Phenomenological Intentionality meets an Ego-less State

  • Jenny Barnes


When using the phenomenological method, one aims to capture the essential structures of lived experiences. It has been my experience that phenomenology does this well, when researching experiences that are lived through our bodily senses and understood with our minds. When trying to capture and describe experiences that are beyond the understanding of the body and the mind, namely experiences of deep meditative states, one is confronted with the limitations of the research method itself. One of the fundamental concepts within the phenomenological method is that of Intentionality. It is assumed that human beings experience themselves and their worlds from the perspective of an individual ego that intends an object of consciousness. This subject-object interaction comprises the contents of consciousness itself. The challenge, in this paper, is to describe deep meditative states, whereby the subject and the object of consciousness become one. The phenomenological epoché is performed so that the researcher can be completely open to how the experiential data itself describes mystical experiences. This means bracketing out all preconceptions, all theories including that of intentionality, so that the researcher can open her/himself up to the essence of mystical meditation. When this is done, the mystical state informs an expansion of intentionality to include the state of oneness.

Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, Volume 3, Edition 1, November 2003

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1445-7377
print ISSN: 2079-7222