The Hammer and the Anvil
We are getting hammered by cascading crises at our “end of history”, aren’t we?
Despite Fukuyama’s discredited thesis (mostly the production of wishful thinking), there is nonetheless the sense of an ending. It brings to mind a piece I posted long ago in the old defunct Dark Age Blog — the predecessor to the present Chrysalis — about our being seemingly stuck between the Hammer of God and the Anvil of the Earth. Jean Gebser, of course, enjoins us not to focus too much attention on the ending of things as much as on the beginning — on the seedlings sprouting amidst the ruins and detritus of the old order. The path of the hammer and the anvil is the form of a transition to a new consciousness structure as long as do not succumb to the “maelstrom of blind anxiety”, as he put it, that attends this transition, but which is unfortunately everywhere in evidence today. And that is why I retired The Dark Age Blog and launched The Chrysalis.
I regret, now, that this earlier post is no longer accessible.
The Hammer and Anvil is, of course, a metaphor for the experience of extreme stress and pressure and trauma. The alchemist’s crucible is even more appropriate — the site of the transmutation of the ignoble element into the noble element, such as lead into gold. Either works as a metaphor for the transitional era we are passing through. You might also refer to that is the evolutionary intelligence or even as the descent of Aurobindo’s “supramental consciousness” into manifestation. In any case, it should have occurred to you by now that this Modern Age is passing away along with its particular mode of consciousness and its sense of identity — an identity that was and remains, in any case, “deficient” in realisation and expression, as Jean Gebser argues in his book The Ever-Present Origin. It was and is an identity that is estranged and alienated from its source in “the vital centre”, which is the real meaning of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, as we’ve noted frequently in past posts — an identity that is alienated from “Truth-Consciousness” — the state we have identified as “narcissism”.
I’m near concluding the final pages of A. H. Almaas’s The Point of Existence: Transformations of Narcissism in Self-Realization, and what a trip that has been! — a fabulously lucid account of narcissism and the steps necessary to overcoming it so that we are restored to our authentic “Essential Identity”, which is the Truth-Consciousness or “Essential Being”. I very highly commend this book to those who wish to deepen their understanding of what Jean Gebser means by the “deficient mode” of functioning of the current consciousness structure (also known as “civilisation”). This transformation of narcissism into authentic self-realisation befits the metaphor we have deployed here of the Hammer and the Anvil, or the alchemist’s transmutation of the elements.
That’s it. A very short posting today, the principal aim of which was to draw your attention to A.H. Almaas if you aren’t already familiar with his “Diamond Mind” approach — an allusion to the multi-dimensional, multi-faceted aspects of awareness that is so crucial also to understanding and gaining insight into Gebser’s own “integral consciousness”.