Shahar Arzy, Moshe Idel's Kabbalah: A Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences PDF

By Shahar Arzy, Moshe Idel

ISBN-10: 0300152361

ISBN-13: 9780300152364

In this unique research, Moshe Idel, an eminent student of Jewish mysticism and inspiration, and the cognitive neuroscientist and neurologist Shahar Arzy mix their significant services to discover the mysteries of the Kabbalah from a completely new point of view: that of the human mind. In lieu of the theological, sociological, and psychoanalytic techniques that experience ordinarily ruled the research of ecstatic mystical stories, the authors recreation to decode the mind mechanisms underlying those phenomena. Arzy and Idel learn first-person descriptions to discover the Kabbalistic options hired by means of so much famous Jewish mystics to impact physically reduplications, dissociations, and different phenomena, and examine them with contemporary neurological observations and modern day laboratory experiments. the consequent learn deals readers a systematic, extra brain-based realizing of ways ecstatic Kabbalists accomplished their most beneficial mystical reviews. The learn additional demonstrates how those Kabbalists have lengthy functioned as pioneering investigators of the human self.

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Extra resources for Kabbalah: A Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences

Example text

The ecstatic brain: neurocognitive mechanisms that are altered by the ecstatic technique, giving rise to the ecstatic experience. The descriptions of an ecstatic experience (level 1) may appear in a variety of literatures, such as poetry or autobiography, or even in Kabbalistic books that have other religious foci as their main concern. The ecstatic model (level 2) is much more restricted and is found in Kabbalistic forms of literature or their sources (level 3), via alterations of certain neurocognitive mechanisms (level 4), though those cannot discriminately characterize a certain school.

In the next section, we gather detailed reports by various mystics about their experiences and the techniques they used and try to classify them according to the abovementioned subtypes of ecstatic mystical experiences and autoscopic phenomena. 4. Personal Reports of Mystical Experiences Here we present examples of each of the three ecstatic phenomena—autoscopy, heautoscopy, and out-of-body experience—as reported by prominent ecstatic mystics. Some are first-person reports, and others are expressed as instruction to a future follower or student.

The method was based on specific techniques, experiences, and perceptions, unlike other, theurgic Kabbalists, who endeavored to describe the structure of the divine and the processes therein. Abulafia envisioned his prophetic-ecstatic Kabbalah as more advanced than previous forms since it dealt mainly with linguistic matters. Thus, he invented a special technique using as its basic components the twenty-two Hebrew letters and their combinations. The main “prophetic-ecstatic” experience was characterized by the visual appearance of a human form.

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Kabbalah: A Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences by Shahar Arzy, Moshe Idel


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