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Kabbalah – A Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences - Yale Scholarship Online
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Kabbalah: A Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences

Shahar Arzy and Moshe Idel


The human body and self play a prominent role in mysticism. Various mystics endeavoured to achieve altered bodily states such as a feeling of their body expanding beyond its physical limits, a feeling of “forgetting” their own body or sensing “something” filling it. Some reported perceiving the self as doubled, elevated, or semi-permeable, whereas others have reported a unity between self and object, a splitting of the self, or an experience of themselves in inhabitual positions. These altered states further enabled the mystics to investigate the boundaries of mind, consciousness, and self-con ... More

Keywords: mysticism, ecstasy, brain, cognition, neurology, psychiatry

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780300152364
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300152364.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Shahar Arzy, author
Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Moshe Idel, author
Hebrew University, Jerusalem