Have you had a mystical experience?

The Eternal Flame of Truth

The reason I’ve had some time away from blogging in the last year is because most of it has been spent caring for my husband of 45 years, who has recently developed a form of rare dementia.

Always a very fit and active man, he is now faced with the undoing of everything the world tells us is real, the body’s vitality, energy, mental acuity, its very purpose. This is hard enough for most people but especially hard when I consider how very fit he was, running the Everest Marathon in Nepal in his sixties, and not once, but twice.

On the one hand it’s an incredibly complex and difficult journey of surrender, and it’s happening too fast for either of us to process.

And on the other, as I watch him go through the stages of this illness it struck me that mental conditions associated with ageing are another way of withdrawing from the everyday world of materialistic consciousness and in that sense, probably a perfectly natural process.

As someone who has trodden the spiritual path for what seems like a long time, there has, perhaps for me, been a gentler retraining of the mind to think from Spirit rather than from ego.

But however it appears on the outside, it is clear that we are both being invited to see through the dreamlike nature of the world.

We are learning to let go, in preparation for the final letting go and the next stage of consciousness, which occurs after the laying aside of the body.

The idea that what we see in our everyday lives is not actually ‘real’ is not a new one. It’s as old as Hinduism or Buddhism. But it’s also a Christian idea, though Christian mysticism is less well known path in mainstream Christianity since it has been mainly trodden by contemplatives who often shut themselves off in cloisters. That’s not so much because they were trying to turn their backs on life life -indeed many mystics were highly engaged with life -but because they knew truth was to be found within, and that silence/ emptiness was the first language of God.

A mystic in short, is someone who actively seeks the truth by going inwards. And many of them did find truth and unity consciousness by following a well worn path, standing on the shoulders of giants who came before them such as St Francis, St Theresa of Avila and the author of The Cloud of Unknowing amongst others.

Of course you don’t need to be a special kind of holy person to be a mystic. Interestingly enough, after extensive research into mystical experiences, the number one cause of them by far, has not, as might have been expected, meditative or contemplative practices, (though it was second) but by typical ‘crash and burn’ failure scenarios like despair and depression.

Total burnout will do it every time because it involves hitting rock bottom. If you’ve been there you know that you get to get to the point of total ego surrender. A place where the four letter word HELP is the only word that seems to make any sense.

And as anyone who has ever asked for help in those circumstances knows, it is always given. We never walk the path alone. Who knew that it’s not by getting things right that leads to success in God’s eyes but by getting things utterly wrong? We might have guessed somehow.

In that sense then, many ordinary people in our world are candidates for awakening!

So what does a mystical experience look like in the 21st century? The answer seems to be very different for everyone. They are as individual as we are; but there are enough similarities to be able to say that –

In a mystical experience there is always some kind of experience if God, or Love or Perfect oneness.

There is a call to love homewards, an awareness of wholeness and a freedom from guilt and fear. It feels like a holy and joyful experience.

It feels like deep truths are been revealed in a passive way. You don’t have to grapple for them.

It seems to occur not in linear time, but ‘outside’ of time. That’s why later, when you try to recall when it happened there will be confusion in your mind about what happened and when.

There may be some visual or auditory experience that is wholly out of your everyday experience and defies description in normal language. It will probably include an awareness of immortality.

The indisputable truth of your experience will never leave you, but get stronger by the day. You will be convinced that it’s more real and true than anything you have ever experienced in ‘normal’ life.

If you want to read a thoroughly researched and highly compelling book that might open the door to finding out more about mysticism and mystical experiences, I doubt if Jon Mundy’s book, Mysticism and Miracles could be surpassed.

One thought on “Have you had a mystical experience?

  1. Kentt3211

    The description of mystical experiences after the first few paragraphs, the genuine insights into what seems like actual first hand experience makes this reblog exceptionally compelling.

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