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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Alchemical Nature of the Clearness Committee: A Phenomenological Study
by Groves-Stephens, Jason, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2016, 292; 10159255
Abstract (Summary)

According to C. G. Jung, the individuation process requires a reflective turn inward toward the voice of psyche, or said differently, the inner voice. The inner voice can only be heard by the individual, but that does not mean the individual must discover it alone. A Quaker practice termed the clearness committee brings a small group of people together to help an individual access her inner voice in order to find clearness regarding a life issue. This phenomenological study explores the experiences of eight people who sought the assistance of clearness committees. The focus of this research is the exploration of these people’s essential lived experiences of being the focus person in a clearness committee. Participant narratives reveal themes from their clearness committee experiences, illuminate characteristics helpful for hearing one’s inner voice, and uncover insights they received while exploring the nature of their issue. A phenomenological psychological method guided the analysis toward a description of the essential experience of the clearness committee. This research concludes that the interaction of the clearness committee with the individual can lead to a tension of opposites in psyche that stirs movement of the individuation process. When combined with the perspective of transformational alchemy, this study suggests that repetitive stirring of psyche is required for the individuation process.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Watkins, Mary
Commitee: Plummer, Susan, Stevens, Maurice
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Behavioral psychology, Philosophy, Psychology
Keywords: Individuation, Intersubjective, Projection, Psyche, Quaker, Unconscious
Publication Number: 10159255
ISBN: 978-1-369-14246-4
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