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Download Kabbalah: A Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences eBook

by Shahar Arzy,Moshe Idel

Download Kabbalah: A Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences eBook
ISBN:
0300152361
Author:
Shahar Arzy,Moshe Idel
Category:
Psychology & Counseling
Language:
English
Publisher:
Yale University Press; First Edition edition (June 30, 2015)
Pages:
216 pages
EPUB book:
1128 kb
FB2 book:
1770 kb
DJVU:
1493 kb
Other formats
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Rating:
4.4
Votes:
323


Shahar Arzy · Moshe Idel .

Shahar Arzy · Moshe Idel. In this book, entitled "Kabbalah: A neurocognitive approach to mystical experiences", the authors stated that "All of the mystics saw the face of the autoscopic body (their double) as their own face", and that these mystics mostly saw the upper part of the body but not the lower part (. 3). Enlightenment: Exploring the Neural Basis of Pure Consciousness. This article reevaluates the mystical techniques and experiences peculiar to Abraham Abulafia’s Kabbalah and attempts to offer an alternative approach to their dominant understanding, which largely depends on Moshe Idel’s work.

As I started reading Kabbalah: A Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences (Yale University Press ISBN 0300152361) by Shahar Arzy, MD and Dr. Moshe Idel, I thought of God and the Astronomers. Moshe Idel, I thought of God and the Astronomers, by the late American astronomer Robert Jastrow. Jastrow concludes his book with the observation that for the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream.

one Justification of a Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences 5 1. Four Main Approaches to Mystical . Four Main Approaches to Mystical Experiences 5 2. A Bottom-Up Approach to Mystical Experiences 9 3. Experiences, Radiations, and Cognitive Techniques 10 4. Technical Constructivism from Within the Brain: Limitations 1. In this thought-provoking book, Shahar Arzy and Moshe Idel present compelling evidence that over hundreds of years, a group of mystics, collectively part of the Jewish Kabbalah, mastered techniques to probe and potentially unlock the secrets of human consciousness, mind and body, sense of self, and ecstatic experiences.

In this original study, Moshe Idel, an eminent scholar of Jewish mysticism. Start by marking Kabbalah: A Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

Shahar Arzy and Moshe Idel. Yale University Press, 2015.

In this original study, Moshe Idel, an eminent scholar of Jewish mysticism and thought, and the cognitive neuroscientist and neurologist Shahar Arzy combine their considerable expertise to explore the mysteries of the Kabbalah from a. .

In this original study, Moshe Idel, an eminent scholar of Jewish mysticism and thought, and the cognitive neuroscientist and neurologist Shahar Arzy combine their considerable expertise to explore the mysteries of the Kabbalah from an entirely new perspective: that of the human brain. In this original study, Moshe Idel, an eminent scholar of Jewish mysticism and thought, and the cognitive neuroscientist and neurologist Shahar Arzy combine their considerable expertise to explore the mysteries of the Kabbalah from an entirely new perspective: that of the human brain.

The book The personal diary of Dr. John Dee deserves the closest attention of all those who work in the field . This important new book offers the first full-length interpretation of the thought of Martin Heidegger with respect to irony. John Dee deserves the closest attention of all those who work in the field of history and philosophy of science, history of ideas, cultural studies, as well as the history and theory of esotericism. The central material of the book is personal notes of the famous British mathematician, astrologer, alchemist and philosopher John Dee (1527–1609), in the field of whose scientific interests there was a wide range of different branches of knowledge.

Now neurologist Shahar Arzy and professor of Jewish thought Moshe Idel have collaborated to write Kabbalah: A neurocognitive approach to mystical experiences. The book focuses on ecstatic Kabbalah, an apophatic school of mysticism that emphasises attaining ecstatic experience, much like some schools of hesychasm in the Orthodox traditions. The authors speak of such phenomena as seeing a 'second' physical body near one's own physical body, having a sense of self that alternates between the perceived physical body and one's double, or feeling that your self has left the body.

In this original study, Moshe Idel, an eminent scholar of Jewish mysticism and thought, and the cognitive neuroscientist and neurologist Shahar Arzy combine their considerable expertise to explore the mysteries of the Kabbalah from an entirely new perspective: that of the human brain. In lieu of the theological, sociological, and psychoanalytic approaches that have generally dominated the study of ecstatic mystical experiences, the authors endeavor to decode the brain mechanisms underlying these phenomena. Arzy and Idel analyze first-person descriptions to explore the Kabbalistic techniques employed by most prominent Jewish mystics to effect bodily reduplications, dissociations, and other phenomena, and compare them with recent neurological observations and modern-day laboratory experiments. The resultant study offers readers a scientific, more brain-based understanding of how ecstatic Kabbalists achieved their most precious mystical experiences. The study further demonstrates how these Kabbalists have long functioned as pioneering investigators of the human self.
  • Monam
It is a fascinating area that we now have access to study the brain while participants do different tasks. Buddhist meditators and yogis have been studied for years. It is interesting to see how different meditation practices can affect the brain and which practices are most effective. The language being scientific may be difficult for some and although the book is short in length, it is quite dense.
  • Flamekiller
As I started reading Kabbalah: A Neurocognitive Approach to Mystical Experiences (Yale University Press ISBN 0300152361) by Shahar Arzy, MD and Dr. Moshe Idel, I thought of God and the Astronomers, by the late American astronomer Robert Jastrow. Jastrow concludes his book with the observation that for the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.

Along the same lines as Jastrow’s statement, Dr. Steven Schachter of the Harvard Medical School writes that this book presents compelling evidence that a group of ancient Jewish mystics mastered techniques to probe and potentially unlock the secrets of human consciousness, mind and body, sense of self and ecstatic experiences. These mystics of ecstatic kabbalah may be considered pioneering investigators of the human self, consciousness and mind.

This fascinating book breaks new ground and approaches Kabbalah from the perspective of the human brain. The authors are colleagues at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where Arzy is the director of the Computational Neuropsychiatry Lab, while Idel is a Professor of Jewish Thought.

The book focuses on ecstatic Kabbalah, the branch of Kabbalah that emphasizes attaining an ecstatic experience via uniting the individual with God through meditating on names of God, combinations of Hebrew letters, and more. It must be emphasized that the ecstatic experience is not that of a Deadhead. Rather, the authors note that the etymology of the word “ecstatic” is the Greek ex-stasis, that is, being out of body.

The early practitioners of ecstatic kabbalah developed complicated techniques of mental imagery, transformation and concentration for bringing about altered states of consciousness. The goal of the book is to decode the neurocognitive mechanisms and processes underlying these mystical experiences.

The book details such ecstatic experiences as autoscopy (seeing double), heautoscopy (seeing a double while being unable to localize the self), out-of-body experiences, and more.

Kabballah and neuroscience may appear to be strange bedfellows; but the authors show their synergies. As a neuroscientist, Arzy uses cutting-edge technology to plum the inner sanctum of the mind and consciousness to explore what an individual’s self is. He does this for scientific reasons: to satisfy curiosity or for medical reasons. The Kabbalist often reaches similar understandings of the mind, but from a very different perspective: he uses mysticism to nullify the self, and create a union between himself and God. Kabbalists were almost exclusively men, hence the male pronoun.

The book makes it eminently clear that simply mapping the brain during a mystical experience has limited value. The authors attempt to use neurological, neurophysiological and neuroimaging data as a platform for supplying an explanatory value to the mystical materials.

The book uses first-person descriptions from Kabbalistic texts and then maps these experiences and techniques. The book then compares these with recent neurological observations and modern-day laboratory experiments.

Towards the end of the book, the authors show how brain scans can be used to map the ecstatic mystical experiences. It’s far too early to fully understand how valuable these scans can be, as they certainly can’t map the metaphysical ecstatic experience.

One of the main subjects is 13th-century Kabbalist Abraham Abulafia. The authors also quote first-person mystical reports from the Ba’al Shem Tov, R’ Chaim Vital, R’ Dov Ber of Mezeritch, R’ Joseph Karo and others. The authors use these first-person accounts based on the texts of medieval Kabbalists, combined them with modern neuroscience in an attempt to identify the brain mechanisms happening during the experience.

While using extrastriate body area (EBA), temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and other scanning techniques, the authors makes it clear that they are not attempting to reduce the Kabbalistic experience to a neurological one. Rather they are attempting to uncover the complexity of the mystical experience by decoding their underlying cognitive mechanisms.

What they have done is brought up the topic, and their desire is that others will perform further research.

This is an interesting book, albeit a woefully short one. At 118 pages, the book only provides a most basic introduction to the topics. For the authors, it’s part of an effort to widen the methodological tools that could be used in understanding the complexities characterizing the experiences in Kabalistic literature. But I found that the briefness on the author’s part left me with a degree of frustration due to the many unanswered questions.

The authors give notice against making any sweeping statements, and suggest that their discoveries may open some aspects of kabbalah to fresh understandings that could produce new perspectives, if done in a cautious manner.

They also write that they adopted a neurocognitive approach in order to analyze a limited set of ecstatic Kabalistic texts, which are very far from identical with the vast kabalistic literature.

A dense and complicated book, the authors have brought the topic to light and are leaving the door open to others to continue this fascinating line of research.