Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality

Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality

John Horgan


John Horgan, writer of the best-selling the top of technological know-how, chronicles the main complex study into the mechanics—and meaning—of mystical reports. How do trances, visions, prayer, satori, and different mystical studies “work”? What induces and defines them? Is there a systematic reason behind spiritual mysteries and transcendent meditation? John Horgan investigates a variety of fields — chemistry, neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, theology, and extra — to slim the distance among cause and mystical phenomena. As either a seeker and an award-winning journalist, Horgan consulted a variety of specialists, together with theologian Huston Smith, religious inheritor to Joseph Campbell; Andrew Newberg, the scientist whose quest for the “God module” used to be the focal point of a Newsweek hide tale; Ken Wilber, admired transpersonal psychologist; Alexander Shulgin, mythical psychedelic drug chemist; and Susan Blackmore, Oxford-educated psychologist, parapsychology debunker, and Zen practitioner. Horgan explores the notable similarities among “mystical applied sciences” like sensory deprivation, prayer, fasting, trance, dancing, meditation, and drug journeys. He participates in experiments that search the neurological underpinnings of mystical stories. And, eventually, he recounts his personal look for enlightenment — adventurous, poignant, and occasionally strangely comedian. Horgan’s conclusions resonate with the arguable climax of the tip of technology, simply because, as he argues, the main enlightened mystics and the main enlightened scientists turn out within the related position — confronting the imponderable intensity of the universe.

Show sample text content

Download sample