About the Continuity of Our Consciousness by Pim van Lommel (See also Near Death Experiences)
Patrick Glynn's God: the Evidence Michael Martin , 1999 - (a review critique on the Secular Web)
Psychotherapists' and counselors' experiences and understandings of inexplicable phenomena ...while working with clients by Linde Rosenberg, Aukland University of Technology, NZ, 2005. From a phenomenological point of view, the experiences have characteristics that may lead people to interpret them as being from an intelligent and active other. The phenomena appear to have a life of their own and be out of the control of the therapist's will, giving a sense that something 'other' is involved, The inexplicability of the appearance of words, images or feelings and the fact that the 'information' is already complex, meaniningful, metaphorical and imaginative also creates a sense that there is an intelligence that is communicating. One of the ways people come to believe their perceptions are objectively 'real' is by finding validation between two things, be they two events, two people's perceptions, or a theoretical worldview.
The Global Consciousness Project - Meaningful Correlations in Random Data - Coherent consciousness creates order in the world. Subtle interactions link us with each other and the Earth: When human consciousness becomes coherent and synchronized, the behavior of random systems may change. Quantum event based random number generators (RNGs) produce completely unpredictable sequences of zeroes and ones. But when a great event synchronizes the feelings of millions of people, our network of RNGs becomes subtly structured. The probability is less than one in a billion that the effect is due to chance. The evidence suggests an emerging noosphere, or the unifying field of consciousness described by sages in all cultures.
Mystical Experience: Brain Function or Transcendent State. by Michael Bradford, Intitute for Consciousness Research. After performing a series of experiments, Dr. Michael Persinger of Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, claims to have elicited mystical-type experiences from experimental subjects who were put into a controlled environment and then subjected to certain forms of auditory and visual stimuli. According to Dr. Persinger, these results indicate that mystical experience, and possibly other types of paranormal phenomena, are explainable totally by alterations in brain function.
The Conscious Universe The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena by Dean Radin. Psychic Phenomena: Unquestionably Real, Dean Radin's The Conscious Universe forever lays to rest any question as to the experimentally demonstrated existence of at least some psychic (or "psi") phenomena. Using the statistical technique of meta-analysis, Radin methodically and forcefully examines the results from nearly a century of increasingly sophisticated experiments. Notwithstanding the possibility of thousands of researchers committing fraud in a massive decades-long conspiracy, or a complete misapplication and misunderstanding of meta-analysis, the existence of telepathy (mind-to-mind perception), clairvoyance (perception at distance), precognition (perception through time), psychokenesis (mind-matter interaction), and perhaps other psi phenomena (e.g., mental interactions with living organisms) is incontrovertible.
The Sacred and Its Scholars: Comparative Methodologies for the Study of Primary Religious Data Thomas A. Idinopulos, Edward A. Yonan BRILL, 1996 - This volume of essays is devoted to a careful examination of the importance of methodology in the study of primary religious data. The essays focus on the 'Sacred' as an ultimate object of descriptive analysis and critical scrutiny on the part of a select number of North American and European methodologists in the study and teaching of the history of religions and its allied disciplines.
Rudolph Otto's Phenomenology of the Holy (P. 104) The numinous that Otto discussed phenomenologically pertained to two types of experience. On the one side, and able to occur on its own, was the mysterium tremendum, with its elements of awe, majesty,urgency, and mystery. It was in connection with the mysterium that Otto referred to the Wholly Other... Its experience is a positive reality that can be studied phenomenologically. What truly cannot be studied phenomenologically...entered Otto's discussion only when he went on to describe "the Dionysiac element in the numen", the fascinans. Here Otto introduced a separate term, which deserves to be as widely famed as "the Wholly Other". The phenomenology of the facinans includes the implication of something more; it is only Something More "in-itself", supposing there to be - or not to be -such, that is beyond phenomenology's reach.
Psychotic and Mystical States of Being: Connections and Distinctions by Caroline Brett
Abstract: Previous analyses of descriptively defined psychotic phenomena have concluded that they can occur in benign spiritual experiences as well as pathological states. Attempts to forge a distinction between psychotic experiences in spiritual and pathological contexts on the basis of the form or content of the experience (broadly described) can be disproved by counterexample; distinguishing on the basis of negative or positive consequences of the phenomena for the individual can be seen to beg the question. In the present paper, spiritual or mystical experiences are those states in which the form of experience is altered from normal consciousness, resulting in a new understanding of the basic nature of reality, life, and the individual. Psychotic experiences are those states that also flow from alterations of the form of experience, but result in a pathological interaction between the individual and the world. Therefore, according to these definitions, phenomena occurring in a spiritual context may be identical to those traditionally viewed as symptoms of psychosis, but cannot be seen as psychotic in themselves.
The Social Effects of Psychism Spiritual Experience and the Construction of Privatized Religion Sociology of Religion 2004, 65:3 239-263 Sociology of Religion 2004, 65:3 239-263 by Marty Laubach, Marshall University. Paranormal and spiritual experiences are one of the perennial mysteries of human behavior: Why do rational people embrace supematural explanations? How do paranormal and religious experiences relate to each other? Are they the
result of religious conformity or a cause for moral autonomy? What is the relationship between spiritual experiences and privatized religion? This study defines spiritual experiences in terms of "psychism," or psychic intrusions in the stream of consciousness that are perceived by the actor as not originating within the "self." Intrusions interpreted as psychism are regarded by the actor as having the same facticity as empirical experience and are regarded as "proof' of an esoteric belief system. Psychism originated beliefs are therefore resistant to refutation or change, and support spiritual autonomy. Psychism theory is tested using 1988 GSS data on religous beliefs, where psychism is measured using GSS questions on "paranormal" experiences. Nonrecursive models demonstrate that psychism is a cause (not effect), has a negative effect on conformist beliefs and communal practices and a positive effect on moral autonomy and private religous practices, and that it has a nuanced effect on beliefs regarding God.
The Transpersonal Self: 1. A Psychohistory and Phenomenology of the Soul by Michael Daniels - Transpersonal Psychology Review, Vol. 6, No. 1, 17-28. (2002) Note: A revised and updated version of this paper appears as a chapter in Daniels, M. (2005). Shadow, Self, Spirit: Essays in Transpersonal Psychology. Exeter: Imprint Academic. I suggest, based on interpretations of a wide variety of human experiences, including life and death, dreams, out-of-body experiences, hauntings, possession, self-reflexive consciousness, inspiration, and mystical experience. In general terms, concepts of the soul seem to have evolved from a primitive belief in a quasi-physical reality, through the later incorporation of psychological qualities, to what may be a relatively recent focus on spiritual experience. Conceptual difficulties can arise when we fail to recognize the differences between these levels of interpretation.
The Transpersonal Self: 2. Comparing Seven Psychological Theories by Michael Daniels. Transpersonal Psychology Review, Vol. 6, No. 2, 4-21. (2002) [Preprint Version] Note: A revised and updated version of this paper appears as a chapter in Daniels, M. (2005). Shadow, Self, Spirit: Essays in Transpersonal Psychology. Exeter: Imprint Academic. Abstract: This is the second of two papers in which I examine the meaning and significance of concepts of the transpersonal self. An earlier paper focused on the historical development and experiential foundations of religious and metaphysical ideas about the soul. The present paper focuses on a critical comparison of ideas about the transpersonal self as understood within seven major psychological theories - those of Abraham Maslow, C.G. Jung, Roberto Assagioli, Stan Grof, Ken Wilber, Michael Washburn and Peggy Wright. From an examination of these various approaches, I identify nineteen distinct meanings of the transpersonal self. I suggest that it is not possible at this stage in the development of transpersonal psychology to select any one theory or conception as being the most adequate.
The Concentric Axis - from Innermost to Outermost being The Inner-Outer Dimension by M Alan Kazlev See also: A New Integral Paradigm - A Metaphysical "Map" of Consciousness/Reality by M Alan Kazlev. Noetics - Levels of Selfhood; Occultism - The "Vertical" Physical-Spiritual Axis; Psychology and Mysticism - The "Concentric" Axis; Holarchy - The Universal-Atomistic Axis The "Concentric" or Inner-Outer dimension is totally different from (but sometimes confused with) the vertical series of planes of consciousness as described by Theosophy etc. A number of stages of manifestation can be posited here, from the outermost to the Absolute. These are each associated with their own states of consciousness and states of existence.
Mystical Experience: Brain Function or Transcendent State by by Michael Bradford
Modern science has a world-view which does not support non-physical or subjective phenomena. This world-view or paradigm is profoundly different from that of cultures, such as that in India, in which means of perception of metaphysical aspects of reality were developed to a very high level in the past and became an integral part of the culture as it evolved over the millennia. The main difference between these two paradigms lies in the fact that the Western world-view is based on the supposition that matter is the ultimate form of reality, and that consciousness is an epi-phenomenon, or characteristic of it. The Eastern world-view, on the contrary, is the exact opposite, with the ultimate reality being consciousness and the physical universe a projection of it. Thus, the Western world-view is based on the premise that what is perceived with the senses is the highest form of reality, in contrast to the Eastern view which posits that higher faculties of mind must be developed in order to apprehend reality in a more direct way.
On Transcendence in Transpersonal Psychology by Michael Daniels. Transpersonal Psychology Review, Vol. 5, No. 2, 3-11. (2001) A revised and updated version of this paper appears as a chapter in Daniels, M. (2005). Shadow, Self, Spirit: Essays in Transpersonal Psychology. An effort to find definitive answers in credible writings on transpersonal topics as to whether the spiritual or divine realm is an actual Other. Abstract: This paper examines the meaning of "transcendence," distinguishing between the phenomenological and metaphysical uses of the term and considering various difficulties with the approaches to transcendence taken by Jung and Wilber. I suggest that transpersonal psychology should adopt a more phenomenological perspective on transcendence and should be more cautious and explicit in its metaphysical assumptions.
Key Terms in examining Mystical Experience by Robert G. Sacco - psychotherapist, researcher, and author. He holds a MSc in Philosophy and Ethics of Mental Health from the University of Warwick. The definitions contain much overlap and uncertainty regarding clear distinction
Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth by Mirza Tahir Ahmad. Part IV, The Nature of Revelation. Even people who believe in revelation differ in their understanding of its nature. For example the majority of today's Buddhists, Confucianists and Taoists consider their founders' experiences to have arisen purely from within their conscious or subconscious minds. As mentioned earlier they believe that truth exists within every soul as a part of nature. Inspiration to them is the instrument of contact with the fountainhead of this eternal truth. Other religions hold the view that revelation is an experience arising from an external source - a [Supreme Spirit or All-knowing ananda, Brahman Ishvara or God].
On Transcendence in Transpersonal Psychology Transpersonal Psychology Review, Vol. 5, No. 2, 3-11. (2001) [Preprint Version] Note: A revised and updated version of this paper appears as a chapter in Daniels, M. (2005).
Shadow, Self, Spirit: Essays in Transpersonal Psychology. Abstract: This paper examines the meaning of "transcendence," distinguishing between the phenomenological and metaphysical uses of the term and considering various difficulties with the approaches to transcendence taken by Jung and Wilber. I suggest that transpersonal psychology should adopt a more phenomenological perspective on transcendence and should be more cautious and explicit in its metaphysical implications.
The Journey of the 'Everyday Mystic': A Phenomenological-Empirical Exploration of Transpersonal Experience. In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of doctor of philosophy, Graduate Division of Education Research, Calgary, Alberta by Paul Alexander Jerry, 2001. The academic exploration of transpersonal experience is still a relatively new pursuit. The body of transpersonal theory has developed to a greater degree than the body of research. Currently, a number of authors including Charles Tart, Ken Wilber, and Michael Washbum are working to chart the territory of transpersonal psychology. Research to validate transpersonal theory has lagged behind the building of theory. Research has focussed on a number of "content" issues such as physiological and psychological correlates of transpersonal experience. Two questions emerge which are addressed in this project. First, do the experiences of the "everyday mystic," the person who deliberately engages in practices which lead to the transpersonal, line up with what current theory suggests they should be experiencing? Second, what kind of method(s) would allow for a holistic accounting of these experiences? Drawing from the work of Wilber, I propose and implement an "integral" method of research which draws elements from the quantitative and qualitative paradigms.
Unitive/Mystical Experiences and Life Changes. Doctor of Psychology dissertation, University of Northern Colorado, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences 2010. Susan F. Schneeberger, 2010. Scientists and mystics share the same fundamental quest for answers: What is the nature of the universe, and what is our place in it? Is there a higher intelligence behind the mystery? Does consciousness continue after physical death? Perhaps the mystical experience can provide the same insights as the physics experiment. Ultimately, the apparent disparity between science and mysticism may prove to be one of process, not content. Like spokes on a wheel, they lead to the same hub. The purpose of this study was to explore life changes in beliefs, philosophy, and behavior in individuals who reported having a unitive/mystical experience (U/ME). A unitive mystical experience is a generally spontaneously occurring state of consciousness characterized by a sense of unity or “oneness” that transcends sensory or
cognitive apprehension (Stace, 1960). There is often an ineffable certainty that an ultimate truth has been perceived and can be applied to one’s life. The experience may be accompanied or followed by feelings of joy and bliss. One hundred sixty adults from a broad range of demographic characteristics participated in a one-time web-based survey. The concept of a unitive mystical experience was based on the mysticism theory of Stace.
Husserl, Heidegger, and Transcendental Philosophy: Published by: International Phenomenological Society. Another Look at the Encyclopaedia Britannica Article - Author: Steven Galt Crowell Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 50, No. 3 (Mar., 1990), pp. 501-518. Heidegger "makes no natural judgments of perception," nor does he compromise the phenomenologicaly presupposing positive or physicalistic premises going beyond what shows itself in phenomenological experience. To be sure, he speaks of phenomenology as a way of access to the Being of things; but what he means by "Being" is no more drawn from the natural attitude as a non-phenomenological resupposition than is Husserl's "transcendental" concept of being...
Rather, he is guided by the following concern: How can consciousness become the possible object of an absolute science? For this reason, Husserl's "ontological" determinations of transcendental subjectivity "are not derived by considering the intentional in its very being, but to the extent that it is placed under scrutiny as apprehended, given, constituting, and ideating taken as an essence." In short, by deriving the ontological characteristics of "absolute being" from epistemological considerations, Husserl closes off the possibility of assumptions.
Yoga, Immortality and Freedom Marcea Eliade, Princeton, 1969.
The Mystical Gaze of the Cinema by Richard Leonard (Conclusions: Chapter on the mysticism of filmaker Peter Weir) available as both an e-book (downloadable PDF files) or a d-book (print-on-demand). In my analysis of Weir’s work I have taken both points of reference, mysticism and Jung, as seriously as he does. I have argued that it is by neither accident, nor the hyperbole of journalistic flair that has led writers to speak of Weir’s work (Picnic at Hanging Rock; Gallipoli; Witness; Year of Living Dangerously; You Only Live Once) as mystical.
Mystical Encounters With the Natural World - Experiences and Explanations Paul Marshall - Doctoral Work at Department of Religious Studies, Lancaster University Introduction: Part I The Experience 1. Extrovertive Mystical Experience: Definition and Incidence (P 23)
Chapter 3, P. 18
(P 18) Chapter 3 - Distinctive Features of Mystical Experience Unity is the most important characteristic of the mystical experience. Mystical experience is a profound awareness of one-ness or unity in which all boundaries disappear and objects are unified into a totality. The sense of unity is divided into introvertive and extrovertive types, which are different ways of experiencing unity. The major difference is that the introvertive type finds unity through an 'inner world' devoid of sensory experience while the extrovertive type finds unity through the external world. Extrovertive unity is perceived outwardly with the physical senses and through the external world. The capsule statement '... all is One' is a good summary of extrovertive unity. In the most complete experience, acosmic dimension is felt, so that the experiencer feels in a deep sense that he or she is a part of everything that is.The introvertive and extrovertive types of unity imply separate causal processes. The capsule statement '... all is One' is a good summary of extrovertive unity. In the most complete experience, acosmic dimension is felt, so that the experiencer feels in a deep sense that he or she is a part of everything that is.The introvertive and extrovertive types of unity imply separate causal processes. The introvertive process typically occurs through meditation or sensory deprivation. In the following sections, I address the two components that drive extrovertive unitive phenomenology: ego-dissolution and symbolism however, the extrovertive process has not been clearly identified in the literature.
Spiritual Transformation: William Miller, in his landmark study, distinguished between two maintypes of spiritual transformation: Type I (gradual spiritual change) andType II (sudden mystical change). The difference between the two types is in the nature of the emotional context and rapidity of felt change. The Type II mystical transformation emphasizes predisposing psychological factors and portrays spiritual transformation as being sudden and intense,as occurring during emotional distress, and as highly self-transforming. According to William James, these are the experiences of the 'sick soul'. In contrast, Type I spiritual transformations de-emphasize predisposing and situational factors and describes spiritual transformations as being more gradual, less transforming of the self, and involving a more rational process of active search. In James’ terminology, these are the experiences of the 'healthy minded'.
Revelations of Chance by Roderick Main ref. from Mystical Experience - A Psychological Perspective Robert G. Sacco.
The most extensive treatment so far published on the spiritual aspects of synchronicity is Roderick Main’s
Revelations of Chance: Synchronicity as Spiritual Experience. Writing on synchronicity from a Jungian-oriented perspective, Main considers synchronicity to connect with central spiritual concepts such as: numinosity, miraculousness, transformation, unity,transcendence, providence, and revelation. A persistent theme in the study of mystical experiences is the lack of attention given by theorists to the concept of synchronicity: many explanations of the sense of unity fall down precisely because they fail to address the full range of experiential characteristics of synchronicity. In my view, most researchers neglect or actively deny just what is essential to the phenomena of mysticism.
MA in the Study of Mysticism and Religious Experience, 24 week curriculum: - Seminar Leader: Leon Schlamm. This module introduces students to some of the most significant analyses of and theories about mysticism and religious experience formulated by phenomenologists and historians of religion, psychologists, philosophers and theologians since the beginning of the twentieth century. Students will become acquainted with the work of such leading scholars in the field as: William James; Evelyn Underhill; Rudolf Otto; Carl Jung; Mircea Eliade; Gershom Scholem; Henry Corbin; R. C. Zaehner; W. T. Stace; Agehananda Bharati; Steven Katz; Robert Forman; Ken Wilber; Georg Feuerstein; and Andrew Rawlinson. Through an assessment of their writings, a range of key questions about the subject will be addressed: the identification of different tyypes of mystical experience and tradition (e.g. introvertive, extrovertive, non-dualistic, theistic, visionary, structured, unstructured, etc.); the various ideological uses of mystical experience (e.g. in affirming religious orthodoxies, challenging religious authority, supporting the 'Perennial Philosophy' or religious pluralism; the epistemological status of mystical experience and its alleged cognitive content; the relationship between mystical and other types of experience (e.g. moral, aesthetic, scientific, depth-psychological; the influence of experience upon belief and doctrine and vice versa (illustrated through selected material from Christian mysticism, Kabbalah, Sufism, shamanism, and Indian religious traditions); and the relationship of the scholar to his religious materials (as religious 'insider' or 'outsider'). The module concludes with an examination of the many uses of language by mystics and the relationship of mysticism to western esotericism, parapsychology and New Age spirituality.