Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The transformation of consciousness: Self knowledge and mystical union
by Dublinski, Katherine A., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2014, 265; 3687405
Abstract (Summary)

Healthy human life often includes nurturing a relationship to the sacred spiritual dimension of existence (Cortright, 1997, p. 17). Contemporary Western society tends to elevate intellectual knowledge while devaluing psyche's inner knowing and wisdom, thus potentially disregarding the spiritual component of individual life (Engelen, 1991). Depth psychologist C. G. Jung emphasized the need to restore balance between these two complimentary ways of knowing (Engelen, 1991). This research attempted to expand the dialogue within the field of Depth psychology regarding the role of spirituality in personal development by exploring the experiences of individuals who have engaged in prolonged meditation practices.

Specifically, this study examined the experiences of long-term meditators based in Tantric yoga, a practice that emphasizes a connection to a person's sacred Self. The organic inquiry methodology was employed to acquire and evaluate data from five experienced male meditators. The research gathered narratives of participant experiences, which were studied and interpreted through a transpersonal lens.

The results highlighted that Tantric practices serve as a catalyst for personal transformative changes of heart and mind, lead to internal restructuring, and provide motivation to resolve personal incongruences. These transformations appeared to occur in part by altering individual worldviews and perceptions of life. Five themes surfaced from the participant's narratives, providing preliminary indications that Tantric practices promote a greater sense of peace and universalism. Meditation and Tantric practices also were presented as facilitating human development through psychic expansion, as increasing feelings of cosmic unity, and as strengthening a sense of service to others. Additionally, participants noted an increased tolerance for physical and psychological suffering.

This study provided insight into how spiritual values, principles, and practices may promote human growth, development, and expansion of consciousness. Based on the results, acknowledgment of psyche's wisdom and inclusion of universal spiritual values and principals in clinical practice, research and training are encouraged.

Key words: meditation, Tantra, yoga, Consciousness, Self-realization, kundalini, Jung, transformation, psyche.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Yakushko, Oksana
Commitee: Freed, Jennifer, Hess, Maria
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology
Keywords: Meditation, Tantra, Yoga
Publication Number: 3687405
ISBN: 978-1-321-64951-2
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