Industrial-Sized Deals Shop all Back to School Shop Men's Hightops Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Cecile McLorin Salvant $5 Off Fire TV Stick Grocery Shop Popular Services hog hog hog  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation Deal of the Day

Mysticism, Mind, Consciousness

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0791441701
ISBN-10: 0791441709
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $3.26
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Buy new
More Buying Choices
26 New from $18.38 23 Used from $9.98 1 Collectible from $12.00
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

InterDesign Brand Store Awareness Textbooks
$18.38 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Mysticism, Mind, Consciousness + Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief
Price for both: $29.55

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert K. C. Forman is Associate Professor of Religion at Hunter College as well as Executive Editor of the Journal of Consciousness Studies and Director of the Forge Institute, Inc.


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (June 3, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791441709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791441701
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #900,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Forty years of daily meditation practice led me to become professor of comparative religions, (CUNY), to found both the Forge Institute & The Journal of Consciousness Studies, and to a rethinking of the spiritual goal in our complex modern lives. That's why I wrote "Enlightenment Ain't What It's Cracked Up to Be: A Journey of Discovery, Snow and Jazz in the Soul". It answers the question, what if you spent years of your life seeking spiritual enlightenment, but were looking in the wrong place over a long time? It's happening right now to millions of seekers around the world.

Told in often poetic prose, it offers new direction for people looking for a sane and healthy spiritual pathway in our increasingly confusing world.

Here's a longer bio, if you're interested: My curiosity and confusion about my early spiritual experiences led me to a Ph.D in Comparative Religions (Columbia U), where I specialized in the nature of and philosophical issues around mystical experiences and the spiritual life. I used to be called, back in my academic days, "one of the leading voices in the academic debates on mysticism," I suppose because of my work in the international scholarly debate about mystical experiences, which came to be known as "The Katz-Forman debates." That was the work for which I was awarded quite a number of grants and recently an honorary doctorate from the beautiful Lund University, Sweden.

Before I resigned, I was a tenured professor of religions at Hunter College of the City University of New York and a professor at Vassar College, Union Theological Seminary and the New School for Social Research, where I often taught courses on mystical experiences and spiritual goals in every tradition. I hear that my books are still used in classes around the world. How cool is that?

But many of my insights about the spiritual path and goal came from my work as founder and Executive Director of the Forge Institute for Spirituality and Social Change, and the Forge Guild of Spiritual Mentors and Teachers, a non profit dedicated to helping people from any religion or spiritual path find the depths of soul together. If you're interested, take a look at

I suppose you should know I also co-founded and became an executive editor of The Journal of Consciousness Studies , which has become the principle journal in the field of consciousness studies (no, please don't send your articles to me). And then there are the ten scholarly books on spirituality, mysticism, consciousness and world religions. You might be interested in Grassroots Spirituality: What It Is, Why It Is Here, Where It Is Going (Imprint Academic), which won the Bross Prize for the Best Manuscript in Religion, 2000; The Problem of Pure Consciousness (Oxford University Press); and a second from Oxford, The Innate Capacity. One of my favorite underappreciated books was Meister Eckhart: Mystic as Theologian (Element Books). For the academically inclined, you may like Mysticism, Mind Consciousness (SUNY Press).

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 6 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
The word "mysticism" means different things todifferent people. To many it connotes heightened sensory or cognitiveexperiences such as visions, voices or revelations. To others, mystical experiences are silent fusings of the conscious self with eternity, infinity, oneness, unbounded awareness. In this book Dr. Forman, a professor of religion at Hunter College, carefully restricts his use to the latter type of mysticism--consciousness events not describable in terms of the senses. Of these he distinguishes two stages: the short-lasting "pure consciousness event" and the longer-lasting or permanent "dualistic mystical state."
The two opening chapters define the "pure consciousness event" (PCE) in detail. The author describes his own PCE experiences (strictly speaking they are not subject-object experiences at all but simple periods of awareness without thought) and cites accounts of similar experiences by contemporary, medieval and ancient writers. The thesis he will develop is that the PCE is universal and the same for everyone, an innate ability analogous to the experience of hot or cold, light or dark and not the product of a person's previous experience, culture, or expectations--a model called "constructivism" that pervades today's academic world.
Chapters 3-5 explore the philosophical basis of constructivism and show convincingly that constructivist models, no matter how valuable in explaining ordinary subject-object experience, cannot account for pure consciousness events. Although the arguments are rigorous, Forman's style is lively and readable. Chapter 4 deals with the epistemology of Kant, Brentano and Husserl. Here the going is somewhat tough and the author gives the less philosophically inclined reader permission to skip ahead.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
Rober K. C Forman is the foremost philosopher of mysticism (mysticist) of our time. In Mysticism, Mind and Consciousness, Forman discusses the pure consciousness event (PCE), a new model of pure consciousness, and what Forman calls the "dualistic mystical state" (DMS). The pure consciousness event is a state of awareness wherein the mystic experiences nothing. There is no thinking, no willing, no sensing, no remembering. The mystic has no sense of the self or the world. There is no sense of place or of time passing. But the mystic is not asleep or unconscious. The mystic is aware that they are aware throughout the event. Accounts of pure consciousness events are found in all religious traditions. The PCE is a frequent concomitant of meditative practices. But it needn't be. Sometimes non-religious people experience pure consciousness events. I am aware of one person, for example. who experienced a PCE as a result of concentrating on her breathing. To account for how the mystic is aware of the PCE, Forman proposes a new model of pure consciousness. Foreman says that the mind of the mystic is reflexively aware of itself, even when there is no content to the consciousness. Although this may sound strange, it is what mystics report. Mystics know that they have been aware throughout the pure consciousness event, even though there has been no sense of self or the world. After a PCE, a mystic is often at a loss in how to understand the event and express it to others. A PCE doesn't link well to language, as it has no content. So what does one say about it? An experience of nothing is ineffable. All the same, mystics often place interpretative categories on what they have experienced.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In this ambitious study, Professor Forman attempts to provide a philosophical basis for mysticism. He tries to show that mystical experience is not simply a product of the time, place, and background of the individuals claiming such experience. Those holding that mystical experiences are the product of such considerations are called "constructivists". Their philosophical ancestor, for Professor Forman, is Kant. In opposition to constructivism, Professor Forman argues that mysticism in its most basic form is a "pure consciousness event" (PCE) -- the mind knowing itself in a nonlinguistic manner involving pure awareness of mind as such.
Professor Forman relies in large part on reports of the mystical experience from people far removed from each other in terms of time and culture. He discusses his own experiences, those of contemporary Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist mystics,and ancient texts by Buddhist and Hindu contemplatives reporting on the mystical experience. He states that he has been greatly influenced by the transcendental meditation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Ram Dass, and Meister Eckhart; and the first and third of these are discussed in the book. In addition to Eckhart, Professor Forman's book is also heavily influenced, I find, by William James's "Varieties of Religious Experience" and by Jean Paul Sartre.
In addition to discussing and attempting to describe the nature of the mystical experience (no small task in itself), Professor Forman takes issue with philosophers such as Kant, Husserl and a contemporary writer on mysticism, Steven Katz, who see the mystical experience as conditioned by language.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Mysticism, Mind, Consciousness
This item: Mysticism, Mind, Consciousness
Price: $18.38
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: consciousness