Thank you for providing a space where I can share and explore the following experiences and their impacts on me. They include the most profound experiences of my life, which I rarely share directly with people. Despite the infrequency of my sharing, I feel a strong urge to share these experiences with people, as they have radically transformed my life and the way I relate within it and I believe they can offer something of that transformation to others. However, I'm well aware of how these experiences, and the experiences that came as a result of them, will seem to the majority of people and so I've remained silent as a way of safeguarding my fragile sense of self.
That said, I now experience the Cosmos as a much more benevolent place, with many beings and worlds present alongside our own that can, and do, bring great benefits to us. I hope that in sharing my story here, others will see this for themselves and open to the possibility of a far more open state of awareness, capable of interacting with higher energies and to integrate this as they mature into a healthy, grounded, human being.
Also, myself and others may present this type of mystical experience as a way of dodging our own human immaturity. To make it clear, I struggle with many personal issues on a daily basis that continue alongside these mystical experiences. For example, I can enter into immature defensiveness when challenged by my partner, I am working to release the energies of racism and white fragility I hold and embody via my biology and culture, and I can be selfish, ignorant, petulant etc. I feel my journey in life is only just beginning and far from being an antidote to the challenges of life, I have found these mystical experiences to instead facilitate a far deeper engagement with them (albeit a reluctant engagement from me much of the time!).
Also, I am recalling this experience from my own perspective right now and my memory is not perfect and may be influenced by unconscious biases such as a wish to appear valid and important in the eyes of others and the expectations of what spirituality should look like, internalised from my culture and significant relationships. As such, please take this account below with a pinch of salt. It is my own account and only relates to my own experience. The experiences of other people from other cultures, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, family backgrounds etc. may deviate from this while remaining entirely valid in and of themselves.
With all these important points in mind, I present the most significant mystical experiences of my life:
The primary experience happened around April 2014, though I want to share a little of my life before this to provide some context.
Sometime near June 2013, I had my first transformative spiritual experience. Before this I was struggling, feeling on and off suicidal as I used drugs, alcohol and partying in a desperate and unconscious attempt to medicate past trauma. I had no direct spiritual awareness and no interest in spirituality (I barely had any concept of the word).
An encounter with a spiritual teacher had a profound impact on me, leading my mind to become silent of verbal thought, and a serene presence began to shine through my room. I won't describe it in more detail here, though there is more to say, as it was a powerful experience that completely changed the direction of my life.
Filled with a new-found thirst for spiritual awareness, I spent months in and out of this state of presence, while reading spiritual books for the first time. This led me to reach out directly to a teacher who became my primary guide over the coming years. I stopped drinking, smoking and taking drugs as I chose to prioritise moving deeper into presence.
Shortly after my first face-to-face meeting with my teacher, and during a period of self-inquiry inspired through reading Nan Yar by Ramana Maharshi, I had a dream that led into an experience that I now consider to be an NDE or an NDLE.
The dream felt partially lucid, in that it felt more like waking life than a dream, perhaps a type of astral projection. I was seated in front of a man who was teaching me spiritual practices. He said to me, "Feel the awareness in your left hand," which I did. Then he said, "Feel the awareness in your right hand," which I did. I could feel the sensations in both hands within my awareness. Then he said, "The hands are different" and I felt how the sensations were located within both left and right hands, different places within my body. Then he said, "The awareness is the same." I noticed that each hand is held within the same awareness, as though the two different hands were unified within the same one awareness.
As I recognised this, it triggered a reaction within me. The dream disappeared and I felt a sensation as though my spine were rapidly rotating backwards to what felt like 360 degrees, an impossible angle. There was a sense of it snapping and a loud crack. As this happened, my experience collapsed and everything became darkness.
It's difficult to say whether or not I was embodied at this point. I would say that I was, however not in a physical body (though I had a vague sense of my physical body) or an astral body but as a body that is a kind of unmoving point of experiencing. From this point I experienced the darkness all around me, which didn't seem to have depth or distance.
At some point (time is difficult to accurately determine), a point of light appeared in the 'distance' (it seemed as though it were 'far away' yet it also didn't really have depth). It slowly began to grow. As it did, I sensed within me a mix of two clear sensations; one was of an ecstatic joy that seemed within the light, another was of death-like fear that seemed within the darkness.
The light kept growing and with it the ecstasy and fear. The ecstasy was like the physical sensation of an orgasm and the fear felt like death was coming and that my whole world was going to be torn apart. This mix became so intense that I could hear my own voice screaming within the experience. I've never screamed like that in regular life, though I believe it's what I would sound like if I knew I were about to die.
There was a point where I felt a threshold, a barrier between me, within the darkness, and the light itself. The fear and ecstasy had become so intense that it was totally overwhelming and I felt completely out of control, however I also felt a presence there with me which was somehow guiding or moving me. At a pivotal moment I felt 'invited' to cross the threshold from the darkness to the light. Though I had the desire to, I also felt completely overwhelmed by the death-like quality of it and was unable to choose to cross. It felt like crossing the line would mean I would be eradicated. At this point the presence that was with me became more powerful and I felt it push me over the threshold.
As I crossed over, the darkness completely disappeared and along with it the sense of death-like fear. All I experienced was golden light, like an ocean that was all I could see. With it I also experienced the ecstasy which was like a pristine orgasm that was not distorted by any other experience. The absence of fear was an immense relief. The presence of the ecstasy was pleasurable in a way, though mostly it was simply incredibly intense and very overwhelming.
I remained in this state for an unknown period of time. It didn't seem possible to experience such an intense state for so long yet it remained at that same level of intensity for as long as I was there. It's difficult to put an experience this intense into words so I repeat myself for emphasis, it was the most intense experience of my life and one that I don't believe has a parallel in regular human experiencing. After a time, I began to wonder if my body was OK and felt myself return to it.
I came into my body and felt myself as though I were in my physical body and also partially still in that ocean of light. I felt intense, ecstatic energy moving up and down my spine at an extremely rapid rate. It had the same orgasmic quality, though now less pristine as I was also experiencing my physical form. I was aware that my body was absolutely drenched in sweat as I lay in my bed. My body was in an odd posture, as the energy was so forceful it had manipulated my spine and the rest of my body. The energy was moving from the base of my spine to around the level of my neck.
I'm not sure how long I lay there but after a while the energy gradually dissipated and I was just lying in my bed. If I remember it right, I was completely exhausted and fell into a deep sleep.
Though this was the end of the primary experience, what followed has more significance for me. To do justice to all the experiences that followed and how they became integrated into my daily life (and how I continue to struggle in the difficult work of integration) would take an enormous amount of time and energy so I'll be concise and highlight the key points.
Following the NDLE, I experienced 'aftershocks'. I lay in bed a day or so later and wondered if the sensations would return (as I wanted them to). As I considered this I wondered if they'd feel like an uncoiling at the base of my spine. As I wondered this I started to imagine it. As I imagined it, it started to happen, the same orgasm-like energies began to spiral like a soft touch circling at the base of my spine that built until it took on a life of its own. It gathered into a similar energy as during the primary experience, moving up and down my spine while I experienced the ecstatic orgasm-like sensations. I didn't leave my physical body or enter the ocean of light in this instance.
I have a vague memory of a dream-like experience where I returned to the darkness and saw the distant light again. This time I reached the threshold and was unable to pass over; the presence didn't move me over and instead the experience slowly de-energised and I returned to my bed.
Seeing golden light within everything:
Not long after this experience I was visiting my brother in his apartment and noticed what looked like a strange, vibrating light within all the objects of his apartment. I didn't pay it much attention at the time and didn't say anything to him about it. From then on though I noticed my vision had permanently altered. I now saw the golden, white light of the ocean I had been in, within and around everything appearing in my vision (though it took me some time to draw the conclusion this is the same light).
This experience has never left me in the six or so years since the NDLE happened. I see all objects as transparent to and glowing with an ephemeral golden, white light/radiance. I also see a kind of golden white static of light that covers everything, whether my eyes are open or closed. This static is made of millions of individual points of light that fluctuate in their illumination so as to seem to vibrate to a certain frequency. My experience of this changes from time to time, sometimes being more in the background of my experience, sometimes more in the foreground, but always there while I am in my waking state.
The experience of it intensifies during certain life events, e.g., if my partner is talking about a deep and authentic aspect of her life, I see the light/resonance more deeply and clearly around/within her, along with other phenomena such as her face shifting to resemble a different/altered version of herself. Similarly, if I read a book by a mystic, I may sense the light more strongly in the words and within me. This brings another quality of this experience to mind: the light feels both within me and outside me at the same time, as though the outer layer of my sensory experience with its inclusion of depth and separation is a film over which and through which the light is. I sense this light deeply within my heart and resonant within the energy fields of my body. These phenomena have largely been smoothly incorporated into my daily experience, with the exception being when they are especially intense due to what I believe to be a special significance to the events.
My partner recently read about Hildegard of Bingen who experienced visions like this for the majority of her life. She shared this with me and I was deeply touched to read Hildegard's words, as it's rare that I come across people who describe this same, profound, heart-centered experience. One touching aspect was that Hildegard also feared sharing these experiences with others.
I have heard the same of the Oglala Lakota Medicine Man, Black Elk who nearly died, had profound visions and returned with a sense of an inner power within him, like a light. This was confirmed to him by the Medicine Man of his tribe who looked at him strangely and said words to the effect, "He has something special to do. I see a light like a power within him." My partner has also pointed out that when I look at the light within her I have a strange look about me, like I'm looking into her soul, which I suspect in some way I am. Black Elk also feared sharing his experiences with others, which surprised me due to my prejudiced belief that First Nations People would all be open and supportive of such experiences.
That I now share an experience with these mystics of history, whom I admire, is a challenging fact to reckon with. My tendency is to fluctuate between self-aggrandisement and denial/minimisation and this continues to be an ongoing and sometimes painful integration for me.
In addition to seeing objects as radiating light, I also see the objects vibrating around their edges and, if I focus on them, I see bands/waves of the same light moving around them. Trees are especially radiant in this way, with a unique and beautiful band of light.
I also hear tones / audio resonances, which began around the same time, of various frequencies and pitches. I had wondered if this was tinnitus, however I feel no disturbance from it and it only came about after the NDLE. I wonder if the tones vibrate to the same frequency as the light I see, though I'm unable to validate that as I'm not sure exactly how to measure it. Also, I heard about a scientific study where some Buddhist monks had their brains scanned and were able to tap in time to some of their brainwaves, which should be impossible under current scientific understanding. I wonder if my brain were scanned and I tapped to the frequency of the light I see or tones I hear, whether they would also be in sync. (Alas, I don't have a brain scanner handy to check!)
Out of body experiences:
Along with the light, I also experienced other events that I had, for much of my life, considered exclusive to the realms of fantasy and science fiction.
Sometime after the primary event in April 2014, I first experienced leaving my physical body to enter my astral body and travel to other realms of existence. This happened spontaneously as I slept one evening. From what I can remember of it, I found myself floating in a strange, vivid place, feeling myself as very light, with colours of greens, blues and purples more vibrant than I had ever seen.
I felt a presence / multiple presences with me and felt them move me through this space. I felt their voices in my mind, without words, but rather a kind of feeling of them within my mind which I understood as though understanding spoken words. I did not see them. They explained events to me, such as when I saw human beings in bubbles floating in the space, they said these are people who are dreaming, which made total sense in that context. They guided me through this space and I felt like I was leaving the level of the human/earth realm. I came out of that realm and was in what I would describe as a 'village,' though I felt my perception of it was being passed through my mind in a way I could interpret, rather than seeing it totally accurately. I saw many beings going about their business. They didn't seem at all bothered by my presence and were focused on their purpose, moving around with an easy-going yet energised way, like they knew exactly what they were doing and felt completely comfortable doing it. The ones I can remember looked almost like friendly goblins, though again, this may be my mind interpreting them through my current level of knowledge rather than actually what they looked like.
The presence/s were still with me and I was guided to a 'marketplace' where I went up to a stall and was told only a human can hold what I need to collect from there. I picked up the object from a gnome-like merchant and was taken to a pool. I asked what the pool was and was told it's the entry point to the consciousness of another human being. I was told to put the object into the pool, which I did. My intuition on this is that I was helping the growth of consciousness by bringing inspiration from this realm into the mind of a certain human being so that it could grow and bring a higher vibration to them and through them to the earth.
Another time I was in a 'dream,' which I suspect was actually an astral projection, where I was myself as a child, lying in the bed I grew up in, a place of traumatic memories. As I lay there, I saw a light outside my window. I felt terror, like I did during the tunnel of light experience. A being made of golden, white light and shaped like a human but without discernable features (like the outline of a human, filled with and radiating golden white light) was there. It floated gracefully over to me. I was absolutely terrified. The experience felt completely real, as though I was in my room and suddenly a being made of light was floating through my window...pretty unnerving! The being stared at me with incredible intensity (I couldn't see eyes, its face was directed at me, implying it was focused on me). Its unflinching gaze was terrifying in a way that is difficult to describe, though I can reflect now that the terror was the darkness within me fearing the light.
The being held my hands and I felt a connection between us. I could feel my fear literally moving out of me and into this being. It remained unflinching and lifted me with it and we floated out of the window. We were then in a car, with myself in the back seat and the being in the front passenger seat, looking back at me and continuing to hold my hands and look intensely at me. My fear continued to move into it and eventually I felt calm, calmer than I can recall being in regular life (except possibly while on drugs). As with the previous experience, I had some awareness I wasn't really in a car (which was driving down the motorway), but rather my mind was seeing it in this way so I could comprehend it safely. What was actually happening was that I was being taken to another dimension. After a while we arrived and the being of light introduced me to two beings from this new realm. They looked human to me, though I knew they weren't. They seemed calm, casual and like they were expecting me. The being of light started to float into the sky, toward a ray of light that was shining through the clouds. It passed through the cloud and I didn't see it again. (I feel sad even writing this as it feels like such a loss to lose contact with such an incredible being that had drawn the fear out of me - I wanted to be with it, and still do). I was also sad at the time and kept asking my new guides when it would come back. They calmly, and amusedly, told me that it had gone and that I didn't need to worry about it. I didn't understand and felt its loss.
They took me through what I saw as rainy streets in a typical English town. They took me to a fast food restaurant (...) where I picked up a meal to take with us (I assume this is similar to the previous experience). They took me to a school where I was in a classroom filled with children and a teacher at the front. The teacher welcomed me and the children stared at me. The teacher asked me to get something from a cupboard which was located on the other side of the room, past all the children, who were seated at old-style desks. I tried to move through them but their desks started getting closer and closer together so that they pressed into me. I felt like I was being compressed and felt frightened, embarrassed and out of control. Then I was back in my body. I suspect this classroom was some kind of training ground for other-worldly beings to learn about human beings, though I can't be certain of that.
There were some other times where I experienced some type of astral experience. These would happen while I was in bed, during a phase of sleep. There was a predictable sequence of events that would happen, including a lucid feeling, a sense of intense inner contraction and undulating, like the fabric of my world was coming undone, a sense of acceleration, letting go, intense and unusual/other worldly sounds, the presence of beings (often angelic, where I would hear their voices calling to me), and eventually, if I was able to let go enough, I would experience a death-like state and then leave my body, spend some time in my astral body or interact with another being. These experiences tended to be quite short relative to the ones I described previously, often ending in me being unable to pass the threshold and leave my physical body or leaving and then becoming fearful and returning to it. I describe these experiences in the past tense as it's been about a year since I had the beginnings of these experiences and longer since actually leaving my body. I was never able to astrally project at will, though did try to learn for a short time, but I found the process quite de-stabilising and decided to focus on grounding.
As these unfolded so did other mystical/spiritual/psychic experiences. Following the NDLE, I was having a period of sick leave from work. I stumbled across some channeling videos by Paul Selig. In one, his guides spoke through him saying they are available to anyone and all we need to do is turn toward them (paraphrased from one of his YouTube videos). One morning as I lay in bed, I was having a dialogue in my mind, asking myself questions about my life. I noticed that my head was gently shaking or nodding in response to the questions, without me even realising. As I noticed, it occurred to me that these could be my guides, so I asked if this was the case and my head softly nodded. This was the beginning of my experience of channeling inner guidance which has evolved over the years. I consider it a form of telepathy, as the experience is often non-verbal and very similar to the experience I had during my first astral projection. It is like a connection in knowing that moves in a way similar to a conversation, but often wordless and based in a movement of feeling. That said, it can and does make use of words to support the communication of the desired energies.
Relatively recently I have begun to channel with my partner as she asks questions to different aspects of this inner guidance, with myself acting as a conduit between them. The process of channeling can be active (where I intentionally invoke a specific energy/being, build a rapport with it, and commune with it) or passive (where an energy/being comes to me without my invocation of it and I may not even realise consciously that I'm interacting with it - similar to the head nodding/shaking mentioned earlier). These experiences of inner guidance have been some of the most profound guidance of my life and offer a wealth of emotional and practical support that I had never conceived of as possible before it began.
Inner energy / chakras:
A few months after the NDLE, I began feeling unusual sensations in my body. I recall sitting at my computer at work and feeling 'air' moving through my arm. It felt pleasant and light, like a breeze, though it was inside my arm. At a similar time, I felt a tight pressure in the center of my forehead, like someone pushing their finger into the space between my eyes. I knew so little about inner energy at this time that I actually went to the bathroom to check my face in the mirror as I was concerned my forehead was somehow spasmodically frowning. I was surprised to look at my face and for it to look the same as it usually did, though I could still feel the pressure in my forehead. In the months following these experiences I felt similar pressures in other locations such as my throat, the top of my head, my solar plexus, etc.
I had a vague memory of the chakra system and looked up a diagram of it and was not particularly surprised to see the places I felt pressure were shown as major chakras of the human body, energy centers that come alive/open during spiritual awakening. In the present, some six years later, I now experience numerous streams of energy flowing through my body, which include focal points at the seven major chakras though also includes many hundreds/thousands of minor chakras that vary in size and energy flow, all throughout my body. My intuition tells me my inner energy field will open in much the same way as how I currently see golden white energy, hundreds of thousands of individual points of light all flowing and radiating together.
Energy expansion / constriction:
Moving back to the present, these energies move in ways relative to my emotional feeling, in direct response to my internal and external life experience. At times of stress they constrict and I feel them tighten. This can be a very unpleasant experience, which I want to strongly highlight as the negative is all too often denied in spiritual circles. To my mind, these contractions are just as much a part of the journey of awakening as the expansive movements (which tend to be more pleasant). As my inner awareness grows, I see that the human body knows far more than human beings are typically conscious of. Our body knows the truth of our past and can predict our future. It's incredibly important to listen to it and learn from it, including the enormous amount of pain it holds. It can tell us about our ancestors and about the whole of human and cosmic history, as well as the direction for ourselves, our species, our planet and the interdimensional cosmos.
My conclusions, for all of us:
I think if I try and document more, I'll be here forever, so I'll leave this account here. I hope reading this has been helpful to you in some way. If reading this has left you feeling more confused than before you started, then don't worry, this is just the account of one person. You'll have your own experiences and evolve your own understanding. If you've experienced something similar to what I've described and are trying to make sense of it all, I recommend exploring some grounding techniques, spending time in nature and giving yourself plenty of time and space to let this all sink in. What you've experienced is a massive shift in consciousness that your psyche and body will need time to integrate. At times it will be painful. But it's OK. You'll get out at the end of it, and I reckon you'll smile to yourself as it all starts to come together.