chapter  1
12 Pages


Within the field of psychology of religion, interest in mysticism is threefold: exploration of its origins in brain processes, study of its healing versus pathological effects, and investigations of whether mysticism is the defining feature of religious experience or but one component of it. Parsons outlines three categories encompassing various psychoanalytic approaches to mysticism: classic, adaptive, and transformational. The classic perspective views mysticism as regressive and pathological. The adaptive school ultimately sees mysticism as healing and therapeutic. The transformation lists allow for dialogue with the transcendent, of mystics. Similar to mysticism, psychoanalytic views on creativity also generally fall into one of two camps. One camp labels creative expression a regressive phenomenon. The second camp for psychoanalytic views on creativity focuses on its unconscious or preconscious origin without the emphasis on regression. Creativity may provide a means by which novel and more "liberating" self/world interrelations are experienced by the artist.