HOW TO DEAL WITH PHENOMENA

 

If you have realised that through no fault or effort of your own you are a Seeker in the grip of a passion to know the truth you may have experienced phenomena that come with the condition.

This can be sphincter-movingly frightening or at least alarming and disruptive. They can awaken you from sleep or appear in your pensive or meditational states and cause thunder in your heart, or calm indifference if like me you have been alerted to the possibilities of such disruptions and how to deal with them.

My eldest son gave up all further attempts at meditation after his first encounter with the giant eye that regarded him with a calm but powerful examination. Regrettably, on still seeing his frightened apprehension when he told me about it long afterwards I broke into bent-over explosions of laughter, the tears running down my face. It felt good to be so alive in every fibre of my being as I shook with uncontrollable mirth. Mystics have a reputation for anarchical appreciation of the tragi-comic nature of the human condition.

But seriously, the Eye revealed my son was obviously not ready so I did not pursue the subject.

My experiences of phenomena

Compared to some of the phenomena I have read or been told about, my experiences were mild and nowadays less frequent. I am beginning to suspect they happen whenever I approach any aspect of MER’s diverse human or non human nature with an extra intensity or concentration, whether emotional or intellectual, of my own volition or not.

My experiences of phenomena include, among other less urgently dramatic examples, elderly, apparently mentally disturbed males or females, even couples, rushing anxiously into my space and being equally ruthlessly stopped in some instances by tall white, characterless apparitions behind them that make them suddenly disappear. The question still arises in me about whether the phenomena disappeared into my space or were stopped in time.

Later on, the phenomena of strangers appearing right in my face disappear in the disruptively awakening nano second I become aware of them. None of them are threatening. Some are as astonished as I am, even bewildered or, in one case, tearfully turning his back to hide his very agitated and unwanted nakedness.

So my phenomena are relatively benign. Other people have far more dramatic, frightening phenomena that threaten them. Mine   never threaten me, despite their alarming suddenness.

I was taught that whatever stage I got to I was never to stop my seeking for the ultimate truth of existence, no matter how overwhelmed I was with the certainty, majesty, power, or benign attributes and assurances I have reached my ultimate goal. I was to assure myself I had not. I was to be respectful, but carry on; the phenomena would disappear. They would have no effect on me.

I have not experienced phenomena of that level, and hopefully never will. I’m hoping I have by passed them somehow. They seem totally irrelevant to my experiences of Reality (MER).

My experiences were devoid of personality, mine or anyone else’s, devoid of any matter, materiality, human taint, prior experience, expectation or emotion.

The journey continues. The fruits are abundant though not always immediately evident.

If you are a Seeker I hope this is helpful. All is well.

Mysticexperiences.net

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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

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

“MANMUKH” vs. “MINDFULNESS”

 

The word mindfulness is “manmukh” and can be safely ignored as a spiritual distraction.

(My teacher used this – Sanscrit? Urdu? – word to describe anything human).

Anything human is a distraction from the spiritual way. The spiritual way is human destiny.

So my teacher abjured us to use “manmukh” as a navigational tool of discrimination and discernment, to enable us to keep humaness, “manmukh” at arms length.

However, our dwindling personal humanity was not to ignore the need to be mindful of our duties while here as sons, daughters, nephews and nieces, neighbours, friends, colleagues, patriots etc, though not to let any of these potential hindrances distract us from our spiritual way.

(Personally, I have now used “manmukh” to steer me through the Gordian knot of human experiences with a personal mantra to meet my human duties by being Legal, Decent, and Honest, but that’s all – no further attachments, just legal, decent and honest).

Detachment, discrimination is key. This is the truth of spiritual mindfulness, in my experiences of the mystical experiences of Reality.

Mysticexperiences.net

TEN SIGNS OF SPIRITUAL AWAKENING?

Reposted from The Guides with review comments in bold:

Here are 10 “unmistakable” signs of spiritual awakening:

1. A strong feeling that something major has changed inside you. You must have experienced something that forced your soul to wake up and show you the truth and this truth was so shocking to you that you could feel deep inside that you had been living in an illusion all this while. With time, you start feeling that you have changed as a person. You are transforming into someone you never imagined you could be. You become a better person and you can feel that.

Different words but somewhat similar to my experiences, except for the bit about becoming a “better person”. Becoming a better person is only a human ambition.

2. You start questioning the purpose of your life

 

Oh yes! Bewilderingly so… I feel stranded here.

Despite possessing everything that you need, you still feel incomplete and unaware. You desperately want to know the meaning of this world and the purpose of your life.You start questioning God, you start finding answers to afterlife, soul, spirituality and desire lasting happiness.

Yes, more or less. But there was no god in any of my experiences. I also prefer contentment to happiness, contentment is more profound and permanent than happiness.

 

3. You naturally start distancing yourself from people with whom your thoughts don’t match. These people can be the ones you were the closest to. After the awakening process has set in, your soul has already reached a higher vibrational frequency and therefore, cannot match up with the souls of lower frequency. People start telling you that you have changed, but you know that this is not a change but just your soul waking up! Slowly, your old relations break and new begin that help your soul to grow further.

Absolutely. At last count I have cut over 100 close friends and relatives from my life since my experiences. Their worldliness was oppressive. Cutting them out brought instant relief. The process continues to this day …

4. You become absolutely disinterested or at least less interested in materialistic aspects. Shopping, hanging out with friends, partying, wearing expensive clothes or decorating the house with expensive furniture etc, become alien to you. You want to indulge in soul-enriching activities like travelling, meditating, taking care of your physical, emotional and spiritual health like never before and the like. You don’t even feel like doing your regular job and look for doing things which have some purpose. This often makes you pursue your dreams because you realize how short life is and how much is to be learnt and done.

Absolutely, except for “pursuing dreams”. That sounds worldly. I have no earthly ambitions except to be self reliant. Otherwise all the world gets from me is legality, decency and honesty. I avoid all other attachments and human expectations.

5. You realize your earlier mistakes and negative habits

The mistakes that you made in the past haunt you to make you feel guilty. Your old negative habits like judging people, mocking people, back-biting, being selfish, talking rude etc. stand like humongous walls in front of you which you sense you need to break in order to see the good in you. These keep haunting you until you forgive yourself for what you did and try being a better person.

True, except for the trying to be a better person bit… though I do think it is axiomatic, automatic that you become increasingly detached from lust, anger, greed, attachments and ego in all their human personifications.

6. You are constantly sad/depressed about the what’s happening in the world.

Even if it’s just a TV news channel showing a murder or a newspaper mentioning the deteriorating climatic conditions, you feel utterly depressed, you feel like doing something to help people around you, to make this world a better place to live. You want to alleviate the world’s suffering by doing something, anything that you possibly can. This can even overwhelm you to such an extent that you start crying and feel as if all this is happening to you.

True, except for the crying bit. Thankfully the world is not as primitive as it used to be and more humans, still in a primitive state of development, have nevertheless never had it so good, despite passing appearances and hysterical reactions. All is well.

7. You become a healer. Every spiritually awakened person has the potential to become a spiritual healer. A spiritual healer is someone who has the power to spiritually and emotionally heal people. By this I mean, you feel like motivating and inspiring people, in fact, you might even develop the power of pulling away emotional blockage from people.

No, I am not aware of any personal healing properties. I know what people have to do to be content but have come to the conclusion only one in a million could benefit from any advice about it in their present state of unawareness of Reality. In any case Reality is in charge. Interference in Reality’s process by religions, isms, politics and ideologies is what currently ails the human race. These sociological human traits always fail. Reality is all there is. It is inexorable. It never fails. (And it only works with individuals). All is well.

8. You develop a very strong 6th sense. Your intuition suddenly gets alert.The universe, through your intuition will try to send you messages in the form of synchronicity (11.11, 22.22. and other number symbols) on clocks, roads, street signs, lift floor numbers, number on bills etc. that might click something in you to tell you that this has some meaning to it that you must pay attention to, these messages can also be in the form of prophetic dreams for not just yourself but also for the people that you know, meeting like minded people and people who are experiencing spiritual awakening etc. All this helps you in moving ahead in your journey of spiritual awakening.

In comparison with others I notice I have this ability somewhat, so instinctively avoid noisy “spiritual sleepwalkers” and threatening or unpleasant situations. I used it to develop the ability to disguise myself with small talk in my forties, with gratifying results when forced to deal with humans. Some wisdom schools call this particular use of the sixth sense “the cloak of invisibility”.

9. You get strongly connected to nature. You feel like being close to nature. You might feel like moving out of cities to live in the suburbs, or travel to places that are close to nature. You develop strong love for animals, you want to pet them or help them in some way.

Long, solo overnight sailing cruises have given me the most spiritually profound, satisfying days of my life – land based life not so much.

10. You experience physical changes. Spiritual awakening is like a nuclear bomb of energy as a result of which you may experience many physical changes like you may experience extreme weight gain or loss, tingling sensation at the top of your head, your sleeping pattern may get badly disrupted. You may feel excessively sleepy or not sleepy at all or feel like sleeping and waking up at odd hours of the day. Your appetite might also decrease, you might have frequent pain on the back of your neck and shoulder(s) and tingling sensation in your fingers.

Can’t say any of this applies to me.

10. You develop a creative personality. Suddenly, out of nowhere, you start getting a rush of creativity which could come out in the form painting, writing, poetry, pottery, tarot reading, travelling, playing any musical instrument, singing etc. You become gutsy and get the strength to dream again and dream big and not only that, you get the courage to fulfill them as well. The latter part comes in the later stages of awakening. In the very beginning you might feel the exact opposite, you might feel utterly hopeless or even suicidal, but as you progress in your journey all this pain subsides and you get the courage to fulfill your dreams.

Some creativeness was one of the lifesaving attributes I was graced with to endure being marooned here. As for having human dreams/ambitions, being graced with spirituality excluded such irrelevant personal attachments.

11. You accept yourself for who you are and don’t stop yourself from being your actual self. You feel free!

No matter for how long you have been willingly trying to be what others wanted you to, once your soul is awakened, you can no longer contain yourself from loving your actual identity. You stop caring of what people have to say about you and do only what gives you happiness. Despite going through myriad of sudden physical, emotional changes you have a strange feeling of being free, as if you have been set free. You start realizing that there’s only one true asset in life and that is eternal happiness.

Freedom is a human word with no relevance in the limitlessness of the mystical experience of Reality (MER) if my MER experiences are anything to go by.

Mysticalexperiences.net 2018

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

SUFI “WILD UTTERANCES”

“We give out strange phrases to ordinary people because our experiences cannot be put in their ordinary phrases. I have known that which cannot be described, through and through, and that which is in it overwhelms all ordinary definition.” – Ibn Atta, Sufi.

From The Way of the Sufi by Idries Shah. Iries Shah is the late thinker, writer, and teacher in the Sufi mystical tradition. He wrote over three dozen books on topics ranging from psychology and spirituality to travelogues and culture studies. The Idries Shah Foundation (ISF) is an independent educational and cultural charity, set up by his family to ensure his spiritual works live on.

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

WHY WRITE ABOUT MYSTICISM?

The Chinese sage Lao Tsu is said to have warned, “Those who know don’t talk, those who talk don’t know.”

He was talking about MER, the mystical experience of Reality – the Tao. As a generalisation I think he was right. But as in most generalisations, there are exceptions.
But why blog about mysticism anyway?
Because as E.M.Foster, the English man-of-letters and many other writers have said in similar words – ‘How do I know what I know until I write it?’
My own mystical experiences were frightening, debilitating and inexplicable until I started writing about them 60 years later.
Writing about a subject can lead writers into vast areas of reading and research, into empirical facts they didn’t know existed – as well as into awareness of personal attributes like concentration, patience, passion, intuition, ‘knowing’, contemplation, meditation, transcendence, epiphany, certainty – these are all or just some of the multiple abilities writing can reveal.
The deeper their understanding, focus, integrity, truthfulness, precision and their prose develops in writers on mysticism the more their personal paths are revealed.
Finding and creating words that stick into readers’ hearts and minds like benign burrs, creates a serendipitious ripple of meaning for others too.
The more such writers lift veils, ignite unseeing stares of mindful enchantment in their readers, the more they sometimes wonder if they are doing the writing themselves or if something else is. (Always say yes when you’re prompted to write something – you never know what serendipities await your development).
So when I read a Follower’s web post asking Why Blog? I found myself prompted to write the following haiku, of all things:

WHY WRITE?

Encore! Encore! to
Deepening stillnesses:

To Ultimate Word?

Are those who attempt to express the inexpressible the Called Ones? Are they the exceptions to Master Lao Tsu’s rule?

Mysticexperiences.net 2018

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

BECOMING A MYSTIC: Marooned

A Follower asks where he can find an account of my mystic experiences on this Blog. There are hints and affirmations throughout the Blog but no whole, progressive narrative account, so here it is:

I had spontaneous yearly experiences of mystical reunions with Reality from about 15 to 35 years of age. I kept them to myself for nearly 50 years.

They recreated me from a who to a what and gave me a sense of having existed from the beginning of all things to the end of all things; of belonging; and of “everything belonging to me” that others describe as “oneness”; an overwheming liquifying of my matter into pure joy; a profoundly thankful humility; a disappointment in not finding “God” there; a sense of knowing everything; of not existing anywhere but in the experiences; of knowing real reality of existence is the Reality I was experiencing; the frantic helplessness of desolation, of abandonment as each of the experiences ended.

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

I was infused rather than taught or shown or guided. I remember there was nothing to see, hear, smell, physically feel, or think.

In one of my experiences a voice told me quite clearly and emphatically, ALL IS WELL. I was dumbfounded so the message was repeated three times …

The reason I was dumbfounded and deeply disappointed was I thought the message came for someone else. I looked around but there was no one else to see.

I was baffled for years over that message because I had not asked or thought of a question to which that might be the answer.

Another time, I was levitated out of my body. It happened without me noticing. When I did notice it seemed quite natural. I was overjoyed that God was ridding me of my body to take me up. Then I was bitterly betrayed on looking down to see my body still there about 15 feet below.

My conclusion now is there seems to be a Process into which I have been drawn, rather than “God”. This Process is nowhere near as limited as the human word “God” implies. It is benign, caring of all creation, guarding, guiding, aiding and comforting, a constant seemingly natural state of unending contentment, peace, tranquility, humility, gratitude, awe and joy. But it is not about making me a better human, though that, I think I can presume, is automatic, axiomatic. We are all more than merely human.

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

I came away with the impression human bodies and brains die, but their spiritual knowingness become absorbed, added into this non-material Process of Reality beyond infinity that never dies. Reality seeks, but does not seek body, brain or mind it seems.

After MER, humans have no need of the anthropmorphic falsehoods of faith, hope or belief – after MER they KNOW. They are one with the Process, no longer needing gods or “God”. The experiences are fulfilling and keep being fulfilling after they’ve gone.

I was never given to believe humanity or individuals can invoke or influence this Process of Reality, either. In fact, being only human might be the reason so many humans have not yet had the experience of MER. Human attachment and egos are two strong deterrents among the many human attributes that come between us and this fulfillment.

The experiences were fulfilling beyond all ordinary human experience, imagining or knowledge. Reality seems to be the alpha and omega of everything, all knowing, a fundamental existential of being that just is, a given that can be taken for granted, does not need to be named. In Reality there are no names: everything just is and all is well. And I was and am that.

Between these experiences I toiled privately at the agony of being partly human despite the experiences’ development and continued effect on me – the continuingly joyous but alienating illumination of Reality and my true nature.

The stress of this growing alienation from “manmukh” – all things human – affected me severely.

The energy of the world, of the human spirit, is not compatible with the development of the spirituality of the ultimate reality of the Mystical Experience of Reality, (MER), in my experiences.

This struggle ruined my life, thankfully …

Now if I’m asked what I have especially taken away from my experiences I would say: Reality is a process. It is in charge. It never fails and is utterly benign …

Neverthless, at times the process got so desperate I developed and finalised the following secret plea to be rescued.

(At the time, I didn’t know how serious the act of writing can be, I just thought I was writing a poem. Later, the answer to this plea came by writing too and is also recorded here):

MAROONED

Divinity’s insouciant servants of the Light

Fly beneath my fears, over my plight,

Indifferent to my day as to my night.

Marooned in the humanity of my time,

Tired by glimpses of the divine,

Save me soon Lord, make me thine.

THE REPLY:

Marooned to solitude is your story;

Its contemplation leads you to my glory.

Love, understanding and compassion

Are the lessons of your life, your grace, your passion.

From the other side of Night,

I am your glory, your rescue Light …

1985.

(Nowadays I wouldn’t use the words “God”, “divine”, “faith”, “Divinity” or “Lord”. And I would call “the light” Reality, such a Light being a unique part of Reality.

(PS: The word “faith” has been bothering me. It signifies lack of real spiritual experience. So as I returned to this poem with my doubt about the rightness of the word the real word arrived. So I have deleted “faith” and as you will see, have inserted the more meaningful word “grace”).

Mysticexperiences.net

MYSTICS AND RELIGION

Historically, mystics had no choice but to be in a religion – or else! Even so, they were tortured, incarcerated, banished, excommunicated and/or killed.

Today’s true mystics have no such restraints. Even so, they avoid religious distractions, even other mystics. Some Sufi schools even strongly advise meditating alone, not even to dally after satsangs/meetings to socialise, eat or drink.

Two contemporary Sufi schools, and a published Sufi master, distance themselves from Islam publically because they say the mystical experience is significantly further along the spiritual path, much purer; that religions are spiritually ignorant, man-made distractions to the truly called. One Sufi school says real, pure Sufism existed before religions anyway.

(Did the religions become the obscuring weeds of the original and ever present spiritual flower?).

An Internet guru ignores spiritual books in case his personal experience of Reality becomes adulterated.

MER, the Mystical Experience of Reality, is enough.

It has to be noted Jesus did not leave any spiritual instructions for enlightenment. His alleged biblical teachings were all anthropological – moral and ethical, not spiritual.

(What he imparted in the personal, face to face oral tradition of teachers with their pupils of his time however, a tradition still widely followed today, might have been purely mystical, but will we ever know?).

The Jesus Conference of world-wide scholars and scientists says only about a dozen of the words ascribed to Jesus in the Bible can be verified as his. Not one of those words is a mystical teaching.

The other religions are in the same category – manmade constructions simply teaching current human moralities and ethics.

Still, one Sufi school admonishes its followers not to interfere with the religious as many religionists are called. They are finding their way. They will succeed ultimately – there are no failures in the universal mystical experience of Reality.

It has to be emphasised that the essence of the mystic experience is that it comes for individuals, not social collectives, countries, ideologies, political “isms”, theologies, philosophies, religions, or even mankind. It comes for you.

MER has its own agenda. MER is independent of all influences yet known to mankind. As the biblical Jesus is quoted as saying, it comes like the wind, from where and to where no one knows.

So all a mystic can truthfully suggest is, if you’re a religionist, carry on in your chosen religion until you can’t. Just don’t let religion become a danger to you or anyone else.

Seeking Reality is an individual calling, a singular voice for you only, for our ways are not Reality’s ways. Ultimately, Reality is the only way.

As for the rest, including human destiny, all is enfolding in good order as the night the day. All is well.

Mysticexperiences.net

THE ART OF TRANSCENDENCE: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE COMMON ELEMENTS OF TRANSPERSONAL PRACTICES

We must close our eyes and invoke a new manner of seeing … a wakefulness that is the birthright of us all, though few put it to use.

– Plotinus

By Dr. Roger Walsh MD., PhD.,& Dr. Frances E. Vaughan PhD., from The Journal of Transpersonsal Psychology, 25:1 – 10, 1993.

When historians look back at the twentieth century, they may conclude that two of the most important breakthroughs in Western psychology were not discoveries of new knowledge but recognitions of old wisdom.

First, psychological maturation can continue far beyond our arbitrary, culture-bound definitions of normality (Wilber, 1980; Wilber et al., 1986). There exist further developmental possibilities latent within us all. As William James put it, “most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness …. We all have reservoirs of life to draw upon, of which we do not dream.”

Second, techniques exist for realizing these “reservoirs of life” or transpersonal potentials. These techniques are part of an art and technology that has been refined over thousands of years in hundreds of cultures and constitutes the contemplative core of the world’s great religious traditions. This is the art of transcendence, designed to catalyze transpersonal development (Walsh, 1990; Walsh & Vaughan, 1993). As such it is based on two fundamental assumptions about the nature and potentials of the mind.

The first assumption is that our usual state of consciousness is suboptimal. In fact, it has been described in terms such as clouded, distorted, dreamlike, entranced and largely out of control. This has been recognized by psychologists and mystics of both East and West (Huxley, 1945; Mikulis, 1991; Tart, 1986). For Freud (1917) it was the culture-shaking recognition that “man is not even master in his own house … his own mind,” that echoed the Bhagavad Gita’s despairing cry two thousand years earlier:

Restless (the) mind is,
So strongly shaken
In the grip of the senses:
Gross and grown hard
With stubborn desire …..
Truly, I think
The wind is no wilder.  (Prabhavananda & Isherwood, 1944)

In the words of Ram Dass (1975), “we are all prisoners of our own mind. This realization is the first step on the journey to freedom.” Or as Pir Vilayat Khan put it even more succinctly, “The bind is in the mind.” The second asswnption is that although the untrained mind is clouded and out of control, it can be trained and clarified, and this training catalyzes transpersonal potentials. This is a central theme of the perennial philosophy.

For Socrates:

In order that the mind should see light instead of darkness, so the entire soul must be turned away from this changing world, until its eye can bear to contemplate reality and that supreme splendor which we call the Good. Hence there may well be an art whose aim would be to affect this very thing (Plato, 1945).

Likewise, according to Ramana Maharshi (1955), “All scriptures without any exception proclaim that for salvation mind should be subdued.”

Although practices and techniques vary widely, there seem to be six common elements that constitute the heart of the art of transcendence: ethical training, concentration, emotional transformation, redirection of motivation, refinement of awareness, and the cultivation of wisdom.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a synoptic introduction to the art of transcendence and its common elements in the hope of stimulating appreciation, research and practice of them.

SIX COMMON ELEMENTS OF TRANSPERSONAL PRACTICES

Ethics

Ethics is widely regarded as an essential foundation of transpersonal development. However, contemplative traditions view ethics, not in terms of conventional morality, but rather as an essential discipline for training the mind. Contemplative introspection renders it painfully apparent that unethical behavior both stems from and reinforces destructive mental factors such as greed and anger. Conversely, ethical behavior undermines these and cultivates mental factors such as kindness, compassion and calm.

Ultimately, after transpersonal maturation occurs, ethical behavior is said to flow spontaneously as a natural expression of identification with all people and all life (Radhakrishnan, 1929). For a person at this stage, which corresponds to Lawrence Kohlberg’s (1981) highest or seventh stage of moral development-a stage that Kohlberg felt required transcendent experience-“Whatever is … thought to be necessary for sentient beings happens all the time of its own accord” (Gampopa, 1971).

Attentional Training

Attentional training and the cultivation of concentration are regarded as essential for overcoming the fickle wanderlust of the untrained mind (Goleman, 1988). As E.F. Schumacher (1973) observed of attention, “No topic occupies a more central place in all traditional teaching; and no subject suffers more neglect, misunderstanding, and distortion in the thinking of the modem world.”

Attentional training is certainly misunderstood by Western psychology, which has unquestioningly accepted William James’ century-old conclusion that “Attention cannot be continuously sustained” (James, 1899/1962). Yet James went further: “The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention over and over again is the very root of judgement, character and will. No one is compos sui if he have it not.

An education which would improve this faculty would be the education par excellence …. It is easier to define this ideal than to give practical direction for bringing it about” (James, 1910/1950). Here, then, we have a stark contrast between traditional Western psychology, which says attention cannot be sustained, and the art of transcendence, which says that attention can and must be sustained, if we are to mature beyond conventional developmental limits.

Being able to direct attention at will is so important because the mind tends to take on qualities of the objects to which it attends (Goldstein, 1983). For example, thinking of an angry person tends to elicit anger while thinking of a loving person may elicit feelings of love. The person who can control attention can therefore control and cultivate specific emotions and motives.

Emotional Transformation

Ethical behavior and attentional stability facilitate the third element of the art of transcendence: emotional transformation. There appear to be three components to emotional transformation.

The first is the reduction of destructive emotions such as fear and anger, a process which is well known in mainstream Western therapy. Of course, what is implied here is not repression or suppression but rather clear awareness of such emotions and consciously relinquishing them where appropriate.

The second component is the cultivation of positive emotions such as love, joy and compassion. Whereas conventional Western therapies have many techniques for reducing negative emotions, they have virtually none for enhancing positive emotions such as these.

In contrast, the art of transcendence contains a wealth of practices for cultivating these emotions to an intensity and extent undreamed of in Western psychology. Thus, for example, the Buddhist’s compassion, the Bhakti’s love, and the Christian’s agape are said to reach their full flowering only when they unconditionally and unwaveringly encompass all creatures, without exception and without reserve (Kongtrul, 1987; Singer, 1987).

This intensity and scope of positive emotion is facilitated by a third component of emotional transformation: the cultivation of equanimity. This is an imperturbability that fosters mental equilibrant and as such it helps emotions such as love and compassion to remain unconditional and unwavering even under duress.

This capacity is analogous to the Stoics “apatheia,” the Christian Father’s “divine apatheia,” the Buddhist’s equanimity, the contemporary philosopher Franklin Merrell-Wolffs “high indifference,” the Hindu’s samatva which leads to a “vision of sameness,” and the Taoist principle of “the equality of things,” which leads beyond ”the trouble of preferring one thing to another.”

Motivation

Ethical behavior, attentional stability and emotional transformation all work together, along with practices such as meditation, to redirect motivation along healthier, more transpersonal directions. The net effect is a change in the direction, variety and focus of motivation as well as a reduction in its compulsivity.

Traditionally it is said that motivation becomes less scattered and more focused; the things desired become subtler and more internal. Desires gradually become less self-centered and more self-transcendent with less emphasis on getting and more on giving. Supportive findings from contemporary research suggest that psychological maturity is associated with a shift from egocentric to allocentric (concern f{}r others) motivation (Heath, 1983).

Traditionally this motivational shift was seen as “purification” or as “giving up attachment to the world.” In contemporary terms it seems analogous to movement up Maslow’s (1971) hierarchy of needs, Amold Toynbee’s process of “etherealization,” the means for, and result of, a life-style of voluntary simplicity (Elgin, 1981), and the means for reaching the philosopher Kierkegaard’s goal in which “purity of heart is to will one thing.”

In addition to redirecting motivation, the art of transcendence involves reducing its compulsive power. The result is said to be a serene disenchantment with the things of the world which no longer exert a blinding fascination or compulsive pull.

This is the Buddhist nibbidda and the yogic viraga and is the basis of the Athenian philosopher Epicurus’ claim that the way to make people happy is not to add to their riches but to reduce their desires.

This claim is explicitly formulated in the Buddha’s Third Noble Truth which states that the end of craving leads to the end of suffering. The reduction of compulsive craving is therefore said to result in a corresponding reduction in intrapsychic conflict, a claim now supported by studies of advanced meditators (Walsh, 1993; Wilber et al., 1986).

This is not to imply that redirecting motives and relinquishing craving is necessarily easy. In Aristotle’s estimate, “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self’ (Schindler & Lapid, 1989).

Refining Awareness

The great wisdom traditions agree that in our usual untrained state of mind, awareness-both perceptual and intuitive-is insensitive and impaired: fragmented by attentional instability, colored by clouding emotions, and distorted by scattered desires. Accordingly, we are said to mistake shadows for reality (Plato) because we see ”through a glass darkly” (St. Paul), a “reducing value” (Aldous Huxley), or “narrow chinksn (Blake).

The fifth element of the art of transcendence, therefore, aims to refine awareness. Perception is to be rendered more sensitive, more accurate, and more appreciative of the freshness and novelty of each moment of experience. Likewise, intuitive capacities, usually blunted or blinded, are to be cultivated (Vaughan, 1979). One of the primary tools for this is meditation.

Meditators notice that both internal and external perception becomes more sensitive, colors seem brighter, and the inner world becomes more available. These subjective experiences have recently found experimental support from research, which indicates that meditators’ perceptual processing can become more sensitive and rapid, and empathy more accurate (Murphy & Donovan, 1988; West, 1987; Shapiro & Walsh, 1984; Walsh & Vaughan, 1993).

As the psychiatric historian Henrie Ellenberger (1970) observed, “The natural tendency of the mind is to roam through the past and the future; it requires a certain effort to keep one’s attention in the present.” Meditation is training in precisely that effort. The result is a present-centered freshness of perception variously described as mindfulness (Buddhism), anuragga (Hinduism), the “sacrament of the present moment” (Christianity), the “draught of forgetfulness” in which one forgets the past and comes anew into each present moment (Steiner), and characteristic of self-actualizers (Maslow, 1971).

Refinement of outer perception is said to be accompanied by a refinement of inner intuitive capacities. Contemporary researchers report finding “introspective sensitization” (West, 1987) whereas ancient wisdom traditions speak metaphorically of the development of an inner perceptual organ or the opening of an inner eye: the eye of the soul (Plato), the eye of the heart (Sufism), the eye of the Tao (Taoism), the third eye (Tibetan), or the Western philosophers’ nous or intellectus. For an excellent review see Hustom Smith (1993).

When we see things clearly, accurately, sensitively and freshly, we can respond empathically and appropriately. Thus, both ancient wisdom traditions and modern psychotherapies agree with Fritz Perls (1969), the founder of Gestalt therapy, that “Awareness per se-by and of itself—can be curative.”

Wisdom

The sixth quality cultivated by the art of transcendence is wisdom. Traditionally, wisdom is regarded as something significantly more than knowledge. Whereas knowledge is something we have, wisdom is something we must be. Developing it requires self-transformation.

This transformation is fostered by opening defenselessly to the reality of “things as they are,” including the enormous extent of suffering in the world. In the words of the Psalms, this is the recognition that “our lives are only toil and trouble; they are soon gone, our years come to an end like a sigh” (Psalm 90 HRS). “Who can live and never see death?” (Psalm 89 HRS).

In our own time it is existentialism that has emphasized this recognition most forcefully (Yalom, 1981). With its graphic description of the inevitable existential challenges of meaninglessness, freedom and death it has rediscovered aspects of the Buddha’s First Noble Truth which holds that unsatisfactoriness (dukkha) is an inherent part of existence. Both existentialism and the wisdom traditions agree that, in the words of Thomas Hardy (1926), “if a way to the Better there be, it exacts a full look at the Worst.”

Whereas existentialism leaves us marooned in a no-exit situation of heightened awareness of existential limits and suffering, the art of transcendence offers a way out. For existentialism, wisdom consists of recognizing these painful facts of life and accepting them with authenticity, resoluteness (Heidegger), and courage (Tillich).

However, for contemplative traditions this existential attitude is a preliminary rather than a final wisdom and is used to redirect motivation away from trivial, egocentric pursuits toward the contemplative practices that lead to deeper wisdom.

Deeper wisdom recognizes that the sense of being marooned in a no-exit situation of limits and suffering can be transcended through transforming the self that seems to suffer (Vaughan, 1986). This transformation springs from the development of direct intuitive insight-beyond thoughts, concepts or images of any kind-into the nature of mind, self, consciousness and cosmos.

This insight is the basis for the transrational liberating wisdom variously known in the East as jnana (Hinduism), prajna (Buddhism), or ma’rifah (Islam), and in the West as gnosis or scientia sacra. And with this liberation the goal of the art of transcendence is realized.

Discussion

These, then, seem to be six essential, common elements, processes or qualities of mind that constitute the heart of the art and technology of transcendence. Of course, different practices and traditions focus more on some processes than on others. For example, Indian philosophy divides practices into various yogas (Feuerstein, 1989).

All of them acknowledge ethics as an essential foundation. Raja yoga emphasizes meditation and the training of attention and awareness; Bhakti yoga is more emotional and focuses on the cultivation of love; Karma yoga uses work in the world to refine motivation, and Jnana yoga hones the intellect and wisdom.

However, the capacities of mind developed by the art of transcendence are highly interdependent and the development of one fosters the development of others. This interdependence has long been recognized by both Eastern and Western philosophers who held that “every virtue requires other virtues to complete it” (Murphy,1992, p. 558). Therefore, to the extent a tradition is authentic-that is, capable of fostering transpersonal development and transcendence (Wilber, 1983)-to that extent it may cultivate and balance these elements of the art of transcendence. Hopefully it will not be long before this art is better appreciated, and its study and practice are widespread.


rogerwalsh1ROGER WALSH graduated from Australia’s Queensland University with degrees in psychology, physiology, neuroscience, and medicine, and then went to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar. He is now at the University of California at Irvine where he is professor of psychiatry, philosophy, and anthropology, as well as a professor in the religious studies programme. He is a proponent of the development of “transpersonal psychology” that includes phenomena such as MER (Mystical Experiences of Reality).


vaughanbw-210-expFRANCES VAUGHAN, Ph.D. is an author, educator and retired psychologist in Sonoma County, CA.

 

 

 

REFERENCES / SUGGESTED READING

ELGIN, D. (1981). Voluntary simplicity. New York: William Morrow.

ELLENBERGER, J. (1970). The discovery of the unconscious. New York: Basic Books.

FEUERSTEIN, G. (l 989). Yoga: The technology of ecstasy. Los Angeles: J. Tarcher.

FREUD, S. (1917). A general introduction to psychoanalysis. Garden City, New York: Garden City Publishers.

GAMPOPA. (1971). The jewel ornament of liberation. (H. Guenther, transl.). Boston: Shambhala, p. 271.

GOLDSTEIN, J. (1983). The experience of insight. Boston: Shambhala.

GOLEMAN, D. (1988). The meditative mind. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher.

HARDY, T. (1926). Collected poems of Thomas Hardy. New York: MacMillan.

HEATH, D. (1983). The maturing person. In Walsh, R. & Shapiro, D. J. (Eds.), Beyond health and normality: Explorations of exceptional psychological well-being (pp. 152-205). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

HUXLEY, A. (1945). Tire perennial philosophy. New York: Harper & Row.

JAMES, W. (1899/1962). Talks to teachers on psychology and to students on some of life’s ideals. New York: Dover.

JAMES, W. (1910/1950). Principles of psychology. New York: Doubleday.

KONGTRUL, J. (1981 ). Essays on moral development. (Vol. I ). The philosophy of moral development. New York: Harper & Row.

KONGTRUL, J. (1987). The great path of awakening. (K. McLeod, Transl.). Boston: Shambhala.

MASLOW, A. (1971). The farther reaches of human nature. New York: Viking.

MIKULUS, W. (1991). Eastern and Western psychology: Issues and domains for integration. Journal of Integrative and Eclectic Psychotherapy 10: 229-40.

MURPHY, M. (1992). The future of the body: Explorations into the further evolution of human nature. Los Angeles: 1. Tarcher, p. 558.

MURPHY, M. & DONOVAN, S. (1988). The physical and psychological effects of meditation. San Rafael, CA: Esalen Institute.

PERLS, F. (1969). Gestalt therapy verbatim. Lafayette, CA: Real People Press.

PLATO. (1945). The republic. (F. Cornford, Transl.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 516.

PLOTINUS. (1964). The essential Plotinus. (E. O’Brien, Transl.). Indianapolis: Hackett, p. 42.

PRABHAVANANDA, S. & lsHERWOOD, C. (Transl.) (1944). The Bhagavad Gita. New York: New American Library.

RADHAKRISHNAN. (1929). Indian philosophy (Vol. 1, 2nd ed.). London: Alan & Unwin.

RAM DASS. (1975). Association forTranspersonal Psychology Newsletter, Winter, p. 9.

RAMANA MAHARSHI. (1955). Who am I? (8th ed.) (T. Venkataran, Transl.). lndia.

SCHINDLER, C. & LAPID, G. (I 989). The great turning: Personal peace and global victory. Santa Fe: Bear & Co.

SCHUMACHER, E. (1973). Small is beautiful: Economics as if people mattered. New York: Harper & Row.

SHAPIRO, D. & WALSH, R. (Eds.) (1984). Meditation: Classic and contemporary perspectives. New York: Aldine.

SINGER, I. (1987). The nature of love (3 Vols.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

SMITH, J. (1993). Educating the intellect: On opening the eye of the heart. In L. Rouner (Ed.), On Education. University of Notre Dame Press.

TART, C. (1986). Waking up: Overcoming the obstacles to human potential. Boston: New Science Library/Shambhala.

VAUGHAN, F. (1979). Awakening intuition. New York: Doubleday.

VAUGHAN, F. (1986). The inward arc: Healing and wholeness in psychotherapy and spirituality. Boston: New Science Library/Shambhala.

WALSH, R. (1990). The spirit of shamanism. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher.

WALSH, R. (1993). Meditation research: The state of the art. In R. Walsh & F. Vaughan (Eds.) Paths beyond ego: The transpersonal vision. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc.

WALSH R. & VAUGHAN, F. (Eds.) (1993). Paths beyond ego: The transpersonal vision. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc.

WEST, M. (Ed.) (1987). The psychology of meditation. Oxford: Clarenden Press.

WILBER, K. (1980). The Atman project. Wheaton, IL: Quest.

WILBER, K. (1983). A sociable God. New York: McGraw-Hill.

WILBER, K. ENGLER, J. & BROWN, D. (Eds.) {1986). Transformations of consciousness: Conventional and contemplative perspectives on development. Boston: New Science Library/Shambhala.

YALOM, I. (1981). Existential psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books.

The authors would like to thank all those who contributed to the writing of this article, especially Sonja Margulies, Ken Wilber and Bonnie L’ Allier.

Mysticexperiences.net

GURU OR NO GURU?

 

An excerpt from a memoir of Dom John Chapman, Order of Saint Benedictine, Abbot of Downside Abbey, by Dom Roger Hudleston, O.S.B., in the paperback, “Spiritual Letters”, first published 1934, current pubs., 2003 and 2004 by Burns & Oates, London, New York:

“A good Director, he held, must be a nurse, no more. He should confine himself to the task of teaching his penitent how to walk alone and unaided. That done, he should be ready to retire into the background; only emerging on rare occasions when unusual circumstances or some particular crisis called for his attention. Directors of this kind would be of no danger to simplicity or humility, while an over dogmatic or too eager Director, giving unsuitable or unnecessary advice with relish and impressiveness, would harm both his penitent and himself.”

First published in 1935, the timeless spirituality of these letters are straightforward expressions of a committed truth seeker impatient of religious cant and “stupidity”, steeped in “omnivorous” scholastic reading and analysis.

As a notable Church establishment figure, Dom Chapman’s knowledge of and acceptance of mysticism is a surprising discovery.

Mysticexperiences.net