„The Russian Orthodox liturgy is new to me. For hours, I stand in the cathedral, amidst these Russian people, taking my cues from them as I participate in the liturgy – moving, bending, crossing myself when they do these things. My legs are tired from the standing; my heart, light and joyful. Choral singing and incense fill this large space, surrounded by candles and icons. I feel a sense of community and unity with the people and things around me. […]
The liturgy ends. As the celebrants disappear into the sanctuary and close the gates and doors, I feel a sadness – a sense of loss. But now, a tall, solitary, burning candle I placed outside the holy of holies. Tears fill my eyes, and along with the tears come gooseflesh and feelings of chills and thrills – a tingling feeling in my spine, arms, shoulders, neck, and back. My breathing becomes slightly irregular. The tears intensify. I gaze at the single, tiny flame through watery eyes, as the chills continue. What has just happened has profound meaning for me. The celebrants have disappeared into the secret, holy place; they, and what they represent, are no longer accessible. Yet the single burning taper remains. […] Eventually, the tears stop; the chills cease caressing my spine. I feel a profound gratitude.“ — William James [1]

Alan P. Fiske adds: „Mystical experiences of union with divinity, like other kama muta experiences, are nearly always joyful – indeed, people often describe their mystical experiences as rapturous or ecstatic. In addition, a fair number of accounts report being literally uplifted, levitating, or floating upward […], corresponding to the buoyancy some contemporary informants feel in strong kama muta.“ [2]


[1]: The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature (book, 1902)
[2]: Kama Muta: Discovering the Connecting Emotion (book, 2019)