Process, structure, and form: An evolutionary transpersonal psychology of consciousness

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In the spirit of William James, we present a process view of human consciousness. Our approach, however, follows upon Charles Tart’s original systems theory analysis of states of consciousness, although it differs in its reliance on the modern sciences of complexity, especially dynamical systems theory and its emphasis on process and evolution. We argue that consciousness experience is constructive in the sense that it is the result of ongoing self-organizing and self-creating processes in the mind and body. These processes follow a broad developmental agenda already described by psychologists such as Jean Piaget. Similar constructive transformations of consciousness appear to have occurred across the course of human history. In this sense, phylogeny indeed recapitulates ontogeny. Finally, modern developmental research suggests that the most advanced levels of human growth transform consciousness in the direction of increasing selflessness and spirituality, rather than simply toward greater intelligence
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