The Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) defines that which is experienced through the medium of the five senses, mind and intellect as an experience while experiencing something which is beyond the comprehension of the five senses, mind and intellect constitutes a spiritual experience.
Even if one can perceive an event through the five senses, mind and intellect but the reason behind it is beyond the gross intellect of mankind, it still constitutes a spiritual experience.1. Spiritual experiences related to the five Absolute cosmic elements
Progress in our spiritual practice activates our sixth sense and we begin to get experience of the Absolute cosmic elements progressively, beginning from the most gross to the most subtle, i.e. Absolute Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether elements through our subtle sense of smell, taste, vision, touch and sound respectively.2. Spiritual experience and spiritual level
When one undertakes an appropriate spiritual practice based on the five basic principles of spiritual practice, one makes spiritual progress and gets spiritual experiences. Spiritual practice bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge obtained from books and spiritually experiencing it which enables one to develop faith in the theoretical knowledge.3.2. Awareness of spiritual progress
Spiritual experiences confirm that seekers have adopted appropriate spiritual practice. Getting progressively higher spiritual experiences confirm spiritual progress. Spiritual experiences act like milestones and encourage us on our spiritual journey. Suppose we were to discontinue our spiritual practice, we may not continue to get spiritual experiences. If we were to stagnate in the spiritual practice, we will not get higher spiritual experiences. By stagnation in spiritual practice, we mean doing the same spiritual practice year after year, without increasing it qualitatively or quantitatively. This is Gods way of telling us that we have to augment our spiritual practice further.
3.3. Reduction of ego by impressing the greatness of God
Reduction in ego is a primary requisite for spiritual growth. The narrations of the spiritual experiences of the co-seekers in variety and depth make us realise how insignificant one is, as compared to God who gives each one of us unique spiritual experiences to generate faith. As a result, ones ego about ones own abilities gets reduced when compared to God's ability.3.4. Why is it that sometimes we do not obtain spiritual experiences despite spiritual practice?
Spiritual experiences are indicators of our spiritual progress. However our spiritual progress may not begin as soon as we begin spiritual practice. The reason for this is that our spiritual practice may be utilised to reduce the intensity of our severe destiny (i.e. destiny that results in experience of unhappiness) instead of solely for spiritual progress. As a result, spiritual progress does not occur initially and hence we do not get spiritual experiences. However persistent spiritual practice enables us to overcome this initial phase.
To develop faith in God or when our faith begins to waver, to fortify it God bestows spiritual experiences. If our faith is strong then we may not require spiritual experiences.