The Essence of Mystical Experience
Unity, the One, is the central experience and idea of all forms of mysticism, although this may be emphasised to a greater or lesser extent and understood in different ways, or even not be explicitly mentioned. Unity is perceived or directly apprehended. In other words, unity belongs to experience and not only to interpretation, in so far as it is possible to make this distinction. W.T Stace in “Mysticism and Philosophy”.
The really essentially thing, as Stace explains, is the experience of unity. To explain a little more, the experience of mystic union presupposes the breakdown of the dichotomy between subject and object. This breakdown is the colour, the mark, the essence of the experience.
To perceive that there exists a unified field of action, a union between the bird and his environment, is merely a kind of ecological understanding, while to cross the habitual frontiers of the “I”, of oneself, to feel oneself dissolved in a larger context, is a mystical experience.
This experience of unity, of mystic union, comes from the transcendental resolution of polarities in unity. What happens in fact is a series of resolutions of the multiple polarisations of perception. The trigger for this resolution could be any kind of stimulus, such as ‘moving from a dark place to a light place’ and, feeling a sense of surprise, waking up in the infinity of the cosmic day, or seeing a double-sided coin spinning and forming a sphere which shines in the light of the sun (a unity), and then absorbing and dissolving oneself into the universal sphere. Creativity, flexibility and connectivity (the ability to make connections and associations) appear to be the most fertile ground for experiences of this kind.