Someone asked: “What would cause mystical experience?”
In the broadest sense, wider experience in all forms comes through evolution, both in the external and spiritual sense. So it is the growth of the soul—through many life times—that results in mystical or spiritual experience. So, to some degree, people tend to be born with an inclination toward such experiences. As a result some people have spontaneous mystical experiences that appear to have little relationship with the life they are living. If one happens to be, as a result of many lives of growth and experience, at a point of readiness for revelation then a seemingly trivial life experience—something seen or even a thought, can trigger mystical experience.
But more specifically, however, there is a path—or a number of them according to needs and temperament—that accelerates evolution in a way that tends to evoke whatever immediate potential exists for spiritual experience.
Many would say that it is meditation that leads to mystical experience, and while this can be true for many, the path is much broader than that. In addition to what we come in with at birth, it is our way of life—how we think and feel and act—that determines whether our potentials for deep experiences are activated or remain latent.
The key thing is: real mystical experience includes some degree of transcendence of the little ego—that is of the little mind, emotions, and body—that we have misidentified as “I.” The question becomes then, what type of life is resonant with such transcendence? What type of life takes us beyond the little self-centered ego with its many desires and petty concerns?
First, this is a life of love and service, a life that expands our focus beyond our personal needs into the wider world of humanity and nature. The second factor is how the mind is used—the mind must be developed and educated along some line, otherwise, our ability to be helpful or creative will be limited. Third, right meditative thinking, and more universal thinking is key. The life of service, of love, of creativity, and right thinking is supported by study. Right thinking means educating and equipping the mind so that it is an instrument of service and creativity. Right thinking means optimism and focusing the mind on questions related to wisdom, questions related to the needs of humanity, and of the part we can play in making the world a little better for all who live in it.
We should understand this word “service” very broadly. The mother serves by being a good mother. The scientists serves by discoveries. The artist services by inspired creations. The statesman services by good governance that takes into account the highest good for the greatest number. We serve by thought, by communication, by words of kindness, by words of warning, by words of poetry. And most importantly, we serve by making our emotional nature clear and translucent so that it is no longer dominated, as is the usual case, by fear and selfishness.
In the way of life that is service, the key thing is motivation. There is only one true motive and that is love, broadly understood. So, we do not let our interest in personal things dominate. For instance, the desire for mystical experience should not be uppermost in our minds or condition unduly our emotions. The evocation of mystical experience is the byproduct of right living. It will come to us when it is time, according to natural and spiritual law. Such experiences are useful not only to ourselves personally, but to others, to world. It is same with meditation. Meditation should not be something pursued for its own sake. Your awakenings, your talents, are gifts for giving.
The cosmic, the universe, the all beyond yet inclusive of Earth, the vast ocean of energy-matter; the misty turn of galaxies and suns, bright lights and luminous clouds and further on, unfathomable curtain of night; so many well designed flames, so many mysteries of light; and here below we focus small, reduced, microscopic, with body heat no match for stars. Or more, we find it so by our binding in time, by animal nature, by blood, by minute psychologies and small pains, troubles rendered in large illusions, yet not one such visible from Space. But thought of the universe is more magical than time and lights brain with new fires; so then, small links to great and the sunlight spaces of the cosmic worlds are close as love.
“I was lifted high,
In sun-bright healing winds—desiring now
A greater beauty…”
— Marion Wentworth
Usually, people think of beauty as something perceived, something we subjectively attribute to an object or a person. But I find the spiritual meaning of beauty is different. Spiritual beauty is not a passive perception but an active and transformative power. It is the energy of the intuitional world. We commune with such beauty, we enter into it and it enters into us. It is unity and Fire. It is “the world of pure meaning.” This beauty is not our personal response to an object in the world. Rather, beauty is itself a multidimensional world of rainbow archetypes.
In the archetypal world the divine mosaic shines in beauty. We encounter considerable fidelity problems in translating this world of pure meaning into its best correspondences in thought and words. It is a valiant effort, yet the lesser cannot fully include the greater. Still we try to mirror it. Fortunately, the mental mirror is itself in long-term evolutionary motion.
“…beyond the Beauty that is predicated of various forms and relationships, there is a pure Transcendent Beauty, and this is a mode of the very Being of the SELF. This Beauty is not something that is beautiful. It is Self-existent and casts its luster upon all things… Ecstasy is pure Beauty, as well as pure Joy and Knowledge.”
— Pathways Through to Space, Franklin Merrell-Wolff
“Never did eye see the sun unless it had first become sun-like, and never can the soul have vision of the First Beauty unless itself be beautiful”
How to make our minds as sane and clear as the Sun? We can choose to focus mainly on what is beautiful, good, creative, uplifting; at the same time, to clearly know the obstacles but without making these our main focus.
Otherwise put, the key is resonance. If consciousness is occupied with the innermost beauty of things, a magical resonance is created that floods the space of the mind and surrounding space. Then the mind becomes a door into light. Right resonance in the mind and heart leads toward transcendence of the limited. We ponder the beauty of the candle and the star, and find they are not simply hot spots or opposites of ice. Rather, a door swings open, a door into fire, of which these luminous points are the messengers. The grandeur of this beautiful fire is enunciated by the morning light at the dawn of each new day.
Synchronization or resonance is a way of talking about vibration or frequency. We resonate with that which relates to our own nature. The phrase “sympathetic vibration” also expresses this. Emerson wisely said, “The secrets of life are not shown except to sympathy and likeness.”
Strings of a musical instrument vibrate together, even though they are not entirely alike, yet the similarity of their nature makes the resonance possible. So, to know the higher, we must become like it. We must sound the notes in our mind, body, and emotion that are resonant with their correspondences on transcendent levels. Each thought, emotion, or action that resonates with the higher is magical. Magic is the applied truth of the heart, the power to manifest and uplift.
We would like perpetual renewal of life and vitality. We would like to feel that dawn is coming with a rush of new benevolent energy. We would like to be in spirit like the best morning of our life, to find in the light of new day the best actions and words.
About words, today, I reiterate a bit of transpersonal semantics conducive to renewal: a word is, or might be, sacred. I do not fancy myself religious in any conventional sense, but there is a good idea in the religious of the world, that of “sacred word.” I do not say it is in bibles or churches. But it might be in you. And if we were to meet, I would listen for it. You might not even know you spoke it, but I fancy that I would hear and know.
There! Ghost of light, arresting glimmer on the periphery of vision… Is that a magic mirror, a window, a door? If mirror, it does not reflect earth-light. If a window it might be a sacred landscape, a memory of ancient worlds or worlds not yet born. It is close now, and clearly an opening door. I see through to a world, and within and beyond that another and another–bright worlds of the past and worlds of the future, infinite vistas of painful beauty. They sweep around and through me and I go to them. Their flow is joyous, commanding, where each paints the fiery core of things. And now a chorus of shining, ascending, voices. They fill me with open spaces; they engulf and overwhelm; I am with them, of them… I love and become through them.
Let us consider the world of the “esoteric” or “spiritual science”—these suggests a wide diversity of things such as psychic phenomena, the supernatural, mysticism, meditation, tarot card reading, kabalistic obscurity, crystal balls, reincarnation, astral bodies, auras and chakaras, Eastern thought, metaphysics, and the occult. For some, the language may also call to mind witches and wizards, seances, a yogi in a mountain cave, magical charms, mysterious rites, and perhaps even some UFOs thrown in. And for some, the esoteric terms even associate with cults, satanic worship, or some TV show on the latest strange, weird, or bizarre phenomena. We might say that, the human scene, being what it is, people inevitably acquire a superficial picture; a caricature of whatever realities esoteric language is intended to point to. And among many people, a term like “esoteric” or “occult” conjures emotions most strange, while in this maze of language and concepts–usually but vaguely and poorly defined–wander the metaphysically oriented people of the world.
All this is not to belittle the truth underlying the language, but rather to help us realize more clearly the difficulties of discerning that truth. It helps to realize that excellent things are rare, and that for every true teacher, there are a thousand pretentious gurus. For every true psychic, there are a thousand pseudopsychics. For every prophetic visionary, thousands of false prophets walk the earth. And for every truly enlightened individual, there are thousands spiritual charlatans. And the matter is further complicated by the fact that we rarely have just obviously “false” communications but a cryptic blend of the true, and half-true, of false, and a partly false. There are a thousands of shades of partly true offered us from every direction.
And everywhere we find systems, gimmicks, offerings of pretty packages, of effortless cures and quick enlightenments, and even metaphysical versions of get-rich-quick schemes. And for every purely wrought axiom of wisdom, there are a thousand clichés and inferior versions.
It may also help us to realize that, at one extreme, everything becomes counterfeited and debased. Everything has false and glamorous versions. Everything has illusory and shadowy counterparts. So, on the surface, everywhere is scattered fool’s gold.
At the other extreme, in deeper spaces, is the clear gold light of wisdom. But between the extremes is a world of grays where things gradually shade toward the light. This is the world where our discrimination and insight are constantly tested. This is the world where we must learn to think and see ever more clearly. We live along a twilight path of human understanding, a world mixed of dark and light. Yet, along the way, we may more optimistically recall that shadows suggest the light that cast them.
Take heart then that the Powers that be thought so well of us as to lay upon our path such difficult circumstances. Our own powers are equal to the challenge, if not today, then surely tomorrow, and we have an infinity of tomorrows.
Let us bring out of the dense fabric of human thought some clear ideas, set them upon a pedestal, elevated, striking, luminous—suitable objects for reflection. The light of them is beautiful and, in one way, simple, yielding to us by interior radiance that vision of clarity we so deeply need for the difficult journey.
A narrative on a moment of inspiration related to illumination and revelation. A reflection about the contrast between the ideal, the vision, and current limitations. A meditation on the nature of words, meaning, and guidance.