A Direct Sensation of Eternity

Mystical Experiencer:  Female in mid-twenties
Submission date:  September 23, 2022
Current location:  Poland
Age at time of experience:  23

There was a sensation of alienation and gradual dematerialization of the body.  I was surprised with my reflection in the mirror. I had a feeling of standing by my side instead of inside my body. Gradual fragmentation of reality began and I felt as if my mind transferred to another universe. There was immense peace, spiral color fractals and feeling as if I was an isolated consciousness.

My first thought was I got somewhere, where people eventually go after death. It struck me somehow, because my whole life I was an atheist and such an idea was so unexpected. Heaven? Vast spaces / gardens / palaces full of fractals. God / gods are fractals? The flow of existential questions occurred, deep compassion for the suffering of people worldwide.

[Psychedelic] mushrooms wanted me to heal others. Perception of many parallel realities, the non-existence of the body / its fragments. All human knowledge felt absurdly irrelevant.  A direct sensation of eternity. Complicated three-dimensional illusions, reflections, lines. The sparkling sky. Suddenly I felt I could go back to my body but I don’t have to, no fear.

Overwhelming Awe and a Feeling of Unity or Connectedness

Mystical Experiencer:  Male in early seventies
Submission date:  September 20, 2022
Current location:  U.S.A.
Age at time of experience:  26

My first encounter occurred when I was eight years old, after a near-fatal drowning

My second and most significant experience began on a typical early morning fall day in Southern California, I was asleep next to my wife when I was suddenly awakened out of a deep sleep by a sensation of an ominous presence in the room.  It was as if someone or something had entered our bedroom and was standing in the doorway staring at us.

At that instant, my eyes popped open and to my relief, no one was there, but I suddenly realized that except for my eyes, I was unable to move any other part of my body.  I seemed to be paralyzed from the neck down.  My God, I’m paralyzed, I thought. Every part of my being seemed to be seized by an overwhelming sense of panic and futility.  I tried to call my wife who was still asleep and unaware of my dilemma but I was unable to move, or utter a sound.

After a few seconds, my attention was drawn to a brilliant bluish-white light a few inches in diameter that seem to be hovering in the corner of the room over the doorway.  Looking back, I realized that the light seemed to shift my locus of attention, from my physical and emotional distress to a point or other space outside of me similar to what I experienced in my near drowning.  At that moment, the sensation of fear and panic suddenly vanished and was replaced by an overwhelming sense of awe and a feeling of unity or connectedness, the shift between the two states was inexplicable which just seemed to pop in and out of my head as though they were being commanded by some source other than myself.

Mesmerized by the light, I am not sure how much time passed, but the light began to pulse expanding and contracting in what seemed like steady intervals which drew my attention even deeper into the light.  Then in a flash, the light shot toward me flooding my eyes and brain with white light.  At that same instant, I felt my body jerk which I later learned was a myoclonic reaction and suddenly I was able to move my arms and legs again.  My first reaction was to jump out of bed to look around and try to figure out what the hell just happened.  It didn’t dawn on me until later that I had jumped out of bed without pain.

For several days following this event, I continued to experience waves or rippling sensations of bliss that seemed to arrive in intervals of varying intensity.  Hours later, when the blissful sensations began to subside, I noticed a change in my manner of perception and thinking, things appeared much clearer to me. as if the doors of perception had been cleansed.  It seemed like the mental barriers that people erect and hide behind were suddenly stripped away.  I began to see people and things in a different light at their face value without all of the subterfuge, duplicity, and absurdity that the human race has plunged itself into.  I imagined that this is how an infant must experience being in the world, from a purely observational perspective without preconceived ideas, references, preferences, or judgments.

I felt elated, but I had no reason to feel this way except perhaps that I was glad I was not paralyzed, but that didn’t seem to be the case, something else was brewing that I couldn’t explain.  These pleasant sensations continued for the next four days and affected everything that passed through my senses including my dreams which seemed more lucid than usual.  Then the bliss sensations subsided and I was seemingly back to my ordinary state of being, at least that is what I thought.

As I sorted through the events of that morning, my thoughts and fears ran wild.  I wondered if I was having some kind of mental meltdown, was losing my mind, and why did the quality of things look so different.  I had no point of reference or adequate words to describe my experience.  I consulted doctors and psychologists, but this was in the early 1970s, and professional opinions about the potential causes of my experience were unknown to most practitioners who cited everything from viruses, drugs, neurological damage, mental illness, brain tumor, and even a religious conversion.  However, at this point in my life, I barely knew what any of these things meant, apparently, neither did any of these practitioners.

Since I was unable to get a satisfactory explanation for what was happening to me, I started researching my experience myself.  Eventually, I stumbled upon a description of a little-understood condition in a medical dictionary known as sleep paralysis that fit my experience to the tee. The symptoms of this experience were as follows.  An inability to move the trunk or limbs upon awakening, feeling very afraid, and within minutes gradually or abruptly being able to move again. It also stated that in some cases people feel that someone is in the room with them.  These things cause people much anxiety and terror, but there is no physical harm.  However, there was no mention of the light, or mention of the blissful sensation, or shifts in perception which led me on a path of self-discovery.

Similar experiences have been reported for centuries and there is no real explanation as to why they occur.  My investigation took me into disciplines and fields of knowledge that I might not have otherwise pursued including psychology, anthropology, philosophy, biology, metaphysics, mysticism, physics, cosmology, lucid dreaming, shamanism, creativity, neuroscience, and consciousness. The light I experienced, seemed to return periodically, particularly during troubled moments in my life.  I have come to think of it, as an ally that I could always rely on.  Whatever this light is, it seemed to emanate from within my field of vision.  The light was not always present and seemed to appear randomly each time but with less luminosity and frequency on each occurrence.  Each time the light appeared I took it as a reminder to reassess my actions and goals.  There were also moments when I felt humbled in the presence of the light.  I can’t explain it; that’s just the way it was.  I never spoke to the light, nor did it ever speak to me, at least wise not, in the same way that one communicates internally with one’s self or how we communicate with other people.  My exchanges with the light were never verbal but rather more telepathic-like as if they came from an outside source.  However, whenever the light appeared, I felt I was on the right path.  The light continued to make occasional appearances through my forties and into my fifties, but with much less frequency and intensity.

Everything Suddenly Changed

Mystical Experiencer:  Male in mid-fifties
Submission date:  September 17, 2022
Current location:  U.S.A.
Age at time of experience:  45

I had been commuting on the subway to work in the morning. I was thinking, while riding, about a blog article I was working on regarding leadership, and the theme I focused on was the responsibility to create an environment of forgiveness. While on the packed car, I became wholly focused, yet I was very aware of the people pressed up around me.

I arrived at my stop and made my way up to the street. It was a clear blue sky. The air was cool. The light changed for me to cross the very wide Eighth Avenue. About one third across, everything suddenly changed. The surface  buildings, people, vehicles, sky were all there and yet not entirely solid or present. I had the sensation of being lifted off the ground but never left the ground.

In my mind’s eye I saw neither darkness nor light, but rather just completeness. I felt subtly integrated, as if I too were still solid, yet also diffused. I felt released, fulfilled, complete, understanding [of everything]. I had kept walking, and by the time I reached the sidewalk, everything had returned to normal.

Love, Gratitude, and Oneness

Mystical Experiencer:  Male in late thirties
Submission date:  September 10, 2022
Current location:  Netherlands
Age at time of experience:  38

Prior:

Quite a few years ago I heard of Ayahuasca ceremonies for the first time. In a therapeutically context and used for holistic healing. I was intrigued, but I did not feel the need to participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony. I did not need healing, because I wasn’t ill. This conclusion was based on very limited knowledge of the power of this plant medicine. A few years later I got into the practice of daily meditation. Not for spiritual purposes, but therapeutically to center myself and as an exercise for my mind. A couple of years ago, I got to talk to a good friend, who participated in many Ayahuasca ceremonies and he explained to me the healing power of this plant medicine. I got more intrigued and I realized you do not need to be ill to be healed. Then I met my significant other. She is Brazilian and lives in Brazil. Spiritual healing and Ayahuasca ceremonies are a big part of her life. Before visiting her in São Paulo, I decided I needed to open myself up to the experience of an Ayahuasca ceremony. Both to get a better understanding of my girlfriend, but also to give myself the healing power this plant medicine has to offer. I read a lot about this topic and watched different documentaries, from a South American Indigenous point of view and a Western point of view. I did my homework so to say.

During:

When visiting my girlfriend in São Paulo, we both attended a private Ayahuasca ceremony at a spiritual center. Present were the Shaman, my girlfriend and me. The ceremony is guided by the Shaman, meditation, music and prayers. During this ceremony I dove into a deeper consciousness and, as I described it later in my journal, “to a place deep inside myself I never visited before”. The feeling was love, gratitude and oneness. Not just oneness inside me, but in the whole universe. I realized everything in the universe is connected, every living creature, every grain of sand and every wave in the ocean. We are all one and we all come from the same source of light. We share our collective consciousness. This was a big eye-opener for me, as I travelled al lot on my own in my life and always felt like I had to be self-sufficient and not be reliant on others. But the main lesson of this experience, was our interconnection with everything in the universe. I never felt love like this before, I can only describe it as close as the love of a parent for his or her child. But this love wasn’t based on personal preference or being biased, this love was deeper than that. We are all beings of light and love and so is everything that surrounds us. My gratitude for this insight was, and still is, enormous. The love felt all-encompassing and the gratitude is beyond words. I could write an essay on it, and not even touch the all-encompassing feeling of love and gratitude this experience gave me.

After:

After the ceremony, experiences were shared between my girlfriend and the Shaman. We talked about the gratitude, but also about the implementation process of this experience. I felt like I gained knowledge and saw what has always been there, but I have never perceived before. Days after the ceremony, I was living on a cloud and slowly grounded. This is when the implementation process started. I felt like I had more questions than ever. My main question was “how?” How do I become a better person, since the desire to become the best version of myself was a result of this experience. And how could I serve Mother Earth as best as possible, since she is who we belong to and she is the one we should respect the most. Since then, this guides my every day in everything I do and everywhere I go. And I know it always will.

I Felt Myself Just Become One with Universe

Mystical Experiencer:  Male in early fifties
Submission date:  September 4, 2022
Current location:  U.S.A.
Age at time of experience:  17

From the earliest memories of myself, I knew myself to be a spiritual being.  I can remember being a toddler and feeling connected to the universe.  I can remember being a child and lying down in the back of my parents’ car and feeling connected to the moon, the stars, the earth, and the energy that flows through it all.

Intuitively, I felt enveloped by this energy.  I told myself I was a person connected to Spirit.  This was the identity I gave myself.  As I grew to be a young man, I felt this energy dissipating.  I fear it coincided with the awareness that I was going to die one day.

Then a very long and painful struggle arose.  This struggle presented itself as a Wall in my mind.  Instinctively, I knew I had to get through this wall.  As I struggled to get through the wall, I could feel my energy waning, until I had no more.  Then I laid down in a field and looked up at the sky.  It was a beautiful day, and there was a full moon in my view.  I said, “God, I’ve always believed in you, but where are you now?”  It was at that moment I felt myself just become one with Universe.

I realized the nature of the universe is pure unconditional love.  The experience was so profound time and space could not encapsulate it.  I was outside of time and space, I asked myself, “where am I?  I was everywhere, I was anywhere, and I was nowhere, simultaneously.

Ever since this day, I knew God loves us unconditionally.  From this realization I believe we are supposed to love one another unconditionally.

A Sense of Beauty, Unity, and Happiness

Mystical Experiencer:  Male in mid-twenties
Submission date:  August 22, 2022
Current location:  France
Age at time of experience:  24

Words cannot really describe it accurately, but my friends and I were feeling a sense of beauty, unity and happiness that was very intense. I felt full, yet my organs felt absent as if I was a balloon. Water tasted incredible, the sun was delicious on my skin, the colors were incredible, the music felt deeply moving and full of meaning. Plants and trees around me were calling me and dancing, breathing.

I was at the pinnacle of my existence and then I felt a storm in my head with intrusive and anxious thoughts that were getting to me and that I did not like. My mortality, my will to die, my discontentment with myself, the failure I felt and how all of this was an illusion. But I was so happy, I decided to let the river of thoughts flow freely and I became convinced that reality was this beautiful thing and that society, my disease and my vision of things corrupted this reality and it didn’t feel like illusion — I was convinced of it.

For once in my life, I believed in positive things I told myself. So, I repeated to myself hundreds and thousands of times “it is beautiful” and to this day it is rooted in my brain, this forgotten feeling of beauty, joy and wonder I had as a child was back.

I was in the Flow of Life. Amazing.

Mystical Experiencer:  Female in late forties
Submission date:  August 18, 2022
Current location:  U.S.A.
Age at time of experience:  24

I was reading “One Day My Soul Opened Up” by Iyanla Vanzant and… I read “There is a Divine Order to everything in life.  It is for this reason that exactly where you are at any given time in life is exactly where you should be according to the divine unfolding of your consciousness and life.”  Where I am is exactly where I am supposed to be – and then CLICK, there was an audible click and suddenly my vibration was higher and I was in the flow of life.  Amazing.

I ‘knew’ everything was always okay, no matter what it was. Nothing could not be okay, as nothing was not part of the Divine Plan. I could sense a river, a current flowing underneath at all times, as I ‘floated’ on top peacefully going through my daily life, filled with love and confidence.  Still experiencing annoyances, etc., the ups and downs of the human experience, but more as an observer, with space between the annoying circumstance, and me.  Words are hard to find to fully fit the experience.

This feeling, being truly in the flow of life, lasted for 4 or 5 years, until I got married and became a mom.  The flow stage was expansive, and as I became more tethered to the relationship with my soon to be husband, I felt myself slightly contracting that expanse. And then we had our first child and I became truly tethered to the idea of being responsible for this new life, protecting and keeping it safe, so then I contracted further. I actually remember sitting in the basement office of our home (different home than when the mystical experience took place) and consciously withdrawing, pulling in, contracting that expanse.  Regretfully.

Now I can read the words written above and logically know that where I am is exactly where I am supposed to be and that, likely, this is happening for a reason and hopefully expanse will come again, but I cannot seem to get back into the flow of that river of life.  I feel I am on a constant journey to get there again.  Am listening to Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind. Maybe a mushroom trip is in my future 🙂

I’ve googled and I’ve never heard of anyone having an experience like this, but I also had never searched the term – mystical experience – so maybe now I will find others, and my way back into the flow.

In Complete Union with the Universe

Mystical Experiencer:  Female in mid-fifties
Submission date:  August 16, 2022
Current location:  U.S.A.
Age at time of experience:  5

I was playing in my backyard. It was a warm and sunny day, perhaps still morning because I remember that I was barefoot and the grass felt cool underneath my feet. I came across a small bird. The bird appeared to struggle as I approached to get a closer look. I saw that the bird attempted to fly, but that it had a wing that was bent at an awkward angle and could not fully outstretch.

The small bird, a sparrow perhaps, vigorously attempted to fly over and over, and yet the lame wing failed to open.  I knew growing up in the country that a bird with a broken wing would not survive, and I felt deeply sorry that the small bird would not likely experience a long life. I began to hum and then sing a made-up song I hoped might provide the bird with some comfort.

Then, I became aware of the sun’s rays upon me. The sun was warm and reminded me that I was also of the sun. I felt compelled to lift the bird in the palm of my hands and brought the small bird up towards the sun. I prayed upon the bird for healing and that the bird would experience more of its life.

Miraculously, the small bird stretched its wings and flew powerfully from my hands. I experienced so much love the moment the bird took flight. I felt an immense and vast love radiating out from me. I felt to be in complete union with the universe and the binding life energy was LOVE.

One Thing, One Reality

Mystical Experiencer:  Male in mid-sixties
Submission date:  August 15, 2022
Current location:  U.S.A.
Age at time of experience:  15

I was sitting quietly for a time at a friend’s house, waiting for him to join me and was looking out across the desert and the mountains in the distance. My friend’s older sister came and sat next to me. We started talking over various ideas (couldn’t tell you what they were), but she kept presenting the flip side of things, shifting back and forth, and asking questions that seemed paradoxical.

I recall sitting for a long time, with both of us remaining silent, while I attempted to resolve or understand how these apparently disparate ideas could be true—they seemed like they both held a truth, even while seeming contradictory. Then something gave way. It wasn’t an intellectual realization or one grounded thought. It was more like a total, radical shift in view in which all oppositional notions, all things at antipodes, were not in argument, didn’t negate one another, but were all part and parcel of one thing, one reality.

This wordless apprehension or understanding didn’t stop there, but radiated from or out to everything. The world, life, the totality, was perfect, in harmony and I was somehow part of all of that, connected to everything. The desert had always been beautiful to me—the deep silences, open spaces, the subtle shades of light greens, tans, browns all capped by vast blue. At that moment, the beauty, the perfection, the sense of awe, wonder, gratitude was…well, kinda annihilating. But not a bad sort of annihilation. The sort that the “I” it thought I was melted away, or perhaps blended into, all that was/is.

I felt a deep calm, yet excitement. I felt like I was melting into the ground yet exploding out into the sky. I felt utterly quiet, yet brimming with energy. Again, the apparent world of opposites was coinciding within me, directly as felt experience, without any contention or discord. There was nowhere else to be, nothing to be done. All was perfect as it was. My child’s mind asked, coming up with the worst imaginable thing it could, “Even if a father should kill his son!?” The answer was, “Yes, that’s part of the perfection as well.”

All of Reality Merged Into Oneness—It Was Like Being in God-Mode

Mystical Experiencer:  Female in mid-thirties
Submission date:  August 12, 2022
Current location:  Canada
Age at time of experience:  29

I was sitting alone in my apartment in the morning, perhaps around 10 am. I had just finished reading a book that I had been reading and studying intensively at the time, called the Science of Mind by Dr. Ernest Holmes. I was reading that book every day for about a month. And I would read it and then meditate for 10-20 minutes after having read a section of the book.

On this day of the mystical experience, I was meditating, sitting cross-legged on my couch, meditating not about any particular subject, but just stilling my mind and focusing on the present moment with my eyes closed. All of a sudden, it was like my mind moved and shifted and all of reality merged into oneness. And my perspective of my conscious existence changed to include a oneness of all things, including all beings.

Along with this feeling of oneness, I also experienced complete love for all things, which I was also made aware is how God views all things. It was like being in God-mode, where everything was the product of one single event, or purpose, or meaning, or reason, and that that reason was Love itself.

It was like shifting my consciousness into what I describe as true reality — the real reality that’s actually happening. It was the most “real” thing I’ve ever experienced. It was The One Truth about existence made manifest in my consciousness.

The feeling of one-love also created deep blissful and joyful sensations in my body. I was at complete peace and totally in love with the world. I continued to go about my day with this feeling of deep bliss and joy and love for all things. It was like I was floating, like I had wings. I could feel myself radiating love and joy.

When I encountered people out in the world, on the street, as I walked outside my apartment, I was compelled to see them as beloved beings. I smiled at everyone and wished them all peace and love from inside my heart. And people noticed. I could tell I was drawing more attention to myself than usual and people smiled at me more than usual.

I went for dinner with my friends that night, and my one friend, whom I would describe as “intuitive,” said that she felt like I was glowing and something was different. She could sense that something had occurred. I told her it was because of the big Solar Eclipse that was also occurring during that time of August of 2017. The eclipse was on the 21st, and this mystical experience occurred on the 17th.

When I went to bed that night, I was still feeling this way but also wondered whether the feeling and the “realization” would be gone in the morning when I woke up. but it wasn’t. The feeling of love and bliss and peace and this new knowledge of Truth and Oneness and True Reality were still there. I could still experience Oneness. I could still see and feel how all things are connected. The feeling of being One with everything — of being merged with all things through joy and love and peace lasted for approximately 10 days.

The best way I can describe it is that it just gradually wore off until I became my “old” self again, where I then went on to worry, and have anxieties, and concerns. But during those 10 days or so, I didn’t worry. I didn’t stress. I found no reason to be afraid or concerned. I was totally at peace.

On the day of the mystical experience happening, I went to the library and started researching what had happened. I googled things like “sudden experience of oneness while meditating” and that’s when I learned that what I had had was mystical experience. It matched up perfectly with other people’s testimonies.

I continued researching about mystical experiences and reality and spirituality, and it’s then that I also learned about angels, and lightworkers, and types of mystics who are living their lives as if they are aware of a greater unity of beingness. I became obsessed with it. Even after the effects of the mystical experience wore off, I still was driven to deeply understand the spiritual nature of things — the reality of the world beyond our physical world and beyond the limits of what we’re capable of sensing.

In the months after the experience, I went through some depression, and I learned that I was experiencing a Dark Night of the Soul, whereby I was grappling with reconciling the fact that I had been given “knowledge” of reality and that it was so incongruent with the reality I was living in and that disparity caused me deep distress.

I went on a seeker’s journey trying to reconcile why our reality is so painful compared to the one I was shown. Eventually, I was led to Jesus Christ after three years of searching. I’m now a practicing Roman Catholic as of April 2022.