Track: Inner Ecology, Collective Psyche and Social Transformation
Being Wholly Human: A Proposal for a Human Right to Expanded Consciousness
Human rights have gradually entered the collective psyche. This became more pronounced since the Enlightenment period in Europe when concepts of reason and science in relation to human nature were philosophized, and more instrumental and global since the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the carnage of the Second World War. Since then, the proliferation of international human rights laws has contributed to global interconnectedness and social transformations. At the same time, in its current form, the human rights agenda is incomplete and struggling at a time of ‘crisis’.
The proposal for ‘a right to expanded consciousness’ as part of a subsequent generation of human rights will be considered in relation to other evolving concepts. These concepts include cognitive liberty in regard to psychedelic use and therapy, rights concerning treatment of persons within the psychiatric system who are in the process of a spiritual emergency, the expanded meanings of the ‘freedom of thought, conscience and religion’, and the notions of dignity and humanity within social discourse.
The topic invites general considerations about human rights in relation to transpersonal psychology and their shared objectives, including the focus on human suffering on the one hand and human potential on the other. The goal is to explore how the objective of wholeness and uniting for a peaceful existence that underlies the promise of human rights can benefit from the knowledge within transpersonal psychology. In parallel, an insertion of human rights language can further the objectives of transpersonal psychology. In this way, the evolving paradigms can become whole through their mutual integration.
Magdalena Smieszek is an international human rights scholar, practitioner and educator. Her current focus is on the intersection between human rights law and psychology, primarily as it concerns social inclusion and exclusion. Prior to her doctoral research and teaching at the Central European University in Budapest, she spent many years doing humanitarian work around the world with various organizations, including about a decade with the United Nations. She completed degrees in international human rights that include a Master of Studies from the University of Oxford, a Juris Doctor from the University of Windsor, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Calgary. Magdalena came to transpersonal psychology through a profound psychospiritual awakening and has been active ever since in a number of ways, most recently in the Emerging Proud campaign and film that aims to destigmatize extreme spiritual experience and reform mental health care.