Download Full Text (801 KB)
Re-Thinking Bodies and Minds
Edinburgh University Press
Rebecca Bowler and Claire Drewery
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.
Raitt, S. (2017). "'Dying to live': remembering and forgetting May Sinclair”. Rebecca Bowler and Claire Drewery (Ed.), Re-Thinking Bodies and Minds (pp. 21-38). Edinburgh University Press. https://scholarworks.wm.edu/asbookchapters/20