Now that you’ve awakened, do you find that people are having spiritual experiences in your presence?
After spiritual awakening, people may be affected by your energy field in unexpected ways.
You become a conduit of some kind of primordial energy flow. You’re not intentionally doing anything, but you know this energy is pouring through you. You can feel it. People can feel it.
Can people have spiritual experiences by being in the presence of an enlightened person?
There is a long tradition of seeking out the darshan of a guru, enlightened being, or a person of exceptional spiritual attainment. People will spend their life savings, travel vast distances, queue for long periods just to gain admittance to the presence of such a being. There is a woman who hugs hundreds of people in a sitting, another man who gazes for a few seconds into the eyes of hundreds of people in one sitting. There are much sought after lamas and holy men in every religious tradition. They are not sought for their words of wisdom per se, but rather for the direct transference of their rays of enlightenment.
And they don’t apparently even have to be alive to have a profound impact on you. People report having spiritual experiences by looking into the eyes of a photograph of a dead Indian guru.
Do I doubt that people have experiences? No. But here is something to consider. If you do research into cults, you’ll find that cult members describe nearly identical feelings and experiences. They describe a similar powerful energy pulsing through their cult leader. They describe feelings of expansiveness, oneness, receiving grace, instant healing from past traumas, freedom from their old narratives of self, ecstasy, purification, breakthrough. Even after they leave the cult, the breakthroughs, the spiritual experiences are still held to be valid, to stand on their own merit even after a person sees the cult for what it is and rejects it.
I suspect that anyone who has this kind of heightened energy signature will stir up the energy of the people around them, whether they are a saint or just a very charismatic person with a powerful magnetic energy field.
While people living in an awakened state likely have this powerful energy, it does not follow that everyone who has this powerful energy is spiritually awakened, or even a good and safe person to be around. And yet, people have profound spiritual experiences in the presence of both the saint and the cult leader. They believe that having spiritual experiences in the presence of a person validates or even accredits the spiritual attainment of the source.
The addictive nature of spiritual experiences.
When you are truly healed of an ailment, you don’t keep going to the doctor, taking pills, researching medical information online.
I broke several fingers a few years ago and did a lot of research on why that might have happened, what supplements would promote bone healing and bought several kinds of splints online to see which would be most practical and comfortable to use. Once I was healed, I no longer did these things. I was done and there was no longer any need. Awakening is like being healed. You are done, you get up and move on. People who can actually confer enlightenment do not have repeat customers.
Being a spiritual seeker is a bit like having a chronic illness. You keep looking for the cure, sometimes in the most unlikely places. You find some pills that seem to give you relief for a while, but they don’t cure you. Inevitably you develop a tolerance for them and have to take more and more. Or you find some practitioner, like a chiropractor, who provides a window of relief, but you have to keep coming back to be adjusted. These windows of relief give you a glimpse of what it would be like, what life would be like, to be cured.
People are confused and believe that awakening is the natural end result of acquiring more and more of these peak moments of clarity or oneness or bliss. They chase the promise of having spiritual experiences all over the globe, at great cost. They accumulate initiations, empowerments, guru paraphernalia, go to retreat after retreat, get divine hugs, receive the divine gaze, chant the divine mantra. Indeed, the experiences can feel amazing, life changing, cathartic. But spiritual experiences are not the same as enlightenment, and enlightenment is not the sum or tally of your spiritual experiences. Spiritual experiences are not the building blocks of enlightenment.
I was never a spiritual seeker, but after I awakened, I got to know a lot about this complex through other people close to me. My late husband, who never evinced any real interest in a spiritual path suddenly became a seeker. He did the “circuit” that seems to magnetize white people: various ashrams, temples and holy cities in India; Dharamsala; monastery retreats in Nepal; vipassana retreats of increasing length; 6 month stays at Bon Tibetan monasteries and the like. Through him I got to know other seekers on the circuit and their jargon.
They evaluated each new guru, lama, holy man by how much “juice” he had. Some had no juice, others had some juice, and a very few had lots of juice. I was told I had lots of juice, though I was joined by one other Dzogchen master on this exalted pedestal of juiciness. I guess it was a tie.
People wore their uniform of the red puja string and their mala. They bathed in sacred rivers. They became the devotees of certain juicy holy men, or they went from one to the next.
I’m not suggesting that all spiritual seekers are this extreme. And some spiritual seekers do not chase after spiritual experiences at all. But those who do have very much the same underlying feel about them.
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