Often, when I tell people I am studying consciousness and transformation, I get quizzical looks. And it is not easy to explain what consciousness or transformation are. I mean, no one really knows what consciousness is or where it comes from. That's one of the central mysteries of the universe. But it is fascinating to learn about all the theories. And no one really understands how transformation happens, but many people have a good idea of what practices lead to shifts in our worldview, and innumerable people have experienced transformation.
I feel like I have a way now to help people understand what it is I am studying beyond giving them my quick synopsis: "The program studies psychology, philosophy, ecology, quantum theory, and spirituality in order to better understand consciousness and how we transform."
For those who enjoy reading, I plan to recommend the book Living Deeply: The Art & Science of Transformation in Everyday Life. It was written by three women, all members of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, an organization I also belong to. It is based on 10 years of research into the questions: what is transformation? How do we achieve it? Why is it important?
The authors gleaned wisdom from many religions as well as discoveries in science. It is an excellent marriage of the two.
You can read the key messages of the book here. My copy is completely dog-eared because there are so many amazing insights and teachers that I would like to find out more about.
Basically, the book explains that in order for transformation to happen in our lives, we must be open to new ideas, find a practice that works for us (for me it is a combination of dreamwork, psychic work, and connection with nature), stick to our practice, come to the realization that life is practice, and finally move into a worldview where we see that we are all connected and everything is sacred.
Here is one of the key messages: "Life teaches us what we need to know – the opportunities to learn suffuse each day if we are paying attention. Both painful and joyful experiences can be transformative."
I especially like the idea that happiness and suffering are both teachers, because all of us experience them both throughout our lives. Definitely check out the web site, and if it intrigues you, buy the book!