chapter  18
7 Pages

Ritual and consciousness in the Mesolithic

We are constructing a history of consciousness in order to ascertain whether Jung’s intuitions of a century ago were correct. He looked back two millennia into our European past and saw that we have spent the past 2000 years building an ego and divorcing ourselves from our collective unconscious. In doing so, we have created a new task for ourselves: fi nding a way to integrate our conscious rationality with the “irrational” (unconscious) wisdom of our race, to which we can gain access through altered states of consciousness. Recent discoveries in archaeology allow us to go further back into the past, even into primate evolution, to paint a more complete picture than the one Jung had at his disposal. Thus we are able to place the question of ego-development into a much larger context than he knew.