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Drugs and Mysticism Pahnke 1963

Drugs and Mysticism Pahnke 1963

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Published by Tj Dickson
Drugs and Mysticism
Drugs and Mysticism

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Published by: Tj Dickson on Oct 11, 2010
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Wa,lter NO;l;:rnan pahnlite

in the supjact of

'7 Ha.rvard Uni vera i t:y

June" 1963,



kn ,A:la,IYiIi 11 ot 'theaeut io:a.iI,h tp

be t,w,e '!::l PII,Yf.l ht!~'el1c: Dl'us:!:xpor lCQca I!~~ tru, M·YI!!Uo;81 S,'~.te ,or: ICO:C~i:: 1.0U,U'CB:.


Vil t;e r I. :P,llulq

.,?' ..J 'l' "', ':.,;

4.·'~.; r ~ " J~-l·'. or, ..

. :Jf • - .

~ , .. '.-

\ - .,

T'nE! a.u1!hor w15hes to ,e;gpress 'his: deep gra,t.ltu4e

fo.t' t.he .support, and e,o:(:Quragement of fl1I~p;y lQembers of the ~lu::.~g~·ia cornm,un.1ty who made this study .possible ,in a

troUbled but p.romi"sing area of. res,eax;cb,. J?,u:t1,c:~lcu: appt'@c'lation .15ex:c~nded to D'l;. Hans Hgfrnann~· who "'las a cont:1ntting' SOU I!"c a of It:::ou;n,sel and lns.p.l.:tation ~a nd ,to Or ,.T,imothy Le~~~r who a: EMl,iat.ed w'ltb the fJXe:CU.t ion of the ~xp(l.r.ilnent.~ Throu~h th~ guidance of thil;t tbes1a com:~lttee,rthe author i' B perspe~t .... lves have 'been clar i fled. and deepened. Hr ~ Pete:r H. John cantx 1111':l'tOO, Ll'~uch 1:1,110 ,and tl;:r:'cl,es,g ,effort. t'Ciwa Irdthe lII,echO!!nl'cl o,f the m,;;\.nuscript. Pln",lly, 'theau'thor desires ,sl,oc:arely t.O t;,ha nk 2111,' t:. he pa :tao,ns "jicha, '9'01 unt:e ered, to 'pal:' t.1 c ip,Q,te, .l,n ,t hi.. ,inve~5t1gat.i.Qn ~UJ e~per1II'H:ntal ·a.ubj ec;ts o'r 9I:o>uP '1a:ad'efl.


iii iii· rill ,. ... IIJ!!

Ii 1jI' ill •

.. iii •



;; iii

.. iii • 'I




".Iii"'." !II' •..... lIIiil·!II-!I!



A ·'SUlt.VEY'!ii .' !Ii 'Ii. IE ,ii • 'iii • .. • • I. I. ill Ii! i, It 5

IIac a ft'om Ht:s tory'., A rcheM~O logy', ~ rit..hroPo lqgy ,t Dota flY,t and

'1' sychoph azma cO'logy

Data f:COM Cl :Ii. rd,c a 1 Research



M;t!\!,t.1ealEXperlence 1"0 G,en.eral

Tha' ReI £It ionship Bct'i<l(l,en Mys; t:..1cal

.; E,;:<:perience an.d Rel.ig1ous E)!.per ience The Uni versa 1 ,1 t.yq f' the Characteristics

of loll" 5 to lea 1, .Ex:pe J;·lenc·s,

P'r imar:y' .E:o'<pe,r .1en'c,e ve.t'su9 In'terpre't:;at. ion .

.Phenolt1enalog:ical Typole'9Y q,f l"iysticll':l Stabea of Consciou~neSs

Cat.egory I:. Unity

C.ftegory ,II ,I Transcc,ndence .o,f '1'.111\1 and: sp,.i!I,ce


Ca,t;,egory II!: Deeply Fe:lt, P,os,it.i~'EI Mood Cat e:gory IV': s en se Q f S ,a d'r edn.eS:1I Cal'te9'Q'ryV~ 'ObJec:t.ivity and R,eality Catiegory VI:: Parado.~lealU:.y

Caltegory Vl:.I,2 Alleged: IneffabIl.ity Cat.egori V:III:: Transiency

Cab;~,go:ry IX~ P'ersi:1Jt.ing Positive Changes, in ]l..:ttituda and Bebl;lvior

The Continutim of My's.t.ic,a,l .!:x:per'1enc:es


.... .

.. Wi ..


'Non-drug ,Fac:t.or,s C;:ho Lee of DrlJ:9

Re,cruitment and. Pte-testing of Subjec't3 Pr'eparat.ion and Grouping lof Subj ects E;;(p.::lr imc:nta 1 PrOCedUriE!

D:ug Prep~ratlon

Prot;Qco,]I, dur:1.ng the :&xpet"imentalDay Collectlon ,o,f Dat~ a fte.r the E«periment.

u' v.

Pr,f.ll-drug QJuesticnna Lr e and Inte,rvi,ew D<'llta Ca!11.fornin .Ps,ycholog.i,e;:n.l Inv'entory Data

DATA FllO.M QUESTIONNnIRE,S .INTE:RVIEWS r ,i\ND C.ONT'Et-IT hNALY5E:S .• • • .. '., • " ~ • • '. i,


DIl.ta Relevant tp t.hecat.egO-X:ies ·0£ the Typo logy 0 £. Hy ::i't 1 c i Sm

Ot'he r Da.tal,


Discussion of Deslg~ Ob5crv.OJt1ona of the .Expe.rim,Qntar dtn:1fl9 t,~Q: EXPCll: Imen~

S,ur'nmpry and Di,s:cJ,l,ss1on. of Dtlit.,111 Conclusions


S'lJGGtSTl,ONS FOn. FUR'l'HEll; R.~S:EAn.CH: AND IMPLICA'rlONS FOR. THI3 .F'fJ'TURB • • • ~ ~,

• • It


.' .. iii

• .' "iii! .'

.. ' . ..


A. Med1calB.1s'tot'yFQ;;'oi1l for. VQlI.mtoeer";SVlb-ject.s

for ,Ps11ocyb1,n Research • ~ • • • • • .. ~o • .. • 261

• iI!!!!

cO' Post-nru9 Q:uesti()Ii,lll,'l'ire with S1.gnific,ance' :tevelS of: the ,Dl£fer'ence: Between SCores

of E'Xper,imentals ~,n,Q oContro!l,$o " • • ~ • • • ,~ .. 2066

D. :Fo.llo\O:l-up Que,:;;t.ionna b.-a 'with Soi9nif;lcanc:e

'Levels Q,ft:he D:i fference betw,een S,c~n:es

of E;orper il'lllent.a is and C·ontrQls • • • • ... • .. .. 2:'4


.' . .

t! .. ..


Content l\,;:lalysiS Instruction Man.ual fqr Judges

COon,tent lma lys 1.0;; 'Sco're .shoet U:sed by J\l,dges with the .Probability fo:t" <l'H::hltem that. the Difference b~twcen° b:per imcn,t:a Is I!'lnd Control,s W~ 5 clU.C to Chance

Reliab11ityof Juages os Ilo<:!t::ot"mined fJ:"om Rend,all R~nk CorrelEltls:u1 Cocffici .. cnt cr)


Explan<l!tion of the Co l11Ji!iln,s a rlei Symbols, Used in the Ca,b~9i'OCt'y 'l"ab1.QS· • ~ •• • .. • •

,,. .298

G. Data Not Di.rect:;lyRC!lev,~nt t.Q (Nlt.eg'O'l; lies ().f the

Tyi?01.~gy of Hyst ic:ism, ~' ~ ~ ~. • • .:. '.' • • • 299

Group I: Int'eg,'l:at,lve ,and. Constt'uctlv,ePhanofli,ena GrQlJ[p It,: Oi$turoing Changes in. At'tit.ude

iH'Id Baha'vior

Group III: Physical S,efHl"at:1on.s G:rou~ IV'~' MUcelia.neoul

iii 'I


'1 ~ Data Used in M;a.t.cn1ng Pairs of SU'bj ecta ;fro-lU Pre ...

Drug Que st lonna. £.re ~ an,al.ntervi ew'~: • ~ .' ~ ~ • '. 116

2. From the cali forni-a :Psych.o lQg,ical :1 n'V€U:lt,6ty: Relev-

ant Sco;r'es Used in Match :l.ng Pa.lrs of Suhj ects;. ll~

,3. catt;lgo'ry 11 gorl.e5) •

lJ'ni ty (C..JmPina tion of All subc,ate~


5. L,1st o.f Itetols GSlea to M.e.asux:e Internal Unl ty' ;.

.. LI! .'

9,. Li,st c·f supplementary PhenolTien~f 'o:f U'ni ty • • "


10,. Ca.te,t;!or-y In T:':,anscena encc 0 f ;1' J,me ,a,nd Space (Comhi,na:t ion of all. subca·tego:de.s) '. '. '. ~ •



L2,. Li5 t: of It.ems Used to l'teasurE';, Tran scendeuce of Time and S:pa'c(i!, .. • ~ • ~, '.' • ~ .• ' .. • • • ,; •


13. Cat-'eg-ol::'l III'i De'eply ,Fel't P05,it1\!"~ Maoa '. ~ ~ •• 147

(lco.mDin~.t1on of all SuhcC!l.tegori.es;)

14. cateqcn:y :IIlt Deeply Felt P051,tive flo.ad J •. ! ~

(~ost~rdv~u:.sa\l phenof;1ena~ JOY,1 blessednesl~, :&

f'eace. Les a. un! veraa'l, 'love) •. • • ~ ..,. ~ 148

15,. ~1Dt of ItCll1l9 Used to Me~6u.ra t:he Moa,t Univel'sa,l Pheno:rruma of De(;!pl.y ,Pel,t, POlilit'iv,e Mood (Jo:y, Jl'l,ea.ac:dn,cs!I; Irtd' Peace..,. • • • • • ~ • • • ~ ,~





. ..


1 To. category IV; Sense' of Sa cX'edn.ess.

(c:omb)tna tJ,on ofi'lll Suhcal:;egcri.es)' • 4 • • .. ;;~, 158

19. Cat: ego.ryIV: .$en s e '0· f Sa credne 9 S

'(Phenomena wH.b. lmplic.it Ino.ication of Sense o,f' Sacredness... Phenome.na whi·c::h E)!plic.i.tly Menti,on

the, Hol:y,t Sac:reil.,. ,and Dlivine.) '. w.. • • ., ••• 162

~,O. ca.tegor'Y' \1':, Qbj ecti,vity anc Re'ality

(Combiha tion of all prulno,m~na., Mo stes.sentdal

Ph,e'liPm e:nraJ il' • .. • '. iill ~ ~ I_ II • .. • ,Ii " • •


2.1. :L.is't:, of Ile.'TUi Us;,ed to Measure Objec,ti.vity a.na

Re'al1"t.y !!! • I!! '!II "!!!! •• ~. .t 'I Ii' ~, .. 'iii • 1., •. • 'II "


22. category VI, pa.radoxicality tComb1nat1on of all Items)


23. Li st 0 f I toms Used to 'Mea sure Para,OoX.1cali ty

24. CateC)Ory VII: ·~,J.,1"eged In.e:f,f<l.bil.ity (Cofnbi.rHl, tl~n. 0 f ,alllt,e.'IIls) • • .,.


26,. Ca.te,gory VIIt: Tran.s.iency (C'QmhinatiQn of all Phenomena~ Ph cnomena)" • .' '., • " .' ,., ~ • •




'2.8. ca.'l;;egor::( IXt Pler.s! is &1,l]:g Posi t.1 ve Chang',esl! ft'er

S i,x: ,Mo.n th.1I ~ ~ .' • ,. " ~ • .' .' ~ • • • .' • •


2. 9: .L1ut o,f ,; I t,e;mg Used to 1"!a,as'Ure PeraiB t:.1.:J1g Poa1 t1va

Oranges, 1n Att1tuae a:nd Be-.havi'or • "' .' • • fi •• 194




30' .. · category' IJh Persi8tln,g: Change,a, Toward Sel! ·after. ,sU:: ,Months

(P,et's.isti.ng J?OSI'TlVB 'Chan.ges ..

Persi::;j.ting NEGATIVE Changes),~ • ~ '. ~ .' .'. •• 1'99


ca te-gO"ry' IX'I Pe:t'5i,si;;.in.g 'Changes

, after 5.1x Months

{Pel' 6·is:ting pOSITIVE Change.s~. :Persis:ti.ng· :NEGATXV,tl, Ch,ange.$,,'.

!j' Iii

Cat.egory I·X·; P'ersisti.n-g: Chang'es ,Toward L1f,e, ;af~t.,e;r Six NQtI,ths

(Pers;1s"ting pOSITIV:E Chanq'es ~

Pe·r sf st,!ng 'NEGATJ.VE Chan.g;'e,s).



Categozy IX:Pe:t si 5 t·.ingch an,!.as after S,1x M.onths

(Persist in'gpos·ITIVE Ch.a.ngea. par,s1sting 'NEGATIVE Chanses) ,"

.. " .. iii !II • iii ..


344 suromary of Slgn1!.ic,a.n.ce LevolsRe·achec1 by

Exper Imen ta 1 Group fo,r Cate~or las M.t!;"u.u.r ing the

Typology Qf M.ys'l:ici5M ~ • • ", ~ • ~ ~ •• • •.• 221

3,5. Su.;,unary of .Data, Measu;c.ing :Oegre;e of Completeness or lnten:;dty 0,£ C~te'gOl:::les of the TypO 10 91' of'

My;5t:lc1s~rn .. .. • • ~ ~ .• • • ., ~. .. '.' • ,~ ~ • "". 2.22:

'l'h1a diuertat.ioD " .. aD ell:lll1rical study dulgne4 to 11lveatipte

tha similarities and difterence. between experience, descr1becJ by myatic. and thou 1educed by llsychtJdel1c (or m1nd -manifesting) drugs .uch .. d.lysorsic acid dl~thylamide (LSD), psilocybin, end mescaline. Ylrst,

• pheCQIleDOlogical typology or the mylltlcal atate Df cOllsciouul1u. W81 carefully defintld atter .Itudy ot the writings ot tho mystic. tbmllulvu lind ot .c~olan who have tried to charectE:-r1le myst1cal expe:r1enca. 'rhea, lOOr! drug e;..-perianc8I w~re empirically studied, not by collect1ng iluch ex~rleoce8 vr~rever an in~~8t1Dg or atrlklng one might have beeD

fouod a od IJ n:llyzed 8 :C't<sr the tact ,bllt l; 7 c ond uet ing d uub le-bllod, controlled exper1oeotQ w1th subjects whoas relisious background an4 e:.cpericDce all well 81 p"raoollllty bod been measured before their drue; eXpdrleocu. The preparat 1. Oil ot the sub Ject., the setting under vh leb.

the drU3 w~, admln iotered, and ths collection ot d.ta about the ex ... periencl! we~ made at uolt'ortll. o. po:l3ible. The expcr~Dter b1.t::llolt

doY iiled the II 4leriment, C oUe cted tho d. ta, end eva1114 ted the re lIul t. Without eTer haviog h4d In e~r1enc. with any ot thelle drug ••

The lona Icd coatiouing hlatory ot tho religious u~e ot plant. whlch cc,r,tal0 psychedelio .ubstance. " .. lurve:yed. III 80ma inatance., .ucb netu~l product. "ere lnseated by • prle.t, .hameD, or wltcb doctor to leduc_ a trance tor revellto17 purpo.el J .omet1me. the,

w. re t.lItaD. b1 iToup, ot pe op 1.. who pert 1 01..- ted in .a end COni mea io I • ror example, the dr1e4 hoi". of the peyote OllctU', who .. obilt'loUve inlrecHflot 11 ... CIUOO, "ere u •• 4 b, the A.teo. I' le .. , II .arJ.t ..

300 B.C. acd are currentll being employe4 by over 200,000 Ina1au ot' the ~orth Americaa Native Church ••• vital part ot their religious cercmoai ••• Both ololiuqui, • variety ot monins glorr aeed, .a4 eert.1D killd. of Mexicao mushroom, (called teoneo.catl, "tlesh at the god.") Vere also

UGe d tor d 1 vine tory and re 11 g 10ul purpo BU by the Azta c II • The se prs ct teet have continued to the present among.:remot.;, Io\118a tribes in the mOlJnta1n. ot loutheru ~xlco. Koderg psychopharmacological researcb he, .hown the active cbemlcsla to be p.11ocy'bln in the case at the JIluS'hx'oau, a124 several COll:poundl closely related to LSD 1a the cu. ot ololiuqui.

Amanita muse.ria, tho muahroaa wh1cb hal beeo uaed tor lmialowp cent.uri •• by Siberian shamenl to induce religioul treoce., does not canUia pslloCyb1n. The most impcrtaat psychologically active coc;~ouDd trOCl thl. ~uohrooo has not yet been iaolated. Oth~r naturally-occurring plant., which ere uoad by var10us South kT~ric8n Iadlaa tribol 10 a rellgioul tc.(tllner for prOphecy, divinat1on, clatr'loylltlCC, the tribal Init14Uoa

of IUIle adolescenta, or aacred rellSte, are cohobaanutt Mdt! l"r~ tho pulve::'1z~d Ele-~~IIOr Plpt8d'~nlll (8 tree); the drink, vlnho da Jurun.eM, ~Q' troa the seed. of Mim063 hOdtll1a (a tree): and t~ drloJ, csapl, made tr~ Bani,terlopd. ( • Jungle croepor). Thele lut th.--ee product. conte 10 varloul inc! olte compound. which are all e 10.0 11 rc lated to p1110cyb1D, both atructur.l1y end 1n their p.ychic etrect. ( •• ,.,

d 1mo t hyl~:ypt.aUline, b utote pine, II D4 btl rill lila) •

Soc. ot the :rosollrcbor. "ho have e,~r~71ted witb ')"Dtbel1a.d

mellea 11ne" LaD, or p.lloctola have rel:l.lrkad upoa tbil .alar1 ty betv"D 4ruc-1aduee4 la4 IIl)'I ticll. oxpor1eDCtl. boclulO ot the troQUODC," "ith "bleh 'OM ot t.heir .u'oJect. bav. ua.4 JIIY.t1cal lad rol.1i1oul 1.8al\llp t.o d •• odb. tho 1r .~rl.ac... Our .t.u4l v .. aa Itt4I11})t. t.o upl.on "bi.

claim ill • 8),lItelDlltlc and IIcl,.nt1t1c v.y.

The nine-category typology ot the myat1cal state of conac1ou.ul,.,

WeB ~erioe~ as 8 balla tor me3GUrement,ot the phenomena ot the psychedelic drug e xpe r ie nces , Al::ong tho D ume r OU$ Be ho l8. ra of my a tic ism, the work. ot

tie T. St8cel vsa found to be toe moat belpful gUide tor the construct1on

ottb1a t;rpology. Ria cooclus1oo that in the Ill)'stlc.). experience there

are certain tuodsrne'lt.l character1a~1c. Which Ire universel and ere Dot reatricto!iJ tl') Iny particular religion or culture (although part1cut.r

cultural, hiatorical, or religious coeditiooa may influence both the lnte!"p~tatto'O end ~eJjcrlption ot these baole pheDOI!leIl8) 'oISO tSlteD al

15 p~sUppo81tloo. \lhether or Dot tbe mystical expe r-Lence h "rellgloul·

depend. upon one' 8 det"lll1tlon of relision Bnd vas not the problem in-

vo!15tigatelj. Our typology derined the 1..'<1 iversal pheoOOleoa ot the mystlcal

experience, vhether coosidered "religioua" Or not.

The· nine categories or ourphenolOOnological typology lila)" be IIU!:1lll4rised

as follow.:

Category I: Unity

Unity, tho moat important cbl!lr&cterlltlc of the mysticd expa~ieDce,

11 d 1v1dClS lnto intern.l lind extern.l type., which are different It,y. ot

experiencing.a unditfereatl.ted unlty. Tho maJor dlrrereace i. that tbe

ictenal typo tina. unity througb an "lnner world" II ithin tM exper1.aeer, end tbe extern.l type tlniJ. \ltllty through the external world outa1de tbe


lW. '1'. Staa., MYlltlc1em Ind PbUollophl (Pbila4.1ph1e 104 lev torlu J. B. L1pplnQo~t, l~).

The euenUal elementl ot internel unltz are 1081 ot usual ,ea.e


1mpre .. 101l. anel 10" Ci~ selt w1thout bec0Gl11l1 uucoclc1ol.ll. The multi-

pUc1tY' of usual external .04 internal sense 1lIlpreuloD. (l11CludlnS time and ~pace) Ind the empirical eio or usual aense ot' indiViduality tAde or

melt away while conac!ouaneSI remain,. In tbe moat complete experience

thla ,c~Jselouenel. 1s • pure BW8renes~ beyond empirical content, with

DO externo 1 or internal !j bt lnction.. In 'lIite! ot the 1061 of' .eDI.

lmpreaaiool .nd dluolution ot the uaual peraonel IJent1t;y or aelt, the

&Wl'treneu ot onenen or unity 1. stUl ex-per1.eoced and remembered. OIl.

is not uncollsciou" but rather very lIIucb awaro ot 8D und l!'re~Dt1.ated


Ext.~ uo.1ty 1s perceived out~8rdly vith the physical aensel

throu8h tM ext.ezne L world. A eenoe ot untlerlylog oneue aa 1B felt

~hlod the empirical multlpl1clt1_ Th3 .ubJ~ct or obd~rver teela that

the ueual .. eparat1oQ bdtwccn h1maelt and an external object (loQo1.mat. or animate) La no lO:l~~r pro:!sent 1n a bade aenae , yet the l!Iub,lect lUll

esseDce. of obJects are oXperieocod intuitivoly and relt to b. the

same at the deepelt lavol. The IUbJoct f~el. a 880iO or ooeool' witb

thele ob~"ct. bee.u.a be "lie",," that et til.! mOlt b .. la level .11 ere •

part of tM .. = uIldifferentiated unit)'_ Tho c.p,ulo .tetemeat, ".11 11 008-, 11 a Sood .ummary of nteroaL unit)". 1:0 tho MIl.t COCIpl.cte .xpctr1"oc. I 00811110 IS 1Il1000100 1.1 telt 10 thlt. tho 8Xl='Orleocer leela 1'D • ~ •• p .en •• I plrt of averythlDI thet 11.

ClteKory II I Trallscent10ncI ~ ~ !.!!! !2!.:.!.

'l'hll clt"orl r.ru. to 101. fit tobe uluel .. all ot \1l1li 1M .paoe.

Time DleIl'Q. clock t1me but may elao be ~Del. persooal senae or hh pe..t,_ pre &ent, 8 ad rut un • Tra os ce ode nee ot lpa ce __ Da the t • po rs OC lose. hia usual orientation 88 to v~re he i. during the experience in terml of the usual three-d1meDslonal perceptton at his environment. Ex~ periencea ot timelessness and spBCtlleSSDeSa fLlJ.y also be descr1bed 811

an experie.ncl! or "eternity" or 'int1n1ty".

Category III: D~epll ~ POsitIve ~

The most universal el.P.ments (.nc!theref'ore, the ODeS which ar.

most eSI!,:nt1.al itl tl".e der1nltion ot' this category) etA Joy, blearsednest, and peace. Their un Ique character 10. relatIon to the mystical ex-

per Ience 1s that the ir mt en al ty It.arka t her.! e II be ing at the highest levels or the human e~rtecce of theClc feelings, and they8ra valued hiGhly by too e:.:periencera. Tears may beoaaO¢ !ated with any ot tbelO eleroeo.ta because or tho ove rpove r Ing nature at the experience. ~hese teolic.ga xn:sy occur at the peak ot the experience or during the "ecstatic ert.~r61ov" wheQ tho pctlK MS :passed, but itl! errech Qn~ !Deltlory ere atill Qu1te vivid sod intense. Love may also be au element ot deep17 felt poeitlve mood, but does not have the Dome un1verGftl1.ty III JoY, blessedness, 804 peac ••

Category IV: ~ ot Secredne ..

Thllcot.egory cOIllpr1UI the seole or 8!lcredneu which 11 evoked

by the lIl.)":ftlcll. e~ri\!nce. Tha Gocred 11 ht!re de!,1neJ 'oroa~ ly .. that whlch • pereoQ teeh to bo or lpec1al v!!iluo lIod c.rable or be ins prorlned, The b .. l~ c)'lancterhtlci ot IScredooll 11 • non-rationel, lntulttVII, hushed, pIIlplt.nt responDo ot' awe an4 WO<ldN° in tho preClenc. or In,pirlel ru 11 t 1.... Noro 11& iou. "be 11e r." or trld 1 tiona 1 theolosiell terminolDO' D .. d DOc .... r11y b4 involv.4 evea thoulh •• en .. or "venDae or • t"UUI

that wblt h experienced b holy or d1viDe -1' 'b. included. Category V: ObJectivity ~ ReaUtl

Th18 category baa tvo ill.terrelate4 elemeuta; (1) 1ndihttul lr.:novledse or illumination telt lit 80 l~tult1vei non-rational level ena gained by direct experience.nd (2) the 8uthorltatlvan~s. of the experieuce or the certainty that such knovledge Is truly real, 1n cOl1tl·i.1lt to the feeling that. the experience is e subJective delus1oa. Tbc'JIi~ two ele~nts ara coac.cted b'lcausetbe la:Iowledse throUSh experience of Ultimate reality (in the seoise of balDS able to t'kDov· etd "aee" what 1s really !!!l) carries it. OWD seDle ot'certalat1.

The expe r Icnce of "ult.1aiate" l'Cality 1a ""'0 awe.reoeQIiJ of e.nothar d 1meosion not the lema 81 "crdinary" realIty (The reality of usual, eve~'7 cr'll!lciou!tle .. ), yet tho knOllU:!t!ge or "ult1lllate" ret.lUty 11 Quito real to tho: experie ncar. Such ioa 19httul kQOv led ge IS ee a not ne ce ... ri17 t:ean In inCI'e1l1l8 in tact., but rat.her 1nt.uitive 1l1um1Dot1~. \lhat. becolI:eI "known" (rather tb.ao. ooly lntellectually lIS&ent~a to) is 10- tultlvely folt to be l!Iutbor1teti'le, require. Il.O proof at I ratlooal ~vltl, 104 ruu UI ioward teel1.ng of ob:ect1ve truth. The· content or thi. knowledge call be 41vlae~ into tvo mala typo.: (e) In.lsbt. ioto be lnS and ex htence in general, .nd (b) IDI1ahtt into eme'l perl ona 1, finit •• elt.

C.iteaory VII PandoxlcaUtl

Accurate ~e8c.ripttotl. elld .lVon ratlollal lcterpretatloa. ot the

myst teal ~::qiQ r leDclt teed to b. losled 11 cootnd 10 t. or)' v.bea .. trict.17 IMly .. d. Far uampl., ia the experl.ac. or internal \lolt1 theN i, • 1011 ot III el'J.l)lrlell coat-eat La .n ~ unlt7 which 11 ., the .... U .. ~ lad ooatplAte. Tbi. lOlllnolud .. the lOll ot the leo .. ot lIlt n4

Uuolution ot indlvldUIIl1ty, .yot 8C11letblng indlvldu.l remda. to ex .. perleace the unity. The -1" botb axht. Ind doe .• aot exist. Another eX8ll1ple 11 the separateae •• trom, yet at the aatlllt time unit7 with, obJectaln the expe r tence ot external un.ity (essentially II para4ox1ell. traoacendence ot llpece).

Cetego17 VIII Alle§~ Inetfab1l1tl

In spite ot ett,.,mpts to tell or write about the mysticll experleD'!., lUyatlcl lna1at that word. tail to descr1be it adequately or that the experience 13 beyond word I. Perhaps the rel!l8on 11 aD emb.rrl8orr.ent 111 tb Lauguago be cauae ot ~M paradoxlcal nature ot the essent1al phenomena. C9tegory VIII: TraDatencl

Tnmlliency refers to duration find means tbe telllponsrtn ... ot tM m;r:Jtical .n:-7-'rieace in contMlst to tbt!l relative ~rl".$nence at the level at usual e xpe r Lcuce , There 11 8 tronsient appearance ot the .peclll and unua ua L le'lel. or dll!lCnsion() at cOOsc10U!!lOeS9 wbich .re.det1ne~ br our t;fPology, but eveotusl d hap;>.earGuce aud return to tho more UtUill. The chllrftcter1et1c- 0: troe.1enct indicate. that the IIIYst1cal .tate ot cocllc1ou.neu 1a not .uato ioed lodet1n1t.l:/.

Category IX: P~rotctln6 Poo1t.lvCI Ch:nlszeo .!.!!. Attitude and/or Beh.nlor

B<!Jcaun our typology 11 ot • healthful, lH'C-eIlMOC1na my.ttclp, thh Cl3tegorl dOllcr1be. positlve, !.saUDi effect. wb1cb .nt the ruult ot the experlenc.. These chong".! Ire 4lvide12 loto tour group ••

(1.) toWerd IOU', (2) tOW8l'd others, (3) to"," lit., and (4) tow.rd th. m:st 10al experience it-.eU.

(1) Incroased tnt-oint-loa ot per.opal1tl1. tbe be,lo lawlr4 CMIlS' 1a tbe per.ollel lilt. Undo.1rabll tn 1t1 -1 'be flood III •

"'1 thlt ODlblt. the. to b. dOllt with In4 t1a.llJ reducod or .It-la.tld.

Issuing t~OIII personal tntegratton, the 8.n •• at one t. inner authority GlSy be strengthened, and th~ vigor and dynamic quality ot' • person'e lite

rt.ay be t.ncrea sed • C~tI t 1 v ity !Iud - grea t.er 8 chlevement f'! t"tic1.ency may be released. There may be an inner optimistic tone w1th consequent increase in fee Ungs of h.'ipplneu, joy. end peacs , (2) Changes to att1t~e and behevlor tQ\lArd other; include more seositiv1ty, more to].r,r.nce, 1II0re real love, and more 8Ilt1'>.ent1elty at • penon by being more open !!Ind more one's trua selt" with others. (3) Chanuell t,c\lard Ht"e in e ~oait1ve dl~ rect \.00 inc lude ph 1108 oyhy or lire, nenne ot va Lue 8, sense ot' mean Ina:

ant} pUl1loa~, vocu t i ona 1 COt.O\Ql ttment, need for :3crvi'ce to other" and

ce'" apprcciatlon(or lite cr the Io.'hole c~ cr~atton. Lite may eeem richer. The aenee ot' reve rence rney be 1ncreased, aod !!lore t.1.me may be spent 1n devotIonal life and med1tatlon. (4) Positive change towerd

tho cXpJri~nct'l meano that it 11 rt·CtJrded "3 valuablo Dlld that what lwl been ,!_..::orncd 11 tho'.:oht to be useful. Tho e:q-erlcllce is relMDlbered ••

s bigh ~olnt, ~nd an .tt~mpt 1. ~~e to rec~pture tho e'~rIence, or

lf' po:u Ible, to Sill!:! r;O\l oXjl<l:rlencea as e acurce of grovth l'Od .trength. MystIcal experience. of oth~rs are ~ore D~preci8ted and underBtoD4.

The purPose ot tho experulect 1n vblch ps 1.locy'oln Win edminhtere~ 1n I ~l!stous contaxt was to gather ernp1rlcil dota about th4 .t.te at conac1ouenon experienced. In a private chapel on Good 1r14a), tveDt1 Chr hit ba the olog iea:' "t ud 00 0 till , ten of' whOtl ha~ b.,en e 1 ven pI! loc~ 1a one-lInd-ona-halt bourl before, Uatened ovor loud 'p'.ker, to • 1;"0.

'nd .. ono-halt~hour "11&lou. Ionic. which Qon.hte4 ot oraln !Du.le,

tour .oloG, read1nSI, rrayerl, 8n~ perlonal ~dlt.tlo'Q. Tho ••• uapt1oo VII =-dt thlt tor uplr10DcfI 1I0lt l1ut)' to ~ tqtt.lod, the .tlaolpbu.

should bG brOedly compsnsbl.e totbat .chieved 'by tribes who IIctU8l11 use 08,turalpaychedel1c lubatance. 1n rel1gious ceremont.lI. The

port lcular cocwnt acd procedure ot the ceremony bad to 'be appl1clbt.

(toe. t'a:n1!.iar and ~sc iogful) to the perttclpaota. AttLtudetowa1"\J theexperl.:!nce, botb be foro lind during, well t.a ken lntoeer teua cono Ider.· t ton in the expe r Iment a L de s tgo. Prc~rs.tioll \ISS: meant to maxim1n pos1tivi!I ex,PectatlcD, trust, cODflJenc~ I 81Jd reduction ot tear. Setttag 'JI1sp18onod to ut1lhe this p~pa.ratlo11 through group sl,rpport lind rapport, 1':' len" ah ip, en open aDd trustlns a tlllos¥nera, andprl orknoif led ge Dt the :;;roce dura ot the e xpe r ime 11 t 1n 01'<.1 e r t.o e lilllt 08 te, 1 t ~.oG a Ib 10, tee Ung • .01' j;'!. D IpU:la tic!)' vh leh might arise.

In too "'e'; ks be (or<! tbe e x~r L,,'I,mt. ea ch subJ~ct psrt iclpeted In

t'iv6' ~CU1" of varIous pre:>sr~tion sod 1JC'''''eeniug procedutcl which IncludcJ poychologice.l t'! a to J ~d leal l::.ietory, physical exam, QU<l&tlonn:alre 0:; valUQ t i 011 at' p~vloulJ relig,lol)' <lxpariellc_e, In~081 vo ltiterv-lev, -and Sroup J.ntt:ractlon. The twenty .ub~ete were grnd\.>(.tc-stU,J.:llt. volunteer., allot whom \I c r'e t'r om micl .:31-:- c la!I!J P rote 0 t.;J u t bac kGr ouad II a uil r l'0IlI oa. dQuool 00. t Lena I ootllo.ary io t~ frc<! .;;,:hurch tI'tld 1 tien. HOM at tboai. ba~ ever tak6Ql'sllocybla or rolat.ad Bubst.peoll beforo thi. 6xperiemeat. Tbe voluut<1erl "'01'0 d tvidad iota tho: group. or tour IJtul!eQt. eacb 00 the

ba IS is l': conpat lb ll1ty Q nd tr lend ship. TlI 0 ie-adore who knew trOll pei It experl~nco tM POltt1V() aod Muatlve pOl!'oJibll1t1e. of' tho pl11ocybl0

rea c t 100 J:!)!J t .. 1 t h the!.r group. to e IJ c Q'Jl'ti 1311 true e , C on1"1d 0 DCe, sroup

• upport, aod to:! a r red YO t loti • Tbo t!&.I t hod o~ rca c t 1 OQ to the e_xper lence Will etJIpha ahed (1.0 .tc relax and aooporat. Wltb, r'lthar thaa to tisht e(f!lln.t, tM It trect. of tM IlI'Ui). Tbrou"hoyt tllllprepel'l tolon ea.ttOl't Wi. _d. Dot to .uea:ut thi cMl'act.rl.t1a. of' tM t)'PoloS)" ot III)'.Uc1 ...

Double-bl1a4 bchnlquo w .. employeeS 1D the experiment 10 tn.t nelt.hertbe experiwenti!.lr nor aDY ot the p.rtld~dtl (lelder. or subjects) iol~w the specific content. of the capsule. which were lt1enticlll in appearance. Halt ot the subject. and ODe ot tne le8~er. in each grou~ received :pdlocybln. WIthout pr10r knovledgoJ at the

err e ct s, tbP.relUl1n ins: u ub Je c t Ii 8 ad the othe:r lee Jar re ce 1ved tlie otioie acld, • vit.amin which cauae a transient feel1DG' of warmth and tlngl1ng ot the sKiD, in Orddr to max~ize suggeation tor the control group.

Dl!ta werc collected during the c~r1ment and It vorl.ous time.

up to six mDnth. afterward.. On the exper~ot.l ~ay tope record1nsl were osde both ot 1.r,dividU81 reactIOns ~dlBtcly atter the religious service end at" the group dlacUsaions vhlch !ollo\ole<2. Each subject wrote 80 8CCO\'Ot. of bis experience 89 aeon atter the experlmeot ••

· .... a a ccnveu Ient , 'IHthln B weo!k allaubJects n=d ccmpletQda l47-1telll q,~leat i onna ire Which had be en designed to ceasure pheno::<!llII 01' the t:fpolozy at r.',y:st1.c1um 00 a Qusl1tative, numerical lIelle. The re.ult. or tbh qll~stlo:motre were used IU the bash for. onc-and-oDtI-halthour, tapc-rccorJed IDtervi~w which ~~d1ately (allowed. Six month. le.ter each .ubJlJct v .. intervieved llgela atter cOl:lplet.1oQ ot • tollovup questiotlnaire 1n t~e parte w1th • s1mlbr BC.le. Part I "'., open-ended; the pertlc1p311t was asked to 11at any ehacge. wbieb he

felt w~re I remult of hi. Good rrld~y e~rienca and to rate tbe de«ree ot bonet'1t ~ berm ot each chan;e. Pert II (52 item.) " ... condenlo~ .n4 .omc~hat more explicit ropet1t1oQ ot ltem. troa.tho POlt. 4rul qu..tlonna1re. Part III (93 it.!u) v .. 4uianed to me .. ure both poolt.1ve In<l nel;.'1lt1-v. Iltt1tu41olll and bohevlorlll changes Wbleb bid

l .. td tor .1x lI'lotlth. and wore 4u. to tho expcZ'lonc.. 'I'hd In41v Idu.1.,

descri:pt1va accouot. ana P.rt I of the follow-up que.tioDM1.re w.re content-analyze" with a qualitat1ve, numerical Bcale by Judg81 who vere 1n~epeoaent tram the exper1meDt.

Prior to the experiment the twenty subjects ~d been mIItcbed

1n t 0 ten pa. ira on the be ds of dOl ta from. the rre -d rug Q UQ a t loona 1ro', 1otervlelll, and ~sycholDglc.l t"stl. Past relislou. exp~l'leQce, re- 11g1oul bn~k£round, end gen9ral paycboloGleal make-up vere uaed tor

the pa ir ir.glJ io that order ot 1.mportallce. '!'be exp<9'rk""'ect was des igne4 80 that one 9 'J1l jl!ct from each pa ir zecet ved pll11ocyb1n aDd \Joe reeo 1 vea tho control lIubBtatlce, nic,otloic acid. Tt1a dlv1l1r..tl into an expu1L:.eotal end cot:ltrol group was for the pUI1loile ot otet1st1cal eV31uet1on ot t~ !leorelS fr~ each otthe three cethods ot IIlCQ8Urements wh1ch \Jsed e numerical acales the poat-clrug questionnaire,

the foll,o'J-up q~'!l'!tioQ!le1re, eod the content aoely81a ot the vrittov. accoU'Ot ••

The dots i'rOlll theee three 1OOt,":!oJll ot 1Ile~9UrelOOot veN preeellte4 by c~~sor1e,. Th8 1ndividual lte~s ~h1ch wcro uced to ~e.!uro each category vere Hated LIl group, for each IOOthod. TbQ d ltteNDo, 1D

.core between each ot tho teo pa1r1l ot experir.;E!lltal and cOlltrol lubJ.ct. Werc I!Icaly%ed at.,,;t bt1cIlly by the Sign Te3t. tor each item Ind _1'0 tor the total accre s ot 1tama 1n sro~.. 10 IIddUion, oX5l!!Plea or each of

tho 'Il1no cltcdor1u "oro sivon 1n the torm ot e~lJrpt' trQ:ll the' c2ucr1pt1ocl wh lch "'ltre vr 1ttcD'by the lubJ.,let ••

From these Oltt the cOtlolul1oQ Va. drev'Dthet. under the cODd 1t1oal ot our oxper wnt., thoDe • ubJec t. who roed ved P.ll~)'bh .~ri.ac:td IIMllo:ut1l1 whlob wuiII IppareDtl1 1'1ld1aUniUlIha'blA (rca, it !lot ldntlcil. with, cort.aia eltel'or1 .. d.tlDod b)" OUI' t)'llolOU ot 11)'1\101... Vbea

analysed statistiCAlly, the leore. ot the expertme~'-l.ubJ.ct. were Significantly higber than tbol. ot the control subject. trom .11

three tDethod. ot measurement in .11 categories axeellt.aele ot .. ore4- neas. In ell the other eight categories there were lell thaa t .. o chances 10 one hut"dred that the d1:~ference V88 due 001,. to chance rather than to ~8ilocybln, and 10 more thin balf the categor1ee lea.

toon tvo cbancea 1n one thousand. Eve!l 8acredcesa .howed •• tat18tlc.l1,. significant difference 1n Bcore (chance e~ct.ttoo ot no more than flv. cr.ancel 1n QtJe hundred) from both Quest1onoaires, but not 1'rO!l1 the content analysia. The degree of co~~1~teDe8a or intensity or the varlou. cotegur1"a .. aG presented and d i<1cu!Jeed by cOIllpt'1ring tho contti8tency of sccre Le ve La on individual itoms and groups of item. amons the three roothY<J.of Qe83u~;rent. Not all categories Were Clxperlence~ 1D the

moet com~lete vay pcs s Ib1.e, althoueh there Wall ev1d~nce that. ~.cb category had be~o cXptlrlenccd to lomo degree.

to terms of our typology of mystlcbm. 1deally the moet "cotnplete· lllY-<ltlcal u:pcrtence IIhould l'.ave demonstrated the) pheno='lenlS ot: all the eategorlu 10 a 1IO.'\;'t1.mal "'y. The evidence (r.artlcularly trOll tb$ content 0001ya1. end Glao lIupported by impresa10ns from the intQrviev.) .bo~e4 that .uchpert:ect cOD1IJlcteneu 10 .11 categorlel vaa not oxparlence4 b1 tho exper imecta 1 Gub Ject. • Tho pMnOmeaa or 1llterna 1 un I ty • however, wero exper1enctld to I ntMI' CO!ll'pl.otedo~e; Bod beca'USI unIty 11 the h"'rt ot th41 mYlltlcal _xperiencl!, pbeoooeDI ot tho otharcata6orl ••

Clieht dac, have beot\ expected to havo 'boea exper1enced to Ju.\ II 00lIlplat. I de,no II ·'oy-productl". Io our "ata .\lob I pred lOtiOD "II oorrea' tor t.ranloeodouoo 01' time IDd lpac.e, tnnl1.Dcy, pendox1cIUt7, "lod per,hUn, pot1t1va QhaD~1 111 attitude 104 MbaVlol' \ov ... 4 H1.t ID'

l1te. The evidence lod iceted a teu, although almost.,.complute ex ... perlence of' external unity, objectivity and nel1tl, Joy, 80411118g84 ineffability. There val 8 relatively greater lack of' cOQpletene88 tor




aenae of' sacradness, ~o'/e, and p<lraistlng positive chanae. 1'0 attitude

a01 b~h.avior to .... ard others and toward the experience. Each of theae

last eight categories or subcategories Yas termed incomplete to • ~ore

or teas degI":!e tor the e~r1:uentels, but \loa detlnikly present to

sowe exteat When co~~red with tbP. controls. When 8n81y~ed most r1gor-

oualy and tleuured agninet dl possible categorlp.1I of the typology or

myat:ic lam, the e~rleoce ot' the expcrL'lICutcI 1 :SUbjects Was consld~red

itJco::1plete 10 this stricteatsenae. Usua 11y ouch 10cru.lpletcn'!aa we.

ceuocd by r~9ultl of the cc~tent ene:y8~1.

T'I)e control 8ubj~Ct8 dl~ not e::qx:rit:nce much p'!1e'Oo~ns ot the

myst1cal typology and even then only to " lov de;::ree of co::lplet~ne!JI.

Th~ pheno;.nnl!l tor which too 8COr~I!I ot the: controls UerQ clo!lut to

(olthoU3~ still olwaya leas than) the o)(p!rbentels \lere; bleoll(!dnclJI

end pen co, 9COSO ot sa c re dne 9!!1, love, aod :p _'ra 1-:1 t1ng po:;i the chAne;<l.

1n stt.ltuJe Dnd b~?!nvior towen) others end tover13 the expe r tenee ,

Tho design ot the expcricent BugBe8~ed DD cxplsnation tor the

r experienco ot then!! phcno:.:)eQI!I at all by the controb. Tho ~8QID{l'ful

f g


relisIot,c oetting of tho 6:Qeri.a!ot wO'..lld Mve been oxpected to have


I e ,


case of aacrednens, 1.n:pllclt phal'loceo.s. ouch IS , ... e, voedor, my.~rlou, t~8cln~t1oD in aptte ot terror or teftr, and looae ot tho wholly othern •••

ot vha\ WftG mot 10 the oXlX'lr1.~nco ahmh24 • IltAtllt1cally ,1gu1tlcln\ DeOr. 41.ttol'ttnce 1n flvor ot the 6xPQr1aent.u OOCl1p.t1roct to tht qoatroll, who" .. phonOMnl wtth 1 Il1-0" IlqIllcl\ 1a41olUoa ot .lo"4n ... b)' the

U •• ot convention.l rel1g1ou. or tbeologic.l terminology did Dot .how •• igaiticaDt difference between t~ two group.. In the c •• e ot lov. and per.iatins changes tow.rd other •• nd tOYard the experience, oblGrYatiOD by the controla or the profo\Jo<l experience ot the experimentall aad lnterection between the two 6roupa on Gn interpersocal lovel appeared from 'both poet-exp<!r1noental interviells to have 'been the main baai. tor the cootrol81 t exper ieece ot these phenomeoa.

The exper1ence ot the experimental aubjecta wa. cortainly more like my9tlcal experience than that of the cantrall who bad tho SlUM exptlctat.loD and 8ugge~tlon trO'".:1 tho preparation and settlng. The most Gtl'ik1ng dU~ter .. ~oce ~tween the e~rirneotftl. and controls was the ingestion ot thirty milllgroms of pal10cybln, which it was concluded was the facilitating

aecnt re spona1ble for tho difference 1n :PhQUO~DO e~ri~Dced. Thta

c cnc Lus Lon B"cv~ lup:port to the clalmo llalJ" by others who Mve uaed pa1lo ... cyb in or 8 tm.!.ilIr druglJ such u LSD or ~ :leG lino to s ldln tho imJuct16n or e xj-c r t e ncea Which IIIn coo,clU<led to be not I.lnUltl!t those daacrlbed b1 mystics. Such evidence nlao poin~d to the poaalble ~ortence ot blo .. che~lcol cha~6a. which might OCcur 10 la-cilled ·eo~-.rtlt1ct.l· mystical exper1eece (ee~c 10 111tbe e ftec:t. of &:Jca t 1c: practice.).

Arter lII.a ed:n1 ttedly ohort f'ollolt .. up ~r iod ot only iI1x mentH., lit .... enhancing Bnd -enriching offect. sim1lar to aome of thOle cll1med by mystic. vere .hOWD by the hiGher .core, of the .xper1mentallubJec:t.

when cO'"Pared to the controll. In Idr,H tion, .fter tour hour. ot tollo"up interv1ew, with OIIch lIubJeet~ the IIIxper1.mllnte:r v .. lett. witb tbe

overvhelm1nc impreuioQ that. tM u:p.rienee bad =-" •• p:'oto\.'Qd 1mptlQ\ (o.peele 111 in t.ltrml of rd-1a:1oul t •• linC Illd tbinkies) 0lII ,be 11" .. ot t1lht out ot tID ot the.ubj.ct. who hd ben linD p.llOC~lD. Altboup

the p.l1ocy\)ln experience vas Quite Utlique an4 Ufferent trOlll the "orUnert' reality of their everyday ltv .. , these subject. telt that

thll e::q>erleece r ... ~ mothated them toapprecute more deeply the me.nlDI ot their lives, to Byie more depth and authenticity in ord1nary living, end to rethink their philosophies ot life and va 1,1le a • The dat.a did not Buggeqt that flOY "ultimate" r~allty "':)8 DO lCrl~r 1r:Iportant or meaningful. Tbe tact that tbe experience took place ia the context ot • worship eervice with the use at e)1!lbola which were t8mll1.ar 8n4 meaningful to

the PQl"ttc1l>8ota eppeare4to provide a u8utul framework "ithin which to derive ~8ning enJ integration trOQ tho experleoce, both at the time

Ind later.

The re,lat1c:iship.eod relative k,ortsnce ot psychological prepara-

tion, set.ting, end drug were 1mport~nt QucstloDa rei loed by our result ••

A meaningful rel1s1oua preparetloD, ex-rectatioo, and environment .p ...

pea~d to be conducive to p061tlvo drug experiences although the pre-

ciae Qual1t8t1'le and quantitativa rol~ ot each factor \llIe oct l3etert:ltncd. Por exn~lo, everyth1ng possible was done to maxl~lte oU3s~atlcn. but e\J&;~Bt1o'O alone C5r.;~Ot. account tor the roe,uU. becaulIQ ot tM d1tterent e~rlenco ot the control eroup. The hypot.be 11. tlwt eugse at lb 111 ty " .. he1ght~ne~ by psilocyblncoulA Dot be ruled out OD tho b •• l. ot our exper1a1nt. An etfort v •• 1tII~1 to avo1d lugg~8t1DS tho pbencm:.ena ot the typol.ogy ot tl.)'Gt1clll:4, an4 the oorvlce !teolf _de uc ,u-;:h d ireet .uWIUoa. P,),cholOS1ltl ot nl1alol1 b,. their lntereatin pI),cholOQ .olSprolWlled rol1t'lou. lona1tlvlt1 IIhouldba well QualU'lo4 to .t~l tM v.r1tlbl ... ,

vork beH.

MlD~1oa v .. =a0. ot the .1UQldlUns IUSl1 •• t1VeIlcu. ot our exper1- IDOnt.el.tlndll'1S' tot • botter p.ycholollc.l. und.nt4ndlnl ot tn. theolollell.

signIficance of worship and of aucb doctrines ... the et't1c8c;y ot the s8crement8, the Incarnation, the Boly Spirit, th~ presenco ot Chr1at, end £ratla active. Queat10nl were raised a. to the place ot the emotiocal factor compared to the cognitive in rel1g1ol.l!:1 worship and u to tho validity of mystical experience 1n terms ot rellg1~u8 truth.

The ~'~monstretion ot at. l~Qst polloc;rbio, if' not LSD and Jneaco.l1n. by ane106y, aa 0. tool ~or the stlJdy ot the tlystical state ot' CODDCiou.ne aa augt;ellted both further resoarch snd itlpl1catlons tor the tuture. POefllbll1t.les for research in tht! psychology ot religIon with these chemIca la went d tvId~d lnt 0 tlol 0 d 1 fferent kInds 1n re l1! tlon to the .1A~ (1) theor~tiC'81 un,1t:!rstAn1 ing ot the pl;e.onooenl! acd ps;{chology ot mylltld~l!I en<1 (2) e:qX!rimentel investigation of possible Badal eppl1cat1otl ie I!!I re l1g1oul context.

The ~thod BugGested tor th<3 first or theoretical kind \las to approach th~ myot1ca1 IItate of conac Lcusne aa OlJ closely IU poaaible ucde r expcrim;:nta 1 ccnd it ions en~ to m~.sure t~e effect of variables. S\.lGe~~t1on(J ~ero S1vc:l for ccnf1r...otory stud1!!. at tl".a work Sl.r.:!Dd:r done, e"d1t1opal nell ox-;cr~ntB, end better techniques of r.c'lIll'remeDt. This dhaertat lOll wee only I otnrt tOllerd this IIpproech tor. better understand lng ot l1lyst lc1amtrom • phyl101oglcal, b 1 ocbee lea 1, ID4 1"7- choloslcel perapeet1ve.

Soveral oY.pOrlmental approochQI werle onv1aioMd tor the !locoad Idod of ~6oarchto detl'!rmlM the boat ll\ethoo for usuful IiIppllc.t1oo1a • rel1s1ou. context. Ono liIuS:0"lIt1on we. tho catsbUahulollt at • pilot rele.reh cooter on the mod~l of • ~11S10us retreat whore clretull1 CODtroUect "rUI ItxperiIrAnh CQ1l14b. <Jone by • tr. tllad ruearch It. it vbLob voulA condit of pllych1.ltr1ltl, c:11n1ClIl p.ycholOS1ltl •• Q4 .1nitter •• At:loth4r ,ulI"Uon v •••• too)' ot the tttoc\ 00 •• 1.1. oatunl.lroupi of

tour to .tx people wbo would tQeot poriocHc:.111, both pdor to an4 ettel' a drug experience, tor sar1ou8 personal aad rel1g1oulldlscuulon., Bible Itoo1, and worship In the torm ot pnyer and medit.t1oa.

It V88 eIlIPMa12.ed, hoy"ver, that more resurcb 11 Deeded at the

the O%"ot leal level be fore such pilot re search projects should be Iltarte4 because contlrn.at1on 1B !irst reQu1red that personally and 50c:18111 userul chanses 1n attitude find behavior are tacllitated thraushtbo .4"ministrat10n ot tnese drOSB with. ma.1l1ngfulrel1g1ou. :propantioQ .ad settlag. Care end caution Were etreucd 'becaule ot the .oclal re.ilt.nc. to be overcome aad, most 1.mportaotly, because at potent1al d.ngers illvolved.

Although relaUvely X'1!Ire sod not evident in our cxperl.::lent.l reeult., pOBslb1a harmful effects ot the druB experience Were dlscussed, such .a, payd::ologicsl dep.!ndeDce, opethy toward productive york snd accompUshment, sud eUlclde or prolonged paychoala ill depre ased or unstable individual:] who would not be able to waoage the illtooea emotiOTlel di8charse. Reeellrch to m:1:olml~ such daogO::lr, w .. lIIuggeeted.

With full rccO{)ottion or the caution lind lIenaltlvlt)' which 'I au 14 be reQuired, Great pr0ll11u " •• qeentortuture researcb in thla couple.l. lind challenging orca ot the paychology of rel1g1.on. A _plea vu _de, hovever, tor. eer1ou. an4 thoughtful exo~ln.tloa of tM loc1010g1c81, ethic.l, .n~ th~ologlcal L~plic8tlon. While research on the prtm.r,r or theoretical level 11 prosreu11lg lIod before ~rojectl tor toltinS uletul. 1II0clal epp,l1csUo'Q 10 • reUglou, cootext become vldeapre.4.

I: r


, ,

Psychology of religion has always been interested 1n religious experience, and especially such intense forms as conversion and mysticism. Research has had to depend mostly on autobio~raphlcalaccountB 10n9' after the fact. There have been few truly empirical studies which have analyzed these phenomena during or shortly after they have


With increasing frequency. books and articles have

been 2ppearingwhich make the claim that certain chemical substances (most notably mescaline" lysergic acid diethylamide, and ps ilocybin) are capable of inducing under appropriate conditions "mystical" or "religious" exp.rlence. Such

.claims have been met with skepticism from many religious people, and r1Shtly so. The evidence presented has been,

in most cases,a series of very subjective personal accounts which, while interesting. does notsyatematlcally attacK the problem or prove the point.

In the first phice, "mY8tical" or "religio\,ls" experience is too broad and general a term: it lack. preci •• definition al to what exactly 11 meant. On~ cannot b.


-2- -


sure that any two persons are talking about the same thine;

unless the phenomena are first carefully defined. In the


second place. personal accounts and subjective claims do

not prove anything without controlled studies to rule out the

posSibility that these experiences were due to factorsoti1er

than drugs. Also, such experiences usually occur under a

variety of conditions and circumstances 1n which the number

of unknown factors is so complex as to defy differentiation

and elucidation. In the third place. an enthusiastic claim

m3de by a person who has had the experience is open to the

suspicion of misguided persaal bias in the interpretation of

what actually occurred.

This investigation was und~~taken. therefore. to

study in an cwpirical way the similarities and differences

between experiences described by myst!cll and those induced

by these drugs. The research was designed to overcome the

three shortcomings which were mentioned above.

(1) A phenomenological typology of the mystical

state of consc!ousnoss was c~refully defined after a study

of the writings of the mystics thel'll.Se1ve3 and of scholar.

who hllve tried to characterize mys:tice.l experience.

(3) Some drug experiences were empirically .tudied


not by collecting such experiences wherever an interesting'

or striking one might have been found and analyzed after the

fact.. but by conducting a double-blind, controlled experiment

with subjects whose religious background and experience

as well as personality were evaluated batore their drug

experiences. The preparation of thesubjec~ the setting

under which the drug was administered, and the collection

of d .. ta about the experiences, werernade as uniform as possi-



(3) The experimenter himself conducted the experi~

ment, collected the data, and wrote 'up the results without

ever having had an experience with any of these drugs.

Furthermore, the typology by which ,the drug experiences were

measured was constructed before the drug experiment was run.

Before proceeding with a presentation of our typol-

ogy of mysticism and ourexper1.mental evidence, we aha.ll

briefly rev.iew the historical use of, naturally occurring psychedelicl aubstancesused in connection with religious

1 II Psychedelic" was coined by Dr. Humphrey Osmond from the Greek and. literally translated, means "mind-manifesting-

or "mind-opening." (HA review of the clinical effects of psychotomimetic agents," Annals Of tho New York AC:1demy of Sciences, VQ1. LXVI, (1957J , pp. 418-434.) These sub~tence8 produce changes 1n the montal etato'tl/'ith the retention of mental clarity and awaronea.. Mescaline, psilocybin, Dnd lyaer9ic acid


' ..

practice as well as the literature on so-called "mystical"

or "religious;' experiences produced by synthetic psychedelic


diethylamide (or, more simply, LSD) are the best known. Other terms which havo been used are% "psychotomimetic," "'hallucinogonic," "illualnogenlc," "mind-distorting," etc;:. Although euch effects may also occur, these words imply a negative evtlluatloli, whereas the phenomena herein studied were generally regl!.rded positively by thosswho B.."Cperlenced the.ni.

Chapter II


Data ~rom History, ".rchaeology, Anthropology, Botany, and Psychopbal'macology

Evidence from archaeology and anthropology has indi-

cated that certain plants have been used in connection with

ritu~ls and religious ceremonies in the past: and there are

groups of p('ople who still c.I";1ploy them for such purposes in

order to induce unusual states of consciousness •. In some

instcnces,such naturally-occurring substances are taken

by a priest, shaman, or witch doctor to induce a trance for

divinatory or revelatory purposes; sometimes they are taken

by groups of people who are participating in sacred cere-

monies.l Many of thesa plants have been found to contain

co~pounds identical with. or closely related to. mescaline,

LSD, or psilocybin.2 From this evidence, some of which he

has helped to discover, and from personal experience 88 a

participant observer 1n certain of these ceremonies, R. GOrdon

lRlchard EY~ns S~hultc8, "Pharmacognosy," The Pharmaceutic",l Sciences (Third Lectures Seriesl A.ustin, Texas, University ,of Texas College of Pharmacy, 1960), pp. 142:-185.

2A. Hofmenn, "Chemical, Pharmacological, and Medical Aspoct. of Psychotom1metic, II J, Bxper. Med. scl., Vol. V. No. 2 (Soptember, 1961), PP. 32-34.


Wasson 'has proposed the hypothesis that the use of such

plants was an important factor in the origin ,of religious ideas arr.onq primitive peoples.3

No one knows when "mescal buttons," the spineless

heads of the small, gray-green cactus, Lophophora \'Hlliams1i,

first began to be used by the Indians of Mexico. But when

the Conquistadores arrived, they found that the Aztecs

regarded peyote as a sac:r~d plant and used it for ritual

dances and curing cerernonies.4 Some sources indicate that

peyote "'.:15 known arid used as a religious sacrament as far

back as 300 a.c.S The ritual and medicinal use of peyote

spread northward to the United States sometime between 1700

and 1880. but there is no agreement as to whether this was

by slow diffusion or because of knowledge gained while

3R. Gordon Wasson, "The Hallucinogenic Fungi of Mexicol An :tnqu1ry into the Origins of the Religious Idea among Primitive Peoples," Botanical MuseUlTt Lea"flets, Harvard University, Vol. XIX, No. 7 (19&1) I pp. 137-162.

4wcston La Darre, The Peyote Cult ("Yale Unlv. Publications 1n Anthropology," No. 19: New Havena Yale Un1v. Press, 1938), pp. 109-110.


SSernardino Sahagun, ~18torla General de laa Cosp.

de Nueva Esparia, ed. Cerlos Maria de Bustamante, (Mexico,· la29-30), cited by R. E. Schultes, "Peyote--An AmericZlin Indien Heritage from Mexico," El Mexico Antiquo, Vol. IV, No. 5/6 (Apr!l, 1938), p. 200.


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northern tribes were on warring expeditions into Mex1co.6

Peyotiem in Mexico, with its shamanistic emphasis

on curing and divInation, tribal dancing, and close associa-

tion with agriculture and hunting, is compared and contrasted

in detail by La Barre with the Mescalero or tran8~tional peyotism of the Southwest and with Plains peyotism.7 Ac-

cording to Slatkin, by 1895 "the tribal dancing rite had

been changed into tha form of a relig!.on-like rite of 5ing-

1ng, prayer, and quiet contemplation .

both as a symbol

. . .

of the spirits being worshipped and as a sacrament."8 This

peyotism of the Plains Indian spread farther northward from

tribe to tribe by active proselytization all the way to

Canada. The "Peyote Religion" of t,he Native American Church,

wh f ch was officially founded 1n Oklahoma in 1919, has follolol'ed

the form ofPl~ins peyotislU, which combines traditional Indian ritual and symbology wil;.h some Christian elemel~t8.9

The ceremony itself has some important features in

6Schu1tes, ibid., pp. 20l-203.

7''I'eston La Barra, .QE. cit., pp. 29-56.

SJ., S. Slotkin, The Peyote Re11qic)q (Glencoe, Ill.s The Free PreB., 1956), pp. 34, 28.

9,D?ld" pp. 58,68"77.


common among different groups. The rite is an all-night

affair from about 8:00 p.m. on Saturday until about 8:00 a.m.

on Sunday. Four or five Indian officials lead the rite which

usually takes place in a tip! with a fire in the center.

The titue is spent 1n prayer: songs by each participant in

turn, accompanied by the water drum: ingestion of the sacra-

mental peyote; and contemplation. The ritual follows a defin-

ite general pattern. but the contents of the individual

prayers end songs are 6ponta~eous. At midnight there is a

water-drinking ce r ernony and at dawn, after a ritual "baptism"

with water from the drum, a ceremonial breakfast of water,

parched COrn in sweetened water, fruit, and dried sweetened meat, 1s eaten.lO.

The ceremony is regarded liS very sacred by the

participants who feel that peyote &lds contemplation by

increasing the powers of introspection, sensit1~in9 the

conscience, and producing visions of great meaning_ Prepara-

tion for the rite is taken seriously by the lridiena who con-

duct thomselves with due solemnity throughout the ceremony_

lOFor a detailed description of the ritual plus dhg~am5 of' the arrangement, see OmOr C. Stewart. Washo-

tlorthcrn Paiute Pcyot~, (UUnivercity of California Publication. . in Amert ca n Archa eo l09Y a nd Ethnology," Vol. XL, No.3, Lo. ).ngel08.J Unlv. ot California Prell., 1944), pp. 99-113, and Wo.ton LI Dan'., ,22. m. ,pp. 57-92.

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Proper ritual behavior includes being physically cleanJ

spiritually pure; nnd psychologically humble, sincere, and in a mood for concentrated meditation.ll

y,"hlte men who have attenced t.hese ..... o.cship services

and eaten peyote with the Indians in a receptive way as

participant~observers, have confirmed the serious and sacred

nature of th(! ceremony. "I had respect for the ceremony.

It was reverent <'lnd well conducted.,,12 "On a number of

occasions, I have taKen peyote in Indian ceremonies in

Oklahoma, and I must say that I am impressed with the rever-

encq and seriousness of the Indian in the practice of the

peyote ceremony, the morell teachings of which are of the highest. Ill) "I have never been in ,any white man's house of

worship where there is either as much religious feeling or


Peyote has been found to contain mescaline and

seven other anhalonium alkaloids of the isoquinoline series.

113. s. Slotkin, "The Peyote Way," Tomorrow Magaz~, Vol. IV, NO.3 (1956), pp. 67-68.

12M• Osmond, "Peyote Night," :romorrow Maga%ine, Vol. IX.

No. 2 (196~), p. 112.

13schultel, The Pharmpceutical Sciences, p. 156.

14J• s. Slotk1n, "Monom!n! P.yot1sm," :thg pruq experienge, .d. J)Avid Ebin (New York. Orion Pre •• , 1961), pp. 237-269.."

. ,


One of mescaline's notable effects is the production of

richly colored visual 1magery.l5

Another plant used for religious purposeS by the

Aztecs was c~lled ololiuqui and has been identified as the

climbing morning glory. Rlvea cOl:J2!!..._bosa. The brown seeds

.... 'ere crushed and eaten. usually by an individu~l rather

than by a group, as an aid in divination for lost objects

or to diagriosm and treat disease. The effect was the produc-

tion of revelatory visions. Ololiuqui was held in great

veneration and was considered a powerful force in native

religious philosophy. The seeds .... 'ere thought to possess a

deity and therefore were called "divine food." These seeds

are still used in a sacred way by ~he Chinantec, Mazatec, Mlxtec, and Zapotec Indians of Oaxaca Province. 16

Badoh nearo, the black seeds of another morning

glory, Ipomoea violacea, have recently been discovered to

have a similar ceremonia'l use in some parts of the Zapotec

15Schultes, The Pharmaceutic",l Sciences, p. 154.

For 8 complete list, with a aumrna ry of physiological effects, see L~ Barre. £E- ~., pp. 138-150.

16R. E. Schultes, 1\'Contribution to our Knowledge of Rlv_f8 CorymboslJ. The Narcotic Ololiuqui 9£ the Aztec~. . (Cambridge; Botanic:al Muuewu of Harvard Un1ver.ity, 1941.)



Both ololiugui and badoh negro seeds have been found

to contain the same three derivatives of LSD-25 (~-lyser91c

acid diethylamide): (1) ~-lysergi(,c· acid amide, (2) d-iso-

lysergi~' acid amide, and (3) chanoclav1ne. Of these

derivatives, ~-lysergi~! acid amide has the most similarity

in psychic effects to LSD, but is much weaker on ~n equiva-

lent-weight basis.lS

The practice of a sacred-mushroom cult has survived

in three parts of the world: Northeastern New Guinea, the

mountains of OaxacCl Province in Mexico. and Western Slberia.19

Not much is known about the New Gu1neacultic use. but re-

search 1s in progress.

The sacred mushrooms of Mexico were called

teonanacat1, "flesh of the gods," by the Aztecs. In 1939

Schultes presented evidence from historical, anthropologlc;:al,

and botanical sources for the existence of such cultlc

l7R. Gordon Wasson, .2.2. cit., pp. 151-153. citing Thomas MacDougall, 'iIpomoe~ tricolorl A Hallucinogenic Plant of the Zapotecs," BQletin,'of tho Centro de Investigaciones ~nthropologicas de Mexico, No. G (March 1, 1960).

lBHofmann, 22- SiS., pp. 38, 46-48.


19V. P. Wasson and R. G. Wasson, MushrOQm" Rus.sla end Hil!tory (New York.- Pantheon Book., 1957), Vol. II, pp.21S-216.


~rites.20 JOhnson and his party were the first modern white

people to opserve,but not participate In. the sacred ceremony,

which has survived 1n Mexico from before the Spanish conquest until the present.21 In 1957 the Wassons presented a review

of all the previous evidence along with their own discoveries.

They argued that the pre-Columb~an "mushroom stones" which

had been found 1n the highland> of Guatemala really were meant

to represent mushrooms as a aymbo I of the cerrt e r of a sacred

cult. The earliest Of these artifacts have been dated about

1500 B. c.22

The ceremony itself has been described 1n detail

(with pictures) by the Wassona, who were the first outsiders

to partake of the sacred mushl;'ooms in the secret rite, which

took. place at night and combined ~nclent Indian rel1910ulS

tradition with some Roman Catholic symbols. The mushrooms

are used in different ways 1n different places in the remote

20SChultes, "Plantae Mexicanag II: The .Identification of Teonanaeatl, a Narcotic Basidlcmycete of the Aztecs," Botanical Museum Leaflets. Harvard UniverSity, Vol. VII, No.3 (1939), pp. 37-54.

2lJean Belssett Johnson, Elements of Mazatcc Witchcraft ("Ethnological Studies," No.9, Gothenburg, Sweden, Gothenburg Ethnographic!'! Museum, 1939) cited by Wasson and Walson, ;22. ~., p. 237.

22we.aon ane! Wa •• on, .2,2. ill., Vol II, pp. 274-279.


mountains of Oaxaca, but they are always considered sacred

and used with solemnity and seriousness. The Wassons have

test.ified in their account to the profound impression which

the va r Lous ceremonies in which they have partlcipatedhave made upon them.23

Roger Heim, Direct:or of the National MuseuIQ of Natural

History in Paris, collaborated with the wassons on later ex-

pedltions and classified most of the differ-entsacred mush-

rooms as species of Psilocybe.24 Hofmann identified and

named the active ingredients as psilocybin and Psilocin and was later able to synthesize both.25

The mushroom ceremonies of the tribes of Western

Siberia, in the area of Kamchatka, ~ave not been studied

in so great detail as those of the Mexican Indians. It 1s

clear, however, that the Amanita muscaria has been used for

centuries by shamans prior to ceremonial rituals, to induee

oracular and ecstatic trances. These mushrooms are also

23~., pp.287-3l6.

24w~sson haa listed the technical names and earliest reported sacred or divinatory use of the twenty-four Mexican hallucinogenic mushrooms which h&d been discovered through 1950. Nineteen out of- these twenty-four were claaaified al speciel of PBilocybe. Wasson and Heim claimed relponsibility for" the discovery and classification of eighteen out of the twenty-foul;' (R. G. Wasson, Botanical Myaeum Leptletl, Vol. XIX, PP. 159-162).

25Hofmann, ga. Silt, PP. 41-4S.


eaten in group cer~nonles. the religious character Of which is not BO evident.26 Amanita muscaria has bee~ found to

contain muscarine and slight traces of b~fotenine. but no

psilocybin. Although bufotenine In sufficient quantity can

affect psychic functioning in a way somewhat resembling psilo-

cybin. there 1s considerable doubt that there is enough 1n these mushrooms to account for the effects produced.27

Bufotenine has also been identified as an active

ingredient of cohoba snuff of ancient Hispaniola,· arid 1s

still used by Indian tribes. The seeds of several species

of Piptadenia, a tree of South America and the Caribbean

Islands. are pulverized and used as snuff to induce a

trance-like state for prophesying, .clairvoyance, and divination.26 Also chemically present may be N,N-dimethyltrypt~minef

which is definitely responsible for the psychic activity·of

vinho de Jurwnena, a drink made from the seeds of the closely

26W. Jachelson, "Religion and Myths of the Koryak," in Jessup Harth Pacific Expedition VI (New Yorkl Americ8n Museum of Natural History. 1906), Vol. x. pp. 1-382, cited Py Howard D. Fab!ng, "On GOing Berserkl A Neurochemical Inquiry," Scientific Monthly Vol. LXXXIII, No.5 (NOvember, 1956), pp .. 232-233. See also a fullor discussion in Wasson 8nd Wasson, . .9.2. ill., Vol. I, pp. 190-192, 194.

27Hofmann, 22. ~., p. 34.

28Schult •• , PbarrrtA.ceu1:1!;Dl Science., pp. 158-159_


related legurninose Mimosa hostllisand used 1n the magico-

religious ceremonies of the Pancaru Indians 1n Pernamouc,o,

29 Brazil.

The Indians of the Western Amazon prepare a magic

drink called ?yahuasca, ce ap L, or Y1Us (equivalent designa-

tiona), from several species of !3anisteriopsis, a jungle 30 creeper, or in some areas, Tetrapterys methystlca.

This drink. is used in religious manner, for prophecy,

divination, the tribal initiation of male adolescents, and

sacred feasts.31 There is still debate as to the exact nature

of all the chemical compounds which are responsible for the

pronounced psychic effects, but it seems very certain that

harmine and its ",na1099, harmaline aid g-tetrahydroharmlne,

are actively present.32

Bufotenine (S-hydroxydimethy1tryptamlne) ~nd

N,N-dimethyltryptamlne are both closely related to psilocybin

(4-phosphoryloxy-w-N,N-d1methyltryptam1ne). Harmine and.

29Ibid •• p. 165. 30Ibid •• pp. 170-179.

31Robert S. DeRopp, prugs and the Mind, (New York;.

St. Martin's Pres., 1957), pp. 264-69.

32Schultel, Phpm8c,yt1c!,1 Sciencel, p. 179.


LSD also contain the same basic indole ring structure. All

these compounds have a structural relationship to serotonin

(5-hyazoxytryptamine) which is found in the brains of warm-

blooded animals and which plays an as yet unknown role in psychic functioning.33

Data from Cliriical Research

Once the active ingredients of these plants were

isolated, their chemical structure d€termined. and a method

of synthesis discovered, clinical research on their effects was facilitated. Mescaline was synthesized in 1920:34

LSD in 1938 (although the mental effects were only discovered accidentally by Hofmann in l~43)r35- and psilocybin in 1958.36

There was a surge of psychiatric in·terest 1n these drugs

in the 1950's because many of their ~ffects resembled

psychotic symptOffi.S. The drugs became known as, "psychoto-


Unger, 1n a comprehensive review article',37 haa

33Hofm8nn, 2£. cit., pp. 47-49. 34L~ Barre, 22. £!S., p. 139. 35aofmann, 22. ~., p. 35. 36Ib1~., p. 44.

37Senior4 M. Unier, "Mo8caline, LSD, PD11ocybin, and Personality Changel A Review, II to b. puell.hed in Psychiatry, Vol. XXVI, No.2 (1963).

. ,



shown how the possibility of rapid and positive personality

change in contrast to the production of "model psychosisM

began to be explored by Borne researchers who emphasized the

j.rnrort:::r.ce of .§25trn-drug variables in aeterrnining the type

of reaction c:xpcrienced by experimental subjects. These

extra-drug factors included preparation ana personulity of

the subject, a trust-filled setting in which the subject

felt secure, and the expectation of both the subject and

the experimenter. Unger has compared examples from William

James' Varieties of F..eliqiollS Experience with some of these

experimentally-produced drug -experiences.

Some of the researchers have reported that their

subjects have tended to describe th~ir drug experiences in

mystico-religlous language. A group of Canadian investigators,

in their research on the treatment of alcoholics with LSD

and mescaline, 'Were struck by the reseml;lance of some of the drug experiences to religious conversions.38 They also

noted th8t the experiences which seemed to be the most

therapeutic as measured by decrease in drinking ",ereth. ones

which were tho most intensely relig10us or transcendental in

38C. M. Smith, "Some Refl~ction8 on the Possible 'Therepeut1c Effect. of the Hallucinoqen •• " gU!J;t, J I Stud.

Alcohol, Vol. XIX (1959), p. 293.


t· 39 na ure.

Sherwood et li., u8i-nq a similar method of prepara-

tion and administration, in their preliminary report, have

described the results of these Canadian workers. Experi-

cn~es which both the r~se3rchers and their subjects regarded

as religious were encountered and also tended to be the most

beneficial in terms of lasting ther~peutic results. These

experimenters classified such experiences in the "stage of

Lmrned La t.e perception." The nature of the religious and

philosophic~l in~lghts reporteu by their patients· were dis-

cussed in the appendix to their paper~40

Chandler and Hartman have mentioned the mythological,

syr:\bolic. religious, mystical and philosophical content of

39N• Chwelos, D. B. Blewett, C. Smith, and A. Hoffer, "Use of LSD-25 in the Treatment of Chronic Alcoholism."Quart. J. Stud. ~lcohol, Vol. XX, 1959, pp. 580-584. See also

Hoffer's comments on their work, at the Josiah Hacy Foundation Conference. The U.!_;e of LSD 1n Psychoth~re.EY (New York I Josiah Macy. Jr. Foundation Publications, 1960), pp. 114-115. Similar results 'Were reported by J. R. MacLean, et al., "The Use of LSD-25 1n the Treatment of Alcoholism lind Other Psychiatric Problems." Quart. J. Stud. Alcohol, Vol. XXII, 1961, pp. 34-45.

40J. N. Sherwood, M. J. Stolaroff, and W. W. Hnrman, ''rhe Psychedolic Expcrlence--A New Concept 1n Psychotherapy."

J. Nouropsychl~try, Vol. IV, No.2 (Nov.-Dec., 1962), pp. 69-80.


the experiences of some of their subjects.41 Dltman and

h~ittlcsey have recorded the rather numerous religious

elements 1n quest10nna ire Etudies of their subj ects is fter

the experience. "Those who had a religious orientation,

particul~rly tho~e with a mystical orientation, claimed

the mo~t benefit from the experience and found it the

most pleasant :'42

Leal"), found that even subjects who had no formal

interest in religion found religious language most adequate

in describing their psilocybin experiences:

We were dealing rather with the potentialities of expanded consciousness, the state of e90- suspenslo:1. or self-transCendence. Such ancient concepts as faith, belie£. trust, served as the best predictors.

Another surprising result was the frequent use

of religious terminology to explain the reactions. Less than ten percent of QUI;' original sample

were orthodox believers or churchgoers, yet

such terms as "God," "divine," "deep religious experience," "meeting the infinite," occurred

in over half of the reporta.43

41". L. Chandler and M. A. Hartman, "Lysergic Acid D1ethybmide (LSD-25) as 8 Facilitating Agent in Psycho-

therapy," A.M.A.' Arch. Gen. Psych., Vol. II (1960), pp. 286-299.

42K. S. Ditman, M. Hayman, and J. R. B. Whittlesey, "Nature and Freq\lency of Claims Following LSD," J. Nervou. Mental D1seftse, Vol. CXXXIV (1962), pp. 347-348 •.

43T1mothy ~eary and Walter H. Clark, "Re11giou. Implications ot ConsciousneS8-Expanding Drug •• " peltg. EduS.,Vol. LVIII, No.3 (1963), p. 252.


Another ~llnical psychologist, Wilson Van Dusen, likened

his LSD experience to the Zen Buddhist expeoence of Bator!,

although his realizations were unexpected in the sense that

he had not embarked upon the experience with such an expecta-

ticn 1n mind.44

Persons already interested in religion or philosophy

who have personally had a meaningful drug exper~ence have

been struck by the similarity of their experiences with

those described by mystics and visionaries from a-variety

of cultures. Aldous Huxley opened the eyes o£ many to such

a possibility when he described his flrst mescaline experi-

ence in The Doors of Perceptlon.45 Some of the others who

have compared their experiences fav<;>ri!!lb1y to religious or

44Wllson Van nusen, "LSD and the Enlightenment of Zen," Psychologia (Kyoto) f Vol. IV, No. 1 (March, 1961), pp. 11-16.


Aldous Huxley. The Doors of Perception (New York,

Harpers, 1954). Huxley also stimulated a storm 9£ protest from those who did not agree with him. One of the most immediate and critical attacks was by a Roman Catholic,

R. C. Zaehner, in "Menace of MClscaline," Blackfrillrs,

Vol. CXXXV (July-August, 1954), 'pp. 310"'321. Zaehner followed this by a scholarly book, Mysticism. Sacred pod

Pro f~ no: An. Inqu i ry into some Va r let leis 0 f Pra eterna tura 1 Experience (New York. Oxford Unlv. Press, 1957).Slnce 1954, Huxley has continued to expound his position. A.goo4 .Iumri'1ary of hi. view. are found 1n hi. Gasay "Vi .• ionary Experience," in Clinical Psychology, ed. G~S.Nlel.en (Proc.e4- lng_ of the XIV Int. Cong. of Appl. Peyehol., Vol. XV, Copenhagen I Munkigaard, 1962), pp. 11-35.


mystical experiences are r;ratts;46 Heard,47 Jordan,4S Graves,49

and Dunlap. 50

Persons who have written in the field of the psy-

chology of religion have been mixed in their reactions to

drug-induced experiences as a method of approach to the

study of religious or mystical experience. William James

felt that in his own experiences ~1th nitrous oxide. he

approached closer than at any other time to a mystical

stute of consciousness. He was also extremely interested

in the "anesthetic revelations" of others.51 In general

46Alan w. Watts, "The New AlchclllY," 1n This is It, and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience (New Yorkl -P<:!ntheon Books, 1960), pp. 127-153. See also his The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Che.'1listry of Consciousness (Hew York: Pantheon Books, 1962).

47Gerald Heard, "Can This Drug Enlarge Man's Mind?Hoi:'j~ol1 Haga:z1ne, Vol. V, No.5 (May, 1963), pp. 28-31, 114-115.

48G. Ray Jordan. Jr., "LSD ~nd mystical experiences,J. Bible and Religion. Vol. XXXI, No.2 (April, 1963), pp. 114- 123. This statement is more explicit than his earlier "Reflections on LSD, Zen Meditation, and S~tori," PsYchologia (Kyoto), Vol. V, No 3 (September, 1962), pp. 124-30.

49Robert Graves, ''It Journey to Parlld1se, It ;Iol1day, Vol. XXXII, No.2, (1962), pp. 36-37, 110-111.

SOJ2Ine Dunlap, Exploring Inner Space (N-ew York.

Harcourt, Brace & World, 1961).

SlVlIr!et.1es of Re11g1ou. ExperloDCt (Modern Library Edition, Now York, Random Hou •• , 1902), pp. 378-384.


he judged all religious experiences more by the pragmatic

"fruits for life," rather than by their origin, and there-



fore was open to the study of any phenomenOn. regardless of

its cause. 52 Stace has termed this' "the principle of causa t

indlfference,,53 and has himself included in his major work

on mysticism a mescaline ex.perience as a duly-qualifying

f::xample.54 Leuba had a chapter entitled "Mystical Ecstasy

as Produced by Physical Mea!1s" in which he discussed the

effectB produced by alcohol, opium, hasheesh,and peyote,

but he con s Lde r ed such experiences as lower forms of mystlc-

ism, and did n;:,t do any experimental work with these substances. 5,

Laski56 and Walker57 discuss the 16~ue, but tend to be more

interested in, and favorable toward, "natural" experiences

than "artificial." Zaehner, referrcd to in footnote 45~


. Ibid., p. 21.

53W. T. Stace, Mysticism and Philosophy (Philadelphia and New "fork: J. B. Lippincott, 1960), pp. 29-31.

54Ib1d., pp. 71-77.

55J• Leuba, .:rho Psychology of Religious Mysticism ~ew York: Harcourt, Brace, 1925), pp. 8-36 •.

56Margharita Laski, Ecstaoyt A Study of Some Secular ~nd Religious Experiences (Londont The Cr.sset Pres.,. 19(1), .pp. 263-273.


anneth Walker, !ho COO-Cloys Mind! "ComrnentlO'

2n the Myp~ (London, Rid.r & Co., 1962), pp. 1~4-140.


regarded such induced states as much nearer to psyc~ot1c

than religious experience. and argued for the difference

rather than similarity to Christian mystlcls~. Havens

has presented a thoughtful and conservatively favorable

review of the problem in relation to the" religious experience of Ouakers. 58 Clark. has suggested the opportunities

and challenges which such a research tool provides for

future work in a relatively unexplored area in the psychol-

ogy of religion.S9

S6Joseph Havens, "Memo to Quakers on the Consciousness-Changing Drugs." (Unpublished.)

59Leary and Clark, .2l2.cit., pp. 254-5"6 •

. '

Chapter III


The purpose of this chapter if! to define what .... e

mean by the t e rm, mystical state of consciousness. A

typolc\gy of basic characteristics of mystical experience

1n the broed sense is developed. The broad sebse meane

a basic typology .... ·hich 1s universal and holds true for

mystical experience 1n different cultures end religions.

Before defining the typology in detail, we shall discuss

mystical experience with regard. both to It.9 relationship

to religious experience and to the universality of its


Mystical Experience 1n Generel

The Re18tlonShip between Mystical Experience lind Religious Experience

A simple identification of religious experience

and mystlcalex~rience fails to take into account the many

definitions of reli9ion. Religions vary in their empha.i.

Upon mysticism.. although there i •• tendency. especially

among pllycholog1.t. of religion'who have been1nt.r •• ted

111 the draJUticand lnt.nle phenomena of the lAY.tical experl-


.... 25-

ence , to make the luysticZll element the most iroportzmtchar-

1 acteristic of religion.

Allrelig.ious experience i~ not necessarily mystical

in the sense of Qur definition of mystical experience as

given belbw~ Pratt, for example, divides religion into

four kinds or z,sp€cts. of which the mystical is only one,

the other three being the ttaditional, the rattonal, and the 2

practical or mor a L, Even .... 'hen quite E;..>lotional1yrueaningful,

participation in a particular religion by such practices as

observance of religious laws, intellectual belief in a cer-

t~in creed or theology, instit'utional rue:nbership, and a,ttend-

ance at rites and rituals, may not result in or be the pr oduct;

lwilliam James refl~ct8thlS ftttitude by his preference for religion \<o'hich is an "acute fever" rather than a "dull habit" (op. cit •• p~ 8).

2J• B. Pratt. The Religious ConsciouBness1 A p~ycholoqical Study (NeW York: Macmillan. 1921). p. 14. Compare a similar discuBsion of the clemente of religion by R. n. Thou1ess. An Introduction tQthe Psycho'logyof Religion (CaMbridge: Cambridge University Press. 1956). pp. 12-15. Pratt irtcludes all four divisions in his definition of religion,

wh ich is 811£01.10,«s, .. the ser ious and 60C hl attitude of individuals or communitie8 to"','srdthe power or powers which they conc(!_lve 8.& having ultil:nato control over their interest. or destinies" (2P, cit., p. 2). Note ThoulEiS8'. ,8imilar d.efinition of religionl "a felt practical relationship with what

i8 believed in a& a auperhwuan being or being." whieh are "felt to b4IIgreater than man or may b. lookod. \lP to by him· (op, C1k" p, 4).


of mystical experience.

On the other hand. all mystical experience is not

necessarily religious. Again, of course. much depends on

how one chooaesto define religion. If one makes the concept

of a "personal God" central in the definition of reli<Jion.

many forms of mystical experience could not be considered

religious. The phenomena of InysticI!I1 experience, for example,

may occur outside the framework. of any formal rell-gion, with

no reference to any articulated theology.

The problem is by-passed or merely indicated,

rather than solved, by broadening the definition of religion

to include any expe.r Lence which 'WOuld qualify as mystical

by our crit:.eria. Tillich, for example, considers as rell-

9.1ous an exper lence which gives ultimate meaning. structure,

and aila to human experience or 1n which ono is concerned


ultimately. Wach gives a similar dofinltion of religious

experience M a total and intense existential response to

what 1s experienced as Ult~te Reality (1.e., nothlnq finite)

3paUl Tilllch, Systematic Theol.,29X (Chicago. University of' Chicago Pres., 1951), Vol. I, pp. 11-14. It i. 'l'111ich'. opinion that what 1. truly ultimate can be beat symbolized by Jesus who i. called the Christ, in Christian theoloqy (pp. isis) •


and adds the prl!lct1.cal criterion that the experience must 4

compel to action.

Rather than attempting to define religion and religious

experience 1n order to differentiate precisely the relat1on-

ship bet".\'een religious and mystical experience, we have 1ndi-

cated the nature of the problem and the error of loOsely

speaking of religious and mystical experience as if the two

were always synonymous. Our atlantion will be focused upon

the nature of the mystical experience, whether the experience

be religious or not.

The Universality of the Characteristics of Mystical Experience·

t-'.any of the well-known com.rnentiltors on and analysts

of mystical experience have made the presupposition that

there are certain fundamental characteristics of the

experience itself ~hlch are universal and are not restricted

toeny particular reli9ion or culture, although particular cultural, historical Bnd re11qious conditions may influence

4Joa.ch1.m Wach, ThG Compprative Study of Rel1g10nl, (Columbia PBperbackEd1tion, New York. Coluw~1a University Prese, 1961), pp. ~O-36·. See also hi. 1mportant 'WOrk,

!Yees 9£ Ro119!OU. gxperienCft Christian and Hon-ChristilD (ChicDgOI The Univorsity of CbicDgo Pre •• , 1951), pp. 32-33.


both the understanding and the description of the essential

mystical experience.

James lists four common or universal characteristics

of m~3tical experience:

(1) ineffability, or the feeling

that the experience cannot adequately be expressed with


(2) noetic quality, or the certainty that the

knowledge 9<lined as insight is true; (3) transiency, or

the irnpc.rmancnc6I of the mystical state; (4) passivity,

or the feeling that one is not acting but, rather, being

.. d 5

a cce upon ..

His examples range from persons with no

particular religious allegiance to monks and nuns, but

the cases in his series possess these cowman character-

iaticl!!I. Pratt provides a broad and universal definition

of mysticism 88 a consciousness of a Beyond, or tbe sense

o~ fee11rig of the presence of a being or reality, vi.

other means than sense perception or reason .. 6 !te d1st1nqu1she.

between Mild and extreme types. The mild is characteril:e4

by (1) ineffability, (2) noetic certainty, especially of

the presence of the Beyond, and (3) joy and cDlm.7 The extreme

5Jamel, QP. ~1t.t pp. 371-372. 6pratt, epI cit., pp. 337 .. 341.

7~ •• P~. 346-362.

.- "


type is exemplified by the unitive state of ecstasy which

includes the phenomena of (1) suddenness, (2) p~sslvity,

(3) loss of sense impresaions of the outside world, (4) no-

etic insight or knowledge or acquaintance which combines

feeling and cognitive intuition, (5) inefhbility. (6) im-

mediate intuition of the Beyond, or God's presence, and

(7) intense, ecstatic joy and love.8 He take", his examples

from both Eastern and Western sources.

Bucke has collected cases from various times .. and

cultures with the follow1ng universal criteria of "cosmic

consciousness~; (1) suddenness or instantanoQusnesa.

(2) photism or subjective -light, (3) moral elevat.lon'4 with

an emotion of joy, assurance, and trl~~ph, (4) ineffable

intellectual illumination, (5) sense of immortality,

(6) loss of the fear of death, (7) 108S of the sense of

sln. (8) usual occurrence between the ages of 30-40, and

(9) added charm to the personality after the exper1enee.9

Underhill gives four universal testa which must

BIbid., PP. 394-429.

gR. M. Bucke, Cosmic Consciousness, Evolution of the Human Hlns1 (Philadelph1a I 1901), pp. 60-62.

}.. Study in the lnne. " Son.,


be satisfied by any example of true mysticism and which

penetrate behind the particular aescrlptive symbolism em-

ployed.10 For her mysticism must: (1) be an. organic 11fe-

process in ~hich th~ whole self 1s involved in an active,

practical, and intense experience (this in contr"ast to

an intellectual opinion which can be merely pussive and

theoretical), (2) have a wholly transcendental and splri-

tual aim (i.e., the mysticclo interested in a realm of ultimate reality,' the chanqe Le s a One, beyond ordinary,

everyday reality); (3) know this One not merely as the

Reality of all 'that is, but also as a living personal object

of Love ~hich draws onets whole being under the guidance ,./,,;1'

of the heart--love is defined as the driving power and deep-

seated desire of the soul toward its Source and is ~tha ultimate expression of the self's most vital tendencies-:ll

(4) have a Living Union with this One involvin9 the liberation

of a new, or rather latent, form of consciousneas which 18

called decstasy· or better. the Unitive State.

10 E. Und erhill , :..~~y...::s::..:t:..:i:;.;c~1:;.;[;~m::.:.:...: _:.:A~S;.:t:..::u:..::d::..lY~1::..:n.:.._t::..h!.!e~!!N:::a.:;t:.::::u~r~. and Development of Manta Spiritual Consciousness (New Yorkl Meridian, 195~), pp. 61-94.

111.bM., p. as.

... 31-

Clark a130 makes the assumption that there are

universal characteristics of the nystical state of cons-

clousness. He lists and comments upon those mentioned by

James and Uriderhl1l and adds (1) that nthe language of

mysticism makes extensi'e usc of figures of speech and

paradox,,,l2 (2) that the mystics nregard what the ordin-

ary man considers the Real as the Unr~al, and what the o~dln~ry person considers the Unreal as the Real"l3 an~

(3) that the mystic has a "tendency toward extravagance

in behavior" which expresses his "desire for integration

of the psychic li!e.M14

Johnson universally defines mystical experience

as the state of illumination 1n which the sense of

separateness, of individuality, is to a great degree lost

and which has'positive significance, value, and certainty for the experiencer.lS Such experiences are divided in-

to the slighter and the more pro£oundtypes. He find.

12W. H. Clark, The Psychology of Religion: An Introduction to Rel1g!ouaExperlence and Behavior (New York: ~~crnillan, 1955), pp. 81-94.

13Ibid., p. 273

14Ibi4., pp. 274-275.

lSR. C. Johnson. The Imprisoned Splendora An Approach to Re~lity. b8sed upon th, 8isn1f1cPDc, of dati c.1rl'lWO frg_m tht" fields of Naturpl Science. Psychlc,l R.J~8rch and Mystical Expar1enc! (Now York. Harpor, 1953).

PP. 300-302. .


the following four common fe~tures of the slighter type.

(a) The illumination or radiance which is seen to infuse everything 'without' is felt to come from 'within.' (b) The sense of belorglng to a new and greater unity is always felt. That which is seen forms a part of a larger whole (c) The emotional tanes are always Eupremely attractive: pUlsing light, l!vingness, joy, peace,

happy wonder. Through them, and interwoven, is an enormously enhanc.ed sense of the supreme valueB~ and the most adequate description usually 6ec~s to the experiencer to be a 'revelation of God.' (d) Words [ail'to express the experience, and the terms used 16 are known to be only symbols and analogies.

He lists the universal features of the more profound type

in two groups:

L Those who have had the more profound

type of mystical e~periences, no matter

in what age or to what race or creed they have belonged, tell us the ~ ·fundamental thinsst the senso of separateness Vanishes into an all-~~racing unity, there is certain knowledge of immortality, there 1s an enormously enhanced appreciation of values, and there 1s knowledge that at the heart of the universe 1s Joy andBeau~y. This unanimity of testimony 1s quite remarkabl ••

2. Those who have known such an experience are ~lways profoundly impressed by it. significance as a revelation of truth.

There is from then onwards, not the satisfaction.of en intellectual answer to life'. ult!rnatequestions, but a serenity born of the knowledge that all 1_ well, and that the secret purpose of the universe 1. sood beyond. all telllni.17

17Jlaid., PP. 320-321.


Johnson quotes experiences which are described in tradl-

tional religious language !IS well i:!IS those which do nee

f[1E:ntion orthodox religious symbols yet still have the

un!versal phEinoltlen.ology covered by his description.

Walker considers the mystical consciousness a

state of Universal Consciousness which 1s a higher level

than the usual self-consciousness of everyday existence.

Characteristics include an intuitive, -expe r i.ent La L realiza-

tion that Hthe small individual aelf has always been a

part of the great Universal Self I'" a "melting away of the individual 'self' into 'boundless being,,,18 and "a Vlorld complet ely out s idC! 0 ft!me ... 19 Hi a chief example's

are Edward Carpenter, WordsWorth, Sri Aurobindo. R. M.

Bucke, Jacob Boehme. H. G. Wells, Plotinus. Meister

Eckhart, and his o ..... n personal experience. His,quote

from Ouspensky demonstrates his own presupposition' and -.-

that of the other writers mentioned lIbovez

If ..... e follow neither the religious nor the. scientific vle ...... rs , but try t.o compare descriptions of the mystical experiences of people of entiroly different racesf of different periods and of different religions,

"",lBWalker, ,22- ill.,p- 40.

19IbiCl.,p_ 41.


we shall find a striking resemblance amongst these descriptions, which can in no case be explained by similarity of preparation. or by any·resemblancl38 iIi. way~ of thinking and feeling. In mystical states, utterly different people. in utterly different conditions, learn one and the same thing, aIi.d what 1s btill more striking, in mystical states there is no difference of religion. All the experiences are absolutely identical: the differences can be only in the language and in the form of disclpllne.20

Although Suzuki does not make the claim that the

sator! experience is the same as other mystical states of

consciousness. his description has ffiNny of the same unl-

versal characteristics given by other writers on mysticism:

(l) irrationality which defies intellectualization, con-

ceptualization. or logical explanation, (2) intuitive

insight, (3) authoritativeness or finality, (4) affirma-

tion Ol poSitive acceptance of all things that ~lst,

(5) sense of the beyond or a melting away into something

.indescribable and of quite a different order than that

to which one 1s accustomed, (6) im~ersonal tone. (7) feel-

1n9 of ~altatlon. (8) momentarlness--abruptness and transltorines •• 21

20Ibid •• pp. 92-93, quoting from P. D. Ouepensky, A New Model of the Universe (London a Routledge & Kegan PZlul, 1937), p. 51.

210• T. Suzuki, Zen Duddhiflml Selected Wr1t1ruJ.1.

~f Dr T. SU2ukl. ed. William Barratt (Doubleday Anchor ISa:1on, Oardun City, New York. Doubleday, 1956), pp. 103-


w. T. stace in .!.1Y§ticism and Philosophy has surveyed

the mystical literature to make his case for the unlversal-

ity of the basic phenomena of mystical experience. He has

given exarup Le s from the writings of those who have person-

ally expez Le nced mystical states of consciousness to support

what he calls the universal core of mystical expe.rience.

He has distinguished between introvertive and extrovertive

types wh i ch both "culminate in perception of, and union

with, a Unity or One though this end ie reached through

different means in the two cases~22 He has listed seven

characteristics of each type but five of the seven are the

same. These five common elements are:

(1) Sense of objectivity or reality, (comparable to James' noetic quality which leads to certainty of the objective reality of what is learned 1n the experience).

(2) Feelings of blessedness, joy. pe~ce, happiness. satisfaction. etc.

(3) Feeling that what 18 apprehended 1s holy, divine, and sacred.

(4) Par~doxica11t~

(5) Alleged. by mystics to be 1neffable.23

The introvertive type a. the neme suggest. 1.

22stac., 22. ~., p. 62.

23~., Pp. 13-132.

.tt . ,.I ..


inner-directed and its essence is the experience of

undifferentiated unity which is M ••• the Unitary Conscious-

ness, from 'Which all the multiplicity of sensuous or con-

c~ptual or other empirical content has been excluded, so that there remains only a void and empty unity •• ,24 The

Vnitary Con5~iousness is bi definition nonspatial and

nonte:r.poral. The extrovertive type is outer-directed

and 1s experienced through the phycical senses in or

through the multipJJcity of objects. The essential charac-

teristic for this type 1s ..... the unifying vision expressed

abstractly by the formula 'All is One.ln The One 1s ap-

prehended " ••• as being an inner subjectivity in all things,

described variously as li:c, or consciousness, or a living

Prcscnce.,,25 Spatiality 1s paradoxically preserved, but

the normal sense of time may be lost.

The extrovertive and introvertive are not mutually exclusive and may occur in the same. myst1e.26 Staee shows how Meister Eckhart is an example of this.27 Brinton'.

st.udy of Jacob Boehme supports Stace's point. Boehme

hZ!lrmon1zed the in-going end out-going wills by going from

~4Ibit\., p. 110. ,26~., pp. 63-65.

25l12.!!J., p. 79.

2 7Ibis!., pp. 98-99.


one goal to the other and back in a kind of dynamic equl1ibrium.28 Stace maintains that although the extro-

vertive and the introvertive One are experienced in d1fferE:nt 'Ways, they are identical.29

Primary Experience versus Interpretaticn

After a general discussion of the problem of

the universal core Stace quotes the writings of repre-

sent~tive mystics from a wide variety of cultures to

I sw)stantiate the extrovertive and introvertive types ahd


e<"ch of the common characterist1cs. He always tries to

reach behind Lnd Lvf.dua L interpretations which he feels

are concitioned by various theological and intellectual

frames of reference, to the raw experience itself. Again

and again he emphasizes his distinction between primi!lry

phenomenology and interpretat10ns conditioned by culture.

He feels that his characteristics of the universal core

are ~he baliie phenomenology of mystical experience st.J:'ipped

28M. H. Brinton, The Mystic WillI Based on a Study of tho Philooophl of Jacob Boehme (New York, Macmillan, 1930), p. 21.

29Ib1d., p. 152,273-274.


__ ~ ~ __ ..... ' ......... 'E_· .......... ·' ... -"' ... -d ... ' ..... - .... "f'r"S:t-S)'Ii&lWtnfOQ Aeit idiSC.iib 'dD:·~·~


bare of interpretation.30

Stace's distinction bet'Ween the primary experience

and the interpretation is either stated or implied by other

...... riters ...... ho ,attempt to abstract general characteristics of

t.he mystica 1 experience from the phenomenological accounts

thereof. Some examples are as follows:

Such symbolism as _this--a living symbolism of experience and action, as well as of statement-sec~s almost essential to my~tical expression. The mind must ~rnploy some device of the kind 1f its transcendental perceptions--wholly unrelated as they are to the phenomena with which intellect is able to deal--are ever to be grasped by the surface consciousness. Sometimes the symbol and the perception which it represents become fused in that consciousnesS, and the mystic'S experience then presents itself to

him as 'visions' or 'voices' which we must

look upon as the garment he has himself provided to veil that Reality upon which no man

m!y look and live. The nature of this garment w111 be laraely conditioned by his temperament-as In Rolle's evident bias toward music, St. Catherine of Genoa's leaning toward the abstract conceptions of fire and light--and also by his theological education and enviro~~ent. Cases

in point are the highly do-;r:::ltic visions and auditions of St. Gertrude, SUBD. St. Catherine _ of Slen~, the BleSsed Angel of Foligno: above all of St. Teresa, whose marvellous 5elfan"lyses provide the classic account of these attempts of the mind to translate transcendental

30S •• especially pp. 62-133, 153-182.


intuitions into concepts with which it can deal. (underlinings'mlne)31

~e must, however, be careful to distinguish bet";cen the content of the intuition which t~kes place during the ecstasy, and the trut~e which the mystic comes to bel~eve as a result of reflecting upon his experi~nce.32

I recognize the fact th~t those who have enjoyed mystical experiences are likely to describe them a fterwurds in terms of their own religion. and that this entails their making use of the terminology and the beliefs of the religion in which they hdppen to have been brought up.33

This mystical experience, in its essential aspects as experience, is pretty much the same through

the centuries and in all lands. wnat accounts

for the historical types is, therefore. not the nature 6f the e~perience as such, but the prevailing theological or metaphysical conceptlon~of

the time and place, which color the expectation

of the given mystic, ?lnd form the background setting through which he interprets his illumination.34

The fact 1s that the mystical feeling of enlargement, union. and emancipation has no specific intellectual content whatever of its own , It

is capable of forming matrimonial alliances with material furnished by the most diverse philosophies and theclogies. provided only they can find a place 1n their framawork for its peculiar emo- . tional mood.35

31Undcrhill, QE. cit., pp. 78-79. See also her Esscntl<11s of Mysticism (Dutton Everyman Paperback Ed~tlon, New York, E. P. Dutton, 19(0), pp. 4, 18-19.

32pratt, .21!. ill., p. 407. 33Wa1ker,,22. ill. ,pp.156-1S7.


34Ruful Jone., Tho Radiant Life (New York. Macmillan, 1944), p. 100.

35JDmOD, £E. ~., pp. 416-417.



As far as the psychology of satori is considered,

a sense of the Beyond is all we can say about it:

to call this the Beyond, the Absolute, or God,

or a Person is to go further than the experlenc~ itself and to plunge into a theology or metaphySlcs.36

It is recognized that not all ,writers on mysticism

accept the presupposition that mystical experience has a

universal core which Is baSically the same but " .. hlch 1s

interpreted differently according to time, place, personality,

and culture. We are not spe~kln9 of Rudolph Otto wh6 in

Hysticism, Ea.:.t 2nd \\'est might seem to take the position

that mysticism is not fundamentally one and the same, and

therefore, that the essence of the experience 1s not inde-

pendent of circurnstancesand conditions. For example. he


It is still very generally held that mysticism, however diverse the sources from which it springs is fundcmentally one and the same, and as such

1s beyond tiDe and space, independent of circ\llustances end conditions. But this seems to me to contradict the facts. Rather, I hold that, in spite of the similarity of ~erms, which can be surprising enough, there is a diversity 1n mystical experience which 1s not less than that of religious feeling 1n general.37

36Suzukl, .QE.. cit., p. 106.

37R. otto, Mysticism E~st and West1 A Comparetlv8 Analysis of the Nature of Myetlclcm (Living Age Edition,

New YorKI Meridian, 1957), p. 139. Se.D180 pp. 162,165, . 168, 206.



The diversity which he emphasizes here ie the variety of

expression or interpretation. For exa~ple; he distinguishes

b""t .... ·e8nthe soul-:rlysticism of Yoga and Buddhism ;;!ndthe Godmysticism (;"Y!:iticism of un i.on) of Theism. 38 He points to

subtle: dif[t;:ences between Eckhart and Sankara in use of

rne t apho r a and ethical content reflected in doctrines of sal-

vaticn. justification, sanctification, and grace as well as in valuution of the world.39 He devotes the longest part

of his discussion, howeve r , to a comparison of their siml1-

arities, both in regard to their experiences and to their

metaphysical speculations.

, In terms of Stace' 8. p0sition, these differences· are

mainly differences of interpretation or intellectual ex-

pression rather than of the primary experience itself. In

fact, Otto also makes this distinction when he gives the

conclusions of his study:

We rnuintain that in m)'stlclsmthere ~re ind(;:ed strong primal impulses working in thehuman Boul which as such are completely un~ff€cted by differences of climate, of geor graphical position or of r8ce. These show in their similarity an inner relationship of types of h~~an experience end spiritual 11fe which 1s truly aston1shing_ Secondly,·",.

38Ibi4., pp. 142-146.

39lli4., pp. 181-211.

_ .. - -_.- ..... _--- ---_._--


contend that it is false ~o maintain that mysticiSm is always just mysticism. is al-

ways and everywhere one ",nd the same quantity. Rather, there are within mysticism many vOirl'2tj_E~ of ~:.:_;_nl"cs::-jon. which are just as great a~ the variation3 in ~ny other sphere of spiritual life, be it in religion gcn~rally, or in ethics or in art. (underlining min~)40

Y..any of Stacc's categories are illustrated as basic

to the experience of both Eckhart and Sankara even when Otto

is trying to show their metaphysical differences. For ex-

ample. the introvertlvp and extrovertive types are discussed

by otto as "the two ways: the mysticism of introspection

and the mysticism of unifying vision" Which interpenetrate and become one in both s ankar a and Eckhart. 41 Both describe

an experience of unity .... ith a losing of self and a Buh-

mergence into the absolute. unqualified. one dlvInlty.42

The category of objectivity and r-eality is illustrated by

the d1scussion of their common intuitive mystical knowledge.43,

Both hold to a met8ph~sl_cal theism which resulted from a personal experience of the holy. sacred. end dlvlne.44

Both give evidence of the experience of the exalted feeling

of mystical, numinous rapture, although Otto feels that

401!?!s1. , p. xvi. 411l?!!1. , pp. 38-69.
42~ •• p. 166. 4 3l12..i..!1. , pp. 35-37.
44~., pp. 103-136. .. ~.~, .. --.--~----.- .... ~..___ ---~


Eckhart also paradoxically emphasizes humility as result

of the experience of numinous majestYa45

The otto of rhe !dea of the Holy is closer to Stace's

ClPs:roach because here otto describes the phe nome no Loqy of

~hat he calls the ~characteristic not~s of m7sticlsm 1n all

its forms. however otherwi~e various in contenta"4G The

unf ver aa L fe e t ur ea he lists are (l) annih!lation';'of the

self or rejection of the delusion of selfhood by means of 8

consciousneas of the transce"'dcnt as the sale and entire


r~ality47 and (2) ~Identificatlon in different degrees of

completeness, of the personal self with the transcendent

Realitya •• the Something that 1s at once supreme in power and reality and wholly non-ratlonllla"48

R. c. Zaehne; clearly does not agree with Stacets

argument for the universal core and in Mysticism, S~cred

and Profane argues against such a view throughout.49

45Ibid., pp. 181-182.

46a• Otto. Tho Idea of the Holy: An I.!:!Sulry into tho non-r~tlonnl factor 1n the idea of tho divine ~nd its r~l~tion to the rat10nnl (G~laxy Edition; New York; Oxford University Press, 1958), pp. 2l-22.

47!bld., p. 214BIbld., p. 22

49ThB first part of the final ch!lpter give. a clear statement of hilS poeltion (op. cit., pp. 198-199).


~aehner goes one step beyond Ot~o'sanalysi8 l;:'ly stating:

"But there is not onl:y a difference 1n tone between Eckhllrt and Sankara, which Otto himself fully brought out: there ia

cbvio .. ..:sly: a _t_t:JJ_f_2;);'::"~_Ql difference in the experiences which must hcn.re forruod the b2.sis of the two men I B writings" {underlining mine).50 In his analysis of mystical experience Zaehner distinguishes three types which he insists are

quite distinct: (1) the pan-en-henie (nll-in-one) experience found especially in nature mystics, (2) the AtmanBr2hrnan union of the individual self with the F.bsolute (1n this experience the phenomenal world is superceded), and

(3) Christian theistic mystical union with God by love

(in this experience the self remains a distinct entity.)~l

Zaehner ad.r:lits his own Roman Catholic bias.52 He implies that Christian theistic mysticism at its best is true supernatural union with God, whereas the.htman-Brahrnan. experience, although theistic, reaches only self-isolation: in rest ana emptincS8within the self. For him the pan..,enhemic experience 1s definitely inferior to either of the other two, becaus8 to admit that nature mysticislU i8 a

form of union with God would be pantheism and would ident.ify


50Ibid., p. 182.

51~., pp. 2e-29~ 52~., P.xl1.


God with the evil in nature,S3,

The pan~en-henic and l'.tm<!n-Brahman types correspond

to Stace' a ext r ove r t.Lve and introvert.ive experiences of unity

with the One, although he ~ould maintain that the same One

or Absolute was being cxperic~ced 1n both types.54 Stace

argues that the Atman-Brahman and Christian theistic types

represent thesarne b~6ic experience and that culture and individual conditioning 2ccount for the apparent differences.55

Here again stace ins1.ststhat interpretation not be confused

with the primary experience.

No one would deny that there are many varieties of

'E'xprE:3sion and interpretations of mystical experience.

This study is not an attempt to settle the debate as to

whether there is a universal cote of primary exper.ience

interpreted differently because of differences in cu.tural

situation and individual conditioning or whether there are

many varietieS'of expression and interpretl!ltionbecause

different cultural situations and individual conditioning

actually produce different experiences which have no uni-.

versal, pasic core -of identity. 'I'ha former position is taken as our presupposition on the baai. ot the work ot

53Ibi_g., p. 200. "54Stec.t .9.2- s.U.., p. 152.

5SJbid., p. 97 (footnote 44).


Staca and the others mentioned' above.

As a tool of evaluation for the empirical d~ta from

drug experiences, a typology of the phenomenology of mysti-

cal experi8nce Is developed below. Stace's position has been

used as a pre5uppo~itlon in t~o ways. First, his list of the

basic characteristics of the universal core of mystical cx-

per1tnce has been used as a framework which has been enriched

and expanded from other thinkers who have dealt with the same

problem. s econd , his distinction bctw,een primary experience


and the Lnt.e rp.r e t at.Lcn of this experience points toward an

ideal of phenomenological Clnalysis. The reservation must be

added that perhaps it Is impossible ever to reach pure unintE'r-

preted experience.

Phcnomcryoloaical Ty_polOgy of 1'!yst1cal St<:ltes of COosciou!'1ness

Category I: Unity

The category of unity is divided into internal and

'external types, which are d1fferent ways of experiencing an

undifferentiated unity. The major difference 1s that internal

unity is experienced throuc;h an "inner world" withi!) the ex-

per1encer, and external unity is perceived with the Benees through the external, world outside the experiencer.S6 The

56Internal and external unity corr-espond to Stacet• introvortivo unitDry con6cloulmc8a and extroveX'tivo unify!n;


· vilion, rellpactlvo1y (,22 • ..£ll..,.PP., 63-133).


experiences themselves are phenomenologically different. Both are experiences of unity and there:f"re are listed as subcategories.

_In'ccrn;"1l Unity

The essence of internal unity 1s the direct experience of an undifferentiated unity. This unity com~a with the loss of the multiplicity of all particular sense impressions. There is a f~ding or melting away into pure awareness with

no empirical c'3istinctions or particular coric ent; except the awareness of the unity itself.57 One 1s beyond the aelfconsciousness of sense impressions or empl~ical eljo. yet one

is not unconscious, but very much aware of the undifferentiated unity. There 1s a loss of the sense of finite selfhood and' personal separate ~dcntltYJ but experience is not extinguished: it has as its content the pure awareness of the empty, yet

full and complete unity. During the exp;:::rlence there 1s

a dissolution of individuality with no internal or external distinctions, yet the person 1s aware of the experlence:8 After the experience such a phenor.1enon can bereme.wered.. Such a non-empirical, inner experlenco Is by definition

57Stace, ,0..2. ill., pp. 86 ... 87. 58~., pp. 111-123, 245.

---.--~ ... --- ,_.

- .• -- -- ._----


non-temporal and non-spatial.59

These phenomenological descriptions conta4n several

paradox€:s which stace mOlintains are necC:.ssary in order to

give as adEqu~te a rep~e~ent?tion in words as is possible

of an €:;.;perience ~'Ihich the mystics allege to be ineffable.

He calls the loss of the empirical ego with the ,retention of awareness of the unity one example.60The undifferenti-

ated unity itself is called ~pty, yet full and complete:

1s conaioered both i~per8onal and, personal; is experienced

both as totally inactive, static, and'motionless and as

t dynamic, creative, and active •. - Stace -calls this, the

vacuum-plenum paradox reterring to the negative and posi-


tive aspects respectively.

Th~se a.pcct~ are not mutually


exclusive, but one side may be emphasized m()re~than the

other due to'culcure, person~iity; and intellectual frame

of reference. stace gives examples from representative

mystics of the world.61


Such a 'discussion of.paradox,1nvolve. the question

of interpretation. Interpret3tiona are hanc3.les with ""hich

to qet a hold on and deal with the experience conceptually.

59Ibid., p. 110.

60~Of pp. 2"4-245.

61Ibi~., Pp. 163-179.'


We are interested chiefly' in the universal core of primary

e~perience. Some mention. however. of the various interpreta-

tions which different mystics have used to integrate their

(::)-:periences into their philosophies of life or theological

frameworks is necessary in order to recognize the ba s Lc

experience more easily.

According to Stace, the closest to the pure experience

of internal unity ..... ith no interpretation added is the Hin-

ayana Buddhist experience of Nirvana which 1s revealed and

participated in when the stre~m of ordinary conscious states

is gradually stopped. Nirvana "transcends both the individual consciousness and thespace-tirne world. ~,6~ H1nayana

Buddhism stops with this experience of pure undifferentiated ,

unity and makes no interpretation of what this experience

is other than to call it Nirvana. The myst1cal traditions

of all the other higher cultures~go at least one step further

and interpret this unity as the pure ego or the unity of the

self. The Samkhya. Yoga, and Jaina philosophies stop here,

but other cultures then push the interprotation and identify tho pure undifferentiated unity which is reached after

transcendence of the usual sense of self or empirical ego


with something greater-than-self or ~ll-encornpasslng.63

Suzuk1 describes the §:atori or enlightenment experience

of Zen Buddhism as a dissolution of the usual sense of 1ndi-

viduality by melting "away into something indescrlbnble, some-

t;,ing '.,.hich 1s of a quite different order from what I am accustomed to.,,64 It Is this sOlOething of a quit!:! different

.order which has received many names. For example, for

Tennyson, "individuality itself seemed to dissolve and fade

away into boundlc!Os bei!1q." (u!1derlining rr.Ln e) 65 For Koestler,

Uthe I ceases to exi~t because it has, by a kind of mental

osmosis, established ccrnmun Lca t Lon with, and been dissolved

in the universal pool.,,66 J. A. Symonds, the nineteenth

century man of letters, called this underlying or -essential

consciousness "a pu~absoluter abstract Self. "67 Plotinus

de~cr1bed the state of sDnplc unity as a merging with the Supr~e or the One.68 It is Stace's opinion that the

63Ibid., pp~ 123-127.

64Suzuki, QQ • .£.!!., p , 105.

65St~ce (£E. cit., p , 119) cites this example which James (9~. £1t., p. 374) quoted from Tennysons'lettcr to Mr. B. P. Blood (no reference given).

GOA. Koestlor, Tht'! Invl!3ible Writlng (New York.: Macml1hsn, 1954), p , 352, quoted 1n Stace, .2.2. £ll.., pp. 120-121.

67Stllce, .Q.E.. ~., p. 91, USGS this eX8mpl. from Jam.11:, ,22. cit.,p. 376, who quotes it from H. F. Brown, J.1t..Svmonl"la,

A ~ioar~phy (London, 1895), pp. 29w31.

6estaco, ~. £1~., pp. 104-105, e1t1ng trom Plot1nu., W9r~1I (trans. by Stephen ~cKcmna r New York· Hod1c,.nGoc10ty,,:, n.d.T,Ennocdll VI, zx, XI.·

__ __ __ ., __ ..... _ .~ ........... _ ........... ,_,~J ...--


Hinduism of the Upanishads and the advaita Vedanta identify

the pure ego with the Universal or Cosmic Self (Brahman or


the Absolute) a nd that P.ahayona BUQdhlsm uses the concept

of S",lrIya.ta or the pure Void for the s ame basic experience.70

According to Stace, orthodox Islam, Christianity ~nd

JUdaism have ~~hasi:ed the transcendence of God and condemned

pantheism or identity with God 2sheresy. Their mystical

tr2dltions reflect this e~pha5is and regard the experience

of unity as something less than iC8rtity with God.71 In the

Sufi rnystici:::m of Islam, fana (pussing away or melting away

into the Infinite) 1s correlative to b~aa, "which means the

survival 1n G~d of the soul which has experience fana."n

Orthodox Christian mysticism uses such terms as union with

God, the Divine Unity, or spiritual marriage, but is careful

to qU<llify such statements with the explanation that "the

individual .oul does not ..... holly.pass away into God, but

rema ins a distinct ent ity • to 73


Stace regards ~udlli6m as the

least mystical ·of all the great world religions. ~udalsm

b9St~ce, .£.2. ~ •• p. 120. 70Ibid., pp. 107-109. 7l~., p. 113.

72IbM., p. 115. Stece uses 118 his authority, R. A.

Nlcholnon, §!Ud~t'l8 in lsl(lm1,£ ttif!.ticlt'!ID (London, n.d.) ,p.66 •..

73Stace, 22. cit., p. 114.


insists on the greatest gulf between creature and Creator,

yetdoes not rule out relationship between the In~ividua1

and God. The Haisidlc mystics are closest in phenomenological

description to an exp~rience of internal unity, but stace does

not consicer them the major trend in Judaism.74

With the example of Martin Buber, the Jewish philoso-

pher, we comeback to the basic experience, free from inter-


Now from my own Unforgettable exp~rience I know ..... ell that t.he r e is a s t a t e in .... ·hieh the bonds of the personal n~ture of life se~~ to have fallen aWay and we experience an undivided ~nity." (underlining mine) 75

steee points out how Buber at first interpreted this experi-

ence as "union "lith the primal being or the God-head," but

that later he repudiated this interpretation and chose to

ul"lderstsnd his experience as "the ba s Lc unity of my own soul

• • • certainly beyond the reac~ of all the multiplicity it

has hithertorece1ved from life ••• though not in the

least beyond individuation ••• and not 'the soul of the

AlL I.. Such 8 position shows similarities with Hlnayana

Buddhism in the basic phenomenology of the experience and

74Ibld., p. 157-158.

7Sj{3rtin Suber, l!.tltwC'en M'-In Dng Mr.n (London. Routled9.

& Kagan Paul, 1947) ,. pp. 24"~5, ~ited by StDce, .2.2. ~., p. 155.


the refusal to interpret the experience beyond the self.

Buber's Jewish background may well be the reason for his

repudiation of his initial interpretation, as stace suggests, but his basic experience of undivided unity still remalns.76

Various metaphorical expressions occur in descriptions

of this state of internal unity and can be classified accord-

ins to which side of the vacuum-plenum paradox they belong.

The vacuum or negative side includes such nouns as ~nptlness,

diJrkncss, nothingness, void, abyss, sllenc~, stillness, naked-

ness, nudity, or desert; and such adjectives as corrt ent.Les s ,

imageless, numL2rless, formless, wa¥less, fathomless, sound-

les9, spacelcss, or timeless. The plenum or positive side

includes such nouns as fullness, co~pletenes9, brightness,

light, onen~S9, perfection, or pureness; 3nd such adjectives

as harmonious, infinite, limitless, or boundless. Both sides

are needed to give a complete p1._cture of the basie experience

and sometimes they are paradoxically joined 1n the came metaPhvr.77

other .... -riters on mystical experience besides SteeG


ace, Q2. cit., pp. 156-157, qUoting from Buber,

22. ~., P? 24-25.

77Stace, ,22. ill., pp. 299-301.

-----, ..


have descl;"lbed the phenomena of internal un1ty as an impor-

tant characteristic of the mystical state.

The central aspect of it (genuin~ mystical experience) is the fusion of the self into a larger undifferentiated whole. 78

Underhill says the following in her account of the state of

mystlcat ecstasy:

In this experience the departmental activities

of thought ~nd feeling, the consciousness Of I-hood, of space and timc--aI1 that belongg to the Horld of Bccor.1ing and our ow11 place therein--are suspended. The vit~llty which we are accustomed to split n:TIongst these various things, 1s gathered up to form a state of 'pure apprehension': a vivid intuition of--or if you like conjunction with--the Transcendent.79

Self-mergence, then--that ctate of transcendence in which ••• the barriers of selfhood (are) abo Lf s hod • • • is the secret of ecstasy.SO

Others do not give as precise a phenomenological

description as Stace, but the similarity is apparent. Pratt

describes the unity as a state Of consciollsness 1n which the .outside world 1s ahut out anO the senses are closed.a1,

BRufus Jones, The Inner L.1fe (l~ew Yorka

1916), p. 185.

79Underhill, Histlcism, p. 367.

aOIbid.., p. 373.

81Pratt, ~. ,.£li.., pp. -396-387."



Johnson states that "the highest mystical experiencesehow

that the Spirit of man, his true Self, lies beyond this

(usual sense of selfhood) and 1s normally v~iled from the

Ego • • • The essence of mysticism is the glimpsing of the

trt!e Self by the Ego." In the highest state when all the

"veils" are strippeda"'t1lay. "there 1s complete blissful

unity 1n the One, the Irnperson'al, the Absolute. ,,82 Walker' B

mention of "the melting away of the individual 'self' into

'l;oundleS8 being'" (~nderlining mine) is similar to the

passzges quoted from Suzuki and Tennyson above.S3

Stace clas~lfies the experiences of Tennyson and

KOE:stler (see quotes c:bove) as incomplete examples of in-

ternal unity because they did not completely experience

undifferentiated unity. There waG not a total loss of extran-

eeus scnse impressions or complete certainty of the 1088 of individuality, and therefore. not truly pure awarenesa.84

Such a distinction is an attempt to be very precise, but

if some of the mystics which Stace uses as examples of

the complete experience could have been questioned a.

Koestler WZlB, perhaps their experiences, too, would have

e2Johnson, .22. ill., pp. 33l-332.

e '\.. '

"'welker, .2.2. ill., p. 40.


StacG, ,22- ill., pP. 119-123.

to be categorized a:a incomplete. However, this distinction

between complete and incompl.ete cao be used BSB ge ne ra L guide

vne n oth~r state=nta which lI!ight be included unde r the sub-

cAh:gory of inttrnel unity are c xamfned , For example, the

coas c rous ne s e of a "Beyond" B.B described by P:-sttG5 and ClarkB6

or the awareness of a "Mere" with which one's hieher self is coterminous and continuous BS discussed by J£1l1l-::s87 if: not alone

SUfficient for internAl unity without also the lOBS of scose

impressions and pure awareness.

Although such ph0numena £re certainly very close to

internal unity end cen form 8 valid pert of the complete ex-

:perience, a lone tho:!)" are not enough; Similarly the boundaries

of the personal self of usual experience may be partially broken dovn or dissolved Within the self without complete loss of all

oistinctions 80.d the eee rgcnce ot pure awareness.

Ala 0 the kind ot los s of sen fie of se l:r which re s ults 1t1

unconsciousness as 10 sleep or eoea is not the 6ame 811 theparll-

doxiesl dissolution at the self 10 internsl uoity. Without the

phenomena which includes the essential experience of und irrerentiated"

Pratt, .£Eo ill·, pp. 337-341, 412-413.
86 II
Clark, .£E.. .£.!!. ., p. 263.
81 £.!l. , pp. 496-499.
Jamel, El·
, i:t'*'" til[


unity, these experiences are cha~cterlstlc only of an 10- co~plete form of internsl unity.

In summary, the rea re both complete a od i 0 camp lete forms of the bcsic introvertive experience of internal unity, and there are various rr.etapbors end ways of interpre tat lon, The e<;sence of the experience stripped bare of all interpretation la 8 direct, conac Loua experience of undifferentiated unity 1n pUre a~8r~ne6S when all sense impreHsions fade or me~t away aod the empirical ego is transcended.

The state then attained 1s called by various names in the major mystical tred_itioos; Nirvana, the Void, the Pure Self, the Universal or Cosmic Self, the Absolute,

the One, or uolon, bond, or contact with G~. But here interpretation begins end ban1c l'hcnomenoloSicel analysi! enda ,

External Unity

Unity may elso be experienced through ,the physical sena~8 8a 8n underlying oneneall behind the empirical multiplicity of the external world. The sense Cif oneneas with external ob~ect. (inanimate or animate) 1. the ecseoce ot th1t SUbcategory. The observer or .ub.1eet t'eelt that the


usual separation between himself .nd an object i8 no longer

present, yet the subject still knows that his incllvlduallty

is retained. In spite of the empirical multiplicity of

objects, ~hichare still perceived as separate, the f:lubject-

object dichotomy Is nevertheless In a parado~icGl sense

dissolved. On one level the objects are separate, yet at

theS-Mle time ZIt ~:",other and !flare basic level they !!Ire

one with the subject.Sa Another WiJy of exp:cesslng this

phenomenon Is tb say that the essences of objects are ex-

pcr Lenccd intuitively whll,c their outwar d forms are experi-

ence-d through the senses. At the deepest level the essence or inner reality of all things is felt to be one.89 The

subject feelS Q sense of oneness with these objects, be-

cause he "~ee8M that at the most basic level all are a

part of a Blngle un1ty.90 Externnl unity may a180 present

itself as a deeply felt awareness of the life or living

presence 1n all things or as the r02l1izatlon that nothing

68Stace, sa- cit., pp. 64-65.

89~. f pp. 69-70.

9Owalker~ 1n deecribing the level of Univereal Conl!ciOUenccB c.xp~rlenced by Edwara Carpenter, atl'ltell ...... we 10a8 tha customary foa11ng of existing 8S separete .indivldu!!Il. and find ourselvea, lrt6te~d, a part ot everything .l ••••• th. .

subject I:md object cOAlesce and become on •• 14 (.22 • .£.U,., p. 39.)

Johnson phraao. tho IlARia thought ... tI'rh. Den.. that III the vlBlbl., tangible wo.rlc1 1 •• part of • largor whole and. 1. approhended a. hav1n9 an underlylnCIJ unity ••••

(,9.2. ,.m., p. 326.)

.,""",!~_"'1(._ ... __ .... , ... · _· ... n''''' _ __, ....... ~' _ .......... ·;,.iot;..· ... :,'··.'$,..l±e'i"d ._. ···d.<.. .......... ';.:,:....;.:...[''111 .. ,,'( t&35fU


is "really dead.,,91 The unlfy~ng vision 1s experienced at

an insightful rather than purely rational level through

~nimate znd/or lnanirn<lte "objects" external to the self.

This profound feeling of olleness as an expression of the

underlying undifferentiated unltydespite empirlclil mlllti-

pliclty is the crite:-lon.

The moat co:nplete form of external unity has both

depth and breadth. '.rne dE=ep oneness experienced through

individual objects or people i5 felt to be part of the

underlying unity in all things. Any experience without

this cosmic dimension lacks maximum completeness.

The fully developed experience of external unity

certZ'linly includes an expansion of consciousness beyond

the usual genae of self as well as a consciousness of •

"Beyond" or "Kore" which in such a elise may represent the

unity. As in the instance of internal unity, however,

these ph~~oMena alone, without any relation to undiffer-

entia.ted unity exper1enced through the external 'WOrld of

objecta, are not enough to constitute external unity. At

best they may be considered incomplete or undeveloped

9lst•c., .22 • .ill., p. 78 • Buck. alia .d.scrib •• much

• living' pre.onc. in hi. own experi.nc. of cosmic con.ciou.n •••• (Q2, ill., p. 8.)

__ -------------,_._'Ir-.l·------·-....hd,. ....... __ -.... .. _ ....... _"., ... .::....::>.:.....~ . A ·rfH·" ... · Q' •• + t:" ...........


forms. They are necessary but not sufficient elements.

Stace expresses external unity abstractly by the

formula, "a11 is One." He makes this k.ind of unity the

chief characteristic of the extrovertive type of mystical experlence.92 Underhill discusses the same kLnd of experi-

ence as the illuminated vision of the world or the panthe- 93

istic and external type of mysticism. The claim is made

in both the experiences of internal and external unity that

a level of reality other than the ordinary is touched.

Stace identifies this reality or unity as basically the

same 1n bo.th kinds although the unity is perceived in a

different .... ay. He feels that the "all is One" of external

unity has the same "One" which 1s experienced during the state called internal un1ty.94 Although stace's argument

is impressive, it 1s not crucial to our thesis.

Category II: Transcendence of Time and Space

This category refers to loss of the usual sense

of time and space. Time means clock time, but may also

92Stace. £.2. cit., p. 79.

93Underh111, Mysticism, pp. 254-265. 94stace. 22- .£.ll.., pp. 152, 273-274.


be onels personal sense of his past, present, and future.95

Transcendence of space means that a person loses his usual

orientation as to where he La during the expe r Lence in

terms of the usual three-dimensional perception of his

environment. Experiences of timelessness and spacelessness

may also be described as an experience of "eternityM or


The experience of internal unity by definition'

includes transcendence of both time nnd space because of

the loss of all empirical sense impressions. The experience

of external' unity mayor may not include the transcendence

of time, but space is paradoxically and only partla~lytrans-

canded because external objects seem both separate and yet

not separate because of the feeling of underlying unity.

Category III: Deeply Felt Positive Mood

The most universal elements (and therefore, the

ones which are moste:;sential in the definition of this cate-

gory) are joy, blessedness, and peace. Their unique charac-

ter 1n relation to the mystical experience 1s that their

intenSity marks them 8S being at the highest levele of

95Walker in deecrlb1nq-the experience of Universal ConsciouBn.ess saysl " ••• the words 'before' and 'after' l!Ieora to havo lost all their former meaning for us, 80 that we appearto have been transported to • world complet.ely 2uta1S\t. of time.11 (2l!. ill., p. 41.)

.- - --_._----_,---


the human experience of these feelings and they are valued highly by the experiencers.96" Joy may be of an exuberant

or quiet nature and may include such feelings as exultation, rapture, ecstasy, bliss, delight, Dnd/or happiness .97 Peace

is of the profound nature that "passeth understanding."

Closely related to peace Is blessedness which includes

beatitude, satisfaction, and/or a Bense of well-being.

Tears may be associ<lted with any of these feelings of posl-

tive mood because of the overpowering nature of the experl-

ence.98 These feelings may be directly associated with the

peak of the experience or occur during the "ecstatic after-

'1l0W" when the peak has passed, but its effects and memory

are still quite vivid and intense.99

Love Is a Lso an e Lemerit; of deeply felt positive

mood which has been mentioned by many students of mysticiSM,

but love does not have the same universality as joy.

96Stace, .QE.. ill., p. 68. Pra1:;.t, . .Q.2:. clt.,pp.35l-352. 97Underhill, Mysticism, p. 366.


Laski, 22. ~., pp. 85-86,

99 "'l'hiais the condition that I cell the 'ecstatic: afterglow' when" with returning conaciousne .. the rea11zation, appreciation, and interpretation of the e~perlence begin.,w Looki feela that especially ~almf st11lnosa, peace, end •• na. of well-be1ngere likely to carry over into an "ecatatic afterglow." (~., pp. 85-86.'.


blessedness~ and peace.IOO One example of mystical love

is the love which the mystic feels between himself and

God, and which may rise to an indescribable, intensity and tenderness.IOI

Love has an interrelation with several other cate-

gories. The love of God which is especially common in

Christian mysticism is an obvious example of tlie expet1-

ence of sacredness (see next category). Love 1n terms of

Union with God is one way of interpreting the experience of internal unity.102 External unity also may have a mood

of love especially 1f the oneness 1s attained through

people, who become a symbol of the oneness 1n all things.

The deeply felt mood or feeling in this case is not neces-

sarily interpreted as love of "God."

In s~~ary, deeply felt positive mood is most uni-

versally expressed by joy, blessedness, and peace. Love

is closely related and may also be present.

lOOStace does not include love as one of the "uni-

versal core" characteriflt1cs (Q£. cit., pp. 68). Pratt.

suggests that the more personal that God is to the mystic, the more the sentiment of personal love 1s aroused. ~ • .£!S.., p.349.). The very mention of "God" 1s for Stace already an interpretation rather than II description of the basic psychological experience.

lQlunder~1l1" Myst1c1pm, pp. 425-42B.

102Staco, .22- ill., pp. 101-105.

*' _, .r


Category IV: Sense of Sacredness

This category comprises the sense of sacredness

which is evoked by the mystical exp_erience. The aa cr ed

is here defined broadly as that which a person feels to

be of special value and capable of being profaned. The

basic characteristic of sacredness is a non-rational, in-

tuitive, hushed, pnlpitant response in the presence of

inspiring realities. No religious libelEEs" need necessar-

ily be involved even though a sense of reverence or a £ee1-

ing that what 1s experienced is holy or divine may be included.I03

As Rufus Jones points ou~, Rudolph otto calls such

a non-rational (yet deeply felt) response the consciousness

of the "numinous" which un Lque Ly transcendS the finite or ordinary and moves one with awe and wondcr.104 Otto's phen-

omenological description includes fee1ing8 of awe (with the

emphasis on uncanniness or n,uminouS dread), profound humility

before the overpowering majesty of what 1s felt to be holy,

numinous energy or urgency, 8 sense of the wholly otherness

of whet i8 experienced, lind mysterious f8scinat1on 1n spite

103Stac" £R. cit., p. 341.

l04li''d .. Stud1e, ill MYlt~cpl.B'U9i2n (NOW York.

Macml,llan, 1927), pp. 31-32.


of terror or fear in the Bense of shaking or trembling in

the innermost depths of one's being.lOS These characteristics which Otto ment.Lona are sufficient, butn:tn exclusively necessary conoitions. If they are present they can lead

to a feeling of sacredness; but such a feeling may be experienced in other ways as well.

otto emphasizes the feelings of fear, creaturehood, finitude, and humility 1n his description of the response to the holy. However, the previously listed elements of joy, blessedness, peace, and love may be closely related to, but not identical with. the sense of sacredness.IOG Pos.1tive mood and unity may· be the emphasis rather than fear and separation. A ..... e has two elements, wonder and fear, and contributes to both types of experience: wonder is an important part of one type, and fear predominates in the other. Both types can give rise to the feeling t.hat what 1s apprehended 1s sacred, and both may be present at different points in the same experience •.

It might be argued that an exclusive experience of separation could not also includ·e the 13xperience of unity. Fear and creaturelines8 emphasize the negative.

lOSOttor Idea of th .• Holy, pp. 13-46. l06stac., .QQ • .£U. •• p. 79.



side of the vacuum-plenum paradox. The full range of the roysti-

cal experience must take into consideration both negative

and positive possibilitiE:s or a combination of the two sides.107

An experience with no el~ment of unity or no joy, blessed-

ness, or peace would not be consi6ered the most cc;nplete

kind of mystical experience. (See the last section in this

Chapter for a further discussion of co~pleten~ss.)

The expressions, "joy of the Lord" or "1..ove of God, II

which are used by Ch~istlan mystics s~ow the close relationship between de.ep Ly felt mood and sacredness.lOe The phen-

ornenology from the category of sacredness may be inter-

preted by the experiencer as an experience of "God." the

presence of some other specific deity. or simply as a "sense

of Presence ... 109 Spontuneous acts of worohlp such as prayer

or kneeling may be evoked. Otto argues that a profound

existential experience of "creature-feeling" mak.es the

experiencer strongly feel that the nUminous is objective and outside the self.110 Such a feeling is one J(ossible example

167Ib1d 2 0

_Of p. 5.

I08pratt, 22o.~.,pp.356-J57.416-41e.

l09Stace, .Q.2 • .£1Ji.., p. 79. 110

Otto, ~. ~., pp. 10-11.


of the category of objectivity and reality which is to

be defined and discussed next. P.owever, an interpretation is involved if this something objective outlHde the self is identified as "God."

Category V: Objectivity and Reality

This category has two inter-related elewe:lts:

(1) insightful knowledge or illumination felt at an intuitive, non-rational level and gained by di:(ect experience and

(2) the authoritativeness of the ex~eriencc or the certainty that such knowledge is truly real, in contrast to the feeling that the experience 1s a subjective delusion. These two elements are connected because the knowledge through experience of ultimate reality (in the sense of being able to "know"

and "sce" what is really real) carries its own sense of certainty. The experience of "ultimate" reality is an awareness of another dimension not the same as "ordinary" reality which is the reality of usual, everyday consciousness, yet, the knowledge of "ultimate" reality is quite real to the cxperiencer.

Such knowled98 does not mean necessarily an incrells8 in. facta, but rather ~n insightfulknowled98 or intellectual illumination ••• 9- 8eoing new relationships of 014 facta or

, : ...

-idoD., new underJltand1ng. of moan1n9., now appreciation of


the universe liB a whole, or an experience vf "everything falling into place.,,111Th18 immediate feeling of objective truth 1s called by James the noetic quality.ll2 Things

seen in a new light can become vital and living a8 nover

before.l13 Although the mystics do not dwell on personal

psychological inslg~ts, Underhill has described an increase

in self-understanding ..... hich comes froOi the mystical ex-

perlence.114 such insight is also an example of intui-

tive knowledge which B~eroS very real.


Bucke describes such intellectual illumination in

his definition of cosmic consciousness: . "Like a flash there

is presented to his consciousness a clear conception (a vl!3ion) in outline of the meaning and drift of the universe ••• The person who passes through this experience will learn in the fe'" minutes, or even moments; of its continuance more than

in months or years of study, and ho will learn much thnt no study ever taught or can teach. Especially does he obtain such a conception of Tl-:E h'HOLE. or at least o~ l!In 1.rnmense h1!OLE, as c';t'arfs all conception, imagination or speculation, springing from and belonging to ordinary self consciousness, such It conception 88 MakeS. the old Zlttempts to mentally grasp the universe and its meaning petty and even ridiculous.1O

(op , cit., p. 61.)

Similar is hiB description of his own experience •

• " ••• it "'liS impossible for him ever to forget what he at that. time saw and knew, neither 414 he, or could he, ever doubt

the truth of what. was then presented to his m1nd.1O llEi~., p. 3.)

l12Jame., .22. ~ •• pp. 331-332.

113prDtt, ~. ~ •• p. 4~1.

114MystiC!Bnt. pp. 375, 378.


The lasting authoritativeness or conviction of the

true reality of the experience and the senae of the profound

significance of the content are at least closely related to,

and perhaps enhanc6d by, the totality and intensity of the

response. This knowledge at the level of intuition and

insight 1s felt to require no proof at i!I rZ!ltional level

by the experlencer.115 There 1s a feeling of being totally

grasped and dealt with by ultimate reality. James calls this passlv1ty.ll6 The intensity and totalness 1s auch

as to leave no doubt to the experiencer of h13 partlcipa-

tion at a very deep and basic level which although nonrational and ev-en non-verbal is most convincing .117 The

unshakable certainty of theobjectlve reality of the ex-

perlence persists even after the experience 1s over.

Stace discusses in detail the validity of the claim to

objective reference, but 'We are concerned here only with

the fact that the mystic 1s convinced of the objective

reality of the experience of what to him 1s ultimate

llSWThere is no certitude to equal the mystic's certitude." (Underhill, Mysticism, p. 331.,

116 ..... th• layetic feel ••• if hi. own will were

in abeyance, lind indeed8ometime. a. if h. were fir •• pad end held by •• uplr1or power.- (Jem •• ,,22. ill., p. 372.)

117pratt, 22- s!!., pp. 347 .. 48, 400 .. 402.



Category VI: Paradoxicality

Rational statements about, descriptions of. ahd

even interpretations of the mystical experience tend to


be logically contradictory when strictly analyzed. Such

paradoxical language is universally found 1n the writings

of those'who have had mystical states of consciousness


when tbey try to describe their experiehces.119

Examples of parzdox have been mentioned 1n the

typology above as a basic part of the mystical conscious-

ness. In the experience of internal unity there 1s a

loss of all empirical content in an empty unity which

is at the same time .§!!l and complete. This loss includes

the loss of the sense of self and dissolut~on of 1ndividu-

ality. yet something individual remains to experience the

l18Stace. 22. ~ •• pp. 67-68, 134-206.

1l9James. 2.2. cit., pp. 408-412. Suzuki feels that persons who experience sator! "are always at a loss to explain it coherently or logically.M (QE.. cit., p. 103.) Stace argues that mystical paradoxes ere meant to be true paradoxes (Le., both sides although contradictory are really trUG descriptions by those who reported what they actually exper1enceCl and are not due to confusion or unclearness (£E. ~.f pp. 257-276). The extensive use of figure's o-f speech and paradox 15 one of Clark' 8 chlracteristicBof the mystical experience (2,2. ~'f pp. 273-74). Staco would agree but would lnsi.to_that much of what might at f1rat bo thou9ht to b. f19ure ot .poach or metaphor 11



unity. The "I" both exists ana does not exist. External

unity is experienced through the empirical multiplicity

of the external world with the insight that all is One.

There may also be a paradoxical transcendence of space.l20


The vacuum-plenum or negative-positive paradox has three

aspects: the One or Universal Self 1s both unqualit1ed

end qualitied, both impersonal and personal, and both in-

active and active.

Category VII: Alleged Ineffability

The impossibility of adequate expression in words

or unintelligibility of the mystical state of conscious-

hess has been stressed as a main characteristic by writers

on mysticisrn.121 A distinction must be made between the

time during the actual experience and afterwards. During

the experience of either internal or external un!ty,there

in fact true description which is by nature paradoxical (.£?E. cit •• PP. '299-303). This point is discussed further in the next section.

120Stace maintains that this paradox of identity in difference gives rise to panthe1stlc philosophical interpretations of mysticism.. For exomple, the cont.radictory propoSitions that tho world is identical with God and that the wor14 . is distinct from God ore both asserted to be true (22. s1! •• pp. 212-2l6££).

121Jame., .21h_ cit., p. 3711 Pratt,,22_ .£.U,-, pp. ;3:46-347, 476, JohnBon~ ,2E • ..£.U,., p. 32S,S\!zu.k1, 22- ~., p. 103.


are no ~oncept~ or multiplicity to describe within the "unity" or the "One."l22 The profound intensit.y of positive mood accompanying the experience adds to the inadequacy of

words to accurately corr~unicate and tends to make one fall silent .123 It would appear that there are gl1o'mds for the

claim that during the experience, ineffability is a characteristic. But afterwards when they have had tj.me to inte-

grate and interpret. mystics have written descriptions of their r emembe r ed expe r Lence s while at the same time they

have insisted that the actual experiences were lndescribable.l24 Stace gives an interesting psychological explanation

for this alleged ineffability. Any experience, sensory

or nonsensory, cannot be adequately communicated with words to a person who has not had the experience himself.US The unique and actual characteristi'C". that mystics allege their experiences to be ineffable is based on Bn embarrassment

with language. Statements made ~fterwards about the actual experience stripped of interpretation lire llterlllly true descriptions, but because mysticlIl experience !!:I p8rlldoxlClIl

122Stllce, .QE.ill., p. 297.

123rbid., PP. 281-283r Pratt, ~.~.,p.410.

124Steco, .Q2 • .£!5..,p. 298. 125~., p. 283.

____ •. __ -....-.... ...... .1 .... _. i zd d .-", d·t ... -~$'i;.-. -' ... " ,O.-_,,__


in nature, an attempt to be strictly logical involves con-

tradiction. To avoid the frustration of contradiction,

the mystic calls his experience ineffable.l26 The categor-

ies of ineffability and paradoxicality aro thus closely


r~lated.127 The category of objectivity and reality also

has a close relationship to ineffability bec~use the lntul-

tive and insightful knowledge gained cannot be adequntc.ly

cornmun i ca t.ed to others, although it remains of profound

sisnificance end rea~lty to the cxperiencer.129 Whether

or not stace's expl~nation is ~cceptcd, the alleged inef-

fabillty of mystical experience is a more accurate descrip-

ticn of this category than simply "ineffability." If the

actual experiences ..... era truly beyond words, not much could

be accomplished in a stUdy of the mystical state of con-

sciousness by n phenomenological analysis of even the

remembered descriptions.

category VIII: Transiency

Transiency refers to duration and means the

126Ibid., pp. 304-306.

127Underh111, .M~stic1sm, pp. 331-32. Suzuk.i u~e. the term "irrational" to cover both categories (2,2- ill., p. 103).

128prlltt • .Q2: ill., p. 476.

.LL *' d &)" .. " . Hf


temporariness of the mystical state of consc.:iousness in

contrast to the relative permanence of the level of usual

consciousness. Transient appearance of the special and

un'J.sual levels or dimensions of consciousness which are

defined by this typology with subsequent dls":I.ppearance

and return to the mor~ usua~ is the characteristic of this

category. The peak level or climactic mom..:;nt of the ex-

peri.cnce may last for only a relatively short period

(variously described. from seconds to hours) although the

feelings of an "ecstatic afterglow"effect may be experienced for many hours or evendays.l29 The characteristic

of transiency. however, means that the mystical state of

consciousness cannot be sustained indefinitely.

An objection might be raised at this point on the

grounds that the greatest mystics achieved a permanent state

of mystical consciousness which continued while they led active lives 1n the world.130 ~lthough continuing effects

of the ecstatic afterglow can remain (but with decreasing

intensity unless there are repeated mystical experiences)

129Lask.l, .QE • .£.!1., pp. 60-66. James, p. 372. l30See t1nC!erhlll's discussion of tho ·'unltlve lif." (MystlciAffi, pp. 413-44) or Pratt '. chapter on "The Myst1c Lif." (.9.2. m., pp. 430"441).

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