Mystical religious experience

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  • Mystical - religious experience
    • Main features
      • Personal experience: feels as though one has been touched by higher/greater truth or power
      • Can be seen as an important component of a rel tradition because = can offer validation of a traditions belief system
      • So powerful: capacity to provide moral, ethical, intellectual + emotional direction, it = frequently mistrusted
    • Defined as: spiritual discipline used to make contact with divine. However, some have been experienced without contemplating divine.
    • Stages of mystical experience
      • St Bonaventure, teacher of Aquinas, saw as M/E's have 3 stages
        • Purgative stage: mystic = prepared + purified by prayer + discipline
        • Illuminative stage: mystic = enjous experience = emotionally + spiritually illuminating
        • Final/unitive stage: enjoys sense of oneness with G-d
    • Stace's feature of M/E
      • Snse of unity
      • Sense of timelessness
      • Sense of having encountered ultimate reality
      • Ineffability
      • Loss of ego/sense of self
      • Accompanied by feelings of euphoria (excitement)
      • He argued that it must be non-sensuous - not mystical if it involves senses


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