By Shahar Arzy, Moshe Idel
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Additional info for Kabbalah: A Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences
However, this is actually part of a wider structure, the ecstatic model, which includes practices discussed in this book. Thus, various elements of the ecstatic model are easily detectable in Neoplatonic philosophy and in Geronese Kabbalah. The gist of the description below has to do with covering a variety of experiences in which the self is imagined to be, in one way or another, in (embodied) or out of (disembodied) the body, or replaced by another “personality” in the physical body. 5 2. Ecstasy in Judaism Attempting to describe Judaism is challenging.
However, they are not a purely visual One out There: Autoscopic Phenomena experience and thus do not originate in visual disturbance. Autoscopic phenomena have several associated nonvisual sensations, including vestibular sensations (such as floating, elevation, lightness, tilting, or vertigo); body schema disturbances; and visual body part illusions (such as the shortening, transformation, or movement of an extremity). 9 Likewise, autoscopic phenomena in the healthy population have been illustrated in many cultures and expressed in art, literature, ceremonies, and myths.
He must fast a number of days and place his head between his knees and whisper many hymns and songs whose texts are known from tradition. ”27 The ascent of the soul gained impetus from sixteenth-century Safedian Kabbalah onward. ”28 A detailed report of the ascension technique is supplied by Luria’s main disciple, Rabbi Hayim Vital. In his booklet Sha‘arei Qedusha he mentions the technique of hitbodedut— mental concentration in solitude—not present in any other Kabbalistic source: Meditate in a secluded house as above, and wrap yourself in a talith [prayer shawl], and sit and close your eyes and remove yourself from the material One out There: Autoscopic Phenomena world, as if your soul had left your body, and ascended into the heavens.