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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Golf in the Collective: Playing in Liminal Space
by Lauterbach, Jeffrey Robert, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2017, 219; 10288527
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation employs a hermeneutic methodology and a Jungian lens to examine the idea of golf as occupying liminal space. In anthropology, liminality is the transformative space in rites of initiation. In depth psychology psychic transformation occurs in liminal space. This study extends the concept to five loci of liminality: geography, history, the evolution of consciousness, body consciousness, and the creation of knowledge in the hermeneutic circle. The research explores various texts addressing the evolution of individual and collective consciousness, Jungian and somatic psychology, play, numinosity, and writings about golf, applying their perspectives to the author’s personal experiences playing the game as well as to the origin of the game itself. In addition, four of the author’s dreams with a golf motif are analyzed. Because golf follows a directional path and possesses teleological momentum, it is seen as a symbol of the psychological development process that C. G. Jung called individuation, both individually and in the collective. The experience of the numinous “perfect swing” is described and distinguished from flow, peak experience, and peak performance— primarily because of its generation by connection to unconscious archetypal energy. The work considers golf symbolically, and adds to the relatively sparse literature applying depth psychology to sports. The examination of the metaphorical character of play adds to the understanding of that topic in depth psychology as opposed to the objectified, scientific treatment more commonly applied to that subject in the academy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Le Grice, Keiron
Commitee: Hoffman, Eric, Young, Jonathan
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Recreation
Keywords: Body consciousness, Individuation, Liminal space, Play, Somatic, Swing
Publication Number: 10288527
ISBN: 978-1-369-86220-1
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