Rational Mysticism: Spirituality Meets Science in the Search for Enlightenment

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HMH, 22.03.2004 - 304 Seiten
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The author of The End of Science chronicles the most advanced research into such experiences as prayer, fasting, and trances in this “great read” (The Washington Post).

How do trances, visions, prayer, satori, and other mystical experiences “work”? What induces and defines them? Is there a scientific explanation for religious mysteries and transcendent meditation? John Horgan investigates a wide range of fields—chemistry, neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, theology, and more—to narrow the gap between reason and mystical phenomena. As both a seeker and an award-winning journalist, Horgan consulted a wide range of experts, including theologian Huston Smith, spiritual heir to Joseph Campbell; Andrew Newberg, the scientist whose quest for the “God module” was the focus of a Newsweek cover story; Ken Wilber, prominent transpersonal psychologist; Alexander Shulgin, legendary psychedelic drug chemist; and Susan Blackmore, Oxford-educated psychologist, parapsychology debunker, and Zen practitioner. Horgan explores the striking similarities between “mystical technologies” like sensory deprivation, prayer, fasting, trance, dancing, meditation, and drug trips. He participates in experiments that seek the neurological underpinnings of mystical experiences. And, finally, he recounts his own search for enlightenment—adventurous, poignant, and sometimes surprisingly comic. Horgan’s conclusions resonate with the controversial climax of The End of Science, because, as he argues, the most enlightened mystics and the most enlightened scientists end up in the same place—confronting the imponderable depth of the universe.
 

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Inhalt

2 ATTACK OF THE POSTMODERNISTS
3 THE WEIGHTLIFTING BODHISATTVA
4 CAN NEUROTHEOLOGY SAVE US?
5 THE GOD MACHINE
6 THE SHEEP WHO BECAME A GOAT
7 ZEN AND JAMES AUSTINS BRAIN
8 IN THE BIRTHPLACE OF LSD
9 GODS PSYCHOANALYST
10 THE MAN IN THE PURPLE SPARKLY SUIT
11 AYAHUASCA
12 THE AWEFUL TRUTH
WINTER SOLSTICE
Back Matter
Back Cover
Spine
Urheberrecht

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Über den Autor (2004)

John Horgan, a former senior writer for Scientific American, is the author of the acclaimed End of Science and Undiscovered Mind. His articles have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Science Magazine, and a wide range of other publications. His work has won awards from the American Psychiatric Association and the National Association of Science Writers, among others. With both a BA and an MS in journalism from Columbia University, Horgan has lectured at McGill University. He lives in New York State with his wife and two children.

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