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Comparative Religion

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14

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Bob Waxman Ph.D.
added 2 research items
In Shamanism, the ecstatic experience connotes a state of bliss, transcendence, and communion with the sacred. Shamans utilize techniques such as journeying, trances, and altered states of consciousness to achieve ecstatic experiences. Psychologists contend that ecstatic experiences occur in the mind, not outside the body. Scientific studies focus on the Shaman’s cognitive processes, study of mind, and behaviors for overcoming their own psychological imbalances. Shamanism is known for its contemplative methods while using hallucinogenic herbs. Most scholars refute the claim that ecstatic experiences are the same as mystical experiences. Some scholars contend that Shamans are mystics but achieve inner states of transcendence. Conversely, Shamans claim the spirit leaves the body which results in unitary consciousness. Transpersonal Psychology is the one academic discipline that supports out-of-body ecstatic experiences. In case studies, the indigenous Lakotas speak of the release of the soul; in another study, participants discuss post-journeying exercises.
The Age of Enlightenment (1650 CE – 1800 CE) introduced original modes of thinking about God, religion, and humanity’s spiritual relationship with nature. These illuminating ideas culminated in an ideology known as Deism which was primarily influenced by John Locke (1632 CE – 1704 CE). This paper focuses on events leading up to the formation of Deism and its five fundamental principles. Locke's philosophy advanced theological discourse as a rational form of spiritual expression.
Bob Waxman Ph.D.
added 5 research items
In this book, many theories, possibilities, predictions, and prophecies are discussed for the purpose of uncovering the true meaning behind the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar. The Mayans had no intention of predicting the end of the world and their greatest secret has been suppressed for centuries. This book explains the ultimate meaning of 2012.
An introduction to the main Kabbalistic concepts including: The Secrets of the Soul, The Four Worlds of Existence, What Happens After Death, The Journey of the Soul, What the Stars are Telling Us, The Language of Numbers, Hidden Symbols in the Torah, The Lost Books of the Bible and Man's Direct Connection to the One Divine Source.
Many similarities and correspondences are found in Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah) and Hindu mysticism (Vedanta-Advaita). In both traditions, the ultimate goal is to experience communion with a Divine Source. To reach this level of transcendence, each system speaks of an individualized soul with three characteristics that merge with a Godhead. Through deep meditative practices, the soul experiences a divine influx of the Infinite. The Hindu Upanishads and the Jewish Zohar speak of similar methodologies for achieving a mystical experience. Vedantin Adi Shankara and Kabbalist Abraham Abulafia created esoteric systems for advancing mystical practices. Additionally, metaphysical beliefs on Being and Non-Being are comparable in both traditions. The cyclical nature of universes and transmigration of souls offer a unified theory of microcosm and macrocosm. Throughout the centuries, spiritual leaders contributed new knowledge to cosmology, esoteric interpretations, and daily practices for attaining higher consciousness. The contextual evolution of Vedanta and Kabbalah has been corroborated and finds support in modern scholarly discourse. Conclusions are offered on the benefits of mystical experiences including assimilation of wisdom, achieving transcendence, and living in a continual state of illumination.