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Exploring the Crack in the Cosmic Egg
by Joseph Chilton Pearce

We live in a web of ideas, a fabric of our own making. —Joseph Chilton Pearce

Exploring the Crack in the Cosmic Egg is Joseph Chilton Pearce's sequel to his widely proclaimed The Crack in the Cosmic Egg. In this book, Pearce expounds further on his revolutionary ideas and gives us additional insights on the way we structure our reality through language and belief. Pearce delineates how children are progressively "indoctrinated" into our world-view and gives hints that one can temporarily escape this conditioning and explore the realm of the "primary process" mode of consciousness with which we are all born.

The ego-consciousness is individualized while…we all share in the primary process mode of consciousness.


According to Pearce, the primary process is the substratum on which our ego-consciousness is based. The full human being can exist alternately in ego-consciousness or in the realm of the ever wondrous primary process. The ego-consciousness is individualized while, to a great degree, we all share in the primary process mode of consciousness. This aspect of our consciousness knows many things of which we are not normally aware, but can learn to be. It is the realm of mystic experience, ESP, and many puzzling abilities. In the primary process we have assurance of our "being," and death becomes meaningless because we participate in something that is more than individual. In ego-consciousness, we are constantly goaded and plagued by the fear of death that always disguises itself under one wrap or another. These disguises may be the need for social acceptance, business success, or even that we "smell bad" or need "brighter teeth."

Pearce says that we live in a second-hand reality. What we believe about the world, we project onto the world. Our world is in our own heads much more than it is "out there." What is actually "out there" is something which we are seldom in contact with except in what are termed "altered states of consciousness." What we believe has a formative effect on our perceived reality. The Balinese fire-walker can enter a state of mind in which he believes it is possible not to be burned when walking across hot coals—thus, he is successful in not being burned when walking across fire. This is impossible when one is in the world-view that maintains that fire burns. This ability to enter into another belief about the nature of the world Pearce calls "reversibility thinking." Many occultists would label as reversibility thinking what has been called Magic for thousands of years. It is the ability to change reality by entering an alternate state of belief and assurance.

Joseph Chilton Pearce photo Pearce tries to "strip away the hope that binds us to culture." Culture and ego-consciousness operate on this hope. There is always the hope and ambition that business success, a new car, new home, or better relations with other people will quench forever our vague anxieties. The truth is that nothing is sufficient. Nothing within culture and ego-consciousness can eradicate anxiety and the fear of death. These apprehensions are inherent in the very nature of the ego and of culture. Pearce says that while culture and ego-consciousness are necessary, they form only half of our full being. In our other mode of consciousness—the primary process—is found the solution to the anxiety of existence.


Exploring the Crack in the Cosmic Egg

Paperback | ISBN: 9780671831189 | 239 pp.

Originally printed in TAT Journal, Issue 9. Credit: Mark Jaqua.