SPONTANEOUS AWAKENING EXPERIENCES: BEYOND RELIGION AND SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

By: Steve Taylor, M. Sc., PGCE Leeds, United Kingdom

This academic paper appears to describe the experience of my spontaneous, unrelated religious or spiritual experiences of what I call MER, (Mystical Experience of Reality) every year for over 15 years.

I thought you might be intrigued by this investigation into and conclusion about the phenomenon. The abstract of the paper follows. The full paper is available in pdf., free of charge, from Academia.edu as well as on the author’s website.

ABSTRACT

“‘Awakening experiences’ have been misunderstood to some degree by their long association with religious and spiritual traditions and practices. The research reported here –161 reports of awakening experiences –suggests that most of them occurred outside the context of spiritual or religious traditions. Neither were they induced by spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer. Most occurred ‘spontaneously.'”

Mysticexperieces.net

March 2020

INTUITION

A baffled medical specialist came looking for me at the hospital coffee shop to demand, in my mid-sip: “You’re a mystic … what’s your intuition on this?”

My emergency room had been visited by doctors and many nurses ever since my admission. They wanted to examine the gyrating blood pressure monitor above my bed. Apparently the chaos of my pulse was not connected to any mental or physical symptoms. They repeatedly asked me if I was alright. I said I was.

Someone told me the medical staff and nurses crowded in to add the experience to their professional education …

However, the heart specialist was finding it difficult to establish a professionally safe, defensible medical reason to keep me hospitalised with a portable monitor as I was by then – or should he risk sending me home without diagnosis or treatment?

He waited for my answer, so I said:  “Send me home. Have me checked out regularly.”

So he did. I’m fine. As I intuited, the pulse irregularities appear to have been just a delayed settling down of the system after a previous surgical procedure to eradicate cholesterol build up. I am not a young chicken …

This incident got me thinking about the intuition mystics are said to have.

I think intuition is a human word describing how mystics see widely experienced things humans also see but don’t notice, that intuition is “an ineffable conscious experience, as distinct from any physical or computational process*”.  Intuition seems as common to humans, as their blindness to it.

Is intuition a largely veiled part of ordinary human evolution, Reality at work, starting with the animals that seem to have an abundance of basic survival intuition, whereas most humans are biased against anything not widely experienced or accepted by their cultures – collective blindness?

Will intuition generally develop through basic intelligence, to full blown attributes of intuitive observation, conclusion, action and communication? Will languages die? Is this intuitive process part of the evolutionary process?

Are mystics the only ones currently developed enough to use intuition as part of their daily lives?

As mystics know, in Reality, in which all things are perfect, there are no names or languages. Could this mean intuition is the language of Reality?

Is intuition the human  ‘eureka’ principle, those sudden, logically and intellectually unsupported sudden scientific discoveries we hear so much about?

Is intuition the human word to describe the ineffable experience of MER?  Mystics would say partly, yes, because any experience, particularly the experience of the Mystic Experience of Reality, is the beginning of all wisdom.

*Wordweb dictionary for ‘ineffability’.

Mysticexperiences.net

120 ACADEMIC PAPERS AROUND THE WORLD HAVE MENTIONED ‘MYSTIC EXPERIENCES OF REALITY’ SO FAR SINCE PUBLICATION

Can you help?

Every day Academia.edu send me notification of up to seven mentions a day of my name being cited in academic papers by universities around the world since ‘Mystic Experiences of Reality’ was published in December.

Academia.net is a website claiming membership of over 15,000 universities, including Oxford, Berkeley, New York University, MIT.

They claim over 15,000 scholarly papers and books are submitted to their site every day and urge me to “Track your growing reputation,

see what academics are saying about you.”

They also claim  over 70 million followers.

But when I enquire about details of the citations using my name the only reply I get is a standardised automatic reply that I can find the answer by paying a membership fee of over $112 a year. I see some scholars  have criticised this marketing device. Apparently Academia.net used to sell reviews of scholarly works too.

In the meantime I am also getting almost daily notifications from them of recently published scholarly papers and books on my interest  – mysticism, philosophy, metaphysics, psychology, (but so far none on physics’ dynamic contribution to the subject). I have downloaded some of these papers but on reading have deleted them as being the usual academic/scholarly cannibalisation of ancient and modern skirmishes on the mystery of the mystic phenomenon, nothing that takes the subject forward significantly. None of the scholars seem to have had the experience of MER.

My blog, on the other hand, mysticexperiences.net, seems to be uniquely outstanding for giving a significantly new mystic message that has nothing to do with the collective human condition. Is this a new development in the historic phenomenon of the mystic experience?

So what I’m asking you is if you know anything about the legitimacy of Academia.edu? Is it worth engaging? Thank you.

Mysticexperiences.net

MYSTICISM, PRACTICAL V. THEORETICAL?

“Mysticism is practical, not theoretical.” – Evelyn Underhill

Evelyn Underhill in “Mysticism: The nature and development of spiritual consciousness”, Oxford 1994, 82

 

I disagree. My mystical experiences have never lead me to enact any kind of practical use of the phenomenon, or regard it as a theory.

Scientists, academics, theologists and religionists who examine the phenomenon give the impression there is such a thing as practical or even theoretical mysticism. There isn’t. They simply haven’t experienced the mystical experience of Reality (MER).

They give the feeliing it is correct to expect something of human use from the phenomena, like rules of conduct, morality, ethics, commandments, worship, devotion, prohibitions, even drugs or mind shifting dances; at the very least some stages of human attainment.

Sadly not, if my experiences are to be believed. I had the experiences throughout every one of my years from about 14 years of age to the age of 35 or so.

I did not experience any practical demands then or since, any more than a tulip would demand to know what its existence is all about … the unfolding message for me is to ignore anything human as a distraction. That has been one of the gifts of Reality – a freedom beyond expression.

The only answer I got when I ‘demanded’ to be told what was expected of me was: “Nothing. Reality is in charge. Reality does everything. All Is Well.”

This revelation might not measure up to the utilitarian demands humans make of their experiences and revelations in life, but there it is. According to my experiences It is what It is, make of it what you can.

MER is not theoretical either. The key to understanding Reality is experience of Reality! A corollary.

All else is what George Fox the founder of Quakerism (a suspiciously Western imitation of Sufism) referred to as “notionalising”.

But even George Fox couldn’t overcome his instinct for the human need for utilitarianism. He thought his MERs demanded extreme simplicity – a Quaker morality, ethic, place, manner of worship, and clothing.

Fox really does appear to have been a mystic. But did he, like most of the mystics before and after him, wrongly believe MER was meant to be evangelised, or practised, or even could be?

My intuition is that “practical mysticism” or “theoretical mysticism” are mythomanical human inventions, nothing to do with Reality. In spiritual terms there are no such things as “practical or theoretical mysticism”.

Mysticexperiences.net

THE MIND’S MYSTICAL ROLE?

“Perhaps then it is only ‘mind’ which is primary. Perhaps then mind is information and it is information which constitutes the multiverse? Perhaps far from mind not existing, mind is all that does exist.”  – zenothestoic.com

Bull’s eye! A Sufi school explained the extinguishment of the body and brain at death but were very mysterious about the fate of the mind, which apparently continued in its own unexplained place. I wanted to ask about this but somehow never did and eventually intuited I knew already.

Mind is soul, or consciousness, or whatever human word you struggle to use to identitify its ineffability. Reality thrives through the infinite mind’s observation, experience.

Reality, in which mind exists, is all there is and never dies, in my understanding …

Mysticexperiences.net

ACADEMIA POURING OUT CONJECTURE ON MYSTICISM

Academia.edu tells me the web page has found 25,450 papers on comparative mysticism written by academics in leading universities around the world.

I’ve downloaded and read three. If these are anything to go by, academia is merely pouring out papers on mysticism that are cannibalised from other works, some famous, some obscure, some historical, some newer – with conjecture and commentary thrown in using jargon presumably aimed at other academics who will be deciding the authors’ academic reputations/careers. (Is Dr David Chalmers’ plea for science and academia to jettison jargon falling on barren ground?).

Not all the conjecture and commentary is new or originally expressed, either. Nevertheless, the impression is given of a wider and growing scientific/academic acceptance of the phenomena and its main attributes. I don’t know if this is a good or relevant thing or not. My experience is that Reality, having given existence all it needs, isn’t much distracted by human wants.

None of the three papers I read claim any actual experience of the mystical experience of Reality, (MER).

Based on my multiple annual experiences of MER over 15 years or so I conjecture that those who have had MER are receivers of an outer, non biological ineffable experience, and are not mere generators of MER based on their human wishes, experiences, brains, minds, consciousnesses, or souls as some of these works suggest.

Where did and do these wild assertive imaginings come from?

Mysticexperiences.net

DEFINING MYSTICISM, A SURVEY OF MAIN DEFINITIONS

By Saeed Zarrabizadeh, University of Erfurt, Germany

Abstract:

Since the beginning of the modern studies about mysticism in the second half of the nineteenth century, defining the term !mysticism” has remained one of the controversial issues in this field, and different authors have been using the term to refer to different subjects.

Studying some major effective sources in the field of mysticism, this article surveys the modern definitions of mysticism and evaluates them according to their comprehensiveness. It also tries to clarify the different classifications of mysticism by using the dimensional definition of the term.

No word in our language, not even ‘Socialism’, has been employed more loosely than ‘Mysticism.’

Sometimes it is used as an equivalent for  symbolism or allegorism, sometimes for theosophy or occult science; and  sometimes it merely suggests the mental state of a dreamer, or vague and  fantastic opinions about God and the world:

(William Ralph Inge, 1899)
There are almost as many definitions of the term ‘mysticism’ as there are writers on the subject.

(Gershom G. Scholem, 1941)
Mysticism continues to elude easy definition, and its nature and significance remain the subject of intense debate. The terms ‘mysticm’, ‘mystical, and ‘mysticism’ have been used in an astonishing variety of ways by different authors in different eras.

(Steven Payne, 1998)
Even if we suppose Scholem’s statement about the quantity of definitions of ‘mysticism’ as an exaggeration, we can’t disagree with the fact that mysticism continues to escape a definition unanimously accepted by at least the majority of scholars.

Read full paper at www.Academia.edu

DOES REALITY DEMAND WORSHIP?

Q. In your mystical experiences of Reality, (MER), did Reality demand worship, service, duties, observances or rituals?

No. The idea that anyone who has the genuine mystical experience of Reality feels “called” as if to a religion with all a religion’s human trappings, with the implication you have any kind of choice to serve or not is ludicrous. When Reality calls the transition is unobservable, in my experience. Nothing about you is ever just you again, to be or do what you like. The experience is a transition. There is no return to a place from where you were once “called”. To say otherwise is just human hubris, mythomania.

Reality does not ask for anything, not even to be worshiped or “followed”. Reality just gives. When Reality manifests It leaves no instructions. It seems to me the experiences work on you unheeded. It certainly takes you out of the human experience to the extent that attempts at evangelisation, proselisation of MER are oxymoronic. MER does not come to make us better human beings. It does its own unknown work on humans without human involvement.

Q. This is nowhere near the historical mystical experience, is it?

No. Historically, the mystic experience has been smothered by humanness. Paradise Lost you could say. Perhaps we are now at a new development in evolution, a turning point?

Q. If true, these are very new Revelations. Aren’t there very serious implications for the way the human race is conducting itself – in law, justice, governance, economics, philosophies, religions, morality and ethics for example?

In view of this perhaps new mystic revelation of a Reality beyond most human comprehension, it seems to me the most serious implication for humans is the realisation of the supreme cosmic importance above all else of the individual as opposed to the collective. All real cosmic values lie in the individual.

Q. What was your immediate reaction to the experiences?

When I had my first experiences of MER I actually wondered aloud, “What now?” The answer was always, (in translation!), “Nothing, everything is taken care of – go, enjoy your life”. I remember protesting, “but I have no propensity for enjoyment”. I never got a reply to that.

Q. There was no demand for service to Reality?

No.

Q. Do you have a propensity for enjoyment?

Not ordinarily. I’ve always been odd man out in most human “enjoyments”. I have always abhorred groups, parties, “celebrations”, communalism, politics, ideologies (more hubris), or pagan rituals smothered by consumerism. I’ve spent a lot of energy disguising these traits. However, I am content with solitariness, thinking and writing about Reality, riding, solo sailing, hanging out with friends as a kind of brain washing.

Travel to and in 24 countries has been a burden in a busy life as I’m not a traveller when business doesn’t call, nor a tourist, hiker or adventurer. I don’t go on tours or take photographs. Monuments and remarkable edifices, churches and temples remain unvisited, like the Taj Mahal, Table Mountain or the Eiffel Tower. I just can’t take them seriously.

Q. So your life is not given in service to Reality?

Not that I’m aware of, no. But I am completely taken in body, mind, spirit and strength. It is practically all I am. The human part of life is a constant inconsequential harassment. In many ways my “hunger and thirst” has intensified as a result of my MERs, made me impatient with life, which fortunately is short and terminal … (laughs loudly, shakes his head, wipes his eyes and smiles deeply). I just hope it’s not all been some cosmic joke …

Q. So what is MER then?

It’s like a seed planted only in some humans for the time being, bringing oneness with a Reality that includes everything known and unknown, with a sense of belonging to everything, experience of a love and joyousness unknown to those who haven’t yet experienced Reality. Very intense. Followed by a lifetime’s processing. Paradise Regaining?

Q. Are you implying everyone will experience MER eventually?

Yes, my intuition is everything that exists will experience MER as a process of evolution to something as yet only experienced by the mystics.

Q. Will our space explorers find Reality?

No. Astronauts are going in the wrong direction – into matter, not out of it …

Mysticexperiences.net

December 2019

MYSTICISM A FORM OF KNOWLEDGE NOT FELT BY THE RATIONAL MIND?

I can think of no better definition of mysticism than that I found in a comment by Anna Nimm on a website called Materialism, Mysticism and Art

I think of mysticism as direct knowledge of god, whether a personal or a pantheistic god synonymous with nature or a Dionysian life force. And it’s a form of union that is ecstatic, it transports one both beyond the self and also beyond concepts and words; it is a form of knowledge felt by the heart and body (or soul) rather than by the rational mind.

From “Mysticism – experience over intellect”, Follower Anthony Garner’s WELTANSCHUANG blog.

Hearing the Logos

Weltanschauung

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Or was it a song or a vibration perhaps? If there has been one abiding and constant thread to my life it has been a yearning for mystical experience. To see the face of god, to touch it. To witness the very essence of reality.

You do not need to be conventionally religious to have your spine tingle, to feel the hairs rising from the back of your neck when you hear those words. You certainly do not have to subscribe to dogma – Eastern or Western.

Perhaps my earliest conscious exposure to the concept  was from the Magician’s Nephew. I can not count how many times I thrilled to that song in the dark, calling life and existence to a barren and empty world.

I have become tired these past few…

View original post 899 more words

STATES OF EXISTENCE

A Seeker and Follower of this Blog presents a thoughtful summation on where most of this primitively developed world currently stands on this perennially asked question.

By zenothestoic.com, reprinted with permission

Fascinated by the concept of transcendence I have started to conceptualize what I believe such states of existence could be.

I have to say I find the use of religious terminology off putting in the extreme. I dislike intensely the concept of an overlord, an anthropomorphic (or other) master who determines my fate and who acts as a gatekeeper to a mythical realm of bliss. I can however accept religion and religious literature as an interpretation, a metaphor, or a pointer.

Hence I find much enjoyment (instruction even) in the Psalms. But I view the Psalms as a poetic and often beautiful outpouring of human need and frailty. Human longing for safety and peace in an often frightening world. When reading the psalms I do not expect Jehova to pop up from the floor and save me or even speak to me. Nor would I wish him to. Any more than I want or expect to meet Gandalf or Tom Bombadil. Or Sauron for that matter.

I live in the 21st Century and find much religious thought, let alone dogma, belittling and degrading to the human spirit.

Religion is, to quote that wonderful Eastern phrase, merely a finger pointing at the moon. God was made in the image of man, not the reverse. God was a concept we invented to explain the apparently inexplicable. To comfort ourselves that all is well and all manner of things are well.

Such moments of clarity as I have had, such moments of bliss or apparent awakening have been of an altogether different sort.

If I were ever to acquire the ability to enter permanently into such state I would be most disappointed to have a boss, a committee or indeed any fleeting remnant of what passes for authority.

I have an extreme distaste for authority, perhaps because I believe, very strongly, that in a perfect world it would be unnecessary. In the same way that police would be unnecessary if there were no crime. And medicine redundant in the absence of disease.

Because I also believe very strongly that human justice is a poor joke and all too often used for purposes of repression and injustice, to keep an established class in situ.

I also dislike intensely the grovelling concept of service so beloved of Western religion. I do not wish to serve anybody thank you very much, and in the perfect world of bliss which exists in my own imagination, such service is neither requested nor necessary. There is nobody to serve and no services required. Service can not, under any circumstances or system of logic, be perfect freedom, whoever it is you are expected to serve.

So how do I envisage bliss? The transcendent state. The release from the drudgery, fear and horrors all too readily apparent in the physical world we see around us.

The realm of god (“heaven”in English) is a different and in many ways separable concept from that of a “god”, a creator, an overlord. Or at least it is in my imagination; in my wishes. In my belief even.

It is a state in which peace is not only attainable but ever present. It is a “place” where justice is natural and a fact of existence. Where there is plenty (perhaps because physical nourishment is no longer necessary). Where there is no pain, mental or physical. Where there is contentment. Where anxiety does not exists because there is no reason to be anxious. Where guilt is an unknown and unnecessary concept.

I have often thought of that old explanation of magic, or rather what super powers must seem like to a backward and technologically ignorant race. We read much about mind, consciousness. Some still claim adherence to the concepts of Jung, some scientists even posit something not so very dissimilar to his universal consciousness.

That consciousness just is. Is a law of nature, an irreducible feature like light or the nuclear force.

Is it so very fanciful then to suppose that in the far distant future a form of consciousness may be found or indeed created without the frailties which attach to our own inferior version?

A consciousness de-coupled from matter, free from the stifling necessity of defeating entropy day in, day out.

I have heard many say that mysticism and science are perhaps not such strangers to each other. My own belief is that the future might reveal that the mystic state is what a backward people might call a reality created by a sufficiently advanced species. As stone age man might construe electricity as magic, so we deem nirvana or ecstasy. Some impossibly unattainable state which has nonetheless been achieved by others eons removed from us in sophistication.

I am sorry for my outspokenness in so far as it may upset or even insult the cherished beliefs of so many who cling to more traditional beliefs. But I do not feel that should prevent me from propounding my own equally deeply felt “beliefs”.

It would not be enough to live in the imperfect Culture. But to be a member of a Sublimed species. That might just about do the trick.

“MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE OF REALITY” NOW ON KOBO TOO

Follw this link to access Mystical Experience of Reality on Kobo.


The Mystical Experience of Reality is a well known non-biological, non-human historical phenomena that engulfed the author as a 14 year-old several times every year until his late thirties, filling him with the experience of a Reality in which all things known and unknown exist at Its behest, guarding, guiding, accepting everything that exists separately, personally, individually. It is benign and uninterested in human wants or constructs such as religions, politics, ideologies. READ MORE

OLD FASHIONED UNIVERSITY HYPERINTELLECTUALISING OF GOD VS. AN EVOLUTIONARY REBOOTING? 

“… the hyperintellectualisation and rationalisation of ‘God’ appears to be ignoring the fundamental experiential aspect that MER and other forms of religious experience has revealed to us. Simply put, too many philosophers try to box in Reality to formulaic arguments.”

– An excerpt from an email from a long time follower of mysticexperiences.net who is taking a Masters degree course.

So while this traditional view of the existence of a “God” still prevails in some of the ivory towers of academia the 2013 poll by UPI/Harris showed that only three-quarters of U.S. adults, for instance, said they believed in God –  down from 82 percent in 2005, 2007 and 2009.

More rcent Pew Research found most people in Western Europe say they believe in God but add that believing in God did not necessarily mean belief in the God of the Bible.

Even though all 15 countries surveyed by Pew in 2018 were traditionally “Christian”. Fewer respondents said they believed in God “as described in the Bible” than said they believe in “some other higher power or spiritual force.”

A quick Google search finds many major polls with even more evidence of a general abandonment of the traditional concept of a “God”.

There’s a 6,000 case history archive of experiential “mystical” cases Wales University took over from Oxford University under a Templeton fund. It might change a few minds. Here is an excerpt from the University’s ‘Journal For The Study of Mystical Experience’ :

“Despite long standing theoretical and methodological objections, scholarly research into so-called ‘religious experience’ continues to flourish.’  (Note the challenging, “so-called ‘religious experience’ …”).

See pages 190 and 197 in the new 416-page book, “Mystical Experience of Reality” for more about Wales University’s work in the field.

More than 50 universities around the world responded to a questionnaire about mysticism by philosopher and author Ron Krumpos. Universities now include intrapersonal psychology, metaphysics, spirituality, and mysticism in their philosophy departments. The University of Notre Dame is said to be a leader in this development.

The list of academic and popular literature on the subject takes up many pages of Google’s Play Books eBooks’ research app. alone.

When Dr David Chalmers, the leading physicist, mentions “the hard problem” facing science, is he referring to the ineffable gap between the dead-end experimentation of science into the whys and wherefores of Reality versus the perennial experiential nature of knowing Reality, i.e., mysticism  – and ignoring the religions altogether?

Can we conclude from even these glimpse of evidence, that science and academia are now taking a much more seriously updated view of Reality than some laggard universities might suggest?

What really interests me most in this vigorously renewed approach to the subject of human evolution and the message of the mystics is whether Reality, through modern mysticism, is now beginning to reveal something new, something not just beyond the second hand approach of religions, or the cautious materialistic experimentation of science, or even the current trendy individualistic, human spirituality currently being adopted, but an evolutionary rebooting of humanity?

Certainly my MERs reveal a newer, very different Reality, a newer priority in human evolution than the traditional “hyperinterlectualisations” and “formulaic arguments” of Reality still being used by some universities …

Mysticexperiences.net

BOOK GOES eBOOK

Keith’s “MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE OF REALITY” now eBook

416-pager goes international

The ebook edition of MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE OF REALITY is now available at the following URLs (Kobo is taking longer than usual to process the file – we will notify you once it becomes available):

The ebook edition of MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE OF REALITY was also cleared for sale on OverDrive. Kobo uploads books to OverDrive every Sunday; 2-4 weeks after that, it becomes available for purchase to libraries and schools that have an OverDrive account.

You can check whether your local libraries have access to OverDrive.

If you would like to know more about OverDrive please see this Booklocker newsletter.

Mysticexperiences.net

January 2020

SELF HELP BOOKS AND SUCHLIKE

 

How can you tell a book on spirituality, a guru, master, teacher, or religion, pod cast or course is real?

Any books or teachings that offer to help you understand yourself or help you become a better human being are nothing to do with mysticism.

But mysticism, that word created by humans to identify the mystical experience of a Reality that includes everything known and unknown, in which all things are a part, existed before time, certainly before the appearance of humans.

This Reality is the beginning and end of all evolution, including human evolution. It is spiritual, ethereal. And It is present, in charge of each of us individually, directly, not through any human ideology or collectivism such as politics, religions, gurus, masters or teachers.

This Reality reveals itself to individuals who have no apparent human qualifications whatsoever for such a grace. Not even being good, educated, wise, or nice, (as fleetingly and differently defined by human cultures, religions, idealogies, fashions and taboos from time to time), are not qualifications for the mystical experience of Reality it seems.

The Mystical Experience of Reality is essentially about the awakening of something unique in every individual, not about any human idealism, however well intentioned.

Reality has also created what humans call Seekers. These people are the ones with a lifelong passion of hunger and thirst for what the Christian bible calls “righteousness” – a wrongfully misinterpreted anthropological word that should be understood instead as, ‘Reality’.

Religions, gurus, teachers and books satisfy Seekers somewhat at first but never quench this deeper thirst for existential satisfaction.

We tend to use the norms of our social upbringing to understand those quiet inner promptings of mystical Reality and can’t. Reality is not interested in social norms.

Thus we block ourselves from Realisation, from quenching our hunger and thirst. We clutter ourselves. We distort our development, our very purpose for being.

So what does the Seeker do? Discriminate! That is the answer.

One has to dismiss all parts of religions, books, lectures, lessons, gurus, masters and teachers that teach human ambitions as the be-all-and- end-all of ultimate existence.

To master discrimination you have to practice it. The more you practice it the more discernment develops like a spiritual muscle memory. You learn there are more important things afoot than being merely human.

Mysticexperiences.net
December 2019. No copyright!