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Are We the Only Ones Who Think This Way?

As explorers of consciousness or spirituality, or as people of faith, it's often easy to think of ourselves as 'alone, unusual or different from the mainstream' in terms of our beliefs and experiences.

Here are a few insights into why that thinking may be mistaken... 

These quotes (and footnotes) are excerpted from We Are Bio-Cosmic Beings Learning to Live in a Living Universe by Duane Elgin,, Fall/Winter 2017. (Read his full article here)

Thanks for reading,
Centre for Spirituality at Work

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A global survey involving 7,000 youths in 17 countries was taken in 2008. It found that 75 percent believe in a ‘higher power,’ and a majority say they have had a transcendent experience, believe in life after death, and think it is ‘probably true’ that all living things are connected.15

In 1962, a survey of the adult population in the US found that 22 percent reported having a profound experience of communion with the Universe. By 2009, the percentage of the population reporting a ‘mystical experience’ had grown dramatically to 49 percent of the adult population.16

In a national survey of the US in 2014, nearly 60 percent of adults reported they regularly feel a deep sense of ‘spiritual peace and wellbeing,’ and 46 percent say they experience a deep sense of ‘wonder about the Universe’ at least once a week.17

A 2002, national Gallup survey asked respondents to rate the statement “I have had a profound religious experience or awakening that changed the direction of my life.” A stunning 41 percent of Americans (about 80 million adults at the time) said the statement completely applies to them.18

15 Roehlkepartain, E.C., Benson, P.L., Scales, P.C., Kimball, L., & King, P.E. (2008). With their own voices: A global exploration of how today’s young people experience and think about spiritual development. Search Institute, Also, see article by Jane Lampman in the November 6, 2008 edition of the Christian Science Monitor.

16 Greeley, A., & McCready, W. (1975, January 26). Are we a nation of mystics? New York Times Magazine.

17 Pew Research Center. (2015). U.S. public becoming less religious. Retrieved from

18 George Gallup Jr, “Religious Awakenings Bolster Americans’ Faith,” Gallup Organization, January 14, 2003.

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