Help me out, Hivemind. I'm looking for respectable, scholarly books, friendly to the layman, on the early beginnings of Christianity. More specifically, I'm interested in its first few centuries. I'm also hoping to attain a better understanding of Gnosticism and its place in Christianity's history. I am NOT looking for New Age-y neognostic inculcations.
Which writers and artists self-consciously regard their work as a deliberate, mystical diving into and charting of the depths of the unconscious mind? Cites/links to evidence of these views, either within their work or outside it in interviews, etc., would be much appreciated.
The other evening I was hanging around my apartment eating dinner. At some point after I finished eating, and for several hours afterwards until I went to sleep, I experienced a state of mind I can only describe as "mystical", or perhaps hyper-awareness. Whatever it was, it was so different from anything I can remember experiencing that it threw me completely off balance and I'm still trying to figure out what happened. Looking for insight from others who may have had a similar experience. Details inside. [more inside]
Media featuring future dolphins? [more inside]
Looking for instances, whether fictional, religious or otherwise, of the idea of the "double". [more inside]
Grant Morrison talks about a temple with 365 steps in Kathmandu that it's said will grant one enlightenment within one's lifetime if one can run up the steps in one breath (I may have details wrong). What are some similar discrete, concrete tasks that are supposed to produce relatively unambiguous (though possibly purely empirical) results? [more inside]
I need a book about Shakta (Indian goddess) mysticism! [more inside]
So, MeFi, tell me what you know about mystics... [more inside]
I'm looking for citable print and online references about Christian mysticism. [more inside]
Please recommend an authoritative beginner's text on occult/mystical Kabbalah. Perhaps with emphasis on the techniques of gemetria and correspondence to non-Jewish mysticism. [more inside]
How can two people bend rebar against their throats? In addition to a video link, there's [more inside]
Help me discover Australian mysticism in the wild. [more inside]
I'm trying to locate a New Age-y type book that I owned a few years ago. I can't remember what it's called, sadly. [more inside]
I've been reading Michael Chrichton's Travels, and really enjoying his scientific prospective on the metaphysics, mysticism, energy, "New Age" spiritualism, and whatnot -- particularly in stories like "Cactus Teachings." What are some other books/authors you can recommend that approach these topics in Chrichton's skeptical-but-still-interested way? [more inside]
Is a mystical experience considered as a disorder by psychiatrists? [more inside]
Apparently, our landlord has put some sort of a hex or curse on us. What would your response to this be, if any?