What is the collective shift of consciousness so many refer to as necessary for the healing of the earth?
I was bogged down after spending about a year of inquiry into that question. I found myself strongly drawn to reading The Red Book of CG Jung, which started with him being called by “the spirit of the depths”. It took me to a deeper level, but I was unable to connect it with the results of my inquiry up to that point.
Then I stumbled upon a blog called The Chrysalis. Apparently Scott Preston had a fifteen year head start on me, and was uncovering deep patterns from broad reading in the history of human culture. Frequently referenced sources woven into the emerging pattern were Eugene Rosenstock-Huessy, Jean Gebser, and “Seth” (all of whom I was almost totally unfamiliar with), and William Blake, Carlos Castaneda, Friedrich Nietzsche, CG Jung, the Buddhist tradition, and the Sacred Hoop of indigenous North Americans, who were more familiar to me, even special favorites. I have been eagerly reading each new post for months, and following references back to a rich trove of older posts.
Recently Mr. Preston started reading a book by Iain McGilchrist called The Master and His Emmissary. This was the first time I saw Preston discover a new resource that created a significant impact on the emerging pattern. McGilchrist’s twenty years of research into the neuroscience and implications of the divided brain provided a breakthrough for the clarity of Preston’s theme of the structures of consciousness.
I started submitting comments when Preston’s writing suggested a resource I thought he could weave into the mix. Last week I sent two comments to one of his posts, offering two of my major sources for their relevance to the line of thought in his post. He picked up on one of them, Thomas Berry, saying he had a couple of his books on the shelf, had never read them, and would have to see what is there. A couple of days later, on January 28 his post was titled “Thomas Berry: The Great Work”. It began,
Upon Ed Levin’s earlier prompting, I dug out Thomas Berry’s books that had been idling unread in my bookshelf — The Dream of the Earth and The Great Work. I have begun with The Great Work, and I’m very pleased to have discovered this book. Not only is it a fine illustration of what Nietzsche means by “Be true to the Earth!”, Berry also is, in my estimation, a very good approximation — an evident precusor, an incipient manifestation — to what Jean Gebser anticipated as “the integral consciousness”.
In a reply to a comment at the end of the post, Preston said,
For the next little while, I’ll probably spend more time speaking to the meaning of Berry’s “Great Work” in its relation to Gebser, Rosenstock-Huessy, McGilchrist, Nietzsche, Seth, and so on. They are all connected, and what connects them is that there is, indeed, an emergent consciousness that is trying to become articulate about itself, and is not finding much in the way of an accommodating language in order to become articulate about itself. So, we are also seeing innovations in language: Berry’s “Ecozoic Era” meets Rosenstock-Huessy’s “ecodynamics of society” and these correspond to “integral consciousness” as an ecology of being. All this also links back to William Blake, who announced the onset of a “New Age” represented as his “Albion”. None of this is actually following some deliberate plan or logical model. It is a spontaneous, emergent “irruption”, just as Gebser described it.