9 Characteristics of the Mystical Experience

Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Dying, NDE, & OBE, Reality Shift, Reality's Edge with 3 Comments
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mystical experience

By Mateo Sol |LonerWolf.com

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

Related Article: A Bridge to the Mystical: The Entanglement of Physics and Mysticism

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.

Related Article: How Near-Death Experiences Transform People

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:

1. Conscious Unity

The boundaries of where you perceive your individual consciousness and identity (ego) to begin and end vanish. Instead you’re left with a boundless and infinite union with all that is around you.

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.

Without time space is endless.

Because your sense of identity is gone, your ability to separate “your” (now non-existent) surroundings into individual “spatial” elements also disappears.

3. Objective Reality

Without a discernible identity comes a sense of greater “objectivity” as though you’re experiencing a much more intricate and profound reality. Everything doesn’t just feel perfect, everything “is” innately perfect.

4. Gratitude

Much of your ecstatic feeling comes from an immense sense of gratitude. This gratitude is an overwhelming sense of awe at “your” (now non-existent) insignificance in comparison to the vastness of existence.

5. Life Is Seen As Sacred

In fact, your sense of gratitude is so vast that you feel almost undeserving of having the opportunity to experience such a miracle. You develop a new sense of respect for the sacredness of life that allows you to be here.

6. You Understand Paradox

Our sense of self or identity creates duality in our perception of reality (“I” am separate from “That”). However, the moment this separation disappears, you’re left with a non-dual reality which your intellect finds paradoxical in comparison to what it is accustomed to.

7. The Experience Is Indescribable

The overwhelming magnitude of emotions and intuitive understanding you embody makes the attempt to even describe it feel limited by language and insulting to the depth of the experience.

8. The Experience Is Temporary

The very nature of a mystical experience is its transience. Eventually you end up returning back to your habitual way of life, but the experience changes something deep inside.

9. The Experience Is Life-Changing

After experiencing such a state, suddenly death isn’t as scary as it used to be, and the beliefs or ambitions that you once held to be so important immediately lose their meaning. In fact, the mystical experience often awakens a thirst to try to bring as much of that experience back into our regular day-to-day lives as possible.

The Mystical Experience Is Only A Taste

There’s a useful term in the Christian doctrine known as “Grace.” This word basically means that we receive mercy and love from the divine because it wants us to have it, not because we have done anything to deserve it.

Many people confuse having a mystical/spiritual experience with actually cultivating a spiritual life. To me, however, these experiences are brought by grace, but our appreciation of them is directly proportionate to our development of soulful maturity.

If the grace of a mystical experience is given to a 10 year old child, they will no doubt feel the experience but the degree in which they experience it will vary compared to someone who has undergone maturation; the deep exploration of their psyche, and who has learned to live life from the seat of their soul.

For the child it will be a great experience that will eventually fade and become a distant memory. But for the man who has dedicated his life to cultivating soulful maturity; to tilling the soil of his soul, this experience becomes the seed that is prepared to blossom. This might be the very tipping point that leads to the ultimate Awakening.

This is precisely why I emphasize so much the necessity of Involution and the journey of soulful maturity. Without widening the gap through which we connect to Soul, the mystical experience has no deep long-lasting impact on us. But with it, we taste the fragrance and essence of eternity.

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Photo by: Satjit Singh

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  2. 548011655345899@facebook.com' Will G Tankersley says:

    The Definite Definition
    (Y2K_Sweet Sixteen_4_22)
    11:42 PM
    TGIF

    Pro & claim has some kinda’ relationship:

    Yeshua Messiah!
    The light in my mind when I close my eyes or turn out the lights!

    Undeniable: Shivery
    I will not falter; I will not fail:
    One for all, all for one!

    Suddenly: Great and glorious Adonai:
    Absolute!
    There can be only one!

    Be filled with envy & a hunger & thurst after righteousness!

    The Definite Definition of the Gorgeous Glory of God:
    Walking the face of the earth’

    Existing in the flesh:
    Sabrina Reese!

    Beyond Imaginable; Imagining the unimaginable.:
    How can bees fly?
    Without Hesitation, Reservation, Wholeheartedly & Unconditionally:
    I surrender completely.:
    Now, Forever & all Eternity & on to the Everlasting Day!

    You better know I am a selfish son-of-a-bitch!

    How much do you Respect the Gorgeous Glory of God!
    I ask myself every day!

    Stubborn as all get out!
    I don’t go to my knees unless God brings me there:
    Sometimes good; sometimes bad.
    I’ll be the answer to my own prayers!

    I told God I would not find my knees until?
    Sabrina bring me to my knees!
    Where two or more are gathered

    Personal note: The last woman I explained to;
    In regards to Being the Gorgeous Glory of God was?
    My daughter.: I now will take the phrase to my grave!
    Unless Sabrina is standing right in front of me!

    Ruffle the Covers

    The day is over.
    The day is done!
    Sabrina next to me.
    Sleeping!
    It’s been one of those nights!
    We have won!

    Under the covers of night!
    Silently slipping away to write.
    I Seize the moment.
    This moment with you!
    Capturing the sweet peace.
    One with one as one.
    Conceived!

    Your chest subtly heaves.
    Breathe!
    Breathe my love.
    The beauty of the breath of life:
    My life.
    My wife!

    Oh what a night!
    Sleep, sleep, sleeping!
    The night away:

    I put pen to paper & capture my love with my heart.
    Sabrina you’re mine!
    I sigh.
    A tear comes to my eye.
    I may cry!

    I ponder in thought as I watch?
    You breathe!
    Sabrina:
    Sweetly sleeping.
    Chest heaving!
    Dreaming.
    Through the night until dawn.
    I write!
    I document my everlasting love for you; until dawn.
    The infinity of God:
    Everlasting!

    The year 2020
    My singing heart singing a new song!

    2030
    I open my book!
    Under lock & key!

    Dear Diary:
    Rose peddles pressed in a book!
    Your kisses I count’em up!
    Savor the flavor of your lips!

    Yes, my love: 1
    Yes, my love: 2
    Yes, my love: 3
    Oh I remember this!
    & sob!
    Laminated!

    I Remember each kiss.
    Each day!
    Each way.
    Your saliva!
    The taste!

    I promise this!
    I’ll never ever forget!
    Each one.

    Sabrina:
    Your kisses are My Treasure Trove!

    Counting one by one.
    The passion the bliss!
    Here is the kiss! I do!
    & the honeymoon!
    Laminated!

    Our embrace conceives.
    A child!
    That was a long passionate kiss!
    One with one as one:
    What a day that was.
    Laminated!

    Just what lead up to this?
    Oh My God there it is; Our 1st kiss!
    Laminated!

    I’ll never give up!
    I’ll never let go!
    Look at her laying over there:
    Quick! The rose petal; Dear diary:
    I slip it back in!

    Oh how sweet is the journey when the destination you meet!

    Slipping up under the covers un noticed I recover.
    Cuddle up!
    The warmth of your body.
    I am complete.
    Next to you I sleep.

    With Open Eyes

    Arise!
    You awake & rise!
    Arise you say!
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    The shower.

    Together.
    We shower.
    Together.
    Water flows all over your body!
    Glistening in the light:
    Naked:
    Naked to the naked eye!
    Your Raw beauty exposed!
    Sabrina Unclothed:
    The Definite Definition of the Gorgeous Glory of God!
    Naked to the naked eye!

    The vision, The dream!
    Sabrina!
    THE REALITY!

    Drops of water flood all over.
    Fused together as one.
    Shimmer!
    Sparkle & dance!
    Refracting light: Sabrina!
    Prisms in my eyes!
    Diamonds sparkling in the light!

    Melting my heart all through the night:
    Liquid!
    My heart is molten liquid!
    Spewing out love like a volcano!
    My heart explodes; flows all over your body!
    Over under through; it is not the water that touches you!
    My Heart is melting, melting, melting!
    All over you!

    Raw beauty!
    Raw beauty!
    Sabrina: The raw beauty of you!
    The raw beauty of diamonds!
    Exposed:
    My heart is exposed!
    The water:
    Caressing!
    Cleansing!
    Sabrina; the reality of the dream!

    Bathed in light!
    Refracted by water droplets caressing you!
    Sabrina your raw beauty!
    Mystifies!
    Satisfies!
    The splendor!
    Sabrina you are:
    Spectacular!

    Wet, raw and wild.
    I can feel my heart-beat.
    Ponding.
    Self says to me:
    Just breathe!

    Sabrina:
    Glistening & sparkling it the light!
    Water droplets refracting light!
    Adorn your body.
    Sabrina: I adore & admire you!
    I burn in the admire fire!

    This love absolute everlasting!
    Definite Definition of the Gorgeous Glory of God!
    Sabrina; I believe in you!
    I believe in who you are!
    The Definite Definition of the Gorgeous Glory of God!
    With every fiber of my being!
    Sabrina:
    Inflames my soul!
    Consuming my spirit!
    I am a burnt offering to God:
    Burning &
    Smoldering in your love!

    Diamonds!
    Diamonds!
    Diamonds!

    Dripping!
    Dripping!
    Dripping!
    From:
    Your vaginal hair.
    There!

    I proclaim!
    In the shower:
    Diamonds adorn you my love.
    There:
    Hidden in every drop is a piece of my heart!

    My life!
    Sabrina:
    My wife!

  3. 507262246118871@facebook.com' Judy Judy says:

    Sounds like LSD. ? ?

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