Was That a Mystical Experience?

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Past-life regression therapist Brian Weiss explains how to set yourself up for a mystical experience—and how to determine you've had one.

By Brian Weiss

Mystical or spiritual phenomena present people with a glimpse of the other side—of the “real” world. They can occur through meditation, prayer, nature, near-death experiences, or in many other ways. Occasionally they occur during sleep, in dreams, and in that period of time just before falling asleep or awakening, before consciousness is reached.

Those habits and patterns that bring us to such transcendent moments may work well for one person but not as well for another. It is important to find the path that works for you. The use of drugs, whether hallucinogenic ones or other types, can provide a superficial encounter with these higher levels, but there will not be a complete understanding of its nature. For this reason, among others, I do not recommend using drugs to bring about these states.

The glimpses that such otherworldly experiences provide us are extremely valuable, for they offer insight into the true nature of mind and of being. Such insights show the permanence of existence beyond the body, beyond the brain. They allow us to reach enlightenment. They show the beauty and the wisdom of the process (or the Tao, or the flow), which is always there, which is always right.

This process is guided, perhaps, by a divine presence, often reaching down to us through an act of grace to nudge us back to our destiny and to help us with the lessons that we came here to learn.

The Characteristics of a Mystical Event

Some features of the mystical or spiritual event are a feeling of oneness with all that is, of an energy that connects everything. There is a sense of timelessness, of infinite patience. With the understanding of such an occurrence comes an increase in one’s ability to reach out and help others without expecting anything back in return, and to approach each person in each situation with grace, kindness, and tolerance. There is peace. There is joy and happiness.

Frequently, there are also increased intuitive abilities and a knowledge of things that are unknowable by use of the five senses, which may include psychic and healing abilities. This is true for all great spiritual traditions.

The most significant characteristic, however, is love. It is an unconditional love, rather than one that is romantic or specific. One realizes that this kind of love is everlasting, eternal, and not subject to the laws of human nature or of the earth. It can never be lost; it is a universal constant.

To illustrate this, imagine a mother’s love for her baby, or a person’s love for a dear pet. The baby or the pet does not need to perform in order to win love and acceptance; it is there no matter what the child or the animal does. It is deeper than that. It is profound. It has no conditions. It knows no limits.

And neither do we.