The Integral Revolution and the Tetramorph

“‘Individuation’ is Jung’s term for the process of achieving such command of all four functions that, even while bound to the cross of this limiting earth, one might open one’s eyes at the center, to see, think, feel and intuit transcendence, and to act out of such knowledge.”

Joseph Campbell

Campbell’s remark here might be taken as a succinct description of “the integral revolution” — the eye opening and awakening as the centre of a mandala, which is effectively the meaning of Blake’s “fourfold vision”. There is much packed into this brief statement by Campbell, elements discussed in previous posts of The Chrysalis, and especially the significance of Rosenstock-Huessy’s “cross of reality” and quadrilateral logic. This is the meaning of Campbell’s remark about our being “bound to the cross of this limiting earth”, which is the cross of space and time.

Jung’s four psychological functions
Rosenstock-Huessy’s “cross of reality”

All such mandala structures are maps of the human Tetramorph — of the human multiformity — or of the four who is one, as we also see illustrated by William Blake as the meaning his “four Zoas” and of his “fourfold vision”

Blake: the fourfold human

This is Blake’s own way of rendering the Christian Tetramorph, which is also a mandala.

This is the shape of the emergent “integral consciousness” that Jean Gebser calls “the diaphainon“. The diaphainon is, effectively, the self-manifestation and fulfillment of the “pre-existing pattern” that Gebser detected in his history of civilisations as consciousness structures, and that “pre-existing pattern” is what is made concrete and visible also in Rosenstock-Huessy’s “cross of reality” as well as in and through David Bohm’s phasic “rheomode” of thinking.

This same pattern described by Campbell recurs everywhere today, as we’ve noted in past posts in The Chrysalis. There is also Richard Moss’s “Mandala of Being”

Richard Moss’ “mandala of being”

This is why Gebser holds that the “one-sided attitude” of the modern mind is a “mentality headed for a fall” — and a catastrophic one: the Fall of Urizen. All this was foreseen in William Blake’s “Prophetic Books”.

Let’s take a moment, then, to remark on the awakening of Albion, who is the Tetramorph rising from amidst the ruins and wreckage of Urizen’s world and “dancing the dance of Eternal Death”. Let’s compare Blake’s Albion with Leonardo’s famous Vitruvian Man.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man
Glad Day — or “Albion Rose”

To my mind, these two images mark the difference between what Gebser calls “perspectival” or “rational consciousness” and “aperspectival” or “arational” consciousness”. Vitruvian man is fixed, of relatively static geometrical proportions. Albion, contrariwise, is in the act of flow of dancing, and in the act of stepping forth, as a butterfly emerging triumphant from the chrysalis. Even the nimbus surrounding Albion resembles a butterfly, symbol of the psyche entire, and of its powers of death and resurrection from death. Albion is the symbol of the soul resurrect from its death-like state in Urizen’s “dark Satanic Mill” of “Single Vision” the New Adam as “homo integer“.

The thrust of the whole Modern Era has been towards this goal, but in a chaotic and very unconscious way. This is the lesson we learn from Rosenstock-Huessy’s study of the modern revolutions: Out of Revolution: Autobiography of Western Man. Rosenstock-Huessy applied his quadrilateral logic and cross of reality model to the pattern of modern history in his study of the four great European Revolutions whose representative types were Luther, Cromwell, Robespierre, and Lenin — the German, the English, the French, and the Russian Revolutions. Each one thought itself universally valid and definitive. Each one had to settle for being only partial answers to the problems and malaise that afflicted the human form in either body, mind, soul, or spirit. Each mistook only one of these for being the whole truth of human life and specialised in that one aspect of the human fourfold. They were like chapters in a novel or verses in a poem that has been, so far, left incomplete.

None of these revolutions, therefore, addressed the whole man or woman. None of them truly understood what Rosenstock-Huessy calls “the multiformity of man” represented as the Tetramorph, or mandala, and his “cross of reality”. They only addressed themselves to one aspect of the whole — the human as either mind, or as body, or as soul, or as spirit — but not the implicit integral being.

Based on his study of this pattern of the revolutions, therefore, Rosenstock-Huessy anticipated that yet a fifth in the series would be necessary and follow logically from the previous four. This “fifth” revolution would be based on “health” — wholeness of integrality — and would accomplish what the previous four did not: address itself to human beings in their wholeness, as multiform beings.

This was in 1938. This is what we are seeing today as what some are also describing now as a “pre-revolutionary situation”.

In Eastern Philosophy, of course, the Tetramorph is described as “the fourfold Atman” or “the fourfold Self” which is expounded upon brilliantly by Aurobindo in his book The Human Cycle. This “human cycle” is also what is rendered as the “Sacred Hoop” or “Medicine Wheel” in indigenous cultures and as “the teaching of the Four Directions”

If you have managed to read Rosenstock-Huessy’s The Multiformity of Man (available online) his “four eco-dynamic laws” of society are also related to his study of the four European Revolutions. He may have been among the earliest to apply ecological thinking to re-interpretation of society. His four eco-dynamic laws are:

  1. Three equals One
  2. All equals One
  3. Two equals One
  4. One equals One

Each of these was the fruit of earlier revolutions, now perceived in their integral or mutual relationship. These are also the elements of Blake’s “fourfold vision”. They are paradoxical because the Tetramorph is a paradox. And if paradox and ironic reversal “bedevils” the intellect today, it is also because the Tetramorph is process of emergence amid the wreckage and ruins of Late Modernity, and the sign of its coming is the mandala.

Jacob Boehme

It is true that, as H.G. Wells put it, mind is at the end of its tether. This is as much as to say, with Gebser, that the mental-rational or perspective consciousness has entered into its “deficient mode of functioning” or decadence. But it is also true that “where the peril is greatest, there lies the saving power also”, and that is the emergent Tetramorph which alone now can prevent the mind from decaying into total disintegration and total self-annihilation, or “total nihilism”.

Each of the previous revolutions exaggerated, to the point of caricature, only one aspect of the complete human fourfold and sought relief for that one aspect alone and neglected the others — the human conceived as either mind, body, soul, or spirit. Any truly integral revolution must perceive the human form in his or her complete form, and that is as the Tetramorph, who is both polymorphous and polychrone by its very nature, and being both is the essence of what Gebser means by “time-freedom” or “spacetime freedom” as the fruit of integral consciousness.

78 responses to “The Integral Revolution and the Tetramorph”

  1. Steve Lavendusky says :

    I think Cynthia Bourgeault is absolutely brilliant. Reading her, ” The Holy Trininty and the Law of Three.” She’s rather gifted and interesting.

  2. dagdog711 says :

    You are loved, now and always. Thank you. 🙏

  3. InfiniteWarrior says :

    If we can connect the dots of the positive potentials emerging – the awakening of love and interconnectedness; the regenerative power of nature; the potential of governments to act fast for radical change – we have a potent, fertile basis to bring in a beautiful future – but only if we come together and act before it is too late. Before this last window of opportunity is shut to us forever. — Which Way Do We Choose Going Forward?

    It is a true changing of the guard we are seeing today, from those profiting off their domination and destruction of the Earth and peoples, to the Earth and those people themselves rising up in defense of the sacred. There can be no doubt on whose side the highest power lies, in this incredible play of creation – though it has long been hidden, the game is up now and all is exposed — it is surging up now full-force. — Now Is the Time – Revolution, Inner and Outer

    Kavita Byrd also contributes to Kosmos Journal

  4. Steve says :

    Jean Gebser does not get the same kind of exposure as Heidegger or Jung, but his thinking belongs to, and organically evolves out of, the tradition of German thinking that began with Goethe and Kant and continues right down through Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Rudolf Steiner, Oswald Spengler and others. And what this tradition of thought has common to it is the notion that there is no such thing as an object that is not conditioned by the phenomenological faculties of the subject. Kant, Schopenhauer, Husserl and Heidegger resolve this problem in various ways, but with each of them, it is the subject, not the object, that is of overriding philosophical importance in our experience of the world around us.

    What Gebser tried to do in this book was to give a kind of phenomenological grounding to the human being’s experience of the world not in terms of Kantian categories, but in terms of various evolutionarily derived structures of conscious which the human bears within itself. That is to say, earlier consciousness structures, such as those of tribal man or literate man of the high Bronze Age civilizations, do not just disappear, but sleep latently within the psyche as valid experiential modes unto themselves. Certain life experiences will activate and call forth these modalities, and once the consciousness structure has been activated, it actually changes the very physics of the experiences which the subject has. In the Magical consciousness structure, for example, space and time are a point-like unity in which there are no dimensions, since the world is intricately interconnected through magical pathways like the songlines of aboriginal Australia. Magic actually, really does work when this consciousness is activated (hence the reality of synchronicities and the like). The rational consciousness structure has its own laws, too, and the structure of its interior is that of a three dimensional world in which time and space are radically distinct from one another, and in which the subject and the object are locked into a fierce opposition. Magic is invalidated within this highly differentiated structure, which is evolutionarily late, since this consciousness is something that always evolves in late phases of culture or in the history of civilization generally speaking, just as the intellect does not function fully in accordance with its own powers until one reaches maturity.

    Gebser’s philosophy is a wonderful antidote to Jungian typology and formulae, since he creates a kind of philosophical architecture out of the collective unconscious, while leaving the theory of archetypes behind. Gebser, however, is no Jungian, and despite his having taught at the Jung Institute in Switzerland, never was one.

    Gebser’s philosophy also evolved as a kind of antidote to the pessimism of Spengler’s vision in The Decline of the West. What Spengler missed was the advent of the aperspectival epoch that began to emerge during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Whereas Spengler experienced the decline of European culture forms–such as the abolishment of perspective in painting, or the leaving behind of Newtonian physics in Einstein–Gebser realized that what was really going on was the transcendence of the Rational consciousness structure and the emergence of a supra- (not ir- or non-) rational consciousness in which the laws of the Mental structure were in process of being relativized to a specific experiential domain, just as Einstein’s physics relativized the applicability of Newtonian laws to a specific domain of validity. Thus, the Decline of the West is really about the Decline of the perspectival (i.e. late rational) consciousness structure, and this is where Gebser’s philosophy begins. (Perhaps not coincidentally, it is also where Marshall McLuhan saw a shift into the electric modality of culture; indeed, McLuhan and Gebser have a great deal in common when one looks closely at their ideas.)

    In short, if you are interested in the development of Western, and particularly Germanic philosophy, then you cannot afford to ignore Gebser. Academics may do so for some time to come, since the spiritual implications of his Integral structure makes them uneasy. And what also repels academics about Gebser is the fact that he has been taken up by New Agers like Ken Wilber (who, as is so often the case with Wilber, thoroughly misunderstands him) and Richard Tarnas, with whom academics want absolutely nothing to do. And who can blame them? The New Age kitsch of such “thinkers” is a mediocratization of philosophy and all it does is sully the image of such true geniuses as Rudolf Steiner and Jean Gebser in the public’s perception.

    Try Gebser. You’ll like him. But you shouldn’t try reading around him with “substitute” works by Georg Feurstein or Ken Wilber. These thinkers are not good representatives of Gebser’s thought, since they bring their own private agendas to bear upon him, and end up distorting his ideas. To really experience the dazzling brilliance of this man’s mind, you must read his dense prose for yourself. Preferably with a strong cup of coffee in hand.


    –John David Ebert,
    author of “The New Media Invasion: Digital Technologies and the World They Unmake” (McFarland Books, 2011)

  5. Steve says :

    Scott…I was dipping into two books last night. One of the books, which I think is one of the best books on Blake I’ve ever read, ” William Blake Prophet of Universal Brotherhood” by Bernard Nesfield-Cookson. The other is one of the best books on Nietzsche I have ever read is called, ” Nietzsche” by A.R. Orage.
    Would you say that behind Nietzsches apparent materialism is a very mystical view of the world? And you could almost say that Blake is Nietzsche in England.
    Would you agree with that/

    • Scott Preston says :

      O yes. I agree with Orage. He was probably the first to actually see the affinities between Nietzsche and Blake, and that perhaps Nietzsche it was who revealed Blake’s “Bible of Hell”.

      Nietzsche wasn’t really a materialist. He didn’t believe that atoms were material at all, but energy vortices. In that, he anticipated the quantum view of the atoms. So, the implications of that for understanding what Nietzsche means by the body are quite clear, and would align with Blake’s non-dual view of the body.

      • Steve says :

        ” A flower is a centripetal vortex (materialization) within the great expansion. And where this material event derives its beauty from that which is the source of every color and every scent, flower the word-is derivative of that same fundamental and ineffable reality.”

        Words Characters and Transparency by Stephen Earle

        • Steve says :

          Scott can you go into detail on what Nietzsche meant by the body that aligns with Blake’s non-dual view of the body. Fascinating to think of atoms as energy vortices.

        • InfiniteWarrior says :

          “You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.”― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

            • InfiniteWarrior says :

              “Self‐realization is no benefit…. The Gurdjieff work is giving up one’s fantasies, it’s converting one’s energies into something higher. It means to awaken to your own inner experience. It means to discover one’s relationship to everything, to be present, to be there. It means that the center of gravity is within yourself. It means to contain your energy voluntarily and consciously and point it in a certain direction….. The change in oneself through the Gurdjieff work is not to transform oneself into something else. It is to become what one is.” — Michel de Salzmann, Getting In Touch With Gurdjieff, July 1979

              These underground streams have been running throughout all along. The challenge is in preventing them from being diverted on their way to the surface, so to speak.

              “In the gap between subject and object lies the entire misery of humankind.” ~ J. Krishnamurti

  6. Scott Preston says :

    Good post from Cynthia Bourgeault on what Gebser means by the deficient mode of the mental-rational consciousness structure

  7. Steve says :

    In Gebser’s analysis, the turbulent social upheavals that erupted full force in the early twentieth century and have continued more or less unbroken right into our own times can be attributed in large part to the phase of the cycle now playing out: the mental structure of consciousness in its deficient mode. The good news is that this turmoil is in fact a birth canal, and the contractions we are collectively anguishing through are indeed the birth pangs of the rising aperspectival structure making its presence powerfully known. The bad news is that labor is bloody hell.

    Cynthia Bourgeault

  8. Steve says :

    Gebser writes, speaking of a ‘universal intolerance’ beginning to manifest itself in the twentieth century. ‘He sees only a vanishing point lost in the misty distance…and he feels obliged to defend his point fanatically, lest he lose his world entirely.’” (Seeing Through the World, p. 55)

    Cynthia Bourgeault

  9. Steve says :

    Johnson rightly takes Ken Wilber to task for coining the phrase “aperspectival madness” to describe the postmodern condition “where all views are correct and no views are wrong.” For Gebser this phrase would be an oxymoron if not an outright insult, because the aperspectival is irreducibly about COHERENCE, not about madness

    • TheOakofNormal says :

      Is it about coherence bc the break from the past, its illusions and dying idols (of the previous “rational mind”) opens the new way of Being/New Mind or whatever it would be called and that this process coheres with actual reality instead of imposing false constructs in top (these false constructs are the actual source of madness)? I’m just thinking about all the aperspectival art and it’s hard to see much coherence in there. It all sounds great on paper but where does one see this Coherence you mention?

      • Scott Preston says :

        Coherence is already what ecological thinking and systems thinking exemplify. Each part of the system is not seen as isolated, but as articulations of the whole. The motto “unity with diversity”, which attempts to capture the gist of ecological and systems thought focusses on relations between elements of the whole and not on the separated or isolated fragments of the whole. The parts, as such, are now seen as articulations of an underlying wholeness which makes coherence explicit and manifest. So, it’s all about relations between things and not things as such.

        This is also true of field theory in quantum mechanics (Bohmian Mechanics for example). The particles are now secondary, not primary “stuff” as such, but articulations of an underlying wholeness which makes coherence possible.

        Coherence is a matter of harmonious relations between the parts that Gebser refers to as “systasis”, which is quite akin to bodily homeostasis. A healthy body is in the state of coherence, which means the various organic functions of the body are in sympathetic relationship. Death, after all, is officially described as “homeostatic failure”, which means the body decoheres. It loses coherence.

        • TheOakofNormal says :

          Alot of what you mean by coherence here seems more like holographic thinking or are they interchangable? I like the body analogy that makes more sense. I’ve read a ton of the deep ecology stuff and not sure what to think about it or the results it’s getting. I get first internals then externals obviously, but I’m just getting more and more allergic to “theory” lately.

          • Scott Preston says :

            *Theoria* just means “a way of looking”. That means, a way of perceiving. So, your way of perceiving may be aligned with reality as it is, or it may focus on only very narrow sectors of reality as prescribed by the theory. A theory tells you not just where to look, but how to look.

            So quite correctly, Gebser thinks a “universal way of looking at things” is much more to be desired than the sectoralised way of looking at things, which even David Bohm says results in fragmentation and decoherence of reality.

            Much to be said about the meaning of “theoria”. But that should probably be in a regular post. In any case, it’s connected with the monologue we conduct with ourselves from dawn to dusk that instructs us how to see the world and how we are to relate to it. Thus, the aspiration for “silent mind” as the position from which we begin to see how this monologue controls and regulates our perception and our thinking, and what we consider important to perceive and to think about, and how to perceive it and how to think about it.

            • TheOakofNormal says :

              Appreciate the insight, Scott. I guess my feeling is theory (I understand Perception is not about what one looks at rather where one looks from) fits in with in-formation and it seems Awareness can see things how they really are without bringing all the linguistic baggage with it. I know words can only take us so far and that’s built in. It just seems like there is an innate simplicity in all this complexity like as a species we are kind of psyching ourselves out and need to learn to get out of our own way. I haven’t read any buddhism maybe I’m just talking about is-ness or however it’s put there. I would really enjoy to read more on theoria, how if we are bound to just live in our constructs what kinds do we want and deserve to live in. How beautiful theories could manifest a beautiful world to live in opposite of how our false ones are now currently creating hell on Earth. Theory connected to theology is interesting come to think of it how scientism became modern man’s new religion in a way.

            • InfiniteWarrior says :

              It just seems like there is an innate simplicity in all this complexity like as a species we are kind of psyching ourselves out and need to learn to get out of our own way.

              I tend to think of it as innate elegance.

              What’s largely missing from our “holographic thinking?” Recognition of the accompanying ‘musical score,’ perhaps? “The Mother” of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram appears to have heard and felt it; Rosenstock-Huessy appears to heard and felt it.

              I’ve attempted to point out in the past that people are spontaneously and naturally ‘gravitating’ toward the holistic; movements and thought “nobody planned,” as Deborah Frieze put it; regardless of affiliation with this or that “party” or “platform.”

              People are sick to death of those who would jerk us around and “battle” with one another in an attempt to “win” our hearts and minds and — I honestly do believe — quite naturally gravitating toward those who don’t.

            • Scott Preston says :

              While on the subject of coherence, Daniel Christian Wahl’s description of “whole systems thinking” fits the bill…

              “Six Questions About Whole Systems Thinking”


            • TheOakofNormal says :

              I was thinking about that earlier this week how the holistic movement does seem to have a magnet in it attracting folks from all spheres be it left or right and also seems to transcend the money divide as well. When “the integral community” is referred to on here what exactly is that? Just disparate parts mostly scattered about online and a few other think tanks/organizations or is it more organized than that? It does seem to hold the potential to transcend many of the issues separating people and even could have a differences are strength element built into it as well.

            • InfiniteWarrior says :

              When “the integral community” is referred to on here what exactly is that?

              I’m probably the only one who has referred to an “integral community,” but usually in reference to an “integral community” that actually isn’t all that integral (at least, not yet), but seems to me to have developed a superiority complex of some degree from what I believe both a misunderstanding of Gebser’s work, which has been written about in these pages many times over the years, and a grafting on of Wilber’s own “Cartesian model,” which also has been written about here. Thus, the “scary quotes,” as BJS calls them. 🙂 The term itself is a bit ambiguous as there appears to be a danger lurking there that may actually be indicative of a potential “deficient mode” of what Gebser calls “integral consciousness.”

              Scott tends to call the particular community I have in mind,”Wilberites,” after Ken Wilber and his huge fan following. It’s a wonderful community, complete with an Institute, and no one downplays Wilber’s and others’ insights that I’ve seen so much as takes exception to the more dubious. The word, “integral,” in that community often doesn’t reflect the meaning of Gebser’s “integral,” however, which is probably why some of us are enthusiastic about the reception of Jeremy Johnson’s book, Seeing Through the World; Cynthia Bourgeault’s recent posts on the subject; etc. Gebser’s original meaning appears to be catching on both within the “integral community” and elsewhere.

              We’ve discussed a number of influences that potentially can or have distorted Gebser’s own vision of “unfolding” consciousness structures, presenting it instead as a vision of “levels”or “stages” of evolution or development, which is not surprisingly where that superiority complex tends to come in.

              When I speak of people gravitating toward the holistic, regardless of affiliation, I have in mind the more nebulous “movements” which, as noted, Deborah Frieze characterizes as having been planned by no one in particular, but which appear to be taking on form and expression nonetheless.

              PS Do you see and hear what I see and hear in the short film linked above: a somewhat subconscious expression of the breaking apart (or full-on atomization) and momentary coming together of the “Two Cultures,” “hemispheres,” Yin and Yang, heart and mind, etc.? Or am I hallucinating when I note that they “break apart” on walking bridge; momentarily come together — first from a rather stark image of an individual isolated in the wilderness, then moving into the two taking notice of each other, and — after a rather awkward moment — beginning to move together as one and as naturally as can be?

              Probably hallucinating. A short film about a completely different subject couldn’t be a near-perfect reflection of what is going on in the world. Could it?

            • InfiniteWarrior says :

              Here’s a little something I’ve shared before that I consider another good example of the “Two Cultures” coming together after a long separation, but nowhere near as consciously and conscientiously as they could be as one is subconsciously(?) attempting to take over the other…like the left and right brain hemispheres of McGilchrist fame.

        • TheOakofNormal says :

          Thanks for clarifying that for me IW:)

          That was a well done beautiful little film, made me think of that Nietzsche quote, “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” I don’t have a subscription so couldn’t read that article looks like something I’d be really interested in though.

  10. Scott Preston says :

    Decent article on civilisational collapse.

  11. Steve says :

    “We know now that a man can read Goethe or Rilke in the evening, that he can
    play Bach and Schubert, and go to his day’s work at Auschwitz in the
    ― George Steiner

    • steve says :

      ” But ecstasy has a surprise in store for us: in the most acute objectivity; the self experiences the fervent and passionate intensification of its own powers. Intuition, which is as lucid as instinct, is as unconscious as the intellect. We owe it the acute consciousness of ourselves and not, as frivolous minds have written, the torpor of the senses. In rapture, mystics experience the paradoxical exaltation of their self, in the unifying extroversion, they experience the heat of contemplation. In a singular derision, the intellect, which would devour the whole universe if it could, only manages to wear out our person little by little. Yet the mind that condescends to the given and deepens it by forgetting its self will find itself: it will be altogether face to face with itself and one on one with the object, altogether alone and, as Plotinus says, ” alone with the alone” ( monous pros monon).”

      From Henri Bergson by Vladimir Jankelevitch

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      “Galactic Federation” is all over Twitter and Facebook both. Loving the Star Trek memes, of course, but the first thing to pop to mind was actually this. We’ve seen this movie before.

  12. Steve says :

    “The central idea of the Eastern Fathers was that of theosis, the divinization of all creatures, the transfiguration of the world, the idea of the cosmos and not the idea of personal salvation…Only later Christian consciousness began to value the idea of hell more than the idea of the transfiguration and divinization of the world…The Kingdom of God is the transfiguration of the world, the universal resurrection, a new heaven and a new earth.”
    — Nikolai Berdyaev

    • TheOakofNormal says :

      This guy is great, he had such a gift for oration and was hilarious. I’m currently reading The Immortality Key and it’s very in line with Terence’s work. The writer of it was just on Joe Rogan’s show and glad to see this type of “fringe” knowledge starting to get mainstream attention.

  13. Steve says :

    “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.


    • John says :

      Ginger is ace 2 inhibitor and prevents covid. Stephen Harrod Buhner the master herbalist has a preventative herbal protocol and a protocol for acute infection. I remember he recommended applying essential oil of bay leaf to masks as it inhibits all corona viruses and is safe to breathe.

  14. steve says :

    What did Edgar Cayce say about the origin of human beings while in trance? The Fall came from the materialization of higher spiritual beings into matter. This limited their consciousness and trapped them in the material plane (matter). I also do believe he said those beings ate something on the earth which made their etheric-type bodies more coarse, and they could not longer leave this plane of existence. I tried to find that quote in my old Cayce books but couldn’t, so maybe someone can confirm it for us.

  15. Steve says :

    What does Buddhism say?

    Shakyamuni Buddha actually explained to his high stage students, with samadhi and clairvoyance and other superpowers, that our human ancestors were beings from the Abhasvarah (Sound and Light Heaven) within the Form Realm. Their bodies were made of light, which we can call highly refined spiritual essence for this dialogue. Once they visited this earth, these beings kept eating of it (I believe the taste was salty) and consequently their bodies became heavy and they couldn’t return. This was the start of human life on this planet, though the story of pre-Ice Age beings is yet another tale.

    What about the first origins of the beings of the Abhasvarah heaven? They themselves had originally come from the Formless Realm heavens. And the Formless Realm beings? Buddha refused to discuss this because it would fall into theorizing into the origin of the first being; Buddha refused to talk about such things not because he didn’t now, but because they don’t lead to cultivation progress. It just leads to more and more questions and arguments rather than any spiritual achievements. Go ahead and memorize all you want and see where that’s going to get you.

  16. Steve says :

    “Matter is indeed infinitely and incredibly refined. To anyone who has ever looked on the face of a dead child or parent the mere fact that matter could have taken for a time that precious form, ought to make matter sacred ever after. … That beloved incarnation was among matter’s possibilities.”

    William James

  17. Scott Preston says :

    Received this comment to an older post yesterday and thought I would promote it to the Chrysalis readership. It’s from a gentleman named “Christian Roy”.

    Dear Scott Preston,
    I see Ellul’s name cropping up in some recent posts. As it happens, I am on the board of the International Jacques Ellul Society, albeit less as an Ellul scholar than a Charbonneau scholar, having known quite well this intellectual mentor of Ellul on social issues like Technique. I recently gave a long interview trying to introduce Charbonneau to English-speakings seekers of alternative paths (, in which I not only compared their tandem to that of Rosenzweig and Rosenstock (one largely obscured by the somewhat less obscure other!), but referred to you by name when (15 :30-19 :50, esp. 19 :00) asked to list three thinkers whose imaginary conversation I would like to listen in to : I answered that through the Chrysalis that ideal conversation was actually taking place between Rosenstock-Huessy, Gebser and McLuhan -whom I discussed alongside Ellul and Charbonneau on Technique in an interview by Jonathan Pageau last year (with a follow-up on McLuhan alone this fall). I suggested that this tandem differs from that trio in the dialectical rather than integral nature of its thinking, by which I did not mean a dialectics of thesis-antithesis-synthesis but a living tension between irreducible poles : Kierkegaard vs. Hegel. It might be worth exploring the place of such an existential dialectic in relation to integral thinking, the connection likely to be found through Rosenstock-Huessy, another thinker on which I work as a scholar. (I am barely scratching the surface of Gebser since I started following you and reading his book last summer.) All this by way of (beyond this shout-out between kindred spirits) dutifully bringing to your attention and that of your followers this e-mail I recently received, including a call to help maintain and promote ERH’s legacy : An end-of-the-year letter from the Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Fund Ray Huessy To:ERHS Mon., Dec. 7 at 10:44 p.m.
    Dear Friends of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy:
    2020 has been a terrible year. For us, it brought the deaths of Harold Stahmer, who spent a scholarly lifetime as the public face of Rosenstock-Huessy scholarship in the U.S., and of Eckart Wilkens, the long-time president of Germany’s Eugen-Rosenstock-Huessy-Gesellschaft. But it also brought new momentum to projects that the Fund has been considering for some time.

    At our ZOOM Annual Meeting this July, the Fund board agreed to work with the Gesellschaft to find a permanent home for Lise van der Molen’s unrivaled collection of printed material related to Rosenstock-Huessy; when the board met again in November, we made three further commitments:

    • Lise’s collection contains practically every piece ever written about Rosenstock-Huessy as well materials by and about his Dutch and German friends, including Franz Rosenzweig, Rudolf and Hans Ehrenberg, and Joseph Wittig. It may rightly take a place next to the material that Rosenstock-Huessy himself donated to the Bethel Institute (now held in the archives of Westphalia’s Lutheran church) and the Rosenstock-Huessy archive at Dartmouth, as one of great collections on Rosenstock-Huessy’s life and work.
    • The board voted to make all of Rosenstock-Huessy’s American lectures searchable on the Fund website (as his unpublished work, and all his German works, already are). We have hired the team that added the “read and search” function to the website to make the change; the lectures should be available for search by the end of the year.
    • The board further voted to proceed with the publication of Konrad von Moltke’s translation of Rosenstock-Huessy’ 1951 collection of essays, Der Atem des Geistes, into English. Konrad’s manuscript has been retyped, and we have hired Frances Huessy to compare the original and electronic versions to make sure that the editor we hire will be working from a manuscript that is complete and accurate.
    • The board also voted to add Ulrike von Moltke’s transcriptions of the letters Eugen and Margrit Rosenstock-Huessy wrote each other during the years that Franz Rosenzweig wrote her the so-called “Gritli Letters” to that page of the website. Ulrike’s transcriptions are being reformatted for the website and we hope they will be available later in the new year. Those letters (and others not yet transcribed) will also form the basis of Raymond Huessy’s English-language edition of the triangular correspondence between Franz Rosenzweig and Eugen and Margrit Rosenstock-Huessy.
    The Fund operates on a shoe-string these days. Most of the major donors who have supported us since our founding in 1973 are no longer with us—indeed, there are now few people alive who knew Rosenstock-Huessy in the flesh.

    We have made these commitments in faith, faith at least in part in the generosity of those who may not have known the man, but who have met and loved his work. Checks may be made payable to the ERH Fund and mailed either to me at the address below, or to our treasurer, Lynn K. Jones, at 1226½ State Street #5, Santa Barbara, CA 93105. You may also contribute on the website, at

    If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me—and if you can think of anyone who might be interested in our work, or interested in supporting it, please feel free to pass this letter along to them.

    Thank you.

    Willem Leenman
    president, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Fund
    523 Main Road
    West Haven, VT 05743-9809


  18. Scott Preston says :

    The “Moral Compass”

    via GIPHY

    • Steve says :

      Reading that email from Christian Roy it hit me in a big way this morning the huge and important and insightful thinkers you discus on this blog.
      Jacques Ellul, Rosenstick Huessy, Jean Gebser, Marshall McLuhan, William Blake, Friedrich Nietzsche, Lewis Mumford, on and on and on. So glad I found this web-site Scott. The Promethean will and genius of all these great minds
      encourage what human destiny may yet become. Heraclitus said, “Do not listen
      to me, but to the Word and confess that all things are one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: