Contemplation and Time
The aim of this PhD project is to contribute to the understanding of contemplation as a pathway to profound personal philosophical insight. Rather than seeing contemplation as an attribute of a state of consciousness, this research will introduce the Bergsonian philosophical concept of time/duration to highlight the contemplative flux nature and resituate the experience as an enriched integrated qualitative mode of duration. With the help of the knowledge from psychology, musicology and theology, a rigorous investigation on the relationship between ontology of time and structural patterning of chant will be delivered as to illustrate the underlining argument. Neglected themes such as sound and duration, chanting and structure will be drawn into the discussion.
A critical engagement of the current discourses around the theme of contemplation: such as mindfulness, well-being, empathy, happiness and compassion, as well as from growing interests in contemplative studies in education, sciences, and philosophy will form the starting point of the inquiry. Furthermore, the research will examine the critical and comparative analysis of how time is understood between Bergson?s philosophy and contemplative disciplines. The research aims to articulate the necessity of bringing Bergson?s philosophical insights on time/duration to shed light on primary and secondary accounts of contemplative experiences, furthered by the analysis on the relationship between ontology of time and underlining structural pattern of chanting. In doing so it will provide a richer understanding of the meditative processes that are generally understood as contemplation.