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.
As mentioned earlier, myth and the Journey of the Heroine/Hero have contributed to a worldview that inspires me. Located within the ‘Spirit’ category, this section addresses aspects of the Heroine/Hero’s Call to Transformation. With compassion, here we explore ways to tap into, understand, and deepen those aspects of life that provide our ‘reason for being’ and the ‘juice’ to live fully. Doing so prepares us for our Journey.
Learning about how we make moral decisions and grow in our faith was integral to the Masters in Religious Education program I completed in 1977 at Creighton University in Omaha. Exposure to theories of moral development (Kohlberg and Gilligan) and faith development (Fowler) helped me start to move beyond frustrated negative judgments toward deeper understanding about how we all grow and evolve in these areas.
Among other things, I 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.
I appreciate James Fowler’s definition of faith and his commitment to compassion when working with people at different stages of development. For Fowler, faith is ‘an integral, centering process underlying the formation of beliefs, values and meanings’. It is what we consider dear to our hearts and what provides us with a way of leaning into and making sense of life – regardless of our religious, spiritual, or philosophical perspectives.
Back to myth, 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.
Finally, I have found my training with the Barrett Values Center – with its focus on consciousness within personal and collective values, along with my exposure to Ken Wilber’s work, very insightful and helpful.
What follows are resources with which I have some familiarity and knowledge, usually because I have explored them myself.