True Experience of God
…mysticism in both the East and West understands revelation to mean experience. The Divine reveals itself to humans directly and much more intensely in the happening of the moment. Then, in that moment, human beings find the real presence of God. Only then can we live the experience of God. By way of reason, mystics can only know about God. Of this God, Eckhart says, “Once the thought is gone, God is gone too.”
I have often used the example of the branch and the tree. When the branch experiences itself as a branch, perceives other branches around it, and hears about the trunk and the roots, it experiences itself, so to speak, in ego-consciousness. But when it experiences from within, then it experiences itself as a tree. Then it learns what it really is.
The same thing happens with human beings. So long as we know God only by way of reason our knowledge is paltry stuff. But if we experience from within, if we become aware who we really are – that is holistic experience.
– Willigis Jager in Search for the Meaning of Life: Essays and Reflections on the Mystical Experience