Religious traditions all over the world have examples of individuals who felt a drive to share their spiritual experiences with others. The religious pattern is consistent regardless of the source. First, an individual experiences profound feelings of connection to all of creation, to their soul, to God, or with the Divine in themselves and others, or to the collective; there are many ways to describe or define this experience. Some feel it while in religious contexts. Some have dreams. Some “see” things not perceived by others. Some feel it while in nature. Some feel it while using psychedelic plant medicines. Some feel it through movement of their bodies such as yoga or sex. Some feel it through music or other mediums of art. The themes of these experiences appear to contain a consistent message of Love, Peace, and Unity; a “Divine Connection”.
This Divine Connection is expressed in different ways depending on an individuals language and culture. A fairly recently published book “Catching Fire” talks a lot about the various mechanisms of “flow states”. Christians call it “feeling the spirit”. Buddhist call it “XXXXXX”. Muslims call it “XXXXX”. My understanding of these “feelings” is that they all convey the same similar idea; that we are part of something larger than ourselves, that there is an energy beyond our understanding that is woven through all cultures and which is impossible to accurately summarize with the languages currently available to us. The closest approximations for these feelings are “love”, “unity”, “peace”, “divine connection”, “flow”, “God”, “enlightenment”, “awakening”.
Some through history appear to have achieved this feeling as part of a singular event while others experience these same feelings on a relatively lesser scale or gradually over a period of time yet the pattern continues to unfold as these individuals are driven by a desire to tell others about their experiences with the hope that those with whom they are sharing may in turn experience similar feelings. This is a part of the drive of the Mormon missionaries, the Jehovah Witnesses, the Buddhist monks, the Hindu XXXXX, the Muslim XXXXXX, the XXXXX of XXXXX. This is part of my motivation for writing this blog. To share the experiences that I have had and the impact that these experiences have had in guiding my life to it’s current state. I feel a generally sustained happiness and peace in my life that I do not recall feeling for any extended period of time; I call it a “Divine Equilibrium”. This feeling goes deeper into soul than most other feelings, it is a calmness that I am in control of how I perceive my life and therefore completely responsible for my choice of actions in each situation. This calmness about my abilities and responsibilities and the fact that all others with whom I interact also have this some ability and responsibility causes a shift in my perspective that we are all just doing the fucking best we can with the resources and experiences that we have at our disposal. These feelings create a bond with all humanity. In these moments I see the highest level of quality in me and in others. This is why I believe this phrase, “divine”, can even apply to the atheist in each of us.
It is my belief that these experiences are not unique to one religion, phylosophy, or even geographic location. This divine equilibrium can be attained by any person anywhere in the world at anytime and through possibly an infinite number of ways regardless of background or spiritual beliefs (yes that includes atheists)..
Because of my childhood with a conservative Christian background many of my examples may include terms that are unique to that faith, however, where possible I will attempt to use generic terms and describe feelings in more “scientific” terms when possible.
What are some of the ways that you access “flow” states?