The Living Classroom

Teaching and Collective Consciousness

By Christopher M. Bache

Subjects: Transpersonal Psychology, Spirituality, Teaching And Learning, Teacher Education
Series: SUNY series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology
Paperback : 9780791476468, 272 pages, August 2008
Hardcover : 9780791476451, 272 pages, August 2008

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Table of contents


PART I . The Emergence of Fields of Consciousness
1. Resonance in the Classroom
2. Group Fields, Group Minds
3. The Science of Fields

PART II . Working with Fields of Consciousness
4. Working with Fields
5. Café Conversations

PART III. Teaching in a Living Universe

6. Waking Up in the Classroom
Student Stories

7. Where We Begin
8. Healing through Writing
9. Spiritual Experiences
10. Conversion Experiences
11. Touched by Death
12. Personal Discoveries


Describes the emergence of powerful fields of consciousness that influence students’ learning and personal transformation.


This pioneering work in teaching and transpersonal psychology explores the dynamics of collective consciousness in the classroom. Combining scientific research with personal accounts collected over thirty years, Christopher M. Bache examines the subtle influences that radiate invisibly around teachers as they work—unintended, cognitive resonances that spring up between teachers and students in the classroom. While these kinds of synchronistic connections are often overlooked by traditional academics, Bache demonstrates that they occur too frequently and are too pointed to be dismissed as mere coincidence. Drawing upon Rupert Sheldrake's theory of morphic fields, Bache proposes that well-taught courses generate "learning fields" around them, forms of collective consciousness that can trigger new insights and startling personal transformations. Moving beyond theory, this book is rich with student stories and offers practical, hands-on strategies for teachers who want to begin working with these learning fields to take their teaching to a more conscious level.

Christopher M. Bache is Professor of Religious Studies at Youngstown State University and the author of Dark Night, Early Dawn: Steps to a Deep Ecology of Mind, also published by SUNY Press.


"Chris Bache has been a leader in the quest to rediscover our hidden connectedness for a long time, and his new book answers a critical need for grounded examples of how collective intelligence functions in practical settings. His beautiful stories and incisive reflections will not only inspire teachers but help us all to recover our collective birthright as human beings." — Peter M. Senge, Director of the Society for Organizational Learning and author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization

"This seminal work is an inspiration to all of us who see collaborative dialogue and conversational leadership (including teaching) as a powerful path for accessing the kind of collective wisdom that is so needed in today's challenging times." — Juanita Brown, Cofounder of The World Café and coauthor of The World Café: Shaping Our Future through Conversations That Matter

"Bache does for teaching what Galileo did for skywatching, opening our horizons to an entirely new dimension of both theory and practice. His articulation of this expanded perspective is superbly precise, and the implications are profound." — Richard Tarnas, Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and author of The Passion of the Western Mind

"What a joy to read this book by a master teacher with a new vision for educators." — Marilyn Schlitz, Director of Research and Education, Institute of Noetic Sciences

"This may be the shortest endorsement on record—just one word repeated twice: True, true." — Ervin Laszlo, author of The Connectivity Hypothesis: Foundations of an Integral Science of Quantum, Cosmos, Life, and Consciousness

"Chris Bache has written an important and pathbreaking book about collective consciousness in the classroom. This thoughtful and delightful read is at the forefront of education for the twenty-first century." — Alfonso Montuori, Chair, Department of Transformative Inquiry, California Institute of Integral Studies