Categories of Mystical Experience in The Voice of the Silence by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

Letzerich, Erica (2024) Categories of Mystical Experience in The Voice of the Silence by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Letzerich, Erica (2024) MRes Categories of Mystical Experience thesis.pdf

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The Voice of the Silence (1889), compiled by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, is widely regarded as one of her most influential works, yet it has been relatively overlooked in academia. This dissertation seeks to fill this gap by identifying, classifying, and establishing the categories of mystical experience found in this book. Additionally, it aims to compare and contrast these categories with the four marks of religious experience established by James to determine if any new categories emerge. To achieve these objectives, the applied thematic analysis (ATA) methodology was employed, utilising qualitative and quantitative approaches to identify themes in the data. The qualitative approach used word frequency counters and NVIVO analysis software to identify five primary themes: Way, Soul, Self, Light, and Heart. These themes were then thoroughly examined through a detailed analysis of the raw data, revealing instances where they were utilised. An analytical-interpretive approach was used to explore these emerging themes further and uncover potential connections and meanings between them. This study identified six categories of mystical experience: noetic quality, ineffability, passivity, transiency, indifference to sensory stimuli, and belief. These categories were compared and contrasted with James' four marks of religious experience. This analysis led to the discovery of two new categories, indifference to sensory stimuli and belief, which contribute to our understanding of religious experience within esoteric currents like the Theosophical Society and the writings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: The Voice of the Silence; Helena Petrovna Blavatsky; William James; Categories of Mystical Experience; The Varieties of Religious Experience.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Erica Letzerich
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2024 15:22
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 15:31

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