Mystical Experience: Pathology, or Supernormality?


In the contemporary humanities there is still a problem with the understanding of the great texts of Western Mysticism – the common interpretations oscillate between taking the mysticism as the pathology or as the supernormality. Different researchers, including psychiatrists, psychologists, theologians and philosophers, are usually presenting theories that are either too narrow or not enough critical. In my paper I am analyzing some traditional theories of mystical experience and try to expand the discussion by taking the perspective of anthropologically-oriented philosophy of culture. The advantage of this approach is to take into consideration a broader context where any attempt at classifying the mystical experience as pathological is excluded. Therefore, it is possible to defend its originality and authenticity while using reasonable and critical methods.


mysticism, supernormality, mythological core of culture, psychiatry, metarationality

How to cite:

Rosińska, Zofia. “Mystical Experience: Pathology, or Supernormality?” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 1, no. 1 (2017): 29–38. https://doi.org/10.26319/EIDOS-001-MYSTICAL-EXPERIENCE.


Zofia Rosińska (Professor Emerita)
Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw
Krakowskie Przedmieście 3, 00-927 Warsaw, Poland


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