Psychology of Mystical Experience: Muḥammad and Siddhārtha

Anthropology of Consciousness 30 (2):152-178 (2019)
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Abstract

A comparison between Muḥammad and Siddhārtha’s psychological states is made to identify how they had their mystical experiences and how their presuppositions and personalities shaped their interpretation of these experiences. Muḥammad’s mystical experience appeared to be based on an altered state of consciousness. Siddhārtha’s teachings include that one must not have blind faith and remain open to various truths. These teachings may reflect that he was high in openness to experience, which may have fortified him from becoming delusional. While mystical experiences may have pathological overlaps, they could be categorized in a similar way to psychological states. Yet, mindful presuppositions and personality traits, especially from within openness to experience spectrum, are what make perceptions of these experiences diverse.

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Abdulla Galadari
Khalifa University of Science & Technology

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