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Transpersonal Theory & and Astrological Mandala
An Evolutionary Model

Gerry Goddard                    



Introduction. Statement of interdisciplinary intent.

Chapter 1. Counterpoints in Transpersonal Theory & the Evolution of Consciousness provides a general introduction to the field of transpersonal theory within the larger context of an emerging new paradigmatic orientation, situating the field in relation to modernist and postmodernist ways of knowing. I describe three broad paradigmatic orientations within the transpersonal philosophical field itself, namely, neoperennialism. pluralism, and NeoJungianism and touch on certain central issues necessarily involved in the formulation of a synthesizing model of consciousness.

Chapter 2. Toward an Astrological Model of Consciousness introduces the idea of astrology and the possibility of an astro-transpersonal model of the structure and evolution of individual and collective consciousness.

Chapter 3. The Transpersonal Models of Ken Wilber, Stanislav Grof & Michael Washburn. Orienting the account around an elegant metaphor advanced by Richard Tarnas citing two fundamental paradigmatic views on the nature of history, this chapter takes a closer look at the salient ideas of Ken Wilber, Michael Washburn and Stanislav Grof exploring certain central commonalities and paradigm differences in their models. A brief introduction to Wilber’s ‘four-quadrant model’ is also included.

Chapter 4. Toward an Archetypal Synthesis discusses the logic underlying a transpersonal synthesis of these models and points toward the astrological structure about to be explicated. Specifically explored are gender relations and the agency/communion dialectic, further thoughts on Grof’s perinatal model in answer to Wilber, and the central concept of the Outward and Return arcs of evolution.

Chapter 5. An Introduction to the Astrological Mandala provides the basic vocabulary and principles needed by the non-astrological reader for proceeding further in the book.

Chapter 6. The Logical Infrastructure of the Four-Stage—Four-Level Astrological Model describes the dynamic bi-polar logical infrastructure of the astrological mandala as particularly applicable to the task at hand. A successive unfolding of the astrological axes as bi-polar spirals constituting an Outward and Return arc of evolution (diagrams are included), the evolution of consciousness from human beginnings to the possibility of ultimate transcendence is mapped as a dialectical interactivity of Dane Rudhyar's Day and Night forces interpreted in terms of the archetypal polarities: individual and collective, masculine and feminine, agency and communion, differentiation and integration. The idea of a cosmic and biological level beneath (and inherent within) the noospheric level is also introduced.

Chapter 7. Stages on the Outward Arc—Level I elaborates, as the dialectical relation of the first and third astrological quadrants, the pre-mental egoic or primal stages of human consciousness development demonstrating the appropriate astrological categories and the developmental psychological categories especially as articulated by Wilber and Washburn.

Chapter 8. Stages on the Outward Arc—Level II continues the explication of the psychological and astrological categories describing, as the dialectical relation of the second and fourth astrological quadrants, the mental-egoic level with special reference to the terms of Wilber and Washburn.

Chapter 9. Astrological Dialectics & the Evolution of Consciousness draws on the substance of the previous chapters, elaborating and developing the astro-transpersonal account of the Outward arc of development.

Chapter 10. Holonic Logic & the Astrological Mandala presents a more precise account of the dialectics of individual and historical development in terms of the holonic elements of the astrological topography.

Chapter 11. Cognitive/Moral Stages & the Astrological Principles discusses the main categories of the astrological mandala in terms of the models of Lawrence Kohlberg, Carol Gilligan, Mary Belenky et al, and Jenny Wade.

Chapter 12. The Astrological Gender Polarity takes a closer look at the mandala in terms of the Agency/Communion dialectic and the male/female dynamic.

Chapter 13. An Astrological Narrative of Western Cultural History—the Ancients to the Advent of the Modern—Part I presents an account of Western history from the ancients through the Middle Ages drawing heavily on the work of Julian Jaynes, Charles Taylor, Richard Tarnas, Elaine Pagels and others as it reflects and illuminates the archetypal categories of the primal stage (1/7, 2/8, 3/9).

Chapter 14. An Astrological Narrative of Western Cultural History—Part II. The Modern Period continues the above narrative through the modern period. (4/10, 5/11)

Chapter 15. An Astrological Narrative of Western Cultural History—Part III. The Postmodern Period looks specifically at the current deep structure of consciousness unfolding as the postmodern period and corresponding to the 6/12 phase of the Outward arc of development.

Chapter 16. The Transpersonal Domains—Level III: the Psychic & the Subtle explores the stages and structures constituting the the Psychic and Subtle domains of the transpersonal understood in terms of the first three phases of the Return arc, 7/1, 8/2 and 9/3.

Chapter 17. Further thoughts on Level III: Stanislav Grof, Christopher Bache, Duane Elgin, Peter Russell explicates in more depth the perinatal matrices of Grof's model in terms of the stages covered in chapter 16.

Chapter 18. The Transpersonal Domains—Level IV: the High Subtle to the Ultimate Level explores the stages and structures from The High Subtle to the Ultimate transpersonal domains understood in terms of the next three phases of the Return arc, 10/4, 11/5, and 12/6.

Chapter 19. Cosmic and Biological Levels of the Astrological Mandala explicates the astrological categories and dialectical principles at cosmic and biological levels which are understood as a trajectory standing beneath the noospheric and transpersonal levels. The account engages centrally the macro-micro concept of cosmic evolution of Erich Jantsch and the generally accepted time-line of biological evolution as presented by Swimme and Berry. The larger metaphysical implications of this way of modelling are briefly introduced, pointing to further discussion in subsequent chapters.

Chapter 20. ReVisioning the Mind-Body Problem deals with the philosophical issue of the nature and relation of matter and spirit, subjectivity and objectivity, from the point of view of holonic logic. Some readers may wish to skip over this intensily analytical chapter since it is not essential to one's general appreciation of the overarching astro-transpersonal model. It is offered as a philosophical grounding and justification for the basic concepts of the Torus model which I introduce at the end of chapter 20 and further develop in chapter 23. I offer a critique and revisioning of Wilber’s Left and Right quadrants and question the philosophical need for and even the validity of a panpsychist or panexperientialist explanation of the origins of consciousness, a view logically implied by Wilber's particular holonic modelling.

Chapter 21. Evaluating the Mandalic Deep Structure sets forth some final arguments justifying the astro-transpersonal model in terms of its essential logical topography that incorporates the best of existing models and offers what I believe is a more adequate transpersonal model.

Chapter 22. The Astro-Transpersonal Model & Jorge Ferrer's Critique of Perennialist Universalism While the astrological model is seen as generally friendly to Ferrer’s philosophical orientation (the third paradigmatic perspective cited in chapter 1), I am concerned to justify the astro-transpersonal model’s perennialist and universalist features which, in a nonastrological context, have been so strongly critiqued by Ferrer.

Chapter 23. The Astro-Transpersonal Model and the Archetypal Cosmos presents an overarching metaphysical account of creation and emanation coming together as the evolutionary path pictured by the Torus model, plus an explanation for the ontological and epistemic possibility of an objective astrological effect.

Appendix 1. Theory & Practice seeks to situate the book’s theoretical aims with a sensitivity to the nature and relation of theory and practice which becomes a particularly significant issue at the transpersonal level.