Philosophy Cosmology and Consciousness Program
VOICE AND VISION
The Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness (PCC) graduate program is dedicated to re-imagining the human species as a mutually enhancing member of the Earth community.
PCC attracts intellectually engaged individuals who are in varying degrees dismayed by what they see happening in industrial societies and who are striving to find meaningful ways to develop their gifts to serve the future of the world.
The program supports those called to meet the Earth community's unprecedented evolutionary challenge by offering students a rigorous and supportive learning community in which to find their voice and vision as leaders.
Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness (PCC) is a graduate program dedicated to reimagining the human species as a mutually enhancing member of the Earth community. The heart of the PCC program is its focus on knowledge that is transformative--of ourselves and of our civilization. It attracts intellectually engaged individuals who are to varying degrees dismayed by what they see happening in industrial societies and who are striving to find meaningful ways to develop their gifts to serve the future of the world.
Inspired by Alfred North Whitehead's view that the function of the university is to enable the future to appear, first in conceptual thought, the PCC faculty and graduate students hold in mind three fundamental goals:
To open our consciousness, through learning and imagination, to those creative and evolutionary energies suffusing the Earth, the Universe, and the deep psyche that will enable us to participate fully in the regeneration of human communities and their enveloping life systems;
To analyze the current devastation of planetary life and to strive to liberate ourselves and our communities from the underlying causes of alienation, consumerism, militarism, androcentrism, and unsustainable modes of life;
- To draw from the deep wells of philosophical and religious wisdom together with other scholarly and scientific insights in order to bring forth a profound vision of a vibrant planetary era.
Scientists, scholars, and visionaries recognize that the Earth community is facing an unprecedented evolutionary challenge, the most severe degradation of life in the last 65 million years. This multifaceted crisis requires a fundamental reorientation of our civilization, one in which a compassionate humanity becomes a mutually enhancing presence within Earth's complex systems of life. Cultural historian Thomas Berry has called this task "the Great Work."
The PCC program is committed to shaping the leadership necessary for profound, progressive transformation of social institutions and individual consciousness. Drawing upon some of the most powerful ideas of Western intellectual and spiritual traditions, together with insights from Asian spiritual philosophies and indigenous worldviews, the faculty has constructed a multidisciplinary course of study to help accelerate each student's journey into his or her particular leadership role within this work:
Philosophy: To free philosophy from its contemporary limitations-narrowly analytic, reductionist, and cosmologically alienated-and revive the original essence of Western philosophy as the love of wisdom. Philosophy in PCC explores new ways of thinking and being that are both visionary and pragmatic, and resist the paradigm of fragmentation that continues to dominate Western thought and culture.
Cosmology: To pursue a multidisciplinary study of cosmology with a focus on the evolutionary unfolding of the Universe and the Earth community. Cosmology in PCC includes reflection on the discoveries of the natural sciences, as well as cosmological and ecological perspectives emerging in contemporary culture, including especially the arts and religion.
Consciousness: To explore the worlds of consciousness and the deep psyche, particularly by research concerning archetypal structures and their formative expression in individual lives and culture. Consciousness studies in PCC focus on transpersonal and Jungian psychology, the evolution of consciousness, Western esotericism, and new paradigm studies.
Integral Ecology: In the last several years, the PCC faculty and students have collaborated in creating a strong emphasis on integral ecology. The new Integral Ecology track focuses on ecology in the context of a multi- and transdisciplinary vision of philosophy, cosmology, and consciousness that characterizes the PCC program as a whole. The word integral implies that ecology is relevant to the full range of human knowledge and action. Integral Ecology includes the study of the natural and human sciences as well as the world's spiritual traditions.
In the end, the perspectives studied and developed within the PCC community are tested in the fire of each student's experience. PCC offers students a challenging and supportive learning community in which to find their voice and vision as leaders.
MASTER OF ARTS, PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION
The PCC MA program seeks individuals who are drawn to the program's mission and goals, are open to multiple points of view, write well, and think critically.
Admissions decisions are based on past academic achievement, maturity, and motivation for educational and personal development.
The autobiographical statement should describe significant events in your life that have led to the decision to pursue admission to this program. The goal statement should articulate why you are interested in PCC in particular, and, if appropriate, how these interests relate to your long-term personal and professional aspirations.
PCC will consider applicants from a variety of academic backgrounds, including the humanities, the social sciences, the natural sciences, the arts, or professional degree programs.
Our students pursue a one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary curriculum, taught by faculty who have established international reputations in such fields as cosmology, ecology and the evolution of consciousness.
Studying the historical intersections of ideas in philosophy, science and religion, our master's candidates engage with both historical lessons and emerging theories. This broad intellectual foundation prepares our graduates to articulate the evolutionary challenges in our own "hinge time" in history.
PCC inspires intense learning in many ways, from the annual retreat for students, faculty and alumni at Esalen Institute, to forums, symposia and conferences on such topics as The Cosmological Imagination.
Our MA alumni have forged careers in permaculture, capacity-building for environmental and social change organizations, teaching and sustainable business education.
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION
Scholars who seek intellectual engagement in such pioneering fields as social ecology and capacity-building for environmental change, describe our PCC program as the only place to pursue their goals.
Our uniquely interdisciplinary curriculum, taught by renowned faculty, stimulates both analysis and imagination. Studying the historical intersections of ideas in philosophy, science and religion, doctoral scholars prepare to teach, publish and take on activist roles in such areas as advocacy, sustainability, counseling and politics.
Our program fosters visionary thinking and passionate debate, beginning with our annual retreat at the renowned Esalen Institute.
Throughout the year forums, symposia and conferences complement PCC Podiums, where doctoral students who have finalized their dissertations make presentations. Ultimately we challenge students to develop the intellectual drive and personal initiative required to build a better world.
The PCC faculty directs dissertations in two specializations: Integral Ecology and Cosmology, and Archetypal and Consciousness Studies. Admission to the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness PhD program is increasingly selective.
PhD admission is independent of admission to the MA program; it requires a separate application. An applicant for the PhD must have done outstanding work at the MA level. In addition, the PhD applicant must do the following:
Identify at least one PCC core faculty member who would be appropriate to serve as a mentor in the PhD program and a second faculty member who would be able and willing to serve on the dissertation committee.
Show close familiarity with that faculty member's particular area of expertise.
Demonstrate the necessary preparation and motivation for specializing in that area (or areas), especially with respect to research leading to the dissertation.
Students admitted into the doctoral concentration who do not have an MA from CIIS in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness may be required to complete up to an additional 18 units of coursework (minus equivalencies) from the core section of the MA curriculum.
This school offers programs in: