2. A whole bunch of the eastern philosophies have various practices to induce the 'mystical' mind state, and at least until the Renaissance so did Christianity ... there are plenty of accounts of monks or even ordinary people who through devotional exercises had religious experiences. I would say by the Enlightenment this had largely died out as a regular practice. BUT neither Christian or other regarded this state as the end-goal. Great, you had a vision of Christ, fine, but what are you going to DO with it? ... and the Middle English Christian accounts always have them putting experience into practice.
3. However all these systems insist that the mind must be prepared for this experience (symbolic framework), and they say so using some sort of metaphor or another. Without that the result is chaotic and possibly ruinous (as in the example provided by um, my opposite "number" here). So although I fully expect that people will be making 'Thomas pulse' machines not too long from now, we might see a backlash and call for regulation not long after that.