Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Divination as a life path in contemporary America: An in-depth exploration of the world of psychic-mediums
by Diaz, Armand Martire, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2011, 240; 3474216
Abstract (Summary)

While psychic abilities have been well studied in the field of parapsychology, there is little research into psychic-mediums as helping professionals, working with clients who seek their services in order to make decisions, gain perspective, and find comfort. This study addresses that gap in the literature, and serves the interests of those who seek an understanding of divination as it is practiced in contemporary Western society.

This study explores the world of psychic-mediums, people who practice a type of divination that involves receiving, interpreting, and communicating both psychic impressions and communications from disincarnate entities. To understand psychic-mediums, the study examines their experiences, assumptions, and views of themselves and their profession, as well as their core assumptions and beliefs. A developmental model of consciousness is used as the basis for understanding the findings.

Twenty psychic-mediums completed a questionnaire based on a developmental model of consciousness. A subset of 6 of these participants then participated in an in-depth interview, focusing on their life histories and perceptions of their psychic and mediumship experiences. The results were analyzed for both commonalities in themes and differences in the histories and beliefs. Themes that emerged were examined in the context of developmental theories of consciousness.

The results showed that despite some important variations, the participants had many common beliefs and attitudes about their work, as well as about topics such as spirituality and the afterlife. An important finding was that the interview participants all viewed their work as psychics and mediums as a healing profession, rather than as entertainment or within some other context. The interview participants all exhibited a high degree of independence in their attitudes towards their work and their personal belief systems. Nonetheless, they also displayed a strong tendency towards flexibility and regarded their views as relative and conditioned by their own experiences and culture. In terms of consciousness development, the interview participants supported the survey results, which suggested a strong tendency towards self-actualization and authentic consciousness.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Combs, Allan L.
Commitee: Grossman, Neal, Williams, Bernard O.
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Humanities with a concentration in Transformative Learning and Change
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Metaphysics, Social psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: Development, Divination, Evolution, Integral, Psychic mediums
Publication Number: 3474216
ISBN: 978-1-124-90218-0
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