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Mysticism and Psychedelics: The Case of the Dark Night

Mysticism and Psychedelics: The Case of the Dark Night

  1. Joe-(5-HTP)
    by Christopher M. Bache, Ph.D.
    Professor Department of Philosphy and Religious Studies
    Youngstown State University, OH

    ABSTRACT: This study uses a model of consciousness derived from LSD-assisted
    psychotherapy to illumine an enigmatic set of painful experiences that occur on the mystic's
    path known in Western circles as the "dark night." It argues that the dark night experiences
    described in John of the Cross's classic work Dark Night of the Soul can be conceptualized in
    terms of Stanislav Grof's category of "perinatal experience." The discussion examines the
    implications of this reconceptualization in three areas: (1) our understanding and evaluation of
    mysticism, (2) assessing LSD's potential for fostering genuine spirituality, and (3) reassessing
    the ancient claim that the capacity to experience transcendental states of being is innate.
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