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E. a proposition has factual significance only if some observations, actual or possible, are relevant to the determination of its truth or falsity. For Mascall maintains that the mystic's specifically religious utterances are not verifiable or confutable by empirical observation, but all the same they are intelligible to those who will take the trouble to try to understand them. To deny that this is so, he tells us, 'is to make a dogma into a wall which hides the most obvious facts' (27). However, what in this context does or does not hide the most obvious facts is not at all evident.

There is a conceptual distinction between description and interpretation even though a sharp line between the two cannot be drawn. And, vis-a-vis mystical experience, we have paradigms of each. The above characterisations of introvertive and extravertive mystical experiences are paradigmatic descriptions and the following are paradigms of interpretations: (a) that in mystical experience one is united with Christ, or (b) that in mystical consciousness one attains the peace and insight of nirvana such that one will no longer be reborn, or (c) that mystical consciousness is a liberation in which the soul attains an isolation so that it is no longer implicated in nature and the round of rebirth, but is one with - that is, united with -an infinite number of eternal selves, or (d) that mystical "consciousness is only an esoteric and striking rapport with nature andfor a sense of wholeness such that for a time one's attitudes towards life are fundamentally transformed.

Historically at least, introvertive mysticism has been the most important. In neither case is mystical consciousness the having of a literal vision, the hearing of voices, the feeling of awe or dependence or any other kind of feeling or the having of a sensation. It is, rather, said to be a non-sensory awareness or consciousness giving one, in its extravertive form, a unified comprehension of reality which is naturally expressed in the saying 'All things are one' or, in the introvertive form, an interior unitary consciousness resulting from an inner quest which is not characterisable in terms of mental images and the like.

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