Conclusion of the Introductions


With all these introductions, you might wonder what this course is going to be about. The short answer, I suppose, is all of these things, and none of them. Mysticism is not an area of study that has been closely defined. For most people, it would not be considered an area of study at all. It is too flaky, too amorphous, too subjective. We have no reliable method of producing this experience, nor does it happen to just anyone. Certainly mysticism not the sort of thing that should be on a university curriculum.

And yet, we are going to charge in. Some of our discussion is going to be very traditional religion, history, literature, psychology, philosophy. Some of our discussion will go beyond that. We will try to approach the questions raised by mystical experience in as many ways as possible. The point is to gain an acquaintance, but as you will find out shortly, acquaintance is a hard thing to pin down.