Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Living on the Edge of a Spiral: Early Childhood Numinous Experience and the Repetition Compulsion
by Sargent, Michelle, M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2018, 65; 10749537
Abstract (Summary)

Through a mixed methodology of hermeneutic and heuristic inquiry, this thesis examines the influence of early childhood numinous, or profound spiritual, experience on the developing psyche and its relationship to repetitive compulsion over the lifespan. A dual lens of depth psychology and neuroscience is employed to explore the interstitial spaces between theories on the numen, early psychological development, and the repetition compulsion, comparing the literature with personal and clinical examples. Findings illustrated that numinous experiences are intimately connected with repetitive symptomology and that certain individuals are genetically predisposed to numinous experience. The hypothesis was proposed that repetition compulsion engendered by early numinous experiences, and perhaps all repetition phenomena, might reflect an unconscious telos, or the aim of an integral part of one’s psyche seeking expression, integration, and relationship in the world.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Boyd, Barbara
Commitee: Altman, Avrom, Elliott, Jemma
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Counseling Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Neurosciences, Developmental psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: Depth psychology, Early childhood, Individuation, Neurobiology, Numinous experience, Repetition compulsion
Publication Number: 10749537
ISBN: 9780355868487
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