Nirvana road: dissociative experiences predict "Eastern" beliefs about postmortem existence

Three studies (N = 338) tested the idea that endorsement of postmortem beliefs most closely associated with Eastern religious traditions (that is, continuation of consciousness and the explicit dissolution of personal identity, possibly via reincarnation) would map onto a history of dissociative exp...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:The international journal for the psychology of religion
Main Author: Burris, Christopher T. (Author)
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
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Published: [2016]
In:The international journal for the psychology of religion
Year: 2016, Volume: 26, Issue: 4, Pages: 348-359
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Dissociation / Experience / Buddhism / Hinduism / Belief in the hereafter
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Summary:Three studies (N = 338) tested the idea that endorsement of postmortem beliefs most closely associated with Eastern religious traditions (that is, continuation of consciousness and the explicit dissolution of personal identity, possibly via reincarnation) would map onto a history of dissociative experiences. As hypothesized, a history of dissociative (including depersonalization/derealization) experiences, as well as altered experience of body/space/time during a discrete positive episode, predicted endorsement of “Eastern” postmortem beliefs among religiously heterogeneous (non-Buddhist, non-Hindu) participants. This relationship became stronger when dissociative tendencies were heightened following a traumatic loss (i.e., the suicide of a close other within the past year; Study 3). In contrast, dissociative tendencies did not predict belief in either annihilation or postmortem continuation without identity loss, most typically linked to atheism and Western religious traditions, respectively. These results suggest that some metaphysical beliefs may be embraced because they “make sense” in light of personal experience.
Item Description:"Volume 26, Numbers 1-4 2016" sind in einem Heft erschienen
ISSN:1050-8619
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1080/10508619.2016.1151100