In this chapter, I will draw upon East-Asian wisdom traditions, quantum, transpersonal, and integral theory to posit consciousness as fundamental. In doing so, the relationship between Self and reality will be articulated as nondual. I will argue that knowledge about the nature of Self is both an educational entitlement and learning process. Such understanding is generally thwarted by the impact of scientific materialism and behaviorism on educational orthodoxy, which instead promulgate a separate sense of self with destructive individual and collective consequences. Moving from philosophical theorization to application to teacher education, I will argue that a massive program of deconditioning and unlearning is necessary within education and show how a module I teach, “Responding Mindfully to Challenging Behavior,” attempts to do some of this work via a focus on “discipline.” The focus of the module invites us to question the nature of Self when difficulties arise. As explored, this is often a conditioned self with automatic reactions that can shift toward a “witnessing consciousness” when experiential learning and contemplative practices are integrated with theories of human flourishing.
I would like to thank friends Rodrigo Brito, Sue Cooper, Richard Lamb, and Karen Neil as well as the editors for comments on a first draft of this chapter.
Sellman, E.M. (2020), "The Nature of
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