The purpose of this website is to present my work as a whole rather than as a collection of disconnected parts. 7 Results Visit ‘s Jeffrey John Kripal Page and shop for all Jeffrey John Kripal Check out pictures, bibliography, and biography of Jeffrey John Kripal. Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal And The Sacred [Jeffrey J. Kripal] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Most scholars dismiss.
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Your tax-deductible donation made to LARB by Like William James a century ago, Kripal calls himself an empiricist of religious experience. Kripal tracks all manner of mind-bending experiences: Myers and Charles Fort to C. Jung and Philip K. Kripal also has a penchant for being slightly outrageous. In fact, his interest in the erotic origins of religion is what launched his academic career — and nearly ended it.
It infuriated Hindu nationalists, who launched a bitter and relentless campaign that eventually drove Kripal away from Hindu scholarship. Around that time, he discovered the Esalen Institute, the mecca of the human potential movement perched on top of a cliff in Big Sur, California. Erotic and Esoteric Currents in the History of Religions weaves together these various strands of his work.
Is that a comment about your own life or do you think religion itself is trippy? Well, religion is trippy. All we have to do is look at another religion and see that it looks like a psychedelic trip. I mean more than this, though. Yet most discussions about religion are rather stodgy and church services are rarely trippy. What am I missing? She stepped out of the car with her two-year-old boy and was immediately struck by lightning.
What followed was this incredibly elaborate near-death experience that completely changed her and convinced her that the soul is real and immortal. She did not think them. They were given to her.
Jeffrey J. Kripal – Wikipedia
Eventually, she learned to send herself time-stamped emails immediately after the nightmare so that she had some proof that she actually dreamed it. She was trying to convince herself she was not going crazy, which is all our public culture can do with these things. If you keep hearing stories from people like Elizabeth, they get weirder and then weirder. They never make sense.
That was the case with Elizabeth. I neffrey tell you many other stories — stories of reading minds, of a haunted necklace, kripall a plant that dies when its owner dies, and so on.
These kinds of paranormal experiences are not usually considered part of religion. We put them in an entirely different category. These ejffrey happen every day to thousands of people.
Elizabeth waited 30 years jefffey come out of her closet to talk about these experiences because she was afraid of what her social peers would think. And she was afraid her children would be made fun of at school, so she waited till they were grown up.
No, God and scripture are later developments that come out of these experiences and then get remembered in a community and turned into ideas, beliefs, and texts. For example, if you had a jefrey people like Elizabeth who had similar kinds of near-death experiences, you would have stories floating around in the community about how the soul survives bodily death and can ejffrey the future.
Then you would develop beliefs in the existence of the soul, prophecy, and divination. My position is that these beliefs are not crazy, superstitious things that silly people make up.
They are the direct outcome of actual experiences. I grew up in Nebraska in a farming community. When I hit puberty, I became super pious and ended up in a monastic seminary wanting to be a monk.
I had an intellectual vocation, and I needed to go to graduate school, not enter the monastery. It was definitely a gay community. Most of the seminarians were closeted young gay men, good men who had turned to the priesthood as a way of creatively sublimating their sexuality into some kind of productive spiritual life.
I was highly repressed and wildly neurotic, but I was ultimately straight. Was that just a weird quirk of this particular seminary? Or does it reflect something deeper about the nature of religion? The argument I make in Secret Body is that this kind of sublimated male homoeroticism is orthodox in the history of Christianity because God is always male.
And if you are going to be in love with God or marry Jesus — to use the traditional Catholic language — a male homoerotic orientation works very well. If you happen to be a straight man, it makes no sense. I would say that Roman Catholicism is an institution controlled by males who are celibate. Many of them are living in all-male or same-sex communities and are promoting the love and worship of a kind of alpha male in the sky — God or Jesus. Quite the contrary, I think gay men are often more spiritually gifted than straight men.
I was not so spiritually-sexually gifted. What does that say about the life of Jesus?
Neither Jesus nor Paul was married. Jesus had a beloved disciple who was another man. Paul wanted all his followers, both male and female, to be kripall and marry Christ, which is a very queer, homoerotic notion for men — a kind of spiritual gay marriage. I think the origins of Christianity lie in this kind of sexual spiritual orientation that could not fit into the heterosexual structures of first-century Jewish society.
This is one of the things that made it all so radical, so revolutionary. The safest thing to say is that he was anything but straight.
He was kirpal preaching against the heterosexual family and essentially asked his disciples to leave their families.
Jeffrey J. Kripal, Ph.D.
And he kripxl his closest disciples to castrate themselves for the kingdom of heaven. You went on to graduate school. Why did you end up studying Asian mystical traditions? I became convinced that there were no heterosexual mystical models in Catholicism or Christianity. There was nowhere in my birth tradition for a straight man to be erotically related to divinity.
And Hinduism in particular fascinated me because there were all these female deities with whom human males erotically or spiritually unite. So I was really interested in Hinduism because it seemed to offer heterosexual mystical traditions for straight men. Can you describe that experience? During Kali Puja, a fall festival dedicated to this particular goddess, I had just been visiting all the temples and was embedded in this beautiful ritual display.
I was lying on my back, exactly like Shiva, and this astonishing erotic energy entered the room or came out of me and started to engage my body. I was perfectly awake, but I was paralyzed. jevfrey
My first assumption was that there was an electrical dysfunction in the wall and that I was being electrocuted. Then I thought I was having a heart attack and was dying. At that point, I had the sensation of leaving my body jefrrey floating up to the ceiling in a kind of classic out-of-body experience or near-death experience.
When I eventually got back into my body and could move my fingers and feet again, I felt as if this tremendous download had been transmitted into my body and my mind, though I had no idea what it was about. I just had this sense that something profound had happened. Can you explain what happened? And thatI now think, was the point of the original experience.
Perhaps that was precisely what was downloaded into me then jeffreg the future books, all of them, all at once. Do you think you encountered some transcendent dimension of reality?
I was electrocuted by some incredibly powerful presence that was intelligent and had information in it. I totally believe that.
Jeffrey J. Kripal
Belief shuts us down and gives us easy answers. You spent years studying Hindu mystical traditions, which then became a dangerous line of work when Hindu nationalists targeted your scholarship. Later, you moved in a different direction and connected with the Esalen Institute in California. How did that happen? I received a lot of threatening emails, and there were horrible things written about me in the Indian newspapers and by major politicians.
It was scary and went on for years and years. Eventually, I concluded that I had to leave the field. I was just a young professor without tenure, about 35 years old at that point. I had spent 15 years studying this culture that I loved; it took me years to let go.
It was really a death process. In the summer ofMichael Murphy kropal co-founder of the Esalen Institute] called me one night. He asked me to come out to Esalen that year. Which I did and then went back the next two years. It gradually dawned on me that if I left the study of Hinduism, I could write a history of Esalen and become an Americanist.