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Rational Mysticism: Spirituality Meets Science in the Search for Enlightenment Reviews

Posted on December 31, 2010

Rational Mysticism: Spirituality Meets Science in the Search for Enlightenment

  • ISBN13: 9780618446636
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In Rational Mysticism, acclaimed journalist John Horgan embarks on an adventure of discovery, investigating the ways in which scientists, theologians, and philosophers are trying to formulate an empirical explanation of spiritual enlightenment. Horgan visits and interviews a fascinating Who's Who of professionals, such as theologian Huston Smith; Andrew Newberg, explorer of the brain's "God module"; Ken Wilber, a transpersonal psychologist and Buddhist; psychedelic pharmacologist Alexander Shulg

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Customer Opinions

26 of 26 people observed the subsequent review valuable:
4.0 out of 5 stars
An critical, challenging, and subversive perform., January 26, 2003

This is a single of the finest nonfiction reads I've encountered in a prolonged time. It really is compulsively readable. I love to have my assumptions challenged and this guide did that and much more. I laughed, cried, rolled my eyes, argued with Mr. Horgan. It is a great journey.

Rational Mysticism was particularly significant to me due to the fact I prolonged ago gave up on organized religion and set my faith in science. I sometimes consider to return to religion, but swiftly depart in exasperation. Now I comprehend that both route ends in mystery. We will need to respect that mystery and appreciate the actuality we have far more.

You will meet some fascinating men and women in these pages, titantic egos, brilliant thinkers, crackpots. The introduction "Lena's Feather" was profoundly shifting to me. Mr. Horgan's account of the ayahuasca ceremony is not to be missed. Finally the chapter "The Awe-Ful Fact" will leave you with much to think about.

Everyone who thinks on the "large questions" no matter whether religious or rationalist really should study this guide.

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68 of 76 people observed the following evaluate valuable:
5.0 out of 5 stars
beneficial overview crammed with pointers to additional sources, October 2, 2004

This examine is from: Rational Mysticism: Spirituality Meets Science in the Search for Enlightenment (Paperback)

John Horgan has written a wonderfully entertaining and helpful account of his try to discover who is productively applying science to the area of mysticism. One particular other Amazon.com reviewer explained that they do not like this type of book, which is primarily based on interviewing people and commenting on their personalities as nicely as their suggestions, but I personally want this tactic as an introduction to the lives and operates of other individuals. I identified the guide to be quite insightful, as Horgan always appeared to ask the questions and increase the issues that I was interested in hearing about. His open-minded nevertheless skeptical strategy is a single I locate refreshing.

Horgan's subjects--Huston Smith, Steven Katz, Bernard McGinn, Ken Wilber, Andrew Newberg, Michael Persinger, Susan Blackmore, James Austin, Albert Hofmann, Stanislov Grof, Terence McKenna, Alexander "Sasha" and Ann Shulgin--are all quite intriguing individuals. Horgan seemed most sympathetic to Blackmore, Austin, Wilber, McKenna (persona-clever a lot more than idea-sensible), and the Shulgins. He was--accurately, I feel--skeptical of Persinger right after finding his pro-psi views. My own see of Persinger is that he attempts to fit every little thing into his temporal lobe epilepsy/tectonic strain concept views, but has often been unskeptical about the information he's pushing into the theory; I've in no way understood why skeptics like Blackmore and Michael Shermer have believed him to be plausible. (I've authored a crucial evaluation of Persinger's Room-Time Transients and Uncommon Occasions for such as bogus debunked events as items to be explained by his theory, and The Arizona Skeptic published an substantial bibliography of critiques of his TST assembled by Chris Rutkowski of the College of Manitoba in the July 1992 issue).

In the stop, Horgan is skeptical of all of his topics, and thinks that they've missed out on the relevance of a sense of awe and wonder, as nicely as playfulness and entertaining (although McKenna would seem to have had that down). I'm not sure I concur with Horgan on that--I believed that what most of these people appeared to have in typical was being extremely comfy (most seem to be wealthy, famous, respected, and living nicely) and being advocates of a quietistic conservatism that advocates getting content with the way the planet is. That is an easy position for someone who is comfortable to take. Horgan does touch on this subject briefly a couple of occasions, such as when he writes about "the nature does-not-care principle" and the issue of natural evil (pp. 192-194) and when he raises the concern of struggling with Austin (p. 131).

Horgan seemed most at odds with Katz, a watch I shared--Katz's views appear sheer unsubstantiated dogmatism, when he insists that drug experiences have absolutely absolutely nothing to do with mystical experiences, and in his insistence on a commonality involving all forms of mysticism, which reminded me of the Bahai faith--a religion that disagrees with all other religions in arguing for the compatibility of all religions.

In the conclude, I observed myself scrawling notes of other books I'd like to read as a end result of the references in this guide: Austin's Zen and the Brain, Georg Feuerstein's Holy Madness, V.S. Ramachandran's Phantoms in the Brain, Francisco Varela's Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying, Anthony Storr's Feet of Clay, and Rudolf Otto's The Notion of the Holy, as well as discovering several references to other operates that appear to me to be most likely to be "on the appropriate track" (Stephen Batchelor's Buddhism without Beliefs, Ronald Siegel's books on hallucinations and drug experiences). Reading Horgan's guide was for me a beneficial experience that I advocate.

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30 of 32 individuals identified the subsequent review beneficial:
3.0 out of 5 stars
properly written, but author's prejudices seep by way of, June 5, 2003
By A Customer

Horgan's Rational Mysticism takes a significant search at the various techniques of mysticism. The guide is roughly damaged up into 3 broad approaches to mysticism -- philosophical, neurological/psychological, and psychotropic. Horgan has interviewed a significant group of individuals for this book which includes Huston Smith, Steven Katz, Bernard McGinn, Ken Wilber, Andrew Newberg, Michael Persinger, Susan Blackmore, James Austin, Stanilav Grof, and Terrance McKenna.

Horgan asks excellent inquiries and finds contradictions involving the tips and philosophies of individuals he interviews, occasionally taking one person's feedback from a preceding interview to contradict another's answer. At times he stoops to ad hominen attacks. The title about Ken Wilber, 'The Weightlifting Boddhisattva' looks like a delicate attack of Wilber's character and authenticity if he has any. In another chapter he talks about how Michael Persinger loses all credibility when he finds out that he is carrying out analysis into psi phenomena. I'm a skeptic when it arrives to psi myself, but to throw out Persinger's neurological research just due to the fact he would like to test psychic phenomena looks akin to throwing out the infant with the bath water. During the book he employs these common and mainstream prejudices (UFOs arrive up later) to cast doubts on the tips of absolutely everyone he interviews.

I was drastically disappointed at the stop of the book exactly where he helps make the following comment: "Not until finally I met and fell in adore with Suzi (spouse) nearly a year right after the trip did my estrangement from life and from my individual self eventually subside. Mysticism did not save me; it was that from which I required to be saved."

Men and women pursue mysticism and religion for meaning. Individuals can pursue relationships for the exact same explanation. I have no difficulty with this. But Horgan, who would seem so dismissive of mysticism as getting an unreliable path for so a lot of, himself included, wishes to promote this idea of true adore as the solution to lifestyle. Possibly it is and maybe it isn't. It definitely is a noble notion. Even so, 1 thing is for certain; adore, friendship, and significant relationships are full of discomfort as well as satisfaction for most people. And just as one personality, like Horgan, might discover mystical concepts these kinds of as non-duality or oneness disturbing, an additional personality may see romantic or companionate enjoy as a disturbing manifestation of dependency or neediness.

General, I really feel it is a great guide for skeptics, totally free thinkers and perhaps conservative/fundamentalist religious individuals who do not buy the total contemplative strategy to religion. Mystics and individuals interested in experiential/contemplative religion might want to steer distinct of this guide which appears more about producing uncertainty than answering any hard concerns. Of program, no one should anticipate to find such solutions in a book. Maybe Horgan was just attempting to convey his individual personalized experience, but the goal interviewer seemed to be tainted by the end of the guide.

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Psychics; Cut the Hype!

Posted on December 31, 2010

by Sarah G...

Psychics; Cut the Hype!

With the economy the way it is some men and women are pulling out all the stops, such as psychics. Appropriate now most men and women are getting money concerns and romantic relationship problems simply because of the additional strain of dollars concerns. What some psychics perceive is that people ought to be calling on them to resolve their romantic relationship issues but what they fail to take into account is that folks are not calling them simply because of the money troubles – duh! Some psychics (not all) are currently being extremely quick sighted and forgetting that their gift is for a increased electrical power and empowerment of their customers.

To improve their business some psychics, rather than expanding themselves, have resorted to disempowering techniques to their readings. Some other people have had their confidence and egos shaken to the stage that they have lost faith in themselves and rather than give genuine psychic readings they get by on producing true statements about universal laws with regards to existence such as “(fill in the blank) is temporary”.  No! really? Realty test, every little thing and everyone is temporary. Another a single is, “if you have faith . . .”. Give me a break. If they didn’t have faith would the be calling a psychic? This one is also fail safe and sound for the psychic because they can simply say this or that didn’t take place since your faith wasn’t strong adequate.

One’s psychic ability is only proportionate to their faith. If a psychic looses faith in any  regard inside of themselves they will need to get a time out to restore their faith prior to handling other people’s affairs.

Other psychic trip ups is that they advise you come back again usually, regardless of the problem, on a standard basis. Our job as psychics is to get you on the appropriate track in adore and light, get the coaching wheals off the bicycle, and want you well – not dependency! Psychics are right here to empower you not make you dependent upon them. A excellent psychic will inform even their best customers to go out and live lifestyle and encounter it not just have it all revealed in a reading.

Envision how boring your life would be and could be if you knew every little thing in advance. Envision if you were 23 and went in for a reading only to locate out that you would not marry till you had been 43. If you walked into that reading with an engagement ring on your finger you may not imagine the psychic but if the engagement was broken you could be a entire good deal less enthusiastic about the dating method. So be careful what you ask. It is their career to give you solutions, yes, but it is also their career to manual you and not repeatedly to the nearest ATM. The finest and genuine psychics are connected with at least 1 charitable organization to which they donate their services.

A very good psychic doesn’t need to see you in man or woman. They can answer any query in below a moment. Psychic’s do not ask inquiries, they reply them. The best psychics require no details at all; they just begin talking and genuinely really do not even search at you to see your reaction. If you want much more thorough details or your situation is extremely complex following they inform you what they see you can ask for a lot more info. Be wary of those psychics who ask you common concerns just to waste your time and money like  they are sensing a whole lot of anxiety, gossip, heartache, or any other fundamental no brainier reason folks call. This just gets you to search your head to give meaning to no matter what they throw out there.

Yet another excellent tip, keep absent from individuals minor homes and shops with the hand in the window. If you are seeking for a “sign” consider this hand indication that means as to not go in there, just cease, turn all around, and walk away. Most of these are loved ones owned as a network of that household throughout the country. Typically, people rotate from state to state leaving one location for yet another whenever a issue arises this sort of as frequently does since there is tiny if any regulation by the government or standards set by them doing work for a larger firm.

Ask for credentials, certifications, and if relevant their license. A good psychic will be delighted to share information that validates their capability as nicely as their commitment to continued improvement. Even if they are a 5th generation psychic genuine psychics comprehend the significance of integrity. Plus, for a psychic, it is exciting to take tests that prove their potential. It is the one particular time psychics get to play utilizing their capability and get precise immediate feedback. Also, it is a great notion to stick with a psychic that speaks your language and communicates quite properly in your language at a stage of larger intelligence. If they have to act mystical there is no mysticism heading on; the proof is in the pudding as a make a difference of simple fact. Don’t get the hype.

For a lot more information about this writer check out www.PsychicLilyana.com

Certified Psychic Visionary Manual
Certified Psychic Minister
Psi Tested at ten out of 10
I.Q. Tested at 165+
God Gifted
School educated at Kennesaw State University: Biology & World Lit. Double Key

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