Reuniting Psyche with Cosmos: Opening the Archetypal Eye

green-man“We are the cosmos made conscious and life is the means by which the universe understands itself.” – Brian Cox

We are not born into the world; we are born of it. We are of the earth, born out of her. Adam means “red earth” implying that man is bound to the earth by blood. Similarly, “human” refers to humus, which takes us back to the soil. The Incan word for “human body” was alpa camasca, which means literally, “animated earth.” Everything about our bodies, from bones to ovaries, is a part of the earth.

Only superficially can we separate cosmos from psyche. The problem is we have given into this superficiality. The only way to break our servitude to the superficial is to reawaken our primordial self and renew our connection to the prima materia, the formless void preceding the perceptual split of psyche and cosmos. We must reunite the human soul with cosmic nature.

Bill Plotkin said, “When we become alienated from soul – our inner nature – we lose respect for outer nature, resulting in the pollution and degradation of the environment.” This is the quintessential hypocrisy of nature and the human soul: that we are born from nature and yet we must transcend it, or perish.

Since the dawn of mankind we have struggled against a hostile world. Human beings are rather inadequate animals, aside from one dramatically unique thing: a very large frontal lobe.

This is the only thing that has gotten us where we are today; a species that seems hell-bent on destroying its own world.

It’s almost a catch-22. We could easily use the excuse that we need to keep controlling nature or we die. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

8359056491_3b5aff379c_cThe very thing that got us into this mess, the frontal lobe, is the very thing that can get us out of it, and back to a healthy equilibrium with the biosphere.

Through meditation practice we become more adept at adapting. We become more adept at seeing reality the way it is: interconnected.

With enough practice we come to discover that our third-eye, the frontal lobe, the ajna chakra, has been closed off to the heart.

With even more practice we get to a point where new strategies for living in the world become manifest: Instead of controlling nature, let us have a relationship with her.

Instead of consuming everything around us, let us seek moderation in our appetites and regain a sense of sharing. Instead of rampant competitiveness and expropriation, let us embrace moralistic compassion and lean towards a healthy equilibrium with our environment. Like Allan Watts said, “Nature is always differentiated unity, not unified differences.”

“Man,” wrote Blaise Pascal, “is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges as the infinity in which he is engulfed.” Indeed.

But perhaps through meditation and the opening of the third eye –what James Hillman described as the “archetypal eye,” that implicit form of intuitive intelligence that is capable of recognizing the rich synergy of patterns at work in both the subjective-microcosm of the individual and the objective-macrocosm of the cosmos – we can turn the tables on our incapacity for seeing reality the way it truly is.

When the archetypal eye opens, we see that the cosmos is constantly interrogating itself through random mutation and impermanent change. We see that God is interrogating herself. We come to realize that we are not merely a speck in the cosmos; we are the entire cosmos in a speck.


At the end of the day, God questioning herself to the limit is you, and you questioning yourself to the limit is God. We are not merely egos in bags of skin that need to be force-fed the divine, rather we are walking aspects of cosmos.

We are God. Not only is this disposition beyond theology and ideology, it is beyond atheism and nihilism; it is beyond good and evil.

It brings us to a transcendence of meaninglessness and absurdity, and into a state of uncertain gaiety and a unity with all things that is meaningful and humorous in itself. The question is can we get the majority of us aware of this unity before it’s too late.

Alan Watts speaking on the state of the world and what is wrong with our culture –

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Gary Z McGee
Gary Z McGee
Gary 'Z' McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.