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THE SEARCH FOR EXPANDED CONSCIOUSNESS With the person-centered approach - page 7 / 14





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pay meticulous attention). Self-transcendence is the tendency of living organisms to reach

out beyond their present state. In interaction with the environment and other energy

systems, such a tendency creates new structures and patterns of behavior. The human

mind is an essential component of the dynamic of self-organization and

transformation….a living subsystem in its own right. Awareness is one of its properties,

and this property is called consciousness. Many agree that consciousness is the emerging

focus of human evolution during this period of history (Natiello, 2000, pgs. 134-136,

Rogers, 1980, pp. 203-204).

The study of systems, quantum and chaos theories lends credibility to the

expanded sense of consciousness that seems to mark person-centered (and other) groups.

In these groups, I believe, with the integrity of the climate preserved, “defenses fall away,

openness, fluidity, interrelatedness, and, thus oscillations within each subsystem and the

larger whole increase. Persons touch depths they have never approached before. They

become less inhibited, more fully-functioning and interconnected. Their behavior is

increasingly spontaneous and creative. Unity, connectedness, and a sense of oneness are

enhanced” (Natiello, 2000, p. 137). And, of course, with the familiar boundaries erased

and development of shared consciousness, the issues of staff would become common

property; the whole (the group) would become greater than the sum of its parts (the

individuals); the intensity of energy would increase and, thus, lead to unpredictable

changes in the system. “Aha,” I say to myself while engaging in this search, “things are

beginning to make some sense at last (although I still do not claim to know the ‘truth’!).

Now I was hooked on continuing the process of discovery. Part of that search was

to reread Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, David Bohm, Krishnamurti, Rudolf Steiner, Carl


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