Mystical Experiencer: Female in late sixties
Current location: U.S.A.
Age at time of experience: 43
I woke up one morning feeling different. I don’t remember if it was immediate or not. At this point, since it was around 25 years ago, I can’t give any specifics. During a three-day period, I felt almost joyful, feeling that somehow I knew ‘everything’, but yet, I can’t remember any specifics, except that I knew without a doubt that the world was perfect as it is, we are all connected, and life has no beginning or ending… which was good news because I had a fear of death because of my being so overexposed to illness and old age as a nurse, and death as a child.
The fear of death was gone. I remember feeling like I was standing on a mountain top looking down and could see ‘everything’. It’s not that the world was actually perfect, but was perfect in its imperfection. Everything was just how it was supposed to be. In a way, I felt great joy, but also felt great sadness, because I knew this perfection included so much hardship. I previously had had a belief in reincarnation and this belief was enhanced.
This was the major event, and there were two minor events, well, minor compared to that one… of receiving only what I can call ‘downloads’. These happened within a year or so, while I was driving no less. I had to pull over to the side of the road and laugh. It was so ridiculous. I felt like all the knowledge of the world was being poured into me, wondering ‘why me’ and laughing even more.
After the first event, I found a Jungian therapist because I thought I had lost my mind… after all, I would think anyone who claimed to know ‘everything’ was nuts. The therapist was great, assured me I wasn’t crazy, and gave me suggestions on books to read. This was the beginning of a reading habit that continues to this day.
I have read many books trying to decide what these episodes were all about. Ken Wilber and his Integral theory was helpful… I spun off into Spiral Dynamics, read Plato, Maslow, Jung… neurology, developmental psychology, Darwin, James, philosophy… a little bit of this and that. I started meditating and studying Buddhism, which was very helpful.
After ten or so years of study, I was able to plug the experience more or less into the dhamma. The mind map I carry is Buddhist, but I don’t claim to be a Buddhist. Every religion is the same. After all, there can only be one truth. To me, everything is a dhamma gate and Buddhism is just life. What’s there to practice? We are doing it…
After that initial experience, my entire life changed. I used to be an extrovert, loved to be the center of attention. Headed committees, liked being in charge… now my goal is to fly under the radar. I’m very introverted. Can’t lie worth a damn. When it first happened, lies wouldn’t come out of my mouth. I would try to cover my butt in some way, but the words physically got stuck in my mouth. It’s kinda awful. I’m still guilty of sins of omission, but I do have to operate in this world and this world does not seem to value honesty.
It’s like after the event, I had a different mind. I didn’t even have the thoughts I used to have. I was known for a quick wit that included much sarcasm and cynicism. If I’m around this type of person now, I start having some cynical thoughts myself, so I avoid people like that.
I recently divorced my husband of 45 years because I could no longer tolerate his dishonesty, negativity and self-serving ways. I tried, did the Metta prayer constantly, to survive with him, and realized it was nothing more than spiritual bypassing. I needed out of the marriage. I no longer drink, smoke, or eat meat, but I do use profanity. A well-placed “f**k” gets people’s attention, especially when you are dealing with people who don’t expect that sort of thing out of you. I see this as skillful speech, but it’s really no more than a common case of potty mouth, but I own it.
I like to write, paint and create really mediocre poetry. I was a hospice nurse for years and a pretty decent one. I’m not a perfect person any more than you are… but I embrace my imperfections as I accept the imperfections of those around me. I don’t try to change people… well, the kids a bit, but I’m working on that.
These experiences totally reshaped my life… I know it. It’s not that I was on the road to hell with the life I was leading, but I know things would have been different….