Quantifying religious and spiritual experiences.

Quantifying religious and spiritual experiences.

Does the Carmelite nun interacting with God through contemplative prayer experience something similar to the Hindu standing before Shiva? If so, how similar (and, for that matter, how different) are these experiences? And what about men and women? To what extent are the religious or spiritual experiences that women tend to have different from the types of experience that men typically identify as religious or spiritual? 

With the prior approval of this forum's moderator, I would like to invite you to participate in a new survey (FULL DISCLOSURE: I am one of the co-developers) that aims to shed some light upon these controversial questions by describing religious/spiritual experience in such a way that comparisons like those above become far more manageable. This survey, called the Enhanced Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory (EPCI), uses culturally-independent categories to measure the subjective features of a religious/spiritual experience from your own past and produces a quantitative profile of that experience as a result. So, consider sharing your own religious/spiritual experience with us and, by extension, help to resolve the embittered controversy of comparison!!!

If you're ready to take the EPCI at any point, simply go here and look for the survey called Religious and Spiritual Experiences.



In prior studies, the EPCI has shown that religious/spiritual experiences clearly do exhibit a unique profile, as compared to similar but non-religious/spiritual forms of experience. And with regard to the difficulties mentioned above, the EPCI has also consistently demonstrated its ability to differentiate between the average profile for experiences shared by men and that for experiences shared by women. This can be seen in the following graph, for example, which represents this average profile for each gender (M=Yellow, W=[COLOR=Blue]Blue[/COLOR]; the actual characteristics have been hidden to avoid biasing your choice of experience toward those very characters).

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=af2202fb13&view=att&th=143fb5590ad44e66&attid=0.1&disp=emb&realattid=ii_143fb4e508be859b&zw&atsh=1



But I must be perfectly clear about one thing. It would be naïve of anybody to claim that this survey captures all (or even most) of what makes this type of experience such a profoundly significant and influential part of human existence. We are most emphatically not using the EPCI with the intent to minimize or to deny the authenticity of religious and spiritual experiences by reducing them to something other than they are, something more "real" because more scientific in some way. Rather, we developed the EPCI in the hopes of obtaining a clearer understanding of religious and spiritual experiences precisely as they are in themselves.

So, if you've had an experience that you would characterize as religious or spiritual in some way, please consider filling out the EPCI. Once finished, you will receive immediate feedback that allows you to compare your own experience with the experiences of many others who have taken this survey. And if two or more of you are interested in taking the survey together (which would offer you feedback comparing the results specifically among yourselves), just PM me and that can easily be arranged.

What's more, you'll be contributing to a good cause!!! As our way of showing how much we appreciate your participation, each participant who completes the survey can make a donation to their choice of two charities. Come make the world a better place, and start exploring your religion while you do!

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Re: Quantifying religious and spiritual experiences.

Sorry, I should also mention that all responses remain anonymous and your identity is always kept strictly confidential...even from us!

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We are not alone. There is something out there bigger than ourselves. Where will you go after you die? What do you believe and why do you believe it? What is the point of having a mind if you never change it? Here's a surprisingly unsurprising statistic: Everyone dies sooner or later; there is no escaping it and you will be dead for longer than you are alive. This suggests that eternity might be worth more than a passing thought.

Are you ready for the inevitable? There is no need to be fearful of that inevitable moment, so long as you are prepared and as long as you are not taking comfort in something that sounds nice but is really just positive but wishful thinking. Make your life journey count, consider your eternal destination. Just believing in a lie wont make it truth, no matter how much you want it or how appealing that lie is. It is better to know the truth than to live in the delusion of a lie. No one likes being deceived, but in a world of political correctness, acceptance and anything goes, it is easy to side-step the truth of reality. What REALLY is true?

Can we just make up our own truth and say "well that is true for you, but my truth is something else"? Surely we can't all be right, especially when there are so many contradictory beliefs and top world religions out there.