The Doorway to Mystical Experience
The Mystic knows that the key to entering into mystical realms of experience is the ability to let go of the familiar. Our ordinary and familiar perception of reality is exactly what we must learn to see beyond if we are to taste the miraculous. To do this we must discover how to consciously not know.
The habit of knowing in us is so strong. We compulsively feel the need to know everything. When confronted with even a small amount of uncertainty we tend to become uneasy and immediately scramble to know again. The experience of knowing is a relief from the discomfort of uncertainty. When we find ourselves not-knowing we begin to sift through ideas until we find thoughts in our heads that explain reality to us. When we find an adequate explanation the feeling of uncertainty disappears and we relax.
If we look more closely at the experience of not-knowing we will see that there is more than just the uncomfortable tension of uncertainty. When we do-not-know we are open, receptive and awake. Because we do-not-know we are looking, our senses are wide open, and we find ourselves feeling into reality in search of knowledge. This open and receptive stance is exactly the stance that the mystic is able to consciously adopt in relationship to the possibility of the miraculous.
Another term we could use for this state of open receptivity is suspended limitation. When we know, we feel secure; we are comfortably nestled in a sense of limitation. We know where the edges are. We know what is and what is not. We have a protective boundary of limitation encompassing what is possible so that we feel safe from anything unexpected happening. The possibilities are bound up tight and we can relax.
If we are pursuing the mystical and the miraculous this boundary of limitation is exactly what we want to remove. We are actively searching for something unexpected! We want something new and unpredictable to occur because nothing less could ever be miraculous. When you suspend limitation, you simply don’t know what is possible.
I remember a very profound moment in my life when I realized that I didn’t really know what was possible. The moment of this realization was a quiet one. I was outside looking up at a beautiful blue sky and I just realized that I really didn’t know what was possible. In that moment I could see that my ordinary experience of reality was surrounded by a sense of limitation – an unspoken invisible assumption that some things were possible and others were not and I knew the difference.
I felt certain that I could be this kind of person and not that kind of person. My acquaintances could act in certain ways but would never act in others. The world was this way and never that way. Some things are possible and others are not and I know the difference.
When that invisible assumption of limitation fell away I was overcome by a sense of awe and wonder. It wasn’t a discovery of what was possible. It was simply the realization that I didn’t know what was possible and that meant that anything was possible.
If you slip into a state of suspended limitation you will feel dizzy with possibility. You will see that the ideas of what is and what is not possible have always been only ideas and never truly were a limit to reality. You will realize that it is you that either holds on to these limiting ideas or lets them go.