“Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.” ―
SUMMARY: While it is nearly impossible to adequately communicate the content of a mystical experience to a non-mystic who has never had one, somethings perhaps can be said about the experience that might shed some light on it.
(About a 9 minute read)
Suppose you came across a community of people living in the Amazon rain forest who had never before seen — or even heard more than a rumor or two — of people like you or of your culture and civilization.
Further suppose, upon learning their language, you discover it is beautifully suited to expressing the interrelatedness of all things, but there is neither any word for “god” nor any words that can be used to express the concept of god. In short, the people have no concept of metaphysics at all.
The world, to them, is not much more than what it appears to be, and the closest you can come to telling them about god more or less translates into “Big Hidden Man/Woman”, which makes them wonder whether you’re talking about a transgendered human of inordinate size who hides behind bushes and trees.
Continue reading “What is a Mystical Experience Like?”