Tarot Hermeneutics LogoTel: 919-542-5719
Fax: 919-869-1643

Tarot Hermeneutics

Exploring How We Create Meaning with Tarot

The Architecture of the Soul: A Unitive Model of the Human Person: by Albert J. LaChance

The Architecture of the Soul: A Unitive Model of the Human Person:by Albert J. LaChance

Sunday, August 27th, 2006

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

  • Layer 1: The Cognitive Subpsyche
  • Layer 2: The Affective Subpsyche
  • Layer 3: The Instinctual Subpsyche

ZONE Two: Secondary Awareness

  • Layer 1: The Personal Subpsyche
  • Layer 2: The Familial Subpsyche
  • Layer 3: The Cultural Subpsyche

ZONE THREE: Tertiary Awareness

  • Layer 1: The Trans-Primate Psyche
  • Layer 2: The Trans-Mammalian Psyche
  • Layer 3: The Trans-Organic Psyche
  • Layer 4: The Pre-Organic Psyche
  • Layer 5: The Temporal Cosmological Psyche
  • Layer 6: The Pre-Temporal Cosmological Psyche

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:

  1. The cognitive function in humans is inherited from chimpan­zees and developed to its present state.
  2. The affective function in humans is inherited from the mam­mals and is the voice of feeling.
  3. The instinctual function in the human is inherited from the reptiles and provides us with the voice of intuition.

To these three LaChance adds:

  1. The reptiles inherited instinct from all earlier life forms, reach­ing back to the prokaryotic cell, which represents the first flow­ing forth of life from the planet.
  2. Life inherits this wisdom from the self-organizing dynamics of the planet, which are derived from the cosmos itself. The cos­mos comes from the mystery we often call God.

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.


headline 3

insert content here