Mystical Experience as Arcana: Frightening and Powerfully Ineffable

by | March 11, 2021

Mystical experience can be so ineffable that to attempt to describe it in words diminishes it somewhat and fails inexorably to even touch upon the experience.  Much of the literature on mysticism speaks of these experiences’ ineffable quality, whether the experience is one of deep insight or union.

Seeking a union with or a glimpse of the ground of Beingness seems like an almost useless endeavour. Unless one has a mystical experience (even spontaneously) and is so fundamentally changed by it, for the better, then one would seek to have this experience again and again until it becomes one’s natural state.  To say that one gets a sort of blissful high from this experience may not be too far off the mark.  Even if one doesn’t achieve a bliss state each time, the intensity of emotional release, along with its attending catharsis and afterglow, can still be felt.

The Danger of Mystical Experience

However, the danger of mystical experience is that unearthing such an overabundance of buried trauma, memories and emotions (whether personal, or ancestral, or species) may threaten to overwhelm the individual’s psychological structures with the possible loss of ‘self into insanity.

Undertaking Inner work slowly, methodically, and preferably with a competent guide who knows the path easily accessible or readily available.

The potential promise of bliss states is appealing, but the potential dangers are real.  Unfortunately, those who are most readily attracted to these types of meditative psycho-spiritual practices are so unhappy with their lives and who they are that radical change or obliteration of their identities seems preferable to their current persona and life situation.

I say this because I can identify with them and their point of view quite readily.  So, I’ve come to believe that a strengthening of one’s personality structure and healing of any subconscious or conscious trauma must come first.  Afterward, such a “whole” integrated psyche may handle the refining process of some of these more esoteric practices with tremendous success and a positive benefit. 

Be careful in there.