The Architecture of the Soul: A Unitive Model of the Human Person by Albert J. LaChance (North Atlantic Books) introduces and maps out a model of the human person that represents a new way of interpreting and treating human — and by extension global — dysfunction. Arising from the transpersonal and integral schools of psychology based primarily upon Ken Wilber’s opus, this model provides an alternative to the view of the human person as a product of brain chemistry, whose dysfunctional behavior can be treated through pharmaceuticals and traditional psychology.
Based on the author’s years of clinical
experience treating addiction, the book posits a human psyche
made up of three zones of awareness. The first two are reached
by present-day psychology, focusing on cognitive and affective
disorders, and therapies that treat addictive disorders. The
crucial third zone, called Tertiary Awareness, is the “rudder”
of the human personality that contains deep bio- and eco-wisdoms
that must be brought to consciousness and cultivated. In
explaining how to integrate self and spirit, the author
demonstrates how people must be made aware of this zone if we
are to survive as a species and a planet.
In the following model, LaChance has articulated what he believes to be the major zones of the psyche and their major sub-layers. His model is basic on a combination of evolutionary and cosmological congruities that speak for themselves in his enumeration:
ZONE ONE: Primary Awareness
ZONE Two: Secondary Awareness
ZONE THREE: Tertiary Awareness
What humans, primates, mammals, and reptiles have in common are the instincts. This adequacy the reptiles received from even earlier life forms, including amphibians, fish, insects, jellyfish, worms, and early multicellular and unicellular organisms. Instincts are the basic voices of life, the core of life itself. Instincts provide all life forms with the wisdom they need to survive and proliferate. In the human, instincts provide the voice of intuition, the deepest form of human knowing.
Following triune brain theory, LaChance recognizes:
To these three LaChance adds:
In a profound and real way, there are the “subconscious” mirrors of 1.The Cognitive Subpsyche The Holomind, 2, The Affective Subpsyche The Primal Self The Cosmos As Self and 3, The Instinctual Subpsyche, Instinct and Morality, Instinctual Pathologies. Let us esplore: 1 the Cognitive Subpsyche; its physical corollary is to be found in the primate brain with its rudimentary cognitive cortex. Thus, the cognitive Subpsyche mirrors The Trans-Primate Psyche, The Primal Roots of Familying, The Primal Roots of Emotions, The Primal Roots of Abstraction, Imagination, and Self-Awareness. The Primal Roots of Socio-Political Society. 2 Next Affective Subpsyche; its physical corollary is to be found in the mammalian brain with its ability to feel emotion. Thus, Affective Subpsyche is mirrored “subconsciously” by The Trans-Mammalian Psyche The Dreamers. 3 next is the Instinctual Subpsyche; its physical corollary is to be found in the reptilian brain, which includes evolution from the reptile back to the pre-biological earth. This Instinctual Subpsyche, then, mirrors The Trans-Organic Psyche, Yin and Yang, Extinction and the Trans-Organic Self
The Cognitive Subpsyche, Affective Subpsyche, and Instinctual Subpsyche comprise what LaChance calls Primary Awareness. The Trans-Primate Psyche, The Trans-Mammalian Psyche, The Trans-Organic Psyche, The Pre-Organic Psyche, The Temporal Cosmological Psyche, and The Pre-Temporal Cosmological Psyche comprise what LaChance calls Tertiary Awareness.
Between them, The Personal Subpsyche, The Familial Subpsyche, The Cultural Subpsyche comprise Secondary Awareness, which contains formatting structures that mediate Tertiary Awareness into Primary Awareness, unless repression intervenes. When it does so, a blockage is created between Primary and Tertiary Awareness, thus cutting us off from the depth and richness of our souls. The archetype might remain structurally in the human, but its living corollary is gone. The structure is only the window. It is the living counterpart of the archetype that possesses the actual living dynamic that is constellated in the infra-psychic symbol in the human. Thus, no reptiles, no instincts! No mammals, no feelings! No primates, no cognitive integrity! Disrupt the life community and you disrupt the structural dynamics of the psyche. The brain (to use a mechanistic modern metaphor) is the hardware; the life community is the software.
The architecture of the Soul provides important ways of understanding consciousness as an evolutionary emergent process. I wished his names for the different levels of consciousness were more poetic and less driven by reductive biological evolutionary terms. See the next entry which is a precis about emergence.
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