Demiurgic Field *
Its Patterning Role in Chaos, Creation, and Creativity
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." --Albert Einstein
By Iona Miller and Paul Wildman, Ph.D., 2004
Abstract: The pre-scientific philosophical (Platonic) and archetypal (Biblical; Vedic, gnostic, pagan, etc.) notion of a Demiurge (cosmic maker or shaper) or creator-god can be contemporized in terms of the deterministic, self-organizing dynamics of Chaos Theory. "In the beginning" was Chaos, the negentropic Source. The creative edge of chaos is implicated in the creation of the universe, as well as in human creativity and learning processes. We propose a universal theory of creativity emerging from chaos theory.
The most primordial aspect of creation, the Demiurgic Field (DUF) as continuous creation, underlies and continues to influence energic/material and psychic processes. The DUF is cosmic "zero" the negentropic source of emergent order or ground state ~ the source of physical manifestation and our psychophysical being. We can employ procedures to connect with this source of inspiration and renewal in a holistic manner. An organic, rather than mechanistic paradigm for shaping modern culture and creative living for a more sustainable lifestyle emerges.
Subtle fluctuations in this creative ground state (DUF) may be pumped up by the "butterfly effect" into perceivable effects. The human neurosystem may be responsive to fluctuations at the level of a single quantum. Shaking the system a little can jolt a sub-optimal state, causing it to roll down to a deeper hollow in the energy landscape (chreode), representing a better solution. Demiurgic intentionality acts through the medium of nature much like our human creative intentionality works as artificer on or through a medium.
We suggest chaotic excitability is a universal sense organ. The linkage mechanism of DUF to archetype to human perception or response may be a combination of fractal chaos and quantum mechanical fluctuation, patterned by the metaphysical virtual field ‘intentionality’ through chaotic excitability. Adaptation is actually a holistic model of a consciousness-expanding process (DUF), involving the mutual interaction of self-reflection and self-correction (shaping) at the individual and collective levels of our existence. The same essential dynamics that gave rise to the birth of the universe and evolution govern human creativity and learning.
Keywords: Chaos theory, negentropy, creativity, typology, archetypes, values and ethics, Demiurgic Field, information theory, sustainable lifestyles, learning, holism, depth psychology, transpersonal psychology, paradigm shift, complexity, imagination, vacuum potential, zero-point energy, quantum foam, noetics, consciousness studies.
“Man's genius is a deity ~ Heraclitus
"Talk not of genius baffled. Genius is master of man.
Genius does what it must. Talent does what it can." --Bulwer-Lytton
In our desire for adaptation and survival, for novelty, for innovation, for self-expression and self-actualization, we essentially emulate the creative process of the universe, God, or the gods of the ancients. The creative act draws from the mysterious, the unknown to produce something wholly new, the genesis of new form.
Inspiration may come from intuition, the numinous, from a seemingly vacant moment of incubation, or from actively seeking to touch our primal source. Socrates personified the creative spirit of man as his Daemon, or genius. It did not imply a high I.Q., but an intimate connection with transpersonal creativity, which must be realized.
The implication is that genius can be awakened within us all to enhance the quality of personal and collective life. To do so, we must learn to ‘stand in the Mystery.’ For most of us, genius remains untapped, veiled behind the doors of perception, sometimes granting a brief, unpredictable glance of the ineffable.
In this article we seek to explore the subtle ground field of our existence from which all being arises. Ancients have called this the Demiurgic field (DUF), the (pro)creative field. We can imagine it as a virtual energy field. Quantum physics calls this undifferentiated negentropic domain quantum foam, the vacuum fluctuation, vacuum potential or zero-point energy, the matrix or source of all energy/matter.
There is an unmanifest fundamental reality, a virtual field, which is an invisible flux not comprised of parts, but an inseparable interconnectedness. In this dynamic model, there are no "things", only energetic events. This holoflux includes the ultimately flowing nature of what is, and also of that which forms therein.
This subquantal domain [which may only be a physical analog of the DUF] marks the limit of our ability to peer into the Mystery of nature at cosmic zero. At the human scale, we are blinded to this primal creative field by modern day hustle and bustle. We have lost touch with our deepest creative roots, tending to favor the cognitive intellect, the light, the sky-oriented energies over the irrational ground.
However, there are time-honored and new ways of actively reconnecting with this creative force. Our consciousness appears co-temporaneously with our embodiment, creating the imaginal flux of representational and nonrepresentational perception - the stream of consciousness. The Vedas identify all creative intent and substance as a manifestation of primal consciousness, which is considered the basis of all manifestation. In this worldview, there is nothing but consciousness.
We can learn to ‘touch and be touched by the DUF’ so to speak, to drink from this well via a holistic system of learning - artificer learning -that draws from this source to mold our creativity and lives (values and ethics). Human consciousness is a self-referential system which embodies the principle of connection between logic and chaos in holistic ("whole brain")awareness.
We can observe and perceive reality from myriad levels of organization or domains: macrocosmic, mesocosmic, and microcosmic including chemical, molecular, atomic, electromagnetic, and subatomic (quantal) or energetic. Virtual fields are metaphysical, hence speculative, though their presence may be deduced by resonant manifestations.
Here we postulate a primordial field that is more fundamental than energy/matter. Patterned by information, it manifests through the dance of chaos and order. Alternatively, it can be modeled and described as the frequency domain of a holographic concept of reality, or as physicist David Bohm’s implicate order. But here we will rely on chaos theory to unpack the dynamic of unfolding nature and our nature.
Information theory has been employed to model dynamic processes ranging from the entire universe (Fredkin, 1988) to human neurological functioning (Pribram, 1991). Information "occurs" in the dimension of space/time. The information theory of the universe models bits of information as fundamental, while neurodynamics conceives of quanta of information, superceding general systems theory and thermodynamics as models of brain/mind/consciousness.
Physics deals with the energetic aspect of the world. Information theory deals with the communicational or patterning aspect. A ‘message’ is communicated from the external world (universe) to the individual and his reactions. We tend to take the constant imaginal flux of the stream of consciousness for granted, rarely focusing our conscious awareness in that direction. But we can experientially "decode" the universal "message" --potential holistic repatterning -- it contains in terms of intuitions, inspiration, epiphanies, and creative direction.
There is no channel or receiver as the phenomenon is nonlocal, but the conscious mind interprets it that way -- as information embodied in the fractal nature of imagery and symbols which compress the informational content of the whole. We suggest consciousness, like creativity, is an emergent phenomenon patterned by strange attractors which govern the complexity of information in dynamic flow.
Complex dynamics is implicated in the energetic translation of "waves of unborn nothingness". We suggest, in the Platonic spirit, that it shapes or artifices all nature and human nature. We conclude by listing some ways that this energic system can be seen in our day to day world. Everything is a manifestation of this esoteric [metaphysical] underlying creative potential, we call the DUF. At our most primordial level, we are that.
The first author (Miller) developed an interest in this level of observation as foundation for her transdisciplinary work in depth psychology, art, chaos theory, new physics, Hermetics, psychotherapeutics, noetics, consciousness studies, and parapsychology and has written on it extensively as a primal field of creative consciousness (1993-2004). A synthesis of those explorations is presented here.
The second-author, (Wildman) first became aware of the idea of the DUF reflecting deeply on the question, "where do my values come from". Wildman's interest was a direct result of doctoral work in the early to mid 90’s, an explication of the ‘interests’ that lay behind some 10 years of publishing. His interest in the DUF was again sparked in developing the concept of an esoteric thesis (1995-95). See Wildman and Cundy (2002), Wildman (2002).
These inquiries into the sources of values and interests represented reiterating patterns in his research. In a sense his "esoteric" voice was speaking through the emergent patterns of the unconscious in the reciprocal conscious unconscious cycle. Harwood (2001), Wildman (2002).
"In my doctoral explication I was able to "identify" several deep patterns in my data* that had arisen over the past decade of praxis,** that I came to think of as chreodes.’ In chaos theory, chreodes represent the dips/valleys in the morphic field or Universal Energy Grid (UEG) where a ball or water ‘tends’ to flow. Chreodes are essentially the chaos theory equivalent of archetypes. Sheldrake first identified them as canalised pathways of change within a morphic field [http://www.sheldrake.org/glossary/].
For Wildman the inquiry ball always rolled, and still does, down these valleys. The next step was to publish the methodology he developed (Reflective Praxis). Then he simply followed the valleys upstream to see how he embraced a certain value position that is coherent to him although appearing eclectic. He identified that source as the DUF.
In this article, we argue that the demiurgic concept underpins or provides the foundation and grounding for the rational as well as the ethical. In a deeper sense, however, it is just as much a source of the numinous and irrational aspects of manifestation. It is the eternal dance of chaos and order, the mysterium which is simultaneously deterministic yet unpredictable.
This is the rationality of the ancients and the renaissance rather than the watered down, colorless, unimaginative, empirically reductive rationality of today. It is also the wellspring of inspiration, creativity, negentropy and self-organizing dynamics in nature and man, including the natural therapeutic process that makes us resilient as a species. Healing is the biological equivalent of creativity. This recursive loop leads ultimately toward spiritual epiphanies as feedback from the infinite ground, the DUF field, which is more than symbolic. It is the primal source of patterning information.
Aspects of the DUF
In the third principle of the Gnostic speculation, the world-maker is commonly called the Demiurge, termed by Basilides "Archon" or world-ruler, by the Ophites. "Jaldabaoth," or son of chaos. He is a creature of the fallen aeon, formed of physical material, and thus standing between God and Matter. He makes out of Matter the visible sensible world, and rules over it.
Personified demiurge has his throne in the planetary heavens, and presides over time and over the sidereal spirits. Astrological influences were generally ascribed to him. He is the God of Judaism, the Jehovah, who imagines himself to be the supreme and only God. But in the further development of this idea the systems differ; the anti-Jewish Gnostics, Marcion and the Ophites, represent the Demiurge as an insolent being, resisting the purposes of God; while the Judaizing Gnostics, Basilides and Valentine, make him a restricted, unconscious instrument of God to prepare the way for redemption.
DUF functions in a Platonic way as an artificer, i.e., shaper of the form of manifest reality to parallel that of the ‘idea’, ‘ideal’, heavenly or cosmic templates. For instance, The Bible tells of God ‘shaping’ or artificing the first humans from clay. In one Greek version of the same pre-scientific metaphor of god(s) creating humans, Prometheus made humans from clay. In another, Hephaestus created the body of the first woman from water and clay then Zeus breathed life into Pandora, who embodied the woes of corporeal existence.
Demiurge and evolution. Evolutionary systems are negentropic and are generative systems endowed with self-modifying and self-organizing chreodic capacities. Their potential for unfolding into object-structures is already implicit or present within the universe of possible states of affairs contained within formally induced sets of dynamic configurations. As such, genetic space is the logical outcome of the convergence of a cosmic concept of reason (yang) and a transcendent concept of nature (yin), thereby, pointing to a creative principle that may be called demiurgic. Demiurgic intentionality acts through the medium of nature much like our human creative intentionality works as artificer on or through a medium.
The DUF also relates to arcane spiritual paths, e.g., it is the transformer aspect of the mysterium in Masonry, etc. In Kabbalah, it is the Supernal Triad of the Tree of Life glyph manifesting from the Veils of Negative Existence. In Buddhism, it is the Void. In Vedic texts it is Pure Consciousness. This paper sees DUF independent, yet productive, of esoteric paths either spiritual or soulual/soulfull. In this light, for example, Masonry is the spiritual or arcane intellectual dimension of Yang spirituality.
Demiurge as Chaos
"Evolution is chaos with feedback." --Gleick, Chaos
Our need to procreate and to know originates in what the ancient Greeks called Chaos. The undecomposable domain of Chaos was not envisioned as an emptiness, but a rich, generative source -- a bornless nothingness from which all form proceeded.
In the beginning only Chaos existed. Structures arise out of chaos in resonance with the existing environment. Chaos theory gives us a contemporary version of Genesis, presenting the universe as a fractal manifestation of nature in dynamic evolution at the edge of chaos. This deep border zone, the threshold of existence, is the interface of the bound and the unbound. Demiurge is an open boundary.
The Demiurge emerges at the creative boundary which is infinitely deep and complex - a fount of novelty, creation, and mystery. It is the level of hidden invisible connections among all forms and transformations of energy/matter/information. It is the cutting edge, or endelessly fertile leading edge of evolution at macro-, meso-, and microscopic levels.
The mythos that "God created man in his own image" echoes the self-similarity and self-referentiality which is the signature of fractals and chaos. It implies there is an element of the universal in our individuality, which is foundational. We intuitively realize we contain the spark the ‘divine’ which is more than metaphorical.
Fractals, nature's dynamic self-organizing pattern, exist in the paradoxical space between dimensions, levels and forces of existence. They arise at the interface between processes, at boundary zones where they serve both to connect and separate multiple levels. They translate information/energy, structuring dimensions by adding or recursively removing structure, embodying evolution and change. Fractal dynamics escalate change from tiny to large scales.
All creation stories, including our scientific ones, begin in a fertile Nothingness from which the world springs into being. Buddhism echoes this notion saying that form is not other than void, and void is not other than form. Each form eventually becomes dissonant with its changing surroundings and begins the process of dissolving back into chaos.
The seemingly random element (virtual fluctuation > bifurcation) produced the Heavens (Uranus), and Gaea, the deep-breasted earth or matter, from within infinite potential. In other words, the first descent of matter came across the threshold of the chaotic matrix, the virtual vacuum fluctuation. For matter to exist, the force of attraction (super-celestial Eros) also had to appear. This cosmic trinity of chaos, matter, and attraction appears at the heart of modern chaos theory.
The Greek creation myth speaks to us from the remote depths of the unknown, before the birth of human consciousness. It represents an aspect of the universe (Uranus, the first patterning of matter as it emerges from the creative edge of chaos) which appeared before space/time (Cronos in the Greek worldview).
We must not minimize the alienating nature of time, which has become the one undeniable ruler of our world. But neither can we forget Nietzsche’s injunction, ‘one must have a bit of Chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.’ Chaos theory shows us it is a given.
Zero is pure unmanifest potential, even prior to the original creative impulse. The secret of the universe is that we all contain a bit of it within us, and it is ‘alive.’ Whatever the essence of chaos is, we are that. It&'s psychic equivalent has been called cosmic or superconsciousness, by Bucke and James. "Emptiness" is an integral aspect of our psychophysical being, mind/matter.
The view this article takes of the DUF is much like a lens, or a generative matrix for the emergence of self-organization and creativity both in the universe and mankind. The "no thing" of pure information becomes a structured "some things" through intentionality coupled with chaotic determinism (self-organized emergent order). A chaotic sytem is arbitrarily sensitive to perturbation and hence responsive.
Self-organization is an emergent property of systems and organisms, from the cosmos to human beings. Chaotic dynamics governs the emergence of this new order from apparent randomness. The deep coherence of the overall process implies hidden or missing information for holistic patterning within the apparent "noise" or randomness of chaotic patterns. The traditional and philosophical name of that coherence is the Demiurge.
Jung (1961) said, "To this day God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my willful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans and intentions and change the course of life for better or worse."
Chaos theory provides an interesting philosophical basis for exploring the relationship of psyche and matter -- the interface of mind and matter. Perhaps one of its primary virtues is that it allows us to formulate a theory of consciousness, creativity, learning, and healing based on an organic model of transformation, rather than a mechanistic or cybernetic process.
Nature repeats herself at all levels of organization. Therefore, insight on the fundamental nature of matter and the relationship of interacting systems reveals analogies with human existence and behavior. Whatever nature is, we are that. As the ancient alchemists noticed, the transformation of matter is analogous to transformation in the psyche.
This is not to say that consciousness cannot transcend its physical substratum. If we concur with physicist David Bohm, positing consciousness as pure information, it not only transcends the human sphere but the entire domain of physical manifestation. In fact, this transcendent demiurgic impulse underlies all manifestation.
Psyche is not separate from matter; consciousness is not separate from matter. But this philosophy is neither dualist nor materialist -- it is functionalist, i.e. it works. Yet it also draws on the romantic or idealist traditions of Platonism, shamanism, philosophy, hermetics, the arts, and depth psychology.
Chaos Theory (CT) is the third revolution in science after relativity and quantum theory. It is the prime source of unpredictability in the macrocosmic world and the human scale, formerly described only by classical Newtonian physics. Chaos and complexity is nature's own way of organizing systems and creating structure. All systems emerge from and eventually dissolve back into chaos.
Chaos is ubiquitous in nature, but it was missed by science due to the overwhelming complexity of detecting its underlying pattern and purpose. Chaos theory means dynamic processes are deterministic though unpredictable. Much the same can be said for its discovery in human physiology and psychology, including the creative process.
It is well established now that most dynamics in nature, ranging from the orbits of planets to psychophysical and behavioral adjustments in life, are essentially chaotic. We are chaotic systems ourselves, and chaotic systems exhibit holistic behavior. Holism sees the world in all its diversity as connected through complex feedback loops. Through the chaotic process of emergence, order appears spontaneously or even instantly within a system.
The holistic scientific metaphor provided by chaos theory allows us to describe the psyche in terms congruent with physical reality. This is simply the way nature works, and the way our nature works, too. It provides a comprehensive psychophysical metaphor for uniting physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual realities.
Holism is a paradigm - a worldview, which is equally applicable to the universe and our human existence. Chaos Theory is not a metaphor, per se, but functions as a science metaphor to describe systems, organisms, and dynamic behavior, including complex adaptation. It describes how order emerges from the creative edge of chaos.
People often spontaneously incorporate science metaphors in their self-narratives, using such terms as "black holes" and "melt downs," or "quantum leaps," etc. to describe their feelings or personal dynamics. And the same can be done with aspects of chaos theory which can describe how we adapt to life at the edge of chaos in our own unique way, how we move culturally and individually from emergency to emergence.
Paradigms from one field of science often interpenetrate others. Because the findings are more than metaphorical, they translate across disciplines. Metaphors reflect the interdependency of mind and body, and the embodied nature of metaphor holistically reflects the unity of individual and world. The events and experiences of our lives become embedded in our structure and metabolism. We might call this embodiment "metaphorms."
Over time we can expect this paradigmatic shift to penetrate more deeply into the cultural fabric of our lives and an integrative health system and sustainable lifestyle changes for the world. Chaos theory, systems theory, and complexity theory have shown us that self-organizing order emerges from chaos, and is thus the paradigm of the natural healing process. It describes the dissolution or fragmentation and reconstruction (archetypal death/rebirth) of the volitional self. It helps us attach a more positive valence to disruptions of our mortal human lives, either through illness, misfortune, or global cultural changes.
Chaos Theory (CT) is a holistic discipline which has cut across all the sciences, from cosmology to medicine. It has grown to include models of nonlinear complex dynamics, patterns of randomness, global effects, scale-invariance and deterministic chaos from the quantum to macroscopic realms, including the human scale.
Gleick (1987) said, "Where chaos begins classical science stops." By that, he means mechanistic models and linear, causal descriptions stop and the nonlinear rules of turbulence hold sway. Near criticality, a crisis-point, predictability becomes impossible.
CT includes the science and computer modeling of fractals, bifurcations, intermittancies, strange attractors, complex feedback loops, and periodicities. In complexity theory, humans are viewed holistically as complex adaptive systems. This has also offered us a new, more positive perspective on the nature of chaos and disruption in our lives.
Chaos comes into our lives through an endless variety of crises and decision points. We all intuitively recognize how chaos interpenetrates our lives, punctuating our so-called equilibrium, diverting our most carefully-crafted plans and detouring our agendas. Sometimes it hits us broadside, literally as accidents. It is unpredictability, part of our emotional "weather," and we are generally trying to adjust to it in some way.
Chaos theory holds that the more complex a system, the more stable and self-correcting it is. Disruption to a linear system throws it off course, but only affects a portion of a complex system, which soon adjusts to "fill in the gap." Chaos can engulf us either subjectively or objectively, but becomes embodied in any case, beginning by increasing
our stress levels, unless we can find creative ways to move it from inside ourselves into an outwardly expressed manifestation.
Chaos theory helps us explain how new forms, or orders, even new self-images, cultural paradigms, and innovative artworks and scientific discoveries emerge from the confusing, empty space of the mind, even from the lacuna between each of our breaths. There is hidden order in apparent randomness.
The DUF in Myth
The Demiurgic Field can be envisioned as a transpersonal, transtemporal morphic field of dreams. This field is transcendent or antecedent to spacetime and human categories of Past/Present/ Future. It is the eternal field from which polarized archetypal energies and myths arise. These archetypes underlie our paradigms or worldviews. Our intrinsic values and ethics are preconditioned and emerge from our worldview.
Originally a Greek word for craftsman or artisan, in Plato's dialogue Timaeus, the Demiurge is the creator of the world, the builder of the material universe of manifest form. In Platonic idealism, all forms emerge from an ideal plane of universals.
In later Neoplatonic and Gnostic philosophies, the Demiurge is still considered the autonomous architect of the world, fashioning manifestation from dynamic interplay of opposites. However, the Demiurge is an entity distinct from and secondary to the supreme God (the progenitor). Unpersonified, the DUF is the dream from which "stuff" is made, an energic "intentionality".
The Demiurge is like a lens for cosmic consciousness which as it passes through the lens/field then fashions reality with its dualism. DUF can be imaged as a divine craftsperson possibly like the Holy Spirit, working with the archetypes as patterns for constellating esoteric energies into imaginal, symbolic, or concrete apparitions, eg. Jesus, Gnostic archons, or the Anima Mundi.
Thus, the Demiurge takes esoteric consciousness as undifferentiated universal energy and through its impact on the plane of emergent form shapes or artifices (manifests) reality (manifestation). The demiurge then is the supreme morphogenesis, the coming into being of form.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Imagination is not a talent of some men, but the health of every man.’ The True Imagination of humans gives us access to the mesocosmos, which links to the physical reality of the microcosmos via intuition to archetypes, and to the alchemic realm of the macrocosmos via consciousness. So imagination has two dimensions - intuition and reason, right and left hemispheres of the brain.
In this view, the DUF therefore underlies the domain of archetypes - it is the domain of Hermes the messenger between the archetypes and man. As ‘mesenger of the gods,’ he has access to the supercelestial realm, the terrestrial and subterranean worlds.
In myth and religion, the demiurge is often identified with creator gods that are essentially ‘Saturnian’, such as the jealous and hostile Yahweh of The Bible. The Greek Cronos (or Roman, Saturn) was so jealous of his offspring, he sought to devour them immediately upon their birth. This story symbolizes the relentless antagonism of time toward form and structure. And, on the religious level it evokes mankind’s rebellious antagonism to the constraints of boundaries and structure - the embodiment of the instinctual side of life.
These negatively oriented demiurges are linked to the notion of ‘timeboundedness,’ the primary characteristic of their manifestation. They arose to prominence about the time mankind began calculating the movement of the planets in the heavens in ancient Sumeria. These godforms are counters; they keep a tally, including a ‘spiritual bankbook’ on the activities of human beings. They are, in fact, personifications of the nature and ordeals of time. Their spirit is essentially melancholic.
In India, time is Kal, who is a subordinate deity to the highest unmanifest divinity. Kal rules the manifestation from the Causal level of Universal Mind to to the gross material world. There is a different Brahm for each manifestation of the universe between dissolutions. In other words, these deities are the creators and administrators of local universe.
As the ‘negative’ power, Kal plays a tempter role similar to the Christian devil, but in the East such is considered his fate and job, so he is thought of as just a lesser ‘good’ rather than demonized. He is also the Lord of Karma, the natural consequences of all action and behavior - a causal model. Nothing escapes this all-seeing malevolent eye.
These negative embodiments of universal generation create conflict with our notions of a ‘good’ god, who is compassionate and loving, rather than rooted in fear, retribution and payment for all-too-human behavior. This dichotomy has formed the warp and woof of spirituality since Zoroastrian polarization of the forces of creation into negative and positive aspects (Ahura Mazda). This religion heavily influenced all Mediterranean spirituality through the spread and mixing of philosophical ideas (syncretism), just as ancient Sumerian tales reappeared later in The Bible. (Eliade, History of Religious Ideas).
It is this descent through time and matter that creates the limitations of mortality and timeboundedness - that leads all forms toward their entropic demise -- death. In the mechanistic models of classical physics we are all doomed to ‘heat death’ due to thermodynamic entropy. But models which include feminine values, rather than just competetive paternalistic values are more balanced and optimistic. Gender reunion is based on interdependent partnership.
Most of the demiurgic creator gods arose within the minds of men when there was a great cultural translation from worship of the Great Goddess to masculine deities. This shift marked the move from agrarian to technological societies. The human psyche has been polarized and out of balance since.
A possible exception to this notion is the underground current of hermetic philosophy in the Western world, which seeks to holistically reunite the polarized masculine and feminine currents in such arcane pursuits as magic and alchemy - to release the godhead in matter by reconnecting with that Source.
The internal flow of archetypal process is like a symphony - the music of the spheres. It is a nonlinear, complex, dynamic flow of pure spontaneous creativity and unfolding possibilities. Individual archetypes are various instruments within that melody.
The legendary Egyptian, Hermes Trismegestus was full of this metaphysical spiritual power. He is godfather of all the Hermetic Arts, the mystic arts and occult powers, as well as science. Resurgence of this hermetic spirit gave rise to the Renaissance after the Dark Ages.
Hermes had power over language, writing and signs, and creative rituals, like his predecesor, the Egyptian god, Thoth. Later, Hermes was identified with the creative Logos, the Word. The Greek Hermes was messenger of the gods, and thus able to connect the transpersonal (superconscious), human, and underworlds (subconscious).
The Hermetica included works on magic, alchemy, astrology, healing, gnosis, theurgy, ritual, and philosophy. These texts were based on notions of sympathetic magic, that like substances sharing an essence could influence one another through resonance effects, synchronicities. Likewise, the hypnotic and magnetic qualities of charismatic personalities can create rapport with others to influence them. Hermes, like all archetypes, has a dark side - the Trickster.
In Hermetic philosophy, God is One and creator of all things which continue to depend on Him. Everything is part of God, and God is in everything, his creative activity continuing unceasingly. All things are one and the pleroma of being is indestructible. Divine powers knit together the energies of the sun, planets and stars, operating on all bodies, animate or inanimate. This is the notion of cosmic sympathy. This doctrine of sympathy applies both our bodies and spirits, in the magico-religious worldview.
As the god who presides over boundaries, Hermes is able to transcend them. He is therefore also the ruler of ceremonial magic, which transcends the limits of ordinary consciousness, communing with the divine. Identification with a given energy is accomplished by a three-fold ritual, which echoes the generic creative process:
1). Separation from the profane or ordinary state of consciousness. Dissolution of the ordinary state of conscious.
2). The transition stage, or twilight zone which lies between them. Creative or chaotic consciousness.
3). The new order or perception of reality which occurs in the sacred time of the soul. Identification with ehanced sense of self, greater well-being.
Hermes is The Magus, the magician, the lord of boundaries, or doorways, the threshold or liminal area. The inbetween, or twilight zone, enables a state of receptivity to become established. It allows an emptying process, a letting go. Ritual acts reawaken deep layers of the psyche. This brings the mythological or archetypal ideas back to memory.
Hermes is the god who also rules technological acumen; his latest incarnation is our computer-driven society. He is the silicon chip, the electrical impulse, the fantasy of the cybernaut and cyborg. He is the computer whiz, the programmer, the tekkie. But he is still the motivating archetype behind all the sciences - the quest to unravel and control the hidden secrets of nature and the physical universe. He also governs the mysteries of the mind, including parapsychology, which inhabits the borderline between “hard” sciences and the occult.
Myths, according to d’Aquili, present themselves as systems of antinomies, or opposites: heaven/hell, good/evil, life/death. Because of a basic function of the brain he calls that ‘binary operator.’ This function abstracts qualities of things and arranges them as pairs of opposites, or dyads, whose meaning is intimately related to its partner. He conjectures that it is located on the inferior parietal lobe of the dominant side, and is one way the mind seeks to understand the world. Myths play on these antinomies and propose solutions to them.
Myths are like collective dreams; ritual is an enactment of myth. So, we create myths to satisfy our need to understand our environment and give us some sense of control over it, or an understanding of our place in it. A given myth has stability of structural relationship and meaning. In science we call them ‘models’. Like metaphors, they provide a reference point without defining a reality.
Jung extensively explored hermeneutics in analytical psychology, particularly in regard to alchemy. Polyani (1962) carried his ideas forward when he said: ‘Heuristic passion is. . . the mainspring of originality. . . the force which impels us to abandon an accepted framework of interpretation and commit ourselves by the crossing of a logical gap, to the use of a new framework.’ Heuristics is behind our current notion of ‘paradigm shift.’
He goes on to say, ‘Having made a discovery, I shall never see the world again as before. My eyes have become different; I have made myself into a person seeing and thinking differently. I have crossed a gap, a heuristic gap, which lies between problem and discovery.’
The problem becomes not one of how to know something radically new, but how to learn something radically new. Thus metaphors are instructive. They are a central Way of leaping the epistemological chasm between old and new knowledge, old and new ways of essential being. Metaphors help us makes this leap, help us enter a problematic situation in order to solve it, to explore it, and explore the world restructured by this metaphor.
We can tap the source of creativity, healing and holistic restructuring through imagination and metaphor. The possibilities for concepts and thought are shaped in very special ways by both the body and the brain that evolved to control it, especially the sensory-motor system. Conceptual metaphors appear to be neural maps that link sensory-motor domains in the brain to regions where more abstract reasoning is done. This allows sensory-motors structures in the brain to play a role in abstract reasoning (Lakoff, 1999).
In fact, when metaphors are synchronistic, emergent, spontaneous, self-organizing expressions of our dynamic stream of consciousness, they are an imaginal encoding of information that bridges the domains of conscious and unconscious worlds, material and transpersonal realms. Such metaphors can be deeply transformative - more than mere language. They are a technology for changing our behaviors, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. Intentional contact and immersion in these metaphors can transform our spirit and soul.
How can we know or describe anything about the changes we have not yet experienced, change that by universal consensus takes us beyond the realm of everyday reality? Metaphors contain a subtle communication by containing meaning in a delicate net of imagery. In psychotherapy and mysticism, it is characteristic of the Self to speak to ego-personality in the language of myth and metaphor. It allows us to grasp some image of that which remains as-yet-unknown.
The mystical and religious literature of East and West, and the secret oral traditions of esoteric spiritual schools have used myths, parables, similies, symbols, and metaphors to allude to that strange process that somehow transforms our deepest selves. This is the essence of the Hermetic process.
Classical metaphors of transformation are embodied in the primordial wisdom traditions. Though these oft-told tales come in many forms, at least ten themes seem to reiterate, over and over. They include the following dynamic transformations of lifestyle, soul and spirit:
Dream sleep to awakening;
· Illusion to realization;
· Darkness (blindness) to enlightenment;
· Imprisonment to liberation;
· Fragmentation to wholeness (unifying);
· Separation to oneness (unifying);
· Journey to destination;
· Being in exile to coming home (returning);
· From seed to flowering or fruiting plant or tree (unfolding);
· From death to rebirth (renewal, resurrection).
Like Hermes, metaphors are a force which connects and interprets. Metaphors are events, holistic schemas, not objects. Generative metaphors can be viewed as problem setting scenes and problem“solving situations. Our conceptual system is largely metaphorical.
Metaphor is not merely a superficial phenomenon of language, but shapes our judgments and structures our language. Displaying many facets, metaphor pervades our everyday non-theoretical language. A metaphor is a holistic schema, a unifying framework that links a conceptual representation to its sensory and experiential ground. It embodies the gestalt and ecological properties of thought. It is the generic basis of myth.
What's New with My Subject?
The DUF and Levels of Consciousness
The human psyche has several layers or domains of operation which encompass spiritual, mental, emotional, and behavior life. Unbound consciousness becomes increasingly structured and limited as it moves toward embodiment. We can model the psyche through six basic zones, from a top down view that is also recursive, bending back upon itself, self-refentially, as we penetrate the unconscious symbolically from the bottom up:
· Chaotic, unbound, undifferentiated, pure consciousness is the Demiurgic field, an infinity of potential structures, everywhere forever. Undifferentiated holoflux.
· Consciousness begin to move into manifestation at the edge of chaos as the quantum mindbody. Quantum chaos.
· It then congeals further into the realm of archetypes and personal mythology,
· Which conditions personal beliefs, ethics and value systems,
· Which, in turn, colour the ego structure with its dancing interplay of emotions and thoughts patterns.
· The grossest or most differentiated level includes actual behavior patterns emerging from the above, and the body chemistry and structure of the psychophysical organism.
Human consciousness is shaped into manifest form by the dipole nature of reality, symmetry and polarity in physics. The same dynamically interactive dichotomies expressed philosophically by yin and yang are also symbolized by the Left and Right Pillars of the Tree of Life in Kabbalah. The left is called the Pillar of Severity, while the right is the Pillar of Mercy. Contemporary science associates them with left (rational) and right (holistic) hemispheres of the brain.
Jung alleged that dichotomous archetypal pairs symbolize complementary wholeness through a paradoxical ‘holding of the tension of the opposites,’ a sort of rein effect. Experience of the pure, unmodified state of consciousness paradoxically transcends all opposites. The implied wholeness is the DUF, as illustrated by the gestalt of the following:
Table 1: Archetypal Opposites
Key Aspects of Yin and Yang Energies
YIN, Left Pillar YANG, Right Pillar
Right Hemisphere Left Hemisphere
Subtle Energy Matrix (SEM) = Yin energy pervasive like gravity, chi, background radiation also called dark energy, Aum - Dove of Hope What’s best for all network diversity commonality - open - trust -negentropic sensational and matrilogical feminine. Values. Esoteric; Mystery; Art. (Introversion)
Vital Energy Patrix (VEP) = Yang energy – specific and focused like a tree or sunlight also called light energy – Aum – Lion of Judgment – self actualisation – entity – - speech – unity – conformity - closed - Libertarian – duty – entropic – mentational and patrilogical or narrow rationalist – masculine. Ethics. Exoteric; Spirit; Science. (Extraversion)
Linking the DUF to Archetypes and Man
‘A system which can bifurcate between chaos and order over time can enter a mixed phase of chaos then retrieve a structure hidden within chaos by bifurcating back into order. A chaotic system can likewise be tuned to display hidden periodicities. . .
developing evolving structures.’ –Chris King, 2004
In the primordial state, man is literally one with nature. As we move through the psyche we find increasingly unconscious and collective layers – Jung’s collective unconscious. Individual uniqueness of the differentiated ego gives way to increasingly collective symbolic entities called archetypes and beyond them there are grounded fields of psychic energy from which they arise – the fertile Void.
Subtle fluctuations in this creative ground state may be pumped up by the butterfly effect into perceivable effects. The human neurosystem may be responsive to fluctuations at the level of a single quantum. Shaking the system a little can jolt a sub-optimal state, causing it to roll down to a deeper hollow in the energy landscape (see Wildman’s chreode), representing a better solution.
The linkage mechanism of DUF to archetype to human perception or response may be a combination of fractal chaos and quantum mechanical fluctuation, patterned by the metaphysical virtual field ‘intentionality’ through chaotic excitability. We suggest chaotic excitability is a universal sense organ.
Jung described archetypes as fundamental patterns of symbol formation; forms or images and emotions of a collective nature. Archetypes function like the Strange Attractors of chaos theory. They draw numerous associations into chaotic orbits around themselves like giant networks of complexly interrelated symbols and imagery, the whole repertoire of imagery. Yet they remain unpredictable.
An attractor, which has proven its viability, i.e., value is likely to be used as a building block in the evolution of still higher structures, which derive their own viability from the fact that they organize the fluctuations of their constituents even better, protecting them from all stronger interactions, and thus stabilizing their ‘attractivity’. Higher attractors organise relatively weak interactions of their constituents. Successful ‘enslavement’ of sub-ordinate structures in more complex higher ones does, therefore, usually not mean a loss of all their individuality, i.e., their proven viability. Molecules don’t try to change atomic nuclei, life doesn’t try to change the genetic code, mind didn’t – until recently – try and change the biology of the immune system or the climate of the earth.
These psychic nexus points are instrumental in the foundations of belief systems, personal mythology, emotional response, values and ethics, and behavior. Each archetype has its core, parameters, agenda and characteristic mode of appearance. The field of a virtually infinite number of such psychic attractors is the DUF. Archetypes are the generic forms of undefined psychic energy in the dynamic structure of the psyche; DUF underlies them
Therefore, following these archetypes to their core can be a way of relating to the DUF.
For example, an individual’s personal myth or mytheme might be conceived of as an activated chaotic attractor. It creates a certain type of imagery, drive and desires, certain predispositions in choices, a certain relationship to one’s spirituality.
Following its call could lead deeper toward the DUF. This can actually destabilize the personality, leading into seeming fragmentation, disorganization, chaos. But it opens the possibility of restabilizing on another level.
Chaos theory reflects on the age old questions of determinism, stability and change, creativity, free will, and the underlying nature of spacetime. It is well established now that most movements in nature, ranging from the orbits of planets to human behavioral adjustments are essentially chaotic. Sensitive dependence guarantees sensitivity to input. The system will eventually bifurcate to create a new attractor. Bifurcation into a particular state or chaotic attractor may generate a unique anticipatory choice.
According to King, ‘If a series of small bifurcations occur resulting from successive [quantum] computational steps, we would say the conclusion was arrived at deductively, but if however a major global bifurcation is required to reach self-consistency, an intuitive leap of understanding may result. The transition from chaos thus models the sudden moment of insight – the “eureka”, deductive cognition, sensory recognition and decision-making. Computational predictivity is thus complemented by conscious anticipation enabled through quantum transaction and manifested in the transition from chaos.’
The danger, anxiety and stress produced during confrontation with the transpersonal psyche can create a personal catastrophe, a spiritual emergency. Catastrophic chaos usually leads to what is called a bifurcation or splitting of the energy in two different directions. The experience may be shattering. The interface of the conscious ego and the numinous must be effected with some care so the later doesn’t take over.
But sometimes regression serves the process of evolution and leads to creative transformation and renewal of the self on a higher level. Therefore, the potential benefits of the transformative path make the risks worthwhile. Rather than breakdown, it may lead to artistic, scientific, or spiritual breakthrough, creativity and expression.
Here the DUF is an inter-dimensional force that is part of the very fabric of spacetime. It is generally perceived as unconscious urges, intuitions, expectations, drives, and interests. Biblically this can be manifest as for instance the Old Testament ‘bush that burnt without being consumed’ or the modern equivalent of a UFO powered by ‘fire’ that is inexhaustible.
This then is also the morphic field of the yin motor, Miller (2000), Wildman (2003a, b), Wildman et. al. (2003). As such, it speaks of an energy system that works with the interconnectedness where a learning or evolutionary or negentropic benefit in one area increases the potential for the survival of similar creatures in another unrelated area. Hauck (1999:60).
These archetypes are inherent in human kind and expressed throughout history. They are holistically counter-rational (not irrational). They modify our experience of ourselves and the world. Qualls-Corbett (1988:54). The archetype represents a relatively stable doorway, a wormhole, a transition, a psychic herm between these demiurgic fields and the individualised ego. Qualls-Corbett (1988:102).
The DemiUrgic Field provides the matrix for transformation of the psyche through self-organization – through the field of dreams manifest through archetypes. Individual experience with archetypal and external forces mold the individual. The DUF may thus be seen as the generative field of the individuation process. But the individuation process is not identification with the collective unconscious.
Jung says of the individuation process that it is ‘nothing less than to divest the self of the false wrappings of the persona on the one hand and of the suggestive power of primordial images on the other. . . But when we turn to. . .the influence of the collective unconscious, we find we are moving in a dark interior world. . . those subtle inner processes which invade the conscious mind with such suggestive force. Perhaps we can best portray these influences with the help of examples of mental illness, creative inspiration, and religious conversion.’
With the current mechanistic worldview the cosmos is portrayed as inhuman, yet we are not. Humanity faces an existential crisis where our solitary and mortal conscious egos are thrown into an ultimately meaningless, indifferent and unknowable universe. The situation is profoundly unintelligible and is reolvable within the current paradigm only by a Promethean project that frees humankind from controlling nature through its technology.
The birth/death metaphor is a kind of transduction point between dimensions, a pivot point that links the biological and the archetypal. Tarnas (1991:10). The death-rebirth sequence typically opens a person to the transpersonal domain with its virtually infinite creativity. It means awareness of the creative flux, the fluid unity of life. We flow within it, and it flows through us, everywhere forever. Mystics report experiences of this oceanic state of universal consciousness as an ineffable current of bliss. The ego is completely dissolved in this renewing experience, then reborn.
The archetypal death/rebirth process, symbolizing metaphorical reincarnation, is initiatory in character. The quantum leap of initiation means being seized from one state and moved to another, a sudden and profound change, like the bifurcation of chaos theory. It means a symbolic return to the womb or primal state, a regression in the service of individuation and creativity. The old consciousness, personality, and self-image dissolve, break up and are holistically repatterned in a self-organizing way, that equates with learning, healing, creativity, spiritual connection. One’s creative ritual or process can be one such mini death/rebirth.
Access to the creative levels can be facilitated by ‘proceedures’, but such access on demand is not available for unitive states, which are more like a grace. While we can choose to employ proceedures, we must patiently await grace. All we can do is knock at the door and hope for an answer. When it happens, it is often in sudden, unforeseen, transcendent ways resulting in both consciousness expansion and development when the emergent experience can be meaningfully integrated into personality.
Techniques for connecting with our primal source, the DUF, fall roughly into four major categories, depending on the amount of ego awareness present in the experience. They include 1). Trance, where the ego is absent and the body experiences the numinous; 2). Art, where the ego partakes of unconscious imagery without being overwhelmed by it, as in archetype, myth, dream, and ritual; 3). Creativity, where the ego particpates remaining fully cognizant perceiving meaning symbolically; and 4). Meditation, where the ego willingly “lets go” and relinquishes its control, merging with the Undifferentiated Source for nourishment and renewal.
In Trance, Art and Creativity, Gowan writes: ‘If there is one entrance for Western man into the arcana of developmental progress and self-actualization, that entrance is creativity. For it allows him, while still retaining his respectability as a cognitive thinker, to have intuitive brushes with the numinous element through creative outpourings from the preconscious. And it is heuristic, for it prepares him for the mind-expansion realms which inevitably follow.’
Gowan describes three orders of reality: 1). The void or primary reality; 2). The numinous secondary reality; and 3). The normal reality of the physical world. Freeing consciousness from the triple prison of time, space and personality allows us to access deeper experiences of the primal ground. These states can appear spontaneously or as a response to a variety of incubating methods; they may express a latent capacity for objective inner experience, manifest or emergent ability, or a more-or-less stabilized steady-state.
Mental abilities, including creative and exotic abilities depend on three components: 1). Input information (contents); 2). Throughput process (process); 3). Output action (product). Manifestation in the material plane represents the fullest extension of spirit. Integration manifests a holistic, synergetic, groundbreaking quality, a gestalt of aspects not previously unified.
Gowan’s theory of creativity suggests it is produced by imagery, which results from resonance effects in the right hemisphere, most likely in the temporal region, according to newer research (Persinger, 1987). The task of consciousness or receptive intelligence is not to create but seize the inrush and express it.
Techniques for accessing inner creative resources mentioned in this article and others include:
. Reflective Praxis : Wildman (1995)
. Focusing: Gedlin (1981)
. Storytelling: Reason (1988)
. Personality Typology: Miller (2004)
. Dreamhealing: Miller and Swinney (1992)
. Alchemical Psychotherapy: Miller & Miller (1994)
. Artificer Learning: Wildman (2002); (2004)
Also germaine are:
Trance, Art. Creativity, Meditation: Gowan (1975; 1980); Arieti (1976)
Creative Visualization: Gawain
Active Imagination: von Franz
Waking Dreams: Watkins
Holotropic Breathwork: Grof
Process-oriented psychotherapies: Arnold Mindell, Ernest Rossi
‘Yin’ techniques for touching the DUF include Reflective Praxis, Chreodic intuition, archetypal energy patterning, Heuristic Inquiry, and Focusing, and a variety of other process-oriented depth psychology imaginal techniques. ‘Yang’ paths of esoteric spirituality include Mysticism, Sufism, Theosophy, Masonry, and a variety of idiosyncratic New Age techniques, etc.
Personality Typology and Creativity
Even though we are all rooted in the same primal source, we express that energy in unique ways, conditioned by our temperaments. The main personality types are described in the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory (MBTI) personality type analysis and other instruments, such as the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, for assessing typological distinctions.
Each of the major types has a distinct mode of creating sympathetic to the primary ego function: thinking, feeling, intuition, or sensation. These functions interpenetrate with other dimensions (Introversion-Extraversion; Judging-Perceiving) to create four mythically-rooted modes: Dionysian, Epimethean, Promethean, and Apollonic.
Generally speaking, we don't consider creative genius to be something one IS, but what can be accessed or awakened from the DUF level. Socrates called this level of inspiration one’s genius or daemon; others might call it their Muse or Guardian Angel. Creativity is discovered when fostered in a sympathetic form – one harmonious with the temperament, or evoked in a life experience – possibly of dire need or deep affection.
Likewise, art therapy with the less-integrated functions used for expression, readily reveals unconscious imaginal aspects valuable to the natural therapeutic process. Of course, all art can reveal the unconscious -- that is why it is art -- symbolic imagery expressed outwardly or shaped into art, rather than concepts verbally organized.
All psychological types or temperaments have the capacity for creativity but tend to express it differently. Some use the mediums and forms recognized socially as “art.” Others are more subtle in their creative expression. It is part of the fabric of life, of living. For some the interpersonal, social or economic arenas are their medium. In this sense, “art” is not defined by the medium but by the artfulness of expression. There is a harmony of artforms, mediums, and styles of presentation with the primary types.
We can expand on Keirsey’s descriptions of temperament styles in Please Understand Me (PUM) amplifying them in terms of creative styles and artistic preferences. A quick overview of the spectrum reveals a harmony between certain types and modes of expression: Epimethian artificers (SJ), the sensual Dionysian artisans and virtuosos (SP), singers, performers and composers (SF), Promethean inventors and conceptualizers (NT) and writers (NT or NF authors depending on subject and genre, non-fiction or fiction), and Apollonic NFs whose medium is roles (for actors), people, or people-helping such as healing.
The impulsive, action-oriented, thrill-seeking, freedom-loving Dionysian is rooted in the immediacy of the sensual world of the here and now (SPs, including ISTP, ESTP, ISFP, ESFP). They are dramatic and spontaneous, likely to follow intuitive impulses, and have long attention spans and endurance when engaged, and become virtuosos through a sort of compulsion to play rather than practice. Their playful ethic is Epicurean; they can abandon themselves to a task. Keirsey lists performers, painters, instrumentalists, vocalists, dancers, sculptors, and photographers among their numbers. Learns as a warrior or explorer; active experimentation. Action learners.
The Epimethian temperament (SJ) is far more utilitarian, pragmatic, considered and deliberate. They are concrete experiencers; doers: skilled workers or craftspeople, capable shapers and builders and organizers. This artificer and caretaker of the spectrum [artificer is shaper of a system whereas caretaker is maintainer of the system, i.e. designer and administrator – very different orientations] includes ISFJ, ESFJ, ISTJ, ESTJ, who serve social goals. They dutifully make things work, and things that work usefully – effective, utilitarian artefacts, including fabricated industrial items, economic systems and social organizations. Tools are an extension of capability. Their work ethic is Stoical and they do well in institutional teamwork. Artistic taste tends to be parochial, conservative, toward heritage and even religious art. These traditionalists are likely to reject genres outside the social pale, such as outsider or lowbrow art. They are capable shapers, builders and organizers viz. conventional, i.e. cognitive and Artificer learners.
Promethean temperament (NT) favours intuitive thinking, is innovative, inventive, and theoretical with good spatial visualization ability. Individualistic, they are capable of quick and accurate analysis and respond with quick rational solutions. Their artifice is design. The extroverts (ENTP, ENTJ) tend to respond to abstract, or modern art and science-art that expresses theories and future possibilities; the introverts (INTP, INTJ) may prefer experimental, symbolic or visionary art that reflects their inner life. Fascinated with the intricate, technical and technological, such as sci-fi, CGI, digital, or unemotional computer-generated or fractal art. They are also workaholic, perfectionistic, competent performers, self-critically improving themselves or their product. They enjoy developing models, exploring ideas, and building systems and theoretical frameworks. Design is an expression of artistry. Architects, mathematicians and engineers are among their number. As writers they favour technical and scientific subjects, non-fiction with verbal intricacy and clarity. Philosophers create whole worlds of thought. Learns as a thinker/reflector, through vision, intention, design. Abstract conceptualizers; conceptual and imaginal learners.
Apollonic temperament (NF), the intuitive-feelers (INFJ, ENFJ, INFP, ENFP) are strongly process- and people or relationship oriented. Thus, their creative process is likely to include others, and their medium may be others, such as healing their bodies or minds like their namesake healer-god, Apollo. These interactive idealists enjoy bringing out the best in people; born collaborators. The relators are interested in the unique, extraordinary, even the ineffable – the circular search for Self, self-actualizing. The pathfinders’ most meaningful medium may be their own lives, self-reflective becoming, and their transformative journey to wholeness. To them, self-realization means having authenticity, significance, integrity, and unity. They have a mission, a sense of the sacred. Intentionality is the medium of the dreamers. This purposeful quest may be expressed enthusiastically in a variety of written, performed, or mixed media. Keirsey lists most writers among this type: novelists, dramatists, television writers, playwrights, journalists, poets, biographers. Also method actors, musicians, and those in communications media, midwifery, psychiatry, clinical counselling, psychotherapy, ministry, and teaching. Apollonic values drive toward service, empathy, intensity, and intimacy; values people over product. Process-oriented. Reflective observers; experiential learners.
Arguably, even art appreciation can be linked to type. It influences what images appeal to us, from traditional, scenic or representational art to visionary or more avant guarded forms. Type conditions what types of music (and dance) we are likely to prefer, which subcultures we might gravitate toward. Even food can be a medium of artistic expression for the gourmet. One might be a less-lauded type of artist, such as make-up artist.
Art can be experienced through purely sensual delight, technological invention, a dynamic medium such as film or TV, or an exploration of the realm of archetype, myth and dream. Creative genius is not something one is, but a gift, which can be tapped or awakened like Socrates’ daemon, or creative genius. It can express a momentary or sustained connection with the unconscious fount of creativity that is then manifested in some form, dynamic or concrete.
A self-perceived lack of talent need not prevent us from expressing ourselves. We can also discover our unconscious through art therapy, which usually employs the inferior function to reveal the unconscious. A simple form of this is merely drawing or using your less-favoured hand to draw, write or express yourself. Another form, available to all is collage.
There isn’t room in this article to go into detailed analysis of the correspondences of forms and types, and to some degree they are flexible since types aren’t completely rigid distinctions. Reflection will provide more examples of connections between modes of expression and one’s typology.
Artificer Learning (Art L) is learning through shaping; it is an outworking of DUF energy. It is not learning through thinking, doing, feeling, undertaking, experiencing, being, etc., i.e. it is different than cognitive learning, behavioural learning, emotional learning, action learning, experiential learning and ontological learning.
The vast majority of our education and learning systems are cognitive, i.e. about thinking and writing rather than about shaping and making. Artificer Learning, then, is learning by shaping. Art L is shaping as in the potter shaping the clay with a certain telos, a clear intention, foreknowledge as well as design of what is to be shaped and who changes the shape in the process of its formation to suit the particular situation.
Here the curriculum derives from the lived life of the student. In retrospect, Artificer Learning can also help us learn about ourselves by helping us understand what we have shaped, personally and culturally – Who and How is it that we have lived this way? Wildman (2004) explicates these differences.
Here the DUF as the generative matrix for our creativity and social structures helps us shape our future and explains our past. Understanding this process can enhance our agency, our ability to make a difference today. It can also help us touch the DUF and help the DUF touch us.
‘I am convinced that there is only one basic Order – which appears as logical or mathematical to our cognitive intuition, aesthetic to our emotional intuition, and moral to the volitional or conative. And it is essentially numinous.’ – Sir Cyril Burt
We’ve suggested the Demiurge, or ‘Bornless One’, acts through chaos to pattern dynamic manifestation. Coherent patterns of self-organization are characteristic of all levels of organization: universal, archetypal, collective, social, organismic, neural, cellular, chemical, electromagnetic, genetic, atomic, subatomic, demiurgic.
Global recruitment is characteristic of chaotic patterning. It allows the best balance between random fluctuations, permitting discoveries and innovations. Changing the activity of just one element can unleash an avalanche of changes in the patterns that might have otherwise occurred (“butterfly effect”). A structural perturbation is like a permanent mutation for the functions of a network.
For the ancient Greeks, Chaos preceded the world and the gods. Creation from Chaos, from essential nothingness, led to the emergence of Heaven (Uranus), Earth (Gaea) and Eros. This creative virtual ‘field’ emanates the gods or archetypes, including Hermes whose domain spans the transpersonal heights and chthonic depths of the psyche. What is awesome and mysterious gets projected onto the gods and called sacred or divine.
Chaos theory and complexity have superceded the both the pre-scientific and mechanistic worldviews of creation with an organic model. Chaos prevails from the infinitely small to cosmic levels. Dynamic processes are deterministic though unpredictable. All experience is subjective. Intuition is an informational source that is non-linear and therefore can create quantum leaps in consciousness. Using imagination, we can ‘see through’ to a deeper level of reality.
The Universe is a fractal manifestation of the interaction or interdependence of chaos and order. Nature and evolution are complimentary systems evolving at the edge of chaos – the source of the genesis of new forms. Like a fractal, the individual embodies the whole, to a greater or lesser degree. We are neither exclusively biological nor psychospiritual beings – we are both/and psychobiological.
Archetypes are rooted in or emerge from the Demiurgic field (DUF) as attractors, chaotic systems having fractal or reiterative structures that repeat at all levels of observation. They never settle into equilibrium, periodicity, or resonance. Transpersonal experience creates a new interpretation, or perspective on reality. Systems arise from positive feedback and amplification. Thus, archetypes introduce erratic behavior that lead to the emergence of new situations, including creative insight.
Both perception and cognition can be modeled as a transition from a state of chaos representing the unrecognized condition, or the unresolved problem, to a state of order. Creativity or learning can emerge spontaneously, from exploring states of confusion, to the instantaneous insight of a “Eureka” moment, or knowing state through bifurcation to a new attractor, to chaotic resolution.
Art and artfulness embody the imagination expressed as a living form. An expressive form manifests human feelings and values, a concept of life (exoteric) and inward reality (esoteric) – the logic of consciousness itself. Other examples are sudden illumination, aesthetic appreciation, opening to nature (nature-mystic experience), simple recognition to dramatic realization, or awe.
An experience, innovation, discovery or realization always has aesthetic appeal. It contains mythological, metaphorical and epistemological dimensions. When we have a creative, therapeutic or transformative experience, it involves a degree of ‘what it is like’ to be shaped, to apprehend this given, to undergo this process or happening.
Chaos theory shows us we actually need to cooperate with chaotic dynamics, to enter a less-rigid process of flow, submitting outworn aspects of the ego to dissolution. This increases our adaptability helping us evolve. At supercritical junctions we either breakdown (emergency) or increase adaptation (emergence) with more creative solutions.
Creativity is an excited-exalted state of arousal with a characteristic increase in both informational content and the rate of information processing. Creative holistic repatterning is introduced into the human system through the psyche as nonmanifest yet phenomenological images, symbols, and patterning information.
Imagination is embodied, objectified, expressed in the creative process. It is knowing through living through, distinctionally different from knowing about. It carries a sense of immediacy. Imagination is the voice of creativity. It is the primary way we experience soul; imagination embodies it’s own reality. It is self-revelatory. Meaning dwells in the image like consciousness dwells in the body.
We live in a chaotic universe to which we are seamlessly wed. We are a chaotic system ourselves, and chaotic systems exhibit holistic behavior. Holism sees the world in all its diversity as connected. A global wave of information (consciousness) is responsible for the extraordinary coherence that expresses as self-organization. It’s not a case of ‘we are the world’; we are one with the whole universe of phenomena and being in the deepest sense. The unifying force is consciousness.
Beauty is a state of consciousness described in Kabbalah and Hermetic philosophy as related to self-actualization. In psychological terms it implies transcendence of the realm of personality and intimate knowledge of the transpersonal self. It corresponds with creativity, healing, genius and bliss states or unitive experience. The bottom-up creative dynamic runs from personality to Self, to Demiurgic Field.
Chaos theory provides a comprehensive metaphor for uniting physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realities. Supreme insights are always metaphorical in expression. The empirical connection may lie in the mystery of the true nature of consciousness and creativity. Knowledge about natural phenomena, the way nature and ourselves work, can help us attune to deeper resources. The same essential dynamics that gave rise to the birth of the universe govern human creativity and learning.
‘Life survives in the chaos of the cosmos by picking order out of the winds. Death is certain, but life becomes possible by following patterns that lead like paths of firmer ground through the swamps of time. Cycles of light and dark, of heat and cold, or magnetism, radioactivity, and gravity all provide vital guides – and life learns to respond to even their most subtle signs.’ --Lyall Watson, Supernature
Paradox is indeed a conundrum at the heart of what a Demiurge is – one who shapes the world in line with divine intent so the link between the esoteric and exoteric is essentially the dwelling place for this Hermetic energy. Adaptability or resilience is actually a holistic model of a consciousness-expanding process (DUF). It involves the mutual interaction of self-reflection and self-correction (shaping) at the individual and collective levels of our existence. The creative ability of mankind is a transduced analog, or resonant effect, of universal creative (demiurgic) intentionality, considered divine by the ancients.
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