Define a ‘Mystical Experience’. Is it a supernatural happening in which the receiver will not accept that a natural explanation is a possibility, no matter how unlikely?
There is no such thing as a ‘supernatural event’ in the sense that this question indicates. To a true mystic the ‘supernatural’ is simply a natural
event presently beyond understanding and explanation. Much that we take for grated today, such as magnetic and electrical phenomena, etc., was once deemed to be in the realm of the supernatural. Many people today consider gene manipulation and atomic restructuring to be akin to the supernatural, simply because they cannot comprehend the mechanics behind the phenomena. It is the ignorant and superstitious who use the label ‘supernatural’, no true mystic ever uses it and hence the term ‘mystical experience’ is misleading, like so many other terms in this field. However, the question is “Define a mystical experience” and perhaps the best way to do this is to say that it is an incident associated with the etheric or metaphysical aspect of an individual’s nature, which, if such person has no knowledge of metaphysics, will be inexplicable. In other words it cannot be explained within the limits of his or her comprehension or experience. However, to a metaphysician or someone understanding the laws and principles behind such phenomenon, it will be neither inexplicable nor beyond comprehension. To a primitive New Guinea native many mundane things are ‘supernatural’ insofar as he cannot understand or adequately explain them. The cargo cults of certain New Guinea and Pacific Islands tribes stem from the fact that the natives cannot conceive of most consumer goods being ‘made’ by man. They are convinced that these are produced by ‘magic’, hence the belief that their own ancestors, who in the afterlife must surely be masters of magic, will supply them with ‘cargo’, providing the appropriate rituals are carried out. While we may smile at this form of primitive thinking it is not so far removed, except by degree, from the thought processes of many in our society who cannot comprehend the ‘mystical’. The statement, “There is nothing about me which has any affinity with the supernatural”, made by an educated New Zealander is not so far removed from that of a New Guinea carrier boy who said in effect, “Tell me, what can you show me about myself that will prove that I have the ability to master the magic of writing and reading?”.