Walter Pahnke studied LSD extensively in clinical settings
and concluded that when the substance was used in an appropriate
setting and with the appropriate intent, experiences that
closely resembled classical mystical experiences would
occur. Here formulated a nine point description of these
LSD induced experiences.
"Nine universal psychological
characteristics were derived from a study of the literature
of spontaneous mystical experience reported throughout
world history from almost all cultures and religions.
When subjected to a scientific experiment, these characteristics
proved to be identical for spontaneous and psychedelic
1. Unity - a sense of cosmic
2. Transcendence of Time
3. Deeply Felt Positive
4. Sense of Sacredness
5. Noetic Quality - a feeling
of insight or illumination
6. Paradocicality - A person
may realize that he/she is experiencing, for example,
"an identity of opposites," yet it seems to
make sense at the time.
7. Alleged ineffability
8. Transiency - the experience
9. Persisting Positive
Changes in Attitudes and Behavior
Source: Pahnke, Walter. The
Psychedelic Mystical Experience in the Human Encounter
With Death, Psychedelic Review, Number 11, 1971.
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