Friday, November 23, 2007

More on Mysticism

William James:
''The overcoming of all the usual barriers between the individual and the Absolute is the great mystic achievement. In mystic states we both become one with the Absolute and we become aware of our oneness. This is the everlasting and triumphant mystical tradition, hardly altered by differences of clime or creed. 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 tht the mystical classes have, as has been said, neither birthday nor native land. Perpetually telling of the unity of man with God, their speech antedates languages, and they do not grow old.''

A bit more from The Varieties of Religious Experience on mysticism. Is this what we should call these states? I'm leaning towards calling this gnosticism. It's worth noting that James had a similar experience while on ether. Also, it's well worth noting that these experiences generally seem to happen outside of religious organizations or institutions.

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