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International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

DOI

https://doi.org/10.24972/ijts.2017.36.1.1

Abstract

This is the first in a projected series on the envisionings during the crisis years of the 1930s of a future spiritual New Age consequent on the coming globalization of an individualist, capitalist, technologically driven world economy. In very different ways Jung, the philosophers Bergson and Heidegger, the historian Toynbee, and Wilhelm Reich, foresaw an emergent New Age consistent with a post-modern secular culture. Others such as Teilhard de Chardin, Krishnamurti, and Gurdjieff anticipated their own potential universalizing of more mystical aspects of the world religions. Simone Weil’s version of an essentialized mystical Christianity is part of the latter attempts, including her proposed synthesis with a mystical Platonism, along with her versions of Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism. Eschewing traditional doctrines of Resurrection, after-life, and final judgement, Weil offered her own transpersonal understanding of a “negative theology” of the unknowability of God other than through states of Grace, based on the individual experience of “affliction” uniquely exemplified by Christ on the Cross, and the beauty of the natural order. Her personal struggles throughout her highly original mystical realization, still seen by many as an exemplary guidance toward a Christianity of the future, and its tragic “meta-pathological” inversion in the last years of her short life, attest to challenges entailed in non-traditional transpersonal developments that might anticipate a spirituality of the future.

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