This dissertation presents an autobiographical-narrative account of the author’s departure from the school system. It also details how she deals with accompanying feelings of disillusionment and ‘ungroundedness’ by applying the metaphor of a map to make sense of her journey. By identifying and analyzing key turning points, or critical events, she is able to come to a fuller understanding of herself, her emotions, and particularly the construction of scientific knowledge, which she learns plays a very important role in the resolution of her internal conflict. She invites the contributions of critical friends who help her realize that, not only do critical events share common elements, they also possess the potential to increase one’s awareness, and hence consciousness. When examining her experiences as both a student and teacher of science, the author acknowledges a yearning to move beyond the modern science paradigm to explain her predicament. Consequently, she explores current developments in consciousness studies, as well as Eastern and Indigenous traditions. This motivates her to seek the intersection between spirituality and science, which she feels is lacking from the Newtonian worldview. During her search, she begins to see that her doctoral study fits the parameters of a critical event. It also becomes apparent that her methodology might even prove helpful for others. She concludes her analysis by proposing that we adopt a perennial philosophy of science, which embraces pluralist perspectives and characterizes what she terms a “Terrestrial worldview.”
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Thesis advisor: Zandvliet, David
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