Transpersonal Theory & the Astrological Mandala: An Evolutionary Model by Gerry Goddard
Return to Contents

- 16 -

The Transpersonal Domains—Level III
the Psychic & the Subtle


The Transpersonal Levels as Mapped by Ken Wilber: Astro-Transpersonal Deep Stage-Structures III & IV:
The Pre-transpersonal Levels of the Return Arc: Levels Beneath the Noosphere:
The Downward Reach to the Biosphere:
Toward a New Agentic/Communal Balance: Accessing the Transpersonal: Jenny Wade and Sean Kelly:
Michael Washburn—Regression in Service of Transcendence:
Interpreting Washburn in Terms of the Astrological Model: Male and Female Spirituality


Our topographical map of the development of human consciousness pictures a double spiral within a vertical cylindrical model, mapping four main structure-levels. So far, we've explicated the first two categories constituting the Outward arc: the primal body-egoic and conceptual mental-egoic levels. Beyond these structures lie the transpersonal domains. In accordance with the transpersonal maps of Eastern mystical religion and Western perennialism, and a general resonance among thinkers such as Aurobindo, Wilber, Brown, Engler, Grof, Washburn, Walsh, Wade and others, the trans-egoic domains can be broadly mapped at different levels of spiritual integration, insight and clarity. How the logical topography of these levels is understood and how these levels are related to the structures of ordinary consciousness varies, of course, from one school or thinker to another.

In the process of formation of the 'mature' individual self and its concomitant sociocultural structures, the first hemispheric principles have struck the dominant tone in the epistemological unfolding of consciousness, an overarching metaphysical emphasis on the principle of differentiation—an either/or. Complementarily, the dominant principle of the Return arc should, then, be integration—a both/and. But the astrological structure has at all times dictated that we must plot, horizontally, the interaction of both differentiation and integration, the Day force and the Night force, thus assigning an equal ontological importance to both figure and ground which subtends the epistemological duality at each level. But the integrative principle of the Return arc does not reject or marginalize the principle of differentiation as if in simple reverse of the agentic and largely male dominant Outward arc. That which is unfolding through the Return arc must be understood as embracing both the 'either/or' pole and the 'both/and' pole in an overarching Both/And. This meta-level Both/And combines the agentic and the communal, individual and collective, feminine and masculine modes in a higher integration: and more deeply than gender differences, this meta-level combines the realms of the conscious and the unconscious, individual consciousness and collective unconsciousness.

If our synthesizing account of evolutionary development up to the 6/12 postmodern level is coherent, then an explication of the cycle further from the seventh to the twelfth principles should disclose the archetypal lineaments of a transpersonal metaphysical structure. Although the spiritual or transcendent levels of the astrological symbols have always been conceived as implicit esoteric or higher octave potentialities, the standard meanings of the signs have been conceived largely at the first two levels. Nevertheless, humanistic and counseling psychology and astrology have pushed beyond the mature mental-egoic level and even across the transformational threshold to the beginning of the Return arc, expressing some of the higher transcendent meanings of the signs; but this has not been accomplished systematically. The question here is, 'How aptly do the higher meanings of the astrological symbols frame and sustain the transcendent categories as articulated in the accounts of Wilber, Washburn, Grof, Bache, Wade, Kelly et al'? And further, in articulating such an overarching order, how adequately does our model of the transpersonal domains reconcile the dialectical depth-psychological and the hierarchical transpersonal paradigms and also answer Ferrer's critique of perennialism and universalism?

Evolution on the Outward arc is an assertive and agentic process of building, building an ever more complex and stratified self/world structure through the first six stage-structures. But beyond this, transcendence does not consist in building further and ever greater superstructures on the basis of the ordinary self/world structure; it is not an accessing of new and hierarchically ordered mental-social structures beyond those of the Outward arc. Rather, as we move into more subtle and rarefied levels of consciousness, we are called to deconstruct and transform, within the higher space of transpersonal awareness, the self/world structures of the Outward arc. Transcendence is an accessing of higher ontological domains through a radical re-organization, a deep transformation involving a total deconstruction of self and its experienced world(s) thereby revealing higher and more subtle levels of consciousness already (i.e. revealing domains which in some sense subsist prior to or independent of biospheric life despite the profound interrelationship of these domains with the biosphere). Referring to the stages of meditative accessing of the transpersonal dimensions according to three major yet still somewhat divergent Eastern spiritual traditions—Hindu yoga, Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism—Daniel Brown writes that "this underlying path is best conceptualized as a systematic deconstruction of the structures of ordinary waking consciousness", namely, the structures of the Outward arc. (Wilber 1986, 263).

In speaking of deconstruction it is necessary to differentiate deep structures from the specific mind/world structures which have developed along the Outward arc and which remain as those on-going processive human dynamic structures which constitute the collective noosphere. Both the Outward and Return arcs are constituted by deep archetypal structures—in our terms, the twelve archetypal principles ordered in terms of the fourfold and twelvefold deep logical structure of the mandala. But the Outward arc is essentially 'structure building' and the Return arc is essentially deconstructing these structures in terms of the transpersonal deep structures or principles.

Also, we must be careful to differentiate mind and consciousness. Consciousness, or rather the manifold of consciousness/unconsciousness, includes both 'mind' and 'matter'. As Combs frames it: "consciousness is what it is to experience the world of thoughts, memories, desires, tastes, smells, textures, trees, clouds, rocks, frogs, shoes and people— but is itself more than them." (p219). Outward arc consciousness is thoroughly identified with its mind/world structures—the contents of its consciousness; here consciousness is intentional, always a consciousness of something, always about something, always experiential, involving an experiencer, a subject and an object-other. Consequently, there is always a necessary division between consciousness and unconsciousness. On the Return arc, consciousness increasingly disidentifies with these structures and is increasingly able to 'hold' the dual and polar structures which have divided mind and world. Consciousness is an ever enlarging container of all that arises.

The pain and conflicts of existence both in the world at large and within the individual are ultimately insoluble through further Outward arc complexifications. The developmental gains on the Outward arc necessarily imply certain losses. Without sacrificing the moral and intellectual autonomy which has been gained, the rediscovery of that which has been lost involves a movement in a different direction. On the Outward arc the astrological model maps both the conscious self (including the so-called personal unconscious) and the collective unconscious, so that the unfolding of the higher and transcendent dimensions are possible only through a rediscovery of that which has been rendered unconscious. Since the ego cannot develop except in distinction from the non-ego (individual distinct from society, psyche distinct from nature), the development of egoic consciousness necessarily occurs over against unconsciousness. A stable transcendence is not possible without our 'going back' and awakening to all the marginalized levels of both the individual's buried history and complexes (the personal unconscious) and the collective unconscious. The difference between, on the one hand, the transpersonal domains and, on the other, the pre-personal and personal domains is that the transpersonal is an integrative joining, a flowing together of the conscious and the unconscious once the divisive structures begin to be deconstructed. As we negotiate the curve and enter the Return arc, it is through a transpersonal embrace that all deeply rooted dualisms and divisions of the Outward arc can begin to be reconciled, the epistemic losses, dialectically established on 'the other side' of our 'partial' epistemic gains, can begin to be redeemed.

Most significantly, the movement 'back' is not in simple reverse, a gradual movement back to origins as if the path developmentally 'forward' was actually a regressive tracing of the personal biographical path back to childhood. Usually when we 'look back' or 'look down' into the depths of our personal past, we trace back from where we are at present, uncovering successive layers all the way back to infancy. This form of optimum sixth principle therapy has been referred to by Wilber and others as 'regression in service of the ego'. Such an introspective self analysis would need to be symbolized by a movement from 6/12 back to 1/7. But as we cross the horizon at D/A (as an upward spiral entering the Return arc), we find ourselves immediately back to the first of the axes which unfolded in original consciousness evolution. Although the spirals are continuing upward in the direction of greater evolutionary unfolding, rather than spiraling 'back down to origins', as we cross the horizon (at D/A) something new and unprecedented occurs; from now on, the axes which are accessed are the same axes as on the Outward arc. But since the dominant tone of the overarching evolutionary spiral moves from Aries to Pisces, the axes from Libra onward are to be expressed in reverse. The original 1/7 axis (Aries/Libra) now, at this higher level, becomes the 7/1 axis (Libra/Aries). The archetypal deep structure which informed the primal levels is the same structure which is now being first re-activated but at a critically different level. This instant movement 'back' is then a powerful archetypal resonance to, and a higher level development of the original 1st/7th axis.

So in accessing the first of the trans-egoic levels, there is a major developmental unfolding within the first deep structure, but at a higher level through a radical repolarization of the same bi-polar archetypal principles. There is neither the unfolding of an entirely new deep structure (i.e. a new axis) nor a simple addition of consequent higher level properties like the stratified layers of the Outward arc. (Remember that at the level of the stage II mental-ego, conscious volition and directed self-assertion came to overlay the first principle's spontaneous instinctual aggression/defense). So that which unfolds now is not a new and stratified level of the original bi-polar structure, but a radical reorganization of it from the point of view of the transcendent level, the level we are calling, from an evolutionary perspective, the Return arc. Through this repolarization and reorganization, a new and higher trans-egoic space of consciousness begins to open, a space which bridges the original unconscious bi-furcation. What is being crossed here is the horizon—the very boundary which defined the foundational structure of developing consciousness on the Outward arc. Now that this boundary is being crossed, the infrastructure of the self/world and self/other distinctions can no longer be sustained.1

As I have already stated in Chapter 3 but will restate here in terms of the astrological model in particular:

The realization which takes place now is the awareness of the essential unity-in-difference at every level, in every dimension of the Outward arc's separations. And it is this realization which constitutes one's expanding transpersonal Being. Transpersonal Being is not simply a higher level deep structure encountered by the egoic self, that central construction of the Outward arc. It is a realization of the 'lower' from the standpoint of the 'higher'; the realization of the 'lower' as constituted by the conscious/unconscious split. But this 'lower' does not simply refer to the earlier stages of conscious self/world development; it includes the structures which were dialectically alienated on the Outward arc of development, namely, the communal third Quadrant—specifically, the original nature-embedded group psyche of the seventh and eighth principles. As already stated (chapter 4) the 'going back down'—a downward embrace which is not regressive in the ordinary sense since it does not retrace the outward pathway of cosmocentric selfhood—is an embrace from the higher.

Before we can go any further with our account of the astrological structure, I want to present the lineaments of Ken Wilber's hierarchical map of the transpersonal domains. We do not have to accept Wilber’s schema in its details, only to hold it, along with other schemas, up against the astrological model in order to test the 'fit' and help tease out some of the meanings of the astrological categories at the transegoic levels where they have yet to be explicated within an overarching evolutionary model. At these levels, no matter how we interpret the astrological categories, their full potentiality remains indeterminate and may well be amenable to other even more adequate accounts of the transpersonal levels than what I am constructing here. Such a necessary openness beyond whatever experiential-intuitive 'ultimate' spiritual inclination we may bring to our mapping project—be it nondual, theistic-personalist, or pluralistic—is precisely the call of Jorge Ferrer for a concept of an 'Ocean of Emancipation' whose many shores, rather than pregiven, are cocreatively enacted as we participate in the indeterminate spiritual power of this Mystery.

The Transpersonal Levels as Mapped by Ken Wilber

In a number of works drawing primarily on Eastern sources, Ken Wilber has identified at least four main phases or deep structures of transpersonal development which can in turn be divided into further substructures and stages. The level of the Great Chain of Being (or 'Great Nest') he terms 'Soul' lies just beyond the centaur and its particular cognitive mode of mandalic vision-logic. This category includes what he terms the nature/psychic and subtle levels. The level that Wilber terms 'Spirit' includes the low and high causal levels. Beyond the causal lies the ultimate level which is both the highest level and the Suchness of all levels.

According to Wilber (1986), the nature-psychic level marks "the beginning or opening of transcendental, transpersonal, or contemplative developments: the individual's cognitive and conceptual capacities apparently become so pluralistic and universal that they begin to 'reach beyond' any narrowly personal or individual perspectives and concerns....This is Aurobindo's 'illumined mind', the 'preliminary stages' of meditation in Hinduism and Buddhism"...[where] "an individual begins to learn to very subtly inspect the mind's cognitive and perceptual capacities, and thus to that extent begins to transcend them." (72) Beyond the centaur, this first of the transpersonal levels lies "on the border between the personal and the transpersonal" (Wilber 1995, 279), the "domain of soul" where a

new and deeper within has brought us to a new and wider beyond....This new within-and-beyond is not just beyond a sociocentric identity to a worldcentric identity with all human beings (which the rational-ego/centaur assumes in its global or universal postconventional awareness), but to an identity, a conscious union, with all of manifestation itself: not just with all humans, but with all nature, and with the physical cosmos, with all beings 'great and small'....This Kosmic consciousness is sometimes referred to as 'nature mysticism', but this is a somewhat misleading term. For this psychic-level mysticism embraces not just nature but also culture, and calling it 'nature mysticism' confuses it with a merely biocentric regression, an ecocentric indissociation...(p.284, 285).

Linking this level to Emerson's 'Over-Soul', Wilber (1995) describes it as an awakening of the higher Witness, a mystery which allows us "to recognize ourselves in each other beyond the illusions of separation and duality." (p292). This is indeed a quintessential description of our 7/1 organic and biospheric transmutation phase and the transition to the 8/2 phase. According to Wilber, this still somatic 'psychic level', the Oversoul or World Soul, must be distinguished from simple nature mysticism as does Emerson in that it embraces both nature and culture. Wilber stresses this because he is at pains to refute what he sees as a common and regressive notion that mysticism is a return to some prior unity with nature from which 'civilization', seen as an essentially negative and divisive process, has severed itself. "What distinguishes this profound 'nature mysticism' from a simple nature indissociation or ecocentric immersion or biospheric regression is the realization that nature is not Spirit but an expression of Spirit...Emerson is very clear on this distinction between nature regression, on the one hand, and a mysticism that also embraces nature, on the other—and this distinction rather upsets his environmentalist fans, who seem to want to equate a finite and temporal nature with an infinite and eternal Spirit." (p287) Hence, the biosphere and the noosphere are united in the theosphere. The Over-Soul is that out of which both nature and culture emerge. Consequently, rather than looking out at nature we must look within. The astrological model certainly shows both the original natural and later cultural structures upon which the 7/1 and 8/2 stages rest and which, as we shall see, achieve an integration through a downward embrace at this first phase of the Return arc (the beginning of our stage-level III).

From the nature-psychic level we move to the subtle level which in Wilber's description is "the seat of actual archetypes, of Platonic Forms, of subtle sounds and audible illuminations...of transcendent insight and absorption". This level corresponds to Hinduism's and Gnosticism's personal deity form—the ishtadeva of Hinduism, the yidam of the Mahayana and the demiurge of Gnosticism. It also corresponds to the state of savikalpa samadhi in Hinduism, the realm of the 'four jhanas with form' in Theravadin Buddhism, and the realm of illumination, rapture, and initial transcendent insight in vipassana meditation. This level is clearly grounded in our 9/3 structure culminating at M/N.

The causal level—the Abyss, the Void, the Formless—is "the unmanifest source or transcendental ground of all the lesser structures...realized in a state of consciousness known variously as nirvikalpa samadhi (Hinduism), jnana samadhi (Vedanta), the eighth of the ten ox-herding pictures (Zen), the seventh and eight jhanas, the stage of effortless insight culminating in nirvana (vipassana), [and] Aurobindo's 'Overmind'." (Wilber, 1986,73) And finally, the ultimate level marks "the complete integration and identity of manifest Form with the unmanifest Formless." It is not one level among others but the suchness of all levels. It is "classical sahaj and bhava samadhi; the state of turiya...absolute and unqualifiable Consciousness as Such, Aurobindo's 'Supermind', Zen's 'One Mind', Brahman-Atman, the Svabhavikakaya..." (p74).

The highest levels, namely, the causal and ultimate levels are the domains accessed through practices such as Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Vedanta. In our map these levels would logically refer to stage-level IV (see Chapter 18). The psychic and subtle domains—the subject of the present chapter—are accessed through various traditional shamanic techniques, devotional and ecstatic prayer, and such practices as the Hindu Yogas.

Astro-Transpersonal Deep Stage-Structures III & IV

Shortly, we'll be seeing how Wilber's categories and the categories of other transpersonalists might be best understood in terms of our astrological framework and its two transpersonal stage-structures. But first we need to explicate astrology's structural logic which will bear on how we interpret these transpersonal categories. Since in our model there are two major stage-levels on the Outward arc there must be two corresponding major stage-levels on the Return arc, because from the point of view of the Return arc, the archetypal relationship between these stage-levels is deconstructive and transformative. On the Outward arc, it was the horizon which defined the fundamental division constituting all the horizontal dualisms—self/other, self/world, individual/collective, conscious/unconscious, organism/environment. But there is also the vertical distinction between deep structure-level I and deep structure-level II: this is the division of the purely symbolic mind over sensory-body mind, reason over myth, thought over instinct, abstract over concrete, which is defined by the meridian in relation to the vertical axis.

It is the horizontal bi-furcation of stage-level I (Q1/Q3) defined by the horizon, which is being transformed through the trans-egoic stage-level III. Stage-structure III is a higher level manifestation of stage-structure I, involving a deconstruction and transformation of the primal and prepersonal level structures. Hence, structure-level III, the first of the two transpersonal deep structures, does not and cannot ultimately resolve the central and vertical duality of the Outward arc developments, which is the division of the primal body-ego and the mental-ego. the prepersonal and the personal. Nevertheless, since stage-level III does transform the primal dualistic foundation upon which the stage II mental-ego stands, it thereby effects significant and profound changes in the stage II mental-egoic structure. Structure-level II, and consequently the vertical division between levels I and II, will be radically reconstituted by the primal transformation taking place from the holarchically embracing 'Oversoul' space of level III. However, the full transpersonal transformation of the stage II mental-ego (Q2/Q4) in relation to embodied existence-in-the-world awaits transpersonal stage IV (the Q4/Q2 deconstruction integral with the Q3/Q1 transformation). This is a critical structural feature for understanding the nature of the transpersonal in that the various stages and levels of meditative and deep experiential unfolding need to be mapped in terms of these two deep structures.

So trans-egoic stage-level III accesses the original primal bi-furcated Q1/Q3 structure and transforms it. Consisting of subphases 7/1, 8/2 and 9/3, stage-level III corresponds to the realm of the transpersonal accessed through such methods as shamanic modes of transmutation and kundalini yoga, which may manifest as out-of-body experiences, near-death-experiences, re-incarnation, and ecstatic absorption in the divine. It is this stage-structure which includes Wilber's nature/psychic level and the opening to the subtle levels. There are a number of methods or pathways for accessing these dimensions and moving us from the centauric to the psychic/subtle levels and beyond: spontaneous peak experiences, spontaneous NDE's, the ingestion of psychoactive substances such as LSD, intense encounter, experiential depth therapy, contemplation, devotional prayer, concentrative and insight forms of meditation, various shamanic methods, holotropic breathing and so on.

The Pre-Transpersonal Levels of the Return Arc

But the very beginning of the Return arc does not directly access the transpersonal dimensions proper, even though this movement triggers a radical transformation of egoic separativeness. Although it is possible for an individual, through a commitment to a transpersonal and meditative practice, to move directly from an established mature egoic or centauric self/world structure to experientially access transpersonal or altered states of consciousness, there is a more gradual and sequential process of unfolding through the various stages and levels leading to the transpersonal domains. This path is appropriate not only to individuals, but also to our future possible collective evolution.

The first phase of stage-level III (i.e. the beginning of 7/1) is the domain of transformed relationship; a new and unmediated relationship to the primal and concrete 'not-self', an awakening from a predominant first/third person perspective to a first/second person encounter beyond roles, personaes and projection evoking Buber's 'I-Thou' relationship. This is not yet an experience of some ineffable state of pure consciousness or an apprehension of higher beings. It is not yet the realm of out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, past-life relivings, paranormal powers or mystical fusion, even though this new relational awareness may be deepened and enhanced by accessing these dimensions. The 7/1 axis will form the grounding for all stage-level III experiences until consciousness becomes established at the M/N meridian (the telos of stage III and the foundation of stage IV).

The 1/7 structure illuminated by the 7/1 awareness reveals the ground of gender politics and the most primal relationship to the mother-matrix following the birth experience (of humanity and of the individual). Though inclusive of, this is more than a biographical level de-repression of the personal unconscious and a release of early life 'memories.' Through an opening into a larger yet still personal and interpersonal space through the direct encounter with the 'other', there begins to be accessed all that was established with the original formation of the primal self. In this sense, the horizon denotes the full completion of the Outward arc trajectory as a new balancing (distinct from the earlier fusion) of agentic and communal, individual and social, male and female principles, while at the same time establishing the foundation of the transpersonal levels.

In the spirit of the humanistic and interpersonal 'direct encounter' therapies of the last few decades (opening, listening, mirroring, sharing), we challenge and cut through the mental-egoic role-mediated forms that are stratified over the primal level reality of the seventh principle itself characterized by group-based instinctual 'them-and-us' thinking. We lay aside our masks, and cease playing a role, as we come to face the 'other' more directly. This is an intentional decision made from a higher universal cognitive and moral stand that directly operates upon our defenses to break them down and allow a more inclusive and balanced psychic state to occur. Staring directly into the face of nature and the 'not-self', knowing oneself and the other to be interconnected and interpenetrating, persona is dropped and projections of a disowned and repressed self cease; an anima finds her animus, an animus finds his anima. The original level 'self' reconnects or reunites with the 'other' through a repolarization of the original dialectic.

But as Theodore Roszak most importantly points out, this ‘other’ is also nature, the biosphere itself. "What Martin Buber called a You-and-I relationship is not restricted to people, or to a transcendent deity. The human must establish a transactional bond with the natural..." (p.79) Invoking the whole range of new science findings and theory invalidating the mechanistic paradigm and neo-Darwinism—the new physics, the systems theory of Ervin Laszlo and others, Lovelock and Margulis' Gaia hypothesis, Barrow and Tipler's Anthropic Principle—Roszak calls for a new ecospychology, a psychology which can effectively integrate humans and the biosphere in a way that is not addressed by Freud, the post-Freudian object-relations people, Jung, and even the existential and humanistic schools of thought all of which remain thoroughly social and essentially urban (our stage-level II). While asserting that "ecopsychology seeks to recover the child's innately animistic quality of experience in functionally 'sane' adults" (p320), Roszak is, at the same time, sensitive to both the positive and negative features of earlier premodern society—its allegedly greater integration with nature along with its extremely parochial, destructive and superstitious elements. In acknowledging the sophistication of Roszak's position and in agreement with much of his case Ken Wilber (1995), nevertheless, argues that Roszak is lacking a transpersonal dimension and is consequently forced to seek his integration by reaching back to the primal condition and thereby committing the pre-trans error. I agree that Roszak is 'lacking' this dimension; he is simply not talking about, nor needing to be talking about, these kinds of radical transformations. Our model shows where on the map the integration between noosphere and biosphere, called for by Roszack—the resurrection of the anima mundi, a contacting of the ‘ecological unconscious’, a new realization of an ‘autopoietic Gaian world’—makes perfect sense without committing the pre-trans error. "Gaia gains access to us through the door of the id." (p304) (Remember the association of Aries and the id at stage 1/7). As the first stage of the Return arc, stage 7/1 is, then, a re-connection from a higher perspective with nature as the 'other', preceding what we normally mean by transpersonal consciousness.

Levels Beneath the Noosphere

As was first mentioned in chapter 6, we need to further extend down the model we have so far been constructing . The horizon has been defined as the birth of homosapien consciousness and the birth of the infant, so that which unfolds through the Outward arc is an embodied consciousness. Such an embodiment presupposes the development of a human brain resulting from a long process of biological evolution from single celled creatures within the Gaian matrix, itself the result of a long process of cosmic evolution originating in a possible Big Bang. We can picture such a cosmic and later a biological evolution in terms of a grand cycle, moving through four prior deep levels. Since I have chosen so far throughout the book to label the four deep structure-levels of the development of consciousness as stage-levels I, II, III and IV, I now need to label these prior levels so that they can be easily distinguished without altering the terminology we have been using. The reader is invited to look ahead to chapter 19 for a more complete explication of these levels, but for our purposes here it is necessary simply to point out the basic archetypal structure:

The Cosmos or physiosphere:

Level C1—A/D to N/M signifying development from the Big Bang to atoms (N) and galaxies (M).

Level C2—N/M to D/A signifying development from atoms and galaxies to stars and planets, ultimately the Gaian system.

The Biosphere:

Level B1—D/A to M/N signifying the development from single cells in Gaia to complex organisms including vertebrates within a more or less stable continental system.

Level B2—M/N to A/D—from complex organisms to hominids and homosapiens.

From now on, I will sometimes refer to each ontological level, including its two sublevels, as simply the cosmos, the biosphere, the noosphere and the transpersonal.

The Downward Reach to the Biosphere

We can see from this mapping how the horizontal split between Q1 and Q3 through the purely symbolic noospheric stage I manifested increasingly as a vertical alienation from biospheric level B, the karmic consequences of which show up through phase 6/12. So the downward embrace through phase 7/1 involves not only a lateral reconnection across the first and third quadrants but also an experienced reconnection of the noospheric and biospheric levels. It is here that the original web-of-life consciousness of early and indigenous humans still embedded within natural processes can be recaptured; where animals, plants, forests, mountains and rocks are no longer objects but a vital presence to those who are willing to fully immerse themselves in a living nature. David Abram tells of how, in Bali, he came to understand the shamanic as a total attunement to the surrounding living ecology rather than as a purely magical and superstitious projection of spirits upon natural forms themselves devoid of meaning and presence. He speaks of how offerings of rice made to 'ancestral spirits' were not empty superstitious gestures but actually served a practical purpose, by expressing an ecological/spiritual embeddedness in the natural surroundings. Abram discovered that the offerings of rice were eaten by ants not by spirits. For a brief moment this aroused that typical sense of civilized superiority in the face of the primitive until he realized how the practice, as an attuned awareness of nonhuman forms, served to maintain the human community within a region of ant colonies by keeping the ants satisfied and preventing their inevitable encroachment on the human habitation. Describing numerous experiences of contact with animals as he learned to move with the rhythms of nature fully immersed in the natural sensorium, Abram (1995) describes a particular unexpected sudden encounter and communication with a rare bison:

Our eyes locked. when it snorted I snorted back; when it shifted its shoulders, I shifted my stance; when I tossed my head, it tossed its head in reply. I found myself caught in a nonverbal conversation with this Other, a gestural duet with which my reflective awareness had very little to do. It was as if my body were suddenly motivated by a wisdom older than my thinking mind, as though it was held by a logos, deeper than words, spoken by the Other's body, the trees, the air, and the stony ground on which we stood. (p313)

The deep ecologist Paul Shepard went so far as to proclaim that historical development went awry with the advent of agriculture: "a change to a more hostile stance toward nature " occurred which "fostered a new sense of human mastery and the extirpation of nonhuman life" caused by a "failure in some fundamental dimension of human existence, an irrationality beyond mistakenness, a kind of madness." (p24) In his works Shepard affirms the foundational significance of an ecological consciousness which evolved at the earliest stages of human history and which is still a latent yet significant part of us even as it has fallen into unconsciousness. But in doing so he condemns as totally pathological, in terms of our modelling, the entire trajectory from phase 2/8 to 6/12. I believe that such a blanket condemnation and denial of the natural inevitability and developmental necessity of Outward arc development is invalid, notwithstanding that Shepard appropriately points to that which has indeed become our evolutionary imperative at this time in history, namely, the recovery of that original connection with nature but now in a full and mature marriage of culture and nature, self and other. Failing to provide an adequate understanding of those evolutionary gains which came along with evolution’s undisputed losses, Shephard obstructs the very understanding we need in order to bridge the gap between our present state—both individual and collective—and that recovery for which he is legitimately calling.

In fact, it is the path from the most mature forms of the 6/12 phase across the 7/1 threshold which maps the various perspectives of the contemporary environmental debate as this urgent conversation fragments along the fault lines of progressive modernism and decentering postmodernism. The philosopher and environmentalist Michael Zimmerman explores the complex interweavings of three main intellectual orientations within radical ecology, three main perspectives on the ontological relationship of human beings and nature; namely, deep ecology, social ecology and ecofeminism. It is beyond our scope here to give a fair précis of the complex intricacies of Zimmerman's skillful, complex and highly nuanced account, but I believe that the astrological map readily reflects the most profound insights of all three of these environmentalist schools.

Briefly, deep ecology blames environmental devastation on the pervasive anthropocentic humanism of Western culture and its 'progressive' control of nature, asserting an ecocentrism and an ideal of self realization for all beings which is sometimes seen as inconsistent with modernity's legitimate emancipatory aims. Social ecology lays blame more specifically on the social power structures of capitalism and state socialism, and in its affirmation of humans as ‘nature made self conscious‘, is suspicious of the antihumanist, antimodernist and even latent 'ecofascist' tendencies of deep ecology. Ecofeminism points a finger beyond such culprits as anthopocentricity and capitalism to the fundamental patriarchal denigration of women and nature and to the latent masculinism inherent within deep ecological perspectives. In the broadest of terms, the 7/1 structure represents the state of things that radical ecology in general is groping toward: "Many radical ecologists envision the emergence of nonauthoritarian, nonoppressive, nonhierarchical, 'postmodern' societies in which free, playful, decentered, heterogeneous people live in small, bioregionally oriented, technically efficient, democratic, ecologically sound communities." (Zimmerman, 1994, p.6). But more specifically, something of the logical structure of the I-Thou relation of 7/1 can be illuminated through grasping a particular difference between deep ecology and ecofeminism in their understanding of the relation of nature and humans:

Deep ecologists maintain that today nature is treated almost exclusively instrumentally because modern people often regard nature as radically other than or separate from themselves. People who allow their sense of 'self' to expand, so as to include other people as well as animals, plants, and ecosystems, achieve a wider sense of identity. Such wider identification presumably allows people spontaneously to care for animals, plants, and ecosystems, instead of treating them either indifferently or as mere commodities. Yet ecofeminists read 'wider identification' not as a progressive concept, but rather as both the self expansion of the modern masculinist ego, and as the echo of patriarchal modernity's totalizing attitude that seeks to erase difference in order to attain a problematic unity. (Zimmerman, pp.9,10)

Here ecofeminism has legitimately identified the possible patriarchal distortion of the 7/1 matrix seen as an expansion of the agentic first principle 'self' to include the seventh principle 'other' rather than entering a higher relationship through the recognition of difference, and by so doing committing an act of pre-modern levelling, absorbing humans back into the biosphere. Citing the views of ecofeminist Jim Cheney, Zimmerman writes:

Incapable of entering into the reciprocal give and take of genuine relationship, the atomistic male can perceive women and nature only in one of two ways: either as threatening Others that need to be controlled or else as aspects of the self that need to be assimilated into himself....Cheney sees a 'masculinist soul' motivating deep ecology's notion that, because the human organism stands in a delicately interpenetrating relationship with the rest of the world, ego-ism should be transformed into eco-ism. Allegedly, this recommendation depends too much on the ideal of male-bonding, in which the sense of individual self is suppressed for the good of the whole....Deep ecology, then, fails to differentiate between human organisms as parts of the larger biosphere and human individuals as members of a moral community. Seeking either a vampirish absorption or an infantile fusion with nature, deep ecologists reveal that their sense of 'self' differs from the web-like self of cultural feminists, who want neither to fuse with, nor to absorb, not to be atomistically isolated from Others and from nature, but instead seek to sustain satisfying relations among interdependent individuals. (pp285,286)

So from the ecofeminist perspective nature's 'otherness' is realized through a higher level relationship which goes beyond masculinist and modernist-naturalist distortions preserving in its downward embrace certain elements of deep ecology while recognizing significant historical gender differences re. justice and care, atomism and connectionism, yet going beyond social sexist division. Zimmerman cites the position of ecofeminist Val Plumwood: "Plumwood asserts that deep ecology's universalistic, abstract love of nature discounts the importance of caring relationships as the basis for any sense of morality or ethics. One cannot care for things abstractly; rather, each thing must be understood in terms of its own particular concrete needs." According to Plumwood we "must emphasize how humans are different from nonhuman beings, so as to avoid the dangers of undifferentiated merger with nature. Relationships are intrinsic to selfhood, but individuals cannot be reduced to those relationships; otherwise, one ends in an unhealthy holism." (p289). This could not be more aptly symbolized than through the 1/7 dialectic.

But this 'nature' that we begin to rediscover is closely akin to psyche, to the unconscious. I believe that it is this stage and level, the entry into stage-level III initially touching off the seventh and eighth principles, which is the lost and marginalized domain that James Hillman refers to as the Soul which needs to be identified and approached on its own terms. Although Hillman is not presenting a developmental account, he appears to be referring to this stage of development which lies just beyond the mature mental-egoic level:

Our distinctions are Cartesian: between outer tangible reality and inner states of mind, or between body and a fuzzy conglomerate of mind, psyche, and spirit. we have lost the third, middle position which earlier in our tradition...was the place of soul: a world of imagination, passion, fantasy, reflection, that is, neither physical and material on the one hand, nor spiritual and abstract on the other, yet bound to them both....Psychological pathologies also belong to this realm. Approaching them from either side, in terms of medical sickness or religion's suffering, sin, and salvation, misses the target of soul....the threefold division has collapsed into two, because soul has become identified with spirit. (p 67,68)

Hillman's ideas of 'soul making' and 'pathologizing' point us beyond the categories of sickness or sin, beyond our normal medical and psychological understanding and practice where we apply constrictive labels to the productions of the unconscious, productions which are essentially creative and renewing if approached in an attentive and non-judgmental manner. Thus:

Since pathologizing is frightening, we are obliged to follow fear, not with courage, but as a path that leads deeper into the awe for what is at work in the depths of the soul. (p74) Before any attempt to treat, or even understand, pathologized phenomena we meet them in an act of faith, regarding them as authentic, real, and valuable as they are...They are ways of the psyche and ways of finding soul. (p75) need not soar and plunge on grand shamanistic journeys in order to affect the soul to its depths...The soul is not moved by our moving through it; that is, but another heroic voyage of the ego now translated into interior space. Instead, the pathologized image held solemnly is what moves the soul. (p93).

Toward a New Agentic/Communal Balance

As development unfolded through the successive steps of primal stage I, what was originally an unconscious polarity became increasingly conscious as a duality—the self (1st) over against the other or group (7th). This original dualistic foundation is now being realized as an interconnected polarity as higher level consciousness awakens experientially through the seventh principle dimension. The seventh principle can no longer stand as the separate and distinct 'not-self', the repository of the self's projections standing in complex subconscious magnetic 'field relation' to the self. The ground of dualistic development through stage I now begins to be made conscious across the horizon through the 1/7 axis (now the 7/1 axis). The previous centricity of the self begins to give way to a new sense of I/Thou, of 'being with,' of self/other polarity. This process unfolds on individual and interpersonal levels and in the larger collective sense as an experiential re-balancing (not just in a value and attitudinal sense) of the primal male/female dialectic— a process made possible through the rise of feminism in the later developments of stage II. Where relationship (7th) within the mental-egoic band (level II) was a bridging of distinct gender and cultural role-defined egos, at this level, the first and seventh principles, having originally developed through creative tension and later mediated by mental-egoic structures, are now being drawn toward one another.

It is characteristic of the dualistic Outward arc that assertive-based egos dominate and subdue relationship-based egos. Thus, the agentic-based male ego has become paradigmatic of 'ego', and the male repression of 'anima' has rendered the anima as paradigmatic of the 'other,' even of the nature of the repressed unconscious itself. (This is the source of Jung's sexist account of the anima/animus structure. See section on Washburn below). Interestingly, women are not actively 'oppressed' as long as they are living out as anima, i.e. as long as they conform to their required role. Women have been controlled so as to prevent them from developing individual assertive power or animus—the face of the 'Terrible Mother' which emerges into consciousness at stage-level 8/2. Here is the collective patriarchal pattern which sets down subsequent gender divisions.

Through the 6/12 stage, psychological investigations of the personal unconscious uncover biographical material (relived memories, established patterns, neurotic loops etc.) to allow healthier personal integrations to take place. But such processes do not access the collective unconscious or transpersonal levels. At the highest levels of stage 6/12 more of the personal unconscious has become conscious. In Jungian terms this means that the female ego, the anima in this sense, has incorporated the animus to some degree while the male ego, the animus, has gotten more in touch with the anima (I am using these terms in Washburn's neutral sense. See below.). But on the dualistic Outward arc, one or the other pole still remains dominant in the psychic system of the personal conscious/unconscious structure. Only by crossing the horizon at the beginning of stage-level III can a true integration of the psyche with itself and with the ‘other’ be accomplished. The ultimate resolution of the deepest level gender differences—the truly post-patriarchal and post-capitalist society—awaits the first levels of the Return arc. In principle, in a post-patriarchal society, many males would develop relationship-based egos and vice versa. But the significant fact remains that ego development is necessarily dualistic (the bi-polar archetypal structure of the animus/anima) and an integration of anima and animus cannot occur until after a certain degree of dualistic development. Neither can a true balance be achieved between the assertive and the relational without beginning to engage the boundary between individual consciousness and collective unconsciousness pictured as the movement across the horizon at D/A (soon to access the perinatal and transpersonal domains).

But we can indeed conceive of a society where, rather than women's liberation manifesting predominantly as an increased acceptance of women into a stubbornly masculinist society, the primary anima or animus choice is reflected more evenly across the sexes. So although gender differences are not rigidly fixed in accord with biological sex differences, an archetypal polarity remains. After initial development has taken place from a necessarily clear identification with one pole or the other, the challenge of the late egoic is to approach a more integrated balance between animus and anima, and consequently, between the personal conscious and the personal unconscious. Like a teeter totter weighed down either one way or the other (the either/or nature of the anima/animus on the Outward arc), as it reaches a certain horizontal point, the self begins to engage the collective unconscious—the end of Outward arc duality. A more even distribution across the gender spectrum is itself a higher noospheric development which heralds a more collectively available Return arc as the most entrenched psycho-social boundaries begin to dissolve.

Accessing the Transpersonal

As we move further along the Return arc through an experiential unfolding of the 7/1 structure, we begin to encounter the collective unconscious, not simply as a release of phylogenetic and historical content, but as a new experiencing of the lower levels from the perspective of the higher holarchically inclusive space of transcendent consciousness. But that which is now beginning to reveal itself from this space of higher inclusive awareness is the other side of the 'great divide' which structured the basic dualities of the Outward arc.

The higher we spiral within the 7/1 level band, the deeper and more profound is the transformation which takes place at the level of the original 1/7. Just as on the Outward arc where higher stages of any principle awaited certain unfoldings of the subsequent principle, the 7/1 band will continue to unfold as dimensions within the 8/2 band begin to be accessed. As we begin to access the 8th/2nd axis (even before the higher levels of 7/1), there occurs a more profound and total encounter with the primal collective psyche as described by Washburn in his account of 'regression in the service of transcendence' or in the manner of the experiential depth therapy of Stanislav Grof. But following experiential opening into these domains of the unconscious—Wilber's nature/psychic and subtle levels—rather than a stable transcendence, a permanent and new state of consciousness, there is an inevitable return to the ordinary state of consciousness. However, the nature of this return is not simply a reestablishment of the old mental-ego; a new more 'connected' plateau has become established.

The meditation teachers and practitioners Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, and Michelle Macdonald Smith have challenged the straightforward linearity of hierarchic stage models and emphasized a spiralic and mandalic multidimensional approach. They have affirmed that those who have clearly accessed transpersonal dimensions, at least to the subtle level (9/3), have tended to be brought back to emotions and relationships, including the central community and ecosystem concerns at this time in history. This is not just a falling back because of some unfinished personal work which should have been better accomplished on the Outward arc (as Wilber would argue). It is to do work that can only be done on the Return arc. In the words of Jack Kornfield (1993):

Every ancient system of wisdom teaches that human life unfolds in a succession of stages: childhood, a period of education and learning, a period for family life and meaningful work, and a period of contemplative practice. In the Native American traditions, these evolving cycles are honored in rites of passage that enable each community member to enter new stages of life with full consciousness and support. Modern psychologists, such as Erik Erikson, also speak of an inevitable succession fo stages that make up a wise and meaningful life....In the beginning we may erroneously imagine spiritual practice to be a linear journey, traveling over a certain landscape to a faraway destination of enlightenment. But it is better described as a widening circle or spiral that opens our hearts and gradually infuses our consciousness to include all of life as a spiritual whole." (pp171,172)

Unlike Wilber's model, the cartography of the astrological model clearly demonstrates this.

So stage-level III is an interior and individual step, yet one which moves beyond individual interiority, one that accesses the being of the other; the 'other' is no longer outside the self. Macdonald-Smith is certainly speaking of our seventh principle when she says, "to be intimate with another requires great mindfulness; Otherwise it’s all projection." (p.172). The self and other are different aspects of the one complex process of which one is now bidden to become aware. In the words of the transpersonal theorist Donald Rothberg (1998): "I don't think we have too much sense of how to practice with a partner, a group, a community, or an ecosystem. We really need explorations and models in these areas. How can we be mindful in relationships?...I don't find much guidance in the traditional Buddhist practice except in general terms." (p173)

So the next major stage-structure beyond postmodernity is precisely that structure to which those who choose to access the higher eighth and ninth domains tend to return—especially at this point in history. This transformed relational dimension could not have unconditionally occurred within the historical context of the mystical schools such as Vedanta and Buddhism simply because society had not yet accessed, through democratic and feminist developments, the deep structure which allows gender equal relationship. This spiral movement clearly demonstrates the non linearity of development for the individual. Nevertheless, despite this nonlinearity of development, the structural layers and levels are ontologically and holarchically established as shown in our model. The D/A axis, the horizon, signifies the meaning of true dialogue—indeed the highest meaning of the Libran archetype. Just as A/D constitutes the ground of primal psycho-social developments and the N/M axis constitutes the ground of the mental-egoic level, the D/A axis constitutes the ground for all movements through stage-level III. Of course, exactly how this will manifest in collective, social and global terms is at present difficult for us to conceive.

Profound and all pervading, this 7/1 structure signifies a new and authentic dialogue between men and women, between culture and culture, religion and religion, religion and science, urban humanity and biospherically reconnected humanity. Such a dialogue goes beyond postmodernism, yet is grounded on the constructivist insight and multiperspectival cognition. So in this sense phase 9/3, say, cannot in itself be said to be more developed than D/A; rather its evolutionary value is to be measured precisely through its capacity to become integrated at D/A. As Goldstein, Kornfield and Smith point out, the real purpose of meditation is to come back into relationship and establish, in our terms, the highest integrated structure at D/A. Jorge Ferrer expresses perfectly this 7/1 domain, not as a lesser stage to something greater having more to do with 'emptiness' than relationship, but rather as the fundamental tone of a more truly pluralistic and participatory spirituality:

Liberation is not an intrasubjective experience, nor is it a merely personal event. This move towards a more relational approach to liberation is in perfect alignment, I believe, with emergent spiritual trends such a feminist spirituality, deep ecology, liberation theology, socially engaged spirituality, as well as with the possibility of collective transformation via participation in morphic fields of collective identities. Related to this is the fact that, if total, liberation needs to transform all the dimensions of our being, not only perceptual and cognitive, but also emotional, sexual, interpersonal, somatic, imaginable, intuitive, and so forth. Furthermore, I would argue that this expanded vision of spiritual liberation is implicit in the very idea of transpersonal identity. If our transpersonal identity encompasses other beings and even the entire cosmos, can we then be fully liberated when our relationships with others are deeply problematic? Can we be fully liberated when people around us suffer? (p.178)

This is, of course, nothing other than the Bodhissatva vow taken at the 'beginning' of the path, requiring that one constantly 'return' from the 'endpoint' back to this ethical and ontological foundation at the core of all things.

The structure of our model that is revealed in stage-level III can be understood most deeply as a confluence of the more transcendent Eastern and the more immanent Western approaches. Here, the issue of the relation of Eastern and Western trans-egoic therapies becomes pivotal. The Western experiential depth-psychological journey into the personal and collective unconscious as a necessary condition for transformation stands in marked contrast with the Eastern, particularly Buddhist, concern with fully transcending the unconscious by not engaging its content. Wilber's conception of the transpersonal domains strongly inclines toward the Eastern orientation as he tags the transcendent structures on to the end of the Outward arc stages, the latter conceived largely in Western terms. But the logical topography of astrology inclines us to a somewhat different conception from Wilber, more toward a view resonant to, if not identical with, the models of Grof and Washburn while still incorporating the perennialist holarchic ontology.

The simultaneity of an upward expansive/inclusive movement and a downward transformative embrace is precisely what our model shows as we trace the spirals toward their ultimate trajectory. The structural dynamics of stage III show a necessary involvement with the prior ground. The model is a 'wrap around' structure where consciousness, in order to advance, implicates itself in primal levels, those levels which the linear hierarchical models have artificially separated from the transcendent domains. As has been said, the third quadrant is as primal as the first and the re-unification is taking place at the level of the primal but from the point of view of level III. The primal third quadrant is being resurrected into consciousness and realized as a connected continuum with the primal first quadrant. The originally bifurcated organic and pranic foundation is now becoming unified.

Ken Wilber argues that the deep structures of the Outward arc are, optimally, already integrated as a totality, a totality which is then successively taken up into the higher level trans-egoic structures now differentiating out (notwithstanding that Wilber acknowledges that temporary peak experiences of these higher realms are possible prior to full Outward arc integration and his emphasised distinction between states and stages in his latest work [2006], though his earlier model does not map how this is possible and the Wilber/Combs lattice is simply inadequate). Consequently, and contrary to the claim of the neo-Jungians, there would allegedly be no special accessing of the most primal level structures involved in any of the transpersonal openings. This is the pivotal disagreement between Wilber's hierarchical model and the Grof/Washburn/Tarnas view as discussed in Chapter 2. In central disagreement with Wilber, it is not possible (beyond the merely 'working integration' of the centaur) to genuinely integrate the noosphere and the biosphere this side of the transpersonal. Such a genuine integration is nothing less than the directly experienced interpenetration of mind and matter which is clearly transpersonal. Contra Wilber, his stages from the primal to centauric levels cannot be completely integrated before entering the transegoic. (Actually, Wilber vacillates on this point. For his model to be consistent, such an integration of biosphere and noosphere has to have taken place before the transpersonal. But in SES, he says that this happens in the 'theosphere'.) It is logical that the transpersonal 'mind' (or more precisely, the mind of the Return arc which includes both the upward transcendence and the downward embrace is that which must accomplish such a total integration. This means that the transpersonal must, at its initial levels, involve an entirely new encounter with the bodily (particular body and nature) and that potentials from all prior levels must be fundamentally involved regardless of the precise phenomenology of this encounter.

Something cannot be transpersonal and transformational if it is not enfolding and including the stages and structures of Outward arc development. Ken Wilber himself would agree with this. And we are logically compelled by the structure of our model to interpret the stage beyond the mature-egoic or centauric as transpersonal. Ergo, the stage-structures from the 7th/1st axis to the 12th/6th axis must enfold, include, and integrate the stage-structures from the 1st/7th to the 6th/12th since these polar divisions upon which the Outward arc structures depended could not logically be integrated on the Outward arc. It is significant that our model was not created as a theoretical map in order to show this feature, but was, rather, created on the basis of original empirical observations of astrological effects. The astrological topography has shown itself, through a process of logical extrapolation, to precisely map the deepest and most profound picture of the relation of the Outward and Return arcs, the prepersonal and personal levels and the transcendent.

Jenny Wade and Sean Kelly

The two deep structures of the Return arc actually correlate with the two-fold distinctions within the transpersonal domains described, in different ways, by Jenny Wade and Sean Kelly. Jenny Wade whose stage model we have looked at in Chapter 11, divides the realms of the transpersonal into two main categories; namely, Transcendent Consciousness and Unity Consciousness. I n addition to criticizing Wade's hobbling of her own developmental account within the 'limited' two-level metaphysics of David Bohm's implicate and explicate orders, Ken Wilber (1997, 211-212) sees this two-fold division as implying a lack of nuance concerning the many stages within the transpersonal. He overlooks that something like Wade’s broad account might nevertheless define two fundamental domains where the more nuanced spectrum of phases and structures are to be understood as substructures within the larger archetypal categories. Most oddly however, Wilber's own perennialist labeling of the transegoic realms as the dimensions of 'Soul' and 'Spirit' also reflects this foundational twofold distinction in terms of which further levels might be seen as substructures.

Wade's first category, 'Transcendent Consciousness', includes a whole domain of trans-egoic experiential altered states accessed through a moving beyond the mental-egoic structure (her Authentic consciousness) to a transcendence of ego and an experience of unity with the Absolute. This domain is characterized by a sense of self and time as constructed and fluid, as holonomic, as a merging with other people or objects, as a sense of reverence for life, as the manifestation of the Absolute, as an awakening of compassion toward all life forms, as an ardent pursuit of ego death—several substructures united through a common telos. Beyond this dimension and drawn by another telos—the Ultimate Void state—lies the domain she calls 'Unity Consciousness'. She writes: "Motivation to lose the self in order to grasp the Absolute pervades the many different experiential modalities available at the Transcendent level. The last stage identified in noetic development concerns transcending that desire....the most complex known state of consciousness is characterized by the permanent cessation of the motives for becoming....The very ordinariness of Unity consciousness is a sharp contrast to the plasticity experienced in the altered states of Transcendent consciousness." (pp 203, 214). There appears here to be a general consistency between Wade’s Transcendent sphere and our level III, and by extrapolation, possibly between her Unity sphere and our level IV (which will become more apparent when we explicate level IV in chapter 18).

There is a more complex correspondence than the above between the main categories of a general model proposed by transpersonal theorist Sean Kelly and the deep structure-levels of our model. Kelly (1998) makes a distinction between two fundamental dimensions, the aesthetic/symbolic dimension and the abstract/conceptual dimension. According to Kelly, each dimension manifests at two levels: the personal level and the transpersonal level. Resonant to Wade, he too draws a parallel between the personal and transpersonal domains and David Bohm's explicate and implicate orders. Kelly's 'explicate domain would clearly refer to our levels I and II; his 'implicate domain to our levels III and IV. More interestingly, his aesthetic symbolic dimension would refer to our first and third quadrants at both Outward arc and Return arc levels while his abstract/conceptual dimension would refer to our second and fourth quadrants at both these levels.

Wilber and his critics disagree about the issue of the capacity of some children and primitives, who without a developed rational self-reflexivity are able to access certain transcendent domains—mainly the nature-psychic levels. The same holds for indigenous spirituality in cultures that have never accessed the space of scientific reason or the social forms of sophisticated urban individualism and secular democracy. According to his critics, the very fact of 'primitive' mysticism refutes Wilber's view of fixed successive stages and levels. Wilber argues that certain premodern shamans could indeed access these levels since they were actually ahead of their time and had developed a 'sufficient' space of self-reflexive reason. But be that as it may, our model—with a certain resonance with Kelly's model—clearly demonstrates how some children and shamans of ancient and contemporary indigenous cultures, operating within a structure of consciousness other than the dualistic mental-egoic, can have spontaneous vertical access to psychic and subtle dimensions of the transpersonal; namely, because Q3/Q1 is the higher level of the same archetypal structure as Q1/Q3. Such a direct vertical access is possible through certain alterations in the cellular and brain structures as, for example, by the ingestion of psychoactive substances, fasting, chanting, drumming or rapid breathing. In response to this criticism, in his later work Wilber (2006) has come to emphasize what he had earlier pointed out as a clear distinction between states and stages. He now asserts, somewhat questionably, that anyone at any stage of development could briefly experience states at subtle or causal levels but not become established at those levels in terms of stage-structures. He presents a map, the Wilber-Combs lattice to demonstrate this. (See Diag.) But this map provides no ontological or epistemological explanation as to how this is possible or how it works. (See Appendix 3). As Wilber argued earlier, it remains more plausible that people at stages early than the rational self-reflexive could access either spontaneously or through shamanic techniques our Level III but not level IV. Our model maps this feature more adequately than Wilber's.

In fact, many of Wilber's disagreements with Jung and the neo-Jungians (such as Joseph Campbell) concerning the nature of early magical and mythic consciousness—i.e. the issue as to whether such consciousness was strictly pre-personal or whether it contained transpersonal features—grow out of an insufficient understanding of this direct 'vertical access' between primal and 'nature-psychic' levels understood as different levels of the same archetypal deep structure. This structural feature of our model shows indeed how there was a higher level 'psychic' mystical element that informed the primal myths that then became inaccessible to stage II egoic consciousness—an element which would not be regained in a new way until stage-level III. Transpersonalist Roger Walsh, in his study on shamanism asks, "Since the shamans alone experience the realms described in tribal myth and cosmology, the question arises as to whether their journeys and descriptions also shaped these myths and what extent do spiritual practitioners create their tradition's cosmology from their experience and to what extent is their experience created by, or at least molded by, their cosmology?" He concludes: "Thus it seems that in the short term shamanic experience is definitely shaped by cultural cosmology." But disagreeing with Eliade—another author of a famed work on shamanism—who believed that the shamans did not create the cosmology, Walsh asserts that "perhaps in the long run the reverse also occurs and shamanic experience shapes the image of the cosmos." (pp 115,116). That the shamans' experiential accessing of level III was 'interpreted down' to level I mythology does not make it any less psychic-mystical and genuinely symbolical in its essence.

We certainly know that the culture of the last two and a half millennia grew out of stage 9/3 level III and even level IV mystical insights—the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Plotinus—which was certainly 'translated down' into the mythic-rational terms of stage-level II. But these insights made a profound and significant contribution to the evolutionary development of both East and West (albeit marked with the horrors of the fundamental existential fracture of this grand stage II). As Q4/Q2 lies directly over Q2/Q4, our model also shows the manner of direct access to high subtle and causal dimensions (level IV) that can occur through intense Zen practice (grounded in 6th principle Virgo) which largely bipasses the shamanic or psychic level and which does not directly engage the collective unconscious dimensions of stage-level III. (Nevertheless, it is also the case that zen practice takes place within an established tradition and sangha, albeit a formalized 7/1 to 9/3 structure.)

According to Kelly, the aesthetic-symbolic and abstract-conceptual dimensions stand in a dialectical relation rather than the one leading to the other through a linear and developmental progression. But I do not agree with Kelly's view that the Causal level cannot be seen, in any absolute sense, to be holarchically 'higher' than the subtle. In our model the one does follow the other developmentally as claimed by the perennialist accounts of Wilber, Brown, Engler et al. But I do agree that structure-level I does find its higher fulfillment in structure-level III, while structure-level II finds its higher fulfillment in structure-level IV. It is true that the shaman of pre-selfreflexive level I cultures had direct access to level III largely bi-passing, as it were, stage II. Similarly, the serious meditative practitioner at late level II (6/12) has direct access to level IV largely bi-passing level III. Nevertheless, developmentally speaking, such a one will always need to return to explore the missed level and integrate mind and body through it. At any rate, Kelly's model strongly suggests an ontology that is significantly reflected in the astrological model.

So astrological stage-level III generally corresponds to Wade's Transcendent consciousness and Kelly's implicate level aesthetic/symbolic domain. Astrological stage-level IV corresponds to Wade's Unity consciousness and to Kelly's implicate abstract conceptual level. It is also of interest that Allan Combs has categorized traditional mystic paths as either ontic or noetic thus suggesting a twofold classification of transcendent domains. Ontic paths are concerned with the realization of being while noetic paths are concerned with the attainment of insight or knowledge. Awakening subtle energies and powers, the ontic paths include most of the Hindu yogas and correspond to our stage-level III. The noetic paths including Zen Buddhism and Jnana yoga exemplified by Ramana Maharshi, are concerned, not directly with subtle realms, but with cognitive structures, generally corresponding to our stage-level IV.

Michael Washburn—Regression in Service of Transcendence

Now let us take a look at Washburn's account as it reflects the first levels of the trans-egoic domain, the access to the non-ordinary states of consciousness on the Return arc. Washburn's 'regression in the service of transcendence' (hereafter I'll refer to it as RIST) involves a re-encounter with the power of the Ground where the ego has an experience of renewing its relation to the maternal principle: reencountering the power of the Ground, the ego begins reexperiencing the ego-Great Mother dynamic. Moreover, given its negatively weighted ambivalence toward the Ground, the ego more specifically begins reexperiencing the ego-Terrible Mother dynamic. The ego finds itself once again in the presence of a power that is dark, dreadful and engulfing. The ego fears for its very existence and therefore struggles with ever resource at its disposal to free itself from the power it faces. It tries desperately to shore up old defenses and, if at all possible, to reseal the dark Mother-Ground. These efforts, however, the ego learns, are counterproductive; they cause its adversary to grow in size and fury. Digesting this insight, the ego eventually realizes that, in struggling to save itself from the power it faces, it is really only hurting itself. And, in time, the ego realizes why this is so, namely, because it is somehow related to this power as to a deeper and higher part of itself. The ego, that is, arrives at the insight that its adversary, the power of the Ground qua Terrible Mother-Goddess, is not something inherently alien and evil, but rather something that is perceived in this manner only because it has been alienated and condemned. For these reasons the ego at last concludes that it cannot, and indeed should not, continue to struggle against the power of the Ground. Putting this decision into practice, the ego reverses its stand. It ceases attempting to protect itself from the power of the Ground and begins instead to submit itself to this power so that. through this surrender, it might be spiritually reborn. And as the ego yeilds in this way, it discovers that the Mother-Ground is not at all what it had seemed. It discovers that the Mother-Ground is a creative source rather than a dangerous abyss and that the power of this Ground is a regenerative power rather than a destructive one. The Terrible Goddess is in this way revealed to be more truly a Good Goddess. The power of the Ground is revealed to be the power of spiritual transformation. This emergence of the power of the Ground as spirit signals that the ego has made the turn from regression in service of transcendence to regeneration in spirit. (1995, 200)

Such a deep encounter with the ground where individual and collective interpenetrate, "reawakens the body and reactivates the physico-dynamic potentials that heretofore had constituted the body-unconscious"—a process clearly referring to the awakening of the individual bodily dimension of our first quadrant. (p.178). Washburn is describing a transitional phase at the end of the egoic period (our 6th/12th phase) leading across the boundary of original repression and alienation (our horizon) to access the deeper and repressed dimensions of what he terms the 'dynamic ground'. Corresponding to religion's dark night of the soul, to the spiritual desert, is the period of RIST which includes both the period leading up to the lifting of primal repression—a withdrawal from and dying to the world—and the period after the lifting of primal repression. According to Washburn, there is at first a loss of interest in and disillusionment with the world, a sense of existential alienation and lifeless derealization of a world once full of meaning (rooted in our 6/12 phase). With the experience of alienation, the identity project is abandoned, old anxieties re-emerge—fear and trembling, sickness unto death. In his words:

The reason for the ostensible change in the world is that the world, as a realm alive with meanings and values, is a subjective interpretation or construction. Hence, the withdrawal of the mental ego from the world is at the same time a 'deinterpretation' or deconstruction of the world.....a world ceases being a world in the full sense, and is reduced to a mere setting, when it is deserted, and consequently 'distended' and decathected, by its subject — which is just what happens in the case of alienation. The loss of the world entails the loss of the mental ego's identity....Ego selfhood in the world...The reason why alienation works to reveal the mental ego's identity is that, in derealizing the world, it inhibits the expression of identity and thereby draws attention to identity....Alienation disallows the mental ego any longer to live its identity, and its identity is therefore disembedded and brought into view....So long as the mental ego lives its identity, it does not know its identity. (1995, pp178,181)

Following 'derealization of the world' and the 'deanimation of identity' comes a derepression and then a deanimation of the shadow dashing "all of the mental ego's airs of specialness and worth." (p184) Alienation leads to despair, compelling the ego to accept its nothingness and guilt in a leap of faith, letting go at the deepest level and reopening the Ground; this marks the beginning of the second stage of RIST. The second stage of RIST involves both a derepression of the Ground and a regression of the ego to the Ground, an experience of being taken possession of by forces of the prepersonal unconscious—clearly our stage III deeply accessed as we move into phase 8/2. According to Washburn, the inner dialogue which actually increased during the alienation period is now interrupted by eruptions of gravitational energy giving rise to an experience of black holes in psychic space. Images and dreams of falling, vortices, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, storms, wild beasts, blood, plague etc. accompany the black hole experiences. Anxiety becomes a state of dread in the face of the dark and alien. The unreal of the first stage becomes surreal in the second. Alienation of the first stage (where the world became unreal) becomes estrangement in the second—an entrancement by a world which has become surreal. Childhood fears may spring into life, the mental ego being powerless to control both old and new feelings.

An awakening of intuition and a reactivation of the autosymbolic process (from 1st & 2nd principles, stage I) produces insights (many of them unwelcome), apparitions, and hallucinations—images of one's deepest fears and temptations. There is an energic physicodynamic reactivation of the body, a 'resurrection' by energy currents breaking through the blockages of primal repression producing physical symptoms—kundalini arousal, yogic kriyas. The mental ego experiences this bodily resurrection as a foreign process yet may begin to lose itself in the awakening sensations. For the spiritual seeker especially, the coincidence of the awakening spiritual and instinctual dimensions is a source of anguish. But according to Washburn, rather than being an essential connection between the instincts and the power of the Ground, their connection is purely developmental in that primal repression originally forced spirit to keep the company of the instincts.

This peculiar juxtaposition of spiritual and intellectual possibilities is a source of acute conflict for the mental ego. Every time it opens itself 'upwardly' to spirit, it feels the 'downward' pull of the instincts.... Despite believing that spirit and the instincts are complete opposites, the mental ego now discovers that it cannot aspire to the former without simultaneously opening itself to the latter....Paradoxically, the move toward integration, which aims at the apex of human actualization, may retrace stages from our primitive evolutionary past. This retracing, however, should not be all that surprising. For integration, as the term itself implies, is the unification of the totality of human resources. If anything were omitted, no matter how primitive, integration would not be complete. (p.199).

Interpreting Washburn in Terms of the Astrological Model

Washburn is surely correct in describing the confluence of the spiritual and the instinctual, at least at the initial levels of the transpersonal. Most certainly, the astrological model reveals graphically the nature of such a coincidence of the spiritual and the instinctual. It readily reveals the direct archetypal resonance of the first levels of the transpersonal and the primal/instinctual levels, the transpersonal being a higher level manifestation of the same deep archetypal structure as the primal. In activating the ontogenetic side of the instinctual-archetypal unconscious, the Great Mother archetype may be reactivated, but in a way which differs from the original preoedipal form because the ego now knows the difference between inner and outer and is now confronted with the transpersonal Great Goddess rather than the prepersonal Great Mother.

Connecting the third and first quadrants, a new level of conscious intentionality and vital power is realized, an uprush of the life force and an awakening of the 'spontaneous will' which is our first principle. Here is a re-awakening of the original involuntary instinctual assertion, the level of 'immediate discharge' (Wilber, 1980, 48,49) that is now gradually integrated with the effortful and voluntary mental-egoic overlay of the first principle. At the eighth principle level of experiential encounter with the deep unconscious, there is now a natural awakening and attunement to the body and its polymorphously sensual connectedness to the second principle natural world in the here-and-now. Here is the level of natural body mysticism, a re-experiencing of the primal-organic level allowing a visceral and cellular level transformation—a pleasure experiencing rather than a pleasure seeking, a life affirming rather than a death denying, a being fully 'in-the-world' without grasping and clinging. Freed of the repressive constraints of egoic mental categories, nature can manifest directly allowing a healing of the original pain of separation. The physicality of this level is convincingly mapped as the archetypal coincidence of level III with the primal and biological level I. Here is a re-awakening of the body-ego (1st & 2nd principles), but in a transformed condition; a re-awakening of the ability to live intensely in the present and of the sense of timelessness, yet without loss of the ability to live in time. As Wilber (1980) expresses it, "The infantile bodyego can only see the present; the centaur can see all time from the present." (p59). All this could not be a more apt and convincing description of the archetypal higher level coincidence of stage III and the original pre-mental ego stage I.

An adequate way of picturing the Washburnian 'regression' (but also the Grofian regression and the whole 'dark-night-of-the-soul' dimension) that does not violate the legitimate logic of Wilber's pre-trans distinction, is to understand this particular process as a 'coming from' the higher level of the communal pole where there is a 'going-back-down' to a more 'complete' polarity-embracing, re-experiencing of the original biospherically-connected psyche in its agentic and communal, individual and collective poles. This is a 'going down' to the level before consciousness became structured through the division between the developing individual and the social environment, to Grof's original organism/matrix bi-furcation of the birth process. And this integrative reach is precisely what the astrological topography reveals. Such a conception most certainly does not violate the pre-trans distinction. As has been said, where the Outward arc is the growth of consciousness constellated along the agentic pole of the grand holon as an organismically centered and situated consciousness in relation to the communal pole increasingly and necessarily experienced as 'other', the Return arc is a direct experiential movement into and 'from' the 'communal' pole from a higher level. The pivot of the great arcs, the turning point from the Outward to the Return arc, implies an archetypal movement from agentic emphasis to communal emphasis: but again as has been said, not creating the agentic pole (self) as other in the way that the 'agentic' had created the 'communal' as other; rather, now moving toward an inclusion of both poles from the bottom up.

What we are seeing here is a movement beyond the 'personal repressed' to an experience of the full force of the 'collective unconscious'—not just the 'archaic' level—through a trans-individual mode of awareness. Such an experience of the sudden release and return of the 'repressed' and the loss of previous agentic dominance, is not smooth but dynamic and intense, like the Dionysian experiences of Grof's third matrix specifically, or Washburn's (1998) descent into the 'underworld' (" eruption of the psyche's repressed underlife and a submersion of the ego in this underlife." p.188). Nevertheless, the ultimate telos of the Return arc is an inclusion and embrace of the self and all those dimensions of the unconscious to which the self was dialectically connected as self/world at each holarchic level from the bottom levels up to the trans-egoic level of perception and inclusion. This includes the experiences historically contained within both the conscious individual and the collective unconscious to which it was inextricably interconnected all along. It is an embracing of the totality of the lower: but this totality includes a lower that is more whole and total than the original field of experience of the developing self —a self whose actual mode of experience constituted the very structure of that self.

Male and Female Spirituality

As we move into the Return arc, the foundational gender dynamics which were so critical on the Outward arc now come to bear on stage-level III, involving similarities and differences in male and female spirituality. These spiritual differences are functions of what remains of the gender polarities by the time individuals come to practice the methods or undergo spontaneous experiences which access transegoic levels. By the end of stage-level II marking the rise of feminism and its eventual institutional embodiment, the extreme imbalances and psycho-social devaluation and repression of women and the 'feminine' are to a large extent redressed. The archetypal polarities remain, and although they are moving toward a balance, cannot be fundamentally integrated this side of the Return arc. Yet by this stage the psycho-social play of these polarities is much more evenly distributed between the genders. Thus, in a post patriarchal society (the higher and still possible future level of the 6/12 stage collectively speaking) the family and gender dynamics which form the matrix of the developing child through stage I and stage II are altered; they must be conceived somewhat differently from how we have mapped them so far. There would still be a recapitulation at the levels of 1/7 and 2/8, but from the Oedipal situation onward, and specifically from that point we have characterized as the male shift from N to M, there would be a different sort of development. The M matrix would now be gender neutral as 3/9 and 4/10 unfold at the same level as higher levels of the 6/12 phase—in the 'layered over' manner explained earlier.

Liberal feminists deny that differences between agentic assertion and relational connection are in any way gender specific, the actual gender array being socially produced or perpetuated such as in Chodorow’s sense where the 'mother' or primary caregiver has been almost solely a woman, or in the Jean Baker-Miller sense where differences arise from subordination. Eco or Goddess feminists insist that gender differences are deep and go beyond mere anatomical differences; that is, they are archetypal—women are primarily connected relators; men are primarily separative asserters. Although gender specificity is only a statement of averages, it is nevertheless a deep, or archetypally informed difference in that ego structure is constellated around a core relational orientation or core separative orientation. And generally, males and females are divided as to this orientation beginning at the biological level, except to say that people are actually situated along a spectrum. But we must understand that this spectrum is defined by different proportions of the polarity of agency/communion rather than a spread of people from an agentic pole to a communal pole. Spectrum thinking which is common these days is misleading, since in describing the apparent surface variety and mosaic, it fails to take into account the fundamental logical polarity of things.

This view is resonant with, though significantly different from that of Michael Washburn who addresses the issue of the relationship of historical gender difference to the contrasexual bi-polar structure of the psyche—Jung's anima/animus. He is validly critical of Jung's account of the anima and animus as too closely identifying a deep archetypal difference with gender difference. Briefly, according to Washburn's convincing case, Jung's account actually finishes up implying that "not only are women, at best, inferior men" but that "men, potentially, are superior women....For Jung, then, men do not really follow women on the spiritual path. They follow their own anima projections." (pp281, 282). Washburn wishes to preserve the idea of a deep psycho-dynamic difference, a polarity of anima and animus in the psyches of both men and women, while avoiding the sexist implications of Jung's model. Maintaining that gender differences are narrow in the liberal feminist sense yet deep in the more radical sense, he offers a reformulated account of the anima and animus. Rather than defining the anima as the archetype of the feminine and the animus as the archetype of the masculine, he identifies the animus with the ego functions per se and the anima with the dynamic ground functions, thus preserving a deep archetypal polarity without defining gender in dualistic terms. He sets up a scale between ego functions at one end (his EFI pole—ego functions and independence) and the dynamic ground at the other (his NPR pole—nonegoic potentials and relationship). Both men and women fall closer to the EFI ego end than to the NPR ground end of the axis, yet positionally men are closer to the EFI end than are women. Both men and women are developing ego functions (his EFI pole) but with women remaining closer to, and ‘obliged’ to act out, through the anima projections of the dualistic male, the NPR pole. Males and females contain both the anima and animus with men tending to identify themselves more strongly with the EFI pole than women.

I agree that in the terms of Washburn's model both men and women are developing ego functions; that is to say, they are constituted by a consciousness which is differentiating from the instinctual species unconscious. But as Washburn defines 'ego' functions and 'dynamic ground' functions, it follows that men manifest the ego functions to a greater degree than women, and that women manifest (or stay with) 'ground' functions to a greater degree than men. This is because Washburn defines the archetypal poles as developing consciousness on the one hand and original unconsciousness on the other while taking agency-linked-with-logos as paradigmatic of ego. But doing this preserves the patriarchal paradigm for ego and consciousness (see chapter 4). When Washburn says both boys and girls distance themselves from non-egoic potentials, he means they both emerge from primal fusion—agreed. But emerging from primal fusion implies only one way on his polarity axis. Both sexes indeed,as he contends, stand closer to the EFI pole than the NPR pole, but Washburn's picture tends to show that men have emerged more decisively from the Ground than have women. Certainly women have been marginalized from Logos through history, and the agentic assertive ego (which is really the same as Washburn’s EFI pole) has dominated over the relational self. But in defining the archetypal shape of developing consciousness in relation to original unconsciousness, Washburn is actually preserving the mistaken logic of the Jung/Neumann account of emergence and, rather than adequately describing the foundational dynamics, is mapping what has happened under patriarchy. But as Consciousness emerges or differentiates beyond prior biospheric unconsciousness, the polarity which better defines the archetypal animus and anima is the polarity structure of consciousness, namely agency and communion. Both agency and communion emerge from the ground unconscious. In resonance with, yet subtly different from Washburn's formulation, the astrological model identifies animus with the agentic self and anima with the communal self where the communal self is no more the ground unconscious than the agentic self and where anima and animus stand as a polarity which has, up to later in stage-level II, in both archetypal and gender terms, manifested as a polarity. Nevertheless, the astrological model which pictures women as embracing the third quadrant more than men, picks up the archetypal resonance of the third quadrant feminine with the unconscious ground which is embraced through stage-level III. I believe that the astro-transpersonal model avoids the logical problems of both the original Jung/Neumann model and Washburn's gender-sensitive modification. The stark dualistic imbalance, the asymmetry which defines the relations of the genders, is not the archetypal polarity of agency/communion per se, but the fact that males, in more often choosing the agency pole, actively reject and repress the communion pole whereas females, in more often choosing the relationship pole, do not repress, but rather, simply fail to equally develop the agency pole to the same degree as most men.

In terms of the issue of spirituality and gender, Washburn in accordance with his own particular modelling makes the point that women need to do 'catch up' on assertion before entering the transcendent levels. At this point in history, women are certainly engaged in developing the assertive animus pole and moving toward a more empowered and balanced way of being. But men need equally to do 'catch up' on relationship. As Tarnas maintains, we are now experiencing a cultural rebirth of the feminine and I believe as an expression of this, that society is changing more through the efforts of women right now than it is through men; the 'slaves' rather than the 'masters' (to evoke Hegel, but hopefully moving toward his 'mutual recognition'). Rather, coming from will, assertion, and desire, spiritual 'seeker' men often push on through for the big cookie and hence may have to go through some heavy 'Terrible Mother' regression experiences in stage III. Some of the more negative phenomenological aspects of RIST are, I believe, the result of the male's not having done this work at the end of the Outward arc, thus skipping across level 7/1 straight into 8/2. I feel that much of the existential angst Washburn describes has to do with mens' inability or unwillingness to open to the relational-connective dimension in the noosphere, complementarily with women's opening to the assertive dimension. Consequently, men are compelled to push themselves 'off the edge' prematurely.2 It would be better if they were matching womens' efforts in the level II noosphere before seeking the transcendent.

When we are considering the Eastern teachings, philosophically and as stages and levels of practice a la Brown, we are mapping structures which include the distortions (or skewings) brought about by dominantly male transcendent experience, or more exactly, transcendent experience entered from the agentic Outward arc without a maturation at the 6/12 post patriarchal phase. Such a skewing does not refute the essential mapping of the universal deep structures of the transcendent levels (I am not advocating transpersonal cultural or sex-based relativism), but much of what we know of these structures and how we understand them, and particularly how we relate them to the Outward arc, is affected. Relevant to this, the transpersonalist Christopher Bache poses the question of the male slant possibly biasing transpersonal experience including his own.

The ego that we are attempting to transcend in transpersonally oriented therapy is a collective as well as an individual construct, a construct that has been forged for the past four thousand years in the fires of patriarchal culture. Even putting our most enlightened foot forward, how could it fail to be the case that the psyches of men will embody this construct differently than the psyches of women and therefore that men and women will experience its dissolution somewhat differently? (pp301,302 n.6)

According to Washburn, women's re-encounter with the Terrible Goddess is, generally speaking, not as difficult as it is for males. Perhaps the 'Terrible Goddess' is not so terrible for women because She constitutes their power; She is the animus that they have not yet owned. For the male, this same Terrible Goddess is not simply not-yet accessed or owned, but is the rage, vengeance and anger of the actually repressed, denigrated and devalued feminine. The higher level 'Goddess' (Q3, level III) as distinct from the biospheric Great Mother (Q3, level I), is not properly the Anima; she is the Anima/Animus, the connection/assertion dynamic of the unconscious pole. The animus/anima structure of the psyche constellates the relation of consciousness (ego) and the level I unconscious, not the level III unconscious Soul level. The Great Goddess (8/2 centrally) belongs to the first levels of the Return arc which integrate both the first and third quadrants. Contra Jung, the unconscious can be identified with neither the anima nor with the animus, even though the unconscious may take the form of either pole as one encounters the depths of one's own psyche as entwined with the emergent collective unconscious. The transformative relationship of the male to the 'Terrible Goddess' is centrally one of remorse, responsibility, reconciliation, surrender, redemption; thus a development of the male’s anima side (a process certainly easier if one has done his work in the manner addressed by humanistic, feminist and eco psychology before entering the transpersonal path decisively at stage 8/2). For the female, this stage can provide the opportunity to accept and embrace the power. The result is a marriage of the two poles within the psyche.


1. That is to say that these noospheric distinctions can no longer be sustained from the point of view of the transcendent level. Actually, the Outward arc structures continue their modifications and as constituting the noosphere are no more actually replaced than is the biosphere or the cosmos.
2. Hence, I believe, the number of very questionable and abusive male gurus who have clearly entered levels of the transpersonal but are still fatally stuck at lower levels of sexuality and power.

Continue to Chapter 17