Something else that I have thought to point out or suggest. Consider the possibility that mysticism is a matter of having some skill in encompassing some subject as a gestalt. Just for reference, from the Merriam-Webster on line dictionary:
Definition of GESTALT
: a structure, configuration, or pattern of physical, biological, or psychological phenomena so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by summation of its parts
Now link/compare this to the following things. Robert Monroe talking about a 'Rote' as a block of information that would be passed to you within some NPMR context and which you wold have to unwrap and decipher in depth. Then there are Tom's comments as to the nature of communication within NPMR as being a complete block of information in a sort of multi-media format which would again have to be opened and deciphered in depth. I would tend to see mysticism as possibly a matter of establishing contact with NPMR and receiving this kind of communication in an NPMR format which is very difficult to receive and fully comprehend. I once created a forum to discuss these concepts and this kind of communication, but no one ever picked up on the concepts and discussed or explored them.
I am far from having experience enough as to express a, say, authoritative opinion. But in the few instances I have been able to obtain a clear (to me) OOBE and NPMR-contact, the information I did receive was ‘sent’ in various formats. In one instance, for example, such format was mainly visual: some different beings, apparently humans, were there. One of them, a rather mature Japanese woman (never in my life I have known any Japanese woman, neither young nor mature) offered to me a new pair of slippers, as I was barefooted (something of which I was fully aware but that bothered me in at all, not even after traveling, running, several kilometers of track). Such woman, before giving the gift, did pass a brush over the slippers, although it was quite evident that the pair was absolutely new. Then I continued my walk across a forest, on the top of which I encountered three tibetan lamas (never in my life I have known personally any tibetan folk), typically red/yellow-dressed, one of them unshaven, with a beard of some three or four days, and placed a little apart of the other two, clearly older than him. Obviously they were trying to make contact with me, who was placed in front of them, at one meter or so. The unshaven one looked at me with some special fixity. I tried also to make contact, but neither them nor I did succeed. Being so, I found the situation was becoming somewhat ridiculous, besides totally ununseful, so that I continued my walk, running anew some kilometers in pursuit of my Land Rover, of which I had forgotten the parking-place. The track finished and I found myself entering into a sort of big store which had one of its facades fully transparent, glass-made. At that point, I became suddenly aware that, in spite of having ran through so many kilometers, I was absolutely relaxed, so that, at once, a thought came into my mind: “Possibly this is a dream”. In order to verify such a possibility, I jumped in front to check whether it was possible for me to fly. And, voilà, I was flying! Next, all happened very quickly. I remembered a previous conversation with Kathryn, some days before (normally awaken in PMR), in which, talking about a previous OOBE in which I was able to touch a solid with my hand (investigating whether my hand would pass across the solid or would be stopped by it), we decided that, if some other OOBE should arrive, I should try to pass across the solid. All this thought did occur in a fraction of a second, and thus the awaited occasion was here. Being so, I directed my fly towards the glass-façade. But when arriving, some fear involved me: “Perhaps I will crash my head on the glass”. I stopped the fly, hovering like a hummingbird, and considered the situation. But, the more I considered, the more the fear was coming, and at a certain moment I realised quite clearly that my fear was effecting a withdrawal from the dream state so that the awakening was imminent if things continued that way. I made some mental effort to regain the necessary equilibrium of mental quiescence, but not very strongly, inasmuch as I was aware that some strong feeling might well ruin the state and, with it, the whole episode. In this interim, pushing my being forward while the fear was pulling it backward, I entered into a sort of “status quo” state, yet tending somewhat backward. At this point, suddenly I heard (without my ears, that is, “telepathically”) some voices, and see (without my eyes), at some short distance “in the air”, three beings, enveloped within a sort of cloud or nebula. They was talking among themselves, very accelerated, the discussion concerning some grave affair. I understood nothing of their words; in fact, I may not assure that they used words. Yet I was sure of their accelerated conversation and also quite sure (I do not know why) that the centre of their concern was no other than I. Finally, they acted in a very intelligent way. It was evident that they knew fully my mental situation, insofar as they came beside me, took my body and decidedly turned it so that my feet were placed in front of the glass wall. Then, they threw the whole against the wall, with a non-violent but firmly impulsion. My body ran through, without any material resistance, until the waistline, a moment in which the fear appeared anew. “If I awakened just now, would I find myself cut into two parts?” At that moment, I awakened, finding my body complete, and did decide to dedicate some time to the fear-issue.
In time, reflecting upon the episode, I became aware that practically all events happened in the dream (the aforesaid ones plus some others at its beginning), previous to the vision of the glass-wall, were pointing to one and the same thing, namely to made me aware that I was dreaming. The way: showing to me all sort of situations which, if properly analysed in due time within the dream, would have made me aware of that fact. The Japanese woman offered me a pair of slippers, not without taking care of gently brushing them before. Had I focused my attention on the slippers and realised at that moment how was possible I walked so great distances without shoes, and without being tired, I would be aware of the state before arriving to the store. All other things occurred at the beginning follow the same pattern: I did actions which never in my life I would done if awaken (not to pay attention to the parking-place, in an area wherein the security was rather doubtful, not to close the window of the Land Rover even being aware that there were papers and money inside it, a first running along a fence of some kilometers without feeling tired).
Thus, returning to the point (provided you have not fallen into sleep before), it is easy to see that all communications in the aforesaid case were done INDIRECTLY, either via images or symbols, so that it was my task to decipher them, or via ‘sounds-words’ whose definite form I was unable to grasp, but whose MEANING was crystal clear to me. (Apart this, perhaps also communication in the form of ‘physical’ contact, albeit I cannot assure to what extent the three beings who turned my body touched it in doing such action.) So all communications were done indirectly, as though they were CLUES.
In other two instances, however, I did receive DIRECT ‘verbal’ information. In one case, it was sent, or somewhat arrived, an English word I was totally unknown of (I am sure I had never heard it), together with its Spanish translation and quite definite instructions: “go out of the bed, take a dictionary, and verify the accuracy of the information”.
In another one, it did arrive, in Spanish language, what I interpreted as a definition of an IUOC. The point here was that the ‘message’ did include a substantive, namely “adormento”, which does not appertain to the Spanish vocabulary, not even the oldest one, and which never I had heard of. It exists in Spanish, as I saw later, the very rare verb “adormentar” [send to sleep/anesthetise], so that the first person of the indicative is “Yo adormento”, but there is not “adormento” as a substantive. Yet a skilled poet, and only a poet, might well ‘invent’ such a substantive, which may do a good job indeed if placed into some appropriate structure. In the case in question, the message, namely (translated) “You are an “adormento” of consciousness, sitting, sitting, sitting…” placed the invented substantive in such a way that the result, in Spanish language, is worthy of admiration.
Thus in these two cases the information arrived telepathically, clear and DIRECTLY, though in the latter, besides this, it included some features which, once analysed, led me to the conclusion that neither myself could be the author, nor it was a matter of, say, ‘a thought flowing in the air and luckily caught by me’, so it should be an instance wherein some intentional communication was possible alone.
In this light, with this experience, and with regard to the question of ‘blocks of information’ which one has to decipher, I cannot but think that the messages are sent in any case in such a format that the receiver is able to understand it. Of why the format is not always ‘clear and direct’, I know nothing, but suspect that one is subjected by higher beings to a sort of examination in order to know our real aptitude, after which either they await for some increase of it, and no further messages shall be sent, hoping we make our due task, or continue the communication trying to find the best appropriate ways, something which might require some time in order to make the necessary adjustments. Even so, and if some religious teachings say right, there is plenty of clues surrounding us at any time, so that it appears that when such clues are not seen, the fault is not in the clues but in the blindfold which prevents their view.
Concerning your consideration that mysticism is possibly a matter of establishing contact with NPMR so that one is able to receive communication in NPMR-format, I would delete the term ‘possibly’ and then agree fully. In fact, I may see no other functioning here. Insofar as Tom, as a well-rooted science-type, uses the term ‘mystical’ in a definite sense, explained in the First Book, Chapter 18, his teachings do not enter into the mystical issue in the sense we are talking here. Yet he did meditation successfully, and did work with it, so that he is a mystic in the proper sense of the word. Concerning the gestalt-issue, I would say that it follows from the aforesaid consideration, enlarging it, as it were, since it represents, as I see things, a higher integration at the being level. The sole fact of ‘establishing contact’ may well be quite exciting, but stopping at that point would be like see a beautiful and interesting lady, interchange some few words with her, and next keep this memory in the bedside table’s drawer.
I shall stop here, fearing that otherwise I surpass the authorised 60000 characters :-)