sure that any two persons are talking about the same thing unless the phenomena are first carefully defined. In the second place, personal accounts1 and subjective claims do not prove anything without controlled studies to rule out the possibility that these experiences were due to factors other than drugs. Also, such experiences usually occur under a variety of conditions and circumstances in which tba number of unknown factors is so complex as to defy differentiation and elucidation. In the third place, an enthusiastic claim made by a person who has had the experience is open to the suspicion of misguided persceal bias in the interpretation of what actually occurred.
This investigation was undertaken, therefore, to study in an empirical way the similarities and differences between experiences described by mystics and those induced by these drugs. The research was designed to overcome the three shortcomings which were mentioned above.
(1) A phenomenological typology of the mystical state of consciousness wa3 carefully defined after a study of the writings of the mystics themselves and of scholar« who have tried to characterize mystical experience.
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