Gerald Heard

Only rarely can a philosopher be called visionary. Most philosophers try to analyse the past or try to build systems of thought, but Gerald Heard was indeed a truly visionary philosopher: in the back of his mind he was always preoccupied with the future of mankind. His vision of the future was not utopian or full of fancy, but was Heard with Aldeous Huxleyenvisaged by an accurate analysis of the history of human culture. Looking at the cultural history of our race and looking at our own psychological development, he came to the conclusion that they developed along similar lines of evolutionary growth. For him ontogeny (the inner state of our individual being) followed the same evolutionary blueprint as phylogeny (the development of cultural consciousness in our human race).

The five Ages of Man

1. pre-individual, coconscious man

Just as the embryo in the womb follows in a short period of nine months the whole development of our animal history of vertebrate development, from fish-like to reptilian to vertebrate, so after birth we recapitulate in the course of our life the whole cultural history of our human race, from the earliest prehistoric times till our present day. So in the first 3 years of infanthood our consciousness is pre-individual (co-conscious), just like it was in prehistoric times (as for instance in the pre-Greek Minoan civilizations). These are for the first civilizations as well as for the infant the years of the Great Mother. There is a peaceful symbiosis between all members in the community. The predominant mode of thinking and feeling is female, with the ease of luxury and the comfort of a not too exciting life near the fire place. 

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