Note: In order to make this description concise it is necessarily dense. The book is much more readable. A better intro to the book is the free PDF download or podcast of the introductory chapter.
War, man-made environmental destruction, money and financial upheaval, most forms of violence, art, culture, science, the election of Trump, the standoff with North Korea, romantic love and many other phenomena all derive from a single source: the human psyche.
“The world hangs on a thin thread, and that is the psyche of man. . . There is no such thing in nature as an H-bomb; that is all man’s doing. We are the great danger. The psyche is the great danger. What if something goes wrong with the psyche?”
As empirical, cross-cultural evidence demonstrates, the human psyche is not born as a blank slate but with powerful, universal predispositions called “archetypes.”
Archetypes, such as the hero, trickster and devouring mother are often misunderstood as merely cultural motifs, but they are not merely patterns, they are subjects rather than objects that can be said to have their own intentions. Archetypes are dynamic living agencies which exert a dominant influence out of which the essential themes of individual and collective human life emerge.
In 1978, in the course of writing a philosophy honors paper entitled, “Archetypes of a New Evolution,” Jonathan Zap discovered a previously unrecognized archetype he calls the “Singularity Archetype.”
The Singularity Archetype is a mediating influence and source of information about two great parallel “event horizons” humanity is hurtling toward. The first of these is “eschaton” —- a shattering, rupture-of-plane, experience for the entire species conceived of variously as apocalypse/rapture by some religionists, and “the singularity” by some technological futurists. It is a zone of metamorphosis that has haunted the human imagination from time immemorial with images of extinction and/or quantum evolutionary rebirth. The second great event horizon is the eschaton of the individual human timeline known as death.
The lifecycle of the individual is the microcosm of the lifecycle of the species macrocosm. Like a fractal or a hologram, the individual lifecycle recapitulates and parallels the larger lifecycle.
The themes of evolutionary transformation of the species implicit in the Singularity Archetype become phenomenological actualities in many near-death experiences and certain other boundary-dissolving states such as pychotropic experiences, OBEs, dreams and reported abduction experiences.
Just as the individual event horizon of death may be viewed as emergency or emergence, so too is the collective event horizon viewed variously as extinction-level event or evolutionary emergence.
The Singularity Archetype governs both the expectations and mediates the actuality of what we experience crossing either of these parallel event horizons. By studying many manifestations of the Singularity Archetypes, dynamic themes emerge that inform us of the possibilities that may actualize as we approach either of these event horizons. These themes include:
A rupture of the plane of egoic, linear-time based consciousness and an emergence into consciousness and communication that transcends linear time and egoic individuality.
Telepathic consciousness and communication in which linguistic intent may be expressed visually and in richer modalities than predominantly word-based consciousness and communication.
Telepathic consciousness and communication may be networked amongst a group or larger collective while individuality is conserved. (E.G. certain ayahuasca circles, Bene Gesserit Reverend Mothers in the Dune mythology). In alternate visions, individuality is subsumed into the telepathic collectivity (E.G. the Borg of Star Trek mythology, and certain eastern and New Age versions of “oneness.”)
Emergence of “glorified bodies”—The limits of an assigned, age, gender and gravity-bound, “mortal-corporeal version 1.0 meat body” are transcended.
Emergence into a thought-responsive/ideoplastic matrix.
Manifestations of the Singularity Archetype include dreams, motifs and themes found in art, science fiction and fantasy literature and films, religious cults, and the paranormal, especially near-death experiences and UFO/visitor encounters. The most common visual motifs are uncanny eyes and spirals (a spiral with an eye at the center is an efficient symbol of the Singularity Archetype).
All archetypes have a light and dark paradoxical duality. Apocalypticism is analyzed as an example of the Singularity Archetype pathologizing. A study of the Heaven’s Gate saucer/suicide cult illustrates what can happen when people become possessed by the Singularity Archetype and are driven by it into delusory projections and actions.
The Singularity Archetype is viewed apocalyptically by the ego, and as a transcendent evolutionary event by what Jung called the “Self (the totality of the psyche), and the duality of these views is explored in many examples.
The evolutionary origins of the ego and its metamorphosis as it approaches either event horizon are explored.
Evolutionary theory, which relates to the Singularity Archetype through a number of dynamic paradoxes, is discussed.
Many popular books and movies are analyzed as permutations of the Singularity Archetype, including: Avatar, Childhood’s End, Village of the Damned, Powder, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The Singularity Archetype Defined
The Singularity Archetype is a primordial image of human evolutionary metamorphosis which emerges from the collective unconscious. The Singularity Archetype builds on archetypes of death and rebirth and adds information about the evolutionary potential of both species and individual.
How the Archetype Manifests (a Composite Picture)
A rupture-of-plane event occurs, usually threatening the survival of the individual and/or species. The event is a shock that disrupts the equilibrium of body/physical world and also individual/collective psyche. It is an ontological shock that will be viewed as the worst thing possible by individual/ collective ego.
There is another rupture of plane that may actually be the same rupture as above but seen from a cosmic rather than a personal view. The shock is revealed to be a transcendent evolutionary event. The revelation of the transcendent aspect will often involve spiral motifs and unusual lights. Consciousness and communication metamorphose and with them core aspects—ego, individuality, connection to linear time, corporeality, gender identification, social order, etc.—fundamentally transform. There is a vision or actualization of release from some or all limits of corporeal incarnation and the emergence of “glorified bodies,” which have enhanced powers and various degrees of etherialization. More visual and telepathic modes of consciousness and communication emerge, and this is part of a transformation of individuality into “Homo gestalt”—a new species where individual psyches are networked telepathically.
The Singularity Archetype may occur as a dream, vision or fantasy about eschaton—an end point of the species. The Singularity Archetype may also be experienced and even actualized to various degrees by an individual through transcendent and/or anomalous experiences such as near-death experiences (NDEs), UFO/abduction/close encounter experiences, kundalini and psychotropic episodes.
As with encounters with all archetypes, individuals and groups will attach idiosyncratic material to it, such as particular end dates and scenarios. But the Singularity Archetype cannot be located in linear time and is not reducible to a premonition of particular outcomes or predetermined futures. It could, however, be viewed as a “strange attractor,”a not fully formed pattern associated with the future that is affecting individual and species in past and present. Another way of defining the Singularity Archetype (in its collective form) is as a resonance, flowing backward through time, of an approaching Singularity at the end of human history.
The Singularity Archetype is a critical point where transformation, in ways impossible to fully anticipate, will greatly shift human consciousness and therefore the nature of “reality.” From an ordinary, grounded human perspective, this Singularity may be perceived as apocalyptic extinction. From a more cosmic perspective, the Singularity is revealed as a transcendent evolutionary threshold.
The Singularity Archetype, however, is not merely located in the future, but has also existed in the past and is very much alive in the present as well. It reflects the potential that exists in the species in real time and has relevance to individuals whose lifespan does not extend to the event horizon of the species. The Singularity Archetype relates to both the evolutionary event horizon of the species and, for the individual, the event horizon of death.