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The Mystical Life of Franz KafkaTheosophy, Cabala, and the Modern Spiritual Revival$
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June O. Leavitt

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199827831

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827831.001.0001

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Conclusion The Mystical Life of Franz Kafka in Perspective

Conclusion The Mystical Life of Franz Kafka in Perspective

Conclusion The Mystical Life of Franz Kafka in Perspective
The Mystical Life of Franz Kafka

June O. Leavitt

Oxford University Press

Kafka’s clairvoyance was comprised of a diverse assortment of attributes-- paranormal perception, awareness of a mysterious gnosis permeating the world, apprehension of spiritual realms and a hierarch of beings, a belief in the existence of the soul with a yearning to encounter it, and a type of imagination which generates symbols and images with eschatological undertones. This chapter argues that the diverse assortment of attributes may account for the depiction of a variety of mystical experiences in his texts. The varieties of mystical experience depicted by Kafka are in harmony with experiential esoteric systems whose province is personal revelation. However, the chapter maintains that his writings also provide evidence that he was an enthusiastic participant in a spiritual movement which idealized mystical and clairvoyant modes of consciousness and encouraged their representation in art and literature.

Keywords:   Kafka, mysticism, mystical literature, clairvoyance, mystical experience, mystical imagination, experiential mysticism, theoretical mysticism, psychic powers

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