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Published Collections of Mystical Experiences

Ecstasy: A Way of Knowing - Andrew M. Greeley


Rev. Greeley directed a national survey in the early 1970s, obtaining responses from 1,467 persons.

 Descriptor of Experience

 Percent

A feeling of deep and profound peace
 55
A certainty that all things would work out for the good
 48
Sense of my own need to contribute to others
 43
A conviction that love is a the center of everything
 43
Sense of joy and laughter
 43
An experience of great emotional intensity
 38
A great increase in my understanding and knowledge
 32
A sense of the unity of everything and my own part in it
 29
A sense of a new life or living in a new world
 27
A confidence in my own personal survival
 27
A feeling that I couldn't possibly describe what was happening to me
 26
The sense that all the universe is alive
 25
The sensation that my personality has been taken over by something much more powerful than I am
 24
A sense of tremendous personal expansion, either psychological or physical
 22
A sensaton of warmth or fire
 22
A sense of being alone
 19
A loss of concern about worldly problems
 19
A sense that I was bathed in light
 14
A feeling of desolation
 8
Something else
 4

 

 Triggers

 Percent

 Listening to music
 49
 Prayer
 48
 Beauties of nature (i.e. a sunset)
 45
 Moments of quiet reflection
 42
 Attending church service
 41
 Listening to a sermon
 40
 Watching little children
 34
 Reading the Bible
 31
 Being alone in church
 30
 Reading a poem or a novel
 21
Childbirth 
 20
 Sexual lovemaking
 18
 Your own creative work
 17
 Looking at a painting
 15
 Something else
 13
 Physical exercise
 1
 Drugs
 0
   

 Duration of Experience

 Percent

 A few minutes or less
 37
 Ten or fifteen minutes
 13
 Half an hour
 6
 An hour
 5
 Several hours
 9
 A day or more
 21
 No answer
 8

 

Source: Greeley, Andrew M. Ecstasy: A Way of Knowing, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1974), p. 139-142.

 

 

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