Larry Culliford



JSS 4.1

Past News

JSS 4.1 The Meaning of Life Diagram:
A Framework for a Developmental Path from Birth to Spiritual Maturity

by Dr Larry Culliford, Independent scholar, UK
Journal for the Study of Spirituality 4, no. 1, 2014, pp. 31-44

A straightforward diagram offering insight into individual spiritual development from birth to full spiritual maturity is presented. Six stages are depicted. Graph lines show a pattern of dissonance growing in the early stages between the ‘everyday ego’ and the baseline ‘spiritual self’; the dissonance between the two diminishing later. Innate factors determine the general degree and range of dissonance according to ‘low’, ‘medium’ and ‘high’ trajectories. Life events and experiences provoke alterations in trajectory when ‘something happens’. Regarding the meaning of a person’s life, there are different priorities within each stage.

A psychological mechanism for moving forward developmentally, based on an original theory of emotions, is then introduced. This is followed by a section on collective (social) evolution.

This paper provides a potentially universal framework linking psychology and spirituality. It has immediate relevance to the natural sciences of personal, trans-personal and social psychology. It is relevant, too, within the fields of health and social care, especially mental health care. Its aim is to provide a basic structure for research and enquiry, including personal enquiry. The model presented is also suited to further study and exploration in a wide range of disciplines. Although neatly circumscribed, the model allows for wide-ranging, often highly-charged, subjective emotional experiences and responses to the vicissitudes of life.

To read the full article, click here.