The Varieties of Magical Experience: Indigenous, Medieval, and Modern Magic

The Varieties of Magical Experience: Indigenous, Medieval, and Modern Magic

The Varieties of Magical Experience: Indigenous, Medieval, and Modern Magic

The Varieties of Magical Experience: Indigenous, Medieval, and Modern Magic

Synopsis

A rare combination of personal and academic, this book showcases the myriad avenues for transcending the boundaries of reality through direct sensory experience.

Excerpt

This book is inspired by William James’s (1842–1910) pioneering work, The Varieties of Religious Experience, which emphasizes the importance of the personal experience in religious and spiritual matters. Indeed, the experience takes precedence over dogma and doctrine and is the very foundation of religion. Following on from William James, this book, The Varieties of Magical Experience, looks at the personal experience as a phenomenon in itself, taking magical or metaphysical encounters as the lens through which to explore the experiential.

Throughout the book, the focus is on physical and metaphysical qualitative experiences, especially when they cross the barriers of what is normally regarded as body, mind, and space, and those encounters with events, “things,” and entities that are viewed as “paranormal” or “supernatural.” We take a phenomenological approach, suspending or “bracketing” the various assumptions and presuppositions that we all have and instead focusing on what Edmund Husserl has referred to as “the things in themselves.” Subjective experiences can be a potential source of insight in “methodological pluralism,” according to which no point of view is privileged over any other. We offer The Varieties of Magical Experience as one of the contributions to methodological pluralism, the phenomena as experienced.

Magical experiences are those that appear to contradict mainstream science’s constructs of time, space, and energy. in Anomalistic . . .

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