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A Phenomenological Study of Post-Modern Transpersonal and Spiritual Experiences with Quantitative

Survey and Case Study Interviews

By Janet Cunningham

The phrase “transpersonal and spiritual experiences” refers to the sense of identity of the self extending beyond the personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, psyche, or cosmos. Western scientific exploration of such experiences has been nearly nonexistent, due primarily to the currently accepted scientific paradigm. But a study of the psyche that fails to deal with the transpersonal and spiritual realms is, by definition, unscientific in that it fails to take into account, or even to report, a large body of phenomena.

All participants in this study were healthy, well-functioning adults. The study had two foci: first, to discover if people who claim to have had spontaneous transpersonal and/or spiritual experiences could be identified and validated by an instrument developed to empirically measure perceived mystical experience (Hood Mysticism Scale). The question was: Is there is a significant difference between them (Group C) and people who have an interest in the subject but no personal experiences (Group B) and those who have no such interest (Group A)?

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