Camacho, Mariko

Mind Expander

by Mariko Ishizuka Camacho


“Mind Expander!” the only term this student equates her first term subjects: Critical Issues Related to Sustainable Development, Mediated Economics (the Monetary Cultural System) in Developing Countries, and The Significance of the Informal Sector under Dr. Paul Dejillas. It was a four month intense ride from one end of the cosmos to the other that passed by very quickly.

Time traveling from the physical, mental, psychial, to the spiritual planes - the students of ACA batch 2011, held on to their NASA spaceship’s seats and went through paradigm shifting every single Saturday of the whole semester. Before each of these trips, the ever smiling navigator Dr. Dejillas would forewarn the class, “Hold on to your faith,”…and afterwards, he would kindheartedly end with, “Hope you were entertained. Go on your way, and continue working on Chapters 1-3 of your dissertation!” Most often, this student had to take a few deep breaths before getting back on her feet, and back to reality.

While going through various mind-boggling topics, this student observed that the professor was somehow giving the class a whole array of springboards for possible theoretical frameworks or even topics of interests for the upcoming dissertations. 

Looking back at the first semester with subjects on Creation Spirituality under Ms. Leah Tolentino, this student could not help but remark that back then was an ACA trip inward, into the Self and discovering the energies within. Back then, a paradigm shift occurred. Discovering that there is more to learn from inside to help others. The babaylan spirit in the student awoke, and ever since then she has been evolving organically (as Ms. Leah have once told her).

This semester of my second year is the complete opposite. It is an ACA trip outward, to the cosmos, carrying the mind to consciousness beyond what the five senses can comprehend. There were lots of “ahas and yahoos,” and other shout-outs that beings on Earth (from the first human beings till present) are only occupants of an unimaginable vast space in the cosmos. In this term too, a paradigm shift (or shifts!) occurred. This student is now getting a clearer and a more holistic picture of what Applied Cosmic Anthropology is all about.

It was something unexpected when I started out the course. Back then, it was simply an urge to learn more about integrity of all beings…That goal has spread out into millions of topics explored under the cosmos! And it is not something easy to explain in words to other prospective students of ACA in the future…it will have to be experienced, lived, for a better word. But it was never a solo trip from the very beginning, like a typical Filipino, it was a multitude of trips with “kapwa,” or the ACA batch 2011. Perhaps it was and is part of the whole ACA curriculum design conspiracy …to have its students go through journeys inward and outward, and done alone and in a group. I will not be surprised if on my third ACA year, the journeys will be described like, in art, a “radial balance.” Journeys all around but still keeping equal focus on all that are to be learned.

It recalled the early part of my ACA study that I attempted to recruit colleagues to enroll in ACA. I fondly told stories of rituals, the cosmic walk, creation of mandalas, tarot card sessions, pranic healing sessions, etc. that I experienced. At this moment, if I were to recruit colleagues to enroll in ACA, I would not know where to start and how to explain what ACA is all about! Of course, it will also take time for me to explain that the ACA batch 2011 will not be surprised if one of these days, the ASI rooftop will give way to a spacecraft that will take its students out into the cosmos. 

My mind has expanded beyond inner Earth and what makes a human being. It has traveled far beyond the cosmos. It has gone to blend in religion, science, and philosophy altogether. Something that might take a few days to explain to anybody who would ask me what ACA all about, and perhaps the explanation will not only be verbal but include the use of all the five senses…plus a few months to read all the references that was made available by Dr. Dejillas in class. But seriously, these hundreds of references, from books to videos will turn gold as the ACA batch venture to their respective dissertation mode…all part of the whole ACA curriculum design conspiracy, I suspect.

In the final analysis, I am thankful for what ACA has made me into - a humble human being now with a restless but creative mind, ready for a journey to figure how applied cosmic anthropology can be utilized in order to assist or solve problems of the human race, or in a small scale, even just problems of the Philippines. I am now on an incubation mode (with her NASA spaceship seat belt secured!): to explore how she can find connections between industrial design, art, psychology, educational management, and applied cosmic anthropology for a dissertation!