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The Marriage Between Ego and Id: Cognitive Integration and its Relation to Mystical Experience

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The author suggests a new model for interpretation of mystical experience, based on a fruitful combination of cognitive psychology and depth psychology. Offering a rather wide definition of mystical experience, the author then turns to two basic assumptions—a general systems approach and an organismic-holistic view of development. Hans Loewald's analysis of primary process cognition is combined with a multi-dimensional model of cognitive activity called "Interacting Cognitive Subsystems" (ICS), presented by John D. Teasdale and Philip J. Barnard. These two complementary theoretical perspectives are applied to the analysis of both historical and contemporary examples of mystical experience, understood as a result of a dialectical interplay between these different coding systems, or the marriage between Ego and Id.

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