I had a "mystical" experience. I'm not sure how to process it.
April 10, 2014 9:52 AM   Subscribe

The other evening I was hanging around my apartment eating dinner. At some point after I finished eating, and for several hours afterwards until I went to sleep, I experienced a state of mind I can only describe as "mystical", or perhaps hyper-awareness. Whatever it was, it was so different from anything I can remember experiencing that it threw me completely off balance and I'm still trying to figure out what happened. Looking for insight from others who may have had a similar experience. Details inside.

Possibly relevant details - Late 20's male in good health. Work an office job during the day. Fairly rational thinker / computer nerd. Not a drug user of any kind, not on any medications. Not traditionally religious, but have always enjoyed studying religion and philosophy. I'm posting this anon because I have coworkers who browse askmefi and I don't want them to find something like this and accuse me of going wackadoo.

The Experience - This past Sunday evening I was eating dinner alone and watching TV. I was eating a stir fry I'd made (nothing out of the ordinary) , and flipping around on the TV a bit. When I was done I turned the TV off and sat there for a moment and started to think about an upcoming meeting at work I wasn't looking forward to. What happened next reminded me of a passage from Jerry Mander's book In the Absence of the Sacred . The passage is from a chapter about television and the mental experience of turning the TV on and off - returning to ordinary slow existence from the hyperactive existence of watching TV. I'll try to paraphrase because I couldn't find the book:

Suddenly the set goes off. The viewer returns to the room. The room does not rise up or whirl about. The scene does not change from one moment to the next. There is only the the same furniture, the same four walls as before. Nothing is really happening now. It is slow, ...boring. ...Anxiety sets in.

Indeed, at this moment I felt like anxiety did set in. As I mentioned I started thinking about my job, and I could feel my anxiety building as the minutes passed. But suddenly, as I was walking across the floor,it felt like some ......entity....outside of myself (or should I say deep within myself?) asked a question in my mind "Why are you concerned about this? It is not important". With that, a switch in my brain was flipped, I stopped dead in my tracks, and realized I really shouldn't worry about these things. Standing there, in the course of just a few seconds, my brain felt completely different.

A strange feeling washed over me, suddenly, intensely, almost violently, though I didn't feel afraid whatsoever. My mind seemed to expand in size. I felt energetic yet relaxed, excited but serene, tranquil. Hyper aware of my thoughts in the present moment. Of the past and future, I felt my attention shrink, and any concerns I might have in either direction fade away. I stood there in awe of this indescribable feeling, as though I had become accustomed to floating along on the river of time in my tiny craft, being moved about by random emotional currents, but in this moment I had jumped overboard, and like a great tree sent down deep unshakable roots into the present.

For 5 or so minutes I felt too overwhelmed to even move from the spot where I was standing. Eventually I was able to take a seat, smiling at nothing. At one point I was on the verge of tears, but in a good way. The feeling continued throughout the night, slowly diminishing over time, though it was still present the next morning. After 24 hours it was gone.

Please excuse my literary/metaphorical description, but I'm not sure how to fully describe it. It was unlike anything I've ever felt before, which is why I used the term "mystical experience" . In general I'm a very skeptical person, so maybe that is why a part of me wants to dismiss the whole experience, that perhaps I'm just exaggerating. After all, all I was doing was just standing around in my apartment. The problem is the other part of me that has been studying meditation, awareness / mindfulness, and philosophy, that there might be some connection there. The experience was so wonderful that I have a desire to get back to it again, even though I can't explain it and I'm not sure what it even was. Though I've read a bit about "Flow" and "Awareness" , I feel like these terms are inadequate to describe the totality of the experience, hopefully I'm not sounding pompous by saying that.

So....I know this is all completely subjective but.....

-Did I just go crazy for a few minutes? Is the term "mystical experience" not warranted here?
-Has anyone felt something similar before? If so please share.
-Are there any meditation practitioners here who have had an experience like this?
-If this is a more common experience for people than I'm thinking, am I blowing this out of proportion?

Throwaway email: wanderingmind576@gmail.com

Apologies for the length and strangeness.

Thank You.
posted by anonymous to Religion & Philosophy (40 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
I believe you just had an epiphany.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:01 AM on April 10, 2014 [9 favorites]

To me, it sounds like a moment of reprieve from your anxiety and rootedness in the present moment. Not at all strange, but it sounds like a very valuable moment for you.

NB: I notice a lot of self-censure and self-judgment in your post. This didn't read as whackadoo, weird, or pompous to me, and I gently encourage you to drop those kinds of descriptors, which really seem to diminish your own perception of the legitimacy and worth of your experiences.
posted by mynameisluka at 10:03 AM on April 10, 2014 [20 favorites]

I had something similar years ago. I found comfort in this definition of 'religious experience':

* Transient — the experience is temporary; the individual soon returns to a "normal" frame of mind. It is outside our normal perception of space and time.
* Ineffable — the experience cannot be adequately put into words.
* Noetic — the individual feels that he or she has learned something valuable from the experience. Gives us knowledge that is normally hidden from human understanding.
* Passive — the experience happens to the individual, largely without conscious control. Although there are activities, such as meditation (see below), that can make religious experience more likely, it is not something that can be turned on and off at will.

...which fit my experience to a T.
posted by unixrat at 10:05 AM on April 10, 2014 [10 favorites]

I am someone who had 'mystical experiences' on the regular for most of my life, and recently discovered that they were seizures. My father started having 'mystical experiences' very suddenly, and they culminated in permanent psychosis. Both of us experienced them as interesting, expansive, and creative. So it could be a mystical thing if you believe in that kind of thing, or it could be the result of your brain doing weird things which brains sometimes do, sometimes benignly and sometimes very problematically. Good luck.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 10:08 AM on April 10, 2014 [23 favorites]

While it sounds like it could easily be a within-the-spectrum-of-normal thing, I will just mention temporal lobe epilepsy, which can in some cases give people a kind of hyper-real/quasi-religious feeling.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:08 AM on April 10, 2014 [13 favorites]

What you describe reminds me of the Third Man Factor. Though that happens to explorers in extreme situations, it's perhaps be similar to your experience which seems in part to be a response to anxiety.
posted by beau jackson at 10:10 AM on April 10, 2014

Epilepsy? Come on you guys. Have some room for the unexplained.

I meditate a lot and this stuff does happen. Its real. These things have a common pattern:

Intense Anxiety/Fear --> Sudden Perspective that Fear is an Illusion --> Euphoric relaxed limitlessness feelings

Yup that's about a mystical experience a.k.a a realization. Reality is what you make it, you are a greater artist than you realize etc. etc.

Also called the long dark night of the soul.

Have fun! Here's to more!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:11 AM on April 10, 2014 [10 favorites]

I have had an entire day very much like this, once, when I was about sixteen. It remains stuck in my memory as one of the most pleasant and meaningful days of my life, even though nothing actually happened, and I've never been able to find an explanation. It's also never happened again.

I would say, if you can, just to let go and enjoy the experience, and maybe use the memory as a cue to try and reduce some anxiety in other situations if that's helpful. But I certainly wouldn't worry about it, unless it starts becoming a regular occurance. Sometimes brain wires just get crossed in funny ways. If you've ever felt intensely, startlingly, painfully sad for no reason for a few hours, just think of this as the opposite.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:15 AM on April 10, 2014

I've had the experience before of turning a problem or anxiety around and around in my head for a prolonged period of time, just kind of worrying away at it in the background for hours/days, and then experiencing something like a "click" or a snapping in place, where the solution just pops right into my head and all the anxiety just flushes away and I feel a powerful relief and euphoria.

I've also experienced a similar floaty, big-brained, outside-of-time experience like what you describe during parts of strenuous yoga classes or after other hard exercise.

Consciousness is weird. Brains are weird. Sometimes we get used to a low level thrum of anxiety in our lives, so when something happens to temporarily quiet it, it's a very noticeable experiential shift - like a noisy lawnmower shutting off and leaving you in a totally silent room.

Now, if you find yourself more frequently drifting in and out of reality like this, or you start to feel like you're losing chunks of time in your memory to this kind of reverie, you should make sure there isn't a physical cause. But I personally wouldn't be concerned about a one-off episode like this.

Context: I'm not a particularly woo-woo person. Not religious.
posted by superfluousm at 10:15 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'll probably come back and answer this in more depth later on, but as a fully 'rational'/scientific/not-religious-as-such person I will say that:

a) Our perception is complex and not always completely stable, and even minor changes to it can be profoundly peculiar, especially if they're unexpected, and

b) The universe is vast, ineffable, brilliant, scintillating, and mysterious, even if it doesn't always/usually seem that way.

It is normal to occasionally have moments like this.
posted by Drexen at 10:17 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Barbara Ehrenreich wrote last week in the New York Times about her mystical experiences as a teenager. Maybe you'll find her reflections useful.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:22 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

Epilepsy? Come on you guys. Have some room for the unexplained.

Hyper-religiosity is a symptom of temporal lobe epilepsy, it's a part of a handful of things that appear together called Geschwind Syndrome. My sister has it. When it was going untreated my raised-without-religion sister was suddenly wearing multiple religious tokens and other small-scale deviations from what had previously been her personal normal.

I don't have any explanation for what happened to the OP, there are a lot of good answers above, but as someone who has been close to someone reporting not-entirely-dissimilar occurrences, it's worth understanding that there can be some possible neurophysiological explanation.
posted by jessamyn at 10:26 AM on April 10, 2014 [37 favorites]

Your description feels very familiar to me. I've experienced something like this a couple of times, maybe not exactly the same, but the sort of telescoping consciousness thing, the "jumping overboard" thing, and a sense of looking back at yourself. It didn't feel mystical, exactly, but deep and very very different. Intense and memorable, though it's only ever lasted a few minutes.

I attempted to explain this to a Medical Professional and he said it sounded like a mild sort of disassociation, that it might have been basically a headrush turned to 11- notice the listed symptoms, bodily disassociation and euphoria. Which I found more or less satisfactory, from a mechanistic standpoint.
posted by BungaDunga at 10:37 AM on April 10, 2014

The book The Three Pillars of Zen describes a lot of meditation experiences like this. The relevant terms are kensho and satori.
posted by desjardins at 10:38 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm as rational-skeptical-atheist as they come, but after some training and practice, under the right circumstances I'm reliably able to induce an ecstatic trance state not dissimilar to what you describe (though not by the same method -- it's more of a physical-exhaustion-plus-disorienting-repetitive-motion thing, which I'm told is recognized as a form of meditation by some groups too woo-woo for me to be much interested in learning more about.) I wrote a (long and now that I reread it extremely self-conscious) description of the first time here. Feel free to memail if you want to discuss further or compare notes at all.

People are going to debate whether these experiences are "mystical" or "religious" or have a more rational mechanical/chemical/biological explanation. I'm not sure the distinction actually matters all that much -- epiphany or endorphins, either way it's a Thing That Happened In Your Brain which gave you a Subjective Experience which seems to have been a very positive one. So yay!

Do your best to recall that state of mind. It'll fade with time, like any memory, but you don't have to let go of it completely -- and if my experience is any judge having done it once will make it far easier to reproduce later (if that is in fact something you're interested in doing, of course.)

All that said: IANAD but for one single incident I wouldn't be too concerned about epilepsy or other neurological causes. If it starts to happen more often, without you consciously trying to induce it, I might see a doctor just in case.
posted by ook at 10:40 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Any bad-tasting mushrooms in the stir-fry? Did you get them from a reliable source? I only ask because a friend's roommates once cooked and ate some of his stash without realizing it.
posted by unknowncommand at 10:43 AM on April 10, 2014 [8 favorites]

thanks ook that was my point - a one-of experience does not mean epilepsy. Similarly if you can invoke it via meditation I still wouldn't jump on the epilepsy train. I saw a few epilepsy comments & didn't want to derail the OP from what can be deeply personal & meaningful experiences by running the 'well you just had a seizure' route right away. This stuff (and near death experiences) can be entirely transformational for a person. The OP sounded like the rational type and in the meditation class I used to teach I've met a number of rational people who are 'natural meditators' who then completely discount the experience because it didn't automatically fit into their rational framework. There doesn't need to be an explanation right away (but our minds grasp for one).
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:49 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's nothing wrong with pointing out that there may be (serious!) medical reasons for something like this, even if it's a one-off. If the OP decides to go get a neuro workup and it's clear, great! At least they knew enough that there could be a medical cause.

OP, my mom used to work in a research lab that worked with people with TLE. The symptoms can be severe or not, and while they are (from what I recall) pretty frequent, that may not be the case for all people with TLE or other forms of epilepsy. Maybe talk to your GP and see if they think it's a concern.

Brains are weird.
posted by rtha at 10:58 AM on April 10, 2014 [6 favorites]

This is an not uncommon experience, to spontaneously experience a clear mind, in the moment, which I hear is pretty great, haven't yet come close. Most people in the meditation game spend a lot of effort working on their minds trying to create the foundation that will achieve such a state.

Present day mystics that have achieved and describe such a state, spontaneously and without effort are Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, and a very interesting case that was caused by a stroke is Jill Bolte Taylor, she talks about it here in TED Talk My Stroke of Insight. She is a neuranatomist so as you can imagine has some very interesting things to say about the science and the mind's relationship.
posted by nanook at 11:01 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

once when i was a teenager, i lost four hours in what seemed about a minute. the clock just jumped forward, and no, i wasn't on drugs at the time.

as a young man driving over the tehachapis at night to get to LA, i thought about a woman i knew who had died, and the temperature in the cab of my truck jumped at least 15 degrees instantaneously. still don't believe in ghosts.
posted by bruce at 11:02 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Is there any chance there was a lot of garlic in your stir-fry? I have heard about self-reported garlic-induced highs and euphoria. Google results for "garlic high" and "garlic + euphoria" include examples that are about as reliable as you'd expect, so no direct links from me. I have my own doubts whether it's possible and haven't experienced it myself, but that might be an interesting path to explore.
posted by juliplease at 11:05 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

NB: I notice a lot of self-censure and self-judgment in your post. This didn't read as whackadoo, weird, or pompous to me, and I gently encourage you to drop those kinds of descriptors, which really seem to diminish your own perception of the legitimacy and worth of your experiences.

I want to second this. These moments are rare, sublime, and beautiful, but also in my experience a normal part of being human. The human mind tends to settle into grooves (I won't call them ruts because I don't want to sound judgmental) in which the minutiae of our lives becomes all that we can perceive. But we are also capable of perceiving the bigger world and feeling connected to it in deep ways that transcend the day-to-day. Sometimes we have experiences that knock us out of our grooves and into the bigger world.

When I think back to the most transformative moments in my life, they were usually attached to a feeling of things opening up, or a feeling that a cage I believed myself to be trapped in was an illusion, that the things I thought were forcing me to walk a certain path were creations of my own mind. The feeling of perspective is kind of like suddenly rising above all those worn-out grooves and seeing the whole landscape. Physically, I've felt those sensations you describe (hyper-aware, calm/energetic, tranquil, connected) many times, but mostly strongly in the moments after I've had some kind of emotional release -- for example, feeling some grief that I had been carrying around for years. Personally, I interpret these phenomena as the mind wanting to be at peace - in the lowest-energy rest state - and thus subtly pushing against the structures that keep it anxious and wound-up, until one day they break, in a sudden rush. And that energetic, serene feeling is like the endorphin rush your muscles feel when you cast off a heavy backpack you've been lugging around. Anxiety is an existence of constant low-level stress and the body and mind get tired of it, just like the muscles get tired of carrying the weight.

I think it is no coincidence you have been reading about religion and spirituality and mindfulness. There is a very rich inner landscape to be explored which part of you is denying and has denied for many years. You sensed that the human experience can be richer and deeper than what you've known so far -- and perhaps you also wanted more of a feeling of peace in your life. I would encourage you to embrace this experience just as mynameisluka put it -- a valuable moment of reprieve from your anxiety and rootedness in the present moment -- and continue to consider and explore the inner landscape as you desire.
posted by PercussivePaul at 11:07 AM on April 10, 2014 [24 favorites]

Sounds like you had a numinous moment of clarity, congratulations. It is a wonderful experience. I have had a number of similar experiences in my 50 years on the planet. The problem often comes when you have this experience and then chase after recreating it.
posted by hworth at 11:53 AM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]

Seconding juliplease's idea of it being partly food-induced: was there chilli or hot sauce in your stir-fry?

I don't mean to discount that you had a moment of clarity and transformation, but the first thing I thought of was that "I feel GREAT!" state that you can experience after having hot food.

There's a bit more about this here, or you can google "hot sauce" and "well being", if you're interested.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:02 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is it bothering you because you identify as a skeptic, and your skepticism is partly based on discounting experiences like this one, when other people have described them?

If so, maybe you can take this as a gift of understanding just how real and how valuable these experiences are to people who have them.

My approach for integrating the reality of this type of experience with my skepticism is to acknowledge that yes, the experience is real, but it is not self-interpreting. There are many ways to interpret what happened.

One way to look at it is that your choices about how you want to interpret it are more significant than the experience itself.

You could also hold onto the memory of it as a sort of touchstone: whenever you start to get anxious, thinking back on this experience might help reduce anxiety.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 12:30 PM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

Just wanted to echo hworth's sentiment of congratulations. I believe there are a multitude of interpretations for experiences like these. The least valuable interpretations are the ones which try to negate spirituality by pointing to "brain dysfunctions". Many factors can trigger higher / deeper states of consciousness, some of these are random brain chemical switches and some have to do with having a deeply involved life experience (ie: love, skydiving, winning at a sport, seeing a sunset, achieving a goal. . etc etc etc etc). Either all of them are illuminating in their own way, or none of them are.

Turn it into art; journal, draw, paint, scribble, blog, sing, do whatever you have to do to commemorate this moment you had with yourself. And then, try to revisit it.
posted by winterportage at 1:08 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

These experiences can be very upsetting and alienating. Our hard-headed society tends to marginalize them, and so leave us to sort them out for ourselves, which can lead us down some very sketchy paths. I recommend looking for writers who deal with the subject in a sober, clinical and sympathetic way. A good place to start is with the work of the Quaker Rufus Matthew Jones, perhaps his Spiritual reformers in the 16th and 17th centuries.
posted by No Robots at 1:23 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Your description is beautiful!

I had a similar mystical experience a couple of years ago. Mine was, I think, triggered by a dancing/meditation workshop the day before. For two or three days I felt a wonderful, exalted sense of ease, acceptance and perfect contentment, unconnected to anything actually happening around me. I'm not a particularly anxious person, but even so I suddenly felt that everything was, on a deep level, ok. I remember wondering, is this what enlightenment feels like? Sitting waiting for my train home from work, at an unremarkable station, after an ordinary day in the office, I felt like laughing with happiness. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

I haven't tried to recreate it (though I'm still dancing!)... I'm just glad it happened, and perhaps it will happen again.
posted by prune at 1:40 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Brains are weird. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But seriously. As you know, nothing we experience is outside of what our sensory organs turn into electrical impulses that are interpreted by our brains. Our brains constantly maintain a concept of what reality is: what color your couch is, how gravity acts, what your legs feel like, and so on.

For some reason, which is organic in nature, your brain deviated from your Regularly Scheduled Reality for a moment. I don't know if it was induced by some kind of drug/chemical, meditation, electrical "misfire", genetic/structural predisposition or what.

For practicality's sake, I would tell someone close to you about this. It is nearly impossible to know if it was a unique experience, benign, likely to recur, or indicative of a larger issue. Since it is happening in your own brain, you might not be able to judge if your behavior is altered in detrimental ways. It's always a good idea to have someone watch out for you.

I for one enjoy reflecting on our weird, improbable, wondrous existence as a bag of ions perceiving but a small sliver of our universe.
posted by fontophilic at 2:26 PM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]

Honestly, I think that you're really lucky that your mystical experience wasn't encumbered with the folderol of any overt magico-religious system.
posted by BrunoLatourFanclub at 2:52 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well, as a person who has seizures, that sounds very much like how I feel in the moments before one starts. Just saying if it happens again, you might want to bring it up to the dr.
posted by tamitang at 3:00 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

No one here or anywhere else can tell you what you felt, or explain what happened to you. This is something you can only process yourself. I've had similar overwhelming, unexplainable experiences (in my 20s) and they ultimately led me down some very important paths. In some ways, my thoughts and actions on a nearly daily basis, my way of simply being in the world and treating others - these have all been hugely informed by the insights I gained from it. I can't explain it to anyone else even if I wanted to, because the words don't exist. It's private, intensely personal, ineffable. Just be aware that you're not alone in having such experiences. And they can be hugely transformative. How you proceed is entirely up to you. (Though in my opinion it would be hugely diminishing and dismissive of this experience to chalk it up to garlic in your stir fry!)
posted by naju at 3:06 PM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]

This is not strange at all, you just had a very typical trance. Lucky you! I've had them too, but most were induced.

Your rationality is in no way threatened. Recognizing the reality of what happened does not require you to abandon the scientific worldview. You are in no danger of having to turn new age :-)

Be aware though, that the scientific mindset is good for describing and exploring mechanisms. But when dealing with abstract, subjective things such as the unconscious, feelings etc. a mechanistic view is not the only option.

Reading Jung's Man and His Symbols might be useful here.

Myth has been described as a symbolic system for grasping and manipulating content that exists beyond language and logic.

Dogma and fundamentalism is your enemy, it usually appears when dealing with power, politics and morality, it exists in both sides, scientific and mythical fundamentalism, and it propagates the lie that both systems are enemies and incompatible. Myth is not about dogma, politics or morality.

Back to your trance: According to Wikipedia, "any state of awareness or consciousness other than normal waking consciousness. Trance states may occur involuntarily and unbidden."

They may also be induced, there are several techniques. Drugs, fasting, dancing, chanting, breathing, singing, phsical exertion, martial arts etc. You can chase this feeling, I've chased it for years, attained it a few times and it has been very positive for me.

A trance can have good or bad consequences. According to Jewish legend: "Four men entered pardes (the garden of paradise) — Ben Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher and Akiba. Ben Azzai looked and died; Ben Zoma looked and went mad; Acher destroyed the plants; Akiba entered in peace and departed in peace."

You need to have good spiritual/emotional structure to enter a trance in peace and depart in peace.

Feel free to memail me if you have any questions!
posted by Tom-B at 3:21 PM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]

> According to Jewish legend: "Four men entered pardes (the garden of paradise) — Ben
> Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher and Akiba. Ben Azzai looked and died; Ben Zoma looked and went
> mad; Acher destroyed the plants; Akiba entered in peace and departed in peace."

Thanks for that, it's wonderful. Only problem is the ability to enter the garden in peace is a pretty damn good trick that very few of us can pull off. Bodhidharma could (after only nine years of trying, oh sorry, there-is-no-try), someone as alltime great as Dante couldn't. (Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura.)
posted by jfuller at 3:57 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Did you put nutmeg in your stir fry by chance? It's pretty psychedelic if you use too much.

I'm the least woo person ever but I've been meditating since I was a kid and what you describe does sound like a state that an be achieved via meditation. But it's kind of weird it came out of nowhere, while you weren't being physically active, at home alone and lasted for hours. It's super weird that you were watching tv and worrying, that's like anti-meditating. It sounds more likely there was some physical cause than a slip into a meditative state.
posted by fshgrl at 4:21 PM on April 10, 2014

I had that when I was taking a shower one day after having done a bunch of mindfulness meditation over the last few months and I was off on summer break (teacher) and was just spending large chunks of my days idling about and taking walks and thinking about what it meant to be a person who would die one day. This particular afternoon while I was in the shower I got pretty deeply overwhelmed by this strangely blissful feeling that I was this exquisitely flawed human being, and part of this network of exquisitely flawed human beings, and that joy was filling me up and spilling over and breaking me open. I started crying and feeling touched by this weird deep rapture. It was sort of a religious experience but I'm not a traditionally religious person.

I wasn't on any drugs. To my knowledge I'm not bipolar, though I guess that might be similar to what manics experience. I guess it stemmed from a sort of deep presence in the moment. And to be honest I had been doing a lot of metta meditation (lovingkindness) which had kind of been making me feel that everyone in the world was my BFF, which sounds a little fruity, but there it is.

Anyway, keep it close. It's something very special that belongs to you.
posted by mermily at 5:25 PM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]

Also, something in me rebels a bit against the comments that it's normal. I think it's something quite unique and sort of a gift to be momentarily just astounded by wonder or awe or whatever it is. There's nothing ordinary about it.
posted by mermily at 5:35 PM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]

Sometimes weird things just happen with no explanation. Even total skeptics have their moments.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:19 PM on April 10, 2014

You were sat down a long time and your circulation went a little whack - when you stood up the blood drained slightly from your head and you got a little addled; happens to me all the time ;)
posted by Henners91 at 3:38 AM on April 19, 2014

Watch Jonas Elrod's documentary Wake Up and see if it resonates. I'd also recommend reading Eckhart Tolle among others, particularly A New Earth. Are you having any visions or seeing vibrations?

Honestly man it feels weird for me as I've been through similar experiences but your consciousness might be rising, your interconnectedness.
posted by madmartigan3454 at 2:56 AM on January 6, 2015

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