How To Experience A Mystical State Of Consciousness
Evelyn Underhill, a poet and writer of Christian mysticism, describes mysticism as the “Art of union with reality,” and that reality can be filled with spiritual truths, which can create feelings of bliss and euphoria. Each of us can experience a mystical state of consciousness by being fully present and aware.
If we think of ourselves as divine beings, which we are, and regard our body as a vessel to imbibe the mystical experience, we can experience a feeling of oneness created or enhanced by the chemicals in our brain, and consider the mystical realm as a normal reality in which to be. But instead, mysticism has been defined as “a belief without sound basis” or a “belief characterized by self-delusion or dreamy confusion of thought.”
So What's Delusional About That?
What is delusional is believing that the only way we can experience bliss and euphoria is through drugs, alcohol, or even the overuse of our smart phones, which stimulates chemicals in the brain like dopamine. There’s no wonder we can’t stay off our devices when we are so used to the instant reward we get from successful social interactions. But the flip side of that is increased levels of anxiety and depression, caused by the very thing we seek pleasure from, when we can’t disconnect from our devices in a healthy way.
Whatever it is we seek pleasure from, relying on external things to give us the high or a feeling of euphoria, we run the risk of deluding ourselves that we’re in control when we’re not. The opioid crisis is a perfect example of how out of control millions of people are over managing their dependency on feeling high, or numbing themselves from feeling anything uncomfortable...
Sadly, we have not been educated enough on how to use our own body’s natural resources and healing abilities to work through our pain and suffering. We have not been taught early on such valuable and helpful tools as mindfulness or meditation, which are known to reduce stress and anxiety, and are fortunately being practiced by many people to manage their pain and stress, including war veterans afflicted with PTSD, with very positive results.
Until we stop looking outside of ourselves for answers, and as long as we keep avoiding the pain and suffering we will inevitably experience as human beings, we will continue to seek quick fixes to anesthetize ourselves from feeling anything. More and more people will fall into the downward spiral of addiction.
Asking The Right Questions
So, what is it that we are numbing ourselves from, and why so much drug and alcohol use? If our own brains can manufacture chemicals that can literally produce the type of endorphins that make us feel as good, or as high as a drug or alcohol can, why in the world aren’t we looking within for the very gifts, remedies and even cures for what ails us? We have the answers, we just aren’t asking ourselves the right questions.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This quote by Einstein, and also used in Al-Anon, a support group for loved ones of alcoholics, pretty much explains how we can foolishly repeat self-defeating patterns out of ignorance, rather than raising our awareness about how best to fix problems so that better results can be realized.
Don’t we want better results? Aren’t we ready to stop doing the same things over and over again, but instead try doing things differently? Maybe that means living our lives more mindfully and in tune with the “mystical”. By doing this, we may find the moments of our lives more magical, and rich with meaning, and only then can we truly experience less pain and more joy — even elation or euphoria.