Recorded in December 2012, mere days before the Mayan calendar "end date," this talk explores the idea of consciousness transformation. What is consciousness, and how can it change? Does consciousness change in a normative way, or can we imagine consciousness transformation as Jung did with his concept of individuation, which is something unique, immeasurable and unreproducible -- the opposite of a cookie-cutter normative conception of the maturation process?
This talk frames the argument that authentic consciousness transformation is always a let-down, a deflation. Any idea of consciousness transformation leading to new degrees of freedom or happiness is just so much naïveté. This talk gets into the idea of what consciousness transformation is, in particular exploring the Jungian notion of individuation and the maturation process. Some of the problems of individuation are discussed including ego deflation and the idea of normativity -- how can we endorse the idea of maturity but eschew normative conceptions of what it is to be an adult? How can we learn more while warding against the feelings of elitism and superiority which accompany increased knowledge? How can we avoid falling into narcissistic fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience when talking about consciousness transformation?