Witness Consciousness

Witness Consciousness in the Development of the Individual

Master’s Thesis at the Barfield School


This phenomenological study documents the development of “witness consciousness” through three data sources. A survey of forty Authentic Movement practitioners, representing a thirty-year span of experience, shows long-term transformational development of the individual. A six-session group study of four “movers” and two “witnesses” reveals how cognitive capacities develop within individuals in the context of relationship. The third source of data highlights the connection between Authentic Movement and contemplative inquiry and offers evidence that movement, stillness, and perception play a role in the act of bearing witness to the unfolding of consciousness. Through the triangulation of the data sources, a continuum of cognition becomes apparent that is inclusive of intellect, imagination, and intuition.  The findings of this thesis confirm the rich contribution of the moving body to human development, and emphasize how quality of relationship shapes adult transformational growth.

Paula Sager Thesis (PDF)

The Survey (PDF)

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