Rational Mysticism

Rational Mysticism

3.4 5
by John Horgan
     
 

ISBN-10: 061844663X

ISBN-13: 9780618446636

Pub. Date: 03/22/2004

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

John Horgan, author of the best-selling The End of Science, chronicles the most advanced research into the mechanics—and meaning—of mystical experiences. How do trances, visions, prayer, satori, and other mystical experiences “work”? What induces and defines them? Is there a scientific explanation for religious mysteries and transcendent

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Overview

John Horgan, author of the best-selling The End of Science, chronicles the most advanced research into the mechanics—and meaning—of mystical experiences. How do trances, visions, prayer, satori, and other mystical experiences “work”? What induces and defines them? Is there a scientific explanation for religious mysteries and transcendent meditation? John Horgan investigates a wide range of fields—chemistry, neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, theology, and more—to narrow the gap between reason and mystical phenomena. As both a seeker and an award-winning journalist, Horgan consulted a wide range of experts, including theologian Huston Smith, spiritual heir to Joseph Campbell; Andrew Newberg, the scientist whose quest for the “God module” was the focus of a Newsweek cover story; Ken Wilber, prominent transpersonal psychologist; Alexander Shulgin, legendary psychedelic drug chemist; and Susan Blackmore, Oxford-educated psychologist, parapsychology debunker, and Zen practitioner. Horgan explores the striking similarities between “mystical technologies” like sensory deprivation, prayer, fasting, trance, dancing, meditation, and drug trips. He participates in experiments that seek the neurological underpinnings of mystical experiences. And, finally, he recounts his own search for enlightenment—adventurous, poignant, and sometimes surprisingly comic. Horgan’s conclusions resonate with the controversial climax of The End of Science, because, as he argues, the most enlightened mystics and the most enlightened scientists end up in the same place—confronting the imponderable depth of the universe.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618446636
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/22/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
676,284
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.68(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Lena's Feather1
1Huston Smith's Perennial Philosophy15
2Attack of The Postmodernists36
3The Weightlifting Bodhisattva55
4Can Neurotheology Save Us?73
5The God Machine91
6The Sheep Who Became A Goat106
7Zen and James Austin's Brain124
8In the Birthplace of LSD141
9God's Psychoanalyst160
10The Man in the Purple Sparkly Suit177
11Ayahuasca195
12The Awe-Ful Truth214
Epilogue: Winter Solstice234
Acknowledgments239
Notes241
Selected Bibliography269
Index273

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Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is very interesting and well thought out. The author covers many angles to the question of what role mystical experiences play in our lives. He is both sympathethic and critical to those who he interviews. I felt his approach made for a balanced read. It'll definitely make you think!