– this section is a work in progress –
Let’s explore 8 change processes that catalyze the revolution from anthropocentrism to ecocentrism, from apathy to empathy, toward conscious participation with nature. In this section, I focus on different ways to explore the transpersonal.
The resurgence of engagement in meditation, yoga, tai chi, shamanism, guided imagery, aboriginal traditions and contemplative practices is an indicator that nonduality and unitive experience are accessible to many persons who find meaning in a transpersonal onto-epistemology which is independent of theism or organized religion.
Transpersonal experience is linked to becoming ecocentric. Unitive experience deepens intimate relationality with nature using imagination (Barfield). MJ Barrett calls is porosity – “a state of ultimate relationality with all things, so as to be open and attuned to communication with an animate Earth” (Barrett).
See Keywords for definitions of transpersonal. The resurgence of interest in the transpersonal indicates that nonduality and unitive experience are accessible to many persons who find meaning in a transpersonal onto-epistemology which is independent of theism or organized religion.
- Imagination – Jung refers to active imagination as a method of introspection for observing the stream of interior images by uncritically focusing attention on some impressive but unintelligible dream image, or on a spontaneous visual impression, and observes or interacts with the changes taking place in it.
- Spirituality – I generally do not use this word because it has conflicting meanings. It often imposes the Christian dualism of Trinity and the secular dualism of body/mind/spirit. I use transpersonal or unitive as preferred terms.
- States of consciousness – There are several states of consciousness, including sleep, coma and waking. The relationship between the mind and the world can be altered using diverse means to move into an altered states of consciousness (ASC) which Jung called numinous experience. Some altered states occur naturally; some are caused by brain damage and some are induced, at will, through mind altering activities or psychoactive drugs. See table on Brain Activity in States of Consciousness in (Wolfstone, Unitive Experience, 2013, p.49).
- Transpersonal – Jung used the term ‘numinous’ to describe nondual, unitive experience in which we let go of ego to engage with our unconscious. Jung regarded numinous experience as fundamental to understanding the individuation process because it is associated with archetypes. Imagination is essential to unitive experience in order to work with the collective unconscious. Gendlin’s philosophy of the implicit is relevant because it explains how metaphors emerge from unitive experience and are carried forward and given form, through language. All natals are capable of numinous or unitive experience – of entering that place of no-space/no-time where we experience At-Oneness with All-that-is. All natals have the neurological capacity to experience nonduality in altered states of consciousness (Winkelman, 2011, p.271ff).
There are many techniques for experiencing the transpersonal. This sections draw on ancient shamanic knowledges as well as scholars who explore nondual philosophies, including Merleau-Ponty and Gendlin. The dualistic dominant paradigm prevents humans from perceiving that everything is alive. In contrast, a participatory nondual relationship with nature in place allows us to begin to experience the communicative presences of trees, birds, rivers, even stones.
Diverse approaches to explore transpersonal experience include
- rituals & ceremonies
- visit sacred places
- shamanic journeying
- *Focusing (Gendlin)
- *Focusing with nature in nature (Harris)
- guided imagery
- aboriginal traditions (i.e. sweatlodge, vision quests, ceremonies, smudging, sun dance)
- contemplative prayer
- Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi
— more details to follow –
See Reference page for details on citations.