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Spiritual Experience

Primary religious experience is found at the heart of all the world's wisdom traditions. Many people who have had such direct perception of spirit appear to lead lives of greater understanding, virtue, and joy as a result. CSP's Primary Religious Experience Project is focused on these phenomena with the hope of understanding practices that can be beneficial to individuals and to their communities. Our studies address the following questions:

How can primary religious experience contribute to an individual's growth?

What conditions (beliefs, preparation, ritual, community, and continuing practice) allow for more helpful primary religious experiences, and how can the benefits be carried into daily life?

What risks are associated with primary religious experience, and how do they vary with circumstances?

How can primary religious experience be made more, and more safely, available?

Dimensions of the Mysticism Scale: Confirming the
Three-Factor Structure in the United States and Iran

    abstract of paper by Ralph W. Hood, Jr., et al.
The Varieties of Religious Experience
    by William James
The Mystical Core of Organized Religion
    by David Steindl-Rast
Characteristics of Extrovertive Mystical States
    by W. T. Stace
Harvard Divinity School Address (1838)
    by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Psychology of Religious Experience
    a Huston Smith Interview*
States of Unitive Consciousness
    summary of research on effects of
    primary religious experience
Peak and Non-peak Experiences in Response to DPT
    by Bill Richards
Noetic Gnosis: Cosmic Consciousness
    by Beatrix Murrell
Transpersonal Realities or Neurophysiological Illusions
    by Charles T. Tart
Mysticism as the Crossing of Ultimate Boundaries
    by Wayne Teasdale
The Interspiritual Age: Practical Mysticism for the Third Millennium
    by Wayne Teasdale
The Two Sources of Morality and Religion
    by Henri Bergson

Recommended Readings
(click here)

The Archives of Scientist's Transcendent Experiences *
The Exceptional Human Experience Network *
[* denotes an offsite source]

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Inside Spiritual Experience Section
Recommended Reading

About CSP
Purpose and Results

Religious Leaders
needed to help with research
in Baltimore or New York

The Mystical Core
of Organized Religion