Substructural Development

As we have seen there is considerable superstructure activity operating at the "higher level" of consciousness during the point level. This simply means that spiritual development, whether through direct illumination or indirectly through the unfolding of new cognitive and affective structures, takes place under a refined form of rational control.

However this creates psychological problems. Until perfection is achieved some degree of secondary attachment is always involved. In other words one's ego becomes invested in these highly subtle rational translations.

This in turn leads inevitably to repression of the equally important "lower self" and its experience of the physical instinctive body. Not surprisingly the body seeks to draw attention to this damaging - if largely unconscious - tendency. This happens in the form of projections or eruptions emerging from the unconscious. However, initially because of undue commitment to one's "higher self", these are seen as unwanted alien intruders disruptive of spiritual peace and therefore to be firmly resisted. This approach largely reflects the standard Western ascetical tradition. Unfortunately it requires a considerable mind-body split which even the most original of spiritual masters such as St. John fail to address. Unfortunately their writings in important ways mis-translate the true role of physical desire (esp. sexual).

It is quite clear, for example, that St. John had considerable experience of erotic fantasy and felt strongly the need to give it expression in his poems. However in his formal commentaries, sadly - as is the convention - he invariably speaks of sexual projections in a negative and value loaded fashion. For him, psychological unity is not so much portrayed as involving the integration of spirit and body (both treated equally), mediated through the centre of the personality (i.e. will). Rather, it is seen as the ultimate victory of the spirit over the body (i.e. where the "lower self" operates continually under the control of the "higher self").

It is this imbalance, especially, that I now wish to address.

Development of the spiritual "higher self" during the point level is subject to ceaseless interference from the instinctive physical projections coming from the bodily "lower self". Initially one attempts to deal with this situation through a process of psychological sublimation, attempting to eliminate such interference through pure spiritual motivation. However, this inevitably - as it requires a refined form of rational control - leads to further repression of physical desire, and is ultimately doomed to failure.

So, one reaches a new turning point. Spiritual inspiration slowly ebbs away and in this psychological void, one is now powerless to resist physical instincts surfacing in a more intense fashion.

There now follows a lengthy period where one gradually exposes oneself to these intimate projections, attempting to understand and integrate them with former development.

This development of substructures is very different from complementary superstructures. Indeed they relate to specific content rather than formal structure. In this sense they represent "imaginary" rather than "real" structures. Essentially they involve a release from conscious rational control so that affective physical desires, closely tied to the unconscious, are free to speak for themselves. For one, formerly accustomed to so much censorship of these desires in pursuit of spiritual progress, this can require a considerable amount of adjustment and indeed the cultivation of a new form of morality.

As the substructures in fact strongly complement superstructures, I will use a similar form of outline of phased development.


Just as the spiritual stage involves a pure holistic form of illumination, in complementary form, this physical stage involves an immediate and highly localised instinctive reaction. Because it is so direct and prior to secondary phenomenal projection, it is involuntary and not subject to rational control. In ascetical literature, this invariably is associated with temptation (usually of sexual origin).

It is most likely to occur in the aftermath of spiritual illumination, literally bringing one down to earth again. As spiritual contemplation still operates under a highly refined form of rational control, it unconsciously screens out sensory input associated with the alternative affective mode. This in turn leads - again unconsciously - to growing repression of the physical desires of the body self. Given sufficient build up of this repression, there is a healthy and indeed psychologically necessary attempt by the body to compensate so as to redress this imbalance. Like in an active volcano, this takes the form of occasional eruptions or emissions which break though all the carefully constructed mental defences.

It is precisely due to success in maintaining rational control of the spiritual self, that one now finds oneself out of control, when the complementary sexual affective mode breaks through. Not surprisingly one initially feels threatened and confused, grieving the loss of one's customary normality. Due to one's former training one places a high premium on spiritual discipline. Therefore there is now a distinct tendency to interpret such "temptation" as being due to some moral shortcoming. This in turn leads to an even greater effort to assume complete control in future, eliminating any further lapses. This however only reinforces unconscious repression building up internal pressure, to be relieved once more through further involuntary projections.

This unsatisfactory pattern can continue for some time, before one clearly realises that the physical body self is fully complementary to the spiritual mental self and of equal importance. Therefore it has to be understood in terms of its mode of operation. This cannot be done initially in a direct fashion, but rather indirectly through coming to terms with its associated phenomenal projections. These are the substructures both intellectual and emotional to which we now turn.


Because "lower level" (imaginary) substructure development exactly matches "higher level" (real) superstructure development, I will be at pains to adopt the same phased format as before so as to highlight this complementarity.

Phase 1

In the corresponding superstructure phase, we saw how one formulates clearly a global intuitive view of reality, based on paradox and the inherent unity of opposites. Because of strong identification with this holistic paradigm, one unconsciously represses viewpoints associated with the rational paradigm. This is the related partial analytical view of reality, which is non-paradoxical and based on the inherent separation of opposites. Put briefly, one identifies with the intuitive circular rather than the rational linear (i.e. conventional) approach to reality.

This leads in turn to an unconscious form of projection, where one can suddenly become irrationally opposed to views representing the conventional viewpoint. As one now prides oneself, intellectually on a broad tolerant approach this can be an especially humiliating experience. For example, in the discussion of ideas, one can frequently feel bitter and hostile, thereby losing control.

Because in practice, thinking is largely based on the linear viewpoint, this can lead one to feeling alienated and alone unable to communicate properly with others.

Phase 2

The first phase represents projections due to unconscious rejection of the philosophical basis of the linear paradigm. This phase represents rejection of the rational scientific method based on this paradigm.

On a personal note, as an economist, I have had considerable difficulties over the years in accepting the scientific methodology adopted. This has led to feelings of deep resentment at various times being projected on to various economic theories and academic representatives of the economics' profession.

I genuinely believed that I had very interesting ideas on the subject to express to others. However because of unconscious opposition on my part to the conventional position, effective dialogue did not prove possible.

Phase 3

There is now a switch to projections relating to subjective value systems. Now, one is unconsciously opposed to any kind of absolutist standpoint on ethics and morals (reflecting the linear viewpoint).This demonstrates itself especially when a moral issue with direct personal relevance is raised.

The absolutist position really reflects the Newtonian world view and the assumption that an objective morality exists independent of mind. Curiously, though now in physics (esp. quantum theory) this notion of an absolute objective reality would no longer be accepted, its repercussions have not been properly appreciated in religious circles, where moral issues are still often considered in unduly rigid terms.

However, as one identifies with a dynamic relative approach, again due to the intrusion of hostile projections unconsciously condemning the absolute approach, one is not yet able to harmonise the two positions.

Phase 4

This involves a more impersonal position, where one experiences negative projections in relation to the use of any general clear-cut approach regarding complex moral issues (e.g. abortion).

If one is a member of an official religious grouping this can lead to considerable difficulties. On a given issue one will unconsciously tend to reject - not so much its stated position - but rather the absolute assumptions underlying this position. One now strongly believes that a whole new paradigm needs to be brought to bear on the important issues of the day, and therefore one cannot readily accept conventional wisdom.

Unknown to anyone, because of this inner opposition, one can suffer intense frustration and isolation, sacrificing the means of feeling any authentic sense of community.

If one was to attempt to fall into line with received opinion, this would only lead to a loss of personal integrity, making matters considerably worse. In reality, one realises that one is in need of ever deeper levels of purification.

Phase 5

The following phases largely repeat the earlier cycle. However just as with superstructures, there is now a greater interpenetration of linear and circular levels, (absolute and relative standpoints). In reverse fashion, this now tends to affect the nature of unconscious projection.

In this phase one again tends to unconsciously reject on philosophical grounds the linear rational paradigm. However, because of the more refined interaction of the "higher" and "lower" self one is able to quickly realise projections when they arise. One still gets caught out frequently, but now able to recover more easily.

Phase 6

This relates to projections connected with opposition to the prevailing scientific paradigm. Again they do not cease, but one recognises them as soon as they arise.

Also, as a result, one becomes less impatient for change, and without sacrificing one's convictions, more tolerant of other viewpoints.

Phase 7

We are now back in the area of subjective moral values. Again where issues of direct personal concern arise, one is able to better recognise hostile projections, thus increasing self understanding.

Phase 8

This is the more impersonal phase related to unconscious rejection in general of absolutist moral positions. Again one comes to terms better with associated projections. Overall this can be a very difficult time. As development of spiritual superstructures has largely ceased, one gets little relief from troublesome and invariably negative projections causing one intense anguish, frustration and bitterness. With all routes to an acceptable sense of community barred, one is driven further and further inwards to get at the root of the problem deep within the unconscious.

In general terms, the problem is due to insufficient recognition of one's basic sexual nature, so often repressed in pursuit of spiritual goals. Understandably, the unconscious draws attention to this neglect in the form of negative emotions. These are projected on to the rational and repressive "higher self" in an attempt to undermine its false stability.

When understood in this light one begins to see projections in a positive and healthy manner, even learning to welcome them for the valuable self information provided.

Also, the very means by which one comes to terms with projections is by removing all superego attempts at rational control. It is this very attempt at control which causes the projection to occur in such a random and unpredictable fashion, making it involuntary. When one slowly removes this blocking mechanism, the emotion is no longer thrown out or projected from the unconscious but rather floats gently to the surface. When this is the pattern one is able to monitor its progress at all stages through the mediation of will at the centre of the personality. In other words such emotion is then no longer involuntary.

However because the root is affective, one's attempts at understanding are somewhat indirect in relation to intellectual projections. In many respects direct emotional projections are more important to understand.

It is to these we now turn.


These projections are particularly interesting again complementing the various phases of earlier spiritual affective development.

Phase 1

The corresponding spiritual phase involved a platonic attraction to a special unique person radiating a feminine archetype. This requires considerable sublimation of physical sensory images and a consequent degree of sexual repression.

Thus there now follows a compensating phase involving projected erotic stimuli. For example, one may experience physical attraction to various fantasy women e.g. television presenters and the glamorous stars in films, soap operas, advertisements etc. As the rational censor of the superego is still very strong this attraction though persistent tends to be very fleeting. Sensory images are sublimated almost as soon as they arise, to be replaced by fresh images which disappear in like manner. It reflects the high degree of interaction between substructures and mirror substructures which is characteristic of the whole point level.

This process provides an important - though temporary - outlet for pent up emotions. Through the external images one is presented with an idealised vision of physical femininity. Then through the mirror images (arising through sublimation), this physical archetype is internalised. So just as in conscious "real" terms a man has clearly the physical image of being a man, there is now the beginning of a process by which one discovers in "imaginary" terms in unconscious terms the physical image of being a woman. In other words the discovery of a man of his femininity relates not just to a hidden spiritual dimension. It equally relates to a hidden physical dimension. This has far reaching repercussions which we will develop later.

In fact watching television is particularly appropriate for this type of development. When one reflects on it, such images constitute a form of virtual reality with artificially created electronic images arising and disappearing in the moment of creation. It also involves a passive form of reception. Both of these factors are ideal for activating the unconscious.

This has both a positive and negative impact. Thus on the one hand television has quickly brought about a universal sense of collective consciousness (i.e. Mac Luhan's global village) facilitating identification and a general sense of community. However on the other hand - particularly with unbalanced individuals - it can greatly aggravate the confusion of fantasy and reality facilitating for example many bizarre and horrible crimes of sex and violence.

Phase 2

This is a more generalised version of the previous phase. Erotic projections are now stimulated through images corresponding to a set pattern.

Through reflection on this phase one becomes better aware of the type of women one instinctively finds attractive. However, repressive blocks are still strong so that one is still not able to properly admit intimate sexual desire. The images of women one finds physically attractive still conform to the Virgin Mother archetype. Rather than feelings of sexual lust they still tend to inspire a sense of adoration and an appreciation of feminine beauty.

Phase 3

We have already seen in the corresponding spiritual phase how attention switches to a holistic awareness of nature. There is a fascinating complementary development now in physical terms, where attraction likewise takes on a more impersonal direction. Fantasies now increasingly constitute a form of fetishism.

Instead of being directly attracted to personal images one increasingly relates to "impersonal" objects associated with them. The glamour which the women of one's fantasies radiate springs very much from the clothes they wear, the ambience of surroundings and their whole associated life style.

Fetishism is an interesting phenomenon, the significance of which can be easily overlooked. Here objects - associated with the idealised women of one's fantasies - can achieve an intense and intimate personal significance. Just as in spiritual terms reality holistically is imbued with a personal feminine meaning, in physical terms specific objects are also imbued with a personal feminine meaning expressed through fetishistic attraction. Whereas obsessive forms of fetishism are clearly undesirable, in moderation it is a healthy and necessary form of development complementing direct personal attraction.

Phase 4

Once again through repeated instances of specific fetishistic attraction a general pattern tends to emerge, whereby general categories of objects evoke sexual desire. One might for example continually find certain types of female clothing imbued with erotic appeal. Where this is the case there is likely to be archetypal patterns at work so that such clothing unconsciously evokes notions of femininity such as beauty sleekness, refinement and grace.

Indeed it can be highly instructive to reflect on such attraction so as to understand the underlying sexual dynamics at work.

Phase 5

In these latter four stages - as in the case of corresponding superstructures - there is now greater interaction of personal and impersonal phases.

In this particular phase one again finds oneself increasingly attracted in fantasy to particular women when placed in a particular romantic context. In other words the background ambience interacts with feelings of erotic attraction.

Phase 6

Here, erotic attraction becomes more generalised though still focused on a special woman. However an interesting conflict now arises. As substructure development proceeds, repressive layers are gradually lifted so that purely physical instincts can reveal themselves. Thus whereas at the "higher level" of personality the archetype of the Virgin Mother is at work, increasingly at the "lower level", that of the "Great Mother" or earthly or fertile mother now predominates.

Thus there is now a growing split as between physical and spiritual desire which is difficult to reconcile. One is drawn increasingly towards the centre of personality in the exercise of the pure activity of the will. This in time leads to the gradual erosion of all affective phenomena whether "high level" or "low level", so that they tend to disappear the moment they arise.

Phase 7

This again involves fetishism and the erotic appeal of certain objects with feminine associations e.g. female clothing. Now there is a higher level of interaction between personal and impersonal type fantasy.

Before one is able to fully accept one's naked physical sexuality, one must face explicitly the opposite sex in one's unconscious. This is where the role of erotic fantasy is so important. Because of repression, initially fantasy tends to be limited so that one is not fully exposed to immediate erotic desire. One tends to divert direct sexual energy into associated objects and surroundings. This in turn generally facilitates the control of sexual desire. The sight for example, of an attractive woman fully dressed would give little cause for moral concern. However the portrayal of the same woman nude might in certain circumstances be considered very provocative. Thus inanimate objects - in the form of clothing - while literally covering the body, tend to lessen the exclusively sexual nature of the attraction.

This helps to clarify the psychological function of fetishism in fantasy. Before one is ready to fully accept physical sexuality it serves as a valuable means by which erotic desire can be temporarily diverted to associated objects and thereby made more manageable. Whereas in the corresponding superstructure phase there is a growing divergence of personal and impersonal characteristics till ultimately one's beloved is seen in all nature, here - in complementary terms - as the nature of physical desire becomes more explicit there is a greater convergence of sexual personal attraction and intimately associated objects. This explains for example why for so many men female underwear exercises such erotic appeal as in physical terms it is most intimately associated with a woman's body.

Ultimately, during these phases, as in the sexual act itself, fantasy becomes totally explicit. The removal of all protective clothing in terms of fantasy mirrors the corresponding lifting of remaining superego repression. Paradoxically, this signals the ending of involuntary erotic projection. By definition, when one has fully faced up to one's sexuality, there is no need for further projection.

Phase 8

This represents a more detached phase, where the general nature of fetishist attraction is revealed.

However one now reaches the height of a growing conflict, whereby the poles of holistic spiritual emotion and intimate physical emotion are separated to a high degree. In other words, spiritual contemplation, becomes increasingly subject to interference in the form of sexual fantasy, with a growing immersion in sexual fantasy in turn requiring the censoring activity of the superego. Eventually phenomenal experience at either end dies out as one experiences a new void.

Thus the development of the spiritual substructures exactly mirrors that of the physical substructures. In both cases there is a high level of interaction as between personal and impersonal poles. In both cases, the personal becomes more impersonal and the impersonal more personal until ultimately both are indistinguishable. In other words by detaching oneself from any form of possessive personal involvement, one is enabled to see in turn the world more and more in cosmic personal terms. Likewise this transfer of affective desire to "inanimate" objects, lessens the need for an exclusive personal relationship.

As we have seen at the superstructure level experience diverges and becomes increasingly holistic and spiritualised with ultimately the image of one's "personal" beloved inseparable from "impersonal" creation. Both eventually merge without phenomenal content - as it were - at a pure spiritual point centred everywhere in general (and nowhere in particular).

In complementary terms, at the substructure level, experience converges and becomes increasingly specific and physical again with the image of one's "personal" beloved inseparable from closely associated "impersonal" objects such as intimate items of clothing. In this case both eventually merge without phenomenal form at a pure physical point or centre highly particularised (but nowhere in general).

So as before, with the polar directions of experience at the circular level, this time extreme differentiation of modes precedes eventual integration. Thus the personality divides into two complementary parts. The "higher" rational self provides an impersonal focus enabling detachment. The "lower" sense self in turn provides a personal focus enabling identification. And both poles are increasingly harmonised through the pure activity of will.


We now encounter a fascinating aspect of these substructures with direct relevance to physics. We have seen in relation to superstructures, that for each psychological relationship, there exists a complementary physical relationship.

Here, the emergence of holistic rational structures psychologically is exactly matched by corresponding structures physically, so that as one interprets formally psychological reality at a macroscopic level in dynamic relative terms, one interprets reality physically in formal terms in like manner.

There is an exactly similar situation also in relation to substructures. Again for each affective psychological relationship now at a specific level, there exists a corresponding matching physical relationship. In microscopic terms, reality psychologically and physically behaves in quantum terms.

This can from this dual perspective throw important light on the true behaviour of quantum particles.

Psychologically, reality involves the interaction of explicit and implicit components i.e. conscious and unconscious. At the linear level - where the rational scientific paradigm predominates - this reality is interpreted however in reduced (solely) conscious terms.

Physically, reality also involves the interaction of twin explicit and implicit components (i.e. in Bohm's terminology explicate and implicate reality). However at the linear level - due to the application of the rational paradigm - only explicit reality manifests itself.

By its very nature, at this stage of substructure development a high degree of unconscious experience is involved so that the implicit component of reality predominates. As we have seen such implicit reality (i.e. the contents of the unconscious) can only express itself explicitly in indirect terms through short lived projections or emissions. When translated in explicit terms, these contents in mathematical terms are "imaginary" rather than "real".

Thus expressed in explicit conscious terms, psychological experience involves a dynamic interaction which is both "real" and "imaginary".

It is exactly similar in physical terms also. Here sub-atomic particles correspond to substructures. The implicit component of reality here predominates. The contents of this reality can only express themselves explicitly in indirect terms through short lived projections or emissions. In other words the fundamental sub-atomic particles are spontaneously emitted through quanta from an underlying implicit ground or void corresponding to the physical unconscious. Because the direct nature of these quanta is implicit, they can only be translated indirectly in explicit terms as " imaginary" rather than "real" particles. So physical reality in dynamic interactive terms also involves twin "real" and "imaginary" components.

In other words, expressed in explicit language the true nature of reality both physically and psychologically is "complex".

As we have seen, in psychological terms the goal of the point level is the attempted integration of rational superstructures and affective substructures. At the "high level" of personality one is able to see in conceptual terms deeply into the general form of macroscopic reality. Meanwhile at the "low level" of personality one is intimately exposed to the specific contents or quanta of microscopic reality. As the point level unfolds, one realises more clearly that these two levels correspond to radically differing modes which cannot be reconciled in terms of each other. In other words the "real" form of macroscopic reality does not directly correspond to the "imaginary" contents of microscopic reality.

There is a remarkable similar problem existing also at the physical level. As is well known there are two major theories used to interpret physical real. In terms of global macroscopic structures the Theory of Relativity has proven especially useful. However in terms of minute microscopic contents an entirely different theory i.e. Quantum Mechanics is more successful. The Holy Grail of physics is to try and reconcile these theories in a single unifying theory. This quest has however proven very elusive.

The fundamental difficulty in this attempted reconciliation can now be highlighted.

At a global macroscopic level, one concentrates on the general form of relationships which directly conforms to the rational mode. Psychologically, the form of relationships is revealed through concepts. Concepts indeed serve as a mental gravitational force binding individual data in a coherent pattern. Physically, the Theory of Relativity - which is often looked on as a theory of gravity and is a general holistic theory of reality - exactly mirrors this situation.

In complementary terms the specific content of relationships is revealed through immediate perceptions or quanta conforming directly to the affective mode. These in turn serve as psychic energy packets temporarily transferred into matter. Again, physically, Quantum Mechanics being a theory of matter at the microscopic level of reality, exactly mirrors this situation. Thus corresponding to the cognitive and affective modes psychologically, we have the fundamental forces of gravity and energy physically. And as with the cognitive and affective modes, gravitational and energy forces cannot be directly reconciled in terms of each other.

Alternatively we could say that whereas at a macroscopic level general control patterns manifest themselves, at a microscopic level these break down to reveal specific response patterns. Physical control and response patterns in reality however correspond to differing modes of interpretation. Thus if rational control patterns are identified as "real", then affective response patterns are "imaginary". Now these in dynamic terms are purely relative. Thus if we interpret specific quantum particles as "real" any overall theory is "imaginary". Alternatively, if the theory is "real" then the contents are "imaginary".

Therefore in the conventional sense in which it is understood it is impossible to find a theory that will successfully integrate both relativity and quantum reality conforming to "real" rational criteria. The continued belief in such a limited translation as for example in Stephen Hawking's enormously influential "Brief History of Time" reveals a misguided form of reductionism.

There is however a solution to this problem of integration. As mystics of all ages have discovered it involves moving beyond all rational categories - however subtle - into a pure direct experience of reality where both psychological and physical unification of all creation coincide. Reality can only be finally unified not in thought but rather in spirit.


Considerable substructure or physical development takes place at this time. Initially it is viewed in negative terms, and not consistent with former progress. However, gradually one accepts the unfolding of these physical substructures as vitally necessary and fully complementary with corresponding spiritual superstructures.

These substructures express themselves in the form of involuntary projections and operate at both an intellectual and emotional level. These are a compensatory form of activity resulting from undue identification with spiritualised notions of truth.

At the intellectual level, one experiences much difficulty in accepting conventional ideas, often losing control in an irrational manner.

In emotional terms, erotic fantasy assumes a greater role awakening physical rather than spiritual archetypal patterns. This in fact is the process by which one is gradually led to intimate acceptance of the other sex in one's personality.

There are remarkable similarities as between this psychological substructure development and quantum physics. Reality is now increasingly understood in "complex" terms with substructures "imaginary" relative to superstructures which are "real".

Therefore in complementary fashion, particles at a microscopic level are "imaginary" relative to global structures at a macroscopic level which are "real". The need to reconcile "real" with "imaginary" frameworks pose problems in terms of the unification of Quantum Mechanics with the Theory of Relativity. This has a surprising solution which we will return to later.