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Mike Pond

Need Interviews - Climbing as Spiritual Experience

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Hi all-

I am Mike Pond, a NW climber and grad student at Ohio University. I am doing my master’s thesis “Investigating climbing as a spiritual experience.” If climbing is in any way a spiritual experience for you, I would love to do a short (20 minute) interview with you. All types of climbers are welcome, with any level of experience.

 

You must be 18 years old to participate. There are no risks or benefits of participation, and no compensation for your time (other than making my day).

 

If you are interested, please PM me or email at mp127810 [at] ohio.edu

 

Thank you very much!

 

Mike Pond

Masters student in Recreation Studies

Ohio University

 

(PS- Sorry if this isn't in the right forum. Let me know where to put it if so)

 

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what is a "spiritual experience"?

 

Good question. Answering that will be a big part of the study - looking into what exactly a "spiritual experience" is for the climbers involved. I'll rely on the participants' own definitions of what that is. So, if climbing is spiritual for you, in your own way, give me a shout. I'd love to hear about it.

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After a few moment's thought, there are at least two sorts of distinct "spiritual experiences" commonly discussed.

 

* When an event occurs that places a person in mortal danger (real or perceived), it is sometimes described as a "spiritual experience" and sometimes involves the soiling of pants.

 

* When a sense of place or mental state gives a person the sense of being closer to a higher power/plane/nature, it is sometimes described as a "spiritual experience".

 

Are you interested in both, the latter, or something more?

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G-spotter and The Master were climbing a mountain. The Master was leading and G-spotter was belaying. G-spotter complained that the rock was bad. "This rock is crap!" he said.

 

"Ah, that's the problem with good rock," the Master replied, "you can trust it." And he threw down a boulder which struck G-spotter on the helmet. At that moment, G-spotter was enlightened.

 

:toad:

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Are you interested in both, the latter, or something more?

 

The latter. Though I have reached the Thank You Jesus Jug on my fair share of climbs, I'm interested in something deeper. But really, if climbing is "spiritual" for you, I want to get your perspective, without adding too much of my own input.

 

But yeah, I'd like the serious perspective, and not just "holy shit."

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I fell and hit my head at JT and had a vision of a virgin - but it wouldn't even qualify as a mini epic.

:yoda:

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Can you define spiritual experience? Is that simply a deeply moving experience or are you suggesting something supernatural?

 

It can certianly be meditative, but spiritual? What is a spirit?

 

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Can you define spiritual experience? Is that simply a deeply moving experience or are you suggesting something supernatural?

 

It can certianly be meditative, but spiritual? What is a spirit?

 

As far as the study goes, I am trying to not define "spiritual experience" for anyone. The idea is that each person may have their own idea of what spirituality or "spiritual experience" mean, and I don't want to influence people's ideas. My goal is to see if there are similarities or differences among different climbers.

 

But, to answer your question: Yes. Meditative, deeply moving, supernatural, or that which deals with the "spirit" each count in my book as spiritual. As long as it counts for you as spiritual, in whatever way that may mean, I'd love to hear what you have to say.

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