Mysticism is the claim of an invisible world that can be accessed through liberation from the apparent world. The process of liberation is called mystical experience.
It is commonly thought today that mysticism involves self-banishment, as it primarily evokes a strong urge to deny rather than to affirm an idea. This conception of mysticism is rooted in the 16th century, with the beginning of which a new type of knowledge has risen, namely that gained through experimental science.
From that point on, what did not belong to the physical phenomenal world became inventoried as mere “loss” of science. The thing that mystics tried to attain was, from a scientific point of view, either nonexistent, either not worthy of being discovered. Authors such as Aimé Michel (2006, p. 15) argue that science has adopted a neurotic attitude towards mysticism and compare such attitude with supporting that a cure for cancer, for example, is not worth discovering. However, nobody is truly prepared to renounce researching it, and it may well be the same case with mysticism. Thus, it is quite important to find out if what mystics defend is true or not.
The main drawback to doing that is what mystics call a “ligature” that everyone must adopt during their mystical experience in order to block any volunteer deed and reach a certain level of action which is neither intentioned, nor reflected upon. This “ligature” has received an enormous amount of criticism in contemporary thought, as psychoanalysts argue that it is nothing more than a regression to the state of a breastfeeding baby (the Isakower phenomenon), who also acts without acknowledging his own action.
Nevertheless, the debate is still heated, as science itself has given up supporting the psychoanalysts’ theory of mystical regression, mainly because the cellular texture of our brain as adults has turned out to greatly differ from its structure when we are babies.
Aimé Michel (2006), Metanoia. Fenomene fizice ale misticismului, Bucharest, Nemira.