Whatever occult, mystical, or religious experiences someone has – including me – I am more inclined to listen to it if it shocked the hell out of whoever was having it.
All mystical ventures involve the mind, and we all know how much our minds can lie to us. You don’t need to even imagine an occult experience to deceive yourself – a good anxiety attack will do that for you. The imagination can be easily turned to build entire worlds inside our head that we start to believe, moreso if we want to.
If you’ve engaged at all in the world of occultism, you’ve encountered self-deceiving people, and let’s face it, we’ve all deceived ourselves before. My guess is we can remember other people’s self-deceptions a bit more easily as our own, which is one hell of a warning to our own ability to make stuff up. To engage in meditation or magic is to know you’re walking into your own delusions.
. . . and it’s also to easily forget those delusions.
At the same time, we’ve all had those magical experiences where something was really going on. That dream, that voice, that synchronicity-chain that just couldn’t happen, or something more intense. Something is out there, but sometimes you have to wonder “did I make this shit up?”
Where I pay attention, where I take occult experiences seriously, is when they shock the person who experiences them. Something unexpected, something disturbing, something more powerful than expected. Whatever happened, when it is outside of expectations and part of a mystic experience then personal making-shit-up is less likely.
I mean yes, you may have made stuff up, but it’s less likely. It may not be a truly occult experience, but a least it’s different and worth study. But then there are those moments where both explanations don’t hold up and you have to sit with what happened.
I value the shock of my mystical efforts. That’s the time to listen.