ISSN 1538-1080

RELIGION AS EXPERIENCE: the convergence of INDIA and the WEST since 1770

RELIGION AS EXPERIENCE: the convergence of INDIA and the WEST since 1770

This article explores how the understanding of human perception and specifically its ability to grasp the numinous has developed in the West since seventeen-seventy, and how it has increasingly related to the experiential Vedantic tradition of India. Beginning with the thought of David Hume, the first person in modern times to insist on the exclusive primacy of experience as a basis for valid perception and knowledge, I touch on the thought and discoveries of savants who built on that presupposition. I conceive of four historical groups in the West, each of which contains: A primary theoretician. A savant who applied the theory to practical situations. A savant who worked on an interface with other disciplines. A mystic who added new dimensions to the whole discussion. The overall findings of each of these four groups are then compared with the discoveries and teachings of a contemporary sage in the Vedanta tradition. In the West these figures are distinguished by their qualifications in Western science, including psychology and philosophy. In India, the selected figures are recognized as masters of experiential religion and its traditional framework of explanation extant in India. My thesis is that what Western savants arrived at as a group is mirrored and complemented in the more holistic thinking of the great Indian spiritual figures who were their contemporaries. I show how India has contributed to the Wests ongoing development in the world of spiritual perception and experience, particularly in more recent history.

The International Journal of Healing and Caring
C/O National Alliance of Energy Healing
31907 South Davis Ranch Rd. Marana, AZ 85658

Email: ijhcjournal@earthlink.net Website: http://www.ijhc.org
Copyright © 2021 IJHC, NAOEP and Caitlin A. Connor. All rights reserved.
DISCLAIMER
Join the International Journal of Healing and Caring!
Read the latest in education, research and practice of wholistic healing (www.ijhc.org).