Please Note: The following term is defined in the context of A Course in Miracles.

In religious experience', or a sacred experience where an individual comes in contact with transcendental reality. Habel defines religious experiences as the structured way in which a believer enters into a relationship with, or gains an awareness of, the sacred within the context of a particular religious tradition.

Religious experiences are by their very nature preternatural; that is, out of the ordinary or beyond the natural order of things. They may be difficult to distinguish observationally from psychopathological states such as psychoses or other forms of altered awareness.

Not all preternatural experiences are considered to be religious experiences. Following Habel's definition, psychopathological states or drug-induced states of awareness are not considered to be religious experiences because they are mostly not performed within the context of a particular religious tradition.

Moore and Habel identify two classes of religious experiences: the immediate and the mediated religious experience.

In the mediated experience, the believer experiences the sacred through mediators such as rituals, special persons, religious groups, totemic objects or the natural world.

The immediate experience comes to the believer without any intervening agency or mediator. The deity or divine is experienced directly.

There are four classical forms of immediate religious experience, the numinous, ecstasy, enthusiasm and mystic experience.

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The following passage is excerpted from article, A Course In Miracles:

The Course teaches 'forgiveness' as the one practice that will lead to spiritual awakening. The workbook stimulates the practice of various aspects of forgiveness with daily lessons. It teaches that it is a student's responsibility to correct his or her understanding or perception of his or her fellows, so that a student might correctly perceive the truly holy nature of everyone he or she meets. Once correctly perceived, this frees a student from his or her mistaken belief in victimhood. How can one be a victim when one no longer perceives victimization? The Course teaches that 'Correct perception of your brother is necessary (to correct a student's misperception of his or her separation from God.)'

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of A Course In Miracles. The Official Guide to A Course In Miracles is Robert Perry.

Robert Perry is one of the most respected interpreters of A Course in Miracles. He has been teaching since 1986, is the author of nineteen books and booklets on the Course, and is the founder of the Circle of Atonement, a teaching center in Arizona dedicated to serving students of the Course. Visit the Circle of Atonement's website at, or contact the Circle at P.O. Box 4238, Sedona, AZ 86340. Email:, or phone: 888-357-7520.

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