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Mystical EEs/EHEs
Record Type: Review   ID: 200

Mysticism: Its History and Challenge

Borchert, Bruno

 This is the book on mysticism. It is a dream of a reference book that can be read and reread by anyone interested in exceptional human experiences of the mystical type. Part I, The Phenomena of Mysticism, has chapters on the mystical experience, mystics, the language of mysticism, triggers of mystical experience, and one entitled "Ecstasy, Vision, Apparitions, Perception." Part II is on The History of Mysticism and consists of 17 chapters on subjects one would expect, chronological and geographical, e.g., "The Hellenistic World" and "Continuations of Medieval Mysticism." But it also includes chapters such as "A Feminine World View" and "The Journey Inward." The last section, The Mystical Way, consists of three chapters on mysticism today: secularism, people being ego-oriented and narcissistic/materialistic; and the last chapter "The Many Ways of Mysticism," which in essence is on the ways in which the mystical interfaces with humans and the natural world in a pictographic record accompanied by brief text, from images of the Earth from the moon to sensory isolation and also as depicted in works of art. He even maps mystical influences in an appendix. A second appendix is a chronology of mysticism beginning with 8000 B.C. through Ramakrishna A.D. 1900. There also is a glossary and a biographical dictionary. This is the best one-volume accessible treatment of mysticism, from the inside and the outside, I have seen.
Publisher Information:York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, 1994. 456p. Bibl: 441-446; Biography: 405-440; Chronology: 376-395; 176 figs; Glos: 397-404; Index: 449-456; 3 maps (Original work published in Dutch in 1989)
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