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Students’ Publications

Students of Spiritual Studies Institute have written a variety of academic papers with spiritual overtones, including three doctorial dissertations and a master’s thesis. In addition, students have prepared a compilation from the Djwhal Khul/Alice Bailey books on Materiality and Spirituality: Finding a Balance and a related speech.

 

Doctoral Dissertations

Similarities And Dissimilarities In The Phenomenology Of Materialism And Spirituality In Relationship To Money (Abstract)

Thomas Conte Manheim – Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center

The primary purpose of this dissertation was to examine the similarities and dissimilarities in the phenomenology of materialism and spirituality in relationship to money. This research examined whether individuals of faith-based sites score high on spirituality and low on materialism and whether individuals of secular sites score low on spirituality and high on materialism, as well as differences across sites. Empirical studies on materialism showed a negative correlation between materialism and life satisfaction, a positive correlation with psychological tension, and that individuals with spiritual connections to God/higher-self experienced life fulfillment. A secondary purpose was to explore the spiritual use of money, in which individuals engage in both service to humanity and responsible actions with money.

Participants included 87 individuals (51 from faith-based sites and 36 from secular sites) and data were collected through a sequential mixed-method (quantitative-qualitative) design. Data were collected using the Material Values Scale, Expression of Spirituality Inventory, and a demographic questionnaire. The top 15% of high scorers (n = 12) in each category (spirituality n = 6, and materialism n = 6) were invited to participate in an interview, focused on the participants’ lived experiences of money and spirituality.

The researcher and co-rater, utilizing a seven-step procedure, analyzed the data, which resulted in 13 higher-ordered themes. The most central themes were that the discovery of a higher self affects spiritual use of money and that money confers status, yet may not increase satisfaction. Overall, individuals from secular sites were less spiritual and more materialistic. Significant findings were that participants struggled with maintaining a balance between the opposites of materialism and spirituality, fear of poverty kept participants centered in a material lifestyle, and a group of participants was identified as being caught between desiring material comforts and the spiritual rewards of fulfillment found in service.

Knowledge of why individuals emphasize either material self-oriented use of money or collective service may contribute to further understanding of individuals’ behaviors in general. Finally, this research speaks to the importance of studying the relationship between spirituality and materialism as a means to determine how individuals can achieve a balance in their lives.  View dissertation pdf

Walking the Middle Path: Balancing the Pairs of Opposites Through Systemic Interactions (Abstract)

Anne-Marisa Stinson – Alliant International University

This theoretical study examines the current literature on the self from a psychological and a spiritual perspective, using the theory of Psychosynthesis as a bridge for Western and Eastern theories.  The theory of this dissertation is built upon systemic principles that see the self as a product of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and transpersonal dynamics with the emphasis on interpersonal dynamics.

This study includes an examination of the nature of self, the experience of self, and the loss of self and is based on three principles: (a) the self is comprised of two levels: the lower self or personality and the Higher Self or Soul; (b) the lower self and the Higher Self are experienced through mindfully balancing the pairs of opposites; and (c) the loss of self, which is considered to be a normal occurrence and not pathological, results from identification, caused by attachment, with one of the pairs of opposites.

Since many of the concepts in this study are highly complex and even esoteric to some extent, in order to show the practical usage of this study, there will be a confessional statement in chapter 3. This will serve as a defense to the practical application and practice of this theory in the life of this researcher.  This confessional statement addresses such questions as the following: the nature of self, the experience of the self, and the loss of self.

This study seeks to provide a new integrative perspective of the self and the loss of self.  The goal of this dissertation is to contribute to the literature by improving the current understanding of the self and loss of self.  By contributing to the literature, this theory of the self will potentially impact not only theory, but can also infiltrate the practice of therapy as well.

EXPLORATION OF AN ESOTERIC PSYCHOLOGY CLINICAL PRACTICE WITH HUMANISTIC/TRANSPERSONAL ROOTS (Abstract)

Harvey M. Cheatham – Saybrook University

This dissertation used the exploratory single-case study method to address the research question: How and to what extent has Uta Hoehne, a licensed psychologist, applied Alice Bailey’s principles of esoteric psychology in a humanistic/transpersonal-based clinical practice?

Alice Bailey was an esotericist in the first half of the 20th century whose principles of esoteric thought resonate with many founding principles of humanistic/transpersonal psychology. Bailey wrote extensively about a type of psychology she called esoteric psychology, which uses principles potentially applicable to clinical psychology. Uta Hoehne is a present-day licensed psychologist and skilled esotericist whose clinical practice has humanistic/transpersonal roots. She has applied esoteric psychology techniques with higher functioning clients, originally as a supplement to conventional therapeutic techniques.

The investigation used three data sources: 10 structured interviews with Hoehne; other Hoehne data including published articles on her nonprofit Web site, approximately 200 unpublished documents, 60 hours of lecture recordings; and interviews with two of her senior students, also licensed psychologists. The data involved background information, clinical use of esoteric psychology principles including what she called “higher psychic powers and energy,” esoteric perspective and protocol for multiple categories of DSM-IV-TR psychological disorders, and specific clinical tools with potential general application in humanistic/transpersonal clinical practices. Also, the usefulness of esoteric psychology techniques in others’ clinical practices was addressed with two of Hoehne’s students.

Content analysis yielded five principal categories, each with multiple themes, that encompass esoteric psychology in general and Hoehne’s clinical practices in particular. Primary categories concern esoteric psychology’s perspective, orientation, understanding of disease, practices, and the interface with aspects of humanistic/transpersonal psychology.

The apparent therapeutic benefits of Hoehne’s clinical application of Bailey’s esoteric principles demonstrates the appropriateness of further research into both the theory and practice of esoteric psychology and of consideration of a more general application in other humanistic/transpersonal clinical practices. A resonance is revealed between these two approaches to psychology. Their areas of confluence and difference may work together to address the greater unfolding of human potential.

EXPLORING SUBJECTIVE AND PHYSIOLOGICAL MEASURES OF INDIVIDUAL WELLBEING IN PERSONS ENGAGED IN ENERGY TRIANGLE MEDITATION (Abstract)

Andrew L. Stinson  – Saybrook University 

Studies have shown the positive effects of specific types of meditation and/or imagery practices. This mixed methods study explored the previously unresearched meditation and visualization technique known as triangle meditation, a process promoted in part in the esoteric teachings of Alice Bailey. The technique involves visualizing a fluid triangle of energy between the participant’s base center, head center, and heart center. The research investigated subjective and physiological measures of individual wellbeing, related to the practice of this technique.

The participants were 4 males and 6 females between the ages of 35 and 76, experienced meditators who had demonstrated the ability to maintain mental focus. A quasi-experimental (ABA) design was employed with each participant serving as his or her own control for the pretreatment baseline, treatment (meditation) condition, and post treatment condition. The participants’ sense of wellbeing was assessed before and after 10 minutes of the meditation practice using measures of hand temperature, heart rate, and the self-reported Subjective Units of Distress Scale (SUDS). Qualitative data were collected post-meditation through a questionnaire completed by each participant directly afterward, and by a telephone interview within the first week, to clarify questionnaire responses and ascertain further thoughts and impressions.

Quantitative measures of wellbeing (hand temperature, heart rate, and SUDS) all showed a statistically significant improvement after the meditation, compared to baseline. Additionally, subjective data supported the relevance of triangle meditation to increased wellbeing for all participants. Subjective reports specifically yielded 7 themes, involving physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits, as well as effects on energy movement, inner alignment, and connectedness. Results support the proposed ability of triangle meditation to utilize subtle energy for healing and wellbeing. This study has important implications in that the energy triangle meditation provides a brief and powerful tool which could be used more broadly for enhancing individual wellbeing. It also supports the need for further research into energetics in mind-body medicine, and esoteric healing methods more specifically.

Masters Thesis

Alice Bailey’s Esoteric Explanation of the Creative Process (Abstract)

Harvey M. Cheatham – Saybrook University

Alice Bailey provided an extensive explanation of the creative process in the 24 volumes of her writings, published from 1922 to 1960. The objective of this thesis was to clarify and organize her contribution to ascertain whether her work might be appropriately integrated into the existing body of creativity literature consistent with current trends in creativity studies. To date, Bailey’s writings apparently have not received serious attention in academic psychology except by Roberto Assagioli, who was a prominent student of Bailey.

This thesis examined Bailey’s esoteric explanation of the creative process as gleaned from the 10,000 pages of her books. The research method was first to organize her worldview to identify foundational principles of esoteric thought interwoven in her presentation. From this foundation, Bailey’s lengthy explanation of the creative process was synthesized to 7 hypotheses for scholarly consideration. Finally, these hypotheses were compared to selected themes from current creativity studies for compatibility.

This research found that Bailey advanced a longstanding and rich tradition of esoteric thought that was pioneered in modern times by Helena Blavatsky, that Bailey’s writings on the creative process are both comprehensive and internally consistent, and that these writings are compatible with certain recognized themes in creativity studies. Bailey indicated that the creative process concerns realized purpose and defined creativity in its highest sense as the access and then manifestation in physicality of prototypal (archetypal) patterns. This type of creativity requires more than just the ability to contact the existing pattern; it also includes the building of that which was contacted with as little distortion of the envisioned pattern as possible.

Although Bailey’s work may lie outside mainstream Western psychology, her hypotheses were found consistent with multiple themes in current creativity studies. As such, her depth and clarity of explanation of the creative process might benefit those engaged in creativity scholarship and might have the potential to expand mainstream views in this area. As human evolution largely depends on creative achievement, compelling reasons exist to develop a fuller understanding of the creative process. Therefore, Bailey’s insights into the creative process seem to warrant further investigation.  View thesis pdf

Compilation

Materialism and Spirituality: Finding a Balance (Prologue)

I do not, however, intend to write a treatise upon finance. It would largely be a record of man’s dire selfishness, but I seek to deal with money as the Hierarchy sees the problem, and to consider it as a form of energy, prostituted at this time to material ends or to the selfish aspirations and ambitions of well-meaning servers. They are limited in their view and need to get a picture of the possibilities inherent in the present situation, which could deflect much of this form of concretized divine energy into constructive channels and “ways of light.” (10– 60)

From the rich to the poor, from the intelligent to the ignorant, one thing is now clearly grasped and will increasingly color human thinking: happiness and success are not dependent upon the possession of things or upon material good. . . . Humanity has made this mistake for untold ages, and has erred grievously in its emphasis upon that which benefits the form. (14­– 661/2)

Men everywhere are aspiring towards freedom, towards mutual understanding, towards right group and personal conditions of living and of thinking, and towards right external and internal relationships.  This is a fact generally recognized.  Humanity is weary and tired of unwholesome ways of living, of the exploitation of the defenseless, of the growth of discontent, and of the centralization of power in wrong and selfish hands.  They are anxious for peace, right relations, the proper distribution of time and the understanding and right use of money.  Such indications are unusual and of a deeply spiritual nature. (12–450)

Students should familiarize themselves with the “energy concept” and learn to regard themselves as energy units displaying certain types of energy.  In this connection it should be borne in mind that when spiritual energy and material energy (the two opposite poles) are brought into relationship, a third type of energy is produced, and the work of the fourth or human kingdom is to demonstrate this peculiar type.  View pdf

Speech

10 Rules for Inner Peace with Money (Conclusion)

We must face the facts as they exist in our civilization. If we truly believe that we live too far on the material end of life’s spectrum, then we should do something about those aspects of our life that we think are not centered. We can sum up these 10 Rules for Inner Peace with Money in the one phrase: the right use of money. We must all start by integrating these concepts into our individual lives. It is time for us to gain control of our desires and this energy we call money. It is time for us to channel some of our money into new directions. Money needs to be viewed as a spiritual asset as well as a material asset, and we must learn to shoulder both uses responsibly.

Anyone watching the news on television or reading the newspaper is apt to become discouraged as we are constantly flooded with examples of materialistic selfishness and greed. However, I think that it is wholesome for this to come to the surface where all may see and judge. This process of full disclosure is analogous to the psychological cleansing of an individual’s unconscious; all that is hidden must be uncovered before it can be healed.

We don’t know what the future holds as men determine their own destinies. However, let it be said that each of us did his part. Humanity as a whole is of far greater importance than any individual or any nation. In the past, money has been the instrument of men’s selfishness. In the future, it must become the instrument of men’s goodwill. It all depends upon the right action of good people. It all depends on us. We need to stand firm with this energy we call money in order to build better individual lives and a better world.  View pdf