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Not the ultimate in transcendence
on November 15, 2015
On the one hand, this is a good study showing how certain contemplative experiences are objective and transcend cultural time and space (useful against sloppy & amateurish writers like John Horgan who attempt to study this field & conclude that there are no universal contemplative experiences). On the other hand, the writer's commitment to Perennialism leads him to the erroneous conclusion that he has identified the ultimate spiritual attainment.
For those well versed in Pali Buddhism, for example, it is obvious that the mystics described here are describing the "arupa" spheres. Most likely the "dimension of infinite consciousness" and "dimension of nothingness.". In Pali Buddhism, these are not the ultimate spiritual attainments. So, Perennialism is both right and wrong. Right, in that there are definitely universal contemplative experiences. Wrong, in that it hasn't identified the ultimate spiritual attainment.