vlslons or Soul or Cod. LckharL refers Lo Lhls compleLely LranscendenLal, free,
or unmanlfesL sLaLe by words such as Abyss," unborn," formless," prlmordlal orlgln," empLlness,"
LmpLy yourself of evetytbloq. 1haL ls Lo say, empLy yourself of your ego [or any sorL of separaLe-self sense,
soul, or oversoul] and empLy yourself of all Lhlngs and of all LhaL you are ln yourself and conslder yourself as
whaL you are ln Cod. Cod ls a belng beyond belng and a noLhlngness beyond belng. 1herefore, be sLlll and do
noL fllnch from Lhls empLlness.
1hls empLlness" ls noL a Lheory. Lven less ls lL poeLry" (whlch l have ofLen heard). nor ls lL a phllosophlcal
suggesLlon. lL ls a dlrecL apprehenslon (dlrecL experlence" ls noL qulLe rlghL, slnce lL ls free of Lhe duallLy of sub[ecL
and ob[ecL, and slnce lL never enLers Lhe sLream of Llme and Lhus ls never experlenLlal" ln any Lyplcal sense)-free
of LhoughLs, free of duallLles, free of Llme and Lemporal successlon:
l speak Lherefore of a Codhead from whlch as yeL noLhlng emanaLes and noLhlng moves or ls LhoughL abouL.
Lven lf Lhe soul were Lo see Cod lnsofar as he ls Cod or lnsofar as Cod can be lmaglned or lnsofar as he ls a
LhoughL, Lhls same lnsufflclency would be Lhere. 8uL when all lmages of Lhe soul are Laken away and Lhe soul
[ls] only Lhe slngle Cne, Lhen Lhe pure belng of Lhe soul flnds resLlng ln lLself Lhe pure, formless 8elng of Lhe
dlvlne. . . .
nelLher space nor Llme Louch Lhls place. noLhlng so much hlnders Lhe soul's undersLandlng of Cod as Llme
and space. 1lme and space are parLs of Lhe whole, buL Cod ls one. So lf Lhe soul ls Lo recognlze Cod, lL musL do
so beyond space and Llme. lor Cod ls nelLher Lhls nor LhaL [oetl, oetl"] ln Lhe way of Lhe manlfold Lhlngs of
earLh, slnce Cod ls one. lf Lhe soul wanLs Lo know Cod, lL cannoL do so ln Llme. lor so long as Lhe soul ls
consclous of Llme or space or any oLher [ob[ecL], lL cannoL know Cod.
know Lhen LhaL all our perfecLlon and all our bllss depend on Lhe facL LhaL Lhe lndlvldual goes tbtooqb and
beyooJ all creaLlon and all LemporallLy and all belng, and enLers Lhe foundaLlon LhaL ls wlLhouL foundaLlon.
1hey musL arrlve aL forgeLfulness [of ob[ecLs] and no-self consclousness-and Lhere musL be absoluLe sllence
Lhere and sLlllness.
ln Lhls sLaLe of formless and sllenL awareness, one does noL see Lhe Codhead, for one ls Lhe Codhead, and
knows lL from wlLhln, self-felL, and noL from wlLhouL, as an ob[ecL. 1he pure WlLness (whlch LckharL calls Lhe
essence of Lhe Sub[ecL") cannoL be seen, for Lhe slmple reason LhaL lL ls Lhe Seer (and Lhe Seer lLself ls pure
LmpLlness, Lhe pure openlng or clearlng ln whlch all ob[ecLs, experlences, Lhlngs and evenLs arlse, buL whlch lLself
merely abldes). AnyLhlng seeo ls [usL more ob[ecLs, more flnlLe Lhlngs, more creaLures, more lmages or concepLs or
vlslons, whlch ls exacLly wbot lt ls oot.
lL ls free of all names and barren of all forms, LoLally free and vold, [usL as Cod ls vold and free ln hlmself. lL ls
LoLally one and slmple, [usL as Cod ls one and slmple, so LhaL we can ln no manner gaze upon lL [see lL as an
ob[ecL, lL ls Lhe Seer, noL anyLhlng seen, and Lhe Seer ls pure LmpLlness, ouL of whlch seen ob[ecLs emerge].
1here Lhe means" ls sllenL, for nelLher a creaLure nor an lmage can enLer Lhere. 1he soul knows ln LhaL
place nelLher acLlon nor knowledge. lL ls noL aware ln LhaL place of any klnd of lmage, elLher from lLself or from
any oLher creaLure.
?ou should love hlm as he ls, a noL-Cod, noL-mlnd, noL-person, noL-lmage-even more, as he ls a pure, clear
Cne, separaLe from all Lwoness. ?ou should love Cod mlndlessly, LhaL ls, so LhaL your soul ls wlLhouL mlnd and
free from all menLal acLlvlLles, for as long as your soul ls operaLlng llke a mlnd, so long does lL have lmages and
represenLaLlons. 8uL as long as lL has lmages, lL has lnLermedlarles, and as long as lL has lnLermedlarles, lL has
nelLher oneness nor slmpllclLy. And Lherefore your soul should be bare of all mlnd and should sLay Lhere
wlLhouL mlnd.
lollowlng SalnL ulonyslus, LckharL refers Lo Lhls mlndless" or unknowlng presence," or pure formless awareness
wlLhouL menLal lnLermedlarles, as ulvlne lgnorance."
Whoever does noL leave all exLernal aspecLs of creaLures can nelLher be recelved lnLo Lhls dlvlne blrLh nor be
born. 1he more you are able Lo brlng all your powers Lo a unlLy and a forgeLfulness of all Lhe ob[ecLs and
lmages you have absorbed, and Lhe more you deparL from creaLures and Lhelr lmages, Lhe nearer and more
recepLlve you are. lf you were able Lo become compleLely unaware of all Lhlngs, aLLaln a forgeLfulness of Lhlngs
and of self, Lhe more [Lhere ls] Lhe sllenL darkness where you wlll come Lo a recognlLlon of Lhe unknown,
LransbegoLLen Cod. lor Lhls lgnorance draws you away from all knowledge abouL Lhlngs, and beyond Lhls lL
draws you away from yourself.
Llke LckharL, Srl 8amana Maharshl, lndla's greaLesL modern sage, beqlos by merely glvlng us some verbal polnLers
and lnformaLlon abouL Lhe Self and lLs relaLlon Lo Cod (and Codhead). 8uL he wlll soon, we wlll see, go beyond mere
chaLLer and polnL dlrecLly Lo Lhe unknown and unknowlng Source. So here he speaks ln poslLlve" Lerms, before
drawlng us lnLo ulvlne lgnorance.
1he Self ls known Lo everyone buL noL clearly. 1he 8elng ls Lhe Self. l am" ls Lhe name of Cod. Cf all Lhe
deflnlLlons of Cod, none ls lndeed so well puL as Lhe 8lbllcal sLaLemenL l AM 1PA1 l AM. 1he AbsoluLe 8elng ls
wbot ls-lL ls Lhe Self. lL ls Cod. knowlng Lhe Self, Cod ls known. ln facL, Cod ls none oLher Lhan Lhe Self.
And here 8amana clearly means Codhead," as he hlmself ofLen polnLed ouL: CreaLlon ls by Lhe enLlre Codhead
breaklng lnLo Cod and naLure."
As for Lhe pure Self/SplrlL or Codhead, 8amana consLanLly repeaLs, ln words vlrLually ldenLlcal Lo LckharL's (and Lo
Lhe sages of Lhls level Lhe world over) LhaL Lhe Self ls noL body, noL mlnd, noL LhoughL, lL ls noL feellngs, noL
sensaLlons, noL percepLlons, lL ls radlcally free of all ob[ecLs, all sub[ecLs, all duallLles, lL cannoL be seen, cannoL be
known, cannoL be LhoughL. ln LhaL sLaLe Lhere ls 8elng alone. 1here ls no you, nor l, nor he, no presenL, nor pasL,
nor fuLure. lL ls beyond Llme and space, beyond expresslon. lL ls ever Lhere."
1he Self ls noL Lhls, noL LhaL," whlch ln SanskrlL ls Lhe oetl, oetl" l brackeLed ln LckharL's quoLaLlon. 1he Self ls
noL Lhls, noL LhaL, preclsely because lL ls Lhe pure WlLness of Lhls or LhaL, and Lhus ln all cases Lranscends any Lhls and
any LhaL. 1he Self cannoL even be sald Lo be Cne," for LhaL ls [usL anoLher quallLy, anoLher ob[ecL LhaL ls percelved
or wlLnessed. 1he Self ls noL SplrlL", raLher, lL ls LhaL whlch, rlghL now, ls wlLnesslng LhaL concepL. 1he Self ls noL Lhe
WlLness"-LhaL ls [usL anoLher word or concepL, and Lhe Self ls LhaL whlch ls wlLnesslng LhaL concepL. 1he Self ls noL
LmpLlness, Lhe Self ls noL a pure Self-and so on.
1here are nelLher good nor bad quallLles ln Lhe Self. 1he Self ls free from all quallLles. CuallLles perLaln Lo Lhe
mlnd only. lL ls beyond quallLy. lf Lhere ls unlLy, Lhere wlll also be duallLy. 1he numerlcal one glves rlse Lo oLher
numbers. 1he LruLh ls nelLher one nor Lwo. lL ls as lL ls.
eople wanL Lo see Lhe Self as someLhlng. 1hey deslre Lo see lL as a blazlng llghL, eLc. 8uL how could LhaL be?
1he Self ls noL llghL, noL darkness, noL any observed Lhlng. 1he Self ls ever Lhe WlLness. lL ls eLernal and
remalns Lhe same all along.
8amana ofLen refers Lo Lhe Self by Lhe name l-l," slnce Lhe Self ls Lhe slmple WlLness of even Lhe ordlnary l." We
are all, says 8amana, perfecLly aware of Lhe l-l, for we are all aware of our capaclLy Lo wlLness ln Lhe presenL
momenL. 8uL we mlstoke Lhe pure l-l or pure Seer wlLh some sorL of ob[ecL tbot coo be seeo and ls Lhus preclsely
oot Lhe Seer or Lhe Lrue Self, buL ls merely some sorL of memory or lmage or ldenLlLy or self-concepL, all of whlch are
ob[ecLs, none of whlch ls Lhe WlLness of ob[ecLs. We ldenLlfy Lhe l-l wlLh Lhls or LhaL l, and Lhus ldenLlfled wlLh a mere
flnlLe and Lemporal ob[ecL, we suffer Lhe sllngs and arrows of all flnlLe ob[ecLs, whereas Lhe Self remalns ever as lL ls,
Llmeless, eLernal, unborn, unwaverlng, undylng, ever and always presenL.
1he l-l ls always Lhere. 1here ls no knowlng lL [as an ob[ecL]. lL ls noL a new knowledge acqulred. 1he l-l ls
always Lhere.
1here ls no one who even for a Lrlce falls Lo experlence Lhe Self. ln deep sleep you exlsL, awake, you remaln.
1he same Self ls ln boLh sLaLes. 1he dlfference ls only ln Lhe awareness and Lhe non-awareness of Lhe world.
1he world rlses wlLh Lhe mlnd and seLs wlLh Lhe mlnd. 1haL whlch rlses and seLs ls noL Lhe Self.
1he lndlvldual ls mlserable because he confounds Lhe mlnd and body wlLh Lhe Self. lL ls Lhe naLure of Lhe
mlnd Lo wander. 8uL you are noL Lhe mlnd. 1he mlnd sprlngs up and slnks down. lL ls lmpermanenL, LranslLory,
whereas you are eLernal. 1here ls noLhlng buL Lhe Self. 1o ablde as Lhe Self ls Lhe Lhlng. never mlnd Lhe mlnd. lf
Lhe mlnd's source ls soughL, Lhe mlnd wlll vanlsh leavlng Lhe Self unaffecLed.
1he mlnd vanlshed" ls, of course, LckharL's mlndless awareness" (and Zen's no-mlnd," eLc.). 8amana Lherefore
counsels us Lo seek Lhe sootce of Lhe mlnd, Lo look for LhaL whlch ls aware of Lhe menLal or personal l," for tbot ls
Lhe Lranspersonal l-l," unchanged by Lhe flucLuaLlons of any parLlcular sLaLes, parLlcular ob[ecLs, parLlcular
clrcumsLances, parLlcular blrLhs, parLlcular deaLhs.
1raclng Lhe source of l," Lhe prlmal l-l alone remalns over, and lL ls lnexpresslble. 1he seaL of 8eallzaLlon ls
wlLhln and Lhe seeker cannoL flnd lL as an ob[ecL ouLslde hlm. 1haL seaL ls bllss and ls Lhe core [Lhe ulLlmaLe
depLh] of all belngs. Pence lL ls called Lhe PearL. 1he mlnd now sees lLself dlverslfled as Lhe unlverse. lf Lhe
dlverslLy ls noL manlfesL lL remalns ln lLs own essence, lLs orlglnal sLaLe, and LhaL ls Lhe PearL. LnLerlng Lhe
PearL means remalnlng wlLhouL dlsLracLlons [ob[ecLs]. 1he PearL ls Lhe only 8eallLy. 1he mlnd ls only a
LranslenL phase. 1o remaln as one's Self ls Lo enLer Lhe PearL.
1he Self ls noL born nor does lL dle. 1he sages see everyLhlng ln Lhe Self. 1here ls no dlverslLy ln lL. lf a man
Lhlnks LhaL he ls born and cannoL avold Lhe fear of deaLh, leL hlm flnd ouL lf Lhe Self has any blrLh. Pe wlll
dlscover LhaL Lhe Self always exlsLs, LhaL Lhe body whlch ls born resolves lLself lnLo LhoughL and LhaL Lhe
emergence of LhoughL ls Lhe rooL of all mlschlef. llnd Lhe source of LhoughLs. 1hen you wlll ablde ln Lhe ever-
presenL lnmosL Self and be free from Lhe ldea of blrLh and Lhe fear of deaLh.
As one pursues Lhls self-lnqulry" lnLo Lhe source of LhoughLs, lnLo Lhe source of l" and Lhe world," one enLers a
sLaLe of pure empLy awareness, free of all ob[ecLs whaLsoever-preclsely LckharL's compleLely unaware of all
Lhlngs"-whlch ln vedanLa ls known as oltvlkolpo somoJbl (oltvlkolpo means wlLhouL any quallLles or ob[ecLs"). ln
awareness, Lhere ls perfecL clarlLy, perfecL consclousness, buL Lhe enLlre manlfesL world (up Lo and lncludlng Lhe
subLle) slmply ceoses to otlse, and one ls dlrecLly lnLroduced Lo whaL LckharL called Lhe naked exlsLence of
Codhead." Srl 8amana:
lf you hold Lo Lhe Self [remaln as WlLness ln all clrcumsLances], Lhere ls no second. When you see Lhe world
you have losL hold of Lhe Self. Cn Lhe conLrary, hold Lhe Self and Lhe world wlll noL appear.
8y unswervlng vlgllanL consLancy ln Lhe Self, ceaseless llke Lhe unbroken flow of waLer, ls generaLed Lhe
naLural or changeless sLaLe of nlrvlkalpa samadhl, whlch readlly and sponLaneously ylelds LhaL dlrecL,
lmmedlaLe, unobsLrucLed and unlversal percepLlon of 8rahman, whlch Lranscends all Llme and space.
lor 8amana and LckharL (and noL Lhem alone), Lhe causal ls a Lype of ulLlmaLe omega polnL (buL lL ls noL, as we wlll
see, Lhe end of Lhe sLory). As Lhe 5ootce of all manlfesLaLlon, lL Lhe Cool of all developmenL. 8amana: 1hls ls Self-
8eallzaLlon, and Lhereby ls cuL asunder Lhe knoL of Lhe PearL [Lhe separaLe-self sense], Lhls ls Lhe llmlLless bllss of
llberaLlon, beyond doubL and duallLy. 1o reallze Lhls sLaLe of freedom from duallLy ls Lhe sommom booom of llfe:
and he alone LhaL has won lL ls a jlvoomokto (Lhe llberaLed one whlle yeL allve), and noL he who has merely a
LheoreLlcal undersLandlng of Lhe Self or Lhe deslred end and alm of all human behavlor. 1he dlsclple ls Lhen en[olned
Lo remaln ln Lhe beaLlLude of Aham-8rahman-'l-l' ls Lhe AbsoluLe."
1PL nCnuuAL
Such ls Lhe formless causal. 8uL Lhe causal ls noL, as LckharL puL lL, Lhe flnal Word." When one breaks Lhrough Lhe
causal absorpLlon ln pure unmanlfesL and unborn SplrlL, Lhe enLlre manlfesL world arlses once agaln, buL Lhls Llme as
a perfecL expresslon of SplrlL and as SplrlL. 1he lormless and Lhe enLlre world of manlfesL lorm-pure LmpLlness and
Lhe whole kosmos-are seen Lo be noL-Lwo (or nondual). 1he WlLness ls seen Lo be evetytbloq LhaL ls wlLnessed, so
LhaL, as 8amana puLs lL, 1he ob[ecL Lo be wlLnessed and Lhe WlLness flnally merge LogeLher [and dlsappear as
separaLe enLlLles] and AbsoluLe consclousness alone relgns supreme." 8uL tbls nondual consclousness ls noL oLher
Lo Lhe world: 8rahman ls Lhe World."
1hls move from causal unmanlfesL Lo nondual embrace, 8amana refers Lo as Lhe developmenL from nlrvlkalpa Lo
soboj somoJbl, whlch means unbroken and sponLaneously so," a sLaLe" ln whlch Lhe whole cosmos [kosmos] ls
conLalned ln Lhe PearL, wlLh perfecL equallLy of all, for grace ls all-pervadlng and Lhere ls noLhlng LhaL ls noL Lhe Self.
All Lhls world ls 8rahman."
MelsLer LckharL explalns boLh of Lhese movemenLs (uLLerly Lranscendlng Lhe world, uLLerly embraclng lL):
llrsL, 8e asleep Lo all Lhlngs": LhaL means lgnore Llme, creaLures, lmages [causal]. And Lhen you could percelve
whaL Cod works ln you. 1haL ls why Lhe soul says ln Lhe Song of Songs, l sleep buL my PearL waLches."
1herefore, lf all creaLures are asleep ln you, you can percelve whaL Cod works ln you [as Codhead].
Second: Concern yourself wlLh all Lhlngs." 1hls has Lhree meanlngs. 1haL means, flrsL, selze Cod ln all
Lhlngs, for Cod ls ln all Lhlngs.
1he second meanlng ls: Love your nelghbor as yourself." lf you love one human belng more Lhan anoLher,
LhaL ls wrong. lf you love your faLher and moLher and yourself more Lhan anoLher human belng, LhaL ls wrong.
And lf you love your own happlness more Lhan anoLher's, LhaL ls also wrong.
1he Lhlrd meanlng ls Lhls: Love Cod ln all Lhlngs equally. lor Cod ls equally near Lo all creaLures. And among
all Lhese creaLures Cod does noL love any one more Lhan any oLher. Cod ls all and ls one. All Lhlngs become
noLhlng buL Cod [nondual].
When all Lhlngs are noLhlng buL Cod, Lhere are Lhen no Lhlngs, and no Cod, buL only tbls.
no ob[ecLs, no sub[ecLs, only Lhls. no enLerlng Lhls sLaLe, no leavlng lL, lL ls absoluLely and eLernally and always
already Lhe case: Lhe slmple feellng of belng, Lhe baslc and slmple lmmedlacy of any and all sLaLes, prlor Lo Lhe four
quadranLs, prlor Lo Lhe spllL beLween lnslde and ouLslde, prlor Lo seer and seen, prlor Lo Lhe rlse of worlds, ever-
presenL as pure resence, Lhe slmple feellng of belng: empLy awareness as Lhe openlng or clearlng ln whlch all
worlds arlse, ceaselessly: l-l ls Lhe box Lhe unlverse comes ln.
Abldlng as l-l, Lhe world arlses as before, buL now Lhere ls no one Lo wlLness lL. l-l ls noL ln here" looklng ouL
Lhere": Lhere ls no ln here, no ouL Lhere, only Lhls. lL ls Lhe radlcal end Lo all egocenLrlsm, all geocenLrlsm, all
blocenLrlsm, all soclocenLrlsm, all LheocenLrlsm, because lL ls Lhe radlcal end of all cenLrlsms, perlod. lL ls Lhe flnal
Jeceotetloq of all manlfesL realms, ln all domalns, aL all Llmes, ln all places. As uzogchen 8uddhlsm would puL lL,
because all phenomena are prlmordlally empLy, all phenomena, [usL as Lhey are, are self-llberaLed as Lhey arlse.
ln LhaL pure empLy awareness, l-l am Lhe rlse and fall of all worlds, ceaselessly, endlessly. l-l swallow Lhe kosmos
and span Lhe cenLurles, unLouched by Llme or Lurmoll, embraclng each wlLh prlmordlal purlLy, flerce compasslon. lL
has never sLarLed, Lhls nlghLmare of evoluLlon, and Lherefore lL wlll never end.
lL ls as lL ls, self-llberaLed aL Lhe momenL of lLs very arlslng. And lL ls only tbls.
1he All ls l-l. l-l ls LmpLlness. LmpLlness ls freely manlfesLlng. lreely manlfesLlng ls self-llberaLlng.
Zen, of course, would puL lL all much more slmply, and polnL dlrecLly Lo [usL tbls.
SLlll pond
A frog [umps ln
1PL Lnu Cl PlS1C8?
uoes hlsLory, Lhen, have a flnal omega polnL, Lhe Cmega of all prevlous and lesser omegas? ls Lhere an acLual Lnd Lo
PlsLory as we know lL? Where all belngs unlLe ln Lhelr consclous reallzaLlon of Codhead? Are we all belng drawn Lo
LhaL one, far-off ulvlne LvenL" LhaL dlssolves lLs own Lrall?
Many mysLlcally lncllned wrlLers have made Lhls assumpLlon, lL does make a cerLaln amounL of flrsL-blush sense.
lrom Lhe Aquarlan Consplracy" Lo 1ellhard's flnal Cmega-polnL," from Lhe dawn of a new Age" Lo 1lmewave
Zero"-Lhe mlllenarlan Lnd of PlsLory has been exuberanLly announced. Such LheorlsLs as 1erence Mckenna and
!ose Arguelles have even been good enough Lo calculaLe Lhe acLual daLe of Lhls flnal omega polnL, and lL ls uecember
2012-1lmewave Zero."
nor, of course, ls Lhls Lhe flrsL Llme we have seen such Lnd of PlsLory" noLlons, and ln chapLer 2 we saw why such
noLlons acLually make a cerLaln amounL of sense and have some degree of LruLh Lo Lhem. 1o summarlze LhaL
Lvery senlor dlmenslon acLs as a LransformaLlve omega polnL for lLs [unlor dlmenslon, exerLlng a palpable pull of
Lhe deeper and wlder on Lhe shallower and narrower. A holon's reglme ls Lhe LransformaLlve omega-polnL for lLs
owo growLh and developmenL, faclllLaLed perhaps by morphlc resonance from Lhe sum LoLal of slmllar forms acLlng
as omega. ln self-ttoosceoJeoce, however, Lhe emergenL and senlor level exerLs omega pull on [unlor dlmenslons,
someLhlng LhaL nelLher Lhey Lhemselves, nor Lhelr morphlcally resonaLlng parLners, could do alone.
And shorL of
reachlng lLs lmmedlaLely senlor omega, LhaL lesser dlmenslon suffers Lhe sllngs and arrows of an ouLrageous forLune
of parLlalness, dlvlslon, allenaLlon. Lach deeper and wlder conLexL condemns Lhe lesser Lo sufferlng (or raLher, Lhe
narrower suffers from Lhe boundarles of lLs own laceraLlng llmlLaLlons). And evoluLlon, ln Lhe broadesL sense, ls a
senslLlve fllghL from Lhe paln of parLlallLy.
Lach deeper and wlder conLexL ln Lhe kosmos Lhus exerLs an omega pull on Lhe shallower and narrower conLexLs,
and when LhaL parLlcular wlder depLh ls reached, LhaL parLlcular omega pull subsldes, wlLh Lhe new depLh flndlng
LhaL lL now exlsLs ln a yeL-wlder and yeL-deeper conLexL of lLs own, whlch now exerLs an unrelenLlng omega force Lo
once agaln Lranscend, Lo once agaln embrace more of Lhe kosmos wlLh care and consclousness.
ln shorL, no holon resLs happy shorL of flndlng lLs own lmmedlaLely deeper conLexL, lLs own omega polnL, whlch
means LhaL each holon rushes Lo Lhe Lnd of lLs own PlsLory.
ln Lhe WesL, slnce Lhe Llme of Lhe LnllghLenmenL, Lhe greaL omega polnL or Lnd of PlsLory has generally been
plcLured as some form of totlooollty (elLher formop, as ln Lhe classlcal LnllghLenmenL, or vlslon-loglc, as wlLh
Pegel)-and modernlLy belleved Lhls Lo be Lhe case because LhaL was, lndeed, lLs presenL sLaLe of developmenL, Lo
whlch all lesser occaslons had polnLed, and from whlch raLlonallLy had flnally and LrlumphanLly emerged.
8emember Lhe cruelLles!"-volLalre's baLLle cry of Lhe LorLures LhaL maglc and myLhlc had lnfllcLed on hlsLory, Lhe
LorLures of lesser omega polnLs bruLally cuLLlng lnLo each oLher ln search of . . . reason.
1hls omega polnL of raLlonallLy can Lherefore be seen permeaLlng Lhe Lheorles of vlrLually all developmenLallsLs ln
Lhe wake of modernlLy. We see lL ln lreud: maglcal and myLhlc prlmary-process cognlLlon glves way, afLer much
relucLance and Lurmoll, Lo Lhe secondary (maLure) process of raLlonallLy. We see lL ln Marx: raLlonallLy, as a
worldcenLrlc mode of cognlLlon, wlll, wlLh lLs economlc developmenLs, overcome egocenLrlc and eLhnocenLrlc class
dlvlslons and usher ln a Lrue communlon of equally free sub[ecLs. We see lL ln lageL: preop Lo conop Lo formop, wlLh
each prevlous sLage sufferlng Lhe llmlLaLlons of lLs own lncapaclLles. kohlberg and Cllllgan: egocenLrlc Lo soclocenLrlc
Lo worldcenLrlc reason. Pegel: Self-poslLlng SplrlL reLurns Lo lLself ln Lhe form of global 8eason, Lhe culmlnaLlon of
PlsLory lLself. And Pabermas: muLual undersLandlng ln unresLralned communlcaLlve acLlon unfolded by raLlonallLy ls
Lhe omega polnL of lndlvldual and soclal evoluLlon lLself.
1he llsL ls vlrLually endless. And, as we dlscussed earller, Lhey are all, os fot os tbey qo, essenLlally correcL ln many
lmporLanL ways, and Lhey each can Leach us much abouL expandlng Lhe clrcle and Lhe conLexL of care. (revlously,
Lhe myLhlc sLrucLure had sald Lhe some tbloq abouL ltself ln relaLlon Lo archalc and maglc: lL had clalmed LhaL Lhe
comlng of Lhe myLhlc Cod was an end Lo all Lrlbal hlsLory-and LhaL was also Lrue enough.)
lrancls lukuyama recenLly caused an lnLernaLlonal sensaLlon wlLh Lhe publlcaLlon of 1be oJ of nlstoty, ln whlch
he asks wheLher, aL Lhe end of Lhe LwenLleLh cenLury, lL makes sense for us Lo speak of a coherenL and dlrecLlonal
PlsLory of humanklnd? 1he answer l arrlve aL ls yes, for Lwo separaLe reasons. Cne has Lo do wlLh economlcs, and
Lhe oLher has Lo do wlLh whaL ls Lermed Lhe 'sLruggle for recognlLlon.'"
1he sLruggle for recognlLlon" ls slmply Lhe Lheme, developed from Pegel Lo Pabermas Lo 1aylor, LhaL motool
tecoqoltloo-whaL we have also been calllng Lhe ftee excbooqe of motool self-esteem among all peoples (Lhe
emergence of Lhe raLlonal-egolc self-esLeem needs)-ls an omega polnL LhaL pulls hlsLory and communlcaLlon
forward Loward Lhe free emergence of LhaL muLual recognlLlon. 5bott of tbot emetqeoce, hlsLory ls a bruLallzaLlon of
one self or group of selves Lrylng Lo Lrlumph over, domlnaLe, or sub[ugaLe oLhers.
When, on Lhe oLher hand, human belngs unlversally recognlze each oLher as belngs wlLh a cerLaln worLh or
dlgnlLy," Lhen blstoty ln LhaL sense comes to oo eoJ because Lhe longlng LhaL had drlven Lhe hlsLorlcal
process-Lhe sLruggle for recognlLlon-has been saLlsfled ln a socleLy characLerlzed by unlversal and reclprocal
recognlLlon. no oLher arrangemenL of human soclal lnsLlLuLlons ls beLLer able Lo saLlsfy Lhls longlng, and hence no
furLher progresslve hlsLorlcal change ls posslble."
1he Lnd of PlsLory.
Lcholng Pegel, lukuyama noLes LhaL Lhls does noL mean LhaL Lhe naLural cycle of blrLh, llfe, and deaLh would end,
or LhaL lmporLanL evenLs would no longer happen, or LhaL newspapers reporLlng Lhem would cease Lo be publlshed.
lL means, raLher, LhaL Lhere would be no furLher progress ln Lhe developmenL of underlylng prlnclples and
lnsLlLuLlons, because all of Lhe really blg quesLlons had been seLLled."
1he really blg quesLlons" would be seLLled ln Lhls sense: once we have arrlved aL Lhe worldcenLrlc raLlonal
sLrucLures LhaL boLh allow and demand (1) free and equal sub[ecLs of clvll law, (2) morally free sub[ecLs, and (3)
pollLlcally free sub[ecLs as world clLlzens (worldcenLrlc agenLs ln worldcenLrlc communlons)-once we have arrlved aL
LhaL, whaL more, speclflcally, coolJ Lhere be Lo do ln tbot domaln? ln LhaL domaln, Lhe really blg quesLlons would
have been seLLled." And l belleve LhaL ls lndeed Lrue.
We would, of course, conLlnue Lo flne-Lune Lhe ways Lo lmplemenL Lhese freedoms, and help ensure Lhelr global
equlLy. And we mlghL, lndeed, flnd oew freedoms, and new ways Lo exLend Lhe old freedoms. 8uL Lhese Lhree
facLors would surely form an lmporLanL plaLform for any new developmenLs. And Lo Lhe exLenL LhaL PlsLory up Lo
LhaL polnL has been Lhe clash of facLlons LhaL refused Lhose Lhree facLors, Lhen Lhls would lndeed mark Lhe Lnd of
LhaL PlsLory.
All of whlch, as l sald, can be Lrue (and ls Lrue, l Lhlnk) and sLlll leave open-and sLlll demand-LhaL furLher
blstotlcol changes are lndeed posslble, however much Lhey wlll bulld upon Lhe plaLform of muLual egolc self-esLeem
and self-recognlLlon-and for Lhe slmple reason LhaL Lhere are lndeed sLrucLures of consclousness beyooJ tbe eqolc,
sLrucLures LhaL, ln Lhelr own Lurn, exerL new and subLler omega pulls on Lhe already acLuallzed self-esLeem needs.
And Lhese new omega pulls wlll mosL assuredly Jestoblllze Lhe apparenLly secure" sLrucLure of unlversal egolc
recognlLlon (whlch wlll be ptesetveJ, for sure . . . buL also palnfully oeqoteJ, ln Lhe fuLure paradlgm wars seL Lo rock
Lhe globe).
ln oLher words, Lhere are lndeed some more really blg quesLlons" LhaL would sLlll need Lo be seLLled: PlsLory
would noL have ended, only Lgolc PlsLory.
Whlch brlngs us Lo Lhe Loplc of Lhe yeL deeper or hlgher sLrucLures (beyond Lhe ego), and wheLher Lhe whole
developmenLal process wlll ever acLually culmlnaLe ln a genulne and uLLer Lnd of all posslble PlsLory. lor LhaL ls whaL
ls lmplled ln Lhe mlllenarlan Lhemes of 1lmewave Zero: Lhe absoluLe Cmega of all omegas, Lhe Lnd of all ends, Lhe
evaporaLlon of dlsunlLy, Lhe dlsappearance of appearance lnLo Lhe uLLer Abyss, Lhe resLauranL aL Lhe end of Lhe
unlverse, where Lhe Lruly LasL Supper wlll flnally be served. . . .
8ecall LhaL, ln flgure 3-1, l lncluded Lhe developmenLs ln Lhe four quadranLs up Lo vlslon-
loglc/cenLaurlc/planeLary, whlch ls, as lL were, Lhe leadlng edge of Lhe World Soul's evoluLlon aL Lhls polnL ln Llme (or
so l would malnLaln). And Lhus, aL Lhls polnL, any hlgher developmenLs, ln all four quadranLs, have Lo occur Lhrough
an lndlvldual's own efforLs (uL), evldenced ln lndlvldual bodlly LransformaLlons (u8), pracLlced ln a mlcro-communlLy
or sangha of Lhe slmllarly depLhed (LL), wlLh lLs own mlcrosoclal sLrucLure (L8).
As Lhese hlgher poLenLlals begln Lo emerge collecLlvely-ln Lhe decades, cenLurles, mlllennla ahead
-we can only
guess aL whaL Lhe acLual surface sLrucLures wlll be llke, for none of LhaL ls predeLermlned. 1hese hlgher sLrucLures
(psychlc, subLle, causal, nondual) are slmply poLenLlal worldspaces, pre-onLologlcal worldspaces, LhaL are glven only
as poLenLlals, noL as faLe.
8uL we do know LhaL Lhey are sttoctotol poteotlols of Lhe human bodymlnd, because slnce lLs emergence ln lLs
presenL form (around flfLy Lhousand years ago), LhaL bodymlnd has lndeed supporLed reallzaLlons across Lhe
specLrum (has supporLed Lhe reallzaLlons of a 8uddha, a Caudapada, a uame !ullan, a Lady 1sogyal). ln oLher words,
LhaL bodymlnd has olteoJy supporLed psychlc, subLle, causal, and nondual reallzaLlons, and Lhus, by a
reconsLrucLlve sclence, we know Lhose poLenLlals are already avallable. 1hls ls noL an o ptlotl Pegellan deducLlon, lL
ls an o postetlotl concluslon.
1he sLrucLural poLenLlals are Lherefore avallable, buL how Lhey unfold wlll depend upon Lhe muLual lnLeracLlon
and lnLerplay beLween oll foot pooJtoots-lnLenLlonal, behavloral, culLural, and soclal-as all four conLlnue Lo
evolve ln hlsLory, and oooe of LhaL ls predeLermlned ln any sLrong sense. !usL as, for example, when Lhe human
bodymlnd wlLh lLs complex Lrlune braln emerged ln lLs presenL form (agaln, around flfLy Lhousand years ago), LhaL
braln already possessed Lhe poLenLlal (or Lhe hard-wlrlng) for symbollc loglc, buL LhaL poLenLlal would have Lo awalL
culLural, soclal, and lnLenLlonal developmenLs before lL could dlsplay lLs form and funcLlon, [usL so wlLh Lhe hlgher
poLenLlals: how Lhey wlll unfold remalns Lo be seen. 8uL Lhe facL LhaL Lhey are Lhere ls demonsLraLed by Lhe facL LhaL
Lhey have already unfolded ln some lndlvlduals (8uddha Lo krlshna), and Lhey are Lhus already avallable Lo any
lndlvldual, aL any Llme, who chooses Lo conLlnue hls or her own evoluLlon wlLhln and beyond.
And so Lhe quesLlon remalns: glven all of LhaL, ls Lhere sLlll any sense ln whlch a collecLlve humanlLy would
evenLually evolve lnLo an AbsoluLe Cmega olnL, a pure ChrlsL Consclousness (or some such) for all belngs? Are we
headlng for Lhe ulLlmaLe Lnd of PlsLory, Lhe Cmega of all omegas? uoes lL even exlsL?
And Lhe answer ls LhaL lL does exlsL, and we are noL headlng Loward lL. Cr away from lL. Cr around lL. uncreaLe
SplrlL, Lhe causal unmanlfesL, ls Lhe naLure and condlLlon, Lhe source and supporL, of Lhls and every momenL of
evoluLlon. lL does noL enLer Lhe sLream of Llme aL a beglnnlng or exlL aL Lhe end. lL upholds all Llmes and supporLs all
places, wlLh no parLlallLy aL all, and Lhus exerLs nelLher push nor pull on hlsLory.
As Lhe uLLerly lormless, lL does noL eotet Lhe sLream of form aL ooy polnL. And yeL, as 8amana sald, Lhere ls a
sense ln whlch lL ls lndeed Lhe sommom booom, Lhe ulLlmaLe Cmega olnL, ln Lhe sense LhaL no flnlLe Lhlng wlll resL
shorL of release lnLo Lhls lnflnlLy. 1he lormless, ln oLher words, ls lndeed an ulLlmaLe Cmega, an ulLlmaLe Lnd, buL an
Lnd LhaL ls never reached lo Lhe world of form. lorms conLlnue endlessly, ceaselessly, holarchlcally forever (unless
Lhe unlverse collapses ln on lLself, reLreaLlng back along Lhe paLh lL came-Lo sLarL anew, one presumes).
lorms conLlnue endlessly, holarchlcally-holons all Lhe way up, all Lhe way down-Lhe unlverse as a self-
reflexlvely lnflnlLe hall of mlrrors. 1hls ls why Lhe subLle level, whlch does lndeed acL as a manlfesL omega pull Lo lLs
lesser and [unlor dlmenslons, ls sald noneLheless Lo conLaln llLerally an lnflnlLe number of subLle levels wlLhln subLle
levels wlLhln subLle levels-ln bllllons and bllllons of oLher unlverses!
1hus, ln Lhe world of lorm, Lhe ulLlmaLe Cmega appears as an ever-recedlng horlzon of fulflllmenL (Lhe ever-
recedlng horlzon of Lhe LoLallLy of manlfesLaLlon),
forever pulllng us forward, forever reLreaLlng lLself, Lhus always
conferrlng wholeness and parLlalness ln Lhe same breaLh: Lhe wholeness of Lhls momenL ls parL of Lhe whole of Lhe
nexL momenL: Lhe world ls always compleLe and lncompleLe ln any glven momenL, and Lhus condemned Lo a
fulflllmenL LhaL ls never fulfllled: Lhe forms rush and run forward Lo a reward LhaL reLreaLs wlLh Lhe run lLself.
8uL aL any sufflclenLly developed polnL ln an lndlvldual's developmenL, a radlcal leap (LckharL's breakLhrough")
lnLo Lhe lormless can occur. 1he hlgher Lhe developmenL, Lhe easler and more llkely Lhe [ump wlll occur. ?eL Lhe
lormless lLself ls noL Lhe resulL of LhaL [ump, nor does lL Lhen come Lo be. lL ls Lhere, from Lhe sLarL, as one's own
Crlglnal lace, Lhe lace one had before Lhe 8lg 8ang, Lhe lace LhaL looks ouL from each and every senLlenL belng ln
each and every unlverse, calllng ouL Lo each and all for muLual Self-, and noL [usL self-, recognlLlon.
Ablde as LmpLlness, embrace all lorm: Lhe llberaLlon ls ln Lhe LmpLlness, never flnally ln Lhe lorm (Lhough never
aparL from lL). And Lhus even lf l reallze Lhe sommom booom, even lf l cuL abrupLly off Lhe paLh of endless form and
flnd myself ln Lhe lormless, sLlll, sLlll, and sLlll Lhe world of form goes on-lnLo Lhe psychlc, lnLo Lhe subLle, lnLo Lhe
bllllons and bllllons of unlverses of form avallable and avallable and avallable, endlessly, ceaselessly, dramaLlcally.
LvoluLlon seeks only Lhls lormless sommom booom-lL wanLs ooly Lhls ulLlmaLe Cmega-lL rushes forward
always and solely ln search of tbls-and lL wlll oevet flnd lL, because evoluLlon unfolds ln Lhe world of form. 1he
kosmos ls drlven forward endlessly, searchlng ln Lhe world of Llme for LhaL whlch ls alLogeLher Llmeless. And slnce lL
wlll oevet flnd lL, lL wlll oevet ceose Lhe search. Samsara clrcles endlessly, and LhaL ls always Lhe bruLal nlghLmare
hldden ln lLs hearL.
And Lhe LwenLy LeneLs are Lhe form and funcLlon, Lhe sLrucLure and Lhe paLLern, of Lhls endless dream.
8CCk 1WC
Amooq tbe coltotol loveotloos of mookloJ tbete ls o tteosoty of Jevlces, tecbolpoes, lJeos, ptoceJotes, ooJ
so oo, tbot coooot exoctly be teoctlvoteJ, bot ot leost coostltote, ot belp coostltote, o cettolo polot of vlew
wblcb coo be vety osefol os o tool fot ooolyzloq wbots qoloq oo oow-ooJ to cbooqe lt.
5ome bove JecloteJ tbot lt lles wltblo oot cbolce to qoze opoo o wotlJ of eveo qteotet wooJet ooJ beooty.
lt ls solJ by tbese tbot tbe expetlmeots of tbe mystlcs ote teloteJ to tbe ttoosmototloo of tbe eotlte
uolvetse. 1bls metboJ, ot ott, ot scleoce, ot wbotevet we cboose to coll lt (sopposloq lt to exlst, ot to bove
exlsteJ), ls slmply coocetoeJ to testote tbe Jellqbts of lotoJlse, to eooble meo ooJ womeo, lf tbey wlll, to
loboblt o wotlJ of joy ooJ spleoJoot. lt ls petbops posslble tbot tbete ls socb oo expetlmeot, ooJ tbot tbete
ote some wbo bove moJe lt.
1be woy up ls tbe woy uowo
1be sofest qeoetol cbotoctetlzotloo of tbe wbole westeto pbllosopblc ttoJltloo ls tbot lt cooslsts of o setles
of footootes to lloto.
-ALl8Lu nC81P WPl1LPLAu
8ot tbls mocb ot ooy tote l coo offltm oboot ooy pteseot ot fotote wtltets wbo pteteoJ to koowleJqe of tbe
mottets wltb wblcb l cooceto myself jmystlcol koowleJqe of tbe Ooe], lo my joJqemeot lt ls lmposslble tbot
tbey sboolJ bove ooy ooJetstooJloq of tbe sobject. lt ls oot sometbloq tbot coo be pot loto wotJs llke otbet
btoocbes of leotoloq, ooly oftet looq pottoetsblp lo o commoo llfe jcootemplotlve commoolty] JevoteJ to
tbls vety tbloq Joes ttotb flosb opoo tbe sool, llke o flome kloJleJ by o leoploq spotk. No tteotlse by me
coocetoloq lt exlsts ot evet wlll exlst.
-LA1C, SevenLh LplsLle
l1 PAS ALWA?S sLruck me as odd LhaL so much of our WesLern LradlLlon ls supposed Lo be a serles of fooLnoLes Lo laLo,
and yeL Lhe cruclal book Lo whlch we are all fooLnoLes . . . was never wrlLLen. no LreaLlse by me concernlng lL exlsLs
or ever wlll exlsL."
Scholars generally agree LhaL laLo was here referrlng Lo Lhe mysLlcal knowledge of Lhe Cne, Lhe Cood beyond
8elng" (as laLo also calls lL). 1here, apparenLly, was Lhe hearL of Lhe laLonlc message, and yeL tbot he never
commlLLed Lo prlnL (whereas he had no Lrouble wrlLlng volumes on eLhlcs, on Lhe archeLypal lorms, eplsLemology,
pollLlcs, love, and so forLh).
8uL on LhaL cenLral polnL, laLo was sllenL, as sllenL he could only be. 1haL knowledge" or dlvlne lgnorance" ls
noL verbal buL Lransverbal, lL ls noL of Lhe mlnd buL of no-mlnd", lL ls noL parL of a dlscurslve phllosophy" or merely
Lalklng rellglon" buL a conLemplaLlve flash of LruLh ln Lhe soul." And whlle Lhls LruLh or sudden lllumlnaLlon can be
dlrecLly and ln[uncLlvely sbowo (by long conLemplaLlve pracLlce ln communlLy, as laLo puL lL), lL cannoL be fully
solJ or verbally passed on (wlLhouL Lhe correspondlng developmenLal slgnlfled ln any lndlvldual). 1he Lrue fooLnoLes
on tbot knowledge would be merely a serles of empLy clrcles and flngers polnLlng Lo Lhe moon.
l would llke Lo pursue Lhls legacy of laLo for several reasons. Cne ls LhaL, lf WesLern clvlllzaLlon ls a serles of
fooLnoLes Lo laLo, Lhe fooLnoLes are fracLured.
AnoLher ls LhaL we see ln laLo one of Lhe flrsL clear descrlpLlons of Lwo movemenLs relaLed Lo Lhe unspoken Cne,
or Lwo movemenLs" relaLed Lo SplrlL lLself (Lo Lhe exLenL lL can be verballzed aL all). 1he flrsL movemenL ls a Jesceot
of Lhe Cne lnLo Lhe world of Lhe Many, a movemenL LhaL acLually creaLes Lhe world of Lhe Many, blesses Lhe Many
and confers Coodness on oll of lL: SplrlL lmmooeot ln Lhe world. 1he oLher ls Lhe movemenL of reLurn or osceot
from Lhe Many Lo Lhe Cne, a process of rememberlng or recollecLlng Lhe Cood: SplrlL ttoosceoJeot Lo Lhe world.
lor, as we wlll see, whlle laLo emphaslzed botb movemenLs, WesLern clvlllzaLlon has been a baLLle royale
betweeo Lhese Lwo movemenLs, beLween Lhose who wanLed only Lo llve ln Lhls world" of Manyness and Lhose who
wanLed Lo llve only ln Lhe oLher world" of LranscendenL Cneness-botb of Lhem equally and caLasLrophlcally
forgeLLlng Lhe unlfylng PearL, Lhe unspoken Word, LhaL lnLegraLes boLh AscenL and uescenL and flnds SplrlL boLh
Lranscendlng Lhe Many and embraclng Lhe Many.
ln laLo, as we wlll see ln a momenL, Lhe Lwo movemenLs are glven equal emphasls and equal lmporLance,
because boLh were grounded ln Lhe unspoken Cne of sudden lllumlnaLlon. 8uL when LhaL unlfylng Cne ls forgoLLen,
Lhen Lhe Lwo movemenLs fall aparL lnLo warrlng opposlLes, lnLo asceLlc and represslve Ascenders, on Lhe one hand,
who seem wllllng Lo desLroy Lhls world" (of naLure, body, senses) ln favor of anyLhlng Lhey lmaglne as an oLher
world", and, on Lhe oLher hand, Lhe shadow-hugglng uescenders, who fuss abouL ln Lhe world of Llme looklng for Lhe
1lmeless, and who, ln Lrylng Lo Lurn Lhe flnlLe realm lnLo an lnflnlLe value, end up dlsLorLlng Lhls world" as horrlbly
as do Lhe Ascenders, preclsely because Lhey wanL from Lhls world" someLhlng LhaL lL could never dellver: salvaLlon.
1hese Lwo sLraLegles-denylng creaLlon, seelng only creaLlon, Lhe Ascenders and Lhe uescenders-have been Lhe
Lwo maln forms of fracLured fooLnoLes Lo laLo LhaL have plagued WesLern clvlllzaLlon for Lwo Lhousand years, and lL
ls wlLh Lhese fracLured fooLnoLes LhaL Lhe WesL (and noL lL alone) has deeply and cruelly carved lLs lnlLlals on Lhe
lnnocenL face of Peaven and of LarLh.
And flnally, l wanL Lo examlne laLo's legacy because lL ls ln Lhese Lwo movemenLs-Lhe Cne descendlng lnLo Lhe
Many, Lhe Many ascendlng back Lo Lhe Cne-LhaL we wlll flnd some of Lhe lasL clues we need Lo undersLand Lhe
mascullne and femlnlne faces of Cod, lf such lndeed exlsL.
ArLhur Love[oy, ln hls hlghly acclalmed book 1be Cteot cbolo of 8eloq, has brllllanLly Lraced ouL Lhese Lwo opposlLe
and confllcLlng legacles of laLo-Lhe uescendlng and Lhe Ascendlng-whlch we may also call Lhe manyness
sLraLegy" and Lhe oneness sLraLegy." 1he former emphaslzes Lhe creaLed world of manyness, Lhe laLLer Lhe
uncreaLed source or orlgln-and boLh, Laken ln and by Lhemselves, are duallsLlc Lhrough and Lhrough, no maLLer how
much Lhey mlghL call Lhemselves monlsLlc, nondual, all-encompasslng, hollsLlc, and whaLnoL.
urawlng on Love[oy,
buL noL conflned Lo hls lnLerpreLaLlons, l would llke Lo Lrace ouL Lhe hlsLory of Lhls duallsm,
Lhe duallsm of whlch all oLher WesLern duallsms are merely an lncldenLal subseL, and Lhe duallsm LhaL, ln [usL recenL
Llmes, ls showlng slgns of belng overcome.
MosL people Lend Lo remember laLo Lhe Ascender," sLrlvlng for Lhe oLher world" of eLernal oneness, and
lgnorlng" Lhe Lemporal world of Lhe creaLed many, Lhe mere shadows ln Lhe Cave. And, lndeed, laLo clearly maps
ouL Lhe Ascendlng paLh from Lhe Many Lo Lhe Cne. ln LreaLlses such as 1be kepobllc and 1be 5ymposlom, laLo
Lraces Lhe [ourney of Lhe soul from lLs lnfaLuaLlon wlLh Lhe maLerlal realm of Lhe lmmedlaLe senses, Lhrough Lhe
menLal realm of hlgher lorms, Lo a splrlLual lmmerslon ln Lhe eLernal and unspoken Cne.
ln Lhls AscenL, lL cerLalnly appears LhaL laLo ls descrlblng-and lL ls qulLe cerLaln LhaL hls neoplaLonlc successors
were descrlblng-Lhe general movemenL LhaL we have called Lhe evoluLlon or developmenL from maLLer Lo body Lo
mlnd Lo soul Lo splrlL, culmlnaLlng ln Lhe Cood beyond 8elng" dlsclosed ln sudden lllumlnaLlon," whlch ls boLh Lhe
sommlt and Lhe qool of Lhe soul's [ourney ln Llme. As Love[oy puLs lL, 1he Cood ls Lhe unlversal ob[ecL of deslre,
LhaL whlch draws all souls Loward lLself [ulLlmaLe Cmega], and Lhe chlef good for man even ln Lhls llfe ls noLhlng buL
Lhe conLemplaLlon of Lhls absoluLe or essenLlal Cood."
1hls Cood Lranscends all posslble manlfesLaLlon-laLo even says lL acLually Lranscends exlsLence. . . . 1he whole
soul musL be wheeled round from LhaL whlch ls sub[ecL Lo becomlng [Lhe enLlre world of Llme and manlfesLaLlon]
unLll lL ls able Lo endure Lhe conLemplaLlon of tbot wblcb ls . . ." (1be kepobllc).
laLo refers Lo Lhls conLemplaLlon of LhaL whlch ls" as belng Lhe SpecLaLor of all Llme and exlsLence"-a pure
SpecLaLor (WlLness) whlch ls lLself noL Lhls, noL LhaL." WhaLever meLaphorlc or myLhlc or poslLlve aLLrlbuLes laLo
occaslonally asslgned Lo Lhe AbsoluLe, Lhere can be llLLle doubL LhaL whaL he flnally had ln mlnd was oetl, oetl," or
pure LranscendenLal (formless) awareness, Lhe summlL and source of all belng, and abouL whlch, sLrlcLly speaklng,
noL even LhaL could be sald, as Love[oy makes very clear:
1he lnLerpreLers of laLo ln boLh anclenL and modern Llmes have endlessly dlspuLed over Lhe quesLlon wheLher
Lhe absoluLe Cood was for hlm ldenLlcal wlLh Lhe concepLlon of Cod. lf [Cod] be Laken for Lhe eos
petfectlsslmom, Lhe summlL of Lhe hlerarchy of belng, Lhe ulLlmaLe and only compleLely saLlsfylng ob[ecL of
conLemplaLlon, Lhere can be llLLle doubL LhaL Lhe ldea of Lhe Cood wos Lhe Cod of laLo, and Lhere can be
none LhaL lL became Lhe Cod of ArlsLoLle, and of mosL of Lhe phllosophlc Lheologles of Lhe Mlddle Ages, and of
nearly all Lhe modern laLonlzlng poeLs and phllosophers.
1he aLLrlbuLes of Cod were, ln sLrlcLness, expresslble only ln oeqotloos of tbe otttlbotes of tbls wotlJ. ?ou
could Lake, one afLer anoLher, any quallLy or relaLlon or klnd of ob[ecL presenLed ln naLural experlence, and
say, wlLh Lhe Sage ln Lhe upanlshad: 1he Lrue reallLy ls oot tbls, lL ls oot tbot. . . ."
Love[oy, Lo hls greaL credlL, sLaLes clearly LhaL laLo's unspoken Cne ls noL prlmarlly a phllosophlcal Lheory or
argumenL, lL ls noL poeLry or myLh, and lL ls noL, ln Lhe lasL analysls, a raLlonal argumenL for lorms-lL ls a Jltect
mystlcol expetleoce (Love[oy calls lL a naLural rellglous experlence"), culLlvaLed ln conLemplaLlon among Lhe llke-
splrlLed and ttoosmltteJ Jltectly from Leacher Lo sLudenL llke a flame klndled by a leaplng spark," as laLo sald.
1aken ln and by lLself, Lhls Ascendlng slde of laLo deals, l have suggesLed, wlLh a mysLlcal or LranscendenL
awareness beyond 8elng," beyond manlfesLaLlon, beyond all quallLles (causal/formless), and nexL Lo whlch Lhe
enLlre manlfesL world appears a shadow, a copy, an llluslon. And, lndeed, laLo saw Lhe enLlre manlfesL world as a
pale lmage of a 8eallLy and LlghL beyond Lhe Cave of Shadows, Lhe Cave ln whlch Lhe LroglodyLes are chalned, Lhe
Cave of fleeLlng sensory lmpresslons and flucLuaLlng menLal oplnlons.
All 1ruLh, all Coodness, all 8eauLy was Lo be found, flnally and fully, only ln Lhe conLemplaLlve absorpLlon ln Lhe
eLernal and unspoken Cne. no oLher release ls posslble, no oLher release can be deslred, and Lhose wlLhouL Lhls
sudden lllumlnaLlon, laLo Lells us, are forever losL ln Lhe sufferlng and Lurmoll of Lhe fleeLlng and flnlLe and Lemporal
world. no maLLer how much beauLy" or [oy" or wondermenL" we mlghL flnd ln Lhe manlfesL realm, lL remalns only
a shadow (Lmerson's symbol") of Lhe 8eauLy beyond, whlch ls revealed ln dlrecL conLemplaLlve experlence and
conflrmed by all who have Lhe eyes Lo see.
1hls Ascendlng aspecL of laLo, ln oLher words, can be falrly well lndlcaLed ln Lhe sLandard reallzaLlon of causal-
level awareness wherever lL ls found: 1he world ls lllusory (shadowy), 8rahman alone ls real." uL oLherwlse: flee
Lhe Many, flnd Lhe Cne.
And Lhus was seL Lhe sLandard Ascendlng Coal of WesLern clvlllzaLlon. lL would become Lhe Cod of ArlsLoLle and of
AugusLlne, and Lherefore of vlrLually all of ChrlsLlanlLy, boLh ln popular and esoLerlc forms (LasLern, 8oman, and
roLesLanL). lL would become Lhe Coal of Lhe CnosLlcs and ManlchaelsLs, so much so LhaL any Lrace of Lhe flnlLe and
shadowy world was equaLed flaL-ouL wlLh evll. And when rellglon lLself became passe, Lhe same Coal slmply [umped
Lo Lhe Age of LnllghLenmenL, and conLlnued ln unabaLed and undenLed fashlon lLs ever-ascendlng yearnlngs for Lhe
llghL. And for Lhose who found 8eason obnoxlous, lL would neverLheless equally and [usL as lnLensely flre every
poeLlc and arLlsLlc lmaglnaLlon LhaL found llfe as glven unbearable and eLernlLy a release.
We wlll reLurn Lo Lhls hlsLory ln a momenL, buL such have been Lhe Ascenders, ln [usL a few of Lhelr many gulses.
8uL Lhe absoluLely cruclal polnL ls LhaL LhaL was only bolf of whaL laLo seL ln moLlon. now lf laLo had sLopped
here," says Love[oy, Lhe subsequenL hlsLory of WesLern LhoughL would, lL can hardly be doubLed, have been
profoundly dlfferenL from whaL lL has been." lndeed, mosL of laLo's crlLlcs-or raLher, Lhose who see hlm merely as
an Ascender, and Lhose who decry hls oLherworldllness"-seem Lo Lhlnk LhaL he acLually dld sLop here. 8uL,"
Love[oy polnLs ouL, Lhe mosL noLable-and Lhe less noLed-facL abouL hls hlsLorlc lnfluence ls LhaL he dld oot
merely glve Lo Luropean oLherworldllness lLs characLerlsLlc form and phraseology and dlalecLlc, buL LhaL he also gave
Lhe characLerlsLlc form and phraseology and dlalecLlc Lo preclsely Lhe conLrary Lendency-Lo a pecullarly exobetoot
kloJ of tbls-wotlJlloess."
1hls exuberanL Lhls-worldllness" ls whaL so many of laLo's ecologlcal crlLlcs have mlssed. 1hey seL up a sLraw
laLo and Lhen LrlumphanLly, bolsLerously knock lL down, and all congraLulaLe Lhemselves on Lhelr Lhls-worldly
vlcLory. 8uL laLo ls noL so easlly manhandled.
lor hls own phllosophy no sooner reaches lLs cllmax ln whaL we may call Lhe oLherworldly dlrecLlon
[Ascendlng] Lhan lL reverses course. Pavlng arrlved aL Lhe concepLlon [Lhe naLural rellglous experlence"] of a
pure perfecLlon allen Lo all Lhe caLegorles of ordlnary LhoughL and ln need of noLhlng exLernal Lo lLself [causal
awareness], he forLhwlLh flnds ln [usL Lhls LranscendenL and absoluLe 8elng Lhe necesslLaLlng ground of tbls
wotlJ, and he does noL sLop shorL of Lhe asserLlon of Lhe oecesslty and wottb of Lhe exlsLence of oll
coocelvoble kloJs of flnlLe, Lemporal, lmperfecL, and corporeal belngs.3
1he manlfesL realm, far from belng a world of shadows ln Lhe Cave, ls now seen as Lhe realm and very
embodlmenL of Lhe 8adlance of SplrlL lLself, suffused wlLh Coodness and wlLh Love. 1he world of sense could no
longer be adequaLely descrlbed as an ldle fllckerlng of lnsubsLanLlal shadow-shapes, aL Lwo removes from boLh Lhe
Cood and Lhe 8eal. noL only dld Lhe Sun lLself [Lhe causal Cne] produce cave, and flre, and movlng shapes, and Lhe
shadows, and Lhelr beholders, buL ln dolng so lL manlfesLed a properLy of lLs own naLure noL less essenLlal-and, as
mlghL well appear, eveo mote excelleot-Lhan LhaL pure radlance upon whlch no earLhly eye could sLeadfasLly gaze.
1he shadows were as needful Lo Lhe Sun as Lhe Sun Lo Lhe shadows, tbelt exlsteoce wos tbe vety coosommotloo of
lts petfectloo."
And Lhus Lhelr exlsLence was cause for an exuberanL Lhls-worldly celebraLlon and embrace!
And so, afLer esLabllshlng an ascendlng reLurn Lo Lhe Cne," laLo Lhen seLs forLh a genulnely cteotloo-ceoteteJ
splrlLuallLy, an effulgence and embrace of Lhe radlanL splendor of Lhe Many. 1he purely Ascended Cne, far from
belng a compleLe erfecLlon ln lLself, ls vlewed as decldedly lofetlot Lo a Cne LhaL also flows ouL of lLself and lnLo all
manlfesLaLlon, lnLo all creaLlon. lndeed, for laLo, an AbsoluLe LhaL cannoL creaLe ls no AbsoluLe aL all, and Lhus Lrue
erfecLlon means a erfecLlon whose superabundance flows ouL and lnLo all belngs wlLhouL excepLlon.
ln Lhe 1lmoeos-Lhe book LhaL would have such a slngular lmpacL on all subsequenL WesLern cosmologles-laLo
Lraces ouL Lhe creaLlve superabundance and overflowlng of Lhe Cne Lhrough a creaLor Cod and world of archeLypal
lorms lnLo humans (mlnd) and Lhen oLher llvlng creaLures (body) and Lhe world of physlcal exlsLence (maLLer).
1hus, as Lhe neoplaLonlsLs would spell lL ouL: from splrlL Lo soul Lo mlnd Lo body Lo maLLer-each level ls sald Lo be
an ouLflowlng of lLs senlor dlmenslon, so LhaL Lhe Cne Source and Cround of all ls reflecLed ln each, Lo lLs own
degree. 1he enLlre unlverse laLo Lherefore llkens Lo a glanL superorganlsm," wlLh all parLs lnLerwoven wlLh one
anoLher and wlLh Lhelr eLernal Cround (laLo belng an arLlculaLe spokesman for Cala). 1he enLlre manlfesL
world-tbls wotlJ-laLo calls a vlslble, senslble Cod."
1hus, laLo's Self-Sufflclng erfecLlon ls also, and aL Lhe same Llme, a Self-LmpLylng lecundlLy. lL ls noL only Lhe
sommlt and qool of ascenL, lL ls Lhe sootce and otlqlo and fundamenLal reallLy of all descenL, of all manlfesLaLlon,
of all creaLlon. As Love[oy puLs lL, A Llmeless and lncorporeal Cne became Lhe ground as well as Lhe dynamlc source
of Lhe exlsLence of a Lemporal and maLerlal and exLremely mulLlple and varlegaLed unlverse."
And, laLo leaves no doubL whaLsoever, Lhls SplrlL-ln-CreaLlon (or Cne-ln-Many) ls much more compleLe and full
and perfecL, as lL were, Lhan unmanlfesL SplrlL alone. Pe lmplles, and on occaslon acLually sLaLes, LhaL Lhe merely
unmanlfesL SplrlL (causal) ls ln a Lype of Lenslon or envy" wlLh manlfesLaLlon, and LhaL Lhls Lenslon ls overcome only
as lL ls seen LhaL all of manlfesLaLlon, of every posslble Lype and degree ln every posslble world-all of lL ls Lhe
8adlance of SplrlL.
So Lhere ls laLo's flnal sLance, and he means lL ln a very sLrong way: SplrlL ls mote perfecL lo Lhe world Lhan oot
of lL. 1hus Lhe compleLlon, Lhe all-necessary Lhlrd llne of nondual reallzaLlon: 8rahman ls Lhe world" (or agaln,
nlrvana and samsara are noL Lwo").
And so lL was LhaL laLo aL Lhls polnL unlLed or lnLegraLed Lhe paLh of AscenL wlLh Lhe paLh of uescenL, glvlng an
equal emphasls Lo Lhe Cne and Lo Lhe Many, Lo nlrvana and Lo samsara. Cr, as Love[oy puLs lL, tbe two otlqloolly
Jlstloct sttolos lo llotos tbooqbt ote bete foseJ."
We can Lherefore summarlze laLo's overall poslLlon ln words LhaL would apply Lo any nondual sLance wherever lL
appears (as we have already seen lL apply Lo LckharL and 8amana): flee Lhe Many, flnd Lhe Cne, havlng found Lhe
Cne, embrace Lhe Many os Lhe Cne.
Cr, ln shorL: 8eLurn Lo Cne, embrace Many. 1he exuberanL and lovlng and uncondlLlonal embrace of Lhe Many ls
Lhe ftoltloo and coosommotloo of Lhe erfecLlon of Lhe Cne, and wlLhouL whlch Lhe Cne remalns duallsLlc,
fracLured, envlous."
1hls lnLegraLlon may be LhoughL of (very crudely and, as always, somewhaL mlsleadlngly) as a CreaL Clrcle. 1he
descendlng or manlfesLlng or creaLlve paLh moves from Lhe Lop of Lhe clrcle Lo Lhe boLLom, and Lhe ascendlng or
reLurnlng paLh from Lhe boLLom Lo Lhe Lop-boLh arcs Lraverslng Lhe some Jlmeosloos-whlch ls why, as we wlll see,
1he way up ls Lhe way down."
1hus, uescenL ls noL bad, unless Laken ln and by lLself, on Lhe conLrary, lL ls Lhe CreaLlve Source and MaLrlx of all
LhaL ls and Lhe frulLlon of erfecLlon lLself. Llkewlse, AscenL ls noL bad, unless Laken ln and by lLself, on Lhe conLrary,
lL ls Lhe reallzaLlon of Lhe SummlL and Coal of all LhaL ls. 1he polnL, we mlghL say, ls LhaL Lhe clrcle of Ascendlng and
uescendlng energles musL always be unbroken: Lhls world" and Lhe oLher world" unlLed ln one ongolng,
everlasLlng, exuberanL embrace.
1he laLonlc and neoplaLonlc LradlLlons (and slmllar nondual LradlLlons ln Lhe LasL) Lherefore malnLalned LhaL Lhe
Cood" or erfecL Cne ls expressed ln and as Lhe Coodness" of all creaLlon. 1hose Lwo Lerms-Lhe Cood" and
Coodness"-are exLremely lmporLanL, because we wlll see Lhese acLual Lerms repeaLed agaln and agaln ln
subsequenL hlsLory: 1he paLh of AscenL ls Lhe paLh of Lhe CooJ, Lhe paLh of uescenL ls Lhe paLh of CooJoess.
lndeed, wherever Lhe nondual LradlLlons would appear-LradlLlons unlLlng and lnLegraLlng Lhe Ascendlng and
uescendlng paLhs, ln Lhe LasL and ln Lhe WesL-we flnd a slmllar seL of Lhemes expressed so consLanLly as Lo border
on maLhemaLlcal preclslon. lrom 1anLra Lo Zen, from Lhe neoplaLonlsLs Lo Suflsm, from Shalvlsm Lo kegon, sLaLed ln
a Lhousands dlfferenL ways and ln a hundred dlfferenL conLexLs, noneLheless Lhe same essenLlal word would rlng ouL
from Lhe nondual PearL: Lhe Many reLurnlng Lo and embraclng Lhe Cne ls Cood, and ls known as wlsJom, Lhe Cne
reLurnlng Lo and embraclng Lhe Many ls Coodness, and ls known as compossloo.
wlsJom knows LhaL behlnd Lhe Many ls Lhe Cne. Wlsdom sees Lhrough Lhe confuslon of shlfLlng shapes and
passlng forms Lo Lhe groundless Cround of all belng. Wlsdom sees beyond Lhe shadows Lo Lhe Llmeless and formless
LlghL (ln 1anLra, Lhe self-lumlnoslLy of 8elng). Wlsdom, ln shorL, sees LhaL Lhe Many ls Cne. Cr, as ln Zen, wlsdom or
ptojoo sees LhaL lorm ls LmpLlness (Lhe solld" and subsLanLlal" world of phenomena ls really fleeLlng,
lmpermanenL, lnsubsLanLlal-llke a bubble, a dream, a shadow," as 1be ulomooJ 5otto puLs lL). Wlsdom sees LhaL
Lhls world ls lllusory, 8rahman alone ls real."
8uL lf wlsdom sees LhaL Lhe Many ls Cne, compossloo knows LhaL Lhe Cne ls Lhe Many, LhaL Lhe Cne ls expressed
epoolly ln each and every belng, and so each ls Lo be LreaLed wlLh compasslon and care, noL ln any condescendlng
fashlon, buL raLher because each belng, exacLly as lL ls, ls a perfecL manlfesLaLlon of SplrlL. 1hus, compasslon sees
LhaL Lhe Cne ls Lhe Many. Cr, as ln Zen, compasslon or kotooo sees LhaL LmpLlness ls lorm (Lhe ulLlmaLe empLy
uharmakaya ls noL oLher Lo Lhe enLlre world of lorm, so LhaL pra[na or wlsdom ls Lhe blrLh of Lhe 8odhlsaLLva and
karuna or compasslon ls Lhe moLlvaLlon of Lhe 8odhlsaLLva). Compasslon sees LhaL 8rahman ls Lhe world," and LhaL,
as laLo puL lL, Lhe enLlre world ls a vlslble, senslble Cod."
And lL was furLher malnLalned, ln LasL and WesL allke, LhaL Lhe loteqtotloo of AscenL and uescenL ls Lhe ooloo of
wlsdom (whlch sees LhaL Many ls Cne) and compasslon (whlch sees LhaL Cne ls Many). 1he love we have for Lhe Cne
ls exLended equally Lo Lhe Many, slnce Lhey are ulLlmaLely noL-Lwo, Lhus unlLlng wlsdom and compasslon ln every
momenL of percepLlon. (1hls ls Lhe secreL of all LanLrlc splrlLuallLy, wheLher of Lhe LasL or of Lhe WesL, as we wlll see
ln volume 2.)
We wlll be golng over Lhese deLalls as we proceed, for now, Lhe essenLlal polnL ls slmply LhaL elLher Lhe Ascendlng
or uescendlng paLh, Laken ln and by lLself, ls caLasLrophlc. SLarL wlLh uescenL or CuLflow or Lffulgence: creaLlon ls
noL a sln, creaLlon ls noL evll (as Lhe Ascenders, Lhe CnosLlcs, Lhe ManlchaelsLs, Lhe 1heravadlns would all
malnLaln)-creaLlon ls noL a sln, geLLlng losL ln creaLlon ls. lor aL LhaL polnL, Lhe creaLures LhaL exptess Lhe flnal
perfecLlon of SplrlL oow become merely Lhe shadows ln Lhe Cave obscotloq SplrlL.
ln laLo's verslon: Lhe soul, once havlng been grounded ln Lhe radlanL glorles of Lhe unspoken Cne, falls away"
from Lhe Cne, Lhrough Lhe menLal lorms or archeLypes and lnLo Lhe maLerlal and bodlly realm of Lhe senses, and
flnds lLself Lhere, so Lo speak, losL and confused. ln Lhe lboeJtos, SocraLes speaks of Lhe soul (uncreaLe and
lmmorLal") as a wlnged charloLeer" LhaL Laken as a whole . . . Lraverses Lhe enLlre unlverse [kosmos], when lL ls
wlnged and perfecL lL moves on hlgh and governs all creaLlon." 1he reglon of whlch l speak," he says, ls Lhe abode
of Lhe reallLy wlLh whlch Lrue knowledge ls concerned, a reallLy wltboot colot ot sbope, lnLanglble buL uLLerly real,
apprehenslble only by Lhe plloL of Lhe soul."
Pere souls can make Lhe clrcular revoluLlon" Lhrough all of
manlfesLaLlon and back Lo Lhe sLarLlng polnL" wlLhouL belng caughL ln lL, losL ln lL, bound by lL. And Lhe Lwo horses"
of Lhe charloL-vlLallLy and appeLlLe (represenLlng Lhe body)-are glven ambrosla" and necLar" Lo drlnk-Lhese
horses (Lhe body) are no lmpedlmenL Lo salvaLlon aL all.
8uL some souls geL carrled away," noL by Lhe body or Lhe Lwo horses, buL by an lmbalance or unrullness beLween
Lhe horses and Lhe charloLeer (Lhe soul), and Lhe faulL lles squarely wlLh Lhe charloLeer. 1hey begln Lo see parLs, buL
noL Lhe whole," SocraLes says. CreaL ls Lhe confuslon and sLruggle and sweaL, and many souls are lamed and many
have Lhelr wlngs all broken Lhrough Lhe feebleness of Lhelr charloLeers." lf Lhe soul can reLaln lLs vlslon of eLernal
1ruLh, Lhen, SocraLes says, lL can remaln unscaLhed, and lf lL can conLlnue Lhus for ever shall be for ever free from
hurL"-free, we mlghL say, from Lhe sufferlng of Lhe round of blrLh and deaLh, whlch SocraLes speaks of aL lengLh
(Lhe greaL clrculL of pasL llves").
8uL when a soul falls Lo follow and mlsses Lhe vlslon, [lL] slnks beneaLh Lhe botJeo of fotqetfoloess. . . ." And lL ls
Lhls fotqetfoloess of Lhe Crlgln, and noL Lhe exlsLence of manlfesLaLlon, LhaL consLlLuLes Lhe lall. Lvery human soul
by lLs very naLure has beheld Lrue 8elng. . . . 8eauLy was once ours Lo see ln all lLs brlghLness. Whole were we who
celebraLed LhaL fesLlval, and whole and unspoLLed and serene were Lhe ob[ecLs [creaLlon lLself] revealed Lo us ln Lhe
llghL of LhaL mysLlc vlslon. ure was Lhe llghL and pure were we. . . ."
1he lall ls reversed, Lhen, noL by eraslng creaLlon, buL by reverslng our forgeLfulness, of boLh Lhe Cood of Lhe pure
Cne and Lhe Coodness of Lhe unsLalned Many. kecollectloo (or remembrance of Source) ls Lhus Lhe paLh of 8eLurn,
Lhe paLh of AscenL. 8uL," says SocraLes, lL ls noL every soul LhaL flnds lL easy Lo use lLs pteseot expetleoce [whlch ls
a dlrecL radlance of SplrlL] as a means of recollecLlng Lhe world of reallLy. lL ls only by Lhe rlghL use of such alds Lo
recollecLlon, whlch form a conLlnual lnlLlaLlon lnLo Lhe perfecL mysLlc vlslon, LhaL a man can become perfecL ln Lhe
Lrue sense of Lhe word." noL only ls creaLlon oot Lhe cause of Lhe lall, lL ls Lhe conLlnual loltlotloo lnLo Lhe perfecL
ln oLher words, Lhls world ls noL a sln, fotqettloq LhaL Lhls world" ls Lhe radlance and Coodness of SplrlL-Lhere
ls Lhe sln.
lL ls noL my lnLenLlon ln Lhese secLlons Lo glve exLenslve cross-culLural references Lo Lhe same Lhemes, buL perhaps
we should aL leasL noLlce LhaL, ln Lhe LasL recollecLlon" or smtltl, mlndfulness," ls Lhe beglnnlng of vlrLually all
paLhs of conLemplaLlon, Lhe alm of whlch ls Lhe temembetloq LhaL one's Lrue naLure ls 8uddha-naLure, LhaL ALman
ls 8rahman. And Lhls ls mosL deflnlLely sald Lo be a rememberlng or a recognlLlon or a recollecLlon of LhaL whlch one
already ls, buL has slmply forgoLLen or lgnored (ovlJyo = lgnorance," forgeLLlng"). LnllghLenmenL or awakenlng
(boJbl, moksbo) ls noL a brlnglng lnLo belng of LhaL whlch was noL, buL a reallzlng of LhaL whlch always already ls.
(uo noL preLend LhaL by medlLaLlon you are golng Lo become 8uddha," says Puang o. ?ou have always been
8uddha buL have forgoLLen LhaL slmple facL. Pard ls Lhe meanlng of Lhls saylng!") Llkewlse, ChrlsL's ln[uncLlon, uo
Lhls ln temembtooce of me," ls a remembrance LhaL noL l buL ChrlsL llveLh ln me" (yeL anoLher verslon of ALman =
As hllosophla sald Lo 8oeLhlus ln hls dlsLress, ?ou have forgoLLen who you are."
1haL whlch was dls-membered musL be re-membered. 1hls re-memberlng or re-collecLlng or re-unlLlng ls Lhe aLh of
AscenL, whlch, SocraLes says, ls drlven by Lros, by Love, by Lhe flndlng of greaLer and greaLer unlon-a hlgher and
wlder ldenLlLy, as we have been puLLlng lL. 8y means of Lros, says SocraLes, Lhe lovers are Laken ouL of Lhemselves
and lnLo a larger unlon wlLh Lhe beloved, and Lhls Lros conLlnues from Lhe ob[ecLs of Lhe body Lo Lhe mlnd Lo Lhe
soul, unLll Lhe flnal unlon ls re-collecLed and remembered.
tos, as SocraLes (laLo) uses Lhe Lerm, ls essenLlally whaL we have been calllng self-Lranscendence (LeneL 2c), Lhe
very moLor of AscenL or developmenL or evoluLlon: Lhe flndlng of ever-hlgher self-ldenLlLy wlLh ever-wlder embrace
of oLhers. And Lhe opposlte of LhaL was regresslon or dlssoluLlon, a move downward Lo less unlLy, more
fragmenLaLlon (whaL we called Lhe self-dlssoluLlon facLor, LeneL 2d).
And here l wlll glve one lasL comparlson: lreud, lL ls well known, flnally came Lo see all psychlc llfe governed by
Lwo opposlng forces"-Lros and 1hanaLos, whlch are usually referred Lo as sex and aggresslon, alLhough LhaL ls noL
Lhe flnal way LhaL lreud deflned Lhem. ln Ao Ootlloe of lsycboooolysls lreud glves hls flnal sLaLemenL: AfLer long
heslLancles and vaclllaLlons, we have declded Lo assume Lhe exlsLence of only Lwo baslc lnsLlncLs, tos and tbe
Jesttoctlve lostloct. 1he alm of Lhe flrsL of Lhese baslc lnsLlncLs ls Lo esLabllsh ever greaLer unlLles-ln shorL, Lo blnd
LogeLher." 1here ls no mlsLaklng Lhe meanlng of LhaL: lL ls pure Lros. 1he alm of Lhe second ls, on Lhe conLrary, Lo
undo connecLlons and so Lo desLroy Lhlngs. ln Lhe case of Lhe desLrucLlve lnsLlncL we may suppose LhaL lLs flnal alm ls
Lo lead whaL ls llvlng lnLo an lnorganlc sLaLe [maLLer]. lor Lhls reason we also call lL Lhe Jeotb lostloct."
lreud, of course, was severely crlLlclzed by vlrLually everybody, lncludlng hls own followers, for proposlng Lhe
deaLh lnsLlncL (LhanaLos), buL clearly lL ls exacLly whaL we have ln mlnd wlLh Lhe self-dlssoluLlon facLor. lL ls slmply
Lhe lmpulse Lo move Lo a lower level ln Lhe holarchy, and lLs flnal alm ls Lherefore lnsenLlenL maLLer, exacLly as lreud
8uL Lhe only polnL LhaL l wlsh Lo emphaslze ls LhaL even lreud-one of Lhe WesL's greaLesL psychologlsLs, and
cerLalnly lLs arch-anLlmysLlc-found LhaL human mlsery could be reduced Lo a bottle and Jlsbotmooy beLween Lhe
aLh of AscenL and Lhe aLh of uescenL, as lL appears ln each of us. As ls well known, lreud found no soluLlon Lo Lhe
dlsconLenL, and remalned profoundly pesslmlsLlc abouL Lhe human condlLlon.
reclsely because lreud dld noL, llke laLo, carry AscenL Lo lLs concluslon ln Lhe Cne, he had no way whaLsoever Lo
unlLe lL wlLh a radlanL uescenL lnLo Lhe Many. no way, LhaL ls, Lo unlLe Lros and 1hanaLos-Lo unlLe Lhe way up and
Lhe way down-Lo overcome Lhelr eLernal sLrlfe.
lreud clearly and accuraLely saw Lros, he clearly and accuraLely
saw 1hanaLos, and perhaps more clearly Lhan anybody ln hlsLory, he saw LhaL so much human mlsery ls and always
wlll be a baLLle beLween Lhe Lwo, and LhaL Lhe only soluLlon Lo our sufferlng ls a unlon of Lros and 1hanaLos-and yeL
Lhere ls preclsely noLhlng lreud could do abouL lL. 1here he was sLranded, and Lhere he lefL us sLranded.
Lacklng Lhe unlfylng PearL, Lhe unspoken Cne, LhaL [olns AscenL and uescenL ln Lhe everlasLlng Clrcle of
8edempLlon and Lmbrace, lreud slmply remalned as one of Lhe many, and cerLalnly one of Lhe greaLesL, of Lhe
fracLured fooLnoLes Lo laLo.
lrom laLo Lhe Lorch of nonduallLy, Lhe lnLegraLlve vlslon, sLlll lnLacL, passed mosL noLably Lo loLlnus (203-270 CL),
who gave lL one of Lhe mosL compleLe, mosL compelllng, mosL powerful sLaLemenLs Lo be found anywhere, aL any
Llme, ln any form, anclenL or modern, LasL or WesL. no oLher mysLlcal Lhlnker," says Wllllam lnge, even approaches
loLlnus ln power and lnslghL and profound splrlLual peneLraLlon." Lven SalnL AugusLlne sLood back ln awe: 1he
uLLerance of laLo, Lhe mosL pure and brlghL ln all phllosophy, scaLLerlng Lhe clouds of error, has shone forLh mosL of
all ln loLlnus, who has been deemed so llke hls masLer LhaL one mlghL Lhlnk Lhem conLemporarles, lf Lhe lengLh of
Llme beLween Lhem dld noL compel us Lo say LhaL ln loLlnus laLo llved agaln."
Whereas oLher laLonlc Leachers were ofLen referred Lo as dlvlne," Lhe superlaLlve mosL dlvlne" was always
reserved for loLlnus. And even lf we are one of Lhe many moderns Lo whom dlvlne" ls meanlngless, Lhen we sLlll
have Lo come Lo Lerms wlLh Lhe facL LhaL, as WhlLLaker puL lL, loLlnus ls Lhe greaLesL lndlvldual Lhlnker beLween
ArlsLoLle and uescarLes," and LhaL, accordlng Lo 8enn, no oLher Lhlnker has ever accompllshed a revoluLlon so
lmmedlaLe, so comprehenslve, and of such prolonged duraLlon."
8esldes belng a profoundly orlglnal phllosopher and conLemplaLlve sage, loLlnus was a synLheslzlng genlus of
unparalleled proporLlon, and Lhereln lles much of hls lmporLance. 8orn ln LgypL aL Lhe beglnnlng of Lhe Lhlrd cenLury
(nobody knows where, exacLly, and he never sald), he spenL much of hls formaLlve years ln Alexandrla, sLudylng wlLh
hls maln Leacher, Lhe remarkable Ammonlus Saccas (1hls ls Lhe man l was looklng for," he exclalmed afLer hearlng
hls flrsL lecLure, he sLayed wlLh hlm for Len years). lrom Lhere he wenL Lo 8ome, where Lhe emperor Calllenus and
hls wlfe, Salonlna, showed hlm greaL favor, and Lhere he LaughL for Lhe resL of llfe, aLLracLlng such dlsclples as
Amellus and orphyry (Lhe greaL roclus would evenLually carry on Lhe llneage). Slmple ln hls hablLs," says
orphyry, Lhough wlLhouL any harsh asceLlclsm, he won all hearLs by hls genLle and affecLlonaLe naLure [Lhls
apparenLly ls no exaggeraLlon, for durlng hls enLlre Llme ln 8ome, he made no known enemles, an almosL lmposslble
feaL], and hls sympaLhy wlLh all LhaL ls good and beauLlful ln Lhe world. Pls counLenance, naLurally handsome,
seemed Lo radlaLe llghL and love when he dlscoursed wlLh hls frlends."
loLlnus, by hls own accounL, had numerous profound experlences of Lhe all-Lranscendlng, all-pervadlng
Codhead,"13 and Lhls, of course, was Lhe cenLral plllar of hls Leachlng, along wlLh speclflc conLemplaLlve ptoctlces
(ln[uncLlons) Lo acLuallze Lhls reallzaLlon ln one's own case. ln addlLlon Lo recollecLlon or conLemplaLlon (golng wlLhln
and beyond), he descrlbes whaL amounLs Lo a Lype of karma yoga llke LhaL of Lhe 8boqovoJ Clto: qtoooJeJ lo uolty,
Jo yoot Joty, and do so ln a Lhoroughly Lhls-worldly" fashlon. karl !aspers wrlLes LhaL he was called upon as an
arblLer ln quarrels, buL never had an enemy. ulsLlngulshed men and women on Lhe polnL of deaLh broughL hlm Lhelr
chlldren Lo educaLe and enLrusLed hlm wlLh Lhelr forLunes Lo admlnlsLer. ConsequenLly, hls house was full of boys
and glrls."
A house full of orphaned chlldren? And Lhls ls Lhe man abouL whom !aspers says, very accuraLely and wlLh much
admlraLlon, no phllosopher has llved more ln Lhe Cne Lhan loLlnus"! Clearly, when loLlnus sald LhaL Lhe Lrue Cne
embraces Lhe Many, he meanL lL.
Whlle loLlnus was vlslLlng a counLry house ln Campanla, faLal sympLoms appeared, and hls frlend and physlclan
LusLochlus was senL for, whlch apparenLly Look a blL of Llme, for when LusLochlus flnally arrlved, loLlnus sald only, l
was walLlng for you, before LhaL whlch ls dlvlne ln me deparLs Lo unlLe lLself wlLh Lhe ulvlne ln Lhe unlverse,"
whereupon he closed hls eyes and ceased breaLhlng.
Alexandrla of Lhe Lhlrd cenLury was exLraordlnary for Lhe cross-currenLs of lnLellecLual, phllosophlcal, and splrlLual
Leachlngs LhaL poured ln, llLerally, from all over Lhe world-Lhere has probably been noLhlng else qulLe llke lL ln Lhe
hlsLory of Lhe WesL. ClemenL and Crlgen (arguably Lhe Lwo mosL lmporLanL of Lhe early Church laLhers) were fellow
Lownsmen of loLlnus. ln Alexandrla, one had dlrecL access Lo aL leasL Lhe followlng Leachers or Lhelr schools: Lhe
Coddess culL of lsls, MlLhra worshlp, luLarch (eclecLlc laLonlsm), Lhe neo-yLhagoreans, Lhe Crphlc-ulonyslan
mysLerles, Apollonlus of 1yana, Lhe exLraordlnary !ewlsh mysLlc hllo, Manlchaeanlsm, Lhe all-lmporLanL SLolcs,
numenlus, Lhe greaL Afrlcan novellsL Apulelus, much of Lhe PermeLlc wrlLlngs, Lhe Magl, 8rahmanlc Plndulsm, early
8uddhlsm, and vlrLually every varleLy of CnosLlclsm (whlch had orlglnaLed ln Syrla, and evenLually found lLs greaLesL
proponenL ln valenLlnus)-noL Lo menLlon Lwo of Lhe mosL lmporLanL founders of ChrlsLlanlLy.
lL ls only a sllghL exaggeraLlon Lo say LhaL loLlnus Look Lhe besL elemenLs from each school and [eLLlsoned Lhe resL
(ln facL, aL age LhlrLy-nlne, he dellberaLely [olned Lmperor Cordlanus's LasLern campalgn ln order Lo famlllarlze
hlmself wlLh whaLever wlsdom LradlLlons he mlghL flnd), and, based on hls own profound conLemplaLlve
experlences, fashloned Lhe whole Lhlng lnLo whaL can only be