and illuminated to the ecstasy and spiritual marriage or unitive life.149
The categories in the above typology allow for a difference in intensity or level within the mystical experience. The question arises as to when an experience ceases to be defined as mystical. Stace has classified experiences which do not have all the core characteristics of either the introvertive or extrovertive types as atypical or borderline.150 Laski in her study of what she calls transcendent ecstasy includes aesthetic experiences in art, poetry, music, drama, and nature; creative experiences in writing or scientific work; and certain sexual and childbirth experiences as well as the commonly termed religious or mystical experiences. Some of her criteria are the same as our categories, but the breadth of her characteristics lead3 her to include experiences in which all our categories would not be represented.15* Such experiences
H. Thouless, An Introduction to the Psychology of Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1956), pp. 228-233. Underhill, Mysticism, pp. 167-443.
lSlgee especially her Appendix D for a summary of her characteristics (opTi clfr.. pp. 482-495).
would be called more or less atypical or borderline by our definition unless some essential characteristics from all of our categories were present. Some categories have a variety of phenomena which are an expression of the same universal characteristics. Not all the phenomena of each category need be experienced for the category to be counted positively in the evaluation of a particular experience (e.g., all the various elements of deeply positive mood or changes in attitude and behavior). What is experienced, however, should occur to a strong or adequate degree to qualify that particular category when the completeness of the mystical typology as a whole is judged.
The category of unity is the most important, and if either external or internal unity is experienced, characteristics from the other categories are likely to be experienced also.152 If neither internal nor external unity is complete, unity has not been truly experienced. Even if all the other categories are represented, such an experience must be considered as close to, but not strictly the same as the most complete mystical experience by our definition. In such a case, the total experience would be classified as
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