Jean Gebser (1905-1973) was a philosopher, poet, and phenomenologist of consciousness who is best known for The Ever-Present Origin (Ursprung und Gegenwart, 1949). Writing in the midcentury during a period of intense cultural transformation and crisis in Europe, Gebser intuited a series of mutational leaps in the history of human consciousness, the latest of which emerging was the “integral” structure, marked by the presence of time-freedom. Gebser’s insights on the phenomenology of human consciousness has brought profound intellectual depth and spiritual transmission to the field of integral philosophy and consciousness studies, influencing the works of American historians such as William Irwin Thompson and the philosopher Ken Wilber. Further syncretic corroboration links Gebser’s integral age to those of the Indian revolutionary and yogi Sri Aurobindo’s “integral yoga” and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s evolutionary mysticism. As William Irwin Thompson writes, “Gebser was a brilliantly intuitive mystic with a profound understanding of poetry and art,” and that The Ever-Present Origin is, “the kind of book that changed one’s life.”
Georg Feuerstein, Gebser’s colleague and friend, wrote that, “Socratic spirits like Gebser typically live before their time… perhaps the present climate is more receptive to Gebser’s arguments.” This course provides a guide not only to Gebser’s magnum opus but its relevance for our time, offered by a scholar who has spent the last decade working with The Ever-Present Origin and an integral aperspectival approach to thinking about cultural evolution.
Knowing that this book is what Jeremy calls a “catalytic reading,” this course has been designed to be a rich, multimedia learning environment emphasizing a phenomenological encounter with the structures of consciousness. We will host nine live Q&A calls (bi-weekly), eight pre-recorded lectures (audio and video), and suggested experiential and contemplative practices. Live discussions will emphasize student integration—application—of the concepts that Gebser is putting forth in the book to their own experiences of time and space and perceptions of art and culture.
The aim of this course is to introduce Jean Gebser’s primary text, Ever-Present Origin (Ursprung und Gegenwart) to scholars, artists, and integral practitioners. The class will consist of twelve weeks reading through the text (Part One, Foundations, and Two, Manifestations), drawing from the aid of secondary sources, recommended readings, additional translations, and multimedia lectures provided by your instructor. Bi-weekly discussion group sessions are hosted live on Zoom Meetings every other Saturday until the completion of the course. A Class Portal, which houses all course materials, and a Class Forum, where students can engage between the sessions, will also be made available.
“This book has been written in such a way to require a certain participation in the reader. Anyone who takes to heart the solution to our problems, and who has not forgotten that we partake every moment of our lives in the originary powers of an ultimately spiritual nature, will be willing to participate in this task.”
- Jean Gebser
ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTOR
Jeremy Johnson, MA, is a scholar, writer, and editor for Revelore Press and founder of Nura Learning. He received his masters in Consciousness Studies from Goddard College, where he studied the intersections of media ecology, the structures of consciousness and depth psychology. He is the author of Seeing Through the World: Jean Gebser and Integral Consciousness (2018)and an editor for Mutations: Art, Consciousness and the Anthropocene(2019). Jeremy is the current president of the International Jean Gebser Society. His writing has been featured in OMNI, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine, Kosmos Journal, Integral Leadership Review, Evolve Magazine, and Evolve and Ascend. Find out more on his website, Twitter, or Patreon pages.