Collections of Mystical Experiences
Through to Space
(NY: Julian Press, 1983)
The work of Franklin Merrell-Wolff was brought to light
in the early 1970s by the LSD researcher, Dr. John C.
Lilly. Dr. Lilly was struck by the detailed descriptions
of Merrell-Wolff's mystical experiences. Trained in
mathematics, physics, and philosophy, Merrell-Wolff
brought an academic's eye and mind to these encounters.
His experiences seemed
to fall into a Eastern (Hindu) framework of the the
tension between the ego and the non-ego.
"I had been sitting
in a porch swing, reading as previously stated. Ahead
of the sequence in the book, I turned to the section
devoted to "Liberation," as I seemed to feel
an especial hunger for this. I covered the material
quickly and it all seemed very clear and satisfactory.
Then, as I sat afterward dwelling in thought upon the
subject just read, suddenly it dawned upon me that a
common mistake made in higher mediation---i.e., meditation
for Liberation---is the seeking for a subtle object
of Recognition, in other words, something that could
be experienced. Of course, I had long known the falseness
of this position theoretically, yet had failed to recognize
At once, I dropped expectation
of having anything happen. Then, with eyes open and
no sense stopped in functioning---hence no trance---I
abstracted the subjective moment---the "I AM"
or "Atman" element---from the totality of
the objective consciousness manifold. Upon this I focused.
Naturally, I found what, from the relative point of
view, is Darkness and Emptiness. But I Realized It as
Absolute Light and Fullness and that I was That. Of
course, I cannot tell what IT was in Its own nature.
The relative forms of consciousness inevitably distort
Presently I felt the Ambrosia-quality
in the breath with the purifying benediction that it
casts over the whole personality, even including the
physical body. I found myself above the universe, not
in the sense of leaving the physical body and being
taken out in space, but in the sense of being above
space, time, and causality. My karma seemed to drop
away from me as an individual responsibility. I felt
intangibly, yet wonderfully, free. I sustained the universe
and was not bound by it. Desires and ambitions grew
perceptibly more and more shadowy. All worldly honors
were without power to exalt me. Physical life seemed
Repeatedly, through the
days that followed, I was in a state of deep brooding,
thinking thoughts that were so abstract that there were
no concepts to represent them. I seemed to comprehend
a veritable library of Knowledge, all less concrete
than the most abstract mathematics. The personality
rested in a gentle glow of happiness, but while it was
very gentle, yet it was so potent as to dull the keenest
sensuous delight. Likewise the sense of world-pain was
absorbed. I looked, as it were, over the world, asking:
"what is there of interest here? What is there
Since that day I have been
repeatedly in the Current of Ambrosia. Often I turn
to It with the ease of a subtle movement of thought.
Sometimes It breaks out spontaneously." (pp. 4-5)
"After retiring last
night I lay awake for some time. My mind, instead of
being calm, as has been its dominant quality during
the last month, was rather agitated...I first became
aware of being enveloped in an extraordinary State of
Consciousness when I found myself seemingly surrounded
by, and interpenetrated through and through with, a
quality for which there is no adequate word but which
is most nearly represented by calling it "Satisfaction."
I do not simply mean that the State was satisfactory.
It was Satisfaction...He who is enveloped in this Satisfaction
is in need of nothing whatsoever to satisfy him. The
Satisfaction I realized is a real and substantial Existence
prior to all experiencing.
Throughout this whole experience
and the following more profound state, the egoistic
or subject-object consciousness was actively present.
It was present, however, as a witness on the sidelines,
while all about and through and through there was an
immeasurably vaster Consciousness.
How long the state of complete
Satisfaction continued I do not know, save that it was
for a protracted interval as measured in terms of objective
consciousness. But as time went on there was a gradual
dimming, or fusing, or being enveloped, on the part
of the Satisfaction, by another and considerably more
profound state. The only expression that reasonably
well represents this higher State is the term "High
Indifference." Along with this was a sense of simply
tremendous Authority. It was an Authority of such stupendous
Majesty as to reduce the power all Caesars relatively
to the level of insects.
In this State I was not
enveloped with satisfaction, but there was no feeling,
in connection with that fact, of something having been
lost. Literally, I now had no need of Satisfaction."
(pp. 115 - 119).
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