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Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 215–236 | Cite as

Mysticism and psychedelics: The case of the dark night

  • Christopher M. Bache
Article

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 workDark Night of the Soul can be conceptualized in terms of Stanislav Grofs 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.

Keywords

Painful Experience Dark Night Transcendental State Night Experience Western Circle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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Copyright information

© Institutes of Religion and Health 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher M. Bache
    • 1
  1. 1.Youngstown State University in YoungstownOhio

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