Mystical Encounters with the Natural World: Experiences and Explanations

Mystical Encounters with the Natural World: Experiences and Explanations
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Mind beyond the brain: Paul Marshall is an independent scholar with research interests in the philosophy and psychology of religion, the philosophy of mind, and the study of science and religion. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.

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Ebook This title is available as an ebook. To purchase, visit your preferred ebook provider. Oxford Scholarship Online This book is available as part of Oxford Scholarship Online - view abstracts and keywords at book and chapter level. Mystical Encounters with the Natural World Experiences and Explanations Paul Marshall The first modern study of mystical experiences of the natural world and their explanation Offers a distinctive idealist perspective on the essential nature of these experiences Draws upon numerous first-person accounts, as well as providing historical coverage of the theme.

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Natural Law Anver M. Emon, Matthew Levering, and David Novak. Faithful Revolution Tricia Colleen Bruce. The "Grammar" of Sacrifice Naphtali S. Many have attempted to give alternative accounts of such experiences that do not involve acceptance of the existence of any supernatural entities or reality.

Naturalism is an approach to religious experiences which explains them as being the result of natural forces. It accounts for such phenomena in natural terms without recourse to anything that is beyond the physical realm.

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In general, all reality and all experiences can be accounted for fully explained in terms of physical processes. There are different explanations for the origin and nature of religious experiences. What they have in common is the rejection of a supernatural source or object and the attempt to offer a full explanation in empirically verifiable terms. Psychological explanations have been offered by several theoreticians, including Sigmund Freud.

Paul Marshall, Mystical Encounters with the Natural World: Experiences and Explanations

Sociological explanations have also been developed by several other scientists, such as Emil Durkheim. What they have in common is the refusal to accept religious experiences as being truthful, accurate, or believable in so far as the existence of any supernatural reality. One of the principle reasons for withholding acceptance of the reports is that the experiences can not be verified and what they report encountering can not be verified empirically.

Is this mystical religious experience veridical? Is it a report which others can accept as being Correct?

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The present study is devoted to mystical experiences of the natural world and the disparate ways in which they have been explained. Typically, these so-called. Some experiences of the natural world bring a sense of unity, relatively neglected type of mystical experience, and critiques explanations that.

Suppose we accept that h umans should accept religious experiences as being veridical UNLESS there exists positive grounds for thinking otherwise, for thinking that the reports are not truthful, accurate or correct. Some do claim that there are positive grounds for rejecting the reports of such experiences, i. In response to these observations some offer that perhaps the human being must be in an altered state of consciousness in order to have the experience of the greater supernatural reality which the ordinary consciousness can not contain or reach.

Sexual abstinence may be a necessary but not a sufficient condition for having such an encounter. Broad notes that reports or descriptions of these religious experiences involve concepts and beliefs that are: Broad notes that these features are also true of scientific concepts and beliefs and that they have and do change in time.

Here is a skeptical view of the mystical experiences that offers a series of explanations of what may induce such experiences and presents then as hallucinations of a particular nature. It turns out that it is now possible to actually replicate mystical experiences with a variety of methods, even under strict laboratory conditions. Perhaps mystical experiences are not pure delusions or illusions.

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Perhaps religious experiences are only encountered by those who have an ability to experience them. Perhaps there are people, even many people, who are "deaf" to such experiences. Wallace Matson maintains that i f the subject of a religious experience is to be believed there are certain requirements to be met. Any perception of an individual should be publicly confirmed. No private experience can establish the existence of God.

You would first need to establish the existence of God by other means on order to confirm that what was experienced was both God and True. In relation to mystical experiences, consider that: Their claims can not be accepted without evidence. But you can not have evidence without a prior belief in God. To confirm what any subject is experiencing there must be "checkable" statements.

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Circumstances and consequences II. Academic Skip to main content. It has been described by Rudolph Otto as involving an experience characterized as being tremendum et fascinans. This is the first detailed study of these intriguing phenomena. Trapnell - - Philosophy and Theology 7 4: The M YSTICAL experience is a particular variety of religious experience in which the subject is transformed and reports the loss of individuality, the oneness of all reality, union with the deity, the unity of the subject of the experience with the object of the experience.

Consider a blind person who hears what sighted persons are reporting is present but the blind person can not see them.