“Knowing, or perhaps just feeling and intuiting, that we are connected to each other and to the world in more ways than through our senses is not really new: It’s as old as human culture and consciousness. Traditional, so-called primitive people knew that they were connected to each other and to the cosmos; they lived their connections and made active use of them. Shamans and medicine people tuned themselves to a spontaneous apprehension of a deeper reality through rigorous initiation and training; they derived their vision from these non-sensory experiences. The founders of the world’s great religions obtained prophetic insights from their connection to a wider reality – even if, in the course of the centuries, their followers embraced the letter of their founders’ insight and neglected its substance.
“The altered states of consciousness in which our connections become transparent to consciousness have been known and prized by the great majority of the world’s cultures. They are known as samadhi in the disciplines of yoga, moksha in Hinduism, satori in Zen, fana in Sufism, and ruach hakodesh in kabbalah. Their counterpart in Christian mysticism was unio mystica, the mystical union of the experiencing subject with the universe.”