Kerk in Den Haag, February 2014, volume 17, no. 163, by Robert Reijns
What do you mean by mystical experiences? How important have they become for you?
“A mystical experience is to me: to be touched by God’s love and ascend in it. Unity with God or with “the Love”, “the Light”, which really can’t be expressed into words. We can only refer to God. In people I also meet God. He is for me the essence of reality. In our innermost we are one with Him and never separated from him, even in our greatest sorrow or our deepest despair. You do not need to look for Him / Her / It, because you are already one with Him. All you need to do is let that realization come into you, so that it can grow in you.
Experiences of unity with God have led me to a constant sense of unity. I am very grateful.
This unity is the source of my life. Ultimately it is not about the experiences, they pass, but about the awareness of unity with God. That is lasting, that is the bearing ground of my life. “
Hand in hand
You write about “union with God’ that you experience. What has this unification for consequences to you, for example in your daily life?
“More and more I experienced that God’s love is in others and with eachother. In my work as a hospital pastor I often felt a touch of the heart with the other, the Love of God was flowing, as a person I dind’t stand in between. In prayer I felt that we stood hand in hand befor God, in His Love. “
You feel that your experiences are highlights in your life. Do you also know moments of emptiness and darkness, when you only experience the absence of God? How do they relate to each other?
“For the past few years I have, because of improper medical treatment, severe headaches during the day and night, I spend a large part of the day in bed. The situation is getting worse. Of course I’m occasionally distraught and desperate, that is human. Those feelings are allowed to be there; I look at them with love and understanding. But I never had the feeling that God was absent. In my despair there is always a deeper level, the unity with Him. I am very grateful for that.
In such a situation the Love is life, to live from my inner self, so important! I also feel so touched by all the love of the people I meet, my heart is wide open. Under such conditions, words are hardly needed. Just by watching eachother you can share so much! Meeting each other like this, is sharing God, sharing the Love.
I have always felt strongly connected with all the people who suffer. And now especially. It’s like I’m carrying their suffering with them. I pray for all of us, but also for people who cause suffering. If you’re really in touch with who you truly are, you are not capable of harming another out of self-interest or indifference or to abuse his trust. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they do.” How true that is.
Too many people live on their ego level and, therefore, have, on a substantial level, no connection with themselves, or with others or with God. So they live in separation and never come to real living. “
Can someone instigate or allow these mystical experiences? What conditions are necessary?
‘You can not generate mystical experiences by yourself. They are given to you. But you can choose to open your heart to God, the Love, the Light, for example by chanting, by meditating, by praying. “
“This is my destiny”
Why did you choose a diary form? Do you find it a problem that the reader follows your whole extensive process of searching and groping closely?
“My book is the literal precipitation of a strong mystical experience that happened to me on 1 January 2003. I sat at the kitchen table to prepare a church service on the baptism in the Jordan, and was overwhelmed by the experience of being touched by God , Love, total immersion in Him. That lasted a few hours. My self-awareness disappeared, only God was still there, the unity with Him. I sat there with my pen in my hand and wrote down everything. When I came back to myself, I was very grateful. I had the feeling: this is my destination, this is what my life is meant for. And I said to God: “My life is Yours.” I surrendered totally. That was followed by a powerful mystical process. I wrote that down as well: prayers, songs, reflection, everything as it came to me.
I directly realized: this mystical process is not mine or for me, it is intended to flow out through me, to other people, as an expression of God’s Love.
Others persuaded me to publish my diary. I did that because I hope that it brings people into contact with that layer in themselves, where they can meet God.
The book is translated into several languages. I’m a bit overwhelmed by that. But it’s not about me, it matters that people are touched by God’s love.
I have but one wish and that is that the readers of this diary may arrive at their destination, that they may live from their inner self. For me that is: live from Love, from unity with God. “