Sacred Sites as Portals of Time and Triggers of Transformations of Consciousness
By Mark A. Schroll, Ph.D.

Unknown to me until Ullman sent me several of his papers following IASD 2006, was that in his 1979 essay “The Transformation Process in Dreams” he included this figure (see fig 1).

Explaining this figure, Ullman tells us (in a long quote worth repeating): "For some time I had been toying with the idea that what we experienced as a dream had an antecedent history in an event that was beyond time and space ordering, and came upon us in something approaching an instantaneous happening at critical moments in the transformation of one form of consciousness to another.  The onset of the dreaming phase is one such critical modal point.  The black dot at the left in the accompanying figure represents this event.  It may be regarded as a kind of black hole of the psyche containing an enormously condensed information mass.  Since this falls completely outside the realm of our ordinary information processing capacities, it is experienced as ineffable.  We are forced to let it expand, as it were, or unfold and then deal with it in bits and pieces, ordering as best we can in time and space.  These are the visual images that make up the dream as depicted by the various shapes in the figure.  The information is still highly condensed, less so than formerly, and is spread out before us.

A second transformation occurs when we reach the waking state.  Here we try to transform this private experience into a public mode.  This requires a further unfolding of the information contained in the images and the translation of this information into a public medium of exchange, namely language.  Here is where we get into trouble because the  information goes beyond what can be conveyed in a discursive mode.  Much of the information is more readily felt than described.  Moreover, the engagement with the information at a feeling level is an experiment in growth.  That black hole contains within it our personal expanding universe and we do both ourselves and the universe an injustice when we try to reduce it to a play of instincts.  Comments by David Bohm have both provided me with a language fitting to this process, namely, the successive transformation of implicate into explicate, as well as the more important sense of support from another domain, the world of physics, for what is simply an intuitive surmise on my part.  What is implicate at one stage becomes explicate at the next stage through a process of unfolding, and what is explicate at this stage becomes implicate for the next stage." (Ullman: 9, 1979)

Ullman's theoretical speculation of where dreams originate reflects my own view of a fundamental unifying principle that Bohm refers to as the holoflux (see Krippner and Schroll, 2011, this issue.)

Devereux and Sheldrake's Contributions to Understanding Sacred Sites

This brings us to the attempts toward understanding psi's physical basis, especially  the experiments of Harvard biologist William McDougall—whose research assistant was J. B. Rhine.   Likewise Devereux, John Steele, and David Kubrin have made similar discoveries studying sacred sites; among the most important include humankind's need to reawaken the awareness of our geomantic earthmind.  This need for awakening or remembering unites their work in archeopsychology with that of transpersonal psychology and Sheldrake’s concept of morphogenetic fields or M-Fields and morphic resonance.  (See Devereux, 2011, this issue.)

According to Sheldrake, our past behaviors are built up like habits; that is, M-Fields are built up through the repetition of form.  Such repetition can be built up at the physical-chemical level, affecting the structural development of atoms, genes, cells, etc. (Sheldrake, 1985).  M-Fields can also be built up through the repetition of behavior, such as the practice of religious, sacred, or shamanic rituals.  Once an M-Field is built up through repetition, all forms of similar origin can “tune-in” to this field through the process of morphic resonance.  Morphic resonance works on the same basis as physical resonance.  This invariant translation of an energy field into a physical system is the model Sheldrake uses to explain morphic resonance.  Sheldrake's thesis supports the idea that some kind of geomantic earthmind (or collective memory of nature) does exist.

Devereux, Steele, and Kubrin sum up this thesis:

In order to activate the Earth, [with our psychic energies, we] must hold ritual re-enactment’s [sic] of [our] mythical history which regenerates the life force that flows through everything. . . . It is a reciprocal experience, for as [we] remember the land, the land remembers us and thus gives identity to [us].  This mythic recollection reanimates the sacred landscapes by recharging what . . . Sheldrake calls their morphogenetic, or form generating, memory fields.  Sacred attention enhances these fields, for memory is a function of attention. (Devereux, Steel & Kubrin: 10, 1989)

This brings us to the idea of using the methods of certain rituals, in conjunction with sacred places, to amplify these psychic M-Field energies, thereby allowing the sacred living Earth to become reanimated in the cognitive awareness of the participant.  “Participants may,” say Devereux, Steel, and Kubrin, “actually experience a suspension of measured time, when the boundaries between dimensions dissolve” (Devereux, Steel, and Kubrin: 19-20, 1989).  Terence McKenna adds that this geomantic earthmind “wants to be articulated, wants to be recognized as a source of information and as a cohesive being with intentionality” (McKenna, 1988).  But how is it possible, and how can we explain something as fantastic as the awareness of our geomantic earthmind? continues on page 13

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Volume 3, Issue 1, 2011