During my life I have had many experiences that could be considered mystical 1. Perhaps the experience that is the most interesting is my experience as an incubus. Unfortunately, I kept no record of the account, which occurred about a year an a half ago (although it now seems like a lifetime ago) and so I must rely on my fallible memory.
It seems necessary to indicate something of my background prior to the incident. In terms of sex, I was almost completely inexperienced. My experience consisted of one ex-girlfriend who I used to play tonsil hockey with and on one occasion sucked on her breast, a few dates here and there (that went no where), and fooling around with one girl (and considering the identity of the girl, I am not sure whether I should be more ashamed that I fooled around with her or that I did not have sexual intercourse with her). The experience did not get me off. While I will admit to a few attempts to masturbation, I was never able to get into it and never came. I was still a virgin, both physically and emotionally.
At the time, I knew nothing about mysticism (although I had several other experiences which could be regarded as mystical2 but of a very different nature than this experience). I had one book on the subject of meditation, Crowley's Book 4: Part I, and I don't recall whether I had read it yet. When I first read it, I hardly appreciated it yet intellectually and intuitively, every word made perfect sense and it seemed very familiar as if I had read it before, but after I finished reading it, I hardly remembered the contents. Aside from this book, there was only one other statement I had read which dealt with mysticism: Halevi's An introduction to the Cabala had stated sexual climax was "the nearest thing to mystical experience for most men." It made little sense at the time.
As for my knowledge of "incubi": also limited; actually, at the time, I would have referred to them as a "male succubi" -- "incubus" had no meaning at the time. My knowledge of "succubus" was not much more extensive. I had read a book, LaVey's The Satanic Witch, which had a small section on how to become one (which had nothing to do with how I did it), but stated nothing of the experience or why you would want it.
Now, the actual experience. It was in either late September or early October of 1991. I was running out of certain supplies, and while I first planned to do something about this weeks before, opportunity never arouse. On whatever day this was, I woke up with a feeling that I would meet someone special this day. Later, I learned my roommate was headed to the mall (to look for a job) and convinced him to give me a lift. It had been months since the last time I had a date and I made a magickal3 pact with myself that I would meet a girl while I was at the mall (not even thinking about the intuitive feeling I had earlier). My roommate drove to the mall and we went our separate ways. My first (and only planned stop) was at a CVS pharmacy, where I bought the needed goods, save one item they were not aware they carried: raw-hide boot laces (for my bracer). They directed me to the Father and Son shoe store across the hall, who, in turn, sent me back to CVS where I did find the laces. I then remembered that a pair of boots which I owned needed certain repairs. I had originally bought them from a Father and Son, so I returned there and asked about metal tips that were on some of their boots, learning they could do nothing about them. While I was there, a woman (named Belinda) walked out of the back-room and commented that my pentagram was upside-down (I wear a Sign of Baphomet which points down). She wore one that points the other way. We got to talking about magick and music and other things and then my roommate showed up wanting to leave. So we went our separate ways.
Some time later (I forget how much), my friend Mike was heading to the mall and I joined him. I returned to the Father and Son and found her there. We got to talking again and this time exchanged phone numbers, planning to get together. It may have been later that day, or a couple days later that she came over. We were planning to talk, maybe walk in the woods a bit, or whatever. Being a naive virgin at this time, my ideas of "whatever" were very limited. We hung around my room talking for awhile. Somewhere along the line we started making out. I forget who initiated it. I kept hoping she would go further, being too timid to take the next step myself. She kept waiting for me to go further, but eventually gave up and decided to leave, saying she had no choice because she had things to do. I escorted her to her car and we went our separate ways.
I could not get her off of my mind, wanting only to be with her, with a lust stronger than any I had ever experienced before or since. I don't recall what if anything occurred before I decided to retire for the night. I went to bed, still thinking strongly of her, what we were doing, and wanting to be with her. I started feeling (physically, visually, and audibly as well as emotionally), quite vividly, the experience of fooling around with her earlier, and then started feeling (what I only much later learned) like what it would have been if we went further. Eventually it reached climax (although, as I will explain shortly, this term does no justice to the experience). I am not sure how long this climax lasted. Time has had little meaning in my life and even less so in the experience; it could have been seconds, minutes, or even hours. I forget whether this climax had a physical manifestation.
In the morning I received a phone call from Belinda asking me if I had visited her last night and explaining how it kept her awake all night. Since she had to work she would appreciate it if I did not let it happen again. I spent the next several days with my head in the clouds and the next couple nights, despite trying to restrain myself, were repetitions of this night, although eventually I managed to bring myself to quit.
I stated above the term climax is inadequate for the experience. In fact, I know of no term that I could call adequate to describe my experience (although I am lead to believe that such may exist within the terminology of either Buddhism or the Cabala). If I were to say that sexual climax was a geometric mean between the most dreadful of vulgar experiences and my experience, I would be either overstating sexual climax, or understating the climax of this experience. I felt as if I was one with her, as well as with the entire universe. At the same time, I felt an extreme void, as if there was absolute nothingness, not even her or myself. There was an intense inward flow from all the senses, even those seemingly contradictory, and this was taken to an extreme beyond those which can be either imagined or comprehended, but at the same time, there was a complete lack of sensation. To make an analogy of vision, it was like seeing a light so bright that the result was complete blindness. On second thought, this is not completely accurate, because there was also a feeling that there was absolutely nothing to see, not even light. It was a feeling of having all the answers, but there being no questions. It was a feeling of endless paradox, but lacking in all contradictions. Let me amend a previous statement of mine; a term I can call adequate is "Infinity equals Zero." This is exactly what it was: I was able to perceive no difference between these two concepts (although this was no exactly true, because I was not able to perceive a difference between "perceiving" and "not perceiving" and everything I did not perceive was simultaneously perceived; to make an analogy, I currently have my tape player going, aside from various other background noises. Despite hearing it, being entirely aware that I hear it, and knowing that I hear it, this hearing resides in some distant part of my consciousness which is somehow entirely separate from the part of my consciousness focused on this paper, although it is exactly the same consciousness. [This seems very difficult to explain adequately, despite a personal understanding of exactly what I mean -- the structure of English is very inadequate]). The whole of infinity amounted to nothing (not just approximately, but exactly), while nothing was everything. A simultaneous experience of both everything (meaning a vivid perception of the entire universe, from the smallest of infinitesimal fractions of sub-atomic particles to the largest of infinities) and absolute nothing.
Because of the phone call I received the following morning, I am very certain that this experience could not have been imagined. My lack of experience of sex, mysticism, and incubi prior to this incident (all described above) also makes me feel it is impossible I could have imagined it, despite any argument Katz might be compelled to make. On top of this, IT FELT REAL. In fact, the feeling was so real that it became completely unreal. In order to function in the world, I needed to repress this feeling. I can usually, both easily and successfully, bring back this feeling at a moments notice [although I am completely without a clue as to describe how someone else could]. I am not sure it is completely appropriate to credit this ability to the intensity of the experience. I can vividly recall much of my past, so long as I have no need to do so. When there is a need, my ability to remember tends to collapse. While the experience was very enjoyable, I hardly ever bring it to surface, as I find little use in rejoicing over past victories (or wailing over past defeats). I believe that life should be a continuous experience of new sensations, which may explain why I feel so ancient for someone my age.
Unfortunately, I have little sense of time, so it is hard to say what may have came before or after this event. The experience may have increased my confidence with girls, but if it did, I would credit this to the physical portions, prior to the actual experience as an incubus (such as meeting her, getting together with her, and fooling around with her); perhaps my ability to visit her as I did may have added to this effect, but this is very speculative.
I believe the experience may have given me a more positive view of the world, but I'm not sure. I know that prior to this experience, my view was very negative (but I'm not sure how prior). My negative view never really went away, but sometime after this event, a positive view came to co-exist (I'm not sure how much after). I am also not sure whether this experience occurred before or after (I believe after) I wrote (or perhaps received) "Forbidden Explanations"4 which, in itself was a mystical experience that occurred around the same time and may be related to this experience (although it is not clear to me either if or how).
It is also unfortunate that my lack of experience in sex, mysticism, and incubi (described above) may have crippled me from completely appreciating my experience at the time when I originally had it (although the lack of experience contribute to proof that I did have it and if I had prior sexual experience, then this entire experience may never have happened). In theory, it may be possible for me to relive it, but if it was the result of Magick5, I would first need the Will, which I no longer have and if it was the result of fate, then I must wait for fate to bestow the experience upon me again. While I can relive the experience in my memory with a very vivid full sensory impression (and the lack thereof), the experience is corrupted by both my memory's own failures and my own will to recall it.
This experience fits into both topologies given by Stace in his Mysticism and Philosophy. 1) There was a unifying vision perceived through the senses, and at the climax there was a unitary consciousness in which there was no empirical content (paradoxically, there also seemed to be infinite content). 2) There was a "more concrete apprehension of the One as being an inner subjectivity in all things" (especially at climax) and the experience had no concept of either space or time. 3) The experience felt real. 4) The experience was beyond ecstatic. 5) While my own beliefs would prevent me from calling the experience holy, sacred, or divine, I could easily comprehend someone else calling it such (if they were to experience it). 6) There was much that seemed to be either paradoxical or ineffable.
Like Julian, it could be said that I willed this experience (at least partially) upon myself, although I did not will its specific contents, only first, meeting someone special (which may already have been destined, see above), and then later the unity with Belinda. Also, like Julian, in a certain sense, my experience was kataphatic, being that there was a very real sense of Belinda (and during climax, the rest of the universe) being there along with my Self, although my experience was one of intense pleasure and perhaps invoked by hedonism, where Julian's was one of intense suffering and perhaps invoked by masochism.
Upon reaching the climax, however, the experience became apophatic, with nothing being there (although there was a simultaneous feeling of everything as well), not even Belinda or my Self, and in this way it was more like Eckhart, where there was a feeling of detachment. Unlike Eckhart who preached complete and utter detachment from all things, however, this experience seems to have come from having an attachment of such strength that my Self became annihilated within the attachment (i.e. it was no longer my Self that was important, rather it was being with Belinda).
Like Roberts, I felt a great unity with the world (this feeling growing towards climax, but beginning sometime earlier with my initially becoming one with Belinda and somehow [which I can not even begin to describe] extending to include everything else [time had no meaning, so it is hard to say whether this was gradual or instantaneous]), but I was somehow distanced (perhaps I should use Eckhart's word "detached") from this unity even as I was a part of it. While I felt it very intensely, somehow it simultaneously seemed very far away and while it felt more real than reality (if that makes any sense) there was a simultaneous numbness to feeling (as if this feeling was not there).
It was very much a first hand experience of the Zen "Duality is an illusion". So much of what I had felt (and yet did not feel) seemed to contradict itself, such as being everything, nothing, and only a fraction. There was a feeling that nothing mattered and that everything mattered, accompanied by the feelings that I both did and did not matter. There was a feeling of unity, not just between infinity and myself or nothing and myself, but also between infinity and nothing (All described above, but this [especially the last bit] really needs to be experienced to be even partially understood, especially being that while I was feeling all this very intensely, I was somehow simultaneously numb to all of this.)
I feel that further comparison of myself with the other mystics may strain either the present material or my memory (although I will admit that this judgement may come from being too personally involved).