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Full-Text Articles in Religion

A Declaration Of Interdependence: Peace, Social Justice, And The “Spirit Wrestlers”, John Elfers Jul 2013

A Declaration Of Interdependence: Peace, Social Justice, And The “Spirit Wrestlers”, John Elfers

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

The struggle between the Doukhobors, a nonviolent society committed to communal values, and the Canadian Government epitomizes the tension between values of personal rights and independence on the one hand, and social obligation on the other. The immigration of the Doukhobors from Russia to the Canadian prairies in 1899 precipitated a centurylong struggle that brings issues of social justice, moral obligation, political authority, and the rule of law into question. The fundamental core of Western democracies, founded on the sanctity of individual rights and equal opportunity, loses its potency in a community that holds to the primacy of interdependence and ...


Editor's Introduction, Glenn Hartelius Jul 2013

Editor's Introduction, Glenn Hartelius

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

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The Peak At The Nadir: Psychological Turmoil As The Trigger For Awakening Experiences, Steve Taylor Jul 2013

The Peak At The Nadir: Psychological Turmoil As The Trigger For Awakening Experiences, Steve Taylor

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

A study of 161 temporary awakening experiences showed that over 23% were triggered by, or associated with, intense turmoil and distress (Taylor, 2012b). Examples of some of these turmoil-induced awakening experiences are given, illustrating the wide variety of traumatic experiences involved. (The type of trauma was found to be less important than its intensity.) These temporary awakening experiences are contrasted with permanent suffering-induced transformational experiences (SITEs). A distinction is made between a primary shift, involving the establishment of a new self-system (which occurs in SITEs), and the secondary shift which may occur after temporary awakening experiences, when the individual’s ...


Transpersonal Sociology: Origins, Development, And Theory, Ryan Rominger, Harris L. Friedman Jul 2013

Transpersonal Sociology: Origins, Development, And Theory, Ryan Rominger, Harris L. Friedman

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Transpersonal theory formally developed within psychology through the initial definition of the field in the publishing of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. However, transpersonal sociology also developed with the Transpersonal Sociology Newsletter, which operated through the middle 1990s. Both disciplines have long histories, while one continues to flourish and the other, comparatively, is languishing. In order to encourage renewed interest in this important area of transpersonal studies, we discuss the history, and further define the field of transpersonal sociology, discuss practical applications of transpersonal sociology, and introduce research approaches that might be of benefit for transpersonal sociological researchers and practitioners.


Religion And Spiritual Experience: Revisiting Key Assumptions In Sociology, Steven F. Cohn, Kyriacos C. Markides Jul 2013

Religion And Spiritual Experience: Revisiting Key Assumptions In Sociology, Steven F. Cohn, Kyriacos C. Markides

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

In this paper, we examine the dominant materialist assumption that there is an inherent conflict between sociology, religion, and spirituality. We will suggest that such a conflict is not fundamental and that accepting the possibility that religious experiences might reflect contact with a transcendent reality can enrich the theoretical possibilities of sociology, supplementing rather than replacing existing insights.


Emile Durkheim And C. G. Jung: Structuring A Transpersonal Sociology Of Religion, Susan F. Greenwood Jul 2013

Emile Durkheim And C. G. Jung: Structuring A Transpersonal Sociology Of Religion, Susan F. Greenwood

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Religion is a prevalent theme in the works of both Emile Durkheim and C. G. Jung, who participated in a common intellectual milieu. A comparison of Durkheim’s collective consciousness and Jung’s collective unconscious reveals strikingly similar concepts. The components of these structures, collective representations and archetypes, illustrate interdependent sociological and psychological processes in the theorized creation of religious phenomena. An analysis of the constitutive elements in these processes offers a basis for structuring a transpersonal sociology of religion.


Developing Transpersonal Resiliency: An Approach To Healing And Reconciliation In Zimbabwe, Mazvita Machinga, Harris L. Friedman Jul 2013

Developing Transpersonal Resiliency: An Approach To Healing And Reconciliation In Zimbabwe, Mazvita Machinga, Harris L. Friedman

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Zimbabwe has been experiencing one of the worst economic and humanitarian crises in modern times, after its people have suffered from horrific episodes of political violence. An approach to healing and reconciliation in Zimbabwe aimed at developing transpersonal resiliency, called Lament, Welcome, and Celebration (LAWECE), was designed to be culturally appropriate through involving two distinct versions of psychological and spiritual intervention, one appropriate for traditional Shona values and one for Christian values. LAWECE involves a sequence of activities focused on both individual and community healing, starting with a lamentation process acknowledging the atrocities, followed by a welcoming process that invites ...


Intentional Kayaking: Awakening To Intimacy Within The Natural World, Nancy M. Rowe Jul 2013

Intentional Kayaking: Awakening To Intimacy Within The Natural World, Nancy M. Rowe

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This article explores the notion of intimacy within the natural world. The author blends personal quest with scholarship from transpersonal psychology, spirituality, nature writing, and philosophy. It highlights the results of a thematic content analysis of journal entries made during a week of kayaking with the conscious intention of being in better relationship with a specific lake community. A thematic analysis of the journal entries that followed this experience revealed that that certain actions, attitudes, and ways of being increased intimacy and contributed to a greater sense of spirituality. She posits that we can all achieve greater spiritual connection and ...


Implications And Consequences Of Post-Modern Philosophy For Contemporary Transpersonal Studies Ii. Georges Bataille’S Post-Nietzschean Secular Mysticism, Phenomenology Of Ecstatic States, And Original Transpersonal Sociology, Harry Hunt Jul 2013

Implications And Consequences Of Post-Modern Philosophy For Contemporary Transpersonal Studies Ii. Georges Bataille’S Post-Nietzschean Secular Mysticism, Phenomenology Of Ecstatic States, And Original Transpersonal Sociology, Harry Hunt

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

The writings of the French philosopher Georges Bataille (1897-1962) offer their own contribution to the descriptive phenomenology of mystical and numinous states, as well as a version of the modern secular or this-worldly mysticism variously anticipated by Jung and Nietzsche, and a highly original sociology and social psychology of transpersonal experience, influenced by Max Weber, that helps to open an area not widely developed in recent studies. At the same time, the trauma and personal difficulties in Bataille’s life serve as a stark example of the often distortive effects of spiritual metapathologies on inner development. Bataille’s views of ...


“Transpersonal Pakistan”, Paul Heelas Jul 2013

“Transpersonal Pakistan”, Paul Heelas

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

The essay is controversial. The argument that Sufi-inspired transpersonal experiences, practices and processes are widespread does not match the popular view of Pakistan as a major homeland of Islamic ‘fundamentalism’ and militancy. Neither does the argument match the views of all those Islamists who bind Sufism to the transcendent theism of tradition. In various ways and to varying degrees, the most illustrious of Sufi saints move away from tradition and the alterity of the Godhead. For this reason Sufi saints can serve as a powerful font of transpersonal humanism, a universal humanism of humanity which plays a critical role in ...


Shakespeare’S Cymbeline And The Mystical Particular: Redemption, Then And Now, For A Disassembled World, Judy Schavrien Jul 2013

Shakespeare’S Cymbeline And The Mystical Particular: Redemption, Then And Now, For A Disassembled World, Judy Schavrien

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Cymbeline reflected Shakespeare’s late-in-life aspirations for a world redeemed. Those in baroque England, past the first burgeoning of Renaissance vision, were nevertheless making a literal New World abroad. Likewise, Shakespeare arrived at a vision both post-innocent and post-tragic. As they compared to tragic heroes, he down-sized the late play characters; still, he granted them a gentler end. Late characters and worlds suffered centrifugal pressures; yet, ultimately, centripetal forces, internal and external, brought selves and worlds together. Relevant to today’s disassembled world, the study tracks Shakespeare’s approach to unification: He rebalanced gender, internal and external; he placed an ...


Introduction To Special Topic Section: Transpersonal Sociology, Ryan Rominger Jul 2013

Introduction To Special Topic Section: Transpersonal Sociology, Ryan Rominger

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

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Dreamscapes: Topography, Mind, And The Power Of Simulacra In Ancient And Traditional Societies, Paul Devereux Jan 2013

Dreamscapes: Topography, Mind, And The Power Of Simulacra In Ancient And Traditional Societies, Paul Devereux

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Dream content can be influenced by external sounds, smells, touch, objects glimpsed with half-open eyes during REM sleep, and somatic signals. This paper suggests that this individual, neurologically-driven process parallels that experienced collectively by pre-industrial tribal and traditional peoples in which the land itself entered into the mental lives of whole societies, forming mythic geographies—dreamscapes. This dreamtime perception was particularly evident in the use of simulacra, in which the shapes of certain topographical features allowed them to be presented in anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, or iconic guise to both the individual and the culturally-reinforced gaze of society members. This paper further ...


Contemplative Inquiry In Movement: Managing Writer´S Block In Academic Writing, Eva Bojner Horwitz, Cecilia Stenfors, Walter Osika Jan 2013

Contemplative Inquiry In Movement: Managing Writer´S Block In Academic Writing, Eva Bojner Horwitz, Cecilia Stenfors, Walter Osika

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This exploratory study stems from a meditation exercise in contemplative inquiry with transdisciplinary researchers. A master’s student with writers block was asked to perform body movements reflecting a thesis writing process over time. An interview with a phenomenological hermeneutic method was used to uncover the significance of the student’s experience during the exercise, including bodily sensations, feelings, and thoughts. New embodied knowledge helped the student to enable identification and acceptance of both adverse and blocking information. By systematically using a “thinking in movement” approach after applying body movements, new self-confidence was generated in the writing process. The interpretation ...


“Say From Whence You Owe This Strange Intelligence”: Investigating Explanatory Systems Of Spiritualist Mental Mediumship Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, Elizabeth C. Roxburgh, Chris A. Roe Jan 2013

“Say From Whence You Owe This Strange Intelligence”: Investigating Explanatory Systems Of Spiritualist Mental Mediumship Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, Elizabeth C. Roxburgh, Chris A. Roe

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Walsh and Vaughan (1993) defined transpersonal experiences as those “in which the sense of identity or self extends beyond (trans) the individual or personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, psyche or cosmos” (p. 203). One population who regularly report such experiences are mediums. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten spiritualist mediums to explore their lived experience, such as how they communicate with the deceased, the meaning of spirit guide phenomena, and the role of mediumship, regardless of the actual ontology of mediumship. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) identified three themes: explanatory systems of mediumship, spirit guides as transcendental ...


The Ethno-Epistemology Of Transpersonal Experience: The View From Transpersonal Anthropology, Charles D. Laughlin Jan 2013

The Ethno-Epistemology Of Transpersonal Experience: The View From Transpersonal Anthropology, Charles D. Laughlin

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This paper introduces the topic of ethno-epistemology with regards to transpersonal experiences. The distinction between polyphasic and monophasic cultures is introduced and the interaction between a society’s world view and individual transpersonal experience is explained using the cycle of meaning model. A link to philosophical work on “natural epistemology” is made and the importance of the “projectability” of cultural theories of experience is discussed. The individual contributions to this special section of the journal are introduced.


Dreaming And Reality: A Neuroanthropological Account, Charles D. Laughlin Jan 2013

Dreaming And Reality: A Neuroanthropological Account, Charles D. Laughlin

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

In what sense is dreaming real to people of different cultures? How do they come to conclude that dreaming is real, and how do they use dreams to expand their knowledge and control of real events? The reader is introduced to dream anthropology and shown that there are universal patterns to how dreams are experienced, expressed, and used by societies. The distinction between monophasic and polyphasic cultures is described, the latter being the majority of societies that consider dreaming as being in some sense real. Neuroscience supports the notion that there is a natural realism behind the experience of reality ...


Shamanic Cosmology As An Evolutionary Neurocognitive Epistemology, Michael Winkelman Jan 2013

Shamanic Cosmology As An Evolutionary Neurocognitive Epistemology, Michael Winkelman

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

The biological foundation for a shamanic epistemology is indicated by the cross-cultural distribution of a shamanic cosmology derived from knowledge obtained during altered consciousness. These special forms of consciousness involve integrative brain conditions that access ancient ways of knowing, expressive systems which have evolutionary roots in the communicative and social processes involved in animal displays or rituals. These were augmented over the course of hominid evolution into expressive and mimetic activities that provided a basis for significant epistemological expansions of consciousness exemplified in shamanic out-of-body (OBE) experiences. These manifestations of consciousness involved new modes of self and processes of knowing ...


The Self: A Transpersonal Neuroanthropological Account, Charles D. Laughlin Jan 2013

The Self: A Transpersonal Neuroanthropological Account, Charles D. Laughlin

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

The anthropology of the self has gained momentum recently and has produced a significant body of research relevant to interdisciplinary transpersonal studies. The notion of self has broadened from the narrow focus on cultural and linguistic labels for self-related terms, such as person, ego, identity, soul, and so forth, to a realization that the self is a vast system that mediates all the aspects of personality. This shift in emphasis has brought anthropological notions of the self into closer accord with what is known about how the brain mediates self-as-psyche. Numerous examples from the ethnography of the self are given ...


Belief Is Not Experience: Transformation As A Tool For Bridging The Ontological Divide In Anthropological Research And Reporting, Bonnie Glass-Coffin Jan 2013

Belief Is Not Experience: Transformation As A Tool For Bridging The Ontological Divide In Anthropological Research And Reporting, Bonnie Glass-Coffin

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

For more than a hundred years, anthropologists have recorded stories of beliefs in other-than-human sentience and consciousness, yet we have most frequently insisted on contextualizing these stories in terms of cultural, epistemological, or ontological relativism. In this paper, I ask why we have had such a hard time taking reports of unseen realms seriously and describe the transformative role of personal experience as a catalyst for change in anthropological research and reporting.


Dream-Spirits And Innovation In Aboriginal Australia’S Western Desert, Robert Tonkinson Jan 2013

Dream-Spirits And Innovation In Aboriginal Australia’S Western Desert, Robert Tonkinson

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Among the Mardu Aborigines, dreams (kapukurri; jukurrpa) may carry at least the same weight as the events of waking life. ‘Travelling’ in dream-spirit form enhances the possibility of revelations both dangerous and enlightening. In the Australian case, a major cultural dilemma is to accommodate and rationalize an inevitable dynamism when the dominant ideology is one of timelessness and stasis. Two key cultural symbols, the Dreaming and the Law, still substantially shape worldviews and behaviour of the Martu people, who live in the remote Western Desert region. Much of my focus is on a category of popular, largely public contemporary ritual ...


Understanding Bohm’S Holoflux: Clearing Up A Conceptual Misunderstanding Of The Holographic Paradigm And Clarifying Its Signifigance To Transpersonal Studies Of Consciousness, Mark A. Schroll Jan 2013

Understanding Bohm’S Holoflux: Clearing Up A Conceptual Misunderstanding Of The Holographic Paradigm And Clarifying Its Signifigance To Transpersonal Studies Of Consciousness, Mark A. Schroll

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Throughout the past 31 years transpersonal anthropologists and transpersonal psychologists seeking a scientific language to discuss anomalous phenomena and the farther reaches of human nature (or to invoke a discussion of ultimate reality, universal mind or cosmic consciousness) have referred to the holographic paradigm, the conceptual origin of which is directly related to David Bohm’s implicate order theory. In 1982 and 1984 Bohm discussed the holographic paradigm’s limitations (and more specifically his concept of holomovement) to accurately represent his implicate order theory, suggesting instead the more precise conceptual reference holoflux; yet the limited publication of this correction has ...


Searching For Wild Elephants In The North Georgia Forests: The Saga Of Writing A Transpersonal Dissertation At A Mainstream University, Harris L. Friedman Jan 2013

Searching For Wild Elephants In The North Georgia Forests: The Saga Of Writing A Transpersonal Dissertation At A Mainstream University, Harris L. Friedman

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

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Editor's Introduction, Glenn Hartelius Jan 2013

Editor's Introduction, Glenn Hartelius

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

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Implications And Consequences Of Post-Modern Philosophy For Contemporary Perspectives On Transpersonal And Spiritual Experience I. The Later Foucault And Pierre Hadot On A Post-Socratic This-Worldly Mysticism, Harry Hunt Jan 2013

Implications And Consequences Of Post-Modern Philosophy For Contemporary Perspectives On Transpersonal And Spiritual Experience I. The Later Foucault And Pierre Hadot On A Post-Socratic This-Worldly Mysticism, Harry Hunt

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

While Michel Foucault is chiefly known for his historical relativism and his critique of modern institutional power over the individual, his late writings, as further extended by Pierre Hadot, centered on the post-Socratic spiritual practices of the experience of here and now presence or Being in the Stoics, Epicureans, and Cynics. For Foucault the positive, expansive self-actualization common to these traditions, and contrasting with Christian self-renunciation, offers a guidance for a contemporary spiritual crisis in valuation of the person. For Hadot each of the post-Socratic traditions was based on the imitation and further development of key characteristics of Socrates, much ...