Entering the Heart of Experience: First-Person Accounts in Performance and Spirituality

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Abstract

In this paper, Middleton and Chamberlain introduce the inaugural publication of "Perspectives on Practice," which will be a new and ongiong section in "Performance and Spirituality" that will publish academically rigorous, first-person accounts of intersections between performance and spirituality.

In this article, the authors take up arguments for the development of a rigorous first-person methodology for consciousness research and apply them to the study of performance and spirituality. They outline the implications of adopting and including the first person perspective in performance research, and then explore its applicability to the particular case of the enquiry into relationships between performance and spirituality. They argue that the promotion of rigorous and contextualised first-person accounts can provide this field of study with significant data; high-quality descriptions of what Varela and Shear called “The View from Within.” Such descriptions could provide detailed insights into, for example, the nature of the performative phenomena which yield spiritual experience. Further, we shall explore the extent to which the adoption of the first-person mode of enquiry can increase, as well as illuminate, the experience in question.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-112
Number of pages18
JournalPerformance and Spirituality
Volume3
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Spirituality
First Person
Field of Study
Inaugural
Spiritual Experiences
Methodology
First-person Perspective
Consciousness

Cite this

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AB - In this paper, Middleton and Chamberlain introduce the inaugural publication of "Perspectives on Practice," which will be a new and ongiong section in "Performance and Spirituality" that will publish academically rigorous, first-person accounts of intersections between performance and spirituality.In this article, the authors take up arguments for the development of a rigorous first-person methodology for consciousness research and apply them to the study of performance and spirituality. They outline the implications of adopting and including the first person perspective in performance research, and then explore its applicability to the particular case of the enquiry into relationships between performance and spirituality. They argue that the promotion of rigorous and contextualised first-person accounts can provide this field of study with significant data; high-quality descriptions of what Varela and Shear called “The View from Within.” Such descriptions could provide detailed insights into, for example, the nature of the performative phenomena which yield spiritual experience. Further, we shall explore the extent to which the adoption of the first-person mode of enquiry can increase, as well as illuminate, the experience in question.

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KW - Meditation

KW - Mindfulness

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