As we have seen a Spiritually Transformative Experience (STE), although inexplicable by materialist science, is usually associated with profound characteristic changes in the person who experiences the STE. For many who study STEs, this is perhaps the most important and interesting aspects of the STE experience.
STE transformations are presumed to be the result of:
This new knowledge and changes in personality and behavior leading to a fundamental shift in world view including:
Many experience a complete change in life style, often leaving one's spouse, one's job and entering into a "helping profession". Pursuit of material possessions and accumulation of wealth no longer seem relevant or important to one's life goals. A strong interest in the well-being of others and of environmental concerns seems to be of paramount importance.
The aftermath of an STE can take several years to fully integrate into one's personality and often results in dramatic and positive transformation in personality.
(more details to be supplied)
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Excerpt from Loved By The Light
With the author's permission.
Some people may have no interest in doing the God for a Day exercise until or unless they first realize that God exists as a matter of direct experiential fact. But a definitive realization such as this is not likely to occur without a firsthand personal spiritual epiphany.
For many people, nothing would constitute convincing evidence of God’s existence other than a direct personal meeting with God/Source/Creator in the higher spiritual dimensions. And, nothing but sacred communion with the divine will suffice to facilitate a spiritual awakening and profound individual transformation.
While intellectual and scientific observations are invaluable as far as they go, there is no substitute for direct personal experience. It is far more powerful and has a much greater impact on the psyche, as well as the intensity and duration of transformative effects.
For those who require a direct peak experience, short of a spontaneous STE, there are many techniques that can safely induce a higher state of consciousness and a life-changing spiritual breakthrough. Collectively, they are referred to as Epiphany Induction Techniques. No, they do not include dangerous practices to induce cardiac or respiratory arrest, as was dramatically depicted in the popular film called Flatliners. This is not best practice and is definitely not recommended.
Alternatively, a wide variety of safe and gentle induction techniques are available to bring about an STE in a safe and non-threatening manner. They include modalities such as kundalini yoga (for advanced and properly trained individuals); tai chi; fasting; chanting; repetitive trance dancing; contemplative prayer; deep state meditation; rebirthing; sensory deprivation; structured conscious breathing regimens; aural and visual tools; virtual and augmented reality devices; transcendent sexuality through tantric regimens; nonsense exercises; regressive hypnosis; sweat lodge rituals; vision quests; and what is known as scrying or mirror-gazing, often used as a form of self-hypnosis.
The shared goal of all these methods is to achieve a state of deep relaxation; to disengage the mind, the ego and the senses; to remove oneself from thought, stress, anxiety and the routine noise associated with everyday living—all to experience profound stillness, calm, silence and transcendence of one’s social identity and the mortal shell.
It is in this sacred altered state of consciousness where one feels the presence of God waiting patiently at the intersection of silence and stillness. There is where God is found, in the holy silence and stillness, existing apart from all else, revealed in a subtle energetic manner, in an unmistakable powerful feeling that signals the presence of the divine. It is a glorious feeling. There is none better.
Yes, for me, God’s presence comes in the form of a blissful feeling, one that is quite subtle and ethereal. I have never seen God with my eyes and I have never heard God’s voice with my ears. I have only felt God’s presence, and when I do, it is ecstatic and euphoric. There’s no mistaking it.
Deep state relaxation is essential to bring about an altered state of consciousness, and meditation is one of the most popular methods to achieve this state of being. There are many forms of meditation and many different meditation techniques to explore in order to find what works best for each person. It does not require sitting in a lotus position and chanting “OM” or a personal mantra, although that is recommended in some forms of meditation.
Meditation can occur through painting, sculpting, gardening, sky-gazing, bird-watching, or simply becoming mesmerized by the repetitive motion and sound of mild ocean waves kissing the shoreline. There is no one single best way.
Conscious structured rhythmic breathing can be very helpful to the process, but it too can occur naturally as a consequent by-product of entering a deep state of relaxation. This has happened to me on occasion, even to the point where I have forgotten to inhale and exhale, for how long I do not know, but I suffered no ill-effects from not breathing for a time. Yes, it startled and surprised me when I took note of it after the fact.
Altered states of consciousness can be detected by an EEG device, which measures electrical activity in the brain and the brainwave frequencies of beta, alpha, theta and delta states. Much of the time, most of us operate in a “beta” state of consciousness, which is ordinary hyperactive waking consciousness. In this state our minds are full of chatter, as well as noise, stress, worry and distractions. Occasionally, when we are more relaxed and at ease, we might transition into an “alpha” state, akin to daydreaming.
When we turn in for the night and prepare to fall asleep, we might enter a twilight state where we float in between light sleep and ordinary waking consciousness. This is called the “theta” state, one in which we might experience powerful ideas or insights just before drifting off into deep sleep.
In deep sleep, we normally enter the “delta” state. Here we can achieve major breakthroughs, solve major problems, find answers to our biggest questions, and determine how to realize our greatest hopes and dreams. Also, it is in this state that we are most disengaged from mind and ego and thus more closely connected to the higher realms. We can also facilitate healing of our bodies in this state.
Conscious or lucid dreaming occurs when one awakens deep in the delta dream state to become an actively conscious participant in the dream as it is actually unfolding. When the dreamer awakens within the dream, one can find answers or gain valuable insights or impact physical reality in a manner consistent with one’s higher spiritual good. This has happened to me several times, such as in my lucid dream about Pope Francis and the Spear of Destiny discussed earlier.
Before falling asleep, most every night, I consciously program my dreams to facilitate personal healing, seek out the help I need or things I want to learn or desire to accomplish. Keeping a dream journal is also a good idea to aid recall.
To facilitate deep state relaxation, the analogy of an engine may be useful. Through the engine which powers our mind and thoughts, we can move from “beta” to “delta” by downshifting the manual transmission of the mind from high gear or fifth gear, all the way down to first gear and then to neutral or park.
The goal here is to lower the engine’s RPMs (revolutions per minute) from maximum to idle and then to turn off the engine completely so that the dominant rational mind is placed in suspension with nothing left to power or stimulate it.
When the dominant rational mind is brought into suspension through deep state relaxation, the ego is parked too, and no longer exercises its normal imperial rule. In this way, we achieve a sublime resonant energy connection with God.
The technique I prefer to lower the RPMs and the one I use most often is what I call Streaming. This is a term I coined in 1976 at the Cascades in Jefferson National Forest in Pembroke, Virginia, a short drive from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg where I attended graduate school.
In this location, one will find a gorgeous two-mile uphill pathway steeped in the full glory of nature that leads to a rather sublime sixty-nine-foot waterfall. The downhill portion of the trip back to the parking lot is also two miles, but much less rigorous.
As one hikes up to the waterfall, along the entire path, one can hear the mesmerizing sound of rushing water as it rapidly cascades over many rocks and large boulders in the stream bed. It is glorious and resplendent, blessed with surreal beauty and a sacred vibration. I went there often to relieve the stress of graduate school. But more so, I went there to commune with God in nature, which for me is by far the best cathedral or temple of all.
One day early on in my frequent treks to the waterfall, about halfway along the path that leads to it, I discovered a magical place in the stream where I could step on a convenient sequence of smaller rocks and boulders that led to a large one in the center of the stream. Once there, I would lie down on this large boulder, nicely contoured to the shape and size of my body, using my backpack for a headrest.
Then, with a huge smile of anticipation on my face, I would close my eyes and begin a regimen of structured conscious breathing to help induce a deep meditative state, aided by the hypnotic sound of the rushing water from the alluring stream, hence the name Streaming. Sometimes I would fall asleep, but more often than not, the calming sound of the stream, combined with my focus on communing with God, would lead me deep into inner space where the divine awaits. This is indeed my favorite induction technique.
There is another closely related method which is also among my favorite options to lower the RPMs. It is known as Forest-Bathing. This technique involves venturing deep within a magnificent forest to find a power spot or sacred space using the powers of one’s intuition and prayerful requests to be divinely guided to the right place. For me, it usually involved the discovery of a rather remarkable tree that grabs hold, undeniably and unmistakably, and just won’t let go. For me, it would be a special towering tree with a shaman-like persona and a canopy that is irresistibly captivating.
Once there, I settle in at the base of this tree sitting in a lotus position with my back against its magnificent trunk. I then begin a meditative process with the same regimen of structured rhythmic breathing as used in Streaming. Before long, I find myself attuning to the tree’s awesome inner essence and spiritual energy, which serves as a gateway to the divine realm where God waits patiently, most-assuredly. When the resonant energy connection occurs, there is no mistaking it. It is the most glorious feeling one can imagine.
I found that a grove of stately redwood trees worked well for me in my Forest-Bathing adventures. It helped me surrender to the void almost effortlessly. I am especially fond of the majestic redwoods in Stout Grove near Crescent City, California, not to mention the magical allure of Olympic National Forest near Sol Duc falls, which is only one of many power spots in that highly enchanted high vibration place.
There is also another method to consider, but one that should be contemplated only when all other options have failed, and then only under controlled conditions with competent professional supervision. I am speaking here about the careful, judicious use of entheogens, which are psychedelic drugs or psychotropic agents such as ecstasy (Molly), peyote, mescaline, psilocybin, ayahuasca, LSD, ibogaine, huachuma (San Pedro Cactus), 5-Me0-DMT; and other substances of a similar nature.
Use of drugs such as these is extreme and potentially dangerous. I do not recommend it, except under medical supervision to control dosage, allow monitoring and provide safe surroundings. One must exercise due caution and care if this option is chosen. Some have achieved favorable results through this method, so much so that some of these substances are now in greater clinical use by psychiatrists and psychotherapists for treatment of various psychological and emotional disorders with generally positive results. Still, I hasten to add that this is not a technique I have tried personally. I have no need or desire to do so, but others I know feel quite differently and are generally enthusiastic about it.
The use of entheogens to trigger spiritual breakthroughs dates back to at least ancient Greece where it was common practice. Asclepius, regarded by historians to be the first physician, who is often associated with Imhotep (the Egyptian God of Healing), used psychedelic agents at his healing temples to facilitate healing and spiritual awakening. The two often went hand in hand. The most famous of his healing temples was a sacred place in ancient Greece known as Epidaurus.
Entheogens were also widely used during the Hellenistic period in Eleusis, circa 340 to 31 BC, as part of secret sacred rites or initiations practiced by the “Eleusinian Mystery Cult.” It is believed that initiates, who were required to take a vow of secrecy, ingested a drink called “Kykeon” believed to have contained LSD-like alkaloids derived from ergot fungi, roughly equivalent to psilocybin mushrooms. This triggered an altered or mystical state of consciousness, which often elevated initiates into the realm of the divine, resulting in profound life-changing spiritual breakthroughs.
Another inductive technique from times of old is the pre-cursor to the modern ritual of baptism. This approach, as applied in ancient times, is not recommended either, for obvious reasons, but warrants discussion simply to convey a fascinating aspect of history.
In Biblical times, John the Baptist is reputed to have submerged the followers of Jesus, their heads under water, in the River Jordan, as a show of their faith and conviction. The purpose of this ritual was to symbolically wash away “sins” and enable people to become “born again” in their acceptance of Christ. Even Jesus submitted to baptism by John the Baptist as a show of faith in and acceptance of this ritual.
Some scholars believe that the modern baptism ritual may have originated in Eleusis. Those who desired to be awakened spiritually participated in secret rites of initiation, which sometimes involved ingesting Kykeon as noted above, and other times involved participating in a pre-cursor to the ritual of modern-day baptism.
Some hypothesize that this highly transformative rite of passage is how the celebrated Greek philosophers became so wise, knowledgeable and insightful, particularly about esoteric and spiritual matters, as well as life after death (see Plato’s Phaedo).
The Eleusinian rituals were sacred and secret rites of passage cloaked in an aura of mystery and speculation. Initiates reportedly received the great blessing of full illumination and vast spiritual wisdom. Many allegedly separated from their bodies and traveled into the divine realm where they encountered sacred beings and divine deities.
The “baptism” process practiced in Eleusis involved submersion in “the holy waters” until initiates actually lost consciousness, essentially from drowning or holding their breath too long, basically, inducing a state of clinical death. Soon after initiates lost consciousness, they were lifted out of the water by the attendants. Then, some unknown potion, technique or process, supposedly foolproof, was administered to resuscitate them. They returned to full waking consciousness, completely unharmed, having suffered no ill-effects whatsoever from being drowned.
In this manner, initiates “died” and were “born again,” totally transformed by the blessing of full enlightenment. By “dying” in this fashion, initiates were able to pierce the veil between this world and the next. They report discovering firsthand the afterlife, God, infinity, eternity, reincarnation and karma. Much like modern day near-death experiencers, they were able to directly commune with God.
Of course, the obvious difference between the contemporary practice of baptism and the ancient Eleusinian mystery ritual is the length of time the initiate is held under water. Today’s practice of baptism is limited to placing drops of water on the forehead or facilitating a very brief submersion of one’s head under the water, nowhere near long enough to cause unconsciousness or drowning. However, the practice in ancient Eleusis did exactly that and thereby enabled initiates in those days to essentially have their very own near-death experience in which God and the afterlife became very real to them.
One can only wonder what their fatality rate might have been. Even today’s doctors equipped with modern medical technology cannot boast a 100% success rate in resuscitation attempts. What’s more, no matter how good the process, antidote or technology, some people may have flatly refused to come back because they liked it too much over there.
Of course, we know from NDE reports that some are not given a choice. They are told they must return to fulfill their destiny and serve some important purpose. But those who are given a choice and who decide to return, always do so entirely for selfless reasons, generally to serve family, friends and the greater good of all things. None come back because they highly prefer this reality to that one.
But the overriding point here is that once Source/Creator is directly experienced, by whatever means one chooses, this is when all wonder and doubt about God disappear. This is when the Seven Statements and the Fifteen Elaborations are no longer viewed as hypothetical propositions, but instead are accepted and embraced as facts reflective of fundamental truth.
A direct experience with God enables a person to outgrow their former self and evolve into Godliness every day. One person at a time, this is how an optimal future for earth and its inhabitants can be achieved, by affirming God and achieving Godliness daily.
Matthew 7:7 seems entirely appropriate and applicable to this discussion. If one seeks a direct connection or communion with God with the utmost humility, earnestness, sincerity, reverence and perseverance, it will happen eventually. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”