Integral Consciousness and the Narcissus Trap

Genesis 6:5 

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Everywhere people declaim for peace. Everywhere they find themselves entangled in war and the celebration of war. If human beings really wanted peace, human beings would have it.

But where there is no peace within, there can be no peace without. That is the rule. The rule is, that you create the reality you know. The human form is a strange juncture of good and evil, a hybrid of god and monster, reason and appetite, and being such becomes a battleground, a battleground called “dualism”. A heaven. And a hell.  “Integral consciousness” is self-transcendence in the respect of the overcoming of dualism. “Integral consciousness” is just another way of speaking of “peace within”, or the Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Reality is always the faithful mirror in the sense that it is the realm of the projections, projections misconstrued as purely objective, as belonging to “the natural order of things”. But that is only the narcissism of the human form.

We return, then, to a familiar theme: narcissism as the human condition — the “all-too-human” condition — and perhaps the inevitable and unavoidable spiritual problem for any consciousness that becomes “self-aware”, which is the riddle of individuation and the ego consciousness. “Idolatry” was the name given to this condition by the mytho-religious consciousness. “Narcissism” and “idolatry” are one and the same,  meaning, to live in the realm of the projections and mistake the projections for truth. “Fundamentally, we experience only ourselves” was Nietzsche’s insight into this world as the realm of the projections. The realm of the projections is called samsara. It is also called by other names, such as Gehenna, Hell, Land of Shadows, “This World”, or, by Blake, the Ulro.

The important thing to remember about Narcissus is, not that he fell in love with himself, because he didn’t. That’s the crucial error of most interpretations of the myth. Narcissus did not know that the entrancing and enchanting figure in the reflecting pool was only an image of himself. That is key. He lacked insight into the image as a projection, which fatally absorbed his energies in infatuation and fascination until he withered away. The nymph Echo vainly and impotently tried to alert him to the peril he faced, that the image in the reflecting pool was only himself.  Narcissus perished because he lacked self-knowledge. He lacked insight.

Narcissus and Echo

Narcissus and Echo

The reflecting pool is our spatial-temporal world,  our “mirror of confusion” because it is the realm of the projections. In that sense, “reality” is our own autobiography.

That is the significance of the quote from Genesis that opens this post. This “imagination of the heart” is all-important to human self-knowledge and self-understanding, yet it seems not to be truly understood. The “imagination of the thoughts of the heart” is the root of the projections, and is otherwise what we call “intent” or “intentionality”, and therefore identical with creativity. This is the same “Imagination” as used by William Blake. It is also identical with what Carlos Castaneda described as “intent”. “Intent” and “the imagination of the thoughts of the heart” are the same thing.

“They [shamans of Ancient Mexico] saw that the entire universe was a universe of intent, and intent, for them, was the equivalent of intelligence. The universe, therefore, was, for them, a universe of supreme intelligence. Their conclusion, which became part of their cognitive world, was that vibratory energy, aware of itself, was intelligent in the extreme. They saw that the mass of intent in the cosmos was responsible for all the possible mutations, all the possible variations which happened in the universe, not because of arbitrary blind circumstances, but because of the intending done by the vibratory energy, at the level of the flux of energy itself.
Don Juan pointed out that in the world of everyday life, human beings make use of intent and intending in the manner in which they interpret the world. Don Juan, for instance, alerted me to the fact that my daily world was not ruled by my perception, but by the interpretation of my perception. He gave as an example the concept of university, which at that time was a concept of supreme importance to me. He said that university was not something I could perceive with my senses, because neither my sight nor my hearing, nor my sense of taste, nor my tactile or olfactory senses, gave me any clue about university. University happened only in my intending, and in order to construct it there, I had to make use of everything I knew as a civilized person, in a conscious or subliminal way.”  (Author’s Commentaries, pp. xvii – xviii, The Teachings of Don Juan)

Now, what Genesis means by “the imagination of the heart” is exactly this same issue of “intent”, and of “intentionality” as it is understood in the philosophical school called “Phenomenology” and by Friedrich Nietzsche as the Nietzschean “Self”. This usage compels us to differentiate between the meanings of “intent” and “will”, and even as the conflict of intent and will, and therefore we have come to make a distinction between “soul” and “mind” or “self” and “ego” or “unconscious” and “conscious” functioning.

The conflict between intent and will is the theme of Nietzsche’s chapter in Thus Spake Zarathustra called “The Despisers of the Body“, and has, moreover, become the issue of conscious versus the unconscious. This is the meaning of that passage from Genesis — man divided against himself in apparent self-contradiction. The imagination of the heart (intent) overruling the will of the ego nature.  And it is because intent (or the “imagination of the heart”) and will do not align, which for all intents and purposes is described as “self” and “ego”,  that the delusion of dualism arises and we speak then of a “true self” and a “false self”. And with that, also, we have the conflict of the instinctual and the logical, or the intuitive and the rational, or arts and sciences, and the sense of Being divided against itself in a dis-integrate state.

How on earth did such a situation arise?

This is, I believe, the source of the problem: consciousness functions in two principal modalities or polarities or “tensities” — as attentional or intentional, which we translate into relative terms of “passive” or “active” moods, or even in terms of listening and speaking, respectively. Our delusion has been to think of them as distinct and separate states, or perhaps as alternating currents, but most especially as opposites of inactivity and activity. But, in fact, every act of consciousness involves both attentional and intentional modes simultaneously. This is the function called “feedback”.  In other words, attention is also intention. What I consciously attend to, is shaped and configured by the act of attention or perception, so that my attention is also an intending in the same sense used by Castaneda’s don Juan. My attention is as much constitutive and creative as my intention, because there is no separation. Consciousness, in other words, is always an intending. And that is the issue of what is today called “the collapse of the wavefunction” or “the Measurement Problem” in quantum mechanics.

“A fool sees not the same tree as a wise man sees” — Blake. In those terms, this is quite true. If attention is constitutive (and therefore intentional), it isn’t the same tree at all.

The “imagination of the thoughts of the heart” is, today, what we call “the unconscious”, and the supposition is that the ego consciousness and its will is out of synch with the “imagination of the heart” or “intent“. Because these are out of synch, therefore, we have problems like ironic reversal, “perverse outcome”, “unintended consequence” or “revenge effect”. Ironically and paradoxically, what we intend is not what we will. Our intent overrules our will because we lack self-knowledge and personal insight. We have become, in a sense, completely opaque to ourselves. This “imagination of the heart” was what Nietzsche called “the Dionysian”, which he contrasted with the “Apollonian” way of the intellect.

Self and Ego are not separate issues except in terms of the intentional and the willful, and this is tied up with distinctions of the “truthful” and “the factual”. The “truth that sets free” is not the same as the dry “facts of the matter”. Dishonesty and insincerity are conditions in which the “imagination of the thoughts of the heart” (or intent) does not correspond with the will.

So, in effect, we may claim that we long for peace and will it. And that’s a “fact”. But the “truth” may be that we intend just the opposite in either a more or less “conscious or subliminal way”, as Castaneda puts it. And we are disintegrate beings because this imagination of our hearts and our ostensible will do not correspond. For that reason, the ego nature has been considered deceitful, false, tricksy, and devious. What it wills is often not what it intends.



21 responses to “Integral Consciousness and the Narcissus Trap”

  1. Dwig says :

    You give a good picture of the nature of intent, but I’m less sure of what you mean by “will”. Is it sort of a deficient dual to intent, or is there something more going on there?

    One reason I’m asking is a definition of magic I’ve seen, in particular on the Archdruid Report, where the Archdruid himself is a practitioner of a merging of Druidry and the Western magical traditions. In his tradition, magic is defined as “the art and science of causing change in consciousness in accordance with will”. I have a feeling that “will” in that sense is somewhat different from the way it’s used here.

    By the way, Greer has a newer blog, “The Well of Galabes” (, where he’s taking a leisurely journey of introduction to his magical tradition. He began in June, and posts once a month, so there are only 5 posts so far.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Is it sort of a deficient dual to intent, or is there something more going on there?

      Actually, it strikes me that that is quite a good way of putting it. “Not my will be done but Thine” is the key to the thing. Yes, “my will” would be akin to Gebser’s deficient dual.

      Ironically, that, too, is the basis of Nietzsche’s principle of amor fati and here we are getting into a very interesting, but in some ways overlooked, aspect of Nietzsche’s philosophy. Nietzsche’s amor fati or “love of fate” is a radical acceptance of the life one is given “because I willed it”, as he put it. His amor fati is connected with his belief in “will to power” as the fundamental operative principle in the universe.

      It’s pretty clear that this “will to power” has the same meaning as “intent” as used by Castaneda and don Juan. In other words, Nietzsche is saying, paradoxically, that I intend the life I live, even if I didn’t actually consciously and deliberately will it so. This comes through very, very clearly in his chapter from Zarathustra called “The Despisers of the Body”. The Nietzschean “Self” is intent, and the Ego corresponds to “will”, and this arrangement also corresponds to his distinction between the Dionysian and the Apollonian.

      Freud (and Jung) picked up on that. In fact, the famous “Freudian slip” depends for its interpretation on a clear distinction between my intent and my will, ie, that my will may be contrary to my intent, you see. My intent in the “slip” is to reveal the truth of myself, but my will was to conceal myself. What I will is, nonetheless, overruled by my intent.

      Nietzsche seems sometimes quite contradictory in this respect because he uses “will” in this dual sense, so that at one time “will” is not free (it is overruled by intent) and at other times, it is the very meaning of “the free spirit”. How is this? Here’s another irony of Nietzsche, that his amor fati is the surrender and submission of the egoic “will” to the transcendental self as intent. This is the accomplishment of the “overman”, which is why it is most important to understand the meaning of “The Despisers of the Body”. This is also Emerson’s “oversoul” — which was a very important essay for Nietzsche as well.

      And Emerson’s “oversoul” is identical with what Meister Eckhart called “The Aristocrat”. This conditions Nietzsche’s usage of the terms “noble” and “ignoble”

      Another way of conceiving this distinction (and it also bears on my distinction between “awareness” and “consciousness” as parallel to the distinction between “intent” and “will, or “self” and “ego”, or “soul” and “mind”) is this: intent is the real creative power in the soul, while “will” is simply the respondent. Will is actually passive in relation to intent, which is the true active principle in the psyche. In a way, it makes sense to say that the “will” suffers intent to impose upon it. Nietzsche’s amor fati, in other words, has the exact same meaning as the Christian’s “not my will be done but Thine, O Lord!”. My will, however, carries out the orders of my intent even despite itself.

      What an irony!

      So, in Nietzsche “will” is both free and unfree at the same time. A great paradox. Where have we seen that paradox before? It’s the same as “the Ultimate Truth” of Buddhism — nirvana and samsara are the same and yet they are not the same. Good grief. That’s like saying “freedom” and “slavery” are the same thing. What gives?

      The key to that is the meaning of the surrender of will to intent. In Castaneda it is represented as the surrender to infinity, for “infinitisation” is death

      “The end result which shamans like don Juan Matus sought for their disciples was a realization which, by its simplicity, is so difficult to attain, that we are indeed beings that are going to die. Therefore, the real struggle of man is not the strife with his fellowman, but with infinity, and this is not even a struggle; it is, in essence, an acquiescence. We must voluntarily acquiesce to infinity. In the description of sorcerers, our lives originated in infinity, and they end up wherever they originated, infinity

      That passage only makes sense when one realises that “infinity” and “intent” are pretty much the same thing, and that there’s a profound paradox here: that “total freedom” (which is what don Juan was actually teaching Castaneda) involves total “acquiescence” — submission, defeat, surrender of the will, or what don Juan refers to scornfully as “the precious self” — the Selfhood. This “Selfhood” is the private will, seemingly individual and separate, but it is not. That’s the delusion. Even my willing is the issue of intent. Or, to put that another way, what I think of as my “free will” is actually informed by “intending”.

      Let’s approach this from another angle, as it is a truly important thing to understand. We can say that “willing” is the expression of intent in conditions of spacetime. “Will” is part of my collection of tools for navigating spacetime and manipulating in physical reality, which I may do skillfully or unskillfully.. But it is “intent” that constructs the whole context and meaning of spacetime — the “matrix” of spacetime, as it were. What I will, I will within a context called “reality”. But Intent creates the entire context for the act of will to function. This is the meaning of “You create the reality you know” and then act within it. Outside this timespace matrix or framework, “will” and “willing” actually have no meaning, because “to will” means overcoming resistances of time and space. But in infinity, time and space have no real meaning.

      To put that another way, out of the abyss intent weaves infinite worlds of possibility, then acts in them. What Nietzsche calls “the abyss” and what Blake calls “the abyss” too is what don Juan calls “los infinitos” — infinity.

      This is the answer to the very cryptic and mysterious passage in Blake’s “Marriage of Heaven and Hell”. Here “desire” and “intent” are quite interchangeable terms, and “reason” is the privative “will”.

      Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer or reason usurps its place & governs the unwilling.
      And being restrain’d it by degrees becomes passive till it is only the shadow of desire.
      The history of this is written in Paradise Lost, & the Governor or Reason is call’d Messiah.
      And the original Archangel or possessor of the command of the heavenly host, is call’d the Devil or Satan and his children are call’d Sin & Death.
      But in the Book of Job Miltons Messiah is call’d Satan.
      For this history has been adopted by both parties.
      It indeed appear’d to Reason as if Desire was cast out, but the Devil’s account is, that the Messiah fell, & formed a heaven of what he stole from the Abyss.

    • Scott Preston says :

      O yes, by the way… I came across the Well of Galabes a few days ago and noted how familiar it seemed. I can’t recall what led me there. I must have googled up something having to do with alchemy.

  2. Scott Preston says :

    By the way… I think you are very right to raise such questions about the relation of will and intent, as this is very much the pivot for understanding virtually everything, including what is called “the measurement problem” in quantum mechanics, or “collapse of the wavefunction”.

    I’ve made note before that what we call “consciousness” is a tensionality in terms of either “intentional” or “attentional”. In his book Thinking and Destiny, H. W. Percival put it this way: consciousness is always consciouness AS or consciousness OF, and this has the same meaning. In fact, when we turn to Castaneda’s work, this tensionality of consciousness appears in terms of “the nagual” and “the tonal” polarity of the human form or “human mold”. “Nagual” and “tonal” are parallel to what we’ve been calling “intent” and “will”, and correspondingly to the infinite and the finite (Blake’s “eternity in the hour” for example). Castaneda’s book called “The Active Side of Infinity” is a reference to intent. Intent is often also called “will” and “desire” too, but this is in some ways a bit imprecise although true.

    The Phenomenological philosophers (like Husserl) will insist that consciousness is always “consciousness of” something, and this constitutes the “phenomenal”… everything we call “phenomenon” (reality) arises in the act of becoming conscious OF. This corresponds to Castaneda’s “tonal” Even self-consciousness is consciousness “of” inasmuch as my attention attempts to turn this “self” into an object of my consciousness, or my consciousness into an object or a “phenomenon” for itself.

    But to be “conscious AS” implies that reflexive or “self”-consciousness is subdued or suspended. Consciousness “AS” is the intentional rather than the attentional mode. This corresponds to the “nagual” while the latter corresponds to “the tonal”, and both are necessary for human functioning. That is to say, “consciousness AS” corresponds to “intent”, while “consciousness OF” corresponds to “will”. No self-consciousness is involved in preserving your bodily form, for example, or bodily homeostasis. The maintenance of dynamic equilibrium of the body is the working of “intent”, and it isn’t self-conscious. I don’t need to will my heart to beat, my lungs to breathe, or my stomach to digest, etc. I don’t need to be conscious of these processes in order for them to function. They are, nonetheless, involved and implicated in sustaining the human form in terms of thinking, feeling, willing, and sensing — Jung’s four psychological types, modes of “awaring”, as it were. But they all arise from intent. They are goal directed, but not necessarily self-consciously so. “Willing” is simply one other aspect or function of intent, since “intent” drives all of these — thinking, feeling, sensing, and willing. We can say, in other terms, that the things we call “mind”, “soul”, “body”, “spirit” are subsumed by “intent”, or that they are functions of intent. This arrangement corresponds to what is called “the tonal” and the “nagual” in Castaneda.

    The same principle that holds your body together in dynamic equilibrium is the same principle that holds the cosmos together, and that is what is being called “intent”.

    • Scott Preston says :

      It just occurred to me also, that when Gebser speaks of the active “springing forth” (or Ursprung or “primordial leap”) from the ever-present origin, this active springing is the issue of “intent”. In that sense, it has pretty much the same meaning as Castaneda’s reference to “the active side of infinity”. The “nagual” corresponds to what Buddhists also call “the unoriginated origin”, and the “tonal” to the originated, the conditioned, the relative orders of time and space.

  3. Scott Preston says :

    I probably should have written a post about this. Actually it would take many postings, I think.

    But it also now occurs to me that Carl Sagan’s witty recipe for pie has all the meanings of what we have been discussing in terms of the relationship of intent to will. Sagan’s recipe for apple pie begins, “first, create a universe”.

    That’s quite brilliant! And it’s quite true, isn’t it? The entire cosmos is implicated in your baking an apple pie. All time and space provides the context for that act of will — baking a pie. The act could not occur without that cosmic context. That is, of course, what Buddhist’s call “Indra’s net”. Everything is connected to everything else. Intent is what provides the context for my willful act to be meaningful, and even possible.

    • abdulmonem says :

      If the imagination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil and continually, then how we explain the many good deeds of so many humans across the earth or why are we aspiring for betterment. Away from the distinction between the will and the intent and the overlapping when they meet and depart, we need to get exposed to the divine light because the human lamps can only disperse me and loose me. My conviction is that there is a process of channeling the divine knowledge which has already being utilized by some but not to serve the purpose( intent) of the divine The dilemma of the human is that he has options. The selection between the options is the determining factor in the journey of this short life. It is wasteful to continue reading and analyzing without reaching a place of repose and contentment. A contentment that can not be reached without the help of the divine energy that gave me the tools through which I grasp and understand my world and my role in this world.

  4. Jeff Shampnois says :

    The essays are enjoyable. The “marriage” of intention and attention might be succinctly captured by Bohm’s sense of psychological proprioception.

    I think it’s interesting to consider the possibility that we’re already proprioceptive, but in some sense usually not aware of being proprioceptive. Similarly we seem to be intending things without realizing our intentions. Like you say, intention and attention are not really separable. This is so beautifully puzzling. This fragmented attention to intentions is labeled “unconscious” knowing. That’s not a bad designation, but it’s not very precise. On a more microscopic level, I think what’s happening is similar to what happened to Narcissus (as you so nicely described it).

    Taking myself as a guinea pig. It seems as if the intention knows where it’s heading, what it’s doing, as it operates. But it feels like there’s a belief or assumption that attention in what’s happening isn’t enough. It feels almost like a greed gets stirred up. And this seems to stem from the belief or assumption that I need to convert ALL attention into the coinage (the hard reality) of concept, word, memory, idea. There’s a deep belief that these hard coins of intention are more real. Or rather they have pure intentional value in the mental-rational structure.

    I’m not saying anything you haven’t said. Just trying to savor the implications in a slightly different language. Or I’m trying to fathom a way of bridging the language you tend to use with the language I’ve tried to use.

    It’s interesting that a proprioceptive attention has no conflict with intention. It absorbs it, because it’s not an attention that has a center. There’s no middle man that stands in the way of intention, that confused it with a secondary intention.

    In some sense then attention has to be whole, can’t be fragmented by a middle man (an image). If attention is whole, then intention is not a separate thing in conflict with it. Attention and intention appear to be naturally balanced when attention is whole. Intention at its best is always contextual or circumstantial, rising and falling as attention requires.

    But this reflex movement towards fragmented attention occurs simultaneous with an imbalanced focus on intention. It can also be described as a diversion from the whole to the part, or from function to content; or from flowing actuality to static reality. (It seems you have some German (?). If so, have you ever listened to the physicist Hans Peter Duerr (not the anthropologist by that name (they both have white hair also!)). Anyways, he makes a great distinction between Wirklichkeit and Realitaet).

    The distraction or fragmentation of attention can also be described as a from self-knowing to self-image (from kennen zu wissen). I’m condensing a lot of connective tissue here so it might be clumsy sounding. But the implication is that a proprioceptive (self-knowing) attention to the flowing whole gets diverted into the fragmented image on the surface of this flowing stream. As you imply, we become Narcissus every time we confuse content with function. And I believe that an errant belief or assumption is lodged in the system so deeply that it keeps triggering this movement away from actuality, triggering a greed for a coinage, which is an hallucination. Well, anyways, it’s fun to read your stuff. Take care.

  5. Jeff Shampnois says :

    The distinction between will and intent is also interesting. It seems as if there’s a deeper intention that is an unwilled, organic expression of how we view the world. Whereas willfulness might be looked at as emerging only when the deeper intention is not prioprioceptively recognized.

    When we do not feel our deeper intentions then a center emerges (a middle-man). This center operates with “willfulness.” The center is focused so strongly on ends to the exclusion of means; on content to the exclusion of function. The result is a willfulness that imprints upon the world its own internal fragmentation.

    This internal fragmentation could be called an unrealized proprioception. When we try to repress or ignore proprioception it turns into demons nipping at our heals in the guise of conscience, or inordinate ambition, or ruthlessness or guilt, or defensiveness, etc. From this perspective, the actions we take to outrun proprioception is WILLFULNESS. But in doing this we act out a deeper INTENTION to outrun our own self-knowing.

    Anyways that’s a stab at it from this angle.

    • Jeff Shampnois says :

      That was a bit confusing (what I said). I meant to stress that the individual actions we take (advancing in our career too ruthlessly or reacting violently) are acts of willfulness. And these express a deeper, unrealized intention to escape reality. But this is just a stab at it.

      • Scott Preston says :

        There is something I call “Khayyam’s Caution” after the poet Omar Khayyam: “only a hair separates the false from the true”, and that is a caution against dualistic thinking, and this is particularly applicable when speaking of intentionality and willfulness, (or intentional and attentional) or the “true self” and “the false self”. When Seth, for example, speaks of “the You of you” it is in somewhat the same terms. There are no boundaries, just a state of polarity or, if you prefer, coincidentia oppositorum. Of course, what Seth calls “the You of you” is what Gebser refers to as das Sich (the “Itself”).

        I also suppose that when some people speak of “instinct” they are actually referring to what I mean here by “intent”. And I’m persuaded that what Nietzsche means by the “Self” is intent as well, and is expressed as “will to power”. That seems to be the clear message of that chapter in Zarathustra called “The Despisers of the Body”. In that chapter is, I think, a clear lesson in the difference between intent and will represented as “Self” and “ego”.

        • Jeff Shampnois says :

          Yes. Dualism leads to philosophical haggling over conceptual coins of hallucinatory value. Words seem most “valuable” when they are recognized as play money, almost valueless in themselves. We can exchange points of view more easily when we stop mistaking the image for reality.

          Implicit in what you’re saying is this also: if we’re too intent upon a particular coinage for all contexts then we might get stuck trying to find out what “reality” is. But that would take the word too seriously. I’m presuming that the important thing is discovering what is NOT reality. To move in that direction, we don’t seem to need an articulated vision (coin) of what is real in order to start moving. It’s possible that we merely stumble towards what is real through the dark, playfully, not tragically (if we care to imagine it that way), moving through a world that is always imaginative, by not solipsistic.

          This fear of solipsism (the problem of the external world I think they call it), was a huge challenge. Perhaps there are layers and layers of intention, each more subtle. On a fairly deep level (relative to willfulness) there is the Nietzscheian “will” to power” (which I assume is to learn, to grow, to fulfill some inexpressibly deep intent in matter itself). Slightly shallower we might find the unconscious intent (born of an ignorant vision of subject and object, self and other) to flee the fear of isolation this suggests. And this is a twisting of the “Will to power” into a “will to escape itself.” I think this latter situation is the general predicament of the world to date, which doesn’t deny Nietzche’s “will to power,” but shows how it has gotten twisted into this self-destructive impulse. I remember you describing this from another angle in many of your essays.

          In this twisted predicament we grope towards extremist certainties, rea’s (realities) that are hallucinatory and dualistic. We need to find the joy of play inherent in the will to power. In the face of an over-dramatic humanity bent on killing itself and basking in the false sense of duty and glory and honor this drama gives him, we need (for our own sanity, not as some dualism-strengthening means to counteract anything) find the slapstick heart of this madness and blossom unexpectedly.

    • Scott Preston says :

      You nailed it, I think. Oddly enough, I was just preparing to post something about this very thing which you have managed to convey in fewer sentences than I did. My post was going to be on how we claim to abhor the dystopia of Orwell’s vision (I read today that there are “timely” plans to produce a new film version of 1984), but nonetheless co-operate with the invisible “logic-that-we-don’t-understand” in bringing about this very outcome. That is, again, the dissonance or incongruity of intent and will. What we would not do, that we do. (in fact, that was to be the title of the post).

  6. Jeff Shampnois says :

    Yes, I also wanted to say that I deeply appreciate Gebser’s work. I’m currently reading the book in German. I’m not a native speaker, but taught myself as a hobby. Thanks for your comment! I’m always reading if not always commenting.

  7. Nicolas Rojano says :

    First of all I congratulate the topics covered on this site. Lei all your comments and I agree with you . I consider all these readings lead us to the Advaita Vedanta. More precisely towards Kashmir Shaivism , non duality. I think here is the truth, because interestingly is the same worldview that had Native Americans . Some came to the same conclusion as me?


    Greetings from Argentina .

    • Scott Preston says :

      Hello Nicolas. Sorry that I don’t know of any titles of books in Spanish regarding the integral consciousness. But along with Jean Gebser you might find the writings of Sri Aurobindo of interest. A good introduction to that is Haridas Chaudhuri’s book “The Evolution of Integral Consciousness”, which is very accessible and quite short (136 pages).

      Come to think of it, Chaudhuri’s book is probably an excellent primer for approaching the whole issue of integral consciousness.

      • Nicolas Rojano says :

        Thank you very much for answering Scott. I know nothing about Haridas Chaudhuri but it is a good opportunity to start with . On this line of thought I recommend a book by Gary Lachman called ” A Secret History of Consciousness” Lachman aims to overcome the scientific vision of the world is conditioned from the outside, by a vision where is the evolution of the consciousness, the inner world , which defines the explanation of the world . On the other side, I saw somewhere that you know Neville Goddard , who seems to me an extraordinary , great mystic .

        I hope you can understand what I write . I am using the google translator because my English is not very good .

        Greetings !

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