Rapid Transformations of States of Consciousness
If you had a medication that could improve physical and mental wellbeing and lead to a longer, happier life, and you had a choice to share it with 500 people, or with 500 million people, which would you choose?
With a transpersonal approach, we hold approaches to healing and wellbeing and exceptional human development that are drawn from thousands of years of human innovation, and that in some areas go well beyond what medicine and psychology can offer. If we imagine that we are outsiders, that we are special and that science is the enemy, then we will share what we have with the 500 people—and it is wonderful to share with 500 people. But if we choose to find the ways to work together with medicine and psychology, then we can bring these gifts to 500 million people, and more.
The work I share on rapid transformations of consciousness is an example of how science and transpersonal psychology can work together. It is science done to the highest standards, using neuroscience to measure how consciousness is transformed in transpersonal ways—rapidly, effectively, and reliably.
When Abraham Maslow and Anthony Sutich founded transpersonal psychology, they did not imagine it as small associations of a few hundred people. They were coming off of the remarkable success of humanistic psychology, which transformed psychology as we know it—the Society for Humanistic Psychology was once one of the largest Divisions of the American Psychological Association, with over 6,000 professional members. Maslow and Sutich saw transpersonal not as some niche specialization, but as the next transformation of psychology in the Western world.
Having this kind of impact on the way psychology is done will require the hard work of creating, inventing, the ways psychology and spirituality can be in a fruitful relationship. This process of rapidly transform states of consciousness is work that can change your life. But it is also work that shows how we as a transpersonal movement can transform psychology.
Glenn Hartelius is an internationally known scholar and thought leader in integral and transpersonal psychology, supporting its development and impact through grant-funded research, editorial roles, and mentorship for the next generation of transpersonal scholars. As Full Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies he founded and chaired a doctoral program in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology, designing, building and leading what a university review committee described as “one of the most successful doctoral degree launches” in the university’s history. He brought together a team of top scholars including Charles Tart, Stanley Krippner, Harris Friedman, Jenny Wade, Les Lancaster, Adam Rock, Harry Hunt, Dean Radin, Etzel Cardeña, Douglas MacDonald, Judy Grahn, Frederic Luskin, Arnaud Delorme, and Helané Wahbeh, among others. Glenn’s vision of scientific rigor, whole person approaches, and high academic standards drew more than 100 students to the program in the first four years. With this foundation he designed and launched a second emphasis in somatic psychology in collaboration with key scholars Don Hanlon Johnson, Theresa Silow, and Eleanor Criswell. The program focused on fostering the writing and thinking skills needed to publish in peer-reviewed literature, and its quality is evidenced by the fact that two-thirds of graduates from the first cohort have been published in or are near submission to peer-reviewed journals—an exceptional record for a program oriented toward whole person approaches. As Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies (IJTS), Glenn has connected with transpersonal scholars around the world and brought a journal with fewer than 100 subscribers into what is today the field’s largest journal and primary publisher of empirical research, with more than 100,000 downloads per year by over 50,000 total users spanning nearly every country on the globe. IJTS is the only transpersonal journal listed in Scopus, a top research index with rigorous selection criteria. Glenn has edited IJTS since 2007, in early years running every phase of its operation single-handed, from soliciting papers to managing reviews and revisions, typesetting, proofreading, and publishing; in recent years he has trained students and early-career graduates in editing and journal production to support this and other transpersonal publishing projects. In addition Glenn is co-author of The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Transpersonal Psychology, to date the most comprehensive overview of the field, and actively promotes the transpersonal field as Vice-President of the International Transpersonal Association, which he has worked with since its revival in 2008. As a trainer and workshop leader, Glenn has taught in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. As the Director of Attention Strategies Institute Glenn leads research into a novel method of measuring states of consciousness through attentional stance analysis, and coaches top business leaders in application of mindful attention skills. He is co-author of The Ketamine Papers, Guest Associate Editor of a research topic on ketamine therapy for the Psychopharmacology section of the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, and content expert for development of virtual reality education and preparation for ketamine therapy at FireflyVR. Other areas of Glenn’s work include cognitive processes associated with global cognitive state regulation, operational definition and measurement of state mindfulness, resolution of dissociated ego states, consciousness theory and research, and contributions to the definition and development of transpersonal psychology. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow for Alef Trust in the UK. As part of bringing transpersonal concepts and approaches to China, Glenn has worked closely with scholars from Fudan University, Shanghai, in support of the founding and development of the Chinese Association of Integral Psychology, where he is a regular keynote speaker. He was also a founding core faculty member for the Zijing-CIIS Master of Arts in Applied Psychology, associated with Tsinghua University, Beijing, and he teaches rapid access to meditative states through the Chinese company Flow Academy. From his ground breaking work on defining transpersonal psychology to his role in building its most prominent doctoral program, leading its largest and most prestigious journal, and developing its most comprehensive handbook, Glenn has transformed the face of the small but potent transpersonal area of psychology.