Rational Mysticism

Rational Mysticism

Dispatches From the Border Between Science and Spirituality

Book - 2003
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John Horgan, author of the best-selling The End of Science, chronicles the most advanced research into the mechanicsand meaningof mystical experiences. How do trances, visions, prayer, satori, and other mystical experiences work”? What induces and defines them? Is there a scientific explanation for religious mysteries and transcendent meditation? John Horgan investigates a wide range of fields chemistry, neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, theology, and more to narrow the gap between reason and mystical phenomena. As both a seeker and an award-winning journalist, Horgan consulted a wide range of experts, including theologian Huston Smith, spiritual heir to Joseph Campbell; Andrew Newberg, the scientist whose quest for the God module” was the focus of a Newsweek cover story; Ken Wilber, prominent transpersonal psychologist; Alexander Shulgin, legendary psychedelic drug chemist; and Susan Blackmore, Oxford-educated psychologist, parapsychology debunker, and Zen practitioner. Horgan explores the striking similarities between mystical technologies” like sensory deprivation, prayer, fasting, trance, dancing, meditation, and drug trips. He participates in experiments that seek the neurological underpinnings of mystical experiences. And, finally, he recounts his own search for enlightenment adventurous, poignant, and sometimes surprisingly comic. Horgan’s conclusions resonate with the controversial climax of The End of Science, because, as he argues, the most enlightened mystics and the most enlightened scientists end up in the same place confronting the imponderable depth of the universe.

Baker & Taylor
Offers an investigation of the latest research of the mechanics and meaning of mystical experience, looking at such fields as chemistry, physics, theology, and psychology to narrow the division between reason and enlightenment.

Book News
Horgan (a former senior writer for Scientific American ) presents a book that profiles psychiatrists, psychedelic drug advocates, scientists studying mysticism, theologians, and others in order to reflect on the nature of religious experience and whether science can explain or recreate such experience. Maintaining a skeptical attitude towards science and mysticism, he discusses his own experiences on psychedelics, neuroscientific investigations into the experience of prayer, and similarities between "mystical technologies" such as yoga and LSD. Annotation (c) Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

& Taylor

The author of The End of Science offers an intriguing investigation into the latest research into the mechanics and meaning of mystical experience, looking at such fields as chemistry, physics, theology, and psychology to narrow the division between reason and enlightenment.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2003
ISBN: 9780618060276
Branch Call Number: 291.175 HOR
Characteristics: 292 p. ; 24 cm


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