Ever wonder why we yearn for mystical experiences?
Why we crave to alter our state of consciousness?
Everyone, young and old, consciously or unconsciously seeks to achieve altered states. Babies love it when you spin them around, raise them up high in the air and fall into your arms (especially when they know you’ll be there to catch them). Infants can stare at their spinning mobiles above their cribs for extended periods of time. Who doesn’t love swinging on a swing or going up and down, up and down on a see-saw? No matter how old you are.
Statistics actually show how the simple movements of spinning and swinging can stimulate the brain and strengthen the inner ear. We apparently develop the ability to learn faster by delving into these activities.
As adults, we look for activities that will change our current state of mind. Some of us listen to inspiring music, watch TV, go to the movies, exercise, meditate, chant, or commune with nature.
Some of us pour our passions into activities that are not as beneficial. Like drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and consume huge amounts of recreational drugs to drown out pain? I know . . . I used to use food.
Shamans use drums and rattle instruments to achieve these high states, and at times, medicinal drugs. In the Sufi tradition, the whirling dervishes spin in repetitive circles – moving into a kind of reverie – to create a state of ecstasy.
So, why do we crave these states – especially, the valuable ones? I believe it’s the same reason we love rituals. They uplift the spirit and provide us with a sense of wholeness – even if they are temporary. They shape our lives and create a sense of calm, particularly during times of chaos and uncertainty when we yearn for stability.
They give us solace, opening us up to deeper, more expansive dimensions of ourselves and of life. Stemming from our primal need to connect with something greater, more significant than our limited self, rituals raise our consciousness and captivate the present moment in ways that cannot compare to anything else we do.
Many times, people yearn to experience these states to
get a glimpse of their future.
There is an exercise I offer to clients called: Aligning With Our Souls Calling. It’s part shamanic initiation, part vision quest. You go on a wondrous ride to discover your hidden directions and desires. Full of surprises and unexpected twists and turns, this journey is one that cannot be approached through the intellect. In fact, it bypasses the analytical mind and ego entirely, enabling you to connect with your highest intuition from the purest place. It bares your deepest longings and helps you to define and outline your future. Clients state that the journey “energizes their soul’s destiny, and makes it visible to them.”
Never having glimpsed our future creates hesitation and doubt, as if a dark cloud were hovering over our every move. This uncertainty prevents us from being patient, acting spontaneously, or taking risks, and, in fact, goads us to repeat fruitless cyclical habits. When we know on a deep, profound level what our soul is calling for us to be in this moment — and become in the future — we walk through life with a certain determination and confidence. We stand taller; we speak with more sincerity and conviction. There is no question as to what path we should take, where we should promote ourselves, or with whom we should associate. When we connect with how we want to feel, through the insight of our vision, we know exactly what direction to go in.
You experience the road you need to travel – you see the end so you know how to proceed. When you come back to the present moment you are transformed . . . in many ways.
Enjoy your next altered state… Keep it a healthy, productive one!