Consciousness, Worldviews, Myth, Personal Values, Theories of Development, and Self-Compassion

People far wiser than I have researched and written about consciousness, worldviews, myth, personal values, theories of human development, and self-compassion. However, experience has taught me not only how important these areas are individually, but also how interrelated they are in identifying, exploring, affirming, deepening, evolving, and/or transforming what inspires us and gives us meaning. These are aspects that I think enhance our understanding of Spirit.

As mentioned earlier, myth and the Journey of the Heroine/Hero contribute to a worldview that inspires me, and this section addresses an important aspect of the Heroine/Hero’s Call to Transformation. With self-compassion, we explore ways to tap into, understand, and deepen those dimensions of life that provide our ‘reason for being’ and the ‘juice’ to live fully. Doing so prepares us for our Journey.

During the 1990s, I started exploring myth experientially through Jean Houston’s Mystery School. Also, during some of my psychodrama training with Ann Hale, I learned about and started using her sociometric wheel to map cycles in the Journey of the Heroine/Hero. Then, in 2015, I was delighted to teach a summer course on myth at the University of Edinburgh – using the sociometric wheel with great success.

Building on theories of development that were taught during my undergraduate program in teacher education, an integral part of the the Masters in Religious Education program was learning how we make moral decisions and grow in our faith. Coming to understand these theories of moral development (Kohlberg and Gilligan) and faith development (Fowler) helped me slowly move beyond frustrated negative judgments toward deeper appreciation for how we all grow and evolve in these areas. For more about Fowler and his definition of ‘faith’, see ‘Spirituality’ in this section.

In addition to cognitive (Piaget) and psychosocial (Erickson) theories of development, those related to worldviews, self-identity, and orders of consciousness also provide significant insight into how we evolve our perceptions and the meanings we attach to them. I find this fascinating.

From both research and personal experience, I have learned how important community is in supporting us, when our comfort zones are challenged, and we face new information that appears to overturn our existing ways of thinking and being. In time, I began to realize that those developmental experiences are related to the transformation of consciousness and to how we might shift our worldviews, while still treasuring our values and developing self-compassion. For more on this, see Co-Creating Compassionate Communities under Community.

Finally, my training with the Barrett Values Center (BVC) – with its focus on levels of consciousness reflected in personal and collective values, along with my exposure to Ken Wilber’s work – has been insightful. For more information about Richard Barrett’s evolving work and the work of the Human Values Center (HVC), founded by Laura Burgis, see ‘Transformational Leadership’ under Purpose.

What follows are resources with which I have some familiarity and knowledge, usually because I have explored them myself.

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