The very hear of the word consciousness sends goose bumps across my nerves. So much of my being is magically wired with this term! When a friend once defined consciousness as the opposite of lying in coma, it brought both laughter and tears in me, not that it’s not right; but to realize the extent to which we are, in general, unaware of our inner selves.
The dreams which vaguely depicted a lifetime that I had lived several years before; the déjà vu memories of unknown places and the memories of the womb life (the links will take you to my experiences) were significant turning points that brought me here – to consciousness! What I couldn’t have known during my day life, my sleep brings it to me. How amusing this phenomenon seemed! That means, there is yet another life existing within my being in the nights. And I didn’t know about it! Thus began my quest about self. It cannot be told for certain if I took a clear path in my quest. However, the exploration touched a little here and there of sleep and dreams, states of mind, yoga, meditation, hypnotherapy, past lives, healing, psychology and spirituality. A few workshops, a few visits to significant places, a few meetings with helpful people, a few books and resources and a little time diving inside me!
This knowledge can help people, for sure! Many can be brought out from long-buried traumas, guilt, vengeance and hatred. It has the power to heal. It has the key to fulfillment. And it paves way to a higher level of life and living. Why not I master this knowledge? Probably this is where those dreams and memories tried to take me to. Well, I became a yoga instructor, an energy healer and a beginner hypnotherapist. But what could prove more holistic?
Consciousness Studies is what I finally discovered. It is also popularly referred to as Transpersonal Psychology and Spiritual Psychology. Not wide popular yet, it remains a discipline of the truly passionate. Being a subject of self-study, a structured programme in this area is rare to find. BITS Pilani is the only Indian institution that offers a distance master’s course in Transpersonal Psychology. However, its too much bent on Hinduism put me in question.
A few institutes and universities in California and the Naropa University in Colorado are a few among the handful places that offer this course. And the one which excited me the most was The University of Northampton – the only university in the whole of Europe to offer a full-time MSc. in Transpersonal Psychology and Consciousness Studies.
Here is a part of the course content from the web source:
Transpersonal Psychology and Consciousness Studies is an emerging new field within psychology. It is an exciting area that offers both new scientific insight into the functioning of human consciousness and practical skills in applying altered and higher states of consciousness to practical, psychological, educational, and other tasks. This course studies higher states of consciousness, which differ from our everyday mode of functioning.
I know my excitement about this course is truly blind. Nevertheless, here are my favorite reasons for my choice:
The only University in the whole of Europe: It makes it precious without an explanation!
I will not be questioned about my irrelevant background: While most of the other places demand a background in Psychology, I am eligible to pursue my passion at the University of Northampton. I can be from a discipline as irrelevant as Economics or Biology; it is my interest that’s important here not my history.
Covers East and West: The course content is designed to integrate theories and practices from different corners of the world. I can go beyond yoga and see what Tai Chi is. And that’s exactly the perspective I wish to put into my study.
Integrates Neuroscience Research: The course includes a module on Neuroscience and Consciousness. I come from a Neuroscience and research background. So after all, my history will have a place now 🙂
The Spiritual Practices: This is the highlight of the course. It is just not board and pen kind of teaching here. Every student is required to take up some form of spiritual practice on a daily basis. What better can a study give me?
I should say Consciousness Studies and the University of Northampton are the best discoveries I made so far. However, the reality is yet to come. Fingers crossed for that day when I will make my first step at this precious place.
Thanks to British Council and Indiblogger. It means a lot to speak out a dream and you made me do it!
Consciousness Studies @ University of Northampton: