Women's transformation in nothingness: a feminist-existential-transpersonal interpretive account of women's transformative experience of existential crisis
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Abstract'What is women's experience in Nothingness as a transformational experience?' The study of this question, through conducting interviews of five women's accounts of their lived-experience in Nothingness, resulted in an interpretive analysis of women's transformative experience of existential crisis. This study included an initial analysis of the research question to reveal what may influence our understanding of women's transformational experience in Nothingness. Thus, areas of knowledge relating to Nothingness, women and transformation were explored, including Western existential philosophy and psychology, women's psychology, and transpersonal psychology. The research topic required a methodology that would help the researcher remain sensitive to a phenomenon that was not definitive, but transformative, in nature. Thus, a research approach embracing methodological pluralism was utilized by blending together feminist, existential, and transpersonal epistemologies to yield a feminist-phenomenological- integral hermeneutics framework for research. Using this framework, research interviews produced narratives of the lived-experience of Nothingness in the lives of ordinary women. By analyzing and interpreting the deep meanings embedded within the narratives, ten themes emerged in response to the research question. The themes were: 1) early developmental experiences of Nothingness as the devalued female self, 2) disconnecting from the deep self and embracing socio-cultural scripts, 3) existential crisis and the descent into Nothingness, 4) women's ways of coping with the pain of Nothingness, 5) experiences of awakening, 6) spiritual searching and revaluing of the feminine, 7) breaking through: experiencing the mystical fullness of Nothingness, 8) cutting ties: hanging alone, 9) the never-ending process, and 10) the difficulty of ineffability and the need for mentoring.
Bibliography: p. 429-451
CitationRich, M. (2004). Women's transformation in nothingness: a feminist-existential-transpersonal interpretive account of women's transformative experience of existential crisis (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/18790
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