Spiritual Peak Experiences

Belief in a world of spirituality presupposes that there is more to the things and events of the world than we can see, hear, understand and can be aware of with our physical senses. The world, in this sense, is purely spiritual and is not restricted to the categories and order that we are brought up to take notice of. What was emphasized in our education about life was to pay attention to those logical categories that conform to "measurable and verifiable" human logic - in other words, to what can be most easily communicated between people. On the other hand, one who believes that the world is essentially spiritual realizes that what he sees, hears and experiences around him is just the outer surface of a much deeper and more truthful reality that we call G-d. The person of faith knows that just as the skin of an orange is not the orange itself, so too our lives are not simply what conventional "wisdom" has taught us to believe. Let's take the example of time. When we learned to "tell time", we learned to divide and structure our experience according to there being 60 seconds to the minute, 60 minutes to the hour, 24 hours to the day and so on. Practically speaking, time is a convenient concept which allows us organize ourselves in order to live and work together in this physical world - yet in the world of spiritual truth, time doesn't exist at all and there isn't even a concept to describe it. The art of living includes knowing how to live and function well within the physical constructs of time and space as well as within the sublime "sense" of timelessness and spacelessness that constantly beckon to us. Not limited by time or space the person of faith lives in two planes which are really one. He goes about his business in this world but not in a conventional way. The practicing believer experiences spiritual experiences regularly though out the day which infuse his life with great meaning and joy. Spiritual experiences are like G-d Himself - they transcend the boundaries of time and space. Spiritual experiences come to those who have developed the spiritual sensitivity to know that everything that they encounter in life that is good is coming from G-d. Spiritual experiences transcend the simpler perceptions of the senses - they pull a person into an all encompassing ecstatic experience of the Divine. The person may experience "visions" of the past or "premonitions" about the future as actual present events. Let's take an example: In an effort to find the best memories from his past, a man listed his relationship with his maternal grandparents, his experience of playing college football and family barbecues in the back yard of the house he grew up in. He understood that his "memories" of his grandparents and football and family barbecues were not simply mental sensory events but that since they are infused with positive emotions (goodness) they are spiritual experiences - an aspect of G-d Himself.

He went to an open clearing at the edge of town, sat down on a flat rock and began to speak with G-d. "G-d, today I learned that my positive memories from years ago are actually spiritual events that transcend time and space. I learned that since those early experiences led me to feel the positive emotions of being loved and having healthy pride in myself that You don't want me to forget about them because that would be like forgetting about You, G-d forbid. I know now that it is Your Will that those "memories" become more a part of my present experience as well. Please see that I am ready and open to learning more about this and kindly help me to bring the very best of my past with me into my present experience." This man told me that a few minutes later he visualized somehow his beloved grandparents with him in the field and after a moment of awkwardness and uncertainty he began to speak to them: "Grandma, Grandpa, thank you for coming to me. It's been so many years since I've seen you. I feel like you are really here with me now! Thank you for everything that you gave me and did for me when I was younger. I can't describe how overjoyed I am to be with you again. Now that I have you back again I feel that my life will be so much better". Similarly he told me of the appearance of a "football field" which simultaneously materialized to the right of his grandparents. It was simply an open field with lines and goals but it filled him with intense joy and pride in the athletic achievements that he had made on such fields. He also told me that these two spiritual events have accompanied him throughout his week and have "popped up" in numerous circumstances. He described how each time he re-experienced these spiritual events his mood became elated. He told me that these experiences have been transforming the mundane events of his life and even the challenging events of his life into indescribably precious moments.


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© 2020 Zev Ballen, Psy.D, LCSW