By John Ferguson
Starting from Christian mystical theology to Sufism, from the traditional philosophers to the Cambridge Platonists, from visionaries similar to William Blake and the writer of The Cloud of Unknowing to the function performed by way of medicinal drugs, yoga, tune and the dance, this Encyclopaedia offers crucial info at the manifold points of mysticism and may function a accomplished and important paintings of reference for a few years to come back. comprises two hundred illustrations.
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Very simple forms of mirroring, with opening the mouth and tongue protrusion, are present from birth. I have argued elsewhere (Hunt 1995a) that these constitute the first manifestations of a capacity for the cross-translation of the perceptual modalities that is basic to all human symbolism. The human mind itself first appears in the infant’s matching of its kinesthetic facial expression to the face seen gazing into its own. For Winnicott (1971) the infant comes to learn who it is, and ultimately what it does and does not feel, through seeing this mirrored back by its primary caretakers.
And this is sacred and most worthy of preservation. . Perhaps not enough attention has been paid to the mystic’s retreat to a position in which . . the loss of contact with the world of shared reality [is] counter balanced by a gain in terms of feeling real. (Winnicott, Communicating and not communicating, 185–87) While adult spiritual development may be in part driven by unresolved early issues in sense of self and feeling real—which for Winnicott is the earliest developmental stage of what becomes our capacity for attunement to Being—it is not reducible to early traumatization.
The third major aspect of the numinous Otto terms the sense of mysterium. This is the more cognitive, or what James (1902) called noetic, sense of an Absolute—whether as God, Void, Brahman, Tao, or in Heidegger’s sense, Being itself. It is first subdivided into a sense of fascination and wonder, usually entailed by the sense of inherent goodness and perfection, or occasionally total evil, felt in these states. In its positive side it is associated with feelings of love and compassion, which again may be dominant in some spiritual experiences and not others.
An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Mysticism: and the Mystery Religions by John Ferguson