Beyond Conception: The Pivotal Role of the Deep Feminine in the Transformation of Consciousness

The following is the transcript for a talk given at the Towards A Science of Consciousness Conference in Stockholm, Sweden May 2011

What I would like to encourage us to consider for the next twenty minutes is the eastern model of a supreme consciousness which is actually preexistent to an ego, or to any sense of subjectivity. So consciousness not as an epiphenomenal happenstance but as an inherent property of the Ultimate Reality or what I term the Godhead: By Godhead I do not mean the Judeo-Christian white bearded man in the sky, I mean the ALL, both the void, and everything that arises from it.

Now I find that we don’t necessarily have a language for this consciousness in the west. So as I present this paper to you today still I struggle to find words to convey this consciousness. This consciousness as I experience it, is the ground of our being. It is so essential, so fundamental that it is often overlooked and not perceived by westerns at all.

images-1Now I come to you primarily with a depth psychological background and there we use the term unconscious, which is a designation for an area or aspect of the psyche that is relative to another area or aspect that is conscious. Now in my experience ’the unconscious’ is an OK term as long as we realize it is only unconscious to us. In other words there is no unconscious or non-conscious processing that occurs anywhere in the material word. You could say the material world is the play of consciousness or consciousness is the fabric of the material world, because consciousness creates and weaves the fabric. So therefore according to this world view, because it is one fabric that arises into many forms: ALL is one. And what this means is: There is only one subject – and it isn’t “you” or “I.”

Now it is important to recognize that duality consciousness is a western paradigm that we have been living under for thousands of years. This means that most of us see the world through the lens of a subject and object, where the individual sense of I is the subject and everything external to this I is an object.

If we are open to creating a science of consciousness then we must be open to this Supreme Consciousness as a possibility. So for now I suggest we work with this hypothesis: that we are already existing in a unified field where everything is all one. The test site, the interface with this hypothesis is not something “other” that is “out there” that we can investigate or dissect, but each unique body/mind. Everyone is called to be a scientist, a knower, in this model. Truth of the hypothesis of oneness is revealed through the conscious relationship between the mind and body – a deep relationship that challenges us to move beyond conceptual formulation in order to know.

In order to open up our non-dual awareness and court this deeper relationship I propose that we move beyond the intersubjective language we use to communicate between us; and we  begin to understand the language between the non-physical and physical worlds. This is about learning to decipher the communication between the parts of ourselves that we know and the parts of ourselves that we don’t – the unknown aspects of our psyche. For the purposes of our science experiment, we must learn the intrasubjective language. This intrasubjective language is the union; the marriage of our personal, reflective consciousness into the mystery of this Supreme Consciousness, what I like term the dark abyss of the Godhead. In other words this is about our ability to interpret instincts, gut responses, feelings, thought patterns and intuitions – because none of them are random.

In other words what I am saying is that EVERYTHING is embedded in this primary consciousness. Everything: Just like our DNA has the codes for our height, hair color andDNA Strands eye color. And genes we know are also activated or repressed so hair may change color over time for instance – in other words this primary consciousness contains all the information that activates genes at particular times. Now even more then that, this consciousness contains all the essential ingredients for any and all processes and events in the material world. So just like the genes in our DNA get activated or repressed at a certain time in order to make the particular physical expression that is our bodies, at the quantum level, the fundamental level, which in depth psychology we call the archetypes, what physicists call Planck scale geometry I assume, the activation and repression of material expression is fully known and embedded. As an archetype, or an archetypal expression gets activated that is destined for your particularity, your body/mind, instead of mine, it begins its manifestation through the processes I just mentioned: intuitions, instincts, thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

Likewise these processes can also be repressed. As we have evolved from our animal ancestors the repression of instinct has served us well. The repression has allowed us to differentiate and discern, which really is what becoming conscious within the personal sphere, what is often referred to as the ego, is all about: differentiation, discernment, knowing. But what is appropriate for one point in history is not always appropriate for the next. We evolve and adjust as we go along. For example the loss of body hair, bipedality, opposable thumbs, right? So as we evolve there is activation and repression to particular expression – not only in the physical characteristics but the emotional, intuitive and instinctual characteristics as well.

What I am implying here is that historically we were not prepared for this kind of relationship to Supreme Consciousness. We had to evolve to it.

Why the repression? What did it serve? It served us in our discrimination, our knowledge up to this point. If we were still like our animal ancestors and run by instincts unconsciously, no knowledge that has progressed us to this point would have taken place. We are where we are you could say because of the repression of instincts. But now I believe we are ready to meet the awareness of that repression head on. Because when we don’t it becomes oppression.

If we can close our eyes for a minute, I’d like you to think about your last meal. And then imagine that food in your stomach. As you sit here right now there is nothing you are doing to consciously digest that food and convert it into energy. It is an autonomous, instinctual process. Think of your heart beating now, your lungs breathing, and then think of your last cut or bruise – your body brought itself back to wholeness. Something in us knows; is conscious of how to process loads of bodily functions, many of them at the same time. There is a knower in us already. All I am doing is asking us to step up to the plate and meet it eye to eye. When you are ready go ahead and open your eyes.

As we moved further and further into rational processing and logic, one form of reflexive human consciousness, the bodymind’s instincts remained by and large unconscious to us. That was OK up until now, but no longer. If we overuse our intellect; our thinking mind becomes split from our body. The mind is an amazing computer to be sure, but we have just about everything we need now at our fingertips. It’s time to start perceiving consciousness as it manifests in our bodymind.

MotherGoddessEarthThis body consciousness is why I say the deep feminine is pivotal. The etymology of matter is mater which means mother. Visualize your connection to your birth mother through the umbilical chord. Metaphorically that is what your body/mind is to the deep feminine, the mother archetype: like an embryo in the womb. Through this dyadic relationship consciousness is transferred back and forth within a container that secures a bond by way of unconditional love.

One of the easiest ways that I have come to understand the masculine and feminine aspects of our world is to make use of the symbolic imagery of the interplay between the male and female sexual organs. The essence of the masculine is hard, driving, directed, and striving. It is associated with light and consciousness as well as logic and our rational capacities. In contradistinction, the feminine is soft, nurturing, flowing, and allowing. It is associated with darkness and the nonconscious as well as abstraction and the irrational. The masculine reveals by entering its light, consciousness, into the darkness of matter and the feminine abyss, or nonconsciousness. It is the constant fluctuation and interplay of these two energies that forms manifest reality.

In other words, what I am proposing here is that this Supreme Consciousness, this Ultimate Reality, is revealed through symbol. All actions and objects in the physical world symbolize psychic process. Psychic process is a constant interchange, a merging, of masculine and feminine properties, some of which were just named above.

A woman is made of masculine as well as feminine energy just as a man is made of feminine as well as masculine energy. Remember, these are energies that I am describing not body parts. The body parts symbolize and act accordingly to how the energy is. This is the crucial part to understand: symbol and its interpretation. These two energies intertwine, weave, combine at the basic level of creation before form. So at the root behind the world that we can perceive through our five physical senses of touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight, two energies dance: masculine and feminine. In the east they use such terms as yin and yang, shiva and shakti, or yoni and lingham.

In my experience our personal consciousness must surrender its conditioned and constructed way of apprehension until it gets back to this root. At the root the masculine and feminine energies can be experienced by us consciously and without tension. Some of the markers at this root are the experience of dynamic stillness, emptiness, and the pregnant present.

So what I am saying is, in the awakening of consciousness what we are seeking is a living connection, a conscious relationship to this organic process of the union of masculine and feminine as it forms creation.

I’d like to invite you to close your eyes again for a minute and think about the first time in your life when you fell in love. Or the second or third? How many people in this room can actually claim to have had control over themselves, their thoughts and their emotions when they fell in love? No rational mind on the planet that falls in love can still stay in what it perceives to be control. Because if we fall in love and we don’t express that to the object of our affection the mind gets very busy. So we may believe we are controlling our actions, remaining cool, perhaps some of us even aloof, but all the while the mind spins. Questioning, doubting, driving. Thoughts flying in from the middle of no where. For some of us we are so taken back by these intense emotions that we lose our voice altogether as we sit next to the object of our affection with our pulse racing and heart pounding out of our chest. Who is in control of these thoughts or body processes?

How about the last time you exploded in anger or rage; shamed or guilted your child; stole, lied, or cheated, were you in full conscious control of your faculties then? If so, why did you do it? Did it make you feel good? Perhaps give you some form of perceived power over another? And if you weren’t in full conscious control of your faculties, you had no idea what the root of the motivation was at the time of your behavior. What does that mean? Who then was in control? This right here is the hard problem of science, of knowing. Who exactly is the doer?

For sure scientifically we can take a look at when the wave function collapses or the parts of the brain or cell that they collapse in, but when we really get down to it, are we ourselves conscious or not. Do we know what is happening when we react or why we behave the way that we do?

Now phenomenologically we can say that all psychic contents relative to an individual are related to the seat of our personal consciousness, or what we call an ego. Anything that does not come within the sphere of a particular ego is determined to be unconscious to that person. For instance your thoughts and dreams are different from mine. If through my personal consciousness I was receiving other people’s thoughts right now I probably wouldn’t be able to focus too well on this presentation. So the ego is necessary because it discriminates and makes the act of knowing possible. Could there be a teleological function to the ego, to its discriminatory knowing?

We also know about non-locality and entanglement from physics. Split an atom, no matter the distance the two particles will remain in contact. Once again culling our memory bank for a past experience, I would like you to think of a situation where you had opposite instincts at play. Say you fell head over heals in love but yet some aspect of the persons behavior tweaked you. Maybe they drank a lot, were a bit too silent, or perhaps you knew something was off but couldn’t quite name it then. But because the feelings of eros were so intense you tucked those questionable aspects into the recesses of your mind and went forward to build a relationship with this person. The more we repress the questionable aspects, the more we are compensating in other ways. Say for instance this partner is too silent, closes down, and I do not approach them with this or confront the issue. If I stay with them I will compensate for this repression by building them up in other ways, often times sexually, focusing on the sex or another pleasing aspect as the more confrontational and painful aspects get pushed below the threshold of my consciousness.

Now I know without a shadow of a doubt – for everyone in this room – somewhere down the line that intuition you had about the questionable aspect of another came back to rear its face and possibly to haunt you. If you were still not fully conscious once it resurfaced you possibly broke up with an explosion and may remain unreconciled to this day.

What appears before us on our mental screen as a thought or in our bodies as an instinctual physiological response, that we refuse to look at, is the exact same thing as saying we are unconscious or that our mind patterns are not conscious to us and able to be reflected and interpreted. There is a moment of unity always, before the atom if you will splits. Reconciling these opposing thoughts, feelings, instincts, intuitions and sensations is bringing Supreme or Pure Consciousness to life.

In other words, the opposites not only have a purpose, as they are the threads that weave our stories, our patch of the fabric, but they are also simultaneously the impulse to reflected consciousness. This Supreme Consciousness wants your attention. It wants to be perceived. Your tensions and conflicts will lead you there.

So let me say this one more time; our feelings, instincts, intuitions, and sensations, when honed, indicate what is true in the moment for our body/mind as a unity. They help us get in touch with consciousness as it is being experienced in the moment. The only place where the Ultimate Reality can be experienced: in the present, being.

If we can think of ourselves as conduits for this Supreme Consciousness, or reflecting perceivers: Our conscious response and expression of these stimuli is how we play our part in connection to the perceived “other.” In my opinion what we are aiming for is an alignment; to be fully grounded in our bodies and acting from a consciously reflected place of unity, at one both with the intra and therefore the intersubjective elements.

Without our ability to interpret these functions of emotion, instinct and sensation, they do not operate at their optimal capacity and we flounder in a modern world that isiStock_000016163076XXLarge pulling us every minute through the formation of concepts into the sense of a personal “I”. IN this personal sense of “I”, again what we have come to conceive as the ego, we lose touch with the interdependence of all phenomena. It takes an enormous amount of courage and will to hone these functions and to be able to interpret their messages; for to do so we not only have to buck the tide of the masses as they focus their energy on what’s “out there”, we have to drop into the depths of an abyss, the raw psychic space which is beyond all opposites. We have to be the scientist, the knower, in our own test tube, which means radical honesty above all else.

Taking this image of the caduceus as a symbol, the straight line, is the central axis, that which is aligned always. The places where the snakes split are symbolic of the opposites that arise in our psyche, which we use as the ground of our inquiry. We test the hypothesis of unity, of alignment, by getting the split aspects to come into conscious communication with one another. You won’t necessarily be able to do it where the curves are farthest apart. It will not be reachable to your conscious mind. But the body will be indicating – through tension, fear, and nervousness. The mind will be busy. These are indicators. From them we know OK something is scratching at the threshold to my personal consciousness. I will wait patiently and create or hold the psychic space until a representation arises that I can understand.

And I want to stress that we are not doing this to form concepts about any of it per se. We are doing it to discover the relationship between what in the old depth psychological model they would call the conscious and unconscious selves, but what I am more comfortable calling the visible and invisible aspects. Because again, in my model, all of the phenomenal world is conscious. For us to not only discover Supreme Consciousness but to unite with it, we must voyage into this dark place, into the invisibles, what we call in depth psychology the shadow.

Now this gives rise I would imagine to the question of choice. If all of these particularities of activation and repression are embedded at the fundamental level of our world through this Supreme Consciousness then why does it appear that “I” am choosing?

It comes down to learning love. The appearance of choice arises until the lesson of love has been learned.

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