When I decided to return to the academia at the age of 60 (I dropped out of medical school 30 years earlier), it was with the intention to continue my spiritual journey in that framework. My research questions are, accordingly, my spiritual questions.
Wishing to actively engage with the possibility of living on a "spiritual high plateau" (Maslow's term) I embarked on a PhD research on Living Transcendence: A phenomenological study of spiritual exemplars at the University of Haifa, Counselling and Human Development Department. This research enabled me to conduct multiple interviews (by Zoom) with 36 spiritual exemplars of the Abrahamic, Eastern, shamanic / indigenous and humanistic / transpersonal psyhcology traditions around the globe about their lived experience. I am now (2022) writing three papers based on that research.
The most significant experience I had in those interviews was the emergence of an "intersubjective" or "I-Thou" space, that occurred with some of the exemplars. I decided to continue my research focusing on this phenomenon, and using cinematography to convey it. I am therefore pursuing a research grant that would enable me to spend periods of time with a dozen spiritual exemplars, accompanied by a cinematographer.
Tadmor, Y., Freimann, A. (editors). Education - Essence and Spirit. MOFET Publications, Israel (2012)
Tadmor, Y., Freimann, A. (editors). Education - The Human Questions. MOFET Publications, Israel (2015)
Freimann, A. Spiritual Transmission: Paradoxes and Dilemmas On the Spiritual Path. Monkfish Book Publishing, Rhinebeck, NY. (2018)
Freimann A., Mayseless O. Surrender to Another Person: The Case of a Spiritual Master. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. (December 2020). doi:10.1177/0022167820975636
Topics for future postdoc research
Exemplary love: The experience and cultivation of love in and around spiritual exemplars
The transmission of virtue: Spiritual exemplars and their effect on those around them
Persistent self-transcendence: A neurophenomenological research of spiritual exemplars