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Beyond All Worlds

Copyright © 2023 Tomás Morales y Duran. All rights reserved

«The most beautiful and deep emotion that we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true art and science. The one to whom this emotion is strange ... it is as if he were dead. Knowing that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dulled faculties can only understand in its most primitive forms: this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiosity».

Albert Einstein

Discerning what is truly spiritual from what is false or just an illusion is a task mystics everywhere tackle, though they differ in approach to the problem. The states of rapture are the most characteristic of mysticism. Rapture, interpreted by some religions as "the mystical union of the soul with God through contemplation and love", does not cease to belong to a spectrum of altered states of consciousness. To evaluate its suitability we will use four criteria to start ruling out. The first is voluntariness, the second is the endogenous, pseudoendogenous or exogenous origin of the experience. The third is media coverage and its interpretation based on beliefs. The fourth is its reach. To sort things out, we will begin by ruling out mental illnesses such as mystical epilepsy, suffered by characters as apparently disparate as Teresa de Jesús or Fiódor Dostoyevski. They are not voluntary episodes and obviously their usefulness is doubtful. For the second criterion, the question we must ask ourselves is: Does it engage? Dependence is produced by inducing rapture either with substances or through the senses, including ideations. Any state of rapture that creates dependency is not different from sensory pleasure. It is in the realm of the world, so it is useless to escape from it and the proof is that it ends up producing suffering, something that is intrinsic to the world as it is conditioned. That is, if it hooks, it doesn't work. Some mystics not only feel they have experienced a hidden dimension of reality, but generally seek to come to terms with it. As an example we have both the shamans who use substances, and the Christian mystics who resort to mental ideations to reach these states of rapture. Regarding the third criterion, it must be considered that any mediatization of the experience truncates it. You see what you want to see and it is interpreted based on prejudices, all of them belonging to the sphere of language, and therefore, it makes it useless to escape from the world. An experience can only be valid that is by itself, contained in itself and that provides all the explanations by itself. This is why you cannot leave the world by yourself while maintaining previous ideas. Finally, there is the scope criterion. Only experiences that tend to go beyond all worlds are useful, despising any relationship or union with any category of gods, who act as adherents that prevent escape. Only by surpassing all gods can one escape from all worlds. These are sufficient criteria to rule out useless practices. And now three other criteria, much more important… Utility, objectivity and repeatability. The criterion of utility tells us that the rapture is effective to achieve the sought wisdom and with it the release of conditionality is achieved. The criterion of objectivity is fundamental to his method. The experience should be the same regardless of who applies the method. The objectives must be replicable in any case. And finally, the repeatability criterion implies that the experience can be repeated as many times as desired, that is, we are dealing with a good tool. These are the minimum criteria required of any formal instrument and mystique is no less. Mysticism that is mystery, is not mystical.

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