SPIRITUALITY, MENTAL HEALTH, DREAMS & MYSTICAL EXPERIENCES
Extraordinary Experiences Which Change Your Life
When I was attending college, I decided to take an elective course called "Psychology of Religion." We studied various types of psychological connections with religion and spirituality, including mystical experiences. One significant finding was that 40% of those surveyed in studies had experienced a mystical experience, yet many people rarely had discussed these experiences with others unless the other person talked about their experiences. This is not surprising considering that American culture does not encourage us to talk about these experiences. Quite the contrary is true. Some people even think this is sign of mental illness. What was discovered was that these individuals tend to have, as a group, better mental health than the rest of the population. Having these experiences is actually a sign of excellent mental health. Psychologist Abraham Maslow studied people who were self-actualized individuals. Many had these kinds of experiences.
So what is a mystical experience? It is an experience where you are in "contact with the Absolute within the living body." In Hinduism the absolute plane is the plane of Brahman (God, Universal Consciousness, Goddess). Most traditions have mystical elements, but Hinduism is mystical at its core. This connection with Braham is called bliss and is our true identity. The Upanishads are discourses on mysticism. Our ultimate goal is to recognize the divinity/bliss within.
We can experience mystical connections in waking, dream or dreamless sleep. The state of Samadi is the state of super-consciousness beyond those states where bliss is achieved. It is in a different dimension than the other three states of individual consciousness.
The arts, in particular, can be extremely helpful in helping you achieve these mystical experiences of bliss. Music, dance, chant and all visual arts are great avenues of mysticism.
Spirituality is so important in helping us achieve great mental health. It gives us a sense of belonging to each other, the Universe, nature and the Absolute. It is not tied to one tradition, but one can have riturals and religious practices which promote this connection with each other. Those who have a spiritual community of some kind tend to have better mental health and can cope better with challenges and death. With emotional support it is easier to deal with these situations. Those with connections to spiritual communities tend to live longer than those without this kind of support.
The modern social work schools recognize spirituality as an important aspect of a client's life. The wholistic perspective includes individual psychology, environmental influences, family connections and cultural views. Spirituality can intersect in all of these aspects.
Some individuals have various experiences which can change their lives. Some people have these experiences even when they are children. Some adults do not know how to cope with children and adults who have mystical and psychic experiences. Some adults tend to discourage discussion of such experiences, which is very unfortunate for the spiritual and mental health of the child. Some people think that you make up the experiences. They think it's something which happens in the movies.
My mother had spiritual and psychic experiences from time to time, which she shared with some members of the family. I am very glad she did share these experiences because when I started to experience similar experiences I knew what was happening to me. I remember having a very blissful experience sitting on a hill at college with a creative friend and she was having a similar experience at the same time. We felt connected to all creation.
Later on in my life, I had psychic experiences where I felt connected with friends when something extraordinary would occur. I was picking up their feelings and thoughts. One of my former boyfriends was in an accident one day when he was driving a postal truck. I saw his expression through my third eye as he was having the accident. Later on I found out the details about when it occurred and where it happened. The accident happened exactly at the time I saw the vision of him through my third eye. I consider this kind of experience mystical in nature because it shows you we are all connected to each other. Our inner knowing is a higher form of knowing where we tap into the Universal Consciousness, which is the Divine.
I remember my mother talking about seeing spiritual beings from time to time. She was pregnant with my second youngest sister and had contracted measles at the same time. She was worried that the child was going to be born with birth defects. She looked out into the garden and saw Jesus out there. She felt very peaceful and knew that every thing would turn out right. My sister was an extraordinary child--very intelligent and gifted in many ways. She was great in math, business, the creative arts and had high social skills. She was even excellent at woodworking in high school and would teach the boys how to do various projects in shop class. She had a great shop teacher who saw her abilities and let her do this.
Later on I started having similar experiences where I saw spiritual beings or heard them. When I read about this topic, it is evident that this ability can be seen in the children of parents with this ability. I personally think we all have this ability to some degree, but some of us know how to develop it more extensively than others. My mother was excellent in the creative arts, and I inherited those abilities, also. Developing these abilities does seem to help you develop your spiritual and mystical side more. One pandit told me that when you see a spiritual being it means God is breaking through in your life. Yes, that is true because you are experiencing spiritual aspects of yourself.
I remember hearing Krishna's flute one day in my apartment. It had to be Him because no one was playing the flute in the building and no one was playing a musical recording of one either. It was important at that point in my life because I was not very successful in obtaining any employment opportunities. It made me realize Krishna was with me even in these circumstances, and He was working on helping me solve this problem. I heard the flute close to the end of a yagna officiated by a dear friend of mine who is a Hindu priest. Recently I see how his flute has shown up at critical times for me in random internet pictures of friends, including the priest, who helped me get through some tough experiences. One day a woman called me about a job opportunity which turned into a job. On that day the priest turned up in a random picture on pixer. In this picture he was near a wood murti of Krishna. The day I finally got the job, two random pictures appeared of the priest one of him in India and one of him with an elderly couple. He prayed with me about the situation and helped me right in the moment when I was having challenges in getting documentation for the job. I had no idea he was going to be on line those days.
We just celebrated Janam Ashtami, the Appearance Day of Lord Krishna. I was experiencing His appearance through relationships with various people in my life. I even had dream of those individuals and in the dreams I saw how they guided me to a better place. Those dreams came true in real life. It was as though Krishna was reaching into those dreams to improve my life. If you have a very vivid, lucid dream, pay attention because it will become true on some level and be very significant to your future life. These dreams are about your destiny on the planet and how you will achieve your destiny. They are feminine aspects of yourself. It it through your relationships that God changes you in order to discover your true self. Mystical experiences are really about love on various levels. Divine Love is the highest form of love, but your relationships ideally should help you achieve this Divine Love. Be thankful for these mystical experiences. They help you obtain bliss and help you reach your life purpose and destiny.
JAI SHRI MYSTICAL EXPERIENCES! JAI SHRI KRISHNA!