Mind and Society 20 (1):25-40 (2021)

The paper seeks to argue that the feeling of being part of a larger whole, considered to be a major feature of spiritual experience in some traditions, amounts to a change in the way the self is pre-reflectively understood. Further, the paper argues that some recent developments in the study of cognition support the case for such a revision in self-conception, and this can be used to build up a secular understanding of spirituality. The paper proceeds by making use of Abraham Maslow's account of peak experience along with some accounts of both ancient and contemporary forms of spirituality to argue that the feeling of being part of a larger whole amounts to a significant shift from the separative self-conception implicit in everyday behavior. Subsequently, it is argued that some extant theories on cognition point at the illusory nature of separative self-conception.
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DOI 10.1007/s11299-020-00270-0
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Thinking, Fast and Slow.Daniel Kahneman - 2011 - New York: New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Full-Body Illusions and Minimal Phenomenal Selfhood.Olaf Blanke & Thomas Metzinger - 2009 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (1):7-13.

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