MYSTICAL JOURNEY’S END?

“Things here are but signs that show to the wise how the Supreme God is known; the enlightened sage reading the sign may enter the holy place and make the vision real.

“This Term, attained only by those that have over-passed all, is the All-Transcending.

“There is thus a converse in virtue of which the essential man outgrows Being, becomes identical with the Transcendent of Being.

“He that knows himself to be one with This, has in himself the likeness of the Supreme; if from that heightened self he can pass higher still—image to archetype— he has won the term of all his journeying.”

– Plotinus, “The Enneads” in the Chapter entitled: “The Flight of the Alone”

Mysticexperiences.net

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EASY DOES IT – bad teachers?

Easy Does It

This essay so agrees with my prejudices on the subject of spontaneous mystical experiences of Reality (MER) I just have to draw your attention to it.

My only caveat is the constant use of the word ‘God’. My experiences taught me there’s no such thing if this is a reference to the god of human religions.

I prefer the phrase “Ultimate Reality” or “Reality” with a capital R.

The human word GOD is too small to come anywhere near to describing the Reality mystics experience. The word is tainted with insistent human values and dangerously limited spiritual experience.

Apart from that, this article is an essential foray into real spiritual meaning, in my experience.

Marc replied:

Thank you, Keith, for visiting our site and for reblogging the piece of spiritual writing published on this page.

I have read the caveat you noted down at your website, and I have no problems with it, to wit:

My only caveat is the constant use of the word ‘God’. My experiences taught me there’s no such thing if this is a reference to the god of human religions.

My use of the term “God” is a only a matter of familiar linguistic convenience and grammatical facilitation, to enable the communication of my message to others (readers in this case). In no way does my use of the word refer to the typical “god” (or “God”) of any human religion. You are right in that regard.

The truly ineffable is beyond the label and definition of words or word constructs. It is, also, beyond mental conceptualization and comprehension by the intellectual functionality of the human mind. One can readily substitute the word “God” in the article with, say, your preferred use of “Ultimate Reality” or “Reality” with a capital R. I would not have any problem with that.

Permitting me to make light of the matter, let me say that from a mystic’s perspective, I suppose it might boil down to adopting and using a favored “pet name” for the utterly transcendent Reality. Joel Goldsmith had his: the “Infinite Invisible.” Mystics, philosophers and theologians from various cultures and traditions down through the ages have resorted to fanciful expressions such as the Absolute, the First Cause, the Prime Mover, Spirit, Brahman, Purusha, the Self, the unutterable Nameless One or “Yahweh” in the Hebraic tradition for which the Jews had to concoct the name “Adonai” just so that they could have a representative name to legitimately pronounce (seems crazy and ridiculous but there was a reason behind the seeming madness), the Tao, Nirvana, Allah, and so on and so forth; and, of course, the much ballyhooed yet still in vogue everyman’s term in the English-speaking world — God.

It would seem that not even scientists can be spared from the tendency of customarily providing some reverential, awe-inspiring nomenclature for a phenomenon beyond the immediate purview of scientific reasoning and observation. Thus, we have terms such as the “Big Bang” (why not the Big Fart?), the “Zero Point Field,” the “Singularity,” the Higgs boson “God-Particle,” Consciousness, etc. all denoting “something that’s there but not quite out there.”

Aware of this very human foible, I exercised enough prudence to raise the potential issue or problematic matter at the very beginning of this site’s substantive discourse on the subject of contemporary mysticism. It sets the tone for the discussion and for the entire site as well.

By the way, my private “pet name” for God would be “The Truly Ineffable.” It reminds me of the divine paradox that “there is this thing that is not a thing at all” — a No-Thing.

Thanks again for appreciating the post, Keith.

Cheers.

 

QUESTIONER: “DID YOU SEE GOD?”

 

FOLLOWER: Did you see God?

ANSWER: I wouldn’t call it God.

In my present state of development plus what I was given in my various instances of MERs (Mystical Experiences of Reality), I’m at the conclusion there seems to be a Process into which I have been drawn, rather than “God”.

At the beginning I was disappointed not to find God as I had hoped. Instead, I found this Process, which is nowhere near as limited as the human word “God”, implies.

QUESTIONER: So MER is not GOD?

ANSWER: My MERs showed no human attributes in the Process I experienced if that’s what you mean.

Nor does the Process exist just for or engage with the human condition. It does not issue human moralities, ethics, rules of behaviour, laws, taboos, ideologies, threats or talk of vengeance or favouritism. There is no coerciveness, heaven or hell.

The Process is benign, caring of all creation, guarding, guiding, aiding and comforting. It is a constant, a seemingly natural state of unending contentment, peace, tranquility, humility, gratitude, awe and joy.

My own sense of personality, character, body, mind, intelligence, intellect, seeing, smelling, hearing or tasting, did not exist in my MERs, nor did I miss them, expect them or need them.

The experience is fulfilling beyond all ordinary human experience, imagining or knowledge. It seems to be the alpha and omega of everything, all knowing, with what humans would call ultimate virtue, an existential fundament of being that just is, and is a given that can be taken for granted, does not need to be named. In Reality there are no names: everything just is and all is well.

As each of my experiences dissolved me back into my humanity I felt a keenness of loss, outcries of alarm, a profound, wrenching desperation of catastrophic bereavement. I scrabbled against it in futility. I felt marooned, a feeling that taints my human existence to this very second.

I was never given to believe humanity or individuals can invoke or influence this Process of Reality, either. In fact, being human might be the reason so many humans have not yet had the experience.

I came away with the impression human bodies and brains die, but their spiritual ingredients become absorbed, added into this non-material Process of Reality beyond infinity that never dies.

After MER, humans have no need of the anthropmorphic falsehoods of faith, hope or belief – after MER they KNOW. They are one with the Process, no longer needing gods or “God”.

Q: None of this sounds Christian or Islamic.

A: When you’re spiritually ready, dig deeply and sensitively enough and you’ll find the reality of existence and meaning buried inside the clutter of human veils in yourself, in all individuals, in Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism.

After that you won’t use the word “God” ever again. You might even wonder if the “God” you’ve been worshiping is in fact the “Devil” obscuring you from Reality.

Mysticexperiences.net

SPIRITUAL METAMORPHOSIS?

 

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.

Mysticexperiences.net

DOES GOD EXIST?

Does God exist?

No. But for some, for the time being, yes.

No, because the name God is a human word and in Reality, where all things are perfect and known, there no names.

(If you are a mystic you know that of course because you experience that).

If you have not had the mystic experience but seek such knowing, then until you are a mystic you have to become used to human words to at least start addressing the questions about Reality that arise from your inner promptings as a Seeker.

(If you are not a Seeker you wouldn’t be reading this).

On the other hand, you should know that one aspect of the mystical experience of Reality is that there’s nothing about the human condition that’s worth studying. Reality is beyond that, which might be one of the reasons humans are recycled so quickly …

Just bear in mind that religions and their gods/God have to rely on faith, belief and hope that the gods/God actually exist in the absence of any real spritual as opposed to religious experience.

The word God is just a pointer, not the real thing, just as a menu is not the food. Menus don’t nourish – the food does.

Though the word God is probably used in its various formats more often than any other word in any human language, that usage is very limited because it can’t deliver the experience of Reality.

Also, whatever way the word God is used by humans, it’s describing a small god with human attributes, not the immensity and power of Reality that has no known human attributes. Religious gods are too small. They’re limited to human understanding.

Even the title of Creator carries no evidence of a human-like creator. So far as science is concerned, for instance, all creation is caused by the existence of not always identifiable parts following rules that bring them together or take them apart to re-form infinitely as something else beyond “rules”. Science follows this procedure in the hope when they understand everything they will know everything. This is not the mystic experience.

As impressive as this spectacle of scientific effort can be to humans, the process and its results are not proof of human-like involvement by what humans like to think of as a god or even an ultimate God.

Take love for instance. Human love is made up of lust, anger, greed, attachments and ego. You can see evidence of these attributions to God in religions. But the mystics know that Reality’s love is a total, irreducible, benign acceptance of everything, conveying a joy so beyond mere human experience as to transform all such existence. Reality is by its nature benign, accepting, inexorably powerful, knowing and caring. This historically undeniable experience defies full human expression or description.

By comparison, religions are mired in belief, trust and hope – each of which is admitting religion doesn’t know – doesn’t have spiritual experience. Their resultant gods/God are small, weak, powerless, uncaring and unknowing. Whatever humans eventually become will only ever be a shadow of Reality.

Remaining human is not the ultimate destiny.

Humans are becoming whole, becoming realised in a Reality that was, is, and will be forever. Reality is, and we are That. We are not merely human.

Reality orders our existence as no human gods/God can. All is well.

Mysticexperiences.net

WHO, WHAT, WHERE AND WHY? (Peter Steiner)

By Peter Steiner BSc., DDS., in an interview with journalist and author Barbara Shaw BA., MS., MA.

  • Who am I? What is reality?
  • What is the universe for?
  • More than one universe?
  • Why am I alive?

For 20 years I have pursued the answers to Who am I? What is reality? What are the reasons for the existence of the universe? Is there more than one universe? Why am I alive?

I am still investigating the works of the great scientists of our day on this question of Consciousness. These are some of the conclusions I have arrived at so far.

First, who am I?

Can I actually evaluate myself?  Can I get far enough outside of myself to be objective about me and see who I am?  If I can, where does my self  end — at the boundary of my body, of my mind, of my spirit?

The fact is, that each of us has a different boundary system. Of course, some of our sense of boundaries is cultural, some familial and some is individual.

My conclusion is that I believe I can be somewhat objective about myself, that I can step outside and even see my dark side without justification or guilt.  I believe I can examine it to see if I should change it.  I believe this is the essence of self awareness.

How do I know I am a separate entity?  Psychologists use the mirror test on animals and children. Do they recognize what the animals and children see as a reflection of the self? Chimps and dolphins do, and possibly elephants. Small children do after a certain stage of development close to the age of two years..

But systems theory says that if you are part of a system you cannot understand the system completely, therefore we can never be totally objective about what we are.  I can never see myself completely.

Another idea we get from physics is that the observer changes the system being observed.  Any interaction with the world outside the self makes a small change in the self, so by the time I make the observation I have changed somewhat.

What is reality?

Reality is all we perceive and more.  Our individual perceptions are each unique, so all our realities are valid. I am guided by my own system, which works for me most of the time.  And I get very annoyed when it does not.

Knowing what reality is, is obviously very complex, made up of sensory information plus probably another form of perception science can’t seem to agree on.

For example, sexual attraction may be related to the vomero-nasal organ on the underside of the brain.  It’s tied to detecting pheromones floating in the air.

Intuition or what we call a sixth sense may be related to that along with the parasympathetic nervous system.  Of course, it’s modified by our experience.

I operate on a combination of gut feeling and analysis, which can overrule my gut. This is not the case with all of us, some operate on gut feelings, some operate on  cerebral logic.

Obviously I don’t know if my ideas of who I am and what reality is, is just in my brain or if there’s an immaterial something that is the bottom line of consciousness.

My own gut feeling is that it’s not just the brain, but that there is something else.

Whether the chimps and dolphins have that, or not, is a very interesting question.  If they do have self-awareness, do they have a soul?

Soul is what I call that immaterial something, for lack of a better name. But I still have to ask: If my brain were destroyed would there be anything left of me, of my essence?

What are the reasons for the existence of the universe?

I believe it all started with a system in perfect symmetry, that of the primordial Void. Then, in 10 to the minus 18 or so seconds it exploded into complexity, asymmetry and has been getting more complex for the past 13.7 billion years.

The human brain happens to be the pinnacle, as far as we know, of complexity. We have not yet seen anything more complex that that (the space shuttle and the CERN supercollider is dwarfed in complexity by the trillions of neural interactions in our brain.

I believe the essence of the universe is to create complexity.  But why?  Because it’s more entertaining! Maybe the creator got tired of perfection and wanted to have some fun, so created this mess. I also believe that the mess will swing back towards its perfection at some point.

God only knows how hard we try to create perfection.  Perhaps our striving for perfection is the cause of most of our dysfunction.  We are simply not meant to be perfect and when we try too hard we end up insane.

I ask myself if it might be possible for me to ride along on the edge between sanity and insanity. It’s like a high wire act to be at that place, and to notice if I am becoming insane and should put the brakes on.

Is there more than one universe?

Most physicists now believe there are an infinite number; we live in a Multiverse..  At each choice point, or at each bifurcation that we or any other entity might make, the reality of the universe may split.

That would mean each decision we make could lead to an entirely different outcome for the whole of the universe.  And that both would occur and lead to two entirely different universes.

This idea may be related to our dilemma when we wonder if we are infinitely insignificant, or infinitely significant.  It’s the latter if each of our decisions determines the outcome of the universe.  That’s a huge responsibility.

Someone said, “He who saves a life saves a universe entire.” We truly have no idea of the impact that we have. Remember the film, “It’s a Wonderful Life” ?

So perhaps something I said to someone thirty years ago could have led to that person either winning a Nobel Prize or rotting in prison. Another quote I like is, “The saint and the sinner are the same person exchanging notes in passing.”

It may not be within our power to choose the result.  The outcomes of my life are a co-production of me and the universe. The universe can crush me in an instant, yet all that I do has an impact on so much.  For all we know, a single feeling can change the universe.

Why am I alive?

In Greek drama there’s a peripateia, a point in the play when the hero recognizes that everything in his/her life to this point means nothing. It’s the crisis point when the light comes on.  For me it came when I was 43 and my father died at 86.

I asked myself if I wanted to live the second half of my life as I’d lived the first half.  My answer was, NO.  And that feeling changed everything for me.

That brings us to the question.

In a physical sense, I exist because my mother lost a daughter of 12 and decided she should have another child.  If not for my sister’s death I’d not be alive, which leads to the question of how good can come form evil.

We teach that good intentions have a good outcome, but we know the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I’ve done so much, meaning well, that led to chaos and suffering.

So, what can I say?  I guess I am alive because the universe thought it was a good idea.  We say God does not make mistakes but notice that Evolution can get rid of the mistakes.

If I believe in either God or Evolution or both – I am meant to be alive, and I am not a mistake, my life has meaning, even if I do not know the meaning of my Life.

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I suppose I’m here because somehow I can contribute to the unfolding of the universe. I believe all of us do contribute something because we truly are great,  we just have to find our greatness.

When I say “We stand on the shoulders of giants,” I mean we know that our ancestors gave us so much, all they could.

We need to appreciate that, and then move on into our own new and challenging territory where they cannot show us the way.