Consciousness and Creativity Studies
Philosophers and scientists have explored the concept of consciousness for millennia, but only now do we know enough about the brain to make scientific progress on even the most basic questions. Of course much remains mysterious and probably always will. At the same time, everyone is familiar with the experience of heightened or expanded awareness and the concomitant feeling of greater connection with oneself and the wider world. Our Consciousness and Creativity Studies concentration is designed to provide a space for doctoral students to explore consciousness in its various dimensions while experimenting with spiritual technologies and creative processes that produce and are nurtured by it. Our exploration is rooted in academic inquiry, contemplative practices, entheogenic integration, and intersubjective encounters with members of our learning community.
The Behavioral Science concentration focuses on neuroscientific, behavioral, and cognitive psychology. In addition to these traditional topics, students are introduced to more innovative post-graduate disciplines such as neurotheology, neurophenomenology, and bioethics in the broader context of consciousness studies. Questions concerning neurological correlates of spiritual and religious experience and problems surrounding enhancement of the human brain through transformative technologies are also part of this concentration.
Ecopsychology approaches the human psyche as a phenomenon of nature and views all psychological and spiritual matters in the light of our participation within the life of the more-than-human world. This concentration explores the ways ecotherapy, environmental action, and ecologically responsible ways of life promote optimal mental health, well-being, and a sense of the transpersonal.
Somatic psychology addresses the challenges presented to people’s lives by the rupture between the world of knowledge and the world of lived, embodied experience. It focuses on the body as the place of evolutionary intelligence, learning, and transformation. Drawing on both Eastern and Western perspectives, this concentration explores interactions between body processes and states of consciousness through a transpersonal psychological perspective.