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This would have derailed another thread, so I'm making it a place of its own.
So a person is doing some intense practice and begins having special experiences, ie, what feel to be 'breakthroughs' in awareness, greater clarity of purpose, seeing what wasn't seen before.
It can be very energizing and inspiring to get these sudden pay-offs, whether you expected them or no. All you know is that they feel 'good', your faith is deeper, your purpose clearer and so on.
It's not that the special experiences are a problem issue, it's what actions or decisions they inspire that make problems. The problem-maker is, of course, you and me, and our relative development.
I'm sure some have heard of Jim Baker, also known as Father Yod, who ran a popular restaurant LA called The Source back in the 70's. He was a typical hippie guru with a following of youngsters, and over the years as his 'special experiences' continued to work on him, he became a cult leader who identified himself as God and made all the usual mistakes a bloated human ego can make (because after all, he is God). Anyway I watched a Netflix docu about him and his following last night. It appears at the end of his life he told his following "I am not God, I am just a man, now go and live your lives". He put Charlton Heston to shame with his flowing hair and beard. Even through the medium of a documentary his charisma was easy to feel.
Now normally when a person makes a claim of attainment (in Buddhistic parlance) it seems as though the initial gut reaction around them is resistance and suspicion. Quickly the person is told to get back into their proper place. If not directly told, they have fun poked at them, not very nice fun either.
Why is that, do you think? I am not asking for the obvious answers, we all know what kind of destructive power can be unleashed by one charismatic person intent upon gathering power.
I'm asking what arises personally, if anyone is willing to share, and what it leads to.
Certainly people DO have special experiences, they are practically common, and I am differentiating between people telling lies about special experiences and people who actually have them. Eventually the distinction is clear.
What's a person to do with their special experiences? Hide them, refrain from disclosing them? Reveal them like the Buddha did?