Mystical Experience

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  • Created by: Emily
  • Created on: 12-05-13 12:45
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  • Mystical Experience
    • Union with God
      • William James classified Mystical Experiences as having 4 features:
        • Passivity
          • The recipient is not in control and cannot decide when the experience begins or ends
        • Ineffability
          • Once over, the recipient is unable to describe the experience in words
        • Noetic Quality
          • The recipient will gain knowledge - through insight, about the true nature of reality
        • Transiency
          • The experience will be short, but its effects will last for a lifetime
      • Julian of Norwich
        • A nun who became severely ill and was on her deathbed
        • A priest performed the last rites and instructed Julian to meditate upon a crucifix
        • Received 16 'showings' from God - she gained knowledge about God's nature but couldn't fully describe the showings
      • Teresa of Avila
        • Father instructed her to join a convent aged 16 - began to meditate but never received any experiences
        • Teresa fell ill and almost died meaning prayer stopped, but she began again when she regained health
        • Teresa began to have mystical experiences and felt so at one with God she claimed she was 'spiritually married'
    • F.C. Happold
      • Classed mystical experiences as having 3 Aspects:
        • Soul Mysticism
          • Mystical experiences are about finding the soul - it is hidden
        • God Mysticism
          • Our souls wish to return to God - so much so that they become God - this is Union with God
        • Nature Mysticism
          • God is everywhere - immanent - and is united with nature
        • Mysticism can be divided into 2 Types:
          • Mysticism of Love & Union: we want to escape loneliness for union with God & nature
          • Mysticism of Knowledge: We have an urge to find out the meaning of life, and it can be found through an experience
      • We have a desire for separation (to be alone)
      • We have a desire to be part of something bigger than ourselves: we want union with God


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