View Full Version : Who here has induced a mystical experience?
03-27-2004, 01:27 AM
Has anyone been able to induce within oneself an ecstatic mystical experience without the use of stimulants?
It seems eerie that mystical experiences across almost all religions are described in similar terms or beliefs (becoming one with God or the Divine, becoming one with all, etc.). Since each religion has a different theology or view of the world, the fact that mystical experiences tend to be similar suggests to me that mystical experiences have more to do with triggering something inside one rather than the spiritual one-ness or connection or cleaving the mystic is actually seeking. Meaning, that mystical experiences are independent of mysticism.
So, has anyone been able to induce a mystical experience, and if so, how?
WRS - I want to be One with All
Lack of food caused me some interesting hallucinations when I was younger....is that what you are looking for?
03-27-2004, 01:05 PM
I have had mystic experiences, and thought a lot about them.
My conclusion is that they certainly have a physical cause, no doubt one that will eventually be located by the science of neurology.
I don't think that this thereby renders the insights they provide meaningless. Just not supernatural.
All of my experiences were spontaneous, without external cause. They were frightening at first, because I thought that I might be actually going insane ... most of all, they were beautiful, more beautiful than anything else. Or rather the beauty was always there but I couldn't really see it before. At least that is how I remember it, it has been years since I last had such an experience, and I find it difficult to even remember what it was like, much less describe it.
Put it this way. Have you ever felt awe about something? Awe is an emotion, a state of mind, and one that gets eroded by everyday life - a mystic experience is like having the sense of awe turned on, magnified - you see through the layers of dissapointment and dullness, to *know* that everything is a miracle - and you are part of that miracle, not seperate. And you must worship, although you may not know what it is that you worship. Is it yourself, the stuff you are part of? Maybe there is no difference.
I have never been able to *induce* this state, and I am not sure it can be done. My experience is that it just happens.
03-27-2004, 01:21 PM
Has anyone been able to induce within oneself an ecstatic mystical experience without the use of stimulants?Yes all the time. Albeit less so nowadays.
Meditation, prayer, hypnotic music, and ritualized behavior are all very common ways of doing this. Lucid dreaming is my own favorite.
OTOH, the participants don't necessarily view it as such. For example, Voudoun practitioners believe they are being possessed, not that they are inducing an experience.
03-27-2004, 03:49 PM
Yes, of course. This kind of stuff is well documented, especially with shamanistic/pagan religion that is still practiced largely in central Asia, Africa, etc. The "scientific" response is combinations of the hypnotic music, dancing, chanting, etc provoke the response. It is fairly easy to induce by simple chanting (even that practiced by the Catholic Church) and use of ritual devices such as incense, candles, etc (also as practiced by the Catholic Church).
It is much harder to do with simple meditation, but possible, if you have the right mindset. It is pretty hard to "try to" or "induce" meditation, in any event.
There may be physical reasons for some of it, but as a religious type, I would not discount the concept of a "supernaturally" (I think it is perfectly natural) altered mental state opening up awareness. The "smoke and mirrors" tend to be more of mental aids to clear or confuse the mind, so you can open up for the experiences.
It is also worth noting that spiritual experiences do not have to be limited to one person. There are many recorded instances of group experiences - in some ritual, even people sitting on the sidelines watching have some experience.
In my experience, it helps greatly to have a specific "focus" to attatch to, first of all.
The second step is to prepare ritually - whether that is just finding a nice spot and sitting down, or performing a more intricate cleansing ritual, setting up the incense and candles, invoking anything, etc.
The third step is to prepare mentally. This usually involves whatever practice you use to clear your conscious mind - chanting, dancing, praying, singing, meditating on a focus object, whatever.
The fourth step is enjoying the ride. :-)
There are a LOT of books and such on various processes from various religions. Hard to find some, but an easy starting off point, if you are interested, is Wicca, primarily because it is the most written about neopagan religion in the West. Also, Wicca does not have a regimented belief structure - it is mostly a set of rituals that you can pick and choose what you feel most comfortable with. You don't have to be some goth kid trying to do "magick" and be cool, either. I'm not Wiccan, so I can't speak for the religion as a whole (most of them try too hard to act the part), but it is a good starting off point. I still use some Wiccan traditions and ritual, if for no other reason than that it works pretty well as a meditative guide. The goal, of course, is to not need the ritual. There are many popular misconceptions about "casting a spell" - most of the process is just a meditative guide. In reality, you can "cast a spell" without any of it, if you are mentally prepared. You may also be interested in reading some of the studies on shamanistic religious practices, which are very interesting.
Since each religion has a different theology or view of the world, the fact that mystical experiences tend to be similar suggests to me that mystical experiences have more to do with triggering something inside one rather than the spiritual one-ness or connection or cleaving the mystic is actually seeking. Meaning, that mystical experiences are independent of mysticism.
I don't know about that. My specific religious belief is that all of the people are worshipping the same entity/force through different ways. Nothing says that they are mutually exclusive, nor are they exclusive if you do not believe in a supernatural force.
03-28-2004, 08:58 AM
I had a mystical experience in hgih school, during a bout of dep depression over a breakup. There I was, ignoring Mr. Goodman's English class and wallowing in self-pity, when suddenly, out of the blue, I was on top of the world.
I had the sensation of being able to "see into" people, as though the workings of their personalities had been drawn up for me on a blueprint. It gave me an odd sense of peace to be able to understand people's behavior this way, however briefly.
I began piecing together the workings of the universe, imagining that all the consciousness of the world focused at the center, and that worlds connected in a similar way.
I described all this to my new girlfriend, who suggested I read the New Testament. A few chapters of Matthew was all it took to realize that the writer was speaking from the same place of euphoria I had reached. Despite a strong atheist upbringing, I became a born again Christian for two years. (It's OK, I'm cured now! :D )
At the time I was certain that this could not possibly have come from within myself, a belief I no longer hold. As a result, my rebuttal to those who posit an Intelligent Design principle to the Universe is: "What the hell do you know about intelligence or consciousness that you can declare what can or can not happen without its assistance?"
-A dead-again agnostic
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