Fourfold Vision and The Global Soul

Before they trundle me off to hospital, we should perhaps discuss the implications of Gebser’s “aperspectival consciousness” (or integral consciousness) for the fate of capitalist society.

Capitalist society is rooted in the primacy of the self-interest principle, i.e, “the rational pursuit of self-interest”. This emphasis on the self and its interest as the keystone (which also gave birth to the ethos of utilitarianism) emerged from the invention of perspective and the perspectival “point-of-view” in the Renaissance. The self-interest principle has become so much the expected norm of thought and behaviour that anything not motivated by the self-interest and for gaining personal advantage has come to be suspect, and it has now decayed into “the culture of narcissism”.

What, then, are the implications for social relations that may arise from “aperspectival/arational” mode of consciousness and perception?

Presently, the “vital centre” is presumed to be this self (or the ego nature) and its interests. But with the aperspectival or integral consciousness, this is no longer the case. The emphasis shifts, and the “I” is no longer considered to be identical with the vital centre. If you examine closely what Blake, Nietzsche, Gebser, Rosenstock-Huessy, McGilchrist, and others mean by the “Self” — or what we might call “the You of you” — it is quite different from the ego-consciousness, for this greater Self is identified not with the ego-nature but with the entirety of life and the life process and it’s interests, as such, are concerned with the welfare of the whole. This is what we are calling “the emergence of the Global Soul” and it is also the implicit meaning of Nietzsche’s maxim: “Be true to the Earth!”. In these terms, what we call “the self-interest” has a valid, but very narrow and limited, sphere of relevance.

Blake’s “fourfold vision” is the mode of manifestation of this emergent Global Soul (which Blake also calls “the Universal Humanity”) and that it does refer to this Global Soul is indicated in Blake’s own hand, for the four Zoas of this Global Soul named “Albion” are depicted as coincident with the four cardinal points of the Earth (which are barely legible in this illustration)

Blake: the fourfold human

To Blake’s perception, this is the energetic essential or implicate form of the human for which the physical body is only a “cloud” or a “cloak” or camouflage. It’s Blake’s insight into the nature of the Universal Humanity as also being the “fourfold Atman” of the Upanishads and Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga. This is made all the more poignant if we consider that the name “Adam” may actually be a derivation from “Atman”.

Presently, for Blake, this form is eclipsed by the hegemony of the Zoa named “Urizen”, who is pretty much identical with the “rational self-interest” and with “Single Vision”. And in an absolutely brilliant illustration, Blake depicts Urizen in the same perspectivising pose as Descartes’ own illustration of his method of reasoning

The Cartesian “cogito” illustrated by Descartes
Urizen — Architect of the Ulro, “Ancient of Days”

Newton is also depicted in the same pose and posture as his God of Space “Urizen”

Blake’s “Newton”

In effect, every human being is a representative holon or holograph, or what Jung calls an “individuation”, of the Universal Humanity called “Atman”, who is a tetramorph, and whose manifested form in “the New Age” Blake calls “Albion”. Albion would be the equivalent of what we call “Buddha Nature” or “Christ Consciousness” as both are also tetramorphs. Likewise, Jung’s integral “Self” is a tetramorph.

Blake gives to his four Zoas certain representative names and types — the poetic, the prophetic, the philosophic, and the scientific, and the relationships between the Zoas (who are “out Energies”) we can describe as being “ecodynamic” or following ecodynamic laws (Bohm refers to this as “holonomy”) meaning they have a relative autonomy within the whole psychic structure, but not absolute autonomy, since they are interdependent. Urizen’s flaw (and his fallen form) is his claim to absolute sovereignty and autonomy. This is, evidently, also what Iain McGilchrist describes as the “Emissary’s usurpation” of the whole. The Emissary can be described as “the rational self-interest” or as “the narcissistic mode of thinking” or “hyper-partisan”, etc.

(It might not, then, come as a surprise in these terms that the four main ideologies of the Modern Era — conservatism, liberalism, socialism, environmentalism — are expressions of the moods of the Zoas in terms of the mental-rational consciousness structure and are, in those terms, not autonomous but interdependent and also ecodynamic in their relations, and likewise regulated by the “law of holonomy” which would specify the limit of their applicability or relevance).

There is here also an echo of Jean Gebser’s four civilisational types as “structures of consciousness” (archaic, magical, mythical, mental-rational) and their arising from what Gebser detected as a “pre-existing pattern”. If these distinct consciousness structures are various articulations of “our Energies” (or the Zoas), then Gebser’s pre-existing pattern is also fourfold in structure. Ages, in this sense, may be thought of as articulations or unfoldings or manifestations of aspects of one underlying or implicate pattern.

Now, we did see, in a previous post on ecodynamic civilisation, that emergent new thinking follows this quadrilateral or quadripartite (or phasic) pattern reflective of the fact that we now live within a fourfold cosmos (which might be a better term than “four-dimensional”). This is largely owing to the irruption of time into the perspectival, space-oriented consciousness structure. This, as a result, has a tendency to completely perplex the Cartesian perspectivising mind. Not only is the cosmos now fourfold in terms of the four cosmic formative forces, but as the “spacetime field” it is fourfold in terms of spaces and times — inner and outer spaces, and past and future times, and we are having great difficulty bringing these four aspects of reality into a coherent or harmonious concord, which is why Bohm speaks of “fragmentation” overall and fragmenting modes of thought.

Achievement of a new “inner harmony”, as Bohm seeks, is apparently then going to be a matter of reaching a concord between “our Energies” — Blake’s Zoas. This is where Bohm’s rheomode also intersects with Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy’s “metanomics” and “grammatical method”, which is basically described as the science of coordination of spaces inner and outer, and synchronisation of times past and future, and which is represented in his “cross of reality” model

Rosenstock-Huessy’s new grammatical paradigm

We’ll have perhaps more of an opportunity to draw out the meaning of this later, but Bohn’s rheomode of thinking does follow the path represented in Rosenstock-Huessy’s grammatical method and cross of reality, which is likewise an effort to harmonise the fragments of reality through an ecodynamic or mandala-like logic which would, in effect, also meet the requirements for “integral consciousness”.

It should be noted here, though, that the “I” form (or the self-interest) is displaced from the “vital centre”. Likewise, Rosenstock-Huessy’s “cross of reality” is holonic or holographic. The totality of the “Self” as such is represented in the whole cross of reality so that the “I” form (or ego-nature) is granted no special status in relation to the whole. It simply becomes one of the phases or articulations in the rheomode and in the process of making explicate what is implicate.

(When Cusanus described “God” as “a circle whose circumference is nowhere and whose centre is everywhere” he was reaching for what we now describe as the holonic or holographic principle. And there are features, too, of Bohm’s views of quantum reality that resemble this).

We do note, however, the affinity or convergence around this quadripartite or tetramorphic mode of thinking across broadly different disciplines which indicates an underlying movement of the whole consciousness structure in the process of becoming manifest from a previous state of latency. And hopefully we’ll be able to continue to draw this out and its implications further.

28 responses to “Fourfold Vision and The Global Soul”

  1. Max Leyf says :

    Who is to trundle you off to the hospital??

    • Steve says :

      It has become clear that the growth of materialistic civilization does not bring happiness to man. We see now that it both destroys nature and blights the heart of man. Materialistic civilization has expanded to its outer limits based on the thinking that underlies dialectical development. Today we are seeing a period of disintegration and destruction. The next age must reverse and become an era of spiritual culture that returns inward to a nature ruled over by God. This must be an age of consolidation in which, taking the road of non-action and non-knowing, we elucidate the true nature of man. We must now bring to an end outward dialectical development and move on to an age of Buddhist contraction and convergence.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Kidneys broke down, so I have to have surgery tomorrow and will be at few days at least in hospital (or dead, one or the other). Will likely be away from the blog for a while.

  2. erikleo says :

    I hope all goes well for your operation Scott.

  3. Scott Preston says :

    Thanks for the well-wishes. I’ll try to live up to them.

  4. Scott Preston says :

    I’ve settled on taking physicist A. Gotwswami’s The Self-Aware Universe with me as reading material (I imagine I’ll have some time on my hands for that). Maybe have something to write up about it afterwards.

  5. Peter Horsley says :

    Healing power to you Scott. Your insights are real treasures – thakyou

  6. Scott Preston says :

    Recallin that our word “true” is related to the word “tree”, this essay on trees is quite charming

  7. Risto Juhani says :

    Best of luck to your operation!

  8. Scott Preston says :

    This should also give you some idea of the enthusiasm that existed in the early Renaissance for this new way of looking, seeing, and thinking called “perspective”. This is Cartesian method also.

  9. O Society says :

    I will think of you and say some prayers for you during practice this weekend, Scott. For anyone who wishes to do something like this, Green Tara Mantra is a good one for protection and healing which is simple to remember and easy to chant.

    Om ta-re tu-tare tu-re so-ha

    No need to be a Buddhist or even believe prayers do anything to chant. The purpose of the mantra is to protect the mind by giving it something positive and peaceful to do rather than being overcome by fear or anxiety. Just dedicate it – as in set your intention – to be helpful to Scott Preston.

    • Benjamin David Steele says :

      That is one of my favorite mantras. I have a recording of it that is absolutely beautiful. I used to listen to it all the time. I found it comforting back when I was chronically depressed. I still like to chant mantras, although it’s been a while since I’ve included that one. Thanks for reminding me of it.

  10. Stephen Greenleaf says :

    Best wishes to you for a successful operation and a speedy recovery and return to your vocation.

  11. Steve says :

    God created a hundred thousand alchemies. But no one has seen an alchemy such as patience.


  12. everlivingpoet says :

    Om ta-re tu-tare tu-re so-ha. Prayers for your healing.

  13. InfiniteWarrior says :

    Yes, indeed. Prayers for your healing. Would that we all were so lucky. ; )

    Seriously. All the best to you. As Thich Nhat Hanh would have it: “We have ways” to send our “energies” to our “suffering brothers.” (Not many understand that statement, but so be it.)

  14. Yeffen Ray says :

    What was Einstein’s great postulation? The matter which is constructed from energy is equipollent as the energy which comprised the former and latter; THE ONLY WAY THIS IS POSSIBILITY IN THE REALM OF PROBABILITY IS, form is one from one . . . how can this make sense in light of consciousness? Seeds!Turn!

    Fragmentation norm and relative quasimorphisms
    Quantum Physical Symbol Systems
    The conscious mind is ephemeral, being erased with cycles to the turning earth and its frequency because human totality is incomprehehsice with Einstein’s conjecture, primary energy, secondary matter, tertiary innumerable . . . one infinity!
    Sgourev, Stoyan V. “How Paris Gave Rise to Cubism (and Picasso): Ambiguity and Fragmentation in Radical Innovation.”
    Composing in the round: polygons in traditional art

    Heart – “Barracuda” (1977)
    Spin exists in your neurons, as the earth rotates as it cycles around the sun.
    11:00 AM

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      We’ve covered the difference between possibility and probability many times over in the course of — what is now? — well over ten years? More? (If we count Bohm, that is?)

      I believe we have.

      Yet, for some reason, we’re still stuck on “probability.”

  15. O Society says :

    So for anyone looking for Scott Preston and his train of thought on Chrysalis, we don’t know what to say just yet. I don’t know anything about Scott’s condition. When someone does know definitively, I suppose something will be said here on his website and then we’ll all know how the cookie crumbles…

    In the meantime, one of the wonderful things about Scott for me is he started his own journey with William Blake in 1800 in London, the UK while I started my own journey with Zhuangzi in Warring States China (exact date unknown but BC certainly) and we both wound up here. I will always love him for that, for Scott validates my own piece of mind by independently coming to the same conclusions as I.

    At the same place, at the same time, our two trains of thought, one began as the Blake train if you will and the other as the Zhuangzi Express, collided and the train wreck looks exactly the same. More or less. Different words from different cultures, the phenomena described are the same. Chaos. Order. There you go.

    Descartes with his mind body problem, reconciled by David Bohm and his quantum mechanics answer, you all know the rest. So here it is with the Chinese fortune cookie added for your amusement, just for something to do until we hear from Scott, along with the prayers and intentions and energy and so on…

    Love Always,
    ~ Jeff

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  1. A Mantra to Protect the Mind – O Society - 28 September, 2019

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