Self-transcendent experiences and sustainable prosperity: CUSP working paper no. 32

Working paper


Elf, P., Isham, A. and Jackson, T. 2022. Self-transcendent experiences and sustainable prosperity: CUSP working paper no. 32. Guilford Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity.
TypeWorking paper
TitleSelf-transcendent experiences and sustainable prosperity: CUSP working paper no. 32
AuthorsElf, P., Isham, A. and Jackson, T.
Abstract

The achievement of sustainable prosperity requires the enhancement of human wellbeing alongside increased care for the environment. In recent years, much has been written on the role of different mental states and their potential to influence our way of thinking and, perhaps more importantly, the way we act. In this working paper, we explore the emerging potential of a type of mental state known as Self-Transcendent Experiences (STEs) to deliver beneficial effects on human wellbeing and sustainable attitudes and behaviours. Self-transcendent experiences can be facilitated by experiences of flow, awe and meditation, as well as psychedelic experiences. Some of these experiences can occur naturally, through sometimes unexpected encounters with nature or during immersion in every-day activities that one intrinsically enjoys, as well as through more intentional practices such as meditation or the use of psychedelics. We demonstrate how each of the four alternative types of STEs share some similar neurological underpinnings and review their links to improvements in human wellbeing and sustainable attitudes and behaviours. We also highlight potential risks across the different varieties of STEs and consider factors that need to be considered if they are to be employed as a practical means of supporting sustainable prosperity.

Research GroupCentre for Enterprise, Environment and Development Research (CEEDR)
LanguageEnglish
PublisherCentre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity
Place of publicationGuilford
Publication dates
Online02 Feb 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Feb 2022
Accepted25 Jan 2022
Output statusPublished
Copyright Statement

© CUSP, 2022.
Our working papers are work in-progress or pre-publication versions of articles, book chapters, or reviews. We offer these working papers in the interests of scholarship, to receive feedback on ongoing work. The views expressed in this document are those of the authors. This publication and its contents may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes as long as the reference source is cited.

Additional information

CUSP Working Paper No. 32
Working Paper Series, ISSN: 2397-8341

Web address (URL)https://cusp.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/WP32-1.pdf
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