The following stories are not intended to say, “I’m so special” since we each are. They are intended to inspire you to revisit and learn from your “mystical experiences.” As you read my experiences, reflect on ones you’ve had, but perhaps discounted as imaginary, daydreaming, or too subtle to be real.
By the way, I put quotation marks around the word mystical because that is a misleading term. In the past, humans thought that any experiences beyond the usual five-sense-ones were “spiritual, mystical, supernatural, or mysterious.” Today, we enjoy the benefit of merging contemporary understandings with ancient wisdom teachings. Science and spirituality are working together now, at least on some fronts, to expand our views of reality.
We can now better appreciate that there is no separation between you and God/Source. There is no boundary line between earth/here versus heaven/over there. Those were artificial distinctions created by past limited perspectives. Many comforting and empowering insights emanate from realizing it’s just life unfolding and we each are integral and infinite parts of that One Life/All That Is.
So when you have a “mystical” experience, remember that you are just sensing that vast part of reality that’s always been there, but most people don’t usually perceive.
Experience #1: At age five, my parents showed me a beautiful sunset and I told them, “That reminds me of God.” They didn’t tell me about this until I attended theology school twenty years later. My parents knew of no teaching at home or church that would have caused me, at such a young age, to associate Creator with a magnificent sunset. Maybe I retained some memories of life before this earth-visit.
Lessons: The Infinite is beautiful, peaceful and awe-inspiring—not a fearsome and judgmental huge white-bearded guy sitting on a throne way up in the sky.
Experience #2: My Sunday school teacher, who is now eighty-eight years old and a dear family friend, still marvels at a question I asked at age six. She had been teaching that God created Adam and Eve as the first and only humans. Later, their two sons married and subsequently populated the entire planet. I asked, “If that’s true, who did the sons marry? And where did the different races come from?” She had never thought about it.
Lessons: Question authority, especially when something doesn’t make sense to you.
Also at age six, I was in Sunday school singing “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” The lyrics included, “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Then we went upstairs for the church service and heard hideous scripture readings about a fearsome God, lakes of fire for the unbelieving, and “Thou shall fear the Lord thy God.” Even at that young age, I remember thinking, “Is this the same guy we were singing about downstairs?”
Lessons: Nothing can be really true that offends the sensibilities of a child. Decades later, I attended theology school as I searched for sensible answers to my religious/ spiritual questions. I discovered that the word ‘fear’ could just as easily have been translated ‘respect,’ conveying quite a different message.
Experience #3: When I was ten years old, I sat in church looking through the stained glass windows while the minister talked about heaven. “One day,” he said, “we will walk on golden streets and play golden harps forever.” I remember thinking, “Wouldn’t that get old after a while?”
Lessons: Any “holy book” makes much more sense when not taken literally. Also, a constant sameness—even in heaven—would get boring. Humans like different experiences, vacation spots, books, movies, and plays. I’ll bet that we are that way in nonphysical realms. That’s one reason why life is ever-changing even though it’s never-ending. Perpetual change allows us to grow, serve, explore, and enjoy. It’s a great set-up.
Experience #4: At age eleven, I was sitting with my family during church service. That particular morning, the minister was teaching about hell in the context of a fiery eternal place of torment. As he continued, a loving and wise thought or voice resounded within and—it seemed at the time—all around me: “Mark, they are mixed-up about that one. God has no need for such a place in His plan of salvation for all.”
Looking around to see if anyone else had heard this voice, I noticed that my family and other members of the congregation continued to stare straight ahead. Not wanting to seem kooky, I said nothing about what had happened, but life felt noticeably different after that. For the first time, I considered the possibility that ministers were merely passing on what they had learned in their training. I realized they were just people like me and they might be wrong about hell and other topics, too.
Lessons: Trust your inner voice and firsthand experiences, especially about such ridiculous teachings as an eternal hell for anyone. Over the years, I’ve learned that the only hells are temporary and self-induced. And those can be reversed when you forgive yourself and repent: make amends and do better the next time. I also discovered that ‘hell’ was a Middle Eastern idiom. Every village had a burning pit for garbage and parents would try to control their children by saying, “If you’re not good, we’ll throw you into hell.” Over time, particularly during large church rebuilding projects in the Dark Ages, this concept erroneously became misunderstood as a literal place.
Finally, what good earthly parent would pass his child’s finger through a flame for even a second for disobeying? How then, can we believe that the Source of all love would allow or create an eternal fiery place of torment?
Experience #5: At age twelve, I was sitting by myself eating a bowel of cereal and reading the obituary of a prominent local man who had just died. As I looked up, light refracted through our beveled kitchen windows and I went into a deep reverie. A calm loving voice or thought said, “You, too, will die some day, Mark. What will you do with your life in the meantime? Will you leave this world a better place or will you just take up space?” The question wasn’t judgmental or threatening, but seemed designed to make me think deeply.
Lessons: Pay attention to non-ordinary events and thoughts. You have important purposes for being on this planet at this time and special gifts to share. Your earth-experience will make more sense and be more fun when you do so.
Soon after this, I discovered girls and sports so nothing new to report until . . .
Experience #6: When I was twenty years old, I worked part-time as a respiratory therapist. On one of my first calls to the emergency room, we worked on a five-year-old boy who had been hit by a truck. As we treated him, the story unfolded: he had been walking to his first day of kindergarten and was the only child of young parents. Despite hours of resuscitative care, he died from the severe injuries. In shock, I stumbled out into the hall just in time to see his parents’ faces contort in grief as the head doctor told them the news.
I went outside, shook my fist at the sky, and cursed God. How could an all loving, powerful, and knowing God allow a little one to die so tragically? What kind of world was this where innocent children suffer and die and people experience such losses? Afterwards, I entered a period of agnosticism or atheism and experienced the emotional pain and confusion that accompany a bleak spiritual perspective.
Over time, this and other difficult events in my life motivated me to search for answers to life’s existential questions, such as: “Who am I? Why am I here? Is there a loving and just God? If so, why is there so much suffering? What happens after I die?” I began a quest to prove to myself whether or not soul, God, and the afterlife really existed. After thirty years of intense searching, I assembled sensible, evidence -based answers to these questions that have helped me and many other people.
Lessons: God didn’t decree that the little boy died and it wasn’t His will. From an earthly perspective, it was an accident on the part of the truck driver or the little one. From a cosmic perspective, it was a ticket back Home for his soul. It also was a wake-up call for me and, I presume, others. If it hadn’t been for his life and death, I might not be doing the Soul Proof work. So was his death a horrible tragedy or a powerful service that has helped many people? Like most things in life, it’s a matter of perspective.
Much contemporary evidence and accompanying understandings make it clear that we each are integral parts of God/Universe/Life Itself. As such, no one really dies. An earth experience is just a blink of an eye in the span of eternity. Would you hang by your thumbs for a few hours to help many people? From that viewpoint, his death and his family’s suffering were well worth it.
Consider the possibility that earth-age does not equal soul-age. Children who die may be old or evolved souls who didn’t need to go through a long earthly curriculum. How else would a soul in a younger body return to Spirit-Side except by what appears—from a limited human perspective—to be an accident or tragedy?
Experience #7: In 1974, I was lying in bed staring at the ceiling very early in the morning. Suddenly, I saw a vision on the ceiling that persisted for several minutes. A huge golden sphere had many tiny dots inside and on its periphery. Other dots were distant from the central orb and were connected to it by golden threads. As I wondered what it all meant, a wise voice or thought said: “This is how life is.”
The voice continued, “The central sphere represents God. The many golden dots are like souls in the universe. Some of them fully realize they are one with the One and are inside the golden circle. Others on the periphery are very close, but don’t fully realize their inseparability from Spirit. Still others believe they are quite distant from God. Of those that are outside the sphere, some of their paths are short and straight while others appear far away and convoluted.”
The teaching continued, “The good news is that, viewed from a sufficiently broad or enlightened perspective, the entire assemblage is seen as all One. A perimeter can be drawn around even the most distant dots, revealing the unified nature of all life.”
Lessons: Your higher self is part and parcel of Source Energy right now and forevermore. Really knowing that great news sets you free and transforms every aspect of your life for the better. You can increasingly know and show this truth with time-tested methods such as prayer, meditation, yoga, spiritual study, religious worship, being with kindred spirits, time in nature, service to others, and other ways to remember that you and everyone else are one with the One.
The vision described above also shows that you need not worry about your loved ones for any reason. We each are inextricably interconnected to the Ground of All Being, even though it may not seem like it at times. All paths lead to God, to realization of our true natures as infinite beings of energy/consciousness/love/ spirit. The path of your loved ones may not make sense to you or align with your values, but it’s their path, not yours. So relax, release fear, let your light shine brightly, and enjoy this fabulous earth-journey.
Experience #8: At the age of twenty-four, I was working in a large hospital ICU unit. We were trying to resuscitate a severely ill patient and while looking at the his chest area, I saw a smoky white light emanate upward. The head doctor called the time of death immediately afterwards. The first time this happened, I thought it was my imagination. The second time it occurred with a different patient, I knew I was seeing something leaving the body.
Lessons: Your real self is spirit, consciousness, energy, light, awareness. That is the 99.9% of you that existed before birth and survives physical death. Many sensitive individuals can sense that life-force in various ways. I did twice and it really exists.
Another break from mystical experiences during 7 years of graduate school, getting married, and having two children, etc.
Experience #9: At age forty, I experienced the grace and beauty of an angel’s visit. Early one morning while working on my first book, I was looking for a Biblical quote and couldn’t find any Concordance references. I suddenly felt ecstatic for no apparent reason and heard a slight rustling. Through my peripheral vision, I saw a white gauzy form like the fine lace-work of a wedding dress. As I turned to see it more clearly, it was gone. I felt energized and interpreted this as a sign that my work was in flow with Divine will and my soul’s missions. Immediately afterward, I opened the Bible to the exact page I needed and my eyes went directly to the verses I sought: Hebrews 2:6-7 states, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?… Thou madest him a little lower than the angels… ”
Lessons: Stay alert to other 99.9% of reality that usually isn’t detected by your five senses. Visions, signs, and extrasensory events abound if we pay attention.
Immediately after the above experience, I mentally wondered why angels and guides don’t assist all of our requests and needs. The following answers came to me in a fraction of a second:
– We first need to ask for assistance and, secondly, realize it may not always arrive how, when, and where we expect it.
– Angels do not impose their will on others, especially if people insist on making poor decisions. They also will not negate important lessons if we have chosen significant challenges for spiritual growth and service opportunities. Life unfolds as it does for reasons that you can’t always glimpse.
– We will never know how often we are helped since angelic assistance may be preventive and undetectable.
– When prayers are answered, we should use that assistance to help others and share the great news of how wonderfully life is designed.
Experience #10: Also at age 40, it was the evening before I finished my first book Balanced Living. I felt a profound peace, as though I was finally doing my highest lifework after many years of searching and working. I had originally planned to become a medical doctor (MD) but a series of events guided me to become a doctor of chiropractic (DC) I felt that these events occurred for good reasons and worked out for the best.
Early the next morning, I started to complete the last few hours of work on the manuscript before I mailed it off to my publisher. Just as I had done nearly every morning over the previous three years, I turned on the computer. The monitor usually showed a black screen for about 30 seconds, then a series of white-lettered computer codes and prompts. That morning, however, the monitor immediately showed a vivid display of royal gold and maroon squares.
These colored squares each contained the same two letters. I rubbed my eyes and pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. The letters were DC.
Lessons: This miracle still inspires me to help people fine-tune the temple of their souls. As described in my book Radiant Wellness, holistic health methods—especially specific chiropractic, acupuncture, personalized nutrition, massage, and optimal self-care—can help your inner light shine through always and in all ways. Your body/mind can be on the same wavelength as your essence, or not. When they are working together, your life proceeds much more wonderfully.
Another lesson is to avoid falling into the “would have, should have, could have” trap that drains so much energy. It’s great to set goals, but remain flexible when new information arises or life seems to throw you a curveball. At my workshops, I ask how many people’s lives have turned out the way they expected. No one has ever raised a hand. So release any preconceived expectations about how your life should unfold. Do your best, check in regularly with Creator and your spiritual support team, and trust the adventure we call a human incarnation.
Experience # 11: At age forty-three, I attended a group taught by Dottie Asselin, a seventy-year-old woman who had seen auras and energy patterns her entire life. She read each person’s aura and gave them feedback about how to improve their health and life. When she looked at me, her jaw dropped. Then she composed herself and gave a general reading.
After the class, she came up to me and asked if she could talk to me in private. She said that I had a very unique energy field that she had only seen three other times in her life. I had what looked like a golden hump at the top of my back and it emitted golden sparkles of light. That was interesting to me because one of my childhood names was Marky Sparky.
She had interviewed the other three with similar energy patterns. Each of them had described a magnificent obsession, a deep and persistent feeling that they were to help transform the world in some way. Dottie asked if I had a similar calling.
After my goose bumps subsided, I shared that my vision to awaken my self and others never stopped. Yes, I was always thinking about how, when, and where to best share my greatest gifts. It was a curse since the feeling was so strong and relentless. It was also a blessing because I was so excited about fulfilling my soul’s missions and helping make the world a better place.
Lessons: Listen to your inner callings and follow them. Your feelings may not be as relentless as mine—I hope they aren’t. However, if you’re still living on this planet, you have important gifts to share with others. You may have to work at a day job and pursue your highest missions part-time. But you will feel much more peaceful and fulfilled when you are doing what you, as a soul, came here to do.
At age forty-four, I had a multi-sensory experience of the Source during a long yoga and meditation session.
While silently repeating the mantra OM, a louder and deeper chorus of that sound spontaneously resounded within and all around me. After several minutes of that, I also smelled an unknown but wonderful fragrance despite it being snowy outside. Next, even though my eyes were shut, I saw a very bright but pleasant radiant golden-white light in my mind’s eye. Then I felt what seemed to be Divine love, acceptance and understanding. Finally, a mild electrical current that felt like forty volts coursed throughout my body. All this was so overwhelming that tears welled up in my eyes.
Through all of this, I continued to silently chant OM. As all of the sensations continued simultaneously, it also seemed that information and energy were being transmitted or downloaded to me. The power and splendor of all this energy was so great that I felt I couldn’t handle such a high current. I murmured aloud, “Oh my God!” and started laughing and then the experience was over. But that sweet memory helps carry me through life’s challenges and reminds me I’m always walking with Great Spirit—even when it doesn’t seem like it.
Lessons: One teaching from that event is that I was not prepared to directly experience higher frequencies for very long. That level of power blew my body/ mind’s circuit breakers. My nervous system wasn’t strong enough to handle the current. That experience motivates me to live as healthy and refined a life as possible so I can increasingly sustain that energy level.
Another take away is that the Divine is everywhere just as radio waves are throughout the air. You don’t have to reach the Source, save your soul, or earn salvation since you are already part of the Light and in eternity right now. The higher and finer your energy, the more you’ll realize this great news.
Experience #13: I know, the title says twelve experiences, but I always like to give people more than promised.
At age sixty, I heard that my architect “Don” was in hospice after medical treatment had failed to help his leukemia. I hadn’t seen him for fifteen years since he designed my office but my intuition told me to visit him. He had been a vibrant person with long dark hair and beard. Don was passionate about creating architecture with functionality and beauty, his family, and life in general.
When I entered the hospice room, he and his wife “Roberta” were alone. He was asleep and she was sitting with her head in her hands. I almost didn’t recognize Don because of his disease and ravages of chemotherapy: he was bald, had lost a lot of weight, and looked so tired and old.
After catching up a bit, I told them about the Soul Proof book and documentary film and gave them a copy of each. The collective evidence, I assured them, leaves no doubt that we each are indestructible souls who visit Earth for a very short time. When our reasons for being here are over, no matter what our age in earth years, we move on to the next phase of eternity. Life is never-ending, but ever changing.
In the best of all worlds, everyone would live as long as they wanted and then pass on peacefully in their sleep. However, this was not the case with Don because he was only fifty-nine years old and had much to live for. “Keep in mind,” Roberta said, “that our life was totally normal until just three months ago. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of symptoms, diagnoses, and cancer treatment. Now here we are, at our first day in hospice and we don’t know how to handle it.”
They both had many questions about spiritual topics. Don shared that his father had died when he was ten years old. He wondered if and how his father would recognize him in the next life and vice versa. Roberta shared a similar concern: would she recognize Don when she passed on and would he know who she was? They asked why people have to die at a relatively young age and suffer so much. Roberta said her grief felt unbearable and asked how she could go on living without him.
I answered all these questions and much more. They were the same questions I’ve heard from many people around the world. After an hour of talking, laughing, and crying, Don was exhausted and it was time to go. Before I left, Roberta said, “It’s as if an angel came into our room, answered our toughest questions, and gave us just what we needed to get through all this.”
Don didn’t die in hospice and, in fact, lived another month while enjoying being home with his loved ones. On the day he transitioned from this world, Don was sketching architectural designs that he hoped to build in the next realm. He was energized, inspired, and comforted by the Soul Proof evidence. Likewise, it helped Roberta find the strength to face each day before and after Don’s passing.
Lessons: Trust your intuition, especially regarding helping another person. And, too, realize that you can be an earth-angel to someone. Once you’ve been called that once, you will be hooked. Don’t hide your light, share it and let it shine brightly.
Again, a primary goal of this article is to help you remember that you—and everyone else—are unique and special. I encourage you to review your own “mystical” experiences. I hope that reading mine will help you value yours and share them with others.