Posts Tagged ‘Hidden Experience’

Book Review ~ Hidden Experience, by Mike Clelland

“Hidden Experience: collected writings from ten years of blogging 2009-2019,” by Mike Clelland, shares “the strange challenges of otherworldly contact, where confronting the darkest unknowns can ultimately lead to transformation.” The supposed theme of this book is a question about UFO abduction, but really, the question could be any huge, foundation-shattering and life-altering realization triggered by dreams, confusing events, and truly uncanny coincidences.

As the posts and years go by, Mike wrestles with existential crises, clinical depression, and deep inner healing. We follow the development of close soul friendships, as well as the loss of friends through death. We see how Mike’s public grappling with personal trauma and the Big Questions opens doors for others to share their stories, too. And we see how some relationships break rather than expand into larger implications. These are universal human experiences on the path of self discovery — told in an intimate, vulnerable way, often in real time.

Full disclosure: I know Mike Clelland, because he spent years interviewing me for a chapter in his “Stories from the Messengers” book and more recently for “The Unseen” podcast. Although I know Mike and consider his work a sacred path, I do not follow his blog. I check in once in awhile, but for me much of this material was new. It doesn’t read in chronological blog order. Rather, he thematically collates the posts and includes comments and updates from across the years. He also shares his own 2019 take on earlier experiences, revealing how the meanings of synchronicities, relationships and mysterious events can unfold and change across time.

The time looping and spiral journey nature of this book also models a process for embracing the “little things” that connect us to the Great Mystery, and to each other. By sharing so many of his own specific memories, details, timestamps, and experiences, Mike taps into the universal. Though true, the book kind of reads like an epistolary novel. My favorite parts are the hypnosis transcripts, his eulogies, and especially the passages about his friendship with the late Mac Tonnies. A tension between mind and heart runs throughout, yet despite the struggle, his heart keeps shining.

The Introduction begins with Joseph Campbell’s quote: “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” In the Conclusion, Mike says, “Recently, someone asked me how my life has changed because of these experiences. I thought for a moment and said, ‘I now live in a magical universe.’ I meant that, I see reality as something much richer and more mysterious than I could have ever conceived.” The final page of the book echoes a vivid dream of Mike’s from 2012, posted on his 50th birthday. In all bold letters, it says: “Follow your heart.”

“Hidden Experience” is about the spiritual journey and continuing to find the courage to walk it — one step or quantum leap at a time. Highly recommended!