Magical Mystical Experience

Today's topic: Mystical Experiences
Heaving Dead Cats has question. I has answers.

1. Have you ever had a mystical experience?
Yes, lots. From psychoactive chemicals, meditation, or other spiritual practices, or they just happened naturally.

2. If you had a mystical experience would you consider it religious (pertaining to God), or spiritual (more universal, not religious), or just a brain phenomenon at the time and after contemplation?
It's a brain phenom. Doesn't matter how I consider it, or how I define all those big words neither.

3. Did the mystical experience cause you to seek out a way to try to make it happen again? Did it make you try to be more religious or spiritual in some way?
Oh yeah, I did it a lot. Not to be religious though, I was just trying to understand things. Really.

4. If you have experienced something mystical, are you still spiritual or religious now? Is that in part because of your experience in any way?
I've had people tell me I was the most spiritual person they know, so I guess. Otoh, when the nurse giving me a death release form asked my religious preference, everybody burst out laughing, my being a notorious 'god-hater', so I guess not. Around religiots I call myself an atheist, but around atheists not so much. The ME's have added to my understanding of religion, but outside of that, no big deal.

5. If you had a mystical experience and you’re now an atheist, how did you reconcile that with being a nonbeliever now? Did it make it harder to lose your faith, do you think?
I've never been a bleever, and these didn't make me be one. It's hard to take this shit serious when you know you dropped a double hit of windowpane just before they happen.

6. Are you like me? Have you never experienced anything like what I’ve described?
Just like you: two arms, two legs, (assuming), and a lot of curiousity. Not sure what you mean, described, unless you mean the list of classic symptoms of ME. I'll check it off.

a sense of timelessness

a sense of unity or totality
definitely. That's the main thing, I think. No differentiation between you and everything /body else.

a sense of having encountered ultimate reality
Umm, yeah, in a sense. The Buddhists talk about everything being an illusion, and you get a feeling that you are seeing behind the curtain

a sense of sacredness
Yeah, fer sure.

a sense that one can not adequately describe the richness of their experience
Yes. You can't. That's not so special, there are a lot of things that language isn't up to.

7. Does not apply
8. Does not apply

9. Do you have anything to add that I didn’t think
Oh boy, do I? Windbag license! Let's see, raised catholic with an atheist father, was always interested in who was right. Dad's side wins by a mile, but maybe people less fucked up than catholics could speak for the other side, I thought. Worth checking out, I thought.

Followed martial arts all my life and studied all that Eastern shit. People would come into the dojo and ask “Do you teach philosophy?” and I got so sick of it and answered “We try to, but we can't get it to learn a thing.” Guy just looked at me funny.

Anyhow that me into meditation and other regimens that induce ME's, some successful, some not. LSD was successful, and Mescaline, Ohhhh baby.

Didn't see much difference between the drugs and the others, wondered if my experiences were qualitatively different from those of religious fanatics, studied it. William James' Varieties of Religious Experience answered the question: No.
Never saw anything to convince me otherwise. Later on the BDSM community showed me even more way to induce these things. Religions are not all that.

There was only one time in my life when I believed in god. When they buried my three-year-old, for a minute or so, I knew his spirit was going up into heaven. Pretty obvious what was going on there. The experiences are overpowering when it's happening, but later on you come to your senses. At least you should.

Last point, promise. A lot of the responses, and atheists in general, go on about the awesomeness of nature, feelings of unity, sacredness, bla bla, and they sound just like religious people. Using terms from religion is nearly inevitable, but then they recoil in horror IT'S JUST A MENTAL IMAGE YOU LOONY, THERE ISN'T ANY VOICE OF GOD! People talking about the same exact things and trying to kill each other over what to call it.

The biggest impediment to understanding, for me, is to overcome my brainwashing that ---(Hey, Catholic School. Eight years.)---that shuts off my rational parts the instant I hear god-talk. One reference to Jesus and my inner Lizard is all up in there ready to kick ass. He needs to chill before we can communicate.

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