"The Choreography of the Soul": Recursive Patterns in Psychology, Political Anthropology and Cosmology

Dissertation, State University of New York at Stony Brook (1988)
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The component structures of two distinct neuropsychological systems are described. "System-Y" depends upon "system-X" which, on the other hand, can operate independently of system-Y. System-X provides a matrix upon which system-Y must operate, and, system-Y is transformed by the operations of system-X. In addition these neuropsychological structures reverberate in political history and in the cosmos. The most fundamental structure in the soul, in society, and in the cosmos, has the form of a conical spiral. It can be described mathematically as an harmonic system and mythologically in terms of the birth, marriage and death of the divine-king. ;System-Y corresponds to the neocortex. System-X corresponds to the region below the cortex including the limbic brain. Many of the essential structures of system-Y are captured by Plato's image of the helmsman: orientation, locomotion, manual control and dexterity, visual guidance, verbal command, intention, and volition. System-X on the other hand has been systematically neglected by Western culture, beginning with Plato. ;The dissertation builds upon Yakovlev's distinction between "teleokinesis," "ectokinesis" and "endokinesis." "Teleokinesis" refers to goal-directed action in external space, and belongs to system-Y. Ectokinesis and endokinesis are components of system-X. "Endokinesis" refers to movements within the body. "Ectokinesis" refers to the emotions, which are expressions of endokinesis. The mechanics of ectokinesis is that of an harmonic or vibrational system, as is the mechanics of a musical instrument. ;Within a trance the structure of system-Y is temporarily altered, such that system-X enters the foreground of awareness. Because ectokinesis is analogous to music cultures inspired by trance experience understand the universe in terms of music. The structure of ectokinesis in a trance is that of a conical spiral. Plato inherited the mystical traditions of the ancient Near East but replaced the spiral of emotions with a spiral of ideas , by understanding the axis of the cone as the paradigmatic dimension, and the angular rotation of the spiral as the syntagmatic dimension, of language. Finally I explain how the mythology and political structure of theocratic society imitated the neuropsychological structures of trance experience

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Ed D'Angelo
State University of New York, Stony Brook (PhD)


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