Hard as they are to describe, if I had to use one word to paint a picture of a mystical experience, unity would do the job very nicely.
The neuroscientists would write the experience off and explain it away in terms of tedious chemical reactions and the like, but those who have had such experiences are unlikely to care.
The mystical experience is said to be impossible to describe. Perhaps I just have a way with words, but in any event I beg to differ.
Our garden seems a rather good spot to have such an experience: flowers and scents mix with birdsong and peaceful rural calm. All seems peculiarly well with the world at such times.
The pointless world of human futility disappears and you feel an absorption in a whole. If you question what that whole consists of, you may come to the conclusion that it really does not matter very much. I would not care to draw any great metaphysical conclusions for the experience, but it just seems to put “ordinary” life into perspective for a while. A more kindly perspective I might add, a more understanding one.
In my case at least those things I find glorious become even more so. The simple things. Beauty, musical harmony, nature. The things I find distasteful and pointless do not irritate me so much after such an experience.
Black lives do matter. All life does. But I do not feel inclined to burn, pillage or destroy to show that I care.
Politics, business and the economy are largely pointless distractions in the scheme of things, but a mystical journey perhaps makes one more tolerant of all that nonsense. More inclined to let it pass with a shrug and a wry smile. It will ever be thus and, for me at least, it is by far better to quietly ignore humanity, than to work myself up in an indignant and self righteous froth about it.
I have written often about the Pig, the Salesman, the Man in the White Porsche . Only a month ago I gave into anger against a thick and ill educated school-ground thug who had threatened my sister. I seem to recall describing his behavior to his face in terms that our Anglo-Saxon forbears would recognize only too well.
I do not regret my words, but it was a pity to be so riled by the thug. A mystical experience will not banish such people, but it certainly puts them into perspective as the ridiculous and irrelevant pygmies they are.
Absorption in a greater whole is something most people long for. The experience certainly seems beneficial, calming, benevolent. Wherever it comes from, however it arises.
I suppose each person’s experience differs. I have no doubt that for some such an experience is slanted towards their own system of belief if they have any. I imagine that some would believe they have seen the face of their god, but in my own case the traditional biblical concept of a god is far removed from what I experience and I veer more towards the eastern concepts of what is “out there”. Or not, as the case may be.
I come with no great message, no tablets of stone. I shall write no great books nor shall I seek to convert the “heathen”. I have heard no voices, met with no departed souls. I have not traveled to parallel universes, nor, unlike the Venerable Bead, have I had visions of heaven or hell.
I just seemed to become one with what is. That was quite enough to keep me quiet for a bit.
Incidentally, the courtyard above is at San Pietro di Castello in Venice. Beauty indeed; get me back there once the Black Death has passed.