Spiritual Experiences

Astral and paranormal experiences, dreams and visions.
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Mars
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Spiritual Experiences

Post by Mars »

Have you had any spiritual experiences? What do you classify as a spiritual experience? Do you trust them? Seen, felt or otherwise experienced a presence, for instance, or an overwhelming feeling of love?

I've had a number of what I call spiritual experiences as well as psychic ones, but I'm very careful in placing any importance to them. The category of a "spiritual experience" is obviously a hard one and different authors have talked about them in a greatly varied manner. That's why I don't want to narrow this topic down to a specific angle.
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Gangleri
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Re: Spiritual Experiences

Post by Gangleri »

Mars wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 2:51 pm Have you had any spiritual experiences?
I've had numerous ones. The most important ones have happened in the beginning of my path, which could possibly be classified roughly under the title "coming to faith" although not in that sentimental or sub-intellectual sense the term is usually understood. When reading the Fosforos the first time I had a tremendous experience of both Satan and Christ; the experience was first and foremost an intellectual one, but it also had emotional undertones. The most recent spiritual experience was in the winter, when in the midst of a mundane day I had a mystical experience of an "eternal waterfall in the heights" from which all existence springs forth; I think it could be called as an experience of Cosmic Christ.
Mars wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 2:51 pm What do you classify as a spiritual experience? Do you trust them?
I would classify a spiritual experience as something that is experienced while completely sober and with a clear mind. For example, I have never done psychedelics and would not consider meeting with some astral or psychic entity while under the influence as a spiritual experience per sae, although it can have spiritual consequences of course.

Regarding more psychic experiences, I'm having them all the time but have grown to be more suspicious of them; at least I don't trust them in the same sense that these more important ones.

Also other experiences that I have had while or after reading a spiritual text and contemplating on it, I would classify as a spiritual experience.
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Beshiira
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Re: Spiritual Experiences

Post by Beshiira »

”What qualifies as spiritual experience” is something I've pondered a lot. What separates holy from the mundane or actual divine experiences from some ego-colored illusory images?

One could always say that everything is essentially spiritual, and when we are not "having spiritual experiences", we just fail to see that. (And then again, what exactly do we mean by "spiritual experience" is already quite a large question...) But it's not a very satisfying answer, even if true at some level, and the whole issue is of course very complicated and we can't really settle for some "everything is everything" statement alone.

In general, once again, I would be quite hesitant in placing importance on unusual experiences, as also suggested in the opening post. I'm not sure how trustworthy our experiences are to begin with. Why should they be an authority of any sort, and what relevance to anyone else than ourselves could there be in some experiences that we have had? No matter how incredible, how life-changing, how wonderful or beautiful the experience is, no matter how much I feel that I have experienced something that is beyond experience itself, someone can always come and argue that, well, it was still just another experience, why should I care?

So I don't think there are simple objective answers to these questions. I have had experiences that I don't hesitate to call holy, but I'm not sure if there's much use in talking about them too much to others. Usually in such experiences there is basically ”no room for questioning”, even for an overthinking mind like mine. It has to do with, for example, a very direct and living understanding of guidance, and letting go of your petty ego in the presence of something much larger and much more important. Sometime I have livingly felt simultaneously the tragedy and the beauty of this world, and thus felt melancholic and comforted at the same time.

And here again, if someone says that all this is still nothing but another layer of my ego coloring reality, there's not much I can say against it. And I guess there's no way around it that our minds are coloring reality in any case. One could say that the less this coloring happens, the more spiritual our experience is, but even then it's still just quite subjective. (I've used the word "coloring" here; if we instead, for example, speak of the mind creating reality, the tone of these thoughts changes somewhat and we have new angles to consider once again.)

If I try to think of some objective guidelines regarding these ”qualifications”, I can only come up with something rather simple: Spiritual experience is something that draws our attention towards Spirit, as opposed to something else. It's something that makes our focus shift from only the material reality and our personas to a larger and less ego-centered view.
"Ja kun minun kirkkauteni kulkee ohitse, asetan minä sinut kallion rotkoon ja peitän sinut kädelläni, kunnes olen kulkenut ohi.
Kun minä sitten siirrän pois käteni, näet sinä minun selkäpuoleni; mutta minun kasvojani ei voi kenkään katsoa."
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Gangleri
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Re: Spiritual Experiences

Post by Gangleri »

Good points Beshiira.

Maybe I would (re-)define spiritual experience as something that causes a fundamental change in a being's worldview, and leads optimally to ethical change in one's behavior and into a new way to see the world. Perhaps we could even say that a spiritual experience is like "a taste of initiation" in a small scale, in the sense that one's mind and consciousness gets a taste of divine things and something that can be called holy or sacred. A virtual initiation can be seen as a spiritual experience for sure, even though it doesn't mean yet initiation in the strictest sense of the term, but marks a beginning (initiate = to begin). In this sense spiritual experiences are essential, but to chase after them in some "spiritual hedonism" of sorts is an error in my opinion; once one has had a vision of higher things, one should chase that state by fundamentally changing one's orientation towards those higher things, and experiences can be let to flow on their own if they will. Even if the term "by the Grace of God" has been horribly misunderstood in the religions, I believe spiritual experiences are like "symptoms of grace" flowing through one's being if one has attained to that state of things.
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