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International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Abstract

Early Gnosticism is identified as a form of Weber’s inner-worldly mysticism that, following the

critique of Plotinus, entailed spiritual metapathologies of inflated grandiosity, despair, and/or

social withdrawal. These vulnerabilities re-emerge in the naturalistic psychologies of spirituality

begun by Emerson, Nietzsche, Jung, and Maslow and more implicitly within contemporary personality

and neuropsychological research on numinous/transpersonal experience. An updated

version of Gnostic dilemma and its conflicted dualism may be endemic to any would-be science

of the spiritual and to much current transpersonal psychology as well.

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