Trusting Chaos

Trusting Chaos in Personal
Growth and World Life

A lecture-workshop with John Dotson

Chaos theory, quantum physics, and analytical psychology provide portals for new awareness both of the processes of personal growth and of changes in world life. In this Friday lecture and Saturday workshop, participants will gain access to the theories of chaos psychology and their practical application in everyday experience. The modeling will incorporate also the five structures of consciousness—archaic, magical, mythic, mental, and integral—as described by Carl Jung's friend and associate Jean Gebser.

In our mental consciousness of everyday life, the experience of <CHAOS> is generally viewed as irrational and negative—paired with <ORDER> as a rational and positive opposite. Chaos is bad, the threat, the enemy, and the demonic. Order is good, the ideal, the ally, and the sanctified.

However, in mythic consciousness—as we know in our dreams—Chaos is ever-present as the primordial animating principle. In mythic consciousness, there is no creation without destruction. States of order are largely regarded as transient or even as interludes in the on-going drama of nature and human nature.

With magical consciousness, chaosorder states mutually interphase and interpenetrate in fields of volatile energies without consistent distinctions. In alchemical work, the Prima Materia can be described as the sacred chaos that includes the shadow.

In the realm of the archaic, it is as valid to say All is chaos as it is to say All is order. In quantum understanding, the potentialities of existence are smooth and continuous, while any actuality emerges only as a discontinuity.

With integral consciousness, that is, individuation, the experience of opposites such as <chaos/ order> is the very archetypal patterning of soul's emergence in the world. Soul's journey advances through holding the opposites until the transcendent function allows symbols of transformation to emerge. With integral consciousness, all opposites, including <chaos/order> are apprehended transparently. Individual wholeness is radically interconnected with the experience of the living Universe—the One World, Unus mundus.

A tenet of chaos theory is that "chaos connects." Among many valuable observations, the theory opens more widely the notion that Jung and quantum physicist Wolfgang Paoli described as synchronicity or acausality—connections without causes.

With access to the highly useful tools of chaos theory and the integral consciousness model, participants in this event will be guided through personal (and private) exercises. By using active imagination, each participant should gather new awareness of archetypal processes—and life processes—as analinear dynamical systems that can be trusted.

Friday, June 7, 7:00 P.M.

Deconstructing mental-rational conceptions of [ CHAOS ]
Collapsing ego-systems and missing information
Chaos connects.

Origin and five structures of consciousness (Jean Gebser):
Ever-present origin: archaic, magical, mythic, mental, integral
The spiral map

Chaos and ...
Archetypal attractors
The transcendent function
The feminine
The stages of life
Alchemical practice
Wisdom traditions

iminalities and limits
Entropy and exhaustion
Synchronicities of shadow
T rust the chaotic process

Saturday, June 8, 10 A.M.—3 P.M.

Sketching personal concepts of chaos
Mapping chaotic experiences and archetypal attractors
Integrating shadow: working through the missing information
Affirming the negative: bridges and portals