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A religious experience can take many different forms, but it would be defined by ‘a non-empirical occurrence that could be perceived as supernatural, this spontaneous mental event may cause change in a person's behaviour and attitudes towards others and or themselves’. However there are many branches of religious experience that are possible to have, one that is extremely common is a vision. Again, visions come in many varieties, these can be narrowed down into five categories which can determine the type of religious experience you've had.

The five are intellectual, imaginary and corporeal, these can then be subdivided into either public or private. An intellectual vision brings ...view middle of the document...

Public visions is where by multiple people see the actions of what God is doing in a surreal circumstance, this is also more believable and is defined much more easily. Whether this be the action of God like the sun rising or even the starts shooting. Orr something that breaches any natural law like when God turn water into wine for lots of people or when jesus arose from the dead. The last one is a personal vision. A personal experience that can mostly be described through normal language. There are many other example of this form of experience: Moses and the burning bush and Mohammed’s vision of the Angel Gabriel. A personal vision can also not be described in normal language, this is known as something being ineffable. For example, such 'mystical experiences' that can only be explained by using negatives (saying what it is not) or metaphor. This is more common with the more mystical elements within religious tradition. No specific experience, but more of a constant or regular, feeling that God is simply 'there' and that his presence can be sensed. In all cases, there is an experience of God, or some kind of Absolute force or being.

W.T Stace was also an influential scholar when it came to mystical experiences; he documented his work in the teachings of mystics in 1960’s. In here he discussed different types of mysticism form buddhism and meditation to islamic sufism, but his main work involved the mystical experience itself. Mystical experience involves the spiritual recognition of truths beyond normal understanding. Stace explains that there are two types of mystical experiences that one can have, these are extrovertive and introvertive mystical experiences. The extrovertive is described as a unifying vision, expressed abstractly by the formula “All is One.” The One is, in extrovertive mysticism, perceived through the physical senses, in or through the multiplicity of objects. The more concrete apprehension of the One as being an inner subjectivity in all things, described variously as life, or consciousness, or a living Presence and discovering that nothing is “really” dead. The second is introvertive, from which all the multiplicity of sensuous or conceptual or other empirical content has been excluded, so that there remains only a void and empty unity. This is the one basic, essential, nuclear characteristic, from which most of the others inevitably follow.

William James 91842-1910) describes that mystical experiences are used for a wide variety of context but suggests it to refer to ‘any person who believes in thought-transference’. He therefore came up with four identifications of mystical experiences. The first is that they are ineffable, this means that ist the most recognisable experience, despite its negativity. It is a ‘private event’, go through certain sensation beyond descriptions, beyond verbal reality. The second is Noetic Quality, this is an insight into ‘unobtainable truths’ not truth through...

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