“SHAKING THE WORLD AWAKE”: AN INTERFAITH MULTIPLE CASE STUDY OF SPIRITUALLY ADVANCED SOCIAL CHANGE AGENTS

by Katherine Elizabeth Coder, Miami University

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Transpersonal Psychology Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California.

Review: This paper appears to present Reality as a “spiritually advanced social change agent”. My reading of the Abstract is that it’s suggesting “spiritually advanced social change agents (will) enable positive and healthy transformation” into selves. I presume this means as selves “in (an) increasingly integral epoch.” Ie: a world collective? That is, spirituality being politicised?

Nothing in my multiple yearly experiences of the Mystical Experience of Reality (MER) over 15 years suggests anything of the kind. This smacks of human politics, leftwing politics in particular.

This is at variance with the mystical experience of Reality, (MER).

Humans are in an individual process of development into Reality, not into a “socially engaged spirituality”. Reality is not socially engaged. Reality is going about its own ineffable business, not ours. This individual development is only by Reality, from outside the human condition. Reality’s development is not concocted by human brains or minds.

Is this development into Reality what leading physicist Dr. David Chalmers (‘Facing up to the hard problem of consciousness’) has described as “the hard question” that currently – and possibly infinitely – baffles scientific or political method?

There is an abyss of consciousness between the repeatable experimental methods of science and the individual but similar, at least 12,000 year old culturally non specific experiences of mystics.

Fortunately, if this paper is anything to go by, humans have not been trusted individually or collectively to have any say whatsoever in this process by Reality!  Reality is enough.

The following is the Abstract that comes with the paper. The full paper is available as a free PDF download at Academia.edu.

Abstract: “This dissertation is a qualitative study of socially engaged spirituality as practiced by spiritually advanced social change agents. The research question was “What is characteristic of social change agents identified as spiritually advanced?” This research came on the heels of the burgeoning movement of socially engaged spirituality and its many applications within an increasingly integral epoch.

As a growing phenomenon, socially engaged spirituality is discussed in lay and scholarly theoretical literature but little studied empirically. While advanced levels of spiritual development are theorized and proven to be beneficial to individuals, the combined study of advanced levels of spiritual development within socially engaged spirituality is evenless studied.

This phenomenon was investigated by conducting multiple case studies of 3 exemplar-networks from Buddhist, Christian, and Native American faith traditions. Two female exemplars and 1 male exemplar participated who ranged in ages from 37 to 79 years old and whooriginated from 3 different nations.

The data collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews, documents, and direct and participant observation were analyzed using a synthesis of case study and constructivist grounded theory. Cross case analysis determined the qualities of the phenomenon of spiritually advanced social change agency.

Results included 3 individual case narratives, a cross case report highlighting the major characteristics of spiritually advanced socialchange agency, and a theoretical model of its emergent dynamic. The findings suggested that spiritually advanced social change agents enabled positive and healthy transformation of self.”

Mysticexperiences.net

Another review of MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE OF REALITY

403-page paperback and ebook by Keith

“I am already 3/4 through Mystical Experience Of RealityI read it at the end of the day before going to sleep.  Usually, I am already very tired, which is why I am not finished reading it yet because I want to “absorb” the words.

It is very profound and I truly believe you experienced what you did and are still experiencing.  There are so many (countless) phenomenon and wonders in this world, which God Himself only knows the meaning of and which we all will eventually come to understand when we return to Him.

God has endowed you with very special privileges which you have very effectively endeavored to share with us and to which I am very grateful that you did because it just proves all the more to me at how limitless God’s blessings are!”

Mayan Siojo, Vancouver

NEARLY FIVE STARS!

When an edited version of UK Blog follower Anthony Garner’s review of the 413-page paperback “Mystic Experience of Reality” by the publisher of this Blog appeared on AmazonBooks.com the book was immediately given five out of five stars.

Unfortunately when Amazon realised it had been submitted by BookLocker.com, the book’s publisher, the rating was withdrawn because Amazon only accepts reviews directly. Stars are not given by Amazon.

So now Anthony’s generous review is published as a description of the book, and the notice that the book has not yet been reviewed remains.

Unfortunately another enthusiastic review has been submitted by a Vancouver, BC., Canada, writer and will likely receive the same fate because it was sent to Keith who sent it to BookLocker.com who sent it on to Amazon!

So if you want to review the book I hope you will send your thoughts about it directly to “Mystic Experience of Reality” at Amazon.com

In the meantime, since the book’s publication, Academia.edu reports nearly 500 mentions of Keith’s name in academic papers from universities in the US, Asia, Middle East, and Europe. Note: all these Hancocks don’t necessarily mean Keith. But most of the mentions are specifically on spirituality, religion, transpersonal psychology, the cognitive sciences, consciousness, transcendence, etc.

For your interest, the version of Anthony’s review, that appears edited on the Amazon web page promoting the book is as follows:

“There are certain activities or states of mind which trigger in me what Abraham Maslow calls “peak experiences”. Reading Keith Hancock’s book, “Mystical Experience of Reality” does just that. Phrases in Keith’s book take me to treasured places. When reading Keith’s words, I feel a deep calling to that state of disembodied serenity. So much of what Keith says, so much of what he describes and the way he tells it rings true to me, speaks of the experiences I have felt. Keith had a series of mystic experiences and in this book he describes both his own mystic experiences and quotes extensively from the writing of others on the subject. – Anthony Garner, zenothestoic.com

The book is also available as an ebook. It is also published in the UK, and is available through bookshops worldwide. It has already sold in Australia, UK, and Canada.

Mysticexperiences.net

OFFERS TO PROMOTE THE BOOK

My Reply:

No thank you.

I’ve found my new book, MYSTIC EXPERIENCE OF REALITY, pub. BookLocker, is finding its own readers – those who are bewildered by an apparent calling they don’t understand, as well as by scientists and academics who are puzzled by the historical mystic phenomena the book is all about; and others, still secret mystics, who are comforted by the validation the contents offer. They are the ones who have moments of sudden understanding when they come across contents in the book they thought only they had experienced.

The book is not meant for the merely curious who are not called to it by their inner promptings.

I’m also seeing this happen with my blog, 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

“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

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

eBook Version of MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE OF REALITY

In two to three weeks the eBook version of Mystical Experience of Reality is planned to appear on the four most popular eBook retailers – Amazon’s Kindle store, Apple’s iBook store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and Kobo (Canada’s popular eBook retailer), as well as BookLocker.com, the book’s publisher, where you can get the book in PDF, ePub or Kindle format.
Your comments and suggestions will be most welcome. 

WORK: A SPIRITUAL HUMAN DISTRACTION, A CURSE?

 

The Maniacal Laughter of the Damned: Why you can live and work in the real world without making a deal with the Devil

by Randy Vaughan

237 pages. Available from Booklocker.com

An open disputation of the myth of a so-called work ethic.

COMMENT: This ebook from Booklocker.com is recommended to all Seekers having a hard time surviving their conflict with human inconsequentialities. The following is from Booklocker’s catalogue, printed here with their permission.

About the Book

The simple fact is this:

There are two realities operating simultaneously regarding employment in this country. There are the occupations and careers requiring college education, degrees, and titles.

And then there are those for everyone else.

So what does a person who leaves high school and goes to college for four, eight, or more years and then moves into that specific field for which he has studied and trained—what does someone like that really know about working in America, really know about the hiring process, truly understand about looking for, landing, and keeping a job?

The answer to that one is easy: Nothing.

The Maniacal Laughter of the Damned: Why you can live and work in the real world without making a deal with the Devil is a non-fiction book that openly and convincingly disputes the myth of a so-called work ethic to conclude that the biggest mistake this country ever made was to confuse education for intelligence.

Contrary to conventional wisdom there is not more to life than working and making money. There is only life. In the final analysis, the only true ethical dilemma takes the form of a question made up of just seven words:

“How far are you willing to go?”

For nothing more than money and the stuff it will buy, how far are you, personally, willing to go? Are you going to live your life on your terms or someone else’s?

The Maniacal Laughter of the Damned will show you why answering that one question can and will lead to everything you would ever need or want to know about not only working, but also living, in the real world.

Anyone trying to make sense of the relationships and ensuing conflicts encountered daily in the workplace will find that this book gives words and meaning to what are often just feelings and intuitions. Readers can and will relate to the many stories told throughout the pages. Some make you laugh, others make you angry, and some leave your shaking your head in total disbelief.

So if you have ever worked for someone else as an employee, ever filled out a job application, sat through a job interview, or if there is a chance you will do this in the future, you will want this book. It tells the sometimes painful, sometimes incredulous and inane, truth that is the very stuff of working for a living.


Randy Vaughan lives in national obscurity in the Blue Ridge mountains of southwest Virginia. With some sixty employers in his past, he still has no answer for “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He fears “growing up” amounts to giving up his very personhood.

MER A SCIENTIFIC “QUALIA” AFTER ALL?

Has Dr David Chalmers discovered that “Qualia”, Consciousness, and “Strong Emergence”, are radical, newly discovered, fundamental, absolutely non-human elements of the cosmos?  Is he describing the Mystic Experience of Reality (MER)?

It sounds like it to this mystic.

Qualia – Wikipedia: “In philosophy and certain models of psychology, qualia (/ˈkwɑːliə/ or /ˈkweɪliə/; singular form: quale) are defined to be individual instances of subjective, conscious experience.”

Emergence: “the process of becoming visible after being concealed, the process of coming into existence or prominence.”

See David Chalmers’ interviews on Closer To Truth:

The first interview has attracted 445 comments, including some asinine remarks sadly expected in social media nowadays. Other comments contain seriously interesting perspectives.

Is Dr Chalmers introducing a new era of scientific thought, that the Mystical Experience of Reality (MER), is after all, “qualia”, “Strong non-human Emergence”, Consciousness?

Bearing in mind the scientific community uses the word ‘ineffable’ to describe MER, (“too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words”), is Dr. Chalmers’ now suggesting an historical, scientific leap forward in human evolution, a birthing?

If so, is the modern mystical experience the same experience the ancients called “God” that became smothered in religion, ideologised, politicised with human misunderstanding and spiritual disappointment, unfulfillment?

Has the paradigm of the human condition shifted?


Dr. David John Chalmers is a world renowned, rising young figure in the world of science. He is a philosopher at New York University and the Australian National University,  Professor of Philosophy and co-director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness at NYU, and also a Professor of Philosophy at ANU.

Mysticexperiences.net

Can You Achieve MER on Your Own?

 

Dr. Paul Brunton tells us how he came to what he calls “spiritual consciousness”, in his book, THE SECRET PATH – a modern technique of Self Discovery:

“My confidence stands serene that I can make good my thesis against all comers, but only if they are prepared to undertake the same psychological experiments which I undertook. The thoughts I now give out did not come to me after long argument; they came after long experience. Whoever, therefore, would understand them aright, must be willing to invite the same experience, and this will come readily enough if he is to keep on finding truth as he is on his other and more mundane affairs.”


Paul Brunton is the pen name of Raphael Hurst, a British theosophist and spiritualist. He is best known as one of the early popularizers of Neo-Hindu spiritualism in western esotericism, notably via his bestselling A Search in Secret India. Died: July 27, 1981, Vevey, Switzerland”
Wikipedia.

THE SECRET PATH was published in 1988 as a second printing by Samuel Weiser Inc., Box 612, York Beach, Maine., USA, 03910, but was first published in London, England, in 1935. This was one of 11 of Brunton’s books on the subject.

See www.paulbrunton.org for the Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation.

Mysticexperiences.net

SIGNS OF SPIRITUAL AWAKENING?

The Symptoms of Higher Consciousness: 18 Unmistakable Signs of Spiritual Awakening

BY STEVE TAYLOR, Ph.D.

This article is excerpted from “The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening” by Steve Taylor, Ph.D. It is reposted from Conscious Lifestyle Magazine for review purposes:

“INTRODUCTION

“What does it mean to be awake? What are the characteristics of the state of ‘spiritual wakefulness’ or ‘enlightenment’?

“I’ll summarise these characteristics or signs of spiritual awakening as they have emerged from my research. Then we’ll look at where these characteristics come from — that is, try to identify how the state of wakefulness gives rise to them.

“These characteristics of spiritual awakening are uniform. Typically, permanently awakened people experience all of these characteristics and usually at roughly the same degree of intensity.

“This uniformity is one of the most striking things to emerge from my research into the signs and symptoms of spiritual awakening and emphasizes the validity of seeing wakefulness as a distinct psychological state. The only significant variation is in terms of the overall intensity of wakefulness. The continuum of states of wakefulness (editors note: wakefulness is a term that refers to the state of being spiritually aware or awake at above average levels) ranges from less intense to very intense.

“The intensity of the characteristics of wakefulness obviously varies according to the intensity of a person’s overall wakefulness. That is, if a person experiences a high intensity of wakefulness, they will obviously also experience a high level of well-being, a high degree of mental quietness, a very pronounced tendency toward altruism, a very pronounced lack of group identity, and so on. The reverse obviously applies to someone with a lower intensity of wakefulness.

“It’s also worth noting that many of the characteristics I’m going to highlight are common to temporary spiritual awakening experiences, too.

“A New World: Perceptual Characteristics.

“The clearest way in which spiritual awakening manifests itself is in terms of the wakeful person’s different perception and experience of the world around them. One of the main signs or symptoms of an awakened individual is that they don’t perceive the world in the same way as other people do. The world is as different a place to them as the world of a child is to the world of an adult — or, you might say, as the world of a pre-civilized indigenous person is to the world of a modern Westerner.

Mystical experiences comment: Drs Richard Burke and Marsha Sinetar have suggested the existence of such individuals who have had these experiences, mystics, might suggest they are a different species. Certainly the Reality I have experienced is completely outside the human experience of existence.

“1. Intensified Perception
In wakefulness, perception is vivid and direct. Spiritually awakened people see the world in a very childlike way — struck by the wonder, beauty, and intricacy of phenomena that other people take for granted and don’t pay much attention to. One of the signs of spiritual awakening is that the world is a brighter, more fascinating and beautiful place to them. In particular, they are captivated by nature — the amazing is-ness and beauty of the natural landscape, the sky, and the sea; the strangeness, complexity, and intricacy of animals, plants, and other phenomena.

Not my experience. I take the existence of Reality for granted. Generally, I am not awed by human experiences.

“This intensity of perception is sometimes experienced as an openness to experience or, in slightly different terms, an increased sensitivity. It’s as if filters have been removed or shutters have been opened and, as a result, more impressions come into our minds and affect us more powerfully. As we’ve seen, intensified perception can sometimes feel overwhelming in sudden spiritual awakening experiences (as it can also be in psychedelic experiences), but it usually isn’t a problem once wakefulness becomes established.

Not entirely true of my experiences. They were so obvious, true, real, natural, blissful, benign, joyful, accepting, whole.

“All of the spiritually awakened individuals I interviewed commented on this intensified perception. One person told me how the world had become “sharper, more real,” while another was “struck by how fresh everything seems.” Another person remarked that “colours seemed brighter, more alive.” Others described a sense of awe and a new appreciation for simple pleasures and activities like walking, cooking, eating, and simply attending to their surroundings.

Not true to my experiences … Sounds suspiciously emotional to me – material mindstuff, human brain pleasure leakage, not a true mystical experience of Reality. Anthropomorphic?

“2. Increased Presentness / Timelessness
Another symptom of spiritual awakening is that also brings a different perception of time or, you might say, a shift in time orientation. In wakefulness, the past and the future become much less important, and the present becomes correspondingly more important. Awakened individuals spend much less time recalling past experiences or ruminating over past events, just as they spend less time looking forward to the future, daydreaming about future events or focusing on future goals. Instead, they focus on their present experience, on the surroundings they’re in, the people they’re with, and the sensations and impressions they’re having.

“For some people, this increased presentness leads to a sense of the expansiveness of time. Time seems to somehow open up, slow down, or even disappear all together. This sign of spiritual awakening is the sense of the eternal now that is sometimes described by mystics, when the past, future, and present all merge into one.

“Ultimately, the past and the future are concepts created by the human mind. We never actually experience either because our minds and bodies are always in the present. The past and the future only exist in thought, whereas the present does not exist in thought.

Never thought of the experiences or observed these effects as presented here, except for the recognition there really is no such thing as time. Time is a very helpful, convenient human strategy to get a handle on mundane human realities. It doesn’t exist in Reality.

“In addition, as I suggest in my book “Making Time”, our normal linear perception of time is a mental construct generated by our strong sense of ego. The weaker our sense of ego becomes, the more linear time seems to fade away. Our perception of time slows and expands — and eventually disappears into now-ness.

The growing elimination of ego is very noticeable and I think it might be one of the causes of my impatience, not to say outraged rejection of human posturing, public and private.

“3. Awareness of “Presence” or an All-Pervading Spiritual Energy
At higher intensities of spiritual awakening, we experience symptoms like becoming aware of a spiritual force that pervades all things and the spaces between things. In my research, one person described this as “a deep sense of a living presence within that is both magnificent and also very ordinary.” Another person described one of his symptoms of awakening as “a vast presence which is just infinite and pretty mind-blowing. Especially in nature.” Another person spoke of an “awesome presence” that he referred to as “God.” This force is sometimes described in terms of a “source,” something underlying and fundamental that doesn’t just pervade all things but gives rise to them, too. In a sense, all things are the manifestation of this force.

Yes, very definitely so. I often wonder if the Reality I experienced is what in ancient times was reduced to an anthropomorphised definition they called “God” to help them understand the phenomena. If so, the “God” definition falls far short of describing Reality. The human “God” is too small, too distorted with domestication …

“4. Aliveness, Harmony, and Connectedness
“At a lower intensity of wakefulness, a person may not be aware of this all-pervading spiritual force directly but they may still be able to indirectly sense its effects.

“One of the signs of spiritual awakening is a sense of aliveness. To the awakened person, there are no such things as inanimate objects. Even natural phenomena that aren’t biologically alive (such as clouds, sea, or stones) and manmade objects (such as pieces of furniture or buildings) shine with the radiant aliveness of spirit. Objects that are biologically alive become more powerfully animate. One spiritually awake woman described how “everything looked and felt ultra real and alive. I kept staring out of the window and just marveling… I could almost see the atoms in everything I looked at. I had the strongest feeling that everything was perfectly okay and perfect in the universe.”

A Sufi tradition is to keep a stone nearby to remind them from where humans emanated. The biblical Jesus is said to have spat on the earth to make mud to remind humans of their antecedents.

“This woman’s recollection touches on another indirect effect of this all-pervading spiritual force — a sense that “all is well.”

These are the actual words repeated to me three times in one of my experiences. They made no sense to me at the time. They do now. Humans and the Creation have not been abandoned to their own inadequacies. All is well.

“As spiritual texts and mystics tell us, the nature of this energy is blissful.

Yes. Blissful beyond human description.

“It has a quality of bliss or joy in the same way that water has a quality of wetness. So when we perceive its presence in the world, there’s a sense of harmony — again, an awareness that is commonly described by indigenous peoples. As a symptom of spiritual awakening, we sense that the universe is a benevolent place and that harmony and meaning are its fundamental qualities.

Reality is benign totally accepting of It’s engulfed creation. (Is this where the ancients got their certainty that “God is love”?).

“Finally, this spiritual energy underlies and pervades all things and so creates a sense of connectedness or oneness.

Yes. We are that Reality, as It is us.

“An awakened person may have the sense that the boundaries between superficially separate and distinct objects have melted away. They may still sense what some of my participants described as “the oneness of everything” or “the oneness of the universe.”

Yes, the “universe” is too small to contain the whole of Reality,

“When we experience spiritual awakenings, one common sign is that our inner life changes. There’s a shift in how we feel inside, in our psychological experience. This shift changes us so profoundly that, in a general sense, we feel as if we have a new identity, as if we have been reborn.

I wish I had realised this as my experiences happened. I struggled to the point of despair  and death to come to terms with my humanity. I failed until a spiritual mentor reminded me that though I am a spiritual being first and foremost, I am still partly human for now, with all the duties and responsibilities being human entails privately and socially. Reality’s ways are not our ways. Our ways are not Reality’s ways ….

“We do take on a new identity as the wakeful self-system emerges and replaces the old self-system of sleep. In cases of gradual spiritual awakening, this identity shift happens very slowly, as the old self-system is gradually remolded into a different form. It may not even be a noticeable symptom or sign  of spiritual awakening, except in retrospect. In sudden spiritual awakening experiences the shift is so abrupt and dramatic that many people can pinpoint the exact moment it occurs.

“In this section we’ll examine the inner changes and signs of spiritual awakening that contribute to this overall sense of becoming a completely different person.

“5. Inner Quietness
With spiritual awakening and enlightenment comes a dramatic reduction of the inner noise of our thought-chatter.

Not enough reduction for me!

“In our normal state, this streams through our mind almost constantly — a whirl of associations and images, worries and daydreams that only usually stops when our attention is absorbed in external things. This thought-chatter is such a normal part of our experience that many of us take it for granted. We’re so immersed in it — and so identified with it — that we don’t even realize it’s there, and we certainly don’t realize how powerfully it affects us. It disturbs our inner world, giving rise to negative thoughts and emotions. It disconnects us from the essence of our being, constantly reinforces our ego-identity, and strengthens our sense of separateness.

Oh yes … It’s the seminal burden of unenlightenment. But we’re getting there.  A spiritual mentor affirmed: “There are no failures …” I sense he was right.

“Almost all of the awakened individuals I spoke to described similar spiritual awakening symptoms, although with variations. Some people — a small proportion — reported that their minds had become completely quiet, with a complete cessation of thought-chatter. More typically, though, people reported that there was still some thought activity in their minds but much less than before.

Yes!

“Others reported that while thought-chatter was still there (although not as much as before), they felt less identified with it. They were able to stand back, observe their thoughts, and let them flow by without becoming immersed in or overly) affected by them.

Not as much as I’d like!

“6. Transcendence of Separation / Sense of Connection
In spiritual awakening and enlightenment, the sense of otherness between us and the world fades away. We no longer feel that we’re “in here” looking out at a world that seems to be “out there.” We no longer observe from a distance — we’re part of the flow of the world’s unfolding is-ness. Separation dissolves into connection. In the same way that we sense that all things are connected to each other, we feel that we’re connected to all things. We’re part of the oneness of all things.

“This sense of connection manifests itself in different ways and at different degrees of intensity as one of the signs of spiritual awakening. At the most basic level, a person may feel strongly connected to other human beings, other living beings in general, or to the whole natural world. A sense of connection to the spiritual force that pervades the whole universe and that forms the essence of our being may occur at higher intensities of wakefulness and is one of the main signs of spiritual awakening. In other words, we may not just be aware of this spiritual force but also feel connected to it.

“At a still higher intensity of spiritual wakefulness, a sense of connection may intensify into a sense of oneness. With this symptom of spiritual awakening, a person may feel that they exist in a state of unity with all things — even that they are all things. They may not just feel that they are one with the world but also that they actually are the world. Their sense of separation may dissolve away to the extent that there’s no distinction at all between them and what they perceive.

This is true, but getting repetitious here.

“7. Empathy and Compassion
This sense of connection is closely linked to the high levels of empathy and compassion associated with spiritual awakening. When we’re connected to other beings — animals and the natural world as well as human beings — we’re able to sense what they’re experiencing, to feel what they’re feeling. If they’re suffering, we sense it and feel the impulse to comfort them or try to alleviate their pain. We’re touched by other people’s pain because there’s no separation between our being and theirs.

“Empathy, in its deepest sense, is the ability to “feel with” other people by experiencing a shared sense of being with them. This ability to “feel with” other beings gives rise to compassion and love. Love stems from a sense of connection and oneness, a sense that you are another person — or other people — and so you belong to them and share their experience.

Compassion and empathy are fruits of the experiences but are hopeless to help humans still diseased with ego. (Many are called but few can be chosen to receive the fruits of Reality unless Reality has attended them first. The experience of Reality is caught from Reality, not taught or caught from humans).

“8. Well-Being
Well-being is perhaps the most obvious symptom of spiritual awakening generated by wakefulness.

“Awakened individuals may not live in a state of complete uninterrupted bliss, but they are generally much more content than other people. One major source of this well-being is freedom from the psychological discord that plagues human beings in our sleep state — habitual worry about the future, feelings of negativity about the past, and a general sense of unease. Spiritually awakened people are much less prone to negative states such as boredom, loneliness, and dissatisfaction. The atmosphere of their inner world is less charged with negativity and much more harmonious.

“The feeling of well-being in spiritual awakening is related to a sense of appreciation. In wakefulness, people are more likely to feel a sense of gratitude for their health, freedom, loved ones, and other good things in their lives. In our sleep state, we likely take these things for granted and fail to appreciate their true value. Appreciation is an important sign and symptom of spiritual awakening, especially in terms of well-being because it helps free us from wanting. In Buddhist terms, we become free of craving and so free of the psychological suffering this creates.

Spiritual contentment is more profound and lasting than the unreliability, the fleeting fragility of the occasionalness of happiness.

“9. Absence of (or Decreased) Fear of Death
Fear in general decreases in the wakeful state and fear of death is our most fundamental fear. The ego feels especially fragile in the face of death. The fact that death could strike us down at any moment — and will eventually reduce everything we have achieved and accumulated to nothing — creates a basic sense of meaninglessness, especially if we don’t believe in the possibility of life after death.

“This decreased fear of death is related to the transcendence of the separate ego — another sign and symptom of spiritual awakening. Because our own ego isn’t the epicenter of our universe anymore, its demise no longer seems such a tragic prospect. We know that our own death isn’t the end of all things; the world that is part of our identity will continue.

“However, perhaps the main reason why the awakened person loses fear of death is because of a different attitude toward — and understanding of — death. Spiritual awakening brings an understanding that death isn’t the end, that the essence of our being will continue to exist after the dissolution of our bodies.

“From the materialistic worldview derived from our sleep state, it seems completely clear that there’s no life after death. Our consciousness is just the product of brain activity; when our brain stops functioning, our consciousness ceases, too. But from the spiritually awakened perspective, reality is more complex than this. The essence of our being transcends our brain and our individual identity. Death isn’t the end of consciousness but a transformation of consciousness.

This is the mystic experience of birth and death, a true fruit. Birth leads to death and death to birth and so on – birth, death, birth, death etc., etc., ad infinitum,  presumably until we are just Reality.

“A New Mind: Conceptual and Cognitive Characteristics

“The conceptual symptoms of spiritual awakening we’re going to look at refer to how awakened people see themselves in relation to the world and other human beings, and how they conceive of the world and other human beings.

“10. Lack of Group Identity
In the sleep state we have a strong tendency to identify ourselves, to give ourselves labels in order to enhance our fragile sense of self. We like to define ourselves in terms of our religion, ethnicity, nationality, and political affiliation, and also by the labels of our careers, achievements, and qualifications. Defining ourselves in these ways gives us a sense of belonging, and bolsters our egos. We feel that we’re not alone; we’re part of something bigger than ourselves.

“In spiritual awakening experiences this need for identity and belonging fades away.

Definitely a fruit of the experience of Reality.  Human efforts to create ideologies based on collectivism/communalism always fall under the weight of their ignorance of Reality’s exclusive relationship with the individual.

“People no longer feel affiliated with any particular religion or nationality, just as they no longer feel defined by their careers or their achievements. They no longer feel that they are Americans or Jews or scientists or socialists. They don’t feel any pride in their nationalities, ethnicities, or qualifications. And they don’t have a sense of otherness or feel enmity to members of other groups. They feel that such labels are superficial and meaningless. They don’t see any difference between Americans or Iraqis, Christians, or Muslims; they treat all people with equal respect. If they see themselves with any kind of identity, it’s as global citizens, inhabitants of the planet Earth, beyond nationality or border.

The text here is getting intrusively anthropomorphic and false …

“Another sign of a spiritually awakened individual is that they often have a similar attitude toward different spiritual traditions, too. Even if they are affiliated with a particular tradition, they don’t feel that this tradition is the only true and valid one, as religious fundamentalists do. As a sign of spiritual awakening, they have an open and ecumenical attitude, and they recognize that different traditions are simply expressions of the same underlying truths.

Definitely anthropomorphically off topic. The experiences of Reality do not come to make us better humans, though that might be seen as automatic, axiomatic, a useful side product.

“11. Wide Perspective: A Universal Outlook
As a sign of spiritual awakening, awakened individuals have a wide sense of perspective, a macrocosmic outlook. They aren’t preoccupied with their personal problems and concerns to the exclusion of everything else. They know they’re not the center of the universe.

It took me some time to recognise my macrocosmic view of existence as compared to the personal, ego dominated microscopic view of most humans.

“This means that they have a spiritual awareness of the wider impact of their individual actions. They’re aware of how their life choices affect others, or the earth itself, and so are more likely to live ethically and responsibly. For example, they may decide not to buy or use goods that are produced by exploited workers or oppressive regimes. Aware of how their own lifestyle could contribute to damage to the environment, they’re more likely to adopt an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

“This wide perspective that occurs as a common symptom of spiritual awakening also means that, for spiritually awakened individuals, social or global issues are as real and important as their own personal concerns. They’re likely to feel a sense of concern for oppressed groups, social problems like poverty and inequality, or global problems like climate change and the extinction of other species.

I doubt this is a true fruit, more what our ancestors would call “a devilish diversion” into the anthropomorphic.  Jesus and many other mystics fell into this trap of thinking the experiences come to make us better humans. They all failed in such missions, suffered disastrously at the hands of humans as a result. The experiences of Reality come to reassert our true being, not condemn us to our present state. There are far more important things going on beyond our understanding than being merely human.

“12. Heightened Sense of Morality
This wide sense of perspective has moral implications. As we have seen, awakened people tend to be more ethical and responsible, more compassionate and altruistic. But awakening also fosters a more all-encompassing and unconditional type of morality. Awakened individuals don’t practice moral exclusion; that is, they don’t just show concern and kindness toward people with whom they share superficial similarities of religion or ethnicity but extend their benevolence to all human beings indiscriminately.

This text is getting disastrously off topic into human affairs again! This is a fatal spiritual flaw.

“Another moral spiritual awakening symptom is that the awakened person’s sense of right and wrong (or good and bad) isn’t culturally determined but stems from an innate knowing, a deep moral certainty that transcends their own self-interest and culture. For spiritually awakened individuals, justice and fairness are universal principles that transcend laws or conventions. They may even break laws and potentially sacrifice their own well-being — perhaps even their lives — in order to uphold moral principles.

Definitely. Difficult to apply socially however!  Mystic outspokenness has not been well treated in the past.

“13. Appreciation and Curiosity
In the sleep state, the process of familiarization that switches off our attention to the phenomenal world acts on our conceptual awareness, too. It switches off our attention to things we should ideally feel grateful for. I call this the “taking for granted syndrome,” which means that rather than feeling grateful for what we have, we feel dissatisfied, which is not one of the symptoms of spiritual awakening. Rather than appreciating what we have, we want more.

“But awakened individuals do feel grateful after a spiritual awakening. They don’t get used to the good things in their lives once they’ve had them for a while. They appreciate the value of their health and their freedom, the beauty and benevolence of their partners, and the innocence and radiance of their children. They have the ability to count their blessings, no matter how long they have had them. They feel a profound sense of gratitude for small and simple experiences, which is one of the primary signs of spiritual awakening.

“This sense of appreciation also leads to curiosity and openness. Because awakened people don’t take life itself for granted, they are always open to the new and unfamiliar. They don’t feel satisfied with what they already know and never feel that their understanding of the world is complete. They’re eager to explore new ideas and skills, take on new challenges, travel to new places, and so on. This is another way in which they’re similar to children. The world is a fascinating place as a result of a spiritual awakening, and they’re keen to explore it more deeply.

This part of the text is utterly irrelevant, pure misguided lapse into anthropomorphism again! Mystics are not interested in an appreciation of the world and this is not what the experiences are all about.  Reality is infinitely more relevant.

“A New Life: Behavioral Characteristics

“The behavioral characteristics we’re going to examine now are the outward expression of the perceptual, affective, and conceptual symptoms of spiritual awakening we’ve looked at already. They are the fruits of those inner changes, expressing themselves in terms of new traits, habits, and ways of living.

“14. Altruism and Engagement
Spiritually developed individuals are commonly believed to be detached from the world and not particularly concerned about what is happening in it. Their spiritual enlightenment supposedly makes them indifferent to the trials and tribulations of ordinary people in everyday life. We imagine them sitting on mountaintops or in monasteries, basking in their own self-realization.

“In my research on spiritual awakening, I’ve consistently found the opposite to this kind of detachment — spiritually awakened individuals tend to become more altruistic. Altruism is the natural fruit of the awakened person’s strong capacity for compassion, their universal outlook, and their innate sense of justice. The following signs and symptoms of spiritual awakening are often present: We feel a strong impulse to alleviate other people’s suffering and to help people fulfill their potential. We have a strong idealistic desire to change the world for the better, an impulse to serve other people and contribute to the human race in some way. We may feel a sense of mission, to help the human race move through our present phase of chaos and crisis into a new era of harmony.

I am deeply suspicious about the intrusion of altruistic case histories being quoted here. They sound like perversions of Reality. They smell of mind stuff, emotion – anthropomorphism, the influence of mythomanic Christian religion. None of this is a fruit of the true experience of Reality. Reality shows little or no special interest in the miniscule existence of humankind. This intrusion is an imposition of human culture, morality and ethics, mind stuff  – human, not spiritual. Reality does not come to save the world, though that may be a by-product. Reality is the world and the world is It. It comes only for the elucidation of individuals for purposes we don’t know for certain yet.


“15. Enjoyment of Inactivity: The Ability to “Be”
Awakened individuals love doing nothing. They relish solitude, quietness, and inactivity. In my book Back to Sanity I suggest that this is one of the most obvious differences between living in a state of “humania” — that is, our normal state of human madness — and in a state of inner harmony. In humania, which is equivalent to a state of sleep, people find it difficult to do nothing or be alone with themselves because this means facing the discord of their own being and the turbulence of their thoughts.

“As a result, they feel compelled to seek distractions and activities — that is, external things in which to immerse their attention — so that their attention doesn’t turn inward, into their own being. But in a state of harmony, which is equivalent to wakefulness, this isn’t necessary. We can rest contentedly within our own being because there’s no turbulence or discord inside us. This is another one of the signs and symptoms of spiritual awakening. We don’t need to constantly do things just for the sake of it or constantly supply ourselves with distractions. Rather than fear quietness and inactivity, we enjoy them deeply because they allow us to touch into the radiance of our own well-being.

Very true in my case.

“16. Beyond Accumulation and Attachment / Nonmaterialism
In wakefulness, the impulse to accumulate falls away. It’s no longer important for us to try to accumulate possessions, wealth, status, success, or power during spiritual enlightenment. In sleep, the urge to accumulate is a response to our sense of incompleteness and fragility. We try to bolster our sense of self by adding possessions, achievements, and power, in the same way that an insecure king continually builds up a castle and reinforces its walls.

“Similarly, we become overly attached to preexisting aspects of our identity, such as our appearance or our intellect. We derive a sense of specialness from them, which also serves to reinforce our fragile sense of self. But these efforts are no longer necessary when we wake up because that sense of incompleteness and vulnerability no longer exists.

True for me …

“Awakening brings a shift away from accumulation to contribution. The energy that people invested to try to alleviate their own psychological suffering is now redirected to try to alleviate the sufferings of others. As Marcus aptly described one of the signs of spiritual awakening, there’s a shift in focus from “what I can get from life to what I can give to life.”

Absolutely not in my case. Reality is in charge – All Is Well. Reality comes to bring us to our true selves, not to distract us with the impermanences of humankind. This is misdirection.

“17. Autonomy: Living More Authentically
In the sleep state, most people are products of the environment they are born into. They tend to conform to the values of their cultures and happily go along with the kinds of lifestyles that are expected of them. But awakened individuals tend to experience symptoms of spiritual awakening in which they are more autonomous and inner-directed. They feel less identified with their culture’s values; they are likely to reject them in favor of following their own impulses. They have greater confidence in their choices and preferences, and are more liable (partly because of their inner security) to stand by them, even in the face of ridicule or hostility. They live their lives according to their own sense of what is right, rather than trying to please others or doing what is expected of them.

“People often realize that, prior to spiritual awakening, they weren’t really living their own lives but largely just following social conventions or trying to please other people. But after awakening it becomes much more important for them to live authentically and follow their own impulses. Other people may see them as rebels or eccentrics because they’re liable to disregard social norms and trends. They’re likely to reject the consumerist and status-oriented values of their culture in favor of a life of simplicity. They have little interest in watching the latest popular television shows, acquiring the latest gadgets or goods, or trying to impress people with their appearance, their status, or their sophistication. Along with these spiritual awakening signs and symptoms, they may shock others with their unconventionality and their willingness to contradict consensus opinions.

Yes. Very true. But so what? The author wants us to apologise for our experiences of Reality?

“18. Enhanced, More Authentic Relationships
In some cases, friends and relatives resent spiritually awake people’s new authentic way of living and misinterpret it as selfishness. This contributes to relationship problems that can occur after spiritual awakening. In general, though, awakened individuals feel that their relationships deepen and become more fulfilling. The authenticity of their lifestyle also expresses itself in more authentic relationships.

“Relationships deepen for awakened people partly due to their increased empathy and compassion, which means that they become more tolerant and understanding and less judgmental. As a result of some degree of spiritual enlightenment, awakened individuals are less likely to react with hostility and animosity to others, and less likely to initiate conflict.

“There’s certainly a connection between deeper relationships and inner security, too. If we’re insecure, our social interactions are usually self-centered. We’re concerned with making good impressions, saying the right things and behaving in the right ways. We often wear social masks to try to make ourselves seem more charming or interesting. But if we feel secure within ourselves, as spiritually awakened individuals do, this self-centeredness and role-playing falls away. We shift our focus away from ourselves and give our full attention to the people we’re with.

WARNING: This section above is pure twaddle, anthropomorphism at it’s worst. Words like “relationships”, “selfishness” are a giveaway to the author’s entanglement in worldy cultural emphases, non spiritual social “buzzwords” of the day.

” “The authenticity of their lifestyle also expresses itself in more authentic relationships” conveys a profoundly off topic, untruthful nonsense that is totally non mystic. No true mystic could ever seek “authentic relationships” apart from his or her authentic relationship with their experience of Reality. The very idea is truly oxymoronic. Humans are not the be all and end all of existence  – Reality is.

Mysticexperiences.net

  

 

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

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