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Title: Felt senses of self and no-self in therapy
Author: Luczaj, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 7053
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2015
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The thesis develops Gendlin's concept of the felt sense in two directions, and introduces parallel concepts of self. It starts by examining western and eastern cultural contexts, neuroscientific conceptualisations and linguistic issues as they relate to self, using the lens of Gendlin's two ways of relating to the world ̶ interpreting according to the unit model and thinking beyond patterns, to point out conceptual confusions. Buddhist philosophy and practice are discussed as methods of undoing such conceptual confusions in order to relieve suffering, with self as an independent, stable, substantial entity being the primary example of such a confusion. Dualism is identified as the basic misconception from which suffering ensues. Non-duality is investigated as a spiritual endstate, an integral part of the goals of humanistic therapies and an intrinsic element in 'carrying forward', then compared with Gendlin's implicit intricacy, Sartre's Being-in-itself and intersubjective theories. A small qualitative study investigates what happens when felt senses of self are intentionally produced or accessed by focusing. A continuum of experiences is described, ranging from self to no-self, with trauma proving a major block to both self and no-self experiencings. The felt sense is re-defined in two ways, as an extending boundary and as a direct referent. A sense of self is also considered both as a boundary drawing exercise, and a direct referent. Self may function in either of these forms on a relative level, constructively or destructively, according to circumstances and conditions, while on an ontological level no such single entity may be proven to exist. The conclusion is drawn that self and no-self form a kind of twisting human thread, which shows, at any one moment, just one side of a duality. These sides are conceptually, rather than actually, distinct.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available