Best Conference Theme of the Year
Laura B. Darlak
Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging
Margaret Blenkner Research Institute
Transpersonal Gerontology: A Review of Aging, Spirituality and Religion
Focuses upon the influence of transpersonal psychology on the study of aging, spirituality, and religion. Transpersonal psychology explores human experience and realities in a spiritual context that is beyond the self, such as consciousness, mindfulness, and parapsychology. This review describes the spiritual experiences in the second half of life. The challenge of conceptualizing religion and spirituality is discussed, as well as the limitations of prevailing theoretical frameworks. An emerging paradigm shift in the treatment of individuals with dementia informed by research on altered states of consciousness is explored. The concept of saging is introduced to emphasize the relevance of the study of aging, spirituality, and religion to society as a whole.