The Mystery of Money – Beyond Greed and Scarcity | Chapter 8 | Bernard Lietaer (2002)

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Chapter 8: Where are we Now?

“And when old words die out on the tongue
New melodies break forth from the heart;
And where old tracks are lost,
New country is revealed with its wonders.”
Rabindranath Tagore1

“I would like to report that the growth of another way of thinking is inevitable, an approach that posits consciousness as part of nature, an experience of knowledge as intimacy rather than power. But there is no foregone conclusion.”
Susan Griffin2

Quite independently from the above anecdotal indications, there is now for the first time quantifiable evidence that a fundamental change is already happening in our collective consciousness. Tracking changes of consciousness – over the long haul, all the way to today – will also be the final approach by which the archetypal human map will be tested.

The history of consciousness structures, as perceived by Jean Gebser, spells out the direction of a fundamental shift in values that is occurring now for the first time in many centuries. A convergence is manifesting in many fields simultaneously, all pointing to a new Integral Culture. Such a culture implies the integration of the “missing archetype” of the Great Mother. And all signs point out that this is already ongoing.

The most complete survey of changes in values was performed for the US, and reveals that the portion of the population that has made this shift rose from negligible to 29% in less than two decades! This is manifesting itself in all aspects of society: from concerns about ecology to holistic health practices, from chaos theory in physics to the replacement of hierarchical structures with networks (such as Internet and virtual organizations), from the bridging of the Cartesian epistemological split between matter and spirit, to a whole array of social movements including women emancipation. What all these movements have in common is reclaiming Yin-type archetypal energies that mainstream Modern culture had been dismissing.

But we first need to put this process in the context of the (very long) history of consciousness changes.

Consciousness Evolution

Human consciousness has not been a static phenomenon: like everything else about us it has evolved, although at its own (very slow) pace. Over the past fifty years, a substantial body of literature has tried to identify the nature of the contemporary change in consciousness3 but the most seminally relevant work for our purposes is the one by a comparatively little known contemporary of C.G. Jung: Jean Gebser.

Jean Gebser’s Work

Jean Gebser was born in 1905 in the Polish town of Poznan, then part of Prussia. The aristocratic background of his family chronicled back to 13th century Thuringia (Duchy of Franconia). Gebser had a fairly adventurous life: he lived for years in Spain where he befriended the likes of Federico Garcia Lorca, and became first known as a laureate poet. In 1936, hours before his home in Madrid was bombed, he tried to escape to France only to get caught by anarchists. They were going to execute him, as they did his friend Garcia Lorca. He escaped again, and entered Switzerland two hours before the borders were closed. He changed his name to Jean and finally settled down to write his philosophical work. He was part of C.G. Jung’s Eranos circle, where he met, among others, Erich Neumann; but they never referred to each other’s work.4

Gebser’s key work, The Ever-Present Origin was first published in German in 1953, but was translated into English only in 19865.

What we need to know from Gebser can best be summarized by a graph. (Figure 8.1)6

Figure 8.1: Gebser’s Five Structures of Consciousness

A Synopsis of Gebser’s Five Structures of Consciousness

  1. Archaic Structure: started about 1 to 1.6 million years ago in hominids (Homo Erectus). This structure of consciousness has no concept of time or death; life is succession of “here-now’s.” Sensations and feelings exist, but are not conceptualized; there is no concept of “good” or “evil.” It is a the stage of consciousness we still visit every night in deep sleep (theta brain waves).
  2. Magic Structure: began probably around 150,000 years The concept of time and death emerges; rituals are being developed. The first elites are magi/shamans divining and influencing the universe. Emotions are the key basis of perception. It is the stage we still visit as part of normal sleep and biofeedback (alpha brainwaves).
    Economic activity appears in the form of the first (stone age) manufacturing, accompanied by barter exchanges.
  3. Mythic Structure: began between 25,000-3,000 years ago depending on regions. First matrifocal societies, followed by early “Civilizations” founded with social rules imposed by elites to gain control over the “Gods.” Beginning Patriarchy where mythological figures become predominantly hierarchical male Gods. Imagination becomes the main basis of cognition. It is the state we still visit in dreams (“rapid eye movement” sleep) and daydreaming.
    Appearance of first systematic specialized productions (first stone artifact “factories”, later bronze and metallurgical productions). Money is invented.
  4. Rational Structure7: began about 3,000 years ago and accentuated particularly over the past 500 years with a climax in the West over the past 200 years. It is the latter period described earlier (Chapter 1) among the successive layers of civilizations leading to the Western mind. It is the state we call rational reflection, that has been bestowed with the monopoly of legitimate interpretation of reality as Patriarchal Yang energy became triumphant.
    Economic growth without consideration of environmental impact. Modern economies develop.
  5. Integrative Structure8: just beginning now in the form of a subculture that Paul Ray has labeled Cultural Creatives (explained below). It integrates non-linearity, multiple causality as well as acausal relationships in perception of E.g. holistic medicine, environmentalism, post-capitalist economies as described by Peter Drucker9. Given its importance for our topic, we will return in more detail to this Integrative structure later.

Gebser’s key insight was that a healthy change in consciousness does not occur by moving from one type of structure to another, but by adding cumulatively to the previous stages. He distinguishes five different types of structures of consciousness, each encompassing all the previous ones. Gebser described each one of these structures in great detail, but only a succinct overview will be provided here in chronological order of their appearance (see sidebar). These stages of development do not necessarily coincide with a different physical human species.

What was the effect the “dominator paradigm” or patriarchal system (as was spelled out at the end of the previous chapter) on Gebser’s consciousness structures? The next figure illustrates the outcome.

Figure 8.2 The Effect of the Hyper-rationalist “Box” in Gebser’s Consciousness Structures

The excess Yang deviation of the dominator world-view has resulted in a “Modernist” world-view that “boxed” us up in the idea that only the Rational and specific parts of the Mythic structure are legitimate. A key Yang Myth implicitly taken as self-evident dates from Parmenides in the 6th century B.C. This myth states that the Rational Mind has a monopoly of legitimacy in interpretation of reality. Specifically, it has removed all validity to any “emotional” input that relates to the Archaic or Magical Structures, which it dismisses as “primitive” or “pre-scientific.”

This view is the manifestation of the hyper-rationalist Apollonian shadow as was defined in chapter 10, what Anne Wilson Schaef10 coined the “Technocratic Materialistic Mechanistic” (TMM) model. As a reminder, that shadow believes in the following three Yang myths, specifically that:

It is the only thing that exists;

It is innately superior because it knows and understands everything;

It is possible to be totally logical, rational and objective.

These myths have served us well to push the capacities of the human intellect and technologies to their current level. But they also have become the main intellectual blockage to access our next evolutionary step: i.e. the Integrative consciousness structure.

What are the chances of us ever breaking out of that “hyper-rational box”?

Integrating Gebser into Archetypal Evolution

The following figure (Figure 8.3) provides a beginning of an answer to that question.

Figure 8.3 Gebser’s Consciousness Structures mapped on the Archetypal Evolution

This figure illustrates three phenomena:

On the one side, the Archaic and Magic consciousness structure is quite compatible with the Great Mother archetype, because the unitary consciousness, the immersion into the whole, the participation mystique with nature were “natural” states in these two oldest structures of consciousness. They were also quite consistent with the Great Mother archetype. On the other side, we have already seen that the Rational consciousness structures fit like a glove with the world-view of the Magician archetype.

In consequence of the above, as consciousness evolved from the earlier structures to the Rational one, the Great Mother archetype would be automatically left out in the cold. The big arrow redirecting the energy from the Great Mother archetype to the Magician in Figure 8.3 shows this graphically.

However, as the Integrative consciousness manages to re-integrate the Magic and Archaic structures automatically the Great Mother archetype will return into focus. Vice versa, the honoring of the Great Mother archetype will mean in practice re-legitimizing processes such as emotions, story telling, intuitive inputs, and other non-linear, non-rational approaches for perceiving and interpreting reality. The difference with the past is that both archetypes that relate to our interpretation of the universe – the Magician and the Great Mother – will be active at the same time and complement each other. Contemporary examples of such an attempt at integrating these two views of the universe in a scientific way is Brian Swimme’s cosmology, Thomas Berry’s historical view, or Ken Wilber’s most recent works.11 To use the metaphor of Figure 3.4 we will finally stand on both archetypal feet instead of the unstable practice of trying to keep equilibrium on one single one, whether right or left. Note that the Integrative consciousness is integrating more than just these two archetypes. Its main function is what Jung called individuation which implies fully integrating all five archetypes. In other words, the Integrative consciousness aims at making humanity taking responsibility of all its shadows to become the Archetypal Human initially described in Figure 3.5 (page???).

If Gebser is correct, we are at the brink of a massive consciousness shift. The shift from the Modernist to the Integrative values can only be compared with the shift towards reason in classical Greece. Except that the current transformation is bound to be much faster. Greek rationalism took centuries to spread to other areas of the Mediterranean world. And we had to wait for the Renaissance and the Enlightenment to start mainstreaming these concepts in every day life. In contrast, the recent surveys that will be discussed later in this chapter, demonstrate that the current dynamic towards Integrative values is already happening at the speed of a tidal wave.

A Lesson from 30,000 years of Archetypal History

I will now verify how the Archetypal Human model (Figure 3.5) fits major archetypal shifts. This historical overview will also explain why I have come to the conclusion that the time for a shift toward the next structure of consciousness is imminent.

I propose as working hypothesis for this section that “Civilizations mutate or die through their wounded archetype.” In other words, whenever an archetype is repressed for long in a civilization, that society has not built up any capacity to deal with that aspect of the human psyche. It will therefore end up mutating or collapsing via the specific domain relating to that archetype.

Specifically, if this hypothesis is valid, it would mean that Western civilization is in the process of meeting its nemesis right now as it gets in contact with the re-awakening of the Great Mother archetype in the form of the ecological crisis, women self-determination12, the crisis of meaning and of the existing dominant paradigm. This is striking because until now the buildup toward the Western Modernist viewpoint has proven remarkably robust over several millennia.

To provide evidence for such a sweeping statement, I will follow Oliver Wendell Holmes’ advice: “A page of history is worth a volume of logic.” I’ll sketch here only a much abbreviated historical sequence that illustrates the underlying process. For obvious reasons, the more recent the period, the more evidence we can hope to find. But for the sake of brevity, I will not develop any of them beyond a few paragraphs (see works in footnotes for more details).

A Mythical “Golden Age”?

Photo 8.0 ¼ page

The Shaman in trance dance, linking the animal and human realm. Notice that the feet are definitely human. The extraordinary art that appeared in initiation caves when “Homo Sapiens-Sapiens” appeared demonstrates the rich archetypal world that exploded in the Paleolithic world. (from the cave Les Trois Frères, Ariège, France)

Archeological Evidence for a Golden Age

Recent archeological evidence13 indicates that an Age of plenty may actually have existed in the Paleolithic age for humans from Central Africa to Europe. It was an inter-glacial period when the climate was mild, and the animal life for the hunters, the fruit and plant life for the gatherers was abundant for all. The level of sophistication of some of the technologies of that time has only recently become evident. For instance, in the archeological sites of Pavlov and Dolni Vestnice in the Czech Republic, sophisticated fishing and hunting nets made in fine fibers – using 7 of the 8 types of knots still currently used for this purpose – have been traced back to 20,000 B.C!14.

There is still a substantial debate going among the experts as to why Cro-Magnon Man (Homo Sapiens Sapiens), of a slighter built than Neanderthal Man (Homo Sapiens Neanderthalis) has managed systematically to displace his physically much stronger predecessor from about 40,000 B.C. onward. I will venture the guess that it has nothing to do with comparative physical strength, but rather with a comparatively richer archetypal world. Having access to more dimensions of the Archetypal Human is an important comparative advantage in adapting to complex circumstances such as the glacial climate changes that were occurring at the time. But such features are clearly not going to be measurable in the size and shape of the bones of our remote ancestors. However, the evidence we do have includes the extraordinary “cave art” explosion that Cro-Magnon created. Could we ever hope for a better proof of a rich archetypal imaginal life?

Recent archeological finds have confirmed that the difference is dramatic between CroMagnon and Neanderthal in the complexity and richness of their imaginal worlds – as revealed by their respective artistic expressions.The well-known Italian paleo-ethnologist, Emmanuel Anati, has even been able to reconstruct that the first “philosophical” thoughts of our species related to dualism: “In the representation of the world of the fossil record of Homo Sapiens, everything that exists has its counterparty. The masculine half has to have its feminine half to function biologically and to become itself. And vice versa. Man and woman, the animal world and the human world, the sky and the earth, the mountain and the plain, the cave and the outside world. In this dualist worldview, everything had its counterparty, and wholeness was attained by the union of the complementary polarities, which found their prototype in the feminine and masculine principle.”15 In short, this is what the Taoists would be calling Yin-Yang tens of thousands of years later.[ note]And what the Japanese philosopher Miura Baien would be calling “jori” in the nineteenth century (see sidebar on page 61).[/note]

If one were willing to accept at face value the legend already well established in Hesiod’s time (700 B.C.) of a “Golden Age” lost in a distant past, one could even hypothesize that the “rich archetypal life” may actually have included at some point all five archetypes of our Archetypal Human. One of many poetic versions of this myth is the African Mossi tribe’s “A long time ago, the sky was so close to the Earth one could extend the hand to pick stars to feed oneself. People were happy with uncooked food as animals still are; and like them, they felt no shame. It was the Golden Age.”

Whether there ever was a real “Golden Age”, how extensive it was, and how long it may have lasted, are questions that will remain open for debate for a long time. For the purpose of our hypothesis, however, the actual existence of such a period is not essential. What is more important – and is also better supported by evidence – is that successive civilizations including our own have often been lacking at least one of the five archetypes. And that this typically had some traumatic consequences, as will be shown next.

Matriarchal Societies and the Missing Warrior

Photo 8.1  ½page

A woman is climbing up a tree with a basket to harvest wild honey. This Mesolithic rock painting from Cuevas de Araña, Bicorp, Spain, illustrates a life style of food gathering that may have been a matrifocal Golden Age.

Photo 8.2 ½ page

This artistic reconstruction of daily life in Çatal Huyuk provides an image of the earliest known Matrifocal urban settlement, dated 6,000 BC.

At some point during the flourishing of the Matrifocal and Matriarchal societies16 (30,000 B.C. (?) to 3,000 B.C.), there is archeological evidence that the Warrior archetype had become inactive. Such evidence, offered by James Mellaart and Marija Gimbutas, includes the absence of weapons and of any defensive system in and around Çatal Huyuk (7-6th Millennium B.C.). If you live in a peaceful society, where no attack has occurred for a few thousand years, it may have appeared useless or even counterproductive to keep up Warrior-like energy in society’s midst.

This may seem a reasonable attitude, but it becomes a deadly mistake when that society suddenly is faced with another culture where the Warrior archetype is honored. This is what may have happened if the matrifocal societies of Old Europe have had to suddenly face highly mobile, horse-mounted Indo-European invaders.

The next two archetypal shifts relate to the successive repression of the two Yin archetypes of the Archetypal Human: in a first phase the Lover, and then the Great Mother/Provider.

Indo-European civilizations and the Missing Lover

Dumézil’s Indo-Europeans17

Few people have been able to dedicate their entire life on a single topic of research with the breath that Georges Dumézil has demonstrated. Between 1924 and his death in 1986, he published 60 books and three hundred articles, all of them on different aspects of Indo-European mythologies. He traced the core Indo-European archetypal system through the mythologies of their many branches, from the traditions of the Ural to the Norsk sagas, from the Germanic to the Indian, from the Greek and Roman mythologies to the Persian ones. His conclusion: the Indo-European social organization was structured in three “official castes” still evident in India today. They are from the bottom of the social ladder to the top: the Providers (artisans, merchants, herders and farmers); the Warriors (similar to the Kshatria caste still existing in India), and the Priests (India’s Brahmin caste) out of which a King was chosen.

They correspond respectively to the Provider, the Warrior , the Magician and the Sovereign of our archetypal map.

The entire life’s work of George Dumézil has been dedicated to an exhaustive analysis of Indo- European society’s internal organization.

He found that four archetypes were formally institutionalized among the Indo-Europeans: the Sovereign, the Warrior, the Magician and the Provider (see sidebar). Here again, one archetype was missing. This time, it was the Lover. The absence of that archetype enabled the Indo-Europeans to operate with such brutal “efficiency” in taking over the older matrifocal societies. As mentioned earlier, their standard procedure was ethnic cleansing, i.e. killing off all the males, then raping and enslaving all the females. The institution of slavery is a logical outcome of this process, and its maintenance over millennia is totally compatible with such an archetypal constellation.

Christianity and the Missing Great Mother Archetype

However, when Christianity appeared in the Roman Empire, it spread rapidly particularly in the cities among the slaves and women. What the new religion was bringing them was hope for salvation and liberation. The difference between Christianity and the earlier Hebrew and Indo-European religions was the “Evangelium” (literally the “Good News”) that “God had loved humanity so much, that He sacrificed his only Son to save it.” It was a religion that re-established the Lover archetype in an asexual form. Christianity ended up over the next centuries taking over practically all earlier religions of the Roman Empire (except the Judaic), and became the unifying mental reference for the Western world.

We already shown (Chapter 2) how one archetype – the Great Mother/Provider – was repressed in this system. We also already discussed some of its consequences. So once again, only four archetypes were active; the missing one being now the Great Mother.

Back to Today

If we accept the following two hypotheses as valid:

  • civilizations mutate or collapse when they meet the archetype it has repressed;
  • and the current ecological and epistemological crisis in the West is characterized by the reemergence of the Great Mother archetype;

then the crisis of our time is an unusually important one, even in the very long perspective of consciousness evolution.

The main difference between this mutation and all the previous ones reviewed above is that we can make it a conscious one, and that the possibility exists for it to become a win-win for all, instead of a win-lose proposition. Historically, such transitions have definitely proven tragic win-lose situations. They range from Indo-European ethnic cleansing to the bloody Roman persecutions of Christian martyrs, until the Christians would in turn persecute heretics.

The new value system is integrative, i.e. for the first time it does not necessarily exclude other worldviews (see sidebar). On the contrary, it is by definition about expanding consciousness to include as many viewpoints as possible. Could this mutation therefore not be more peaceful?

The encouraging and intriguing fact is that recent surveys show that the mutation has already been happening for over a quarter of the population. It has been peaceful to the point it has barely been noticed, as will be shown next.

Two Testimonies on Integrating the Feminine Today

Among those who have described well what it would mean to heal the split in our societies between the feminine and the masculine, between spirit and matter, I will quote two eloquent voices. They are totally different in backgrounds, religious convictions, and worldviews – but they have in common to have been able to capture in synthetic words what is involved.


The first one is Erich Neumann, a Jewish disciple and contemporary of C.G. Jung, who concludes in his classic The Great Mother“ Thus modern man…discovers…that in the generating and nourishing, protective and transformative, feminine power of the unconscious, a wisdom is at work that is infinitely superior to the wisdom of man’s waking consciousness, and that, as source of vision and symbol, of ritual and law, poetry and vision, intervenes, summoned or unsummoned, to save man and give direction to his life”18


The second is Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit catholic priest and anthropologist, who describes his encounter with and integration of matter as follows.

Matter tells him “You had need of me in order to grow; and I am waiting from you in to be made holy. And now I am established on you for life, or for death. You can never go back, never to return to commonplace gratification or untroubled worship. He who has once seen me can never forget me; he must either damn himself with me or save me with himself…You who has grasped that the world has, even more than individuals, a soul to be redeemed, lay your whole being wide open to my inspiration, and receive the spirit of the earth which is to be saved…Never say ‘Matter is accursed, matter is evil’.

Son of man, bathe yourself in the ocean of matter; plunge into it where it is deepest and most violent; struggle with its currents and drink of its waters. For it cradled you long ago in your preconscious existence; and it is that ocean that will raise you up to God.”19

Where are We Now?

“I think there are good reasons to believe that the modern age has ended. Today, many things indicate that we are going through a transitional period, when it seems that something is on its way out, and something else is painfully being born. It is as if something were crumbling, decaying and exhausting itself, while something else, still indistinct, were arising from the rubble”

What could Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic, have been referring to with this statement made at the Liberty Medal ceremony, Philadelphia, July 4, 1994?

Usually, one can rely only on hunches and anecdotes when one deals with sweeping paradigm shifts. One expert on the topic even claims that “If you ask paradigm pioneers to justify their decision to switch to a new paradigm, they can’t do it using numbers. Because the numbers don’t exist”20

Well, the good news is this may not be true anymore for the topic of interest to us here, at least for one significant country.

The largest up-to-date survey of changes in value in America was conducted in 1995 by American LIVES Inc. Based on cumulative surveys involving 100,000 adult Americans and 500 focus groups, it enabled the identification of three different subcultures in that country.21

And Figure 8.4 shows the striking growth trend since 1965 of one particular subculture – the “Cultural Creative” subculture – compared to the other two subcultures.

Figure 8.4 Evolution of the three subcultures (millions of US adults, 1965-2000)

A more detailed description of each subculture follows next.

The Traditionalists

Traditionalists are primarily the “religious conservatives.” (see sidebar).

Who are the Traditionalists?

“The Traditionalists are defined by their traditional and conservative values and beliefs. They are on the average, older and less-educated than the Modernists or Cultural Creatives. Retirees and the poor bring the median family income of the group down to $24,000. This family-centered group is the most likely one to trust the political teachings of religious leaders. A number of ethnic minorities are also in this subculture, as well as union supporters who may be politically liberal….

Traditionalists have difficulty handling complexity and the modern world, and they are suspicious of change. As time goes by their numbers are likely to continue to decline: their current median age is about 53, and Traditionalists are dying faster than they are being replaced by younger people.”23

“This is a culture of memory. They place their hopes in the recovery of small-town, religious America. This mythic world was cleaner, more principled, and less conflicted than the one that impinges on us every day today. At that time ‘men were men’, and authority was self-reliant, fixed on the task, and impatient with complexity. Its values are evoked in John Wayne movies, Fourth of July speeches, and Veteran’s Day’s parades…Even in larger cities, Traditionalists build strong relationships and take care of one another through their religious congregations.”24

According to Ray and Anderson “After listening to numerous discussions in focus groups, it slowly became apparent that there is a Traditionalist cognitive style. Most of them avoid complex situations and ideas if they can, and they are emotionally reactive against change and the modern world…American Traditionalism is also a desire for simplification, for traditional certainties, and for less sophistication and secularism, for religious monoculture, and for national and ethnic unity. A common rhetoric is ‘return to earlier, simpler, purer, holier ways of the past, and repent for the sinful present… The shadow of Traditionalism includes hate groups and the far right fringe.”25

Until recently they used to share the scene only with the next group: the Modernists.

The Modernists

Practically all people in the Western world have been extensively exposed to the “Modernist” world-view. It is so pervasive that the Modernists are the only ones who can get away with the idea that theirs is not a worldview. Some still believe that theirs is “the world as it really is.” It is the viewpoint that has shaped the Industrial Age, and remains the dominant subculture in the Western World. With 47% (88 million adults) of the US population, they are still the single largest constituency. But even as their percentages gradually slack off over time, the Modernist viewpoint remains exclusively the one reflected in mass media.

Modernist World-view

Modernism developed in reaction to the “traditionalist” societies, as a rejection of the religion- dominated world-view that had been the almost exclusive viewpoint when it was at its peak in the Dark Middle Ages.

“Modern civilization is built on the story of breaking out of the prison of definition by race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, region of origin, religion, occupation, education… For those of us in the middle and upper classes, the prison-break story is true. Modernity finally liberated us from the traditional constraints, and many of us have been able to go wherever our dreams and talents led us. In the Western democracies, we are no longer compelled to believe in certain religious doctrines, obey priests and elders, or even belong to a church. We can speak out freely on virtually any issue that concerns us. We can travel almost anywhere we choose (if we can afford it). We can read or watch almost anything we wish, we can marry whoever will have us, and many of us can escape our class origin…But for those who are poor and poorly educated, the story is different. And it has been different for most women through most of modern history. The cornucopia of options that modernity provided has not been available to everyone equally, regardless of the prison-break story. But the story has been so compelling, and the dream of more has been so enticing, that most Westerners have ignored the disquieting side effects of Modern culture until  recently.”26

The Modernists automatically consider as “modern” (treated as synonymous with “sophisticated, advanced, urbane and/or inevitable”) the values, technologies, interpretations that oppose themselves to the “backward”, “under-developed” societies that preceded it. They kept intact, however, one of the key premises of the previous religion-dominated world-view: the biblical premise that Man is to be Master over the rest of creation.

There are two different domains where this interpretation is active:

  • At the personal level: Modernists tend to value universal norms and secularity (as opposed to provincialism and religious dogmas). Nevertheless many maintain an orthodox religious practice (40%), but do not necessarily translate that into altruism (only 32% do so). Instead their top priority lies in personal freedom and achievement, leading to upward mobility (important for 36%) and specifically financial materialism (82%). Their values are centered on personal success, consumerism, materialism and technological rationality.
  • At the collective level: Organizationally, they believe in the management and technological practices that have arisen from the Industrial Age, including traditional economic theory (see sidebar). They believe that technology will ultimately prevail over the negative consequences of the existing practices. They tend to belittle these negative consequences (environmental, societal disruptions).Politically, they could be Left or Right, liberals or conservatives. Their conservative wing, for example, shares with the religious conservatives the view that women should not be active in the workplace.

Economic Theory and Modernism

The bulk of conventional economic theory is embedded in the Modernist viewpoint. Although a growing number of economists are breaking through the old molds, this Modernist backdrop has resulted in the following tendencies to over-simplify the analysis of economic reality:

  • Everything that cannot be or is not measured does not exist. For example, a woman taking care of her children is not part of GNP, while someone whose job it is to do the same thing – i.e., gets paid in dollars – is measurable and, therefore, exists. Exploitation of non-renewable natural resources is not measured and, therefore, is not a problem; etc.. In the specific monetary domain, the implication is that only economic exchanges that use the official national currency are considered “real.” Even the economy itself is simply defined as the space where the transactions involving that particular national currency occur.
  • This blindness to what we do not care to measure results in what the British-American economist Kenneth Boulding has described as “cowboy economics.” Cowboys use the range for their cattle to graze, and when the land has deteriorated, they just move on to the next area, leaving other people in the future to take care of whatever they abandon. Much of our resource and land use, and many of our urban landscapes, shows the scars of these practices.
  • Another consequence is what President Carlos Andres Perez from Venezuela, an economist himself, coined as “Economism.” It refers to the use of economic criteria as the only criteria to justify decisions. It simply denies the existence of other domains, or the relevance of their contributions or insights into the issue at hand. Economism is in fact only the application to economics of a reductionist tendency sometimes exhibited in Modernist science. It is the manifestation in economics of what I called the hyper-rational Apollonian viewpoint. short, as Einstein claimed:

“Not everything that counts can be counted.
Not everything that can be counted counts.”

One of the ironies of history is that Economism and other forms of reductionist science is today playing the identical role that religious dogma used to play when Modernism went to battle against the Medieval mindset. Some of the debates about the neo-liberal quantified economics and their relevance to real-life economics reflect a similar tension between worldviews.

  • It should be noted that traditional economic theory – perhaps along with traditional medical models of reality – is among the hard-core Modernist theories. This is paradoxical, because the “hard sciences” that economics has tried to emulate such as Physics and thermodynamics are by now heavily engaged in dialogues about broadening toTrans-modern world-views.

The Cultural Creative Subculture

“Cultural Creatives are so called because they are coming up with most new ideas in American culture, operating on the leading edge of cultural change”61627 This last subculture is just emerging in front of our eyes is. It is so new that as recently as twenty years ago the values driving this world-view were not even statistically significant in the population (less than 3%). By 1995, 23.6% of the US population (i.e. 44 Million adults) espouse this “Trans-modern” mindset and by 2000 about 29%! (see sidebar).

Who are the Cultural Creatives?

The Cultural Creatives tend to be in all regions of the US, and contrary to general belief are not concentrated on the West Coast. They are a middle to upper middle class, with median income of $47,000 (46% are in the upper income quartile of the population). Their median age is 42; with 30% college graduates, they are more educated than any other subculture. The gender split is 40:60 men to women, about 50% more women than men.

I will show later that this trend is actually a global one. But as the only detailed quantitative evidence currently available are the ones from the US study, the discussion will keep focused on that particular dataset.

Cultural Creative Subculture World-view

Exactly as the Modernist view developed in reaction to what was considered the over-simplifications and excesses of the religion-dominated world-view of the late Middle Ages, the Cultural Creative subculture has emerged in reaction to the blindness and excesses of the Modernist tradition.

Let us look at the value systems the “Cultural Creatives” embody at the personal as well as the collective level:

  • At the personal level, their main concern is self-actualization, i.e. inner growth, as opposed to exterior social prestige. Many have given up on having traditional orthodox religions provide support in their spirituality (17% maintain a traditional orthodox practice against 40% for the Moderns, and 47% for the Traditionalists ). They are curious about the world (85% are xenophiles). Quality of personal relationships is critical for them (76% think so, against 49% for the Moderns and 65% for the Traditionalists ). They also tend to be better informed than the society at large.
  • At the collective level: One of their main concerns is the deterioration of the community and the environment(92% want to rebuild community; 87% believe in ecological sustainability). Ray assesses them as more “altruistic” than any other group, and are willing to make personal sacrifices (84% are altruistic, compared to 51% among the Moderns and 55% for the Traditionalists ). They are even willing to take personal initiatives in order to achieve a society they believe in (45% want to be “activists”, compared to only 29% of the Moderns and 34% for the Traditionalists ). They don’t believe in success as the main criterion (70%), but give a higher priority to creative time. Finally, women’s participation in the work place is accepted as a given (69%). They are slightly more optimistic about the future (35% as against 24% for Modernists and 26% for the Traditionalists).

“There are also some meaningful rejections by the Cultural Creatives: the intolerance of the Religious Right, the thoughtless hedonism of today’s commercial media, the go-go greed of the Modernists in the Eighties, and the mindless destruction of much of the planet’s ecology by big business.”

What is surprising?

The size of the numbers of Cultural Creatives that have appeared out of the woodwork in less than one generation may be surprising to many. It did certainly surprise me. Even people who are part of this subculture consider themselves to be isolated exceptions.

Two reasons converge to create that impression of isolation.

  • there is no organization that identifies them;
  • there is no media mirror.
No organization

One of the main reasons for the Cultural Creative invisibility is that this subculture has not spawned a mass political party, a mass religious movement, or even a separately identifiable publication market. Cultural Creatives are by definition eclectics who pick and choose their information as their interests lead them, from mainstream to marginal publications, national as well as foreign. So there is no place or group where they can actually meet and be counted.

No Mirror

Even more important, the mass media, our mirror in society, is almost completely immersed in the Modernist subculture, and practically exclusively reflects that viewpoint. Whenever it refers to the subculture of the Cultural Creatives, it tends to present as typical a caricature of the whole group: the marginal fringe of “New Agers”, who represent less than 4 Million of the population. So even when this is reflected, the vast majority of the 44 Million Cultural Creatives do not recognize themselves in this image either.

This invisibility – even to the members themselves – may be the most unusual feature of this new subculture.

When Modernism came into fashion from the Late Renaissance onward, the “Modernizers” knew very well that they were a movement. Erasmus of Rotterdam or the French Encyclopedists had the media of their respective times focusing on every one of their doings. Others knew them as a movement, and they also knew each other. All of this was true even as they represented only 1% or 2% of the population in their time, compared to the 23.6% that the Integrative subculture already represents today.

So, whenever the socio-political reality of these trends will finally sink in, we can expect a much swifter shift than what happened when Modernism was born.

This is precisely what is happening right now, according to Vaclav Havel. Other scholars in growing numbers are agreeing with him (sidebar).

Mind Change

  • “Imagine yourself a historian looking back from some time in the next century. What do you judge the most important thing that happened in the twentieth century?…My guess is that it will be something as quiet as a change of mind, a change of mind that is bubbling up out of the unconscious depths, spreading around the world, changing everything…Society will only a few generations from now, be as different from modern industrial society as that is from society of the Middle Ages.”

Willis Harman28

  • “Every transformation… has rested upon deeper stirrings and intuitions whose rationalized expression takes the form of a new picture of the universe and the nature of man… We stand at the brink of a an open world and of a self capable of playing its part in the larger sphere”

Lewis Mumford29

“Human consciousness, our mutual awareness, is going to make a quantum leap. Everything will change. You will never be the same.”

Paul Williams30

“Green” and “Integrative” Cultural Creatives

Ray goes on by distinguishing between two types of Cultural Creatives: the “Green” Cultural Creatives and the “Core” ones, which I prefer to call the “Integrative” Cultural Creatives for reasons that will become evident by the end of this chapter.

  • Green Cultural Creatives (13% or 24 million adults in 1995 in the US) are concerned with the environment and social concerns from a secular viewpoint. They tend to be activists in the public arena. They are focusing on solving problems “out there” and are less interested in personal change. They tend to be middle class.
  • Integrative Cultural Creatives (10.6% or 20 million in Ray’s survey) have both personal evolution and green values. They are seriously engaged in psychology, spiritual life, self- actualization, self-expression. They enjoy mastering new ideas, are socially concerned, are involved in “women’s issues” and/or ecological sustainability. They tend to be upper middle class, and their male-female ratio is 33:67, twice as many women as men.
Cultural Creatives and Integrative Culture

“The appearance of the Cultural Creatives is about healing the old splits: between the inner and outer, spiritual and material, individual and society. The possibility of a new culture centers on reintegration of what has been fragmented by Modernism: self-integration and authenticity; integration with community and connection with others around the globe, not just at home; connection with nature and learning to integrate ecology and economy; and a synthesis of diverse views and traditions”31

All these characteristics are exactly what Gebser predicted with his Integrative consciousness structure. We can therefore conclude that the society that the Cultural Creatives are in the process of creating, unnoticed and unheralded even by themselves, is the Integrative culture.

At some level, what is being challenged today is more than just the Modernist worldview. One could actually consider that they are the sign of a fundamental shift of several old coherences, which all appear to reverse themselves within the next twenty or so years. The following graph illustrates that argument.

Figure 8.4 Convergence of the challenge of several old worldviews over next twenty years

The fact is that at least five worldviews are being challenged within an remarkable short time span: the patriarchal worldview dating back to at least 5,000 years ago; the monopoly of the Rationalist view going back to the Greek philosophers (2,500 years ago); the Modernist one dating to the Renaissance (500 years ago), the Industrial Age (250 years) and the Cold War coherence.

The Cultural Creatives: A Global Shift?

No detailed survey similar to Paul Ray’s has covered the entire globe, or even Europe. However, in September 1997 the secretariat of the European Union used Ray’s values questionnaire identifying Cultural Creatives for their monthly Euro-Barometer survey of all 15 nations (800 interviews per country) and found to their surprise that the percentage of Cultural Creatives are at least as numerous in Europe as they are in the US.

Duane Elgin gathered all available data from around the world. His conclusion “considered together, trends do seem to indicate that a global paradigm shift is underway.”32 The global population at large is everywhere ahead in the transition toward the Integrative Society compared to both their respective official leaders and their media. What is perhaps most striking is that, contrary of what mainstream Western media sometimes claims, this trend prevails just as strongly in developing countries as in developed ones (sidebar)

People’s Opinions Ahead of their Media

  • No less than 21 countries have more than 50% of the population who choose to protect the environment over economic growth. This includes the expected ones such as Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Sweden. But also less obvious ones such as the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Ireland, Uruguay, Chile, Korea, Poland, Japan, Russia, Hungary and Portugal.
  • Many countries have more than 50% of the population claiming that their country would be better governed if there were more women in political office. People may not be surprised that this would be the case in the US, Canada or Western Europe. But it is also the opinion in places like Thailand, India or Colombia.

Elgin reports also another interesting of Integrative values: a shift toward holistic medicine, away from exclusive reliance of the Modernist conventional medicine. Even in the US, considered way behind Europe in this domain, there were actually more visits to U.S. providers of unconventional therapy than visits to all primary care physicians. Responding to this dramatic shift in consumer demand, now 64% of allUS medical schools offer courses in alternative medicine. That such a change in medical treatments is significant for our purposes of identifying a cultural shift towards Integrative values is proven by the findings reported by John Astin of the Stanford University School of Medicine in the Journal of the American Medical Association: the main reason people use alternative therapies is that their own world view has changed to the point of making it incompatible with the Modernist worldview of conventional medicine. To quote: “Users of alternative health care are more likely to report having had a transformational experience that changed the way they saw the world…They find in [alternative therapies] an acknowledgment of the importance of treating illness within a larger context of spirituality and life meaning…The use of alternative care is part of a broader value orientation and set of cultural beliefs, one that embraces a holistic, spiritual orientation to life.”33

In Europe, the trend for physicians to include complementary medicine is “overwhelming” according to a Time magazine article: “Out of 88,000 practicing acupuncturists in Europe, 62,000 are medical doctors.”34 In Britain, 42% of all physicians now routinely make referrals to homeopaths. In France, one third of all family physicians prescribe homeopathic remedies, as do 20% of all German physicians. In most European pharmacies, there is now more shelf-space dedicated to herbal medicines than to pharmaceutical drugs. In China, scientific and public health interest in acupuncture had already started in the 1950’s. More recently all over Asia, other traditional approaches such as the Ayur-Vedic medicine, are growing in popularity as complement to Western Modernist techniques.

In short, Modernist opinion leaders separately have sometimes dismissed each one of these trends as a “quirky fashion”. However, when considered together, the pattern of a global paradigm shift towards an Integrative Culture is undeniable. And again, the most striking of all is the discreteness, as well as the speed and scale of this mutation.

The following graph (Figure 8.4) summarizes schematically the main characteristics and the percentages of the US population of all three subcultures, projected to the year 2000.

Figure 8.4 bis: Diagram representing percentages and main characteristics of the three subcultures (US, 2000)

To complete the picture, the following table provides some flesh on the bones of the definitions of the three subcultures, by providing examples of personalities which reflect the corresponding values.35

Traditionals Moderns Cultural Creatives
Political and Religious Figures
Jimmy Carter George H.W. Bush Tony Blair
Pope John Paul II Archbishop Desmond Tutu The Dalai Lama
Literary Figures
J.R.R. Tolkien Isaac Asimov Isabel Allende
C.S. Lewis Ernest Hemingway Dorris Lessing
Psychologists and Philosophers
M. Scott Peck B.F. Skinner Ken Wilber
Artists and Performers
Pablo Casals Vladimir Horowitz Yo-Yo Ma
Louis Armstrong Dave Brubeck Keith Jarret
Norman Rockwell Pablo Picasso Marc Chagall
John Wayne Harrison Ford Robert Redford
John Ford Alfred Hitchcock George Lucas
Business People
H.L. Hunt Bill Gates Anita Roddick

These three subcultures will now be mapped on the Archetypal Human.

Archetypal Mapping of the Subcultures

It should be emphasized that all humans have all five archetypes to some extent active in their lives. If this were not the case, the map of the Archetypal Human would not be a valid map.

However, the emphasis on each archetype varies widely, both in strength and in its manifestation in public or private life. This can be compared to food preparation. All cuisines in the world prepare food, and they all tend to have some basic ingredients in common such as protein, carbohydrates, salt, water, or spices. However, the emphasis is definitely not homogeneous. Comparing them among each other, one could argue for instance that India excels in refinements about spices, France about sauces, Italy about pasta, or Japan about stylish presentation. But an exceptional meal in any of these places relies on all of these features to some extent.

So, what follows is an attempt at identifying the comparative emphasis in each subculture on some archetypes more than others. Given that we are ultimately interested in money applications, particularly the way each subculture consistently rewards each archetype in public life is most relevant. The following discussion does therefore not describe what people are, but what their subculture consistently rewards. Other behavior tends to be condemned as “improper”, “deviant”, “crazy” or “sinful.”

To the Traditionalists, religion is usually of primary importance. In the US, the vast majority of the Traditionalists are religiously conservative Catholics, Mormons, Evangelists, various forms of fundamentalists and some Jewish orthodox. They all share the same image of the Judeo-Christian sky-God, who relates to the male Warrior-King archetype. Therefore to the same extent that their lives are directed by their religious beliefs, the most active archetypes will be the Sovereign and the Warrior. This is further confirmed by the fact that many feel a strong distrust for technology and the other novelties in the Modern world (i.e. tend to have a weak Magician). According to Ray and Anderson “in Traditionalist beliefs, patriarchs should again dominate all important aspects of social life”.36 In clear, neither of the two Yin archetypes is very active (i.e. a comparatively weak Great Mother and Lover).

In simple terms, what the Modernists achieved was adding the Magician to that mixture. This transpires through the extent that Modern Age has relied on science and technical innovation for taking over the world over the past centuries, and continues to do so today.

All this is mapped in Figure 8.6 with an ellipse highlighting the most active archetypes of both worldviews.

Figure 8.6 The Archetypal Human, the Traditionalists and the Modernists Values

Notice that it is enough to add one archetype to create strong tensions, even conflicts, between subcultures. The roots of the “culture wars” between Traditionalists and Modernists started back during the European Renaissance. In America, they date back to at least the 19th century. Note that the one with the richest archetypal system, i.e. the Modernist, has ended up winning that war.

Although Giordano Bruno, Galileo and many others may have had valid reasons to doubt about such an outcome as they were losing their local battles at different places and times.

Let us now consider the “big picture” concerning the nature of the more recent challenges to Modernism.

Recent Challenges to Modernism

Almost all contemporary challenges to Modernism have manifest as highly specialized rejections of various sides of the Yang bias built into societal values. Here is what may appear at first sight a random sequential list of all major social movements of the 20th century, all overlapping during this century.

  • Emerson’s Transcendentalism
  • Early Feminism (the “suffragette” movement)
  • Civil Rights and the Peace Movement
  • The hippie “flower children” of the 1960’s
  • The Greens
  • Alternative Health Care (including vegetarianism and Body-Mind relationships)
  • Humanistic, Eco-Psychology and Transpersonal Psychology
  • The Homosexual Liberation movement (“Gay Lib”)
  • Communitarianism
  • Contemporary “Women’s Movements”
  • “New Thought” and “New Spirituality” movements
  • New Age

All these challenges have one aspect in common. They all attempt, in their own specific way, to challenge one facet of the dominant Yang biases of Modernism. The reason they are all so specialized and fragmented is a result of the nature of Modernism itself. Modernism has tended to categorize all aspects of life in ever narrower and specialized slots. So it is not surprising that all these challenges take such specialized forms, particularly as practically all people involved in the above movements were initially Modernists themselves. Because of this fragmentation, most people have not become aware of the common basis of these movements: i.e. their agenda to recover some Yin energy.

For instance, many specifically try to empower different forms of feminine energy (such as feminism, the Peace Movement, “Gay Lib”, Communitarianism, or the contemporary “Women’s Movement”). Others challenge the hyper-rational Apollonian shadow that has separated mind from body, matter from spirit (Transcendentalism, alternative health care, humanistic and transpersonal psychology, New Spirituality or New Age). Some explicitly refer to the missing archetypal energy. For example, the Hippies can be seen as a Dionysian shadow revolt. Similarly the Greens, Eco- Psychology and the scientific debates about the “Gaia Hypothesis” all refer to a re-awakening of the Great Mother archetype.

We could map each one of these movements. However, multiplying this exercise would quickly clutter up the map with redundant information. The fragmentation of these movements also narrows the usefulness of such an exercise.

Instead I will just map the two “wings” of Ray’s Cultural Creatives in order to complete the overview of the three main subcultures in America.

The Green Cultural Creatives embody the Great Mother/Provider energy. They further tend to differ from both Modernists and Traditionalists by rejecting hierarchical authority of any kind. To the extent they are also activists, their Warrior energy is activated. Although some share with the Traditionalists their mistrust of technology and Modern “Progress”, many are not neo-Luddite in this sense. I have represented those in this majority among the Greens in Figure 8.6. Notice on the graph that we can easily pre-determine that the domains of conflict between the Greens and the mainstream Modernist culture will tend to be sustainability (Great Mother) and authority/hierarchy (Sovereign).

Finally, the Integrative Cultural Creatives attempt at integrating all five archetypes in a balanced way. They represent the early emergence of the Integrative Culture that Gebser had been announcing. However, we should expect that full integration of all five archetypes – what Jung called individuation – will take many generations to achieve. It may even never be achievable on a large scale. What matters here is to be on the path, rather than reaching the final destination.

Figure 8.7 completes therefore the earlier figure with these two new subcultures.

Figure 8.7 Archetypal Human and the Contemporary Subcultures

Back to Money

We can now synthesize all we learned from our archetypal analysis of different money systems and different subcultures. The image that makes it easiest to grasp that synthesis is a stair-type graph like Figure 8.8.37

Figure 8.8 Money Systems and Cumulatively Active Archetypes

It highlights the cumulative nature of archetypal energy in monetary evolution. Here are some comments about each “step.”

Commodity currencies are a first step up from straightforward barter, when by definition no currency is used. We saw earlier that during long and intense periods of war and civil disorder, the only type of currency that survives is commodity-money, i.e. a product that has an immediate utilitarian use even in conditions of lawlessness. Salt and cigarettes were mentioned as classical examples of commodity currencies. Only Warrior energy is needed to keep such a system going. When a credible centralizing authority appears, usually that authority issues its currency for use in its realm. This is what happened for instance in Sumer, China, and in Europe and elsewhere from the Classical Mediterranean civilizations to the 17th century. This system seems to have been particularly well adapted to Pre-Industrial (i.e. agrarian) economies. It mobilized and needed only two archetypes to remain operational: the Warrior and the Sovereign. This is the world with which the Traditionalists had felt comfortable. This explains why even today some Traditionalists argue we should return to “real money” such as gold coins. This makes sense because that type of currency activates the two archetypes that their subculture rewards most. It also explains why they tend to be so suspicious of modern “paper money” (see sidebar).

Money Systems and God’s Biblical Rules 

Congressman Bill Dannemeyer, a Conservative from southern California, wrote to his constituency that “It is not an accident that the American experiment with a paper dollar standard, a variable standard, has been going on at the same time that our culture has been questioning whether American civilization is based on the Judeo-Christian ethic, or Secular Humanism. The former involves formal rules from God through the vehicle of the Bible. The latter involves variable rules adopted by man and adjusted as deemed appropriate.”38

We saw earlier that the birth of modern bank-debt money requires three archetypes to be active: the Sovereign, the Warrior and the Magician. Notice that this type of currency is a perfect match for the Modernist subculture (see Figure 8.6).

From here on we have less clear-cut, and certainly less recent, precedents to draw from. It would involve adding the Great Mother archetype to the mix. Currencies that manage to make sustainability compatible with financial interest would fit this model.39 One could argue that the Egyptian monetary system with its demurrage-charged currency might be the closest to a system that has succeeded in adding the Great Mother archetype to the mix.

Finally, a contemporary currency system that would activate all five archetypes does not exist at this point. I suspect that it would not be achievable with one single currency, but would require the official encouragement of complementary currency systems. Historically, we saw that both in Egypt and during the Middle Ages, dual currency systems spontaneously developed. Specifically, I propose a similar strategy – albeit a conscious one – wherein today’s conventional national currencies (empowering the Sovereign, the Warrior and the Magician) are complemented with Yin- type currencies, such as local mutual credit systems (empowering the Lover and the Great Mother). Such a strategy has been presented in detail elsewhere.40 There may be other ways than a dual currency system to achieve an activation of all five archetypes, but I have not found it so far.

The following graph (Figure 8.9) updates the number of complementary currency systems operational in a dozen countries around the world.

Figure 8.9 Number of Yin-type Complementary Currency Systems Operational in a dozen countries (1984-2000)

The fact that the number of Yin-type complementary currency systems operational in a dozen countries has risen from one single case to over 2,500 in 15 years is therefore more than a simple anecdotal curiosity. It is revealing that Cultural Creatives are invariably the movers and shakers to get such Yin-type currencies operational. Cultural Creatives often intuitively feel that “something is not working” for them with the mainstream national currencies. As they are the most activists of the three subcultures, they just do something about it.

However, the above analysis also has another implication which is sometimes missed by that same group. It shows that it could be counterproductive to try to have these Yin currencies replace the official ones. Both types of currencies are necessary if all five archetypes are to be empowered.

On the other side of the argument, the Modernist contention that a monopoly of national currencies is warranted, “because it is more efficient,” is not justifiable either. Whoever prohibits or discourages the use of Yin-type currencies should also assume the responsibility for solving the social problems that a monopoly of bank-debt currencies encourages. The bottom line question that they should be made to answer is simple: where will they find the money necessary to pay for solving such problems?

In any case, it may only be a question of time. If Gebser is correct that the Integrative consciousness is the next evolutionary step for humanity, then some approach empowering the Yin energies will occur. The appearance of Yin-type currencies as complementary currencies – exactly as what spontaneously happened in the Central Middle Ages and Egypt when the Great Mother archetype was honored – is only one of the many signs of that process.

Antoine de Saint Exupery put it this way:

Truth is not what is demonstrable.
Truth is that which is ineluctable”

The Meaning of Our Crisis

The Meaning of the Patriarchal Crisis

“I therefore would affirm those indispensable ideals expressed by the supporters of feminist, ecological, archaic, and other countercultural and multicultural perspectives. But I would also wish to affirm those who have valued and sustained the central Western tradition, for I believe that the tradition – the entire trajectory from the Greek epic poets and Hebrew prophets, the long intellectual and spiritual struggle from Socrates and Plato and Paul and Augustine and Galileo and Descartes and Kant and Freud – that this stupendous Western project should be seen as a necessary and noble part of a great dialectic, and not simply rejected as an imperialist- chauvinist plot. Not only has this tradition achieved that fundamental differentiation and autonomy of the human who alone could allow the possibility for such a larger synthesis, it has also painstakingly prepared the way for its own self-transcendence…

Each perspective, masculine and feminine, is here both affirmed and transcended, recognized as part of a larger whole, for each polarity requires the other for its fulfillment. And their synthesis leads to something beyond itself, it brings an unexpected opening to a larger reality that cannot be grasped before it arrives, because this new reality is itself a creative act.

But why has the pervasive masculinity of the Western intellectual and spiritual tradition suddenly become so apparent to us today, while it remained so invisible to almost every previous generation? I believe this is occurring now because, as Hegel suggested, a civilization cannot become conscious of itself, cannot recognize its own significance, until it is so mature that it is approaching its own death.”41

Richard Tarnas has described the “patriarchal narrowing of the Western mindset over the past 5,000 years as the birth canal of the Great Mother.”42 He claims that this entire evolution into a “dominator mode” was really the necessary passage and preparation for the Great Mother to return into full consciousness. (see sidebar).

In conclusion, I believe that what has started happening is a shift from a dominance/control relational model to a mutuality/partnership relational model.

The good news is that the general mood of pessimism that is pervading the public discourse and the media in the West may be unjustified. The next civilization may already have well taken root if one just knows where to look for it. It could provide the space where each subculture can contribute its own unique gift to the whole:

  • for the Traditionalists, the gifts that one has to stand up for one’s values, and that wisdom from the past is an important contribution for our future;
  • for the Modernists, the gifts of innovations and of true universality;
  • and for the Cultural Creatives, the gifts of sustainability and community.


Table of Contents | INTRODUCTION











  1. Tagore, Rabindranath Gitanjali.
  2. Griffin, Susan The Eros of Everyday Life
  3. The mere scale and quality of publications on the process of contemporary societal change is impressive. See for instance Karl Jasper’s Man in the Modern Age (1951, first German edition 1931); Piritim Sorokin’s The Crisis of Our Age (1941); Lancelot Law Whyte’s The Next Development in Man (1944); Vance Packard’s The Hidden (1957), The Sexual Wilderness (1968); Barbara Ward’s The Rich Nations and the Poor Nations (1962), and The Home of Man (1976); Richard Buckminster Fuller Unopia or Oblivion (1969); Gunnar Myrdal’s The Challenge of World Poverty (1970); William Irvin Thompson’s At the Edge of History (1971); Barry Commoner’s The Closing Circle (1971); Gordon Rattray Taylor’s Rethink(1972); Konrad Lorenz’s Civilized Man’s Eight Deadly Sins (1974); Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock (1970 and The Third Wave (1980); Theodore Roszak’s Person/Planet (1978); Herman Bryant Maynard and Susan Mehrtens’s The Fourth Wave (1993);Gregory Stock’s Metaman (1993);Mihaly Csikszentmialyi’s The Evolving Self (1993); Ken Wilber’s Sex, Ecology, Spiritualty: The Spirit of Evolution (1995); Michael Murphy’s The Future of the Body; Barbara Marx Hubbard Conscious Evolution (Novato: New World Library, 1998).
  4. Even though Erich Neumann’s main work The Origins and History of Consciousness was originally published in 1953 the same year as Gebser’s The Ever-Present Origin.
  5. Gebser, Jean The Ever-Present Origin (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1986). Because this work is dense reading, I recommend as a more friendly introduction the book by Feuerstein, Georg: Structures of Consciousness: The Genius of Jean Gebser (Integral Publishing. 1987) PO Box 1030, Lower Lake, CA 95457
  6. This graph comes from the book by Kamenetzky, Mario : The Invisible Player: Consciousness: as the Soul of Economic, Social and Political Life (Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International, 1998). I am indebted to Mr. Kamenetzky for first having attracted my attention to the direct relevance of Gebser’s work for economic whole system analysis.
  7. Gebser distinguishes between a “Mental” structure and a “Rational” structure, the latter of which he describes as a “deficient form of the mental consciousness structure.” I will follow Kamenetzky in calling both “Rational.” But I will handle Gebser’s “deficient form” issue as the “hyper-rational”, i.e. the shadow phenomenon of the Magician.
  8. Gebser calls this the “Integral, aperspectival, and arational” Structure, I prefer “Integrative” following Kamenetsky because it describes the process, and not a static result. As will be demonstrated in Chapter 12, I have come to the conclusion that we have started to create the “Integrative” Consciousness structure, but it may take a few centuries or millennia before we reach a fully “Integral” structure.
  9. Drucker, Peter Post-Capitalist Society (New York: Harper Business, 1993) and The New Realities: In Government and Politics, in Economics and Business, in Society and World View. New York: Harper Business, 1995).
  10. Schaef, Anne Wilson When Society becomes an Addict (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987) pg 7-8.
  11. Swimme, Brian The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1998) and Swimme, Brian & Berry Thomas: The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1992); Ken Wilber’s Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution (1995) and particularly his synthesis of his entire work in The Eye of the Spirit (1998).
  12. See Glossary Appendix for definitions.
  13. See for instance Chavaillon, Jean L’Âge d’Or de l’humanité (Paris: Editions Odile Jacob,1996).
  14. Athena: Mensuel du développement technologique (Belgium) Issue # 137 January 1998 pg 220-221
  15. Anati, Emmanuel La Religion des Origines (Paris: Bayard Editions – Le grand livre du mois, 1999) pg. 144-145.
  16. Matriarchal means that power structures are in the hand of women. Matrifocal indicates a cultural context where the Feminine archetype is honored, but which has not necessarily created an organized power structure.
  17. The best overview is Dumézil, Georges Mythe et épopée: l’idéologie des trois fonctions dans les épopées indo- européennes (Paris: NRF Editions Galimard 1986) 3 Volumes. An synopsis is available in Mythes de Dieux des Indo- Européens (Paris: Flammarion, 1992). There are separate volumes for two of Dumézil’s “functions” (equivalent to our archetypes) – the Sovereign and the Warrior – in Les Dieux Souverains des Indo-Européens (Paris: Gallimard, last edition 1986) and Heur et Malheur du Guerrier (Paris: Flammarion, 1985). There are several volumes by geographic specialization. For instance Germanic and Nordic mythology is covered in Du Mythe au Roman: la Saga de Hadingus (Paris: PUF, last edition 1986); Caucasian mythology in Romans de Scythie et d’Alentour (Paris: Payot, 1988); or Roman religion in La Religion Romaine Archaïque (Paris: Payot, 1987).
  18. Neumann, Erich: The Great Mother pg 330.
  19. Teilhard de Chardin: extracts from “The Spiritual Power of Matter” in Hymn of the Universe pg 60-65.
  20. Barker, Joel: Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future ( )
  21. Ray, Paul and Anderson, Sherry The Cultural Creatives (New York: Harmony Books, 2000)
  22. Private communication by Paul Ray in September 1999.
  23. Ray, Paul H. “The Emerging Culture” American Demographics (Ithaca, New York, 1997) pg 5
  24. Ibid pg. 80.
  25. Ray, Paul and Anderson Sherry Ruth The Cultural Creatives (New York: Harmony Books, 1999) chapter I pg 11-12.
  26. Ibid. pg 74 -75
  27. Ray, Paul The Integral Culture Survey: A Study of the Emergence of Transformational Value in America (Research Monograph sponsored by the Fetzer Institute and the Institute of Noetic Sciences, 1996) pg 5.
  28. Harman, Willis Global Mind Change (New York: Warner Books, 1990) Introduction and, last sentence pg 168 (italics in original).
  29. Mumford, Lewis The Transformations of Man (New York: Harper: 1956)
  30. Williams, Paul Das Energi
  31. Ibidem pg 36
  32. Elgin, Duane and LeDrew, Coleen Global Paradigm Change: Is a Shift Underway? (San Francisco, CA State of the world Forum October 2-6, 1996) pg 20.
  33. Astin, John A. “Why Patients Use Alternative Medicine” Journal of the American Medical Association 279, number 19 (1998) pgs. 1548-1553.
  34. Langone, John “Alternative therapies challenging the mainstream” Time Special Issue Fall 1996 pg 40.
  35. 624 Extracts from a larger table in Ray, Paul and Anderson Sherry Ruth The Cultural Creatives (New York: Harmony Books, 1999) pg. 38
  36. Ray, Paul and Anderson Sherry Ruth The Cultural Creatives (New York: Harmony Books, 1999) chapter I pg 11.
  37. I gladly acknowledge the conception of this graph from conversations with Paul Ray.
  38. Quoted in William Greider The Secrets of the Temple (New York: Touchstone Books, 1987) pg. 230.
  39. The Global Reference Currency proposal (Chapter 6 of The Future of Money) would be such a currency.
  40. Lietaer, Bernard The Rising Importance of Electronic Money: A Challenge to the European Union? (Brussels and Sevilla: A Report to the European Commission’s Forward Studies Unit, Brussels and the Instituto de Prospectiva Tecnológica of Sevilla, Spain) February 1997. See also The Future of Money
  41. Tarnas, Richard: The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View (New York: Ballantine Books, 1991) pg 444-445.
  42. Personal communication in 1998.

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