To the website of Paul Marshall

Here you’ll find details of my research on mystical experience.

What is mystical experience? This is one definition:

Experiences are ‘mystical’ if they bring a sense of deepened contact with reality, the contact consisting of unity or at least intimate connection or presence, and often an intuitive type of knowing.

In my research I have paid particular attention to mystical experiences of the natural world, but I’m interested in all aspects of mystical experience, including its transformative potential and its implications for our understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live.

So what might mystical experience tell us about the nature of reality?

Here’s an introductory article that looks into the question:

A woman sits by the sea, thinking about the nature of love, when she is engulfed by a white light that brings peace and joy. She feels one with all beings, not just human, and loves them all. Another woman, emerging from a medically induced coma, ‘comes home’ to total understanding, blissful unity, and love. A man, in a near-death emergency, is immersed in light and realizes that he himself is the brightness, a light that loves, knows, and contains all. Another man, weighed down with cares, is enveloped by golden luminosity and understands that he is an integral part of the whole. From this greater vantage point, his worries are put in perspective.

Experiences such as these, which are commonly called ‘mystical’, take place under a wide variety of circumstances, although very often amid the beauty of nature or in moments of crisis and distress. … [Click here to read the full article]