In mystical union
A bright shimmering joy
Shrouded in mystery
Free to fly on high
As we have seen, the supersensory structures are concerned with the development of a mature intuitively based capacity of the senses, both external and internal.
There is a familiar pattern which keeps repeating itself. With each stage, and the development of new structures, there is initially excessive identification with the class of understanding involved. Thus the next stage, represents both a withdrawal from this excessive identification, and the emergence of new structures. There is then once more temporally over-involvement with these new structures necessitating further withdrawal. Thus there is a continual process of transcendence involved, whereby with each new development, one attempts to overcome the unduly exclusive focus of the previous stage.
There are definite similarities in the manner of development at the circular level, with the rational stages of the linear level. At the linear level, we have firstly the more concrete stages (based on the senses), developing in an external and later in an internal direction. It is this very change in direction, which lessens exclusive identification with the senses, paving the way for the formal stages, which are far more conceptually based, again first in an external direction, and then in an internal direction.
Likewise at the circular level, we start with the "higher" level intuitively based development of the senses in an external positive direction. Over-involvement, with this form of knowledge, necessitates withdrawal (through mirror structure development), with the subsequent development of the intuitively based senses in an internal direction, finally stabilising - in terms of direction - in a more central and neutralised spiritual equilibrium. Through detachment from the intuitive senses thus exercised, one is now free to develop the deeper, more conceptualised regions of the personality, again in this explicitly intuitive fashion. So we now have arrived at the suprarational stage (in its positive direction).
As, we have seen, the positive stages are marked by significant outpourings of spiritual illumination (i.e. pure intuition), which tend to dramatically transform one's vision of reality.
Generally, the quality and intensity of this illumination is related directly to the quality and intensity of the painful inpouring during the preceding purgative stage. It is now - because of the severity of the previous stage - purer, more prolonged, and deeper than before conveying a far greater level of conviction and experiential truth.
Special peak experiences are especially likely at this time. These come in the form of mystical visions - passively communicated through the intellect - where one is given remarkable insight into the underlying structure of reality. In the intensity of this contemplative gaze, all boundaries between self and the material universe momentarily melt. Then, suddenly, in the wonder of an intimate embrace the universal secret of everything in creation is revealed as love.
Such mystical communications can occur for some time, where one - without any conscious effort becomes enlightened and exalted with a special form of intuitive wisdom. Because of the experiential conviction and certainty of such insight, one can feel utterly transformed, with a burning desire to convey what one has truly seen to others.
There then follows an attempt to translate or interpret reality in terms of this new intellectual vision. This is a familiar and often repeated pattern throughout development. Vertical transformation to a new stage is then followed by horizontal development where one attempts to overcome the unduly exclusive focus of the previous development. However it does not necessarily mean that, at each stage, one successfully achieves integration with previous stages. This is only likely to happen, where, in development a mild level of transcendence is involved not dramatically altering one's previous world-view. In this case (backward) integration of new understanding with old is possible. Where however, significant development takes place, a major level of transcendence is involved, considerably wiping out the understanding appropriate to previous stages. The backward integration is now more problematic. Like a mountain climber that has progressed significantly up a treacherous slope, one keeps finding one's route downwards blocked, leaving one with no option but to keep travelling upwards. This is certainly true of the circular level, which through its unduly one-sided emphasis on transcendence, creates considerable personality difficulties which are only resolved at the later point level.
As we have seen, vertical transformation to a new stage is then followed by horizontal translation (or interpretation) in terms of the structures appropriate to that (new) stage. Whereas the vertical upward transformation of structures intensifies experience, the horizontal translation within a given structure makes it more extensive. However transcendent development can be likened to a building, shaped like a pyramid (or a cone) with several stories. On the ground floor, which involves little or no vertical elevation, there is the greatest extension of space available. However as we proceed upwards to higher floors, progressively less space is available, until finally we reach an apex or point at the top. In like manner, in psychological terms, it is easier to translate experience horizontally (i.e. rationally) when vertical experience is minimised. However as the intensity of vertical (i.e. intuitive) experience increases, it becomes more difficult to carry out this translation (which at best can only be done increasingly through indirect means). At the highest level of pure transcendent mystical contemplation, the attempt to translate horizontally is abandoned altogether.
By this phase of the suprarational stage the purity and intensity of the initial illumination will have receded somewhat with the intellect more actively involved. However, as we have already seen, this translation - of what is essentially intuitive - can only be done through the indirect medium of paradox.
Where this differs from the earlier supersensory experience is that this intuitive insight goes right to the depths of formal conceptual systems. One can see clearly into the inadequacies of any rational system, based on absolute conceptual notions.
I have already mentioned the instructive case of Albert Einstein. Certainly in terms of the external physical world, he was deeply and intuitively aware of the limitations of the conventional world-view. and has helped perhaps more than anyone this century to transform our understanding of the physical universe. Indeed just as his Special Theory of Relativity is consistent with the intuitive framework of the earlier supersensory stage, his General Theory is very much consistent with this suprarational stage. Gravity and the curvature of space and time physically, is complemented here by a universal holistic framework and the curvature of psychological dimensions (i.e. relative conceptual understanding). However in terms of the scientific modelling of his system, Einstein was still absolutist, believing that a definite objective order existed. He never could fully accept that the very mental concepts that we use to model reality are themselves always relative and approximate.
Holistic understanding of physical reality reaches a deeper level at this stage. Whereas in the (positive) supersensory stage, one develops an intuitive awareness of the relative movement of phenomena in space and time, here one develops an intuitive awareness also, of the relativity of the very dimensions themselves. Now, one clearly understands space and time, and matter as being fully complementary aspects of the same dynamic reality. Dimensions and material phenomena are seen as being mutually created through continual interaction.
One now readily appreciates that the fundamental holistic structure of physical reality, is fully complemented by a corresponding holistic structure of psychic reality. Perceptions (in psychic terms) complement material phenomena (in physical terms). Concepts (in psychic terms) complement dimensions (in physical terms).
So, in psycho-physical terms, the dynamic interaction of phenomena and dimensions (physically) in experience, complements the corresponding dynamic interaction of perceptions and concepts (psychologically).
Expressed rationally (in reduced terms), the dynamic nature of dimensions can be interpreted in terms of space and time each having positive and negative poles. Thus we have two dimensions of space (with positive and negative directions), and two dimensions of time (also with positive and negative directions). What this means is that in dynamic interaction (physically and psychologically), space is always posited (or created) through the negation of matter (in space). Likewise time is always posited (or created) through the negation of matter (in time). In other words matter and the dimensions they inhabit are mutually created (physically and psychologically) through dynamic interaction.
Thus the ultimate structure of space and time is fully symmetrical both really being complementary aspects of the same unified reality.
However, from the reduced static - and thereby distorted - translation of normal experience, this supersymmetry of space and time breaks down with the apparent existence of three dimensions of space and one of time. It is only through the transcendence of (illusionary) phenomenal understanding, in the unified intuitive insight of the suprarational level, that the underlying true nature of dimensions and matter unfolds. One intuitively realises their intrinsic dynamic interconnectedness. The negative aspect of dimensions is the positive aspect of phenomena; the negative aspect of phenomena is the positive aspect of dimensions. In other words matter is created (dynamically) through the negation of dimensions; dimensions in turn are created through the negation of matter. When the switching ability in understanding between both is greatly accelerated (as in pure contemplation), the intuitive understanding of this fundamental interconnectedness grows, so that ultimately matter and dimensions no longer have any separate existence. This is the purely unified intuitive vision, which is the direct experience of the total interconnectedness of all reality.
And once again physical and psychological experience here become fully complementary as pure energy. Here the extreme pole of spiritual energy (pure being) coincides with the complementary pole of pure physical energy (pure nothingness in phenomenal terms), in direct experience of the eternal present.
Thus the highest form of intuitive experience (i.e. pure mystical ecstasy) can be expressed as the coincidental experience in the present moment of the ultimate destiny of the universe (i.e. pure spiritual being), with the ultimate source or origin of the universe (i.e. pre-existent matter in pure material nothingness).
In such peak moments of experience, evolution itself momentarily realises its own fulfilment.
Relevance for Mathematics
This intuitive insight of suprarational understanding can be fruitfully applied to that remaining "bastion of rationality" i.e. mathematics, which like all other understanding inherently involves a dynamic interaction of mind and matter.
Therefore any purely linear formulation of mathematics (i.e. treating it as an objective independent discipline), is ultimately gravely reduced and distorted.
Psychologically, there is a very interesting counterpart to the physical "uncertainty principle". What it really implies is that reason and intuition are two essential modes in all understanding. Therefore we can only achieve greater clarity in one mode at the expense of lesser clarity in the other. This implies that rational truth (and indeed intuitive truth), are always relative.
Let me attempt to illustrate with a simple bit of formal logic.
If a = b and b = c, then a = c.
Now this might appear to be a straightforward example of pure reason, but this is not in effect the case. In a certain sense, reasoning is always tautological, making explicit what is already implied in the assumptions. Thus in our case the deduction (i.e. a = c) is in fact implied by the opening two assumptions. Thus whereas the role of reason is - the admittedly highly useful - task of making explicit what is contained in basic assumptions, the results it demonstrates are already implicit in the assumptions. Indeed, this implicitness involves the principle of the complementarity of opposites where seemingly separate statements are in fact contained in an original common set of assumptions. (Euclidean geometry for example, is implicitly contained within five basic axioms). Without the holistic ability to see that that the results demonstrated by reason are already therefore implicit in the assumptions, one will not be able to comprehend any logical proposition. It is intuition - and not reason - which is required for this implicit recognition.
Indeed, this helps to clarify an essential difference as between the intuitive and the rational approaches. The intuitive approach tends to place a strong emphasis on implicit recognition. The intuitive can often see directly what is implied by assumptions with little or no need for explicit rational demonstration. The rational approach on the other hand places a strong emphasis on explicit recognition, responding readily to formal logical demonstrations. The intuitive extreme can become far too loose and vague, losing any means of effective communication. The rational extreme, on the other hand, can become too narrow and rigid, losing all touch with a creative response.
The essential point is therefore, because even the most formalised mathematical understanding, necessarily, is a dynamic interaction involving the interplay of reason and intuition (in complementary external and implicit recognition), it involves truths of a relative (rather than an absolute) kind.
Needless to say, the behaviour of mathematicians themselves, often greatly contradicts their own paradigm. The history of mathematics is littered with accounts of the most fruitful of discoveries occurring in the most non-rational circumstances. In fact the presentation of mathematics is somewhat misleading. Though each significant advance is born out of creative (implicit) recognition, mathematics is still presented formally (solely) as a rational (explicit) body of truths.
Let us stay with mathematics to illustrate how the relative approach developed at this suprarational stage, can alter understanding of numbers.
From a dynamic perspective, each number has complementary positive and negative polarities arising from the basis two way mind-matter interaction.
What this complementarity of numbers implies is that the value of any number can only be posited (or determined) in dynamic terms through the simultaneous act of negation (or exclusion) of all other numbers.
In other words if I posit the number "2", in dynamic terms this implies negating or excluding simultaneously all other numbers (i.e. "2" is not any other number in the system).
In this sense, there is relativity involved. The number "2" is finitely determined in actual terms, against a background of all other numbers, with a potential for determination, but not actually determined in this case. These other excluded numbers therefore - in relative terms - remain finitely indeterminate. Thus, relatively speaking, determinacy or certainty, in number terms, necessarily involves indeterminacy or uncertainty.
We have the same two-way complementarity in relation to the number concept.
Inherently - whereas actual numbers are finite - the concept of number does not represent any actual number as such but rather the potential for existence of all numbers. In this sense the concept of number relates directly to the infinite rather than the finite domain.
The (potential) number concept is posited dynamically through the negation or exclusion of any actual number. Thus the positing of the potential number concept is the reverse procedure of positing actual numbers, and inextricably linked.
Once again reason and intuition are dynamically involved. Actual understanding is provided directly by reason and potential understanding by intuition. Also whereas the actual relates to the finite domain, the potential relates to the infinite domain, which is qualitatively different.
Reflecting this subtlety, both actual numbers (perceptions) and potential numbers (concepts) have a complementary two way existence.
By contrast the conventional linear approach is gravely reduced. It tries to eliminate intuition from the picture, which in turn leads to reduction of the infinite notion to the finite.
Thus from the linear perspective the real number system, comprising actual finite numbers is viewed as extending infinitely in both directions. In other words the infinite is in effect interpreted as an extension of the finite (which is gravely misleading).
From the circular perspective by contrast, the real number system is viewed in relative terms as finite but unbounded always comprising a set of (finitely) determinate and a set of (finitely) indeterminate numbers. In this way, confusion of the infinite with the finite is avoided.
This is a very important point, with far reaching implications. For example, it calls sharply into question the whole notion of mathematical proof.
With all such "proofs", there is an inherent assumption involved, that if a proposition can be proved for the general case, then it will apply in any given particular instance.
However, this involves a confusion of finite and infinite notions. What is true in the general case applies directly to an infinite set of potential cases which thereby dynamically excludes the finite set of actual cases. So there is in fact no direct connection here with any actual particular case which is finite. (The assumption that there is a connection is just a classic example of the reduction of the infinite to the finite notion).
So, strictly the proof of any proposition for the general case does not establish the validity of its application to any particular case. What this really implies in practice is that there are other important elements involved in the acceptance of all proofs, which are non rational. Thus, a proof is only as good as the many assumptions (mathematical and sociological) on which it is based and there is never any absolute way of validating these assumptions.
So, we can only successfully rescue our notion of "proof" by interpreting it in dynamic relative terms, where indeed it can be accurately interpreted as representing no more than an existing social consensus. (My own attack on the conventional notion of proof is thereby challenging the existing consensus).
Therefore as I have attempted to show, the relative viewpoint applies as much to pure mathematical theory as it does to any other area.
This relative view, (far more in keeping with the true dynamics of understanding), literally turns the rational paradigm of the linear level on its head.
The rational paradigm tacitly assumes a direct connection as between perceptions and corresponding concepts (e.g. the concept of number and actual numbers). This in turn creates the illusion that our psychic constructs represent reality - as in a photograph - as it actually is.
However from the dynamic intuitive perspective it is precisely the reverse. Here, all perceptions are understood as (dynamically) opposed to their corresponding concepts. The root cause for this is that there is always an inherent clash of notions involved (i.e. finite and infinite). Furthermore it is this very opposition, which is the very source of interaction between both. So, far from psychic constructs accurately representing reality, they continually in fact, through an inevitable reductionism, misrepresent true reality, which always remains somewhat mysterious and elusive.
This is why ultimately, attainment of true knowledge involves the transcendence of all concepts and perceptions, regardless of how subtle they may be.
The kind of thinking I have outlined above is simply used as a demonstration of what is intellectually applied by advancement to this stage. One clearly realises that the uncertainty principle inevitably is bound up with any psychic constructs we might use to model reality. There is no escape from this fact. Indeed there is an interesting psychological complementarity here with the physical uncertainty principle. It is at the sub physical level of reality (sub-atomic particles) that this uncertainty regarding physical observations manifests itself. It is at this super psychological level that uncertainty regarding psychic constructs manifests itself. In both cases the implication is that we actually participate in creating reality, with the "higher" psychological understanding, the appropriate means for interpreting the "lower" physical reality..
As we have seen, because of the erosion of surface sense perception, the (external) supersensory stage tended to be quite general and archetypal in character.
This stage in turn - because of the continued substantial erosion of sensory and also supersensory perception, tends to be far more holistic and cosmic in quality, where reason is directly inspired with a pure and deeply developed intuition. This state greatly facilitates philosophical enquiry of the all embracing universal kind.
The basic starting point - arising so intensely from visionary experience - is that mind and matter - though seemingly separate - in truth form a single dynamic unity. Therefore philosophical investigation is carried out with this strongly in mind.
The most comprehensive approach of this type in Western philosophy is undoubtedly the Hegelian system. Though it attract admirers and detractors in equal measure, it will always have great appeal for people who like to think "big" on a grand cosmic scale in an attempt to integrate the many diverse levels of human experience.
The rational approach of the linear level - operating within somewhat rigid assumptions - is best suited for detailed analysis of specific problems. However, this leads to considerable fragmentation and isolation in terms of overall experience. We can see this tendency illustrated very well in philosophy itself, with so many schools of thought (commanding committed groups of followers) each tending to reduce experience to the confines of a particular limited perspective on reality.
The great advantage of the holistic Hegelian type approach is that it provides a ready means of reconciling seemingly opposite positions e.g. in philosophy, history and religion.
It tends to show up very clearly the human tendency - greatly accentuated though the linear level of understanding - to reduce the whole of truth in any context to a partial explanation. This is because the linear level is based on the static assumption that opposites can be clearly separated (e.g. mind and matter). This leads always to the attempt to study a given problem in a local context, with the corresponding attempt to ignore related variables so as to exclude unwanted dynamic interactive effects.
The Hegelian approach on the other hand is based explicitly on the dynamic principle of the complementarity of opposites which is appropriate to the circular level. Hegel himself spoke in terms of triadic movements usually represented by interpreters as the dialectical method of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Evolution in any context, be it the physical world, history, personal development etc. can fruitfully be studied in terms of the dynamic interplay of these basic forces. (Indeed, I have been employing this method very much myself in my earlier discussion of numbers).
However, there are very real dangers involved. In using the Hegelian approach to reason, one can fall into a subtle form of reductionism that is even more insidious that that involved at the linear level. The truth embodied in the principle of the complementarity of opposites (i.e. dialectic) is contained directly in intuitive insight. The paradoxical representation of this - in linear language format - is only an indirect reduced form of expression. If one starts identifying this truth - not directly with intuitive insight, which transcends all conceptualisation - but rather with the indirect rational formulations - then it is gravely misleading. This is even more so if one closes off the system in an attempt to give some form of historical determinism to the whole process.
I am afraid that Hegel was guilty of both these errors. His system though born undoubtedly out of genuine intuitive insight, degenerated subsequently into a tiresome attempt to apply "the magic dialectical formula" at every turn. Also, he was in later life - perhaps unwittingly - guilty of becoming an agent of political propaganda, which eventually culminated in the Nazi horrors of this century.
Also the criticism of Kierkegaard regarding the Hegelian system is perfectly valid. For this system represents another form of reductionism where the internal subjective direction of experience is - to use the Hegelian expression - almost entirely negated.
The irony is that the obvious implication of all this is that to give the individual existentialist dimension of experience - which lies at the other extreme - its rightful due, the Hegelian system itself must be negated. So the thinking of this system then comes to be seen as just another part - though admittedly very useful - of overall experience.
(Of course this criticism applies equally to Kierkegaard in his overidentification of meaning with the individual existentialist position).
There is another problem for someone at this level, which is the problem of communication. Normal rational discourse is built on the ability to make effective clear statements in the linear format. When one gets wrapped up in the paradoxical language of the circular level, one can easily lose the ability to communicate effectively. This is deeply symptomatic of over-identification with this stage.
Indeed Hegel himself displays this fault, as he can hardly be regarded as a model of effective communication. Much of what he has written - even when viewed from a tolerant perspective - borders on the incomprehensible, displaying more a poverty of expression, than quality of thought. This tendency was hardly helped by his belief that paradoxical (or dialectical) reason was superior to linear reason.
The truth is that both have their place, each being suited to different uses.
Application To Economics
Yet, provided one accepts the limitations of this suprarational approach, I believe that it can play an extremely important role in terms of understanding many of today's problems. There is a great deal of fragmentation in understanding, which the linear approach only accentuates. This holistic circular approach however - though not geared to providing direct answers regarding specific issues - yet provides a framework which is ideal for preserving an overall sense of integration in approach and a means of highlighting key unquestioned assumptions. Let me illustrate with reference to economics.
Economics deals with the problem of scarcity. The conventional (linear) approach to this problem is to increase the amount of (objective) resources available to meet potentially limitless (subjective) human wants. This is manifest in a widespread emphasis on economic growth as a key objective of economic policy.
Here (objective) resources and (subjective) wants are considered as essentially separate and independent poles.
However from the (relative) circular viewpoint, this is highly unsatisfactory. The basic starting point is that the relationship between (objective) resources and (subjective) wants - which are interdependent complementary poles - constitutes the essence of the economic problem. In other words, dynamic balance must be preserved as between both poles.
There are therefore two complementary ways therefore of tackling scarcity. One - the conventional quantitative approach - concentrates (exclusively) on the objective pole emphasising to need to increase the amount of economic resources available.
However, the alternative qualitative approach to scarcity is to concentrate exclusively on the subjective pole, whereby people adjust attitudes learning to be satisfied in certain circumstances with less resources.
In dynamic terms, it is very important to keep these poles in balance. The all important point - which is missed in materialistic society - is that human fulfilment does not derive from the possession of goods as such (objective pole), but rather from the quality of the dynamic relationship people have with these goods (involving both poles).
Therefore, in a healthy spiritually oriented society, people would be less attached to material possessions and display moderate needs, placing far less stress on the need for increased physical resources.
Thus if there is marked imbalance in this relationship, as in affluent societies, people will continually strive for the possession of an ever greater range of goods and services, in the misleading belief that these will bring fulfilment. Thus we have the paradox that though Western societies enjoy a level of prosperity well in excess of previous generations, yet there seems to be greater pressure than ever on the demand for resources (e.g. budget deficits). Most people in these societies are able to satisfy reasonable wants, but materialism constitutes a vicious circle, whereby need is created through the very means of its (attempted) fulfilment. Though we continue to emphasise the (positive) pole in solution to economic problems in Western society, at present, it is really the other pole that is more relevant and in need of addressing. Indeed this very imbalance often shows up in widespread recession. This can be viewed as an inefficient means of attempting forcible change in (subjective) economic attitudes reflecting a lack of willingness for voluntary adjustment.
In direct contrast, vast regions throughout the world are marked by grinding poverty and an absence of the basic necessities of life. There is little question, that it is the positive pole that urgently needs emphasising here, in the provision of material resources. In a more balanced system, it would be easy to transfer considerable wealth to the poor from the relative abundance of the rich, but as we have seen, this is not possible - except in a limited fashion - due to the distorted nature of (subjective) wants that exist in the wealthier nations.
This raises the crucially important question of morality, which is continually avoided in conventional economics, where the tendency is to view the system impersonally as a machine, conforming - however unreliably - to objective "laws". This conveniently reduces and thereby ignores the whole moral dimension of vitally important economic behaviour.
I will illustrate with reference to the price mechanism which is the corner stone of the market system.
Price - in any market - is conventionally viewed as being determined by the impersonal forces of supply and demand. This immediately reduces subjective behaviour and decisions in relation to market activity to these "objectively determined" forces.
From a dynamic perspective however, this understanding of the market is seriously flawed. From this perspective, price in a market is not due to (isolated) external forces, but rather to the dynamic and continual interaction between subjective decisions and external events. Therefore, changes in either direction, will influence market price.
Again, viewing from the objective pole, a change in price is brought about through the alteration of external variables (affecting supply and demand). This assumes that subjective factors remain constant.
However viewed from the complementary qualitative pole a change in price could equally come about through the alteration of subjective decisions (again affecting supply and demand). This could therefore, for example, reflect a new unwillingness - even when external variables remain unchanged - to buy at a given price.
In the conventional treatment of market behaviour, the essentially two-way dynamic interactive process (as between relevant external and internal variables), is reduced to a mechanical one-way interaction, by eliminating in analysis the qualiative pole altogether. (Even when subjective factors such as expectations are considered, they are included, misleadingly as just additional external variables).
In the standard view, market equilibrium is defined as where external (objective) demand equals external (objective) supply. However, in reality, market behaviour is not determined by external variables (in isolation).
Therefore in the dynamic view, market equilibrium is more subtly defined as where the relationship as between both external (objective) and internal (subjective) variables (in relation to demand and supply) is in equilibrium. This alternative definition is particularly relevant, where a market is unstable (i.e. in disequilibrium), and where both complementary poles are activated.
This is just making explicit the obvious fact that market behaviour depends crucially on the qualiative decisions exercised by human beings. And where important decisions are exercised, there is inevitably responsibility and a moral dimension involved.
This is all particularly relevant to currency markets, the behaviour of which has been exercising an increasingly dominant influence on economic performance internationally in recent years. The market dynamic I have outlined is especially appropriate. Here markets tend to be particularly unstable, with the continual interaction between subjective decisions and objective variables especially apparent. Where this dynamic interaction of decisions with events exist, inevitably uncertainty is created, and where there is uncertainty, there is in turn, speculation. Now all of this activity raises moral issues of the first magnitude, both for the overall way in which the system operates and for the institutions and individuals involved in the market. Though it is ludicrous to maintain that an objective mechanism (solely) operates in relation to currency dealings, yet this fiction is maintained. Indeed the important moral dimension is downplayed by a new kind of vocabulary. Thus those involved in speculating on the currency markets are now referred to as "players" conveying the misleading impression, that their - often extensive - transactions constitute no more than an exciting game.
Also, there is an interesting projection of personality characteristics, from the people involved, on to impersonal market objects. Thus the markets are increasingly talked about in human terms such as "nervous", "tense", "jittery", "calm". Likewise the currencies involved are spoken of as "being under pressure", "rallying strongly", "having a good day". This tends to create the impression of currency markets having a life of their own, independent of those actually exercising the crucial decisions.
This distorted belief in the "free" market - even greater now since the break up of Communism - constitutes a dangerous form of idolatry. The great irony is that - as conventionally interpreted - it is the complete antithesis of freedom in any meaningful moral sense. For if price is inevitably determined everywhere by impersonal forces of supply and demand, then ethical considerations such as justice, equality and personal responsibility can easily be viewed as irrelevant in determining the outcome.
Again, in this misguided attempt to enable economic behaviour to conform to scientific treatment, the basic assumption is made that the external physical environment exists - not as an organic living organism, with which we continually interact - but rather as an inanimate asset, to be exploited at will for the purpose of providing economic resources. Despite, the many severe environmental problems caused in the name of such sort-sighted progress - and even the threat of possible global ecological disaster - the basic underlying philosophy guiding economic policy remains essentially unchanged. Thus present economics, seen through the holistic light of the suprarational approach, is a highly reduced, and thereby distorted body of knowledge, urgently in need of integration through the use of more realistic dynamic assumptions.
Other Aspects of Stage
One of the implications of the development of suprarational understanding, is that - because of its holistic basis - it throws into sharp focus the limitations of narrow specialised thinking in all fields. Now at a deeper intuitively conceptual level, one can become very disillusioned and frustrated with linear modes of thought. Not surprisingly this causes difficulties in communication. Because one has adapted to a new level of thinking, which one believes is superior to the conventional mode, it is difficult to accept the general lack of interest displayed in one's insights. (Indeed, one can suffer from a certain arrogance and intellectual pride during this time). Thus lack of appreciation is often keenly felt, due to the fact that one's ego identity has by now become considerably identified with the structures of this stage. Also one tends to derive very little stimulation from normal (linear) activity, so that fulfilling customary duties can go very much against the grain.
However, for some time, the intellectual excitement of opening up various fields of knowledge to this new higher level approach adequately compensates.
Though the cognitive intellectual development is paramount at this stage, it is likely to be associated also with further affective development. This tends to be more purely intuitive and archetypal than before, so that natural symbols are not much involved. Spiritual joy is the key factor in such experience. There can be special moments where reality becomes spiritually transparent and vibrates imparting a shimmering feeling of happiness. On other occasions, joy wells up like a running stream inside. There can also be soothing intimate moments in tranquil darkness and experiences of a delicate and refined celestial silvery light.
Many other affective mystical touches can be experienced, though this phase is less likely to be as intense as the cognitive phase. Also, the overall direction of development during the circular level becomes increasingly transcendent, where the emphasis is very much on control of instinctive behaviour. There is a definite hierarchy where the central spiritual experience mode comes first, the cognitive mode next and lastly the affective mode. Thus one tends to distrust emotional experience, sublimating it wherever possible so as to become more spiritualised.
Like before, this stage eventually reaches another turning point. Once again excessive ego attachment to the new structures of the stage starts creating serious conflict with authentic spiritual desires. Though one tries to limit this attachment, because it is more subtle, considerably involving the unconscious, active attempts cannot succeed. One has to make another critical decision as to whether to go forward or backwards. As ego attachment now involves the deepest levels of personality, pressing ahead inevitably will mean more serious psychological death than before. Eventually for one destined to progress, this extremely painful option offers the only remedy for one's difficulties.
Phases of Development
This is characterised by spiritual illumination of high quality and intensity, usually associated with peak mystical experiences, where one directly experiences the interdependence of everything in creation. All distinctions as between animate and "inanimate" matter irretrievably break down. It is communicated mainly through the cognitive rather than the affective mode, conveying a deep sense of ultimate knowledge. In Jungian terms this refined intuition flows from the regions of the collective unconscious. These experiences impart an unshakeable conviction of being in possession of the "truth" and have an immediate transforming effect on the personality,
After the initial peak experiences recede, there follows an attempt to translate or interpret reality in terms of a the new structural development characteristic of this stage. This in what I refer to as suprarational understanding, based directly on holistic intuition (where mind and matter comprise a dynamic unity), but indirectly conveyed through the paradoxical language of the complementarity of (conceptual) opposites.
In terms of the psychological energy spectrum, it comprises radiation of extremely long wavelength and of very low frequency (i.e. holistic and passive in quality). This light can provide highly original insights into many diverse fields, springing from a strong innate sense of the fundamental interdependence of all knowledge. For someone with a natural intellectual bent, this phase can be most exciting and exhilarating.
After a while, inevitably, personality conflicts start to develop. There is a tendency - where highly specialised development of structures takes place - for psychic energy to move from other structures to become (temporarily) excessively identified with the new stage. In other words one's ego identity becomes strongly identified now with suprarational understanding. One can then feel frustrated and rejected, when others see little value in one's ideas. Partly this is due to difficulties in communicating what is a non-linear form of knowledge. However, the sobering fact is that the market for the really original insight of this stage is inherently very restricted. It can only be properly confirmed by people who have "seen" in like manner.
The process of personal transformation is therefore likely to be a very lonely business.
There are two different kinds of suffering involved. The more obvious arises during the intense purgative periods of the negative stages. However, there is also a more subtle form involved - which in many ways is harder to endure - during the positive stages of illumination.
When one realises some major dream or ambition after much hardship, one naturally wants to share the joy of one's triumph with others. However, when one attempts to do likewise during this phase, one is met usually by indifference and sometimes even hostility. One is frequently misunderstood and it becomes very difficult to find anyone with whom one can share one's vision. This is because one now literally tunes into reality on a different wavelength from others. Also, because one is still in a process of rapid change not yet having reached any kind of stable personality equilibrium, it creates continual difficulties in terms of maintaining meaningful personal relationships.
Though one does not appreciate it at the time, these problems are an inevitable consequence of an authentic commitment to transcendence.
Though less a feature of the stage than intellectual development, there is likely to be some high level affective development also. Partly this is helped by the lack of an outlet for natural emotional expression which leads towards a more vertically orientated spiritualised experience involving highly holistic archetypal images. Thus whereas the cognitive development represents the unfolding of "masculine" archetypal ideas, the affective development represents the (complementary) unfolding of "feminine" archetypal images. These in turn represent - from both aspects - understanding of God (Supreme Being) essentially as a projection of one's own emerging cosmic personality.
Because of the high level of transfer of psychic energy to the suprarational structures, little will be left for normal linear activity, from which one derives very little satisfaction. A familiar pattern emerges, whereby one sees the need for reconciling the structures of this stage with earlier development, but finds it in practice very difficult to achieve.
A crisis now starts to loom. Undue identification with the suprarational structures creates increasing problems in terms of pure spiritual desire. As the clash intensifies one is diverted more and more inwards in an attempt to get to the roots of this ego need. Gradually this mood of despondency starts to predominate in experience. One slowly realises that the only solution will be to surrender entirely this subtle attachment to reason. For someone, with a natural intellectual gift, this constitutes an enormous sacrifice. Earlier in the stage one felt at last that one's true vocation in life was being realised. Now, instead, one now slowly prepares to leave everything behind to journey on into a very uncertain future.