Stace pp 152 273274

be one's personal sense of his past, present, and future.95 Transcendence of space means that a person loses his usual orientation as to vhere he is during the experience in terms of the usual three-dimensional perception of his environment. Experiences of timelessness and spacelessness may also be described as an experience of "eternity" or "infinity."

The experience of internal unity by definition includes transcendence of both time and space because of the loss of all empirical sense impressions. The experience of external unity may or may not include the transcendence of time, but space is paradoxically and only partially transcended because external objects seem both separate and yet not separate because of the feeling of underlying unity.

Category III: Deeply Felt Positive Mood

The most universal elements (and therefore, the ones which are roost essential in the definition of this category) are joy, blessedness, and peace. Their unique character in relation to the mystical experience is that their intensity marks them as being at the highest levels of

95walker in describing the experience of Universal Consciousness saysi "...the words 'before' and 'after' seen to have lost all their former meaning for us, ao that we appear to have been transported to a world completely outside of timo." (£e. P. 41.)

the human experience of these feelings and they are valued highly by the experiencersJoy may be of an exuberant or quiet nature and may include such feelings as exultation, rapture, ecstasy, bliss, delight, and/or happiness.97 Peace is of the profound nature that "passeth understanding." Closely related to peace is blessedness which includes beatitude, satisfaction, and/or a sense of well-being. Tears may be associated with any of these feelings of positive mood because of the overpowering nature of the experience.98 These feelings may be directly associated with the peak of the experience or occur during the "ecstatic afterglow" when the peak has passed, but its effects and memory are still quite vivid and intense."

Love is also an element of deeply felt positive mood which has been mentioned by many students of mysticism, but love does not have the same universality as joy,

^&Stace. op. cit.. p. 68"] Pratt, p£. cjLt.,pp.351-352

9?Underhill, Mysticism, p. 366.

""This is the condition that I call the 'ecstatic afterglow* when,, with returning consciousness the realization appreciation, and interpretation of the experience begin»." Laski feels that especially calm, stillness, peace, and sense of well-being are likely to carry over into an "ecstatic afterglow." (Ibid., pp. 85-86.)

blessedness, and peace.*"00 One example of mystical love is the love which the mystic feels between himself and

God, and which may rise to an indescribable intensity and

Love has an interrelation with several other categories. The love of God which is especially common in Christian mysticism is an obvious example of the experience of sacredness (see next category). Love in terms of Union with God is one way of interpreting the experience of internal unity.*-02 External unity also may have a mood of love especially if the oneness is attained through people, who become a symbol of the oneness in all things. The deeply felt mood or feeling in this case is not necessarily interpreted as love of "God."

In summary, deeply felt positive mood is most universally expressed by joy, blessedness, and peace. Love is closely related and may also be present.

lOOstace does not include love as one of the "universal core" characteristics (op. cit., pp. 68). Pratt suggests that the more personal that God is to the mystic, the more the sentiment of personal love is aroused (op. cit., p.349-). The very mention of "God" is for Stace already an interpretation rather than a description of the basic psychological experience.

lOlunderhlll. Mysticism, pp. 425-428. 102stace, oj3. cit., pp. 101-105.

Category IVi Sense of Sacrednesa

This category comprises the sense of sacredness which is evoked by the mystical experience. 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, hushed, palpitant response in the presence of inspiring realities. No religious "beliefs" need necessarily be involved even though a sense of reverence or a feeling that what is experienced is holy or divine may be included.103

As Rufus Jones points out, Rudolph Otto calls such a non-rational (yet deeply felt) response the consciousness of the "numinous" which uniquely transcends the finite or ordinary and moves one with awe and wonder.104 Otto's phen-omenological description includes feelings of awe (with the emphasis on uncanniness or numinous dread), profound humility before the overpowering majesty of what is felt to be holy, numinous energy or urgency, a sense of the wholly otherness of what is experienced, and mysterious fascination in spita

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