Mysticism: A Variety of Psychological Perspectives

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Jacob A. Belzen, Antoon Geels
Rodopi, 2003 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 340 pages
Mysticism, which can bedefined as the human being's direct experience God, the ground of being, or in similar ways, is without doubt one of the most fascinating phenomena in the history of humankind. Although not restricted to religion, it can be regarded as an integral element of religion. There are mystical dimensions within all religions of the world. Taoism, Zen, as well as a number of Hindu traditions, for example, are fundamentally mystical in the sense that they all strive for transcendence above this world of multiplicity. The scholarly study of religious mysticism is a vast and complex area of research, embracing studies from numerous disciplines. This volume contains a variety of psychological perspectives. The majority of these focus on mystical phenomena within Christianity, but some contributors also deal with mysticism in non-Christian traditions. As in most studies, phenomena, persons, or occurrences in the past are emphasized. Although very different, and coming from a range of academic backgrounds (religious studies, comparative religion, psychoanalysis, cultural psychology, theoretical psychology, etc.), the contributors are nevertheless all united in their attempts to understand more about particular forms of mysticism, from a perspective that puts the involvement of the human being in the center of mysticism with respect to both its theory and method. The editors: Jacob A. Belzen is professor of psychology of religion at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Antoon Geels is professor of psychology of religion at the University of Lund (Sweden).

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Page 17 - In Hinduism, in Neoplatonism, in Sufism, in Christian mysticism, in Whitmanism, we find the same recurring note, so that there is about mystical utterances an eternal unanimity which ought to make a critic stop and think, and which brings it about that the mystical classics have, as has been said, neither birthday nor native land.

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