Imagine a thunderstorm at night, lightning flickers and in that strange light you see the world. Mystic flashes are like that. For brief moments they show the world, not as the dark place it seems to be, but as the fierce aliveness it truly is.
“There's no creation or creator there, no gross or fine, no wind or fire, no sun, moon, earth, or water, no radiant form, no time, no word, no flesh, no faith, no cause and effect…”Kabir, quoted from The Bijak Of Kabir.
“In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God” is how the bible describes it. Now, imagine a word before lips were made, a word before time, space, earth, heaven and anything was made. A word that is a vibration where there is nothing to vibrate. And one gets a sense of the world being evoked.
“I reach deeper and deeper…to a point where all time and space is now. Yes, all past – present – future, all space, all universes are all happening simultaneously – Now. An immensely alive, Now. Not static…beyond time and limit. I see time and space as ripples from the Now. As if past present and future are all just points on a ripple, not one after another, but simultaneous.” To quote from a personal experience.
Why explore the indescribable?
Sometimes there simply are no words for it. Trying to describe a world without limit that expands through our world of limits, or a world without substance, which generates all substance, a world without time that revels in time is not easy. For example, Buddha resolutely refused to describe the indescribable. Jesus used parables, seed thoughts that grow within one's consciousness.
Now that's fine, some would argue but why should one bother? For if the mystic universe seems so far off from the physical that no physical limits operate, why bother with such an unreal image?
Simply because the truth sets one free…er…and knowledge enriches.
A friend who experienced his first out of body experience jokingly said “Cool, but if someone were to push it hard enough can one discover Microsoft's source codes?” Conceivably you could, if Microsoft hasn't placed psychic guards about the code. But to get such immense control invariably requires one to rise above such desires.
In The Story of Henry Sugar, Roald Dahl describes a man who learns how to see through cards, he uses this talent to win at casinos, then the talent changes him and he starts using his winnings to help orphans. The fact is true psychic gifts help transform the spirit. Because yeh dil maange more, we cannot be satisfied by sugar water alone or microsoft's source codes.
Your vaster being.
“I beat in every breast, see in every eye, throb in every pulse, smile in every flower, shine in the lightning and roar in the thunder. I flutter in the leaves. I hiss in the winds and I roll in the surging seas...I am the immutable and indescribable Atman, the dynamic principle of Existence and the infinite ocean of everlasting Glee. In my presence all hells and heavens are effaced into shadowy nothingness and the whole universe is a mere bubble ever ready to burst." From Babaji's inspired talk recorded in 1952 by V.T. Neeklakantan.
On a personal note, one day a few years ago, I was standing and watching the rain, “There is a moment when I am watching the rain, and then I am the rain…each drop is alive, filled with sensation and a dense appreciation of being that surpasses what we call living…”
Now, these glimpses of mystic oneness offer their fair share of perplexity with freedom. For it stands radically at odds with the experience or rather beliefs that many have of the modern world. For example, take Camus, in The Myth Of Sisyphus. “the world is dense…a stone is foreign and irreducible to us…The primitive hostility of the world rises to face us, across millennia…”
Many of us implicitly believe that we are imprisoned in Camus' absurd world - surrounded by an uncaring universe, living absurd lives, doomed in a body that will inevitably fail. To the mystic Camus is simply ignorant. The stone is not foreign, the universe not hostile, the world not physical, life not absurd. The Absolute Negation of Kabir is a very different thing from the Absurd Nothingness of Camus.
Now living like an alien in an uncaring universe is a very different act from living in a Universe where Jesus proclaims “Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there” , from the Gospel of Thomas.
For one can no longer treat other species, animal, plant or mineral, as if they were just food. One can no longer treat the earth as if it's just things, not a living extension of our spirit. One can no longer act like frightened, grasping fragments of decaying matter.
The mystic vision throws open a completely new set of moral choices, mental freedoms and practical possibilities.
To illustrate, in an experiment conducted in Duke University in 1998, spiritual groups across the world were asked to pray for heart patients who were operated on. Researchers found that recovery could be 100% to 50% better if someone prayed for them. Obviously the hands of your spirit are larger than we can imagine.
The mystic glimpse reveals us as vast universe-spanning-beings, yet deep down many of us know different, many see ourselves as fragile, desire-driven helpless beings in a world that's a little like an assembly line, living pointless lives, and if we run fast enough we can leave the gnawing emptiness behind. Yet which would we rather be?
Glimpsing the deep unity.
“Come o ye lions shake off the illusion that ye are sheep.” Thunders Vivekanada.
Yet how does one glimpse the deep mystic reality? There is a myth that such a process calls for elaborate rituals, zillions of lifetimes, and superhuman resolve. “Know that your Awake Self is your birthright.” Says a mystic on spiritweb.
In fact today, it is far easier to unleash these abilities. Precisely because many have suppressed such gifts, the progress is often rapid. But most importantly there is a growing understanding that mystic freedom is natural, as natural as breathing (at the centre of many systems from Kundalini awakening, Vipassana, Kriya Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Kabbalistic techniques), as natural as walking (the core of Chi based movement systems), as natural as dreaming (the core of Egyptian mystic traditions, Yoga Nidra, Japanese dream body exploration), as natural as imagining (the nub of Hawaiian visualisation, Shakti techniques), as natural as feeling (the heart of Bhakti movements, most formal religions).
The act of reclaiming one's heritage calls for not just the technology of the spirit – be it meditation or prayer or mantra or symbols, but an inner willingness to claim one's ‘birthright', for “ what keeps you separate from that intimacy is the fear that you are not good enough, not worthy of love or enlightenment or all of the wondrousness of this world. That fear is rampant upon your plane. It is the fear that you knew very soon after your birthing. It is the fear that was communicated to you by your parents, by mass consciousness, by all with whom you have contact in your day to days.” Says a spirit guide speaking through Jani King a famous channel.
Between two worlds.
Now one of the most exasperating things for those who have experienced a moment of mystic wonder is how fleeting it is. How disconnected it is with what often seems to surround us.
"You ask, "Why does it only last for such a little time? Why can I not feel like that all the time?" We say to you that the first steps toward the constant state of Beingness is to become intimate, very intimate, with yourself, for the Divinity is the truth of you.” Wisdom channelled through Jani King.
It's one thing seeing a glimpse of mystic oneness and another practising it when facing exasperating colleagues at work, when driving in rain-sodden traffic…Knowing truths are one thing, but only when we live it does it become true. Bridging the disconnect between who we can be and who we are may seem almost futile. And yet perhaps once again we underestimate ourselves.
In an uncanonical text, Jesus said ,“Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all.”
So are the mystics right? Or just plain disturbed? Are you an accident of chemicals? Or a vast universe spanning-being that chooses to be gravity-bound? The only way to find the answer is by seeking it, for your self. The answers may surprise you.