Rudolph Otto is more sympathetic than William James.
religious experience as a kind of "creature feeling". Where as James with .
his psychological background tends to be more clinical. Both of them .
refer to the experience as being mystical. James makes one of his main .
points that a religious experience is experienced through someone with a .
person religion and not institutional religion; Otto that it is very difficult to .
understand a "deeply felt religious experience" if one has not .
experienced it themselves. James believed that a mystical experience .
can be experienced by all cultures and he was most interested in .
understanding religious experience. .
If personal religious experiences were what James preferred, dogmatism .
was something that he disliked. Dogmatic thought, whether religious or .
scientific, was anathema to James. The importance of James to the .
psychology of religion--and to psychology more generally--is difficult to .
overstate. He discussed many essential issues that remain of vital .
concern today. As part of much larger work, the short selection in the text .
leaves the reader wondering if James' description is all there is to .
mysticism. While James lays down the groundwork for a much larger .
discussion, by no means is his view the end of the story. What James .
does contribute is a number of "characteristics" of the Mystical experience.
One of the characteristics is that it is ineffable.Those who have had the .
experience all seem to agree that an exact description of the experience .
is impossible. The experience itself transcends human language. This .
has two consequences, the first being that it leaves only metaphors and .
figures of speech to describe what has happened and the second being .
that the experience can not be passed onto another it is impossible to be .
empathetic to it. Each experience is so individual, and un-describable .
that it is impossible to imagine. .
Another characteristic is that the experience of the divine has a purely .