I hope I'm not jumping the gun here, but the conversation between Interesting Ian and Arouet on this thread about mystical experiences grabbed my attention http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptik...odcast-18.html
Arouet complained that the topic should have its own thread, and this is a topic that is important to me. So I've taken the liberty to begin this thread.
Mystical experiences have played a huge role in my life. I would have once considered myself to be an atheist - religious people sounded deluded to me and I refused to go to church from 14 years of age onwards. I've also had a lifelong fear of the unknown - even now I can still be afraid of ghosts. Atheism allowed me to use rational thinking as a means to hide from this fear. I've had a number of mystical experiences over the years, and it was these that shook up my worldview and made it clear to me that there is more to life than the materialists claim.
The most significant mystical/spiritual experience occurred six years ago (the anniversary of this event is next week). I struggled with an alcohol addiction for 20 years. I entered my first treatment facility at 19 and I developed revolving door syndrome - I would get sober for a few months and then relapse. Even when I wasn't drinking my life still revolved around alcohol. At one point in my life I ended up living on the streets.
This drunken period of my life ended at a Thai temple where I was cured of my addiction. On my last day at this drug rehabilitation facility I had a significant mystical experience. I was alone in the temple grounds when I was overcome by a sense of oneness with the universe. Something changed inside of me and the urge to drink alcohol left me completely. I knew that I was cured and that I will never drink again. Staying sober has been incredibly easy, and the thought of drinking alcohol has never returned. I've had some great highs and some great lows over the last few years, but I've never wanted to drink - that is a real miracle.
Those who prescribe to the western medical approach to alcoholism claim that an addiction cannot be cured - the person only goes into remission. They also claim incredibly stupid things like, 'relapse is a normal part of recovery' - this is because the revolving door syndrome is good for business. When I say that my alcoholism has been cured the addiction skeptics say that I'm deluding myself or 'setting myself up for relapse'. This is complete nonsense, and it can make communication with such people frustrating.
I've thought about this a great deal, and there is no materialist explanation for what happened to me. The medical experts would say it is impossible for an alcohol addiction to be cured - some have even suggested that I wasn't an alcoholic to begin (talk about cognitive dissonance). I know that this mystical experience did produce a miracle, and it proves to me that there is far more going on than the materialists would have us believe. I've also had other mystical experiences but none as obviously life changing as this one.