Religious Experience Essay

451 Words2 Pages
Discuss the difference between numinous and mystical religious experience, and give specific examples to illustrate the difference.

A religious experience is a strong experience or feeling that pulls you closer to God. There are many different forms of religious experiences, but two of the more prominent type of ones are numinous and mystical religious experiences. Both of these experiences makes one feel as if they are connected with the higher spirit world. A numinous experience is a type of religious experience when you recognize that you are in the presence of something greater than yourself. Mysticism, different from a numinous experience, has to be directly “experienced”. A numinous experience is most closely related to a feeling
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William James, American psychologist and philosopher, pinpointed four general characteristics of mystical religious experiences: Ineffability, noetic quality, transiency, and passivity (Mystical Experiences). Ineffability states that mystical experiences are off of feelings rather than intellect. Noetic quality states that mysticism comes from knowledge, insight, awareness and illumination, it is beyond the realms of intellect. Transiency states that mystical experiences only last a minimal amount of time, even though they may seem to last an eternity. And, lastly, passivity is when a person feels like they are in a complete trance and held up by a higher power. In culmination, both numinous and mystical religious experience both are quite different, yet the ultimate conclusion of both is contact with higher spirits. Both experiences leave the individual with a new and profound knowledge of god and his existence. Sometimes a religious experience can be a feeling or prolonged dread, as if something bad has happened, or it could be a sensation of peace, love and hope. But, at the end of the day this experience is something like no other, it makes you feel something unexplainable yet extremely
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