I found this picture of Alice from “Alice in Wonderland” talking to Dorothy from “the Wizard of Oz” circulating on Facebook. Both of these girls have seen some “weird shit” and really have no one to talk to about it – except each other. Unfortunately, their world’s never crossed so everyone they shared their individual experiences with thought they were crazy or just victims of over active childhood imaginations.
As a mystic I can relate to this image. No, I’ve never been to Oz or Wonderland but I have experienced “weird shit.” Most people on a mystic path will eventually encounter something strange and unexplainable. Some of the strange things such as body tingles, lucid dreaming, euphoria, open mindedness, acceptance, and a weird sense of joy are common. After these experiences, when the senses are somewhat attuned, it’s possible to start ‘seeing’ things around you that go unnoticed by others – usually more vibrant colours, more depth in objects, a peculiar sensing of people’s moods and intentions. Occasionally objects or beings from other realms might be perceived as intruding on your space. Communication with people from distant places or times might also occur. There are also various exercises and practices that allow you to deliberately seek out new experiences through activities such as out-of-body travel or merging with universal intelligence. Anyone who has travelled awhile on the mystic path knows about and accepts these occurrences. However, there are other experiences that are unique to each individual, or at least uncommon. One relates to the actual content of any communication with other beings. If you encounter a spiritual master on the path the words and images shared might only be for you. There is a gospel song called “In the Garden” that expresses this concept – the chorus is:
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the things we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known
There is also a uniqueness associated with how you initially push out of the normal world and into the world of mystical enlightenment. Lewis Carroll and L. Frank Baum, the authors of the Alice and Dorothy stories, seem well aware of this idea – perhaps because they both had mystical sentiments. Dorothy reaches Oz by various means – the most well-known is by tornado, but in other stories people get to Oz in other ways, such as by going up in a balloon, through a cave or by diving under the sea. Alice gets to Wonderland by going down a rabbit hole in one story and by stepping into a looking glass in another.
Long ago I was associated with a particular mystical lodge group and I was giving a presentation on the enlightenment experience. I described it as being like turning off Niagara Falls, then standing at the bottom and turning the water back on – a terrifying, crushing sensation that at the same time is exhilarating and liberating as one merges with the deluge and then emerges into the eternal sea.
After my talk, one member took me aside and said he didn’t agree with my image. Not having been through the experience himself, he said that if enlightenment was to occur it must be a peaceful, loving process. But another, older, member was walking by and overheard the statements. He said I was correct in my image – the move to enlightenment can sometimes be a frightening, even painful occurrence.
I was young at the time and did not realize that I should have latched onto that older gentleman and pumped him for more knowledge and understanding of the mystical path. As it is I have not met another person in the flesh who shared my revelations (though I have read about similar events in people’s lives). And I fear that many of the things that happened beyond the waterfall can never be discussed openly with anyone. Like Alice and Dorothy, most mystics in the everyday world must walk their path alone.