Welcome to the website of Stephen Gilligan, Ph.D., and the work of the Community for Integral Mind and Action (CIMA). Stephen has been working almost 50 years in the field of creative consciousness and its development. This website provides an updated vision of that work, integrating the different modalities of generative change into a unitive framework. Enjoy!
Psychotherapist, Author, Workshop Leader, Storyteller, Creative Activist, Transformation Specialist
A New Generation of Integrative Work for Personal and Planetary Transformation
For four billion years planetary consciousness unfolded at a relatively glacial pace. Then we humans appeared and, as the opening scene of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, so beautifully illustrated, everything changed in the blink of an eye.
The virtual (verbal/conceptual) mind was born, with consciousness free from any fixed position, able to imagine any future and set a course to realize it. Within a relatively short time, we entered the Anthropocene era, where humans dominate the planet.
Of course, our record has been decidedly mixed. We have created cities and civilizations, art and agriculture, religious, and sciences... but also wars and oppression, environmental destructions and genocide, poverty and pain.
Our destructive power grew in the 20th century into atomic bombs and world wars, and now in the 21st century, into the threat of environmental apocalypse (climate change, water shortages, global viruses). All the old institutions—economic, political, inter-cultural—are falling apart, bringing us truly to the double meaning of the Chinese word for crisis: danger and opportunity.
Upcoming Courses 2024
Community for Integral Mind & Action Studies
The Community for Integral Mind and Action (CIMA) is one of many traditions springing up in response to the environmental, societal, and political crises of our time. It outlines a basic evolutionary framework wherein consciousness moves through four stages — Spirit, Nature, Mind (virtual consciousness), and Integral — and sees us stuck in the middle of the Virtual (Mind) era.
The Community of Integral Mind and Action is a set of principles and methods committed to illuminating potential transformational paths. It uses the metaphor of ego-isolation to describe how we create the shadow-driven pathologies of destruction, individual and collective versions of addictions, trauma fields, ideological savagery, and relational violence. It then articulates how to develop and creatively use the eco-mind of integral consciousness to bring all the discordant elements into a generative harmony of healing and transformational growth.
CIMA offers multiple programs across four core learning areas:
Generative Trance, Generative Coaching, Creative Mind, and the Hero's Journey. All share the underlying framework of integral consciousness and constitute four transformational methods of Integral Mind and Consciousness.
The Hero's Journey
Through our offerings, you can:
Receive Certification in a given modality -- by concentrating your studies in a specific core area and becoming certified in it, and
Most importantly, receive Certification in Community for Integral Mind and Action (CIMA) -- which encompasses interrelated mastery of the four modalities together.
Stephen did his undergraduate work in psychology at UC Santa Cruz, where he met Bateson, Bandler, Grinder, and Milton Erickson, the great psychiatrist/hypnotherapist. In his shamanic way, Erickson initiated Stephen into anima mundi, the soul of the world, and its luminous interconnected mosaic. Stephen then earned his Ph.D. at Stanford University in research psychology. From there he's been practicing, writing, teaching as a psychotherapist/coach, and always looking for ways to absorb the countless contradictions and struggles of consciousness into generative integration.
Stephen's extensive travel and teaching in different cultures over the past decades has illuminated for him the infinite shapes and forms of people but, even deeper, that our shared humanity is much deeper. This experiential knowing seems especially vital now, as old forms crumble and differences are pushed ever closer together. As a result, Stephen believes that the journey is about feeling the deeper wave of consciousness that can hold and heal the brokenness and possibilities of the world.
"To be fully ourselves it is in the opposite direction, in the direction of convergence with all the rest, that we must advance--towards the 'other.' The peak of ourselves, the acme of our originality, is not our individuality but our person; and according to the evolutionary structure of the world, we can only find our person by uniting together."
~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Process drawings by Adrien Badedji