Mystical events. Visions. Transcendental experiences. Awakenings. Illuminations. Messages from beyond. Inspirations. Altered states of consciousness. Out-of-body experiences. Near-death experiences. Experiences of oneness with the divine, with the universe, with all that is. The realm of the unseen, beyond the physical world.
Some people don’t believe in these kinds of mystical, spiritual, multidimensional experiences, simply because they’re looking for proof that they exist, that they’re real. And usually, the proof that these people require must exist only within the realm of the known, physically-oriented world, and can only be experienced by one of the standard five physically-focused senses.
What a conundrum. A true catch twenty-two. By requiring this kind of evidence, they are not only barring the possibility of receiving any kind of proof, but they are also blocking themselves from having such an experience of their own, merely by the power of their own belief (or lack thereof).
I’ll tell you about one of my mystical, multidimensional experiences. Ultimately, it was a paradigm-shifting event for me.
A horrifying, but enlightening, paradigm shift
One day while I was still a student in college, I had a powerful experience of my awareness being outside of and separate from my physical body. I had fallen asleep on my bed one afternoon, laying on my stomach, face buried in the pillow, and arms sandwiched beneath my body. That position sounds horribly uncomfortable to me now but, believe it or not, at the time it felt, well, cozy. After being in a deep sleep for a while, I woke up.
But, I soon discovered that while I, in my conscious awareness, was most certainly awake, my physical body was still sleeping.
My physical body was stiff and rigid; it would not move no matter how hard I tried. At first, I panicked! I felt as though I were paralyzed within a block of concrete! I was unable to physically move but I was now more awake than ever and rather terrified at what seemed to be transpiring. I tried to yell and scream for help, but no one heard me. Well, at least I thought I was yelling and screaming.
After some struggle, I realized that I actually had a clear sense of seeing my body and my surroundings, even though my eyelids were shut.
And, much to my surprise, I found that I could move my arms. But I wasn’t moving the arms of my physical body, I was moving some other arms, and these arms felt just like my physical arms, but they weren’t. They were, for lack of a better term, my “energy arms,” the arms of what I later learned was an energetic form of my body.
I could raise these arms all the way up and over my head, and bring them back down again, and yet I could “see” that my physical arms were still sandwiched under my body, just as they had been when I first fell asleep.
So anything I was doing in this state was activated within my energy body, not my physical body. This is why my screaming and yelling could not be heard. And this is why, though I thought I was moving my arms, I still couldn’t get my physical body to wake up.
A natural, but seldom experienced, phenomenon
Now I know that what occurred that afternoon was what has been termed “sleep paralysis” or “catalepsy.” It’s part of the body’s natural sleep-state function, it just usually doesn’t occur while the body’s inhabitant is in a waking state. It’s often a precursor to actually having a full out-of-body experience (also called “astral projection”).
I believe these kinds of phenomena happen with great purpose: for starters, to open our eyes to the clear truth that we are so much more than our physical bodies.
Transformational experiences plant seeds that eternally bear fruit
This experience was one of many eye-opening experiences I’ve had over the course of my life that began to open my eyes to a broader awareness. [I will be sharing many of my other experiences in future blog posts.] It took years for me to fully understand it and to grasp its implications, but it ultimately had a profound effect on my own self-realization and unfolding awakening to a bigger understanding of the nature of the reality we live in.
This experience was truly only meant for me. Just as it is meant for anyone else who has had, or will have, the experience of sleep paralysis or anything related to it.
And there is no proof for anyone except for the one having the experience. And that is as it should be. If I share this experience with someone, I don’t share it because I need validation from someone other than myself that it’s real. I know it’s real. I know it happened. And that’s all that matters.
I share it solely with the intent of perhaps inspiring someone to seek out their own experiences, or at least to glimpse the possibility that there is much more to existence than the “hard, cold nitty-gritty” of physical reality. And of course, I’m sharing it here with the intent of illustrating my point.
Two worlds converging
Mystical, multidimensional experiences, by their very nature, exist outside the realm of the everyday physically-oriented world, and are often undetectable with any of the five physically-focused senses.
Or, if they are detectable with the physical senses, they are usually only experienced by one person in the moment of the occurrence, and are, by and large, non-repeatable or, whether they occur again or not, usually cannot be shared with anyone; they are individual experiences.
Asking for proof of mystical-multidimensional experiences from within the physical world is like a deep-sea creature living on the bottom of the ocean asking for proof that birds who soar on wings through vast spaces of open sky actually exist.
Of course birds do exist, and of course they fly through open sky, but they cannot exist within the world of the deep blue sea.
But metaphors are never perfect.
Missing the point
So what’s the rub? The rub is that asking for proof of mystical, multidimensional experiences is missing the point. While the person who had the experience may share their inspirations and perhaps tell others about their own resultant transformation, the actual, visceral experience was intended solely for the person having the experience. Period.
These experiences are the result of that person being ready for a shift in consciousness, a shift in understanding, an awakening to accept and realize things that, before, were not perceivable for them.
They are inherent to that individual’s exclusive, personal path. And if they were to be shared with the intent of proving that they occurred, meaning the original experiencer of such an event could recreate it so it would be observable by another person, then the meaning of the event would be perceived in a completely different way by this other person.
This other person would experience the re-produced event as though it were connected to the individual who recreated it for them, which would completely change the effect and intention of the original experience, in fact, it would undoubtedly confuse and convolute it. That kind of sharing, if it were possible, would be missing the point of the original experience entirely.
Transformation is custom-fit
Every being on the planet is profoundly, importantly on her/his own individual path, and transformational experiences where new perspectives are gained can only come in ways that are specifically tailored to each individual and are finely tuned to that individual’s very personal path and unique window of perspective.
Not in my wildest dreams
My “sleep paralysis” experience was not a dream. It was incredibly real and vivid and occurring in real-time. I can still remember it like it was yesterday.
And, as an ongoing confirmation for me, similar experiences have continued to happen for me on occasion. Although, of course, now I’m much more prepared in how to deal with them; I am actually able to enjoy them and explore where else they might take me.
Have your own experience
So, the only proof of mystical, multidimensional experiences is to have one yourself. And how do you that? Well, it’s your path.
There is a path of transformation and awakening awaiting everyone. When you begin to open your eyes to a broader perspective, a broader understanding and awareness of the vast possibilities of existence, your experience of existence will begin to change.
New doors will open. New experiences will awaken. New realizations and new gifts will surface.
But they can only come when it is you who is at the wheel, navigating your path with the help of your own inner knowing and the bevy of assistance that is available to you from influences outside the realm of the everyday.
Only you know how to take the first step on the journey that is intended for you.
Just don’t let your ego, your “little me” self, sail your ship. Listen to your heart, listen to that deep, inner voice that has been calling you for as long as you have existed. It’s there, waiting for you even now.
How to bust out of the box of limited thinking
If you’re truly seeking to begin exploring new paradigms of reality, I encourage you to bust through the walls of your own self-created box of limited thinking and take the first step.
Venture into whatever it is that you are most curious about. Pick up a book about it. Attend a presentation, retreat, or seminar. Visit your local spiritual/metaphysical bookstore and browse the shelves, maybe even strike up a conversation with someone who happens to be browsing the same section of books in which you find interest. Search the internet.
Chances are, you’ll find yourself having to sort through some chaff to find the wheat, but we have to do that when we venture into just about anything new.
A more simple approach would be to begin a practice of regular, dedicated meditation. Meditation can prime your mind, body, and soul for new awakenings and realizations.
Surprisingly, sometimes yoga can have a similar effect. Whatever you do, follow your own inner guidance. It won’t steer you astray, and if it appears that it does steer you astray, there will always be a broader purpose for it which you may not discover until further down the road. Just begin.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.