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Definition of Mysticism. It is impossible to accept mystical experiences because of the lack of evidence - Evaluate this view

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Mysticism Essay Q4: 1. Explain what is meant by the term ?Mysticism?, giving appropriate examples to illustrate your answer 1. ?It is impossible to accept mystical experiences because of the lack of evidence? - Evaluate this view a) Mysticism simply refers to the spirituality of the direct experience of God, with those who claim to have had mystical experiences to be at one with the transcendent God, not distinct but intertwined and received directly, with voices or visions being shown to them. The word ?Mystic? itself derives from the greek word meaning ?close?, of which Dr. Margaret Smith believes is significantly connected to mysticism, stating that it implies secrecy and the closing of the mind to earthly distractions in receiving the divine knowledge. Christianity and mysticism is all about the transforming union between man and God, as Jesus proclaimed ?I and the father are one?, the christian mystic is to become at one with Christ. ...read more.


A famous example of a Mystical experience, in which we can identify James? ways above, is the case of Saint Marie-Bernarde Soubirous, a French peasant girl who caused great controversy when she claimed to have seen the virgin Mary 18 times in Lourdes, France. Her life wasn?t the most fortunate, having been born into squalor with health problems such as Asthma, working extremely hard throughout her life and dying at the young age of 35. At 14, however, while working at Massabielle with her sister she saw an apparition, finding it ?hard to describe? afterwards, which clearly shows signs of Ineffability. On the sixteenth time experiencing the mysticism we see signs of Noetic quality, when she received the name ?Immaculate conception? (of which she knew nothing about due to the fact she was illiterate and uneducated), but on consulting her priest, he instantly knew what it meant. ...read more.


Some may also argue that a person may become so emotionally and psychologically engrossed in their imagination that they convince themselves that what might not be real is real. Similarly there are the effects of drugs and alcohol which could cause chemical imbalances in the brain, resulting in a wide range of delusional thoughts and over exaggerations that could cause the individual (who may already hold strong religious beliefs) to convince themselves that what they believe happened is real, when in actual fact, it is merely the substances getting the better of you. Of course, there is always the possibility of the person faking a religious experience to make religious, or any other type of gains in their favor. This is why even some important religious figures remain skeptical of all claims, not wanting to be taken advantage of. Some oppose this, believing that those who claim to have experienced Mysticism should be believed until there is strong evidence against them, and that following experiences the believers show a much higher level of commitment to their Faith and practicing religion. ...read more.

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