Mystical Experiencer: Female in early fifties
Current location: U.S.A.
Age at time of experience: 21
I was reading a book by Bagwhan Shree Rajneesh lying on my couch in my apartment on a weekend morning. I read a particular phrase (can't remember which one), and then it felt like the top of my head disappeared.
Everything was perfectly normal and my usual awareness remained, but it felt as though I UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING. I felt like I could have answered any question I put to myself. I have come to understand this as the noetic quality [William] James identified. It was a beautiful feeling. It was qualitatively different than anything I had ever felt, and I had never heard of anyone having a similar experience either.
There was also a sense of detachment – not like dissociation, but more like indifference to ordinary reality. There was nothing to identify it as a “spiritual” experience, as I understood spiritual experiences at the time. There was no particular religious imagery or sense of presence or beings of any kind, just a deeply felt sense of security based in understanding.
I don't think I can be more descriptive than that. In an attempt to make the feeling stay, I drove to the beach so I could focus on it more, but the more I tried to make it stay, the more it disappeared. I have chased that feeling ever since. I now meditate regularly and teach a college level course on consciousness because I believe that experience was the most significant one of my life. Nothing prepared me for it and there was no help available for making sense of it.