Deleuzian Ideas

Deleuze writes:

“Ideas no more than Problems do not exist only in our heads but occur here and there in the production of an actual historical world” (Difference and Repetition, p. 190).

Ideas are not simply located inside the head. Nor can Ideas be entirely captured inside the grammatical form of a logical syllogism, even if that syllogism is dialectically swallowed up and digested in the course of history by an Absolute Spirit.

Ideas are not merely represented inside an individual conscious mind, they are detonated in the imaginal depths of the world itself. Exploding Ideas seed symbolic vibrations that echo along the cosmic membrane and unfold at the level of representational consciousness as a profound complicity between mind and nature. Ideas are productive of synchronicities.

Uncovering the Unconscious: Towards an Integral Psychology

Introduction

The movements of the soul, as Jungians well know, tend to manifest in polarities.  The most fundamental of these polarities is that between birth and death: to be alive and animate is already to be dying. Likewise, daytime consciousness is only possible when one has slept properly the night before. Remaining cogent requires of the ego that it remain in steady rhythm, sinking into the darkness of dreams each evening in order to arise again refreshed in the morning.

There is little scientific consensus concerning the reason, physiological or otherwise, that the human soul must cycle through its solar and lunar phases. Shakespeare, it seems, was right: the soul is ungraspable, being such stuff as dreams are made of. Rational inquiry provides little clear and demonstrable information regarding why sleep and dreams should be necessary. Death, too, presents the rational ego with a complete mystery unbreachable by empirical or logical study. Shining the ego’s light on the strange facts of sleep and death does not reveal them for what they are, but only reflects consciousness back upon itself. The nature of the soul, we are at first forced to concede, is largely unconscious.

“The hypothesis of the unconscious,” writes Jung, “puts a large question mark after the idea of the psyche.”[1] Philosophers had for many centuries assumed that the structure and function of the soul was already known in every detail, but as the 19th century came to a close, the burgeoning discipline of psychology began to reveal a far more complex and even irrational subterranean source of conscious processes. Rather than working with the static and compartmentalized model of the soul constructed by Scholastic thinkers, Jung was forced by his experience as a clinician to develop a dynamic, living relationship with psychic processes. As his practice matured, Jung came to realize that the soul is not a scientific object at all; on the contrary, it is what makes such objectification possible: “every science is a function of the psyche, and all knowledge is rooted in it.”[2]

But how is psychology—the science of the soul—to proceed if its foundational hypothesis admits the existence of an autonomously functioning unconscious? The cultural philosopher Jean Gebser recognized this difficultly, and though he had the highest respect for Jung’s groundbreaking work, he nonetheless called into question the concept of the unconscious:

“There is no so-called unconscious. There are only various modalities (or intensities) of consciousness: a one-dimensional magical, a two-dimensional mythical, a three-dimensional mental consciousness. And there will also be an integral four-dimensional consciousness of the whole.”[3]

Gebser suggests that the concept of the unconscious may still be used to describe the relationship between a structure of consciousness one dimension less than the incremented structure above it, but rejects entirely the dualistic framework, wherein consciousness is opposed to an unconscious. Jung himself rarely if ever collapsed the psychic terrain into so neat a dichotomy, but Gebser’s phenomenology of consciousness[4] in terms of a potentially ever-present, and yet also historically unfolding series of structures assures that such a rationalistic reduction is avoided.

In light of Gebser’s important critique of the notion of an unconscious,[5] Jung’s work will be interpreted in what follows as the tentative beginnings of an integral psychology. Both Gebser and Rudolf Steiner will provide important additions and amendments to Jung’s psychology, so as to avoid the undue reduction of spiritual realities to psychic projections. The purpose of psychology, I will argue, is to enter conscious dialogue with the archetypal energies of the soul, re-connecting with its magic powers of synchronicity and mythic powers of polarity so as to heal the dualistic split our mental-rational civilization has hewn between cosmic and human intelligences. Jung’s practice of “active imagination,” as artfully displayed in The Red Book, will provide a working example of how this dialogue can be initiated and sustained. Though plenty of references will be made, the synthesis—or better, synairesis[6]—of these three men’s ideas will not be an exercise in textual exegesis. Rather, my aim is to creatively weave each figure’s most important insights into an integral whole.

Individuation as Integration

“In the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung,” writes Gebser, “we can discern a manifest attempt to overcome…the psychic dualism that is the terminological heritage of Freud’s materialistic psychoanalysis.”[7] Gebser points specifically to Jung’s theory of individuation as the most promising move in this direction. The archetype of the Self is, for Jung, both the center and the circumference of the psyche. It unifies all opposites, not by submerging them back into undifferentiated unconsciousness, but by luring the psyche toward a more complex form of wholeness, wherein eventually maximum interior differentiation (perfect individuality) is achieved alongside maximum exterior harmony (complete communion).

Whereas for Freud, the desire for psychic wholeness is nothing but a regressive infantile longing for a past existence in our mother’s womb, for Jung it represents our human need to simultaneously discover our cosmic extent and penetrate to our spiritual essence. In this section, I will speculate upon how the complex wholeness of the incarnating Self re-situates the dualistic partiality of egoic consciousness. These speculations concerning the emergence of the Self rest upon the premise that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, or that the individual in some sense contains and relives the collective history of the species. Jung,[8] Gebser, and Steiner are all in agreement on this point, which is subtle but important. While the evolution of consciousness is collective, real action takes place as a result of individual transformation.

“In our unconscious we have to find the most essential transitional forces for the whole of human kind,” says Steiner, “just as we must find in the individual the most important forces for the development of a fully awake consciousness.[9]

Recognition of the mutual interplay between the individual and the collective should be at the heart of any deep inquiry into the psyche. The psychologist must take great care not to neglect the power of the one in favor of the many, or vice versa, since in the first place any especially insightful individual’s attempt to reveal what for most remains occult depends upon successfully speaking in a tongue that the ears of the spirit of the times are capable of hearing. The confrontation with the unconscious that lead Jung to produce The Red Book forced him into solitude, and though he knew there was no way to rationally justify the gnosis imparted to him by the spirit of the depths,[10] he was compelled nonetheless to communicate its symbolic meanings to others. Individuation, though individual, is never simply an inner process, but is bound up with the transformation of other people and of the world itself: “…the spirit of the depths in me,” writes Jung, is “at the same time the ruler of the depths of world affairs.”[11]

Gebser’s approach to the evolution of consciousness (i.e., the incarnation of the Self) rests upon the phenomenological observation that, in the course of human history, “clearly discernable worlds stand out whose development or unfolding took place in mutations of consciousness.”[12] These world-structures (which Gebser classifies into archaic, magic, mythic, and mental, each with its respective spatiotemporal character) remain present and effectual even for our contemporary, deficient form of mental-rational consciousness. Humanity has not overcome each structure as if climbing a ladder, leaving lower rungs behind; instead, our path has been one of dimensional intensification, whereby each increase in dimensionality depends upon the structural integrity of the prior layers. Gebser’s realization that our species is in the midst of the collapse of an old, and the emergence of a new structure of consciousness, namely the integral-aperspectival, is congruent with Jung’s ego-shattering encounter, as recounted in The Red Book, with the “new God”[13] being conceived and born out of the human soul.

Prior to composing The Red Book, Jung had achieved the heights of professional acclaim. By 1910, at age 35, he had received an honorary degree from Clark University and been elected to the presidency of an international psychoanalytic association.[14] The new scientific understanding of the psyche that Jung was at the forefront of securing gave no outward indication of the as yet unconscious inner turmoil that would soon be unleashed upon the world. In 1913, Jung received his first hint in a waking vision of a “terrible flood” that covered all of Europe with “yellow waves, swimming rubble, and the death of countless thousands.”[15] The visions continued to trouble Jung into 1914, producing a great inner uncertainty. He began to fear he was on the way to “doing a schizophrenia,”[16] and in April resigned from his positions as president of the International Psychoanalytical Association and lecturer at the University of Zürich. More dreams of catastrophe haunted him until finally, on August 1st, 1914, war broke out in Europe, relieving Jung from the worst of his fears:

“Now I was sure that no schizophrenia was threatening me. I understood that my dreams and my visions came to me from the subsoil of the collective unconscious.”[17]

Jung’s personal visionary experiences during this period mirrored the collective European psyche’s descent into the underworld beginning with the First World War. Gebser, writing several decades later, places the early 20th century at the climax of the mutation from the alienated rationalistic ego of the deficient mental structure of consciousness to the holistic and re-enchanted consciousness of the integral structure. This mutational process is still underway today, and though signs of integration can be found, nothing guarantees the success of such an epochal transformation. In The Red Book, Jung artfully exemplifies for collective view the imaginal process of soul-making that can remind the autonomous, perspectival ego of its origin in a shared substratum of myth and magic. Jung’s practice of active imagination can aid the transformation out of mental-rational consciousness, giving rise to the conditions necessary for a second birth, not of the water but of the spirit.[18]

The shortcoming of modern psychoanalytic theory, Jung realized, was certainly not its verification of a psychic totality deeper than egoic consciousness, but its objectifying and epistemologically skeptical method of inquiry into the nature of this totality. Modern psychology had turned the soul into a scientific object. This basic lack of openness to the meaning-producing capacity of the soul inevitably lead to the reductive explanation of its living symbolic processes in terms of impersonal mechanistic forces. “I had to accept that what I had previously called my soul was not at all my soul,” writes Jung, “but a dead system.”[19]

Gebser, too, goes to great lengths in The Ever-Present Origin to point out the disintegrative effects of an exclusively mental-perspectival form of consciousness unable to divorce itself from “an exclusively three-dimensional spatial framework”:

“We of the European-Atlantic cultural community have as of yet been unable to make the leap at the crucial moment from the three-dimensional world of our fathers into the fourth-dimensional reality of our day. And as long as we fail to make this leap, crisis, uncertainty, and anxiety will continue to prevail; and they can destroy us in the short run unless we can realize the new world reality.”[20]

For Gebser, the “illuminative” potential of pure consciousness is “definitely not restricted to spatialization and temporalization.”[21] But trapped in the three-dimensionality of the mental-rational structure, consciousness becomes spatially frozen, unable to conceive of time, the fourth-dimension, in terms other than that of partition and division (i.e., quantity). Time loses the qualitative texture of its flow and its transparency to the wholeness of eternity, becoming the fractured clock-time of mechanistic physics, wherein the simultaneity of spatial extension constitutes all of reality. There is literally no room for the soul and its mythos in the spatial world of the disembedded ego, and so they are forced into preperspectival subconsciousness, there generating through compensation the collective neurosis inflicting techno-industrial society.

“If the world is regarded only through wakefulness,” writes Gebser,

“it loses its undivided dream-like and somnolent aspects and precipitates their separation. The dividing deed leads to…the death of man and his entire culture.”[22]

Jung and Gebser each recognized the direness of our situation: Wakeful egoic consciousness must come to terms with the deeper undivided temporal polarity constituting its psychic totality if our civilization is to survive the mutational process that has already begun on this planet. The soul must awaken not just to the bright light of noonday, and from dreams beneath the dim midnight moon, but to the clarity that transluces all relative spatial-orbital horizons to reveal the fourth-dimensional hypersphere beneath.[23] Here, at the hearth of the world, light returns to shadow, night completes day, and the angel of death rounds each of our lives with a peaceful sleep. The ego must admit its dependence upon sleep, dreams, and death (which is also to say, upon the structural integrity of archaic, magic, and mythic consciousness). It must forego the hubristic desire to murder the “self-existing being” of the soul by reduction to the abstract concepts of learned scholarship.[24]

Aperspectival-integral (i.e., individuated) consciousness will not involve the dissolution of the ego and its directed mode of rational thought, but rather the integration of this mode with the imaginal and unitive modes of the mythic and magic structures. The rational ego has re-made the world in its own image, constructing cities more suited for machines than human beings. The majority of Western humanity now dwells in deadened environments that lack altogether the numinosity that encompassed earlier forms of consciousness. The lack of integration of these earlier structures must not be mistaken for their lack of, albeit deficient, influence over our daily lives. The power of magic and the meaning of myth may lack the transparency provided by a fully individuated and integrated consciousness, but just because our deficient-mental society is ignorant of their effects does not at all make these effects negligible.

On the contrary, as Jung makes clear, “nobody can dismiss these numinous factors on merely rational grounds”:

“They are important constituents of our mental make-up and cannot be eradicated without serious loss…Even tendencies that might be able to exert a beneficial influence turn into veritable demons when they are repressed…No wonder the Western world feels uneasy, for it does not know how much it plays into the hands of the uproarious underworld and what it has lost through the destruction of its numinosities.”[25]

The meaning-making function of the non-perspectival structures has been subverted by the anti-myths and black magic inherent to the techno-scientific worldview. Not psychic wholeness and civilizational resilience, but material power and social control now constitute our general modus operandi. The values and purposes of the larger Earth community have been negated by a Cartesian mechanistic science whose methods are predicated upon the evacuation of soul from nature. Descartes’ cogito, the founding mythos of our disenchanted way of life, functions as an anti-myth, since in its enactment it ostensibly denies its own mythic origins by claiming to be a purely rational derivation. Economic progress has become the sole raison d’être of Western civilization, a progress measured only in terms of the accumulation of fiat currency. The unchallenged power of paper money, which now mediates almost every interpersonal encounter of our lives, is the result of a fetishization, the undue attribution of magical power (i.e., numinosity) to something inanimate. Originally invented to be a means to an end, money has today become the end itself.

In his diagnosis of the ills of modern society, Gebser attempts to steer clear of

“the abyss into which many are plunging and will continue to plunge as long as they regard the task only from its negative aspect as renunciation, and not from its other aspect as work yet to be done.”[26]

The task, that of bringing to awareness an integral, individuated mode of consciousness, is not at all that of shedding more primitive ways of being and knowing. The Enlightenment project aimed at the total rationalization of life employed itself with precisely this task. The near divinization of the ego and its superficial desire for complete control has not eliminated the non-rational, but merely pushed the instincts of the magic and the archetypes of the mythic structures into subconsciousness, where they still fester in their deficient mode and find compensation through all the great social ills of our time.

“We must bring our original mind back to consciousness,” writes Jung,

“where it has never been before, and where it has never undergone critical self-reflection. We have been that mind, but we have never known it. We got rid of it before understanding it.”[27]

Re-acquainting ourselves with the ever-present origin of consciousness is no simple task, since individuation cannot be accomplished by mental reflection alone. In the next section, Jung’s method of active imagination will be explored and developed along side Steiner’s spiritual science in the hopes that a possible way toward the integration of body, soul, and spirit is uncovered.

Activating the Imagination

For Jung, the initial irruption of psychic disturbances that he later came to describe as the result of a process of “active imagination” were more traumatic than constructive. In the year prior to the outbreak of war, Jung had been experiencing great doubt in his own professional motivations. In his autobiography, he recounts the anxiety he experienced at this time (December 1913) in response to “the fantasies which were stirring in [him] ‘underground.’”[28] Eventually, on December 12th, he built up the courage to “let [himself] drop”:

“Suddenly it was as though the ground literally gave way beneath my feet and I plunged down into dark depths. I could not fend off a feeling of panic. But then, abruptly, at not too great a depth I landed on my feet.”[29]

In the depths of his solitude, Jung met himself. “We are alone and our being together threatens to become unbearably boring.”[30] He decided to educate himself, to teach himself a greater form of self-esteem, “or else our life together will become wretched.”[31] Jung then enters into a dialogue and dispute with his own mirror image, which in typical enantiodramic fashion, is simultaneously his Self/spirit and his shadow. “This confrontation,” he would later write, “is the first test of courage on the inner way, sufficient to frighten off most people.”[32]

The point of imaginatively activating the unconscious in such a way is not merely to wonder at the play of images. Some contemporary Jungians even warn that carelessness in the practice of this method may lead to psychopathology.[33] Rather, active imagination should serve as the preparatory work necessary for achieving genuine spiritual inspiration along the way to individuation.

According to Steiner, human beings long ago lost immediate contact with the spiritual world due to the emergence of the ego, which has redirected all our attention to the physical body and the external sensory world. Our task today, says Steiner, is to consciously develop the imagination so as to transform it from a generator of fantasies into an organ of perception. “When our soul really attains to imagination,” says Steiner,

“it senses in its life of visualizations something akin to what it feels in its life of perceptions. In the latter the soul feels its direct contact with the outer world, with corporeality; in imagination it feels an indirect contact with a world that at first also appears to it as an outer world, but this is the outer world of the spirit.”[34]

Steiner’s mention of the “outerness” of the spiritual world disclosed by imagination is meant to emphasize the independent (though not separate) existence of this realm. Jung also suggests that the numinous images, or archetypes, encountered in such altered states of consciousness are autonomous living entities, not to be confused with mere projections or personal memories.[35] They should be engaged on their own terms as beings no less real than our own ego.

For Jung, individuation is all that can prevent human civilization from spiraling into the disorder and chaos of mass-mindedness. “The change must begin with one individual,” he writes,

“Nobody can afford to look around and wait for somebody else to do what he is loath to do himself. As nobody knows what he could do, he might be bold enough to ask himself whether by any chance his unconscious might know something helpful, when there is no satisfactory conscious answer anywhere in sight.”[36]

The method of active imagination is Jung’s way of gaining access to the intelligence and transformative power of the subterranean structures of the psyche. Like Steiner, he realized that modern human beings had become so captivated by the ego’s ability to predict and control nature that we have “simply forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions.”[37] It is not in the outer sensory world, but within our own hearts and minds that the deeper meaning and spiritual truth that we long for is to be discovered.

Steiner, however, levels an important criticism upon those approaches to psychology that would limit the transformative reach of the archetypal beings encountered within the imaginatively activated soul. Jung is careful to guard against the intellect’s tendency to dismiss or rationalize the intense emotions that numinous encounters produce, but as Steiner points out,

“If the soul never emerged out of itself, but merely kept wanting to experience desires and emotions—anything from the deepest reverence to disgust—nothing would happen that is independent of the soul.”[38]

For Steiner, the whole point of developing one’s capacity for imaginative perception is to rise above the limited subjectivity of the egocentric soul. Active imagination develops self-understanding, but the aim is not just to know oneself truly; it is also to will what is good. All stirrings of conscience, according to Steiner, emerge in the liminal space between the subjective emotionality of the soul and the transpersonal intuition of the spirit.

Though Jung limits himself to phenomenological descriptions of the psyche’s manifestations in his more scientific writings, in The Red Book—perhaps because of the collective importance of its message—he goes beyond the appearances in an attempt to grasp the occult reality that they symbolize.

In “Scrutinies,” as was mentioned above, Jung recounts his inner experience of hearing the call of conscience. The dialogue can be read in several ways, as a conversation between the Self and the ego, between the spirit and the soul, or between the Self and the shadow. What is clear is that Jung encounters a higher self who is disgusted by the “sensitivity and desirousness” of his ego: “What is concealed in you,” says this higher self, “I will drag out into the light…I will crush your superiority under my feet.”

The Self continues:

“I will burn out of you the contents of which you were so proud, so that you will become empty like a poured-out vessel… You should be a vessel of life, so kill your idols.”[39]

The false idols the Self demands be killed are Jung’s sense of pride, self-righteousness, and ambition. The Self chastises Jung’s ego for putting his personal concerns above the whole of humanity. “You are responsible to humanity in everything that you think, feel, and do.”[40] This experience represents the rising of the collective unconscious to awareness, and the harsh treatment Jung’s ego receives is reflective of just how far modern civilization has strayed from its instinctual roots. A universal spiritual will emerges within him, reminding Jung of the impotence of his finite personality. Steiner suggests that learning to identify with this will, rather than remaining in an egoic relation to it through the emotions of reverence or disgust, allows the human soul to build a bridge into the spiritual world, such that true inspiration from spiritual beings becomes possible.

“As a rule,” says Steiner, “spiritual events are much closer to emotions than to conceptions.”[41] The thinking function is unable to reconcile itself with the powerful emotionality of the unconscious; the individual human being must include other modalities of consciousness to make sense of the feeling-toned images that erupt from its depths. Active imagination makes it possible for the alienated ego to develop an awareness of and renewed participation in the mythic archetypes binding it together with the collective psyche of humanity. Jung’s method directs attention to the symbolic visualization of numinous emotions, which may indeed be heralding the presence of higher worlds. Individuation is a process of imaginative generation, wherein a separate soul becomes pregnant with the universal Self.

“If forethinking and pleasure unite in me, a third arises from them, the divine son, who is the supreme meaning, the symbol, the passing over into a new creation.”[42]

Jung offers the modern individual a new path of initiation with no outward cult or ritual. It is a path of solitude and inner development. Successful initiates pass through the threshold of the ordinary world and “[arrive] among the beings who bring about spiritual events.”[43]

Conclusion: Concrescence of the Spiritual

“Previously the spiritual was realizable only approximately,” writes Gebser,

“in the emotional darkness of the magical, in the twilight of imagination in the mythical, and in the brightness of abstraction in the mental…The mode of realization now manifesting itself… ensures that… it is also perceptible concretely as it begins to coalesce with our consciousness.”[44]

Gebser’s entire project was to reveal the integral transparency of the structures of consciousness, such that each played its proper role in the perception of the whole. In his eyes, the rise of the unconscious and its contents at the turn of the 20th century corresponded to “nothing other than the psychic form of time’s irruption into our consciousness.”[45] Jung, too, was drawn to understand the role of time in psychic development. He spent his last decades working out the nature of the synchronicity between psyche and cosmos. An essay of greater length would have allowed for a deeper look at the way in which the timeless and spaceless unity of the magical structure accounts for the qualitative texture of time as experienced mythically. From the point of view of the nascent integral structure of consciousness, space-time is psychically relative, as much of Jung’s research documented.[46] This psychic relativity of space-time does not mean that integral consciousness is without space and time; rather, it is space- and time-free, no longer limited by the partial perspectives of simple location. Integral consciousness is synairetic, able to bind the parts into a whole without enclosing them in a system.

As Jung, Gebser, and Steiner have helped to make clear, the evolution of consciousness has both individual and collective elements. It draws upon the earthly power of instinct and the celestial influence of spiritual beings. The degree to which we remain unconscious of these powers and influences is that to which we fail to participate in the “merging or coalescence, the concrescence of origin and the present.”[47] The human being is potentially the consciousness of the Earth, which “on its great journey across the millennia…hastens through the changing landscapes of ‘heaven,’ transforming its own countenance and [humanity’s].”[48] It is my hope that this essay will in some small way aid our continued realization of this potency.

Bibliography

(1) Gebser, Jean

The Ever-Present Origin  (transl. 1985)

(2) Jung, Carl

Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1989)

On the Nature of the Psyche (1969)

The Red Book (2009)

The Undiscovered Self (1990)

(3) Main, Roderick

Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal (1998)

(4) Wehr, Gerhard

Jung and Steiner: The Birth of a New Psychology (2002)


[1] OTNOTP, p. 77

[2] ibid.

[3] EPO, p. 204

[4] For Gebser, “consciousness is not identical to the process of thinking, nor is it limited to awareness of the ego… [It is] the ability to survey those interconnections which constitute us: it is a continuous act of integration and directing” (EPO, p. 204).

[5] “Our questioning of the validity of the concept of the unconscious in no way invalidates it; rather our questioning must be understood as a concretion and differentiation of a general phenomenon that only gradually reveals all of its aspects” [emphasis mine] (EPO, p. 397).

[6] Synairesis literally means “to synthesize, or collect,” but “whereas synthesis is a logical-causal conclusion, a mental (trinitary) unification of thesis and antithesis (which falls apart because it becomes itself a thesis as a result of dividing, perspectival perception), synairesis is an integral act of completion encompassing all sides and perceiving aperspectivally.” (EPO, p. 312).

[7] EPO, p. 397

[8] “As the evolution of the embryonic body repeats its prehistory, so the mind grows up through the series of its prehistoric stages” (UDS, p. 138).

[9] public lecture 5/1/1919

[10] The Red Book, p. 229

[11] ibid., p. 230-231

[12] EPO, p. 1

[13] The Red Book., p. 243

[14] ibid., p. 197

[15] ibid., p. 231

[16] ibid., p. 201

[17] ibid.

[18] See John 3:5. “…except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” The spiritual potential of active imagination will be explored in the next section.

[19] The Red Book, p. 232

[20] ibid., p. 231-232

[21] EPO, p. 204

[22] ibid., p. 232

[23] Just as the shadow of a sphere is a circle, the shadow of a hypersphere is a sphere. The Earth known to the materialist physics of the mental-rational structure of consciousness is the shadow of a higher dimensional, spiritual event.

[24] ibid., p. 232

[25] UDS, p. 133-134

[26] EPO, p. 425

[27] UDS, p. 138

[28] MDR, p. 179

[29] ibid.

[30] The Red Book, p. 333

[31] ibid.

[32] ibid., p. 334

[33] See Jungian psychotherapy (1978) by Michael Fordham, p. 149: “…active imagination…can be, and often is, both in adults and children put to nefarious purposes and promotes psychopathology”

[34] lecture 12/15/1911

[35] UDS, p. 140

[36] ibid., p. 141

[37] ibid., p. 142

[38] lecture 12/15/1911

[39] The Red Book, p. 334

[40] ibid.

[41] lecture 12/15/1911

[42] The Red Book, p. (Elijah & Salome)

[43] lecture 12/15/1911

[44] EPO, p. 542

[45] ibid., p. 396

[46] Jung’s research revealed at least two distinct types of synchronicity: 1) that related to psychically relative  space-time, and 2) that related to the notion of qualitative time. The limits of this essay do not permit a fuller articulation of the difference, but in short, it seems that, in theory, both types depend upon the unity of the magic structure, the first as filtered through the integral, and the second as filtered through the mythic structure of consciousness. See Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal, p. 15

[47] EPO, p. 542

[48] ibid., p. 541

Seeing With Teilhard: Evolution and the Within of Things

Preface

“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.