Organic Inquiry

Discussion post I submitted for my Atlantic University TP5015 Course – October 31, 2019

1) What stood out as significant to you in the approach?

The goal of Organic Inquiry is what stood out to me the most. Clements states that the transformation of both the researcher and participants is paramount to the study, possibly even more so than potential information uncovered. “Perhaps the most important and noteworthy aspect of organic inquiry is its emphasis on transformation as well as information,” she notes (2011, p. 132).

As you read through the chapter, it becomes clear that this goal of transformation is the primary purpose of Organic Inquiry, and as she says, the researcher is likely to be changed by the study more so than the participants since they have a greater involvement in its development and execution (2011, p. 155). And if incorporated successfully, this approach will not only transform one’s worldview (2011, p. 154) but their heart and mind as well (2011, p. 132).

I had never contemplated the possibility that a research study in itself could actually transform someone that dramatically. In Lorenzo’s Oil, for example, it wasn’t the research process itself which resulted in the discovery of the life-saving oil that was transformational, it was the fact that through their perseverance, and mother and father were able to save their son. I suppose you could argue that the entire process – from the extensive research in the library to the wearing out of the various researchers to the care of a terminally ill Lorenzo – was certainly transformational although not within the structure and process of Clement’s Organic Inquiry.

2) How do these methods fit into Creswell & Creswell’s outline of the philosophies underlying qualitative and mixed methods research, if at all?

While I saw how Intuitive Integrity and Integral Integrity could fit into Creswell & Creswell’s qualitative and mixed methods research philosophies, I am less confident with Organic Inquiry. As the authors note, the qualitative approach “seeks to establish the meaning of a phenomenon from the views of the participant” while the mixed method approach attempts to collect “diverse types of data” in order to provide a clearer picture “of a research problem than either quantitative or qualitative data alone” (2018, p. 17).

However, the goal of Organic Inquiry, as stated above, is to transform those involved in the study and the researcher themselves. In other words, the research process itself is what’s paramount and not necessarily the information gleaned. Clements acknowledges that the limitations of her research approach are that it’s “inexact,” “personal and not necessarily generalizable or replicable” and subjective. Again, the “results” of the study aren’t the primary goal of Organic Inquiry, and she adds that a “study has transformative validity when it succeeds in affecting the individual reader through identification with and change of her or his prevailing story, as witnessed in the arenes of self, Spirit, and service” (2011, p. 157).

3) What story in your life might be a topic you could put forth as the launch of the project? How would that story be transformational to others?

A story comes to mind that would be a good basis for the launch of a project and it involves my recent spiritual journey. As I’ve written before, I was active in the Catholic Church until 2015. For my regular “news” around that time, I began following Jon Rappaport, an independent journalist. He’s also produced a series of material for sale, the first is called The Maxtrix Revealed, which seeks to enhance your creative power and independence by exposing the “illusion” of the world that we all live.

In listening to the course material, Jon mentioned the Bhagavad Gita, which I had never heard of before. I ordered a copy and read it, the first non-Catholic spiritual book I’d read since converting 15 years earlier. While I intended to read the Bhagavad Gita with a discerning mind to see where it’s “flawed,” what struck me were the similarities – such as Universal love – that I had heard Sunday after Sunday. By accepting the concept that there were “truths” and other ways of looking at faith and spirituality, my spiritual journey blossomed and took me to places I never imagined.

The main lesson that’s now been repeated countless times in my journey is that you should always be open to your intuition and listen to that tiny voice when it suggests you read something, watch something, or attend a conference, for example. In my case, my news source opened the door to a project in expanding my creativity which then exposed me to one of the oldest spiritual writings ever compiled. And the rest is history, as they say.

Carl Jung refers to what I experienced as synchronicities, and it’s a very powerful force if we’re open to it. A website, Thinking Minds notes, “Synchronicity is a word coined by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung to describe the temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events. It was a principle that he felt compassed his concept of the collective unconscious, in that it was descriptive of a governing dynamic that underlay the whole of human experience.”

An Organic Inquiry based on studying the researcher’s and the participants’ synchronicities would certainly be interesting and transformational. As suggested by Anderson, Braud, and Clements, the study itself could be designed primarily by the researcher allowing their intuition to lead the way. Understanding how synchronicities act in our lives is a very transformational process and it’s something that’s altered how I look at every event that’s for sure.

References

Anderson, R. & Braud, W. (2011), Transforming self and others through research: Transpersonal research methods and skills for the human sciences and humanities, University of New York Press: Albany, NY

Creswell, J.& J.D. (2018), Research design, Sage Publications: Oaks, CA.

Miller, G. (Director), Burk, A. (Producer) (1992). Lorenzo’s oil [Film]. United States: Universal Pictures.

Thinking Minds, (2016, July 22). Carl Jung on Synchronicity. Retrieved from http://www.thinking-minds.net/carl-jung-synchronicity/

1) What stood out as significant to you in both or one of the approaches? 

1) What stood out as significant to you in the approach?

The goal of Organic Inquiry is what stood out to me the most. Clements states that the transformation of both the researcher and participants is paramount to the study, possibly even more so than potential information uncovered. “Perhaps the most important and noteworthy aspect of organic inquiry is its emphasis on transformation as well as information,” she notes (2011, p. 132).

As you read through the chapter, it becomes clear that this goal of transformation is the primary purpose of Organic Inquiry, and as she says, the researcher is likely to be changed by the study more so than the participants since they have a greater involvement in its development and execution (2011, p. 155). And if incorporated successfully, this approach will not only transform one’s worldview (2011, p. 154) but their heart and mind as well (2011, p. 132).

I had never contemplated the possibility that a research study in itself could actually transform someone that dramatically. In Lorenzo’s Oil, for example, it wasn’t the research process itself which resulted in the discovery of the life-saving oil that was transformational, it was the fact that through their perseverance, and mother and father were able to save their son. I suppose you could argue that the entire process – from the extensive research in the library to the wearing out of the various researchers to the care of a terminally ill Lorenzo – was certainly transformational although not within the structure and process of Clement’s Organic Inquiry.

2) How do these methods fit into Creswell & Creswell’s outline of the philosophies underlying qualitative and mixed methods research, if at all?

While I saw how Intuitive Integrity and Integral Integrity could fit into Creswell & Creswell’s qualitative and mixed methods research philosophies, I am less confident with Organic Inquiry. As the authors note, the qualitative approach “seeks to establish the meaning of a phenomenon from the views of the participant” while the mixed method approach attempts to collect “diverse types of data” in order to provide a clearer picture “of a research problem than either quantitative or qualitative data alone” (2018, p. 17).

However, the goal of Organic Inquiry, as stated above, is to transform those involved in the study and the researcher themselves. In other words, the research process itself is what’s paramount and not necessarily the information gleaned. Clements acknowledges that the limitations of her research approach are that it’s “inexact,” “personal and not necessarily generalizable or replicable” and subjective. Again, the “results” of the study aren’t the primary goal of Organic Inquiry, and she adds that a “study has transformative validity when it succeeds in affecting the individual reader through identification with and change of her or his prevailing story, as witnessed in the arenes of self, Spirit, and service” (2011, p. 157).

3) What story in your life might be a topic you could put forth as the launch of the project? How would that story be transformational to others?

A story comes to mind that would be a good basis for the launch of a project and it involves my recent spiritual journey. As I’ve written before, I was active in the Catholic Church until 2015. For my regular “news” around that time, I began following Jon Rappaport, an independent journalist. He’s also produced a series of material for sale, the first is called The Maxtrix Revealed, which seeks to enhance your creative power and independence by exposing the “illusion” of the world that we all live.

In listening to the course material, Jon mentioned the Bhagavad Gita, which I had never heard of before. I ordered a copy and read it, the first non-Catholic spiritual book I’d read since converting 15 years earlier. While I intended to read the Bhagavad Gita with a discerning mind to see where it’s “flawed,” what struck me were the similarities – such as Universal love – that I had heard Sunday after Sunday. By accepting the concept that there were “truths” and other ways of looking at faith and spirituality, my spiritual journey blossomed and took me to places I never imagined.

The main lesson that’s now been repeated countless times in my journey is that you should always be open to your intuition and listen to that tiny voice when it suggests you read something, watch something, or attend a conference, for example. In my case, my news source opened the door to a project in expanding my creativity which then exposed me to one of the oldest spiritual writings ever compiled. And the rest is history, as they say.

Carl Jung refers to what I experienced as synchronicities, and it’s a very powerful force if we’re open to it. A website, Thinking Minds notes, “Synchronicity is a word coined by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung to describe the temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events. It was a principle that he felt compassed his concept of the collective unconscious, in that it was descriptive of a governing dynamic that underlay the whole of human experience.”

An Organic Inquiry based on studying the researcher’s and the participants’ synchronicities would certainly be interesting and transformational. As suggested by Anderson, Braud, and Clements, the study itself could be designed primarily by the researcher allowing their intuition to lead the way. Understanding how synchronicities act in our lives is a very transformational process and it’s something that’s altered how I look at every event that’s for sure.

References

Anderson, R. & Braud, W. (2011), Transforming self and others through research: Transpersonal research methods and skills for the human sciences and humanities, University of New York Press: Albany, NY

Creswell, J.& J.D. (2018), Research design, Sage Publications: Oaks, CA.

Miller, G. (Director), Burk, A. (Producer) (1992). Lorenzo’s oil [Film]. United States: Universal Pictures.

Thinking Minds, (2016, July 22). Carl Jung on Synchronicity. Retrieved from http://www.thinking-minds.net/carl-jung-synchronicity/

Research studies are traditionally very left-brain oriented with strict protocol against anything that’s viewed as “subjective.”  It requires double-blind studies, control groups, and these types of studies go to great lengths to remove as many variables as possible.  In the process, however, intuition and other “non-science” tools are eliminated from the process.

Through Anderson’s Intuitive Inquiry and Braud’s Integral Inquiry, the researchers aren’t seeking to replace the scientific approach to research, they are greatly expanding its potential.  As Anderson notes, “Methodologically, intuitive inquiry [and the same can be said for integral inquiry] does not replace linear, left-brain attributes with imaginal, right-brait attributes.  Rather, in the union of [conventional] masculine and feminine perspectives, the method seeks to balance structure and flexibility, exterior and interior reason and emotion, thinking and feeling, discernment and holism’ (Dorit Netzer, pers. comm.)” (2011, p. 16).

The researchers’ expansion of research methodology to include more intuitive or feminine approaches is what I found most significant.  

2) How do these methods fit into Creswell & Creswell’s outline of the philosophies underlying qualitative and mixed methods research? 

Creswell & Creswell philosophy regarding qualitative researchers involved is that they’re “constructivist, transformative and/or pragmatic,” as presented by our Mentor Rachel Mann in her TP5015 Week 3 write-up.  She then quotes the authors to further illustrate the point: “‘These meanings are varied and multiple, leading the researcher to look for complexity of views rather than narrowing meanings into a few categories of ideas” (2018, p. 8).   Regarding the authors’ philosophical review of mixed methods researchers, she notes that they are independent, not rigid in approach, and “are not wedded to an idea of unity, but rather to diversity of truth and experience” (2019, Week 3 Summary).

Intuitive Integrity and Integral Integrity both lend themselves to Creswell & Creshwell’s description of qualitative and mixed methods research.  These innovative approaches require out of box thinking.  And the more “diversity of truth” that’s allowed – truth that comes through elements of humans beyond just their critical mind such as intuition – the more complete a picture will be discovered regarding topics researched.  

3) Consider Anderson & Braud’s five types of intuition and reflect upon which ones most relate to your own style. Discuss how your intuition might contribute to your development of a research project.  

In reflecting on Anderson & Braud’s 5 types of intuition, I am clearly most interested in the second one they list, Psychic or parapsychological experiences (2011, p. 23).  This is a fairly recent development as I hadn’t put much stock in this type of phenomenon before.  This year, in particular, I’ve moved further and further in this direction.  It began with a mediumship class I attended in January, which is where I discovered Edgar Cayce (leading me to this program) and where I first heard of Arthur Findlay College (AFC).  As I mentioned previously, I attended a week-long course at AFC at the end of September.

As I proceed further with this class in particular, and my future work in transpersonal psychology, first researching in more depth the types of psychic and parapsychological that exist, and how I can tap into them, will be important to me.  Once I get a better handle on what they entail, hopefully, I’ll be able to integrate them into my future research and work.

4) What area of personal growth in your life might be a topic you could explore?

My spiritual journey – and it’s been quite a journey – is still predicated on me attempting to discover my soul’s true purpose.  I’ve have been down a number of rabbit holes to try to answer this question.  I learned this year in particular that part of the answer to the question of my soul’s purpose is learning to appreciate the journey itself. 

I’m curious and inquisitive, so learning about how things really work and how we humans are part of a much larger Universe is in itself assuaging some of this desire to learn.  There is still more to be done, however, and I’m not comfortable with where I am currently with my life.  But then again, who is!  I believe once you get too comfortable and stop searching is the point where the journey of life comes to an end…at least for me anyway.

5) What creative ways might you consider engaging in research?

For me, this is a two-step process.  Since returning from AFC, where I had a reading done, I’ve had a real desire to learn about my spirit guides.  I’m a communications professional and have recently embarked on learning videography.  The psychic who did my reading said one of my spirit guides is the famous Hollywood film pioneer and director Cecil B. DeMille.  Apparently, there are others as well, and despite some attempts, I haven’t yet been able to contact any of them.

So step one is for me to engage in a research effort that will help me understand the process of getting in touch with spirit guides from those who are in touch with theirs.  I’ve been told it’s like everything else in life in that it takes practice and patience unless you’re naturally gifted.

Step two, if I successfully engage my spirit guides, is to learn directly from them all the burning questions I have flying around my head.  Like, what’s my soul’s purpose!  I’d also like to get input from famous people throughout history who have passed over even if they’re not one of my spiritual guides so I can learn from their perspectives.

References

Anderson, R. & Braud, W. (2011), Transforming self and others through research: Transpersonal research methods and skills for the human sciences and humanities, University of New York Press: Albany, NY

Creswell, J.& J.D. (2018), Research design, Sage Publications: Oaks, CA. 

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