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Altered Consciousness in Religion

Geels, Antoon LU (2011) 1. p.255-276
Abstract
Mysticism can be regarded as an integral element of religion. It includes both a way of life and a direct consciousness of the presence of God. Broadly defined as such, one can encounter mystical dimensions within all religions of the world. In order to alter consciousness, mystics in different traditions use a variety of techniques – different types of meditation, visualisation, repetitive prayer, dark room retreats, etc. These techniques lead to a variety of altered states of consciousness, including visions and experiences of what has been called “the pure consciousness event. What we need is a model of personality enabling us to understand different types of mystical experience, including visions and voices. Such a model should combine... (More)
Mysticism can be regarded as an integral element of religion. It includes both a way of life and a direct consciousness of the presence of God. Broadly defined as such, one can encounter mystical dimensions within all religions of the world. In order to alter consciousness, mystics in different traditions use a variety of techniques – different types of meditation, visualisation, repetitive prayer, dark room retreats, etc. These techniques lead to a variety of altered states of consciousness, including visions and experiences of what has been called “the pure consciousness event. What we need is a model of personality enabling us to understand different types of mystical experience, including visions and voices. Such a model should combine cognitive psychology with depth psychology. The heuristic value of such an approach, counting as it does with dynamic, associative ways of handling emotionally charged information, should enable us to understand new or unexpected features in reports of religious experience, whether it be Old Testament prophets combining, in their visions, contemporary iconographic elements with verbal data, or Christian mystics like John of the Cross, using sensuous, erotic imagery in his poetry while simultaneously stating that the mystical adept has to reach beyond the senses. In this chapter such a model is presented. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
altered states, Mysticism, mystical experience, psychology
host publication
Altering Consciousness. Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Volume 1: History, Culture, and the Humanities.
editor
Cardeña, Etzel and Winkelman, Michael
volume
1
pages
255 - 276
publisher
Praeger
ISBN
978-0-313-38308-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
additional info
The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)
id
f07c8951-8ff5-463b-aa4b-c5abd37b58e7 (old id 1969188)
date added to LUP
2016-04-04 12:22:48
date last changed
2018-11-21 21:10:37
@inbook{f07c8951-8ff5-463b-aa4b-c5abd37b58e7,
  abstract     = {Mysticism can be regarded as an integral element of religion. It includes both a way of life and a direct consciousness of the presence of God. Broadly defined as such, one can encounter mystical dimensions within all religions of the world. In order to alter consciousness, mystics in different traditions use a variety of techniques – different types of meditation, visualisation, repetitive prayer, dark room retreats, etc. These techniques lead to a variety of altered states of consciousness, including visions and experiences of what has been called “the pure consciousness event. What we need is a model of personality enabling us to understand different types of mystical experience, including visions and voices. Such a model should combine cognitive psychology with depth psychology. The heuristic value of such an approach, counting as it does with dynamic, associative ways of handling emotionally charged information, should enable us to understand new or unexpected features in reports of religious experience, whether it be Old Testament prophets combining, in their visions, contemporary iconographic elements with verbal data, or Christian mystics like John of the Cross, using sensuous, erotic imagery in his poetry while simultaneously stating that the mystical adept has to reach beyond the senses. In this chapter such a model is presented.},
  author       = {Geels, Antoon},
  booktitle    = {Altering Consciousness. Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Volume 1: History, Culture, and the Humanities.},
  editor       = {Cardeña, Etzel and Winkelman, Michael},
  isbn         = {978-0-313-38308-3},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {255--276},
  publisher    = {Praeger},
  title        = {Altered Consciousness in Religion},
  volume       = {1},
  year         = {2011},
}