The other day I was sleeping when I had a weird dream:
“The first I recall is that I seemed to be in my grandma and grandpa’s living room. I was by the coffee table, looking up at the stuff that was on it. I could see the couch behind it and the mirror above it. Then something weird happened, which is hard to describe. The stuff on the coffee table seemed to turn into something on a beach like sand castles or something, as if I was now on a beach. Then there was this great yellowish light that seemed to take over everything and I felt this ‘tingly’-like sensation. This became so intense that I became frightened and woke up with a start.”
I knew this feeling. I thought that this may be memories of something that happened when I was a kid. They seemed so familiar.
For some reason I had a hard time ‘grasping’ this dream. What I mean by that is that I could only perceive this dream as a faint ‘dream memory’. Its like I couldn’t think about it, as if something prevented me from thinking about it, or even pondering it. After several days, I kept reminding myself about it and was finally able to think about it.
First of all, they do seem to be based on things that happened when I was young (probably before 6). I had forgotten all about them. What would happen is that I’d have moments where an “experience” would happen. This “experience” is hard to describe. They’d only last a matter of seconds. The way I first described them was that they were an experience of being ‘overly oversensitive’. By this, I mean that it was as if my senses were turned to “full power”, so to speak, and they seemed to overwhelm me. When this happened I’d as if freeze and stare intently into space, it seems. Sometimes I’d feel as if I was going to somehow separate from myself, which can be frightening. Then there’d reach a point where it was too much and I’d move or something and it would take me out of it. There may have been times where it was frightening, as in the dream, but I don’t think they were all like that. Afterwords, it seemed that I often felt sort of wiped out and exhausted. It also seemed as if the world changed somehow. It didn’t seem the same as it did beforehand. There also became a new sense that I felt. At the time I didn’t know what it was. Now, I know what it is. It’s a sense of a ‘presence’ (the presence of god, basically).
As I said, the dream may be based on actual memories, as it does seem that there may have been incidences at my grandma and grandpa’s house and at a beach. One thing that was interesting is the eye level in the dream. Where my eye level was at would have been about 2 1/2 feet off the floor. Is that a memory of me as a child, perhaps sitting down? I’d have to lay down and rest on one arm to get that view as an adult. The beach is also familiar. When I was a kid we often went to the reservoir and my mom and dad would water ski. I recall playing in the sand with the rest of the kids. I’m thinking this is like 3 or 4 years old. Perhaps an “experience” happened there? I don’t recall specifically.
Later, in my teenage years especially, I would have “milder experiences” which, when I think about it, is a variation of the same thing. I’d have ‘moments’ where I felt as if “removed” from everything, when I just all-of-a-sudden felt as if I was ‘above’ the world in some way. I seemed to somehow be above everyone and had this notion I was god-like. These often made me ashamed as I thought they were moments of thinking I was “better than everyone else” and I wondered if it shows an arrogance deep down inside. Now, I can see that this was another version of the “experience” above.
But what is this “experience”? As I reflected on it, I felt that it was a “blurring of me and the world”. I felt that it involved a sense of what I sometimes call the ‘is’ , ‘pre-self’, and ‘primal self’. I talked about this in an article about this called “Thoughts on the pre-self, primal self, world self, post-self, and the greater self“. I can see that it’s a version of the ‘post-self’, which is a result of the war between the selfs, when the ‘pre-self’ and ‘primal self’ begin to surface in ones established self. These can cause great conflict and turmoil and can create religious-like experiences as well. Both of these happened in the “experience” I described above.
Why they happened in this way I’m not sure. It appears to be one of the many ways this conflict of self appears. Because they happen suddenly, and for such a short period of time, perhaps we could call them the “instantaneous post-self”. They have these qualities (at least as I experienced them):
- They appear unprovoked and seem to just happen.
- They last a matter of seconds.
- There is a great feeling of blurring with the world.
- There is usually a conflict, fright, or fear.
- There is possible sense of religiousness afterwords.
Its appearance seems to reveal things such as:
- The coming of the ‘greater self’ (the union of all selfs). In fact, I feel that it is a manifestation of the ‘greater self’ and shows that it is appearing and growing.
- The ‘presence’ shows a tendency to spirituality.
Both these together show that there is an association between the ‘greater self’ and spirituality. In other words, spirituality is a reflection of the ‘blending of all selfs’ (the coming of the ‘greater self’). This means that spirituality is not really a direct result of ‘religion’ or ‘belief’, as is generally supposed. It is actually a reflection of an innate quality found in people. Some people, many who are not religious or affiliated with religion, are ‘naturally spiritual-like’. This is because they have the character trait of the ‘blending of selfs’.
It also shows how different aspects of the self, and a sense of spirituality, can often be felt in changes in oneself that happens in an instant, creating what seems to be a ‘weird’ and ‘odd’ experience. But behind this experience is actually a revealing of the self and the world. Perhaps one could call it a ‘spurt of growth’? It seems to show a form of development of the self and a sign of its growing nature in some people. Many people may not feel it in this way for I think the normal growth of the self is gradual and hardly noticeable in any real noticeable “experience” like this. As a result, most people “change” and don’t realize it.
But, because this often creates a spiritual sense, experiences like this may predispose a person to a spiritually inclined tendency. In fact, its possible that it may be a “requirement” for a truly spiritual natured person. In other words, it acts as an “initiation” . . . only those who experience things like this “knows”. To put it another way, without this type of experiences spirituality becomes more of an ‘abstract’ concept, an idea, not something “experienced”. This shows two forms of spirituality:
- Spirituality based on “experiences”. Having “experiences”, though, can sometimes mislead people. I know that, for some, “experiences” may make them think that it reflects some special ‘spiritual gift’ or that they were ‘chosen’ in some way. A simple “experience” can make them think they are ‘touched by god’ in some way and have special powers. In other words, they get sort of carried away with it.
- Spirituality based on the “idea” of spirituality. Many so-called spiritual people only know spirituality as an “idea”. Sometimes its treated as it were something like math or something scientific. Some people will even often toy with the “idea” of it and ‘daydream’ about it. They then often think that this ‘dream quality’ is spirituality, with its ‘mystical’ sense.
“Experienced” spirituality has a number of interesting qualities about it:
- In order for “experienced” spirituality to happen, a person must have the “mind” and “experience” to do it. That is to say, their mind must be of a nature to allow this to happen, showing that it is reflective of certain people only. In other words, “experienced” spirituality is often a result of a person’s character. Because people are so different it shows that spirituality has many different manifestations, making it a very personal affair with many different forms and gradations.
- In general, it seems that if a person is not predisposed to “experienced” spirituality then they will not know it. In other words, a person generally cannot “force” an “experienced” spirituality.
- That a lot of “experienced” spirituality is not a result of belief, as is sometimes supposed. In fact, “experienced” spirituality tends to make a person believe. Without the “experience” they may not of believed anything at all. In this way, an “experience” can greatly affect a person and how they perceive the world.
- Because a person has experienced an “experienced” spirituality that does not make them experts on it. In general, it seems that an “experience” only opens the door and begins a process. A person may or may not take that path. In other words, a person must make good use of “experienced” spirituality . . . it doesn’t happen on its own. I’ve found that its best to be cautious of
- people’s “experienced” spirituality as many people do not use it properly. The great achievement in spirituality is not in having it but what you do with it.