Creativity: The Integral Journey (CUL 308)

Creativity: The Integral Journey (CUL 308)


Course Description

Everything that we create has a culture that communicates meaning at some level.  This course challenges students to examine culture not as an expression of regionalism of ethos, but of distinct, universal patterns of awareness: archaic, magical, mythic, mental, culminating in the integral experience.  Following this theoretical purview of cultural philosopher Jean Gebser (1905-1973), we will explore and create art and writing as a cross-cultural communicative modality indicative of these universal patterns.

Course Sessions and Topics

This course is divided into ten, one-hour sessions.

Session 1  |   Introduction to Integral Theory: Space & Time

Session 2  |   Ontological Grammars of Creativity & the Archaic Structure

Session 3  |  The Magical Structure: The Hunting Ritual 

Session 4  |  The Magical Structure: Vodoun

Session 5  |  The Mythical Structure: Eternal Return

Session 6  |  The Mythical Structure: Archetypal Vision

Session 7  |  The Mental Structure: Reason and Rights

Session 8  |  The Mental Structure: Madness 

Session 9  |  The Integral Structure: Embodiment

Session 10  | Authentic Dwelling as Insight

Learning Outcomes for this Course

Outcome 1:  To come to terms with the notion of consciousness as a creative dynamic, and thus changing, modality of awareness.

Outcome 2:  To experience culture as a distinct function of space and time that reaches beyond the particularities of ethnicity.

Outcome 3:  To engage natural abilities to discern fine distinctions between Jean Gebser’s structures of consciousness.

Outcome 4:  To develop specific skill sets of observation, inquiry, and creative interpretation that harken to deeper historical undercurrents of consciousness.

Outcome 5:   To identify the ontological problem in the conceptual separation of subject and object, and to explore the possibility of unifying this separation.

Outcome 6:  To become aware of how our perceptions of space and time influence the way we perceive ‘reality’ in an historical context.

Outcome 7:  To learn how to examine visual art and poetics and identify the different structures of consciousness at play.

Outcome 8:  To successfully use new philosophical jargon designating the nuances signified by integral awareness; to gain experience with the use of historical, archaeological, and philological arguments.

Outcome 9: To recognize the extended roles that magical, mythical, and mental awarenesses play in our current lives as aspects of our vital, psychological and conceptual selves.

Outcome 10: To develop an understanding of ‘latency’ and ‘transparency’ as functions of insight into the integral world; to become familiar with Gebser’s philosophical method of synairesis.

Your Teacher

Sabrina Dalla Valle, M.F.A. | M.F.A., Writing and Consciousness, New College of California, S.F., CA B.A., Linguistic Anthropology, Reed College, Portland, OR. An experimental writer and researcher of integral awareness. Her work is anthologized in Best Poems of 2012 by Kore Press (2013) and in Alchemical Traditions by Numen Books (2013). Sabrina lives and works in Los Angeles.