13. Rounds of Light and Dark

There is a deep convergence between Gebser’s consciousness forms and Calleman’s Underworlds. Both series have in common that later forms arise out of earlier ones which continue in their own right. Both are concerned with consciousness evolution and in both the emergence of later forms ultimately contributes to our realisation of the gifts of earlier ones and vice-versa. That said, Gebser’s sequence focuses more on internal cognitive-affective developments while Calleman’s has to do with macro-determinations of consciousness. I have reviewed Gebser’s sequence in Section 4 of ‘The Spirituality of 2012’ and will focus on the second here. The principle behind its unfolding is quite clear: Consciousness dreams itself awake via increasingly complex forms so that their life-worlds and associated awareness spans become progressively more encompassing until, finally, it looks back to its origins and seeks to incorporate awareness of them in time. This is also exactly what Gebser’s Integral Consciousness undertakes. It would be callow to ignore such a striking convergence.


At first, Consciousness is severely restricted by the limits of its physical forms. Then, with the quantum leap into a new Underworld, its scope increases via the monitoring of instinctively regulated adaptive interactions with different levels of environment. As the series unfolds, the relationship of consciousness forms with their environment becomes richer and more differentiated. Primate species of the Familial Underworld exhibit individuated responses that are more flexible than collective (herd-governed) responses of the Mammalian. Beyond this, proto-humans of the Tribal Underworld engage in creative adaptations like making tools, greatly increasing response options and the qualitative scope of Consciousness through them. Early modern (anatomical) humans of the Regional Underworld then produce spheres of culture and reflection. Although limited to the habitats of particular clan groupings, Consciousness in them is also augmented by an awareness of other groups and their regions as well as by a keen intuitive appreciation of connectedness in the field of space-time and Beyond it. That is to say, metaphysical awareness also opens through them.

This finds expression in funeral rites, hunting rituals, mythic narratives and shamanic art – none of which is a strictly utilitarian activity. It seems that, pragmatic survival issues apart, human life was rich in vision then due to unproblematic overlapping of Gebser’s Archaic, Magical and Mythic forms. Creation myths tacitly raise problems of Origin and hence induce a mode of questioning consciousness that, however slow-burning it might be, eventually leads to the emergence of a ‘Mental’ structure. This happens during the National Underworld that also extends the scope of Consciousness through human beings via processes of trade and conquest as well as a revolutionary new mode of production called agriculture. As noted elsewhere, this led to settlement, population increase, social stratification, militarisation, law-making, male dominance, kingship and priest-craft (including writing). Calleman attributes all this to a calendar-governed prevalence of the left brain. I find his account reductive and simplistic but agree that there may be some truth involved in it.

In any case, continued explorations and expansions of the late National Underworld (c 1500: Gebser’s date for inception of the later Mental consciousness form), paved the way for a Planetary Underworld to begin in 1755. A planetary consciousness starts to crystallise as this happens, emerging out from the relative unconsciousness of the Underworld it arises within as well as of those that preceded it. Tangible expressions of this process are found in more regular and rapid (tele) communications, transport links and so on until the experiential scope of more and more people’s consciousness comes to include some image of a whole Earth. The consciousness of this Planetary Underworld remains peculiarly unconscious in that it doesn’t become conscious of itself as such (doesn’t appear as an ‘object’ for its own consciousness) until late on, as when images are sent back from space shuttles, for example.

This peculiar principle of consciousness development, whereby limits only become fully apparent once they have been transcended, exemplifies Gebser’s notion of later consciousness structures serving to enrich our appreciation and realisation of earlier ones. We can imagine this in purely spatial terms. If you travel to the capital of your Nation, it becomes easier to discern the restricted consciousness field of your home Region. If you’re then sent on a tour of your Nation’s Empire further expansions of awareness will ensue. If the Empire is sufficiently large, you may even tend towards realisation of a planetary consciousness but this won’t be attained by independent empirical activity alone. We can’t achieve planetary consciousness just by walking all around the world. An idea or image pattern is also required around which imagination can close once it has been opened by the shattering of an earlier pattern. Underworlds function like these idea/image patterns, such that consciousness is shattered, expanded and reconfigured as it moves between them.

Underworld shifts facilitate such transformational processes but don’t constitute them, since they occur within an encompassing design. (Obvious structural correspondences across the 9 creation waves confirm this: the fact that each new wave arose 95% of the way into the trajectory of its predecessor, for example, is not an accident.) Part of the ‘fruition’ of an earlier wave was the seeding of its successor. This entails careful timing to ensure adequate levels of preparation and a fitting place for the seed to fall. The x20 ‘time acceleration’ factor is misunderstood if it is taken to imply that the frequency of unfolding at every point of wave 9 is 20 times faster than at every point of wave 8, for example. This is only true of corresponding points according to the principle of fractal resonance (whereby the same organisational pattern occurs on different levels of scale throughout the calendar, i.e. waves 1 to 9 and their ‘repeating’ manifestations). Hence the beginning frequency of wave 8 is 20 times faster than the beginning frequency of wave 7 and its end frequency is 20 times faster than that of wave 7 but its beginning frequency is not 20 times faster than the end frequency of wave 7, nor of any other point in the unfolding of wave 7 apart from its beginning. There is a straight isomorphism across all waves in this respect, governed by the x20 compression factor discussed in ‘Calendar: Structure, Process and Beyond’ (Piece 9).

Regarding the Galactic Underworld, the scope of most people’s actual experience is dramatically exceeded. Nevertheless, primed by Star Trek and its likes – all of which represent bona fide mythic encodings of impulses from the collective unconscious that seek expression and recognition within the consciousness frame of the Galactic Underworld – we find ourselves talking more and more about photon beams, ET visitations, alignments with Galactic Centre and so on, especially after January 1999. It doesn’t matter if our conjectures are not scientifically accurate at this point. We can consult encyclopaedias later if we wish but until then mytho-speculation is still the primary means by which we initiate ourselves into a negotiable awareness of space outside our solar system (1). The opening in consciousness that this entails has ramifications beyond the physical dimensions of our life-world.

Consciousness-in-time swells in us to attain a palpable sense of what a Galaxy is. This also implies a sense of what lies outside it – namely other galaxies and, it transpires in due course, an even more inclusive unity that contains all galaxies. The 9th (Universal) Underworld follows the material expansion of Consciousness-in-time towards its limit. We never get to experience this empirically because the Universe continues to expand indefinitely, which means that some other fulfilment of Unity Consciousness is required. We must realise that ongoing physical expansion is simply a reflection of the self-transcending nature of Love as a metaphysical first principle that splits into (Many) Lover(s) and Beloved(s) in order that it might come to love better, with awareness. I came to realise this relatively early, in the course of a Sacred Play held in March 2011 to facilitate integration of then new energies of the 9th wave. Here is my account of its climax, which explores the consequences for Cosmic Consciousness of an awakening of Consciousness on Earth:

New music starts. Faint at first, it gathers rapidly, ordering us like magnetic files into a swirling clockwise cloud, spiralling over escalating frequencies around our room, sending news of Earth’s awakening out to Cosmos. Consciousness soars on beams of this intent. Strong feet and fine geometries hold us coherently throughout. A sublime intelligence directs. Leaps of quantum acceleration surge as we careen, exhilarated beyond all thought or belief. We travel as Light, informed by Darkness and informing of it, straining to the edge of manifestation. All That Is becomes known: infinite in its Constancy as Dreamer, innocent in its Becoming as Dream. In the bliss of this knowing All is One. Then our music breaks, propelling us exhausted and ecstatic to an edge where ‘I’ reflects again ‘This is my Body’. Brought to this edge, it gazes past circumference, back to centre, out from edge and back again. Then it is known: I AM THAT I AM! This marks a fulfilment in time for reflected-reflexive consciousness, freed of insulating, separating, self-encapsulating loops; enriched by complementary reflections that I AM. I AM THAT I AM: there is no Other! This is Unity remembered!

The above recollection was trans-rational and undoubtedly conditioned my sense of what 28/10 was and was not about. The point I want to stress now is that as we come to comprehend the all-encompassing level of Cosmic/Universal Consciousness, we see that Consciousness-in-time – our Consciousness if we would only awaken to it – really is riding beams of light on the edges of existence/manifestation. When we reach this limiting condition of human awareness there truly is no ‘where’ to look: only the dimensionless sprawl of Void, the No-thing of Un-manifest Consciousness. It was this which dreamt existence to begin and I realised that as soon as ‘I’ – or Consciousness through me – turned to look back towards centre, the Point of Creation from which all existence arises. And if I AM the Consciousness that dreams this, then this centre – this Point of Creation – arises in me also. ‘I’ saw this intuitively in the altered state of my trance dance but it has taken until now for John to understand that, following the momentary fusion of all 9 creation waves in a singular point of space-time in my Heart on 28/10, the potential for Pure Creation now inheres in my Heart and in that of every human being who cares to awaken to it.

I find this realisation challenging. It engages every residual doubt incurred by virtue of our species’ aggravated Fall and the only way I know to deal with this is to name it and face up to whatever challenges it might entail. (I had already intuited that my next Sacred Play is to be about Creativity/Manifestation and now I understand better why.) The gift of the 9th wave is/was to inspire us to look back and its fulfilment – indeed, the fulfilment of all waves – is to realise that the Point of Creation to which we look back inheres in each of us as embodiments in time of a Consciousness that dreamt and still dreams it. As soon as we get this we are beyond time, even as we continue to function inside it – hence our Time of No Time. Proving this, not least to ourselves, can be another matter because we are still beset by doubts and habits that derive from other lives and times. This is why all 9 waves must go on: to afford opportunities for clearing. Only as we achieve this can we move into clear expression of the Creator Consciousness that we ultimately manifest and therefore are.

Furthermore, it is only when the qualitative reach of ‘Universal’ Consciousness as all-encompassing is realised that the true sense of Unity Consciousness begins to dawn. This dawning can only be fulfilled when all earlier Underworlds have been enfolded back into our growing sense of Unity, precisely as is the case regarding Gebser’s Integral Consciousness and earlier forms that emerged before but continue to persist alongside it. (The fulfilled ‘13’ energy of all Underworlds releases the 1 of a new self-realised Unity towards new expression that is no longer determined by the forceful emanations of 9 primary creation waves. For this reason, the calendar’s current predictive power is far less than before 28/10 and applies only to those who have yet to realise their pure Creator potential.) The progression from Archaic to Integral Consciousness maps a path from implicit to explicated Unity Consciousness. It also defines an essential trajectory of the evolutionary process from the 1st Underworld through to the 9th and beyond, where consciousness starts to step away from the rule of its former (unconscious) determinations.


Before the shift of 28/10, Calleman said that the 9th wave alone would deliver Unity Consciousness. He believed this because of an expectation engendered by what he called the ‘Round of Light’. This was a theoretical model that he came to regard as proven fact. It was supposed to work as follows:

The spheres above represent Earth as divided into two equal ‘yin-yang’ dark-light-segments. Calleman associates the vertically bisected halves of this sphere with hemi-spheres of a global brain that is said to regulate the functioning of our human brains via ‘resonance’. Parts of the global brain that fall within yang portions of the world sphere are activated by virtue of being in its light; yin-governed parts are suppressed because they aren’t. During the 1st wave that carries the 1st Underworld, the model decrees that Light falls on the ‘forebrain’ of Earth, leaving its old brain in darkness. Because this implies no division (left-right duality) in the forebrain, a state of ‘Unity Consciousness’ is said to obtain, as represented by the left-most sphere (looking down from above).

With the advent of a 2nd Underworld, the Light is said to rotate through 900 counter-clockwise. Here the left brain is illuminated and the right in darkness: hence a left-right duality is observed in which the left brain is favoured. Such a 900 rotation is said to occur with the start of every new wave. This produces a ‘Round of Light’ as illustrated by the series above, representing the 1st to 5th waves/Underworlds. The fact that there was no global brain (or Earth) until 5.5 billion years ago and no forebrains to resonate with it until around 150,000 years ago, strains the model’s credibility in this regard. Let us look again at our globes, however, this time viewing them as representing the 5th (Regional) Underworld to the 9th (Universal).

Again, every time we pass through an Underworld shift, the divided light-dark sphere rotates 900 counter-clockwise, creating alternating modes of unitary and dualistic consciousness. Thus in the 5th Underworld (leftmost sphere) a unitary consciousness is engendered because both sides of the front face of the planet are governed by yang/light. In the 6th Underworld, a dualist filter is established whereby the left hemisphere is favoured since the right is in darkness. The right brain’s holistic processing is cut off and the analytical aspect of the left prevails, inducing separation consciousness. The 7th Underworld brings another 900 shift, leaving the front face of the planet, and human consciousness, in darkness. This creates a filter that leaves us spiritually blind. The vision of Reality as Divine is lost through this ‘Planetary’ period. Materialism prevails until the 8th ‘Galactic’ Underworld, which brings another 900 rotation, leaving the right brain in yang/light. Consciousness, although subject to dualist filtering, now seeks pattern, connectivity and wholeness. The next flip, triggered by onset of the 9th Wave, is said to inaugurate a mode of enlightened unity consciousness because the front face of Earth is again in yang light. The fact that this Underworld is not succeeded while the earlier ones are said to ‘balance out’ ordains that the 9th wave alone brings Unity Consciousness.

This seems plausible but there are problems. To begin, it is fundamentally misleading with regard to yin-yang symbolism. Calleman’s image of static light-dark segments misrepresents a continuously fluid exchange between yin-yang polarities in the tai chi diagram. Also, if Underworld shifts triggered ‘900 rotations’ we might expect abrupt transformations rather than gradual accession spread over 13 Heavens.  Allowing the constant flow aspect of yin-yang symbolism improves the model greatly, as it implies a primacy of dynamic balance over a vision of one ‘pole’ prevailing over the other. This is both impossible and undesirable according to Taoism. Calleman’s fantasy of light finally conquering darkness comes from a very different mythological stable and negates what it is most specific and valuable in Taoist symbolism.

Furthermore, as we have seen, yin-yang alternation is initiated at the crests and troughs (maximum yang and yin) of Days and Nights respectively (2). Treating yin-yang ‘hemispheres’ as discrete, obscures the role of this inherent structural dynamism. There is always movement between yin-yang polarities, as underscored by eye-like points of light in darkness and vice-versa in the authentic tai chi symbol. This is best seen as a unitary 3D sphere where two great waves are constantly engaged in an erotic dance of generation and renewal, with each being pulled through and enveloping the other in a ‘flowery combat’ of divine  sexual congress. It could not be more unlike Calleman’s schematic rendering in this respect.

Moreover, about a third of the way through every 7th Day a new 1st Day is released, creating a nested multi-level structure that is not adequately represented in Calleman’s model. Indeed, 5% of the Regional Underworld, for example, is left to run its course when the National begins and 0.25% at the time of the next (Planetary) ‘rotation’ and so on. It is unclear what happens to such residues in the model but they didn’t ‘even out’ and a triumph of Light was not observed on 28/10. Rather diminishing fractions still in play from earlier Underworlds ensured that all ‘completed’ at the same time. This was always one of the calendar’s most important features and it ended with a singular moment of fusion which continues to allow the ‘9 part god’ of Mayan myth to become One in time.

There are other critical points that might be raised but the key one is that the model was misleading. Its ‘prediction’ that Unity Consciousness would be in place by 28/10 was mistaken yet there are still insights to be salvaged. In particular, fruition of the 9th Wave didn’t come through seeding a 10th but by sowing Creator Consciousness in the awareness of as many humans as could bear it. This is a destiny for which we have been prepared. Its activation is sparked by the integrated gifts of all 9 Waves (rather than being conferred by the 9th alone). This happens via the crucial fusion that triggers the ‘descent of a 9-part god’ at the ‘end’ of a calendar that entailed the simultaneous completion of all Underworlds and, with this, a momentary blending of all Waves.


When Calleman proposed a final triumph of Light in relation to the ‘Round’ model, his reasoning was faulty. Look again at the spheres that are said to represent a global brain: every one of them is bisected (3). Thus even if Light did fall entirely on the front and not on the back during the 9th Underworld, we would be dealing with a case of front-back duality which is not Unity. Symbolically, it heralds de facto repression of darkness and the ‘old brain’. This houses mammalian and primate antecedents of our modern consciousness that continue to affect experience and behaviour even now: all I have referred to as ‘Dragon energies’ and also all that I managed to remember by meeting with the Bushmen. As ‘Spirituality’ shows, we need to integrate these powers rather than filtering them out of awareness and calling the result ‘Unity’. This latter course repeats a core delusion of the ‘rational ego’ and is secreted in the unconscious frame of Planetary science.

Calleman has evidently not realised this, nor has he ‘seen’ that the attainment of Unity Consciousness entails a realisation of duality as illusion (maya in the Hindu sense). The apparent face of manifest existence is not the Truth of Archaic Consciousness (of Source) that dreamt it or of Integral Consciousness that comes to understand this. This trajectory is the core of our evolutionary journey and it is not dependent on a so-called Round of Light. In fact, proper application of Taoist imagery reveals that a waning yin power (of ‘darkness) persists right up to the maximum value of waxing yang and, in the very moment when this turning point is reached, regenerates as the minimum value of waxing yin. Thus, as the tai chi symbol indicates, there is never a moment when one half of a bisected sphere can be all Light and the other all Dark. Yin and Yang are not opposites in the mode of Western conceptual antagonisms. They are mutually engendering polarities whose constant dynamic inter-play manifests as a continuous unitary function, as in the ‘Supreme Ultimate’ diagram below.

The tai chi symbol is unique because it expresses the mysteries of Duality in Oneness, Stillness in Motion and Existence in Being. It describes a process of constant change where two great waves are forever reciprocally engaged. Their balancing is inevitable in the Greater Picture but can’t inform human consciousness when one dominates the other. In such cases – where ‘conscious’ yang dominates ‘unconscious’ yin – unacknowledged  Shadow elements accumulate and erupt reactively when they can no longer be contained. Politically motivated polarisation has driven human imbalances historically. Its impact registers on the level of spiritual symbolism also but we can still recover. An authentic rendering of yin-yang imagery is essential for this purpose and to remind us that a sustainable, generative culture must be based on ongoing creative tension between Light and Dark rather than an overcoming of one by the other. Substituting genuine Taoist insight for Calleman’s hip misappropriation avoids erroneous ‘predictions’ that Light could ever triumph in perpetuity.

Continuous Flow rather than static opposition becomes apparent instead. This implies equal engagement of yin/yang and Dark/Light, which is exactly what has been observed since 28/10. Prior to then, the developmental process of 13 Heavens was weighted in favour of yang/Light because a systematic building up of manifest Creation was required to achieve a level of complexity needed for Consciousness in time to awaken to memory of its transcendental origins and realise them while actively participating in existence. That single moment on 28/10 when all 9 creation waves fused in time represented a crucial turning point at which this potential was actualised in existence. Something unprecedented followed directly after: all 9 waves plunged into a 1st Night, signalling an end to preferential weighting of yang and Light. A stage had been set and human creative consciousness was charged with response-ability for its creations.

Symbolically, the opposite of a final triumphing of Light was observed: Nights and Days, yin and yang, assumed equal status such that every ‘active’ 7 Days/6 Nights sequence on all levels would be immediately balanced by a ‘passive’ (stillness-inducing) 7 Nights/6 Days sequence during which outer expression of the Seed-Fruit progression is dampened by opposing tendencies of inverted Heaven-Deity pairings. Simplifying, there are 13 Nights to balance every 13 Days and this will always be so. No Round of Light culminated at symbolic midnight on 28/10. Rather perpetually recurring, mutually engendering Rounds of Light and Dark were induced, signalling the final attainment of a balanced state of dynamic equilibrium across all levels of the continuing calendar. These recurring cycles create self-renewing opportunities for Consciousness-in-time to pass beyond awareness of the many varieties of motion to live from a still centre of Creator Consciousness that dreams them.

Admitting constant creative interplay between two mutually engendering polarities ends what was never more than an imaginary need for 900 rotations: 7th Days begat 1st Days and the aggregate frequency was ratcheted up by a factor of twenty eight times between the 1st wave and the 9th until on the last 7th Day, which was the culmination of all 7th Days, God rested. On this 9th level of the Universal Underworld, the seed of Creator Consciousness was activated in awakening humanity by the shift of 28/10. We live in the aftermath of that moment, when the energy of 13 was fulfilled and the energies of 9 descended to make transcendental awareness a viable option in existence during our Time of No Time.

This is different to old models of transcendence that require consciousness to ascend out of the body, beyond ‘the dense material plane of Earth’ etc. Embodiment is a necessary condition for the awakening of Spirit through human consciousness in time, not a constitutional hindrance to it. In my experience, this can be a very simple thing. Having seen through the soap operas of duality and re-integrated our formerly implicit (Arche-ic) Consciousness of Source that dreamt/dreams them, Unity Consciousness can get about easily via two legs, cars and bikes, with open eyes and no need of celebrity or fuss. All that’s needed is that we remember to live in a Stream of Love that arises from a Zero Point of Ever-Present Origin, a Point of Compassionate Creation, that is found in the Heart of (us) All (4).


(1) The very fact that we talk about such matters implies that we are building Galactic Consciousness. It isn’t unusual that this should first happen in ways that aren’t fully conscious, especially before the Underworlds complete: in calendar terms, before the energy of all 13 Heavens (primary developmental stages) has been fulfilled across all 9 levels of consciousness/creation. The ‘Ascension’ energy of 13 is now fully in place and constitutes the platform from which Unity Consciousness will clarify as more and more of us avail of opportunities for opening beyond an ongoing recurrence of rounds of light and dark engendered by the shift of 28/10 (see text).

(2) See Piece 9: ‘Calendar: Structure, Process and Beyond’.

(3) Calleman recently shared news of scientific evidence that supports his notion of a vertical planetary midline that divides Earth into East-West, yin-yang ‘hemispheres’. I agree that there is a case for a midline but not for the Round of Light model that he builds around it. I asked if he thought the new evidence had implications for this and he said nothing. Apparently he will tell all in a new book. I will respond then if I have anything worth saying. My sense of his evidence is that it shows Earth to be organised like a unitary yin-yang sphere. How this may fit a global brain hypothesis remains to be seen.

(4) This Zero Point is the Unity/Source from which yin-yang tendencies arise and in which they are inherently balanced and still. See ‘Mysterium’ (forthcoming).

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