Abstract and Keywords
In modern usage, “mysticism” refers to mystical experience and to practices, discourse, institutions, and traditions associated therewith. The term “mystical experience” enjoys a great variety of meanings, retaining some of that variety among philosophers. There is no choice but to stipulate meaning for the purposes of this article. A wide definition of “mystical experience” will be more in the spirit of how it figures in general culture, and a narrow definition will echo a meaning common among philosophers. In the wide sense, mystical experiences occur within the religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Indian religions, Buddhism, and primal religions. In most of these traditions, the experiences are allegedly of a supersensory reality, such as God, Brahman, or, as in some Buddhist traditions, Nirvana.
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