I travel in France extensively every year, last August I was touring the Cathar sites in the Languedoc-Roussillon region I didn't go to all those amazing mountain top castles or Rennes le Chateau, I am to old to walk a long way nowadays but I saw many others and stayed in the ancient town of Carcassonne (the most amazing walled Citadel I have ever seen), to see all the historical sites of the catholic genocide against the Gnostic Cathars in 1209. You probably know of this Crusade, genocide! The Cathars were gnostics and of course had to be burned to death. The most horrible way to go, it could take hours! If you upset your jailers they could wet the timber to prolong the ordeal. This was the Christian way? They were Gnostics so had to be wiped out.
There was one castle, not one those amazing cliff hanging ones but one that is not very well known. The village of Château de Villerouge-Termenes. The villagers pulled together recently and refurbished the castle for tourist reasons but they are proud of their Cathar heritage and have transformed it into a great place to visit, restaurant, shop and museum (nice little bar /cafe just outside the main entrance). It was here that the last known Cathar parfait, Guilhem Belibaste lived he was burnt alive in in 1321. If you ever go, visit this little castle, they have the letters, the interrogation questions and his answers, he told them straight! He was a brave man, a true man and he was burned. I mention this because it shows true Christian Gnostics reappear and because of their experiences. You are part of that, there have been many but at least nowadays we can follow our heart without such punishment.
The initiation of the early Christians in the wilderness was extreme but it worked fast. But how do we keep this experience alive in our every day? I don't know if you practice any techniques but if not can I recommend the method of St Julian of Norwich, she was a Christian mystic born in 1342 ad. She was taken seriously ill and she had incredible visions of the passion of Christ while ill and went on to become an anchoress (wiki her). She used a breath technique for meditation, in the east it is called the Pranayama, It works, but it works like water on a rock in a river it takes along time, but it works. Any way thanks for the original post has taken me back to this subject, so now I will have to find the time to finish Eisenmans 2nd book The New Testament Code. malc