“Studying consciousness is, at the very least, eye-opening, and has the power to transform and enlighten; to cultivate an unending fascination with the world in which we live. This is our hope for the students at UWB: that, through their experiences at the University, they continue to find inspiration in the things they learn, and that they may translate this awe into their everyday lives.
There is a biological advantage to being awestruck. Awe is that wonderful sense of curiosity and excitement at what we - individually and collectively - are a part of. Awe spurs us to learn more, discover, and move forward with hope; it enhances our connection to the world, helping us find meaning and belonging within it... Consciousness studies ignited us with passion and enthusiasm that lets us look toward the future with optimism and confidence, and we would like nothing better than for others to feel as alive as we do now.”
Students are the hearts, minds, and life-force of the Consciousness Program. In the absence of their unique passions, gifts, eagerness to explore unchartered territory and championing support of the program, Consciousness at UW Bothell would not exist. Every accomplishment - from the passing of the Minor, founding of the Consciousness Club, to organizing this campaign - is the result of students who have been touched by Consciousness in deeply personal, yet profoundly collective ways. In the stories below, meet just a handful of the remarkable students who have been a part of the program to learn about their experiences. They are the New Generation of scholars, scientists, and leaders the world needs, and they are only the beginning.
"The study of consciousness has cast a fine web between spirituality, belief and a scientific approach to defining the world we, Westerners, live in. Thus, we are building a greater understanding of the world, in particular the aspects of this world previously disregarded due to lack of conformity to rational thinking and falling outside the realm of realism. Consciousness has helped me foster my sense of mindfulness, encouraged critical skepticism, reinforced the importance of presence and reignited the world’s need for compassion."
"After the first day of class, as strange as it sounds, I knew I had found myself! Well, all I know is something had clicked, similar to when your gut tells you that you’re doing something very right. Consciousness has consumed me and I am better for it. I have learned to live my life with intention and love. Furthermore, Consciousness has ignited my desire to find my life's purpose. And among many other lessons, this class has given me the tools to find ways to navigate that. I am inexplicably grateful."
"Going through the minor in consciousness was the beginning of my academic metamorphosis. Today I am researching whale languages and examining the continuity between their species and ours. I am pursuing a BS in biology and minors in physics and consciousness as well as a BA in media and communications studies. In addition to the lenses of biology and physics, I apply what I learned in the consciousness program to my research. After completing undergraduate school I will continue with my research in a graduate degree. I would not be where I am today, had I not taken the Consciousness Minor with Professor Kate Noble."
"Studying consciousness means opening our minds to a whole new way of thinking. It teaches us to take a shift in consciousness. This shift in consciousness deepens our empathy for one another because we no longer see ourselves as individuals but rather we are infinitely interconnected. A more profound connection to one another has the potential to solve many of the world's inequities that we are not currently able to solve in our current state of consciousness. I have always known that there is beauty in everyone and everything, and studying consciousness has given me hope for the future of human existence."
"When I was in college, something unexpected happened to me: I discovered a course that changed my life for the better, the field of Consciousness Studies. The course expanded my awareness and challenged everything I thought I knew. I quickly became more attentive, analytical, and interested in the world of quantum physics in all aspects of my life. I also learned what it meant to have self love and compassion for those around you while building a strong community and deep connection with fellow classmates. This field of study made my education worth something at the University that I never knew was possible. After completing the minor and graduating, I knew I needed to be a part of an emerging field of science that would not only advance what we know, but to share the power of Consciousness with future generations."
"I am passionate about the infinite correlations between consciousness and all other disciplines. From psychology to physics and beyond, I am able to identify powerful parallels contributing to my growth as a student and my thirst for knowledge. These correlations better my understanding of how interdisciplinary approaches create well-rounded students as well as preparation for the real world – post-college. I am 110% confident that as a result of consciousness studies, I am a much happier, kinder, mindful, and thoughtful person. These courses have most definitely been my favorite and contributed to both my personal and academic growth - which is rare to find - more so than any other course I’ve completed in the last four years. Phenomenal."
"For myself, the consciousness courses were certainly the single most influential part of my time at UWB. The curriculum was often more challenging than many other courses. Yet I found that for every amount of effort I put into the course, the reward was even greater. The lessons in meditation practices, the raw and creative discussion, the reminder for mindful living, and the general practice of open-minded learning all affected the way I approached my time at UWB, but also the way I approached changes in my life outside the university. The courses not only provided me with a close-knit group of individuals motivated to learn and share their ideas with each other, but it provided me with tools I could immediately use and practice outside of the classroom. This was a revolutionary discovery in my education, since I had the idea out of high school that most of the topics of study in the classroom were less translatable in life outside of academia. Consciousness studies teaches you to be mindful and compassionate to yourself and others, to experience life with an open mind, to consider every perspective holistically, to make time for peace and gratitude in everyday living. It teaches you to discover yourself. It teaches you to be truly alive."
"Transformation, change, healing, wellbeing, seeking lucidity, radical honesty and responsibility; these are all concepts, ideas, and areas of interest that awakened my insatiable curiosity to learn more about the ways our individual fabrications of reality are woven together on a larger scale. The Consciousness Minor helped me to understand how beliefs and paradigms have the ability to change various aspects of our lives and manifested realities; we can fluidly act upon these possibilities to change and evolve continuously if we choose to do so. Therefore, I followed this rabbit hole of consciousness into the creative spiral of my potential, while engaging with other passionately enamored individuals who were working to awaken the awe and curiosity of others through lucid dreams, quantum physics, contemplative practices, scientific inquiry, and research into the study of awareness and the manifestations of mind within our western materialist conceptual framework. Why do we make the choices we make; are we aware of the consequences; do we care enough to change what no longer grows us? I have the deepest desire to aspire and inspire others before I expire, so now I choose to share this delightfully investigative way of living, thinking, and questioning to the curiously arising generations of our time."
"The Consciousness Minor was probably the most important and meaningful part of my education at the University of Washington Bothell. The classes I took in this program played a big part in determining who I am today. The most important lesson I think, was that it taught me to have an open mind. By doing so I have become much more in touch with myself as well as the world around me. Even though it’s been years since I took a formal consciousness class, the concepts and ideas I learned in them has shaped my education since then. It has taught me to look at things in a different way. Instead of seeing the world as a collection of parts, the consciousness program has taught me to look at it in terms of relationships. It’s showed me that things are usually made up of systems within systems, all of them interacting and affecting one another. This holds true in all the classes I’m in right now, whether it’s dealing with human interaction, our changing media, or even how our brains are structured; our world is full of pattern and relationships and being able to see it as such has brought me countless insights. I’m very glad that I had the chance to be a part of the consciousness minor and would recommend it to anyone looking to expand their mind."
"When people ask me, 'what is Consciousness Studies?' I typically tell them that it's the study of the mind and the implications that the mind has on our reality. But then I ask myself, what really is consciousness? Over the course of the past several years I've been on a shell shocking, mind twisting journey that has fundamentally changed the core of my very being. Consciousness Studies has provided me with the understanding that there is more than what our waking reality fronts, that we are all collectively connected, and that we are all innate beings of consciousness. Since graduating with a minor in Consciousness Studies, I continue to question the very nature of my own spirit and reality; and with this, I find solace in knowing that I don't, and will never know everything about life. This has ultimately melded me into a more humble creature of this planet with an aspiration for change. So what is consciousness you ask? It is you, it is me, and most importantly, it is we."
"Consciousness is a new way of thinking. After taking three Consciousness classes before I graduated, they have taught me to think differently, mindfully, and carefully. We are taught to see the world through one perspective and make decisions based on our own experience. Consciousness has shown me that we have to be more mindful about the decisions we make because we are a part of a participatory world. Our decisions do not only affect us, but the people, animals and natural world around us. Even though mindfulness may seem simple, Consciousness helps us unfold every complex layer of ourselves to fully understand who we really are and how we think."
"Consciousness studies helped me to get know myself intimately and to recognize the ways in which I am connected with others. I am much more aware of my internal dialogue and of the intentions that I am setting. Meditative practices I was introduced to in class have been proven to be very beneficial for me. Once I delved into Consciousness Studies I saw the world through new eyes. I will never underestimate the power of our minds."
"The classes making up the consciousness minor were some of the most challenging and fulfilling that that I have ever taken. Bringing to bear the lenses of many scientific disciplines on the question of how mind and brain interact was exactly the test of critical thinking skills that I needed from my university education, but it was something that I was able to find nowhere else besides the consciousness program. These courses reinvigorated my academic career at the moment I was wondering if I was on the right path, gave me some of my most valuable knowledge and skills, and (for no extra charge) dramatically improved my well being by making me a more compassionate person."
"I found two major growing points on a personal level in consciousness studies. The first point being a clear knowledge of the direction that I want to pursue in my career, and the other is returning to what I knew to be true when I was as a child. I plan to attend Bastyr University after graduation from UW Bothell as I have the clarity I need to pursue further education in healing work and healthcare. Studying consciousness has returned me to my true knowing of the significance of being loving which I was reminded of when we studied near-death experiences. The relief I feel at getting back to this simple truth of being loving as the most important focus of my life is immense, and it takes the emphasis off of material reality to a deeper sincerity of my work and life."
"Consciousness Studies has changed the way I see society and my role in that society. It has given me hope that we can create a culture that cares for all humans, animals and environments as much as we care for ourselves because these things are simply extensions of ourselves. We are not small and powerless. We can have hope. We need to have hope. We are the only ones who can bring about the change our world so desperately needs."