Jean Gebser—Life and Work

Prussian born poet and integral philosopher, Jean Gebser.

Jean Gebser (1905-1973) was a German poet, philosopher, and phenomenologist of consciousness. He is best known for his magisterial opus, The Ever-Present Origin (Ursprung und Gegenwart, 1949-1953), in which he articulates the structures and mutations of consciousness underpinning the pivotal shifts in human civilisation. Gebser’s key insight was that as consciousness mutates toward its innate integrality, it drastically restructures human ontology and with it civilisation as a whole. Five hundred years before Christ, the fundamental mode of reality-perception mutated from mythos to logos through the agency of figures such as Socrates, Siddharta, and Lao Tzu. For Gebser, we are on the cusp of a new mutation, presaged by figures such as Rainer Maria Rilke, who in Gebser’s view passed through “things” into the integral, transparent lucidity “behind” things, thus breaking through to a new, aperspectival perception of reality. Not only do we stand amidst the final death-throes of the deficient, declining mental-rational ontology, which atomises culture and consciousness day by day, we also stand on the threshold of a new consciousness that is capable of revolutionising the spiritual foundations of human civilisation. The task of crystallising the integral world out of the prevailing cultural dissolution stands before us. Indeed, it is perhaps more pertinent now than it was when Gebser first articulated it.

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From Poetry to Kulturphilosophie: A Philosophical Biography of Jean Gebser with Critical Translations
A detailed biographical and bibliographic survey of Gebser's life and work. This piece forms the “skeleton” of a book-length work-in-progress under the same title.

Rendering Darkness and Light Present: Jean Gebser and the Principle of Diaphany
This study appears in the inaugural volume of Diaphany: A Journal and Nocturne (Rubedo Press, 2015). It seeks to elucidate not only the concept of diaphany, but the fundamental experiences that underpin the living experience of the phenomenon.

Afternoon Poems
Translation of Poesias de la Tarde / Nachmittags Gedichte (1936/1944)

The Winter Poem
Translation of Gebser’s Wintergedicht (1944).

Jean Gebser Society (North America)
The Jean Gebser Society supports the preservation and furtherance of the work of Jean Gebser through academic symposia, publications, discussion forums, social media, and other means.

Jean Gebser Gesellschaft (Europe)
Die Jean Gebser Gesellschaft (JGG) fördert eine integrale Weltsicht in den Wissenschaften, in der Kunst und Kultur im Sinne des Lebenswerkes von Jean Gebser. 
[The Jean Gebser Gesellschaft (JGG) promotes an integral worldview in the sciences, the arts, and culture, in accordance with the life's work of Jean Gebser].