“we are convinced of the unity of mystical experience, within Sufism and across mystical traditions.
As the mystic’s practice advances, he or she remains constantly aware of the presence of one reality behind all appearances. This presence (immanence), moreover, does not impair worldly efficacy. It may well enhance such efficacy by making the world more transparent and, therefore, easier to understand.
This notion will seem strange to many psychologists who view all experiences as products of the nervous system. Mystics, on the other hand, draw our attention to a nonlocal mind. Indeed, mystical experience can be seen as the method for transcending the local mind (the intellect and emotions) in favor of absorption in the nonlocal mind.
... reductionist / constructivist accounts of mystical experience will never be true to the actual mystical experience, although they may account for the effects of carefully orchestrated ceremonies designed to have specific psychological effects.
In summary, if the transcendent mystical experience is regarded as just another construction placed on physiological processes of arousal, those regarding it thus have little more incentive to seek it than to seek an exciting sexual partner (perhaps less).”
Levenson MR, Khilwati AH. Mystical self-annihilation: Method and meaning. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion 1999; 9: 251-7.
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