The feeling of being part of everything else in the universe is known as “unity” or “cosmic” consciousness. It is common on a drug high and very appealing to those who have rejected a personal Creator. In contrast to the delusion of a mystical union with an impersonal universe, God’s love is experienced by Christians in a personal relationship with Him.
Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, commander of Apollo 14, had the mystical experience of cosmic consciousness on his return trip from the moon. So profoundly was he affected that he abandoned the outer space program to explore inner space. He describes that experience and the transformation it made in his life in his recent book, The Way of the Explorer: An Apollo Astronaut’s Journey Through the Material and Mystical Worlds:
“It wasn’t until after we had made rendezvous…and were hurtling earthward…that I had time to relax in weightlessness and contemplate that blue jewel-like home planet suspended in the velvety blackness…. [I felt] an overwhelming sense of universal connectedness…an ecstasy of unity. It occurred to me that the molecules of my body and the molecules of the spacecraft itself were manufactured long ago in the furnace of one of the ancient stars…. We needed something new in our lives, revised notions concerning reality and truth. Our beliefs were, and still are, in crisis.”
What do the material molecules of one’s body, a spacecraft, and stars have in common with one’s soul and spirit? To fail to distinguish between inanimate matter and consciousness and personality is a delusion of colossal proportions.
The irrationality of Mitchell’s experience was overlooked in his delight at having achieved the Hindu’s “savikalpa samadhi—a recognition of the unity of things while still perceiving them as separate.” Many people within the Christian church, as we shall see, are having equally powerful mystical experiences which have brought them into occult delusion and bondage.
Like Phil Jackson, Edgar Mitchell was raised in a devout Christian home. Jackson’s was Pentecostal, Mitchell’s was Southern Baptist. Neither man understood true Christianity, and thus each rejected his own misconceptions rather than the truth.