It must be so different in the mind of a normal person. I stumbled upon this piece in Aeon Magazine, where the author (Ken MacLeod) describes two strange feelings he has had a few times in his life, and wonders where they came from and why.
The first is basically just a feeling of Presence in a beautiful landscape – something he only experienced when younger and not since:
“….I became intensely aware of something that rang from the silence, sunlight, solitude, and rock. I can only describe it as a sense of some enormous presence. It was everywhere, like the shimmer of the heat in the air. Maybe I was frightened at first but that passed, and it became something that was just there, like the light.”
The second is sort of a meta-self-awareness:
“Out of nowhere, from one step to the next, I was overcome by an astonishment at being me. It was like a second iteration of self-awareness, combined with an odd detachment, as if my mind had stepped back from my personality and wondered how it could possibly be that.”
I honestly cannot imagine an internal landscape that did not feature these sorts of experiences on a regular basis. The first is obviously something I would term a recognition of the numinous, which I have all the time and is an integral part of my spirituality. The second happens to me constantly – in fact, I remember the first time I had an experience like that, and it was during nap time in school, so I must have been very young. Coupled with frequent (ever more so these days, as I explore further reaches of certain altered states) bouts of depersonalization and derealization, it is one of the things that makes living in my brain so very…interesting. And yet from my observations, most people are much more like him than like me, only having such experiences fleetingly and infrequently, if at all. Then again, I suppose that’s one of the many reasons most people aren’t spirit-workers, shamans, or mystics. The more such things occur, the less you can just go about a regular mundane life.