Published on August 11, 2007
Self-realisation in mystical traditions: an insight into the psychospiritual dimension of human development: Self-realisation in mystical traditions: an insight into the psychospiritual dimension of human development by Lea Loncar, PhD student, NTNU, Norway Mysticism is the base of all true science. Einstein, 1954: Mysticism is the base of all true science. Einstein, 1954 Mystical experiences as clear illuminations, having all the qualities of direct sensory perception (Stance, 1961). Mystics: Psychonauts: travellers in the inner space of consciousness The quest for ecstatic transcendence of the human condition : The quest for ecstatic transcendence of the human condition Shamanism Religion Mysticism Denial of mystical experiences: Denial of mystical experiences scientific materialism religious provincialism the primacy of mundane consciousness, ordinary life experience and science in its service: affirmation of ordinary life Religion and spirituality: Religion and spirituality Religion as culturally conditioned tool. Spirituality: Belief in the possibility of self-transformation based on actualised experience. Mystics: stepping out of religious dogmas, societal norms and imposed ethics Study of mystical experiences: Study of mystical experiences W. James: Study of religious experiences and its trasformative power C.G. Jung: the unconscious as the locus of mystical experience A. Maslow : peak experiences Transpersonal psychology : K. Wilber, C. Tart Positive psychology Spiritual psychology The study of Self: The study of Self Who am I? What remains unchanged in me when all attributions are pealed off? Western view based on ordinary states of consciousness: consciousness is intentional; can only be conscious of something (O); we are always focused on some objects. (Brentano) Self: percipient subject. Exceptions:Transcendental ego (Kant, Husserl, Sartre); transcendental centre of awareness (Erikson) The study of Self: The study of Self Eastern view based on altered states of consciousness (trance, meditation, turiya, samadhi, nirvana, as well as deep sleep): beyond-experience: unity of the knower and the known , subject and object. Self is both subject and object Consciousness as all-pervading intelligence (God, Divine); Self as the being/embodiment of that consciousness; Ego as limited and distorted perception of the Self. Example: Yoga Sutras, Patanjali (Trans. Taimini, 1961):: Example: Yoga Sutras, Patanjali (Trans. Taimini, 1961): 1:2 Yoga is the inhibition of the modifications of the mind 1:3 Then the Seer is established in his own essential and fundamental nature. 1:4 In other states there is assimilation (of the Seer) with the modifications (of the mind). What is transcended : What is transcended Ego and the identifications of the ego with the objects of its perception. Ego: uses 'filtering organs', such as mind and senses together with emotion that colours consciousness into different forms (thoughts and meanings, perceptions and experiences). When ego is dropped, what remains is pure consciousness. Roland: extended self in Eastern cultures.: Roland: extended self in Eastern cultures. I-self (west) - ---we-self (east) - ---expansion toward outward to include both nature and the divine to all-self. Collective cultures: interchange through permeable ego boundaries. Is the loss of ego possible ?: Is the loss of ego possible ? C. G. Jung: the loss of ego implies falling unconscious Cognitive capacity needed for ego transcendence Practice and guidance Different introspective styles and their main common characteristics: Different introspective styles and their main common characteristics Different introspective styles Reflection Speculation Rumination Contemplation/ meditation Common characteristics Being attached to the thought; letting associations determine further direction of the thought; inner dialogue and analysis of the past, future and fantasy Attention to ONE thought The luminous vision of a mystic: The luminous vision of a mystic Mystical state of being: ideal human condition; characterised with qualities such as contentment, peacefulness, joy, lucidity, selfless action, etc. Collins (1991): Stages of a mystical transformation: Awakening experience; Renunciation and purgation; Illumination; Transformed state that leads to action Renunciation and purgation: Renunciation and purgation eg: Dark night of the Soul Ascetism/austerity or creative self-frustration: challenge our habits or patterns. Austerity generates psychic energy that can be used to power the process of self-transformation. The goal of austere practices is to be a tool in replacement of automatic patterns with mindful living (Feuerstein, Effort and Grace). Relative exclusiveness of mystical path: Relative exclusiveness of mystical path Freeing a person from his/her rigid ego encapsulation is only beneficial if the shadow or unconscious dimension of one’s nature is also known and controlled. Mystic: holly craziness? Clear distinction between pathological states and mystical states. Jfr William James: The pre-rational and post-rational states of awareness. Illumination: Illumination 'effortless being' I am That Distinction between unifying experience between object of meditation and meditator, and stil distinctive dual experience, which is also a level of transcendence of identity, but stil not absolute transcendence of the Object (eg.Christ lives in me) Transformed state that leads to action: Transformed state that leads to action Non- intentional action Action in the world is not lead by personal conscious or subconscious intentions (ego gratification, name, fame, personal complexes that need to be healed through acknowledgement, ideological believes, etc). consciousness do not change, but the focus of awareness and consequently the lifeworld selfless action Examples: Examples Meister Eckhart ;Rumi; Ramana Maharishi; Paramahamsa Yogananda; Ramakrishna; Shri Arubindo and The Mother; Baba Muktananda; Mor Theresa; Omram Mikhael Aivanov Contemporary Ammachi; GuruMay Mystic and Poet: Rumi: Mystic and Poet: Rumi Your thinking is like a camel driver and you are the camel: it drives you in every direction under its bitter control. Reason is powerless in the expression of Love. Love alone is capable of revealing the truth of Love and being a Lover. The way of our prophets is the way of Truth. If you want to live, die in Love; die in Love if you want to remain alive. http://www.khamush.com/poems.html Powerfull selfrealised beingsand saints: Powerfull selfrealised beingsand saints Children, you can find the secret of bliss when you think of the nature of the Self. The waves of the mind will subside. Everything is there in you already (Ammachi). The greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self-rejection….Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the 'Beloved.' Being the Beloved expresses the core truth of our existence (Mother Theresa). Research implications: Research implications Views of the limits and perfectibility of human nature science and its methodologies grounded in Western thought Can we ever comprehend mystical experiences through abstract categories of research? The very essence of mystical experiences lies in the transcendence of all mental (and thus also scholarly) categories.