Types: Extrovert Introvert Theist Non-theist Further classification: 1. Incomplete: the mystic remains in ecstasy 2. Complete: contemplation gives rise to boundless action. Here, there is creation, action & love. High value to social service for upliftment of the downtrodden. Ways and means: Indian tradition: emphasis on yoga, especially meditation. Detachment also accepted as a means. Some traditions: use of mind altering substances, rituals, self-reflection Common conception that mysticism& religious mysticism are one and the same but it's wrong. In itself, mystical experience is not a religious phenomenon & its connection with religion is subsequent. 1. If the mystical experience is stripped off its intellectual interpretations like that which identifies it with God/ absolute, what is left is undifferentiated unity which is an interpretation and not experience itself. 2. There are different interpretations of same experience in different cultures. 3. Buddhist experience of Sunyata is not interpreted as religious. Buddhism denies the existence of a supreme being. Mystical experience of Sunyata by realising reality as impermanent & through following Astangikmarg" is not in any way religious But mysticism usually takes on some religious form. Why?
1. Phrases of "melting away", "passes away": found in mystical literature of many religious. Sufis call it fana. The individual experiences disappearance of one's own individuality, its fading away into the infinite. The Infinite is identified with God. 2. Undifferentiated unity: considered being beyond space & time, mystical experience transcends time. But in religion, the Eternal, like the infinite, is "another name for God" Hence, the mystical experience is taken to be an experience of God. 3. Emotional side of experience: Mystics say that their kind of consciousness brings exalted peace, joy. It becomes identical with the peace of God. This is also why in Buddhism, though the experience is not called God, becomes Nirvana.