This is a relatively new area of inquiry in the academic
world. However, known as the “perennial
philosophy,” its roots date back to the ancient Vedas
of India and Taoist wisdom teachings of China. Even before
that, it was the essence of various shamanic rituals found
in tribal cultures across the globe.
Today, it is an emerging interdisciplinary field offered in
universities in the West, embracing psychology, philosophy,
spirituality, anthropology, history, neuroscience, and
cognitive science, as well as gender and race studies.
A growing number of colleges in the US, Europe, and South
America now offer masters degrees in Consciousness Studies,
and a handful of universities offer interdisciplinary
doctoral programs involving science, philosophy, and
Depending on the bias of individual institutions and
teachers, emphasis may be on first-person exploration of
subjective experience (e.g., through meditation and other
experiential practices), or third-person investigation of
objective physiological correlates of consciousness (e.g.,
brain and nervous system), as well as philosophical
investigations leading to rational understanding of the
mind and how it relates to the body and the rest of the
physical world. Another approach, recognizing the
pervasiveness and importance of relationship, focuses on
second-person intersubjective explorations of consciousness
(e.g., through dialogue and group rituals).
As with all advanced degree programs, which can take from
two to six years of dedicated study, three common obstacles
need to be overcome: time, cost, and commitment. Many
people who are passionate about consciousness and
self-knowledge do not have the resources to pursue a
full-time (or even part-time) degree course. Yet exploring
consciousness remains a passion and priority for them.
If you are one of these people, a
Mentorship in Consciousness Studies
may be a preferable option. Personal mentorship programs
can be individually tailored to meet the time and financial
resources you have available. All it takes is your
commitment to follow a course of guided study.