Death, Dying, and Mysticism: The Ecstasy of the End (Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Mysticism)
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This volume offers a sample of reflections from scholars and practitioners on the theme of death and dying from scholars and practitioners, ranging from the Christian tradition to Hinduism, Lacanian psychoanalysis, while also touching on the themes of the afterlife and near-death experiences.
had unconsciously congratulated themselves for that control, for the power of being about to order their limbs, regulate their bowels and bladders, and eat, chew, and digest. Now they have lost some of that. This is terrifying, but also—in at least some cases—liberating, as paradoxically they gain knowledge of a different kind of strength. Issues of control and loss of control pervade these accounts; in some cases these are the dominant theme. In a scene that appears to capture the horror of
imperative—to “turn away with your whole soul from the things that pass”—she frames her allegiance to this imperative in Christian terms: death leads to resurrection, not immortality. Despite this, however, her discomfort with “resurrection” is very apparent, and as soon as she introduces this term, she immediately qualifies it: “they do not foresee that beforehand; all they foresee is death.” This qualification has to do with perspective; there is a difference between the “choice” she describes
explore what effect they have on the bereaved within a controlled setting. This has led to preliminary explorations and theories as to the importance and reasons why people have such experiences, and in what way(s) they might be beneficial.41 One popular approach utilizes a technique derived from the ancient Greek and Egyptian art of “scrying,” a method of divination involving staring into a shallow pool of water under low lighting conditions. This is alleged to produce a concentrated and relaxed
heightened qualities of perception, which result in memorable impressions that can be recalled at will by a resuscitated individual. The nonphysical self can take diverse forms, like a sphere, but the most common form is the current body-image. The process of encounter with the “after-death” perceptual domain can be bracketed into three stages: the crisis stage of dying leading to apparent unconsciousness; measureable death and loss of evident life-signs during which the ECP occurs; physical
essence.18 Meister Eckhardt was charged with heresy for saying that God was a “nothingness”; he probably would have been convicted had he not died before the trial. The Eastern Orthodox tradition is more welcoming of the mystic experience. St. Symeon writes: Attend to the mystery of God ineffable: mysteries unutterable, strange, and altogether unheard of. God truly is, He really is . . . but he is nothing, absolutely nothing of all the realities we know, nor of the things which angels know. And