A Study of Perennial Philosophy and Psychedelic Experience, with a Proposal to Revise W. T. Stace’s Core Characteristics of Mystical Experience

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
A Study of Perennial Philosophy and Psychedelic Experience, with a Proposal to Revise W. T. Stace’s Core Characteristics of Mystical Experience ©Ed D’Angelo 2018 Abstract According to the prevailing paradigm in psychedelic research today, when used within an appropriate set and setting, psychedelics can reliably produce an authentic mystical experience. According to the prevailing paradigm, an authentic mystical experience is one that possesses the common or universal characteristics of mystical experience as identified by the philosopher W. T. Stace in his 1960 work Mysticism and Philosophy. Stace’s common characteristics of mystical experience are the basis for the Hood Mysticism Questionnaire, which is the most widely used quantitative measure of mystical experience in experimental studies of psychedelic experience. In this paper, I trace the historical roots of Stace’s common characteristics of mystical experience back to Christian Neoplatonism and apophatic theology, and I trace those, in turn, back to Plato’s concept of the Good and to Aristotle’s concept of God as active intellect. I argue that Stace’s common characteristics of mystical experience are not universal or culturally invariant but are the product of a specifically Christian religious and moral tradition that has its roots in ancient Greek metaphysics. My paper concludes with a revised list of common characteristics of psychedelic experience that is a better candidate for a list of invariant structures of psychedelic experience than Stace’s common characteristics of Christian mystical experience.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
DANASO-6
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-09-12
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2018-09-12

Total views
74 ( #25,104 of 38,032 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
51 ( #7,347 of 38,032 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.