18 July 2007

Describing the spiritual experience

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Spirituality
Bob Jacobson is on a mission to describe those categories of experience — spiritual, philosophical, scientific and design — that bear on the practice of systemically designing for experience.

His first topic is spiritual experiences, experiences derived from the phenomenon of human existence we call spirituality.

He describes his writings as “notes preludes to a more thorough discussion; neither complete nor conclusive, but suggestive of the broad array of experiences that derive from our spiritual natures.”

Jacobson identifies four types of relevant spiritual experience, each with its own defining characteristics.
* Ecstatic experiences — Personal epiphanies and “callings”
* Ritualistic experiences — Tribal and cult experiences often derived from oral tradition
* Formalized experiences — Highly structured experiences often adhering to a doctrine
* Spiritual living — Spirituality as a constant, day to day experience

In Part 2 of this discourse, Jacobson will describe “how spiritual experiences of various types interact with ‘designed’ experiences; and how designers can (positively) exploit spiritual experiences and what they must look out for when invoking (or ignoring) them.”

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