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Participation Mystique – An alternative to secular materialism

Participation Mystique is a psychological and spiritual idea proposed by the anthropologist Lucien Lévi-Bruhl. It concerns the alleged mystical relationship that so-called primitives had with objects in their environment. In Lévi-Bruhl’s own words: In the collective representations of primitive mentality objects … Continue reading


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Transference

For Sigmund Freud transference is a psychological dynamic where mostly unconscious ideas and feelings associated with past figures or events are displaced onto current figures or events, thereby distorting current relationships. Charles Rycroft notes that Freud initially saw transference as inappropriate … Continue reading


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Lévi-Strauss, Claude

Claude Lévi-Strauss  (1908- ) was a Brussels-born French social anthropologist who was influenced by the pioneering sociologist, Emile Durkheim. Levi-Strauss studied the kinship, ritual and myths of so-called primitive societies from the perspective of structuralism. He observed that the human … Continue reading


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Lévi-Bruhl, Lucien

Lucien Lévi-Bruhl (1857-1939) was a pioneering French anthropologist. His studies of so-called primitive cultures had an impact on depth psychology, sociology and philosophy. Lévi-Bruhl believed that so-called primitive cultures existed in a “pre-logical,” mystical state of mind characterized by non-contradiction … Continue reading


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Mystic

The word ‘mystic’ refers to one who engages in mysticism, and is often used pejoratively or as a caricature (e.g. wooly-headed mystic). This usage arguably arises, in part, from the worldly bias of contemporary consumer-oriented culture. Many individuals, religious and … Continue reading