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Tip: To review the bibliography…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Rector, L.J. (2001). Chapter 15 Mystical Experience as an Expression of the Idealizing Selfobject Need. Progress in Self Psychology, 17:179-195.

(2001). Progress in Self Psychology, 17:179-195

Chapter 15 Mystical Experience as an Expression of the Idealizing Selfobject Need

Lallene J. Rector, Ph.D.

As the “other” in the religious conversion is perfect and infallible, the experience of merger achieves the felt quality of perfection rendering the transformed self perfect as well. The merger with God may offer the opportunity for a relationship that circumvents the demands of relationships with separate others who have wishes and needs of their own [Ullman, 1989, p. 147].

Introductory Comments About Religion and Psychology

Throughout history human beings have reported experiences interpreted variously as spiritual, transcendent, religious, or mystical. Karen Armstrong (1993) called this an arresting characteristic of the human mind and a “fact of life” (p. xxi). Rudolph Otto (1917) referred to homo religiosus as a way of describing this uniquely human interest in the divine. In “Civilization and Its Discontents” (1930), Freud responded to the criticism that he had omitted this aspect of religious experience in his previous writing (“Future of an Illusion,” 1927).

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