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Mystical and Numinous Religious Experience Essay

Numinous experience is a mysterious fear that fascinates the human imagination. Most people believe in the existence of a supernatural being that excels in power. Some of the historic people who had such experience though varied include Job, Muhammad, Paul as well as Buddha. In their own ways they all had different experience that enabled them to understand their limitation and that they depended on some external force. This came about as they carried out their personal devotion to God.

In this case they showed their total humility to God in worship and admiration putting in mind that they couldn’t make it on their own without the intervention of a higher force. Thus they sacrificed their live to a higher force through their petition (Smart, 1983) From the bible Paul was an apostle, before His conversion He was renowned for persecuting the Christian at the time. This lead to fear among the early church, many were forced to take refuge in faraway cities from the Roman Empire. It was until he came into a personal experience with Jesus that His life was changed.

Before this He was a different man but before Jesus He was a helpless and needed help. His name was changed to Paul from soul. Mystical experience is a joyful and harmonious peace. In this experience one loses self identity, there is also the use of objects in reverence of God. It occurs as a result of contemplation, discipline, asceticism and possibly mediation (Eastman, 1999). A good example of this experience is Mormonism. Meditation is highly emphasized. Differences Numinous experience originated from the western culture while on the other hand mystical experience came from the East.

At the moment most religions practice the two. Hinduism and Buddhism They all originated from India, their relation has over the years clashed. Buddhism was founded by Buddha; it gained popularity as a result of the oppression the people faced over the years. This offered an alternative to Hinduism. The people gained hope under Buddhism. Smart (1983) points out that initially Buddha was thought to be an incarnation of Vishnu by the Hindu. There were times when the Hindu community turned malicious against Buddhism, at the time the freedom of worship offered by their government enable the two religions to thrive.

Contrast of Hinduism and Buddhism Similarities There exist a varied number of similarities and difference between the two forms of religion; some of these similarities are for instance, they all believe in an illusion that men are bound in a cycle of death and life in this world. There is transmigration of souls through the life cycle (Smart, 1983). They also don’t promote violence against each other. The existence of exist several Hells and heaven is also emphasized as well as higher and lower world. Meditation is a way of life in these religions this is accompanied by several religious practices.

They evolution originated at the Indian sub continent and enjoy a huge following, in order for an individual to gain spiritual status there has to be a detachment of this life through death (Eastman, 1999). Differences According to Smart (1983), there exist a number of differences between the two religions, for instance in the Buddhist religion image worship is not emphasized as it’s with the Hindu. They regard Buddha as their highest supreme being irregardless of Buddha being seen as a form of incarnation by the Hindu, the Buddhist don’t regard a single Indian prophet in their believe.

The Hindu believed in passion, accumulation of wealth, and the pursuit of pleasure on the other hand the Buddhist believed that the sole aim of man was aimed at pain avoidance. This was only achievable when one passed away. The existence of God was highly emphasized by the Hindu, in this aspect they believed that there existed a number of Heaven as well as Hell and that ones fate was bound at the way he/she carried themselves in this world at times some even believed that those who were unkind were likely to be reincarnated and would be changed into animals after their death.

Conclusion My smart distinction between the two religion lies within their within their believe system. This is because they initially shared a common religion before the breakup. It’s also emphasized by the fact that they all share a common sub continent, above this they all share same physical features. References Smart, N. (1983). Worldviews: Crosscultural Explorations of Human Beliefs, 3rd Ed. New York: Scribner’s Eastman, R. (1999). The Ways of Religion, An Introduction to the Major Traditions, 3rd Ed. Oxford: Oxford university press.

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