Provides a critical exposition of the philosophy of Franklin Merrell-Wolff, a contemporary Western mystic.
This book provides a critical exposition of the philosophy of Franklin Merrell-Wolff, a twentieth-century mystic and philosopher—an exceedingly rare and fruitful combination. Wolff's training in philosophy and science convinced him that it was important to ground his thought in immediate awareness to avoid the pitfalls of mere intellectual speculation. As a mystic, he included firsthand accounts of his experiences and transformations, the sort of invaluable primary data that is most often lacking in a mystic's writings.
Ron Leonard discusses Wolff's influences and realizations and uses phenomenological and analytic methods to explore the implications of his work within the contemporary philosophical context. In particular, Leonard focuses on Wolff's two primary claims: (1) that Consciousness, transcending the subject-object structure, is primary, and (2) that there is in mystical experience a means of knowing other than sensation and conception. This book explores the accounts of Wolff's grounding in the immediacy of his Realizations, and the nature and philosophical significance of mysticism for our understanding of knowledge, reality, and ourselves.
Ron Leonard teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
"Ron Leonard does an outstanding job of explicating the philosophy of Wolff, as well as bringing this philosophy to bear on central issues in the study of mysticism. He also does an excellent job of weaving contemporary philosophical programs—such as phenomenology, theories of the self, egological/nonegological theories of consciousness, and the religious use of language into his analysis." — Robert A. Holland, Hofstra University
"I like the author's ability to express Wolff's mystical experiences and the philosophy following these experiences clearly and his ability to integrate these experiences into a coherent philosophical system. Leonard's ability to analyze Wolff's use of pure mathematics in his transcendental experiences is admirable." — Joan Price, Mesa Community College