A transformation in consciousness effects a kind of double vision in people.
They see more than one reality at the same time, which gives a depth to both
their experience and to their response to the experience.
- RACHEL NAOMI REMEN (2003)
"For Richard Gunther, who tells his story in the preface to this book, transformation happened in a moment. He stepped out onto a deck and experienced the beauty and splendor of the Big Sur coastline. He felt the sun on his flesh and the wind in his hair. But he also felt something else. Something much more meaningful: a change in his worldview. In one moment he was suddenly "flooded with contentment and the joy of feeling whole, of being blessed." In an instant, he experienced a paradigm shift that changed the way he saw the world - and his place in it.
While not everyone experiences it in a moment, Richard Gunther's experience can best be described as a consciousness transformation. Consciousness transformations are profound internal shifts that result in long-lasting changes in the way you experience and relate to yourself, others, and the world. It's not so much that this successful businessman became a different person. Instead, he experienced a change in his perception of reality - and in the process discovered more fully who he really is, independent of the social expectations and cultural conditioning that had previously shaped his sense of self.
Stop and reflect for a moment. Looking back over your life, can you find pivotal moments that broadened your perspective? Have there been times in your life that you identify as turning points - moments after which you saw the world in a more open and generous light? Have you ever felt connected to something greater than yourself, and in that connection felt self-centeredness slip away? Or have you noticed a more gradual process, where over a period of months or years you changed the way you viewed yourself and the world, little by little?
Consciousness transformations happen more often than you might think. Knowing more about what stimulates them, how they work, and what supports the process can help you jump on board rather than be just pulled along, getting bashed about in the process. By understanding transformation, you'll be better able to navigate the enormous changes that face each of us every day of our lives. As a result, you may be able to shift what is difficult and challenging into opportunity and adventure. Our premise is simple, yet radical: your behavior, attitudes, and ways of being in the world are changed in life-affirming and lasting ways only when your consciousness transforms and you commit to living deeply into that transformation." (2007, pp. 14-15)
~Excerpted from "Living Deeply - The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life" by Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Ph.D., Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D., Tina Amorok, Psy.D.