Mystical Experience

From The SpiritWiki

A Mystical Experience is a general syncretic term used by scientists and others to refer to what the LP refers to as Connection Experience.

Syncretic Terms for Connection Experience

Connection Experience > Exceptional Human Experience, Holotropic States, Mystical Experience, Pure Consciousness Event, Religious Experience, Spiritual Experience, Spiritually Transformative Experience, Transcendental Experience


Immanuel Kant distinguishes between Direct Mystical Experience (DME) and Indirect Mystical Experience (IME). DME is "direct experience of supersensible entities through a special faculty of non-sensible intuition." IME is "(IME) The indirect experience of a supersensible entity through the perception of something sensible—such as an image or a feeling—that is caused by that supersensible entity." DMEs may be distinguished between DMEns and DMEs. DME Non Sensible is "The direct experience of a supersensible entity by means of nonsensible intuition" while DME Sensible is "The direct sensible experience of a supersensible entity that has assumed a physical form."[1]

William James notes that a mystical experience is any experience that includes the following four characteristics: Ineffability, Noetic Quality, Transiency, and Passivity[2]

Pahnke [3] says mystical experience has nine dimensions which are/may be present during a mystical experience. These are unity, transcendence of time and space, positive mood, sense of sacredness, noetic quality (i.e. Noesis, paradoxicality, alleged ineffability, transiency, and persisting positive changes. Pahnke provides the Pahnke Mystical Experience Questionnaire to identify/measure mystical experience.[4]

Happold[5]: Ineffability, Noetic Quality, Transiency, Passivity, Unity, Timelessness, No Self (unity with True Self).

Perenialists are theorists, mystics, scholars who view all mystical experiences are largely identical in content. Include Huxley,[6], ...


  1. Maharaj, Ayon. “Kant on the Epistemology of Indirect Mystical Experience.” Sophia 56, no. 2 (June 2017): 313.
  2. James, William. Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature (p. 330-331). Kindle Edition.
  3. Pahnke, Walter N. “Psychedelic Drugs and Mystical Experience.” International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, 1969, 149–62.
  4. Pahnke, Walter N. “Psychedelic Drugs and Mystical Experience.” International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, 1969, 149–62.
  5. Happold, F. C. Mysticism: A Study and Anthology. New York: Penguin Books, 1963.
  6. Huxley, Aldous. The Doors of Perception. Granada Publishing: London, 1984. ———. The Perennial Philosophy. Canada: Random House Canada, 2014.