Video talks

Lecture 1: Understanding Health: The Intersection of Psychology and Spirituality

With this lecture, Dr. Elena Mustakova opens up the Washington D.C. regional community group of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (http://noetic.org/), created by astronaut Edgar Mitchell in 1973, after his return from the Moon in Apollo 14. As he approached the Earth, at the sight of our beautiful blue planet, Mitchell had an epiphany about our deep interconnectedness. He realized that: “the story of ourselves as told by science–our cosmology, our religion–was incomplete and likely flawed. I recognized that the Newtonian idea of separate, independent, discrete things in the universe wasn’t a fully accurate description. What was needed was a new story of who we are and what we are capable of becoming.”

The Institute created by Mitchell has community groups all over the world, where people gather to discuss the intersections between science and spiritual understanding, and the evolution of consciousness that we are experiencing in the world now.

In her first lecture, Dr. Mustakova describes her clinical understanding of the dynamics of health in our time, when we often feel estranged from ourselves and others, insecure and unstable, dissatisfied despite the daily race, and immersed in automatic and stressful thinking. Advanced knowledge has not made us healthier, because we lack a systematic spiritual understanding of our inner reality and the reality of life, which creates a solid foundation for living. The preponderance of materialistic science, which does not seriously consider the spiritual powers of consciousness, and does not seek meaningful intersections, leads to a serious loss of meaning in the context of contradictory social messages and competing political and religious ideologies. Where meaning is absent, people are deprived of a genuine holding environment, which is a condition for health. Dr. Mustakova examines the dynamics of health as coherent interactions between body, mind, and spirit in a concrete socio-historical context.

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Lecture 2: The Nature of Mind

This lecture continues the theme of health as coherence of mind, body and spirit, and deepens the analysis on the nature of mind from the point of view of neuro-psychology, quantum physics, and integrative consciousness studies. Mustakova introduces the model of Dr. Daniel Siegel from UCLA Berkley, who presents eight processes of consciousness integration: toward more 1. Connected; 2. Open; 3. Harmonious; 4. Receptive; 5. Engaged; 6. Noetic/Knowing; 7. Compassionate; 8. Empathic. These eight processes characterize the development of mind toward health and a rewarding experience of life.

 

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Lecture 3: Heart/Mind Epistemology

This lecture takes up the question why, despite our vast knowledge in this age, we suffer ever more intensely, and so do our relationships to society and to our natural world. Mustakova examines two different and complementary epistemological processes, which are rooted in a more expansive understanding of the nature of mind discussed in the previous lecture. The familiar epistemology of mind is based primarily on physical perceptions and on the premise of modern science that reality is solely material. A growing number of scientists, however, are reaching the conclusion that consciousness precedes matter – a concept at the core of every spiritual wisdom tradition – and that the associated epistemological process is non-local, intuitive, and heart-centered. Additionally, experiments are showing that when the two epistemic processes sync, that releases powerful positive changes in the physical and emotional experience of well-being. This is where psychology clearly intersects spirituality.

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Lecture 4: Languages of Socio-Historical Understanding

In this lecture, Elena Mustakova examines how different socio-historical discourses construct differently our experience of what is real. Dominant scientific, social, and religious discourses remain limited and fragmented, and disempower an integrated experience of reality. The lecture describes the emergence of an integrative spiritual language, which recognizes the spiritual potential of personhood, the role of physical and social reality in its development, the common spiritual and ethical core of all religious knowledge, the complementarity of scientific knowledge and spiritual insight, as well as the spiritual dimensions of contemporary historical processes.

 

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Lecture 5: The Path to Universal Love

In this lecture, Josh Downer summarizes the depth themes of the previous four lectures and discussions of the Washington D.C. group. At their core is the psychological recognition that we live with distorted conceptions of ourselves influenced by the multiple competing discourses in the public space – “scientific” materialism, consumerism, religious fundamentalism, nihilism – and these competing discourses create a reactive, unstable, anxious-depressed condition of personhood. Realizing our true reality is an integrative process explored in the previous lectures. At its foundation is the aspiration toward an internal condition of loving presence, and an engagement in social processes seeking to create a universally just world. The context and holding environment of this integrative process are communities that support it.

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Lecture 6: Reverent Heart and Depth Motivation

This lecture is a poetic reflection on the depth dimension of personhood, which connect us to reverence for life.

 

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Lecture 7: Free Will and Health

This lecture examines lifespan development from a psychological and a spiritual perspective, and how free will is constructed at each next stage. Elena Mustakova describes the dual spiral of the meaning-making evolution of the structures of the self, and the expanding choices at each next level, as well as the role of free will in the experience of health.

 

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Lecture 8: Ego Transcendence: Becoming Pure Channels

This last lecture from the series summarizes the development of the self toward integration of physical, emotional, and spiritual health in a concrete socio-historical context, and examines the role of self-transcendence in the experience of the fulfilled life.

 

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