Archetypal Brain Part I

Archetypal Brain Part I

The human brain is an image, just like all material objects. There seems to be this idea in science that, if we could only understand everything about the brain, all the secrets of human psychology would unveil themselves to us. They will need to think more deeply, for the physical brain has correspondence to that which it mirrors. Only that which it mirrors can bring about true understanding.

Just as the heart has been raised to mythological significance by countless references to its being the center of a human being and even of God, so the brain also has a mythical story to tell. For example, there is the story of “right-brain” and “left-brain.” Of course, seekers of Truth, such as we, are inclined to more right-brain pursuits, since it is simply the right thing to do. And we view left-brain pursuits as if they were the left-hand path of black magic! Yes, I’m getting carried away, but you see how even the brain has a story.

All jesting aside, let’s get down to brass tacks. The brain, from a strictly materialistic point-of-view, is a very complex computer that is the control center of our physical body. We’ve all learned about the various parts of the brain, neurons, the firing of synapses, and so on. That’s all well and good. I’m sure this medical knowledge has helped many people. But that’s not what I’d like to discuss. In my thinking, and the thinking of many, on whose shoulders I stand, all things on the earth mirror higher realities. So, with that in mind, what is the higher reality the human brain is pointing to?

In esoteric teachings, there is an idea of what is known as Adam Kadmon in Kabbalah, or the Pre-Existent Logos in Pauline Christianity, or The Primeval Man in Gnosticism. In Jungian theory, it is Cosmic Man, an archetypal person that shows up in creation myths. We know that humans are The Microcosm in Hermeticism. The Kabbalstic Adam Kadmon corresponds to The Macrocosm.

…this is how the Western esoteric tradition has generally imagined
it. All Neoplatonists, Hermetic philosophers, alchemists and Kabbalists
have asserted that the cosmos is animated by a collective soul which
manifests itself now spiritually, now physically, now – daimonically,
both at once; but which above all holds all phenomena together. It is a
macrocosm, containing all images, daimons, individual souls, including
the human soul. But because it is daimonically contradictory, it can
also be seen as a microcosm – an individual soul containing a profound
collective level, in which we are connected to each other and, indeed,
to all living things (Seeing Things, by Patrick Harpur).

The human brain mirrors the brain of Adam Kadmon, the Cosmic Man. In The Microcosm, the brain is a physical computational interface between Soul and human consciousness. In Adam Kadmon, the brain plays a similar role; it is an informational interface between the World Soul, anima mundi, and the collective consciousness of all humanity. We could call this the “Macrocosmic Brain.” Just as the human brain controls movement and action in the physical body, so, too, does this Macrocosmic Brain act as a control center for movement and action in the collective consciousness of all humankind.

This will be continued, for it is a fertile field for thought, indeed.


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