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Transpersonal Psychology: Integral · Esoteric · Meditation

Modes of religious experience[]

  • Ecstasy (emotion), a trance or trancelike state in which an individual transcends ordinary consciousness
  • Religious ecstasy, an altered state of consciousness characterized by expanded spiritual awareness, visions or euphoria

Context of religious experience[]

Psychological procedures[]

Physical procedures[]

The states can also be manipulated through the over or under stimulation of the senses and appetites:

  • Hearing - Quietness versus loud noise, particularly bass notes {{Organ, Shawan}
  • Vision - Pure white vs colour (stained glass, ornate colourful garments)
  • Social - Retreat vs congregations and holy crowds
  • Food - Fasting or feasting
  • Drink - Abstinence or dionysian imbibing
  • Sex - Abstinence - extended practice (Tantric sex, pagan orgies)
  • Breathing - minimal breathing to hypoxia vs deep or regular breathing Anapanasati

Physical activities that are repetetive and rhythmic appear to aid the attainment of ecstatic states, particularly in a group setting where concentration is required. These activities are given religious form in ritual and practice.

  • Clapping
  • Chanting
  • Dancing
  • Drumming
  • Singing
  • Listening to music

The drinking or eating of particular etheogenic substances is also used to contribute to attaining these states. See The role of drugs in religious experience