Gregg Lahood

Doctor of Philosophy, (Social Anthropology)
Study Completed: 2007
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Bearing in Mind: Birth, Fathers, Ritual, and 'Reproductive Consciousness' in Transpersonal Anthropological Perspective

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Mr Lahood’s thesis provides an exploration of ‘unusual’ psycho-spiritual experiences among a small group of procreative fathering males in New Zealand and the viewing of these experiences through a transpersonal anthropological lens. Frequently, participants’ narratives suggested psychological encounters with death and transpersonal states of consciousness. The research examined these states of consciousness, the broad cultural context from which they arose and their relationship to birthing. Two basic themes were explored: 1) the social shaping of birth as a transpersonal event and ritual at the time fathers joined their partners in birthing during the late 1960s; and 2) an investigation of the transpersonal experience itself. Such phenomena may have wide anthropological ramifications which opens a third theme for exploration: the possible parallels with more traditional, shamanistic, and/or indigenous midwifery, symbolic obstetrical manoeuvres, and ultimately, religious practices

Professor Kathryn Rountree
Dr Graeme MacRae