Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Evolutionary panentheism and metanormal human capacity: A psychobiography of Michael Murphy
by Mullen, Robert F., Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2014, 355; 3680241
Abstract (Summary)

This psychobiographical study explores the research and conclusions of Michael Murphy's theories on evolutionary panentheism and metanormal human potential. Murphy's diverse oeuvre renders it impossible to produce a comprehensive study without accounting for Murphy's integrality; multiple ways in which separate personal and professional events unite to create a whole. The current literature on Murphy appears as segmented overviews which inhibit thorough chronicling of his work. This lacuna contributes to a resistance to attend to Murphy's philosophy within an academic schema. By addressing his achievements as components within the totality of his worldview, the researcher demonstrates that Murphy deserves stronger academic recognition.

This qualitative study incorporates features of psychobiography, hermeneutics, and narrative analysis. Psychobiology emphasizes biographical and psychological development, allowing the researcher to use these aspects of Michael Murphy's activities to provide additional insight into his motivations, philosophies, and work-product.

This psychobiography uses Michael Murphy's literary and nonliterary works, as well as data obtained from interviews with Murphy, as representative constituents of his philosophical totality. Murphy's works integrate his (1) theory on evolutionary panentheism, which proposes a God that not only desires humanity within Its consciousness, but also "cares" for Its creations, residing within and evolving with them, (2) faith in the theories of involution–evolution, which maintain the existence of accessible levels of advancement, (3) innate trust in the interrelationship of all things, (4) evidence that advanced human potential has been part of humanity's development since the origins of contemplation, (5) conviction, stemming from data-driven research of metanormal occurrences, that humanity can evolve and transmute, (6) commitment to overcome the divisiveness of science and religio-mysticism, as well as the disparities of religious tenets, (7) humanist efforts to mitigate problems of the disenfranchised, persecuted, diasporic, and powerless factions of humanity; and finally, (8) trust in the inherent value and possibilities of human life. These components reflect Murphy's overarching goal: building a bridge between science and religion in order to facilitate an intelligent, integrated understanding of the natural and cosmological order--and the future it portends.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ryan, James, Goodman, Steven D.
Commitee: Montgomery, Tammy
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Philosophy and Religion with a concentration on Asian and Comparative Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Metaphysics, Philosophy, Comparative
Keywords: East-west comparative, Evolutionary panentheism, Involution-evolution, Metanormal human potential, Michael murphy, Sri aurobindo
Publication Number: 3680241
ISBN: 9781321521108
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