This Blog is coming near to its end I think. It seems to have fulfilled its primary purposes.

I started it because I wanted to clarify and understand my experiences of what I call, The Mystical Experience of Reality. I wanted to research and write about others’ experiences of the phenomenon.

It’s done all that and a lot more I hadn’t expected.

In fact, I had no idea that what I thought was my personal spiritual “condition” was so universal and had spiralled into such an important place in physics, theology, and philosophy.

The condition of MER, is now internationally, historically widespread, known, and studied in depth. So much so I’m almost at the stage of NOT putting the 100 or so posts from the Blog, all the comments and contact material, into an edited, coherent narrative like a book.

Oxford University entrusted its thousands of case histories on the phenomenon to Wales University. The archive there has grown to over 6,000 cases. They have sent me a questionnaire to add my experiences. There doesn’t seem any immediate need to do anything more. It’s not as if MER, or what Christians might call the Holy Spirit, can be evangelised. The experience is caught, not taught.

The physicists seem to have come to the conclusion their approaches by ‘experiment’ are never going to match the scientifically unreachable ‘experience’ of the mystics. It does, after all, seems to come and go like the wind, to and from where and for what certain purpose nobody knows …

I’m still getting some encouragement to produce the book, enlarged with added material, detailed commentary and references, but I remain unconvinced. As my wife says, “The Blog says it all for those who’re interested.”

I’ve also concluded the ego is now the only thing that would compel me to organise and write the Blog into a book. Thankfully, my ego seemed to have lost that part of ego years ago, when my MERs began.

And anyway, most importantly, the human race has not been abandoned. It is in good hands with or without such a book. All is well.

So I’ll not let the idea of a book bother me for now. I’ll just never say never …

KH. Nanaimo. February 2017.




When we’re speaking of spiritual awakening, it’s key to understand that it’s not a concept or something you can figure out with the mind. Such stories can obscure the reality because they create constructs in the mind that are not it. What reference points do we have when it’s not something that’s ever arisen, even in thousands of past lives?

Awakening is not an experience, it’s a change in being. It’s a shift in our reference point. A change in who we know ourselves to be.

As such, it is not the person that wakes up. In fact, we can be said to wake up From the person.

If we don’t understand this point, it can lead us to call many things “awakening” that are really just another experience. There are all sorts of experiences we might call spiritual that can be really nice, even life-changing.

But Self Realization? That’s a very different animal from any experience. It is a change in the thing that is experiencing, the experiencer itself.

The first key is that awakening is permanent. It does not come and go, even through sleep. It is a change in what we recognize ourselves as being. A change that means shifting from being a me to being cosmic – limitless, unchanging being.

But even there, there are distinctions to be made. We can have experiences of being cosmic that use memory to feel like it’s ongoing.

We can shift into the detached witness or observer (experiencer) that can bring many of the qualities of awakening. But it has to be more than awakeness for true liberation.

We can have an actual awakening but fall back into dominant mind for a time while the shift gets processed. I talked about some of these variations here.

What wakes up to what then?

You may have noticed that I used the word “being” a lot. The key shift I’m pointing to is that change in being, the I Am sense. With a true awakening, it is our very being, our very existence that wakes up to its own deeper nature.

Awakening is not I becoming aware that I Am. Rather, we shift from that possessive I-thought (my thoughts, my emotions, my body) to being boundless awareness observing those things.

We can say awareness wakes up to itself here. In other words, it has not just noticed itself (I have my consciousness, I Am) but cosmic or universal being has woken up to itself here.

It then progressively awakens in more and more layers of being leading to refined perception, Unity, and then to its nature beyond being in Brahman.

Funny thing though – however many ways I put this, it will never be understood by the mind because the mind is not what wakes up. But I continue to write these articles because they help make clear what it’s not. And they bring clarity to those who have actually woken up. And because sometimes, the right wording at the right time can be the catalyst that triggers the shift.



Q: How to communicate about such things if what one experiences in MER is altogether beyond communicating?

A: MER’s source, purpose, penetration and utility is ineffable – deliberately defying all human access and meddling. It is spontaneous, comes for no apparent logic or reason known to man and cannot be induced, evangelised or proselytised, in my understanding.That’s been my conclusion for a long time. Very frustrating for the merely curious.

Q: In my experience of what you call MER, all thinking ceased in terms of thinking about anything of my own volition. There was, suddenly, and with little warning, complete and utter emptiness within which perception continued, but it was perception without cognitive hooks; that is, perception did not trigger thought or internal dialogue at any level. If I were to attempt a description, I would describe it as an internal/external silence that had nothing to do with absence of sound. A ‘thought’ could arise, I remember, but it was alone and by itself in relation to what was required in any given moment, otherwise there was nothing. It was not my thought; there was no personal aspect, no sense of self, no sense of identity. Thought was not even an option; it was no more than an occurrence. There was just a continuum of silence carrying its own curious signature. I think this is where Merrell-Wolff made the mistake about High Indifference; it’s got nothing to do with ‘indifference’, which is a value-laden term with strong ego connotations. It has to do with experience, any experience, in terms of pure cognition rather than reflective, reflexive cognition: one simply becomes the stream of experience beyond the needs of conscious identification. What I perceived had nothing to do with trees or street; it was everything at once, and that included insights into things utterly beyond my conscious mind’s capacity to grasp. There was no sense of ‘grasping’ anything mentally; just a seeing into the very nature of existence. There was, I realised later, the possibility of a wholly new type of consciousness developing on the planet within which the limited perspective of the human mind had altogether vanished. That, I suspect, is somewhat near to what you mean by MER being experientially ‘nonhuman’, although I may be quite wrong in thinking so.

A: I had no sense of consciousness, or of being humanly conscious, in my experiences of MER. This makes me wonder if I was even human when I had them. What I was getting from the MERs was certainly not anything that could in any way be associated with or understood by the humankind I knew then or since.

I like your, “There was, I realised later, the possibility of a wholly new type of consciousness developing on the planet within which the limited perspective of the human mind had altogether vanished”. This conforms with some Sufi traditions about humanity’s evolutionary future. A philosopher friend of mine told someone else I’m hundreds of years ahead. I presume he mean’t because of my MER experiences. I just hope humans know more in a few hundred years than I do now …

Q: I refuse to teach; it attracts the needy to their detriment. I’m quite willing to talk when such talk is permissible and appropriate, but not at any other time except in the most general of terms. And so my life continues as it has always done, in the moment as best I can.

A: I’ve come to the conclusion real spiritual teachers can only relate to genuine Seekers, those who are readied almost despite themselves, who have begun to shuck the veils of humaness, presumably under the influence of the source of MER? This is another conundrum – what makes a Seeker, why them? Are they the ones who “hunger and seek after righteousness and truth” (whether they like it or not if my own experience of being a Seeker is anything to go by).


Edited with extra findings

Is scientific research into the human condition unable to compete with MER?

According to Dr. Jeffery A. Martin* being interviewed at, there are 20 names scientists around the world have discovered for MER, (Mystical Experience of Reality): 

(Dr. Martin’s name submission is, “Persistent non symbolic consciousness”, the name of his centre to study the subject).

Based on this study of the phenomenon, he says MER (Mystical Experience of Reality) is about:


Designing human experience,

Taking us on an evolutionary track, (see Dr. Marsha Sinetar and Dr C.M. Bucke), and

Being a transitional life form,

The human race might be in rehab.,

Is a positive state,

The greatest state,

A developmental continuum.

He doesn’t say if he has had MER himself, but he has been very influential in setting up the worldwide study of 1200 subjects who have had MER. His study criteria is scientifically severe. (His conclusion MER can be taught however is doubtful if my spontaneous experiences are anything to go by … see Some conclusions he has come to so far include:

There is no emotion in MER,

MER produces tremendous wellbeing,

MER offers no choices,

It is freedom,

There is dissipation of individual self,

There is a sense of being an agency as humans.

There is also a suggestion that MER is brought on by individual volition, such as personal disatisfaction for instance, but that’s not my experience. I believe there is an ingrained propensity in MER experiencers to  “seek”, “knock” (as some religions aver), or to “lust after righteousness” that comes with them when they’re born.

Interestingly, Dr Martin suggests that meditation might be the only human thing worth doing. I find this astonishing from a scientist. Does this mean Dr. Martin has given in, that he sees an end to scientific progress in understanding consciousness? (See the ABYSS post).

* Dr. Martin is a Harvard trained psychologist and author. Over the last 10 years or so he has conducted the largest international study on persistent non-symbolic experience (PNSE), which includes the types of consciousness commonly known as: enlightenment, nonduality, the peace that passeth understanding, transcendental consciousness, unitive experience etc.