Mysticism: East and West
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Osher (50+). This course explores mystical religions in eastern and western traditions.
About this course:
A major and recurrent feature in world religions is the ecstatic or mystical experience of the individual or groups and the effects of such experience on the religious tradition. The course is concerned with the mystical as it appears in archaic, Eastern, and Western traditions, as well as with the mystics themselves. We begin with perhaps the earliest of religions, the shamans, and continue with the ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mystical practices as described in the secret texts. Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism present instructions and evidence of intense mystical experiences. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all have significant and powerful mystical knowledge that is explored. The course ends with a survey of modern ecstatic experience induced by drugs, as well as the psychological and bodily practices of the twenty-first century.