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A phenomenological examination of esoteric states of conciousness

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A phenomenological examination of esoteric states of conciousness

Kurstak, Daniel (2006) A phenomenological examination of esoteric states of conciousness. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Esoteric states of consciousness, also known to us as mystical experiences, are characterized by the presence of three main elements: highly unusual and oftentimes ambiguous sensory and non-sensory forms of awareness, along with the bestowment of various forms of seemingly vast knowledge, upon the subject. Due to the first two elements, mystical experiences are often said to be ineffable and esoteric ; due to disagreements regarding the third element, they can also become the source of serious socio-political and religious conflicts. Finally, due to all three of these elements, they are also often viewed with great scepticism, especially within the scientific milieu. We propose a joint solution here, both to the problem of potential conflicts, as well as to the concerns of the sceptics. We do so by showing, by way of a phenomenological investigation, that much of what is purportedly claimed to be ineffable, by the mystics, is actually quite "effable", on condition that the proper questions be asked, and that the proper descriptive framework be employed. In so doing, we pull mystical experiences out of the shadows, and into the spotlight of public language-games. Finally, we further show that, far from negating the mystics, this process actually empowers them, with the fine distinctions needed to address the concerns of today's pedantic sceptics, as well as with the ability better to voice their account of the mystical experience. This, in turn, helps to alleviate potential conflicts, arising from misunderstandings, regarding the contents of the experience itself.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Kurstak, Daniel
Pagination:vi, 116 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Philosophy
Date:2006
Thesis Supervisor(s):Zeman, Vladimir
ID Code:9219
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:46
Last Modified:30 Nov 2011 17:24
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