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L33: Religious Experience- Nature and Object
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Vani Ravija
Voice Actor | Ranked globally in top 10% on Fiverr in English Diction

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  1. Some philosophers reject religious experience as ground for religious belief. They don't deny that individuals had authentic religious experiences. Rather, they deny that one can infer that their cause was God/ nirvana/ Ultimate Reality, or that what it was about is true. And that it can only provide evidence for the reality of certain psychological states. Mysticism: Religious experience in the purest and concentrated form Most direct and intimate experience of the divine presence. Common theme: identity with- God in Western religion | Absolute Reality- Brahman/ nirvana in Eastern religion Different from normal experience: - devoid of all perceptions, thoughts, emotions, desires which are necessary in ordinary experience - indescribable - ordinary consciousness is like a building with 3 floors GF: consists of physical sensations- sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch sensations, organic sensations FF: images we think of as mental copies of sensations SF: level of intellect, the faculty of concepts where abstract thinking & reasoning is developed. Whole structure can be called sensory-intellectual consciousness. Concepts Images Sensations But mystical consciousness has no sensations, concepts or thoughts. Hence, the experience is "ineffable" All words are products of our sensory-intellectual consciousness. Mystical experience transcends our sensory intellectual consciousness. In fully developed mystical experience, there is apprehension of an ultimate non-sensuous unity in all things; a One to which neither the senses nor the reason can penetrate. There is an element of subjectivity. One can receive these subjective experiences as vision, dreams, revelations. Aquinas defined it as "cognitio dei experimentalis" (experiential knowledge of God). It takes different forms such as identity with God/ absolute reality:

  2. 1. "If I am to know God directly, I must become completely He and He I, so that this He and this I become and are one "One who knows Brahman becomes brahman." "Flight of alone to the alone." 2. Even an atheist can have a mystical experience. Eg, nature mysticism, Buddhist shunya 3. Numinous experience Indian religion: Mysticism is found in most undiluted form in the Upanishads, Advaitism Bhakti cult, Kabirism, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, etc. There is no knower/ known. Both become one, like one who knows Brahman becomes brahman. Sufis: subscribe to mysticism. But, they do not talk of identification as much with God as of communion with God. Muslims: God is transcendent & no mortal man can dare to identify himself with God. Jews: also subscribe to such views. Hence, Jesus Christ was crucified & people identified themselves with God. Characteristics: Ineffability | Noetic quality |Transiency | Passivity