‘The Revolution of Consciousness – Shifting Myths in the Modern World’
The presentation below was part of a day of sharing and discussion organised by Cambridge Consciousness Forum on the theme of ‘The Revolution of Consciousness – Shifting Myths in the Modern World’ on 21 March, 2020. This day had to be cancelled due to Covid-19.
The idea for the day came out of the experience of living in a world in crisis and addresses the question of how we find personal meaning and a sense of direction through our experience. It offers one way of answering that question drawing on Carl Jung, Ervin Laszlo, Stan Grof, Maria Papaspyrou and James Hollis.
These authors point to the vital importance of engaging with our inner depth – the personal and collective unconscious – to find wisdom and healing. They suggest we need to revalue the archetypal Feminine which Western culture has devalued and repressed, to restore a sense of inter-connection and a balance in how we live.
Engaging in this work, facing archetypal levels of consciousness and the individual and collective trauma held in our Shadow, can be very challenging. It may involve experiences of ‘ego-death’ as our everyday awareness is overwhelmed and our sense of personal boundaries is temporarily suspended. We look at how two archetypal myths, that of the Hero’s Journey and of the Great Mother (Anima Mundi), can inspire us and guide us through such encounters.
The presentation considers, if the numinous power of particular myths to guide us is relative to time and culture, whether we might be going through a time of a waning of these two myths, prior to a new myth emerging.
At the end of the presentation a number of prompt questions are given for discussion, as well as a number of books I have found helpful.
A bit about the presenter;
Jeannet Weurman is a healthcare assistant in the day therapy centre of a local hospice. Following a long existential / spiritual search and a desperate desire to ‘know’ experientially that there is more than the material reality, she tried Stan Grof’s Holotropic Breathwork in the mid-1990s and went on to train with Grof as a facilitator in the technique. This, and a mild experience of kundalini energy triggered by the breathwork, fuelled her interest in the use of entheogens (psychedelics), meditation and breathwork as a way of entering non-ordinary, ‘mystical’ states of consciousness. During a year’s sabbatical from her work as a mental health advocate she went to live in California. There she engaged in a period of extensive meditation and experimented with various entheogens (psychedelics), culminating in a six-week retreat at Mapia in Brazil (a Santo Diame community deep in the Amazon forest). She participated in a number of ayahuasca ceremonies during what was an extremely challenging time. A month as work-scholar at Esalen (therapeutic community in Big Sur) offered a time of ‘grounding’ through work in housekeeping. She had one further, what felt like culminating and deeply healing experience with psilocybin, which rounded off this period in her life. She returned to the UK where she resumed work as advocate and social worker in health and social care for around 15 years, before feeling the need to return to further deep work. The exception to this was a number of periods of a few months each of spontaneous kundalini activity triggering non-ordinary states and drawing her in to meditate. In the last few years she has participated in a further residential ayahuasca retreat in Holland and has been participating in Holotropic breathwork workshops several times a year. Jeannet volunteered on the steering group for Emerging Proud and shared her personal story in our first Kinda Proud pocket book; #Emerging Proud through NOTEs
We are very grateful to Jeannet for sharing this work and the effort made to make it accessible online.