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Behind the Curtain: Transcendent Consciousness

By: Dr. Jaime G. Corvalan, MD, FACS

I love the ancient Greek dramas and comedies! The works of Sophocles, Euripides and especially Aeschylus I hold very dear to my heart because they are timeless. The themes they dared explore then are as pertinent and crucial now: family, ethics, love, betrayal, duty, honor, dedication and sacrifice, among so many more. Ancient Greek theater and culture represented an incredible flowering of consciousness, the reverberations of which we still feel today.

The Divine Feminine by Anne Baring
The Divine Feminine by Anne Baring

The reason for my affinity, as well as for the continuing relevance of these cultural achievements, is that they represent a breakthrough of transcendent consciousness within our plane of existence. We often live our lives focused only on what’s right in front of us, our daily living; but in doing so, we miss the majesty and radiance of the consciousness that pervades all things yet transcends them as well. There is something behind the curtain of everyday existence, and every once in a while we are treated to a glimpse of that wondrous transcendence.

Transcendent energy consciousness, as it’s been called, is both immanent (pervades everything and nothing) and transcendent (beyond everything and nothing). It informs everything within the realm of time and space; it has been called, rightly so, I think, the “DNA driver of the soul.” It is what gives motive, what informs everything seen and unseen within our universe, all plants, birds, insects, animals, inorganic materials, stars, molecules, galaxies, and the like.

The wonderful author, Anne Baring, puts it so eloquently and poetically in her book The Divine Feminine when she says:

For those awakened to this vision, to be born a human being is not to be born into a fallen, flawed world of sin and illusion, cut off from the divine; it is to be born into a world lit by an invisible radiance, ensouled by Divine Presence, graced and sustained by incandescent light and love.”

The human mind is like a telescope, exploring the farthest reaches of consciousness. For this is our task, our very purpose for existing: to pull back the curtain of darkness and to bring as much awareness into the light as we possibly can. We are the vehicles by which the universe comes to know itself!

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The Meaning of Consciousness

Man’s task is . . . to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious . . . As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. It may even be assumed that just as the unconscious affects us, so the increase in our consciousness affects the unconscious.”

Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections, p. 326

– Dr. Jaime G. Corvalan, MD

The purpose of human existence is the creation of more and more consciousness. This is such a profound statement on the part of the great analyst, Dr. Carl Jung, and one with which I am in complete agreement. We are coming into a new age, one which is bringing together the twin elements of our being: our religious nature and our intellectual (scientific) nature. To quote the wonderful author and Jungian analyst, Edward F. Edinger, from The Creation of Consciousness – Jung’s Myth for Modern Man, p. 57:

If religion is Self-oriented, science is ego-oriented. Religion is based on Eros, science of Logos. The age now dawning will provide a synthesis for this thesis and antithesis. Religion sought linkage, science sought knowledge. The new world view will seek linked knowledge.

. . . A genuinely new goal and purpose for human existence is required. That new goal has been found and articulated by Jung. In his words, ‘Man is the mirror which God holds up before him, or the sense organ with which he apprehends his being.’  “

We are entering a new age of synthesis, a new era of individuation in which we will begin to see with the eyes of the soul. It is both a tremendously fraught and exciting time, and I look ahead with great anticipation as we work to evolve into the spiritual selves we have all been born to be!

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There is No Reality Without Perception

. . . non-conceptual essence is pure non-duality or unicity in which the notions of both subject and object are merged. Just as the sun does not know light because it is light, so you do not know your original nature (as an object) because you are that. It is forever beyond the grasp of concepts and subject-object knowledge.”

– John Wheeler, The Light Behind Consciousness: Radical Self Knowledge and the End of Seeking

Dr. Jaime G. Corvalan, MD, FACS

John Wheeler was one of the greatest American physicists of the 20th Century and was a close colleague of Albert Einstein, particularly later in his life. John understood clearly that reality as we understand it does not exist without someone or something to perceive it. Reality is itself a product of consciousness; transcendent consciousness precedes and is beyond time and space, yet is immanent and everywhere within it.

12040794_lIn fact, one may conceive of the universe as a “ceaselessly flowing quantum soup” until something conscious observes it. Without consciousness, the universe has no awareness of itself, has no independent, dualistic existence – it exists in potential but has no physical form until a consciousness perceives it.

In that sense, we are co-creators of the universe. Perception, asking questions, making decisions – these literally have the power of creation! The universe waits in potential for an observer to arrive and experience it, whatever form that consciousness may take – a human, a dog, a tree, a flower . . . you name it.

So, consider the awesome power you have for shaping your reality. The choices and decisions you make literally make your reality – choose from your heart, from your soul, and you will help to create a beautiful and sacred existence, founded in enlightened consciousness.

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Consciousness v. Awareness

As you are reading this, for a second, just turn your attention to who is reading. In that split second of shifting awareness, what you feel is a presence, don’t you? As you are reading, you become aware of who is reading. Well, that presence is your soul. It’s not your mind that might be saying, “Oh, I think I’ll have a cup of coffee.” There is a presence, and that presence is in the on/off of your thoughts: there is a thought flickering on and off and in that off there is a presence.”

– Deepak Chopra, The Flaws of Perception

Dr. Jaime G. Corvalan, MD, FACS

Consciousness, it may be said, is all that there is – it is life, it is the essence of the universe, yet it simultaneously transcends both of these phenomena. This is the perplexing yet miraculous beauty of transcendent consciousness; however, it has often been misunderstood – and confused – with the concept of “awareness.”

Western civilization, over the last few hundred years, has developed a mechanistic world view in which we have come to believe that everything can be explained in a phenomenological way – everything behaves according to a series of knowable rules and laws which can be deduced, known and harnessed for our materialistic purposes. Nature, once seen as a miraculous entity, filled with spirits and deities, could now be reduced to knowable patterns and dry equations, and could be brought to heal at the altar of the human mind.

This materialist view drained nature – an indeed, humanity – of all of her miraculous glory and divinity; and, in doing so, completely missed the mark by replacing the notion of “awareness” for “transcendent consciousness.” The wonderful author Anne Baring describes the characteristics of the Western World view that has taken hold of us, cutting us off from our intuitive connection with our souls, that which is much deeper than the mind:

•  Matter is primary and gives rise to mind as a secondary phenomenon. Consciousness is therefore a by-product of the physical brain.

•  There is no survival of consciousness after death. The death of the brain is the death of the individual.

•  God is an unnecessary hypothesis and the concept of the soul an irrelevance.

•  The life of the universe has come into being by blind chance.

•  There is no transcendent purpose or meaning to our lives.

This perspective places the locus of life at the most shallow surfaces of our being – in our senses and in our minds. Yet, Deepak Chopra rightly points out that our sensory perception is our least reliable means of knowing our world:

. . . we cannot rely on sensory observation alone to know the essential nature of reality. For the last 300 years, the whole basis of science has relied on our observational senses; but our senses are the least reliable test of what we call reality. My senses tell me that the ground I am sitting on is stationary and yet we know it is spinning at a dizzying speed, hurtling through space at thousands of miles an hour. My senses tell me that, from where I am standing, the Earth is flat. Nobody believes that any more.”

A honey bee perceives a rose completely differently than do we or any other life form.
A honey bee perceives a rose completely differently than do we or any other life form.

Our sensory apparatus gives rise to what I would call “Awareness.” We receive input through our senses (of taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing) of which our brains and central nervous systems make sense. Because we sense it, we are aware of it – or so we think. This immediately brings to bear an important point – what we believe we are perceiving is actually an abstraction of it – it’s what our brains make of the data received through our senses.

Let’s take a simple example. Consider a rose. When you look at one, you might describe its color and fragrance. But color and fragrance don’t exist in an objective way! They are characteristics of our sensory apparatus (our eyes and noses) and what our brains do with that information. To a dog, a rose is perceived in a completely different way! Or consider a honey bee – because it “sees” in the ultraviolet spectrum, it will perceive a rose in an entirely different way. Indeed, the nature of what one perceives really depends on who or what is perceiving, and how one perceives!

Plato pointing upwards, signifying Higher Forms, with Aristotle discusses empiricism; from Raphael's painting "The School of Athens."
Plato pointing upwards, signifying Higher Forms, with Aristotle discusses empiricism; from Raphael’s painting “The School of Athens.”

So what is the essential nature of matter or indeed anything in the universe? Well, the simple truth is that the answer lies beyond our tools of perception, beyond simple awareness and, indeed, beyond the abstracting powers of the human mind. This is a notion that was described by Plato in his Theory of Forms and has been taken up by many cultures and individuals over time.

Kant’s notion of the “Noumenon,” of the “thing in itself,” describes a reality that precedes perception, that is known (as far as it can be known) without the use of our physical senses.

This (and many other traditions, including Hinduism and Buddhism) reopens the door to the fact that “Consciousness” precedes “Awareness.”

I return again to the wonderful work of Anne Baring and her articulation of a philosophy (The Perennial Philosophy, actually) that more correctly understands the nature of existence and restores the divinity to nature and all life:

• Consciousness is primary and matter secondary. That is to say, the phenomenal world emerges from an invisible dimension or implicate order of reality.

• The universe is conscious and there are many dimensions to this consciousness. ‘In My Father’s House there are many mansions.’

• Our human consciousness is integral to that greater consciousness, even though it is still partially developed or immature.

• Consciousness in some form survives the death of the physical body.

• What we have called God or spirit is the divine ground as well as the process of life in the universe, our planet and ourselves. There is nothing outside or beyond God.

• The soul is a vast and complex field or web of relationships connecting invisible spirit with the phenomenal world. Our body/mind organism is intimately connected to that wider soul, field or web of relationships.

• The purpose of our lives on this planet is to be reunited with the source or ground of our being.”

So, transcendent consciousness is the ground of all being, yet it transcends the very fabric of time and space. You might say that something wakes up in matter, that we are aspects of this transcendent energy, all participating in this grand web of life and experience, each and every component playing an integral, divine role in this magnificent production. We are so much more than what our tools of perception and abstraction make of us, and so is every aspect of the universe!

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The Pope Francis Encyclical Laudato si’: A New Relationship with the Transcendent

When people become self-centered and self-enclosed, their greed increases. The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume. It becomes almost impossible to accept the limits imposed by reality. In this horizon, a genuine sense of the common good also disappears.”

– Pope Francis, Laudato si’ (#204)

Dr. Jaime G. Corvalan, MD, FACS

The recent visit of Pope Francis to Cuba and the United States has brought into focus something beautiful that is happening not only within the Church but with the unfolding of transcendent consciousness itself. There is a growing recognition of the interconnection of all life, of a divinity not separate from creation but one that infuses all life, all nature, all of creation.

The first page of St. Augustine's work, "City of God Against the Pagans"
The first page of St. Augustine’s work, “City of God Against the Pagans”

I am so pleased and inspired to see that the grievous error committed upon nature, the feminine and indeed all life reflected in more than a thousand years of orthodox doctrine has been addressed, corrected and transcended by this extraordinary Pope! Dating back to St. Augustine and his 5th Century AD work, “City of God Against the Pagans,” a document which codified the gulf between God and Man, the Divine and Nature, orthodox doctrine has held that, because of the idea of Original Sin, humanity is fallen and nature, and the feminine, were equally stained and corrupt. Nature was devoid of divinity (for the Divine was separate and beyond creation) and could therefore be subject to the dominion of man.

This mistaken philosophical idea has paved the way for terrible, destructive actions and attitudes toward our natural world, and each other, and allowed for an economic philosophy that sees nature, and all life, merely as resources to be exploited, devoid of divinity, compassion and consciousness.

Pope Francis during his visit with President Obama in 2014
Pope Francis during his visit with President Obama in 2014

In the May 24, 2015 Encyclical, “Laudato si, mi’ Signore” (“Praise be to you, my Lord”), Pope Francis lays out a radically different relationship with nature, each other and with the Divine (or, as I would call it, the transcendent energy consciousness). From the beginning of the document, the Pope reflects his humble nature, addressing the encyclical not to the hierarchy of the Church but instead to ALL PEOPLE; this humility and compassion seems to reflect the heart of Francis, and is what is needed for the continuing unfolding of consciousness.

The focus of this Encyclical is to enter into “new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation that includes everyone, since the environment challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.” (Laudato si’, #14). With the heart of a poet, Francis goes on to say:

This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.

Nothing in this world is indifferent to us.”

Laudato si’ (#2)

While Pope Francis and the Church still see a doctrinal separation between God and Man, he recognizes that, in practice, such a schism can no longer be used to justify our treatment of nature and each other. As he states,

“we must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures . . . This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature.”

Laudato si’ (#67)

Ultimately, the publishing of this Encyclical, and the recognition on the part of Pope Francis and, as a consequence, of the Church, of the need for a new relationship between humanity and nature is a reflection of a new, emerging relationship with transcendent consciousness. While Francis goes into great and noble detail about the destruction and exploitation we have and continue to visit upon nature, the act of publishing this work signifies something even greater at work: the gradual shift of human consciousness, from one focused upon power, control and domination to, instead, one that operates from the heart (the 4th Chakra).

Recognition of our obligation to “till and keep” nature begets recognition of the web of all life and creation. In the greater scheme of things, this will be seen as a small but firm step toward the recognition of the divinity in each of us, in all of life and in all of creation. We are the stuff of divinity, of transcendent energy consciousness, and it is heartening to me to see the growing awareness of this reflected in practical action by Pope Francis.

Please click on this link to read the “Laudato si, mi’ Signore” in full.

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Dr. Jung’s First Sermon to the Dead

– Dr. Jaime G. Corvalan, MD, FACS

The following is an extended excerpt of the First Sermon to the Dead by Dr. Carl Jung.

The First Sermon

The dead came back from Jerusalem, where they did not find what they were seeking. They asked admittance to me and demanded to be taught by me, and thus I taught them:

Hear Ye: I begin with nothing. Nothing is the same as fullness. In the endless state fullness is the same as emptiness. The Nothing is both empty and full. One may just as well state some other thing about the Nothing, namely that it is white or that it is black or that it exists or that it exists not. That which is endless and eternal has no qualities, because it has all qualities.

The Nothing, or fullness, is called by us the PLEROMA. In it thinking and being cease, because the eternal is without qualities. In it there is no one, for if anyone were, he would be differentiated from the Pleroma and would possess qualities which would distinguish him from the Pleroma.

In the Pleroma there is nothing and everything: it is not profitable to think about the Pleroma, for to do that would mean one’s dissolution.

The CREATED WORLD is not in the Pleroma, but in itself. The Pleroma is the beginning and end of the created world.

The Pleroma penetrates the created world as the sunlight penetrates the air everywhere. Although the Pleroma penetrates it completely, the created world has no part of it, just as an utterly transparent body does not become either dark or light in color as the result of the passage of light through it. We ourselves, however, are the Pleroma, so it is that the Pleroma is present within us. Even in the smallest point the Pleroma is present without any bounds, eternally and completely, for small and great are the qualities which are alien to the Pleroma.

The Pleroma is the nothingness which is everywhere complete and without end. It is because of this that I speak of the created world as a portion of the Pleroma, but only in an allegorical sense; for the Pleroma is not divided into portions, for it is nothingness. We, also, are the total Pleroma; for figuratively the Pleroma is an exceedingly small, hypothetical, even non-existent point within us, and also it is the limitless firmament of the cosmos about us. Why, however, do we discourse about the Pleroma, if it is the all, and also nothing?

I speak of it in order to begin somewhere, and also to remove from you the delusion that somewhere within or without there is something absolutely firm and definite. All things which are called definite and solid are but relative, for only that which is subject to change appears definite and solid.

The created world is subject to change. It is the only thing that is solid and definite, since it has qualities. In fact, the created world is itself but a quality.

We ask the question:

How did creation originate? Creatures indeed originated but not the created world itself, for the created world is a quality of the Pleroma, in the same way as the uncreated; eternal death is also a quality of the Pleroma. Creation is always and everywhere, and death is always and everywhere. The Pleroma possesses all: differentiation and non-differentiation.

Differentiation is creation.

The created world is indeed differentiated. Differentiation is the essence of the created world and for this reason the created also causes further differentiation. That is why man himself is a divider, inasmuch as his essence is also differentiation. That is why he distinguishes the qualities of the Pleroma, yea, those qualities which do not exist.

You say to me: What good is it then to talk about this, since it has been said that it is useless to think about the Pleroma?

I say these things to you in order to free you from the illusion that it is possible to think about the Pleroma. When you speak about the divisions of the Pleroma, we are speaking from the position of our own divisions, and we speak about our own differentiated state; but while we do this, we have in reality said nothing about the Pleroma.
However, it is necessary to talk about our own differentiation, for this enables us to discriminate sufficiently.
Our essence is differentiation. For this reason we must distinguish individual qualities.

You say: What harm does it not do to discriminate, for then we reach beyond the limits of our own being; we extend ourselves beyond the created world, and we fall into the undifferentiated state which is another quality of the Pleroma. We submerge into the Pleroma itself, and we cease to be created beings. This we become subject to dissolution and nothingness.

Such is the very death of the created being. We die to the extent that we fail to discriminate. For this reason the natural impulse of the created being is directed toward differentiation and toward the struggle against the ancient, pernicious state of sameness.
The natural tendency is called Principium Individuationis (Principle of Individuation).
This principle is indeed the essence of every created being.
From these things you may readily recognize why the undifferentiated principle and lack of discrimination are all a great danger to created beings.
For this reason we must be able to distinguish the qualities of the Pleroma.
Its qualities are the PAIRS OF OPPOSITES, such as:

the effective and the ineffective
fullness and emptiness
the living and the dead
light and dark
hot and cold
energy and matter
time and space
good and evil
the beautiful and the ugly
the one and the many
and so forth.

The pairs of opposites are the qualities of the Pleroma: they are also in reality non-existent because they cancel each other out.

Since we ourselves are the Pleroma, we also have these qualities present within us; inasmuch as the foundation of our being is differentiation, we possess these qualities in the name and under the sign of differentiation, which means:

First—that the qualities are in us differentiated from each other, and they are separated from each other, and thus they do not cancel each other out, rather they are in action. It is thus that we are the victims of the pairs of opposites. For in us the Pleroma is rent in two.

Second—the qualities belong to the Pleroma, and we can and should partake of them only in the name and under the sign of differentiation. We must separate ourselves from these qualities. In the Pleroma they cancel each other out; in us they do not. But if we know how to know ourselves as being apart from the pairs of opposites, then we have attained to salvation.

When we strive for the good and the beautiful, we thereby forget about our essential being, which is differentiation, and we are victimized by the qualities of the Pleroma which are the pairs of opposites. We strive to attain to the good and beautiful, but at the same time we also to the evil and the ugly, because in the Pleroma these are identical with the good and the beautiful. However, if we remain faithful to our nature, which is differentiation, we then differentiate ourselves from the good and the beautiful, and thus we have immediately differentiated ourselves from the evil and the ugly. It is only thus that we do not merge into the Pleroma, that is, into nothingness and dissolution.

You will object and say to me: Thou hast said that differentiation and sameness are also qualities of the Pleroma. How is it then that we strive for differentiation? Are we not then true to our natures and must we then also eventually be in the state of sameness, while we strive for differentiation?

What you should never forget is that the Pleroma has no qualities.

We are the ones who create these qualities through our thinking.

When you strive after differentiation or sameness or after other qualities, you strive after thoughts which flow to you from the Pleroma, namely thoughts about the non-existent qualities of the Pleroma.
While you run after these thoughts, you fall again into the Pleroma and arrive at differentiation and sameness at the same time. Not your thinking but your being is differentiation.
That is why you should not strive after differentiation and discrimination as you know these, but strive after your true nature.

If you would thus truly strive, you would not need to know anything about the Pleroma and its qualities, and still you would arrive at the true goal because of your nature.

However, because thinking alienates us from our true nature, therefore I must teach knowledge to you, with which you can keep your thinking under control.

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Dr. Jung’s Seven Sermons to the Dead

Dr. Jaime G. Corvalan, MD, FACS

A page from Dr. Carl Jung's private printing of the Seven Sermons to the Dead
A page from Dr. Carl Jung’s private printing of the Seven Sermons to the Dead

The “Seven Sermons to the Dead,” by the renowned psychologist Dr. Carl Jung, are a collection of mystical, Gnostic texts self-published by the doctor during his lifetime (1916) and distributed only to a select few individuals. The Seven Sermons were initially published as an appendix to his biographical work, “Memories, Dreams and Reflections” in 1962, but have since become identified as a summary of his master work, The Red Book, published only recently in 2009.

The Seven Sermons to the Dead refer, essentially, to the spiritually dead, those who lack the self-knowledge of Gnosis. As such, this collection serves as an excellent primer into Jungian psychology and Gnosticism. In essence, the Seven Sermons to the Dead may be summarized as follows:

  • The “dead” are the spiritually dead, those who have stopped growing into their authentic, higher selves.
  • The spiritually dead no longer question their illusory existence as egos, the facades they project for everyone to see, but instead remain bereft of their true, transcendent identities
  • As the spiritually dead no longer pursue the true calling of their souls, they have become, for all intents and purposes, the living dead

The Seven Sermons to the Dead serve as a reminder of the great truths and maxims one will miss if one continues to plod blindly along in this life, avoiding the inner journey we must take if we wish to connect with our transcendent selves.

Because thinking alienates us from our true nature, therefore I must teach knowledge to you, with which you can keep your thinking under control.

  • That which is endless and eternal has no qualities, because it has all qualities.
  • What you should never forget is that the Pleroma has no qualities.
  • We are the ones who create these qualities through our thinking.
  • The pairs of opposites are the qualities of the Pleroma: they are also in reality non-existent because they cancel each other out.

– Unknown

We will undertake an exploration of each of the Sermons hereafter.

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Protecting the Vulnerable – True Spirituality

A King may move a man, a father may claim a son, but remember that even when those who move you be Kings, or men of power, your soul is in your keeping alone. When you stand before God, you cannot say, “But I was told by others to do thus.” Or that, “Virtue was not convenient at the time.” This will not suffice. Remember that.”

– King Baldwin IV, from the movie “Kingdom of Heaven,” 2005

Parzival and Condviramur from the illuminated manuscript of "Parzival" by Wolfram von Eschenbach
Parzival and Condviramur from the illuminated manuscript of “Parzival” by Wolfram von Eschenbach

Dr. Jaime G. Corvalan, MD, FACS

For those who are awake and aware, for those who would operate at a level of consciousness in which loyalty, compassion and love are the uppermost spiritual values, protection and care of those most vulnerable among us is of critical importance . . . And those most vulnerable are not only our fellow human beings but all life, great and small – Nature, our very mother.

We must always strive to be our best – and our best selves are those in which we work to achieve alignment between our souls and our facades, the ego images we project out into this world. When we operate from our souls, we instinctively seek to serve something far greater than ourselves; we strive to protect and nurture those most fragile within our midst, whatever they may be. This is true, honest spirituality.

We must also strive to recognize and be aware of those who would appropriate religions or ideologies of any denomination in order to further their own unquenchable desire for power, control and domination. Fanatics of every stripe who claim to know the will of god, or who claim some illusory group superiority, know only their shallow yet unending desire to exercise dominion over those who would fall prey to their words.

True holiness, true spirituality, is in knowing deep within your soul what is right and in having the courage to act upon it. What the divine desires is right here in you, in your heart and soul; it cannot be found in the empty words of charlatans and zealots. Every choice YOU make determines whether you live from the highest spiritual values or merely from the basest desires of man.

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How Does Humanity Structure Consciousness?

Dr. Jaime G. Corvalan, MD, FACS

Having addressed what Consciousness Is and Humanity’s Function in Manifesting Consciousness in other articles, this post asks the question, “How Do We Manifest or Structure Consciousness?”

It is useful in addressing this question to consider the “Principle of Opposition,” as articulated by the great psychologist, Dr. Carl Jung. Everything, he notes, within the world we know appears to us in pairs of opposites: up and down, light and dark, hot and cold, male and female, time and space, conscious and unconscious (these ideas can be traced back to Hegel and Kant). We live within this realm of duality.

We discover early on, however, that in order for us to grow and to become fully formed individuals, we must engage in a process of bringing together these opposites, in order to become whole. Dr. Jung called this the Process of Individuation, the emergence of a whole, integrated Self from undifferentiated unconsciousness.

Essentially, this is the battle, played out in the human ego and psyche, between “I” and “Not I,” the resolution of which manifests and structures new consciousness. It is this process of becoming aware of one’s true self, wholeness within and beyond the realm of duality, that structures consciousness and brings purpose and meaning to human existence – it’s why we’re here.

The Yin Yang symbol in Chinese philosophy describes how apparently contradictory opposites are actually complementary and interconnected in wholeness.
The Yin Yang symbol in Chinese philosophy describes how apparently contradictory opposites are actually complementary and interconnected in wholeness.

It is in the synthesis of the opposites, taking place within the crucible of the human ego, that consciousness is structured, is uncovered and shared (with all life and with the transcendent). In essence, the synthesis of the opposites (in this process of Individuation) connects the Ego with the Soul – that which transcends the Ego.

This forms the essence of what Dr. Jung identified as the New Myth for Humanity. “God,” or the Transcendent, in this new myth, is unaware of creation but wishes to know it, thus occupying one end of an opposition. Humanity, on the other hand, is conscious of creation but is unaware of its divinity, forming the other end of this pair of opposites (Divine and Man).

Human consciousness endows the Transcendent’s creation with objective existence by the observation of and participation in it, bringing into awareness that which was merely potential within a world of non-being.

So, humanity is indispensable to the Transcendent for the completion and perfection of creation – humanity is, in essence, the second creator of the world by observing and interacting with it. Man’s conscious knowing and God’s unconscious being form two poles in opposition to each other that, when synthesized and resolved, unfolds and manifests consciousness.

As such, for “God” to become aware of creation, all opposites must be united within the human psyche. As we bring union to the opposites, we actualize that which was only in potential; by making conscious what is unconscious, we arrive at wholeness, allowing the Soul and Ego to exist in beautiful alignment, while serving a purpose far greater than any individual Ego could imagine.

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Our Basic Function is the Manifesting of Consciousness

Achilles making a sacrifice to Zeus as depicted in the 5th Century Illuminated Manuscript the "Ambrosian Iliad."
Achilles, a representation of the Hero archetype, making a sacrifice to Zeus as depicted in the 5th Century Illuminated Manuscript the “Ambrosian Iliad.”

Dr. Jaime G. Corvalan, MD, FACS

We have discussed elsewhere what consciousness is; this post discusses our role in the process of the unfolding of consciousness.

As consciousness exists outside of the realm of duality (time and space, our perceived reality), we cannot say that we participate in the creation of consciousness. Rather, the basic function of humanity is unfolding, modulating, manifesting and structuring consciousness.

You can think of consciousness like radio signals being transmitted into the environment; they’re everywhere but, if you don’t have the equipment to tune into them, to us they’re nowhere. We are the radio that tunes into the signal, bringing into objective existence that which would otherwise go unnoticed.

The eminent psychologist Dr. Carl Jung noted that whatever we deem to be the source of creation – the divine, the transcendent, god, etc – is all knowing yet, at the same time, is unconscious of its creation. This, then, gets to the heart of the basic function of humanity: only through humanity’s consciousness can the divine become aware of its creation.

Transcendent energy consciousness gives form and function to everything we perceive in this existence, but it is the role of humanity to bring into objective reality this creation by our participation in and observation of it. We bring a little light into what otherwise would be the world of mere, unconscious existence.

Now, the “basic function of humanity” is a very intellectual concept. We, as a species, didn’t sit down at a table one day and type up a mission statement for humanity. Rather, our purpose and meaning is expressed to us in the collective myths by which we live.

Myths, it might be said, have one foot in this world and one foot in the transcendent; that is, they are deep, archetypal symbols and images that speak to us not in words but in images, dreams and stories, and go back deep into the collective unconscious of all life. Dr. Jung has noted that humanity presently faces a “Crisis of Mythlessness.”

The old myths in the Western world (expressed in Christianity) no longer hold sway and cannot provide us with the cultural cohesion they once did – and which we need in order to channel our creative impulses and restrain our destructive ones. Dr. Jung has observed that we are in the midst of the creation of a new myth for humanity, one which gives purpose and meaning for humanity going forward.

In this new, cohesive myth, humanity and the divine compliment and affect each other, making us in effect co-creators of existence through our consciousness of it. How this occurs is the subject of the post “How Does Humanity Structure Consciousness?”