Horan, M. (2009) Exploring the experiences of adults on a spiritual path in the western world. Paper presented to: British Psychological Society (BPS) Transpersonal Psychology Section Conference 2009, Scarborough, 18-21 September 2009.
The world of spirituality and religion is changing, with increasing numbers leaving religious traditions and adopting a more individual path. This study explored the experience of adults on a spiritual path in the Western World, particularly in the context of the integral transformative practices that recommend a balanced spirituality. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine adult participants, ranging in age from 29 to 63, who were, by their own definition, following a spiritual path. Following thematic analysis conducted from a realist perspective, two major areas were identified. Firstly, the process described could be said to concur with the integral practice theories. Secondly, the findings suggest that, rather than being a pre-conventional spirituality which is later outgrown, the spirituality of childhood may have a validity that continues into adulthood. These findings highlight a gap in the research into childhood spirituality and spiritual intelligence