With upheavals in issues around the globe — climate, politics, refugees and sexual assault, among them — some warn the world may be coming unglued.

But famed consciousness-raising philosopher Jean Houston of Ashland says the crises are opening the way for the rise of women into intellectual and moral leadership of the world.

"There’s no going back,” Houston said in an interview.

Houston will discuss the topic at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Music Recital Hall at Southern Oregon University. Presented by the American Association of University Women of Ashland, her talk is free and open to the public.

“My mission and passion is the rise of women in this time,” said Houston, adding that women are in the forefront of revolutionary change as humanity moves into “the most massive shift of consciousness the world has ever known.”

Houston has appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Nightline" and is the author of more than 20 books. Topics of her books range from mythology to the importance of dogs in our lives, from great Americans to one called “The Possible Human: A Course in Extending Your Physical, Mental, and Creative Abilities.”

Houston gained national attention in the mid-1990s when Bob Woodward of The Washington Post wrote that Houston was an adviser to Hillary Clinton, guiding the first lady in therapeutic sessions in which Clinton held imaginary conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi, among others.

Change may be the only constant, but what's coming is bigger, Houston said. As technology and the internet interconnect the peoples of the world, it’s a natural response of the old order to react with fear. But it also opens possibilities for women.

"It brings massive challenges,” she noted, “but I am passionate about training women to grow into new ways of being. ... The regenesis of human nature is preceded by a breakdown.

“It will be an integral form that is very different from the masculine one we’ve been living in. The world is getting ready to move. A new world is being born and we have to bring a new mind to it.”

— John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.