We at the Alef Trust would like to congratulation Rosemarie Anderson on her wonderful achievement in being awarded the Abraham Maslow Heritage Award! Rosemarie’s work in opening significant new methodological approaches has benefited not only those wishing to research transpersonal phenomena but also many in other branches of psychology. She has generously provided profound guidance to our students in their journeys into research in transpersonal psychology. Students frequently comment on the liberating value of the techniques that Rosemarie’s work has introduced—as if a window had been opened to allow fresh air in! Together with her esteemed colleague, William Braud, she has shown us the ways to bring a transpersonal perspective not only to the topics being researched but also to the ways in which we engage with the whole process of inquiry.
On a personal note, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sense of privilege in being able to accompany Rosemarie on her most recent challenge, that of setting up The Sacred Science Circle. Rosemarie’s acute awareness of the sacred is palpable, and has been an inspiration to many. I view the challenge of recognising the ways in which our science can honour the sacred as one of the most pressing in our day. It is to Rosemarie’s credit that she has identified and formulated the need, and is continually finding ways to meet it. The Circle offers a valuable forum and resource for the growing number of scholars who similarly seek a relationship to the sacred through their research. The Circle is yet young, but I believe it will grow to fill this important niche, becoming a vibrant bridge connecting contemporary research with major strands in the great wisdom traditions.
Thanks for your valued contributions, Rosemarie!
Abraham Maslow Heritage Award to Professor Emerita Rosemarie Anderson
Professor Emerita Rosemarie Anderson will formally receive the Abraham Maslow Heritage Award and deliver an acceptance speech at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention in Washington DC on Friday, August 4, 2017. This award is given to individuals who have made “an outstanding and lasting contribution to the exploration of the farther reaches of human spirit.” Her speech is entitled Toward a Sacred Science—Reflecting Forward.
An excerpt from Professor Anderson’s acceptance speech:
In founding the field of transpersonal research methods, the late William Braud and I well knew we were breaking the rules of what was then mainstream science. Did we feel vulnerable? No. Our doctoral students at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, now Sofia University, demanded we find a new way to conduct research beyond positivistic perspectives. We rallied to the challenge and had a rock-and-rolling good time. In our first book Transpersonal Research Methods for the Social Science: Honoring Human Experience in 1998 we put the challenge of conducting transpersonal research like so:
In transpersonal psychology—which concerns itself with issue of consciousness, alternative states of consciousness, exceptional experiences, transegoic development, and humanity’s highest potentials and possible transformation—this tension between subject matter and research is strongly felt. Both students and practitioners ask whether it is possible to research the transpersonal without violating, distorting, or trivializing what we are studying. Is it possible to live, appreciate, and honor our transpersonal aspects and our most purposeful human qualities while, at the same time, conducting systematic research into these most significant facets of our being?
We maintain that it is possible to conduct significant and satisfying research on all facets of human experience—even the most sensitive, exceptional, and sacred experiences—but only if we modify our assumptions about research and extend our research methods so that they become as creative and expansive as the subject matter we wish to investigate.