The Consciousness Soul constitutes "that part of the human entelechy which comes to expression in the history of the world during a period beginning in the fifteenth century and extending far into the future beyond our own time" (RCA 198-99).
The period of the
Consciousness Soul arises, due to the descent
of the potency and
correlative to the discovery of the merely physical body (RCA 86).
In it, the mind becomes brain-physical.
In the Age of the Consciousness Soul, "the thinking of which we are fully
conscious is now focused or centered in the brain in a way which does cut
us off from nature and enables us to feel ourselves, at any rate, as definitely
not a part of nature" (WA 138).
Living in the consciousness soul man experiences isolation, loneliness, materialism, loss of faith in the spiritual world, above all, uncertainty. The soul has to make up its mind and to act in a positive way on its own unsupported initiative. And it finds great difficulty in doing so. For it is too much in the dark to be able to see any clear reason why it should, and it no longer feels the old (instinctive) promptings of the spirit within. (RCA 109)The Consciousness Soul, Barfield notes, says "I know" only when it can add "because I have experienced" (RCA 128). It is this which turns the Consciousness Soul in the direction of science.
As the Ego detaches itself from the macrocosm, the "spiritual world" comes to rule in his own consciousness. "Fully responsible at last for his own actions, he is deprived of the instinctive guidance of spirits, even including his National or Folk Spirit . . . " (RCA 109). The consciousness soul thus seems a kind of "death experience" (RM 92).
shows, is among nations the epitome of the Consciousness Soul. And Shakespeare's
Hamlet is likewise its literary exemplar.