In 1973 I had to cope with the most stressful experience in my life. As I could not resolve the problem confronting me the ongoing stress resulted in acute depression. For some weeks all I could do was pray to God in the hope this would relieve my stress and depression but I had no idea in what form this reprieve would arrive.
To my surprise one night I awoke in the early hours of the morning and had what I call a "psychological spiritual experience". It commenced as a cool sensation on the centre of my forehead and self examination confirmed the skin was much cooler that the rest of my forehead. After that a feeling of "warms pins and needles" commenced on the top of my head and passed down my neck, chest, abdomen and legs to my feet. Following this I had an emotional reaction involving feelings of joy, ecstasy and finally bliss where those previous feelings of stress and depression disappeared. I fell into a deep and restful sleep.
When I woke up next morning I suddenly became aware of a "higher conscience", totally foreign to my normal conscious mind, directing I become a teacher of the correct moral and ethical code to follow in life. This was a disturbing experience for me because I had never experienced such a psychological phenomenon in my life before and for a while I thought I might be going insane. Being a medical practitioner I decided to research the literature and scriptures so I might comprehend the significance of such a psychological experience that changes our outlook on life and our attitude towards others and the natural environment.
After some years of research I realized this experience is called a Kundalini Awakening, Transcendence, Enlightenment or an encounter with the Holy Spirit. I believe such an experience is was what motivated the Prophets of antiquity.
The interpretation of this experience differs due to cultural influences and variation in language and terminology between Eastern, Middle Eastern and Western cultures.
Recent research in neuroscience is revealing what may be the initiating factors of such a spiritual experience and what neurological circuits are involved in transcendence. It is an inner serendipitous psychological experience not one initiated by an external environmental agent.