Talk:Numinous

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Untitled[edit]

I was actually planning on petitioning to have this article undeleted, after reading Otto's book, but looks like someone went ahead and remade it. The numinous as a concept, really isn't dicdef, though the people who have been making articles on it write them so. There is really quite a bit more to say about the numinous than a simple definition. Unfortunately I haven't got around to reading the book, yet, so I'm not sure my understanding for the term is complete. --Tydaj 12:38, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

As they say online: wtf is "dicdef" suppose to mean?! The level of illiteracy in Wikipedia is often breathtaking in its breadth. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.118.16.211 (talk) 19:16, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

There is a good deal on the subject in the Religious experience article.. even a sub-header for it. Also, the band thing needs to be fixed.. and this page should be made a disambig, with a link to a band entry and a link to the religious experience one. Not to be lazy, but I'm tired, and furthermore, I'm not so sure I care about either topic -- so someone else who cares about either topic can fix this up. Happy trails. drumguy8800 - speak? 06:34, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Jung on the numinous[edit]

An anonymous user just added this to the article: "This term is used by Carl Jung in his transpersonal writings to describe that ineffable feeling of grace and gratitude that accomapnies any peak experience, any profound meeting with the divine."

From my recollection this is not what Jung meant by the numinous. He simply meant anything that was experienced as having a superhuman origin. This would certainly include something experienced as being favored by a benevolent diety (ie. a feeling of "grace"). But it would also include a nightmare or hallucination in which one feels one has encounters a demon. In this case the experience may be very frightening and not include a feeling of "grace" or "gratitude" of any sort.

It need not be a peak experience either, since it need not be accompanied by any sort of sense of unity, harmony, or the like. Indeed, it could be quite unpleasant, alienating, and disconcerting, as noted above.

The experience would, as the anonymous user indicated, be experienced as profound. The feelings that accompany it are usually ones of awe and/or profound otherness. But it need not be a "meeting with the divine" for two reasons. First, as with the example of the demon nightmare above, the experience need only concern itself with the superhuman, which need not necessarily be divine. Second, what matters is that the experience be experienced as if it had a superhuman origin. Jung was very careful to make clear that he was exploring "psychic phenomena" (my own paraphrase) and that he did not want to make any statements that would imply that such an experience either was or was not an encounter with something superhuman. So his use of the term "numinous" only described what the experience seemed like to the person having the experience.

All in all I think Jung's use of the term was very much like if not identical to Rudolf Otto's original meaning. In light of this, I'm going to remove the current misleading characterization of Jung's view, but leav a mention that Jung used this term. Someone with more knowledge of exactly how Jung's usage of the term differed from Otto's usage of the term is welcome to elaborate. noosphere 05:09, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

In a number of places Jung uses the term to describe archetypes of a spiritual nature. And in Psychology and Religion (par. 6-9) he described Otto's word numinosum as "a dynamic agency or effect not caused by an arbitrary act of will", so that the experiencer is "victim rather than creator." Then "the numinosum is either a quality belonging to the visible object or the influence of an invisible presence that causes a peculiar alteration of consciousness." However, he admits that many ritualistic practices are done with the purpose of producing a numinosum effect. He then goes on to define religion as "the attitude peculiar to a consciousness which has been changed by experience of the numinosum." --Blainster 23:31, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Original Research[edit]

The paragraph tagged as "original research" really seems like original research to me. Whatever Twipley (talk) 22:32, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

A few point about the Numinious Wiki text in relation to its reference to Don Juan Matus and Carlos Castaneda.[edit]

This should be changed:

According to the teacher Don Juan Matus (whose true existence has been called into question).[2] there is just such an inconceivable dimension of human existence whose presence may be sensed but neither grasped by the senses or any rational framework. He refers to this as the Nagual.

too:

"According to the teacher Don Juan Matus (whose true existence has been called into question).[2] there is just such an inconceivable dimension of human existence whose presence may be sensed but not grasped by any rational framework. He refers to this as the Nagual."


For instance dreams can be sensed. Also numerous references are made to real world encounters with "Entities" and other "Inorganic beings" throughout CC's books.

Whether the Soul is an exact parallel with the "Double" or "Other" in Carlos' books is not known nor was it implied in the text.


Regarding this:

"It may be viewed as "the intense feeling of unknowingly knowing that there is something which cannot be seen." This "knowing" can "befall" or overcome a person at any time and in any place — in a cathedral; next to a silent stream; on a lonely road; early in the morning or in the face of a beautiful sunset. Similarly, unpleasant or frightening scenes or experiences can lead to a sense of an unseen presence of ghosts, evil spirits or a general sense of the presence of evil. Visions or hallucinations of god, gods, the devil or devils can also happen.[original research?]"

In the teaching of Don Juan Matus these are controlled experiences though at times they may occur spontaneously:

This "knowing" can "befall" or overcome a person at any time and in any place — in a cathedral; next to a silent stream; on a lonely road; early in the morning or in the face of a beautiful sunset.

These manifestations are not hallucinated they are perceived experiences, experiential knowledge of the Warrior whether "Seen" or "Dreamed":

Similarly, unpleasant or frightening scenes or experiences can lead to a sense of an unseen presence of ghosts, evil spirits or a general sense of the presence of evil. Visions or hallucinations of god, gods, the devil or devils can also happen.[original research?]"

Also see:


This is correct provided my understanding of numinous is correct:

"The human soul has parallels with the divine or numinous; it too is "mystery and marvel," undefinable, and "wholly alien" to our understanding. Insight into the soul comes, when it does, as an eruption, a flash or burst of illumination. The numinous-ness of the human soul is what enables the mystic to apprehend the numinous." (used as fairuse, educational, from the link provided: )

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/gothic/numinous.html

This is referenced in the text by Castaneda:

"a flash or burst of illumination"


"The numinous-ness of the human soul is what enables the mystic to apprehend the numinous."

Yes exactly, in fact "seeing" is done from the double/Other/Soul through a channel that is opened when one voluntarily opens it using prayer, mediation in conventional religions or "Heighten Awareness", "Gazing", "Not Doing" or "Dreaming" as described by DJM but you will not find this in CC's books.


Other numinous experiences you might wish to include in your text are the "spiritual rebirth" found in the Christian Faith, Enlightenment as described above or in Buddhism and "Surrender" in chemical dependence recovery.


"From where the average man stands, sorcery is nonsense or an ominous mystery beyond his reach. And he is right--not because this is an absolute fact, but because the average man lacks the energy to deal with sorcery."

DON JUAN MATUS from "The Power of Silence", by Carlos Castaneda. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Warrior777 (talkcontribs) 12:58, 27 September 2010 (UTC)


This link should be dropped in that it is redundant and found elsewhere regarding Don Juan Matus and Carlos Castaneda and reflects a negative bias.

^ see Richard De Mille, ed., The Don Juan Papers: Further Castaneda Controversies (1980; Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2001). ISBN 0595144993.


--Toltec Guardian 12:02, 27 September 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Warrior777 (talkcontribs)

New Atheist bias?[edit]

The section about Hitchens, 'Hitchens was notable for clarifying the absurdity of cheapening a real-world experience through divine dilution, an equally slavish thing to do as is to assume ourselves incapable of such depth of feeling without a super-natural cause. Admiration of moral courage in others (often a powerful source of numinous feeling) would similarly be cheapened by the spurious use of 'divine permission' uses loaded language which surely shouldn't be part of a neutral body like wikipedia? The language presents Hitchens' stance as correct and rules out religious explanations, i.e. it supports a new atheist viewpoint rather than simply describing it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.144.227.49 (talk) 13:13, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

I completely agree with you and changed the wording of this section so that it does not express opinion as fact. However, I'm not a native speaker, so please feel free to polish the language of my changes. 137.248.121.100 (talk) 10:13, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

removed as a random essay based on youtube. We now seem to have a generation who thinks that Hitchens, Dawkins and friends are "noted atheists" (well, they are "noted", by the internet; the point is that they seem to think these guys came up with atheism, when what they have done is taken atheism and degraded it into some kind of pop-culture derivative palatable to the youtuber attention span. Encyclopedic articles on atheist thought should go back to the literature that came before these "New Atheism" pop starlets; their stuff can certainly be described in obsessive detail under a "New Atheism" category, but I would be grateful if it didn't spill over into unrelated articles on theology, religious thought and atheism which are supposed to be based on serious literature).

What apparently happened here is that Hitchens used the word numious, and his audience thought that "derp, let's check that difficult word on Wikipedia; hey, there is no mention of Hitchen's views on that article, let's write a paragraph to give an atheist perspective". Here is a thought: the fact that your favourite atheist used a word does not imply that the wikipedia article on that word needs to have a paragraph on your favourite atheist. That's not how it works. If there is evidence that a discussion of the concept "numinous" can profit from a summary of its reception in atheism literature, give us a summary of that after you researched it. --dab (𒁳) 09:43, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

No[edit]

Seperate philosophical concepts - distinguished concepts. Should be seperate articles. Bruno Russell (talk) 09:56, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Contact[edit]

Carl Sagan's Contact brought me here, but I don't know if adding something to that effect would be worthwhile. 71.236.253.188 (talk) 02:45, 1 March 2014 (UTC)