The Living Classroom, Second Edition

Teaching and Collective Consciousness

Expected to ship: 2024-12-01

A paradigm-breaking exploration of how collective intelligence functions in groups, with practical guidelines for teachers.


A pioneering work in teaching and transpersonal psychology, The Living Classroom explores the dynamics of collective consciousness in the classroom. In this second edition, Bache has, in his own words, "come out of the psychedelic closet," speaking candidly about the role that psychedelics played in the development of his integral, holistic pedagogy. Combining scientific research with personal accounts collected over thirty years, 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 Emeritus 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.


Praise for the First Edition

"Bache has been a leader in the quest to rediscover our hidden connectedness for a long time… 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, 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 … collective wisdom." — Juanita Brown, coauthor of The World Café: Shaping Our Future through Conversations That Matter

"Bache does for teaching what Galileo did for skywatching." — Richard Tarnas, Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and author of The Passion of the Western Mind