Volume 6 / Issue 1 SPRING 2020

S p i r i t ua l i t y S t u d i e s 6 - 1 S p r i n g 2 0 2 0 1 9 Slavomír Gálik feeling gradually grows, and our consciousness enters new mental dimensions. Jim DeKorne (1997, 84) precisely specifies the difference between normal recalling in the state of vigilant attention and extended consciousness. The first case is about “time-space” relation, while the second one deals with consciousness-space relation, which actually means another line or dimension perpendicular to time-space dimension. This kind of “dimension” also means extended consciousness, which is not static but dynamic, “floating” in various dimen - sions of biographical but also non-biographical memory. The last step in mystical experience is realizing our consciousness, which is the last reality and has no content. It is however necessary to emphasize that this consciousness does not mean the human “I” and after the mystical death we may realize that it actually has never been “I”. We came to this conclusion basing on research of mystical texts [3], but also through our own spiritual practice. One’s own spiritual practice is conditio sine qua nonwhen one wants to understand not only mysticism in their own tradition, but also other traditions, which may be different linguistically and culturally, but still meet at one point – human body, its physiology and energies [4]. 3 Traditional Approaches to Mysticism Among traditional approaches to mysticism are written descriptions of mystical states and drawings or paintings that depict developed energy biofield of a person. Comparisons between individual mysticisms can then be done through assessing similarities in written or graphical descriptions. In the first case we are speaking about description of mys - tical states using language, more precisely its written form. This, however, is not unproblematic. Since there are more languages than just one, we come across various descriptions of such experiences. However, even though the descriptions vary, we can still find some similarities, chiefly in two fun - damental points – the phenomenon of mystical death and emptying the consciousness accompanied by a feeling of absolute consciousness, emptiness and so on. Despite the fact that we are able to find some similarities, we believe we should aim at experiences that can be described from the “outside”, from the second-person view. This is possible in the case of human energy field, an accompanying effect of mysti - cal experience. In this case, spoken or written descriptions do only represent symbols, but show also real, i.e. material and energetic correlation. We can see such description especially in Saint Teresa of Ávila. In her most important writing, The Interior Castle , she described development of energies in seven levels – these she called stages of prayer. Teresa explains that the first three stages are often surrounded by sin but starting with the fourth one comes supernatural spiritual life. Teresa says (1921, 39): “ Henceforth they begin to be supernat - ural and it will be most difficult to speak clearly about them... ”. She describes how “ heavenly water ” flows from her soul, and “ fire ” that floods her body. Her description of the nice smell and warmth that even penetrate the body (1921, 44) is similar to the development of the subtleor chakra energies : “ Although the spirit neither sees the flame nor knows where it is, it is yet penetrated by the warmth and scented fumes, which are sometimes perceived even by the body. ” Teresa poetically describes that the fifth stage of prayer brings mystical change of the soul, which she compares to a caterpillar turning into a butterfly (1921, 58): “ Now let us see what becomes of the ‘silkworm,’ for all I have been saying leads to this. As soon as, by means of this prayer, the soul has become entirely dead to the world, it comes forth like a lovely little white butterfly! ” The sixth stage of prayer is then a “ flight of the soul ”– the soul frees from the body and prepares for spiritual marriage with God. Teresa explains that the seventh stage of prayer means unification with God (Lat. unio mystica ). She compares this unification to light, or a drop of water that falls into the sea (1921, 121): “ But spiritual marriage is like rain falling from heaven into a river, or stream, becoming one and the same liquid, so that the river and rain water cannot be divided; or it resembles a streamlet flowing into the ocean, which cannot af - terwards be disunited from it. This marriage may also be likened to a room into which a bright light enters through two windows – though divided when it enters, the light becomes one and the same .” Teresa’s description of prayer stages considerably corre - sponds with Yoga descriptions of the so-called subtle energies withKundalini and chakras . They seem to be even more realistic when Teresa (1921, 121) compares these energies to “ streams of milk ”: “ For from the bosom of the Divinity, where God seems ever to hold this soul fast clasped, issue streams of milk, which solace the servants of the castle. ” These “ streams of milk ” can be linked with energies mentioned in Yoga and could now be called electro-photonic emissions. Another traditional approach to mysticism includes visualization of human energy biofield, a biofield that can be visibly developed. In Christian iconography, we can most frequently notice visualization of aura of saints, which is also the case of Teresa of Ávila (see Fig. 1).