Meaning of life
Mind body problem
Music of the spheres
Word definition: what is intended to be, or actually is, expressed or indicated; signification.
Etymology: before 900; Middle English menen, Old English mǣnan; cognate with German meinen, Dutch meenen
Technical description: Understanding of value, significance and purpose.
Phenomenological description: meaning is what is conscious felt, what is intended to be, or actually is, expressed or indicated; signification; the end, purpose, or significance of something.
Synonyms: purpose, value, significance.
Relevance of the concept: The search for meaning is fundamental within a human life.
Meaning of life
Word definition: It relates to the purpose, use, value, and reason for individual existence and that of the universe.
Etymology: “sense, import, intent,” c. 1300, from mean (v.).
Technical description: The question of the meaning of life is perhaps the most fundamental “why?” in human existence. This question has resulted in a wide range of competing answers and explanations, from scientific to philosophical and religious explanations to explorations in literature. Science, while providing theories about the How and What of life, has been of limited value in answering questions of meaning—the Why of human existence. Philosophy and religion have been of greater relevance, as has literature. Diverse philosophical positions include essentialist, existentialist, skeptic, nihilist, pragmatist, humanist, and atheist. The essentialist position, which states that a purpose is given to our life, usually by a supreme being, closely resembles the viewpoint of the Abrahamic religions.
While philosophy approaches the question of meaning by reason and reflection, religions approach the question from the perspectives of revelation, enlightenment, and doctrine. Generally, religions have in common two most important teachings regarding the meaning of life: 1) the ethic of the reciprocity of love among fellow humans for the purpose of uniting with a Supreme Being, the provider of that ethic; and 2) spiritual formation towards an afterlife or eternal life as a continuation of physical life.
(New World Encyclopedia)
Phenomenological description: The meaning of life as we perceive it is derived from philosophical and religious contemplation of, and scientific inquiries about existence, social ties, consciousness, and happiness. Many other issues are also involved, such as symbolic meaning, ontology, value, purpose, ethics, good and evil, free will, the existence of one or multiple gods, conceptions of God, the soul, and the afterlife. (Wikipedia)
Relevance of the concept: The meaning of life, or the answer to the question “What is the meaning of life?”, pertains to the significance of living or existence in general. Many other related questions include: “Why are we here?”, “What is life all about?”, or “What is the purpose of existence?” There have been a large number of proposed answers to these questions from many different cultural and ideological backgrounds. The search for life’s meaning has produced much philosophical, scientific, theological, and metaphysical speculation throughout history. Different people and cultures believe different things for the answer to this question. (Wikipedia)
Word definition: events are “meaningful coincidences” if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related.
Technical description: Events connected by meaning need not have an explanation in terms of causality.
See further: https://marinusjanmarijs.com/evidence-based-approach/14-research-areas/non-physical-perception-and-communication/meaningful-coincidence/
Phenomenological description: Meaningful coincidences can be simultaneously, in which case they are called synchronicity, or they are consecutively in which case they are called seriality.
Relevance of the concept: The manifestation of a hidden deeper meaning.
The concept in mythology: Twist of fate.
Serial patterns in time: Seriality
Parallel patterns in time: Synchronicity
Literature: Books / Articles / Websites:
Jung, C.G. (1969). Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp.109–110. ISBN 978-0-691-15050-5.
Word definition: Meditation can be defined as a practice where an individual uses a technique, such as focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity, to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.
Etymology: Word Origin & History: c.1200, “contemplation; devout preoccupation; devotions, prayer,” from Old French meditacion “thought, reflection, study,” and directly from Latin meditationem (nominative meditatio) “a thinking over, meditation,” noun of action from past participle stem of meditari “to meditate, think over, reflect, consider,” frequentative form from PIE root *med- “to measure, limit, consider, advise, take appropriate measures” (cf. Greek medesthai “think about,” medon “ruler;” Latin modus “measure, manner,” modestus “moderate,” modernus “modern,” mederi “to heal,” medicus “physician;” Sanskrit midiur “I judge, estimate;” Welsh meddwl “mind, thinking;” Gothic miton, Old English metan “to measure;” also see medical).
Meaning “discourse on a subject” is early 14c.; meaning “act of meditating, continuous calm thought upon some subject” is from late 14c. The Latin verb also had stronger senses: “plan, devise, practice, rehearse, study.”
Technical description: Meditation, private devotion or mental exercise encompassing various techniques of concentration, contemplation, and abstraction, regarded as conducive to heightened spiritual awareness or somatic calm. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Phenomenological description: Meditation is sometimes seen as synonym with concentration, but concentration is active and meditation is a passive state.
Consciousness without thought processes. ( M.J.M.)
Synonyms: Jhana (Pali) Jhāna Meditation in wisdom, equivalent to Sanskrit dhyana. This experience was originally divided into four states: the mystic, with his mind free from sensuous and worldly ideas, concentrates his thoughts on some special subject such as the impermanence or mayavi character of all exterior things; uplifted above attention to externals and ordinary reasoning he experiences keen joy and quiet ease both of body and mind; the bliss passes away and he becomes suffused with a sense of inner completeness, in its higher stages approaching cosmic ranges; he becomes aware permanently of purest lucidity of intellect and perfect equanimity. Consciousness without thought processes.
Cross-cultural comparisons: In numerous religions, spiritual purification may be sought through the verbal or mental repetition of a prescribed efficacious syllable, word, or text (e.g., the Hindu and Buddhist mantra, the Islamic dhikr, and the Eastern Christian Jesus Prayer). The focusing of attention upon a visual image (e.g., a flower or a distant mountain) is a common technique in informal contemplative practice and has been formalized in several traditions. Tibetan Buddhists, for example, regard the mandala (Sanskrit: “circle”) diagram as a collection point of universal forces, accessible to humans by meditation. Tactile and mechanical devices, such as the rosary and the prayer wheel, along with music, play a highly ritualized role in many contemplative traditions. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Relevance of the concept: a meditative state, when of a solemn depth can lead to a transformation of consciousness to higher ontological levels.
The concept in mythology: Winged horse
Supporting evidence: A number of studies have linked meditation practice to differences in cortical thickness or density of gray matter. One of the most well-known studies to demonstrate this was led by Sara Lazar, from Harvard University, in 2000. Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, has led experiments in cooperation with the Dalai Lama on effects of meditation on the brain. His results suggest that long-term or short-term practice of meditation results in different levels of activity in brain regions associated with such qualities as attention, anxiety, depression, fear, anger, and the ability of the body to heal itself. These functional changes may be caused by changes in the physical structure of the brain. (Wikipedia)
Word definition: the mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions, etc., or of recalling or recognizing previous experiences.
Etymology: Word Origin & History: mid-13c., “recollection (of someone or something); awareness, consciousness,” also “fame, renown, reputation,” from Anglo-French memorie (Old French memoire, 11c., “mind, memory, remembrance; memorial, record”) and directly from Latin memoria “memory, remembrance, faculty of remembering,” noun of quality from memor “mindful, remembering,” from PIE root *(s)mer- “to remember” (Sanskrit smarati “remembers,” Avestan mimara “mindful;” Greek merimna “care, thought,” mermeros “causing anxiety, mischievous, baneful;” Serbo-Croatian mariti “to care for;” Welsh marth “sadness, anxiety;” Old Norse Mimir, name of the giant who guards the Well of Wisdom; Old English gemimor “known,” murnan “mourn, remember sorrowfully;” Dutch mijmeren “to ponder”). Meaning “faculty of remembering” is late 14c. in English.
Computer sense, “device which stores information,” is from 1946. Related: Memories.
Technical description: Memory is the faculty of the mind by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved.
Memory is vital to experiences and related to limbic systems, it is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action. If we could not remember past events, we could not learn or develop language, relationships, nor personal identity (Eysenck, 2012).
Often memory is understood as an informational processing system with explicit and implicit functioning that is made up of a sensory processor, short-term (or working) memory, and long-term memory (Wikipedia)
See further: https://marinusjanmarijs.com/lists/list-of-different-types-of-memory/
Phenomenological description: The capacity to store and recall information.
Synonyms: remembrance; recollection, recognition, reminiscence.
Relevance of the concept: the relation from memory to thought processes.
Supporting evidence: Introspection.
Word definition: spine or spinal column.
Etymology: The name comes from the Sanskrit, merudanda, meaning “spine” or “spinal column”
Technical description: Within the yoga systems connected with the kundalini.
Word definition: the branch of philosophy that treats of first principles, includes ontology and cosmology, and is intimately connected with epistemology.
The underlying theoretical principles of a subject or field of inquiry.
Etymology: Word Origin & History: 1560s, plural of Middle English metaphisik, methaphesik (late 14c.), “branch of speculation which deals with the first causes of things,” from Medieval Latin metaphysica, neuter plural of Medieval Greek (ta) metaphysika, from Greek ta meta ta physika “the (works) after the Physics,” title of the 13 treatises which traditionally were arranged after those on physics and natural sciences in Aristotle’s writings. The name was given c.70 B.C.E. by Andronicus of Rhodes, and was a reference to the customary ordering of the books, but it was misinterpreted by Latin writers as meaning “the science of what is beyond the physical.” See meta- + physics. The word originally was used in English in the singular; plural form predominated after 17c., but singular made a comeback late 19c. in certain usages under German influence.
Technical description: Metaphysics, the philosophical study whose object is to determine the real nature of things—to determine the meaning, structure, and principles of whatever is insofar as it is. Although this study is popularly conceived as referring to anything excessively subtle and highly theoretical and although it has been subjected to many criticisms, it is presented by metaphysicians as the most fundamental and most comprehensive of inquiries, inasmuch as it is concerned with reality as a whole. (Encyclopædia Britannica)
Phenomenological description: the study of “being as such” or “the first causes of things”
Relevance of the concept: Metaphysics, the philosophical study whose object is to determine the real nature of things—to determine the meaning, structure, and principles of whatever is insofar as it is. Although this study is popularly conceived as referring to anything excessively subtle and highly theoretical and although it has been subjected to many criticisms, it is presented by metaphysicians as the most fundamental and most comprehensive of inquiries, inasmuch as it is concerned with reality as a whole.
Word definition: (in a human or other conscious being) the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc.: the processes of the human mind.
Psychology. the totality of conscious and unconscious mental processes and activities.
Etymology: Word Origin & History: late 12c., from Old English gemynd “memory, remembrance, state of being remembered; thought, purpose; conscious mind, intellect, intention,” Proto-Germanic *ga-mundiz (cf. Gothic muns “thought,” munan “to think;” Old Norse minni “mind;” German Minne (archaic) “love,” originally “memory, loving memory”), from PIE root *men- “think, remember, have one’s mind aroused,” with derivatives referring to qualities of mind or states of thought (cf. Sanskrit matih “thought,” munih “sage, seer;” Greek memona “I yearn,” mania “madness,” mantis “one who divines, prophet, seer;” Latin mens “mind, understanding, reason,” memini “I remember,” mentio “remembrance;” Lithuanian mintis “thought, idea,” Old Church Slavonic mineti “to believe, think,” Russian pamjat “memory”).
Meaning “mental faculty” is mid-14c. “Memory,” one of the oldest senses, now is almost obsolete except in old expressions such as bear in mind, call to mind. Mind’s eye “remembrance” is early 15c.
Technical description: Mind is the philosophical and general term for the center of mental activity, and is therefore used of intellectual powers: a brilliant mind. Brain is properly the physiological term for the organic structure that makes mental activity possible ( The brain is the center of the nervous system)
Synonyms: intellect, intelligence, psyche, soul.
Relevance of the concept: Mind, in the Western tradition, the complex of faculties involved in perceiving, remembering, considering, evaluating, and deciding. Mind is in some sense reflected in such occurrences as sensations, perceptions, emotions, memory, desires, various types of reasoning, motives, choices, traits of personality, and the unconscious. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
The concept in mythology: The horseman.
Word definition: How are mind and body connected?
Etymology: Descartes. In his Meditationes de Prima Philosophia (1641; Meditations on First Philosophy), he argued that there was a total and absolute distinction between mental and material substance. The defining characteristic of matter was to occupy space; the defining characteristic of mind was to be conscious or, in a broad sense of the term, to think. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Technical description: Mind–body dualism, in philosophy, any theory that mind and body are distinct kinds of substances or natures. This position implies that mind and body not only differ in meaning but refer to different kinds of entities. Thus, a dualist would oppose any theory that identifies mind with the brain, conceived as a physical mechanism. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Phenomenological description: The mind/soul is composed of subtle energies which circulating in the chakras and are subsequently drawn into the big nadis through the rings, These subtle energies are then transported and distributed throughout the brain by the small nadis. These subtle energies interact with the ‘synaptic units’ in the brain.
So by connecting this knowledge of the subtle energy systems with the research done by Penfield and Eccles, the solution of the mind-body problem becomes clear. ( M.J.M.)
See further: https://marinusjanmarijs.com/evidence-based-approach/the-mind-body-problem/
Synonyms: How is the soul connected to the body?
Relevance of the concept: No metaphysical problem is discussed today more vigorously than that of mind and body. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Supporting evidence: John C. Eccles; “Hypotheses relating to the brain-mind problem”, article in Nature – July 14, 1951, vol. 168
John C. Eccles; “A unitary hypothesis of mind-brain interaction in the cerebral cortex”, proceedings of the Royal Society of London – 1990, vol. 240 p. 433 – 451
Word definition: Moksha, also called mukti, in Indian philosophy and religion, liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth (samsara).
Etymology: Derived from the Sanskrit word muc (“to free”), the term moksha literally means freedom from samsara. This concept of liberation or release is shared by a wide spectrum of religious traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
Technical description: About the middle of the 1st millennium bce, new religious movements spreading along the Ganges River valley in India promoted the view that human life is a state of bondage to a recurring process of rebirth (samsara; see also reincarnation). These movements spurred the eventual development of the major religions of Buddhism, Jainism, and (during subsequent centuries) Hinduism. These and many other religious traditions offered differing conceptions of bondage and diverging paths to moksha. Some, such as Jainism, posited an abiding self that became liberated.
The concept in mythology: Ascension
Supporting evidence: Cross-cultural similarities.
Word definition: in Philosophy:
- (in the metaphysics of Leibniz) an unextended, indivisible, and indestructible entity that is the basic or ultimate constituent of the universe and a microcosm of it.
- (in the philosophy of Giordano Bruno) a basic and irreducible metaphysical unit that is spatially and psychically individuated.
- any basic metaphysical entity, especially having an autonomous life.
Technical description: single unit or entity.
Phenomenological description: In humans: The focus point of awareness.
Synonyms: unit of being, elementary unit, atman. In the human constitution the Monad signifies atman.
Relevance of the concept: Monads are the ultimate elements of the universe, spiritual-substantial entities, self-motivated, self-impelled, self-conscious, in infinitely varying degrees. They engender other monads, which in turn engender others, and thus springs up the host of living entities forming the immense variety and unity of the manifested world. As any monad descends into matter, it secretes from itself various veils or vehicles adapted for its self-expression on the various cosmic planes.
The concept in mythology: Divine spark.
Word definition: Resonating form structure.
Etymology: The word ‘morphic’ comes from the Greek word morphē, meaning ‘form,’ and expresses the idea that morphic attractors pull developing systems towards them, and that the form of the attractor depends on a kind of memory given by morphic resonance. Thus, for example, an oak seedling is attracted towards the mature form of an oak tree through the morphic attractor in its morphogenetic field.7 A field is most generally defined as regions of influence that stretch out beyond the organism, like a magnetic or gravitational field.
Technical description: Morphic resonance is the hypothesis that there is a kind of inherent memory in nature. For example, within each species (or self-organising system), each individual draws upon a collective memory and in turn contributes to it. The hypothesis predicts that new chemicals should get easier to crystallize as time goes on because the crystal forms become increasingly habitual, sustained by morphic resonance from increasing numbers of previous crystals of that type. Likewise, if animals, such as rats, learn a new trick in one place, rats all over the world should be able to learn it quicker. There is already evidence that these effects occur.
(Sheldrake, R. (2011, 2nd edn.). The Presence of the Past. Icon Books.)
Synonyms: Platonic instigation
Relevance of the concept: Relating to unexplained processes of growth
Supporting evidence: Sheldrake, R. (2011, 2nd edn.). The Presence of the Past. Icon Books.
Literature: Books / Articles / Websites:
Sheldrake, R. (2011, 2nd edn.). The Presence of the Past. Icon Books.
Word definition: Multiple Intelligences. Howard Gardner of Harvard has identified eight distinct intelligences. This theory has emerged from recent cognitive research and “documents the extent to which students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform, and understand in different ways,”
Etymology: Proposed by Howard Gardner in 1983, in his book: “Frames of mind”.
Gardner proposed eight abilities that he held to meet these criteria:
- intrapersonal, and
- He later suggested that existential and moral intelligences may also be worthy of inclusion. (Wikipedia)
Relevance of the concept: For example a high level cognitive development doesn’t necessarily mean a high level of social or moral development.
Supporting evidence: Different developmental sequences.
Word definition: The concept of multiple discovery (also known as simultaneous invention) is the hypothesis that most scientific discoveries and inventions are made independently and more or less simultaneously by multiple scientists and inventors.
Etymology: The concept of multiple discovery by Robert K. Merton.
Technical description: When Nobel laureates are announced annually—especially in physics, chemistry, physiology, medicine, and economics—increasingly, in the given field, rather than just a single laureate, there are two, or the maximally permissible three, who often have independently made the same discovery. Historians and sociologists have remarked on the occurrence, in science, of “multiple independent discovery”. Robert K. Merton defined such “multiples” as instances in which similar discoveries are made by scientists working independently of each other. Merton contrasted a “multiple” with a “singleton”—a discovery that has been made uniquely by a single scientist or group of scientists working together. As Merton said, “Sometimes the discoveries are simultaneous or almost so; sometimes a scientist will make a new discovery which, unknown to him, somebody else has made years before.”
Commonly cited examples of multiple independent discovery are the 17th-century independent formulation of calculus by Isaac Newton, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and others, described by A. Rupert Hall; the 18th-century discovery of oxygen by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier and others; and the theory of evolution of species, independently advanced in the 19th century by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. What holds for discoveries, also goes for inventions. Examples are the blast furnace (invented independently in China, Europe and Africa), the crossbow (invented independently in China, Greece, Africa, northern Canada, and the Baltic countries), and magnetism (discovered independently in Greece, China, and India).
Multiple independent discovery, however, is not limited to only a few historic instances involving giants of scientific research. Merton believed that it is multiple discoveries, rather than unique ones, that represent the common pattern in science. (Wikipedia)
See further: https://marinusjanmarijs.com/evidence-based-approach/14-research-areas/non-physical-perception-and-communication/parallel-discoveries/
Relevance of the concept: its possible connection with the concept that ideas are within a platonic realm. The question is whether there is a non-local connection between creative people, who are focussed on the same problem.
The concept in mythology: ideas are in the air.
Supporting evidence: multicultural data.
Music of the spheres
Word definition: A perfectly harmonious music thought by Pythagoras and later classical and medieval philosophers to be produced by the movement of celestial bodies but to be inaudible on the earth.
Etymology: (Philosophy) the celestial music supposed by Pythagoras to be produced by the regular movements of the stars and planets
Technical description: is an ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies—the Sun, Moon, and planets—as a form of musica (the Medieval Latin term for music). This “music” is not usually thought to be literally audible, but a harmonic, mathematical or religious concept. The idea continued to appeal to thinkers about music until the end of the Renaissance, influencing scholars of many kinds, including humanists. Further scientific exploration has determined specific proportions in some orbital motion, described as orbital resonance. (Wikipedia)
See further: https://marinusjanmarijs.com/mystical-experiences/music-of-the-spheres-composition/
Synonyms: Musica universalis, Music of the spheres or Harmony of the Spheres
Cross-cultural comparisons: Through the centuries this idea has been put forward into the world literature. Plato referred to it in his writings. In his treatise “About the heavens”, Aristotle wrote about the harmonious sound brought forth by the heavenly bodies.
In the Dream of Scipio, Cicero wrote: “ …And he replied: “This melody composed of unequal intervals, yet proportionately harmonized, is produced by the impulse and motion of the spheres themselves, which by blending high and low tones produces uniformly divers symphonies…”
And: “ …And learned men imitating this mystery with strings and vocal harmonies…”
And: “…Mortal ears cannot contain it…”.
Scipio’s Dream would later become the basis for an opera by Mozart entitled Il sogno di Scipione (K. 126) based upon Scipio Aemilianus’s ‘soul-journey’ through the cosmos.
In the Divine Comedy, Dante writes about hearing the music of the spheres as he ascended to heaven.
In Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”:
“How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears; soft stillness and the night become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold;
There’s not the smallest orb which thou behold’st.
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young ey’d cherubims:
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.—“
Milton in his poem: “Arcades”: “To the heavenly melody, that no being can hear who is of human stature with perfect impure ears.”
The theme of the symphony ‘The Planets’ by Gustav Holtz is the music of the spheres. ( M.J.M.)
Relevance of the concept: Its relation to bhava samadhi.
Word definition: A person who attains, insight into mysteries transcending ordinary human knowledge, as by direct communication with the divine or immediate intuition in a state of spiritual ecstasy.
Etymology: Word Origin & History: late 14c., “spiritually allegorical, pertaining to mysteries of faith,” from Old French mistique “mysterious, full of mystery” (14c.), or directly from Latin mysticus “mystical, mystic, of secret rites” (source also of Italian mistico, Spanish mistico), from Greek mystikos “secret, mystic, connected with the mysteries,” from mystes “one who has been initiated”
Technical description: Mysticism, the practice of religious ecstasies (religious experiences during alternate states of consciousness), The term mystic is derived from the Greek noun mystes, which originally designated an initiate of a secret cult or mystery religion. In Classical Greece (5th–4th century bce) and during the Hellenistic Age (323 bce–330 ce), the rites of the mystery religions were largely or wholly secret. The term mystes is itself derived from the verb myein (“to close,” especially the eyes or mouth) and signified a person who kept a secret. Early Christianity appropriated the technical vocabulary of the Hellenistic mysteries but later disavowed secrecy, resulting in a transformation of the meaning of mystes. In subsequent Christian usage, mystes, or mystic, referred to practitioners of doctrinally acceptable forms of religious ecstasy. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Phenomenological description: Many introspective descriptions from numerous mystics from different cultures.
Synonyms: prophet, sage.
Relevance of the concept: future development of humanity.
The concept in mythology: The seer.
Supporting evidence: Similar independent descriptions from different cultures.
Word definition: mystic union is a feeling of spiritual identification with nature, the universe and the divine..
Etymology: The term “mysticism” has Ancient Greek origins with various historically determined meanings. Derived from the Greek word meaning “to conceal”
Technical description: Christian mystics claim that the soul may be lifted into a union with God so close and so complete that it is merged in the being of God and loses the sense of any separate existence. Jan van Ruysbroeck wrote that in the experience of union “we can nevermore find any distinction between ourselves and God” (The Sparkling Stone, chapter 10); and Eckhart speaks of the birth of the Son in the soul in which God “makes me his only-begotten Son without any difference” (German Sermons, 6). These expressions of a unity of indistinction have seemed dangerous to many, but Eckhart and Ruysbroeck insisted that, properly understood, they were quite orthodox. Bernard of Clairvaux, who insisted that in becoming one spirit with God the human “substance remains though under another form” (On Loving God, chapter 10), and John of the Cross, who wrote “the soul seems to be God rather than a soul, and is indeed God by participation” (The Ascent of Mount Carmel ii, 5:7), express the more traditional view of loving union. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Synonyms: cosmic identification and oceanic feeling
Relevance of the concept: The goal of the mystic is not simply a transient ecstasy; it is a permanent state of being in which the person’s nature is transformed or deified. This state is frequently spoken of as a spiritual marriage involving God and the soul. This unitive life has two main aspects. First, while the consciousness of self and the world remains, that consciousness is accompanied by a continuous sense of union with God, as Teresa of Ávila clearly shows in discussing the seventh mansion in The Interior Castle. Brother Lawrence wrote that while he was at work in his kitchen he possessed God “in as great tranquillity as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament” (The Practice of the Presence of God, chapter 4). Second, the spiritual marriage is a theopathic state: the soul is felt to be in all things the organ or instrument of God. In the unitive life Mme Guyon says that the soul “no longer lives or works of herself, but God lives, acts and works in her.” In this state the mystic is able to engage in manifold activities without losing the grace of union. In the words of Ignatius of Loyola, the mystic is “contemplative in action.” (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Supporting evidence: Multi-cultural independent similar descriptions.
Word definition: involving or characterized by esoteric, otherworldly, or symbolic practices or content, as certain religious ceremonies and art; spiritually significant; ethereal.
Of the nature of or pertaining to mysteries known only to the initiated.
Etymology: 1275–1325; Middle English mystik < Latin mysticus < Greek mystikós, equivalent to mýst(ēs) an initiate into the mysteries + -ikos -ic; akin to myeîn to initiate, teach
Technical description: Mysticism is the practice of religious ecstasies (religious experiences during alternate states of consciousness), together with whatever ideologies, ethics, rites, myths, legends, and magic may be related to them. It may also refer to the attainment of insight in ultimate or hidden truths, and to human transformation supported by various practices and experiences
Mysticism referred to the biblical liturgical, spiritual, and contemplative dimensions of early and medieval Christianity. During the early modern period, the definition of mysticism grew to include a broad range of beliefs and ideologies related to “extraordinary experiences and states of mind”.
In modern times, “mysticism” has acquired a limited definition, with broad applications, as meaning the aim at the “union with the Absolute, the Infinite, or God” This limited definition has been applied to a wide range of religious traditions and practices, valuing “mystical experience” as a key element of mysticism. (Wikipedia)
See further: https://marinusjanmarijs.com/evidence-based-approach/14-research-areas/mystical-experiences/mystical-experiences/
Synonyms: Spiritual, numinous.
Relevance of the concept: Mysticism The doctrine that the nature of reality can be known by direct apprehension, by faculties above the senses, by intuition. “Mysticism demands a faculty above reason, by which the subject shall be placed in immediate and complete union with the object of his desire — a union in which the consciousness of self has disappeared, and in which therefore subject and object are one” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th ed. “Mysticism”).
Word + definition:
Schemas / Maps:
Relevance of the concept:
The concept in mythology:
Serial patterns in time:
Parallel patterns in time:
Literature: Books / Articles / Websites: