Mysticism and Meaning
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Mysticism and Meaning

Multidisciplinary Perspectives

$36.95, plus S&H Prepublication special $29.50, plus S&H
Edited by Alex S. Kohav
320 Pages
August 2019
ISBN 978-1-931483-40-7

Description

This exciting new volume investigates the question of meaning of mystical phenomena and, conversely, queries the concept of “meaning” itself through insights afforded by mystical experiences. It brings together researchers from three different countries, representing highly disparate fields, including philosophy, psychology, history of religion, and semiotics. The point is to address the meaning of mysticism through a pertinent, up-to-date multidisciplinary approach. The editor’s introduction probes questions of complexity and perplexity as well as the reasons why problematizing mysticism leads to even greater enigmas. The thirteen chapters work along two main threads. One provides the contextual framework for the continuing fascination of mysticism, presenting historical traditions and personal accounts of mystical experiences; the other focuses on multidisciplinary investigations of the phenomenon of mysticism. A must-read for anyone wishing to expand their understanding of mysticism and its meaning.

Content

1. Alex S. Kohav, Introductory Essay: The Problem, Aporia, and Mysterium of Mysticism

PROLOGUE: MYSTICISM’S BREADTH OF MANIFESTATION

2. Jeff Warren, The Anxiety of the Long-Distance Meditator

3. Gregory M. Nixon, Breaking out of One’s Head (and Awakening to the World)

4. Jack Hirschman, The Mystical Essay: Kabbala, Communism, and Street-Level Café Poiesis

PART I: RELIGIONS AT BIRTH, IN PERPETUITY, AND IN FLUX

5. Livia Kohn, Oneness with Heaven and Earth: Mysticism in the Chinese Traditio

6. Alex S. Kohav, God of Moses versus the “One and All” of Egypt: From Magic of Hypostatized Spirituality to Discriminating Paradigm of Non-Idolatry.

7. Harry T. Hunt, Toward an Existential Understanding of Christianity: Phenomenologies of Mystical States as Mediating between Kierkegaard's Christian Dogmatics and Early Gospel Accounts

PART II: PHILOSOPHY & MYSTICISM: CONJOINED AT SOURCE?

8. Ori Z. Soltes, Convergent Paths along the Via Spinoza: Philosophy and Mysticism from Socrates to Ibn’ Arabi and the Ba’al Shem Tov

9. Jacob Rump, Not How the World Is, but That It Exists: Wittgenstein on the Mystical and the Meaningful

PART III: PSYCHOLOGICAL, LINGUISTIC, & SEMIOTIC TURNS

10. Brian (“Les”) Lancaster, Mystical Maps and Psychological Models: States of Consciousness in the Language Mysticism of the Zohar

11. Louis Hébert, Becoming a Buddha: A Semiotic Analysis of Visualizations in Tibetan Buddhism

CODA: A NEW AGE FOR THE MYSTICAL?

12. Richard H. Jones, Mysticism in the New Age: Are Mysticism and Science Converging?

POSTSCRIPT: SOUL-FREE HOMO SAPIENS?

13. Burton H. Voorhees, Fragments from Records of the First Information Age

The Editor

Alex S. Kohav, PhD (Consciousness Studies and Religious Studies, Union Institute and University), is a philosopher, visual artist and a poet. He teaches at the Department of Philosophy, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and has previously taught at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. Drawing on Husserl’s phenomenology and close to a dozen other disciplinary approaches, Kohav’s 2011 dissertation, The Sôd Hypothesis, establishes the new research area of ancient Israelite foundational mysticism of the First Temple era. He is also the editor of various other works on mysticism and ancient Israelite philosophy. He blogs at MosaicKabbalah.org.

Praise

Equally breathtaking in scope and intellectually demanding, this survey of mysticism is state-of-the-art. Dedicated students and scholars will find selections ranging from poetry to neurophenomenology, semiotics, and philosophy; Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism to Kabbalah, Christianity, ancient Judaism, and ancient Egypt; while including analyses of Heidegger, Derrida, Wittgenstein, Spinoza, and the Greeks; and autobiographical accounts of mystical experience. Not for the intellectually fainthearted!

—Rick Strassman MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule and DMT and the Soul of Prophecy