Chapter

Empty your Mind

Paul Marshall

in Mystical Encounters with the Natural World

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780199279432
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603440 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199279438.003.0006
Empty your Mind

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Although empty of contents, pure consciousness formed the basis of W. T. Stace’s explanation of content-rich extrovertive mystical experience, an explanation in which spirit and nature were radically separated. However, Stace’s approach is complicated by his borrowings from philosophical ideas that are not entirely harmonious, empirico-phenomenalist, Kantian, and Hegelian. The result is somewhat confused and fails to address important extrovertive characteristics. It is shown that Stace’s explanations of mystical experience can be fully understood only when the development of his metaphysical thought is taken into account. More recently, Robert Forman has also raised pure consciousness, but in a way that departs from Stace’s spirit-nature dualism. The possibility of a permanent extrovertive state, allegedly attainable through Transcendental Meditation and other spiritual practices, is considered.

Keywords: pure consciousness; Stace; extrovertive; introvertive; mysticism; empiricism; phenomenalism; Kant; Hegel; Forman

Chapter.  12349 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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