> Hi Mark,
> More than once I had to smile reading your lines;
> smiles of recognition.
> It’s amazing how many parallels there are in
> those experiences!
PB - Amazing, but no longer surprising to me. Something about your original question compelled me to shift my frame of reference, to how I might reply when I "felt" I was in these states. Rather than share the particulars of my own experiences, it somehow seemed better to see if I could generalize them - owing to my belief that mystical experiences seem to follow common templates or perhaps, to the more digitally inclined, a common core algorithm.
> And yet I can also taste the difference: similar
> experiences expressed in different words belonging
> to two different beings. Makes me extra alert to
> pay attention because it’s so easy to think I
> understand already because of the similarities and
> then forgetting to really listen!
PB - There is an instructive statement. Look for what one might share in common with others, while carefully preserving your own perspective, being mindful of wherever individual differences might appear. At our most fundamental level, I believe, the individual essence/atman retains its uniqueness, even though devoid of all dressings that accompany life here and the 's'elf-defining personality.
> You said:
> -“I must say, it's been a while since a
> question and/or line of thought has inspired so
> much contemplation on my part. I found it to also
> be uplifting, so thank you”
> If you have an experience like that, you can be
> pretty sure that it’s mutual ( different ends of
> the same experience).
PB - The main reason why I think these discussions can be beneficial, is because they are mutually validating. Depending on the 'personality', such things can be very beneficial, especially in a world where the white noise of consensus reality tends to dismiss or deny such experiences.
> -“….. dependent on two things: my sense of
> being on a quest relating to what I consider to be
> "spiritual" mysteries, or if I believe I am
> responding to a true Calling”
> Smiling again!
> -“ On two occasions I left my home country at
> the drop of a hat”.
> And again! Literally, although it was more than
> I like the expression “true Calling”; I have
> my own examples. Sometimes (or maybe most of the
> time!) one of the characteristics of this true
> Calling for me seems to be that it absolutely
> seems to make no sense. But at the same time I am
> 100% sure that I have to follow it. Also feeling
> at the same time that I have a choice.
PB - In my lexicon, a "Calling" is more like a response to an Invitation to do something most time. But I only give it the big C if I see tangible "physical" results that address my innermost thinking.
Ray often mentions sensing a spiritual connection to music. This is not my experience so much, but it was central to my first-ever Invitation. I was going through what I regard as my first spiritual season, an extended period where I was becoming aware of some of these wonderful mysteries. What I was going through was unprecedented in my life, and I also knew it was very rare. During that magical time I began to seriously wonder if Pete Townshend of the Who had had the same experience at some point, as something about his music on his Chinese Cowboys album kept evoking this idea.
It was most uncanny, and then, at some point in this experience I heard that the Who was going to be playing a concert in Seattle. This fit in the narrative that I had been experiencing throughout this time, I'd have a very particular idea, only to see it somehow 'manifest' very improbably in my local environment after the idea 'came to me'.
As such, I began to wonder if Spirit was encouraging me to go to Seattle, to see if I could somehow make contact with Pete Townshend and see what he might have to day about what I was going through, and what the next step on this amazing "Path" might be...?
I knew the idea sounded totally crazy, but the more I thought about that, the more I realized that this only sounded insane to the former me, the one with which I totally identified prior to the onset of this "season." Now I recognized a dualism, and the new side of me considered the whole idea of going to Seattle to be not unreasonable at all, given all of the mini lessons I had undergone in the weeks prior to hearing about the Who concert.
After going back and forth on this for sometime, I decided to go for it - to go to the Kingdome, the largest stadium west of the Mississippi, and see if I could get to the front of the stage, where PT and I might make eye contact after which he could tell me the next step on my journey.
Looking back, what this speaks to me mostly is I was going through in the previous weeks. I didn't even like the Who, and the concert coincided with a mid-term exam that I had to be willing to get an F on, and I was a serious student who had never blown off a test. Once the decision was made, I told myself that I was simply doing what I had been doing: taking novel spiritual ideas seriously. The only difference was that I was taking on an idea that involved much bigger pieces. That didn't seem to matter when it came to the lessons that "Spirit" had been teaching me.
This experience and later ones like it, provided a foundation that readied me to take on bigger Invitations like ones involving leaving one's country at the drop of a hat... Perhaps this is similar for you, Naveen: exercising the mystical response muscle or some such thing? I see a very particular kind of reasoning involved in this form of action-taking.