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Mystical experiance.A mystical experience is a type of religious experience. It is when a person has an experience pf having

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Examine the concept of a mystical experience. A mystical experience is a type of religious experience. It is when a person has an experience pf having apprehended an ultimate reality, which is almost impossible to express using normal language. It is beyond regular experience, a normal experience such as falling down is repeatable and easy to recall, the person who experience it can simply repeat the circumstances which led up to the event but a religious experience is differently; it can not be repeated, once it happens it is extremely unlikely to reoccur. A mystical experience may involve gaining insight into the divine. Those who have experienced these mystical experiences realise that that the everyday world is not the whole reality. Usually the experience involves some sense of unity, of all things as a whole. The person may feel immersed in the divine, they fell as a drop in an ocean a tiny part of the whole of creation; they loose a sense of individuality and personal identity. The experience also has feeling of freedom from the limitations of time, space and the human ego, which is 'switched off' during an experience. Mysticism is seen as the closest that a human being can be to the divine whilst being fixed in this reality. ...read more.


There are always problems with deciding whether a subjective experience is valid because it cannot be tested. The experience is individual and therefore cannot be verified by a witness as with a regular ordinary experience, this creates problems, the reliability of the subject is questioned and authenticated others cannot back it up. Religious experiences are not exclusive to any one religion. The religious experience is experience by many cultures and reported in the contexts of many different religions. Religious experience is often the heart of these traditions. The Christian church assesses the experience and considers whether it promotes the positive aspects of Christianity and accords with orthodox teaching agreeing with known truths or whether it is harmful and divisive. ST Teresa of Avila thought that genuine mystical experience would conform to church teaching and result in an increase in charity and humility. Some argue that a religious experience is a self-authenticating experience but sometimes a person can be certain and still very wrong. The only conclusive way to disprove a religious experience is if it can also be shown that God does not exist, show that the experiences are brought about through natural mechanisms, which are known to systematically cause false belief and delusive experiences or, good reason for thinking that the perpetual claims based on the experiences are inconsistent. ...read more.


Religious experience is sometimes seen to come very close to the realm of psychological experience. Freud thought that religious experience was a reaction to a hostile world. A person has psychological needs. We feel helpless and so seek a father figure. But even if this is the case it need not negate religious experience. How would a person recognise God, how does a Christian for example know they are meeting God the creator. According to Anselm God is a being than "whom non greater can be conceived". How could he be recognised. Drugs and alcohol can be used to create the effect of a religious experience. In the Varieties of religious experience James referred to use of drugs and said it crated a similar effect to a religious experience. Religious experience is a bit like emotion it is a personal response that means it can not be empirically tested, but many people accept that emotions are real, they see and feel love but it can not be tested are religious experiences not the same for the subject who feels it and experiences it like an emotion just because it can not be tested it does not disprove it. Love is a good example of emotion it is felt by many and it binds people together but it cannot be tested and regulated can you tell people that love is not real, many would question this idea. ...read more.

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