“Stanzas Concerning an Ecstasy Experienced in High Contemplation”

“Stanzas Concerning an Ecstasy Experienced in High Contemplation” 
By St. JOHN OF THE CROSS

I only come across Dr. Saint John of the Cross this morning in a paper submitted to Academia.edu by Michael McGlynn, an Associate Professor of Literature at National Taiwan University.

Hitherto I had only ever come across St.John in earnest, turgid religious literature I never bothered to finish. Had I persevered I may have made my first discovery not only of St.John but of the word mystic, as well as my first introduction to the experience of a mystic in this, one of St.John’s most famous poems where he validates the mystical experience of Reality (MER) as transcending all human mental, physical, ability to know or express ultimate existence.

That I didn’t, suggests to me I was not meant to find out and understand for myself the meaning of my direct mystical experiences of Reality until now, much later in life.

I cannot express how profoundly moved, humbled and blessed I am by this late, validating discovery. I recognise every word, in its most metaphysical sense.

Enjoy:


Stanzas Concerning an Ecstasy Experienced in High Contemplation 

By St. JOHN OF THE CROSS

I entered into unknowing
Yet when I saw myself there
Without knowing where I was
I understood great things;
I shall not say what I felt
For I remained in unknowing
Transcending all knowledge.

That perfect knowledge
Was of peace and holiness
Held at no remove
In profound solitude;
It was something so secret
That I was left stammering,
Transcending all science/knowledge.

I was so overwhelmed,
So absorbed and withdrawn,
That my senses were left
Deprived of all their sensing,
And my spirit was given
An understanding while not understanding,
Transcending all science/knowledge.

He who truly arrives there
Cuts free from himself;
All that he knew before
Now seems worthless,
And his knowledge so soars
That he is left in unknowing
Transcending all science/knowledge.
   
This knowledge in unknowing
Is so overwhelming
That wise men disputing
Can never overthrow it,
For their knowledge does not reach
To the understanding of not understanding,
Transcending all science/knowledge.

And this supreme knowledge
Is so exalted
That no power of man or learning
Can grasp it;
He who masters himself
Will, with knowledge in unknowing,
Always be transcending.

And if you should want to hear:
This highest knowledge lies
In the loftiest sense
Of the essence of God;
This is a work of His mercy,
To leave one without understanding,
Transcending all science/knowledge.

Mysticexperiences.net

TO LIVE A GOOD AND MEANINGFUL LIFE

Q:  How can I live a good and meaningful life?

A:   What do you mean, “a good and meaningful life”?

Q:  I was hoping you’d tell me. 

A:   Well, you can relax because no one knows. If they say they do it’s all surmise. Even the Stoics left it to circumstances.

In the meantime we know collectivism doesn’t work, neither do Socialism or Communism on the evidence despite what young students are told to think. However sincere, religions haven’t got it, science by definition can’t get it, and morality and ethics are historically human cultural accretions of their place and times – moveable feasts, irrelevant in Reality.

Q:   Don’t you have a personal creed, a philosophy, rules?

A:    So far as the world is concerned, I try to be legal, decent (do no physical or mental harm), and honest. That seems to keep me safe from humans.

Q:    Is that all your Reality demands from you?

A:    It’s not just my Reality! It’s not anybody’s exclusive Reality!

The Reality that is all things, the Reality I have experienced, makes no demands. It never takes, only gives. It is everything and everything is It.

Why do you ask about rules for life anyway?

Q:    In the past you have referred to those who “thirst and hunger”. I think I’m one of them … it’s a constant demand I can’t meet.

A:     What do you think it is?

Q:    I don’t know. I’ve been mentally restless since childhood and it’s been getting worse. I thought someone like you might know.

A:     I think you know what this hunger and thirst is.

Q:    Well, for a reason to exist I guess? What are we doing here? Am I supposed to be doing something? It persists, it dominates my mind, drives me mad sometimes, angry. It interferes with my job, my family,  friends and future. I feel as if I’m looking for something but I don’t know what. I’ve tried to tell people but always stop. Sometimes I think I’m mad. What am I supposed to do?

A:   You sound like a Seeker. You’re called.

Q:   (Questioner jolts and presses his hands into his eyes, holds his breath, shakes uncontrollably). 

OH!

A:  (Later). You are a Seeker. The mystic experience is that Seekers are created by Reality and that Reality then supplies the answers. Nothing  else can. You are called.

Q: (Whispers). Can you help me?

A:  If that’s what your passionate restlessness is, you already have help. You don’t have to do anything. Let go of everything. Just be still, be absolutely silent, go into the Silence you’ll find in being silent, resist all human attachments. As you rid yourself of these weeds you will fill with Reality. Your restless seeking will be satisfied. This is the remedy from the experience of the mystics.

(Later).  Ignore the early tendencies to use human sense to understand what’s happening to you. Those are the remnants of your old attachments. They only grew by default in the first place because of the  absence of your true self.

Reality does not need nor accept your help. Humans are not in charge of this process. Human, worldly experience has no place now. You are on your way. Reality is remorseless but benign, unendingly accepting. Reality never fails. It is utterly reliable over anything else you will ever know.

Forget about leading “a good and meaningful life”. In Reality, the truly good and meaningful life will become axiomatic, automatic, without you even noticing or taking heed if you do. All else is mind stuff, merely human, not for you any more.

Mysticexperiences.net

SPONTANEOUS AWAKENING EXPERIENCES: BEYOND RELIGION AND SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

By: Steve Taylor, M. Sc., PGCE Leeds, United Kingdom

This academic paper appears to describe the experience of my spontaneous, unrelated religious or spiritual experiences of what I call MER, (Mystical Experience of Reality) every year for over 15 years.

I thought you might be intrigued by this investigation into and conclusion about the phenomenon. The abstract of the paper follows. The full paper is available in pdf., free of charge, from Academia.edu as well as on the author’s website.

ABSTRACT

“‘Awakening experiences’ have been misunderstood to some degree by their long association with religious and spiritual traditions and practices. The research reported here –161 reports of awakening experiences –suggests that most of them occurred outside the context of spiritual or religious traditions. Neither were they induced by spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer. Most occurred ‘spontaneously.'”

Mysticexperieces.net

March 2020

PERSONAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Message of the Mystics.

A Consuming Passion.

Its meaning.

 

Q: Refined to its very basic premise, what is the message of the mystics?

A: It’s not clear that mystics are messengers if my experiences and readings are anything to go by. What mystics experience is exclusively for them, however similar the experiences seem.

Q: Well, if you will allow me to be personal, how would you as a mystic advise someone like me?

A: Someone like you? What is that someone like you?

Q: To use a phrase of yours, ‘Through no fault of my own’ I am a passionate Seeker. I have been all my life.

A: How does this affect you?

Q: I guess it seems to consume my life to the exclusion of everything else almost.

A: It’s your only passion?

Q: Yes, underneath everything else, it’s come to define me, isolate me, alienate me … I seem to have been born with a persistent ache to know what it’s all about. I feel worn out by it all, even though I sculpt, write, paint, play the piano, but my heart’s not in any of it really, though it is relaxing and time consuming.

A: It sounds as if it might be appropriate to share my own conclusion about the purpose of life. It might be helpful. You seem ripe for the experience, ready for the demands it makes.

The purpose of human life if my experiences are anything to go by, is to examine what you can of the Process of existence.

Do this by relaxing and watching, letting go, accepting how things unfold, grow and change, how they are veiled behind the inconsequential hullaballoo of being human.

This will be much like the early days of learning a musical instrument, how to sculpt, paint, and develop your writing to express the inexpressible. (Bearing in mind all these things by the way are art, artifice, not the real thing …).

Let discovering this Process channel your Seeker passion.

The growing knowledge of the Process of existence will reveal itself in ways profoundly new to you. Eventually it will take you beyond all human understanding, give you profound peace and contentment.

I see tears! You’re puzzled. Big sighs too! These are a good sign. They could mean the task has already taken, that it’s already working on you. Take a deep breath. That’s a good smile. Well done.

What I’ve told you isn’t meant for everyone. You had to be ready and I think you are. This advice may take you on a short journey or a long one, but there will be more help than you know working on you as you work on knowing this Process.

Eventual discovery of the meaning of what I have said will tell you more than everything, not just about your purpose in life.

This eventual discovery is like a captivation perpetrated on me in a different way in one of my MER’s (Mystical Experiences of Reality). It sharpened my awareness too. It baffled me at the time as I had not asked a question, and could not have asked anything to justify such an answer. Over time however, 50 years in my case, that mystifying, apparently meaningless message of captivation has revealed a continuing abundance of meanings and certainties.

Q: May I ask what your specific ‘captivation’ was that took you on, what it said?

A: Yes. It said:

“All Is Well”.

This was repeated three times.

Q: What have you concluded about it’s meaning after all these years?

A: That ALL, everything known and unknown, everywhere, on all levels, is well, in good order, as it is meant to be. Humans don’t have the answers. Nothing human is of much spiritual consequence. My probing into all the meanings arising from this enigmatical assertion sensitised me to all manner of truths and revealed why humans did such evil things to mystics and why mystics have historically learned to keep their revelations to themselves and how humanity is in such a primitive state of existence. Reality is all there is. Reality is enough.

Experience of it is the beginning of wisdom.

All is well.

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

THE SILENT BUDDHA

A pratyekabuddha or paccekabuddha (Sanskrit and Pali, respectively), literally “a lone buddha”, “a buddha on their own” or “a private buddha”, is the so called “silent buddha” who does not try to share his realization with the world.

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

Traditionally, Paccekabuddhas give moral teachings but not enlightenment.

I believe this describes my state.

See Wikipedia for more on the subject.

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

ENIGMATIC GURUS – a boon?

 

Why are gurus of mysticism sometimes so enigmatic?

The older generations of gurus seem to be more enigmatic than some of the later gurus. Perhaps this was because the older generation had to be more circumspect about the hostile religious situations of their cultures. (Some wax poetic about “bread” and “wine” and “The Friend” but that’s not what they’re talking about).

Apart from that, there is also the inherent difficulty in the absence of a human language that can describe the mystic experience.

Then of course mystics are concerned about giving away too much to charlatanous wannabes.

Mainly though, being enigmatic is a strong way of making the truly called pause, focus on that moment, centre themselves, think, contemplate, meditate their way through the enigmatic challenge.

Being enigmatic sorts out the called from the merely curious.

Used deliberately by a mystic, being enigmatical is a powerful teaching entrancement, a boon to the committed Seeker.

Mysticexperiences.net

WHAT IS A QUIETIST?

 

I am often asked what Quietism is, presumably because it’s one of the descriptions I gave of myself in this blog’s ABOUT page.

I’m also asked why Quietism is frowned on by religionists (obviously by a questioner who has done some research on the subject).

Basically, Quietism is a description of how some who have had the mystical experience of Reality (MER) become “in the world but not of it” whether they like it or not, who thirst after righteousness to the exclusion of human interference.

I didn’t like it a bit from a human point of view when it happened to me because despite the joy and understanding and other fruits MER brought it was progressively, alarmingly alienating at the time. I kept it secret for over 50 years. Even now I haven’t told everything.

You could say MER ruined my life, and I thank MER for that …

I didn’t fit in. Quietism made me feel like one of philosopher, writer, lecturer Colin Wilson’s Outsiders. That was the name of his first book he wrote at the age of 24 that made him famous worldwide and is still in print since 1956 in over 30 languages.

The Outsider examines the human psyche through the lives and works of notables such as Nietsche, Gurdieff, Hesse, Kafka, Sartre, Blake etc. It studies the effects of their “dislocation” from the human condition, their need for transcendence, the effect these Outsiders had on society and society’s effects on them. Unfortunately I never read the book fully because it seemed at that period of my understanding to be too human oriented, too human polluting of my MER experiences.

There are, on the other hand, others who have had the experience of MER who are not affected by Outsiderism. They engage in human affairs.

For instance, some Buddhist schools recognise the phenomena of quietism in their description of The Silent Buddha: a pratyekabuddha, or paccekabuddha, the so-called “realised, silent buddhas” who do not share their Realization with the world. Traditionally, it’s said, Pratyekabuddhas give moral teachings but not enlightenment.

Like my spontaneous personal MERs, pratyekabuddhas are said to achieve enlightenment on their own, without the use of teachers or guides. (See fuller descriptions in Wikipedia).

Deepak Chopra says in his book, The Book of Secrets, “. . . there are a few people who enjoy stillness more than activity, and they dive as deep as they can to find where the water stops running, a point so still and deep that one isn’t touched by the surface waves at all. Having found this stable centre they experience themselves(?)* to the maximum and the outside world to the minimum.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, said “the better part” of the religious life is the one of direct experience (MER).

Carl Jung, the father of psychology, and a proponent of mysticism, is well known for his clear distinction between the superior values of the individual compared to the inferior not to say dangerous values of the collective.

My personal experience is that Quietism is a fruit of MER and like MER is caught not taught – you can’t decide for yourself that you’re going to be a Quietest.

So why have the religionists historically taken such violent, extra judicial, not to say genocidal, even murderous views of individual mystical experience in general and Quietism in particular?

The Catholic Oganisation dictionary has this to say:

“Spiritual knowledge. In a valid sense it is the knowledge of divine mysteries possessed already in this life, though darkly as a “hidden wisdom” (I Corinthians 2:6-16). In a heretical sense it is the recurring error of those who claim to have knowledge of divine things exclusively from their own religious experience and even in contradiction to the Church’s teaching authority.”

Generally, religions are those human organisations that have conceptualised their notion of their original founders’ spiritual experiences into merely human moralities, dogmas, taboos and ethics, creating a lack of distinction between the generality of the lesser human spirit and the superior, focused, individual spirituality of Ultimate Reality that embraces everything known and as yet unknown and is indescribable, unteachable and unpreachable …

So what is the Quietist’s view of humanity?

My conviction is that humanity is a profound spiritual distraction.

The individual is more important to human development than any collective, is at a higher stage of knowing than the popular delusion that the needs of the many come before the needs of the individual.

Human collectivism is cosmically counter productive, a negative, evolutionarily destructive, malignant weed in the cultivation of Reality’s perfection.

Fortunately, collective totalitarianism does seem to be disappearing under the weight of its own irreality as an inconsequential sideline in humanity’s history.

The biblical example of Christianity’s failed attempt to establish communism is in the story of Ananias and Sophira, or more currently, the USSR, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Vietnam, Cambodia are all striking examples of the violent, inhumane failure of collectivism.

Spiritually, there is nothing of lasting value to be learned from studying the human race. Only individually experienced MER presents knowledge of the cosmic permanence from which all existence, including human existence, flows. And this cosmic source is all powerful, totally benign, loving. There is literally infinitely more than just being human, thankfully.

Mysticexperiences.net

* No! In my experiences of MER, if that’s what Dr. Chopra means, Revelation is received from an “outside” completely independent of the self or anything human. Hence the inescapable, unbidden cosmic gift of the spiritual hunger that produces Quietists presumably …

 

HOW SPIRITUALITY FOUND ME

By: Dr. Tara Cuskley

I’ve contemplated writing about my spiritual awakening experience for a while now, but it has never quite felt like the right time. Words aren’t always adequate to capture an experience that’s both deeply personal and is best understood as a felt, embodied sense rather than something that can be described and analyzed. But I am going to try my best because it feels important to begin sharing how my own path has included twists and turns for those who may have had their own interesting, unexplainable experiences…

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62ba03a3cbbc5b5426d2c3b3dc058bf0Tara Cuskley is a psychologist and blogger passionate about all topics related to personal growth, healing, and spirituality.