thee, if sense impel thee not?
Moves thee a light, which in the heaven takes
By self, or by a will that downward guides it.
- Dante Alighieri
(Purgatorio, Canto 17)
The Experience of Divine Guidance
is a groundbreaking research study explores the
common and unique structures of the experience of Divine guidance
across spiritual traditions.
"...a real contribution to the field."
- Arthur Hastings, Ph.D. (Author of
With the Tongues of Men and Angels)
This is a very impressive and
highly original piece of work. Mark Allan Kaplan writes with clarity
and brilliance. The research design is ingenious. The review of the
literature is relevant and extensive. The co-researchers are
diverse, impressive, honest, and insightful.
- Carolyn Miller (Author of
Creating Miracles: A Practical Guide to Divine Intervention)
"...extensive, informative, and interestingly
presented. Thank you for this fine piece of work!"
- William Braud, Ph.D. (Author of
Distance Mental Influence)
research study examined the experience of seeking, receiving, and
following guidance from a perceived source of divine wisdom. Nine
advanced spiritual teachers (5 men and 4 women) from 7 spiritual
traditions participated as coresearchers in this study. Coresearchers
were North American or European born, predominantly Caucasian,
California (USA) residents between the ages of 52 and 74. Coresearcher
participation consisted of individual semistructured in-depth
interviews. The questions and topics of discussion used for the
interviews were developed through a process of researcher heuristic and
of a grounded-theory-based qualitative content analysis of the interview
transcripts suggested that the experience of divine guidance, as
measured in the current study, is characterized by a common structuring
of the experience that includes general categories, factors, and
patterns which appear to manifest into various particular and contextual
forms depending on the individual person, event, and circumstance. The
reported common structures of the experience included: The perception of
a divine source of guidance; the experience of seeking, receiving,
and following guidance from this perceived source; and various contributing,
impeding, developmental, and mediating factors.
each coresearcher reported a unique metaphor of divine encounter
that appeared to give them an archetypal and visceral way of describing
and holding the experience. The researcher appeared to experience each
of the coresearcherís metaphors of divine encounter through some kind
of resonant learning or mimicking process.
Experience Template, Guidance Experience Evaluation Checklist, and
Synthesized Guidance Practice were developed as aids to counselors,
practitioners, and researchers exploring the experience of divine
findings of this study, and the development and implementation of
guidance-related applications in this research, may advance the
understanding of this common and historically significant human
experience, and offer a valuable contribution to the fields of
transpersonal psychology, spiritual guidance, and spiritual psychology.