Mysticism and the Modern Mind

Mysticism and the Modern Mind

Mysticism and the Modern Mind

Mysticism and the Modern Mind

Excerpt

This symposium has the purpose of presenting an exploration of, rather than an anthology on, mysticism, since a number of excellent compilations already exist. A careful selection of material to appeal to the modern mind has been attempted, especially that modern mind dissatisfied with excessive claims by mystics in the familiar religious traditions. The symposium may therefore be significant for what it omits as well as for what it includes.

I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the contributors who rallied enthusiastically to this project. I wish especially to thank Professor John A. Irving, Chairman, Department of Philosophy, Victoria College, University of Toronto, who made important suggestions for the inclusion of certain chapters in this symposium. I am particularly indebted for the chapter on ontological and ethical mysticism in Indian thought by Dr. N. A. Nikam, Professor of Philosophy, University of Mysore; Secretary, Indian Philosophical Congress; and Visiting Fellow, Yale University, 1952-53. Without this important study by an authority on Eastern mysticism and philosophy this symposium would have been decidedly deficient. I also appreciate the interesting, approach to the relation of logical analysis and mysticism by Professor Irving who infused into it his great knowledge of a school of philosophy which has often been vigorously critical of mystical and metaphysical presuppositions. It would appear, however, as he has happily indicated, that some aspects of Wittgenstein's logic are not at all inimical to the mystical quest.

The philosophy of Existentialism, which may be of increasing relevance and importance in this country, has its relation to mysticism as presented by Professors Newton P. Stallknecht and Henry Nelson Wieman. I am happy that some aspects of this . . .

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