2011-12 Catalog

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Consciousness Studies

You will learn concrete things, facts, ideas, relationships. You will learn how to work with groups of people, which is how most of your work in life will be done, adjusting to new groups, helping each solve the problem it has tackled. You will, if we have done all our work well, learn how to learn: how to get data, how to deal with it, having gained confidence in your ability to handle situations where you either learn or remain helpless.

—Charles McCann, Evergreen’s First President, 1968-1977

Consciousness is that out of which what we can know arises. 

And, what else?

In the spirit of Evergreen’s foundation, we approach the study of consciousness and experience in open inquiry. We admit that current bodies of knowledge don’t have all the answers. We’re interested in questions, especially those that we need each other in order to explore.

Questions that we ask include: How does experience shape consciousness—and vice-versa? In what ways does the inclusion of the body effect cognitive development? How is sentience defined and recognized? How might it matter if the self is proven to be a by-product of a biofeedback loop? In what ways are science and spirituality complementary? What constitutes collective forms of consciousness? How can analytical attention to consciousness and the recognition of subjectivity effect positive change?

The answers to these questions (and the matrix for more) arise from this field that brings together interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and even non-disciplinary approaches to our studies.

Emotion, cognition, attention, understanding, interpretation, creativity, sensation, listening, dreaming, expression, reflection, motivation, resonance, prayer, proprioception. These and more are the elements of consciousness, our subjects of study, and our data in response to which we can either learn or remain helpless.