Kulkarni, K. (2023). Being a good person: A phenomenological study through a transpersonal lens [Unpublished Master’s thesis]. Alef Trust & Liverpool John Moores University.

This phenomenological study aims to bridge the notable gap in understanding what it means to be a good person by exploring the lived experiences of six individuals who self-identify as being good and have spent sufficient time reflecting on this self-perception. Through in-depth interviews, the study seeks to answer the research question: What is the lived experience through a transpersonal perspective of being a good person? Combining Moustakas’s transcendental phenomenology and Wilber’s quadrant model allowed for a deep exploration of the participant’s experiences and perspectives, leading to the emergence of four key themes: 1) Goodness is a Choice, emphasizing conscious decision-making; 2) Autonomy, highlighting the individual’s capacity for independent action while acknowledging their interconnectedness with others; 3) The Good Place, representing an internal oasis of goodness that individuals strive to cultivate within themselves; and 4) Healthy Boundaries, which involves setting protective limits for personal well-being while considering the needs of others. The four themes are further underpinned by the central theme of ‘Holons,’ revealing that genuine goodness involves rejecting dominance within influential collectives and pursuing a greater good that benefits all. Good individuals are integral, autonomous parts of larger wholes, displaying characteristics of both self-preservation and self-transcendence.

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