The application of ancient Greek myth and music in personal, professional and transpersonal development

McMullin, Lindy (2017-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2017

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : Self-actualization and self-transcendence are both areas of Maslow’s Hierarchy that remain elusive to the majority of humankind, largely due to the lack of education about the self. To know the self is also to care about the self, and this study aims at investigating how the use of myth in sacred text with music may contribute to this process of self-knowledge. The objective of the study is to investigate the effects that myth in sacred text may have on personal, professional and transpersonal development. To ensure maximum impact in terms of imagery-enhancing properties, Greek myth was read, accompanied by lyre music, in a therapeutic setting. The study included a focus on personal epiphanies that, it is argued, have the potential to change perceptions and contribute to a healing process. Seventeen participants were read Homer’s Hymn to Demeter over five sessions. Interviews before and after each session focused on participants’ imagery in dreams and waking fantasy, together with their reflections and interpretations. An Interpretive Interactionist methodology was used with a post structuralism critical approach, capturing the ways in which participants experienced the hymn and the relations with the epiphanies that have taken place in their lives. Results show that the Hymn facilitated participants in working through relationship issues and birth and death traumas, both major aspects of the myth. The extent to which the myth may have facilitated positive outcomes is discussed. Results also highlight the role dreams played in between sessions, in enriching reflection and understanding of problems that arose across the five sessions. It is concluded that the exposure to myth in the imagery-encouraging setting used in the study has the potential to impact poignantly on personal, professional and transpersonal development.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Selfverwesenliking en oortreffing van die self is areas van Maslow se hiërargie wat vir die meerderheid van die mensdom moeilik is om te verwesenlik, grootliks as gevolg van ’n gebrek aan onderrig oor die self. Om die self te ken, is om vir die self om te gee en hierdie studie poog om die gebruik van mites in gewyde teks met musiek te ondersoek en hoe dit kan bydra tot hierdie proses van selfkennis. Die doelwit van die studie is om die uitwerking wat mites op persoonlike, professionele en transpersoonlike ontwikkeling kan hê te ondersoek. Om maksimum impak ten opsigte van verbeeldingverrykende eienskappe te verseker, is Griekse mites gelees terwyl liermusiek in ’n terapeutiese omgewing gespeel is. Die studie sluit ook ’n fokus op persoonlike goddelike openbarings in waarvan gesê word die potensiaal het om persepsies te verander en by te dra tot ’n helende proses. Homer se Lofsang aan Demetrius is in vyf sessies aan sewentien deelnemers voorgelees. Onderhoude voor en na elke sessie het gefokus op die deelnemers se verbeelding in drome en ontwakingsfantasieë asook op hulle refleksies en interpretasies. ‘n Verklarende Interaksionistiese metode met ’n poststrukturalistiese benadering is gebruik om die wyses waarop deelnemers die lofsang en die gemeenskap met die goddelike openbarings wat in hulle lewens plaasgevind het, ervaar, te vertolk. Resultate toon dat die Lofsang deelnemers gefasiliteer het om deur verhoudingsprobleme en geboorte- en sterftetraumas te werk, beide belangrike aspekte van die mite. Die mate waartoe die mite positiewe uitkomste kon gefasiliteer het, word bespreek. Die resultate beklemtoon ook die rol wat drome tussen sessies gespeel het om refleksie te verryk en om probleme wat ontstaan het gedurende die vyf sessies te verstaan. Die gevolgtrekking is dat die blootstelling aan mites in die verbeeldingverrykende omgewing soos in die studie gebruik, die potensiaal het om ingrypend op persoonlike, professionele en transpersoonlike ontwikkeling te impakteer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102900
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