Mystical experiences come in many varied types. Perhaps, they are as varied as the uniqueness of each individual soul/body. While they are received with different experience and meaning, they all emanate from the unity of the height and depth of infinite and eternal love.
Here, I will briefly discuss a few ways that mystical awareness is experienced. One way is through a deep emotional opening of the heart. This often occurs when we consciously feel deeply held unconscious emotion. The honesty of such an outpouring of both grief and peace opens us to the Spirit’s love beyond the ordinary time/space constraints of the personality. Another way is through the intellect’s spontaneous knowledge of universal truth. In such awareness, we may be gifted with a mystical experience of beauty and awe of the transcendent within our life.
The relational mystical experience is another glorious way we are gifted with the divine. This can happen with the awareness of another individual or a whole group of people within one’s awareness. When activated through the presence of an individual person, we realize that we are only our true self when we are one with the being of another person. We experience transcendent love. The philosophers describe this as intersubjectivity. This means that the human person is an undefinable subject in relationship with other undefinable subjects. Here, the human person is never an object to be used by others out of fear. There is just freedom, joy, love, and creativity as the relational human being elevates each other in love. Twentienth century philosophers Martin Buber, Gabriel Marcel, and St. Edith Stein have eloquently described this level of relationality that can open to the mystical.
Relational mystical awareness in a group is experienced as an absolute oneness with all others in one’s surround. The boundaries of the ego completely dissolve and the joy of union with all other persons is experienced while still experiencing our unique being. Thomas Merton provides an excellent example when he describes in “Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander” a spontaneous experience of realizing that he is one with and loves all the people at a busy street corner in Louisville, Kentucky.
Lastly for today, I will touch upon the ineffable light mystical experience. This experience seems to transport us to another dimension and enables a profound gratitude within our soul for the mystery of being. Through grace our heart opens to the uncreated light. It penetrates our entire multidimensional being. Our spiritual sensory system, which operates at a higher dimension than our five physical sensory system, experiences and sees a transcendent light that is beyond the physical light spectrum. This uncreated light is visibly seen although not through the ordinary capabilities of the eye and visual cortex of the brain. The Eastern Christian mystics Symeon the New Theologian and Gregory Palamas describe very well the nature of this mystical gift.