Awareness of Spiritual Freedom through Imaginal Response to Mystical Poetry: An Intuitive Inquiry


This case example features intuitive inquiry, a qualitative method, which incorporates hermeneutic and heuristic features, honoring the participants' subjective experience and the researcher's subjective perception of the data. Intuitive inquiry invites the researcher to honor his or her own voice, to be fully attuned to internal and external experiences (including intuition, imagination, and felt senses). It was a highly suitable method with which to approach this case of participants' imaginal response to mystical poetry because the researcher's interest in this topic emerged out of her own spiritual experience when responding to mystical poetry through mental imagery and creative expression rather than in an analytical manner. I sought to examine the effects of imaginal responses to mystical poetry and uncover transpersonal qualities in the nature of participants' responses, a task that required keen observation and attention to subtle nuances. This case describes how intuitive inquiry provided the supportive scaffolding to bolster the validity of qualitative data interpretation. Extracting from my dissertation draft, I provide examples for the method's balance of structure and flexibility—thinking and feeling—that emerge in the process of transforming my initial concept of the phenomenon into a multidimensional understanding of my participants' experiences.

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