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