Original Articles

Ancestral Consciousness in the Zulu Culture: A Wilberian View

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 21, issue 1, 2011 , pages: 131–137
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2011.10820439
Author(s): Stephen D. EdwardsUniversity of Zululand, South Africa, Jabulani D. ThwalaUniversity of Zululand, South Africa, P. Buyi MbeleUniversity of Zululand, South Africa, Vusi SiyayaUniversity of Zululand, South Africa, Nozipho NdlaziUniversity of Zululand, South Africa, Ntombintombi J. MagwazaUniversity of Zululand, South Africa


The aim of this research was to complement and advance Wilber's integral approach through an investigation into ancestral consciousness by the Zulu. Five isiZulu home language speakers (age range 33 to 56 years) and a sixth English speaking person were participant-researchers. Experiences of ancestral consciousness from individual, collective, subjective, objective, cultural and social perspectives were explored. Findings suggested that ancestral consciousness increased perceived spirituality as assessed on a standardized spirituality scale. It was also associated with immediate apprehensions of senior kinsmen, living and dead, of God and/or more generally of Spirit. Wilber's integral approach appears to hold explanatory value in non-Western culture.

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