Consciousness in the study of human life and experience: "Higher aspects" and their nature

Klaus G. Witz, Hyunju Lee, Wanju Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This article deals with the consciousness in a person when one tries to understand her more deeply and as a whole, as is done in studies using the "Participant as Ally-Essentialist Portraiture" approach, and focuses on "higher aspects" or moral-ethical, metaphysical, social and religious ideals, values, commitments, or inspiration in a person. The main thesis is that a higher aspect represents a "subtle and pervasive inner consciousness" in a person and that it manifests to an outsider as an expression of that consciousness. As the person grows older, this inner consciousness tends to become more independent and bereft of particular experiences and concepts. Although it is continually subtly changing, it keeps its identity for the person for years or even decades, and is connected with the person's feeling of "I" and with how she thinks of herself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-409
Number of pages13
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010


  • Consciousness
  • Essentialist Portraiture
  • Moral ideals
  • Subjective experience
  • Values


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