The Love of Wisdom

This year I graduated with my doctorate. As I prepared for graduation I struggled with the shift from perceiving myself as a student, to perceiving myself as a Ph.D., a Doctor of Philosophy. The self-construct of being a student was so ingrained in me that it was difficult to transcend.

I decided to look up the root meanings of the words doctor and philosophy. I discovered that the English word doctor comes from the Latin doctor, meaning "teacher;” and that the word philosophy comes from the Latin philosophia, meaning, “love of knowledge or wisdom."

When I combined these terms and realized that the phrase Doctor of Philosophy could be translated as Teacher of the Love of Wisdom, I had a visceral breakthrough in my self-perception. I recognized that I was holding onto the idea that being a Ph.D. meant that I had to be a master of knowledge and wisdom. To be honest, I surely did not feel like a master yet. But when I considered the idea that a Ph.D. degree was actually calling to be a "teacher of the love of wisdom," I found myself being able to hold that role easily within my heart and mind.

Indeed, on my journey toward my doctorate, I had grown to love wisdom and the journey of seeking it, and that I believe I can teach...I cannot teach wisdom, but I can teach the love of it, or at least try to share the love I have for the path of wisdom.

The Experience of Divine Guidance

Announcing the publication of...

The Experience of Divine Guidance: A Qualitative Study of the Human Endeavor to Seek, Receive, and Follow Guidance from a Perceived Divine Source

By Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D. 


This research study examined the experience of seeking, receiving, and following guidance from a perceived source of divine wisdom. Nine advanced spiritual teachers (5 men and 4 women) from 7 spiritual traditions participated as coresearchers in this study. Coresearchers were North American or European born, predominantly Caucasian, California (USA) residents between the ages of 52 and 74. Coresearcher participation consisted of individual semistructured in-depth interviews. The questions and topics of discussion used for the interviews were developed through a process of researcher heuristic and spiritual self-inquiry. The results of a grounded-theory-based qualitative content analysis of the interview transcripts suggested that the experience of divine guidance, as measured in the current study, is characterized by a common structuring of the experience that includes general categories, factors, and patterns which appear to manifest into various particular and contextual forms depending on the individual person, event, and circumstance. The reported common structures of the experience included: The perception of a divine source of guidance; the experience of seeking, receiving , and following guidance from this perceived source; and various contributing, impeding, developmental , and mediating factors . Additionally, each coresearcher reported a unique metaphor of divine encounter that appeared to give them an archetypal and visceral way of describing and holding the experience. The researcher appeared to experience each of the coresearcher's metaphors of divine encounter through some kind of resonant learning or mimicking process. A Guidance Experience Template, Guidance Experience Evaluation Checklist, and Synthesized Guidance Practice were developed as aids to counselors, practitioners, and researchers exploring the experience of divine guidance. The findings of this study, and the development and implementation of guidance-related applications in this research, may advance the understanding of this common and historically significant human experience, and offer a valuable contribution to the fields of transpersonal psychology, spiritual guidance, and spiritual psychology.

Proquest Dissertations And Theses 2005.  462 pages; [Ph.D. dissertation].United States -- California: Institute of Transpersonal Psychology; 2005. Publication Number: AAT 3174544.

Index terms (keywords): Divine guidance, Guidance, Spirituality, Religious experience, Transpersonal psychology

Source: DAI-B 66/05, p. 2855, Nov 2005


Subjects: Developmental psychology, Religion, Theology

ISBN: 0542126788