Existential Foundations of the "Mystical Experience"

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Abstract

In the existing philosophical interpretations of mystical experience (constructivism, essentialism, etc.), its essence is usually seen in the features of "mystical knowledge". At the same time, the value-semantic foundations of mystical experience and its existential aspect remain in the shadows. In this article, the mystical experience is analyzed from the standpoint of the theories of the subject's objective activity - the theory of activity (developed in Russian psychology), enactivism, and the concept of the "life world". It is shown that the essence of mystical experience is manifested not in cognitive, but in value-semantic, existential attitude to the world, which is represented by two groups of value-semantic viewpoints. In the first, the dependence of the subject on the sacred object of mystical experience is expressed, in the second - the volitional focus of the subject on overcoming such dependence, "mastering", "acquiring" the sacred object. These attitudes reflect the duality of the need-motivational sphere of consciousness, which gives the activity of the subject, on the one hand, activity, energy, and on the other, meaning. In mystical experience, the subject of active "development", "acquisition" (which can be both real and virtual) is an imaginative "otherworldly reality". The analysis allows us to conclude that mystical experience is one of the forms of motivational states of consciousness. Its peculiarity is that it is aimed at realizing the need for the harmonization of the subject's relations with the natural and social environment, the subject's finding the meaning of the "existence of his self" in an always open to the future, incomplete life world. It is the motivational basis that gives the mystical experience an improvisational character, as well as a creative, renewing potential (within the boundaries of the sensory-emotional experience of the world by the subject). The article also analyzes the concept of semantic reality. It is shown that the semantic foundations of mystical experience reflect the individually unique aspects of human life, are the result of the interactions of many factors of socio-cultural, individual-personal nature (psychological, medical, pharmacological, gender, psychiatric, etc.).

About the authors

Viacheslav Mikhailovich Naidysh

RUDN University

Author for correspondence.
Email: v.naidysh@bk.ru

DSc in Philosophy, Professor of the Department of Ontology and Epistemology

6, Miklukho-Maklaya St., Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

Olga Viacheslavovna Naidysh

RUDN University

Email: olga.naydysh@bk.ru
Candidate of Philosophy, Department of Ontology and Epistemology 6, Miklukho-Maklaya St., Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

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Copyright (c) 2022 Naidysh V.M., Naidysh O.V.

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