Hearing voices and having mystical experiences were often in the past taken as signs of deep spiritual intuition. More recently they have been commonly seen as signs of psychosis or a troubled mind. In this piece from the archives, from 2011, Dr Janet Ruffing RSM, Professor in the Practice of Spirituality and Ministerial Leadership Yale Divinity School, Yale University,USA is an author and researcher, who has done much work in researching mystical and spiritual insights and the role the imagination plays in understanding them. She has looked in particular at the role of the imagination in understanding God both in liturgy and through private experience. Taking liturgy first, Pat Coyle asked her, why if she says that the symbolism in the liturgy is so meaningful and important, do many young people turn away from it and find it boring and meaningless.
In: “Well in terms of the group of people I was interviewing…”
Out: “…communication that was happening that was helpful to them at the time.”