Mystical Experiencer: Male in early sixties
Current location: U.S.A.
Age at time of experience: 19
As a young man of nineteen years, I was consumed with thoughts of my future; should I go to college, learn a trade, or start a business? I was seeking a purpose, a mission, something I was uniquely qualified to do. I could not decide on a career path or even a field of study. The problem revolved around questions of identity. Who am I? What is my purpose? I spent many hours seeking the answers to these questions.
It happened while sitting in a parked car with my girlfriend, listening to music, saying goodnight. I don’t remember the exact conversation or the topic of discussion, but something said, sparked a vision in my head. The vision arose suddenly and with great impact, a vivid three-dimensional model appearing in my mind’s eye.
I envisioned a ski resort, an indoor ski resort, built inside a large, deep, stone quarry. An alpine village sat at the bottom of landscaped ski slopes, slopes covered in snow and lined with ski lifts rising four hundred feet, over half-mile runs. Within the village was every form of entertainment: hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs, shopping, a water park, arcades, gambling, music, movies – all built within a beautiful alpine setting. The entire quarry was enclosed under a dome and chilled into a winter wonderland. A year-round ski resort/entertainment/shopping center, built on an intrastate highway, near a large metropolitan area. (At the time, an indoor ski resort was still several years away.)
This vision was not my mystical experience, but acted as a gateway to the experience. The originality of the idea, along with the vividness and detail of the vision, was exhilarating; a great idea, with great potential, presented in a most spectacular way! My immediate reaction to the vision was a sense of joy and excitement, which often occurs when the solution to a problem suddenly becomes clear; the proverbial eureka moment, an epiphany. This lasted only a second – literally. The joy of the moment continued to grow and gained a momentum of its own, joy turning into euphoria, turning into ecstasy.
In an instant, ecstasy melted the boundaries of my consciousness and everything vanished – my girlfriend, the car, all surroundings – were gone, and in their place stood an immense space filled with bright light. This space felt to me as an actual place, seemingly outside myself, yet it was difficult to distinguish whether the space was outside myself or whether the space was my own consciousness. It felt as if my consciousness had expanded to meet the immensity of the space. I knew the space was vast, perhaps infinite, not because I could see or feel the space, but because I became the space. The enormity of my consciousness felt disconcerting, as a person might feel standing at the edge of a very tall diving board, looking down at the water, fearing the space between them and the inevitable splash.
This immense space, my consciousness, was filled with a brilliant light. The light emanated from within, although I could not see its source, and consumed my entire field of vision, as if nose to nose with a light bulb. This yellow-whitish light radiated with an aura of forces or fields I could viscerally sense and made up the most amazing portion of the experience. These forces consumed me, overwhelmed me, overpowered me. They rushed in like a deluge and filled my consciousness: Power, Knowledge, and Love, each force felt absolute and infinite in its strength.
I felt the Power to be the source of all energy, the life force fueling the universe. Although intangible and motionless, the Power loomed with immense potential, available in unlimited quantities, a vast reservoir of infinite energy. The actual subjective feeling reminds me now of watching jets land at an airport, when the planes are less than 200 feet above the ground. The roar, the rumble, and the size of the planes are impressive. You can feel the awesome power of jet engines pulsating through your body. This sensation of raw power, multiplied many times over, was the feeling I had of this transcendent Power.
I also sensed a great Knowledge within the light, that everything knowable was there to behold. I did not actually see the secrets to the universe, but I perceived this was the source of all Knowledge, the place where Laws of Nature are born. The Knowledge pervaded my consciousness, not with specific details, but with a sense of supreme intelligence. I could grasp the entire universe as an undivided whole, and all knowledge was gathered into a single, unified concept. A familiarity with the universe emerged, as if the entire universe and all the knowledge that filled it, became my own body and mind, and I knew the universe as myself.
It was Love that dominated the experience. Not me loving someone, not someone loving me, just the experience of pure love, absolute love, love for its own sake. The magnitude and strength of this Love was beyond measure, infinite. It engulfed me, embraced me, and allowed me to experience the profound bliss, happiness, joy, and ecstasy that accompany Love. I had a sense this Love must be God, but there was no God, no supernatural entity – only Love. This Love, however, was sacred and holy by its very nature. It filled the immense space, my consciousness, with a Rapture and along with the Bright Light, gave the impression I was in Heaven.
The light soon faded and I was back in a car, sitting with my girlfriend, sobbing uncontrollably for joy, repeating over and over the question, “What was that? The experience was overwhelming.
The mystical experience was not my imagined or hallucinated perception, but an actual, waking, sober experience. Subjectively, my waking consciousness had spontaneously transported from sitting inside a car to being in another world or realm: an ethereal, numinous, spiritual realm. This very real “transcendent realm” within my consciousness contained a “universe”, an infinite space, filled with bright light emanating forces of immense power, knowledge, and love, and accompanied by an ecstasy and bliss, which felt as if I God had touched me.
These phenomena were not physical, but visceral and intuitive in nature. The forces or fields permeated my consciousness, my very soul, and left a residue of energy within me. It became a permanent feature of my psyche, acting as a source of vitality which nourished my body and mind with a rejuvenating spirit. The residue of the bright light’s energy remained with me for many years, providing stamina with little food or sleep and inspiration when I had no ambition or courage. (As years turned into decades, I could feel the rejuvenating spirit waning, like a battery slowly losing its charge.)
The tangible nature of this subjective experience not only rejuvenated my energy, it brought with it the knowledge or awareness of a higher-power or spiritual ground underlying the universe and myself. The awareness of a “higher something within me” created a feeling of confidence, strength, and security, along with a certain exuberance and childlike wonderment of life and the universe. This inner well-being was expounded by the recognition of one, simple, truth; a transcendent reality exists within human consciousness – a heavenly, powerful, and supernatural realm of knowledge, power, and love. Of this I am certain.
The personal, direct experience and recognition of a transcendent reality existing within my consciousness, opened a new reality, a new set of ideas, and a new perspective on the universe and all of life. It forced me to reconsider and question everything. My old conceptions of the universe were no longer valid, my sense of identity was now in question, my vision of God’s nature irrevocably altered. My Christian background and liberal arts education had not prepared me for the Bright Light. There was nothing to compare the experience, no place to file it away. Christianity taught me about Jesus and Salvation. Science taught me about the Big Bang and Evolution. Both Science and Christianity, foundations of my belief system, failed to explain the Bright Light experience.
I had great difficulty learning anything useful regarding mystical experiences (no internet back then) and within a year moved to California where I met several people who set me on a learning path which continues to this day. I also ended up at Law School in an attempt to enter commercial real estate and build an indoor ski resort. Long story, but it never panned out. I tell you this to show the effect my one-minute mystical experience had on me.
Over the years my intellectual understanding of the mystical experience has grown immensely and I am attempting to write a book like many others who have had this experience. Unfortunately, my intellectual understanding has not brought me any closer to having another experience and has perhaps made things more difficult.
It is my belief that the mystical experience is part of the evolutionary destiny of mankind and will eventually change the course of history. If every person had this experience the world would be a far better place.