Between 1991 and 1996 I was very much into psychic and spiritual development. I experienced things I'd never experienced before, and ran a spiritual development group to help others learn how to do the same. From 1996 I walked away from it all, having experienced a loss in faith that made me doubt the information I had obtained from my spirit guides, who had been prolific with what they had told me. This post, however, isn't about that, but I'll write about that soon. This post is about the perception others might have about what I've experienced.
Many people go through life either being a believer or a non-believer in a religious or spiritual 'reality'. Their belief or disbelief is often dictated by faith, logic, a belief in the words of someone like a priest or even a sceptic (eg. a believer being converted to become a non-believer), or a physical or spiritual experience. Many non-believers become believers due to some kind of spiritual experience, which is often a change of attitude or belief brought about by a physical experience.
However, how often do you hear about a non-believer becoming a believer because of spiritual experiences manifesting as physical experiences? How often do people see demons, talk to spirits, ask for the aid of angels and then see them? And here's the clincher: how often are a person's spiritual (non-physical) experiences confirmed by another person, who goes through the same experience without any prompting?
I wrote about the single most life-changing event of my life over here, where I talked about how another person experienced what they considered 'a psychic attack' at the same time as I felt fear. This was physical, external confirmation that my feelings of fear were caused by something outside of myself. It wasn't just me creating the feelings inside of me, it was something else that was causing the feelings, and they caused those feelings in another person (Kate) sensitive to psychic energy.
Now, I know that a sceptic could say that Kate picked up on the feelings emanating from me and decided to play along. I would tell this sceptic that they weren't there. They weren't able to see the body language. Tthey weren't able to see how little time passed between the onset of the fear in me and the reaction in her to whatever was causing the fear. They weren't able to see that she started reacting in fear herself at exactly the same time as the hairs on my body began standing on end.
Something else I would explain to this hypothetical sceptic is that even if there was NO demon causing the fear in both of us, for her to pick up on MY feelings is evidence in itself of psychic activity of some kind. My projection of fear, and her sensitivity to it, resulting in her thinking she's about to by psychically attacked. Whether it's a real demon or a 'psychic projection', it's confirmed, external evidence of a spiritual event. It's not just in my mind.
Many believers in religion or spirituality are believers because, to them, it makes sense. It's logical. There must be a God, a creator, an 'intelligent designer', because there is order in the universe, and it's impossible for them to believe this order happens by random chance. Their 'spiritual experiences' are mental or emotional 'revelations' that there's something powerful at work, a higher force, a greater good. There is a reason for the madness around them, and the reason they come up with makes sense of physical events which are so surprising or hurtful, or so powerfully positive, that to believe in anything other than a God or Higher Being just doesn't make sense to them.
And then, of course, there are those who already had spiritual beliefs and they encounter experiences which prove to them that there just can't be a God or supreme being; how could there be a 'loving God' who lets so much pain and suffering take place? And so they turn from being a believer to a non-believer.
It's to the non-believers out there, disbelieving for whatever reason that makes sense to them, that this post is predominantly aimed at.
I've gone through the past 14 years keeping to myself a lot of the experiences I've had. If I've ever shared them, it's been to other 'believers', those who are already spiritual. I haven't talked about my experiences to religous believers though. How do you talk to a Christian, for example, about having had demons following you around? How do you talk to them about having 'fought' demons, and talked to spirits, and even having requested the aid of angels and seen them actually standing there protecting you? How do you tell someone these things? It's only 'safe' to tell them if they already believe in it as real, as a fact. They're not surprised by your stories, but they're excited that you've had those experiences.
How do you tell a non-believer these things? What would they think of you? We probably know exactly what they'd think, and it involves calling men in white coats. To say that you've experienced seeing or dealing with these spiritual beings is to invite scepticism, ridicule, disbelief, humour or genuine concern for your mental health. People have been put into insane asylums for seeing things that aren't there, for hearing voices that no one else can hear, for believing things that no one else believes.
There was a time when I thought I was going mad, that I was losing it. I doubted my own sanity at times, and was afraid for what it really meant about me and my future. I didn't want to be locked up, ridiculed, or treated with contempt simply because I'd had experiences that other people hadn't. And so I was careful with whom I shared those experiences with. I didn't let it affect my daily life, and even though I lost faith in the words of my spirit guides, I didn't stop believing in them. I just started believing that I was egotistically editing the messages I was getting from them, in order to be told the things I wanted to hear.
However, it was those spiritual experiences which were confirmed by other people that made me understand I wasn't going mad. It was those accurate visions of people's past, and of futures that actually came to pass, which made me understand I lived in a world that was larger than what most people believed. It was a world where spiritual reality was just as much real as physical reality, and I'd had enough externally-confirmed spiritual experiences to prove to me that I wasn't going mad, and that there ARE things that go bump in the night.
That's my personal experience, and I understand that everyone is different. Reading this, you might not consider yourself spiritual, but you might believe in ghosts. That means you believe in the presence of some form of 'life after death', which is a spiritual concept that leads to the concept of reincarnation. If you can continue existing after you die, then maybe you can be reborn in another life. These spiritual concepts lead onto a whole lot of other spiritual concepts. If you continue to exist after death, and can possibly be reborn, maybe there's a reason for your life after all? Maybe the act of being reborn is your choice? Why would you choose to be reborn? Maybe you have a responsiblity to yourself and to those around you, to make your life meaningful, and that's why you choose to have the life? Maybe there are other spiritual beings, like yourself, who act as guides to help you experience the life you chose?
Spirituality, to me, is about exploring what it means to be a spiritual being having a physical experience. We're here for only a short time, and when we pass on, it should be after we've done something meaningful. Are we wasting our life? What could we do better for ourselves and for our loved ones? This is what spirituality means to me.
It's one thing to say you're spiritual, but it's another thing to say you've fought demons and had angels come to you when requested. It's ok to say you believe in God, but how ok is it to say you talk to spirits?
Society is a funny thing. We accept people having beliefs, but we often find ourselves unable to accept that people's beliefs are based on physical experiences of a spiritual nature. Why is this? Maybe because people in general are afraid. They're afraid of the unknown, and they will do whatever they can to either define the unknown, or, if unable to define it, then to hide it. Pretend it's not real; that it doesn't have an effect on us.
I believe most people with mental illnesses are people experiencing a clash of physical and spiritual reality, and they're unable to deal with it. I find it interesting to see people locked up for insanity when they're unable to deal with the voices in their head, while there are psychic people who also hear voices but don't let it affect their life adversely. I suspect that the differences are that psychics pick up the voices of 'good spirits', while the insane are picking up the voices of 'bad spirits', who want to cause harm in the one they're talking to, and through them, to cause harm in others.
Mental illnesses may be cured in the future if we look at non-physical causes of these illnesses, and help people understand what they're going through. Help them deal with their spiritual experiences rather than lock them away and ignore them and the potential spiritual reality that people want to pretend doesn't exist. When we look at our experienced reality as being a unison of physical and spiritual experiences, we might become healthier, happier, and more responsible to ourselves and each other. When we understand the psychic effects of our actions, the consequences of our actions on a level greater than just the physical, we might decide to do more with our lives.
That's my focus. I'm taking my experiences and my beliefs and I'm using them to help create something better in myself and in others. It works for me. What works for you?
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