outlines this process as follows: The early people who neither knew writing nor language have developed abstract concepts of vital experiences. They used the geometrical entoptic images that could be distinguished as lines, squares, circles, ellipses and so on. Over thousands of years, these patterns have become ancestral information as well as building blocks in the human nervous system for abstract thinking. The recollection of these archaic life experiences from the collective unconscious during shamanic rituals and ceremonies empowered man to keep the information alive and to pass it on to the next generation. The phosphenes and entoptic images thus did not simply originate from our central nervous system, but they are archetypal images of the “collective unconscious” (Carl Gustav Jung
) that then have established in myths and the arts. They are, eventually, a part of a forgotten “archaic neurological optic-language”, which was important in the evolutionary process and the survival of the species.
H. Ümit Sayin’s
contribution is not a study in the strict scientific sense, but a somewhat bulky essay within the scope of the new and controversial discipline “neuroquantology” where consciousness research, neuroscience and physics meet. To us, it is an inspiration for the understanding of entoptic phenomena in general and of floaters in particular – although the author does not mention floaters. To begin with, the author confirms what we already know: the interpretation of Stone Age rock art as shamanic visions during ritually induced altered states of consciousness; or the idea that these signs have developed into religious symbols over time (cf. Tausin 2010
, and the Lead Story
in this newsletter).
An interesting idea that may be considered for the spiritual work with floaters is Sayin’s
suggestion to understand entoptic phenomena as archetypal images. “Archetypes” are, according to the Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung,
the basic structures of our psyche that make up the collective unconscious. This means that we cannot access the archetypes directly, but that they influence our perception and behavior. And that they appear as similar projections in every individual and every culture. To Jung, archetypes were not only certain patterns of instinctive behavior and experience, but they also appear as images in myths and dreams. According to Sayin, entoptic images are a stage between archetypes and further culturally shaped archetypal images. The author does not ask about the spiritual aspects of this fact, but he is interested in its meaning for cross-generational communication and the evolutionary advantage in human development. However, the relationship of entoptic phenomena and archetypes also has importance for the individual consciousness development. For example, if the archetypal ideas about heaven, heavenly light, the divine, the beings of the upper world and even UFOs and other celestial phenomena (Jung 1979) have developed on the basis of floater spheres, then seeing these spheres – whether in the sense of meditation or as inspiration for the philosophical, psychological or artistic exploration – can be taken as working with an archetype. According to Jung, that archetype would be the mandala (Sanskrit: mandala
, “circle”), the central archetype, which symbolizes the self and self-centering (Jaffé 1963).