I explore psychological aspects of a mystically-awakened state as depicted in the Kabbalah. This awakened state is portrayed using imagery of light and is associated with wisdom. The path towards the state entails intense hermeneutic work, and the core characteristic of the awakened person is the ability to see into that which is concealed—be it in scriptural texts, fellow humans, or the outer world. The primary distinction between this kabbalistic state and awakened states as portrayed in recent psychological and perennialist conceptions is the importance of cognitive and intellectual components in the former. I argue that cultural constructions of spiritual goals are impoverished when such intellectual aspects are omitted, and that these aspects can be viewed in meaningful psychological terms.
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Lancaster, B. L. (2018). Re-veiling the revealed: Insights into the psychology of “enlightenment” from the Kabbalah. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 37 (2). http://dx.doi.org/https://doi.org/10.24972/ijts.2018.37.2.73