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Guttmann, Julia Kim
The search for bliss: a model of emotional development based on Maharishi°s Vedic PsychologySM.

Order No.9633806

Virtually all paradigms of modern psychology acknowledge a human tendency toward positive affective states. Addressing the significance of this natural tendency from the perspective of Maharishi's Vedic PsychologySM, a model of emotional development is constructed. The preference for happiness is identified as expressing a primary, evolutionary drive that originates in a universal field of absolute bliss consciousness and leads human development to attain an enduring state of bliss, which then provides a backdrop for experiencing the temporal emotions. This model was explored through the subjective methodologies of qualitative research. Twenty participants of the Transcendental MeditationΠand TM-SidhiΠprogram were interviewed about experiences of bliss and emotions. Content analysis produced a portrait of emotional functioning that appears to be a distinct, higher stage of development than is described in contemporary models. Whereas momentary "peak" experiences are recorded in every culture participants reported stabilizing such experiences. This stabilization led to a shift in identity from external factors to inner bliss. Changes in emotional experience accompanied this shift: enhanced richness of experience; increased positive affect; decreased negativity; freedom from attachments and the overpowering influence of emotions; greater differentiation; more positive outlook. Participants also completed the Loevinger Sentence Completion test for ego- development and, as a group, scored significantly higher than normative data, p < .05. The study provides experiential elaboration to the theoretical model and uncoversn ew dimensions for research in emotional development. It also demonstrates that regular practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi programs develops and stabilizes a profound state of bliss which, in addition to providing inner fulfillment, results in greater happiness and success in daily life. Source: DAI, 57, no. 06B, (1996): 4055

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