2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Consciousness: Pathways to the Self

Fall 2011, Winter 2012 and Spring 2012 quarters

Donald Middendorf physics, plant physiology , Terry Setter music composition, theory, and technology
Fields of Study
consciousness studies, philosophy of science and psychology
Preparatory for studies or careers in
consciousness studies, philosophy of modern physics, and psychology.

What is the relationship between our understanding of consciousness and our self understanding? This year-long, interdisciplinary program will provide an opportunity for students who are interested in doing intensive work in the nature of consciousness to cultivate self awareness through challenging readings, creative work in expressive arts, and self-reflection. We will examine our beliefs about the nature of reality as manifest in the expressive arts and physical reality from a variety of disciplinary viewpoints, including physics, music, psychology and philosophy. Prospective students should have a strong interest in the experiential study of the relationships between reality and consciousness as well as college-level skills in reading, writing and pursuing research topics. Effort and self-motivation will be essential for succeeding in this program.

We will take an approach that welcomes the complexity of the many different views of consciousness that have been proposed by researchers, philosophers and spiritual leaders. We will use texts that cover many contemporary scientific models of consciousness and examine alternative areas of research, such as lucid dreaming and paranormal phenomena. Students will keep a structured journal of activities and practices that explores their developing understandings of the nature of consciousness. During winter and spring quarters, academic work and contemplative discipline will be integrated into our study as tools to help us understand our selves and the nature of consciousness through an in-depth study of dreams - including keeping a dream journal and a journal of experiences during contemplative practices. In spring, students will have the opportunity to pursue their interests in more individualized activities for a portion of their credits.

This is an experiential and rigorous full-time program in which students will be expected to participate in all program activities, and to document 48 hours of work per week that are invested in program related activities. Students are strongly encouraged to commit to the year-long community learning process, to not work more than 15 hours per week outside of the program, and to take no more than 16 credits per quarter. Students are expected to take exams and to buy and bring the appropriate seminar books to each class.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$75 for fall quarter field trips.
Offered During