Phenomenological Study of the Transpersonal Experience of "Acting from Field": Three Case Studies

 by Gayl Welch

This research is a contribution to the literature of unusual human experience and extends the possibilities beyond what had previously been known. Vocabulary was adapted from the physics and consciousness research of Bohm and Pribram in order to place the experience of acting from Field in the context of psychology and religious literature.

The study is based upon a phenomenological description of functioning from a field rather than from an organismic/ personality base. The field encompasses and affects the organism, and its personality but is not created or controlled from the organism/personality.

The three subjects are psychologists who function Field based, both in their private lives and professionally with clients. The significant themes of their common experience are compared with the closest descriptions in the literature of transpersonal psychology, Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, and the current physics and consciousness research. The essential structures of functioning from Field are compared to phenomenological descriptions of schizophrenia, usual Western organismic-based consciousness, and Zen. Though decidedly different from all three, action from Field is most closely related to Zen and least similar to schizophrenia.

Elements of acting from Field which have not been described prior to this study include: (1) A movement which starts from Field and moves to the more obvious, including the organism and its personality. (2) When they act from the Field, participants know simultaneously what they are doing, but not beforehand. There is no rule, system, idea, or precedent to follow. (3) Acting from Field is common in the presence of other people, usually a group action. (4) The experience is communicable by entrainment, living it together from the Field. (5) A new mode of consciousness results, called Actinic mode to distinguish it from Deikman's Receptive and Active modes. Extensive references are included.

The full study as well as Gayl's interview with Martin and her summary in TRANSPERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF "ACTING FIELD"is available by following the sidebar on the left.