Human transformation: disruption of the hegemony of consciousness




Montgomery, Philip Kenneth

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Abstract This dissertation is a narrative unraveling of a process of human transformation that interrupts the psyche’s propensity for creating the conditions for suffering. The self privileging of ego consciousness is posited as the origin of suffering. Temporary relief from suffering is accomplished by bringing forward the content of the unconscious. The condition that allows the content of the unconscious to come forward is disrupting the boundary separating consciousness and the unconscious. This boundary is established when reprehensible content regarding the self is repressed by an ego consciousness that thereby privileges itself. Disruption of the boundary separating ego consciousness and the unconscious allows for reintroduction of the previously repressed content to consciousness. As the boundary fails and ego consciousness is dethroned, unforeseen yet yearned for knowledge becomes available to consciousness thereby initiating the possibility for transformation and hence the momentary release from suffering. Implicit in this research are assumptions of self-motivation and self-organization that configure a theory of autopoiesis or self-making. Observed and observer selves are continually reshaped through continuous interaction in the psychosocial and physical environment. In this study this interaction is made visible through autobiographical narratives in which participant selves each demonstrate and share the insight of observer and observed. This narrative interaction is the simultaneous accomplishment and display of the process of human transformation. This transformation is always only momentary. It is a single moment in the ongoing expansion and contraction of the human psyche. Each transformative event reduces the potential for being irretrievably caught in continuous suffering. Each temporary release from suffering is a waypoint on the pathway of self-realization. The transformative process as presented in this study goes beyond existing accounts of consciousness change found in the annals of psychological methodologies, although Jungian terminologies are borrowed to describe loosely shared conceptual constructs. The aim in employing autobiographical narrative is to portray this elusive process as it is experienced including all its subtleties and nuances.



Transformation, Consciousness, Unconsciousness, Ego, Disruption, Psychotherapy, Psychology, Narrative, Self-realization, Suffering