Dear Friends, I am writing to ask for your assistance.
My Johns Hopkins colleagues and I are conducting a fascinating, important, anonymous, internet-based survey to characterize experiences that some people have of a personal encounter with God or Higher Power. My hope is that, ultimately, we will receive thousands of responses to the survey so that we can better understand how such experiences differ across different religious traditions and different occasioning events (e.g. prayer, worship, meditation, deep breathing, spontaneously-occurring experiences etc). I’m writing to encourage you to take the survey and to forward this message and links to your email lists, website, and social media sites to help us connect to individuals with relevant experience.
REASONS TO TAKE THE SURVEY:
1. The survey is an opportunity to revisit an uplifting and meaningful experience in your life, to reconnect with the feelings you had at that time, and to share that experience. We have had many spontaneous expressions of gratitude from respondents, who after completing the survey, reported feeling an even deeper appreciation of their unique encounter.
2. Because the survey questions prompt deep reflection on a seminal religious experience, completing the survey may provide a fascinating topic of discussion for members of a congregation.
3. By telling your story, you will make an important contribution to science.
BACKGROUND: Our research group has previously conducted several studies investigating various aspects of spirituality, religion, and non-ordinary states of consciousness brought about by prayer and other spiritual practices. We have been intrigued with occasional reports of experiences that might be broadly described as a personal encounter with God or The Divine (i.e. the God of their understanding). We have developed the survey to gather data in order to better characterize these experiences. This work will complement our published and ongoing research on mystical experiences, spiritual transformation and religion.
The survey link is here: http://Flyer.EncounteringTheDivine.org
For simple 1-click ways to share information about the survey on Facebook or Twitter: http://share.encounteringthedivine.org
We deeply appreciate your help. Thank you, Roland.
Roland Griffiths, Ph.D. Principal Investigator Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine IRB approved application NA_00054696