Daniel Christian Wahl’s Transformation of Consciousness Model.

I came across this today, and in light of the previous post (in fact, all previous posts in The Chrysalis) I wanted to draw it to your attention. The map here is excerpted from an article by Daniel Christian Wahl entitled “Transformation of Consciousness“. The map, I think, was developed by the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

The trajectory of the path concludes, as you can clearly see, in the centre of a fourfold/quadrilateral/tetramorph structure — the centre of a mandala. This is coincident with Gebser’s “vital centre” of the integral consciousness structure, and with the realisation of the “diaphainon” and “the ever-present origin”. It is also illustrative of what Rosenstock-Huessy has described in terms of his “cross of reality” and his method of thinking based upon the quadrilateral or mandala structure.

I have been quite impressed by Daniel Christian Wahl’s thinking in regenerative cultures because his thinking is identified with the life-process itself, which approaches what Gebser described as the “aperspectival” or “arational” or “integral” mode of consciousness. So I think you can learn quite a bit about what Gebser means by integral or aperspectival (or Blake’s fourfold vision) by familiarising yourself with Dr. Wahl’s approach, and why Rosenstock-Huessy’s social philosophy matters in relation to Dr. Wahl’s work in “salutogenic” or regenerative cultures.

Shiva rising?

93 responses to “Daniel Christian Wahl’s Transformation of Consciousness Model.”

  1. Scott Preston says :

    I hear and read a lot about how “inter-being” or “fourfold vision” are “transcendent” or “higher” modes of consciousness. But that’s not it at all.

    Interbeing and fourfold vision are simply the natural modes of awareness. It’s the acquired deformities of perception that obscure the fact that it is completely natural to consciousness. It’s innate to what awareness is.

    So, it’s not a matter of “doing” something so much as a matter of not doing. People search for a “method of enlightenment” when there is no method really except the method of “letting go” and “let be”. Then our awareness returns to its natural basis and inherent nature, where interbeing and fourfold vision are simply the way things actually are. The effort needed is just letting go and dropping the deformities, or what Rosenstock-Huessy calls “amalgamate false natures”

  2. Scott Preston says :

    We’re becoming ghosts in the machine.

    • Steve says :

      Crisis and Opportunity

      Among the definitions listed for the word crisis:

      A turning point for better or worse in an acute disease or fever.

      An emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a
      persons life.

      An unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive
      change is impending.

      A situation that has reached a critical phase.

    • InfiniteWarrior says :


      From Bonnitta Roy’s article, linked below:

      By contrast, the simple ways we have organised, behind the scenes, locally and on the internet, are examples of taking back our own agency, and sovereignty, in the company of people with whom we are actually connected.

      I don’t know about “simple ways.” Quiet ways, perhaps, compared to the megaphone of the Megamachine. (BTB, “prepare for the ultimate gaslighting,” but don’t believe for a moment that “brilliant marketers know how to rewire your heart.” They don’t.)

      We certainly have been “ghosts in the machine” for quite some time now, but “we’re no longer in normal times,” are we?

      There is that.

  3. Scott Preston says :

    “Human actions have pushed the global system to the edge of chaos. Stuart Kaufman’s work (1993) and resilience theory (Holling, et al., 2002) suggest that at the edge of chaos complex systems are at their most creative. As old structures and patterns that no longer serve begin to breakdown and collapse new opportunities for redesign and the emergence of more viable patterns are created.”

    View at Medium.com

  4. Scott Preston says :

    Another very interesting systems thinker besides Daniel Christian Wahl is Bonnitta Roy (I may have mentioned her once or twice in The Chrysalis). Here she is with her own “Tale of Two Systems, Part I” (second part is due on Friday)


  5. Steve says :

    Rudolf Steiner often chided those among his students who were too serious. Having ” a long face that reaches down to one’s stomach,” he would point out, is not appropriate demeanor for a person who truly understands the worldview of Anthroposophy.

    Indeed, if one grasps some of the basic ideas of Anthroposophy, there are abiding grounds for being serene and cheerful:

    …The world and the human being have been created through the wisdom and
    love of the spiritual world.

    …Each human being has an eternal, spiritual essence that is not subject to the
    death of the body.

    …Each individual and the human race as a whole is evolving toward higher and
    higher levels of consciousness and being.

    …All human experience, including suffering, has purpose and meaning. There
    no accidents. Everything works to an ultimate good.

    For Steiner, our mood is not a private affair. If we can perceive and experience the world as being in harmony, if we can be inwardly satisfied with the world, and if we can manifest cheerfulness and serenity in our behavior and speech, this is a gift and a blessing for those around us. Steiner even said that a warm, loving, and joyful mood frees spiritual beings who are bound to the material world, while humor and moroseness further binds them

  6. Scott Preston says :

    With all this time now on your hands, you might want to read this piece “Tyranny as the Triumph of Narcissism”. It’s fairly lengthy, but quite insightfull

    View at Medium.com

  7. Steve says :

    Reading Huessy today. Huessy’s proposed future discipline focuses neither on God nor on the natural world, but on man in society. It would tell us how society is kept healthy, and how it makes progress through the life-giving, death-overcoming powers of speech. While the stars swim in a sea of matter and space, we human beings swim in something infinitely richer: a sea of speech and time. If the universe is simply matter, we might indeed be at its edge. Since the universe evidently contains speech, who knows? We might be at its center.

    • Steve says :

      Also reading a wonderful book by Gary Lachman called, ” Lost Knowledge of the Imagination.”,

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      This essay by Roy Scranton may be of interest.

      What do we mean by “end of the world?”

      If we…try to make sense of the proposition as a statement about reality, we are forced to reckon with what it would mean for “the world” to “end.” If we take “the end” as a metaphor for “death,” then we could take the end of the world to mean human extinction, or at least significant mass death. If, on the other hand, we take a more cosmic point of view, the end of the world could mean merely that “the world”—our mutually constituted sense of the collective now—is changing into something else, perhaps no more or less than a new world, a new now, a different collective sense of human life.

      Taking the proposition in either sense, we can hardly make sense of it without attending to the realization that the world has already ended, over and over, for countless peoples and epochs. The world of paleolithic hunter-gatherers ended with the emergence of cities and agriculture. The world of Tang-dynasty China, in which Laozi and Confucius may have been contemporaries, ended too. So did the preliterate world of the eastern Mediterranean brought to life in Homer’s Iliad, long before Plato was himself witness to the end of the world that came after Homer’s, as literacy transformed Greek conceptions of being. Countless worlds were destroyed forever through the so-called Columbian Exchange, some erased even from memory. The world of medieval European apocalyptists, the world of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates, the Zoroastrian world, the Aboriginal world, the world of the Tokugawa shogunate, the Mayan world, even the patriarchal, Eurocentric world of donnish sophistication in which Frank Kermode felt so at home—all gone, though they live on, absorbed into and remembered by the world we live in today, the world of global fossil-fueled capitalism, a world swiftly coming to its own rather messy end. ~ Beginning With the End

      This section is, of course, reminiscent of Rosenstock-Huessy’s thoughts on the Last Judgment and Resurrection themes of Christianity.

      And I know of the Last Judgment as a reality because I have seen Last Judgments passed on Proust’s France, on Rasputin’s Russia, on Wilhelm II’s Germany, President Harding’s America. Similarly I believe in resurrection of the body because I see resurrections of bodies, all through history, on earth. Any genuine soul will be incarnated time and again.


      [The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction] is also one of the last great books of literary criticism produced before the discipline was taken over by “theory,” and although it introduces its own special concepts and terms (“in the middest,” for instance, and the temporal distinction between chronos, kairos, and aevum), it is written without reliance on post-structuralist jargon. Nothing is “imbricated” or “deconstructed,” and there is no discussion of how “subject positions” are “interpellated” by the “Symbolic” within “hegemonic discourses.”

  8. Scott Preston says :

    It’s very interesting that this profile of the troll describes a “dark tetrad of personality defects” — narcissism, sadism, Machiavellianism , psychopathy.

    In effect, that would be the Shadow or the inverted form of the “light tetrad” represented by the Tetramorph


  9. Scott Preston says :

    Another mandala-like structure unfolded in regenerative systems thinking

    View at Medium.com

    • Steve says :

      I would like to recommend a wonderful book. Its by Mark Vernon and its called
      ” The Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, The Last Inkling, and the Evolution
      of Consciousness.” Really well done. You can also find a conversation between the Gebserian Jeremy Johnson and the Barfieldian Mark Vernon on
      Youtube. Very sweet…

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      Look again. The mandala-like structure is still overlaid by a dualistic one. (Heavy Wilberian influence there, not that that’s a bad thing in itself.)

      Love the language, though. Yes. It’s past time we moved beyond that whole “sustainability” thing.

      One of the meditations previously linked — sorry, don’t remember which one — asked us how we’d feel if we asked a friend, “How’s your marriage?” and received the answer, “Oh, it’s sustainable.” How singularly uninspiring!

      Yes. Generation and regeneration is where it’s at.

  10. Steve says :

    Scott…I sent you a book called the One Straw Revolution. I think it is an important and a very Gebserian book. Masanobu Fukuoka had his own satori experience and out of that, wrote this book. Would love your opinion on it.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Sorry Steve. I laid that one aside while I got into that book on the Tao (good book by the way). I’ll dig it up and give it a go right away, and let you know my impression of it.

    • Scott Preston says :

      I find it interesting that those who have undergone a satori experience never sought for it, never followed a “practice”. It came upon them suddenly, but usually in a state of deep personal crisis. There are similarities here between Fukuoka’s satori experience and Eckhardt Tolle’s.

      As Fukuoka says, it’s not a matter of a doing, but a not-doing.

      • Steve says :

        The One Straw Revolution was my bible for many years. I still grab that book more than any other book on my shelf.

    • Scott Preston says :

      “Ultimately, it is not the growing technique, which is the most important factor, but rather the state of mind of the farmer” — M. Fukuoaka, *The One-Straw Revolution*

      Not really different from Heraclitus: “ethos anthropoi daimon” — or ethos is fate. We just understand this “state of mind” as ethos.

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        “Zombie ideas” have had their day. Can we start talking about vampire ideas now? (Actually, we are, in many quarters.)

        Think it colloquialism or just an interest in the vernacular or what have you (don’t really care), but these ideas are actually out there in forms other than the academic variety.

        What shall we do with this miraculous opportunity?

  11. Steve says :

    ” The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.”

    Carl Sagan

    • Steve says :

      Youtube,,,,,,,John McKnight-Cincinnati-2009-on Ivan Illich.

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        If I may assist in getting around the limitations of sharing (such as it is) on WordPress.com….

        If you want to link a YouTube video in the comments section, click the “Share” button accompanying that video on YouTube. (The link to it is now registered in your computer’s “clipboard” file.) Right-click in the WP comments box; choose “paste” from the pop-up menu; and click the “send” button.

        Voila! The video is automatically embedded in the comment via a little WP link conversion process running in the background.

        If you want to link an article or book, you can just copy and paste the link. (It will appear as the URL itself, but is automatically linked in a similar way.)

        Linking the title of the article or book takes some knowledge of hypertext markup language. It isn’t hard, but it’s not common knowledge, either. Until and unless WordPress.com provides a basic editor on the comments sections of “free” blogs (one that includes one of those handy-dandy hyperlink buttons), that’s about the best we can do.

        I perform a Google search for much of the material you’re bringing to our attention, but sometimes wonder if we’re reading and/or watching the same version of the article or video you have in mind. There’s only one of this one, among a few others. Here it is:

        • InfiniteWarrior says :

          Minor correction: Click the “Share” button accompanying that video on YouTube and click “Copy.” Now, it’s registered in your computer’s clipboard file. : )

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      By a long shot….

      • Steve says :

        Scott…re-reading a book by Larry Korn called the” One Straw Revolutionary: The Philosophy and Work of Masanobu Fukuoka.”
        For me, a wonderful biography. Larry had spent a long time with

        • Steve says :

          This is a list from Ralph Waldo Emerson of ideas and statements which were for him most worthy of recollection.

          Plato’s doctrine of Reminiscence

          Berkeley’s Ideal World

          Socrates’ interpretation of the Delphian oracle

          The Dance of Plotinus

          Doctrine of Absorption {Nirvana}

          Greek saying, that the soul is absorbed into God as a phial of water is broken in the sea.

          Plotinus’s saying, “There however every body is pure,{transparent} and each inhabitant is as it were an eye.”

          Heraclitus said, ” War is the father of all things.”

          “A dry light makes the best soul.”

          “Like can only be known by like.”

          “Only if a man can be himself the infinite, can the infinite be know by him.”

          “Look to no one outside yourself.”

          “The nature of everything is best seen in its smallest proportions.”

          Hunger and thirst after righteousness. {Matt, 5:6}

          Kingdom of God cometh not by observation> {Luke, 7:20}

          ….is received as a little child.{Luke, 18:17}

          Christianity, pure deism

          God considers integrity not munificence. {Socrates}

  12. Steve says :

    ” The Meaning of the Creative Act ,” by Nicolas Berdyaev.
    Profound thinker !!

  13. Scott Preston says :

    I haven’t read this, and I don’t know much about what it contains, really. But it struck me as interesting because of what I wrote earlier — that energy and information polarity are going to become more central to thinking rather than the so-called “body-mind” dualism. And so it seems at least that the shift is underway.


    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      Alas, it’s always “underway” (or “latent” or “immanent…” or what have you). It never seems quite to “arrive” or “manifest,” however, does it?

      Well, that depends on how you look at it.

  14. Scott Preston says :

    Sounds like an appropriate book for gaining insight into the present turbulence: “Dancing at the Edge”

    View at Medium.com

  15. Steve says :

    Reader! lover of books! lover of heaven,
    And of that God from whom all books are given,
    Who in mysterious Sinais awful cave
    To Man the wond’rous art of writting gave,
    Again he speaks in thunder and in fire!

    In Blake’s vision, human language in all its forms and the voice and works of God are all facets of the same divine-human figure. The Divine Word and poetry lie at the very heart of human life.

  16. Steve says :

    Reading Heidegger this morning. He seems to me to always ask the same question, what is being which renders possible all being? Why is there anything or something or everything, when there could be nothing. He seems to be a man literally overcome by the notion of ” is “, a man inexhaustibly astonished by the fact of existence, and haunted by the reality of that other possibility, which is nothingness.

  17. Steve says :

    “There is a demon in technology. It was put there by man and man will have to exorcise it before technological civilization can achieve the eighteenth-century ideal of humane civilized life.”
    — Rene Dubos

    • Steve says :

      “Metaphysics may be, after all, only the art of being sure of something that is not so and logic only the art of going wrong with confidence.”
      — Joseph Wood Krutch

      • Steve says :

        The first few glasses of beer were a revelation; they flushed my veins with happiness; they washed away all cares and shyness and worries. I remember thinking to myself, If I could have two pints of beer every afternoon, life would be a great happiness.
        George Mackay Brown

        • Steve says :

          I still don’t know why I fish or why other men fish, except that we like it and it makes us think and feel.
          Roderick Haig-Brown

          • Steve says :

            Only those who see that the two sides of all phenomena, visible and invisible, are front and back or beginning and end of one reality can embrace any antagonistic situation, see its complementarity , and help others to do the same, thereby establishing peace and harmony.
            George Ohsawa

  18. Steve says :

    If by the time we’re sixty we haven’t learned what a knot of paradox and contradiction life is, and how exquisitely the good and the bad are mingled in every action we take, and what a compromising hostess Our Lady of Truth is, we haven’t grown old to much purpose.
    John Cowper Powys

  19. Steve says :

    “I believe in nothing here, except a handful of people, a few ideas, and the fact that one cannot arrest movement. ”
    ― Alexander Herzen

  20. Scott Preston says :

    Deep listening. Interesting how Daniel Wahl’s thinking intersects with Bohm, Gebser, and Rosenstock-Huessy so often. This is another where Rosenstock-Huessy’s emphasis on listening over thinking makes an appearance.


  21. Scott Preston says :

    “Humanity on the Edge of Chaos: Collapse and Creative Breakthrough”. Ilya Prigogine and his work in chaotic systems is another who has influenced Daniel Wahl’s thinking.

    View at Medium.com

    There was a time when I would exciting highlight such discoveries with a new post just on that one topic. But today I find that there is so much of this material circulating that it almost seems like the new new normal. Michel Bauwens is another who is working in the same area, especially revival of the commons and peer-to-peer economics, so you might want to look up some of his work


    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      From “Humanity on the edge….”

      We need to value the wisdom of many minds and different ways of knowing.

      From “How philosophy came to disdain the wisdom of oral cultures:”

      No arguments are being made for the inclusion of people belonging to cultures that value other forms of knowledge: there are no efforts to recruit philosophers from among Inuit hunters or Hmong peasants.

      The practical obstacles to such recruitment from a true cross-section of humanity are obvious. Were it to happen, the simple process of moving from traditional ways of life into academic institutions would at the same time dilute and transform the perspectives that are deserving of more attention. Irrespective of such unhappy outcomes, there is already substantial scholarship on these forms of thought accumulated in philosophy’s neighbouring disciplines – notably history, anthropology, and world literatures – to which philosophers already have access. It’s a literature that could serve as a corrective to the foundational bias, present since the emergence of philosophy as a distinct activity.

  22. Steve says :

    Thanks Scott for introducing me to the thinking of Daniel Christian Wahl !!
    I love it when I discover someone new to me.

    • Steve says :

      ” Understanding Gregory Bateson: Mind, Beauty, and the Sacred Earth,” by Noel G. Charlton is a book I’m sure Daniel Christian Wahl would appreciate.
      Very well done.

      • Scott Preston says :

        I think Wahl mentions Bateson frequently

        • Steve says :

          Since ancient times, the left side has stood for the side of the unconscious or the unknown; the right side, by contrast, has represented the side of consciousness or wakefulness. Through the late twentieth century, the movement of the Left limited themselves to a materialist understanding of reality- exemplified by Marxism- demanding social justice and economic equality but not the restoration of intuition and the recognition of the hidden, qualitative dimensions of being suppressed by the mental-rational consciousness, narrowly focused on the quantifiable.
          Jean Gebser

          • Scott Preston says :

            Although recall that the left-brain regulates the right-side and the right-brain the left side of the body, and in Castaneda’s works, the nagual is associated with the left-side awareness of the body, and the tonal with the right-side awareness, so it’s something of a mixed bag.

            But the situation changed quite noticeably with the “New Left” in the sixties and seventies, which Gebser did note then. Suddenly, there was interest in Blake, Hesse, Zen, and so on that recognised the intuitive. There’s a famous line from Adorno and Horkheimer’s *Dialectic of Enlightenment* that I think captures it in a nutshell: “Myth is already enlightenment, and enlightenment reverts to myth”. That’s a remarkable sentence, I think, because it indicates a turn towards what McGilchrist calls “the Master” mode of attention.

            “Everything is pregnant with its opposite”, as Marhsall Berman wrote, and that certainly is the case in McGilchrist, where he inverted the conventional relation between right and left-hemisphere functions of the brain, and this is what is being reflected in Berman’s statement about the situation more generally.

            • Steve says :

              If you had to recommend one Castaneda book, or one to start with, what would it be. I have never read anything by him. But have now become interested.

            • Scott Preston says :

              That’s quite difficult to answer because the books were written mostly while Castaneda was undergoing his apprenticeship with don Juan, and he often misunderstood and misconstrued the whole meaning of it until his understanding began to mature. This is why I think one can’t avoid reading them in succession and in the order they were written, for we see Castaneda’s understanding gradually mature over the course of time. So, there are 4 books which might be considered the record of his apprenticeship and varying degrees of understanding 1) The Teachings of Don Juan 2) A Separate Reality 3) Journey to Ixtlan and 4) The Eagle’s Gift.

              Castaneda’s subsequent books are more retrospective and reflective — after he’ld concluded his apprenticeship with don Juan and was trying to put all the pieces together. His introduction to the 25th (or 30th) anniversary edition of The Teaching of Don Juan (his first book) is excellent in that respect — basically showing his final insights into what the whole process had been about.

              So later books like “The Active Side of Infinity” or “The Art of Dreaming” are more retrospective, but I think it would be difficult to understand them properly without also understanding how he got to there.

          • Scott Preston says :

            Many interesting things have been emerging since WWII, such as the revival of interest in William Blake (largely due to Northrop Frye) coincident with concerns for “the crisis of the individual” and “the disintegration of the modern ego” (Rosenstock-Huessy), so we must look at the so-called “New Left” in that context, for it was called “New Left” because something distinguished it from “Old Left”, and that was largely the issue of grounding all thinking abou reality in terms of historical materialism.

            The “New Left” (the Frankfurt School principally) emerged in German during the interwar years in response to “New Conservatism”, which was quite reactionary in its thinking and, of course, Nazism and fascism. So, when the Frankfurt exiles ended up in America, they continued that struggle against reactionary “New Conservatism”, but also against “Old Left” as well.

            Part of it was due to the rediscovery of Marx’s early writings called “The 1848 Manuscripts” which showed a rather unexpected “spiritual” and almost “mystical” side to Marx’s thinking, which he later suppressed in favour of “scientific socialism” rooted in the primacy of “objective conditions” and historical material dialectics, ie, he “turned Hegel on his head”.

            But the real key to the whole “New Left” was, as I mentioned, that statement by Adorno and Horkheimer about “myth is already enlightenment”. One can hardly credit that to the old materialistic Left. And there were two key documents for the New Left, one being “The Dialectic of Enlightenment” and the other being Marcuse’s *One Dimensional Man*, which was very influential in forming the New Left in the English-speaking world. And what is this “One-Dimensional Man” but William Blake’s man of “Single Vision & Newton’s sleep”?

            Someone like Erich Fromm who was also peripherally associated with Frankfurt School and the New Left, hardly bears any resemblance to someone you would think of as a “Marxist” in the old sense. Likewise David Bohm, who had been a Marxist of the old school variety up until the Soviet intervention in Hungary. But one would hardly think of the later David Bohm as “Marxist” in the conventional sense. So, we see really what made the “New Left” new was the new emphasis on consciousness itself, which had largely been ignored by old Marxists in favour of “objective conditions”.

  23. Steve says :

    Scott…What would you say is the difference between Gebser’s so called Satori experience and Fukuoka’s so called Satori experience?

    • Scott Preston says :

      Yeah. That’s the paradox of the whole thing. For Fukuoka, nothing really mattered, but for Gebser, everything mattered. That’s not an unusual paradox when it comes to Satori. The same thing occurs in Castaneda too. Don Juan told him once that for him, nothing really mattered, but that maybe for Castaneda everything would matter. But that is the paradox of emptiness or nothingness, since it is also the fullness of all potentiality.

      • Scott Preston says :

        Should mention, that although for don Juan nothing really mattered (“all paths lead nowhere, They either lead into the bush or out of the bush” is how he put it, so he suggested only “choose a path with heart”). And although nothing really mattered to him any more, he still acted as if it did, and he called that his “Controlled Folly”, and that everything he did was this “Controlled Folly”

  24. Steve says :

    Homage to Pythagoras: by Christopher Bamford
    Keith Critchlow
    Robert Lawlor
    Anne Macaulay
    Kathleen Raine
    Arthur G. Zajonc

      • Steve says :

        This end only appears to be the “end of the world,” without any reservation or specification of any kind, to those who see nothing beyond the limits of this particular cycle; a very excusable error of perspective it is true, but one that has nonetheless some regrettable consequences in the excessive and unjustified terrors to which it gives rise in people who are not sufficiently detached from terrestrial existence; and naturally they are the very people who form this erroneous conception most easily, just because of the narrowness of their point of view. …the end now under consideration is undeniably of considerably greater importance than many other, for it is the end of a whole Manvantara, and so of the temporal existence of what may rightly be called a humanity, but this, it must be said once more, in no way implies that it is the end of the terrestrial world itself, because, through the “reinstatement” that takes place at the final instant, this end will itself immediately become the beginning of another Manvantara…if one does not stop short of the most profound order of reality, it can be said in all truth the “end of a world” never is and never can be anything but the end of an illusion.

        Source: Excerpted from Rene Guenon’s The Reign of Quantity and The Signs of the Times.

        • Scott Preston says :

          Sentiments also expressed by Gebser in The Ever-Present Origin. He mentions Guenon, but also seems to caution against Guenon’s “Traditionalism”.

          I have read Guenon’s “Reign of Quantity…” some time ago, and it was good. Although I too, was uncomfortable with his Traditionalism, and I think for the same reasons as Gebser, that too great an emphasis on Traditionalism tends at the extreme to become reactionary. Gebser was, of course, very sensitive to that since it was the mood of his own time, and he pretty much was in continuous flight from it.

          Otherwise, I found Guenon’s book quite good, but with that proviso.

        • Scott Preston says :

          Something from Plotinus that resonates with your Fukuoka “One Straw Revolution” that I came across today

          “What precipitated our present pandemic and climate crisis must be deeply probed. According to Plotinus in the Enneads, if a farmer’s activity is informed by integration with the One, then life may be restored to frost-bitten, rain-ravaged, wind-torn land.”

  25. Steve says :

    Thereupon one of the priests, who was of a very great age, said: ‘O Solon, Solon, you Hellenes are never anything but children, and there is not an old man among you.’ Solon in return asked him what he meant. ‘I mean to say,’ he replied, ‘that in mind you are all young; there is no old opinion handed down among you by ancient tradition, nor any science which is hoary with age. And I will tell you why. There have been, and will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes; the greatest have been brought about by the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable other causes.’


  26. Scott Preston says :

    Prepare yourselves. Put in a garden if you can. If this weird virus follows the same pattern as previous pandemics, the worst is yet to come.

    That’s not to say it will, but it is anticipated that it will. So far, this virus has flummoxed and baffled everyone, and is apparently mutating so rapidly that it’s keeping ahead of the quest for an effective vaccine.

  27. Steve says :

    It is a very weird virus. Makes me think it was created in a lab. Good luck with the garden. Takes a very long time to develop a green thumb. If the second round is going to happen, there will be food shortages for sure. Not just a meat shortage. Hard times are coming upon an increasingly witless populace.

    • Scott Preston says :

      I don’t think it came from a lab, but I do suspect that it has something to do with global warming, and the revival of ancient viruses that were trapped in permafrost or glaciers. That was one of the most surprising things reported not that long ago — that researchers discovered some 28 different viruses frozen in glacial ice that could revive, but no one knows whether they are relatively benign or harmful, so we might have to expect even more strange pandemics.

      And that’s not fun, precious.

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        No idea how bad it is in Canada, but here in the Magic Kingd…er, I mean, the US… organizations as diverse as GMWatch and the Organic Consumers Association are wholeheartedly circulating outright conspiracy theories about the nature and origin of the coronavirus, culling their “evidence” from the blogs of anonymous Janes and Joes around the globe and, essentially, ruining any public trust they might have cultivated with their heretofore reasonably good coverage regarding the issues surrounding genetically-modified crops.

        While we’re questioning foundations, I sincerely wish more were questioning the scientific foundations of gene theory itself rather than propagandizing either about it or the coronavirus…among other things. We’d certainly learn more, if nothing else.

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      While evidence not yet discovered might refute the theory, there is at present no evidence to suggest that the virus was created in a laboratory.

      Virus Researchers Cast Doubt On Theory Of Coronavirus Lab Accident

      From There is no evidence that the coronavirus was created in a laboratory:

      Which hypothesis is the most unbearable – that mad scientists subsidised by a foreign power sparked an epidemic capable of shaking our modern societies, or that new epidemics emerge because of our invasion and destruction of natural ecosystems? In the first case, it would be easy to end the nightmare. In the second, it is our way of life and our economic system that must change.

      Actually not so easy in the first case, but I find the second more likely. All our modern societies, after all, are being equally affected.

      • Scott Preston says :

        Not as bad here as in the US, apparently, but we do have our cohorts of “Covidiots”, as the meme goes. Seems every country does. Generally, though, Trudeau has gotten a huge boost in the polls for his handling of the outbreak (and of course, that drives the Conservatives absolutely nuts since they’ve seen their own fortunes sinking like a stone — not least because of internal scandals and demonstrations of extremely bad judgment).

        Like the US there has been the occasional assault on hospitals and medical staff by groups of “conspiracy theorists” and assorted Libertarian types. That’s really outrageous. But I think it has more to do with those old reactionaries who still persist in thinking universal healthcare is “communism”, and I suspect that some of it may well be dark money organised “astroturf” groups.

        So, you’re seeing Gebser’s “maelstrom of blind anxiety” in action, and it’s certainly pretty ugly, and meanwhile Trump’s narcissism and paranoia have soared off the charts, and that concerns me a great deal.

        The thing that worried Lewis Mumford, who was quite prescient himself, was “total disintegration” — an absolute disintegration, not just a relative disintegration. Seems to have concerned Gebser as well — that we may miss the boat of transition, in which case it’s all over — dead planet.

        • InfiniteWarrior says :

          Trump’s narcissism and paranoia have soared off the charts, and that concerns me a great deal.

          Would that it were just Trump’s.

          Unfortunately, neither the US nor CCP leadership seems willing to resist throwing mud at one another. Donald Trump, the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, and other elected officials have called Covid-19 the “Chinese virus” and one White House official reportedly called it the “Kung Flu”. The Republican senator Tom Cotton hinted (without evidence) that the virus could be a bioweapon created by the CCP.

          In China, a spokesman for the PRC ministry of foreign affairs lied in suggesting that the US military could be to blame for the virus. Chinese government officials have echoed that sentiment while the CCP’s propaganda machine is busy promoting these conspiracy theories. — The US-China coronavirus blame game is undermining diplomacy

          Toddlers aplenty.

          Meanwhile, Tikkun (et al) has some interesting bridge-building articles on offer, e.g. Why People are Demanding to Get Back to Work and The Bioenergetics of Authoritarianism. (If only it would take its own advice about “othering,” its messages might actually be powerful and, perhaps, even impactful.)

          Also of note, Deeyah Khan on “meeting the enemy.”

  28. Steve says :

    Think about every blog you have written from your first blog Dark Age to this very last blog. Think about the idea that we are living in what’s called the Kali Yuga which could mean meditation, compassion, and purity are scarce. Leadership falls into the hands of unprincipled criminal who use their power to loot the people and unspeakable depravities and atrocities flourish under a rhetoric of high ideals. Greed, intoxication, over-indulgence. Why are you so harsh on conspiracy theories. If you were to go through out history and write down every terrible thing that humans have done to other humans you would think that was just the normal things humans do. Given everything you have ever said in a blog, is it really far fetched to think 9/11 was possibly and inside job. Arthur Koestler and George Bernard Shaw both thought if aliens were to ever study our history the only conclusion would be absolute insanity and want nothing to do with us. As far as I can tell we are very strange creatures and I would not put anything past us. And I mean anything. I have a friend who is ex FBI, the shit he has told me about humans have added a little white to my hair. Organ harvesting and underage sex trafficking just to name two. Anyway etc.etc.etc.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Think about what “theoria” is — “a way of looking” — a way of organising our perception. The Ptolemaic geocentric theory was very effective, actually, in accounting for, and predicting, anomalous movements in the heavens. But none of it was true. And then along came Copernicus and simplified the whole matter because, although the geocentric theory actually worked, it was somewhat cumbersome. Copernicus simplified the whole matter by his solar-centric theory, and it worked just as effectively in accounting for and predicting movements in the heavens. But it wasn’t true either. The sun is not the centre of the universe.

      Once theoria is assumed to be fact, the mind tends to censor out anything that contradicts or the “anomalies” in the theory and perceive only the “evidence” that supports the theory.

      There are conspiracies against the public. Even Adam Smith recognised that — trusts, monopolies, price-fixing conspiracies, etc. The role of “Dark Money” isn’t a theory. It’s traceable. As they say, “Follow the Money” and you will usually find a conspiracy at the end or beginning of it.

      Samuel Huntington’s formula for power — keeping in the dark — obviously invites and normalises conspiracy. But then, the darkness invites all sorts of maudlin imaginings about “things that go bump in the night”, and a lot of conspiracy theories have their roots and origins in the same darkness, and are nothing but raw will to power themselves. Conspiracy theory about Obama’s birthplace, for example, had other motives behind it than truthfulness. A lot of conspiracy theories are invested in casting a cloud over what is true and real because the true and the real is thought of as threatening.

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      Seems “conspiracy theories” are on everyone’s minds these days. Here’s Eisenstein’s take as well, if interested.

      Suspecting that Covid may have been created in a Lab and (especially accidentally) released into the wild, for example, is not far-fetched at all, imho. All things considered, it’s a distinct possibility, but just that: a possibility among other possibilities. Insisting that (or worse) is absolutely the case when the mystery itself is actually still under investigation, however, I would say is.

      In fact, I consider a little speculation a good thing and absolutely adore speculative fiction, perhaps even for that very reason. Not actually sure what the attraction of speculative fiction is for me, to be honest. Maybe I just like stories about “ordinary” people being placed in extraordinary circumstances. It forces you to think, “what would I do in that situation?” And the answer — which invariably comes unbidden — can be very surprising, especially if one thinks one completely “know(s) thyself.”

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