for some, period, however beief, the experiencer is aware that his normal sense of time is completely gone. There may be a feeling of being completely "outside" of time, or that time has "stopped" or ceased to exist. Lesser degrees than "conxlete" are the shortening or lengthening of subjective periods of time. The apparent lengthening or dragging of time which may be described in connection with boredom is the lowest level (1). A strong degree of loss of the sense of space indicates that the experiencer is no longer aware of where he is during the experience. There may be a complete or partial feeling of loss of the limitations of usual three-dimensional space. If orientation remains but spatial perceptions are altered, score as "slight" (1) or "moderate" (2), depending on the degree of approximation to complete loss of space. Experience of "eternity" or "infinity" indicates timelessness, spacelessness, or both, depending on the context.
The elements of this positive mood are joy, love, and peace. They are called positive because of tho value attached to them by the experiencer. They may occur together or individually, and at any time during the whole experience—e.g., at a climactic point or as part of an afterglow effect.
Joy may be of the exuberant or quiet type and may include such feelings as exaltation, rapture, ecstasy, bliss, delight, and/or happiness. Love is of one'3 fellow man as a human being, but not of an erotically stimulating nature; or may be of a cosmic scope such as love of nature, of the universe, of God. A feeling of harmoniousness may be included. Peace may include blessedness, beatitude, satisfaction, and/ or a sense of well-being.
Scoring level is based on intensity:
3 This level indicates an experience that is profound and deeply felt, i.e., close to the strongest human experience of such elements. For example, the strongest degree of peace is that which "passeth understanding." Tears associated with any of these elements of positive mood may be a sign of the overpowering nature of the experience.
2 This level lacks the extreme profundity and depth of feeling, but the mood is still moderately intense.
1 There is definite evidence here of the mood being present, but with low intensity.
This category comprises the sense of sacredness which i3 evoked by the experience, in whole or in part. The sacred is here defined broadly as that which a person feels to be of special value and capable of being profaned. The basic characteristic of sacredness is a non-rational, intuitive response in the presence of inspiring realities. No religious "beliefs" need necessarily be involved in such a sense of sacredness or be included in a sense of reverence or a feeling that what is experienced is holy or divine.
This, basic characteristic may be described directly, or the response may take various forms. The experiencer may be moved with awe, wonder, humility, or a hushed reverent feeling. Spontaneous acts such as prayer or kneeling may be evoked. Other examples of this non-rational, intuitive response may Include a sense of: finitude in contrast to the Infinite; humility before the overpowering majesty of that which uniquely transcends the finite; the "wholly other"-ness of what is felt to be holy or divine; a mysterious fascination in spite of a feeling of awe, fear, or terror in the sense of a shaking or trembling in the innermost depths of one's being; the urgency or energy of the holy or divine. As indicated, fear or terror may be part of the experience of sacredness, but certainly also can be experienced in a quite unrelated way. Do not score fear under this category, if not related.
The use of religious terminology to describe the experience is another indication of sacredness. For example, the response may be interpreted by the experiencer as a sense of Divine Presence, the consciousness of a Beyond or More, the awareness of some cosmic Principle or Universal Self, or more specifically as the presence of Christ, God, or some other deity, Sacredness may be strongly felt, however, without any of these interpretations being given.
Feelings of joy, love, or peace (of the previous category) may be evoked with a response of sacredness. Such an interconnection of these two categories should be watched for, but both categories should only be scored when there is clear indication that elements of both are present. However, they do not necessarily occur together.
Scoring level is based on intensity of the basic response in any of the possible forms. Intensity may be judged from the tone, manner of description, and context.
3 The profound sacredness of this level may include the high value and significance which the person places on his experience. The impact is shaking and very inspiring. Breathless awe may also accompany this level.
2 The profundity and extreme character of 3 is lacking, but the sacredness is still impressive.
1 Sacredness is definitely present, but weakly felt, i.e., not outstanding.
The category of unity is divided into internal and external types, which are different ways of experiencing an undifferentiated unity. The major difference is that the internal type finds unity through on "inner world" within the experiencer, and the external type finds unity through the external world outside the experiencer. 3oth types may be experienced by the same person.
The essential elements of unity experienced by turning inward are: loss of usual sense impressions, and loss of self without becoming unconscious. The multiplicity of usual external and internal sense impressions (including time and space), and the empirical ego or usual sense of individuality, fade or melt away, while consciousness remains. In the most complete experience, this consciousness is a pure internal awareness beyond empirical content, with no external or internal distinctions. One is not unconscious, however, but rather very much aware of an "inner world" of undifferentiated unity.
These essential elements are described in terms . of paradox. In spite of loss of sense impressions and dissolution of usual personal identity or self, the "I" still experiences the awareness of oneness or unity. The unity itself may be described as empty, yet full and complete. Either or both sides of this paradox may be emphasized by the various expressions used. On the one side, for example, the feeling of oneness with an empty unity expresses an awareness of the los3 of sense impressions and may be indicated by such words as emptiness, void, abyss, wayless, unorganized, darkness, - dissolution, or pure self. On the othr side, the feeling of oneness with what is all-encompassing or greater than the usual self may be expressed by such words as fullness, completeness, pure being, or unity with the whole. These various expressions of the essential elements are evidence of the Internal type of unity. Of course, the context must be considered.
Watch for associated experiences which may alert you to these essential elements. Some examples are: expansion of consciousness to other dimensions within the self; experience of another "world" of reality different from the ordinary; or consciousness of an underlying cosmic Principle, Beyond or More, Universal Self, Logos, Christ, or God. However, for internal unity to be scored, such experiences must have additional clear indication of the loss of sense impressions or self with retention of awareness (e.g., unity, bond, or absorption with the particular example or additional description with some of the expressions used above).
Scoring level is based on completeness:
3 a strong degree of completeness means that there is loss of the multiplicity of all sense impressions and complete loss of self. A pure awareness of an undifferentiated unity is present beyond empirical content with no internal or external distinctions. In fact, internal and external lose their meaning. Time and space are completely transcended.
2 ».-moderate degree of completeness means that internal distinctions remain. Although all external sense impressions and the usual sense of self are lost, internal imagery continues. Oneness is not complete.
1 There is definite evidence of the essential elements, but not in a complete a way as in level 2. Sense impressions are lost, but only partially. There is only incomplete loss of the sense of self. Some awareness of the external environment remains.
In this sub-category, unity is perceived outwardly with the physical senses through the external world. A sense of underlying oneness is felt behind the empirical multiplicity. The observer or subject feels that the usual separation between himself and an external object (inanimate or animate) is no longer present in a basic sense, yet the subject still knows that his individuality is retained. In spite of the empirical multiplicity of objects, which are still perceived as separate, the subject-object dichotomy is nevertheless in a paradoxical sense dissolved. On one level, the objects are separate, yet on another they are, at the some time, one with the subject. Another way of expressing this same phenomenon is that the essences of objects are experienced intuitively and felt to be the same at the deepest level. The subject feels a sense of oneness with these objects, because he "sees" that at the most basic level all are a part of the same undifferentiated unity. This oneness may be felt through things or people. Such external unity may also come as a deeply felt awareness of the life or living presence in things. There may be the realization that nothing is "really dead".
Watch for associated elements such as expansion of consciousness beyond the usual sense of self or consciousness of a Beyond or More, some cosmic Principle, etc. Such associated elements may point to more specific evidence of oneness or unity through external things. Completeness of associated loss of time varies, but transcendence of space is only partial or paradoxical, because external objects seem both separate and yet not separate.
Scoring level is based on completeness!
3 At this most complete level, the oneness has both depth and breadth. The capsule statement, "All is One," emphasizes the broad dimension of this underlying unity in all things. A cosmic dimension is felt.
2 The depth of oneness through things or people is present, but not the same wide scope of underlying unity in everything as in the most complete experience. The loss of usual separation between subject and object is limited to the immediate rather than cosmic dimension.
1 Oneness, kinship, friendship is felt with unusual closeness, but the depth of oneness is not so complete as '•; level 2.
Transiency means non-permanence of duration, i.e., loss of the phenonena of internal or external unity after, or perhaps even before, the whole experience is over. The duration of unity during the experience may last from seconds to hours, and the completeness may vary. Disappearance may seem gradual because of the afterglow effect, but transiency means that unity is not continuously sustained when the experience is over. Watch for indications that the essential elements are no longer present, e.g., mentions of "coming out" or "back to normal."
Scoring level is based on the intensity of the contrast between the degree of unity experienced during and afterwards:
3 A strong intensity of contrast means that although there may be a re-living in memory and persisting changes in other ways, the actual experience of unity does not continue in the ongoing life of the experiencer. Even a moderate or slight degree of unity can produce a strong contrast in comparison to usual consciousness.
2 A moderate intensity of contrast means that some of the actual phenomena of unity persist after the experience as a part of regular consciousness (even after 5 months), although perhaps in a lower degree of completeness.
1 A low intensity of contrast means that much of the actual phenomena of unity persists at the same level of completeness as during the experience as a part of regular consciousness.
0 No contrast means that the level of unity experienced continues unchanged afterwards. Of course, if none of the phenomena of unity was experienced at all, transiency also would be scored as 0.
This category has two interrelated elements: (1) insightful knowledge or illumination which is felt at on intuitive, non-rational level and gained by direct experience, and (2) the authoritativeness or the certainty for the experiencer that such knowledge is truly or ultimately real, In contrast to thé feeiing that the experience was a subjective delusion. These two elements are connected because the knowledge through participation in ultimate reality (in the sense of being able to "know" and "see" what is really real), carries its own sense of certainty. Two kinds of reality must be distinguished in reading the accounts: (a) "ordinary" reality (the reality of usual, everyday consciousness), and (b) "ultimate" reality (awareness of another dimension not the same as "ordinary" reality but still quite "real" to the experiencer. In fact, "ultimate" reality may be judged to be more profoundly real than "ordinary" reality. In each individual case, the context must determine which type of reality is being mentioned or described.
Such insightful knowledge does not necessarily mean an increase in facts, but rather intuitive illumination. What becomes "known" (rather than intellectually assented to) is intuitively felt to be authoritative and requires no proof at a rational level, and has an inward feeling of objective truth. The content of this knowledge can be divided into two main types: insights into being and existence in general, and insights into one's personal, finite self. The certainty of the reality and significance of the content applies to both. Examples of insights about being and existence in general are the direct realization through the present experience of hitherto undreamed-of realities and possibilities of experience, new perspectives on old facts or ideas, new understanding of relationships and meanings, new appreciation of the universe as a whole, or an experience of "everything falling into place." Examples of insight» about one's personal self are» a new certainty about vocational choice; realization of faults or problems to be met; understanding of the causes of conflict; or a clear vision of one's true self without self-deception. Such personal insights are at a level different from "ordinary" everyday reality.
Scoring level is based on the intensity of the certainty for the experiencer that the insightful knowledge gained is of "ultimate" reality (i.e., really real and not a delusion):
3 The characteristic of this level is the profundity of the conviction that "ultimate" reality has been encountered. The insightful knowledge is felt to be profoundly significant and true. The response fo ultimate reality is total, and there is a feeling of being totally grasped and dealt irwith. There is no coubt that what is experienced and known is truly or ultimately real, and- this conviction persists after the actual experience is over (even after 5 months).
2 The totalness and profundity of the certainty is lacking. There is some doubt as to the "ultimate" or true reality of the insights gained. Degree of certainty may decrease after the experience.
1 Insights are present, but at a less intense level of certainty of their "ultimate" reality than in 2. There is serious doubt as to their reality, but some conviction of reality remains, although it may be on the wane.
Any use of paradoxical language in describing or interpreting the experience or its meaning should be scored in this category. Paradoxical language is defined as language which is logically contradictory in statements about, descriptions of, or interpretations of the experience. Examples may include the experience of an empty, yet full and complete unity, the paradoxical loss of the sense of self and dissolution of individuality with retention of consciousness of what is experienced, or the separateness, yet unity with .objects in the experionce of external unity (paradoxical transcendence of space). Watch for descriptions of such paradoxical experiences.
Degree of paradoxicality is to be scored on how paradoxical any examples found appear to the judge, i.e., based on degree of intensity:
3 This level means that although obviously contrary to common sense, contradictory statements are still strongly stated as true descriptions of the experience. The examples are striking, and the account gives a strong impression of paradoxicality.
2 Contradictory statements appear only moderately paradoxical. The striking element is lacking.
1 Paradoxicality is present, but only to a low degree. The examples are not particularly impressive.
This category is for any mention or indication of difficulty in adequately describing one's own experience in words. Watch for comparisons with the person's previous ease or difficulty in describing his personal experiences. The tone of the whole account is important in judging this category.
Scoring level is based on the intensity of the indication of difficulty of description.
3 This level designates direct statements made with conviction that the experience is beyond words and verbal description.
2 This level reflects direct statements of Ineffability which are made without the emphasis of level 3, or strong indirect indications from the account in general.
1 Statements give an impression of ineffability, but only weakly.
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