This free event is part of Meridian University’s webinar series, “Integral Voices, Evolutionary Conversations on Culture and Consciousness.” The program will feature a video conversation and Q@A with Helen Palmer and Aftab Omer, PhD.
You may listen to the conversation live by webcast at 11 am – noon PDT, or to the recording at a later date.
It seems so natural to observe the patterns of our mind and to hear the self-reports of people who see the world differently. Yet that simple turn of attention that self-reflection requires marks a giant leap in the evolution of consciousness.
The first turn of attention lets us witness our personality structure as described in the nine Enneagram types. We can recognize thoughts as they appear and tell them to someone else. We can note our emotions as they arise and describe them to others. We also can learn to relax somatic contractions that govern our flow of life force. Self-reflection reveals the conditioned patterns of type.
In the language of science, self-reflection joins two different levels of consciousness – a conditioned level of embedded patterns in the neuropathways of our brain and a receptive state of mind that remains when cognitive/emotional dominance recedes.
In the vocabulary of practice, we relax attention to the patterns passing through our mind – “objects of attention” (thoughts, emotions and sensations that are structured according to Enneagram type). Yet the “pure consciousness” that notes those patterns as they arise makes prayer and meditation possible.
From the viewpoint of awakening, we can learn to witness our own psychological structure. We can recognize the “neuromarkers” of type such as doubt, judgment and flattery as they arise and before they become convincing. We can learn to relax emotional passions that drive reactive behavior, and voluntarily reduce somatic constrictions that signal inner distress.
These capacities of mind demonstrate next stages of development. For who but ourselves can choose to observe and relax the reactive patterns that drive us instead of letting them run?
Aftab Omer, PhD, is a sociologist, psychologist, futurist and the president of Meridian University. Raised in Pakistan, India, Hawaii and Turkey, he was educated at the universities of MIT, Harvard and Brandeis. His publications have addressed the topics of transformative learning, cultural leadership, generative entrepreneurship and the power of imagination. His work includes assisting organizations in tapping the creative potentials of conflict, diversity, and complexity. He is a Fellow of the International Futures Forum and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences.