Are spiritual experiences becoming more common?

A Review of an article in Psychology Today by Dr. Steve Taylor, author of the Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.

MER’s review comments are in bold type:

What are spiritual experiences? I don’t think of them in religious terms. I see them as moments in which our awareness becomes more intense and more expansive than normal, so that the world around us becomes more real and alive, and we feel a strong sense of connection to nature and other human beings.

These attachments were not true of my experiences.

We might feel a sense of joy or inner stillness, and feel that somehow the world around us is “in harmony” or has a meaning that we find difficult to express.

Yes, but not just “the world”, everything.

If a person from a religious background has such an experience, they may well interpret it in religious terms. They might see it as a gift from God, and believe that the aliveness and harmony they perceive is a glimpse of the divine, or of heaven.

But if you’re not religious, there’s no reason to think in these terms. The experience is just a psychological one. It suggests that our normal vision of the world is limited and in some ways even aberrational.

In awakening experiences, there is a strong sense of ‘seeing more,’ of expanding beyond limits and perceiving a more authentic reality.

Yes! Very much so.

My research shows that awakening experiences are connected to certain activities and situations. They are associated with contact with nature, spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer, sporting activities (such as running and swimming), and sex. They are also strongly associated with states of intense psychological turmoil. That is, paradoxically, they often occur in the midst of stress and depression, or in relation to traumatic life events such as illness, divorce or bereavement.

None of my experiences of the mystical experience of Reality were associated with any of the activities and situations suggested here.

However, one of the most interesting things about these experiences is that they are apparently becoming more common.

In a 1962 Gallup poll, just 22 percent of Americans reported that they had “ever had a religious or mystical experience.” In 1994, 33 percent of people answered yes to the same question, while by 2009, the figure had risen to 49 percent.

Research by the Pew Research Center in the U.S. has shown a similar trend. In 2007, 52 percent of Americans reported that they regularly felt a “deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being.” In 2014, the figure stood at 59 percent. In 2007, 39 percent of Americans said that the regularly felt a “deep sense of wonder about the universe”—a figure which had increased to 46 percent in 2014.

Perhaps significantly, these increases coincided closely with a decrease in interest in organized religion.

In the U.K., the surveys of the Spiritual Experience Research Centre have had similar findings. In a 1969 survey, the question “Have you ever experienced a presence or power, whether you call it God or not, which is different from your everyday self?” was answered affirmatively by 29 percent of people.

In 1978, the figure had risen to 36 percent, and then to 48 percent in 1987. In 2000, there was a further steep rise to 75 percent—a 27 percent increase in 13 years (which was, coincidentally or not, exactly the same figure by which church attendance declined over the same period). (1)

A Collective Movement?

Why should spiritual experiences be more common now than they were a few decades ago? It could simply be that people are simply getting better at recognizing them, or are more open about discussing them.

A lot of historically known mystics had no choice but to keep quiet about their experiences or take the consequences from the brutal conventional religions of their day.

Now that there is more general awareness of spirituality in our culture, and concepts such as “spiritual peace and well-being” are a more common part of discourse, it could simply be that more people are describing their experiences in this way, when they might have described them in other terms in earlier decades.

Or perhaps it’s right to take the research at its face value. Perhaps spiritual experiences actually are becoming more common. This is the approach I take in my new book The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.

It is hard to tell if the good doctor is actually talking about mystics and the mystical experience of Reality that defines mystics as mystics.

I suggest that spiritual experiences are glimpses of a new state of being that is slowly becoming more normal to human beings. This is a higher-functioning state that I call “wakefulness,” in which a person feels an enhanced sense of well-being, clarity, and connection.

This is certainly a partial view of the traditional mystic experience.

They have a more intense awareness of the world around them, a greater sense of appreciation of nature, a broad global outlook, and an all-embracing sense of empathy with the whole human race. In many ways, it is a permanent, ongoing variant of the ‘awakening experience.’

Empathy with the human race is certainly not where my experiences have lead me. Humanity as a collective is at a very primitive state of Realisation (or cosmic consciousnesses).

I have found many examples of people who shift into this higher-functioning state in the midst of intense psychological turmoil – for example, bereavement, serious illness, or alcoholism—I describe some of these examples in The Leap.

If true, such descriptions would make their “experiences” suspect, very anthropological, not mystical experiences of Reality at all.

This shift is quite common, and can be seen as a variation of “post-traumatic growth”—I sometimes refer to it as “post-traumatic transformation.”

There are also hundreds of millions of people around the world who are gradually cultivating wakefulness by following spiritual practices such as meditation and service, or spiritual paths such as Buddhism, Yoga, or the Kabbalah.

The mystical experience of Reality cannot be evangelised or experienced from books or religions. The ancient and modern records of the phenomena of MER suggests the experience is caught, not taught. That’s certainly my experience.

A constantly increasing interest in self-development, spiritual practices, and traditions is one of the most significant cultural trends of our time.

Beware of such cultural “trends”. Reality is not interested in human “culture” if my experiences are anything to go by.

It seems to me that there is a collective moment towards awakening, which is manifesting itself in a variety of ways—one of which may be the increasing frequency of spiritual experiences.

(1) I am grateful to my fellow author Jules Evans for bringing my attention to this research.

Steve Taylor PhD is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, UK. He is the author of The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.
Source: Psychology Today

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FREE WILL AND FULL POTENTIAL? Answering your Calling.

Most humans won’t reach their full potential or achieve spiritual free will.
Does this explain the perennial state of human agitations, disappointments and struggles?

Science can’t deliver either attribute. Science isn’t in the same reality. Nor will any human effort, if the mystic experience is to be believed.

Humans have free will only within their developing human attributes, as dung beetles etc. have their free will within theirs. But in spiritual Reality free will does not exist, is redundant, in my experience.

Mystics on the other hand do achieve their current potential but for them free will is not an option or a consideration – they are Reality, where free will is irrelevant.

Mystics are emptied of their humaness to the point of human invisibility, (interestingly, a Sufi teaching tradition). They are free and as fully developed to their potential here as they can be.

Even if mystics announce themselves, most humans are not developed enough to understand they exist. So that’s why mysticism remains largely invisible, non mainstream, whatever characteristics it adopts.

However, scholars, theologians, scientists and philosophers etc. know the mystical experience of Reality (MER) exists and have even suggested mystics are, for example, “a new species”, the leading edge of human evolution, or “the better part” of spirituality.

So why can’t everyone achieve mystic status?

There is no evidence mystic fulfillment can be taught, only caught. Teachings don’t help though they might induce numinousness, empathetic secular enlightenment but only as a pale, insubstantial shadow of the real thing.

So the question has to be asked: Is human evolution impeded by a humanity so full of itself there’s no room left for what mystics are given freely?

My experience suggests there are those others who are spontaneously beset by an indescribable but undeniable yearning for the ineffablility of the numinous; Seekers. If you are a Seeker you might find solace in the following four suggestions I have identified as

ANSWERING YOUR CALLING:

  1. Serve humanity by being legal, decent and honest, nothing more. This starts to simplify life, to focus it.
  2. Carry out worldly duties and responsibilities (ie. as a parent, relative, neighbour, colleague, citizen) for as long as you can. (These attachments might never completely disappear at first but will assume their proper spiritual perspective eventually).
  3. “Let go” of everything else, even #2 above when the time comes.
  4. A tip: If you can describe yourself at the end of your life you’ve not achieved anything relevant; so simplify now so that that which is answering your Calling/Seeking finds space in the real you. Shed the unnessary elements of your life as you’re taken to your deepest, truest self, where everything falls into place effortlessly – axiomatically, automatically.

Does this work?

If it doesn’t work, will most humans ever reach their full potential or remain bogged down in the limits of human freewill?

Mysticalexperiences.net

THE SECRET PASSWORD TO MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE

The most secret password in the known Universe is needed to reveal the mystical experience of Reality (MER).

This password is: “EXPERIENCE”.

That’s the good news. The bad news is:

The password is caught, not taught, not given nor bought. You can’t achieve this state of being, this state of Reality beyond the merely human, without it being caught). And no cryptologist in the world can crack the code!

Why is the experience of Reality hidden?

Presumably because most humans don’t have the attributes that qualify them to receive it yet. Or perhaps they’re unaware of this unrealised power they have? Maybe humans can’t be trusted with this Apple? Or their current state of development is too primitive for them to understand, or have any use to developed Reality yet?

The good news:

Mystics aver every human has a profound yearning for the infinite joy and acceptance that is the core of the mystic experience of reality (MER). It expresses itself strongly or weakly but irresistibly like a plant growing through concrete … It can be recognised when it surfaces in Seekers and Mystics. Otherwise it lies dormant or unrecognised, unacknowledged, never sleeping!

If you Google ‘Mysticism’ the historical and current references from all over the world seem to never end, that’s how pervasive this fundamental aspect of the human condition is, compared to human science, history, pyschology, religion, medicine, literature or ideologies, isms and politics – all extinguishable as the Reality of the mystic experience never is, guarded as it is by the most secret password in the known Universe …

Mysticalexperiences.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 SUPREME IMPORTANCE OF THE INDIVIDUAL?

“MANY ARE CALLED, BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN”.

By Lewis Lafontaine, Depthpsychologysite.blog

Publisher’s note: I don’t know where Dr Jung got this insight, but it validates my own mystical experiences of Reality about the supreme importance of the individual over mere social conventionality in the development of existence:

“The words “many are called, but few are chosen” are singularly appropriate here, for the development of personality from the germ-state to full consciousness is at once a charisma and a curse, because its first fruit is the conscious and unavoidable segregation of the single individual from the undifferentiated and unconscious herd. This means isolation, and there is no more comforting word for it. Neither family nor society nor position can save him from this fate, nor yet the most successful adaptation to his environment, however smoothly he fits in. The development of personality is a favor that must be paid for dearly. But the people who talk most loudly about developing their personalities are the very ones who are least mindful of the results, which are such as to frighten away all weaker spirits.

“Yet the development of personality means more than just hatching forth monsters, or of isolation. It also means fidelity to the law of one’s own being.

“For the word “fidelity” I should prefer, in this context, the Greek word used in the New Testament, nioris, which is erroneously translated “faith.” It really means “trust,” “trustful loyalty.” Fidelity to the law of one’s own being is a trust in this law, a loyal perseverance and a confident hope; in short, an attitude such as a religious man should have towards God. It can now be seen how portentous is the dilemma that emerges from behind our problem: personality can never develop unless the individual chooses his own way, consciously and with moral deliberation. Not only the casual motive – necessity – but conscious moral decision must lend its strength to the process of building the personality.

“If the first is lacking, then the alleged development is a mere acrobatics of the will: If the second, it will get stuck in unconscious automatism. But a a man can make a conscious decision to go his own way only if he holds that way to be the best. If any other way were held to be better, then he would live and develop that other personality instead of his own. The other ways are conventionalities of a moral, social, political, philosophical, or religious nature. The fact that the conventions always flourish in one form or another only proves that the vast majority of mankind do not choose their own way, but convention, and consequently develop not themselves but a method and a mode of life at the cost of their own wholeness.”Carl Jung; The Development of Personality.

Reblogged by Mystic experiences 2018

Don’t live by examples, but seek your own path

Seekers having relinquished religions and other spiritual dead ends might find a great deal of solace in this reblog.

It emphasises the reality of the individual attested to by mystics.

This, in a world still confounded by the failed ways of communalism, communism, socialism, liberalism, progressivism and all the other artificial human isms that veil us from ourselves and our place in Ultimate Reality, is perhaps part of a reawakening to the fundamental values and original purpose of individuality:

Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic

From The Red Book by C.G. Jung:

“Believe me: It is no teaching and no instruction that I give you. On what basis should I presume to teach you? I give you news of the way of this man, but not of your own way. My path is not your path, therefore I cannot teach you. The way is within us, but not in Gods, nor in teachings, nor in laws. Within us is the way, the truth, and the life.

Woe betide those who live by way of examples! Life is not with them. If you live according to an example, you thus live the life of that example, but who should live your own life if not yourself? So live yourselves.

The signposts have fallen, unblazed trails lie before us. Do not be greedy to gobble up the fruits of foreign fields. Do you not know that you…

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Easy Does It – bad teachers?

https://wp.me/p14it7-dDw

This essay so agrees with my prejudices on the subject of spontaneous mystical experiences of Reality (MER) I just have to draw your attention to it.

My only caveat is the constant use of the word ‘God’. My experiences taught me there’s no such thing if this is a reference to the god of human religions.

I prefer the phrase “Ultimate Reality” or “Reality” with a capital R.

The human word GOD is too small to come anywhere near to describing the Reality mystics experience. The word is tainted with insistent human values and dangerously limited spiritual experience.

Apart from that, this article is an essential foray into real spiritual meaning, in my experience.

Mysticalexperiences.net 2018

Marc replied:

Thank you, Keith, for visiting our site and for reblogging the piece of spiritual writing published on this page.

I have read the caveat you noted down at your website, and I have no problems with it, to wit:

My only caveat is the constant use of the word ‘God’. My experiences taught me there’s no such thing if this is a reference to the god of human religions.

My use of the term “God” is a only a matter of familiar linguistic convenience andgrammatical facilitation, to enable the communication of my message to others (readers in this case). In no way does my use of the word refer to the typical “god” (or “God”) of any human religion. You are right in that regard.

The truly ineffable is beyond the label and definition of words or word constructs. It is, also, beyond mental conceptualization and comprehension by the intellectual functionality of the human mind. One can readily substitute the word “God” in the article with, say, your preferred use of “Ultimate Reality” or “Reality” with a capital R. I would not have any problem with that.

Permitting me to make light of the matter, let me say that from a mystic’s perspective, I suppose it might boil down to adopting and using a favored “pet name” for the utterly transcendent Reality. Joel Goldsmith had his: the “Infinite Invisible.” Mystics, philosophers and theologians from various cultures and traditions down through the ages have resorted to fanciful expressions such as the Absolute, the First Cause, the Prime Mover, Spirit, Brahman, Purusha, the Self, the unutterable Nameless One or “Yahweh” in the Hebraic tradition for which the Jews had to concoct the name “Adonai” just so that they could have a representative name to legitimately pronounce (seems crazy and ridiculous but there was a reason behind the seeming madness), the Tao, Nirvana, Allah, and so on and so forth; and, of course, the much ballyhooed yet still in vogue everyman’s term in the English-speaking world — God.

It would seem that not even scientists can be spared from the tendency of customarily providing some reverential, awe-inspiring nomenclature for a phenomenon beyond the immediate purview of scientific reasoning and observation. Thus, we have terms such as the “Big Bang” (why not the Big Fart?), the “Zero Point Field,” the “Singularity,” the Higgs boson “God-Particle,” Consciousness, etc. all denoting “something that’s there but not quite out there.”

Aware of this very human foible, I exercised enough prudence to raise the potential issue or problematic matter at the very beginning of this site’s substantive discourse on the subject of contemporary mysticism. It sets the tone for the discussion and for the entire site as well.

By the way, my private “pet name” for God would be “The Truly Ineffable.” It reminds me of the divine paradox that “there is this thing that is not a thing at all” — a No-Thing.

Thanks again for appreciating the post, Keith.

Cheers.

categories: MER, GOD.

Waking Up – Steve Taylor Ph.D.

Evolutionary_Mystic Post

Are spiritual experiences becoming more common?

What are spiritual experiences? I don’t think of them in religious terms. I see them as moments in which our awareness becomes more intense and more expansive than normal, so that the world around us becomes more real and alive, and we feel a strong sense of connection to nature and other human beings. We might feel a sense of joy or inner stillness, and feel that somehow the world around us is “in harmony” or has a meaning that we find difficult to express.

If a person from a religious background has such an experience, they may well interpret it in religious terms. They might see it as a gift from God, and believe that the aliveness and harmony they perceive is a glimpse of the divine, or of heaven. But if you’re not religious, there’s no reason to think in these terms…

View original post 774 more words

A MEDITATION INTO THE ALPHA AND OMEGA*

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).

Any human meditation on this sentence will eventually lead to a renunciation of the energies and manifestations of the human spirit, making way for the in-pouring of the ultimate experience of all existence, known and unknown; without books or instructions, taboos, hope, faith or belief.

Listening, meditation, will eliminate lust, anger, greed, attachments and ego so as to guide, guard and awaken you to what you are not who you are.

What you seek seeks you. It gives everything and asks for nothing.

*Revelation 22:13

Physics and the Evidence for Non-Material Consciousness

Ruminations

selfie

There is an old story of the net and the fishermen. A net having a weave that lets any object smaller than 10 inches long slip through it. Fishermen cast the net in the lake and harvest fish always ten inches long or longer. The fishermen mistakenly conclude that there are no fish in the lake smaller than 10 inches. Philosophy 101 students easily recognize the fishermen’s mistake. If there were fish in the lake smaller than 10 inches they would slip through the net.

Now imagine that there is some constraint on these fishermen that prevents them from weaving nets any more finely than they have. Is there any other means by which they might acquire evidence of fish smaller than ten inches long? As it happens there is. They can take some of the larger fish, keep them alive in captivity, and mate them. If successful, they would…

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MYSTICISM: Defining Mysticism by Carl McColman

Despite reducing mysticism to the anthropormorphic mythomania of the existence of a God, this is a useful introduction to a subject much more profound than religions in general and Christianity in particular.

KH. Mysticexperiences.net 2018

The Value of Sparrows

From The Big Book of Christian Mysticism

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
(Isaiah 55:8)

What, then, is time? I know well enough what it is, provided that
nobody asks me; but if I am asked what it is and try to explain, I am baffled.
(Augustine)

Some people think mysticism means having powerful spiritual experiences, like seeing Heavenly visions, or hearing supernatural voices, or feeling a sense of communion with God, or undergoing profound shifts in consciousness.  Others see it as a spiritual dimension to (and beyond) religion, in which the cultural, ethical, and theological differences between religions are somehow resolved in a trans-verbal state of unity.  Still others dismiss it as the fuzzy, illogical, and irrational element that makes religion and spirituality so distasteful to those who prefer to conduct their lives according to science rather than faith…

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“UNDERSTANDING LETTING GO AND GOING WITH THE FLOW”

BeBloggerofficial

What has to happen inside a person before he can let go of attachments that are harming him? The attachment can be physical, such as a house or keepsake; it can be emotional, such as resentment about an incident or fear of an unwanted outcome. Attachments can be needs—the need to understand everything completely, or the need to force things into an order he can manage. Attachments can be relationships or jobs, or even dreams.

By the time we’ve reached midlife, most of us have had to grapple with an attachment that needed detaching. We will go through this many times before we’re done with our journeys. It might help us to reflect on what the process of detachment is for us because each of us has a process that is unique to our personality, history, and situation.

”When I let go of what I am, I become what I…

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