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The Enigma of the Oceanic Feeling Revisioning the Psychoanalytic Theory of Mysticism

by William B. Parsons

  • ISBN: 9780195115086
  • ISBN10: 0195115082

The Enigma of the Oceanic Feeling Revisioning the Psychoanalytic Theory of Mysticism

by William B. Parsons

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 05/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780195115086
  • ISBN10: 0195115082
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Description: This study examines the history of the psychoanalytic theory of mysticism, starting with the seminal correspondence between Freud and Romain Rolland concerning the concept of "oceanic feeling." Providing a corrective to current views which frame psychoanalysis as pathologizing mysticism, Parsons reveals the existence of three models entertained by Freud and Rolland: the classical reductive, ego-adaptive, and transformational (which allows for a transcendentdimension to mysticism). Then, reconstructing Rolland's personal mysticism (the "oceanic feeling") through texts and letters unavailable to Freud, Parsons argues that Freud misinterpreted the oceanic feeling.In offering a fresh interpretation of Rolland's mysticism, Parsons constructs a new dialogical approach for psychoanalytic theory of mysticism which integrates culture studies, developmental perspectives, and the deep epistemological and transcendent claims of the mystics.
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