We were discussing my mystical experiences of Reality (MER) in the Mexican sunshine when my friend said:
“So after all that, where are we in this conversation now? I mean, do you know who you are any more?”
I said, “I’m not a Who, I’m a What.”
This is the kind of enigmatic reply you get from gurus (not that I’m a guru) that so exasperated me in the early days. It annoyed my friend too, I could hear his eyeballs click as his eyes rolled. But now I understood why the elucidations of so many gurus were and are so enigmatic.
Why? Because if the gurus give a full explanation all the questioner gets is the guru’s definition. But if the questioner is left to work the answer out from the guru’s deliberately enigmatic clue, the questioner finally owns the answer as a personal experience. Some would say that’s why humans are humans – here to record their experiences. (George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, used to say: “I know what the gospels and the prophets say, but Friend, what sayest thou …? ).
Personal experience is the beginning of wisdom,it is knowing rather than second hand description, like having to work out how to shell the peanut before making the experience of eating the peanut uniquely yours. It’s like seeds sown yourself making you understand the results in all weathers and climates.
This is just a material explanation of the importance of experience. As the true experience of Reality is indescribable but undeniable, you can see how important experience is compared to second hand reportage which is hearsay. It’s the difference between being an “awakened one” or “a sleepwalker”.
A paper menu for instance does not contain the nourishment of the actual experience of the food the menu is describing, however accurately.
From this you will see why Jesus’ disciple who was nicknamed “Doubting Thomas” was an exemplar of truth seeking.
Truth is hidden in experience. That’s why scientists experiment to get at materialistic truths but the mystics don’t have to because their experience has given them a completely different, macro perspective of existence …
My friend laughed, “So are going to tell me what a What is?”
I said, “You’re a friend. I would do you no favours by feeding you my answers. Feed yourself. You already know. The answer also comes with a lot of extras, all for you. Remove your veils…”
“As a human being I’d say the search for meaning doesn’t usually reveal itself.” — Dr. Seth Lloyd
Comment: Precisely what my MERs brought to me. — KH, Publisher, Mystical Experiences of Reality
Dr Lloyd is a professor of mechanical engineering and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He refers to himself as a “quantum mechanic”. (Wikipedia)
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?
“How can humans bear life without detachment? I weep for them.”
This reblog from the blog of a Follower of Mystic Experiences has come to a crossroads in his life – to live secondhand, or at last to experience, feel his own, real, individual, personal reactions, instincts, thoughts and senses, know his own authentic voice …
As usual, the layout and illustration accompanying this posting glide potently into his writing.
A highly recommended reading experience:
“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, and religious studies. – Wikipedia
Died: June 6, 1961, Küsnacht, Switzerland
“Not only can matter not account for the mind, but mind is needed to account for matter.” – Leibniz
An email reply to a friend/Follower:
“You are not your body, you are not your mind” is a mantra that came up in the last three years of my blog. Can’t remember its provenance.
Some science seems to be coming to the conclusion human evolution will certainly dump body and mind eventually. That is a Sufi tradition too. It’s certainly validated for me by my own experiences.
Humans and their minds have always been a spiritually poisonous distraction in the mystical experience of Reality. Just look at how the human mind created the diversion of religions from the purity of MER (Mystical Experience of Reality).
Our understanding of brain, mind, intellect and consciousness, especially MER, has undergone a considerable worldwide development since the days of Leibniz’s metaphysics I think.
Thanks again, Barb, you always stimulate …
Historically, mystics had no choice but to be in a religion – or else! Even so, they were tortured, incarcerated, banished, excommunicated and/or killed.
Today’s true mystics have no such restraints. Even so, they avoid religious distractions, even other mystics. Some Sufi schools even strongly advise meditating alone, not even to dally after satsangs/meetings to socialise, eat or drink.
Two contemporary Sufi schools, and a published Sufi master, distance themselves from Islam publically because they say the mystical experience is significantly further along the spiritual path, much purer; that religions are spiritually ignorant, man-made distractions to the truly called. One Sufi school says real, pure Sufism existed before religions anyway.
(Did the religions become the obscuring weeds of the original and ever present spiritual flower?).
An Internet guru ignores spiritual books in case his personal experience of Reality becomes adulterated.
MER, the Mystical Experience of Reality, is enough.
It has to be noted Jesus did not leave any spiritual instructions for enlightenment. His alleged biblical teachings were all anthropological – moral and ethical, not spiritual.
(What he imparted in the personal, face to face oral tradition of teachers with their pupils of his time however, a tradition still widely followed today, might have been purely mystical, but will we ever know?).
The Jesus Conference of world-wide scholars and scientists says only about a dozen of the words ascribed to Jesus in the Bible can be verified as his. Not one of those words is a mystical teaching.
The other religions are in the same category – manmade constructions simply teaching current human moralities and ethics.
Still, one Sufi school admonishes its followers not to interfere with the religious as many religionists are called. They are finding their way. They will succeed ultimately – there are no failures in the universal mystical experience of Reality.
It has to be emphasised that the essence of the mystic experience is that it comes for individuals, not social collectives, countries, ideologies, political “isms”, theologies, philosophies, religions, or even mankind. It comes for you.
MER has its own agenda. MER is independent of all influences yet known to mankind. As the biblical Jesus is quoted as saying, it comes like the wind, from where and to where no one knows.
So all a mystic can truthfully suggest is, if you’re a religionist, carry on in your chosen religion until you can’t. Just don’t let religion become a danger to you or anyone else.
Seeking Reality is an individual calling, a singular voice for you only, for our ways are not Reality’s ways. Ultimately, Reality is the only way.
As for the rest, including human destiny, all is enfolding in good order as the night the day. All is well.
“Traditionalists say that there can be no mystics in modern times. Our lives are too complex for anyone to seek mystical awareness, let alone to realize divine union.
“In fact, there are probably more mystics today than at any time in history.
“The percentages may be less, but world population is considerably greater. Some of them have not been acknowledged yet.
“There is no census on mystics.”
From The Greatest Achievement in Life by Ron. D. Krompos, free pdf ebook, suprarational.org.
Throughout this Blog there are references to free will. Does the human race have it?
From my experience of pure consciousness in my mystical experiences of Reality there was no need for such a human concern as free will. It did not exist there.
In Reality, everything just is, in one satisfied determination, without further necessities.
Consideration of free will is only a human occupation. It does not need to exist in Ultimate Reality, where there are no names even, where nothing outside Itself exists, where everything in Itself is in place and All Is Well.
“I think consciousness will remain a mystery. I tend to think that the workings of the conscious brain will be elucidated to a large extent.
“Biologists and perhaps physicists will understand much better how the brain works. But why something that we call consciousness goes with those workings, I think that will remain mysterious.”
— Edward Witten
A review of Cara Hebert’s article “Am I a Mystic?”, published on GAIA.com
This review précises an article that first appeared in GAIA.com where it can be read in full.
Our review comments appear in bold type. Otherwise everything Cara Hebert writes is supported by my own yearly mystical experiences of Reality from the age of about 15 to my late thirties.
First of all it has to be said, the understanding and clarity of this article is profound, though some hints of individual worldliness may be unhelpful.
However, in all that I have seen, heard and read on the subject, whether religious, laic, secular, or scientific, I haven’t come across such an easily read and understood interpretation of the effects of the mystic phenomenon on mystics.
The author starts off by saying, “Mysticism holds a very loose definition, which can often be complicated, confusing, and nearly impossible to express with mere words.”
She says “direct knowledge of spiritual truth or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience and that Ultimate reality is something that is supreme, final, and the fundamental power in all reality.”
“Unlike Christianity, Islam or Judaism, Mysticism is not rooted in faith, principle, dogma, or even belief. This is because you do not “believe” in Mysticism. Instead, Mystics are born.”
The next claim in the article, that to Mystics the world is “expansive” and “magical”, yet also “intricately and undoubtedly connected”, conforms to my experiences, except nothing seemed “magical”, they were all so natural.
The article says, “Free will does not exist. Instead, there is a greater fundamental power that moves every action and decision toward the accomplishment of a greater plan.”
Very true, except for the free will bit …
Mystics do see divine intervention behind their impulses, as the article suggests, and there is a greater power that moves every action and decision towards a greater plan. But the claim free will does not exist is not true in my experience.
Within their human limits, humans have extraordinary powers of free will. So do beetles within their limits, so do all creatures … I assume a plentiful free will abounds within the individual bounds of all created beings.
The article says, “Because of this natural understanding of the Universe in everything, Mystics feel a need to serve others in order to help guide them through obstacles and critical life decisions.”
No. Not all mystics “feel a need to serve others”. Buddhists, for instance, understand those particular mystics, like me, who feel humanity is a distraction from their path to “Nirvana”. They call these enlightened ones, pratyekabuddhas, or paccekabuddhas, the so-called “silent buddhas” who do not try to share their realization with the world.
Pratyekabuddhas are said to achieve enlightenment on their own, without the use of teachers or guides, by “dependent origination”, (spontaneous rebirth?). For instance, all my experiences were spontaneous.
Traditionally, Paccekabuddhas give moral teachings but not enlightenment. (See unedited descriptions in Wikipedia).
In my experience of the mystical experience of Reality there is nothing to be learned from the study of human beings. Deus sufficit. Or, in mystic parlance, Ultimate Reality is enough.
Another assertion by Hebert is that not everyone can be a mystic, “it is not something that can be learned or taught, therefore those who realize their innate abilities have the responsibility to help those without.”
I agree with everything in this observation except the apparent assertion that Mystics have a responsibility to help non Mystics, thus suggesting Mystics can substitute themselves for Reality! History is filled with martyred mystics who made this mistake.
Finally, Hebert gives 10 ways of telling if you’re a mystic. We précis them here:
1. YOU VALUE EXPERIENCES ABOVE ALL ELSE
Mystics tend to steer clear of strict doctrines and principles. Because of their innate intuition, they have a high level of trust in their own morality and inner self.
Basically, she says Mystics welcome others’ experiences but only rely on their own experiences of Reality to guide their existence, whether this agrees with humanity or not.
True. Reality is enough.
2. YOU QUESTION EXISTENCE
Mystics see and understand more but are not able to fully comprehend how the universe works and why.
Mystics are passengers; not drivers or mechanics, (or physicists!).
Mystics have a curiosity about the world.
Not at all! For Mystics, the world is a spiritual distraction to be avoided.
3. YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH UNCERTAINTY
Mystics understand that there is a plan behind every action In The Universe, and therefore trust that every action has purpose, even if they don’t know what the next moment will bring. Mystics also trust in themselves and their connection to the universe that they will be able to interpret any signs and act accordingly.
4. YOU VALUE INTUITION
Mystics rely on knowledge, language and physical senses the same as others do. However, their intuitive perceptions offer a deeper form of insight.
5. YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH SPIRITUAL HIERARCHIES
Tenuous rituals or traditions have no place in the world of spirituality for Mystics.
6. YOU HAVE YOUR OWN SET OF RULES
Mystics feel a connection to every living thing and therefore are able to look beyond what may be socially accepted. Mystics have an innate trust in their own morality and intuition and are guided by their experience, rather than by leaders or society.
7. YOU VALUE INTERNAL GROWTH
To Mystics, rituals and traditions are meant to trigger internal insight and transformation, not to appease a higher power. This is another reason why Mystics often feel uncomfortable with structured religions. Mystics feel that personal growth toward the universe’s ultimate plan must come from within. It cannot be dictated or ordered. Mystics feel a responsibility to help others to find their way, however, they cannot tell them what is right and wrong.
Not all Mystics “feel a responsibility to help others find their way”. Many have been martyred for making this mistake. See above.
8. YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE A CONDUIT FOR POWER, NOT THE SOURCE
Because of their connection with everyone and everything, Mystics are often humble and more concerned with understanding and emotion than with power. They see their insights into the universe as a borrowed gift – bestowed upon them by something greater, but ultimately temporary.
I see mystic experiences as permanent. They are developing experiences of Ultimate Reality, not something “temporary” or “borrowed”. This is the first time I’ve heard this suggestion of impermanence.
9. YOU BELIEVE LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF LIFE
Similar to No. 8, Mystics believe that love powers everything. Love is not something that originates in you, rather it is something that flows through every being.
10. YOU DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING
And you don’t think you know everything. Mystics acknowledge that the universe is infinite and mysterious and is far too complex for the human mind to fully comprehend. They trust in the universe’s plan and see their journey as one of understanding, not preaching.
Cara Hebert is a writer who received her BFA from Boston University. An avid traveller and citizen of nowhere and everywhere, Cara has lived all over the world including North Carolina, London, Massachusetts, Maine, Georgia, Illinois, and Connecticut.
By David Robertson
I was an atheist for most of my life until about five or six years ago. And I was very anxiety ridden, filled with constant concerns for what I wanted to do in the future. I worked endlessly to try and fulfill these goals that I thought I wanted, and was terrified of the prospect of not being able to achieve them. This stopped me from realising the beauty of just simply living life in a more present way. It didn’t make me happy, it didn’t make me a better person, I was just too busy working towards some non-existent future. This is a story for another time, but I slowly became more interested in spirituality and gradually developed a strong belief in a loving God and that the universe was divine (including myself). As a result, a concern for death and the future became less of a factor.
I started to trust in the divine more and more, and countless opportunities started appearing for me. I also realised my early goals weren’t what I wanted in life. A trust in God gave me the courage to simply jump into the unknown, and I just knew in my heart that things would work out for the best. And in the end, it has. I traveled around India and Nepal without planning much; ended up doing jobs that I quite loved; discovered and pursued a passion for writing that was always hidden a little bit below the surface; found myself teaching English in China; and of course, I found the love of my life. For me, the results of trusting in God and the universe speaks for itself.
I wrote this piece today because my partner is going through quite a stressful time, most of it to do with our future plans over the next year and whether she can achieve them. She asked me at one point, “how can you not be so worried about all of this?” So I guess this post is in part an answer to her question, and I hope she finds something of value in it that can ease her suffering, even if it’s just a little bit.
Read David Robertson’s Trust: Surrendering Yourself to God and the Universe in full.