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Full-Text Articles in Psychology

Divine Kink: A Consideration Of The Evidence For Bdsm As Spiritual Ritual, Sam E. Greenberg Sep 2019

Divine Kink: A Consideration Of The Evidence For Bdsm As Spiritual Ritual, Sam E. Greenberg

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This paper reviews the limited empirical research supporting BDSM as a spiritual ritual that enables distinct altered states of consciousness. It expands upon Sagarin, Lee, and Klement’s (2015) preliminary comparison of BDSM to extreme ritual by suggesting that BDSM bears in common with spiritual ritual elements of pain or ordeal, spiritual meaning, and transformative potential. An increasing interest in BDSM in the West is considered in light of the spiritual and ritual roles BDSM fulfills for many practitioners. The relevance of BDSM to transpersonal psychology is discussed and BDSM is considered as an area for further research in transpersonal psychology.


The Castrated Gods And Their Castration Cults: Revenge, Punishment, And Spiritual Supremacy, Jenny Wade Sep 2019

The Castrated Gods And Their Castration Cults: Revenge, Punishment, And Spiritual Supremacy, Jenny Wade

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Voluntary castration has existed as a religious practice up to the present day, openly in India and secretively in other parts of the world. Gods in a number of different cultures were castrated, a mutilation that paradoxically tended to increase rather than diminish their powers. This cross-cultural examination of the eunuch gods examines the meaning associated with divine emasculation in Egypt, Asia Minor, Greece, the Roman Empire, India, and northern Europe to the degree that these meanings can be read from the wording of myths, early accounts, and the castration cults for some of these gods. Three distinct patterns of …


Sexual Ecstasy Scale: Conceptualizations And Measurement, John Elfers, Reid Offringa Sep 2019

Sexual Ecstasy Scale: Conceptualizations And Measurement, John Elfers, Reid Offringa

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This article describes the development of the Sexual Ecstasy Scale, an instrument designed to measure the specific features that emerge when sexual arousal is the trigger for an ecstatic experience. Drawing from descriptions of features of sexual ecstasy in the phenomenological literature, the authors generated an initial survey of 31 items. In Study 1, the survey was completed by a wide demographic sample (N = 331). Exploratory factor analysis revealed a 4-factor solution that was replicated in Study 2 using confirmatory factor analysis with an independent sample (N = 331) that showed strong fit indices. Internal consistency for the overall …


Amigeist: A New Extreme Love Phenomenon, Jeffrey Sundberg Sep 2019

Amigeist: A New Extreme Love Phenomenon, Jeffrey Sundberg

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Falling in love may begin with an inescapable, uncontrollable, transformative experience of intense emotions and intrusive thoughts, such as limerence. Romantic love researchers have tended to lump extreme love into pathology. Transpersonal psychology was chosen as the lens to examine an extreme occurrence of falling in love for its transformational and spiritual potential using a phenomenological approach. Twenty-five U.S. born participants, age 30 or older, reported experiencing a highly intense and deeply significant romantic love occurrence. Results revealed a unique experience with limited correlations to limerence. The new phenomenon is called amigeist, characterized by immediate, intense soul-mate bonding, such as …


Erotic Mindfulness: A Core Educational And Therapeutic Strategy In Somatic Sexology Practices, Marie I. Thouin-Savard Sep 2019

Erotic Mindfulness: A Core Educational And Therapeutic Strategy In Somatic Sexology Practices, Marie I. Thouin-Savard

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Somatic sexology modalities such as sexual surrogacy, sexological bodywork, masturbation coaching, and orgasmic meditation have shown significant potential for helping individuals transcend sexual difficulties and grow into more fulfilling erotic lives. The use of an embodied state of consciousness similar to neo-traditional forms of mindfulness meditation may be a common factor contributing to therapeutic efficacy in a variety of somatic sexology methods. Comparing the structure of three somatic sexology modalities—sexual surrogacy, masturbation coaching, and orgasmic meditation—with recent evidence supporting the efficacy of neo-traditional mindfulness practices in promoting women’s sexual wellbeing reveals that somatic sexology practitioners use embodied mindfulness as a …


The Path To Enlightenment Of Sacred Married Home Life: Grihasthya Dharma As A Guiding Ideal For The Transpersonal Marriage Therapist, Stuart Sovatsky Sep 2019

The Path To Enlightenment Of Sacred Married Home Life: Grihasthya Dharma As A Guiding Ideal For The Transpersonal Marriage Therapist, Stuart Sovatsky

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This paper attempts to correct the unwitting reliance of much transpersonal psychology upon Indian texts that were indigenously specific to sannyasins (nonhouseholder, monastics). This includes teachings from advaita vedanta, yoga, and many Buddhist schools on releasement from desire, the diminishing role of the ego, guardedness toward “the mellow-drama” of “worldly” life (as Ram Dass famously cast relational involvements). Some forty years of the unwitting over-application of such teachings to modern non-monastic lives has helped create an artificial split in transpersonal and East-West spirituality teachings involving “engaged/ embodied” and implied “un-engaged/un-embodied” spiritual paths. This article describes the value system and lifelong …


The Religious And Philosophical Characteristics In A Consensually Nonmonogamous Sample, Akhila E. A. Kolesar, Seth T. Pardo Sep 2019

The Religious And Philosophical Characteristics In A Consensually Nonmonogamous Sample, Akhila E. A. Kolesar, Seth T. Pardo

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Consensual nonmonogamy refers to the variety of ways people partner romantically and/or sexually with multiple others. This study examined the spiritual identities of people who self-identify as consensually and openly partnered with more than one person, as well as if and how these identities changed since childhood. Moreover, to deepen previous transpersonal research that investigated how nonmonogamous paradigms of loving contribute to spiritual development, the study also examined between group differences of whether nonmonogamous sexual behavior and spirituality are emotionally linked. Data were gathered from 484 participants; they were mostly college-educated, Caucasian, bisexual women in their 30s, who were raised …


Toward A New Theory Of Gender Transcendence: Insights From A Qualitative Study Of Gendered Self-Concept And Self-Expression In A Sample Of Individuals Assigned Female At Birth, Seth T. Pardo Sep 2019

Toward A New Theory Of Gender Transcendence: Insights From A Qualitative Study Of Gendered Self-Concept And Self-Expression In A Sample Of Individuals Assigned Female At Birth, Seth T. Pardo

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Sex and gender are two concepts that are often conflated in popular culture. However, those who experience dissonance between their assigned sex and gender identity intimately understand the difference between sex, a biologicallybased distinction, and gender, a confluence of social and behavioral factors that contribute to understanding who one is as well as how one is seen by others. The gendered self-understanding and self-expression of 170 North Americans who selfidentified as gender nonconforming and who were assigned female at birth were explored using a transpersonal lens and thematic analysis. Data suggested a range and variety of gendered self-concepts that aligned …


Meaning-Making Among Intentionally Childless Women, Christine Brooks Sep 2019

Meaning-Making Among Intentionally Childless Women, Christine Brooks

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This paper is a summary of a qualitative research project that focused upon meaningmaking processes as described by intentionally childless women. A grounded theory exploration, it involved semi-structured interviews with 30 cisgendered women aged 27–61 who chose childlessness early in life. Based on principles inherent to social constructivism and feminist theories, the subjective voices of the participants were analyzed as normative expressions of female identity. The main category that accompanied intentional childlessness was a sense of freedom. In addition, two additional thematic categories focused on ways the women view their contributions to their communities and experience belonging and a sense …


From Romantic Jealousy To Sympathetic Joy: Monogamy, Polyamory, And Beyond, Jorge N. Ferrer Sep 2019

From Romantic Jealousy To Sympathetic Joy: Monogamy, Polyamory, And Beyond, Jorge N. Ferrer

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This paper explores how the extension of contemplative qualities to intimate relationships can transform human sexual/emotional responses and relationship choices. The paper reviews contemporary findings from the field of evolutionary psychology on the twin origins of jealousy and monogamy, argues for the possibility to transform jealousy into sympathetic joy (or compersion), addresses the common objections against polyamory (or nonmonogamy), and challenges the culturally prevalent belief that the only spiritually correct sexual options are either celibacy or (lifelong or serial) monogamy. To conclude, it is suggested that the cultivation of sympathetic joy in intimate bonds can pave the way to overcome …