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Over and over again in these lectures I have raised points and left them open and unfinished until we should have come to the subject of Mysticism. Some of you, I fear, may have smiled as you noted my reiterated postponements. But now the hour has come when mysticism must be faced in good earnest, and those broken threads wound up together. One may say truly, I think, that personal religious experience has its root and centre in mystical states of consciousness; so for us, who in these lectures are treating personal experience as the exclusive subject of our study, such states of consciousness ought to form the vital chapter from which the other chapters get their light. Whether my treatment of mystical states will shed more light or darkness, I do not know, for my own constitution shuts me out from their enjoyment almost entirely, and I can speak of them only at second hand. But though forced to look upon the subject so externally, I will be as objective and receptive as I can; and I think I shall at least succeed in convincing you of the reality of the states in question, and of the paramount importance of their function. First of all, then, I ask, What does the expression "mystical states of consciousness" mean? How do we part off mystical states from other states?

Over and over again in these lectures I have raised points and left them
open and unfinished until we should have come to the subject of
Mysticism. Some of you, I fear, may have smiled as you noted my
reiterated postponements. But now the hour has come when mysticism
must be faced in good earnest, and those broken threads wound up
together. One may say truly, I think, that personal religious experience
has its root and centre in mystical states of consciousness; so for us, who
in these lectures are treating personal experience as the exclusive subject
of our study, such states of consciousness ought to form the vital chapter
from which the other chapters get their light. Whether my treatment of
mystical states will shed more light or darkness, I do not know, for my
own constitution shuts me out from their enjoyment almost entirely, and
I can speak of them only at second hand. But though forced to look upon
the subject so externally, I will be as objective and receptive as I can;
and I think I shall at least succeed in convincing you of the reality of the
states in question, and of the paramount importance of their function.
First of all, then, I ask, What does the expression “mystical states of
consciousness” mean? How do we part off mystical states from other
states?

Over and over again in these lectures I have raised points and left them
open and unfinished until we should have come to the subject of
Mysticism. Some of you, I fear, may have smiled as you noted my
reiterated postponements. But now the hour has come when mysticism
must be faced in good earnest, and those broken threads wound up
together. One may say truly, I think, that personal religious experience
has its root and centre in mystical states of consciousness; so for us, who
in these lectures are treating personal experience as the exclusive subject
of our study, such states of consciousness ought to form the vital chapter
from which the other chapters get their light. Whether my treatment of
mystical states will shed more light or darkness, I do not know, for my
own constitution shuts me out from their enjoyment almost entirely, and
I can speak of them only at second hand. But though forced to look upon
the subject so externally, I will be as objective and receptive as I can;
and I think I shall at least succeed in convincing you of the reality of the
states in question, and of the paramount importance of their function.
First of all, then, I ask, What does the expression “mystical states of
consciousness” mean? How do we part off mystical states from other
states?

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