Personal Statement : The Religious Experience

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Personal Statement The religious experience is one of the most hotly debated topics in the study of religion. What entails a religious experience? For me, the most refreshing thing about religious events is that they tend to be sporadic and individually unique, stretching from the oddly mundane to the inimitable. The sensation is different. The location is different. The state of mind is different. However, this encounter with the sacred is mentally piercing in the most fascinating, diverse ways. I can be randomly walking around school campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suddenly become engrossed in all the vivid colors of the plants and conscious of the intricate details of being alive. I can be sitting among a huge crowd outside the king’s palace in Fez, Morocco, and unexpectedly become aware of the individual currents of blood flowing through my veins as I become entranced by the Whirling Dervishes. I can be standing on a beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama, staring aimlessly into the ocean, and experiencing an intense sense of longing and painful separation caused by leaving a country and people I had come to adore and love. I could be choked up in a spurt of laughter caused by a practical stranger while gazing at a 2000 year old monastery on top of a mountain in Petra, Jordan. All of these sacred experiences, fusions of good timing, emotion, and sacred space, are forever ingrained in my memory and heart. The happiness, the pain, the joy, the inability to

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