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Practice of Inspiration and Altruism

Page history last edited by Library Health 10 years, 4 months ago


We invite you to participate as a researcher for finding and adding resources on transformational change.   This is a dynamic tool for you to add information you find to your FW 311 individual group's wiki as you do research for class projects (click on the "Sidebar" located on the right in the "View" mode--select the appropriate Class Wiki).  We encourage you to share not only titles (for example, the citation of a journal article, a book, a blog, or title of a digital media stream), but also the places you found the resources and the search strategies you found useful, as we have in the links below. Students will post to the topic areas on the sidebar located on the right.



Required Assignment Materials:


Measuring the Immeasurable: The Scientific Case for Spirituality. (2008). Boulder, CO: Sounds True Publishers.  Read the following: 

Dossey, L. Compassion and Healing, pp. 47-60.

Newberg, A.  Spirituality, The Brain, & Health, pp. 349-371.


Krakovsky, M. (2009). Thriving on Selfishness. Scientific American, 300(4), 26-27. 

altruism and selfishness.mht


An Inspirational Video (November 17, 2009).  Please view the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGODurRfVv4


Another video (August 24, 2010). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHpy_k_kMTU  


Another inspirational video (February 6, 2007).  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEqdr_Awdak


Another inspirational video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vem_bHsxL40


Supplementary Resource Materials:




Peer reviewed:


Levitt, H., Frankel, Z., Hiestand, K., Ware, K., Bretz, K., Kelly, R., McGhee, S., Nordtvedt, R., & Raina, K. (2004). The Tranformational Experience of Insight: A Life-Changing Event. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 17, 1-26.

Abstract: The present study produces a model of insight, as generated by a grounded theory analysis of interviews with individulals who have reported experiencing life-altering insights. This model describes the initiation, unfolding, and manifestation of the insight as well as how change ensued in the lives of participants. To read the full text click on the PDf link on this page.


insight and health.pdf


Reynolds, F. (2004). Conversations About Creativity and Chronic Illness II: Textile Artists Coping with Long-Term Health Problems Reflect on the Creative Process Creativity Research Journal, 16 (1), 79-89.

Abstract: This qualitative study explored the inspirations and influences that shape the creative process and artwork of a group of women with long-term illness. Most were nonprofessional artists. Almost all had taken courses in at least one form of textile art and had advanced skills. Although the creative process is not fully open to verbal self-analysis, the accounts revealed a wide range of inspiration for artwork. The sensual qualities of color and texture, themes from nature, precious memories, personal and professional interests, and spiritual beliefs all found expression in the women's designs and styles. A repertoire of techniques and a conducive physical environment were valued as enabling control over the creative process and the achievement of a meaningful personal style. Most of the women enjoyed the spontaneity, immersion, and adventure inherent in their creative process, and their descriptions approximated flow states described in other research. Some expressed experiences of illness through their artwork. Nevertheless, several participants reported that illness did not only inspire artwork through distress and loss, but through sharpening perceptions, heightening emotional sensitivity and confronting them with the deeper issues of life. The contribution of art-making to the self-management of chronic illness deserves further examination.

To read the full text click on the PDF link on this page.


Watlington, C. & Murphy C. (2006). The Roles of Religion and Spirituality Among African American Survivors of Domestic Violence. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(7), 837-857. Abstract: The investigation examined religious involvement, spirituality, religious coping, and social support as correlates of posttraumatic stress symptoms and depression symptoms in African American survivors of domestic violence. Sixty-five African American women who experienced domestic violence in the past year provided data on demographics, severity and frequency of physical and psychological abuse during the past year, aspects of current social support, types of current coping activities, religious involvement, spiritual experiences, and symptoms related to depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Women who evinced higher levels of spirituality and greater religious involvement reported fewer depression symptoms. Religious involvement was also found to be negatively associated with posttraumatic stress symptoms. Women who reported higher levels of spirituality reported utilizing higher levels of religious coping strategies, and women who reported higher levels of religious involvement reported higher levels of social support. Results did not support hypotheses regarding social support and religious coping as mediators of the associations between mental health variables, religious involvement, and spirituality.

To read the full text click on the PDF link on this page.


spirituality and domestic violence.pdf


Meyerstein, I. (2005).  Sustaining our Spirits: Spiritual Study/Discussion Groups For Coping with Medical Illness.  Journal of Religion & Health, 44 (2), 207-225.

Abstract: Illness is a universal experience that evokes a range of difficult emotions and tough spiritual questions, often without satisfying answers. Illness can be alienating and isolating. Sustaining one’s spirits and preserving identity in the face of illness is a challenge for patients, family members, and caregivers. This paper introduces Spiritual study/discussion groups to strengthen patients’ perceived coping with illness. The groups introduce a spiritual perspective, provide emotional support, and offer a variety of “spiritual coping tools,” utilizing traditional and contemporary resources. Preliminary evaluations suggest that a “healing” time and space is created through the provision of comfort, connection, support, and inspiration.To read the full text click on the PDF link on this page.




Electronic books from the Cline Library:


Awakening the kind heart: how to meditate on compassion.  Boston: Wisdom Publications, c2010. Access ebook.


Calming your anxious mind:  how mindfulness and compassion can free you from anxiety, fear, and panic. Jeffrey Brantley. Oakland, CA : New Harbinger Publications, c2007. Second edition. Chapter: A mindful approach to fear and anxiety -- Paying attention on purpose -- The body and its fear system -- Anxiety and the power of the mind -- Mindfulness and meditation -- Your attitude is important -- Building your practice foundation -- Mindfulness in everyday life -- Establishing mindfulness, breath by breath -- Mindfulness of the body -- Bringing full attention to life -- Befriending your anxious mind -- Making room for the upset -- Common concerns about these meditation practices -- Feeling safe, resting in silence -- Applying mindfulness to fear and anxiety -- Taking a larger view. Access ebook. 


Science of compassion and love:  theory, research, and applications. Edited by Beverley Fehr, Susan Sprecher, and Lynn G. Underwood. Malden, MA : Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Access ebook.

Search strategy: keyword search emotions and science in Cline Library online catalog.



Print Books:


Dugatkin, L. (2006). The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Print Books from Cline Library:


Zukav, G. (1989).  The Seat of the Soul.  New York: Simon and Schuster.  ISBN  0684865181  

Cline Library Book Stacks: BP605.N48 Z85 1989      


Miller, M.E. & Cook-Greuter, S.R. (2000). Creativity, Spirituality and Transcendence: Paths to Integrity and Wisdome in teh Mature Self. Stamford: Ablex Publishing.

Cline Library Book Stack:; BF411 .C76 2000




Streamed Video from Cline Library:


Does Prayer Work? A Medical Perspective. BBC 2004. 51 min.  View streaming video. Summary: This program documents the MANTRA clinical study, the largest multifaith prayer experiment ever devised. A three-year effort to find a causal link between prayer and physiological healing, the project generated a high degree of skepticism among scientific purists and religious leaders. Nevertheless, it rigorously assembled medical data on 750 critical heart patients while coordinating Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist prayer groups from North Carolina to Nepal. Does Prayer Work? follows the investigation with complete objectivity, culminating in multiple interpretations of the results.


The Kindness of Strangers: Altruism and Human NatureBeyond Entertainment, 2006. 55 min. View streaming video. Summary: Dissecting the phenomenon of altruism-as well as its mirror image, the instinct of self-preservation-is perhaps best accomplished with real-world case studies. This program does so as it documents the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami. Following four independent relief workers in the hardest-hit areas of Sri Lanka, the film captures scene after scene in which the most idealistic and pragmatic of aims are vividly juxtaposed. Meanwhile, experts in evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology, and behavioral science-including Dr. Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene-illuminate the genetic, psychological, and socioeconomic concepts behind human cooperation and human survival


Media in Public Domain:


YouTube: Powerful Affirmations. (4:03)



YouTube: Do Our Thoughts Have the Power to Heal? (3:21) 

Marilyn Schlitz, President of IONS and Edgar Mitchell Astronaut, Scientist and Founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences are featured in this excerpt from Feature Length Film "The Living Matrix - The New Science of Healing" by emaginate. Marilyn and Edgar explain the science of exploring the emotional and empathetic elements that may effect healing. Noetic Science explores these and other components of Consciousness and Inner Knowing. www.noetic.org


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