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Consciousness in Oscillation

Worldviews and their Transcendence as Spiritual Practice

Series:

Sonja Lenk

The thesis addresses the question of human consciousness in its oscillation between conditioning and transcendence: the impact of cultural worldviews on the individual’s lifeworld and their gradual transcendence as a form of spiritual practice. At the centre of attention is a group of individuals and their unfolding life-stories as they move through a journey of transformation, seeking to explore and understand the complexity of their own consciousness. The emphasis is on the embodiment of belief systems and the individuals’ inherent existential power to transcend cultural precepts. Methodologically, the study is based in phenomenological anthropology. It thus employs the first-person perspective and includes subjective personal experience as primary data.

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7 A Critique

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Overall the School was a worthwhile experience for most of the students be- cause, as mentioned before, considering the amount of time, money and energy it would not have made sense to attend over an extended period of time. But of course there were also critical voices. In the structured interviews I conducted one of the questions I asked the students was: “What do you dislike most about the School?” Most of the critique was regarding the administrative structure or rigidity of the School, the work-intense DLMs (distance learning modules), or the high cost of the training. One of the students disliked the fact that everything was trademarked and businesslike, thinking that this was the opposite of what the School was about. Amongst the students I knew Kevin was the most critical voice I encountered – certainly the most critical who had accomplished the whole training. And he was one of the few students who engaged in critical in- tellectual analysis of spiritual concepts as such and the possibility of transmit- ting these ‘truths’. Over the years he went through several stages regarding his attitude towards the School, oscillating from very positive to deep disappoint- ment. After the second year of training I wrote to him asking whether he felt be- ing at the School had improved the quality of his life in any way. He wrote back the following: [The School] has certainly played a huge part in my healing process and has been a great gift to me. I...

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