The mystical experience
A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic
Copyright 2008 by K. Ferlic, † All Rights Reserved
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Generally speaking, a mystical experience is an experience of the unseen in such a way that we know we are not our body and there is more to us than what is reflected in the life we live. That is, our awareness comes to understand it is capable of existing out of the body.
We cannot prove the concept that we are not our body to the satisfaction of our enculturated mind. It is something that can only in someway be experienced and, even if we have the experience, we may or may not recognize the experience for what it is, and we may, or may not, believe the experience is real even if we recognize it. There are several reasons for this and they all have to deal with the nature of the experience itself. But it all boils down to the fact we are usually looking in the wrong place to both have it and to understand it. Quite simply, mind only knows what it has experienced. To have an experience that would demonstrate we are not our body is not something our mind can readily understand.
Normally the type and kind of experiences we have that provides the proof to the individual that we are not our body are typically referred to as mystical experiences. Because they are mystical, that is where the "problem" of understanding develops. The term mystical experience refer to an experience of the nature of a direct, intuitive or subjective perception beyond the ordinary range of human experience, especially one of a religious character. A mystical experience is seen a having a spiritual character or reality beyond the comprehension of human reason.
The first problem in understanding the mystical experience develops because first it is a direct experience and as such, there are no "middle men." Nothing stands between us and the experience. No one can judge it. No one can analyze it. No one can second guess what we experience. It is our direct experience. More importantly, we canít copy it from somebody nor can somebody tell us how to do it or give one to us. It is our direct experience. As we will hopefully come to see, we enter life fully equipped to have all the mystical experiences that we need. We only lost that ability when we lost our ability to be in the spontaneous and innocent childlike play of discovery and exploration.
The second problem is that a mystical experience is intuitive. If we are not intimately familiar with our intuitive abilities and routinely use them, we will not be able to have the type and kind of experiences that allow us to see that we are not our body. Even if we have the experiences, we will not properly interpret them. Knowing how to work with our intuitive guidance and being fully aware when we have an understanding and a knowing rising from within our being is essential to understand and recognize the mystical experience. If we have not learned to fully trust what arises from within or we do not pay attention to what arises from within, we will totally miss the experience or improperly explain it. What we will find is that our intuitive guidance is our most powerful tool for interpreting and understanding the information contained in the mystical experience.
The third problem is that it is a subjective experience. Something that is subjective is considered relating to, proceeding from, or taking place within an individualís mind, emotions, and the like as opposed to being objective. Whatever is subjective is seen originating from, or influenced by, oneís personal interests prejudices, emotions, and biases. It is seen as introspective and only of the mind or emotions such that what is experienced is seen as fanciful and/or illusionary by another.
What this means is that what we think you experienced, what we believe about the experience, and how we characterize that experience and explain it to someone else, is totally subjective and based on our unique belief structure and experiences of life and may be considered at best fanciful and/or illusionary by another. Hence we will most probably not be believed unless we also have some unique power or understanding that arises from the experience In any case, the beliefs we hold and the experiences we have had act as a filter through which we look through as we have the experience. This in no way suggests what we experience is not real. It is only that what we experience is totally unique. The best we can do is express what we experience in a common language or set of symbols that may or may not be accurate of what we experience. This issue is also discussed in the topic, "The problem of mind and the experience of the Source of Creation - the trap of mind."
The fourth problem is that it is seen as beyond the ordinary range of human experience. As such, there is nothing that we have experienced or can point to as to exactly what we experienced. It has, and always will be, a journey into the unknown. If we can in any way accurately relate what we experienced as what another experienced, there is a very good chance it was not a mystical experience. Rather, it is a concept that we turned into an actual perception. If the experience we have is mystical, it is beyond human experience. We canít characterize it accurately in any human experience which includes all that humans created such a words, alphabets, languages and symbols. This is one reason why so many mystical experiences are relayed though poetry, stories and/or myths for those methods seem to better touch upon the undefinable nature of the mystical experience. To many, the poetry, stories and/or myths will either not be understood or misinterpreted.
The fifth problem is that traditionally any experience that was not rational was referred to some type of religious teacher or healer for they were seen as somehow knowledgeable of the unseen worlds. Although modern society has move away from sole reliance on religious teachers as authorities of the unseen realms, many still consider the unseen aspects of reality, especially oneís internal world as something more akin to religious or spiritual world. Additionally, until physicists started to play with unseen energy of the electromagnetic spectrum and the nuclear world and psychologist and psychiatrist started to deal with the unseen inner world, all our symbols, language and the like for the unseen inner and outer realms of existence were religious. Hence, any time someone has an experience of the unseen realms whether it was inner or outer, it was seen as some type and kind of religious experience. That then leads to the sixth problem.
The sixth problem of the mystical experience is that it is seen as having a spiritual character. Before it was demonstrated in physics unseen energy could become something with mass and something with mass could be seen as energy, there was a physical world and a non physical world and those two world were seen as separate. Additionally since pain seemed to reside in the physical world the world of spirit was seen as something totally different than the physical world and absent of pain. Although most of the spiritual teaching said that all is one or everything emanates from the same Source, most saw the spiritual world as a totally separate from the physical. Hence one could not have mystical experience in the physical world itself or in physical existence. That is, all mystical experiences had to be spiritual and somehow disconnected from physical life. Anything spiritual was seen as separate and divorced from the physical so a mystical experience that was physical was seen as an impossibility.
For example, healings that could be but are not explained physically were/are considered miraculous and of a spiritual in nature rather than just an application of the laws of nature we did, or do not, understand. Yet we have had medical intervention that are purely physical that have accomplished much greater outcomes that anything reported spiritually. If we allow ourselves to see all of science created with non physical models and mathematical ideas as an application of the unseen realms of Creation, the whole concept of spiritual and material evaporates into a oneness.
The seventh problem was that a mystical experience is perceived as having to deal with a reality beyond the comprehension of human reason. So no matter what we experience it could not be effectively characterized by reason.
Finally the eight problem resulted by the fact there was no other way to really talk about a mystical experience other than through the language of religions. Before science began to live and work in the unseen world, only religious and spiritual people had a language appropriate to the unseen realms and they were seen as knowledgeable and authorities of the unseen. So individuals looked towards the religious and spiritual traditions for guidance in the areas of experiences that could give one some an experiential knowing that they are not their bodies.
But in many ways, these spiritual and religious traditions have failed. Through out history, spiritual and religious traditions have employed many techniques with varying degrees of success. If these traditions really understood the unseen realms and if their techniques were truly successful, they would be able to produce mystics a dime a dozen and be producing them the way we can produce engineers, doctors, chemist and the like. So one has to ask, where are all the mystics? Why are all these processes not producing the independent mystics that can go off and create all the mystical experiences they want much like the way physicist, engineers, chemists, doctors and the like can go off and produce great works of science and engineering never needing the equivalent a priest, teacher or guru to continually fall back upon? What is the real difference. Some would say physicists, chemists, engineers and doctors donít work with the unseen realms and only deal with physical creation. Yet most of the advances of technology have been made in the unseen reams and realm that lie beyond human perception.
The problem really is that the truth of the matter is we each have our own mystical experiences and some of us have them all the time. However we are not taught to recognize them, accept them and/or use them. Rather we are taught to rely on external authorities for something that is unique to our being and a direct experience of the unseen realms. We are each a unique creations and what exactly I experience will not be exactly what you experience. We can compare notes so to speak and talk about what we think is similar yet each of us experience Creation uniquely. That is one of the first real issues one faces in coming to understand we are not our bodies. The experience that I may have that allows me to see the truth of this fact may not be yours. Until we learn how to process our own internal world, we will not find the proof that we seek.
How to get our mystical experience: There are two primary ways that we can use to get the type and kind of mystical experience that will allow us to know that we are not our body. The first way is to set the intention to have such an experience and allow the creative process to deliver it. The second way is to return to a state of spontaneous and innocent childlike play of discovery and exploration and have the mystical experience happens as part of or a byproduct to, our play.
Setting the intention the experience; For most individuals, the statement that we are not our bodies is only an intellectual understanding and will remain an intellectual understanding until we have some type and kind of experience which demonstrates it. All we can do is set the intention to somehow come to an awareness of the truth of this statement such that we will know without a doubt that it is true. In holding this intention there will be some type of experience that we will have that will allow us to experientially know its truth. However, it will not necessarily be anything dramatic like a near death experience or visitation by some non physical being. Although those types and kinds of experiences are possible, rather, it could be simply the awareness that our awareness never ages but only identification with our mind and the experiences we have had changes.
The difficulty we will face is creating the experience to know we are not our body is that we will have to face and work through all the obstacles that stand in our way for that experience. There will be obstacles or otherwise we would have already have had the experience and we would not need to set the intention. The problem most of us have is that almost everything we experience in the body tends to reinforce the belief that we are our bodies. Because of what we have come to believe about life, we do not allow ourselves to see life for what it really is. We come into this world fully in touch with our true nature and lose it only because of how we have come to think about ourselves and about life.
Mind is a property of consciousness. The separation of consciousness is illusionary. That is we cannot really compartment our thinking into independent sections, for example separation our work life from our personal life, no matter how deep the habits or how consciously we try, what mind believes in one aspect of consciousness can and does spill over in other facets of consciousness. Consequently many past experiences (like the pain of childhood that caused us to lose our ability to play) and beliefs (like what we were told was good and bad as a child) carry over into our current thinking. Often these past experiences interfere with creating the experiences that allow us to understand the true depth and breath of our creativity because we believe that we are our bodies. So in creating the experiences to know that we are not their body, we will need to be prepared to deal with many unexpected "ghosts" of the past that seem to arise from nowhere.
Each of us are a being of infinite consciousness that has a tendency to fall into habits and patterns of the past. We create habits and patterns so that we donít have to always be thinking about what we are doing. Whether we realize it or not, we like to live in a way were much of our life runs on autopilot. We create the patterns to make our life easier and then fall into a rut that we have to break out of to restore our full creativity. If we remain in the patterns of the past, we never explore the depth and breath of who and what we are.
In this regard, we often intentionally block certain types and kind of experiences to prevent ourselves from falling into past patterns, especially when they have the potential to take us away from the reason for our incarnation. Whether we accept it or not, we have lived before and we still carry habits our previous lives. Some of us have spent lifetimes trying to become spiritual so that we never have to return to the physical plane. Yet we are here again. If we go back to practicing some of the methods that were successful for us in these previous lives, we will fall into old patterns that do not serve us in this life. Consequently we intention block both certain information and methods before we incarnated. If we set the intention and explore this aspect of our life we will find it true and it is only until we gain awareness that we will permit ourselves to use these methods and certain information that would otherwise become a trap of the past. However, if we have not yet developed the ability to live from our intuitive guidance, we will have difficulty both believing what we find and fully understanding what we find.
In any case, if we set the intention to have the experience to know that we are not our body, we can also set the intention to explore both our body and our consciousness as separate entities. Eastern mystics have traditionally used meditation and have denied the body to explore consciousness. However, few fully allow themselves to feel the body and be in the body to explore all facets of it. To explore the body, we need to step out of mind and surrender to the flow of energy in the heart. To do so, we need to allow ask our intuitive guidance and body wisdom to lead us and then follow what surfaces no matter what it looks like to the best of our ability. In dancing between the two methods denying the body and fully embracing the body, we will being to see and understand how and why we are not our body yet totally in the physical experiences inseparable from our body.
When and if we can come to the understanding that we are not our body we are then free to see the depth and breath of our being. In particular we will come to see how unlimited we truly are and we will begin to understand how we have created the physical experiences that we have.
Returning to play: Although we can set the intention of have an experience that allows us to know we are not our body, the recommendation here is that we allow ourselves to return to that state of spontaneous and innocent childlike play of discovery and exploration. Although it will be a little more difficult for us to return to that state of play because we will have to face all the reason why we lost our ability to play, it is much more worth wide in the long run. When we are in this childlike state of play, we will have all the mystical experiences one would ever want.
Whether we realize it or not, we are having mystical experiences all the time. We donít recognize them for what they are because we lack the understanding and donít allow ourselves to explore what we discover spontaneously and in innocence - that is without all the preconceived judgments and biases of the mind.
Many of us have very powerful dreams but we do not know what they mean and what they tell us. They are a mystical experience. Many of us have synchronistic experiences that we discard but yet they too are a form of mystical experience. Other have premonitions. Other have healings. Yet most often, we find some way to rationalize or otherwise dismiss the mystical nature of the experience. For example accidentally finding or stumbling upon the unique doctor who assist us in what would otherwise be a miraculous healing of an otherwise incurable illness is just as mystical and magical an any other mystical experience. What the physician does my be fully understandable within the principles of science but we needs to ask how we found that doctor. In many cases the experiences is dismissed because the experience does not meet our expectation of what a mystical experience is suppose to look like. We listens too often to others to guide what can only be a direct experience.
What we fail to realize is how unique we really are and how understanding that uniqueness is necessary for us to be able to recognize and interpret the experiences we have. It is only in embracing our uniqueness and learning to live and use our uniqueness is the door open to the experiences we seek. The simplest way to do all of this is to simply return to that state of spontaneous and innocent childlike play of discovery and exploration for it is the most mystical state and most creative state of existence in physical creation and we are born into it. We have only forgotten how to play.
The way to produce mystics a dime a dozen is simply to create the safe and secure space and allow the individual to discover and explore the depth and breath of our own being in spontaneity and innocence no matter what it looks like. In doing so, we will know we are not our body for we will see the infinity of our own being and how unlimited our creativity really is.