By chance I happened to discover that Wikipedia has an article on the pronoun “we”. As a matter of interest, since we have discussed the problem of forming a successful “we” in our highly individualistic culture, I thought I would bring it to your attention.
Of interest to note is how some languages, such as Cherokee, have multiple forms of “we”. It’s even mentioned that the pronoun is even more highly differentiated in Fijian and other languages of the South Pacific Islands, having as many as six forms of the pronoun “we”. Although it isn’t mentioned in the article, even Old English supposedly had at least two forms of “we” (another for a dual “we”, or marital “we”) but one has been dropped.
One might expect such precise differentiation and attention to the various communal forms in tribal societies where living together in tight-knit communities is even a matter of survival. It reflects what Harold Innis once wrote about in The Bias of Communication. Some languages, and media of communication, have a “bias” towards one or another aspect of time or space which may result in one aspect of the cross of reality being over-organised and others being neglected and subsequently under-organised, or remaining largely disorganised. The focus of consciousness is not in that direction of the full cross of reality. That neglected front becomes the society’s possible “Achilles Heel”, subject to attack by one of the four “diseases” of the social order identified by Rosenstock-Huessy: decadence, anarchy, war, and revolution. Each of these attacks one of the space or time fronts of the cross of reality, and are four forms of nihilism. Decadence attacks the future, revolution attacks the past, war attacks the outer, and anarchy attacks the inner front. All earlier civilisations succumbed to one or another, or more, of these four.
As you might surmise, that also goes a long way in helping us to understand Gebser’s taxonomy of civilisations as “structures of consciousness”. The particular “bias of communication” here is reflected in the differentiation of the archaic, the magical, the mythological, and the mental-rational types of civilisation. There is a bias of attention and intentionality in one direction of the full cross of reality, and that bias is easy enough to identify for each:
1) the archaic — the past, origin
2) the magical — the outer, power
3) the mythical — the inner, eros.
4) the mental-rational — the future, “progress”.
Where the consciousness structure is positioned on the Cross of Reality is largely a question of what value of space or time (inner or outer, past or future) is accentuated, or where the emphasis or “bias” falls. Although the mental-rational tends to be associated with the “objective” (or power) front, it’s the only structure of consciousness that emphasises time as progress. None of the others have any concept of time as an arrow or as progressive time (futurity).
This arrangement, while corresponding to Rosenstock-Huessy’s Cross of Reality, or the Four Zoas of William Blake’s “fourfold vision” also, would appear to be reflected equally in Jung’s “psychological types” or four functions of consciousness and perception, as noted earlier,
This is not a precise “one-to-one” mapping, in terms of the spatial and temporal coordinates and axes of the cross of reality. It’s intended to reveal the quadrialteral logic that is implicit in these various mappings, and to suggest how Gebser’s “civilisations as structures of consciousness” correspond to the development (and eventual over-development in relation to the others) of one or another faculty of consciousness, each of those faculties having a “bias” towards one aspect or dimension of the full cross of reality.
And from these mappings and illustrations, we get a pretty good idea of what Gebser understands as “integral consciousness”, and what William Blake represented as “Albion”.