Seeing Through the World: Transparency and Planetization

Jean Gebser (1905-1973) was a German philosopher, poet, and phenomenologist of consciousness. He is best known in the English-speaking world for The Ever-Present Origin(1949/1953), a masterful work of philosophical scholarship detailing a series of structural transformations in human consciousness. These leaps, or “mutations”, between structures often coincided with the simultaneous breakdown of deficient mentalities and the creative resurgence of new, spiritual qualities in humanity. Our present world anticipates a dramatic leap into the new, integral structure, which is noted for its quality of a-perspectivalism and seeing through and behind things. Only through transparency can the ever-presence of origin be perceived.


In Jean Gebser’s body of work, the principle of transparency is a unique expression of the emerging integral world. The nascent, integral structure of consciousness, which Gebser believed was well underway during his lifetime, could be identified by its spiritual capacity to render the world transparent, to shine through (durchscheinen) to its originary and primordial powers. The effect this would have on the previously realized structures of consciousness would be to render them diaphanous in both its dark aspects (the magic and mythic ontologies) as well as its light aspects (the mental-rational ontology). The synonyms clarity and lucidity were also provided by Gebser as qualitative descriptors—found in both the arts, through poets like Rilke, or the sciences, through physicists like Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg with the discoveries in quantum mechanics—to further elucidate the integral structure.

For the 47th annual Jean Gebser Society conference, we ask our presenters to examine the question of transparency. What is the nature of transparency? In what ways has transparency manifested in our present world? What are its challenges and complexities? How might this quality be assessed in both the humanities and the sciences in the decades following The Ever-Present Origin’s publication? How have planetary-scaled phenomena, like climate change and the ecological crisis, or communication revolutions, like New Media and the internet, furthered and complicated our understanding? To what degree does transparency reveal both the efficient and deficient manifestations of globalization?

Presenters will consider the direct, phenomenological implications of transparency. Alongside scholarly and scientific studies, contributions from the arts, such as music, experimental cinema, and poetry, are also included.

Read more about the conference and register here.



10 AM
Society President, Jeremy Johnson
Vice President, Sabrina Dalla Valle
Peter Weston, “A Brief Primer on Teilhard de Chardin’s Concept of Planetization”

11 AM
Robert Mitchell, “Gebser, Neumann, Jung, Correlating Integrality and Individuation”

Judy B. Gardiner, “From Fragmentation to Wholeness as Seen Through the Collective Unconscious”


2:30 PM
Brandt Stickley, “The Fire and the Rose are One: Diaphaneity and the Phenomenology of Fire”

3:20 PM
Jessie Shaw, “Transparency, Healing Through the Omission of Time”

4:10 PM
Nicholas Brink, “Experiencing Time-Free Transparency”

5 PM
Jeremy Johnson, “Integrality as Waring Through: Mythical and Magical Restructuration in Planetary Culture”

5:50 PM

6 PM 

6:30 PM
Society Meeting Over Dinner, Location TBA


9:10 AM
Glenn Aparacio Parry, “Trump in the Age of Transparency”

10:00 AM
Aaron Cheak, “The Angel of Winter”

10:50 AM
Cordula Frei, “Free Improvisation on Isha Schwaller de Lubizc’s The Opening of the Way.”

Vocal intonation and poetic improvisation by Cordula Frei Embodied Art by Anna Litwak
Filming Art Design by Aaron Bolte

Film viewing and discussion.

11:40 AM
Lisa Maroski, “Expressing Transparency Transparently: Challenges for Opaque Language Structures”

12:30-2:30 PM

2:30 AM
Andrew Venezia, “Transparent Self, Trans-Symbolic Meaning”

3:20 PM
Mirco A. Mannucci, “Sendivogius Mirror; The Integral Space-Time Octave”

4:10 PM
Heiner Benking, “Concreteness in Integral Worlds”

5 PM
David Zuckerman, “Nationalism and the Politics of Transparency”

5:50 PM
Closing Notes

6 PM

7 PM
Social Dinner


10 AM
Daffi Nathanson, “Psychedelic Psychotronics,”

Film and commentary.

10:50 AM
John Dotson, “How do we Move Manhattan? A Ballad of Transparent Temporics on Mannahatta, the Island at the Center of the World”

11:40 AM
Donna Schill, “Playing with the concepts of transparency and structure (of consciousness)”. 

Exhibit viewing and discussion.

12 PM
Sabrina Dalla Valle, “The Death of Man: At the Beach”



Register here.

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Written by Jeremy Johnson
Author Jeremy D Johnson is a founding editor for Liminal, and Editor of Philosophies at Revelore Press. He is a writer, consciousness studies researcher, and speaker exploring integral futurism and cultural evolution. Jeremy is the current president of the International Jean Gebser Society, and author of Seeing Through the World: Jean Gebser and Integral Consciousness. He is currently working on his next book, entitled Fragments of an Integral Futurism (2019).
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