It is clear that human consciousness can be transformed through spiritual experiences and practices. Little is known, however, about what the predictors, mediators, and outcomes are of such transformations in consciousness. Compassion and altruism were almost universally identified as important outcomes of positive consciousness transformation. Results from peer-reviewed, consciousness research suggest that altruism and compassion may arise as natural consequences of experiences of interconnection and oneness. These experiences appear to lead to shifts in perspective and changes in one’s sense of self and self in relationship to others.
Experiences of oneness or interconnection often led to or were accompanied by a shift in perspective. This shift was seen by many as the essence of the transformative process, underlying the kinds of long-lasting, dramatic, and generalized changes that are described in spiritual transformation literature. Although transformation is often synonymous with “change,” it may be noted how, although transformation results in changes in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, the actual process of transformation does not require changing these things directly but instead involves a change in perception or perspective, resulting in an alteration in one’s fundamental assumptions.
The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another. A [certain] pathway to the increase of compassion and altruism is supported through a reciprocally reinforcing interplay between the subjective spiritual experience and a context, often provided by religions, spiritual traditions, and modern transformative movements but also through other social systems. Subjective experiences allow one to internalize what previously have been externally influenced morals, while a context ideally provides conditions in which subjective transformative experiences can be translated into long-lasting shifts in one’s way of being.
Padovano, Anthony T. (1984). S Plains, N.Y.: Peter Pauper. __Vieten, C., Amorok, T., & Schlitz, M. M. (2006). I to we: The role of consciousness transformation in compassion and altruism. ‘Zygon’®, 41(4), 915-932.
__Featured image and affirmation was captured and cropped from Spiritual Sunday with Chaim Solomon of Kabbalah Centre @ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCysmazJR7IBvRm_A2Y5zG6g
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