The Mystical Experience

Mysterium tremendum et fascinosum
— Rudolph Otto

Throughout much of human history, Sages have spoken about the mystical experience perhaps the most meaningful experience that human beings are capable of having. A mystical experience is an encounter with the transcendent; It's an encounter with the numinous.  Otto Rank described this as the Mysterium tremendum et fascinoso of reality when the doors of perception are cleansed, and the mystical experience has some characteristics, some persisted hallmarks that always show up, no matter the culture or worldview and belief system of whoever is having it. So there are these common attributes that show up with mystical experiences. They are the following...

A mystical experience is characterized by feelings of cosmic unity, feelings of oneness with elders, feelings of interconnection.

The mystical experience is characterized by feelings of transcendence, time and space, the mind freed from the shackles of the ego, freed from the constraints of time and space. 

A mystical experience is characterized by positive mood lifting, a feeling of bliss and a feeling of ecstasy. A feeling of gratitude, pure magic.

the mystical experience is characterized by feelings of the sacred of connecting with the divine

The mystical experience is characterized by ineffability, a feeling that you can't quite put it into words and it's an experience beyond language, you can't clothe it with language.

The mystical experience is characterized by feelings of paradoxically, feelings where you can hold multiple perspectives in mind at once. Where contradictions are reconciled. Where you can conceive of opposites and somehow hold them in mind at once.

The Mystical Experience characterized by its fleeting quality it's something can emerge and can dissolve just as quickly. It's a finite experience.

A mystical experience is characterized by feelings of transformative change that are lasting. So even though it's a temporary experience a person is forever transformed new perspectives, our glimpse new visionary understanding is felt and so a person is forever made better, a person feels like they've seen the light whereas once we were blind, now we can see.

And finally, a mystical experience leaves us with a quality of a noetic flavor right there's this sense that what was seen and what was understood and what was felt has some deeper veracity than everyday reality, has some kind of deeper meaning beyond our normal literal grid. There's a sense that there is ultimate truth and ultimate meaning to what was apprehended and this lasts indefinitely. So these are the hallmarks of a mystical experience something that as human beings we should all aim to encounter at least once in our lives because as David Foster Wallace wrote, the alternative is unconsciousness the default setting the rat-race, the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.