In case you haven’t heard, I am prone to “paranormal” experiences. In fact, without many startling moments of transcendent peace, when I felt gently supported by a conscious universe, I’m pretty sure I’d be dead.
There, now you know.
I’ve written about my own mystical side for years, but it still scares me. Among educated people, this topic gets you lumped in with folks who find fairies on their sunflowers and get messages about Jesus from their cats.
So I’m always surprised when I confess to a mystical side and not everyone is scathingly critical. In fact, many people—friends, colleagues, participants in my Wayfinder Coach Training Program—tell me they, too, have mystical experiences. And they, like me, are afraid they’ll be sneered out of polite society if they breathe a word about it.
This happened again when my partner Rowan Mangan and I put out a recent episode of our podcast, Bewildered. The topic was “coming out” as people who’ve had mystical experiences. In return, we got a string of responses thanking us for validating “paranormal” events for our listeners.
It’s weird that this still surprises me. I mean, I’ve met closet mystics all over the place. I coached the CEO of a huge global company who confessed that he could see dead people. I know a top-level scientist who can “read” other people’s health problems as accurately as she sees their hair color. I once spent hours with an Ivy League professor who talked longingly about a certain long-dead dog. This pup seemed to understand human thoughts and would meet his human at pre-arranged places and times, including places the dog had never been.
All these people wanted their secrets kept.
Because our society represses mysticism in much the same way Freud’s society repressed sexuality. Both sex and spirituality are natural to humans; both have played central roles among all peoples since prehistory. But while we’ve gotten over much of our sexual repressiveness, educated people in our culture are still scared to let anyone know they have any spirituality whatsoever.
If you’re sitting on a secret stash of your own, take a deep breath and consider coming out. Tell your best friends, your favorite sibling. Then tell anyone else, whenever you feel like it. Because what people think doesn’t matter as much as what you’ve experienced. What people say doesn’t matter as much as saying what’s true for you. And once you’ve encountered your soul, denying that it exists is a kind of walking suicide.
We are out here, all of us lovers of the Great Mystery. We’re well-educated, logical, fans of empirical evidence. We don’t just sit around trying—and failing—to manifest so much as a ham sandwich. But we can’t deny that some “paranormal” experiences occur, because we’ve had them.
For me, and maybe for you, it’s time to just let that be normal.