Consciousness can mean many things to many people, yet it is notoriously difficult to define. At The Wisdom Academy, we don’t define consciousness; instead, we clarify different meanings. What does it mean to you?
That’s the starting point of every program we offer. We invite you to spend a little time thinking about this. There are no right answers. Nevertheless, it really helps to be as clear as you can about what you mean when you use the word “consciousness.”
In different disciplines it means different things. For example, in psychology it usually means “self-awareness.” In philosophy, it often means “subjectivity” or “sentience.” In spirituality, it is used to refer to clarity of awareness, high ethical values, and wisdom that leads to purposeful, compassionate action.
In our courses, we include and explore all of these meanings—and give special attention to learning how they differ and interrelate.
Just as the word “consciousness” has multiple meanings, “Consciousness Studies” can have many different meanings, too—depending on motivations, perspectives, and backgrounds. In most cases, however, one common factor stands out: Consciousness Studies is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry. It intersects with philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, anthropology, history, quantum physics, cosmology, and spirituality.
A firm and comprehensive foundation in Consciousness Studies will include elements from philosophy of mind, developmental and transpersonal psychology, artificial intelligence, brain dynamics, cultural differences, evolutionary development, metaphysical speculations, and direct experience through shamanic and/or spiritual practices. No-one could possibly master the knowledge available in all of these disciplines.
Even a doctorate in Consciousness Studies would require only a basic familiarity with the key issues in each field. Nevertheless, if you are serious about taking a course in Consciousness Studies—whether for personal or professional purposes—you will be greatly served by taking the time to lay a firm and comprehensive foundation.
That is what the “Foundation Module for Consciousness Studies” provides, giving you the benefit of a comprehensive and integrated overview. We have simplified and condensed key elements from the various interdisciplinary fields into four distinct and related areas: science, philosophy, shamanism, and spirituality. These areas match the four gifts of knowing—senses, reason, feeling, and intuition—that lie at the heart of The Wisdom Academy’s approach to studying consciousness.