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Kensho: Describing a Mystical
There is no better explanation we have
found of the power of sacred entheogens then James Austin's Zen and the
Brain, where he describes the following 18 characteristics describing
Kensho. "Kensho" means seeing into one's true nature, and corresponds
to enlightenment in Zen:
1. Beyond rationality. The subject later cannot explain the episode
logically in terms of any previous personal experience.
2. Intuitive insight. The insight conveys not only universal knowledge
but clarifies issues of personal existence.
3. Authoritativeness. Depths of truth are revealed with the very same
certainty that attends drinking cold water. No logical argument
4. Affirmation. The basic mood and tone is strongly positive toward
all existence. It remains positive even though the person may later
use words to describe certain qualities of the experience which are
cast in negative terms.
5. Sense of the beyond. The experience may convey a subtle sense that
it is rooted elsewhere. (And afterward, it does illustrate the paradox
of being both "Reality" and otherworldly.)
6. Impersonal tone. Among Buddhists, a sudden enlightenment makes no
reference to the image of Buddha, nor to any notion that his person
has intervened in any way. In this respect it differs from a few
mystical experiences set in a Christian context in which Christ or the
Virgin Mary are reported to be present.
7. Feeling of exaltation. The experiant feels an infinite expansion of
new attributes and capabilities.
8. Momentariness. The episode is abrupt in onset and brief.
9. External unity. The whole world is experienced as one. The central
theme of this unity is that there are no subject/object distinctions,
or any other distinctions among parts of the huge whole.
10. Changes in the boundaries of time and space. Not only is clock
time absent, but a sense of "eternity" pervades the experience.
Moreover, a sense of "infinity" is conveyed, because the old mental
boundaries drop out that had been previously affiliated with notions
that physical space is somehow limited.
11. Ineffability. The experience seems impossible to communicate,
because it eludes all words and familiar descriptive categories.
12. Objectivity and reality. The experience is "realer than real." The
true nature of things is seen into, things as they really are.