Journal of Conscious Evolution


MacQueen, Kim


This paper supports the position that the arts have the capacity not only to give us information intellectually about the evolution of the human endowment of consciousness, but can also evoke a felt sense of previous stages and anticipate transitions and emerging stages. In this paper I give examples of artworks that suggest each stage of the evolution described in the writings of Jean Gebser. For purposes of this paper the artworks are limited to visual arts and sculpture. I think that much of humankind’s vast historical and multicultural endowment of the arts can remind us of previous periods of development as well as assist in our appreciation for and integration of previous stages of consciousness while incorporating the emerging stage of integral structure of consciousness. Gebser writes, “Only when they (all the structures) are integrated via a concretion can they become transparent in their entirety and present, or diaphanous (and are not, of course, merely illuminated by the mind). (Gebser, 1984, p. 99). I believe that works of art can facilitate that concretion and integration of previous structures, and play a critical role in the emergence of an integral structure of consciousness.