Ram Dass and Black Elk on the Ineffability of Mystical Experience

Mystical and psychedelic experiences can’t be described because they come from a place where no words exist.

Matt Gangloff

--

Photo by Ernie A. Stephens on Unsplash

Ram Dass and Black Elk on the Ineffability of Mystical Experience

Mystical and psychedelic experiences can’t be described because they come from a place where no words exist. Here is Ram Dass reading from the book, Black Elk Speaks:

“I want to read for you a very brief example of this. It is from a book called Black Elk Speaks, the life story of a holy man of the Oglala Sioux. It describes Black Elk’s first mystic, visionary experience, which sounds like hundreds of psychedelic reports I have back in the files. This is the one he had when he was 9 years old:

‘And while I stood there, I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw, for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit and the shape of all shapes as they must live together as one being. I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight. In the center grew one mighty, flowering tree of all the children of one mother and one father and I saw that it was holy.

I am sure now that I was too young to understand it all and that I only felt it. It was the pictures I remembered and the words that went with them for nothing I have ever seen with my eyes was so clear and bright as what my vision showed me. And no words I have ever heard with my ears were like the words I heard. I did not have to remember these things, they have remembered themselves all these years. It was as I grew older that the meanings became clear out of the pictures and the words. And even now I know that even more was shown to me than I can tell.’”

Source (begins at 01:42): Ram Dass | LSD and the Art of Conscious Living

Characteristics of a Mystical Experience

--

--

Matt Gangloff

I teach the how-to’s of Post-Traumatic Growth: How to heal and grow, find a new mission, become your best self and build a meaningful life. www.mattgangloff.com