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May SinclairRe-Thinking Bodies and Minds$
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Rebecca Bowler and Claire Drewery

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474415750

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415750.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

‘Dying to Live’: Remembering and Forgetting May Sinclair

‘Dying to Live’: Remembering and Forgetting May Sinclair

(p.21) Chapter 1 ‘Dying to Live’: Remembering and Forgetting May Sinclair
May Sinclair

Suzanne Raitt

Edinburgh University Press

For Sinclair, the past was a wound. She feared being unable to escape it, and she feared in turn her own persistence in a form that she could not control. Mystic ecstasy – what she called the “new mysticism” – was a way of entering a timeless realm in which there was no longer any past to damage her. But she was also fascinated by what could never be left behind – hence her interest in heredity, the unconscious, and the supernatural. However, the immanence of the future can also emancipate us from the past, in Sinclair’s view, and this is the key to why mystical experience was so immensely appealing to her. Mystical experience could take the self out of the body and thus out of past traumas and into the future. False dying – like that which creates ghosts – traps the psyche in its own pain and forces it to re-experience the suffering of its life; real dying – mystical dying – involves forgetting the self and the world.

Keywords:   Mysticism, ghosts, dying, remembering, unconscious, supernatural

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