Journal of Aging and Identity

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 189–211 | Cite as

Sufism and Gerotranscendence: The Impact of Way of Thinking, Culture, and Aging on Spiritual Maturity

  • Fereshteh Ahmadi


This essay examines the similarities and dissimilarities between a gerotranscendental person's and a Sufi's view of ontological questions, of self and of social and individual relationships. Using the Life History Approach followed up by thematic semi-structured interviews, I studied thirteen Iranian Sufis residing in Sweden, dividing the interviewees into two groups according to the stage of their life in which they became familiar with the Sufi ideas: those who became familiar with Sufi ideas early in their life (≤30 years) are called “early Sufis,” and those whose familiarity with Sufi ideas came about in their later life (>30) are called “later Sufis.” The study posits that the existence of a cosmic view of self and the surrounding world can be observed among “early Sufis” due to their intemalization of the Sufi ideas in early life. Regarding “later Sufis,” we can hypothesize that the existence of such a cosmic view is not only due to the intemalization of Sufi ideas, but also to aging.

sufism gerotranscendence aging way of thinking spiritual maturity 


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© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1998

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  • Fereshteh Ahmadi

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