Rational Mysticism

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Overview

In Rational Mysticism, acclaimed journalist John Horgan embarks on an adventure of discovery, investigating the ways in which scientists, theologians, and philosophers are attempting to formulate an empirical explanation of spiritual enlightenment. Horgan visits and interviews a fascinating Who's Who of experts, including theologian Huston Smith; Andrew Newberg, explorer of the brain's "God module"; Ken Wilber, a transpersonal psychologist and Buddhist; psychedelic pharmacologist Alexander Shulgin; Oxford-educated psychologist and Zen practitioner Susan Blackmore; and postmodern shaman Terence McKenna. Horgan also explores the effects of reputed enlightenment-inducing techniques such as fasting, meditation, prayer, sensory deprivation, and drug trips. In his lively and thought-provoking inquiry, Horgan finds surprising connections among seemingly disparate disciplines, not the least of which is a shared awe of the nature of the universe.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618446636
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/22/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

John Horgan, a former senior writer for Scientific American, is the author of the acclaimed End of Science and Undiscovered Mind. His articles have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Science Magazine, and a wide range of other publications. His work has won awards from the American Psychia-tric Association and the National Association of Science Writers, among others. With both a B.A. and an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University, Horgan has lectured at McGill University. He lives in New York State with his wife and two children.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Lena's Feather 1
1 Huston Smith's Perennial Philosophy 15
2 Attack of The Postmodernists 36
3 The Weightlifting Bodhisattva 55
4 Can Neurotheology Save Us? 73
5 The God Machine 91
6 The Sheep Who Became A Goat 106
7 Zen and James Austin's Brain 124
8 In the Birthplace of LSD 141
9 God's Psychoanalyst 160
10 The Man in the Purple Sparkly Suit 177
11 Ayahuasca 195
12 The Awe-Ful Truth 214
Epilogue: Winter Solstice 234
Acknowledgments 239
Notes 241
Selected Bibliography 269
Index 273
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2004

    Fascinating research in modern mysticism!

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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