The parallel between scientific experiments and mystical (read spiritual) experiences may seem surprising in view of the very different nature of these acts of observation. Physics perform experiments involving an elaborate teamwork and a highly sophisticated technology, whereas mystics obtain their knowledge purely through introspection, without any machinery, in the privacy of meditation. Scientific experiments, furthermore, seem repeatable any time and by anybody, whereas mystical experiences seem to be reserved for a few individuals at special occasions. A closer examination shows, however that the differences between the two kinds of observation lie only in their approach and not in their reliability or complexity.
Anybody who wants to repeat an experiment in modern subatomic physics has to undergo many years of training. Only then will he or she be able to ask nature a specific question through the experiment and to understand the answer. Similarly, a deep mystical experience requires, generally, many years of training under an experienced master and, as in the scientific training, the dedicated time does not alone guarantee success. If the student is successful, however, he or she will be able to 'repeat the experiment'. The repeatability of the experience is, in fact, essential to every mystical training and is the very aim of the mystic's spiritual instruction.
A mystical experience, therefore, is not any more unique than a modern experiment in physics. On the other hand, it is not less sophisticated either, although its sophistication is of a very different kind. The complexity and efficiency of the physicist's technical apparatus is matched, if not surpassed, by that of the mystics consciousness - both physics and spiritual - in deep meditation. The scientists and the mystics then, have developed highly sophisticated methods of observing nature which are inaccessible to the layperson. A [Page from a journal of modern experimental physics will be as mysterious to the uninitiated as the Tibetan mandala. Both are records of enquires into the nature of the universe.
Fritjof Capra (The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism)