Get help now
  • Pages 37
  • Words 9132
  • Views 387
  • Download

    Cite

    Pete
    Verified writer
    Rating
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • 4.9/5
    Delivery result 5 hours
    Customers reviews 612
    Hire Writer
    +123 relevant experts are online

    Mysticism Essay

    Academic anxiety?

    Get original paper in 3 hours and nail the task

    Get help now

    124 experts online

    In this article I would like to bring the findings of my somewhat unusual butincreasingly accepted field ? mysticism? to the discussion, for I think theymay offer some helpful insights about consciousness. Why? When a biologist seeksto understand a complex phenomenon, one key strategy is to look to at it in itssimplest form. Probably the most famous is the humble bacterium E. coli. Itssimple gene structure has allowed us to understand much of the gene functioningof complex species.

    Similarly many biologists have turned to the ?memory’ ofthe simple sea slug to understand our own more kaleidoscopic memory. Freud andDurkheim both used totemism, which they construed as thesimplest form ofreligion, to understand the complexities of religious life. 1 The methodologicalprinciple is: to understand something complex turn to its simple forms. Mysticalexperiences may represent just such a simple form of human consciousness. Usually our minds are an enormously complex stew of thoughts, feelings,sensations, wants, snatches of song, pains, drives, daydreams and, of course,consciousness itself more or less aware of it all. To understand consciousnessin itself, the obvious thing would be to clear away as much of this internaldetritus and noise as possible.

    It turns out that mystics seem to be doingprecisely that. The technique that most mystics use is some form of meditationor contemplation. These are procedures that, often by recycling a mentalsubroutine,2 systematically reduce mental activity. During meditation, onebegins to slow down the thinking process, and have fewer or less intensethoughts. One’s thoughts become as if more distant, vague, or lesspreoccupying; one stops paying as much attention to bodily sensations; one hasfewer or less intense fantasies and daydreams. Thus by reducing the intensity orcompelling quality of outward perception and inward thoughts, one may come to atime of greater stillness.

    Ultimately one may become utterly silent inside, asthough in a gap between thoughts, where one becomes completely perception- andthought-free. One neither thinks nor perceives any mental or sensory content. Yet, despite this suspension of content, one emerges from such events confidentthat one had remained awake inside, fully conscious. This experience, which hasbeen called the pure consciousness event, or PCE, has been identified invirtually every tradition.

    Though PCEs typically happen to any single individualonly occasionally, they are quite regular for some practitioners. 3 The pureconsciousness event may be defined as a wakeful but contentless(non-intentional) consciousness. These PCEs, encounters with consciousnessdevoid of intentional content, may be just the least complex encounter withawareness per se that we students of consciousness seek. The PCE may serve, inshort, as the E coli of consciousness studies.

    4 But the story does not stophere. Regular and long-term meditation, according to many traditions, leads toadvanced experiences, known in general as ?enlightenment’. Theirdiscriminating feature is a deep shift in epistemological structure: theexperienced relationship between the self and one’s perceptual objects changesprofoundly. In many people this new structure becomes permanent.

    5 Theselong-term shifts in epistemological structure often take the form of two quantumleaps in experience; typically they develop sequentially. 6 The first is anexperience of a permanent interior stillness, even while engaged in thought andactivity ? one remains aware of one’s own awareness while simultaneouslyremaining conscious of thoughts, sensations and actions. Because of itsphenomenological dualism ? a heightened cognizance of awareness itself plus aconsciousness of thoughts and objects ? I call it the dualistic mystical state(DMS). The second shift is described as a perceived unity of one’s ownawareness per se with the objects around one, an immediate sense of aquasi-physical unity between self, objects and other people. States akin to thishave been called ?extrovertive-‘ or sometimes ?nature-‘ mysticism; but Iprefer to call it the unitive mystical state, UMS. 7 Like the PCE, these lattertwo may serve as fertile fields for students of consciousness to plough.

    Tounderstand them, I want to introduce the idea of the relative intensity of athought or desire. Some desires have a high relative intensity. Let’s say I amwalking across the street when I see a huge truck hurtling at me. Virtually 100%of my attention is taken up with the truck, the fear, and getting out of theway. It is virtually impossible for me to think about anything else at thattime.

    I don’t even consider keeping my suit clean, how my hair might look, thediscomfort in my tummy, or the classes I will teach tomorrow. The fear andrunning are utterly intense, we might say, consuming nearly 100% of myattention. That evening, I come home starved, and rush to the fridge. I may becivil to my kids and wife, but I have very little patience. My desire for foodis very intense, for it preoccupies most of my consciousness, but it consumesless of my attention than did jumping away from the truck.

    Some thoughts consumevery little of my attention. Driving to work the next day, for example, I mightruminate about my classes, remember the near miss with the truck, half hear thenews on the radio, and think about getting that noise in the car fixed ?nearly all at once. None of these thoughts or desires is very intense, for nonehas a strong emotional cathexis that draws me fully into it. My attention canflow in and out of any of them, or the traffic ahead, effortlessly. In short theintensity of a thought or desire tends to increase the amount of myconsciousness that is taken up with that thought or feeling. Conversely, thethought’s intensity tends to lessen when I am able to retain more attentionfor other issues, and for my wider perspective.

    Now, as I understand them,advanced mystical experiences result from the combination of regular PCEs plus aminimization of the relative intensity of emotions and thoughts. That is, overtime one decreases the compulsive or intense cathexis of all of one’s desires. The de-intensifying of emotional attachments means that, over the years, one’sattention is progressively available to sense its own quiet interior charactermore and more fully, until eventually one is able to effortlessly maintain asubtle cognizance of one’s own awareness simultaneously with thinking aboutand responding to the world: a reduction in the relative intensity of all ofone’s thoughts and desires. This state of being cognizant of one’s own innerawareness while simultaneously maintaining the ability to think and talk aboutthat consciousness offers students of consciousness a unique situation.

    Forthese subjects may be both unusually cognizant of features or patterns of theirown awareness and also able to describe them to us: a kind of ongoing microscopeon human consciousness. In short, while not as phenomenologically simple as PCEs,these experiences may provide us with highly useful reports about the characterof human awareness. Several additional preliminary matters: First, perforce wewill be drawing conclusions based on the experiences of a very few people. Mostof us haven’t had any experiences like the ones I will describe, and some maysound pretty strange. Yet we often do generalize from the unusual to thegeneral. Just think how much we have concluded about consciousness from a veryfew: epileptics, people with unusual skull accidents or brain injuries, the manwho mistook his wife for a hat, etc.

    From the pathology of a very few we havelearned a great deal about the relationship of one side of the brain to theother, of two kinds of knowing, of information storage and retrieval, of impulsecontrol, etc. Indeed it is common practice to take data about a few unusualindividuals and generalize it to the many. Here again we are studying the dataof a few. But rather than the pathological, we will be studying people ?Sakyamuni Buddha, Teresa of Avila, Ramana Maharshi, etc. ? who are not?pathological’ but unusually self-actualized.

    Should we not be as willing tolearn from the experiences of the unusually healthy as we are to learn from theunusually diseased? The second matter is definitional: What do we mean bymysticism? What is generally known as mysticism is often said to have twostrands, which are traditionally distinguished as apophatic and kataphaticmysticism, oriented respectively towards emptying or the imagistically filling. These two are generally described in terms that are without or with sensorylanguage. The psychologist Roland Fischer has distinguished a similar pairing astrophotropic and ergotropic, experiences that phenomenologically involveinactivity or activity. Kataphatic or imagistic mysticism involveshallucinations, visions, auditions or even a sensory-like smell or taste; itthus involves activity and is ergotropic.

    Apophatic mystical experiences aredevoid of such sensory-like content, and are thus trophotropic. When they usenon-sensory, non imagistic language,8 authors like Eckhart, Dogen, al-Hallaj,Bernadette Roberts and Shankara are all thus apophatic mystics. Because visionsand other ergotropic experiences are not the simple experiences of consciousnessthat we require, I will focus my attentions exclusively on the quieter apophaticforms. Finally, I want to emphasize that phenomenology is not science. When wedescribe these experiences, we do not gain hard scientific proof thereby.

    Therecan be many ways to explain an unusual experience: one might say it was theresult of what one ate for dinner, a faulty memory, psycho-somatic processes, aquantum microtubule collapse, or an encounter with Ultimate Truth. * Withoutfurther argumentation, phenomenology cannot serve as the sole basis for anytheory of reality. It may be taken only as a finger, pointing in some direction,rather than conclusive evidence for or against a particular thesis. This is howI see my role in this paper. I will simply describe mystical experiences asaccurately as I can, and say where I see their fingers pointing. That is, I willattempt to coax metaphysical hypotheses out of these phenomenologicaldescriptions.

    First-person reports, especially those that are about unusualexperiences are, of course, notoriously unreliable. When an epileptic says that?the table seemed wavy’, or when a man asserts that his wife is a ?hat’,these reports are not taken as data about the world, but about their condition. 9One may want to assert that a mystic’s report should be regarded similarly. But we must be careful here, for first-person reports can also be veridical oreven sources of wisdom. For example, in the kingdom of the blind, the?first-person’ report of a sighted fellow that ?the mountain peak near thevillage is in the shape of five fingers’ may be regarded as the rantings of alunatic or as information about the mountains.

    Similarly, when Woodward andBernstein spoke with the Watergate informant ?Deep Throat’, they could havetaken his utterances as paranoid ramblings, data about his developing psychosis,or as information about the Nixon administration. How can we determine which wayto regard the unusual first-person reports of the mystics? If we were Woodwardand Bernstein, how would we decide? Common sense seems a good place to begin. Wemight ask, does Deep Throat, or the mystics in our case, seem unconnected ordelusional? I believe most of us would say no. In fact many regard MeisterEckhart, Teresa of Avila, the authors of the Upanishads, and others who tell usof such experiences as unusually wise.

    Certainly they do not seem utterlyunhinged, physically ill, etc. Secondly, we might ask, do others in a situationsimilar to Deep Throat’s describe things similarly? In our case, assumingreasonable cultural differences in language and detail, do mystics from aroundthe world describe things largely similarly? Here again the answer is yes. Weshall find a reasonable amount of similarity among their descriptions, a familyresemblance, They tend to confirm each others reports. Finally, is there otherconfirming evidence for our Deep Throats’ claims? Here the information is notin: just how consciousness works, relates to the world or the brain, is anythingbut established. In sum, it makes sense to regard the mystics’ unusual reportsabout the world as more like those of a Deep Throat than those of an epileptic.

    But also, again as with Deep Throat, the information we can glean from them isnot, by itself, reliable enough to base a theory of consciousness solely on it. It will take the hard-working Woodwards and Bernsteins in the scientific andphilosophical trenches to verify or deny the suggestions of our Deep Throats. Three Mystical Phenomena and their Implications Pure consciousness events Let mebegin by offering several reports of the first of the mystical phenomena Imentioned above, the pure consciousness event (PCE). First, from Christianmystical literature,10 St. Teresa of Avila writes of what she calls the?orison of union’: During the short time the union lasts, she is deprived ofevery feeling, and even if she would, she could not think of any single thing. .

    . She is utterly dead to the things of the world . . .

    I do not even knowwhether in this state she has enough life left to breathe. It seems to me shehas not; or at least that if she does breathe, she is unaware of it. . .

    Thenatural action of all her faculties [are suspended]. She neither sees, hears,nor understands (James, 1902/1983, p. 409). 11 Several key features of thisexperience jump out.

    First, Teresa tells us that one reaches this ?orison ofunity’ by gradually reducing thought and understanding, eventually becoming?utterly dead’ to things, encountering neither sensation, thought norperceptions. One becomes as simple as possible. Eventually one stops thinkingaltogether, not able to ?think of any single thing . . .

    arresting the use ofher understanding . . . utterly dead to the things of the world’. And yet, sheclearly implies, one remains awake. 12 Meister Eckhart describes somethingsimilar as the gezucken, rapture, of St.

    Paul, his archetype of a transientmystical experience: . . . the more completely you are able to draw in yourpowers to a unity and forget all those things and their images which you haveabsorbed, and the further you can get from creatures and their images, thenearer you are to this and the readier to receive it. If only you could suddenlybe unaware of all things, then you could pass into an oblivion of your own bodyas St Paul did, .

    . . In this case . .

    . memory no longer functioned, norunderstanding, nor the senses, nor the powers that should function so as togovern and grace the body . . . In this way a man should flee his senses, turnhis powers inward and sink into an oblivion of all things and himself (Walshe,1982, p. 7).

    Like St. Teresa, Eckhart specifically asserts the absence ofsensory content (?nor the senses’), as well as mental objects (?devoidof’ memory, understanding, senses, etc. ). One becomes oblivious of one’s?own body’ and ?all things’. In short one becomes ?unaware of allthings’, i.

    e. devoid of all mental and sensory content. The absence of thoughtand sensation is repeated in the following passage from the Upanishads whendescribing the state these early Hindu texts call turiya, the ?fourth’. Verily when a knower has restrained his mind from the external, and thebreathing spirit (prana) has put to rest objects of sense, thereupon let himcontinue void of conceptions. Since the living individual (jiva) who is named?breathing spirit’ has arisen here from what is not breathing spirit,therefore, verily, let the breathing spirit restrain his breathing spirit inwhat is called the fourth condition (turiya) ? Maitri Upanishad 6:19 (Hume,1931, p.

    436). Here again one has ?put to rest objects of sense’, i. e. gradually laid aside all sensations, and continued ?void of conceptions’,i. e.

    not thinking. And yet the Upanishads are insistent that one remainsconscious, indeed becomes nothing but consciousness itself. The consciousnessthat one reaches in turiya comes to be known in Samkhya philosophy as ?purusha?,often translated as awareness or consciousness itself, that which?illuminates’ or ?witnesses’ thoughts, feelings, and actions. 13 Thepurusha or awareness that one reaches during this experience is described as?sheer contentless presence (sasksitva) . . .

    that is nonintentional'(Larson, 1979, p. 77). Here is a report from the present author’s owntwenty-eight year practice of neo-Advaitan (Hindu-derived) TranscendentalMeditation, which suggests the persistence of consciousness throughout suchevents. Sometimes during meditation my thoughts drift away entirely, and I gaina state I would describe as simply being awake. I’m not thinking aboutanything.

    I’m not particularly aware of any sensations, I’m not aware ofbeing absorbed in anything in particular, and yet I am quite certain (after thefact) that I haven’t been asleep. During it I am simply awake or simplypresent. It is odd to describe such an event as being awake or being present,for those terms generally connote an awareness of something or other. But inthis experience there is no particular or identifiable object of which I amaware. Yet I am driven to say I am awake for two reasons.

    First, I emerge with aquiet, intuited certainty that I was continually present, that there was anunbroken continuity of experience or of consciousness throughout the meditationperiod, even if there seemed to have been periods from which I had no particularmemories. I just know that there was some sort of continuity of myself (howeverwe can define that) throughout. 14 In Buddhism such Pure Consciousness Events arecalled by several names: nirodhasamapatti, or cessation meditation;samjnavedayitanirodha, the cessation of sensation and conceptualization; sunyata,emptiness; or most famously, samadhi, meditation without content (cf. Griffiths,1990). What is most fascinating about traditional Buddhist explorations of thisstate is that despite the fact that one is said to be utterly devoid of content,according to Yogacara Buddhist theorists one’s consciousness is said topersist as ?some form of contentless and attributeless consciousness’ (Griffiths,1990, p. 83).

    That is, despite the fact that one is not aware of any specificcontent or thought, ?something persists’ in this contentlessness, and thatis consciousness itself: ?I, though abiding in emptiness, am now abiding inthe fullness thereof? (Nagao, 1978, p. 67). When discussing this possibilitythat one may abide in the ?fulness’ of ?emptiness’, Vasubandu states: Itis perceived as it really is that, when anything does not exist in something,the latter is empty with regard to the former; and further it is understood asit really is that, when, in this place something remains, it exists here as areal existent. 15 In sum, the PCE may be defined as a wakeful but contentless(non-intentional) experience. Though one remains awake and alert, emerging withthe clear sense of having had ?an unbroken continuity of experience’, oneneither thinks, nor perceives nor acts.

    W. T. Stace (1960): Suppose then that weobliterate from consciousness all objects physical or mental. When the self isnot engaged in apprehending objects it becomes aware of itself.

    The self itselfemerges. The self, however, when stripped of all psychological contents orobjects, is not another thing, or substance, distinct from its contents. It isthe bare unity of the manifold of consciousness from which the manifold itselfhas been obliterated (p. 86).

    Now what implications can we draw from the pureconsciousness event about the nature of human consciousness? 1. We have apattern here that is seen across cultures and eras. This, in combination withthe reports offered in The Problem of Pure Consciousness, suggests that thephenomenon is not an artifact of any one culture but is something closer to anexperience that is reasonably common and available in a variety of culturalcontexts. 16 2. Thomas Clark and other defenders of functionalism have suggestedthat consciousness is identical to certain of our information-bearing andbehaviour- controlling functions, even going so far as to define it thus (Clark,1995, p.

    241). Others have suggested that consciousness is an artifact or anepiphenomenon of perception, action and thought, and that it arises only as aconcomitant of these phenomena. Our accounts tend to disconfirm this view, whichis generally argued on a priori grounds. Rather they suggest that consciousnessdoes persist even when one has no perception, thought or evaluation.

    Thissuggests that consciousness should not be defined as merely an epiphenomenon ofperception, an evaluative mechanism, or an arbiter of perceptual functions, butrather as something that exists independently of them. 3. Some have suggestedthat if we can understand how we can tie together perceptions and thoughts ?the so called binding problem ? we will ipso facto understand consciousness. 17Now, how we bind together perceptions is a very interesting question forcognitive psychology, neurobiology and philosophy of mind. But even if weunderstand how we do tie together perceptions, we will not necessarilyunderstand the phenomenon of consciousness per se thereby, for according tothese mystical accounts, it is more fundamental than a mere binding function.

    18These reports suggest that binding is something done by or for consciousness,not something that creates consciousness. 19 4. Our evidence suggests that weshould conceptually and linguistically differentiate merely being aware or awakefrom its functional activities. Accordingly, I propose to use the terms asfollows: (i) ?awareness’ and ?consciousness’ for that facet ofconsciousness which is aware within itself and which may persist even withoutintentional content; (ii) ?awareness of’ and 1consciousness of’ to referto that feature of experience which is cognizant when we are intentionally awareof something; and (iii) ?pure awareness’ and ?pure consciousness’ torefer to awareness without intentional content. 20 5.

    Reports of pureconsciousness suggest that, despite the absence of mental content, the subjectswere somehow aware that they remained aware throughout the period of the PCE. Apparently they sensed a continuity of awareness through past and present. Ifthey did, even though there was no content, then they must have somehow directlyrecalled that they had been aware despite the absence of remembered content. 21This implies human awareness has the ability to tie itself together and to knowintuitively that it has persisted.

    22 We may want to say that being consciousseems to entail this sort of direct self-recollection, a presence to oneselfthat is distinct from the kind of presence we have to perceptions and otherintentional content. In this sense, the pure consciousness event tends to affirmBernard Lonergan’s distinction between our conscious presence to intentionalobjects and our consciousness of consciousness itself: There is the presence ofthe object to the subject, of the spectacle to the spectator; there is also thepresence of the subject to himself, and this is not the presence of anotherobject dividing his attention, of another spectacle distracting the spectator;it is presence in, as it were, another dimension, presence concomitant andcorrelative and opposite to the presence of the object. Objects are present bybeing attended to but subjects are present as subjects, not by being attendedto, but by attending. As the parade of objects marches by, spectators do nothave to slip into the parade to be present to themselves; they have to bepresent to themselves for anything to be present to them (Lonergan, 1967, p. 226, quoted in McCarthy, 1990, p.

    234). In sum, the PCE militates towards adistinction between consciousness or awareness per se and its usual binding,relational and culturally-trained processes. It suggests that consciousness ismore than its embodied activities. The dualistic mystical state, the peculiar?oceanic feeling’ The second mystical phenomenon bears a dualistic pattern. Let us look at a few reports.

    The first comes from the autobiography of a livingAmerican mystic, Bernadette Roberts, middle-aged ex-nun, mother, housewife, andauthor of The Experience of No-Self. She had been in the practice of meditatingin a nearby monastery, she tells us, and had often had the experience ofcomplete silence we described above. Previously such experiences had sparkedfear in her, perhaps a fear of never returning. But on this particularafternoon, as her meditation was ending, once again there was a pervasivesilence and once again I waited for the onset of fear to break it up. But thistime the fear never came. .

    . . Within, all was still, silent and motionless. Inthe stillness, I was not aware of the moment when the fear and tension ofwaiting had left. Still I continued to wait for a movement not of myself andwhen no movement came, I simply remained in a great stillness (Roberts, 1984, p.

    20). She became silent inside but, to her surprise, did not emerge from thatsilence. She stood up and walked out of her chapel, ?like a feather floats inthe wind’, while her silence continued unabated. No temporary meditativeexperience, this was a permanent development of that quiet empty interiorsilence. 23 . .

    . Once outside, I fully expected to return to my ordinaryenergies and thinking mind, but this day I had a difficult time because I wascontinually falling back into the great silence (ibid. ). She ?remained in agreat stillness’, driving down the road, talking on the phone, and cutting thecarrots for dinner. In fact that inner stillness was never again to leave her.

    She experienced her interior silence as her original ?consciousness’, bywhich I understand that she experienced it as devoid of the intellectualself-reflection that generally accompanies experiences. She describes this newstate as a continuation of what she had encountered when she was in hermeditative silence (PCE); only here she remains fully cognizant of her ownsilent awareness even while active. My own previously published autobiographicalreport of such a state also associates a permanent interior silence withconsciousness: This began in 1972. I had been practicing meditation for aboutthree years, and had been on a meditation retreat for three and a half months.

    Over several days something like a series of tubes (neuronal bundles?) runningdown the back of my neck became, one by one, utterly quiet. This transformationstarted on the left side and moved to the right. As each one became silent, allthe noise and activity inside these little tubes just ceased. There was a kindof a click or a sort of ?zipping’ sensation, as the nerve cells or whateverit was became quiet. 24 It was as if there had always been these very faint andunnoticed activity, a background of static, so constant that I had never beforenoticed it.

    When each of these tubes became silent, all that noise just ceasedentirely. I only recognized the interior noise or activity in these tubes incomparison to the silence that now descended. One by one these tubes becamequiet, from left to right. It took a couple of weeks and finally the last one onthe right went zip, and that was it. It was over.

    After the last tube hadshifted to this new state, I discovered that a major though subtle shift hadoccurred. From that moment forward, I was silent inside. I don’t mean Ididn’t think, but rather that the feeling inside of me was as if I wasentirely empty, a perfect vacuum. 25 Since that time all of my thinking, mysensations, my emotions, etc. , have seemed not quite connected to me inside.

    Itwas and is as if what was me, my consciousness itself, was (and is) now thisemptiness. The silence was now me, and the thoughts that have gone on insidehave not felt quite in contact with what is really ?me,’ this emptyawareness. ?I’ was now silent inside. My thinking has been as if on theoutside of this silence without quite contacting it: When I saw, felt or heardsomething, that perception or thought has been seen by this silentconsciousness, but it has not been quite connected to this interior silence. (Foreman, date??, p.

    ??) In this experience the silence is explicitly associatedwith awareness. It is experienced as ?the I’, ?what was really ?me’,?my consciousness itself’. Somehow this area in the back of the head seemsto be associated with being aware; as it became silent, a sense of the self orconsciousness itself within became more articulated, and was now experienced assilent. Like Roberts’, this shift to an interior silence was permanent.

    26 Thuswe should call it a state, not a transient experience. I call it the dualisticmystical state (DMS). Descriptions of a DMS are surprisingly common in themystical literature. Teresa of Avila writes of such a dualistic state. Speakingof herself in the third person, she writes: However numerous were her trials andbusiness worries, the essential part of her soul seemed never to move from [its]dwelling place. So in a sense she felt that her soul was divided .

    . . Sometimesshe would say that it was doing nothing but enjoy[ing] itself in that quietness,while she herself was left with all her trials and occupations so that she couldnot keep it company (Peers, 1961, p. 211). She too describes an experience inwhich, even while working and living, one also maintains a clear sense of theinterior awareness, a persisting sense of an unmoving silence at one’s core.

    Meister Eckhart describes something similar, calling it the Birth of the Word Inthe Soul. One of Eckhart’s clearest descriptions is from the treatise ?OnDetachment’. It analogizes the two aspects of man with a door and its hingepin. Like the outward boards of a door, the outward man moves, changes, andacts. The inward man, like the hinge pin, does not move.

    He ? or it ?remains uninvolved with activity and does not change at all. This, Eckhartconcludes, is the way one should really conduct a life: one should act yetremain inwardly uninvolved. Here is the passage: And however much our Ladylamented and whatever other things she said, she was always in her inmost heartin immovable detachment. Let us take an analogy of this.

    A door opens and shutson a hinge. Now if I compare the outer boards of the door with the outward man,I can compare the hinge with the inward man. When the door opens or closes theouter boards move to and fro, but the hinge remains immovable in one place andit is not changed at all as a result. So it is also here . . .

    (Clark andSkinner, 1958, p. 167; emphasis mine). A hinge pin moves on the outside andremains unmoving at its centre. To act and yet remain ?in her inmost heart inimmovable detachment’ depicts precisely this dualistic life. One acts, yet atan unchanging level within retains a sense of something unmoving.

    One lives adichotomous existence. Inside, she experiences an interior silence, outside sheacts. Elsewhere Eckhart describes what this is like: When the detached heart hasthe highest aim, it must be towards the Nothing, because in this there is thegreatest receptivity. Take a parable from nature: if I want to write on a waxtablet, then no matter how noble the thing is that is [already] written on thetablet, I am none the less vexed because I cannot write on it. If I really wantto write I must delete everything that is written on the tablet, and the tabletis never so suitable for writing as when absolutely nothing is written on it. (ibid.

    , p. 168. ) The emphasis in this passage is on the achievement of emptinesswithin. One has ?deleted’ everything inside; one comes to a ?Nothing’inside; the tablet is ?blank’. When one is truly empty within, comes to?the Nothing,’ what goes on ?outside’ is of lesser significance, for itis unconnected to the inner ?nothing’. Only once this interior ?Nothing’is established does one truly begin ?acting rightly’.

    This is highlyreminiscent of the empty interior silence achieved by our other reporters. Insum, in this DMS the subject has a sense, on a permanent or semi-permanentbasis, of being in touch with his or her own deepest awareness, experienced as asilence at one’s core, even while remaining conscious of the external sensateworld. Awareness itself is experienced as silent and as separate from itsintentional content. This dualistic mystical state seems to evolve graduallyinto another state. First this author’s own experience (cf. Forman, date??):Over the years, this interior silence has slowly changed.

    Gradually,imperceptibly, this sense of who I am, this silence inside, has grown as ifquasi-physically larger. In the beginning it just seemed like I was silentinside. Then this sense of quietness has, as it were expanded to permeate mywhole body. Some years later, it came to seem no longer even limited to my ownbody, but even wider, larger than my body. It’s such a peculiar thing todescribe! It’s as if who I am, my very consciousness itself, has becomebigger, wider, less localized. By now it’s as if I extend some distance beyondmy body, as if I’m many feet wide.

    What is me is now this expanse, thissilence, that spreads out. While retaining something of the dualistic character,the sense of the self or awareness itself here seems to have become as ifquasi-physically expanded, extending beyond the felt borders of the usualphysical frame. It is important to note that exterior perception has not changedhere, only the sense of what consciousness itself is. That will change in thenext state. Freud called this a ?peculiar oceanic feeling’, which seems tocommunicate both the ineffability and the expanded quality of such a sense ofconsciousness.

    27 Yet at this point this sense of an inner expanse does not yetseem to ?touch’ or affect the perception of objects. Being in the middle ofan expanse is reminiscent of the well known passage from Walt Whitman. As ifhaving a conversation with his soul, he recalls, I mind how once we lay, such atransparent summer morning, Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace andknowledge that pass all the argument of the earth. 28 Here the sense of innersilence, the peace, is experienced as part of the world. But note again thatWhitman does not suggest that the peace is within the world. The sense seems tobe that what one is, one’s awareness itself, is experienced as oceanic,unbounded, expanded beyond the limits of the body.

    Here, I believe, a theistmight plausibly associate this silence, that seems to be both inside and yetquasi-physically expansive, with God. If this is true, then St. Teresa’s?Spiritual Marriage’ is very much like this one. In it, one is permanently?married’ to the Lord, .

    . . the Lord appears in the centre of the soul . . .

    He has been pleased to unite Himself with His creature in such a way that theyhave become like two who cannot be separated from one another: even so He willnot separate Himself from her. [In other words, this sense of union ispermanent. ] The soul remains all the time in [its] centre with its God. . .

    . When we empty ourselves of all that is creature and rid ourselves of it for thelove of God, that same Lord will fill our souls with Himself (Peers, 1961, pp. 213?16). To be permanently filled within the soul with the Lord may bephenomenologically described as experiencing a sense of some silent butomnipresent, i. e.

    expansive, ?something’ at one’s core. If so, thisbecomes remarkably like the other experiences of expansiveness at one’s corethat we have seen before. (Once again, the expanse is not described aspermeating the world, as it might in the next ?state’. ) This sense of aninteriority that is also an expanse is reconfirmed by her disciple St.

    John ofthe Cross, who says, ?the soul then feels as if placed in a vast and profoundsolitude, to which no created thing has access, in an immense and boundlessdesert’. In sum, the interior silence at one’s core sometimes comes to beexperienced as expanded, as if being quasi-physically larger or more spaciousthan one’s body. Now, what might this DMS suggest? It offers severaltantalizing hints about consciousness. 1. Human capacity includes moreepistemological modalities than is generally imagined. It is clear from thesereports that one can be self-reflexively cognizant of one’s own awareness moreimmediately than usual.

    The contemplative life can lead one to the ability to beaware of one’s own awareness per se on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. This is not like taking on a new awareness. None of our sources describe this asa sense of becoming a different person, or as a discontinuity with what they hadbeen. Rather the descriptions are that of becoming more immediately cognizant ofthe awareness they had always enjoyed.

    2. We suggested above that consciousnessshould not be defined in terms of perceptions, content, or its other functions,for in the DMS awareness continues even when perceptions do not. Here awarenessis not only not implicated with thoughts and perceptions, but is experienced asentirely different in quality or character ? unchanging, without intrinsicform ? than its content. It is also experienced as unconnected with itsintentional content.

    Even thoughts do ?not quite contact it’. Awarenessitself is experienced as still or silent, perceptions as active and changing. Therefore instead of defining awareness in terms of its content, we should thinkabout awareness and its mental and sensory functions as two independentphenomena or processes that somehow interact. 3. The sense of being expandedbeyond the borders of one’s own body, what Freud called the ?peculiaroceanic feeling’, is a very peculiar sense indeed.

    Yet if we take thesewide-spread reports seriously, as I think every open-minded thinker should, whatdo they suggest? The phenomenology, simply put, makes room for the suggestionthat consciousness is not limited to the body. Consciousness is encountered assomething more like a field than a localized point, a field that transcends thebody and yet somehow interacts with it. 29 This mystical phenomenon tends toconfirm William James’ hypothesis in his monumental Principles of Psychologythat awareness is field-like. This thought was picked up by Peter Fenwick andChris Clarke in the Mind and Brain Symposium in 1994, that the mind may benon-localized, like a field, and that experience arises from some sort ofinterplay between non-localized awareness and the localized brain. 30 It is as ifthese mystical reporters had an experience of just the sort of field-likenon-locality of awareness these theories hypothesize.

    The heretical suggestionhere is not that there is a ghost in the machine, but rather that there is aghost in and beyond the machine! And it is not a ghost that thinks, but a ghostfor which there is thinking and perception. 4. The experience of awareness assome sort of field allows for the theory that consciousness is more than theproduct of the materialistic interactions of brain cells, since it can beunderstood in two ways. First it may mean that like a magnet, the brain?produces’ a field which extends well beyond its own physical borders.

    Theslow growth of the sense of an experience suggests this. Or, conversely, thefield-like experience may suggest that awareness somehow transcends individualbrain cells and perhaps the entire brain. This suggests a new way to think aboutthe role of the physical body. Brain cells may receive, guide, arbitrate, orcanalize an awareness which is somehow transcendental to them. The brain may bemore like a receiver or transformer for the field of awareness than itsgenerator: less like a magnet than like a TV receiver.

    The unitive mysticalstate Our last commonly reported mystical experience is a sense of becomingunified with external objects. It is nicely described by the German idealistMalwida von Meysenburg: I was alone upon the seashore . . .

    I felt that I . . . return[ed] from the solitude of individuation into the consciousness of unitywith all that is, [that I knelt] down as one that passes away, and [rose] up asone imperishable. Earth, heaven, and sea resounded as in one vast worldencircling harmony.

    . . . I felt myself one with them .

    . . (von Meysenburg,1900; emphasis mine). The keynote of Malwida’s experience is that in some sortof immediate or intuitive manner she sensed that she was connected with thethings of the world, as if she was a part of them and they part of her. It is asif the membranes of her experienced self became semi-permeable, and she flowedin, with or perhaps through her environment.

    A similar experience is describedin Starbuck’s 19th century collection of experience reports. Here again we seea sense of unity with the things of the world. . . . something in myself made mefeel myself a part of something bigger than I .

    . . I felt myself one with thegrass, the trees, birds, insects, everything in nature. I exulted in the merefact of existence, of being apart of it all, the drizzling rain, the shadows ofthe clouds, the tree-trunks and so on. (Ref??) The author goes on to say thatafter this experience he constantly sought these experiences of the unitybetween self and object again, but they only came period-ically. This impliesthat for him they were temporary phenomena, lasting only a few minutes or hours.

    This sense of the unity between self and object, the absence of the usual linesbetween things, is clearly reminiscent of Plotinus’s First Ennead (8:1). Hewho has allowed the beauty of that world to penetrate his soul goes away nolonger a mere observer. For the object perceived and the perceiving soul are nolonger two things separated from one another, but the perceiving soul has [now]within itself the perceived object (quoted in Otto, 1930, p. 67).

    Again we havea lack of boundaries between consciousness and object. It is not clear from thispassage if Plotinus is describing a transient or a permanent experience. Yetsome reporters clearly tell us that such an experience can be constant. Thoughit is often hard to distinguish biography from mythology, Buddhist descriptionsof Sakyamuni Buddha’s life clearly imply that his Nirvana was a permanentchange in epistemological structure.

    Similarly the Hindu term for an enlightenedone, jivanmukti (enlightened in active life), clearly suggests that thisexperience can be permanent. Notice how different these reports are from our DMSdescriptions of an inner expanse. There we saw no change in the relationshipbetween the subject and the perceived world. Here ?the object perceived andthe perceiving soul’ are now united. ?I felt myself one with the grass, thetrees, birds, insects, everything in nature. ‘ One of the clearer descriptionsof this state comes from Krishnamurti, who wrote of his his first experience ofthis sort, in August, 1922: On the first day while I was in that state and moreconscious of the things around me, I had the first most extraordinaryexperience.

    There was a man mending the road; that man was myself; the pickax heheld was myself; the very stone which he was breaking up was a part of me; thetender blade of grass was my very being, and the tree beside the man was myself. I also could feel and think like the roadmender and I could feel the windpassing through the tree, and the little ant on the blade of grass I could feel. The birds, the dust and the very noise were a part of me. Just then there was acar passing by at some distance; I was the driver, the engine, and the tires; asthe car went further away from me, I was going away from myself. I was ineverything, or rather everything was in me, inanimate and animate, the mountain,the worm and all breathing things. All day long I remained in this happycondition.

    (Ref??) Perhaps the most unmistakable assertion that these shifts canbe permanent comes from Bernadette Roberts. Sometime after her initialtransformation, she had what is clearly a development on her earlier dualisticsense of an expanded consciousness. She writes: I was standing on [a] windyhillside looking down over the ocean when a seagull came into view, gliding,dipping, playing with the wind. I watched it as I’d never watched anythingbefore in my life. I almost seemed to be mesmerized; it was as if I was watchingmyself flying, for there was not the usual division between us. Yet, somethingmore was there than just a lack of separateness, ?something’ truly beautifuland unknowable.

    Finally I turned my eyes to the pine-covered hills behind themonastery and still, there was no division, only something ?there’ that wasflowing with and through every vista and particular object of vision. . . .

    WhatI had [originally] taken as a trick of the mind was to become a permanent way ofseeing and knowing (Roberts, 1984, p. 30; italics mine). She describes this?something there’ that flowed with and through everything, including her ownself, as ?that into which all separateness dissolves. ‘ She concludes with anemphatic assertion: ?I was never to revert back to the usual relative way ofseeing separateness or individuality. ‘ Again we have a state, not a transientepisode.

    We could multiply these examples endlessly. This unitive mystical state(UMS), either temporary or permanent, is a very common mystical phenomenon. Itis clearly an evolution of the previous sense. First one continues to sense thatone’s awareness is expansive, field-like, and that the self is experienced aslarger, expanded beyond the usual boundaries. One feels oneself to be ?a partof something bigger’, which is to say, senses a lack of borders or acommonality between oneself and this expanse.

    Indeed, in Bernadette Roberts’case, her sense of ?something there’ followed and was an evolution of herinitial dualistic mystical state. But now this perceived expansion of the selfis experienced as none other than, permeating with and through, the things ofthe world. One’s boundaries become as if permeable, connected with the objectsof the world. The expanded self seems to be experienced as of the samemetaphysical level, or of the same ?stuff’, as the world. Despite thegrammatical peculiarities, ?what I am is the seagull, and what the seagull is,I am’. From this fascinating phenomenon we may note several implications forour understanding of consciousness.

    1. The perceived ?spaciousness’ ofawareness suggests, I said above, that consciousness is like a field. Theseunitive experiences reaffirm this implication and suggest that such a field maynot only transcend our own bodily limits, but somehow may interpenetrate orconnect both self and external objects. This is of course strikingly parallel tothe physical energy fields and/or the quantum vacuum field said to reside at thebasis of matter, for these too are both immanent within and also transcendent toany particular expression, a parallel that Fritjof Capra, Lawrence Domash andothers have been quick to point out.

    2. The perception of unity holds out thepossibility that the field of awareness may be common to all objects, andhowever implausibly, among all human beings as well. It indicates that my ownconsciousness may be somehow connected to a tree, the stars, a drizzle or ablade of grass and, paradoxically, to yours. Thus these unitive experiencespoint towards something like a primitive animism, Leibnitz’s panspsychism andGriffin’s suggestion of a pan-experientialism, that experience or some sort ofconsciousness may be ?an ingredient throughout the universe, permeating alllevels of being’. All this, however, opens up another Pandora’s box ofpeculiar questions: most obviously what might the consciousness be of a dog,flower, or even a stone? Does the claim of a perceived unity merely point tosome ground of being, and not a consciousness that is in any senseself-reflective like our own consciousness? Or if you and I share consciousness,can I experience what you do? If not, why not? 3.

    Not everyone who meditatesencounters these sorts of unitive experiences. This suggests that some may begenetically or temperamentally predisposed to mystical ability; borrowing fromWeber, the ?mystically musical’. One might suggest that the mystic’sawareness is categorically different than other peoples’, i. e. that it isconnected to the world in an ontologically deep way that the rest of ours isnot. I find this unconvincing, since every mystic I have read says he or shebegan as an ?ordinary’, i.

    e. non-mystical, person and only came to realizesomething of what he or she ?had always been’. Whichever explanation we optfor, however, it is clear that there is some ability the mystics have been ableto develop ? through meditation or whatever ? that most of us have not. Conclusions Our three modalities of mystical experiences point clearly towards adistinction between awareness per se and the ordinary functional processes ofsensation, perception and thought. They suggest that awareness is notconstructed out of the material processes of perception or perhaps the brain,but rather they suggest a distinction and / or interaction between consciousnessand the brain.

    Furthermore, they suggest that awareness may have anon-localized, quasi-spatial character, much like a field. Finally they tend tosuggest that this field may be transcendental to any one person or entity. Iwant to end by restating my earlier caveat. Phenomenology is not science. Therecan be many ways to explain any experience, mystical or otherwise, and we shouldexplore all of them. But in the absence of compelling reasons to deny thesuggestions of their reports, we would be wise to seriously examine thedirection towards which the finger of mysticism points.

    If the validity ofknowledge in the universities is indeed governed, as we like to claim, by thetests of evidence, openness and clarity, then we should not be too quick tothrow out the baby swimming in the bathwater of mysticism. Footnotes 1 I amindebted to the psychologist of religion William Parsons, in a privatecommunication, for this observation. 2 See here Ornstein (1976). 3 See thearticles in Forman (1990) and Section I of Forman (1998). 4 Bruce Mangan (1994)suggests this when he says that ?mystic[al] encounters . .

    . would seem tomanifest an extreme state of consciousness’ (p. 251). 5 James’ famouscharacterization of mysticism in The Varieties of Religious Experience statesthat a defining feature of mysticism is ?transiency’ (James, 1902/1983, p. 381). My evidence says this is simply wrong.

    6 I say typically because sometimesone may skip or not attain a particular stage. Ken Wilber (1980) claimssequence. William Barnard (1995), however, disputes this claim of sequence. 7One key element of the UMS is that it is a permanent shift in the structure ofawareness. ?Extrovertive’ mysticism, a term coined by W. P.

    Stace, impliesthat one has mystical experiences out in the world, while we are?extrovertively’ aware. Zaehner coined the term ?nature mysticism’ todescribe such paths as Zen or Taoism, which describe mystical experiences innature. This he distinguishes from the theistic traditions, among others. But inthe UMS, as I understand this form of life, the sense of being in contact withthe expansive emptiness that extends beyond the self, never fades away, whetherone is in nature or in the city, whether the eyes are open or closed, andwhether one is a Zen Buddhist, a Jew or a Christian. Thus each of these acceptedterms define this experience too narrowly, and thus I coin my own broader term. 8 Cf.

    Smart (1982). * These may not be mutually exclusive. See, for example,neurologist Oliver Sacks’ comments on migraines and mysticism in the case ofHildegard of Bingen (Sacks, 1994, pp. 238-9.

    ) 9 I am grateful for Joseph Goguen,private communication, for articulating this question so clearly. 10 Forman(1990) offers a rich compendium of reports of the PCE. I have intentionallyoffered here several reports of this experience that are not included there. 11James is quoting from St. Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle, in Oeuvres, trans.

    Bouix, vol. 3, pp. 421?4. 12 The mystic apparently remains consciousthroughout. Although Teresa does not explicitly say the mystic is not asleep, Icannot imagine anyone spilling so much ink on merely sleeping or blacking out,or on something like a coma. See below for more explicit statements to thiseffect.

    13 These two are not quite equivalent. Atman, when seen in its fullest,according to the Upanishads and to Advaita Vedanta, merges with Brahman, andthus is experienced as including the object or content of perception. Purusha,according to Samkhya, is more an independent monad. It thus remains foreverseparate from its content. But the two both represent the human awareness,however differently understood.

    14 This account is taken from Forman (1998). 15Vasubandu commentary on Vs. 1. 1 of the Madhyanta Vibhaga, quoted in Nagao(1978). Vasubandu is here wrestling with just the focus that made Yogacara sodistinctive and clear.

    In its focus on the alayavijnana, it deals directly withthe question of what remains in ?cessation meditation’. Steven Collins(1982) believes this is a mistaken view of the nature of samadhi, thoughunfortunately he never directly confronts such Yogacara texts. For comparableanalyses from a Zen perspective, with explicit comparisons with Yogacara, seee. g. Chang Chen Chi (1970), pp.

    167?71. 16 See especially Forman (1990), PartI. 17 This debate goes back at least to Kant’s criticism of Hume’s ‘associationism’in the eighteenth century. For a discussion of contemporary parallels, seeHardcastle (1994).

    18 If we think in a socio-cultural way here, we might notethat our long western worldview, with its roots in the Judaeo-Christian past, inthe protestant capitalistic history, and in the history of science, would tendto favour a definition of consciousness in active, masculine, intentional, and?doing’ terminology. Thus consciousness is, in this view, always vectorial,intentionally pointing towards this or that. Such a definition fits how peopleare expected to act in such a culture. Contemplative traditions and the east, onthe other hand, tend to be more open to defining consciousness as awareness perse, or just being. In the west we may take these to be too passive, feminine,but they ?fit’ the more station-oriented caste and natal-status behaviouralpatterns.

    My thanks to Bill Parsons for this observation. 19 Logically:awareness is a necessary but not sufficient condition for binding; binding isneither a necessary nor sufficient condition for awareness. 20 This usagepreserves Deikman’s (1996) separation of awareness from the other senses of?I’, and Chalmers’ (1995) similar distinction. My thanks to Jonathan Shearfor pointing out that I have reversed Chalmers’ terms (he calls awareness initself ?consciousness’ and connects its various functional phenomena withthe term ?awareness’).

    I believe that my usage is in better accord both withordinary speech and the traditional scholarly use of ?pure consciousness’and ?pure consciousness event’. 21 See the extended discussion of thispossibility in Forman (1998). 22 Here language fails us. The awareness is not inany sense conscious of the passage of time; rather I am suggesting thatawareness ties itself together through what an external observer would note asthe passage of time. 23 William James’ thought that mysticism is?transient’, i.

    e. short lived, clearly does not capture BernadetteRoberts’ experience, nor many of the experiences documented in this section. 24 Here I am struck by the parallel with the rapid shifting of a physical systemas it becomes coherent. Disorganized light just ?shifts’ or ?zips’ intolaser light nearly instantaneously.

    25 Writing this, I think of the parallelbetween this sense and Bernadette Robert’s sense of having lost the usual?unlocalized sense of herself’. 26 It is my impression that the awareness ofthe specific locations within the body is not essential to this transformation. 27 Freud was employing a phrase from his correspondence with Ramakrishna’sdisciple Romain Rolland. See Parsons (forthcoming). 28 Walt Whitman, quoted inJames (1902/1983) p. 396, no reference.

    29 Of course, that implies that one hassome sort of non-sensory sense, the ability to sense one’s own expansivepresence even though there are no visible mechanisms of sensation. But is thatso strange after all? If we can sense our own awareness directly in the pureconsciousness event, why shouldn’t we be able to sense something of itsnon-limited character on a more permanent basis?BibliographySee Freeman (1994) for a brief report and Clarke (1995) for the full text ofChris Clarke’s talk. References Barnard, William (1995), ?Response toWilber’, unpublished paper delivered to the Mysticism Group of the AmericanAcademy of Religion. Chalmers, David J. (1995), ?Facing up to the problem ofconsciousness’, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2 (3), 1995, pp.

    200?19. Chang Chen Chi (1970), The Practice of Zen (New York: Perennial Library / HarperRow). Clark, Thomas W. (1995), ?Function and phenomenology: closing theexplanatory gap,’ Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2 (3), pp.

    241?54. Clarkand Skinner (1958), Meister Eckhart: Selected Treatises and Sermons (London:Faber and Faber). Clarke, C. J.

    S. (1995), ?The non-locality of mind’, Journalof Consciousness Studies, 2 (3), pp. 231?40. Collins, Steven (1982), SelflessPersons (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Deikman, Arthur (1996), ??’I” = Awareness’, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3 (4), 350?6.

    Forman, Robert K. C. (ed. 1990), The Problem of Pure Consciousness (New York:Oxford University Press). Forman, Robert K.

    C. (1998) Mysticism, Mind,Consciousness (Albany, NY: SUNY Press). Freeman, Anthony (1994), ?The scienceof consciousness: non-locality of mind’ [Conference Report], The Journal ofConsciousness Studies, 1 (2), pp. 283?4. Griffiths, Paul (1990), ?PureConsciousness and Indian Buddhism,’ in The Problem of Pure Consciousness. Hardcastle, Valerie (1994), ‘Psychology’s “binding problem” andpossible neurological solutions’, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1 (1), pp.

    66-90. Hume, Robert (trans. 1931), The Thirteen Principle Upanishads (London:Oxford University Press). James, William (1902/1983), The Varieties of ReligiousExperience (New York: Longmans, Green and Co. ; reprinted in Penguin Edition).

    Larson, J.G. (1979), Classical Samkhya: An Interpretation of its History andMeaning (Santa Barbara: Ross/Erikson). Libet, Benjamin (1994), ?A testablefield theory of mind?brain interaction’, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1(1), pp. 119?26. Lonergan, B. (1967), Collection, ed. Frederick Crowe (NewYork: Herder and Herder). McCarthy, Michael H. (1990), The Crisis in Philosophy(Albany: SUNY Press). Mangan, Bruce (1994), ?Language and experience in thecognitive study of mysticism ? commentary on Forman’, Journal ofConsciousness Studies, 1 (2), pp. 250?2. von Meyensberg, Malwida (1900),Memoiren einer Idealistin, 5th Auflage, iii. 166. Quoted in James (1902/1983),p. 395. Nagao, Gadjin M. (trans. 1978), ?The Culasunnata-Sutta (Lesserdiscourse on Emptiness)’ translated as, ?”What Remains” in Sunyata:A Yogacara Interpretation of Emptiness’, in Mahayana Buddhist Meditation, ed.Minoru Kiyota (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii). Ornstein, Robert (1976),?The techniques of meditation and their implications for modern psychology’,in On The Psychology of Meditation, Claudio Naranjo and Robert Ornstein (NewYork: Penguin). Otto, Rudolf (1930), Mysticism East and West, trans. BerthaBracey and Richard Payne (New York: Macamillan). Parsons, William (forthcoming),The Enigma of the Oceanic Feeling (Oxford University Press). Peers, E. Allison(trans. 1961), The Interior Castle [Teresa of Avila] (New York: Doubleday).Roberts, Bernadette (1984), The Experience of No-Self (Boulder: Shambala).Sacks, Oliver (1994), ‘An anthropologist on Mars’ [interview with AnthonyFreeman], Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1 (2), pp. 234-40. Smart, Ninian(date??), ?Interpretation and mystical experience’, Sophia, 1 (1), p. 75.Stace, W.T. (1960), Mysticism and Philosophy (London: Macmillan Press). Walshe,M.O’C. (1982), Meister Eckhart, Sermons and Tractates, Vol. 1 (London:Watkins). Wilber, Ken (1980), The Atman Project (Wheaton, IL: The TheosophicalPublishing House).

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

    Need custom essay sample written special for your assignment?

    Choose skilled expert on your subject and get original paper with free plagiarism report

    Order custom paper Without paying upfront

    Mysticism Essay. (2019, Jan 03). Retrieved from https://happyessays.com/mysticism-essay/

    Hi, my name is Amy 👋

    In case you can't find a relevant example, our professional writers are ready to help you write a unique paper. Just talk to our smart assistant Amy and she'll connect you with the best match.

    Get help with your paper
    We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy