Psychology of Mystical Consciousness

Psychology of Mystical Consciousness

by Carl Albrecht, Franz K. Woehrer


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This is the first English translation of the ground-breaking study by the German medical doctor, psychotherapist, and mystic Carl Albrecht (1902-1965), first published in 1951 as Psychologie des Mystischen Bewußtseins. The book, reprinted in Germany in 1976, 1990 and 2018, has remained untranslated to date and is now made available to international scholarship in an annotated English edition. The book offers the results of Albrecht’s meticulous long-term empirical research into mystical consciousness.

Albrecht’s results from a pioneering methodological approach based on ‘Autogenic Training,’ which enabled a practitioner to verbalize spontaneously what he/she is experiencing while immersed in an altered state of consciousness. These spontaneous utterances of mystical (and non-mystical) experience were concurrently recorded by Albrecht and provided him with invaluable empirical data. The outcome was a most comprehensive, systematic, psychological phenomenology of mystical consciousness informed by long-term empirical research. Unlike other empirical studies in this field, which are either based on records of mystical experience retrieved retrospectively, derived from behaviorist research, or both, Albrecht’s empirical data originate from immediate (not rationally mediated) verbal testimonies spoken by subjects while transported into a mystical state.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780824599546
Publisher: Crossroad Publishing Company
Publication date: 05/01/2019
Edition description: None
Pages: 428
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Franz K. Woehrer was associate professor of English Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria until his retirement in 2015.

Table of Contents

Preface Simon Peng-Keller xi

Preface Josef Weismayer xix

General Introduction F. K. Woehrer 1

Introduction Carl Albrecht 29

Part 1 Psychology of 'Introversion' 37

Consciousness 39

Sense Perception 41

Sensory Perception of the Environment 45

Sensitive Perception of the Surroundings 48

Perception of the Vital Functions 49

Experiencing One's Body 55

Feelings Linked to the Vital Functions 57

Emotional Disposition ("Gestimmtheit") 60

First Results 63

Drives 64

The Will 72

Thinking 86

Thinking and 'Introversion' 90

Meditation 94

Processes of Associating 98

The 'I' ("Das Ich") 103

Attentiveness 110

Clarity of Consciousness 113

Dispositional Attitude 119

The Free-Floating Stream of Experience ("Flieβendes Erleben") 121

Feelings 126

Pointed Feelings 133

Non-Object-Related Feelings (States of Emotional Awareness) 139

The Second Stage of 'Introversion' 147

The 'Quiet State of Alertness' ("Versunkenheit") 154

'Inner Sight' ("Innenschau") 156

The Concepts of 'Introversion', 'Consciousness of Introversion' and the 'Quiet State of Alertness' 161

Concentration and Recollecting 162

The 'Somnambulist Consciousness' 164

Hypnosis 168

Somatic Processes 172

The Layer Theory of the Personality 177

Outlook 183

Part 2 Experiencing the 'Quiet State of Alertness' 189

The 'Quiet State of Alertness' Compared to Other States of Consciousness 191

The Focal Points of the Investigation 203

Enhanced Proficiency in the 'Quiet State of Alertness' 205

Psychosomatic Processes 205

Meditative Visualization of Past Experience 208

Thinking in the 'Quiet State of Alertness' 210

Speaking in the 'Quiet State of Alertness' 216

Associating in the 'Quiet State of Alertness' 221

The 'Object Arriving' 224

'Split-Off' Items from the Unconscious (The First Five 'Forms of Arriving') 236

The Self, the Symbol and Self-Understanding 261

A Fragment of the Self Featuring as an 'Object Arriving' (The Sixth, Seventh and Eighth 'Forms of Arriving') 270

The 'Ecstatic Consciousness' 288

Value Judgements ("Die Wertung") 295

Summary of the Findings of Part One and Part Two 303

Part 3 The Mystical Consciousness 307

The 'All-encompassing' 309

'All-encompassing Calmness' 324

The 'Ur' [The Primeval Ground of Being] 336

'(Ur-Love' [Primeval Love] 344

The 'All-encompassing' as a Persona ["Das Umfassende als Person"] 353

The Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh 'Forms of Arriving' 358

The Path of Preparation and Conversion 364

The Concept of Mysticism 372

Epilogue 375

Bibliography 383

1 Primary Works 383

2 Works Cited by Albrecht 383

3 Works Cited in the Prefaces, the General Introduction and Annotations 387

4 Electronic Sources 392

Index 393

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