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Spiritual Development

Primary religious experience is found at the heart of all the world's wisdom traditions. Many people who have had such direct perception of spirit appear to lead lives of greater understanding, virtue, and joy as a result. CSP's Primary Religious Experience Project is focused on these phenomena with the hope of understanding practices that can be beneficial to individuals and to their communities. Our studies address the following questions:

How can primary religious experience contribute to an individual's growth?

What conditions (beliefs, preparation, ritual, community, and continuing practice) allow for more helpful primary religious epxeriences, and how can the benefits be carried into daily life?

What risks are associated with primary religious experience, and how do they vary with circumstances?

How can primary religious experience be made more, and more safely, available?

Code of Ethics for Spiritual Guides
A living document introduced in 1995.

Spiritual Development: Outcomes and Indicators
    by Frances Vaughan, Ph.D.

Recommended Readings
Huxley, Aldous. The Perennial Philosophy. London: Chatto & Windus, 1946.

Maslow, Abraham H. Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1964.

Underhill, Evelyn. Mysticism: The Preeminent Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness. 1911.

The Spiritual Guide
    by Sri Swami Sivananda *

[* denotes an offsite source]

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Inside Spiritual Development Section
Code of Ethics

About CSP
Purpose and Results

Religious Leaders
needed to help with research
in Baltimore or New York

The Mystical Core
of Organized Religion