temporariness of the mystical state of consciousness in contrast to the relative permanence of the level of usual consciousness. Transient appearance of the special and unusual levels or dimensions of consciousness which are defined by this typology with subsequent disappearance and return to the more usual is the characteristic of this category. The peak level or climactic moment of the experience may last for only a relatively short period (variously described from seconds to hours) although the feelings of an "ecstatic afterglow" effect may be experienced for many hours or even days.*29 The characteristic of transiency, however, means that the mystical state of consciousness cannot be sustained indefinitely.
An objection might be raised at this point on the grounds that the greatest mystics achieved a permanent state of mystical consciousness which continued while they led active lives in the world.130 Although continuing effects • of the ecstatic afterglow can remain (but with decreasing intensity unless there are repeatod mystical experiences)
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