Is Women’s Experience of the Ultimate a Peculiar Experience?

Autora: Carmen Dragonetti


This paper deals with the question whether it is possible or not to consider that the experience women have of the Ultimate is a peculiar experience, different from that of men. This question is examined from the point of view of Indian mysticism, which has its more pure manifestation in the Yoga as it is exposed in the Yogasūtras of Patañjali. After giving some indications about the work, the paper analyzes the process of trance, the method that leads to it and the trance itself according to the Yogasūtras. Thus are referred to the definition of the Yoga, as the repression of mental processes; kinds of repression; means to produce repression, means for accelerating repression; the notion of concentration; its objects, its requisites, its stages, and finally the trance. From this analysis it becomes clear that there are three well defined moments in the process of trance: before trance, trance itself and after trance. The experience of the Ultimate takes place in the trance. And since in this moment of the process all activity of mind has ceased, it is not possible to find in women’ experience of the Ultimate any peculiar characteristic derived from sex. It is evident that before and after trances differences originated in sex manifest themselves. Considering that Patañjali’s analysis and descriptions are valid for any mysticism, this conclusion on women’s experience of the Ultimate can be extended to any mystic manifestation.


Dragonetti, C. (1984), “Is Women’s Experience of the Ultimate a Peculiar Experience?”, New Era Conference, God: the Contemporary Discussion, Seoul, South Korea.