The 9 characteristics of mystical experience

#1
https://lonerwolf.com/mystical-experience/

"There is one particular state of consciousness that can change your life forever.

This moment can only be described as “ecstatic” in that you experience your connection to life expand significantly. In this moment you feel that life is full of beauty and sacredness, but this feeling and phenomenon is somehow objective and outside of your individual self. Theologian Rudolf Otto called this experience “numinosum.” But in this article we’ll refer to it as the mystical experience.

All throughout history, the mystical experience has been referred to as a “religious” or spiritual experience, where the few mystics that recorded their experiences reported it as a rapturous and undifferentiated sense of joyful unity with all of existence.


In a previous article I wrote about the experience of “Kenosis,” a word coined by Christian mystics to describe the state of “divine flowing,” and this closely mimics what it is like to have a mystical experience. In psychology the closest term that captures this mysterious state of being is Abraham Maslow’s description of “Peak Experiences,” and in nature-orientated cultures like the Australian Aborigines, mystical experiences have been called “Dadirri.”

The Candle in the Dark

The best way to describe a mystical experience might be with an allegory. The ancient Hindu tradition of Advaita Vedanta has an interesting one:

'Imagine that you are in a completely dark room. You’ve been told that in this room lives a very large snake. As you sit in the room, you can see its silhouette and you feel great fear as you contemplate the potential for it to bite you at any moment. But one day there is a flash of light which illuminates the room and you see that what looked like a snake is in reality a rope. Although the flash of light was momentary, it gave you a glimpse of the truth. All of a sudden your long-held fear vanished entirely, and your experience in the room was never the same ever again.'

This is what a mystical experience feels like: it is like a flash of truth that releases you from your limited sense of self and gives you a taste of a reality that somehow feels more real.

Plato recounts that Socrates had a similar allegory regarding the mystical experience: Suppose that you’ve been kept chained in a cave all your life. Behind you blazes a fire, and next to you sits a row of other prisoners. All that you and the prisoners know of life is the experience of watching the shadows dancing on the opposite wall to you, and the shared interpretations of what you see. However, by chance one day, one of the prisoner’s chains breaks and he escapes into the outside world. At first he is confused, overwhelmed, scared, but he also feels an immense sense of expansion, awe and bliss. He is aware that he is experiencing a larger, more complete and absorbing reality than what he could see within the cave; a hole in the hillside. His natural instinct is to return to liberate his fellow men, but after struggling back into the world of darkness and shadows his attempt to enlighten his companions is met with ridicule and incredulity as they accuse him of being crazy.

To some degree, we are all prisoners in the cave of our past experiences. Any worldview becomes a cave the moment it is taken for reality.

9 Characteristics of the Mystical Experience

Every person’s mystical experience varies in length and intensity. Have you had a mystical experience? Here are a few defining characteristics:
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#2
(Dec 15, 2019 01:34 AM)Magical Realist Wrote: https://lonerwolf.com/mystical-experience/

2. There Is No Time or Space
With a lack of a definable identity or spatial recognition, your sense of time feels infinite. You go from perceiving time from moment-to-moment as a static individual, to perceiving it as a stream of eternal present moments...


I wouldn't continue to call them "moments" anymore, though, which is still temporal nomenclature. They would just be co-existing differences. In an everyday state of consciousness, the "supposed" feeling of transiting from one cognitively discriminated state or change to the next would be the type of relationship itself that integrates them. The relationships would be internal experiences rather than the geometrically extended appearances represented by a view outside themselves that usually exemplify linkages to us. (Along with symbols expressing relationships in abstract thought processes, models, or descriptions conducted on paper, screen, etc.)
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