Discipline: Philosophy

A type of religious attitude (appearing in many guises and within many religions from antiquity onwards) emphasizing various practices - ascetic, contemplative, or other - for obtaining knowledge of and unification with God or spiritual reality by means not open to reason and not relying on dogma.

Mystics claim to achieve this knowledge or unification by experiences which have a favorable affective quality and cannot be put into words (they are 'ineffable'); though it is claimed that mystics of widely differing traditions readily understand each other's writings.

H L Bergson, The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (1935); contains discussion of historical growth of mysticism, though in the service of Bergson's own philosophy


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