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Mystical EEs/EHEs
Record Type: Review   ID: 201

The Ecstatic Journey

Burnham, Sophy

 This is an introduction to mystical experience, both the kind that momentarily has a profound effect but are not transformative (that is, EEs) and those that change a life unalterably (EHEs); her EHE autobiography; and a general overview of the aftereffects of mystical experience. Three major strands interweave through the text; autobiographical sections; what researchers and well-known mystics have said about mystical experience and the mystic’s path; and accounts of mystical experiences of people who are not famous. Reading the book is like wandering among a series of beautiful gardens, moving from delight to delight. I do not mean it is all sweetness and light. She describes aridity and dark night; the agony involved in changing one’s life and its effect on loved ones; flagellation; cults. She also describes various meditative techniques and the hemisynch program at the Monroe Institute. I found her own story most absorbing. She writes so effortlessly and movingly that reading about her life is like living it yourself. Scholars may scoff because she touches on so many areas, each one of which could consume volumes. But the mix she provides does exactly what she intended. Read this book and you will know a little about many aspects of mystical experience, and you will have a very good idea of how they make you feel, and what you may well do and feel after you have had one, such as she had on a visit to Machu Picchu in Peru.
Publisher Information:New York: Ballantine, 1997. 1-323p. Chapnotes: 298-311; Ind: 320-323; 70 refs; Sugg. Rdg: 318-319.
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