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Disorganized attachment promotes mystical experiences via a propensity for alterations in consciousness (absorption)
Department of Psychology, Stockhom University.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Centre for Child and Adoloscent Mental Health, Eastern and Southern Norway.
2012 (English)In: The international journal for the psychology of religion, ISSN 1050-8619, E-ISSN 1532-7582, Vol. 22, no 3, 180-197 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, the authors argue that mystical experiences are linked to disorganized attachment via a proposed mediator-the propensity to enter altered states of consciousness (absorption). Using a sample of predominantly religious/spiritual participants (N = 62), they report that disorganized attachment, as identified with the Adult Attachment Interview, predicted lifetime occurrence of mystical experiences and that this link was mediated by absorption. Alternative mediational models received less conclusive support. Also, more conventional aspects of religion (theistic beliefs and degree of general religiousness) were not related to disorganized attachment or absorption, supporting the discriminant validity of the mediational model. In the discussion, the authors argue that mystical experiences represent a nonpathological and potentially self-reparative "outcome" of disorganized attachment and the related propensity to experience alterations in consciousness. Experiences named "mystical" have played a conspicuous role at almost every level of culture; and yet, despite the vast literature devoted to them, the subject has remained.... as dark as it is fascinating.... Mysticism has suffered as much at the hands of its admirers as at the hands of its materialistic enemies. If the latter have been unable to see anything else than aberrations and abnormalities, the former have gone to the other and equally fatal extreme; no descriptive adjective short of "sublime," "infinite," "divine" has seemed to them at all sufficient.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2012. Vol. 22, no 3, 180-197 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-176997DOI: 10.1080/10508619.2012.670012ISI: 000304920900002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-176997DiVA: diva2:538617
Available from: 2012-06-30 Created: 2012-06-30 Last updated: 2012-10-24Bibliographically approved

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