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POETRY AND MYSTICISM By Colin Wilson

IN REVIEW

Poetry and Mysticism by Colin Wilson is published by City Lights Books in Paperback and PDF.

COMMENTARY

I have experienced profound “peak experiences” when writing and writing poetry. I also experienced spontaneous mystical experiences of Reality several times a year from the age of about 15 to late 30’s.

These experiences did not reach the same levels by any means. The creative “peak experiences” from writing were emotional, human, very limited by comparison.

I think the distinction is important enough to be noted before reading Goodreads’ introduction to the book.

EXCERPT from Goodreads

“The mystic’s moment of illumination shares with great poetry the liberating power of the deepest levels of consciousness. In the words of William Blake, If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to a man as it is, infinite.

“Poetry, Wilson argues, is a contradiction of the habitual prison of daily life and shows the way to transcend the ordinary world through an act of intense attention-and intention. The poet, like the mystic, is subject to sudden “peak experiences” when “everything we look upon is blessed.”

“W.B. Yeats, Dostoevsky, Gautama Buddha, Kazantzakis, Van Gogh, Rupert Brooke, Arunja, Nietzsche, A.L. Rouse, Jacob Boehme, Suzuki, Edgar Allan Poe: their visionary understanding can generate an awareness in each of us of our potential to open the floodgates of inner energy that creates mystic experience.

“Colin Wilson first received international acclaim in 1956 for The Outsider. “”Ever since I was thirteen, I have been obsessed by the question of the nature of mystical experience,””he writes, and from that time he has been on a quest of the mystical in poetry, religion, and psychology.”

Mysticexperiences.net

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Mysticexperiences.net 2018

LIFE’S TRUE PURPOSE?

“It is the spiritual life which gives true purpose to our human lives. It is spiritual life which continues after this brief stay on Earth.

“It is the spirit in each of us which unites us with the spirit in All: all people, all sentient beings, all seemingly inanimate objects, and the divine.” –  R.D. Krumpos

From, “The Greatest Achievement in Life” by R. D. Krumpos. This short, comprehensive account of living mysticism today can be found at suprarational.org. The book is a comprehensive account of mysticism experienced today.

Mysticexperiences.net

THE BASIC MESSAGE OF THE MYSTICS?

Q: Refined to its very basic premise, what is the message of the mystics?

A: It’s not clear that mystics are messengers if my experiences and readings are anything to go by. What they experience is exclusively for them, however similar the experiences seem.
Q: Well, if you will allow me to be personal, how would you as a mystic advise someone like me?
A: Someone like you? What is that someone like you?
Q: To use a phrase of yours, ‘Through no fault of my own’ I am a passionate Seeker. I have been all my life.
A: How does this affect you?
Q: I guess it seems to consume my life to the exclusion of everything else almost.
A: It’s your only passion?
Q: Yes, underneath everything else, it’s come to define me, isolate me, alienate me … I seem to have been born with a persistent ache to know what it’s all about. I feel worn out by it all, even though I sculpt, write, paint, play the piano, but my heart’s not in any of it really, though it is relaxing and time consuming.
A: it sounds as if it might be appropriate to share my own conclusion about the purpose of life. It might be helpful.You seem ripe for the experience, ready for the demands it it makes.
The purpose of human life if my experiences are anything to go by, is to examine what you can of the Process of existence.
Do this by relaxing and watching, letting go, accepting how things unfold, grow and change, how they are veiled behind the inconsequential hullaballoo of being human.
This will be much like the early days of learning a musical instrument, how to sculpt, paint, and develop your writing to express the inexpressible. (Bearing in mind all these things by the way are art, artifice, not the real thing …).
Let discovering this Process channel your Seeker passion.

The growing knowledge of the Process of existence will reveal itself in ways profoundly new to you. Eventually it will take you beyond all human understanding, give you profound peace and contentment.

I see tears! You’re puzzled. Big sighs too! These are a good sign. They could mean the task has already taken, that it’s already working on you. Take a deep breath. That’s a good smile. Well done.
What I’ve told you isn’t meant for everyone. You had to be ready and I think you are. This advice may take you on a short journey or a long one, but there will be more help than you know working on you as you work on knowing this Process.
Eventual discovery of the meaning of what I have said will tell you more than everything, not just about your purpose in life.
This eventual discovery is like a captivation perpetrated on me in a different way in one of my MER’s (Mystical Experiences of Reality). It sharpened my awareness too. It baffled me at the time as I had not asked a question, and could not have asked anything to justify such an answer. Over time however, 50 years in my case, that mystifying, apparently meaningless message of captivation has revealed a continuing abundance of meanings and certainties.
Q: May I ask what your specific ‘captivation’ was that took you on, what it said?
A: Yes. It said:
“All Is Well”.
This was repeated three times.
Q: What have you concluded about it’s meaning after all these years?
A: That ALL, everything known and unknown, everywhere, on all levels, is well, in good order, as it is meant to be. Humans don’t have the answers. Nothing human is of much spiritual consequence. My probing into all the meanings arising from this enigmatical assertion sensitised me to all manner of truths and processes, not the least of which revealed why humans did such evil things to mystics and why mystics have historically learned to keep their revelations to themselves and how humanity is in such a primitive state of existence. Reality is all there is. Reality is enough.
All is well.
Mysticexperiences.net. 2018

SELF-HELP GURUS?

 

Oh boy! This reblog could be contentious.

It’s somewhat bigoted and prejudiced in my view. I cannot accept whopping generalisations, though in this case the author does provide some light provenance for his assertions.

As the article is a needed heads-up on the subject though, it’s re-posted here for you to decide:


SELF-HELP GURUS

by Zeno The Stoic April 12, 2018

Self help gurus are guaranteed fakes. So are all other self anointed gurus. Avoid them – run for your life and keep your purse locked.

I have parked this article under the category “health”, since I find self help gurus the most insidious but you will find this species of pariah in every walk of life and every area of commerce.

I first noticed them in finance: such people are a huge danger to your wealth. They promise you will make millions in up and down markets by buying their absurd courses. It is likely they have never traded in the financial markets and that if they have the exercise was a failure.

It is all about money: getting yours.

The Dalai Lama doesn’t need to peddle books, nor does the Archbishop of Canterbury. They may be worth listening to, they may not. But at least they are not looking for you to finance their expensive lifestyles. Much the same can be said for qualified doctors or therapists. At least they have (usually!) had a rigorous training in a recognised discipline.

The real con artists are those who sell books, courses and seminars telling YOU how to achieve happiness and contentment when THEY have singularly failed to achieve any measure of well being and are as far removed from nirvana as it is possible to be.

READ MORE

Reblogged on Mysticexperiences.net

THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION

Another great reblog of mystical validation from zenothestoic.com:


Is it so strange that a deep interest in science should be combined with an equally deep desire for mysticism and transcendance?

I think not; the two can be seen as two sides of the same coin. Reality seen both from the intellect and from the senses. A yearning for transcendance. Some would say a desire to escape from the base reality. Which is all that is accessible to most of us in a “normal” state of mind.

READ ORIGINAL POST

NINE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE – Lonerwolf.com

The following is an excerpt from Lonerwolf.com:

By: Mateo Sol

There is one particular state of consciousness that can change your life forever.

This moment can only be described as “ecstatic” in that you experience your connection to life expand significantly. In this moment you feel that life is full of beauty and sacredness, but this feeling and phenomenon is somehow objective and outside of your individual self.

Theologian Rudolf Otto called this experience “numinosum.” But in this article we’ll refer to it as the mystical experience.

All throughout history, the mystical experience has been referred to as a “religious” or spiritual experience, where the few mystics that recorded their experiences reported it as a rapturous and undifferentiated sense of joyful unity with all of existence.

The Candle in the Dark

The best way to describe a mystical experience might be with an allegory. The ancient Hindu tradition of Advaita Vedanta has an interesting one:

Imagine that you are in a completely dark room. You’ve been told that in this room lives a very large snake. As you sit in the room, you can see its silhouette and you feel great fear as you contemplate the potential for it to bite you at any moment. But one day there is a flash of light which illuminates the room and you see that what looked like a snake is in reality a rope.

Although the flash of light was momentary, it gave you a glimpse of the truth. All of a sudden your long-held fear vanished entirely, and your experience in the room was never the same ever again.

This is what a mystical experience feels like: it is like a flash of truth that releases you from your limited sense of self and gives you a taste of a reality that somehow feels more real.

9 Characteristics of the Mystical Experience

Every person’s mystical experience varies in length and intensity. Have you had a mystical experience? Here are a few defining characteristics:

1. Conscious Unity

The boundaries of where you perceive your individual consciousness and identity (ego) to begin and end vanish. Instead you’re left with a boundless and infinite union with all that is around you.

2. There Is No Time or Space

With a lack of a definable identity or spatial recognition, your sense of time feels infinite. You go from perceiving time from moment-to-moment as a static individual, to perceiving it as a stream of eternal present moments.

READ MORE

Mysticalexperiences.net 2018

THE MYSTIC JESUS AND HIS TEACHINGS

IN REVIEW

The Gospel of Jesus: In Search of his Original Teachings, 1068 pages, by John Davidson MA (Cantab).

Due to the nature of this book and in order to make it accessible to as wide a readership as possible, its entire production, up to the printing and binding stage was performed as a service, freely given by the Publisher, ELEMENT in 1995.

So the price of this mammoth 1068 page book was kept down to $22 (US) and 14.95 Sterling (UK)! It has been distributed around the world.

EXCERPT

“It would seem, then, that there is considerable divergence between the teachings of Jesus and those of Christianity, and although these initial chapters are more concerned with the historical aspects of Jesus and the New Testament, the main emphasis of this book is on Jesus’ actual teachings. Therefore, since it is suggested that his teachings were those of a mystic, it will be helpful to discuss the nature of mysticism … it is something that a person lives, not a philosophy or doctrine which has been read or studied.”

COMMENT

It’s hard to imagine a single question, by ‘Christian’, atheist, agnostic, religionist or Seeker, that could be left unaddressed in this clearly written labour of love and tireless scholarly integrity. Even more impressive is the new knowledge, the insights and understanding this seminal work reveals of the workings of the mystic experience throughout history.

However, as my mystical experiences were spontaneous I have to lean to the proposition that the mystical experience of Reality (MER) cannot be achieved through reading, study, good works or anything else merely human.

I can only agree that such human hungering and thirsting for the experience can sensitise one strongly to a greater awareness of the ultimate mystical experience, but no more than that.

Discrimination is important when exposing oneself to “works” on mysticism. You could get diverted into morality and ethics, stuff of the human spirit, not the entirely different ‘spirit’ of Reality.

(Davidson says he’s been interested in mysticism all his life but doesn’t say anything about any personal experience that would qualify him as a mystic so he might be a case in point?).

Nevertheless, this book has to be recommended for those seeking some validation for their present unbidden passion for Seeking.

You might also be interested in other works by Davidson:

After leaving Cambridge University where he taught for 18 years, he wrote a series of five books on science and mysticism. The intention was to give a voice to the idea that an understanding of science was in no way incompatible with a spiritual perception of things.

These books received great reviews, and have been well received by the general public, especially by those who think “outside the box”, he says. They have been translated into a number of languages.

In 1989, Davidson began researching the origins of Christianity, to see if it was possible to determine what Jesus actually taught.

The main fruits of this research were first published in this book, The Gospel of Jesus: In Search of His Original Teachings (1995), revised in 2004. He has written several books concerning the origins of Christianity, largely containing stories, parables and poetry from early Christian times.

At the same time as he started research on The Gospel of Jesus, he began work on what was to become the multi-volume, A Treasury of Mystic Terms, of which Part I (six vols., 2003) and Part II (4 vols., 2016) have so far been published. Part III (six vols.) is completed and will be published in 2018 or early 2019, and Part IV is presently in progress.

This Treasury is the result of contributions from a large number of contributors from various cultural and religious backgrounds. Its intention is to demonstrate the fundamental and universal elements in the world’s religious and spiritual traditions, for both information and inspiration.

Mysticexperiences.net

Are spiritual experiences becoming more common?

A Review of an article in Psychology Today by Dr. Steve Taylor, author of the Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.

MER’s review comments are in bold type:

What are spiritual experiences? I don’t think of them in religious terms. I see them as moments in which our awareness becomes more intense and more expansive than normal, so that the world around us becomes more real and alive, and we feel a strong sense of connection to nature and other human beings.

These attachments were not true of my experiences.

We might feel a sense of joy or inner stillness, and feel that somehow the world around us is “in harmony” or has a meaning that we find difficult to express.

Yes, but not just “the world”, everything.

If a person from a religious background has such an experience, they may well interpret it in religious terms. They might see it as a gift from God, and believe that the aliveness and harmony they perceive is a glimpse of the divine, or of heaven.

But if you’re not religious, there’s no reason to think in these terms. The experience is just a psychological one. It suggests that our normal vision of the world is limited and in some ways even aberrational.

In awakening experiences, there is a strong sense of ‘seeing more,’ of expanding beyond limits and perceiving a more authentic reality.

Yes! Very much so.

My research shows that awakening experiences are connected to certain activities and situations. They are associated with contact with nature, spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer, sporting activities (such as running and swimming), and sex. They are also strongly associated with states of intense psychological turmoil. That is, paradoxically, they often occur in the midst of stress and depression, or in relation to traumatic life events such as illness, divorce or bereavement.

None of my experiences of the mystical experience of Reality were associated with any of the activities and situations suggested here.

However, one of the most interesting things about these experiences is that they are apparently becoming more common.

In a 1962 Gallup poll, just 22 percent of Americans reported that they had “ever had a religious or mystical experience.” In 1994, 33 percent of people answered yes to the same question, while by 2009, the figure had risen to 49 percent.

Research by the Pew Research Center in the U.S. has shown a similar trend. In 2007, 52 percent of Americans reported that they regularly felt a “deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being.” In 2014, the figure stood at 59 percent. In 2007, 39 percent of Americans said that the regularly felt a “deep sense of wonder about the universe”—a figure which had increased to 46 percent in 2014.

Perhaps significantly, these increases coincided closely with a decrease in interest in organized religion.

In the U.K., the surveys of the Spiritual Experience Research Centre have had similar findings. In a 1969 survey, the question “Have you ever experienced a presence or power, whether you call it God or not, which is different from your everyday self?” was answered affirmatively by 29 percent of people.

In 1978, the figure had risen to 36 percent, and then to 48 percent in 1987. In 2000, there was a further steep rise to 75 percent—a 27 percent increase in 13 years (which was, coincidentally or not, exactly the same figure by which church attendance declined over the same period). (1)

A Collective Movement?

Why should spiritual experiences be more common now than they were a few decades ago? It could simply be that people are simply getting better at recognizing them, or are more open about discussing them.

A lot of historically known mystics had no choice but to keep quiet about their experiences or take the consequences from the brutal conventional religions of their day.

Now that there is more general awareness of spirituality in our culture, and concepts such as “spiritual peace and well-being” are a more common part of discourse, it could simply be that more people are describing their experiences in this way, when they might have described them in other terms in earlier decades.

Or perhaps it’s right to take the research at its face value. Perhaps spiritual experiences actually are becoming more common. This is the approach I take in my new book The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.

It is hard to tell if the good doctor is actually talking about mystics and the mystical experience of Reality that defines mystics as mystics.

I suggest that spiritual experiences are glimpses of a new state of being that is slowly becoming more normal to human beings. This is a higher-functioning state that I call “wakefulness,” in which a person feels an enhanced sense of well-being, clarity, and connection.

This is certainly a partial view of the traditional mystic experience.

They have a more intense awareness of the world around them, a greater sense of appreciation of nature, a broad global outlook, and an all-embracing sense of empathy with the whole human race. In many ways, it is a permanent, ongoing variant of the ‘awakening experience.’

Empathy with the human race is certainly not where my experiences have lead me. Humanity as a collective is at a very primitive state of Realisation (or cosmic consciousnesses).

I have found many examples of people who shift into this higher-functioning state in the midst of intense psychological turmoil – for example, bereavement, serious illness, or alcoholism—I describe some of these examples in The Leap.

If true, such descriptions would make their “experiences” suspect, very anthropological, not mystical experiences of Reality at all.

This shift is quite common, and can be seen as a variation of “post-traumatic growth”—I sometimes refer to it as “post-traumatic transformation.”

There are also hundreds of millions of people around the world who are gradually cultivating wakefulness by following spiritual practices such as meditation and service, or spiritual paths such as Buddhism, Yoga, or the Kabbalah.

The mystical experience of Reality cannot be evangelised or experienced from books or religions. The ancient and modern records of the phenomena of MER suggests the experience is caught, not taught. That’s certainly my experience.

A constantly increasing interest in self-development, spiritual practices, and traditions is one of the most significant cultural trends of our time.

Beware of such cultural “trends”. Reality is not interested in human “culture” if my experiences are anything to go by.

It seems to me that there is a collective moment towards awakening, which is manifesting itself in a variety of ways—one of which may be the increasing frequency of spiritual experiences.

(1) I am grateful to my fellow author Jules Evans for bringing my attention to this research.

Steve Taylor PhD is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, UK. He is the author of The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.
Source: Psychology Today

THE TREND FROM RELIGIONS TO ‘INDIVIDUAL SPIRITUALITY’*

Is this seemingly spontaneous trend leaping out of the religious frying pan into the ‘human-spirit’ fire …?

Is it missing the phenomena of the mystic experience of Reality (MER) that drives human evolution?

Perhaps mysticism being hidden behind the secret password of ‘direct experience’ makes such oversight inevitable …

So perhaps the only solace in this current trend is its emphasis on the individual. Perhaps it’s the inevitable human flight from failed collectivism which is the antithesis of ultimately real human evolution.

Aren’t Ananias and Sapphira of the bible and today’s massively failed national attempts at collectivism a warning wreckage?

Individualism is the essence of my mystical experiences of Ultimate Reality.

So perhaps the current trend away from religions to individuality is significant enough, for now – a step along the way.

*See ‘Spiritual but not religious’ on Wikipedia for a comprehensive study of the trend.

Mysticexperiences.net

“CLEVER” MER IS NOT A SCIENCE

 

The mystical experience of Reality is not a human science. It isn’t reproducible, as science demands. It does reproduce, but not by human will or experimentation.

For some as yet unknown reason the phenomena is guarded by a ‘key’ made only available to some humans throughout human history who seem not to have any discernible qualification to experience this increasingly scientifically studied phenomena. (Eg., over six thousand case histories were archived by Oxford University and are now archived under a Templeton grant at Wales University). This ‘key’ is: The Mystical Experience of Reality (MER), the EXPERIENCE being the ‘key’

The Experience seems to be fully guarded by the absolute necessity to experience It. Clever.

Everything else but this personal experience is a distraction, a contaminant, I.e.: Conjecture, experiment, logic, reason, books, courses, lectures, studies, practices, religions, foolishness, mythomania, charlatanry and dogma, even being sincere though sincerely wrong.

There is much confusion between understanding the difference between the human spirit and the Ultimate Spirit of Reality. Each are entirely different in my mystical experiences. In many ways the human spirit spins the veils between the two.

Some think that on the growing evidence, the human condition is getting more spiritually evolved as intended. So will science eventually join the exterminated by then anyway?

Mysticexperiences.net

FREE WILL AND FULL POTENTIAL? Answering your Calling.

Most humans won’t reach their full potential or achieve spiritual free will.
Does this explain the perennial state of human agitations, disappointments and struggles?

Science can’t deliver either attribute. Science isn’t in the same reality. Nor will any human effort, if the mystic experience is to be believed.

Humans have free will only within their developing human attributes, as dung beetles etc. have their free will within theirs. But in spiritual Reality free will does not exist, is redundant, in my experience.

Mystics on the other hand do achieve their current potential but for them free will is not an option or a consideration – they are Reality, where free will is irrelevant.

Mystics are emptied of their humaness to the point of human invisibility, (interestingly, a Sufi teaching tradition). They are free and as fully developed to their potential here as they can be.

Even if mystics announce themselves, most humans are not developed enough to understand they exist. So that’s why mysticism remains largely invisible, non mainstream, whatever characteristics it adopts.

However, scholars, theologians, scientists and philosophers etc. know the mystical experience of Reality (MER) exists and have even suggested mystics are, for example, “a new species”, the leading edge of human evolution, or “the better part” of spirituality.

So why can’t everyone achieve mystic status?

There is no evidence mystic fulfillment can be taught, only caught. Teachings don’t help though they might induce numinousness, empathetic secular enlightenment but only as a pale, insubstantial shadow of the real thing.

So the question has to be asked: Is human evolution impeded by a humanity so full of itself there’s no room left for what mystics are given freely?

My experience suggests there are those others who are spontaneously beset by an indescribable but undeniable yearning for the ineffablility of the numinous; Seekers. If you are a Seeker you might find solace in the following four suggestions I have identified as

ANSWERING YOUR CALLING:

  1. Serve humanity by being legal, decent and honest, nothing more. This starts to simplify life, to focus it.
  2. Carry out worldly duties and responsibilities (ie. as a parent, relative, neighbour, colleague, citizen) for as long as you can. (These attachments might never completely disappear at first but will assume their proper spiritual perspective eventually).
  3. “Let go” of everything else, even #2 above when the time comes.
  4. A tip: If you can describe yourself at the end of your life you’ve not achieved anything relevant; so simplify now so that that which is answering your Calling/Seeking finds space in the real you. Shed the unnessary elements of your life as you’re taken to your deepest, truest self, where everything falls into place effortlessly – axiomatically, automatically.

Does this work?

If it doesn’t work, will most humans ever reach their full potential or remain bogged down in the limits of human freewill?

Mysticalexperiences.net