Transpersonal Intersubjectivity

I’ve just been reading Christopher Bache’s book “Dark Night, Early Dawn,” and he, not unlike Christian de Quincey in his book “Radical Nature,” argues that the interpersonal and collective dimensions of spiritual experience have been paid too little attention. Taking intersubjectivity into consideration requires a return to our embodied experience as beings embedded in a world among others.

They both recognize the tendency for New Age thinkers to reject the atomistic/mechanistic model of nature and in the very next breath operate within the same Cartesian paradigm to explain how the individual soul exists apart from and survives the death of the material body. Bache describes the transpersonal experiences generated by his psychdelic practice (and the collective testimony of thousands of other practitioners) to argue for an understanding of the soul not as a private and distinct personality whose essence might change bodies like clothing, operating independently of some form of energetic embeddedness in an environment (ie, a body), but as that inner aspect shared by all embodied forms that is itself formless. Ultimately, there is one body, one organism: the cosmos itself.

Bache does not deny reincarnation, however. He just points out that it has both temporal and spatial dimensions. Temporal reincarnation involves the continuous passing on of some form of experience from lifetime to lifetime. Spatial reincarnation involves the simultaneous sharing of a transpersonal level of experience between still living organisms.

For there to be a truly post-modern transpersonal theory (ie, a transpersonal reformulation of the Modern ontology separating mind from matter as two entirely distinct substances), we need to develop a system of thought and means of lingusitic expression that recognizes the inherent interpenetration of spirit with matter. We are not ghosts in machines, but conscious organisms arising out of and returning to a single formless field of potential.

On a practical level, a post-atomistic transpersonal theory (or spiritual worldview) requires recognizing the co-arising nature of one’s identity. Enlightenment is not a solitary, but a collective achievement–in the same way that your consciousness is not an immaterial ghost in possession of a physical body, but the cooperative unification of trillions of cells. An individual person may realize their essential oneness with all that is in a moment of private revery, but to participate with the rest of the species in the continual unfolding of time, they must acquiesce to the general drift of the group movement, even if they attempt to persuade it toward peace and beauty. Otherwise they risk cruxification, which may be an option for some. The point remains that karma is collective. Transcending it is a social as much as an individual task.

And Night Forgives Day

Snowflakes unique
Come to rest
Upon pristine mountain peaks.

Melting under the weight of gravity
And a fear of the sun,

Through thousands of creekbeds
And rapid rivers they’ll run,

Many streams returning to
One ocean,
An ever-stretching sea
Of unchosen destiny.

Back on top,
As clouds prepared to drop,
Perfect crystals danced
Divine diamond spirals,
Each especially spun
By careful chemical choices.

Life always falls,
But death is forever
There to catch her.

Like the tears of the sky
Wiped dry by
The lifting light of the sun,
The dead will rise again
As morning shines,
To smile on faces familiar.

Light forgives dark,
and so night follows day.

The many become one.

The many.

Seeing With Teilhard: Evolution and the Within of Things


“Like the meridians as they approach the poles, science, philosophy and religion are bound to converge as they draw nearer to the whole.” –Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man, p. 30

“To see and to make others see” (p. 31)—such is the mission of Teilhard’s masterwork, The Human Phenomenon. But what is it he wishes for us to see? Condensed to its essence, it is the “whole which unfolds,” (p.35). The whole he speaks of is the cosmos, whose unfolding is the process of evolution. Catching sight of this cosmogenesis, for Teilhard, requires facing not only its myriad surfaces—its material aspect, but also its unified interior—its spiritual aspect.

What kind of seeing is it, though, that reveals not only the surfaces of things, but also their within?

This question forms the axis around which the current essay will revolve. Entangled with this question is a further one: does evolution, as we see it, have a purpose, “an absolute direction of growth” (Writings in Time of War, p. 32); or, as is commonly held by most intellectuals, is it merely the meaningless playing out of chance and necessity? These dual uncertainties—how the within is to be seen and whether evolution has an aim—are intimately related. We cannot comprehend the latter until we have gazed into the heart of the former. We must “focus our eyes correctly” (The Human Phenomenon, p. 33) so that the haze separating each reveals a harmony concealed beneath.

“The whole of life lies in that verb,” says Teilhard of seeing (ibid., p. 31). His answers to the questions posed above are careful and deliberate, as he tries his utmost to avoid only seeing half the problem: evolution is “a consciousness gradually waking by way of countless fumblings,” (The Vision of the Past, p. 181). Teilhard admits, with the materialists, that chance has undoubtedly played a role in the unfolding of the cosmos. But this cannot be all, for “the world does not hold together ‘from below’ but from ‘above,’” (Christianity and Evolution, p. 113). The process of waking up is a movement from lesser to fuller being, from isolation to closer union (The Human Phenomenon, p. 31). “Union,” says Teilhard, “increases only through an increase in consciousness, that is to say in vision,” (ibid.). The trend of evolution is a growth toward awareness and richer sight, “trying everything so as to find everything” (ibid., p. 110). The end of this groping process is an embracing of each by All, and All by each.

For Teilhard, “the most telling and profound way of describing the history of the universe would undoubtedly be to trace the evolution of love” (Human Energy, p. 33), defined as “the affinity of being with being” (The Human Phenomenon, p. 264). This is, of course, a mystic’s view of cosmic evolution, a story of the e-motion of spirit from initial fragmentation into ultimate communion. The typical positivist story, in contrast, concerns itself only with locomotion, with the collision of particles and their exchange of physical forces. The universe as studied by this kind of science is viewed as a machine, having everything to do with the determinisms of matter and nothing whatever to do with the spontaneities of thinking and feeling. The latter two qualities, usually only associated with human consciousness (or at most the consciousness of animals), have been deemed by materialist science “queer exceptions,” “aberrant functions,” and “an epiphenomenon” (ibid., p. 55).

From Teilhard’s point of view, there can be no single and coherent explanation of the totality of the cosmos if human consciousness is considered “an erratic object in a disjointed world” (ibid., p. 34). “Man, in nature, is a genuine fact falling within the scope of the requirements and methods of science” (ibid.). This, for Teilhard, is the reason why the within of things, and all that it entails, must become visible to science. Nature becomes conscious in the knowing scientist, in the one who sees. The within can no longer be ignored once the scientist has reflected upon being human, on “the object of a direct intuition and the substance of all knowledge” (ibid., p. 55).

But science, since Immanuel Kant’s critique of the organ of knowing, has become the measurement of phenomena, of the movement of matter as it appears to the mind through the senses (or their extensions). Knowledge of things themselves has been deemed impossible, as the knowing subject is experienced as an alien presence in the world, having access to reality only by way of the outward facing senses. For this reason, the scientific establishment has primarily focused only on the external, empirical aspect of nature. What goes on within things, the place where value and meaning grow, has been deemed too intangible to admit into science. Though Teilhard calls his attempt to “make others see” a purely scientific project, his phenomenology nonetheless reaches beyond mere appearances to the within of things themselves. By attempting to place human consciousness “within the framework of phenomenon and appearance” (ibid., p. 31), Teilhard is turning the mirror upon the act of knowing itself. In this way, he hopes to “break through and go beyond appearances” (Letters from a Traveler, p. 70) to the very source of our seeing.

Teilhard’s is a science of science, an attempt to see how it is that sight is possible at all. We must explore exactly how this way of seeing differs from the empiricism of the typical scientist.

Part 1: Science and Seeing

To fully appreciate the established meaning of empiricism for the scientific enterprise, we must briefly review the history of thought since the 17th century. Although not himself an empiricist, probably the most influential figure of this era was Rene Descartes. His dualism between the thinking and extended substances, or between mind and matter, was crucial for the further development of science and technology. Viewing matter, even organic forms, as essentially mechanical allowed science to measure, and thereby master, most of the external world. Unfortunately, hewing such an ontological rift between the mind and the body (and its senses), when taken to its logical conclusions, lead David Hume to argue that much of what we assume we immediately observe through our senses is actually a latter construction of perception.

The world itself, according to Hume’s skeptical brand of empiricism, shows us mere patches of sensation that come to have meaning only after perception has ordered them. But even then, because our inner world is only composed of a selfless bundle of perceptions derived from barren sense data, we can never be sure that any of our beliefs about the world are true. The value of our beliefs and actions rests purely on custom. Based on sensory experience alone, Hume could find no reason to believe in the reality of a necessary connection between any two events taken in isolation. Both the ontological status of causality and the theoretical validity of induction were thereby called into serious doubt. This left science, and the pursuit of knowledge generally, in a rather tight spot. The only option was positivism, wherein “the task of science is explained to be merely the formulation of observed identities of pattern persistent and recurrent in each stream of experience,” (Adventures of Ideas, p. 125). A science that only reveals persistent patterns of experience can still lead to technological innovation, but it fails to satisfy the human desire to understand what the patterns mean. In other words, positivism doesn’t hinder progress in the practical realm of engineering; but by assuming a gap exists between knowledge and the thing known, it makes a deep intuitive and participatory understanding of reality impossible. Kant recognized the enormity of this problem, and his ingenious solution was to examine the mind itself, the instrument of knowledge, in order to discover the inviolable principles that ground the findings of science on something more than mere assumption. Kant argued that reality necessarily appears to us already ordered by certain a priori forms of intuition, such as space and time. Causality is similarly a necessary principle structuring our judgment. Without these structuring principles, knowledge of the world would be impossible, as the world itself is unknowable. It is here that Kant agrees with Hume. Where he differs is in his assessment of the knowing subject, which he views as more than a mere bundle of perceptions, but as a transcendental unity out of which the whole phenomenal world is projected.

Though each of these philosophers is quite different, a common strand of thought runs through each of them: the ultimate separation of mind from matter. For Descartes, thought and the body were entirely distinct; in Hume, a similar dualism arose as the uncertain relation between the diversity of sensory impressions and the apparent unity of perception; for Kant, it became the gap between phenomenal experience and reality itself. The trend in this series of thinkers is toward greater isolation from the cosmos as a result of further retreat into solipsism. Although Teilhard no doubt inherits his general understanding of the scope of science from these philosophers, his own approach is quite unique.

As Thomas King says,

“In placing man [in the framework of phenomenon and appearance] Teilhard does not mean the flat veneer of colors that strike the retinas. Rather he wants to show the meaning that haloes man when he is placed in the context of a vast cosmic movement,” (Teilhard’s Mysticism of Knowing, p. 46).

Teilhard sees more than the bare sensory impressions of Hume. His vision of the cosmos is one where every body (whether atomic, molecular, cellular, etc.) has an “internal propensity to unite,” (The Human Phenomenon, p. 264). The meaning of our perceptions is in the movement of things themselves, as “the subject is unquestionably no longer the human monad, but the world,” (Toward the Future, p. 50). In other words, instead of cutting the mind off from reality, Teilhard nearly identifies the two by showing that one can come to know the world only “by being co-extensive with it,” or by “becoming to some degree one body with it,” (Christianity and Evolution, p. 61, 100).

Though he goes to great lengths to assure the reader in The Human Phenomenon that the theory he lays out therein is not a work of metaphysics, a case can be made that Teilhard is turning the typical scientific approach on its head. In stead of bare and meaningless sensory impressions (patches of color, shapes, etc.) being the most primitive form of experience from which all our knowledge is derived, he recognizes within the human being a “Cosmic Sense,” or feeling of deep connection between what is interior and personal, and what is exterior and supposedly impersonal. The human being is “the universe…become conscious of itself” (Human Energy, p. 102). A kind of non-sensuous perception is produced by the whole history of the universe coiling up or folding in upon itself within each individual. But this is not “a solitary introspection in which things are only looked upon as being shut in upon themselves in their ‘immanent’ workings” (The Human Phenomenon, p. 53). Rather, every granule is constituted “by that which is commonly called the ‘beyond it’ rather than by its center,” (Let me Explain, p. 185). In other words, the immanence of the feeling of the within is part of a perpetual movement, or transience, which takes the granule in question beyond itself “to become part of a growing common movement of life,” (King, p. 26).

Teilhard might be said to be correcting a “fallacy of misplaced concreteness” (as A.N. Whitehead called it) in the thinking of Descartes, Hume, and Kant. Instead of seeing the world only as it appears through the highly conceptualized, abstraction-prone mind of the philosopher, he returns to the concreteness of experience itself, “to the deepest recesses of the blackness within” (ibid., p. 92). He discovers there that “It is through that which is most incommunicably personal in us that we make contact with the universal” (Christianity and Evolution, p. 97-98).

This is not to say that we ought to discount the sensory knowledge offered us by traditional science—quite the contrary. Teilhard recognizes the important role played by the without, as until one has “[proceeded] out of himself into the immensity and dangers of the universe, onto the ‘sacred circumference,’” one cannot really feel the awakening within of the Cosmic Sense. Though it is difficult if not impossible to visualize, one can begin to feel through the process of going out of oneself to find one’s true center by imagining a circle of infinite circumference. Because its circumferal edge would appear nearly straight, an interesting paradox takes shape: the interior and exterior of such a circle would be, for all intents and purposes, identical. In this way, it is possible to begin to see how the mind, or the within of things, is co-extensive with the without. Knowledge isn’t so much of the world as it is with the world. The assumption that true knowledge is a pure and objective model of reality lead Descartes et al. to abstract the act of knowing (the mind) out of the network of relationships constituting it (nature). Teilhard, in contrast, sees how “Object and subject marry and mutually transform each other in the act of knowledge” (The Human Phenomenon, p. 32). Teilhard’s is a participatory epistemology, while the typical scientific approach is to remain as distant from the thing known as possible.

This admittedly mystical way of relating mind to matter by bridging the gap between the within and the without only became possible once the theory of evolution had been articulated. Only in a universe in process—a cosmogenesis—can one can begin to see how subject and object “hold together and are complementary” (ibid., p. 63). Teilhard proposes that “all energy is psychic in nature,” though he adds that this energy has two distinct components: tangential, or mechanical energy; and radial, or spiritual energy. Rather than conflict, these two energies combine to give rise to Teilhard’s explicitly teleological evolutionary cosmology. But before exploring his adaptation of the evolutionary paradigm, its origins must briefly be recounted.

Part 2: Transformism: Darwin and Lamarck

Although Darwin is usually credited with having discovered the theory of evolution, he rarely if ever used the word. In fact, “evolution” never appears in The Origin of Species (until the 6th edition) or in The Descent of Man (Gilson, p. 49). Evolution, from the Latin evolvere, means “the un-rolling of the in-rolled, the de-velopment of the en-veloped,” (Gilson, p. 50). Until at least the mid 19th century, evolution was usually discussed by naturalists only in reference to what is today called ontogenesis, or the development of an individual from a preformed seed or egg (Gilson, p.51). The main problem was how to account for the development of individual living beings without violating the theological truth that God’s act of creation took place only once. This early doctrine of evolution held that every developing organism was merely the “unrolling of something already given” (Gilson, p. 50). The notion that species themselves changed in any way over time was not considered.

The theory of evolution familiar to most 21st century students of biology, while being prefigured in the speculative writing of Descartes, Comte de Buffon, and Kant did not gain widespread acceptance until Lamarck and Darwin gave it a more secure theoretical and empirical basis. Better termed “transformism,” the general theory “affirms that animal or vegetable species have changed in the course of time, no matter how these changes are explained” (Gilson, p. 41). Only the proposed mechanism underlying this change separates Darwin and Lamarck, who are otherwise in complete agreement against fixism/creationism.

Lamarck developed his theory in a time when scientists were not concerned that presenting their work in a philosophical manner would in any way discredit them in the eyes of their audience (Gilson, p. 42). Darwin, in contrast, avoided the expansive reasoning characterizing such works, and instead focused only on what could be derived from specific facts. Nonetheless, Lamarck must be credited with having first made the idea of transformism plausible.

In the review of chapter 6 given in the table of contents of his main work, Zoological Philosophy, Lamarck writes:

“…since all living bodies are productions of nature, she must herself have organized the simplest of such bodies, endowed them directly with life, and with the faculties peculiar to living bodies. [And] by means of these direct generations formed at the beginning both of the animal and vegetable scales, nature has ultimately conferred existence on all other living bodies in turn.”

Lamarck, having recognized that species are not fixed essences, but constantly (even if slower than we can directly observe) changing, attempted to explain the reason for the changes in terms of a variation in the surrounding environment. Here, he and Darwin are in agreement. However, Lamarck

“…does not mean that the environment acts directly on the organism, but that it forces the organism to modify itself in order to adapt to the new surroundings” (Gilson, p. 44).

Darwin’s theory of natural selection, in contrast, appeals only to a pre-given environment to explain the changes seen in organisms. The only quality Darwin saw as intrinsic to organisms themselves was the desire to survive and reproduce. Unlike Lamarck, who thought an organism adapted by making “more frequent use of some of its parts which it previously used less, thus greatly [developing] and [enlarging] them” (Zoological Philosophy, p. 235), Darwin attributed little if any evolutionary autonomy to organisms. A change in the form of a species was the result, for Darwin, of a series of random variations selected for by a completely externally imposed and mechanical process.

Lamarck’s attempt to explain evolution by way of acquired characteristics, which are learned within the single lifetime of an individual due to its needs and then passed on to offspring, is without doubt a teleological view of life. It is similar to Aristotle’s understanding of organisms, which

“…working from within by their substantial form, progressively shape their matter according to the type of perfected being which they tend to become” (Gilson, p. 46-47).

Lamarck’s is a view which, while dispensing with the idea of each species having being created ready-made by a transcendent God, instead “has caused the finality of God’s thought to descend into the interior of nature” (Gilson, p. 48-49).

We see here an affinity between the thought of Lamarck and Teilhard, as each sees evolution as a progression motivated by some inner drive toward perfection. Darwin’s theory of natural selection left little room for progress or for an efficacious within helping guide the development of the without, though the mechanism of natural selection he discovered was in no way denied by Teilhard.

The issue is quite simple:

“Rare are those mechanists who admit that there may be teleology in nature, but exceedingly rare—if they have ever existed—are those finalists who deny mechanism and its natural function in natural beings” (Gilson, p. 105).

As was discussed at the end of the last section, Teilhard recognizes two forms of energy at work in nature: tangential and radial. Mechanists, like Darwin, admit only one form of energy, the tangential variety, which of itself knows no direction (other than that given it by the 2nd law of thermodynamics) and desires only to return to equilibrium. It can be explained entirely in terms of efficient causation, without any recourse to finalism. Or at least that is what mechanists suppose, even while, in biology, the adaptationist paradigm attempts to give reasons for the particular traits observed in organisms based on a kind of teleological reasoning.

“Thus it is that, contrary to what we most often imagine, the substance of finalist reasoning is exactly the same as that of mechanist reasoning,” (Gilson, p. 107).

Mechanists, to understand how organisms have adapted purely by way of natural selection, must make use of their own conscious ability to think teleologically. They thereby fall into the trap Teilhard wants to spring them from by separating the human mind from the rest of the natural world.

The biggest problem for Neo-Darwinists is accounting for the presence of consciousness in nature. If evolution can be explained purely in mechanical terms, not only is there no role for consciousness to play, but there is no way to account for how it could have arisen in the first place! This is why Teilhard says, given consciousness is present in human beings, “therefore, half-seen in this one flash of light, it has a cosmic extension, and as such is surrounded by an aura of indefinite spatial and temporal extensions” (The Human Phenomenon, p. 56). If we do not assume that the within of things has such cosmic extension, we are left wondering how a trait such as consciousness (which only deserves the name if it is, in varying degrees, capable of spontaneity) could have been selected for in a biosphere determined entirely by mechanical law. One can of course always resort to saying that consciousness and free will do not exist even in human beings, but such a suggestion is patently absurd unless one has fallen into the most egregious kind of “misplaced concreteness,” putting the abstractions of one’s logic prior to the directly experienced reality of life.

Indeed, what “would the mechanical energies themselves be without some within to feed them?” (ibid., p. 149). Teilhard is at a loss to understand, even from a purely scientific perspective, how the trajectory of evolution, whether cosmic or biological, could progress without accepting some kind of “fundamental impetus” driving it forward from within (ibid.). But again, Teilhard does not deny Darwin’s mechanisms; he merely finds that they alone are incapable of explaining the plain facts.

Teilhard explains:

“In various quarters I shall be accused of showing too Lamarckian a bent in the explanations which follow, of giving an exaggerated influence to the within in the organic arrangement of bodies. But be pleased to remember that, in the ‘morphogenetic’ action of instinct as here understood, an essential part is left to the Darwinian play of external forces and to chance. It is only really through strokes of chance that life proceeds, but strokes of chance which are recognized and grasped—that is to say, psychically selected. Properly understood the ‘anti-chance’ of the Neo-Lemarckian is not the mere negation of Darwinian chance. On the contrary it appears as its utilization. There is a functional complementariness between the two factors; we could call it ‘symbiosis’” (ibid.).

As was discussed at the outset, Teilhard’s evolutionary cosmology is explicitly teleological. He sees that the within of things acts as the impetus driving matter toward greater forms of complexity, which in turn deepens the within and leads to a snowballing of progressively more complexity and consciousness. The impetus from within toward complexity is “driven by the forces of love,” such that “the fragments of the world seek each other, [joined] by what is deepest in themselves” (ibid., p.265). The only remaining question to ask is where this urge toward union is leading. Teilhard, by extrapolating upon what he has seen in the past, foresees a future where the “object of love” is made clear by “… [assuming] a face and a heart, and so to speak [personifying] itself” (ibid., p. 267). What exactly can be said, short of an explicitly theological revelation, about the nature of such an Omega Point?

Part 3: Synchronicity and The Omega Point

As we have seen, consciousness is the very center of Teilhard’s cosmology. “It is impossible to deny,” he says, “that deep within ourselves, an ‘interior’ appears at the heart of beings, as it were seen through a rent” (ibid., p. 56). It was not until the 20th century that our species began to gain the level of self-reflection necessary to truly begin a study of the psyche. The development of depth psychology, beginning with Freud and brought to new heights by Jung, opened up a hitherto unknown world for thought to explore: its own within. In order to better see what Teilhard means by the Omega Point, that “absolutely original center in which the universe reflects itself in a unique and inimitable way” (ibid., p. 261), we will try to relate his thought to that of Jung’s, specifically concerning the collective unconscious and synchronicity.

Teilhard writes of the many “fibers” of instinct “coming up from far below,” each with its own “story to tell of the whole course of evolution” (ibid., p. 180). He sees the human being as having “the essence and the totality of a universe deposited within,” and calls this within the “the inner face of the world” (ibid., p. 95). This “inner face of the world,” we believe, is akin to Jung’s collective unconscious, which could be described as that reservoir of instincts, archetypes, and experiences built up over the entire past evolution of life (and indeed, pre-life ). Teilhard argues that the fibers of this living past also extend into the future, “stretching beyond and above us” (ibid., p. 179) to the goal and summit of the evolutionary journey. Evolution, as Teilhard sees it, is realizing its potential in humanity through greater personalization, not just of the individual, but of the collective. In The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man, Jung writes that “in some way or other we are part of a single, all-embracing psyche, a single ‘greatest man’” (p. 175). We see here the similarity of these two men’s intuitions. But the connections run deeper.

Traditional science, as we discussed above, has not troubled itself with the within of things, as it considered this dimension of reality to be a rare and improbable exception to the natural rule. Teilhard, in contrast, sees consciousness and nature as so interrelated that he wonders if biologists really discovered evolution by studying the outside world, “or quite simply and unconsciously…recognized and expressed themselves in it?” (The Vision of the Past, p. 69). The typical scientist studies nature by way of analysis, which we might identify with the conscious ego’s attempt to colonize the unconscious. Teilhard praises the method, calling it a “marvelous instrument…to which we owe all our advances,” but points out how in “breaking down synthesis after synthesis… [it leaves] us confronted with a pile of dismantled machinery and evanescent particles” (The Human Phenomenon, p. 258). “Modern man,” says Teilhard, “is obsessed by the need to depersonalize all that he most admires” (ibid.). He does this because of the discovery of the “sidereal world, so vast that it seems to do away with all proportion between our own being and the dimensions of the cosmos around us” (ibid.). But rather than feel oneself an isolated ego, trapped in “a prison from which we must try to escape” (ibid.), Teilhard invites us “to discover the universal hidden beneath the exceptional” (ibid., p. 56). By this he means that human consciousness, rather than a fluke, is actually the leading edge of a billion year process rushing toward its final consummation. This is a view of humanity as “the key of the universe” (Christianity and Evolution, p. 105).

It is here that the connection between the Omega Point and synchronicity becomes apparent, as Teilhard appears to be pointing to some kind of acausal coincidence of the within and the without, the human psyche and the cosmos. But before exploring this connection, we must see that when Teilhard refers to “something greater than ourselves moving forward within us and in our midst” (Activation of Energy, p. 392), he is speaking of what Jung would call the archetype of the Self, guiding us from within toward the full realization of our cosmic personhood. The entire groping process of evolution, from simpler to more complex granulations, is guided by the same archetypal energy, as each granule represents a further achievement of wholeness secured by the Self. Of all the archetypes Jung discusses, the Self seems unique in that it emerges not only from the accumulation of past experiences, but appears also to pull the psyche forward into the future, “all the time urging us to overcome unconsciousness” (Aziz, p. 21). Jung writes that the Self “cannot be distinguished empirically from a God-image” (On Synchronicity, pg. 531), which, for Teilhard, is experienced as the image of Christ, the “principle of universal vitality… [directing and superanimating] the general ascent of consciousness” (The Human Phenomenon, p. 294).

We may return now to the question of the connection between Teilhard’s Omega Point and Jung’s principle of synchronicity.

Teilhard asks:

“..what happens when chance directs [our] steps to a point of vantage (a cross-roads, or intersecting valleys) from which, not only in [our] vision, but things themselves radiate?” (ibid., p. 32).

Teilhard is here trying to show us the significance of the current moment of evolution, as human beings begin to become conscious of evolution’s trajectory. This process of waking up—of coming to see—represents the moment when the within and the without cross paths to produce a point of infinite radiance. Once we have come to see the “inner face of the world” by feeling the “presence of the Absolute (the Self),” the synchronistic Omega Point is upon us.

“In that event the subjective viewpoint coincides with the way things are distributed objectively, and perception reaches its apogee. The landscape lights up and yields its secrets. [We] see.” (ibid.).

Jung himself could not have defined synchronicity better himself. But trying to describe what the Omega Point might actually look and feel like is difficult. Luckily, Jung provides us with a wonderful picture of this sense:

“At times I feel as if I am spread out over the landscape and inside things, and am myself living in every tree, in the splashing of the waves, in the clouds and the animals that come and go, in the procession of the seasons” (Memories, Dreams, Reflections, ch.8).

This Omega Point represents, for Teilhard, “the momentary summit of an anthropogenesis which is itself the crown of a cosmogenesis” (The Human Phenomenon, p. 34). As we have seen throughout, the human being, rather than an anomaly, represents the pinnacle and purpose of evolution itself. This realization is a radical shift away from the “science of man as marginal to the universe” (The Vision of the Past, p. 162), where “the scientist himself stands apart from the objects of science” (Human Energy, p. 20). Instead, the scientific gropings of humanity are seen to link up directly as part of a single evolutionary continuum with the gropings of life itself. “Thus man is not seen as alien to the universe; he is seen as integral to it” (King, p. 48).

Teilhard believes that science and religion are “two conjugated faces or phases of one and the same complete act of knowledge—the only one which can embrace the past and the future of evolution so as to contemplate, measure and fulfill them” (The Human Phenomenon, p. 285). Teilhard’s mysticism is scientific, and his science is mystical. Only with such a union of reason and heart is a full appreciation of our cosmos possible, as “the same life animates both” (ibid., p. 284).

“In short,” says Teilhard:

“as soon as science outgrows the analytic investigations which constitute its lower and preliminary stages, and passes on to synthesis—synthesis which naturally culminates in the realization of some superior state of humanity—it is at once led to foresee and place its stakes on the future and on the all” (ibid.).

Works Cited

• Aziz, Robert. C.G. Jung’s Psychology of Religion and Synchronicity. New York: State University of New York Press. 1990.
• Gilson, Etienne. Transl. by John Lyon. From Aristotle to Darwin and Back Again: A Journey in Final Causality, Species, and Evolution. Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. 1984.
• Jung, C. G.
o Memories, Dreams, Reflections. New York: Vintage. 1989.
o The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man. C.W. Vol. 10.
o On Synchronicity. C.W. Vol. 8.
• King, Thomas. Teilhard’s Mysticism of Knowing. New York: The Seabury Press. 1981.
• Lamarck, J.B. Transl. by Hugh Elliot. Zoological Philosophy. New York: Bill Huth Publishing. 2006.
• Teilhard de Chardin.
o Activation of Energy. London: Collins.1978.
o Christianity and Evolution. New York: Harvest. 1974.
o Human Energy. London: Collins. 1969.
o The [Human] Phenomenon. New York: Harper Perennial. 1975.
o Let Me Explain. New York: Harper and Row. 1966
o Letters from a Traveler. New York: Harper. 1962.
o Man’s Place in Nature. New York: Harper and Row. 1956.
o Toward the Future. New York: Harcourt. 1975.
o The Vision of the Past. New York: Harper and Row. 1966.
o Writings in Time of War. London: Collins. 1968.
• Whitehead, Alfred North. Adventures of Ideas. New York: The Free Press. 1967.

On the Nature of Spirit: Masculinity, Femininity, and Human Identity

The philosopher Gregory Bateson has written that the “false reification of the self is basic to the planetary ecological crisis in which we find ourselves.” The rise of Western civilization, whether intentionally or not, has fostered the development of a false identity. Many have come to experience themselves as an abstraction, a disembodied ego whose only contact with the outside world is mediated by frozen, lifeless ideas. This situation, we believe, is the result of a hypermasculinized psyche. In such a psychological climate, feminine proclivities toward relationship and regeneration (rebirth through death), embodiment and compassion are repressed and become atrophied. In their stead, a pathologically individualist, anthropocentric, and life-denying ethos has been adopted, bringing both civilization and the biosphere to the brink of collapse.

This modern crisis, though more painfully obvious to anyone currently living in late industrial society, has deeper roots. Our aim in this essay is not to solve the problem, but to shed light on the direction a solution might take.

The entire history of human religious, philosophical and scientific pursuits, from at least the time of Socrates up to and including most of the 20th century, could be summed up as a quest to know and elevate the rational, unaffected, and pure ideals of spirit above the fragile, erotic, and fleshly nature of life. Put more simply, history is the story of the increasing domination of the feminine by the masculine.

This story is not complete, though. It neglects indigenous and pre-historical humanity, whose aims were not to transcend and control terrestrial life, but to celebrate by participating in its endless seasons of regeneration. But in the West, with the influence of Greek and Hebraic thought, the discovery of the rational intellect/immortal soul has usurped any prior pact with the Great Mother, leading to the rejection of the capricious and frightening unconsciousness of nature in favor of the supposedly ordered and controllable consciousness of culture. This mutation in psychological orientation has today spread across almost the entire planet, evidence of it now radiating out even beyond the edge of the solar system.

This desire for knowledge and spiritual immortality need not be at the expense of life, but in historical fact it has indeed turned out to be. Why this imbalance exists is not clear, but it may stem from an even more primordial source than mentioned above. Perhaps it dates back many thousands of years before the Axial Age to the transition into the Neolithic.

As Erich Neumann reminds us, “[it is] impossible…to understand the early history of mankind from the patriarchal standpoint,” (p. 135). The nascent struggles of the ego toward separation from the uroboric womb arose while humanity was still a matriarchal, goddess worshiping people (Neumann, p. 46-47). The transition from absorption in nature to knowledge of self can be seen playing itself out in Genesis. Adam’s shocking confrontation with his sin represented by the fruit offered he by Eve transformed him from a child into a Man. Before he disobeyed YHWH, he had no conscience, no sense of conflicting with his naked presence in the maternal world. Adam invented history and became

“…the second creator of the world, who alone has given to the world its objective existence—without which, unheard, unseen, silently eating, giving birth, dying, heads nodding through hundreds of millions of years, it would have gone on in the profoundest night of non-being down to its unknown end,” (Jung, p. 49).

It might be hoped for Eve’s sake that history is already reaching its terminus. Only now that her story has been remembered is it possible to begin to heal the split between the World Parents. Unfortunately, thousands of years of Man’s dominion over nature have lead to the above-mentioned impending collapse of climate stability and ecological diversity, potentially forcibly retarding the growth of human civilization and all life on earth. Any attempt to make peace between the ego and unconscious will be partially overshadowed by this violent confrontation with a chaotic planet. There may still be an opportunity to avoid the worst of this violence, but as with most psychological mutations, full inner transformation cannot come to pass unaccompanied by a corresponding shift in the outer world.

Complete disaster may not be required to reverse the Fall severing the human species from the planet and the mind from nature. Peering into the depths of the uneasy relationship between civilization and Gaia helps to reveal the subtle archetypal tensions between masculinity and femininity lying beneath. Recognizing the conflict may allow the psyche to begin the process of arbitration necessary to avoid continued fragmentation and complete catastrophe. The modern self has been forged by a fear of the feminine, compelling it to seek total control over everything and to repress and ignore anything it cannot. Until this fear is overcome, ego and unconscious will remain fundamentally at odds.

It is important to fully appreciate the degree to which the spiritual and scientific tendencies introduced above (desire to transcend impurities of body, etc.) are not simply human. This obscures the fact that they are primarily the obsession of an elite class of scholarly men. Man’s pursuit of pure, disembodied knowledge seems to have changed his relationship with women and the natural world. The current ecological crisis appears to be the result of a repressed psychosexual conflict within and between men and women, and simultaneously a spiritual sickness, an unsteady confrontation of unnecessarily opposed evolutionary ideals.

Human beings are both wounded animals and fledgling angels. Without healing ourselves, it will not be possible for Gaia to nurse herself back to health, nor will it be possible for our species to gain its wings and fulfill its cosmic role. It is important, however, not to view health as a return to a prior state of comfort. The apparently conflicting aims of masculine and feminine energy are the catalysts urging the evolution of the human psyche, and by proxy the mind of Gaia, toward greater glories. As with all crises, this noogenesis is filled with both peril and potential. Retreat into some past state of harmony is impossible, having already gained a conscious knowledge of the future. What has happened cannot be undone—the only option is to move forward.

But before such an evolution is possible, the wound that has been inflicted must be healed through an understanding of its cause.

In her book, Cognition and Eros: A Critique of the Kantian Paradigm, Robin May Schott summarizes the provocative opening lines of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil:

“Supposing that truth is a woman, philosophers have been bumbling and inept in their courtship of truth. If they seek to court truth in a more convincing manner, the opposition they draw between pure truth and sensuous existence, between reason and desire, and between masculinity and femininity, must be transformed” (p. 41-42).

Nietzsche goes on to criticize the “most grievous, protracted, and dangerous” error of philosophy, which he believes is the “invention,” by Plato, of “pure spirit and transcendental goodness” (The Nietzsche Reader, p. 312). Nietzsche puts forth this criticism of Plato for his denial of perspectivity, which Nietzsche sees as “that fundamental condition of all life” (ibid.). Each of us is situated, not only in particular a body, but also in a particular time and place. The ideas we have about the world are very often “foreground evaluations, temporary perspectives, viewed from out of a corner perhaps, or up from underneath, a perspective from below…” (ibid., p. 313).

This lack of appreciation for perspectivity led Plato to assume that the relations between men and women holding sway in Athens during his lifetime were universal, going so far as to describe, in Timaeus, the creation of woman as a secondary accident arising because a few members of the original “superior race” of men, after having their souls implanted in their bodies, became cowardly and unrighteous. As a result, their impure bodies having gotten the best of them, they became female (Schott, p. 5).

This kind of blatant sexual prejudice comes out not only through the denigration of women, but in distaste for the body. Plato, in the Symposium, has Diotima tell Socrates that philosophical love is pure, “unsullied, unalloyed, and freed from the mortal taint that haunts the frailer…flesh and blood” (p. 211e).

Schott makes clearer the tie between women and the body in Greek thought:

“…women represented the pollution associated with the body and sexuality because of their role in giving birth to life, which brings with it the threat of death” (p. 43).

This connection between the body, women, and reproduction has played a crucial role in the psychological and spiritual motives underlying man’s denial of mortality and desire to transcend the natural context of his conscious existence. The conscious ego is in the precarious situation of knowing both the potential of immortality and the actuality of death, which becomes inevitable the moment it is born from the womb of a woman as a body. The body itself, for the un-integrated ego, is experienced more as a tomb than as a vessel of life.

We cannot simply demonize this desire to rebel against the natural way, however. As Jung reminds us: “It is just man’s turning away from instinct—his opposing himself to instinct—that creates consciousness,” (p. 72-73). There is a value to consciousness, and the culture that comes with it, which cannot be denied. Our task is more complex than simply washing away the emotional sedimentation acquired through thousands of years of patriarchal domination of the psyche. Questioning some of the philosophical assumptions we have inherited is of vital importance, but our goal is to make room for both culture and nature, not merely to return to an instinctual and unconscious absorption in the natural course of events. To do so would only reverse the imbalance of our current situation.

The problem is not whether to embrace a wholly feminine or masculine psychic make-up, but to marry the two such that each enlivens and stimulates the best in the other. Our species has thus far failed to balance the dynamic relationship between these archetypes: early pre-historical goddess worshipping societies practiced human sacrifice, thereby overemphasizing our debt to the earth (Radical Ecology, p. 127), while our modern scientific worldview, shaped at an archetypal level by the patriarchal assumptions of monotheistic religion and Greek philosophy, has lead to isolation from and objectification of the planet and even our own bodies. Scientific materialism gives us the impression that we are not of this universe, but are some kind of freak statistical anomaly, strangers in a strange land.

Where did this imbalance come from, and how did it ever become so extreme? Perhaps a short exploration of the origins of consciousness will help us gain our bearings.

The rise of the conscious ego can be traced back to the discovery (by men or by women, we cannot say) of the link between sex and birth. Prior to this realization, “it is not the man who is father to the child,” but rather, “the miracle of procreation springs from God,” who was seen as closely related to the numinous quality of the wind, or of ancestral spirits (Neumann, p. 134). Even earlier to this association between the numinous and pregnancy, the fertility of the Great Mother was seen as fully her own. Indeed, contrary to the later patriarchal creation myths, such as are found in the Timeaus and Genesis, from an archetypal perspective:

“The feminine has priority, while masculine creativity only appears afterwards as a secondary phenomenon… The prime datum is the earth, the basic maternal substance. Visible creation proceeds from her womb, and it is only then that the sexes are divided into two, only then does the masculine form come into being,” (Bachofen, p. 356).

The origination of the masculine out of the feminine is true not only on an archetypal level, but is evidenced even in biology, both phylogenically and ontogenically. Nearly 2 billion years prior to the morphological differentiation that arose with the invention of sexual reproduction in animals, prokaryotic bacteria freely exchanged genetic material between membranes, functioning as a single planetary organism enclosed in an oceanic womb (Margulis, p. 85-98). The uroboric quality of this situation is symbolic of the self-creativity that pre-patriarchal peoples associated with the feminine power of the Great Mother. Similarly, while developing in the womb, the mammalian zygote begins as female, and absent the genetic and hormonal agents associated with the Y chromosome, will not go through the metamorphosis required to become male (Fausto-Sterling, p. 80).

The primacy of the feminine, both in an archetypal and biological sense, is significant for any attempt to harmonize it with the masculine. There is a sense in which it is the feminine that possesses eternal life, while the masculine is temporally bound, fated to continually rise and fall. Here we see the ambiguous character of the archetypes, the two being shifting reflections of one another, rather than static and essentially opposed. The male philosopher’s desire to transcend the finitude of bodily life could be understood as a form of worship of the feminine quality of regeneration, or rebirth through death.

There are plenty of other examples of opposites coinciding. When the link between sex and birth was recognized, the still weak ego also realized that the orgasm associated with intercourse, though intensely pleasurable, was simultaneously a kind of death. This was not a bodily death, but merely the death of the conscious mind, which cannot maintain its independence in the midst of such primal sexual urges. As the ego gained more and more sway over the psychic processes of men, these urges, and the female body that was associated with them, came to be seen as somehow unclean and lacking full humanity. The development of patriarchal society and the hypermasculinized psyche we have inherited from it arose, we believe, as the conscious ego, in order to secure its autonomy from the unconscious desires of the body, began a process of differentiation—one which unfortunately went too far into complete disassociation, as transpersonal symbols were projected onto concrete persons through secondary personalization.

As has been said already, we must be careful not to flip this imbalanced situation into its equally imbalanced reversal, whereby we forgo consciousness and return to a complete identification with all things “natural.” Neumann reminds us “the supersession of the stage of the Great Mother…by a new mythological stage is not a fortuitous historical occurrence, but a necessary psychological one” (p. 82). The rising of consciousness out of the unconscious is not an accident, but an evolutionary moment of cosmic significance.

As Paula Gunn Allen has said,

“Our planet is in crisis…[but] for the most part, we do not recognize that the reason for her state is that she is entering upon a great initiation—she is becoming someone else…giving birth to her new consciousness of herself and her relationship to the other vast intelligences, other holy beings in her universe,” (Ecology, p. 328-329).

Human civilization, as a manifestation of Gaia, is the earth become conscious of itself. But this consciousness has gone too far, leading to its near total disassociation from nature and the unconscious. As was pointed out above, it has been a mainstay in the Western philosophical tradition for more than two millennia to conceive of the mind as independent of the body. Knowledge has been understood as objective, free of the vagueness of emotion and the situatedness of the body. These ideas arose along side the denigration of women, whose minds were seen as incapable of the nobler, intellectual pursuits of men. It seems that the energy associated with the masculine archetype seized the psyches of men, compelling them to reject all things mutable, sensual, and fleshly, and instead to strive for the eternal, abstract, and transcendental. This drive to understand and become divine by rising above the natural course of earthly events has produced modern science and technology, and liberated consciousness from the habits and reflexes of instinctual behavior, but so too has it laid waste to countless ecosystems and destroyed all other ways of knowing which stood in its path. The reason for this hubris, says Jung, is a “loss of roots.”

“[The] development [of consciousness thus far] has made it emancipated enough to forget its dependence on the unconscious psyche. It is not a little proud of this emancipation, but it overlooks the fact that although it has apparently got rid of the unconscious it has become the victim of its own verbal concepts…One can be—and is—just as dependent on words as on the unconscious. Man’s advance toward the Logos was a great achievement, but he must pay for it with a loss of instinct and loss of reality to the degree that he remains in primitive dependence on mere words…” (The Earth Has a Soul, p. 72).

Philosophy, broken down etymologically, reveals that its origins were love and worship of Sophia, the divine wisdom of the feminine. By the time of Plato, things had already begun to change, but we can still see the influence of the feminine in his choice of the female Diotima to teach Socrates the essence of Eros. Plato was conflicted about what the role of the feminine should be in his ideal society, but his rejection of poetry gives us a clue as to the deeper conflict at work. Walter Ong, in Orality and Literacy, points out that Plato’s work marks the transition from oral to literate culture, and all that this shift entails (p. 27).

Writing, originally a privilege only granted to highly education men, was the ladder upon which the conscious mind climbed out of the unconscious cave of dimly lit shadows and unrestrained instincts. But it soon changed, in a classic example of enantiodromia, from an empowering gift to a destructive vice. Before writing was mastered, speech held sway over experience, and so words were more like events than static images. Ong makes this clear with an example by pointing out “the Hebrew term dabar means ‘word’ and ‘event’” (p. 32). This means that words for oral cultures are not simply “a countersign of thought,” but “a mode of action” (ibid.). Such humans lacked the ability to abstract enough to engage truly private ideas, and so any notion of an invisible soul existing separate from the visible body would have seemed absurd. Further, the creative power of the spoken word was not just in human beings, but was the inspiration with whose help everything in nature moved and was made. But when man became more skilled in the art of writing, the dynamic dance of the vocal word became a frozen visual image, codified into conceptual abstractions, mere letters on a page cut off from their former living presence as the voice of nature herself. A few lines from Walt Whitman’s “A Song of the Rolling Earth” express this perfectly:

“A song of the rolling earth, and of words according,
Were you thinking that those were the words, those upright lines?
those curves, angles, dots?
No, those are not the words, the substantial words are in the
ground and sea,
They are in the air, they are in you…
Air, soil, water, fire—those are the words,
I myself a word with them—my qualities interpenetrate with
The earth does not withhold, it is generous enough,
The truths of the earth continually wait, they are not so conceal’d
They are calm, subtle, untransmissible by print,
They are imbued through all things conveying themselves willingly,
Conveying a sentiment and invitation, I utter and utter,
I speak not, yet if you hear me not of what avail am I to you?”

The literate mind deemed the unconscious whimpers of the earth to be entirely under the spell of the pleasure principle. The immanent gods and goddesses of Homeric Greece, whose presence was felt in the wind upon one’s cheek, the waves rocking one’s ship out at sea, and the clouds blocking the sun from one’s eyes, were trapped and bled to death upon the pages of Plato’s scrolls, only half reborn as eternal forms forever removed from the earthly world of embodied experience. Plato was compelled to inscribe and confine these natural powers to the private, mental world of his pages because their full sensual reality seemed to him diluted by base desires of carnal attraction wrapped up in the finite and illusory thrills of time. But as Neumann says, this depreciation of the truthfulness of unconscious feelings is merely “proof of a depreciating tendency and corresponds to a conscious defense mechanism,” (p. 285). Our impulses and instincts, says Neumann, are far more adapted to reality than the still young, fantasy-obsessed ego (ibid.). When the conscious mind becomes entirely severed from its instincts, the result, says Jung, is “exaggerated self-esteem or an inferiority complex,” (p. 73). This leads to an imbalanced situation ripe for psychic injury, and indeed, our modern civilization is proof of its disastrous results.

“For it is the body, the feelings, the instincts, which connect us with the soil,” says Jung (ibid.). Having lost this connection, we have become vagrants on the earth, aware of the potential for peace but not knowing where to turn to actualize it.

We might, taking Nietzsche’s advice, “become friends of the immediate things” once more (quoted in Jung, p. 86).

As Jung remarks,

“…the immediate things are this earth, this life. For quite long enough…we…have been taught that this life is not the real thing, that it is provisional, and that we only live for heaven. Our morality is based upon the negation of the flesh, and so our unconscious often tries to convince us of the importance of living here and now,” (ibid.).

The Sufi mystics have a concept that opens the door to a form of spirituality that, rather than deny the sensory world, finds the divine within our immediate experience of it. The term, in Arabic, is “ta’wil,” which David Ulansey has said is “based upon the idea that the physical world is a manifestation of the divine” (p. 1). Rather than abstract the eternal forms of objects from their actual, living embodiment, the Sufi’s recognize, with a special mode of perception, the subtle way in which eternity expresses itself within time.

We must come again to find spirit in nature, to love the body, and to cherish our planet: rising out of its depths at birth, sharing our Eros-inspired energy with the world, and then allowing our forms to pass away again to be reborn anew. Such is the way of Gaia. But how are we to respect this natural cycle even while retaining the intricacies of interior experience and public expression offered us by consciousness? How to return to the vibratory eroticism sustained by oral culture without first burning the volumes of paper insights cherished by even the greenest among us?

As we have repeated throughout, what we seek is a sacred marriage of the masculine and feminine, a reconciliation of the conscious and unconscious forces that need not pull in opposite directions. It seems that truth, if she is still open to being courted, will not respond solely to the written word and the pure essences they reveal to our disembodied minds. We must balance this objectivity with an appreciation for our natural instincts and the emotions they evoke. Without such balance, the beauty of the planet is wasted: its magical matter turned into mere bricks in the economic empires built in praise of a phantom, of salvation through total technological control of life and living. The only result of such relentless attempts to cleanse nature of the natural is disassociation and death. It must be admitted that without the aid of our pens, the importance of truth, of the Logos, would never have struck us. But we cannot allow our admiration for the light to blind us to the soil that feeds us and keeps us whole.

As William Irwin Thompson says,

“To effect reconciliation with her, man must not seek to rape the feminine and keep it down under him. If he seeks to continue his domination of nature through genetic engineering and the repression of the spiritual, he will ensure that the only release from his delusions can come from destruction,” (p. 251).

Instead, man and woman, conscious light and unconscious depth, cultural order and natural creativity can become dance partners, recognizing their sacred union as Shiva and Shakti swirling around the Axis Mundi toward ultimate enlightenment. Like all opposites, the psychic polarization of masculine and feminine is but a shifting appearance. Beneath the outward opposition is an inward coincidence.

As Whitman says (and we concur):

“I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or her who shall
be complete,
The earth remains jagged and broken only to him or her who
remains jagged and broken.”

Works Cited

• Bachofen, Johann Jakob. Das Mutterrecht. Basel. 1948.
• Eisler, Riane. The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future. New York: Harper. 1988.
• Fausto-Sterling, Anne. Myths of Gender: Biological Theories About Men and Women. New York: Basic Books. 1985.
• Jung, C. G. Answer to Job. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 1958.
• Jung, C. G. Ed. By Meredith Sabini. The Earth Has a Soul: The Nature Writing of C. G. Jung. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books. 2002.
• Margulis, Lynn. Sagan, Dorian. Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1986.
• Merchant, Carolyn (editor). Key Concepts in Critical Theory: Ecology. New York: Humanity Books. 1994.
• Merchant, Carolyn. Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World. New York: Routledge. 2005.
• Neumann, Erich. The Origins and History of Consciousness. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 1954.
• Nietzsche, Friedrich. Edited by Keith Ansell Pearson and Duncan Large. The Nietzsche Reader. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing. 2006.
• Ong, Walter. Orality and Literacy. New York: Routledge. 1982.
• Schott, Robin May. Cognition and Eros: A Critique of the Kantian Paradigm. Boston: Beacon Press. 1988.
• Thompson, William Irwin. The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality, and the Origins of Culture. New York: St. Martin’s Press. 1981.
• Ulansey, David. The Theophanic Significance of Mary Magdalene. Senior Thesis, Religion Department, Princeton University.
• Whitman, Walt. Edited by Karen Karbiener. Leaves of Grass: First and “Death Bed” Editions. New York: Barnes and Noble. 2004.