Edwards Lowis Attitudes to Mysticism Scales

Attitudes to Mysticism Scale

Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each of the 24 statements listed below, by circling your appropriate response on the 1–5 scale each time, ranging from 1 (‘strongly disagree’) to 5 (‘strongly agree’).

Strongly Disagree    1  2  3  4  5    Strongly Agree

Note: Figures in parentheses refer to number of corresponding item in the original 32-item version of the scale.

1.            I get excited when I read accounts of mystical, religious or spiritual experiences (17)

2.            Possession of ample factual knowledge about one’s faith is really a very poor shadow of the insights that can be gained during mystical experience  (4)

3.            Religious people should put more trust in formal religious authorities (e.g. vicars, rabbis)

than in mystics or those who claim to have had religious experiences (15)

4.            Some of the most moving literature ever written has been that of the world’s great mystics (2)

5.            Mystics of all faiths, creeds and indeed of no traditional faith are all involved in the same spiritual journey (7)

6.            Theologians are more important figures in the world religions than are mystics (13)

7.            I would get annoyed if I had to read mystical literature, as most of it would be quite incomprehensible to me (24)

8.            The mystical quest for union with the Divine is one which – partly thanks to the mystics’ own efforts – is likely to prove extremely fruitful  (8)

9.            To gain knowledge of one’s faith, one should do lots of academic study of history, texts and theology, rather than engage in practices that might or might not bring about mystical experiences(9)

10.          Religious authorities (e.g. vicars, rabbis) have every right to be suspicious of mystics (10)

11.          To agree with the doctrines of a particular creed does not matter in the long run – what really matters is to have had, in one’s heart, experience of the Divine (16)

12.          Mystical practices are a more trustworthy spiritual path than are attendance of religious services  (20)

13.          Those who report mystical experiences provide at least as much religious knowledge as do

theologians (21)

14.          It is wrong for established religious authorities (e.g. the Christian church) to think that those who report mystical experiences are mentally ill  (23)

15.          I am rather suspicious of those who claim that mystical experiences in all the world religions are more or less the same (30)

16.          If I were a religious person, I would see regular attendance at a church, mosque, synagogue or other place of worship as being more central to my faith than whether I had ever had a ‘mystical’ or ‘religious’ experience (32)

17.          The revelations gained during mystical experiences are important to anyone, regardless of what he or she believes (27)

18.          People who report mystical experiences contradict themselves – they claim to have received revelations, but to me their reports reveal nothing (24)

19.          There are cases in many faiths where seekers have experienced Divine union (18)

20.          The mystical path is a more trustworthy spiritual path than the hierarchically organized structures in the world religions (28)

21.          One should never trust anyone who claims to follow a religion, but who takes a deep interest

in the mystical teachings of creeds or religions other than the one he or she claims to profess (22)

22.          The mystic is often some one far closer to God than are those with formally designated religious authority (e.g. bishops, rabbis) (25)

23.          It would not surprise me if it turned out that the vast majority of those who report mystical experiences turn out to be suffering from some type of psychiatric illness (19)

24.          The mystical viewpoint that life is like a ladder, and that by appropriate spiritual journey, one may ascend this ladder to reach new spiritual realms, deserves much respect (11)