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The Pleromatic Self



  • cognative style - absolute adualism; objectless, spaceless, protoplasmic
  • affective atmosphere - total oceanic, unconditional (illusory) omnipotence, pleromatic paradise
  • conative or motovational almost entirely absent, desireless, factors - choiceless
  • temporal mode - timeless, pre-temporal
  • mode of self - oceanic, protoplasmic, materia prima


It is my thesis that Ken is here projecting on the ontological development of the child a mythological cosmology of pre-physical descent. All this constitutes a valid (but misinterpreted) esoteric and occult truth, but has no relevance at all to human development, the early stone age mind, animal consciousness, the reptilian brain, the physical body, or any of the other mis-matched chains of correspondences associated with this stage. Let us now consider some descriptions of this state (for convenience I have copied and pasted from Combs external link Sensorimotor texts)

"The self is "pleromatic", as the alchemists and gnostics would put it, which essentially means that the self and the material cosmos are undifferentiated. The self is embedded in the materia prima, which is both the primal chaos of physical matter and the maternal matrix or Prakriti from whence all creation was fashioned."
Link to Amazon com Atman Project pg.7

and

'The infantile fusion state is indeed a type of paradise as we will see, but it is one of prepersonal ignorance not transpersonal awakening. The true nature of the prepersonal, infantile fusion state did not actually dawn on me until I ran across Piaget's description of it " The self at this stage is material, so to speaků..'297 And material union is , as we will see the lowest unity of all, there is nothing metaphysically 'high' about it; the fact that it is a unity structure, prior to subject-object differentiation, erroneously invites its identification with the truly higher unity structures which are trans-subject/object.
Link to Amazon com Atman Project pg.xvii

All this is typical of the error made by Wilber and others, which confuses a cosmo-mythological state such as described by the Theosophists and Anthroposophists with an actual ontologenic (developmental) state. For a very different view of the prenatal mind, one backed by experimental evidence, see external link Brent Logan, Link to Amazon com Learning Before Birth. See also external link Stan Grof's accounts of Perinatal states (although these are more unreliable because based on the adult memory and hence prone to distortion

In more recent formulations, the Pleromatic Self, along with the Uroboric, is included as the Sensory-Motor level or stage, but as far as I know this confusion of mythopoeic involution and developmental ontogeny is retained (if I am mistaken here, please contact me, as I want this material to be as accurate as possible)





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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 13 December 1999, last modified 8 July 2004