Terje Sparby

Terje Sparby
Steiner University College

PhD

About

33
Publications
10,171
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134
Citations
Introduction
My background is in philosophy, religious studies, and the history of ideas. During the last years I’ve focused on meditation. My interest is primarily in investigating meditation from the first person perspective, using various phenomenological and introspective methods, and in developing a historical well-informed systematic/philosophical account of what meditation consists of. I blog about contemplative science: thephilosophersstone.blog And here is my personal homepage: www.terjesparby.com

Publications

Publications (33)
Article
Full-text available
Contemplative science is usually conceived either as an introspective investigation of the meditative mind or as following methods of other scientific disciplines to study the mind in meditation. Here, I suggest a conception of a comprehensive contemplative science that includes both. Drawing on Paul Hoyningen-Huene's work in the philosophy of scie...
Article
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This article explores the theory and practice of a contemplative phenomenology. In general, contemplative phenomenology investigates and describes the activity and effects of meditation. Drawing on William James, I suggest that meditation can be understood as involving “lowering the threshold” of consciousness. This includes, among other things, op...
Article
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So far, the large and expanding body of research on meditation has mostly focussed on the putative benefits of meditation on health and well-being. However, a growing number of reports indicate that psychologically unpleasant experiences can occur in the context of meditation practice. Very little is known about the prevalence and potential causes...
Article
Are there universal structures or stages of experience, so-called contemplative landmarks, that unfold during meditative prac-tice? As commonly described in contemplative manuals or handbooks, there is a transition from a form of meditation where the subject must exert continual effort in order for consciousness to remain focused. As Kenneth Rose h...
Article
This article presents and discusses the method of micro-phenomenological self-inquiry. Micro-phenomenology is usually performed with two persons, one interviewer and one interviewee. Micro-phenomenological self-inquiry consists of one person investigating their own experience. The different aspects of the regular micro-phenomenological interview ar...
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Classifying different meditation techniques is essential for the progress of meditation research, as this will enable discerning which effects are associated with which techniques, in addition to supporting the development of increasingly effective and efficient meditation-based training programs and clinical interventions. However, both the task o...
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Micro‐phenomenology is a method for improving first‐person reports of experience. Usually, micro‐phenomenology is conducted using a second‐person interviewer who guides someone investigating an experience. This has the advantage that the interviews can be done with untrained subjects. However, it is possible to perform micro‐phenomenological self‐i...
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Anger is known to be a negatively valenced emotion that can trigger different forms of harmful actions. Traditionally, it is studied from a third-person point of view using behavioural tasks or trait questionnaires. These methods can grasp outwardly observable behavioural expressions of anger but cannot tap into its experiential dimension. Hence, f...
Article
While the trichotomy of body, soul, and spirit has been part of different folk-psychological and contemplative traditions over the millennia, more recently these concepts have ceded to a dualistic approach by which the physical world is distinguished from a more broadly conceptualized mental realm. In the current paper, we propose a renewed trichot...
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The sense of certainty and the reliability of first person reports: An investigation using micro-phenomenological self-inquiry. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. The reliability of introspective or first-person reports has often been questioned. Micro-phenomenology is a method that has been devised to increase the reliability of such reports. One...
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This article presents the results of a qualitative study of Anthroposophic meditation, which arose in the German-speaking world in the early 20th Century focusing on cognition, self-development, and pro-social action. The objective was to explore this previously unstudied form of meditation. The current sample (N = 30) consists of long-term practit...
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Background: The investigation of the specific connections between different techniques of meditation and their respective effects depends upon a classification of the meditative activity involved. Universal systems of classification need to be developed based both on traditional sources and contemporary science. In this article, a system of classi...
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The history of philosophy gives us many different accounts of a true self, connecting it to the essence of what a person is, the notion of conscience, and the ideal human being. Some proponents of the true self can also be found within psychology, but its existence is mostly rejected. Many psychological studies, however, have shown that people comm...
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Meditation is often investigated to uncover its potential health benefits. Some recent studies, however, indicate that certain challenging , negative or adverse effects may be connected to meditation practice. Breathing changes, such as irregularities and breath cessation , are examples of this. Other studies and traditional sources view breath ces...
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I raise questions about the use of metaphor in the article as well as the linearity of the micro-phenomenological analysis process. Is there a way to represent a more accurate and complete overview of this process?
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In The Stages of Higher Knowledge, Steiner proposed that higher knowledge can be conceived of as a process consisting of three stages: Imagination, inspiration, and intuition. As Steiner made many different claims about these stages, it is often not easy to understand exactly what these concepts mean. For example, as will be shown below, Steiner st...
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Research on meditation is advancing, but few studies about the motivations of meditators exist. Additionally, many forms and traditions of meditation have yet to be investigated. This study addresses both of these issues by presenting an overview of different forms of motivations found in contemporary Anthroposophic meditation practice. 30 Anthropo...
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Anthroposophic meditation is unique in that it arises within a European context and emphasizes cognition, self-development, and sociocultural renewal. This article presents the perceived effects of two of the most common Anthroposophic meditation practices within the current sample (N = 30). The first, Anthroposophic mantra practice, seeks to conne...
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The academic study of anthroposophy is a nascent field of research. This article presents an overview of the core features of Rudolf Steiner’s conception of meditation and spirituality based on an analysis of Steiner’s work. The main aim of this form of meditation is to connect divinity and nature through the human being. This aim is realized throu...
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For Hegel, right is inextricably tied to free will, which he sees as an expression of spirit. His Philosophy of Right 1 locates the foundation of right exactly in freedom and spirit. Many have viewed this coupling of right and freedom with spirit as problematic. Hegel has for a long time—at least since Isaiah Berlin ’s “Two Concepts of Liberty ”—be...
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There are two main aspects of the problem of higher knowledge in Hegel's philosophy. Firstly, how exactly does Hegel appropriate Kant's conception of higher knowledge in the shape of intellectual intuition and intuitive understanding? Secondly, how does Hegel envision the connection of higher knowledge to empirical reality? Recent attempts at answe...

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Projects (2)
Project
The aim of this project is to develop a first person versionof the microphenomenological interview, validate the method, and apply it in a clinical context