The Mystic and the Metaphysician: Clarifying the role of meditation in the search for ultimate reality

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Abstract

To seek fundamental truths, analytic metaphysicians generally start with observed phenomena. From here they typically move outwards, using discursive thought to posit scientifically informed theories about the ultimate reality behind appearances. Mystics, too, seek to uncover the reality behind appearances. However, their meditative methods typically start with experience and go inwards to a fundamental reality sometimes described as a pure conscious unity. Analytic metaphysicians may be tempted to dismiss the mystical approach as unworthy of investigation. In this paper I will outline and address four challenges that sceptics are likely to advance, arguing that none is persuasive. I shall also attempt to clarify the role and scope of meditation in establishing the viability of mystical data in the construction of any potential metaphysic about fundamental reality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-36
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Consciousness Studies: controversies in science and the humanities
Volume26
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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