Mysticism Essay, Research Paper

In this article I would like to bring the findings of my somewhat unusual but

increasingly accepted field ? mysticism? to the discussion, for I think they

may offer some helpful insights about consciousness. Why? When a biologist seeks

to understand a complex phenomenon, one key strategy is to look to at it in its

simplest form. Probably the most famous is the humble bacterium E. coli. Its

simple gene structure has allowed us to understand much of the gene functioning

of complex species. Similarly many biologists have turned to the ?memory? of

the simple sea slug to understand our own more kaleidoscopic memory. Freud and

Durkheim both used totemism, which they construed as thesimplest form of

religion, to understand the complexities of religious life.1 The methodological

principle is: to understand something complex turn to its simple forms. Mystical

experiences may represent just such a simple form of human consciousness.

Usually our minds are an enormously complex stew of thoughts, feelings,

sensations, wants, snatches of song, pains, drives, daydreams and, of course,

consciousness itself more or less aware of it all. To understand consciousness

in itself, the obvious thing would be to clear away as much of this internal

detritus and noise as possible. It turns out that mystics seem to be doing

precisely that. The technique that most mystics use is some form of meditation

or contemplation. These are procedures that, often by recycling a mental

subroutine,2 systematically reduce mental activity. During meditation, one

begins to slow down the thinking process, and have fewer or less intense

thoughts. One?s thoughts become as if more distant, vague, or less

preoccupying; one stops paying as much attention to bodily sensations; one has

fewer or less intense fantasies and daydreams. Thus by reducing the intensity or

compelling quality of outward perception and inward thoughts, one may come to a

time of greater stillness. Ultimately one may become utterly silent inside, as

though in a gap between thoughts, where one becomes completely perception- and

thought-free. One neither thinks nor perceives any mental or sensory content.

Yet, despite this suspension of content, one emerges from such events confident

that one had remained awake inside, fully conscious. This experience, which has

been called the pure consciousness event, or PCE, has been identified in

virtually every tradition. Though PCEs typically happen to any single individual

only occasionally, they are quite regular for some practitioners.3 The pure

consciousness event may be defined as a wakeful but contentless

(non-intentional) consciousness. These PCEs, encounters with consciousness

devoid of intentional content, may be just the least complex encounter with

awareness per se that we students of consciousness seek. The PCE may serve, in

short, as the E coli of consciousness studies.4 But the story does not stop

here. Regular and long-term meditation, according to many traditions, leads to

advanced experiences, known in general as ?enlightenment?. Their

discriminating feature is a deep shift in epistemological structure: the

experienced relationship between the self and one?s perceptual objects changes

profoundly. In many people this new structure becomes permanent.5 These

long-term shifts in epistemological structure often take the form of two quantum

leaps in experience; typically they develop sequentially.6 The first is an

experience of a permanent interior stillness, even while engaged in thought and

activity ? one remains aware of one?s own awareness while simultaneously

remaining conscious of thoughts, sensations and actions. Because of its

phenomenological dualism ? a heightened cognizance of awareness itself plus a

consciousness of thoughts and objects ? I call it the dualistic mystical state

(DMS). The second shift is described as a perceived unity of one?s own

awareness per se with the objects around one, an immediate sense of a

quasi-physical unity between self, objects and other people. States akin to this

have been called ?extrovertive-? or sometimes ?nature-? mysticism; but I

prefer to call it the unitive mystical state, UMS.7 Like the PCE, these latter

two may serve as fertile fields for students of consciousness to plough. To

understand them, I want to introduce the idea of the relative intensity of a

thought or desire. Some desires have a high relative intensity. Let?s say I am

walking across the street when I see a huge truck hurtling at me. Virtually 100%

of my attention is taken up with the truck, the fear, and getting out of the

way. It is virtually impossible for me to think about anything else at that

time. I don?t even consider keeping my suit clean, how my hair might look, the

discomfort in my tummy, or the classes I will teach tomorrow. The fear and

running are utterly intense, we might say, consuming nearly 100% of my

attention. That evening, I come home starved, and rush to the fridge. I may be

civil to my kids and wife, but I have very little patience. My desire for food

is very intense, for it preoccupies most of my consciousness, but it consumes

less of my attention than did jumping away from the truck. Some thoughts consume

very little of my attention. Driving to work the next day, for example, I might

ruminate about my classes, remember the near miss with the truck, half hear the

news on the radio, and think about getting that noise in the car fixed ?

nearly all at once. None of these thoughts or desires is very intense, for none

has a strong emotional cathexis that draws me fully into it. My attention can

flow in and out of any of them, or the traffic ahead, effortlessly. In short the

intensity of a thought or desire tends to increase the amount of my

consciousness that is taken up with that thought or feeling. Conversely, the

thought?s intensity tends to lessen when I am able to retain more attention

for other issues, and for my wider perspective. Now, as I understand them,

advanced mystical experiences result from the combination of regular PCEs plus a

minimization of the relative intensity of emotions and thoughts. That is, over

time one decreases the compulsive or intense cathexis of all of one?s desires.

The de-intensifying of emotional attachments means that, over the years, one?s

attention is progressively available to sense its own quiet interior character

more and more fully, until eventually one is able to effortlessly maintain a

subtle cognizance of one?s own awareness simultaneously with thinking about

and responding to the world: a reduction in the relative intensity of all of

one?s thoughts and desires. This state of being cognizant of one?s own inner

awareness while simultaneously maintaining the ability to think and talk about

that consciousness offers students of consciousness a unique situation. For

these subjects may be both unusually cognizant of features or patterns of their

own awareness and also able to describe them to us: a kind of ongoing microscope

on human consciousness. In short, while not as phenomenologically simple as PCEs,

these experiences may provide us with highly useful reports about the character

of human awareness. Several additional preliminary matters: First, perforce we

will be drawing conclusions based on the experiences of a very few people. Most

of us haven?t had any experiences like the ones I will describe, and some may

sound pretty strange. Yet we often do generalize from the unusual to the

general. Just think how much we have concluded about consciousness from a very

few: epileptics, people with unusual skull accidents or brain injuries, the man

who mistook his wife for a hat, etc. From the pathology of a very few we have

learned a great deal about the relationship of one side of the brain to the

other, of two kinds of knowing, of information storage and retrieval, of impulse

control, etc. Indeed it is common practice to take data about a few unusual

individuals and generalize it to the many. Here again we are studying the data

of a few. But rather than the pathological, we will be studying people ?

Sakyamuni Buddha, Teresa of Avila, Ramana Maharshi, etc. ? who are not

?pathological? but unusually self-actualized. Should we not be as willing to

learn from the experiences of the unusually healthy as we are to learn from the

unusually diseased? The second matter is definitional: What do we mean by

mysticism? What is generally known as mysticism is often said to have two

strands, which are traditionally distinguished as apophatic and kataphatic

mysticism, oriented respectively towards emptying or the imagistically filling.

These two are generally described in terms that are without or with sensory

language. The psychologist Roland Fischer has distinguished a similar pairing as

trophotropic and ergotropic, experiences that phenomenologically involve

inactivity or activity. Kataphatic or imagistic mysticism involves

hallucinations, visions, auditions or even a sensory-like smell or taste; it

thus involves activity and is ergotropic. Apophatic mystical experiences are

devoid of such sensory-like content, and are thus trophotropic. When they use

non-sensory, non imagistic language,8 authors like Eckhart, Dogen, al-Hallaj,

Bernadette Roberts and Shankara are all thus apophatic mystics. Because visions

and other ergotropic experiences are not the simple experiences of consciousness

that we require, I will focus my attentions exclusively on the quieter apophatic

forms. Finally, I want to emphasize that phenomenology is not science. When we

describe these experiences, we do not gain hard scientific proof thereby. There

can be many ways to explain an unusual experience: one might say it was the

result of what one ate for dinner, a faulty memory, psycho-somatic processes, a

quantum microtubule collapse, or an encounter with Ultimate Truth.* Without

further argumentation, phenomenology cannot serve as the sole basis for any

theory of reality. It may be taken only as a finger, pointing in some direction,

rather than conclusive evidence for or against a particular thesis. This is how

I see my role in this paper. I will simply describe mystical experiences as

accurately as I can, and say where I see their fingers pointing. That is, I will

attempt to coax metaphysical hypotheses out of these phenomenological

descriptions. First-person reports, especially those that are about unusual

experiences are, of course, notoriously unreliable. When an epileptic says that

?the table seemed wavy?, or when a man asserts that his wife is a ?hat?,

these reports are not taken as data about the world, but about their condition.9

One may want to assert that a mystic?s report should be regarded similarly.

But we must be careful here, for first-person reports can also be veridical or

even sources of wisdom. For example, in the kingdom of the blind, the

?first-person? report of a sighted fellow that ?the mountain peak near the

village is in the shape of five fingers? may be regarded as the rantings of a

lunatic or as information about the mountains. Similarly, when Woodward and

Bernstein spoke with the Watergate informant ?Deep Throat?, they could have

taken his utterances as paranoid ramblings, data about his developing psychosis,

or as information about the Nixon administration. How can we determine which way

to regard the unusual first-person reports of the mystics? If we were Woodward

and Bernstein, how would we decide? Common sense seems a good place to begin. We

might ask, does Deep Throat, or the mystics in our case, seem unconnected or

delusional? I believe most of us would say no. In fact many regard Meister

Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, the authors of the Upanishads, and others who tell us

of such experiences as unusually wise. Certainly they do not seem utterly

unhinged, physically ill, etc. Secondly, we might ask, do others in a situation

similar to Deep Throat?s describe things similarly? In our case, assuming

reasonable cultural differences in language and detail, do mystics from around

the world describe things largely similarly? Here again the answer is yes. We

shall find a reasonable amount of similarity among their descriptions, a family

resemblance, They tend to confirm each others reports. Finally, is there other

confirming evidence for our Deep Throats? claims? Here the information is not

in: just how consciousness works, relates to the world or the brain, is anything

but established. In sum, it makes sense to regard the mystics? unusual reports

about the world as more like those of a Deep Throat than those of an epileptic.

But also, again as with Deep Throat, the information we can glean from them is

not, by itself, reliable enough to base a theory of consciousness solely on it.

It will take the hard-working Woodwards and Bernsteins in the scientific and

philosophical trenches to verify or deny the suggestions of our Deep Throats.

Three Mystical Phenomena and their Implications Pure consciousness events Let me

begin by offering several reports of the first of the mystical phenomena I

mentioned above, the pure consciousness event (PCE). First, from Christian

mystical literature,10 St. Teresa of Avila writes of what she calls the

?orison of union?: During the short time the union lasts, she is deprived of

every feeling, and even if she would, she could not think of any single thing. .

. She is utterly dead to the things of the world . . . I do not even know

whether in this state she has enough life left to breathe. It seems to me she

has not; or at least that if she does breathe, she is unaware of it. . . The

natural action of all her faculties [are suspended]. She neither sees, hears,

nor understands (James, 1902/1983, p. 409).11 Several key features of this

experience jump out. First, Teresa tells us that one reaches this ?orison of

unity? by gradually reducing thought and understanding, eventually becoming

?utterly dead? to things, encountering neither sensation, thought nor

perceptions. One becomes as simple as possible. Eventually one stops thinking

altogether, not able to ?think of any single thing . . . arresting the use of

her understanding . . . utterly dead to the things of the world?. And yet, she

clearly implies, one remains awake.12 Meister Eckhart describes something

similar as the gezucken, rapture, of St. Paul, his archetype of a transient

mystical experience: . . . the more completely you are able to draw in your

powers to a unity and forget all those things and their images which you have

absorbed, and the further you can get from creatures and their images, the

nearer you are to this and the readier to receive it. If only you could suddenly

be unaware of all things, then you could pass into an oblivion of your own body

as St Paul did, . . . In this case . . . memory no longer functioned, nor

understanding, nor the senses, nor the powers that should function so as to

govern and grace the body . . . In this way a man should flee his senses, turn

his powers inward and sink into an oblivion of all things and himself (Walshe,

1982, p. 7). Like St. Teresa, Eckhart specifically asserts the absence of

sensory content (?nor the senses?), as well as mental objects (?devoid

of? memory, understanding, senses, etc.). One becomes oblivious of one?s

?own body? and ?all things?. In short one becomes ?unaware of all

things?, i.e. devoid of all mental and sensory content. The absence of thought

and sensation is repeated in the following passage from the Upanishads when

describing the state these early Hindu texts call turiya, the ?fourth?.

Verily when a knower has restrained his mind from the external, and the

breathing spirit (prana) has put to rest objects of sense, thereupon let him

continue void of conceptions. Since the living individual (jiva) who is named

?breathing spirit? has arisen here from what is not breathing spirit,

therefore, verily, let the breathing spirit restrain his breathing spirit in

what is called the fourth condition (turiya) ? Maitri Upanishad 6:19 (Hume,

1931, p. 436). Here again one has ?put to rest objects of sense?, i.e.

gradually laid aside all sensations, and continued ?void of conceptions?,

i.e. not thinking. And yet the Upanishads are insistent that one remains

conscious, indeed becomes nothing but consciousness itself. The consciousness

that one reaches in turiya comes to be known in Samkhya philosophy as ?purusha?,

often translated as awareness or consciousness itself, that which

?illuminates? or ?witnesses? thoughts, feelings, and actions.13 The

purusha or awareness that one reaches during this experience is described as

?sheer contentless presence (sasksitva) . . . that is nonintentional?

(Larson, 1979, p. 77). Here is a report from the present author?s own

twenty-eight year practice of neo-Advaitan (Hindu-derived) Transcendental

Meditation, which suggests the persistence of consciousness throughout such

events. Sometimes during meditation my thoughts drift away entirely, and I gain

a state I would describe as simply being awake. I?m not thinking about

anything. I?m not particularly aware of any sensations, I?m not aware of

being absorbed in anything in particular, and yet I am quite certain (after the

fact) that I haven?t been asleep. During it I am simply awake or simply

present. It is odd to describe such an event as being awake or being present,

for those terms generally connote an awareness of something or other. But in

this experience there is no particular or identifiable object of which I am

aware. Yet I am driven to say I am awake for two reasons. First, I emerge with a

quiet, intuited certainty that I was continually present, that there was an

unbroken continuity of experience or of consciousness throughout the meditation

period, even if there seemed to have been periods from which I had no particular

memories. I just know that there was some sort of continuity of myself (however

we can define that) throughout.14 In Buddhism such Pure Consciousness Events are

called by several names: nirodhasamapatti, or cessation meditation;

samjnavedayitanirodha, the cessation of sensation and conceptualization; sunyata,

emptiness; or most famously, samadhi, meditation without content (cf. Griffiths,

1990). What is most fascinating about traditional Buddhist explorations of this

state is that despite the fact that one is said to be utterly devoid of content,

according to Yogacara Buddhist theorists one?s consciousness is said to

persist as ?some form of contentless and attributeless consciousness? (Griffiths,

1990, p. 83). That is, despite the fact that one is not aware of any specific

content or thought, ?something persists? in this contentlessness, and that

is consciousness itself: ?I, though abiding in emptiness, am now abiding in

the fullness thereof? (Nagao, 1978, p. 67). When discussing this possibility

that one may abide in the ?fulness? of ?emptiness?, Vasubandu states: It

is perceived as it really is that, when anything does not exist in something,

the latter is empty with regard to the former; and further it is understood as

it really is that, when, in this place something remains, it exists here as a

real existent.15 In sum, the PCE may be defined as a wakeful but contentless

(non-intentional) experience. Though one remains awake and alert, emerging with

the clear sense of having had ?an unbroken continuity of experience?, one

neither thinks, nor perceives nor acts. W.T. Stace (1960): Suppose then that we

obliterate from consciousness all objects physical or mental. When the self is

not engaged in apprehending objects it becomes aware of itself. The self itself

emerges. The self, however, when stripped of all psychological contents or

objects, is not another thing, or substance, distinct from its contents. It is

the bare unity of the manifold of consciousness from which the manifold itself

has been obliterated (p. 86). Now what implications can we draw from the pure

consciousness event about the nature of human consciousness? 1. We have a

pattern here that is seen across cultures and eras. This, in combination with

the reports offered in The Problem of Pure Consciousness, suggests that the

phenomenon is not an artifact of any one culture but is something closer to an

experience that is reasonably common and available in a variety of cultural

contexts.16 2. Thomas Clark and other defenders of functionalism have suggested

that consciousness is identical to certain of our information-bearing and

behaviour- controlling functions, even going so far as to define it thus (Clark,

1995, p. 241). Others have suggested that consciousness is an artifact or an

epiphenomenon of perception, action and thought, and that it arises only as a

concomitant of these phenomena. Our accounts tend to disconfirm this view, which

is generally argued on a priori grounds. Rather they suggest that consciousness

does persist even when one has no perception, thought or evaluation. This

suggests that consciousness should not be defined as merely an epiphenomenon of

perception, an evaluative mechanism, or an arbiter of perceptual functions, but

rather as something that exists independently of them. 3. Some have suggested

that if we can understand how we can tie together perceptions and thoughts ?

the so called binding problem ? we will ipso facto understand consciousness.17

Now, how we bind together perceptions is a very interesting question for

cognitive psychology, neurobiology and philosophy of mind. But even if we

understand how we do tie together perceptions, we will not necessarily

understand the phenomenon of consciousness per se thereby, for according to

these mystical accounts, it is more fundamental than a mere binding function.18

These reports suggest that binding is something done by or for consciousness,

not something that creates consciousness.19 4. Our evidence suggests that we

should conceptually and linguistically differentiate merely being aware or awake

from its functional activities. Accordingly, I propose to use the terms as

follows: (i) ?awareness? and ?consciousness? for that facet of

consciousness which is aware within itself and which may persist even without

intentional content; (ii) ?awareness of? and 1consciousness of? to refer

to that feature of experience which is cognizant when we are intentionally aware

of something; and (iii) ?pure awareness? and ?pure consciousness? to

refer to awareness without intentional content.20 5. Reports of pure

consciousness suggest that, despite the absence of mental content, the subjects

were somehow aware that they remained aware throughout the period of the PCE .

Apparently they sensed a continuity of awareness through past and present. If

they did, even though there was no content, then they must have somehow directly

recalled that they had been aware despite the absence of remembered content.21

This implies human awareness has the ability to tie itself together and to know

intuitively that it has persisted.22 We may want to say that being conscious

seems to entail this sort of direct self-recollection, a presence to oneself

that is distinct from the kind of presence we have to perceptions and other

intentional content. In this sense, the pure consciousness event tends to affirm

Bernard Lonergan?s distinction between our conscious presence to intentional

objects and our consciousness of consciousness itself: There is the presence of

the object to the subject, of the spectacle to the spectator; there is also the

presence of the subject to himself, and this is not the presence of another

object dividing his attention, of another spectacle distracting the spectator;

it is presence in, as it were, another dimension, presence concomitant and

correlative and opposite to the presence of the object. Objects are present by

being attended to but subjects are present as subjects, not by being attended

to, but by attending. As the parade of objects marches by, spectators do not

have to slip into the parade to be present to themselves; they have to be

present to themselves for anything to be present to them (Lonergan, 1967, p.

226, quoted in McCarthy, 1990, p. 234). In sum, the PCE militates towards a

distinction between consciousness or awareness per se and its usual binding,

relational and culturally-trained processes. It suggests that consciousness is

more than its embodied activities. The dualistic mystical state, the peculiar

?oceanic feeling? The second mystical phenomenon bears a dualistic pattern.

Let us look at a few reports. The first comes from the autobiography of a living

American mystic, Bernadette Roberts, middle-aged ex-nun, mother, housewife, and

author of The Experience of No-Self. She had been in the practice of meditating

in a nearby monastery, she tells us, and had often had the experience of

complete silence we described above. Previously such experiences had sparked

fear in her, perhaps a fear of never returning. But on this particular

afternoon, as her meditation was ending, once again there was a pervasive

silence and once again I waited for the onset of fear to break it up. But this

time the fear never came. . . . Within, all was still, silent and motionless. In

the stillness, I was not aware of the moment when the fear and tension of

waiting had left. Still I continued to wait for a movement not of myself and

when no movement came, I simply remained in a great stillness (Roberts, 1984, p.

20). She became silent inside but, to her surprise, did not emerge from that

silence. She stood up and walked out of her chapel, ?like a feather floats in

the wind?, while her silence continued unabated. No temporary meditative

experience, this was a permanent development of that quiet empty interior

silence.23 . . . Once outside, I fully expected to return to my ordinary

energies and thinking mind, but this day I had a difficult time because I was

continually falling back into the great silence (ibid.). She ?remained in a

great stillness?, driving down the road, talking on the phone, and cutting the

carrots for dinner. In fact that inner stillness was never again to leave her.

She experienced her interior silence as her original ?consciousness?, by

which I understand that she experienced it as devoid of the intellectual

self-reflection that generally accompanies experiences. She describes this new

state as a continuation of what she had encountered when she was in her

meditative silence (PCE); only here she remains fully cognizant of her own

silent awareness even while active. My own previously published autobiographical

report of such a state also associates a permanent interior silence with

consciousness: This began in 1972. I had been practicing meditation for about

three years, and had been on a meditation retreat for three and a half months.

Over several days something like a series of tubes (neuronal bundles?) running

down the back of my neck became, one by one, utterly quiet. This transformation

started on the left side and moved to the right. As each one became silent, all

the noise and activity inside these little tubes just ceased. There was a kind

of a click or a sort of ?zipping? sensation, as the nerve cells or whatever

it was became quiet.24 It was as if there had always been these very faint and

unnoticed activity, a background of static, so constant that I had never before

noticed it. When each of these tubes became silent, all that noise just ceased

entirely. I only recognized the interior noise or activity in these tubes in

comparison to the silence that now descended. One by one these tubes became

quiet, from left to right. It took a couple of weeks and finally the last one on

the right went zip, and that was it. It was over. After the last tube had

shifted to this new state, I discovered that a major though subtle shift had

occurred. From that moment forward, I was silent inside. I don?t mean I

didn?t think, but rather that the feeling inside of me was as if I was

entirely empty, a perfect vacuum.25 Since that time all of my thinking, my

sensations, my emotions, etc., have seemed not quite connected to me inside. It

was and is as if what was me, my consciousness itself, was (and is) now this

emptiness. The silence was now me, and the thoughts that have gone on inside

have not felt quite in contact with what is really ?me,? this empty

awareness. ?I? was now silent inside. My thinking has been as if on the

outside of this silence without quite contacting it: When I saw, felt or heard

something, that perception or thought has been seen by this silent

consciousness, but it has not been quite connected to this interior silence.

(Foreman, date??, p.??) In this experience the silence is explicitly associated

with awareness. It is experienced as ?the I?, ?what was really ?me?,

?my consciousness itself?. Somehow this area in the back of the head seems

to be associated with being aware; as it became silent, a sense of the self or

consciousness itself within became more articulated, and was now experienced as

silent. Like Roberts?, this shift to an interior silence was permanent.26 Thus

we should call it a state, not a transient experience. I call it the dualistic

mystical state (DMS). Descriptions of a DMS are surprisingly common in the

mystical literature. Teresa of Avila writes of such a dualistic state. Speaking

of herself in the third person, she writes: However numerous were her trials and

business worries, the essential part of her soul seemed never to move from [its]

dwelling place. So in a sense she felt that her soul was divided . . . Sometimes

she would say that it was doing nothing but enjoy[ing] itself in that quietness,

while she herself was left with all her trials and occupations so that she could

not keep it company (Peers, 1961, p. 211). She too describes an experience in

which, even while working and living, one also maintains a clear sense of the

interior awareness, a persisting sense of an unmoving silence at one?s core.

Meister Eckhart describes something similar, calling it the Birth of the Word In

the Soul. One of Eckhart?s clearest descriptions is from the treatise ?On

Detachment?. It analogizes the two aspects of man with a door and its hinge

pin. Like the outward boards of a door, the outward man moves, changes, and

acts. The inward man, like the hinge pin, does not move. He ? or it ?

remains uninvolved with activity and does not change at all. This, Eckhart

concludes, is the way one should really conduct a life: one should act yet

remain inwardly uninvolved. Here is the passage: And however much our Lady

lamented and whatever other things she said, she was always in her inmost heart

in immovable detachment. Let us take an analogy of this. A door opens and shuts

on a hinge. Now if I compare the outer boards of the door with the outward man,

I can compare the hinge with the inward man. When the door opens or closes the

outer boards move to and fro, but the hinge remains immovable in one place and

it is not changed at all as a result. So it is also here . . . (Clark and

Skinner, 1958, p. 167; emphasis mine). A hinge pin moves on the outside and

remains unmoving at its centre. To act and yet remain ?in her inmost heart in

immovable detachment? depicts precisely this dualistic life. One acts, yet at

an unchanging level within retains a sense of something unmoving. One lives a

dichotomous existence. Inside, she experiences an interior silence, outside she

acts. Elsewhere Eckhart describes what this is like: When the detached heart has

the highest aim, it must be towards the Nothing, because in this there is the

greatest receptivity. Take a parable from nature: if I want to write on a wax

tablet, then no matter how noble the thing is that is [already] written on the

tablet, I am none the less vexed because I cannot write on it. If I really want

to write I must delete everything that is written on the tablet, and the tablet

is never so suitable for writing as when absolutely nothing is written on it.

(ibid., p. 168.) The emphasis in this passage is on the achievement of emptiness

within. One has ?deleted? everything inside; one comes to a ?Nothing?

inside; the tablet is ?blank?. When one is truly empty within, comes to

?the Nothing,? what goes on ?outside? is of lesser significance, for it

is unconnected to the inner ?nothing?. Only once this interior ?Nothing?

is established does one truly begin ?acting rightly?. This is highly

reminiscent of the empty interior silence achieved by our other reporters. In

sum, in this DMS the subject has a sense, on a permanent or semi-permanent

basis, of being in touch with his or her own deepest awareness, experienced as a

silence at one?s core, even while remaining conscious of the external sensate

world. Awareness itself is experienced as silent and as separate from its

intentional content. This dualistic mystical state seems to evolve gradually

into another state. First this author?s own experience (cf. Forman, date??):

Over the years, this interior silence has slowly changed. Gradually,

imperceptibly, this sense of who I am, this silence inside, has grown as if

quasi-physically larger. In the beginning it just seemed like I was silent

inside. Then this sense of quietness has, as it were expanded to permeate my

whole body. Some years later, it came to seem no longer even limited to my own

body, but even wider, larger than my body. It?s such a peculiar thing to

describe! It?s as if who I am, my very consciousness itself, has become

bigger, wider, less localized. By now it?s as if I extend some distance beyond

my body, as if I?m many feet wide. What is me is now this expanse, this

silence, that spreads out. While retaining something of the dualistic character,

the sense of the self or awareness itself here seems to have become as if

quasi-physically expanded, extending beyond the felt borders of the usual

physical frame. It is important to note that exterior perception has not changed

here, only the sense of what consciousness itself is. That will change in the

next state. Freud called this a ?peculiar oceanic feeling?, which seems to

communicate both the ineffability and the expanded quality of such a sense of

consciousness.27 Yet at this point this sense of an inner expanse does not yet

seem to ?touch? or affect the perception of objects. Being in the middle of

an expanse is reminiscent of the well known passage from Walt Whitman. As if

having a conversation with his soul, he recalls, I mind how once we lay, such a

transparent summer morning, Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and

knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth.28 Here the sense of inner

silence, the peace, is experienced as part of the world. But note again that

Whitman does not suggest that the peace is within the world. The sense seems to

be that what one is, one?s awareness itself, is experienced as oceanic,

unbounded, expanded beyond the limits of the body. Here, I believe, a theist

might plausibly associate this silence, that seems to be both inside and yet

quasi-physically expansive, with God. If this is true, then St. Teresa?s

?Spiritual Marriage? is very much like this one. In it, one is permanently

?married? to the Lord, . . . the Lord appears in the centre of the soul . .

. He has been pleased to unite Himself with His creature in such a way that they

have become like two who cannot be separated from one another: even so He will

not separate Himself from her. [In other words, this sense of union is

permanent.] The soul remains all the time in [its] centre with its God. . . .

When we empty ourselves of all that is creature and rid ourselves of it for the

love of God, that same Lord will fill our souls with Himself (Peers, 1961, pp.

213?16). To be permanently filled within the soul with the Lord may be

phenomenologically described as experiencing a sense of some silent but

omnipresent, i.e. expansive, ?something? at one?s core. If so, this

becomes remarkably like the other experiences of expansiveness at one?s core

that we have seen before. (Once again, the expanse is not described as

permeating the world, as it might in the next ?state?.) This sense of an

interiority that is also an expanse is reconfirmed by her disciple St. John of

the Cross, who says, ?the soul then feels as if placed in a vast and profound

solitude, to which no created thing has access, in an immense and boundless

desert?. In sum, the interior silence at one?s core sometimes comes to be

experienced as expanded, as if being quasi-physically larger or more spacious

than one?s body. Now, what might this DMS suggest? It offers several

tantalizing hints about consciousness. 1. Human capacity includes more

epistemological modalities than is generally imagined. It is clear from these

reports that one can be self-reflexively cognizant of one?s own awareness more

immediately than usual. The contemplative life can lead one to the ability to be

aware of one?s own awareness per se on a permanent or semi-permanent basis.

This is not like taking on a new awareness. None of our sources describe this as

a sense of becoming a different person, or as a discontinuity with what they had

been. Rather the descriptions are that of becoming more immediately cognizant of

the awareness they had always enjoyed. 2. We suggested above that consciousness

should not be defined in terms of perceptions, content, or its other functions,

for in the DMS awareness continues even when perceptions do not. Here awareness

is not only not implicated with thoughts and perceptions, but is experienced as

entirely different in quality or character ? unchanging, without intrinsic

form ? than its content. It is also experienced as unconnected with its

intentional content. Even thoughts do ?not quite contact it?. Awareness

itself is experienced as still or silent, perceptions as active and changing.

Therefore instead of defining awareness in terms of its content, we should think

about awareness and its mental and sensory functions as two independent

phenomena or processes that somehow interact. 3. The sense of being expanded

beyond the borders of one?s own body, what Freud called the ?peculiar

oceanic feeling?, is a very peculiar sense indeed. Yet if we take these

wide-spread reports seriously, as I think every open-minded thinker should, what

do they suggest? The phenomenology, simply put, makes room for the suggestion

that consciousness is not limited to the body. Consciousness is encountered as

something more like a field than a localized point, a field that transcends the

body and yet somehow interacts with it.29 This mystical phenomenon tends to

confirm William James? hypothesis in his monumental Principles of Psychology

that awareness is field-like. This thought was picked up by Peter Fenwick and

Chris Clarke in the Mind and Brain Symposium in 1994, that the mind may be

non-localized, like a field, and that experience arises from some sort of

interplay between non-localized awareness and the localized brain.30 It is as if

these mystical reporters had an experience of just the sort of field-like

non-locality of awareness these theories hypothesize. The heretical suggestion

here is not that there is a ghost in the machine, but rather that there is a

ghost in and beyond the machine! And it is not a ghost that thinks, but a ghost

for which there is thinking and perception. 4. The experience of awareness as

some sort of field allows for the theory that consciousness is more than the

product of the materialistic interactions of brain cells, since it can be

understood in two ways. First it may mean that like a magnet, the brain

?produces? a field which extends well beyond its own physical borders. The

slow growth of the sense of an experience suggests this. Or, conversely, the

field-like experience may suggest that awareness somehow transcends individual

brain cells and perhaps the entire brain. This suggests a new way to think about

the role of the physical body. Brain cells may receive, guide, arbitrate, or

canalize an awareness which is somehow transcendental to them. The brain may be

more like a receiver or transformer for the field of awareness than its

generator: less like a magnet than like a TV receiver. The unitive mystical

state Our last commonly reported mystical experience is a sense of becoming

unified with external objects. It is nicely described by the German idealist

Malwida von Meysenburg: I was alone upon the seashore . . . I felt that I . . .

return[ed] from the solitude of individuation into the consciousness of unity

with all that is, [that I knelt] down as one that passes away, and [rose] up as

one imperishable. Earth, heaven, and sea resounded as in one vast world

encircling harmony. . . . I felt myself one with them . . . (von Meysenburg,

1900; emphasis mine). The keynote of Malwida?s experience is that in some sort

of immediate or intuitive manner she sensed that she was connected with the

things of the world, as if she was a part of them and they part of her. It is as

if the membranes of her experienced self became semi-permeable, and she flowed

in, with or perhaps through her environment. A similar experience is described

in Starbuck?s 19th century collection of experience reports. Here again we see

a sense of unity with the things of the world. . . . something in myself made me

feel myself a part of something bigger than I . . . I felt myself one with the

grass, the trees, birds, insects, everything in nature. I exulted in the mere

fact of existence, of being apart of it all, the drizzling rain, the shadows of

the clouds, the tree-trunks and so on. (Ref??) The author goes on to say that

after this experience he constantly sought these experiences of the unity

between self and object again, but they only came period-ically. This implies

that for him they were temporary phenomena, lasting only a few minutes or hours.

This sense of the unity between self and object, the absence of the usual lines

between things, is clearly reminiscent of Plotinus?s First Ennead (8:1). He

who has allowed the beauty of that world to penetrate his soul goes away no

longer a mere observer. For the object perceived and the perceiving soul are no

longer two things separated from one another, but the perceiving soul has [now]

within itself the perceived object (quoted in Otto, 1930, p. 67). Again we have

a lack of boundaries between consciousness and object. It is not clear from this

passage if Plotinus is describing a transient or a permanent experience. Yet

some reporters clearly tell us that such an experience can be constant. Though

it is often hard to distinguish biography from mythology, Buddhist descriptions

of Sakyamuni Buddha?s life clearly imply that his Nirvana was a permanent

change in epistemological structure. Similarly the Hindu term for an enlightened

one, jivanmukti (enlightened in active life), clearly suggests that this

experience can be permanent. Notice how different these reports are from our DMS

descriptions of an inner expanse. There we saw no change in the relationship

between the subject and the perceived world. Here ?the object perceived and

the perceiving soul? are now united. ?I felt myself one with the grass, the

trees, birds, insects, everything in nature.? One of the clearer descriptions

of this state comes from Krishnamurti, who wrote of his his first experience of

this sort, in August, 1922: On the first day while I was in that state and more

conscious of the things around me, I had the first most extraordinary

experience. There was a man mending the road; that man was myself; the pickax he

held was myself; the very stone which he was breaking up was a part of me; the

tender blade of grass was my very being, and the tree beside the man was myself.

I also could feel and think like the roadmender and I could feel the wind

passing through the tree, and the little ant on the blade of grass I could feel.

The birds, the dust and the very noise were a part of me. Just then there was a

car passing by at some distance; I was the driver, the engine, and the tires; as

the car went further away from me, I was going away from myself. I was in

everything, or rather everything was in me, inanimate and animate, the mountain,

the worm and all breathing things. All day long I remained in this happy

condition. (Ref??) Perhaps the most unmistakable assertion that these shifts can

be permanent comes from Bernadette Roberts. Sometime after her initial

transformation, she had what is clearly a development on her earlier dualistic

sense of an expanded consciousness. She writes: I was standing on [a] windy

hillside looking down over the ocean when a seagull came into view, gliding,

dipping, playing with the wind. I watched it as I?d never watched anything

before in my life. I almost seemed to be mesmerized; it was as if I was watching

myself flying, for there was not the usual division between us. Yet, something

more was there than just a lack of separateness, ?something? truly beautiful

and unknowable. Finally I turned my eyes to the pine-covered hills behind the

monastery and still, there was no division, only something ?there? that was

flowing with and through every vista and particular object of vision. . . . What

I had [originally] taken as a trick of the mind was to become a permanent way of

seeing and knowing (Roberts, 1984, p. 30; italics mine). She describes this

?something there? that flowed with and through everything, including her own

self, as ?that into which all separateness dissolves.? She concludes with an

emphatic assertion: ?I was never to revert back to the usual relative way of

seeing separateness or individuality.? Again we have a state, not a transient

episode. We could multiply these examples endlessly. This unitive mystical state

(UMS), either temporary or permanent, is a very common mystical phenomenon. It

is clearly an evolution of the previous sense. First one continues to sense that

one?s awareness is expansive, field-like, and that the self is experienced as

larger, expanded beyond the usual boundaries. One feels oneself to be ?a part

of something bigger?, which is to say, senses a lack of borders or a

commonality between oneself and this expanse. Indeed, in Bernadette Roberts?

case, her sense of ?something there? followed and was an evolution of her

initial dualistic mystical state. But now this perceived expansion of the self

is experienced as none other than, permeating with and through, the things of

the world. One?s boundaries become as if permeable, connected with the objects

of the world. The expanded self seems to be experienced as of the same

metaphysical level, or of the same ?stuff?, as the world. Despite the

grammatical peculiarities, ?what I am is the seagull, and what the seagull is,

I am?. From this fascinating phenomenon we may note several implications for

our understanding of consciousness. 1. The perceived ?spaciousness? of

awareness suggests, I said above, that consciousness is like a field. These

unitive experiences reaffirm this implication and suggest that such a field may

not only transcend our own bodily limits, but somehow may interpenetrate or

connect both self and external objects. This is of course strikingly parallel to

the physical energy fields and/or the quantum vacuum field said to reside at the

basis of matter, for these too are both immanent within and also transcendent to

any particular expression, a parallel that Fritjof Capra, Lawrence Domash and

others have been quick to point out. 2. The perception of unity holds out the

possibility that the field of awareness may be common to all objects, and

however implausibly, among all human beings as well. It indicates that my own

consciousness may be somehow connected to a tree, the stars, a drizzle or a

blade of grass and, paradoxically, to yours. Thus these unitive experiences

point towards something like a primitive animism, Leibnitz?s panspsychism and

Griffin?s suggestion of a pan-experientialism, that experience or some sort of

consciousness may be ?an ingredient throughout the universe, permeating all

levels of being?. All this, however, opens up another Pandora?s box of

peculiar questions: most obviously what might the consciousness be of a dog,

flower, or even a stone? Does the claim of a perceived unity merely point to

some ground of being, and not a consciousness that is in any sense

self-reflective like our own consciousness? Or if you and I share consciousness,

can I experience what you do? If not, why not? 3. Not everyone who meditates

encounters these sorts of unitive experiences. This suggests that some may be

genetically or temperamentally predisposed to mystical ability; borrowing from

Weber, the ?mystically musical?. One might suggest that the mystic?s

awareness is categorically different than other peoples?, i.e. that it is

connected to the world in an ontologically deep way that the rest of ours is

not. I find this unconvincing, since every mystic I have read says he or she

began as an ?ordinary?, i.e. non-mystical, person and only came to realize

something of what he or she ?had always been?. Whichever explanation we opt

for, however, it is clear that there is some ability the mystics have been able

to develop ? through meditation or whatever ? that most of us have not.

Conclusions Our three modalities of mystical experiences point clearly towards a

distinction between awareness per se and the ordinary functional processes of

sensation, perception and thought. They suggest that awareness is not

constructed out of the material processes of perception or perhaps the brain,

but rather they suggest a distinction and / or interaction between consciousness

and the brain. Furthermore, they suggest that awareness may have a

non-localized, quasi-spatial character, much like a field. Finally they tend to

suggest that this field may be transcendental to any one person or entity. I

want to end by restating my earlier caveat. Phenomenology is not science. There

can be many ways to explain any experience, mystical or otherwise, and we should

explore all of them. But in the absence of compelling reasons to deny the

suggestions of their reports, we would be wise to seriously examine the

direction towards which the finger of mysticism points. If the validity of

knowledge in the universities is indeed governed, as we like to claim, by the

tests of evidence, openness and clarity, then we should not be too quick to

throw out the baby swimming in the bathwater of mysticism. Footnotes 1 I am

indebted to the psychologist of religion William Parsons, in a private

communication, for this observation. 2 See here Ornstein (1976). 3 See the

articles in Forman (1990) and Section I of Forman (1998). 4 Bruce Mangan (1994)

suggests this when he says that ?mystic[al] encounters . . . would seem to

manifest an extreme state of consciousness? (p. 251). 5 James? famous

characterization of mysticism in The Varieties of Religious Experience states

that a defining feature of mysticism is ?transiency? (James, 1902/1983, p.

381). My evidence says this is simply wrong. 6 I say typically because sometimes

one may skip or not attain a particular stage. Ken Wilber (1980) claims

sequence. William Barnard (1995), however, disputes this claim of sequence. 7

One key element of the UMS is that it is a permanent shift in the structure of

awareness. ?Extrovertive? mysticism, a term coined by W.P. Stace, implies

that one has mystical experiences out in the world, while we are

?extrovertively? aware. Zaehner coined the term ?nature mysticism? to

describe such paths as Zen or Taoism, which describe mystical experiences in

nature. This he distinguishes from the theistic traditions, among others. But in

the UMS, as I understand this form of life, the sense of being in contact with

the expansive emptiness that extends beyond the self, never fades away, whether

one is in nature or in the city, whether the eyes are open or closed, and

whether one is a Zen Buddhist, a Jew or a Christian. Thus each of these accepted

terms define this experience too narrowly, and thus I coin my own broader term.

8 Cf. Smart (1982). * These may not be mutually exclusive. See, for example,

neurologist Oliver Sacks’ comments on migraines and mysticism in the case of

Hildegard of Bingen (Sacks, 1994, pp. 238-9.) 9 I am grateful for Joseph Goguen,

private communication, for articulating this question so clearly. 10 Forman

(1990) offers a rich compendium of reports of the PCE. I have intentionally

offered here several reports of this experience that are not included there. 11

James is quoting from St. Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle, in Oeuvres, trans.

Bouix, vol. 3, pp. 421?4. 12 The mystic apparently remains conscious

throughout. Although Teresa does not explicitly say the mystic is not asleep, I

cannot imagine anyone spilling so much ink on merely sleeping or blacking out,

or on something like a coma. See below for more explicit statements to this

effect. 13 These two are not quite equivalent. Atman, when seen in its fullest,

according to the Upanishads and to Advaita Vedanta, merges with Brahman, and

thus is experienced as including the object or content of perception. Purusha,

according to Samkhya, is more an independent monad. It thus remains forever

separate from its content. But the two both represent the human awareness,

however differently understood. 14 This account is taken from Forman (1998). 15

Vasubandu commentary on Vs. 1.1 of the Madhyanta Vibhaga, quoted in Nagao

(1978). Vasubandu is here wrestling with just the focus that made Yogacara so

distinctive and clear. In its focus on the alayavijnana, it deals directly with

the question of what remains in ?cessation meditation?. Steven Collins

(1982) believes this is a mistaken view of the nature of samadhi, though

unfortunately he never directly confronts such Yogacara texts. For comparable

analyses from a Zen perspective, with explicit comparisons with Yogacara, see

e.g. Chang Chen Chi (1970), pp. 167?71. 16 See especially Forman (1990), Part

I. 17 This debate goes back at least to Kant’s criticism of Hume’s ‘associationism’

in the eighteenth century. For a discussion of contemporary parallels, see

Hardcastle (1994). 18 If we think in a socio-cultural way here, we might note

that our long western worldview, with its roots in the Judaeo-Christian past, in

the protestant capitalistic history, and in the history of science, would tend

to favour a definition of consciousness in active, masculine, intentional, and

?doing? terminology. Thus consciousness is, in this view, always vectorial,

intentionally pointing towards this or that. Such a definition fits how people

are expected to act in such a culture. Contemplative traditions and the east, on

the other hand, tend to be more open to defining consciousness as awareness per

se, or just being. In the west we may take these to be too passive, feminine,

but they ?fit? the more station-oriented caste and natal-status behavioural

patterns. My thanks to Bill Parsons for this observation. 19 Logically:

awareness is a necessary but not sufficient condition for binding; binding is

neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for awareness. 20 This usage

preserves Deikman?s (1996) separation of awareness from the other senses of

?I?, and Chalmers? (1995) similar distinction. My thanks to Jonathan Shear

for pointing out that I have reversed Chalmers? terms (he calls awareness in

itself ?consciousness? and connects its various functional phenomena with

the term ?awareness?). I believe that my usage is in better accord both with

ordinary speech and the traditional scholarly use of ?pure consciousness?

and ?pure consciousness event?. 21 See the extended discussion of this

possibility in Forman (1998). 22 Here language fails us. The awareness is not in

any sense conscious of the passage of time; rather I am suggesting that

awareness ties itself together through what an external observer would note as

the passage of time. 23 William James? thought that mysticism is

?transient?, i.e. short lived, clearly does not capture Bernadette

Roberts? experience, nor many of the experiences documented in this section.

24 Here I am struck by the parallel with the rapid shifting of a physical system

as it becomes coherent. Disorganized light just ?shifts? or ?zips? into

laser light nearly instantaneously. 25 Writing this, I think of the parallel

between this sense and Bernadette Robert?s sense of having lost the usual

?unlocalized sense of herself?. 26 It is my impression that the awareness of

the specific locations within the body is not essential to this transformation.

27 Freud was employing a phrase from his correspondence with Ramakrishna?s

disciple Romain Rolland. See Parsons (forthcoming). 28 Walt Whitman, quoted in

James (1902/1983) p. 396, no reference. 29 Of course, that implies that one has

some sort of non-sensory sense, the ability to sense one?s own expansive

presence even though there are no visible mechanisms of sensation. But is that

so strange after all? If we can sense our own awareness directly in the pure

consciousness event, why shouldn?t we be able to sense something of its

non-limited character on a more permanent basis?

See Freeman (1994) for a brief report and Clarke (1995) for the full text of

Chris Clarke?s talk. References Barnard, William (1995), ?Response to

Wilber?, unpublished paper delivered to the Mysticism Group of the American

Academy of Religion. Chalmers, David J. (1995), ?Facing up to the problem of

consciousness?, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2 (3), 1995, pp. 200?19.

Chang Chen Chi (1970), The Practice of Zen (New York: Perennial Library / Harper

Row). Clark, Thomas W. (1995), ?Function and phenomenology: closing the

explanatory gap,? Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2 (3), pp. 241?54. Clark

and Skinner (1958), Meister Eckhart: Selected Treatises and Sermons (London:

Faber and Faber). Clarke, C.J.S. (1995), ?The non-locality of mind?, Journal

of Consciousness Studies, 2 (3), pp. 231?40. Collins, Steven (1982), Selfless

Persons (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Deikman, Arthur (1996), ?

??I?? = Awareness?, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3 (4), 350?6.

Forman, Robert K.C. (ed. 1990), The Problem of Pure Consciousness (New York:

Oxford University Press). Forman, Robert K.C. (1998) Mysticism, Mind,

Consciousness (Albany, NY: SUNY Press). Freeman, Anthony (1994), ?The science

of consciousness: non-locality of mind? [Conference Report], The Journal of

Consciousness Studies, 1 (2), pp. 283?4. Griffiths, Paul (1990), ?Pure

Consciousness and Indian Buddhism,? in The Problem of Pure Consciousness.

Hardcastle, Valerie (1994), ‘Psychology’s "binding problem" and

possible neurological solutions’, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1 (1), pp.

66-90. Hume, Robert (trans. 1931), The Thirteen Principle Upanishads (London:

Oxford University Press). James, William (1902/1983), The Varieties of Religious

Experience (New York: Longmans, Green and Co.; reprinted in Penguin Edition).

Larson, J.G. (1979), Classical Samkhya: An Interpretation of its History and

Meaning (Santa Barbara: Ross/Erikson). Libet, Benjamin (1994), ?A testable

field theory of mind?brain interaction?, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1

(1), pp. 119?26. Lonergan, B. (1967), Collection, ed. Frederick Crowe (New

York: Herder and Herder). McCarthy, Michael H. (1990), The Crisis in Philosophy

(Albany: SUNY Press). Mangan, Bruce (1994), ?Language and experience in the

cognitive study of mysticism ? commentary on Forman?, Journal of

Consciousness Studies, 1 (2), pp. 250?2. von Meyensberg, Malwida (1900),

Memoiren einer Idealistin, 5th Auflage, iii. 166. Quoted in James (1902/1983),

p. 395. Nagao, Gadjin M. (trans. 1978), ?The Culasunnata-Sutta (Lesser

discourse on Emptiness)? translated as, ???What Remains?? in Sunyata:

A Yogacara Interpretation of Emptiness?, in Mahayana Buddhist Meditation, ed.

Minoru Kiyota (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii). Ornstein, Robert (1976),

?The techniques of meditation and their implications for modern psychology?,

in On The Psychology of Meditation, Claudio Naranjo and Robert Ornstein (New

York: Penguin). Otto, Rudolf (1930), Mysticism East and West, trans. Bertha

Bracey and Richard Payne (New York: Macamillan). Parsons, William (forthcoming),

The Enigma of the Oceanic Feeling (Oxford University Press). Peers, E. Allison

(trans. 1961), The Interior Castle [Teresa of Avila] (New York: Doubleday).

Roberts, Bernadette (1984), The Experience of No-Self (Boulder: Shambala).

Sacks, Oliver (1994), ‘An anthropologist on Mars’ [interview with Anthony

Freeman], Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1 (2), pp. 234-40. Smart, Ninian

(date??), ?Interpretation and mystical experience?, Sophia, 1 (1), p. 75.

Stace, W.T. (1960), Mysticism and Philosophy (London: Macmillan Press). Walshe,

M.O?C. (1982), Meister Eckhart, Sermons and Tractates, Vol. 1 (London:

Watkins). Wilber, Ken (1980), The Atman Project (Wheaton, IL: The Theosophical

Publishing House).

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