Towards A Psychological Understanding of Unconditional Love
I am currently conducting a PhD in transpersonal psychology on the topic of unconditional love.
Religious, mystical and philosophical literature connects unconditional love to outcomes such as virtuous living, overcoming psychological pain, harmonious interpersonal relationships, wellbeing and happiness, the cultivation of peace between different nations and faiths, awakening and enlightenment, and even the self-transcendent experience of a unity that underlies all things.
Such amazing benefits! Yet so far, unconditional love has not received sufficient attention within psychological literature.
Psychology explores various types of love, including romantic love, maternal and parental love and the love between friends. Whilst all these forms are important to human relationships and wellbeing, they do not examine love outside of the finite context of specific relationships.
In contrast, unconditional love is referenced not only as a relational state, but also as a state of consciousness.
Other psychological constructs, such as those of compassion, self-compassion, forgiveness, loving kindness, unconditional positive regard, self-transcendence and awakening each reflect more abstract elements of unconditional love, yet none of them represent the concept in its entirety.
This PhD will be conducted with the aim of exploring the psychological characteristics and benefits of the state of unconditional love.
And if it's of interest, you can get involved!
Call for Participation
Have You Ever Had An Experience of Unconditional Love?
That is, an experience where you:
Felt filled with love or compassion for people or things you don’t normally have a loving association with
Felt love and compassion for people or things not normally considered loveable by you or by society
Felt a oneness with other people or things, or with the world or universe around you that was characterised by love
Felt that you and/or the universe around you was made of love
Had another type of experience you believe is of unconditional love
If so, would you be happy to answer some questions about your experience to aid this research?
If you choose to participate in the study, you will need to fill in a quick form to gather your demographic information, then you will be asked questions around how your experience of unconditional love arose, what characteristics you noticed within the experience and the effect (if any) the experience had on your life.
Participation is 100% voluntary and information you provide on your experiences will only be used anonymously. If you are interested, we will shortly be publishing our questionnaire where you can read more information and choose to take part! In the meantime, watch this space, or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org