Psychology of Early Sufi Samāʻ: Listening and Altered States

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Psychology Press, 2004 - History - 241 pages

Avery explores the psychology of altered states among the early Sufis. It examines samÔ` - listening to ritual recitation, music and certain other aural phenomena - and its effect in inducing unusual states of consciousness and behaviours. The focus is on the earliest personalities of the Islamic mystical tradition, as mediated by texts from the tenth to the twelfth centuries C.E. These unusual states are interpreted in the light of current research in Western psychology, and also in terms of their integration into historical Islamic culture.

A Psychology of Early Sufi SamÔ` provides new insights into the work of five Sufi authors, and a fresh approach to the relation between historical accounts of altered states and current psychological thinking.


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the language of sama, paragrafo su qushayri p. 60


an overview
The language of samā and other key concepts
The psychology of samā Part
The psychology of samā Part 2
The psychology of samā according
The Sufis explanations of their altered state
The ritual behaviour and etiquette of samā
The paradigmatic experience of two ecstatics

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About the author (2004)

Kenneth S. Avery is a specialist in Sufi studies and Persian literature. He is a musician and a recent Ph.D. graduate in Islamic Studies from the University of Melbourne, Australia

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