“Each experience has its own velocity according to which it wants to be lived, if it is to be new, profound, and fruitful. To have wisdom means to discover this velocity in each individual case.”
Rainer Marie Rilke
Letters to a Young Poet
The Process of Integrative Consciousness
In order to proceed to a fuller understanding of Integrative Consciousness, it is important to understand key terms used in this discussion. I offer here a brief overview of these terms, and then in later papers, a more detailed exploration, discussing the theory, concepts, and research behind Integrative Consciousness, as well as my own experiences in applying Integrative Consciousness techniques.
I have thus far used the terms “mind” and “psyche” interchangeably. I define psyche as a “subjectively perceived
functional entity, comprised of complex conscious and unconscious processes that operate beyond the physical and which govern the total organism and its interaction with the environment ” (Siegel, 1999, p. 2). Based on this definition,
then, the conscious and unconscious processes that control the individual’s responses to the environment allow us to use this interaction as a means to bring into awareness those processes that we typically do not have knowledge of. This interaction becomes the key to understanding our unconsciousness, and can be employed as a great tool for awareness.
This definition brings several questions to mind: What are the processes that exist outside the physical realm and that control the individual? Many people believe that they act of their own free will. Does the idea of a governing force support this belief in free will, even though the two concepts appear to be contradictory? Is it only an illusion that we have free will, and are we correct in the presumption that anyone can see, measure, or scientifically observe these governing forces that reside beyond the physical? How do we become aware of the processes that operate outside of our awareness and that have the power to determine our interactions with the environment? Can we truly not be aware of the influences of the subconscious, believing we are acting from conscious free will? Or does our subconscious actually hold sway over us? Let us explore these questions.
Working in my own personal daily reflective practice, as well as with hundreds of clients over the years, I now understand how deeply unconscious we are in our actions. Brugh Joy (1997) has said that we are 98 percent unconscious. If this is true, then there is a vast world to explore about which we are truly unaware and which exists within us.
Integrative Consciousness proposes a different state of perceiving the world, not the same perception that we generally have of recognized thoughts, running commentary, images, beliefs, and views. Integrative Consciousness—or other terms used to describe this state, such as Presence (Tolle, 1999, p. 14) or whole consciousness (Edinger, 1994, p. 19)—is the process of obtaining a state of awareness that, if it occurs at all, emerges in adulthood. It involves an awareness of that which is beyond the physicality of existence and the actions of others, does not relate to situations from past object relations, and involves an acceptance of what is. As we will see, awareness and acceptance are two vital components of Integrative Consciousness. Rarely do individuals explore or obtain awareness and acceptance that lead to integration, a third component, and resonance, a fourth element of Integrative Consciousness.
Awareness involves learning to discern the responses of the body, mind, and emotions as you interact with life in the moment, as described in the definition above. A way to discover your body/mind reactions is to listen to how you relate to other people and situations, especially in your intimate relationships. You can learn a great deal about your unconscious material by developing the ability to perceive the quality of your relationship interactions.
The second component, acceptance, is key to the process of breaking through the defensive structures of the ego that prevent Integrative Consciousness. Integrative Consciousness does not occur if the ego is in defense. The ego will employ defensive structures if its existence is threatened. Acceptance involves surrendering to what is happening in the moment, without attachments to what should be happening or to a future outcome. The heart-centered state of consciousness is the resource that assists with acceptance. Obtaining the first and second components results in the third element of the process, Integrative Consciousness.
A person achieves Integrative Consciousness when the larger state of consciousness absorbs the defenseless and vulnerable ego structure. When this integration occurs, our thoughts diminish and anxiety quiets, as ruminating thoughts and anxiety are the result of a defended ego. We become less reactive to people and situations, which in turn leads to a higher quality of personal experiences. Our thought processes become progressively more focused and clear. We have stillness.
Resonance, the fourth component of the Integrative Consciousness process, is the product of an evolved ego that has integrated many aspects that were fear based in the past. Resonance is the ability, along with courage, compassion and strength, to be present with another’s suffering, without the ego moving into a defensive structure. After an individual reaches Integrative Consciousness with a structure, then the next challenge becomes to carry that suffering for another person as he/she struggles with the same structure.When one person carries another’s suffering, this process alone allows the other person to find acceptance for their situation, and eventually results in the transformation of the structure for both parties.
For example, if you transform greed within yourself, then you are able to accept greed in another person. This acceptance begins to allow the other person struggling with greed to find self-acceptance and eventually transform his or her own greed. I regard resonance as a step one takes toward providing service to others.
I will discuss and explore in more detail the components of awareness, acceptance, and resonance in later papers.
Duality States of Consciousness
Understanding the processes of Integrative Consciousness is easier when one comprehends the developing ego’s way of perceiving the world, which issues from a state of duality.
Carl Jung viewed the ordinary state of consciousness, a state ruled by the ego, as that of duality, the polarization of opposites (1973, 14: para. 206). He illustrates the function of opposites in his Mysterium Coniunctionis:
The factors, which come together in the coniunctio, are conceived as opposites, either confronting one another in enmity or attracting one another in love. To begin with, they form a dualism; for instance—the opposites are moist/dry, cold/warm, upper/lower, spirit-soul/body, heaven/earth, fire/water, bright/dark, active/passive, volatile/solid, precious/cheap, good/evil, open/occult, east/west, living/dead, masculine/feminine, sol/Luna (p. 10).
Let us attempt to understand Jung’s Mysterium material, as it can be difficult. We will discuss the essential information that can provide the foundational work for your own transformational process.
Typically, the young or immature person views the world in opposites—cold/hot, mean/kind, control/no control, hate/love, sad/happy. These opposites constitute the basic anatomy of the ego. The polarization of opposites generates psychic energy. One can compare this state to electricity moving between the positive and negative poles of an electrical circuit. As in the electrical circuit, when we separate an object into negative and positive poles, then we have created a space in our consciousness that contains energy. This energy is the libido of life. Our attraction to or avoidance of an object that our ego has separated out generates psychic energy, and is the motivation underlying most of our actions (Edinger, 1994, pp. 11-12). This separation becomes the impetus, or the fuel, for how we create in the world. Most people operate from a duality perspective of the world. This dualistic viewpoint is referred to as consensus reality.
Jung’s Coniunctio Process
Jung (1973) speaks of coniunctio as the process of those opposites coming together (14: para. 778). Coniunctio means wholeness, so we are talking about achieving wholeness of consciousness, in other words, Integrative Consciousness. Therefore, the linking up of opposites is an essential step toward Integrative Consciousness. This undertaking is thedevelopmental task of the mature ego.
Jung (1973) sees ego separation as a process of the young ego, a step that is required in order to develop and strengthen the ego to increase self-esteem, and to provide the foundation for a later process of the union of opposites (14: para. 203). This union, the bringing together of the separated parts, occurs in post-ego development, and is a process that few people undertake. When individuals have identified with more positive than negative qualities, then they have created a strong ego, an essential aspect needed to successfully undergo the later developmental stages of ego.
An initial and important stage of awareness is the realization that we have identified with a pole or a construct, and disowned or distanced ourselves from its opposite pole. When we are reactive to a pole, we identify with its opposite, which is the pole more acceptable to our ego. Such identification is a defense mechanism to protect us from the threat associated with the other pole. Thus, once you realize you are reactive to a situation, person, or object, then you know that you are involved in an ego separation/defensive process. When you discern that you have identified with one pole and separated from the other, you know that you harbor some fear in association with the other, and that you have idealized the identified pole.
For example, if you hate selfishness in people and hold in esteem its opposite, generosity, then you have polarized the self in this dynamic. Your ego has identified with generosity (sees it as good) and separated itself from selfishness (sees it as bad). This means that selfishness is a threat to your ego, while generosity strokes your ego with power and confirmation. While this system serves the ego in the initial developmental stages, it becomes an obstacle when the ego moves into later maturation.
However, why would one not want to identify with generosity, one might ask. On an outward behavioral level, it appears to be a good gesture. Yet, our generosity can arise from the need to distance ourselves from our selfishness and therefore our generosity is fear based. To uncover what underlies this separation, we might explore what could be the fear of selfishness. For example, perhaps we act generously in order to avoid feeling bad because we are in fact selfish. Or when we go into selfishness, we begin to get in touch with the fear of not having enough in order to survive. However, if you desire wholeness–consciousness–this distancing masks the underlying ego threat, and maintains ego defenses. The distancing from selfishness that comes from being generous keeps your ego defense engaged with the fear of selfishness. You do not see it because you have identified with generosity, and therefore you feel good about yourself. Nevertheless, you are not conscious of your relationship to selfishness and generosity. Ego defenses prevent the Integrative Consciousness process with that structure, in this case the union of selfishness and fear-based generosity.
Oftentimes before the union of the opposites can occur, a person needs to experience both polar aspects many times over.
Like the swinging of the pendulum from one pole to the other, we take on the opposites. This pendulum process paves the way for moving on to the next steps in this union of the opposites, which are surrender or complete acceptance, and then finally, integration.
From Duality to Wholeness
Jung (1973) viewed the concept of wholeness of consciousness as the simultaneous experience of opposites and the acceptance of that experience (8: para. 425). The acceptance of what is and the wisdom to understand that experience are evidence that our ego is developing into larger consciousness states and maturing into later developmental stages. This is Integrative Consciousness.
The ego creates dualism when it identifies with one aspect of a structure or a person. When this happens, an individual has separated the structure into two opposite poles. Polarization of opposites usually contains a judgment, that is, an individual separates him- or herself from one pole, allowing the ego to identify with the other, more gratifying pole. Then that individual is in a reactive state to the opposite pole, relating and responding to the world out of an ordinary, consensus or reactive-reality viewpoint. Ninety-eight percent of the world views reality from a duality perspective, while only 2% achieve Integrative Consciousness with any perspective.
To summarize, when such a separation occurs with any ego structure, this tells us that at the base of the separated dynamic lies some fear that threatens the ego self. Jung calls consciousness an enduring psychic state created by the union of these opposites. In the case of our example, this would be a union of selfishness and generosity or a dissolving of the fear that these structures arise out of. The integration process can occur instantaneously or take years to complete. If the process occurs over a long time span, this might suggest that we need to experience both aspects of the structure and live those aspects for a while. In other words, returning to the example above, you may need to encounter selfishness for many years, in direct experience of being selfish or in experience of witnessing it in others. Then you may encounter generosity for many more years before you are able to see or get in touch with the fear or a depth of knowledge underlying this structure.
This merging of opposites takes place when we can allow ourselves to be present with the fear of the pole from which we have separated. Looking again at our example of selfishness and generosity, if we can be present with our fear of being selfish, then this may uncover a deeper fear, such as worry over a lack of material security, or even a dread of not having an identity that is defined by material possessions. When the ego is present with fear, it expands enough to contain the dynamic from which we have separated. Therefore, the ego does not need to project the dynamic out onto others. The ego does not need to defend. If we can stay present with the fear of selfishness/generosity without ego defense, then the ego understands there is no threat, and is able therefore to carry the fear without defending. Once this surrender occurs and the ego has dropped its defenses, Integrative Consciousness begins.
The result of the integration is that you are nonreactive emotionally and hold no judgment when you see selfishness or generosity displayed in others. You have compassion for people who are involved in the suffering that accompanies the fear underlying selfishness or generosity. You are able to grasp the service this structure has for the person or the collective. When you have compassion with a structure, then ego releases the defense, and the larger state of consciousness absorbs the defense. When one has integrated the dual structure, actions one takes from a place of no defense, meaning no fear or separation from the fear, begin to reflect a generosity that arises from a place of clarity. Therefore, when you have Integrative Consciousness with a structure, there is authenticity behind its expression, your motivations have clarity, and the expression of your consciousness is not used to cover up something else.
Integrative Consciousness in the Corporate World?
A pattern from my own personal history vividly illustrates the Integrative Consciousness process. I began working in the computer industry during the advent of the microcomputer boom in the corporate world in 1980. At this time, I had already spent several years learning microcomputer systems and implementing them into the operations of my company. I was finally familiar and comfortable with this field of technology. Then, my boss assigned me a new project, to phase in minicomputer systems within a seven-state area. This venture would entail my installing the computers that would gather and transfer the information that contained every phone and data call from all customers into the mainframe computer,
which would then process and create the company’s billing. This undertaking was an integral piece of the company’s success because it brought in revenue. The project also had to comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations. Due to the project’s complexity and my lack of experience working with minicomputer systems, my boss informed me that I would be working overtime, possibly 60-hour weeks.
The term “chauvinistic male” was widely used in those days, and easily defined my manager. He would say things such as, Now that woman over there who was promoted to manager probably slept her way to the top because she sure does not have an ounce of business sense, while he pointed at an attractive woman who stood in front of the Coke machine, dressed in a nice, professional business suit. I glanced in the woman’s direction and wonder if there were any truth to his statement. This wondering alone should have been a clue to my own unconscious beliefs about the abilities of a woman in the business world but the funny thing about the unconscious is that it is well, unconscious. I understood on a intellectual level that a woman in business was just as effective as a man, but the intellect is not the same as consciousness.
During this time, I was well into developing the concepts and practice behind Integrative Consciousness. I was learning how to be aware throughout the day, and I practiced acceptance of any of the day’s conflicts during the evening through heart-centering meditation. My meditation experience now helped me notice an insecurity rise up within myself at the comments my boss made when I took some time to reflect on my day. I was able to identify this anxiety as a child-like aspect that peeked out from behind the Wizard of Oz’ curtain that I had created as a facade in order to function in the world, especially the world of business. I did not know that soon the curtain would be pulled back, revealing the frightened, child-like woman operating the controls that kept everyone from seeing just how insecure she was.
Two Defensive Egos Collide
So, I began working on what I will call the computer project. Two men pushing two-wheeled carts hauled box after box of computer manuals into my office. Soon, there was a small path from my door to my chair, and I sat hidden among the stacks of manuals, which actually was fine with me. I really wanted to hide. It was not long before I realized that I had no idea what to do on this project and no clue as to where to start. I turned to my boss for help. He looked at me and stated with a stern, sarcastic edge to his voice, Why, Melissa, you need to develop an implementation plan. Go do your job.
Yes, I know. But what are the steps of that plan? I am at a loss here, Brad. Then Brad became angry. We pay you good money to know what to do. So do it, he shouted and turned away, staring at papers on his desk. I left his office terrified.So I opened up a computer manual, placed it on my desk, and sat there with my eyes closed . . . for 8 hours a day, minus the hour for my lunch, of course.
After terror immobilized me for a week, I decided to begin using the tools of consciousness transformation that I had been developing for the last several years, and to get beneath some of the fear I was feeling. I started by sitting with my eyes closed and going into my fear.
First, I re-experienced my reactivity with my manager’s anger, and I felt reduced to a child-like stature. I must have been uncomfortable with a man’s rage. I had no idea that I was, but as I sat in my reactivity, images of my father’s anger that had usually been directed at me kept flashing through my mind. I allowed myself to be present with this feeling without ego defense stepping in to take me out of my experience. Sitting with compassion for little girl, uncomfortable with a man’s anger and disapproval.
My ego, being very sly, would enter and say, “Your boss is just an asshole. Everyone knows what type of man he is. He does not see the value of women.” I would then feel justified in my relations with my boss and almost stop the exercise, thinking I was finished since I no longer experienced my vulnerability. I felt powerful in my justification. Wow, I must have worked through that fear and quickly, too. Then, I had a sudden insight.
How easy it was for me to take myself out of my vulnerability and, once again, to revert to my ego, which was ready to defend against my feeling susceptible. I would stop my ego’s commentary by turning my focus back onto my inner experience of fear of a man’s anger, his disapproval of me, and my belief that a woman has no value. These were my projections and my unconscious fears that I was transferring to the situation and the relationship with my boss.
Another aspect I perceived in this exchange with Brad was my anxiety that I was incompetent and not intelligent enough to do this work, which was much in alignment with my belief that women had no value. Brad’s attitude toward women in business and my feeling, first, uncomfortable, and then my acquiescing to his spoken opinions reflected my sense of my own lack of ability and fear that I lacked the ability. On a conscious level, I regarded myself as an intelligent, independent woman who did not need the approval of anyone to feel good about myself. Yet, what was reflected back to me was the opposite, deeper truth of my belief system. I thought I was not intelligent enough to work competently at anything.
The duality structures of approval/disapproval, competence/incompetence, and intelligence/unintelligence created an internal conflict that played out in my professional life by reducing the extent of my creative pursuits and fostering difficulties in my relationships with male managers. While this separating of these structures within my own ego served me very well through my young adulthood, as I had finished school and landed a very good engineering job, they were preventing me from working effectively with little stress and of course, developing consciously.
Escape to the Monastery Mountain
So I sat with my not being intelligent, and layers of layers of new fears appeared, such as my feeling unloved, and believing I was not able to care of or provide for myself. As each fear arose, I stayed present with it. My sly ego would step in and say, But, Melissa, you have a college degree. You are intelligent. I again would reply, This may be true, but I need to stay with my vulnerability of not feeling competent, and then I would return my focus to being present with incompetency. At another stage of development, when one is building self-esteem, the ego defense of grabbing onto my being intelligent would be fine. However, at this point I wanted to move beyond ego-defended, reactive states of consciousness and into conscious living. The concept of who I was, was based in resisting what I feared I would be, the opposite pole. Therefore, the threat or fear of not being intelligent enough and also the sense that I was somehow in danger because of this threat were the illusions I needed to transform.
Each day I would arrive at work at 7:30 a.m., place an open computer manual on the desk, pull up my chair, and close my eyes to do consciousness work. Luckily for me, my boss was not a detailed, hands-on manager, but every now and then his head would rise above the stacks of computer manuals, look down on me, and ask, How is it going, Melissa? and I, looking up, yet unwilling to face his disapproval and anger, would respond, It’s coming along, Brad. Then, he would quickly leave before I could say anything more, and walk back to his office.
Of course, outwardly things did not look fine. I was already five weeks into the project and had not done a single outward
thing. The deadline for the first computer system to be in place was approaching. Equipment orders needed to written, networks determined and put into place, buildings brought up to code, and people trained to operate the computers; however, I still had no idea where to begin. Yet, something deep inside of me told me that I needed to work through these dynamics and find an internal support system in order to accomplish these tasks and save my job. I did not know how my meditative work was going to assist me in the trouble I found myself in at work, but for the moment, it was all I could do. I had to trust.
My Ah-Ha Moment
And then, it happened. I heard from the computer vendor that they were releasing a larger, more efficient computer system. An idea to redesign the computer network was born, and I spent a few days designing and calculating the cost savings to the company that the new design would offer and putting this information into a proposal to introduce to Brad. I had taken a 28-system network down to seven systems in seven locations, and this restructuring would save the company over eight million dollars during the first two years of implementation.
I took my proposal to Brad, who was in his office. As I was walking in with my arms full of scattered papers, I let him know I had a suggestion to redesign the network. Brad, his face beet-red, looked at me incredulously and screamed, Melissa, a team of engineers designed that network. Just do your job! This scream-like yell alerted others in the office, so
that they stopped what they were doing. Heads popped up, and eyes peered over office partitions to see who was the recipient of Brad’s wrath. Again, I was reduced to a child-like stature. Humiliated, I turned on my heels and ran back to my office. My father had just chastised me. For the next week, I sat with this feeling, finding deeper compassion for the part of me that fears a man’s anger and disapproval.
Once Again, into the Dragon’s Den
The deadline was approaching, just two months away, and I knew that I needed to talk with Brad again and attempt to present my proposal. I understood that my fear of disapproval and anger was not a good enough reason for the company to lose millions of dollars. I was also aware that if I did not get the necessary work completed at record-breaking speeds, I would lose my job, Brad would lose his job, and the company would face an unknown amount of fines from the FCC. Yet, for some unknown reason, I was focused on getting this new proposal approved and then I would take a look at implementing the project.
I approached Brad’s office in a focused, observer state of awareness (I will discuss this further in the paper on acceptance). I was slightly anxious, yet I felt strong, as I just allowed myself to observe my anxiety and not identify with that feeling. It was as if the uneasy part of me were walking alongside me, but was not the one in control. I entered Brad’s office, and he rose from his chair and began yelling. Then he suddenly paused in mid-yell, and actually looked confused.
I maintained a state of quietness within. I felt no reactivity within myself, no fear of his anger, no fear of his disapproval and no fear of his confusion. The anxious part of me was no longer in my awareness, as I was fully in the moment. All the insecurity I was infused with all those weeks before were, well, gone. There was just stillness, a deep quiet. I had no thoughts, no investment as to the outcome of this impromptu meeting. As I glanced at Brad, he looked like a caricature on one of the large float balloons in the Macy’s parade that someone had just let all the air out of. Now the balloon was deflating. I became aware in that moment when I saw the smallness of Brad that Brad was also afraid. I sensed he knew he was about to lose his job if I did not complete this project on time. He did not know how to help me, and I felt compassion toward him as well as toward myself, as I had been there in that fear recently. He then stated, “Oh, okay. Let’s see what you have.” Unbelievable.
After looking at my proposal, he became excited, as if someone had performed CPR and breathed new life into him. He appeared inflated again, and a newfound, confident Brad said,”We have to get the Vice-President’s approval for this redesign, but I think you may have something here.”
The interesting thing about individuals who work within a corporate environment is their need to be a part of a high profile, successful project that is saving the corporation millions of dollars, especially during the first year of implementation. Once word spread about my redesign, which took about one to two days, I had people telling me exactly what needed to be done and volunteering to help. I completed the implementation of the system on schedule and successfully, with almost no hiccups. As a result of the project’s success, managers received their bonuses, and Brad was promoted to another office. For my part, management recognized me at a luncheon. For some reason, this recognition did not matter. I was understanding the power of working with these deeper aspects of the psyche and how to move beyond ego-defended fear. By being present with undefended fear of incompetency and competency and other structures that came into my awareness, I had integrated ego-based, separated structures into some larger state of consciousness. In so doing, I was able to unleash a more creative aspect of my psyche that brought forth the knowledge and recognized opportunities that otherwise would have gone unnoticed to discover innovative solutions to the problem at hand. I now had a reputation as something of an enigma, as I heard whispers of wonder about how I had saved the project at the last minute and redesigned the whole system. All the while, my colleagues were witnessing my earlier struggles and anticipating my failure. Most importantly for me, management gave me permission to take time for meditation whenever I needed, something unheard of for a major corporation in the 1980s: the recognition of the feminine in a masculine world.
A few years later, a coworker told me that she had had lunch with Brad, and that he had bragged that he had made me into the businessperson I had become. And he was right, at least partially.
My relationship with the need for a male’s approval and the depths of insecurity I had regarding my abilities initiated a major transformation in me that day in Brad’s office, right at the moment of our interaction. When confronted with his anger, my ego did not reach for defense. I had worked with this dynamic in meditation, found acceptance for these aspects of myself, and had made space within the ego to carry Brad’s disapproval and fear without my becoming reactive and reduced to a childlike stature. Because I had reached a new state consciously with these fears, I was able to understand Brad’s insecurities (also mine) around women and their abilities and maybe even his own insecurity. In that instant, I also held the space for Brad’s own suffering, which is the fourth component of Integrative Consciousness: resonance. Resonance is the beginning of a person’s ability to assist humanity, as that person becomes able to carry the suffering of others.
I believe that in that moment of my presenting my ideas to Brad in his office, when he did not get the response from me that he would have in the past, then another way began for us to interact with each other. He was unable to manipulate me into getting the power he needed to feel by having me react fearfully. The parts of my ego that had separated into duality structures, in the form of disowned projections and patterns, began the process of integration into the larger state of consciousness. For me, this resulted in a new way of being in my work, and my relationship with Brad improved dramatically. He could no longer obtain power by reducing me to a childlike status, and there was no need for him to. I was not interested in having power over him and had removed myself from his projective eye. I would leave this job and company shortly thereafter, as indicated in my story in A previous paper Four, but I left as a success and not as a failure, the later being a possible path I could have traveled.
This last statement is important to understand and reemphasize. There is a seductive power in a widely known theory that if you change your belief system of what you see as possible, then you will obtain what you want out of life. This theory asserts that life reflects back to you what you believe in. This is true, but not in the way most people understand this concept. For example, many of us think that if we see ourselves as worthy, then we will receive riches. The individuals who espouse this theory provide techniques such as using mantras and repeating positive statements to help a person make the changes necessary to get what he/she wants from life. However, when an individual truly understands consciousness, then that individual recognizes that the ego truth might not be in alignment with the beliefs operating at the unconscious level. The mantras are used to build ego defense. While ego defense is effective at earlier stages of ego development and can manifest our ego desires, for those wanting to move into Integrative Consciousness, defenses become blocks. In 1984, I regarded myself as an intelligent woman, yet life was reflecting back to me another belief system of mine that was unconscious, manifesting itself in the form of Brad and his views of women’s limited value.
If my unconscious beliefs that surrounded this structure had remained unconscious and unchallenged, then life would have mirrored those dynamics also. The outcome of the computer project would have been much different, reflecting back failure instead of success because of my level of ego-development.
Summary of the Integrative Consciousness Process
In summary, external experiences that are appropriated to the ego can only be of a dual nature, an experience of bipolar opposites (Edinger, 1994, p. 13) based out of fear of the un-identified pole. An unevolved or immature ego can only perceive structures from the separating process, or as bipolar opposites, such as I am this, but I am not that, or I am loving, but not hateful. A bipolar aspect of a structure can only be a structure of the ego. Once the ego has appropriated the structure, then the structure cannot be absorbed by the larger state of consciousness and developed into the stillness of mind.
The larger state of consciousness can only absorb the structure when the polar opposites obtain unity, when you have identified your relationship to both structures. If you are reactive, then you have not integrated into the larger consciousness state the ego structure because it continues to be a defensive aspect of ego. When the bipolar opposites come together in the process that Jung calls the coniunctio, or the simultaneous experience of the opposites, then the larger state of consciousness absorbs the complete structure, resulting in Integrative Consciousness. This, then, is a state in which one interacts with one’s environment from a feeling of connectivity and wholeness, without reacting to a polar opposite and identifying with the more ego enhancing structure.
Integrative Consciousness assumes the quality of the ego-defended structure and leaves in its place a quality of the Divine nature, that is, a unified structure based upon love.
Edinger, E. (1994). The mystery of the coniunctio. Toronto, Canada: Inner City Books.
Joy, B. (1997). Sacrifice and grace. Lecture, Preston, CO.
Jung, C. (1970-1979). The collected works of C. G. Jung. (Vols. 1-20).G. Adler, & R. F. C. Hull (Eds.). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Siegel, D. J. (1999). The developing mind: How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are. NY: Guilford Press.
Tolle,E.(1999). Power of now: A guide to spiritual enlightenment. Novato, CA: New World Library
@Copyright by Melissa Lowe 2009