I mentioned that I was at the Yoga Congress a couple of days ago in Germany. One of the themes that I mentioned as I introduced myself and my background interests, concerned transformative learning experience.
I have had an interest in mystical traditions since I was a teenager. Probably because of curiosity into what my ancestor Meister Eckhardt was all about. One of the common themes in Christian and Indian mysticism is tranformative development or higher stages of consciousness. The mystics claim that they have been able to experience higher levels of consciousness or what Psychologists would call higher complexity.
Psychologists since William James have been interested in the possibilities of adult transformative changes. These are usually provoked by crises which cause a disorientation deep enough to provoke questioning long held beliefs, values or assumptions. Spiritual heroes usually have such experiences which result in new perspectives on life and its meaning.
I am interested in learning more about how such transformations could be assisted or actually taught to others. This is very much like what I looked for in the Yoga tradition and the Christian mystic tradition. I have been somewhat encouraged in my pursuit by the developments in what is called the study of Transformational Learning. I am considering the possibilities of investigating adult transformational development and how it compares to the mystical traditions as part of my doctoral thesis.
Any suggestions or bibliographic recommendations will be greatly appreciated.