Understanding The Significance of Spiritual Experiences (In The Light of Non-Dual Truth)

Renu: Could a spiritual experience give you an insight into how irrelevant we are in the larger scheme of things? Like you experienced yourself to be nothing but consciousness (even for a moment). I feel some energy in me peeling off layers from my body.

It seems to be crushing, pushing and gathering and peeling, and disposing of layers. Wherever I take my attention (mostly the head where I sense pressure), I feel extremely peaceful later and receptive to whatever I hear.

It’s why I mentioned experiences. I feel connected to an energy pulsating around me as if I am attached to it. This began years ago as the regular bodily shaking we experience in meditation and went on to be like this. After many levels of emptying (I can’t think of a better word), it is much less now and I somehow don’t feel frightened at all of anything. I didn’t start it so I left it to whatever started it.

My thinking mind did get restless and there was a moment when I realized that this had nothing to do with the mind’s chatter. That’s when I realized that the chatter was useless, it had no bearing on whatever energy was working inside. 

I do sense changes. I am less involved in many things I used to get worked up about. I don’t feel the need to control anything. I am less worried about my daughter (I lecture her less). I somehow see that I can’t do anything, and whatever works in me, works in everyone.

I also realized that when I don’t do much, a lot happens, that I am led to do things, by my senses and my inherent nature and by others. Even a little bird could play a part in how my day goes. 

I do still have my doubts as I have read that the mind is very tricky. How would you tell a genuine experience from a trap? Or should we not care abt this too, as whatever happens, we are not in charge?

Jagjot: Of course, it does! Every experience is a pointer to the absolute. But it is just a pointer. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the experience that we forget what it is there for. Every experience is perceived through the mind. 

What is perceived in the absence (stillness) of mind is not an experience but the SELF or knowing. And it is the culmination of a seeker’s spiritual journey. That said, I’m not reducing or invalidating your experiences in any way. All I am saying is LOOK BEYOND.

Okay, now, let’s talk in terms of energy. A new concept (again, not the truth). The pure consciousness or Shiva creates movement in the form of Shakti. In essence, Shiva and Shakti are one. But to the mind, which is a limited manifestation of the Shakti, life appears to be fragmented.

The Shakti (energy) is following its natural cycle – from source to creation, and then merging back into the source or Shiva. It creates separation (as the limited mind), and that mind has the complete blueprint for that individual containing all possible outcomes.

What this implies is that till the energy movement is restricted, the mind primarily alternates between two states: Tamasic (inertia, lethargy, etc.) and Rajasic (excitement, anxiety, restlessness). All the uncomfortable symptoms that we experience as anxiety or depression result from the mind switching constantly between the two above-mentioned states.

However, it is in the nature of energy to rise and merge (not the correct word) back into the source. Many people try to force this process and land up in trouble. The thing is that our body has an intelligence of its own, and sometimes, it does not listen to the mind.

Therefore, say in your case, at some point, the energy decided to rise. So a larger manifestation, i.e., Kundalini got stimulated, which created different experiences. Some were pleasant, and some others were unpleasant.

Now, it is clear that your mind is becoming still (Sattva) because that happens only when the Kundalini rises. The symptoms that you experience in your body is the result of cleansing happening. Think of it like one big energy mop clearing out the dirt (excessive accumulation or deficiency) energy.

So sometimes it feels pleasure or relief, at other times, it is depression or even nightmares where dark entities with red eyes jump on your chest. But all of it is from the limited mind’s perspective.

As the mind becomes more and more still (energy is moving closer to the source), the movement (thinking) reduces further, and what was being perceived by the individual is now “witnessed” in the light of impersonal awareness (that’s the only way I can define it). Therefore, there is no attachment to any feeling or state, and at the same time, there is no fear also. So the end result is lasting peace.

Where are “you” in all of this? You are the one seeing everything. You are Shiva. Why do you bother with what energy does? Let it do its work. Let the mind do what it does – doubt, skepticism, flip-flop, whatever. The mind will for sure create the thought, “what if I am wrong about all this?” Allow that also. Awakening is being prepared to be wrong about everything. Surrender completely to “what is,” which is “I CAN’T KNOW.”

 If you notice carefully, your mind is still concerned with right and wrong somewhere. What is the worst implication of being wrong? Suffering? What is the worst that will happen with suffering? And to whom? It is annihilation that the mind fears most.

So it will try all tricks in the book. Let it do that. It is all pre-destined and the character is simply playing the part. In your case, there is a protective barrier created by your mind that prevents you from surrendering completely. It could be a childhood fear, conditioning, or trauma of some kind.

See the totality of all experiences rather than evaluating the limited occurrences. Otherwise, the mind will keep you trapped in the idea of real and fake experiences. Who is concerned? Who is scared of the trap? Look into that and you’ll know.

I hope this is not confusing for you. Feel free to ask anything specific. There is no easy way for me to explain this concept. You only have to look at what’s causing the resistance. Simply “seeing” the resistance is freedom from pain. You have no control over what energy does, what experience it brings next, and when it will merge. All you can “do” is “see.”

Renu: I just needed to share this experience. I guess I am at a place where I can do nothing but see. Sometimes, when life presents its usual challenges, I sit quietly and see this energy working. It’s amazing how this experience and ordinary life go hand in hand as if both were naturally meant to blend into each other. Yes, consciousness is all there is. Why? I can’t know.

What do you mean when you say “look beyond?” Do mean beyond the experiences?

Jagjot: Yes. All spiritual experiences are significant and beautiful, but if the ego gets too attached to the experiences, it starts chasing them, and that can become a source of continuous suffering. Ramesh Balsekar said that every spiritual experience is a free sample or an invitation to the absolute.

No matter how blissful, every experience serves its purpose and comes to an end. Nisargadatta Maharaj said that you’re not the experience, but the background in which all the experiences manifest. So you’re the screen of consciousness in which these experiences appear.

Also, this knowledge should not stop you from enjoying the pleasure of an experience. Therefore, keep up with your spiritual practices – meditation, yoga, or whatever you do. What ultimately matters is peace of mind with the complete acceptance that pain and pleasure are interconnected opposites in duality.

Renu: Does resistance mean subtle thoughts or gross sensations? Like when I look and it falls away.

Jagjot: It can be both in general. But in this particular case, I’m talking about the resistance created by the mind in the form of doubt and overcautiousness. Resistance to the concept that “I am not the doer.” And I fully understand that it’s not in the ego’s control to do that, still, I say it because sometimes the words go deep and create some kind of resonance.

At this time, you may not be able to accept the concept, but with all the information you have gathered, you will for sure be able to verify this concept in the light of your own future experiences. Therefore, keep on investigating and see where it leads you to.