“I don’t think the mystical experience can be verbalized. When the ego disappears, so does power over language.” ~ W.H. Auden
Temporarily stepping out of reality into a no-time, no-space dimension, reaching for the Divine as the Divine reaches back, realizing the interconnected nature of all things, looking into the eyes of God, becoming one with all – that is, awakening… these are all attempts to describe the indescribable: a mystical experience.
But what is mysticism exactly, and how do you know if you’ve had a mystical experience yourself?
Although a clear and precise description is hard to pinpoint, mysticism is generally deemed as a communication, union, or extraordinary experience with the Divine.
While religious ecstasy, intuitive insights, and enlightenment all fall under its broad definition, the indescribable qualities of a mystical experience remain as elusive as an exact comprehension of its meaning.
This may be due, in part, to the reluctance of the experiencer. As anyone who has had a mystical experience likely realizes, sharing it may involve subjecting yourself to the misinterpretation, skepticism and even condemnation of others.
Couple this with the diminishing effect that occurs when you try to put into words that which lies beyond normal comprehension, and it’s no wonder that most experiencers make the choice to keep the details to themselves.
Nonetheless, mystical experiences do not seem to discriminate. It is possible for anyone, no matter their belief, background, age or location, to experience the extraordinary. In fact, it is possible that we may all have a mystical experience at some point in life, but we either do not share it with others, or we dismiss it to ourselves because we can’t comprehend or categorize what occurred.
Have you had a mystical experience? If so, how do you know? Fortunately, the recorded attempts of others to describe the mystical offer some distinct correlations to help you decide.
Here are 10 signs that indicate you have had a mystical experience:
The experience is so extraordinary and unusual that it defies explanation. It cannot be debunked or written-off to chance.
You feel an intimate connection to something that is vast, mysterious, and infinite – and it makes you realize that you are much larger than your individual identity.
There is a sense of time standing still while the experience is occurring.
You cannot find words to describe it to others, and attempting to do so seems to lessen and trivialize the experience.
It occurs quickly, takes you by surprise, and typically does not last very long.
You feel no need to justify, prove, validate, or share the experience with others. It becomes personal, private, and sacred to you.
There is no tangible quality to link the experience to the physical world, yet it seems more intense and real than your normal, waking life. The details are easy to recall, and they remain sharp and clear in memory.
After the experience, life seems to be infused with new energy, vitality and you become more positive and creative as a result.
You no longer feel separate from others or the environment, but instead realize a sacred harmony with all aspects of life.
You are deeply altered by the experience, your perceptions forever changed.
“I firmly believe that all human beings have access to extraordinary energies and powers. Judging from accounts of mystical experience, heightened creativity, or exceptional performance by athletes and artists, we harbor a greater life than we know.” ~ Jean Houston
If you’ve had a mystical experience, you will decide to either dismiss it or embrace it. However, if you choose to dismiss it you may be missing the opportunity of a lifetime, for a mystical experience is a gift. To embrace it means to open your heart so you can encompass more love and compassion.
It means to broaden your perspective of life so you can accept all of it, the good and the bad. And it means to expand your awareness so you can see the connective nature of your reality. Knowing this is to know comfort, security and peace as you live out the rest of your life.
Whether you choose to keep a mystical experience to yourself or not, it does not matter. To seek validation from others about the experience is not necessary. What does matter is that you recognize it, embrace it, and allow it to work its magic as it expands your capacity for the extraordinary.