Download The Unfolding Self: Varieties of Transformative Experience by Ralph Metzner PDF

By Ralph Metzner

This e-book identifies the common buildings that underlie the different types of transformative reviews, a lot as William James did a century in the past within the kinds of non secular event. that includes dozens of illustrations, this publication, now a "One Spirit" Book-of-the-Month-Club choice, is an excellent cross-cultural exam of the ability of archetypal metaphors to nurture profound studies of transformation.

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An example of a profoundly transformative conversion experience is described in the same imagery by William James in his Varieties of Religious Experience. He cites the account of Alphonse Ratisbonne, a Jew who had a conversion experience in a Catholic church in Rome in 1842: I did not know where I was: I did not know whether I was Alphonse or another. I only felt myself changed and believed myself another me— In the bottom of my soul I felt an explosion of the most ardent joy.... All that I can say is that in an instant the bandage had fallen from my eyes; and not one bandage only, but the whole manifold of bandages with which I had been brought up.

13 The paradoxical equivalence of form and emptiness formulated by Buddhist philosophers also has its parallel in modern quantum-relativistic physics. To quote Capra again: The field theories of modern physics force us to abandon the classical distinction between material particles and the void. Einstein's field theory of gravity and quantum field theory both show that particles cannot be separated from the space surrounding them They have to be seen as condensations of a continuous field which is present throughout space Here, then, is the closest parallel to the Void of Eastern mysticism in modern physics.

As physicist Fritjof Capra states: As we penetrate into matter, nature does not show us any isolated building blocks, but rather appears as a complicated web of relations Uncovering the Veils of Illusion 41 between the various parts of the whole. These relations always include the observer in an essential way.... 11 The Buddhists take this notion of the world as created, imagined illusions one step further: To them the ultimate reality is void or emptiness (sunyata). And since all outwardly perceived objects are themselves illusory, only the infinite emptiness within them is real.

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