NINE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE – Lonerwolf.com

The following is an excerpt from Lonerwolf.com:

By: Mateo Sol

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

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

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

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

The Candle in the Dark

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

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

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

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

9 Characteristics of the Mystical Experience

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

1. Conscious Unity

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

2. There Is No Time or Space

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

READ MORE

Mysticalexperiences.net 2018

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“CLEVER” MER IS NOT A SCIENCE

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mysticexperiences.net

THE INTERNET CHRISTIAN v. “ME”!

That dratted word, “my”.

A Christian on the Internet objects to the use of “my” – as in when I say, “in my experiences” – when I draw on the spontaneous annual mystical experiences of Reality (MER) I had from about 15 to 35 years of age, to make posts on this web site.

He says my use of the word shows ego. Ego, he says, is not found “on the mystical plane”. He asks who am I to offer myself as an authority.

But my use of the pronoun is to say, “this is only my experience”. I use “me” as a qualifier to caution readers as to the identity of the source of my anecdotal, personal experiences. My experiences are the only authority I offer.

Another reason I use the word “we” is because I have to use a human language historically developed to express experience of the material world. But MER cannot be explained or experienced in terms of the material world.

I am trying to share experiences of a spiritual phenomena that cannot be explained by materialism. MER does not exist materially. It has no body or brain, it just is everything and everything is it. It has no need of language or explanation. MER can only be experienced, caught not taught.

So I am just sharing my mystical experiences to help me get as full a comparative understanding of them from others’ experiences, comments, writings, likes and emails – as I now do from among 68 countries including scientific sources around the world I had no idea were taking mysticism so seriously.

For instance, if I had not started this web site I may not have come across the likelihood of being a pratyekabuddha. (Coincidence? I’m not sure).

Apparently a pratyekabuddha, or paccekabuddha, is the so-called “silent buddha” who does not try to share his or her realization with the world.

Pratyekabuddhas are said to achieve enlightenment on their own, without the use of teachers or guides, by “dependent origination”, (spontaneity?).

Traditionally, Paccekabuddhas give moral teachings but not enlightenment. (See unedited descriptions in Wikipedia).

I certainly do not give “moral teachings”, or ethical ones for that matter as they’re man made, not to be found in Reality – according to my experiences.

Nor can I or anyone else so far as I am aware “give” enlightenment. Enlightenment is, as I say above, caught not taught.

Nor do I feel called to be a master, teacher or “authority” on enlightenment or Reality!

Many mystics who felt otherwise and presumably engaged in human affairs because that’s what they thought they were called to do, failed. The material world brought them to very bad ends.

Modern mystics, of which there are said to be many more than there used to be, seem to know better. They keep to themselves.

So the Internet Christian’s misunderstanding I reported in the first sentence above is a reminder to me of the advice I got from a Master with millions of non monetarised followers around the world who few humans even know about.

He cautioned me about posting my experiences to spiritually unqualfied Internet social sites like Facebook etc. So that’s why mysticexperiences.net is not posted to those sites now. Yet the blog grows organically almost daily.

Obviously I shall have to be even more circumspect. Mysticism is clearly only for those who have ears to hear as the ancient saying goes …

Mysticexperiences.net

WRONG ASSUMPTIONS?

 

MER seems to have its own as yet unknown purpose and only reveals proof of itself to individuals.

In the many ancient and new books and papers on mysticism I’ve tried to comfort and validate myself with over the years there seem to be two underpinning assumptions that are aggravatingly wrong:

  • The mystical experience of reality (MER) exists solely for the benefit of mankind;
  • MER can be induced by humans.

If my direct experiences of MER several times a year from the age of about 15 to late 30’s are anything to go by, those two conclusions are wrong, because:

  • MER does not exist to make better human beings, (ignoring for the moment the ever changing historical notions about what being acceptably ‘better’ is anyway …)
  • Nor is there any evidence MER can or has ever been induced by human beings (though the experiment that produced Krishnamurti might be worth rigorous modern examination …).

Again, MER seems to have its own as yet unknown purpose and only reveals proof of itself to individuals. So all that can be suggested about MER’s contact with humans is that it appears to be addressing individuals exclusively, not even human groups, ideologies or nations, only individuals.

MER does not seem to be interested in, nor respond to any collective human interaction. It seems impervious to evangelism, nationalism, tribalism, culturism, religions, prozelizations, logics, reasons, politics, governances, moralities or ethics etc.

Some scientific books and papers make their spiritual errors of collectivism, communalism and socialism despite more vigorous applications of unbiased scientific endeavours elsewhere, particularly in the fields of physics.

These other, more neutral scientific fields seem to be inching their way by pragmatic experiment to a convergence of scientific method and mystical experience without unsupported worldly assumptions.

For instance, some scientists are already saying there is mathematical indication the human race is going to turn into something beyond our present understanding of the human race, when most of our social assumptions will be long gone. Non religious Sufism claims to have known that for thousands of years.

Raymond Kurzweil, described as “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal, said in a Closer To Truth video interview, “humans will transcend their biology”. He is an influential American best selling author, computer scientist, inventor, futurist and Google executive.

Dr. Owen Gingerich, is professor emeritus of astronomy and of the history of science at Harvard University and a senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. He said in a similar interview on Closer To Truth, there will be no more humans eventually.

He said species are changing because of rapidly developing consciousness and that we’re changing every year.

Professor Donald Hoffman, Cognitive Science, University of California, says the physical world isn’t final reality. He suggests natural selection drives our perceptions to extinction.

My very personal perspective is that we’re outrunning impoverished worldly assumptions such as religions, monetarised gurus, new agers, hippies and the latest establishment of social mythomanias. Is spiritual consciousness being asserted?

If so, that leaves us with scientific physicists. They are the ones left with the perennial need to scratch the human itch to know the Whats, Where’s and Why’s of human existence.

In the meantime what about mystics, you may ask.

What about them? If my situation is anything to go by, mystics only know Reality, not what Reality’s about.

The only good news mystics bring to humans is confirmation that another, non-ending Reality actually does exist.

This Reality is not merely a subjective experience. It is benign, loving beyond human experience, caring, imparts a joy otherwise unknown to us, gives a certainty that we are a part of it and that All Is Well – societies or no societies, books or no books. Maybe even humans as they are now wont be around in future and need to get over themselves?

Mysticexperiences.net

THE BRAIN AND MYSTICISM: A BRIEF LOOK

 

By David Robertson

– Publisher of A Perennial Follower, where this post originally appeared.

 

Right off the bat, I should strongly emphasise that I’m far from being an expert on neuroscience, I wouldn’t even call myself a layman on the subject. But in my humble defence I’ve just read a book on the subject over the last few days – “The Brain: The Story of You by David Eagleman”, as well as read some other stuff here and there.

I strongly recommend the book as a simple introduction to neuroscience, accessible to anyone who has interest in the topic (and this is coming from someone who frequently gets confused by all the medical and biological jargon!)

Throughout the entire book, there are constant insights and mind-blowing information about the nature of the brain and how it functions.

David Eagleman kept surprising me in the book too, which I found rather refreshing. Instead of presenting the book as absolute fact and attacking anything opposing the current scientific consensus, he was incredibly humble in his claims. He was always open to other explanations, and admitted potential limitations and gaps in current research – a sign of a true man of science. I think this may be partly due to his quite open-minded worldview, which has been labelled possibilianism. This position is essentially a middle ground between atheism and traditional theism that doesn’t commit to certainty one way or the other, but instead chooses to explore multiple possibilities and theories that current science may not be capable of yet.

A simple example of this attitude was in his brief gloss over the free will debate, where he concluded that even though there are signs that we don’t have free will, we’re still a long way off from truly knowing if we have it or not.

So onto some of the stuff covered in the book and how this relates to the findings of those who have followed mystical traditions across time.

The brain is the single most complex thing in the universe (yet discovered). Each brain, in essence, is it’s own universe. Each neuron, (the cell that transmits information gathered from the outside by emitting electrochemical signals) has ten thousand connections to other neurons. And each string of connections creates an aspect of your experience, or helps facilitate a function of the body. The brain has ten trillion connections, more than a thousand times the amount of stars in our galaxy.

Here’s an idea of the amount of information in the brain: there is more of it stored in a single fully developed brain than in all of the data on the internet combined. Truly mind boggling and incomprehensible.

This seeming limitlessness of the mind reminds me of what Buddhists have frequently said across the centuries – the mind is like the open sky. Though the context is a little bit different, Buddhists talk about the limitless potentiality of immediate awareness and consciousness after all the foggy aspects of our mind (like desires, harmful thoughts and feelings and the like) have been cleared away.

Still, I think Buddhists have been onto something about the mind and the brain’s potential. Neuroscience seems to give leeway to this.

Moreover, the Pure Consciousness Experience, one of the types of mystical experience reported, is said to be one where the regular limitations of the mind, namely the sense of being an individual self, are dissolved and one “elevates” into a state of pure, unlimited consciousness. The truly incomprehensible complexity of the brain seems to grant the possibility that such expansive states of being exist on a scientific level.

One of the insights that I was somewhat aware of, largely due to some of my studies in science and spirituality, but was nevertheless still nice to be confirmed by a more mainstream scientist was that the world of our senses is ultimately an illusion.

The world that is projected in front of us, is all contained within the dark chamber of our brain. Really what is in front of us is just energy and matter, and it is our brain that puts on a show through interpreting these signals via electrochemical signals gathered from sensory organs.

*You don’t see, hear and smell through your eyes, ears and nose. These things just collect the information and your brain interprets and projects it. Reality, according to neuroscience, is rather senseless but the brain over millions of years has created this beautiful, detailed cosmos for us to enjoy and experience. An intricate play that the mind has created before us to veil whatever reality actually is.

To me, this immediately reminded me of the sayings of countless mystics, particularly in Eastern traditions, but also somewhat present in Christianity and Sufism (Islamic mysticism), perhaps no more directly stated than in Vedanta (a Hindu mystical tradition), that the reality we perceive is an illusion, a veil behind what reality actually is. This is known as maya, where the mind creates a subjective experience that hinders one from seeing the Ultimate Reality, Brahman, underneath it all.

The metaphysics of Mahayana Buddhism also hold very similar ideas to the “magic show” that is created before our eyes preventing us from seeing reality as it is. Which to the secular neuroscientist is just different concentrations of matter and energy, but to the mystic is something more: the ultimate unifying Principle known as God.

Modern findings in neuroscience are also, in some degree, verifying something that mystics have intuitively and experientially known for millennia – the interdependence and interconnection of all things, the oneness of the universe.

As an earlier post of mine shows, mystics from all traditions constantly emphasise and talk about all reality being part of God, nothing is truly separate. This has been well documented in nature, particularly in ecological studies where removing one aspect of any given environment (a fly for example) would have some sort of detrimental effect to the whole eco-system, throwing the whole thing out of balance until it is able to readjust itself over time. Everything forms part of a unified whole.

The workings of the brain are no different. One brain isn’t in a vacuum, separate from the rest of the brains of the world. We live in enormous networks and collectively, in the words of Eagleman, we are really just one part of a giant mega-organism. Our brain is like one node in this diverse, infinitely complex web we call humanity. And our brains strongly influence the brains of others and vice-versa, so much so that the physical make-up of the brain changes.

I can think of one anecdotal example of my own that highlights this. Over time, as my relationship has developed and transformed with my now fiance, I’ve noticed that both of us have become more like one another in many ways – using words borrowed from her that I’d never used, mimicking her behaviour subconsciously like subtle facial expressions, even feeling what the other is feeling whether its joy or sadness or even queasiness from being a little carsick. And I’m sure many long-standing relationships (not just romantic ones) are quite like this.

In essence, the circuitry of our brains are shaped and influenced by the factors around us like culture, friends, family and so on. All this appears to verify claims of the mystics that we are not really separate, individual selves, an independent bag of skin in a hostile cosmos, but really we are different parts of a whole.

Sometimes when I pick up a new book, particularly something that may challenge deeply cherished beliefs of mine, I get a small feeling of nervous excitement, but I think it’s something we should do if we want to expand our horizons and deepen and strengthen our own perspectives on the world.

In the world of neuroscience, I believe the insights of mysticism and mystical experiences have something important to say about the nature of the mind, consciousness and the brain. And it’s important for researchers in the field to look into this ancient phenomena seriously.

It appears that this is well underway too, a quick Google of “neuroscience and mysticism” will bring a wealth of articles, books and research on this topic, which are providing insights into the structure of the mind and brain.

Given that many findings in neuroscience, psychology and quantum physics seem to have parallels in the writings of ancient mystics, perhaps it is time to rethink or at least delve into different base assumptions of the universe than that of the philosophical position of natural materialism which science has traditionally held.

Mysticexperiences.net


David Robertson is the Publisher of Perennial Follower, perennialfollower.wordpress.com

 

REVIEW: “AM I A MYSTIC? TEN TELLTALE SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE”

 

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. 

 

 

 

Mysticexperiences.net

HELPLESS AGAINST THE FORCES OF NATURE?

In his widely commented on new blog essay this week, “Resisting Conformity”, Robert Ringer* got the following comment from me that brought a response from him and another from one of his followers:

Keith: “You say scientists say man is the most powerful force in the universe then you say mankind realises it’s helpless against the forces of nature.

“Since the sixties scientists all over the world have begun to acknowledge the evidence of the Mystical Experience of Reality. This MER shows there is nothing bigger nor more powerful than even a fraction of what is known of Reality.

“Some are suggesting there is no evidence that the human race has any superior significance in this Reality.”

RR replied: “That’s right, many scientists believe that human intelligence is the most powerful force in the universe. However, I did not say that I believe it.

“It’s a very debatable subject – far too complex to get into a blog post. But if it’s true, it would not be a contradiction to point out that man is helpless against the forces of nature. Something can be the most powerful, but not necessarily omnipotent.”

“Stogiechomper” also replied: “I have had the mystical experience three times in my youth, and the human advantage is that he is able to experience it, while lower life forms are not.”

Keith: “I can’t disagree with you about “lower lifeforms” not being able to experience MER because I have no human or mystical experience of that, either way.

“From my own MER’s though I would be very surprised if there are any exceptions. Everything is, and we are that, in my MER experiences.”

“Stogie” also said: “. . .the experience taught me the opposite of what you say,, I.e., that my existence is as significant as the largest sun.”

Keith: “The word ‘significant’ is a word only found in humans, not in the existence of Reality, where all things are significant so there is no use in exceptionalising. Here, while we’re still humans the word will have significance of course.”

“Stogie”: “Far from looking for “superior significance,” however, the mystical experience is a realization of the interconnectedness of all things, a feeling of oneness with the universe.”

Keith: “Wholeheartedly agree, that’s my MER too …

“I’m delighted to know of your existence. I kept my MER’s to myself for about 65 years. Since starting mysticexperiences.net I’ve come to realise there are many more of us than I thought.”

robert-ringer-2* Robert Ringer is an American icon known for his worldly wit and wisdom. He has a large following and is a well reviewed best selling author and lecturer with many appearances on press, radio and television. He is the Publisher of a successful international blog, RobertRinger.com – “Where Philosophy, Wisdom, Reality and Action Come Together.”