Anna Lourd Victoria Wong Villanueva

Silliman University, Psychology 86-B
Special Topics, Evolution of Consciousness
Fred Abraham, Professor

  "The Ramayana is one of the two great epic stories of India, the other being the tale of the Pandavas and Kuravas, which is the core of the vast cyclopedia that is the Mahabharata. Whereas there is much added material, much digression and repetition in the latter book, this is a straightforward, sequential, romantic tale, composed by one person, though others have added to it and elaborated it. It is a poem of 24,000 couplets, about a quarter as long as the Mahabharata.. It is widely read in northern India from the time of its writing to the present day. It is heartening, too, at the present time, when moral and spiritual values are largely disregarded and scoffed at, to realize that virtue and nobility are cherished beyond all things and held fast in the hearts of men, both in the East and in the West. The monkeys, who also form such an important and lovable part of the story, are supposed by scholars to have been a friendly tribe of people who inhabited the enormous forests of central India, far less civilized than the Aryans, still fighting with clubs and stones, not yet using the bow and arrow. And the demons were probably an alien race, established on Ceylon and beginning to invade the southern mainland, who were more civilized but more savage than the forest tribes. The Ramayana is a gospel, whose teachings, mostly personified in its principal characters, have been and are now as important as any other of the Hindu scriptures. This idea, of course, entered into and dominated the story long after its inception, as Rama and Sita became more and more loved and admired, as their fame increased, and as the tale, learned by one storyteller from another, told by one generation to the next, was elaborated until it reached its final form. Rama and Sita are ideal man and woman, the examples that are held before the vision of Indian boys and girls, men and women. This unbroken religious tradition, from the earliest times to the present day, is strange to us of the West, for our own tradition was broken irrevocably by the powerful entry of Christianity into Europe from Asia. Sita wore a sari, the same beautiful garment that Indian women wear today. The Indian people live on the same ground that was trodden by their heroes. This has never ceased to be a vital part of daily life. It is told by mothers to their children, by storytellers to rapt, illiterate listeners in towns and villages. This is held during September and October. It seems extraordinary that after centuries of intercourse between East and West a writing of such importance to so many people should be unknown, except to very few, in Europe and America.Yet it is part of our own culture, if we wish to look beyond the Aryan migration into Europe. Besides the pure enjoyment we may gain from the artistry of the story, it behooves us to know the vital elements of the culture of India. Whatever leads to increased understanding between the peoples of the world, to increased delight in each other’s unique gifts, should lead to truer unity. However, to bring these great stories to the attention of Western readers may increase that understanding.

"(To fill out the chapter I have borrowed the lovely story of Savitri from Mahabharata, justified, I hope, by the fact that Sita said to Rama that she would follow him as Savitri followed her husband. To explain the purpose of the ascetics’ life in the forest I have borrowed, again from the Mahabharata, an explanation of the search for God.)"



It was a great story, I did learn something from it [1]. What I don't like in it, was that the author emphasized that "The mess of History is all woman's fault". I don't agree with this statement, because not only is woman behind every man's success, but even more, women are equal to men. Woman is not the cause of the world's mess, war and other unsolvable problems that happen in this world. Why is it like this? Eve was tempted by satan to eat the apple who in turn gave it to Adam. So, they became sinners in this world, just like Sita who was tempted, too, by a deceitful holy man named Ravana. That's why there are wars, blood shed, hatred, jealousy, lust and other evils. I think we should consider that we are not like God. Also if they had not committed a sin, there would be no challenge. What I mean is, that today we can't suffer pain and other side of happiness. We'll not be able to know how to ask forgiveness from God and our fellow men. I think it is in His hand that the world will be like this and He will know who are these people that are doing good and bad.

Why is it "God is man-like, or human-like or not" a controversial issue among different religious groups? I did not say that I’m against or for any of the various points of view. I do respect their various beliefs and views about God. I do hope that they can have their answers already, so that they will not quarrel each other and they will live in harmony as we, too. [Dr. A says that this is a major point of Dostoevsky's great work, Chap. V, part V, "The Grand Inquisitor" from The Brothers Karamozov.]


As I read, I noticed that evolution of consciousness was very important. Almost all the authors of the books I read (including our text) focused on this. In Jerison, it is for self-awareness, self-consciousness, awareness of reality, and therefore we are knowers - we have minds. In Calvin, there is a theory for what goes on, that hidden from view by the glare of waking mental operations, there are neural processes that produce our peculiarly human type of consciousness with its versatile Intelligence. Also, during our waking hours, they might be better shaped up in a Darwinian manner, and only the more realistic ones might normally reach "consciousness". Here, evolution of consciousness follows stages on how an individual develops (body, mind and other behavioral processes), just like Piaget's developmental stages which is from simple to complex, like the evolution of mind-consciousness. According to Lumsden and Wilson, in a world growing steadily more complicated and dangerous, the alternatives are not promising. A society that chooses to ignore the existence of the innate epigenetic rules will nevertheless continue to navigate by them and at each moment of decision, yielding to their dictates by default. It will continue to live by the "conscience" of its members and by "God's will". People who know human nature in this way are more likely to agree on universal goals within the constraints of that nature and recognize absolute ethical truths, if such can be shown to exist. Then, they can employ knowledge of the rules to guide individual behaviors and cultural evolution to the ends on which their members may someday agree. It shows that an individual is unique, like these people they have their own way of discussing evolution of mind-brain-consciousness. I do agree with them. If we put them together, there is only one main idea , but they have different ideas, views, opinions about this.

We can refer this story to our life. We humans sometimes are tempted by this satan and we will do bad things that will make God angry and sad. Just like this "balita" (news), recently, in Bagacay there was this massacre, a muslim woman killed her own three little children aged 5, 4, and 2, because she and her husband quarreled over a petty problem. According to the witnesses, it was the husband's fault, because he maltreated his wife (tied her on one post under the heat of the sun and did not gave her any food). So, what happened was, she murdered her children and slashed her husband one morning. She did this because of rage, anger, hatred and according to the others, she was possessed by an evil spirit because of her behavior. Fortunately, her husband is alive. This is one example that I can relate with Ramayana story, but the difference is, this is reality while in Ramayana it is just a belief, folklore.

Can it be true, if Jerison is right in claiming that the brain evolved for the reconstruction of reality so that we can maneuver and survive in our environment, that those same brain capacities can sustain the remarkable evolution of thought and being for Thompson's Coming Into Being?Can chaos theory be applied in here? Yes, according to Dr. A., especially in using terms like "bifurcation" which come from chaos theory. Thompson also notes that human culture has had too orderly a geometric and hierarchical, more Confucian than Toaist, nature for much of the past 6,000 years, just what we have seen in chaos video that the new geometry can express the complexity of our interactive universe and the attractors and fractals can remind us of the beauty of order within disorder in nature. Again, by combining the Western psychological, philosophical and social emphasis on surrender of self to the cosmos, this tension of co-creative opposites is emphasized. The warrior image, while representing the masculine or animus or dominator part of the psyche, has been used from time immemorial to describe and emphasize metaphorically the anima-animus struggle in the unity and co-creativity from the process of the interplay of oppositions. Heraclitus used the warriors bow and arrow for his discussion of unity from opposites, and Bhuddism uses the warrior image as well.

Today, Ramayana is still existing only to those people who believe this…………..!


in which God is really a man or He created man as well as man created God. Beneath us is the hell and above us is the heavenly realm but mediating between matter and spirit is the intermediate realm which is called the COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS by Carl Jung or what the Theosophists called as the ASTRAL PLANE which is the disincarnate realm of dead humans, demons,and spirit of nature and mind. People think that these simply don't exist and these are supposed to be from a pre-scientific time when most people were peasants and supertitious. Now,there's science and modern technology, so people know better. - Thanks to Jungian psychology, we can call these beings "projections" and feel safe and secure secure that everything in the universe comes from our own great human collective unconscious. The world of psychology is a comfort, it gives a way of denying or explaining away the ontology of evil and the demonic. The trouble is we encounter a weird world of superstitious beliefs in which all kinds of stuff we never see is said to exist. Like the Homeric epics or the Arthurian cycle, it is an accretive work of the centuries to which many poets and singers of tales have contributed. It is a cosmological fairy tale and a parable about the dutiful son and the faithful wife, from a point of view both affirms the traditional male social structure ( Sita is an example to all women, the wife of Rama, one time she acts like a silly, irrational woman and does not listen to her brother in-law, she gets herself and everybody into a lot of trouble. So whether we are ancient Hebrews or Indians, the mess of History is all woman's fault).

When humans slip out of the determinacy of their physical bodies in dream, the demons appear to consume the hermits and psychedelic wandering beggar. Ramayana is an earlier version of the relationship of men and demons presented in the Cabala and the Koran. It is another vision of the cosmological relationship between creatures made of light and creatures made out of matter. It is wonderful fossil that tells the story of the evolution of consciousness . ( It is extremely important for our time because we are at the end of Rama's period of the stabilization of the physical plane or human beings.The evolutionary crisis of our time is the disintegration of the physical plane and the animal body as the vehicle for the incarnation of human beings.). People unconsciously pick up on the cultural of a technology and try to express the invisible environment in various ways, whether it is through paranoia or mystical visions or religious cosmologies of one sort or another. But all these parables of extraterrestrial invasion and genetic experiments on sleeping humans are really a paranoid narrative that renders visible the invisible environment. The body is being snatched and invaded and the body of the planets, the integrity of the biosphere is also being invaded and becoming threadbare.

In the spiritual evolution of consciousness there are three stages of transformation: illumination, initiation and enlightenment. First, has locus of action in the etheric body, the familiar condition of the awakening of Kundalini, the opening of the 3rd eye and the discovery of the whole system of chakras in the etheric body.

It is a very difficult and rocky time of confrontation with the shadow, preconscious and unconscious as companions to the first experience of the super conscious. Second, is in the astral body. The colleague that emerges in the field of our astral body is what Jung called the contrasexual anima-animus. This interior feminine modality of consciousness is, however not a single being, but rather a dual one and often appears in the man's psychic life in both modality. In Christian terms, one can think of this divine emanation as the twoMarys- Mary the universal mother, and the Mary Magdalene the initiatic consort. In Hinduism, this dyadic modality is expressed as the cosmic wife of diety, the creative force of the universe and the individual tantric shakti the initiatic consort to one's yogic practice. In the process of enlightenment, the astral plane, that glorious world of imaginative perception and deception is consumed in a light that dissolves all imagery and mediated forms of knowing. It is a truism of history, that when something is about to disappear, it has its most brilliant sonnet. So humanity is not flushing out its tanks and all this astral gas is out there in public where we can take a good look at it. As we move toward the end of the millennium, we are witness this explosion of the collective unconscious in new forms of astrality that are coming out of electronic technologies, virtual-reality and the new "brain food" of neuroreceptor drugs. So, the Ramayana is an ancient text that, in the turn of the historical spiral, offers us an insight into or post-historic world.


What are these collective unconscious, shadow, anima-animus? Do we all know these things? Are we aware of these? Remember we should know this stuff because they are some of the things that contribute to our personality. That's why I would like to introduce to you ,Carl Gustav Jung.. He is a well-known personality theorist; his theory being known as "Analytic Theory".

Now, those things that I have said a while ago are his structure of personality. He, as many other theorists we may call unique in their field, has his own characterization of the structure of personality, or the psyche as he calls it. According to him, the total personality or psyche, consists of differentiated but interacting systems. The principal ones are the ego, the personal unconscious and its complexes, the collective unconscious and its archetypes, the persona, the anima and animus and the shadow. In addition to these interdependent systems there are the attitudes of intro and extroversion, and the functions of thinking feeling, sensing and intuiting. Finally, there is the self which is the center of the whole personality.

With no farther ado, I would like to discuss the collective unconscious and its archetype, the anima and animus, and the shadow of Jung because of its relevance to providing an understanding of the Ramayana, and to an interpretation of the evolution of consciousness.

The concept of a collective or transpersonal unconscious is one of the most original and controversial features of his personality theory. It is the most powerful and influential system of the psyche, and in pathological cases overshadows the ego and personal unconscious (Jung 1936-43-45). It is the storehouse of latent memory traces inherited from one's ancestral past, a past that includes not only the racial history and humans as a separate species but their pre-human or animal ancestry as well. It is the psychic residue of human evolutionary development, a residue that accumulates as a consequence of repeated experiences over many generations. He attributes the universality of the collective unconscious to the similarity of the structure of the brain in all races of humans and this similarity in turn is due to a common evolution. To deny the inheritance of these primordial memories, he asserts, is to deny the evolution and inheritance of the brain. What a person learns as a result of experiences is influenced by the collective unconscious that exercises a selective influence over the behavior of the person from the very beginning of life.

"The form of the world into which he is born is already inborn in him as a virtual image" The virtual image becomes a concrete perception by identifying itself with objects in the world that correspond to the image. The two unconscious regions of the mind, the personal and collective, can be of immense service to humans.

The archetypes is a universal thought form that contains a large element of emotion. This form creates images or visions that correspond in normal waking life to some aspect of the conscious situation. How does an archetype originate? Humans have been exposed throughout their existence to innumerable instances of great natural forces - earthquakes, floods, and so forth. They are driven by this archetype to seek new source of energies. Berger (1977) has suggested that archetypes are the human equivalents of feature detectors which have recently been discovered in lower animals. For example, in Hitler, there is a fusion of the demon and hero archetypes so that one gets a satanic leader. Myths, dreams, visions, rituals and others contain a great deal of archetypal material, and constitute knowledge as the best source.

The anima and animus is fairly well recognized and it is generally accepted that a human is essentially a bisexual animal. Not only do these cause each sex to manifest characteristics of the other sex but they also act as collective images that motivate each sex to respond to and understand members of the other sex. There has to be a compromise between these two in order for the person to be reasonably well adjusted.

The shadow consists of the animal instincts that humans inherited in their evolution from lower forms of life. This is the animal side of human nature. It is responsible for our conception of original sin, when it is projected outward it becomes the devil or an enemy.

We should remember that if our consciousness evolved or developed, this means that we have awareness from self-consciousness, the knowledge that we are knowers - we have minds.

Therefore, many unusual specialized adaptations have appeared in the course of evolution in connection with the evolution of information processing with respect to the external world, and in mammals most of these almost certainly involved aspects of mind, such as awareness of reality. Human language is one such specialized adaptation, and according to Jerison's analysis it is the explanation for the unusual human experience of self-consciousness, that is, again, of the awareness that we are aware and that we are knowers - that we have minds.

To sum it all up, the evolution of consciousness evolved since the beginning of the universe. In its religious aspect, it's point of view - during Biblical times, while in evolutionists' point of view - during the pre-historic era (Homo…). So, when our consciousness evolved from time to time, from simple to complex, then we became knowers, acquired awareness, self-consciousness, self-knowledge. We have minds.

"We were created by God in his own image" - Genesis

[Teacher's note: But in Genesis, God also forbids us some aspects of that image, yes? Great paper, a lot of work, a lot of cross-referencing our material, plus you brought in a lot of other reading and research as well. A well-deserved A+.]


Fred Abraham, The Global Barkada and the Evolution of Consciousness. Unpublished manuscript, 1997.

R. Berger, Psychosis: The circularity of experience, Freeman, 1977.

William H. Calvin, The Cebebral Code. Mit, 1996.

Natalia Corcuera, Ramayana: Synopsis, personal communication, internet educational cooperation project. Thnnks to Rosalina Cantu, coordinator, Mexico City.

Calvin S. Hall and Gardner Lindzey, Theories of Personality. 1990.

Harry J. Jerison. Brain Size and the Evolution of Mind. American Museum of Natural History, 1991.

Delia Limpingco and Geraldine Tria, Personality. Ken Incorporated, Quezon City, 1990.

Charles J. Lumsden and Edward O. Wilson, Promethean Fire. Harvard, 1983.

Elizabeth Seeger, Ranamaya. William R. Scott, 1966.

William Irwin Thompson, Coming Into Being. St Martin's, 1996.
Footnote [1] 

It was a hectic week, and here's Intrams fast approaching and doing my duty as an S.A.(doing run-errands), forgetting my assignments, projects and others. However, I did not forget reading pocketbooks. When Dr. A. went to the office, I remembered that I have a project in my major subject which is Psych.86, to be passed in Dec. 2,1997. So what I did was, I went to the library and xeroxed the pages that captured my attention and my interest. I did not know why I chose Ramayana. As I read the subtitle, my forehead seemed to shrink because I did not understood what it says. What I did was read and read and read just like you try and try and try until you succeed. I'm not sure if I will succeed in the end. What I prayed for was that I could finish my project with a succesful outcome from my own "hinaguan". I will do my very best to have a good project. So, I read everynight…… [fda: Your hard work is clearly evident in this outstanding "project".]

[picture at right adapted from Seeger, 1966.]