Promoting direct spiritual experience vs. tons of dogma and beliefs is a primary characteristic of the new Religion 2.0 that is found on this website. This page will take you into a deeper understanding of just what direct spiritual experience is.
What People Really Want from their Religion, Direct Spiritual Experience Defined
What Does Direct Spiritual Experience Produce
Ecstatic Experiences and Direct Spiritual Experience
- How to Achieve Transformative Direct Personal Spiritual Experiences
(Special Note: If you have not read the definition of Ultimate Reality, and spiritual please do so now as it is critical to understanding and achieving direct spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality.) Seeing direct experience of Ultimate Reality is also what we consider to be the highest spiritual level of Religion 2.0 (AKA Evolution Spirituality,) as it can the most challenging level to attain. At our Universe College in the Department of Spiritual Studies there are advance spirituality courses and reading that will help you do this by learning about the direct spiritual experiences of the founders and saints of the world's great religions.
The core essence of religion is spirituality and the core essence and great adventure of spirituality is direct personal spiritual experience of the Ultimate Reality. It is estimated that currently only about 1 in 10 people who call themselves religious or spiritual actually ever attain direct spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality. Therefore, clearly understanding what direct personal spiritual experience is and is not and how to achieve it is crucial to one’s spiritual life.
It should be also understood that direct spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality is not a final state achieved all at once. It is an evolving and deepening state that usually has a large effect the first time it is achieved and then over time continues to deepen, broaden and expand.
The Religion 2.0 movement deeply values the great adventure of direct spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality. It is one of the most important achievements in all of life and this movement offers detailed information and support for the many paths for achieving it.
The rather unique initial path that the Religion 2.0 movement promotes in achieving the direct spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality is by understanding progressive evolution and our current science about the universe's big history as found within the New Universe Worldview. The Universe Spirit organization (this website,) also offers detailed information and support for many other safe traditional and mystical paths for direct spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality in its Universe College courses. (More details on both will be provided later on this page.)
What People Really Want from their Religion, Direct Spiritual Experience Defined
In polls on religion and spirituality conducted by Newsweek magazine, it was found that 75 percent of all individuals considering themselves religious were earnestly looking for:
- personal ecstatic experiences of the Ultimate Reality or Great Mystery no matter what you call it),
- an experience of personal connection with Ultimate Reality,
- forging a personal relationship with Ultimate Reality,
- an experience of union with Ultimate Reality,
- actually spending time experiencing the presence of Ultimate Reality,
- an immediate transcendent experience of Ultimate Reality,
- a visceral experience of Ultimate Reality that would validate their religious ideas,
- an experience of ultimate connection with Ultimate Reality, and
- the consequent and authentic spiritual transformation and personal empowerment that such experiences are supposed to deliver.
What the individuals above were seeking is often defined as a mystical experience of Ultimate Reality. Mystical comes from mysticism, which is from the Greek μυω (mueo, "to conceal.") It is the pursuit of achieving communion with, or conscious awareness of ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or God/Buddha through direct, personal experience, intuition or insight.
Today religious individuals around the world do not want to just hear about the mystical direct spiritual experiences of Ultimate Reality that empowered the saints, mystics and prophets of ancient times. They want the very same spiritual experiences for themselves! They are willing to go directly to the very originating Ultimate Reality of all religion through many different paths because they feel this is a central and core essential of their faith and is just too important not to experience.
New sub-movements within and outside of the major religions have been addressing the spiritual desires described in 1-9 above in various ways using meditation, prayer and other processes:
- "Spiritual, but not religious" individuals who are not affiliated any formal religion are seeking it in the global and rapidly growing personal spirituality movement that emphasis direct personal experience of Ultimate Reality. These types of individuals are open to all sources and disciplines (science, philosophy, etc.,) to help them reach their goal.
- Buddhists seek it though enlightenment through meditation.
- Many Catholics have seen this revival of direct experience personal spirituality in the Cursillo movement and the Centering Prayer movement of Father Thomas Keating.
- Many Jews search for it in the revival of Kabbalism and Hasidism that emphasize devoted direct, emotional experience and worship of God in all God’s various personal and impersonal states.
- Many Muslims seek it in the Islamic mystical tradition of Sufism that seeks intimacy with the Divine through contemplation.
- Pentecostals seek it though baptism in the Holy Spirit verified by the speaking in tongues. And,
- Christian Evangelicals seek it in the "born again" or in "being saved" experiences.
The human thirst for spiritual transcendence in the form of authentically transformative direct personal spiritual experience of and with Ultimate Reality appears to be too strong to be met by any one religion. Individuals who value it or want to expand it are more than willing to seek it beyond their current faith. They search for and will use any authentic spiritual wisdom from any faith that will connect them directly to Ultimate Reality. (For additional information on mystical experiences click here.)
What Does Direct Personal Spiritual Experience of Ultimate Reality Actually Produce
The key to direct spiritual experience with Ultimate Reality is that such experiences when successful are always significantly transforming at one level or another. The results of authentic spiritual practices that facilitate direct personal spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality produce various degrees of the following transforming experiences:
- a visceral experience of Ultimate Reality,
- experiencing the presence of Ultimate Reality,
- a personal connection with Ultimate Reality,
- a personal relationship with Ultimate Reality,
- union with Ultimate Reality,
- a transcendent experience of Ultimate Reality,
- personal ecstatic and/or awe experiences of Ultimate Reality,
- knowing more about Ultimate Reality through direct experience,
- having new cycles of personal renewal and empowerment in the form of feeling energized, motivated, inspired and rekindled hope,
- finding a presence of Ultimate Reality within oneself (or, even as them,)
- ultimate connection with Ultimate Reality,
- an expanded living of the virtues in a balanced way. So that in your personal and social behavior and attitudes you are being like what Ultimate Reality is like.
Personal spiritual transformation toward living the virtues is the ultimate proof of authentic spiritual practices that support and facilitate the direct personal spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality. Numbers 1-11 above are subjective experiences, but living the virtues in a balanced way (in 12 above) is not just subjective. Living the virtues in a balanced way can be seen and experienced objectively. And, it is currently the best spiritual community validity test that one is being truly transformed and spiritually growing because of the effectiveness of their spiritual practices.
Why it is the Search and Exploration of Ultimate Reality So Worthwhile to You Personally?
When you are evolving toward and with Ultimate Reality through direct spiritual experience, you are on one of the greatest and most rewarding adventures in the evolving physical universe. It is one of, if not the most primal, purposeful and only adventure in all of existence that will:
- create every single thing that is worthwhile to be or become,
- help you to do every single thing worthwhile that could be done and,
- eventually create every single thing that is worth having --- both now and throughout eternity!
From direct spiritual experiences with Ultimate Reality you can also expect to experience a new and expanded sense of:
- purpose and meaning,
- autonomy, freedom and dignity,
- awareness, compassion, empathy and peace,
- emotional and mental balance
- physical well being,
- feeling younger in heart and energy as you paradoxically get older (a major life re-vitalization),
- personal effectiveness (being able to implement wise and balanced applications of the virtues to resolve life’s problems,)
- service to life manifesting in life affirming and balanced ways,
- connection to Ultimate Reality as well as all other life and,
- interconnectedness within and identification with a dynamic and growing global community within a new type of networked global life and spirit commons.
Take a few moments to think of examples of how your life might improve if your life was experiencing the very tangible and attainable personal benefits listed just above!
How to Achieve Transformative Direct Personal Spiritual Experience of the Ultimate Reality
There are many types, levels and methods of achieving transformative direct personal spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality. These experiences are nearly infinite in variety because they are connecting the individual to and with the various aspects and states of an theoretical near infinite Ultimate Reality. There also does not seem to be one final experience or state so replete that there is no need to seek further deepening and broadening of one's direct spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality.
In the Religion 2.0 Movement we strongly recommend that you initially start your adventure of direct spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality by understanding progressive evolution and our current science about the universe's genesis story and big history as found within the New Universe Worldview. (Go to our online courses on the universe's science-defined genesis story and its descriptions of progressive evolution found on this website and at our Universe College. )
There are simple reasons for why in Religion 2.0 we recommend starting your search for direct spiritual experience here in the objective science side of reality:
1.) The physical universe can be considered the fruit of life and Ultimate Reality is the seed of this fruit. Because the fruit always reflects the nature and inherent potentialities and goals ("intentions,") of the seed by learning about the fruit you also learn about the seed.
2.) This direct observation of the physical universe may also be the best way to know the nature, purposes of the Origin and Original Source of the physical universe. This is because directly observing the fruit (the universe,) of any seed tells you a lot about the nature, purposes and destiny of that seed. Right now the newest science discoveries described by the new Universe Evolutionary Worldview provide the most exponentially expanded, systematic and accurate direct observation of the universe in the entire history of humanity. Observing and studying the physical universe as a whole system using the fact probabilities of good science is the most direct, simple and complete way to discover what the seed Ultimate Reality wants in terms that can be commonly agreed upon and shared by all who can independently test these observations for their validity. These common fact truths about the physical universe fruit can then be woven into universal agreements, principles and values that will allow humanity to resolve its planetary challenges with a universal ethic.
3.) Religion 2.0 is based significantly, but not exclusively upon the direct physical observation and physical experience of the whole universe as a unified system. For possibly the first time it presents spirituality from a whole systems, integral and physical universe-framed perspective. Religion 2.0 holds that even though the physical universe may not be the ultimate end of the spiritual discovery and exploration process, it is the first, most direct and most common collective objective space wherein individuals can explore and test their personal spirituality and then agree upon what common or universal values and meanings they discover in an open and reasonable manner. Direct observation of the reoccurring patterns of the physical universe has always been the source of our oldest spiritual wisdom and practical principles for living.
4.) Religion 2.0 has also come into being in significant part due to the emergence of the new Universe Evolutionary Worldview and its new science breakthroughs. Now because of new universe-scale discoveries in cosmology and in the evolutionary sciences the physical universe has once again become an upgraded and expanded source for some of the most effective and life-affirming new spiritual wisdom and practical principles for living. This new information is found within the perspectives and principles of progressive evolution of the new Universe Evolutionary Worldview.
5.) Religion 2.0 in its Evolution Spirituality Form also defines and reflects the integration and balance of science (from the direct observation of the universe) and spirituality (integrated from humanity's vast life-affirming spiritual heritage.) These two words also symbolize and embody communal objectivity in the word universe and personal subjectivity in the word spirituality.
These balanced and integrated concepts of universe science (objectivity,) and subjective spirituality and its related personal experience reflect the dance and balance of the most vital and fundamental relationship for any spirituality that will be effective, healthy, evolutionary and integral.
What this means is that personal spirituality as practiced in the Religion 2.0 movement is continuously grown within the individual's personal subjective reality and then is balanced and grounded by good science about the objective physical nature of the universe. The essential subjective side of Religion 2.0 consists of the knowledge, wisdom, myths, metaphors, probabilities and beliefs that the individual discovers for themselves and then holds discards or re-integrates at new levels as they mature in their spiritual development and practice.
The objective side of Religion 2.0 consists of the knowledge, wisdom, probabilities and facts that the individual discovers for themselves from the sciences and then holds, discards or re-integrates at new levels of growth as they expand their studies and/or as science discovers new or re-defining facts. In this balance and dance between discovery experiences in subjective personal reality and objective science-reality experiences tested by a community of the adequate a balance and integration is found, which also makes Religion 2.0 so vital to the future of religion and spirituality.
It is in the combination, integration and balancing of the subjective, objective and even the inter-subjective discoveries of life as we grow where we continually expand our vision of our own individual essence and the essence of all things, (Ultimate Reality) in new and expanding ways which add to the richness, meaning and effectiveness of our lives. The Religion 2.0 movement embraces this evolutionary, integral and balanced necessary spiritual process of objective and subjective integration and balance and educates on how to maximize its safe results in many unique ways simply not found in any other spiritual or religious movement in the world today.
In fact: We hold that without both sides of objective science and subject personal spirituality present, integrated and in balance it would simply be impossible to have a healthy and effective spirituality or religion.
Starting the Non-Science Pathway to Direct Spiritual Experience of Ultimate Reality
Once you have progressed along the recommended initial above path the Religion 2.0 movement also then recommends and offers detailed information and support for many other safe traditional and mystical paths for direct spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality in its Universe College spirituality courses. In these traditional and mystical paths for direct spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality you will be able to discover information and processes used by the founders and greatest mystics of the religions of our combined spiritual heritage.
Additionally, on the Universe College spiritual courses the many types, levels and methods of achieving transformative direct personal spiritual experience that come from the spiritual wisdom of humankind’s combined spiritual heritage and can be presented and tailored in such a way that individuals of any
- personality type,
- learning style,
- psychological or cognitive development level, or
- any meme level, wave and stage of consciousness development
... can easily and safely access as well as successfully have expanding direct spiritual experiences of Ultimate Reality and grow towards spiritual completeness. This information and access then allows you to personalize your spiritual process and path and pick from the collections of spiritual methods and information that best suits your unique situation and qualities.
If you are interested in:
1.) experiencing similar spiritual direct spiritual experiences to what the saints, prophets, mystics and some scientists experienced and,
2.) experiencing any or all of the following:
a visceral experience of Ultimate Reality,
experiencing the presence of Ultimate Reality,
a personal connection with Ultimate Reality,
a personal relationship Ultimate Reality,
union with Ultimate Reality,
a transcendent experience of Ultimate Reality,
personal ecstatic experiences of Ultimate Reality,
knowing more about Ultimate Reality qualities, states, nature and purposes through direct spiritual experience,
having new cycles of personal renewal and empowerment from these experiences in the form of feeling energized, motivated, inspired and rekindled hope,
finding a presence of Ultimate Reality within oneself (or, even as them,)
ultimate connection with Ultimate Reality, and
the wisdom and empowerment for an expanded living of the virtues in a balanced way. (So that in your personal and social behavior and attitudes you are being like what Ultimate Reality is like.)
3.) and, you are interested in using safe and balanced tools and wisdom from humankind’s combined spiritual heritage then click here to begin to expand your transformative direct personal spiritual experiences now.
Ecstatic Experiences, Direct Spiritual Experience and the Dark Side of Spirituality
Direct Spiritual Experience is a more subtle and different form of what is known as religious ecstasy, but it is not the form of religious ecstasy that is a trance-like state frequently accompanied by visions, hallucinations, and physical euphoria. This form of trance related religious ecstasy usually lasts about a half-hour. However, there are many records of such experiences lasting several days, and some people claim to have experienced ecstasy over a period of over three decades, or to have recurring experiences of ecstasy during their lifetime.
There is a profound difference between subtle spiritual ecstasy created by safe and balanced direct spiritual experience and induced psychological and physiological ecstasy. Psychological and physiological ecstasy can easily be and created within a target audience by the conscious manipulation of psychological and sociological influence and coercion techniques to induce trance or emotional or psychological flooding. All of which is designed to overwhelm and unfairly manipulate the individual not free them.
The most effective forms of transformative direct spiritual experience are not excessive, ever violate free will or, induce trance or emotional or psychological flooding. They never overwhelm the individual’s free will in spiritual choices of force experiences upon the individual that would harm them.
What has been called religious ecstasy (and often has been cleverly substituted for the more subtle transformative direct personal spiritual experience) is actually various forms and degrees of mind control being exercised by individuals or organizations more interested in controlling a target audience for their own financial, recruiting or labor advantages. Therefore, it is of high importance for anyone seeking authentic transformative direct personal spiritual experience to know when the worst forms of religious ecstasy or emotional flooding or other psychological and sociological covert influence manipulations are taking place and being called authentic spiritual practice.
Reviewing the following information will help:
How to know you are becoming attuned to an internal authentic guiding "voice" or the guidance of Ultimate Reality, from your spiritual experiences
Warning Signs for Unhealthy or Dangerous Spiritual Practices
Go to Universe College in the Department of Evolution Spirituality and start the advance spirituality courses and reading if you are ready for this level of Religion 2.0 . These courses will help you do this by learning about the direct spiritual experiences of the founders and saints of the world's great religions.
(For more about ecstatic religious experiences click here.) -
Reading to Help Stimulate Direct Spiritual Experiences of Ultimate Reality:
A.) To better understand the essence and processes of direct spiritual experience in western spirituality be sure to read:
- Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality Presented in Four Paths, Twenty-Six Themes, and Two Questions by Matthew Fox
- The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, Centenary Edition by William James
- The Urantia Book: Indexed Version by Uversa Press
- The Essential Zohar: The Source of Kabbalistic Wisdom by Rav P.S. Berg
Please note that Religion 2.0 contains an emerging set of new ideas about spirituality found in evolution.
B.) To better understand the essence and processes of direct spiritual experience in eastern spirituality be sure to read:
- Life Divine - U.S. Edition by Sri Aurobindo
- God Speaks by Meher Baba.
C.) To better understand the safeguards needed for safe and healthy direct spiritual experience in both forms of spirituality absolutely read:
Spiritual Safeguards essential reading on where problems can arise for anyone involved in spiritual growth or any spiritual organization. Also see the Ethical code for Religion 2.0 regarding our Life and Spirit facilitators and their ministry.