How Do You Know It’s Authentic?

Today I visited W for breakfast and we came to talk about Lord Shiva, W’s own way of spirituality (Voodoo/sort of Christianity) and how you know your experiences are authentic and not some sort of mindfuck or imagination or just wishful thinking. As a matter of fact I find that’s the most complicated part of spirituality. I always envy people who are firm in their believes, because I feel that doubts are quite damaging although probably necessary.

W told me that all thoughts would break down to just one thing: if you feel it’s authentic, then it is!

But I see a dilemma in this point of view: even people who don’t belive in any kind of God or power or whatever you call it can have spiritual experiences. And people who want to believe may experience nothing. And what if I’m uncertain about what I actually feel? What about people with mental disorders like me? Well, I don’t tend to hear voices, but it would be a veritable lie to call me sane.

Later on W suggested that it might be a real spiritual experience if it is shared by other people. But how would God be able to build up an individual relationship to each human being if they experience all the same in the end? And how does that fit to the wide variety of lore and stories concerning one God, for example Lord Shiva? Or would it be enough to come to the conclusion that no matter of my individual sort of believe and spiritual experience I am just able to decide to call the power behind it Lord Shiva, Oshun or Jahwe and that’s it?

I don’t see it’s way out of the dilemma to “just ask God about it”, as S later recommended, because how do I know the answer (if there is one at all) comes from God and is not an illusion? I think it’s a thin line between a “real” spiritual experience and a mindfuck. Perhaps there aren’t any “real” spiritual experiences at all or at least that’s what my left hemisphere murmurs LOL

John suggested it could be authentic if it works for you, if you feel like “click! that’s it!”, like listening to the right kind of music or meeting people you really like.

All in all, I appreciate every single of their thoughts but I still couldn’t find an explanation that feels right for me. Once again I am too over-analyzing, too technical I guess. But there might be hope. I read about mathematicians who came to God because they felt or experienced Him working on the Mandelbrot set. Might be abstract enough for me LOL


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