RELIGIONS – AGAIN!

A long time follower of my Blog said, “You are getting too dogmatic. It is either your way or it is wrong. There are many paths to the same goal, whether that is MER or any other objective in life.”

It was not the first time the follower had expressed disquiet about my witness to the absence of religion in any of my experiences of Ultimate Reality.

But experience of that absence seems an important prompting for the spiritually engaged  – it seems worth sharing that religions are not the way, and certainly not the goal of existence, human or otherwise.

But I agree. I had mentioned my concern to others that my posts were getting didactic.

 I’m afraid there’s no remedy that immediately suggests itself to my dogmatism because I determined right from the start of sharing my experiences I would not allow non-MER influences to veil, obscure, or impose on what I am given. It is not in my gift. I describe what I can then it’s up readers to make up their own minds about their destiny if they can.

Some readers will find my experiences and those of other mystics meet their spiritual condition of awareness and seeking. Others will not, especially if they’re not ready.

When I say people who are not ready, I mean they will be like those who when Dr Stephen Hawking likens the mind to being the programmer of the brain, then the “not readies” will be as humans running just on one outdated app. They will be mired in others’ old, secondhand, religious truths about human destiny, unmoved by their own unique promptings.

It should be remembered that though a religion sprung up after the biblical Jesus’s death, this Jesus did not leave any spiritual teachings. Even what the bible purports to reveal of his mystical experiences of Reality are hidden, veiled from everyone except those who have had those experiences too.

I have experienced religions in their various forms. The only kind way I can describe them positively is to suggest they are sincerely wrong and very often the words sincere, truth and integrity collide violently in them all.

Tao and Buddhism are not religions but are increasingly impurified by aspects of that enemy of Ultimate Reality, the human mind.

On the other hand I have experienced MER, which I found to be pure, incomparable, incompatible with religions. It gives on all levels of  existence, even human existence – never takes. As the Bible says:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth”. 1 Corinthians 13 1

Paul was describing aspects of the mystical experience of Reality not human mind stuff like religions.

Experience is truly the beginning of wisdom and truth. MER is “The Greatest Achievement in Life” as Ron Krumpos has titled his widely read book on mysticism. I agree. I cannot betray my MERs, however dogmatic I might seem.

However, the blog Follower does have a point. I agree I’ve probably written enough on MER’s promptings on religions versus spirituality.

Anyway, as MER seems to be the primal factor in the evolution of all existence, religions on the other hand seem to be a dwindling consideration in pondering the human condition. Is this a sign of humanity growing up?

As for mystics and their different paths, I agree again. “No two mystics are alike,” says the Follower. “That is also true of any two physicians, financial advisors, physicists, or any other function.”

Seen through a human lens that makes sense. But mystics are a different lens. Actually, they don’t even need a lens to experience a conception of Ultimate Reality that is beyond current human comprehension. Their paths are significantly beyond ordinary human reach and their paths are not religious.

Ultimate Reality’s ways are not human ways, and human ways are not Ultimate Reality’s.

All Is Well.

mysticexperiences.net

MYSTICISM versus THE INNOCENCE OF EVIL?

 

Contemplatives from eight different religious traditions—Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Islamic, Native American, Russian Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholic—met at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, to define their experience of Ultimate Reality as mystics.

After sharing their conclusions with other contemplatives and mystics they issued what became known as, “The Snowmass Conference Eight Points of Agreement”, as follows:

1. The world religions bear witness to the experience of Ultimate Reality, to which they give various names.

Comment: No, religions do not, as the slightest examination of some religions will show how mysticism is ostracised if not worse, derided, punished and far from accepted as mainstream or even allowable.

2. Ultimate Reality cannot be limited by any name or concept.

Comment: True!

3. Ultimate Reality is the ground of infinite potentiality and actualization.

Comment: For Reality, yes. If the implication is humans can attain it under their own volition, No! There is no evidence humans can achieve this enlightenment on their own. Reading and deep stud might bring humans to a realisation of Ultimate Reality, even a sympathy and empathy, but not the actual experience of this Reality.

4. Faith is opening, accepting, and responding to Ultimate Reality. Faith in this sense precedes every belief system.

Comment: Faith, hope and belief are for those who have not had the mystical experience of Reality. Those who have had the experience, (mystics), have no need of faith, hope nor belief because they KNOW. They do not need to “Fake It To Make it”.

Belief systems may be invented around the experience but with the actual experience these systems will eventuality fall under the weight of their lack of real foundation, as we see today.

5. The potential for human wholeness—or, in other frames of reference, enlightenment, salvation, transcendence, transformation, blessedness—is present in every human being.

Comment: The “potential for human wholeness” is a gift of Reality, comes only by the will of Reality (“grace”?). We are limited by human attributes, abilities, and species evolution in a reality created and nurtured by Reality alone.

6. Ultimate Reality may be experienced not only through religious practices but also through nature, art, human relationships, and service to others.

Comment: There is no “religious practice” nor “human service” or involvement that can create the experience of Reality. It cannot be experienced through artifice, ie., “art”, “nature”, animism “human relationships” or “service to others”.

The experience is caught, not taught. It cannot be evangelised, prosyletised or politicised.

The experience It is not abandoned by Reality to the vagaries of human stewardship, gifting, human effort, or human qualification. It is uniquely spontaneous and non human.

7. As long as the human condition is experienced as separate from Ultimate Reality, it is subject to ignorance and illusion, weakness and suffering.

Comment: Yes. But Reality is taking care of all that. Reality’s expectations are not yet our expectations, nor our current expectations Reality’s. Reality is in overall charge, not us.

8. Disciplined practice is essential to the spiritual life.

Comment: No it isn’t. It is essential for the religious life – concocted however sincerely by humans – but is not a requirement of experiencing Ultimate Reality. That, evidently, has been too important to Ultimate Reality to be left to humans.

… spiritual attainment is not the result of one’s own efforts, but the result of the experience of oneness with Ultimate Reality.

That’s right.

Number 8 seems to contradict itself. There’s muddle.

Summary of Comments

I’m puzzled by the idea these eight contemplative results of the experience of Reality are being associated with the idea religions can now take charge of some implied need for “religious practices”, for “faith”, for the need to worship nature and love each other etc, when the very experience of Reality expunges all need for suchlike human preoccupations.

The mystical experience of Reality (MER) makes it axiomatic we become better human beings while we are human but there is more afoot than being merely human, as MER primarily attests. If we don’t get this we don’t get MER.

The fruits of the experience of Ultimate Reality are not mere human mind stuff, emotion, mythomania or meme. As part of human evolution into Reality, MER rids us of these old, materialistic human rigidities.

The message of Ultimate Reality is that Ultimate Reality is in charge of creation, which includes the human condition, and that humans have been given no stewardship of this reality whatsoever.

Yet I see the same assertive human distortions, (power grabbing?), in some of the eight points that also misled the biblical Jesus and lead to the failure of his mission.

It is sad to see such spiritual hubris persisting to this day by way of religions. It brings to mind the C.S. Lewis tale of the elder Satan comforting the younger Satan for letting his pupil have feelings for “God”. The elder Satan counselled the young Satan to divert his pupil into Christianity.

While these eight points are a welcome demonstration of the human condition emerging from its chrysalis to awareness of its spiritual identity, it’s sad to see it’s still being stifled by the demands of human mindsets like religions. Is this the innocence of evil at work?

Mysticexperience.net

WHY THIS BLOG?

Q: What does Mysticexperiences.net bring to this age’s understanding of mysticism?

A: The Blog started as an aid to help me understand my experiences of what I thereby discovered were Mystical Experiences of Reality.

My exploratory writing alone was hugely validating, So were all the helpful Comments  Likes, Followers and emails the Blog prompted from around the world from Seekers, writers, professionals, academics – from over 70 countries.

Q: So it worked?

A:  Yes. It still is working.

After hiding my experiences for nearly 60 years, by starting this web site, I discovered I am a mystic and that the subject is studied in universities around the world with vigour and enthusiasm by physicists, theologians, philosophers, psychologists and students.

I learned that Oxford University alone archived 6,000 case studies. This archive is now growing and being studied and added to under a Templeton Foundation grant at Wales University.

One of the Blog’s Followers, a Philosophy Master, questioned universities on a technical question about mysticism and got personal correspondence from published professors in 58 universities.

As a result, I learned I was not alone, nor mad … So I could have “come out” of hiding as a mystic years ago with no one raising an eyebrow; at least in learned circles.  Among my friends, not so much …

Friends’ reactions have ranged from politely ignoring the subject to one sideways muttered suggestion my MERs were psychotic. Others have become Followers of the Blog.

Also, I was warned by a Sufi school I was eventually initiated into that my friends, colleagues, acquaintances, that even my reading matter and lifestyle would change dramatically. They did, almost without me noticing. I am now a friendly recluse.

I feel uncomfortable with most humans, particularly with the unrealised ones (see prophecy 15 below …).  However, I do seem to have developed empathy, tolerance and patience with Seekers. I avoid the merely curious.

I also feel the web page joins the challenge of updating the limited understanding of previous generations. And it is meeting the questions by Seekers bewildered by their unbidden, unremitting passion to know the truth of existence.

Little do some Seekers know )they seek the Reality experienced by the mystics, or that Reality planted their passion in them and is drawing them to Itself. Seekers are different to the commonality of humans; emerging.

Their destiny is assured and more immediate than most, bearing in mind the focus they need to respond to their calling.

Bearing all this in mind, here is what I know so far:

  1. Reality contains everything known and unknown. Nothing exists outside It, including humans;
  2. It is not human;
  3. The experience of Reality is caught, not taught.
  4. It is knowable by direct individual experience within the parameters of the individual’s development. (Eg: as humanity developed it reached the ability to go from seeing in black and white to the qualia of seeing colour; so mystics seem to be chosen in like manner, without obvious qualifications;
  5. It is Consciousness emerging;
  6. It is benign, totally accepting (ie: inexpressibly loving);
  7. It is constantly creating and developing;
  8. It does not allow anything to interfere in Its purpose, (including humans);
  9. It is everything in Reality; it provides, guards, guides, nourishes, replenishes, aids, observes, asserts its purpose;
  10. It is all powerful; destroys, rebuilds, recreates;
  11. Reality’s form is non material; non human, though everything shares Its ingredients as It shares ours. We are It;
  12. It has given humans all they need and rarely if ever reacts to human wants;
  13. It gives, never wants;
  14. Reality is only interested in individuals;
  15. Humans are at a very primitive, early stage of existence;
  16. Prophecies can arise from the mystical experience, but such prophecies rarely get their timing right, (ie: “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” …).
  17. However modern mystics can prophesy that religions, ideologies, lust, anger, greed, nations, isolated and isolating cultures, tribes, families, dependencies, attachments to anything but the development of the individual, are withering and dying in the timely fashion Reality has of asserting Itself.  Human ego will also disappear as a disposable appendage. It will be tamed and anyway doomed to permanent death with the disposable brain and body.
  18. If some eastern schools of mysticism are to be believed, Reality develops Itself, absorbing everything into It, including humans, to become pure spirit like Itself. I certainly was not human in my experiences. I resisted desperately every time I was returned from my experiences into being human again. Now, I hope with all my body, mind and strength that being with Reality is my destiny after death.
  19. All who experience Reality will come to know ineffably that All Is Well. We’re under better stewardship than we can provide.

Mysticexperiences.net

WALES UNIVERSITY RESEARCH QUESTIONS ON SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES

 

Wales University has over 6,000 case histories of spiritual xperiences. The archives were originally established by Dr Alister Hardy at Oxford University. (See post “JOURNAL FOR THE STUDY OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE”, University of Wales).

Here are some of the answers the University is looking for in inviting scientists from all over the world to add to and study their growing archive. Mysticexperiences.net has answered as follows:

Q: In what ways do people negotiate, interpret, and integrate ordinary experiences into their beliefs systems?

A: This question seems to be prompting/presuming anthropological answers. Not everyone has “belief systems”. Even if they did their “belief systems” would be of no interest to Reality. In my experiences, mystical experiences are out of this world, ineffable, untranslateable by present human abilities or understanding.

In my case there has been no negotiation or integration into any belief systems. There was no such thought, proposition or accommodation. For instance, I was absorbed into Reality, from which there is no such thing as negotiating or deliberating anything, not “integration”, no implication of free will whatsoever. Reality was revealed as everything – of which “I/me” is a part.

Q: Can such experiences account for the origins of religious beliefs?

A: I assume so, though I have no empirical evidence. It’s possible the originators of religions thought the phenomena could be evangelised, propagated. However, my inclination is to think it’s caught not taught. Is this why religions failed from lack of spiritual experience – just became purveyors of human morality and ethics, of mental, emotional manifestations of human excitement?

Q: Are extraordinary experiences ‘all in the brain’?

A: I’m not aware of any empirical proof of that. My feeling is that the brain is a receiver for these true mystical experiences of Reality.They reveal but don’t demand,. (Like a gardener watering streams of revelation?).

Q: In what ways does culture influence experience?

A: Not at all in my experiences. I was disappointed my cultural expectation of the existence of God, for instance, was nowhere to be experienced during and after my mystical experiences of Reality. Nor was my expectation of being “taken up” at least. Hitherto, I had not experienced anything like my MERs. They made no human sense at that time.

Q: Do extraordinary experiences challenge or support cultural-linguistic constructivist assumptions concerning religious phenomena?

A: In my experiences of the phenomena, Reality does not challenge Itself, nor anything going on in Itself. The concepts in this question ( “ …challenge or support cultural-linguistic constructivist assumptions concerning religious phenomena”) have no meaning or relevance in Reality. They are anthropological concepts. These academic words denote merely human constructs, jargon limited to human interests.

Q: What are the implications of extraordinary experiences for debates surrounding terminology in the Study of Religions (e.g., ‘religion’, ‘religious experience’)?”

A: I frequently ask myself that! So far, I can only assume religions are nothing to do with Reality or Reality with religion and that religions are therefore not a lasting requirement in the development of the human condition or in any exploration of the existence of Reality.

Mysticexperiences.net

AN EXCERPT FROM THE JOURNAL FOR THE STUDY OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE, University of Wales

Below is an excerpt from the current special issue of the Journal for the Study of Religious Experience (JSRE) on Religion, Culture, and Extraordinary Experience

Introduction to this issue by guest editor: Gregory Shushan, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Wales Trinity Saint David 

“Despite longstanding theoretical and methodological objections, scholarly research into so-called ‘religious experience’ continues to flourish. This issue of the Journal for the Study of Religious Experience is dedicated to exploring the relationships between religion, culture, and unusual experiences which are commonly viewed in religious, spiritual, or mystical terms within their own local contexts. Examples of such experiences include (but are not limited to) unitive, visionary, transcendent, numinous, mediumistic, near-death, and out-of-body, as well as other kinds of deathbed phenomena, supernatural healings, and divine revelations, voices, and precognitions.

“The contributions here are grounded variously in historical research and ethnographic  and sociological fieldwork, though are all characterized by sound theory and method.  It is especially gratifying that many are of an interdisciplinary nature.

“The kinds of questions underlying this issue include:

“In what ways do people negotiate, interpret, and integrate extraordinary experiences into their beliefs systems?

“Can such experiences account for the origins of religious beliefs?

“Are extraordinary experiences ‘all in the brain’? In what ways does culture influence experience?

“Do extraordinary experiences challenge or support cultural-linguistic constructivist assumptions concerning religious phenomena?

“What are the implications of extraordinary experiences for debates surrounding terminology in the Study of Religions (e.g., ‘religion’, ‘religious experience’)?”


About

*The Religious Experience Research Centre houses an archive with over 6,000 accounts of first-hand experiences of people from across the world who had a spiritual or religious experience.

Founded by Sir Alister Hardy in 1969 at Manchester College, Oxford, the RERC moved to Lampeter in July 2000. The Centre’s aim is to study contemporary accounts of religious or spiritual experiences. In addition to fits archive of accounts the RERC houses a specialist collection of books and journals.

The Journal for the Study of Religious Experience (JSRE) is promoted by the Centre (RERC). It publishes original papers promoting theoretical, methodological and ethnographical developments in the research on spiritual or religious experience.

Mysticexperiences.net

MYSTICS AND MYSTICISM: QUESTIONS FROM A NON-MYSTIC

 

Who can become a Mystic?

No-one knows. The Mystic Experience of Reality (MER) is spontaneous if my experiences of MER and the teachings of some gurus and mystic texts throughout the ages are anything to go by.

Mystics don’t exhibit any human attribute, mentally or physically that would qualify them for the experience(s) of the phenomenon; not age, gender, culture, epoch, education, religions, cults, faith, belief or hope or any other human experiences. MER shows no signs of being human.

There are scholars who are so steeped in the study of modern and ancient works on the subject (including the 12,000 year old Visishta for example), they can write dozens of best selling books about MER that can give the honest impression they have experienced MER when they haven’t.

Modern spiritual teachings are also hopelessly wrong when their lack of MER causes them to go off topic by teaching that MER’s objective is to make people better human beings. It isn’t. There are far more important things in Reality than being merely human.

While it is axiomatic, automatic that humans will, in human terms, be better human beings after MER or association with mysticism, even without experiencing it, the Reality of MER has nothing to do with humans especially. It is caught, not taught. It can’t be evangelised or proselytised. You can read the “sacred” texts in vain. If you are not called by MER – you can read the Bible backwards and forwards in any language you like but it won’t reveal its spiritual content. The key to doing that is MER. We can’t work on Reality, Reality works on us. And Reality’s ways are not our ways.

Who are mystics? (kids, western civilization, scholars, etc)

Anyone, apparently, if they experience MER.

It is not a western phenomenon. It’s universal.

Can drugs and alcohol/caffeine support or hinder my MER?

Once humans adulterate their natural state they are impeding the spiritually evolutionary process of Reality.

Is Mysticism a westernised religion?

Mysticism is not a religion. Religions are human constructs – ethical and moralistic, not mystical. Religions are incompatible with the personal revelations of the experience of Reality.

Mysticism is a universal experience. Dr Richard Bucke* suggested it is cosmic. Physicists’ jargon is just another way of talking about the Reality MER’s reveal. Google “physicists on mystic studies”.

What’s the difference between Mystic and Mystical?

The mystic is someone who has experienced MER!

Some people confuse the word mystical with the supernatural, “spiritism”, magic, primitive esoteric practices, pagan rituals, witchcraft.

Who founded Mysticism?

“Mysticism” is a human word that describes the experience of the existence of all things known and unknown. Aptly, the etymological root of the word is the Greek “to conceal” according to Wikipedia.

Top 10 Books/Websites on Mysticism – who wrote them and who are they for?

Google “Hindu mysticism”, “Buddhist mysticism”, “Islamic mysticism”, and “Christian mysticism” to start an avalanche of old and new works about mysticism, bearing in mind the term “mystic anything”, i.e., all the above categegories, are oxymoronic because mysticism doesn’t belong to anything. It is of itself, from before time to after time, before and after human existence. There is no such thing as Hindu mysticism or Christian or any other such mysticism.

Sadly most of these categories also imply mysticism describes a phenomenon that is purely anthropological, human, for and about humans. It isn’t. We are Reality but Reality is not just us.

How do mystics spread their message?

The experience is for individuals. There is no mystic public message as such. Mystics simply report a phenomenon they have experienced, the main points of which are basically a version of the same in all MERs. The phenomena is impossible to describe, but is always accompanied by a sense of intense joy, total acceptance (i.e: love beyond mere human love that is based on lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego), oneness with all existence, complete understanding. The experience is the beginning of the mystic’s knowingness, wisdom. MER, once experienced, is an ongoing direction of the individual’s process.

Mystics can attempt to spread that experience to humans in the usual human ways – speech, writing, videos, books, blogs. But such messages are only the menu, not the food. Such messages cannot nourish any more than a menu nourishes without the experience of ingesting the food. MER is the real nourishment. It can’t be transferred from books.

Do mystics ever find each other and start a life together? (get married, have children).

Mystics, being part human, makes this likely but relationships have nothing to do with being mystics. Many religions warn against attachments being a distraction from the spiritual. There are consequences.

Can you teach your children or raise them to be ‘mystics’?

MER is spontaneous, caught not taught. You can’t gift it. It’s protected from the merely curious or well intentioned by the simple expedient of a password. The password is, “experience” – personal, individual experience of MER..

Are there any associations I can join to support my MER?

If you’re not careful, yes. Watch out for monetarised lust, anger, greed, attachments and ego. MER comes to the individual, not groups or followings, attachments like cultures, nations, ideologies, politics, family – nothing human. Reality is enough.

Do mystics believe in life on other planets? In God? In the after-life?

None of these human preoccupations came up in my MERs.

It seems to me from my experiences of MER we are in an infinite process of which being human is just a part.

Do mystics celebrate birthdays and “religious” holidays?

Not if they can get away with it. Ordinary humans notice though, so I suspect most mystics try to fit in with the present state of the human condition, some more easily than others. Mystics tend to keep to themselves and avoid dissension in what to them can be an overbearingly expectant, challenging, primitive human setting.


*Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind is a 1901 book by the psychiatrist Richard Maurice Bucke, in which the author explores the concept of cosmic consciousness, which he defines as “a higher form of consciousness than that possessed by the ordinary man”. Wikipedia

Mysticexperiences.net 2019

HOW DOES ONE PRACTICE MYSTICISM?

 

You can’t. It practices you.

Mysticism is not a religion, a cult, or a dogma. It is an overpowering infusion of an individual experience of an indescribable reality of existence beyond general human experience or understanding.

This Mystical Experience of Reality (MER) reveals a view of all things known and unknown in which all things have always had and always will have their existence in one description or another, where all things are and we are that, and the experiencers of this MER feel an accepted part, now and forever.

All this is imparted in a feeling of personal acceptance so powerful it extinguishes mere human love which is just lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego.

This non-human, mystical, experience of cosmic love is profoundly humbling, generating a rebirth, an individual reincarnation that fills the recipient with profound gratitude, a cleansing of all human concerns in a dissolving joy of final true belonging in everything.

The recipient now exists knowingly in an everything that is everlasting, where everything is known, where all is well.

There is no question of the recipient of this knowledge practicing it. He or she IS it, forever.

Why the recipient becomes part of the developing human manifestation of this Reality again after this experience is not clear. After the MER, being human again seems a constant, unpleasant, inconsequential challenge only mitigated by the certain knowledge that though being human is an incurable condition, it is terminal.

So a mystic’s practice becomes just being, now knowing what they are – something more than just human.

Reality awaits, practice or no practice.

Mysticexperiences.net

ARE MYSTICS RELIGIOUS?

QUESTION: Can a person be a mystic and also practice another religion at the same time? (i.e. Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.)

ANSWER: No. Mysticism is not a religion. Religions are man-made institutions, spiritually irrelevant to the Mystical Experience of Reality (MER) that defines the mystic.

MER and the Mystic ARE mysticism. Mysticism is just the human word for the phenomenon. Reality itself has no name for it. Mysticism is Reality and Reality is everything known and unknown in which everything lives and has its being. It is far beyond “religion” and ordinary human understanding yet.

Historically, the mystic experience is not based on any known human mental or physical attribute such as religions. The main religions, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism*, were primitively inspired by but not based on the unknown, indescribable Mystical Experience of Reality (MER). How could they be, they had no experience of it, and experience is the reality of wisdom. (Incidentally, also the very basis of science).

* (The other religions, sects and cults, are based on needy emotional myths with little or no spirituality).

As such, religions are based on the unsubstantiated belief that if their followers in the absence of MER rely on faith, hope and belief, (“Fake it until you make it”), they will eventually cause MER to descend upon them. It doesn’t.

So in the absence of any real experience of MER, religions make up their own rules, dogmas, moralities, ethics, regulations, ideologies, political persuasions, cultural accretions, observances, procedures to create their interpretation of the phenomena.

Religions believe MER is about being better humans, thereby fulfilling human destiny. It is not. (Jesus, and others since, mistakenly interpreted MER this way too. So that’s why, on the biblical and historical evidence, Jesus’ mission failed. Reality is in charge, not humans however enlightened).

Such human notions result in failure to achieve the mystical experiences of mystics because the experiences are caught, not taught.

Humans are chosen for the experience by something unknown outside human experience. The ones who experience MER appear not to have any attributable qualifications for such a phenomenon to happen to them. Neither epoch, age, gender, nationality, culture, geography, human experience or education appear to be a qualification to experience a reality of existence unknown to ordinary people throughout human history.

Some mystics in history have had no option but to disguise themselves as members of one of the religions of the culture of their time so as to avoid mutilation, excommunication, torture, incarceration, crucifixion or other death.

Later mystics have learned the powers of invisibility. Human development today largely but not reliably or everywhere, allows mystics to speak out unhindered if they want to. Many don’t want to. Why would they? How can they describe what ordinary humans are not yet wired to understand? They can prophesy, but humans and mystics alike are not good at timing their prophecies. Clearly the kingdom of heaven for instance is not at hand and hasn’t been for 2,000 years.

So it’s unlikely a mystic will be found espousing a religion or anything human for that matter unless they have very good reason, a reason that’s probably nothing to do with humans anyway.

Basically, the mystic witness is that being merely human is not what it’s all about, certainly it’s not about religions or being religious.

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

THE TREND FROM RELIGIONS TO ‘INDIVIDUAL SPIRITUALITY’*

Is this seemingly spontaneous trend leaping out of the religious frying pan into the ‘human-spirit’ fire …?

Is it missing the phenomena of the mystic experience of Reality (MER) that drives human evolution?

Perhaps mysticism being hidden behind the secret password of ‘direct experience’ makes such oversight inevitable …

So perhaps the only solace in this current trend is its emphasis on the individual. Perhaps it’s the inevitable human flight from failed collectivism which is the antithesis of ultimately real human evolution.

Aren’t Ananias and Sapphira of the bible and today’s massively failed national attempts at collectivism a warning wreckage?

Individualism is the essence of my mystical experiences of Ultimate Reality.

So perhaps the current trend away from religions to individuality is significant enough, for now – a step along the way.

*See ‘Spiritual but not religious’ on Wikipedia for a comprehensive study of the trend.

Mysticexperiences.net

SPIRITUALITY VS RELIGION: THE FUTURE OF TRUTH AND MEANING

 

This is a Reblog of a post by Giovanni Dienstmann (See the original post here)

This Reblog is a precise but comprehensive assessment, a clear recognition of the essence of humanity’s evolution.

 

As a child and teenager, I never had any interest in religion—yet later on I discovered that I had in me the inclination to become a deeply spiritual man. That inclination was not being triggered by the religious dogmas and practices that I was exposed to, so I felt it simply wasn’t for me. At that time I was not aware of the distinctions of spirituality vs religion.

I grew up in a regular, mildly religious middle-class family. My parents identified themselves as Christians, but they didn’t really go to church. My dad wanted me to go through catechism classes, but he never forced me to—I just attended one, because he insisted, but felt no pull to continue. For me, religion was something boring and lifeless, something that old people did.

On the other hand, once I discovered spirituality, it fired me up in life. It gave me meaning, direction and purpose. It helped me to grow as a person. It gave me tools to overcome the worst in myself, to develop myself, and to explore the transcendental aspects of our existence.

The fire for spirituality—for deeper meaning, direction and truth—is inherent in all people. For some of us, it is drowned by cynicism, skepticism, and scientific materialism; for others, it is expressed in limiting ways through a blind religious faith. Happy are those who recognize and own this drive, keeping it pure and letting it guide their lives in a constructive way.

There can be spirituality without religion, religion without spirituality, and religion and spirituality together—it depends on what you want, and how you approach it.

In this article I will compare and contrast religion and spirituality, exploring the differences and similarities between them. The goal is not to put anyone down, but to bring clarity as to the differences, so you can follow your spirituality in the most empowering way possible for you—linked to a specific religion or not.

Spirituality vs Religion

Spirituality vs Religion: The Future of Truth and MeaningWhat is religion, and what is spirituality? They have a common subject-matter, but their approaches are very different.

Both religion and spirituality teach that there is more to the universe than what meets the eye, and more to our life than the physical body. Both agree that there are non-physical elements to the universe, and to our existence, and that unless we consciously connect with them, we will never be truly fulfilled in life.

The core difference between religion and spirituality is that religion presents you a set of beliefs, dogmas and “holy men” as intermediaries between you and Spirit (however you may name it); while spirituality promotes your individual autonomy in defining and connecting to Spirit as it fits your heart and mind.

As I mentioned above, religion and spirituality can be together. Many people find spirituality inside their religion, and for them these differences may not be so relevant or true, since the two things are mixed. But for those interested in pure spirituality, regardless of religious affiliation, let me expand on the difference between religion and spirituality in a quote:

Religion asks you to believe. Spirituality asks you to look.

Religion has dogmas. Spirituality has wisdom teachings.

Religion wants obedience. Spirituality wants experimentation.

Religion speaks of sin and hell. Spirituality speaks of karma.

Religion wants to comfort you. Spirituality wants to liberate you.

Religion is external. Spirituality is internal.

Religion is the form. Spirituality is the essence.

Religion wants to convert you. Spirituality wants to inspire you.

Religion is an institution. Spirituality is a journey.

Religion promotes shame and guilt. Spirituality promotes self-honesty and awareness.

Religion asks you to sacrifice your present attachments for a promised future. Spirituality asks you to let go of your present attachments for a better present.

Spirituality is the true essence, and the true origin, of every religious movement. So how is it that eventually spirituality gets the back seat, and what we are mostly left with are dogmas and empty rituals?

Buddha was not Buddhist; Jesus was not Christian. They were highly realized spiritual men; they were spiritual but not religious! They had a group of disciples who were also, in great part, moved by a spiritual search. But as centuries pass, as the groups start increasing and social acceptance grows, people who are not really burning with that spiritual drive start joining in and redefining the movement.

They join because it feels noble to do so, or because their parents expect, or because they were born poor and at least in the church/monastery there are meals every day. Or maybe they just needed the consolation and comfort that religion can give, to find shelter from the suffering of life, and a respectable position in society.

This is not a criticism nor a judgment of character, but just a description of how, by becoming more popular and accepted by society, the spiritual element of each religious movement gets watered down or distorted, and what is left is a social institution. Teachings become dogmas, principles become moral rules, spiritual practice becomes ritual, experiences become stories—in short, spirituality becomes religion. What was once private and intimate becomes a social institution.

The difference between religion and spirituality is not so much about what you believe—but about how you live, and what is your attitude. In any of the spiritual/religious traditions on Earth, you will find a majority of people who follow it as a religion, and a minority who follows it as a spiritual path.

Both religion and spirituality have their function in the world; but they are usually different things for different people. Understanding their differences helps to define what you are practicing, and if it is serving you well.

Spirituality in the Age of Science

Since the time of the European Enlightenment in the 17th century, the role and dominion of religion seem to be steadily diminishing (at least in the western world). Since we entered the so-called “age of reason”, with the ability of science to explain and transform reality around us constantly increasing, and the general level of education also rising for everyone, people feel less drawn to seek organized religion as a tool for explaining the world and creating well-being.

And yet we humans have this inherent thirst for meaning in life, for a higher purpose, and for strong principles to lead our living—whether individually or socially. Here is the role of spirituality in the third millennium.

We live in an age of overindulgence, of instant gratification. We have more physical comforts, entertainment and knowledge than ever before in history. This is certainly a result of the advances in science and technology in the past century.

But why then…

  • are mental health problems on the rise as never before?
  • do many of us feel an emptiness inside, a lack of real fulfillment and contentment, even if we have financial security, stable income, a good family, plenty of comfort and an established career?
  • no matter how much we acquire in our material life, and how much we understand about the physical universe around us, there is still a deeper itch that is never scratched?

Here is the role of spirituality in the third millennium. Spirituality fills the gaps left behind both by organized religion and by scientific materialism.

Nowadays we cannot believe the dogmas of religion anymore—not like before. But when living life from the point of view that science is the only valid way of determining truth, we find ourselves in a cold, mechanistic, and indifferent universe. This leads to nihilism, cynicism, and lack of meaning in life.

“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” — Albert Einstein

I believe that spirituality—in its myriad expressions—is the best means to give meaning to human life. It is also the strongest basis for human goodness and ethical conduct in society. Without spirituality, often all the morality we are left with is the law, and there is really no reason why one should not “do anything one can get away with.”

[I’m not alone in this point of view at all. Professor Jordan Petersen eloquently defends the point of view that religious values are what keeps our morality and social order together. Also, historians Will Durant and Ariel Durant, analyzing the patterns throughout 10,000 years of human history, conclude that no real morality is possible without the “supernatural basis of spirituality”.]

  • Religion says that truth is what the scriptures say, and you must believe it.
  • Science says that truth is only the facts that can be experimentally proven through measuring devices, equations, and reason.
  • Spirituality says that reason is not the only means of knowing, but that this doesn’t mean one needs to have blind faith in religious doctrines either. We accept how little we know about the universe and about ourselves, and explore a deeper meaning in life through tools such as meditation, contemplation, self-exploration—and also reason, scriptures, altered states of consciousness, and anything we can get hold of.

Therefore, the final difference between religion and spirituality is that spirituality can dialogue with science, while religion can’t. Indeed, the whole meditation and mindfulness movement in the past couple of decades is a result of this dialogue—science investigating spiritual practices.

This is just the beginning of a new era, when science and spirituality work together.

Look at the consciousness as a function of matter and you have science; look at matter as the product of consciousness and you have spirituality. — Nisargadatta Maharaj

Science and spirituality each have their own domains of knowledge, their own unique methods and purposes. They both are good at different things, and they both need each other.

  • Spirituality is concerned with finding subjective truths, meaning, connection and fulfillment. Its subject matter is human growth, happiness, and transcendence.
  • Science is concerned with finding objective truths about the external world. Its subject matter is knowledge, information, invention.

Much of the knowledge that science has, at any given time, may be proved wrong—or at least flawed and incomplete—a hundred years later; but it’s what we have to work with. Likewise, the meanings created by spirituality may evolve, but we must work with what we have at this moment, so long that it is functional. (I digress)

This seems to be the direction we are moving towards: a spirituality informed by science, and a science informed by spirituality. Science will clean up spirituality of superstitions; and spirituality will elevate science, making it review some of its materialistic assumptions. The eastern concepts of meditation, karma, reincarnation, and enlightenment will play an important role in this development—a trend that we have seen since the early days of the New Age movement.

As for the institutionalized religions, if they still want a place in the next chapters of human history, they better become more like spirituality, and less like dogma.

So that is why I consider myself, as cliché as it may sound, spiritual but not religious.


Giovanni Dienstmann is the creator and the writer of liveanddare.com. He has be been actively seeking personal growth and a deeper meaning in life since he was a teenager.

THE TAG “CHRISTIAN MYSTIC” OXYMORONIC?

Humanity barely consequential; mysticism beyond, and limitless?

The suggestion the experience of Reality that defines a mystic has anything to do with religions is oxymoronic, in my mystic experiences.*
Universities researching “Christian” and “Islamic”, “Buddhist” “Hindhu” and “Judaic” mysticism as if the phenomena belongs to those religions are putting the cart before the horse.

Mysticism is not a religious experience. Religion is not even spiritual. Nor is mysticism for that matter, but the two are at heart very little to do with each other anyway.

Religions recognised the existence of the mystic experience but could not replicate it so made up coercive human rules of morality and ethics instead then enforced them – then and now …

So religions were born, faking Ultimate Reality. (Like reading the bible backwards and upside down).

In my mystical experiences of reality, described in my web pages, mysticism has nothing whatsoever to do with any manifestation of the human race, or even of humanity itself, let alone its religions. Is that why religions are being abandoned, failing, falling under the weight of their artificial “spirituality”?

The human spirit is very different to the mystical experiences of Reality I experienced. The human spirit, in my view, is not compatible with the mystical experience of Reality.

The mystic experience manifests itself only in individuals, not religions, nations, species or ideologies. It cannot be evangelised. It is caught not taught.

A mystic is one who however unworthy has experienced the mystic experience of Reality, (MER).

I doubt if a contemplative, a religionist or an academic who only sees the phenomena of MER as a subject of general anthropomorphic study – or anyone for that matter who sees MER as a human construct, a mere emanation of the human brain – is a mystic or has any experience of the phenomenon.

This effort to assimilate mysticism into merely human experience is an obfuscation of revealed Reality – bereft of hard evidence; sincere no doubt, but sincerely wrong.

Is this idea of assimilating mysticism into a totally unrelated human construct an academically anthropological acculturation, what some wisdom traditions refer to when they talk about “The Negative Principle” and its bedeviling work – what early primitive religionists called the work of Shaitan, the Devil?

If so, no problem! – on some scientific evidence, humanity is barely consequential anyway; mysticism is beyond, and limitless.

* If I say “me” or “I”, this is not meant to imply my experience is the final say for you. It is not, necessarily. My use of “me” and “I” are meant to issue a cautionary caveat, to invite discussion, comment and sharing. My experiences are of course true evidence so far as I am concerned but anecdotal by definition. Seekers must keep going on their present path until they can’t, then stop – discard, and move on. They can be comforted by the mystic tradition that That which they seek seeks them, just them. There are no failures. All is well.

LOVE?

What’s love got to do with it?

 

One of the most powerful discernments taken from my mystical experiences was the difference between Reality’s love and human love.

I experienced Reality’s love as Acceptance. Reality Accepts the individual – body, mind and soul – without distinction.

It recognises no attachments: friends, colleagues, family, ‘isms’, politics or religions, collectives, colours, races, classes, creeds, cultures or nations.

It does not judge, threaten, cajole, blame, punish or use aggression or rewards. It does not ask, only gives. There is no hell or damnation.

Ultimate Reality is benign, universal, not by or about or merely for humans. It only nurtures individuals, wholly and forever.

By contrast, human love’s underlying compulsions are lust, anger, greed, attachments and ego, however selfless human love may seem.

Eventually, examining all forms of human love with detachment will reveal the reasons human love is what it is. But it’s still not the real thing.

In the meantime, Ultimate Reality’s Acceptance of individuals is pure. This Acceptance never alters or dies. It is the real thing.

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

THE EARTH: Genesis—A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass

This essay is a thoughtful expression of a long time Seeker’s arrival at a crossroads in her development.

Its particularly interesting because its by someone with a background in the academic study of religion, who has long time personal experience of church going, with an interest in the statistical evidence of the decline of religion on the one hand and growing statistical evidence of the growth of personal spirituality instead.

The writer also expresses a growing personal aversion to the hymns, formulas and affirmations of the churches she attends, though she attends them less and less now, despite being asked to give sermons at them …

I see her essay as further anecdotal and statistical evidence of the spiritual revolution that the mystic experience suggests is guiding human development.

Enjoy!

Mysticexperiences.net