Dr. Karen Jaenke, Consciousness Studies and Politics |353| by Alex Tsakiris | Jun 20 | Consciousness Science Share Tweet SHARES0 Dr. Karen Jaenke discusses her approach to Consciousness Studies at JFK University. photo by: Skeptiko On this episode of Skeptiko… Alex Tsakiris: I want to read this next question, so folks don’t think I’m sandbagging you, the question I wrote: “Are your students, rioting against the university’s secular humanists, demanding recognition of soul and spirit? Are they protesting against atheistic feminism? I’m kidding of course, you but get the point. The central issue, relative to the intersection of consciousness and politics, seems to have been swallowed in a shallow thinking ocean of, ‘not my president,’ identity politics.” I mean, the issue here is ‘we are more’, we are more than biological robots in a meaningless universe. We have a spirit. We have a soul. So why not join arms with local seminary students and march on Berkeley? That’s really the battle here and it mystifies me how folks in your camp, of which I am part of, do not see the divide, the real divide, is between atheistic materialism, which is the underlying dogma of science, and the kind of creative spiritualism, which is, I think, what you’re whole program is really all about. Haven’t we misidentified the real cause of the friction here? Dr. Karen Jaenke: I’m not sure. I guess Alex, you know, people are going to be where they’re going to be in their consciousness evolution. If people are in an atheistic world, my sense is they’re probably suffering from that, even though they may be gloating from that. So, I mean, I guess my question to you is, why are you bothered by those people? Stay with us for Skeptiko… Welcome to Skeptiko where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics. I’m your host, Alex Tsakiris, and this week a listener suggested guest, and a good one, Dr. Karen Jaenke, who heads up a consciousness studies program at JFK University. So there were two topics I sought to explore in my interview with Karen and she did a fabulous, I really appreciate her coming on and talking about them, because they were both kind of pushing the edge a little bit, but I think she does a great job of putting forth a new and different perspective. Those two issues are: 1) consciousness from a transpersonal psychology and spiritual perspective. That is, doing an end run on the scientific neuroscience about debate. Can we take that path? Where does that path lead? What are the issues surrounding that kind of expansion of consciousness without ever defining what consciousness is? So that’s number one and the second issue is: 2) Since JFK University, her university, is very outwardly, socially, orientated, what is the intersection between consciousness and politics, and in particular, this expanded view of consciousness and politics? How does that play out, how might our understanding of consciousness inform right action? So, those are the two topics that I wanted to talk about and I did with our guest this week, Dr. Karen Jaenke. I hope you enjoy the interview.