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Mystical Consciousness
Western Perspectives and Dialogue with Japanese Thinkers
Mystical Consciousness
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Louis Roy, O.P. - Author
Hardcover - 251 pages
Release Date: January 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5643-9
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5643-9

Out of Print
Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 251 pages
Release Date: January 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5644-7
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5644-6

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Provides a philosophical account of everyday consciousness as a way of understanding mystical consciousness, drawing on the work of many Western and some Japanese thinkers.

This book offers a philosophical account of ordinary consciousness as a step toward understanding mystical consciousness. Presupposing a living interaction between meditation and thinking, the work draws on Western and Japanese thinkers to develop a philosophy of religion that is friendly to the experience of meditators and that can explore such themes as emptiness, nothingness, and the self. Western thinkers considered include Plotinus, Eckhart, Schleiermacher, Heidegger, Brentano, Husserl, Sartre, and Lonergan; and Japanese thinkers referenced include Nishitani, Hisamatsu, and Suzuki. All employed centering prayer, Zen, or other forms of mental concentration. Particular emphasis is placed on the work of twentieth-century Catholic philosopher Bernard Lonergan, whose writings on consciousness can inform an understanding of mysticism.

“…Roy has delivered a meticulously researched volume that … will lead to further fields of inquiry.” — Philosophy East & West

“…makes an important advance beyond much of the work on cross-cultural comparisons of mysticism by avoiding typologies of mysticism and actually interpreting the writings of different mystics. More importantly, Roy has raised a series of crucial questions about the relationship of mysticism to the analogical judgments of ordinary consciousness.” — Nova et Vetera

“Louis Roy’s primary objective is to clarify and explain the dynamics of human consciousness in its ordinary and mystical forms. His second objective is to engage the explanatory power of this account to interpret, settle, and reframe many of the questions central to debates in the philosophy of mysticism and interreligious dialogue. He succeeds admirably on both counts.” — The Journal of Religion

"It is the first intercultural philosophy to bring together the work of Bernard Lonergan on critical philosophy in the West and Japanese Zen thinkers. There is a wealth of new insights and the ramifications abound." — John P. Keenan, author of How Master Mou Removes Our Doubts: A Reader-Response Study and Translation of the Mou-tzu Li-huo lun

"In the fields of religious studies and theology, thinkers have been engaged in debates about such constructs as 'experience,' 'consciousness,' and 'mysticism,' and such philosophical problems as the possibility of 'pure,' or unmediated (by concepts), experience, or consciousness. This book will make a significant contribution to those important debates." — Christopher Ives, author of Zen Awakening and Society

Louis Roy, O.P. is Professor of Theology at Boston College. He is the author of Self-Actualization and the Radical Gospel and Transcendent Experiences: Phenomenology and Critique.

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Table of Contents



Part I. Western Philosophies of Consciousness

1. Major Contributions

Concluding Remarks

2. Complementary Contributions

From Intentionality to Consciousness: Searle
Degrees of Consciousness: Crosby
Further Clarifications: Helminiak
The Affective Side: Morelli
Concluding Remarks

3. Accounts of Mystical Consciousness

Forman on Pure Consciousness Events
The Realm of Transcendence According to Lonergan
Moore on the "How" of Consciousness
Price on Bare Consciousness
Granfield on the Mystical Difference
Concluding Remarks

Part II. Three Classics

4. Plotinus: Consciousness beyond Consciousness

A Grand Worldview
Intellect's Share in the Good
Ordinary Consciousness
What Happens beyond Consciousness?
No Blackout and Yet No Self-Consciousness
Ecstasy, or Enstasy?
Concluding Remarks

5. Eckhart: When Human Consciousness Becomes Divine Consciousness

The Emptiness of the Human Intellect
No Awareness
A Detached Love without a Why
Is the Soul Equated with God?
The Soul's Breakthrough to the Godhead
Concluding Remarks

6. Schleiermacher: Consciousness as Feeling

Prereflective and Reflective Consciousness
Absolute Dependence
Three Kinds of Consciousness
Concluding Remarks

Part III. A Dialogue with Zen Philosophy

7. Western Views of the Self

Arguing against the Self
Arguing for the Self
Transcending the Self
Concluding Remarks

8. Japanese Views of the Self

Concluding Remarks

9. Some Western Views of Nothingness

Plotinus and Eckhart
Nishitani Interpreter of Plotinus, Eckhart, and Heidegger
Concluding Remarks

10. Japanese Views of Nothingness

Nishitani's Approach to Nihilism
Nishitani's Characterization of "Absolute Nothingness"
Hisamatsu's Characterization of "Oriental Nothingness"
Concluding Remarks



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