One night as I was falling asleep my mind suddenly stopped its ceaseless activity and became still. It was as if it had turned inward and collapsed onto itself. I felt a soft effusion of supreme comfortableness engulf my being and my mind was for a moment unbounded with no thoughts or perceptions. I was filled with a profound feeling of well being and happiness. I felt wrapped in a blanket of love and safety, or rather I was That, the wrapper and the wrapped all at once. There was no differentiation of experience. I WAS that state, nothing else. It was not me experiencing something outside of me. It was not happiness about any particular thing, but an unconditional, all pervading bliss that depends on nothing outside of itself. It was as if the river of ever-active consciousness moving in streams of thoughts and perceptions had arrived at the ocean of silent, ever full, unbounded awareness.
I had no idea what it was, no frame of reference to explain it, and it didn’t even occur to me to try to talk to someone about it. Many nights I would “try” to make it happen again, try to capture it, but trying only seemed to push it away. I was about eight or nine years old at the time.
“Love is a miraculous baptism of consciousness, a luminous aspect of awareness and unshadowed understanding.” (Wesley La Violette)
Think what it would mean if…
Think what it would mean if you could love everybody — not because all persons in the world are so attractive and lovable that they awaken your love, but because an ever-present consciousness of Love exists within yourself and, like the sun, rays out in all directions on the “just and the unjust” alike… Those who have attained Love-Consciousness carry Love and Joy around with them wherever they go, for it is withIN themselves instead of withOUT. Enter where they may, they find an atmosphere of Love, because it is they who bring that atmosphere… Love beautified everything.
The reason I had tuned in this program was that I wanted to learn to appreciate and enjoy classical music. Almost everybody I knew enjoyed, or pretended to enjoy, classical music and I felt that I was missing something because it was almost painful for me to have to sit through any musical performance of classical music.
I was listening to the music and looking through the open window at a tree in the garden, when something strange happened. I felt that I had left my body and had become one with the tree in the garden, with the pebbles on the garden paths and with everything else in the universe. I felt some mild amusement seeing my body sitting there in the living room. I had a feeling of indescribable bliss, a feeling that everything was, is, and forever will be as it should be, and could not be any other way, and that time did not pass, that the future was contained in the past and the past contained in the future, and there was only one time, time present.
I don’t know how long this state of ecstasy lasted. It might have been a few seconds or several minutes. One thing I am sure of is that it could not have lasted for more than half an hour, because the Schubert program I had listened to was still on. But the music that came over the radio waves now was no longer the classical music that I had found so boring. It was heavenly music such as I had never heard before.
At the time this experience occurred, I had been practicing Raja Yoga meditation in this tradition of Swami Rama and the HImalayan Institute sporadically, for a few years. I went to the Institute to attend retreats and courses on various aspects of that tradition.
On one retreat, I was sitting in the reading room, in the middle of the day. I got up to go over to a bookcase, and suddenly felt myself being occupied by another person. I felt someone come inside of me (through my mind), and occupy both my mind and body. My boundaries dissolved, and I expanded, and expanded. I felt myself becoming the space of the entire universe. A feeling of ecstasy overcame me, which showed on my face. Others in the room saw this look on my face, and immediately turned around, and saw Swami Rama standing just outside the doorway. They immediately began to go to him, and this experience ended. The whole thing probably did not last longer than a minute or two.
Without “warning,” I suddenly had a feeling of complete peace and of complete unity with the universe. Not living in the universe, but being an integral part of it. I thought to myself, “Something must be wrong – I don’t deserve to feel this peace!,” but in spite of my best efforts to find things to worry about, such as world hunger, threats of war, etc., the peace remained. I soon accepted it, and enjoyed this persistent overwhelming feeling of peace for perhaps 10 minutes. I could not even force myself into a state of worry or anxiety. I did not attribute this to “God” or “Christ” at the time – it was not a “religious” experience, just an experience of BEING. Finally, the normal neurotic anxieties returned over a period of a minute or two. The memory of my experience sustains me to this day, and it also tells me how limiting/limited our conceptions of the Divine and of each other are. What is TRUE is beyond our manmade concepts. We need not be afraid!
I was laying on my settee in my lounge listening to ‘The Way of the Dolphin’, a beautiful CD by Medwyn Goodall. I was just relaxing, no particular intent, nothing special about the day or time. I was imagining swimming with the dolphins in the music, when I found I WAS swimming with them! There was no sense of separation – I was actually there. Then my mind drifted to my place of work (for whatever reason!) and I was there too! AND I was still laying on my sofa. In fact, wherever my mind drifted to, there was I, all senses immersed in that time and place.
I allowed my mind to explore its new realms. This higher level of consciousness enabled me to be ANYWHERE, on this earth or beyond it . . . not in any particular physical form, but able to fully experience that place. I then realized that not only was I anywhere, but I was EVERYWHERE. Then the idea that if I was everywhere, then I was nowhere in particular!
Whether the experience lasted a few moments or 5 or 10 minutes I can’t recall now, but it changed me. Not long afterwards I took up Reiki Healing. In 1996 I gave up my job in electronics to teach Reiki. Through Reiki practice I find that I can now reach this transcendent state fairly easily. Indeed, it is a state of mind that is becoming my normal state – in Reiki we call it the Mystic Order. It does not isolate you from the world around. On the contrary, it connects our divine self fully into ‘the here and now’. I recommend it as a way of giving life meaning!
Many Reiki students of mine now report similar experiences. Such transcendent times help us find our true self. It is my experience that they are available to anybody who is ready – this web page gives a visualization that many find a useful enabler to connecting with our higher self: http://www.gn.apc.org/tigger/spiral.htm
However, for those few moments, when some set of conditions arise, I am overcome by this sense of how we are all part of the same entity, how we are all unified and in this universe together. My connections to people, to things, to stars seems very common-sensical and obvious — seems powerful and I feel it in my bones. I know it is true in a profound way. These moments give me peace and wisdom, and courage to go on and grow and help change the world to help break down some of these barriers, in some modest and appropriate way.
I would think that if everyone could have some of these moments, the world would be a much better place to live in.
“I cannot be awake, for nothing looks to me as it did before, or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.”
Turn-Around at Delphi
On the train back to Vienna, where I stopped, and then on to London through the Alps, I felt a new and vibrant sense of aliveness. My perceptions of other people changed. They seemed somehow more vital. The passing scenery also was transmuted. I could feel the aliveness of nature. I felt myself no longer separated and cut-off from the life around me but part of the whole. Strongly joyful and loving feelings of a quality unlike any I had ever experienced pervaded my being. My perception of time changed. It seemed to stretch out almost endlessly. During this experience, my atheistic views collapsed. “For the first time,” I wrote in my notebook, ” I realize that God exists. We are not alone in an unfeeling and uncaring universe. The love and life of God animate the universe and the lives of people as well.”
This experience of being filled and cleansed by love continued well into my return to college that summer and on into the fall and winter. I was no longer the same person I had been. My personality had changed. Formerly an introvert, I became more interested in others. Psychology and the study of personality replaced the physical sciences as the focus of my intellectual activity. New friends, activities and interests emerged. It was a death and rebirth experience – with radically changed values and a new approach to life. I felt connected with a universal source of love, energy and wisdom. I thought I understood those mystics who had felt close to the love and power of God.
One excerpt of the writing which flowered from inner experiences of bliss and insight was, “True knowledge is not knowledge of the world’s forms. It is rather, knowing that one is not synonymous with these forms, that these forms are but reflections within the mind and that one stands apart from them, that one is, in fact, above the form even though one realizes oneself in form.”
I wrote this around the same time, “The noblest time in a person’s life is when he knows that he is free. Then he is a son of the wind, a son of God. His power rises above the forms which for so long have kept him contained. His once split and shattered world becomes a whole one.”
Along with states of joy and bliss, strong experiences of isolation and even fear occurred. Other people seemed trapped in their worlds of preoccupations and separateness and did not seem to experience the same emotions that I felt. At times I felt genuine caring love toward others. Although I had some new friends, there was no-one with whom to share my inner experiences.
My perception of time was changing in a way both exhilarating and dangerous. The future and past did not seem real, and the sense of the present expanded. When listening to a symphony, instead of feeling that I was traveling through something with a beginning and a middle and an end, I felt that I was experiencing the entire symphony at once. I felt like standing above the symphony and looking down on it in its entirety.
I suppose our superior quality professor must have brainwashed us to such an extent that I sat there wondering how far I truly loved people around me; I wanted to do so.
“Love” as I understood it was the “agapè” of the old Greeks, the striving for the self development of others, without expecting anything in return and emphatically not the common sort of love where love is given, as long as there is love returned: “do ut des” sort of love.
In fact, it looks like we know little about love, for we do not have even different names for disparate types of love: the Eskimo knows about ice, and has a dozen names for different ice, and similarly, the Polynesian knows a dozen different names for coconut
Anyway, back to my experience: My sweetheart at the time, I forget who she was, presented no problem. My family and friends, I could love all right, but of my schoolmates, there was one who was not only ugly looking, but who sported a real mean character as well. Only after some hard thinking could I see him positively and love him at least a little
At that point, the active will to love changed into a passive global feeling which included not only everybody but everything, so that, to my amazement, I even loved the stool I was sitting on!
Everything became one, and this “one” looked like a uniform grey patch without the slightest information. Also, this “one” was pure bliss. The bliss was also felt bodily, as akin to an orgasm. This looked suspicious to an, at that time, practicing Roman Catholic like me! Yet, there was no erection involved.
I have never been happier in my life!
At that point the bell rang to summon us to Mass, and I fairly floated down the stairs. As soon as I got downstairs the exaltation was gone.
Unity, Gnosis Experience
Spontaneously I entered an altered state of consciousness. I felt a total state of bliss (it is indescribable) and love that had no inkling of judgment. I felt as if I must be in the presence of God or “The light” as I began to understand it. This love without judgment was a surprise to me as it was not in alignment with my childhood teachings of God. Being always the seeker, in my mind I began asking questions while in this state. Like how did the universe begin? I was shown that a loving thought manifested itself into a physical reality. I asked what happens when we die and felt myself being further pulled into the bliss. I stopped myself from total communion with the source because I felt to do so I would have to loose myself. I felt a bit saddened to realize that to become one with the “source of all things” meant that “I” would no longer exist. I immediately understood that there is no reason to fear death.
Without words but by “experiencing” knowledge I was shown that we are all one. And that all religions are basically saying the same thing but we fight over the details/language of our understanding.
I stayed in and out of the state for several weeks and experience heightened psychic ability, which became a bit overwhelming at times. I continued to ask questions and be taught during my waking hours and even during my sleep. Things of the nature of “all of time is now,” knowledge is endless, understanding paradox, and the experience of infinity. I say “experience,” because there are no words to describe its meaning, only thru the experience of it will one understand infinity.
Over the years my receiving of universal teachings and the blissful feelings connected to the “source” has diminished to almost none. I am not even able to recall all the teachings and look to new thought/spiritual books as a way to reconnect and remember what I know in my soul, but do not readily have access to in this reality.
After meditation that night, as I walked home, the same question came to mind.
I saw a car. I knew it was a car, but saw it composed of threads of intelligence from the car’s designer, and the men on the assembly line. I looked at the trees around me, and knew they were trees, but saw them as the expressions of the vitality of Nature. Then all objects were appreciated as rays of one underlying wholeness, rising up to become the grass, and flowers and trees. It was like many waves on a silent ocean.
Seeing is usually confined to the registration of the qualities of objects–color, movement, relative position in space. In this experience, there were many levels of seeing simultaneously. You can look at a single leaf blowing in the wind, or you can look at the whole tree and see waves moving through the foliage. This experience was like that, except I was seeing all objects as part of a “vertical” flow. The grass, the trees, the flowers were registered as sensory objects. Simultaneously, however, there was the experience that these objects were standing nodes of an underlying reality which was rising up in each blade of grass, each tree, each flower. In addition, there was the experience that I was that fullness, moving through each grain of Nature. It was as if my frame of reference expanded both outward and inward.
This was a direct experience, rather than an inference or reflection. It preceded the later cognitive evaluation of the experience.
I browsed through the book from front to back in sequence, when I came across a section on particles, and the scientist’s quest for the smallest particle was described.
This question: “What is the smallest particle?” intrigued me. I put the book down on my lap and attempted to imagine what that would be. I sensed a stirring of energy at the base of my spine. Directing my attention to that while still holding the question, the energy surged up my spine into the base of my skull. As it reached my head, I had the inspired insight that the smallest particle isn’t a particle at all! It is a concentrated bundle of energy that is massless, without matter! All sorts of insights flowed from that within a mere moment.
I realized that the solidness we attributed to the things around us and to our bodies is an illusion. We are just collections of concentrated bundles of energy, vibrating. It scared me to realize that with the appropriate “resonance-laser” we could disintegrate any object into unconcentrated energy. We are pure energy. The oak table in front of me was not as solid as it appeared to be. Feeling increasingly unsteady I knocked on the table. I almost feared my knuckles would just pass through it. But the sound of that knock brought be back.
Continuing to browse the textbook, I found a section about Einstein and his insight on photons. I almost jumped through the roof when I realized that what he called “photons” is nothing else but concentrated, massless bundles of energy, the very things I had just encountered in my experience.
My parents married immediately after the war, my father from Medford, MA near Boston, and my mother from Manhattan Beach, California, after I was born. At 18 months old, they went to visit my maternal grandmother in California. My parents were young, my mother only 19 and they left me with my grandmother to run off to the movies etc.
I walked out the front door, and immediately after the couple of steps and starting down the walkway, something happened. I saw something like a field. It unwrapped from the top of my head like a whirling vortex and it was like I was no longer confined to some boundary: immediately I had adult intelligence. I remember opening the white picket fence gate, first I walked to the right and it was an increasing incline, until I began to hear a louder and louder roar. It was the ocean, this bothered me so I turned and went back the way I came, I continued and crossed the street which would have been about 3 or 4 cottages past my grandmother’s the other way. Very soon there were railroad tracks, and I crossed them, wobbling a bit, it is hot in the summer near Los Angeles and the oils from the tracks and wood were a very strong experience; the iron was very unique also.
After the tracks there was a steep sandy slope; I could not walk up, and after several attempts of falling in the sand, I turned back across the road. I must have been now only one or two doors from my grandmothers. People started to notice me: when they approached, as if to accost me, I waved them away or turned around and held onto the fence.
Finally a woman approached with a distraught expression, and my tricks did not work: I heard her say I was too little to be out here alone. As she put out her arm to reach for me, I took a deep breath and opened my mouth to shout at her, which caused an expression of surprise on her face.
At that moment, as I was about to speak, the heavens opened and three golden spheres with a golden thread connecting them appeared. One was inside my breast, the next in my head and the third suspended in space above. It took only an instant, but I heard a voice that said “Do not speak, the time will come for you to tell people what to do…”. The voice in my chest, I recognized it as my voice, the one above resounded as my fathers voice, and the third I can only interpret as the father of fathers, God or some higher consciousness.
 Editor note: a chakra is an interiorly experienced energy center in yoga.
I could not believe my eyes, so I shared it with some of my confidant colleagues. We successfully repeated the experiments on my in vitro model, then succeeded in applying the same influences while developing the antivirus interferons in the laboratory of the other institute, where the chief researcher was secretly interested in meditation. This was aborted though in 1992, when I completely I lost interest in neurochemistry, stopped doing neuroimmunology and turned to transpersonal studies.
The Cosmic Consciousness experience began with some mild tingling in the perineal area, the region between the genitals and anus. The feeling was unusual, but was neither particularly pleasant nor unpleasant. After the initial few minutes, I either ceased to notice the tingling or did not remember it. I then noticed that the level of light in the room as well as that of the sky outside seemed to be increasing slowly. The light seemed to be coming from everywhere, not only from the waning sun. In fact, the sun itself did not give off a strong glare. The light gave the air a bright thickened quality that slightly obscured perception rather than sharpened it. It soon became extremely bright, but the light was not in the least unpleasant.
Along with the light came an alteration in mood. I began to feel very good, then still better, then elated. While this was happening, the passage of time seemed to become slower and slower. The brightness, mood-elevation, and time-slowing all progressed together. It is difficult to estimate the time period over which these changes occurred, since the sense of time was itself affected. However, there was a feeling of continuous change, rather than a discrete jump or jumps to a new state. Eventually, the sense of time passing stopped entirely. It is difficult to describe this feeling, but perhaps it would be better to say that there was no time, or no sense of time. Only the present moment existed. My elation proceeded to an ecstatic state, the intensity of which I had never even imagined could be possible. The white light around me merged with the reddish light of the sunset to become one all enveloping, intense undifferentiated light field. Perception of other things faded. Again, the changes seemed to be continuous.
At this point, I merged with the light and everything, including myself, became one unified whole. There was no separation between myself and the rest of the universe. In fact, to say that there was a universe, a self, or any ‘thing’ would be misleading — it would be an equally correct description to say that there was ‘nothing’ as to say that there was ‘everything’. To say that subject merged with object might be almost adequate as a description of the entrance into Cosmic Consciousness, but during Cosmic Consciousness there was neither ‘subject’ nor ‘object’. All words or discursive thinking had stopped and there was no sense of an ‘observer’ to comment or to categorize what was ‘happening’. In fact, there were no discrete events to ‘happen’ — just a timeless, unitary state of being.
Cosmic Consciousness is impossible to describe, partly because describing involves words and the state is one in which there were no words. My attempts at description here originated from reflecting on Cosmic Consciousness soon after it had passed and while there was still some ‘taste’ of the event remaining.
Perhaps the most significant element of Cosmic Consciousness was the absolute knowingness that it involves. This knowingness is a deep understanding that occurs without words. I was certain that the universe was one whole and that it was benign and loving at its ground. Bucke’s experience was similar. He knew, ‘… that the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all, that the foundation principle of the world is what we call love and that the happiness of every one is in the long run absolutely certain’ (Bucke, R. M., 1961. Cosmic Consciousness. New Hyde Park, New York: University Books. p. 8. Originally published 1901.).
The benign nature and ground of being, with which I was united, was God. However, there is little relation between my experience of God as ground of being and the anthropomorphic God of the Bible. That God is separate from the world and has many human characteristics. ‘He’ demonstrates love, anger and vengeance, makes demands, gives rewards, punishes, forgives, etc. God as experienced in Cosmic Consciousness is the very ground or ‘beingness’ of the universe and has no human characteristics in the usual sense of the word. The universe could no more be separate from God than my body could be separate from its cells. Moreover, the only emotion that I would associate with God is love, but it would be more accurate to say that God is love than God is loving. Again, even characterizing God as love and the ground of being is only a metaphor, but it is the best that I can do to describe an indescribable experience.
The knowingness of Cosmic Consciousness permanently convinced me about the true nature of the universe. However, it did not answer many of the questions that (quite rightly) seem so important to us in our usual state of consciousness. From the perspective of Cosmic Consciousness, questions like, ‘What is the purpose of life?’ or ‘Is there an afterlife?’ are not answered because they are not relevant. That is, during Cosmic Consciousness ontologic questions are fully answered by one’s state of being and verbal questions are not to the point.
I was fully awake; there was no issue of its being a lucid dream, false waking, hypnopompic state, et al. It was all very awake and ordinary. I had planned on working on some reading and writing that weekend, but was just procrastinating getting up and started.
As I lay there, without much of anything going on in my head, just lazily lying there with my eyes open and no particular sensate stimuli occurring in my local environment, I heard, absolutely clear as a bell, loud and clear, unmistakably and distinctly, right in the middle of my head, just as if I had stereo headphones on, what sounded like a fairly deep mature male voice. It only said one word. It said my first name, “Jon.”
But it was how that voice said my name that had a whole world in it for me experientially. It drew that one word out slowly, but only in the realistic way someone might if they were cajoling, teasing, coaxing me. I have never before or since heard a voice in my head to which I could attribute no external stimulus. agent, or person. And, never before or since have I experienced so much connotative affective/cognitive association and meaning in any voice, inner or outer.
The source of the voice seemed to know me intimately. I was deeply and
horoughly known by it/him. It/he obviously cared about me, perhaps even loved me, but I sensed, at the time, more affection toward me than deep love. And I sensed that the source was mildly bemused by my just lying there, by my procrastinating. So the tone was mild, humorous rebuking, teasing: Jon…. It’s time to get up, Jon. Time to get going. Come on, Jon, you know what you need to be doing here. That was the sense for me behind that one, loaded, drawn-out word, my name.
I just sat bolt upright, in shock, with goose-bumps, excited. I had no doubt whatsoever that the voice was not coming from my normal external senses. I also knew equally for certain that it was not a voice that I was in any way making up. It was not me, it was other than me, external to me, belonging to someone or something else entirely. But it was meant for me. And in this sense, I am one of so many people, who have had anomalous experiences, such as an NDE (as just one quick example), who will tell you that what they experienced is not open to discussion so far as whether or not it’s real or just an hallucination or other endogenous contents of consciousness. Like so many other such experiences and reports, it is experienced as even MORE real than “normal real.”
I was about 34 I think and working as a scientist in Antarctica for the summer. We had been flown in to Lake Vanda in the dry valleys to clean up an oil spill that happened when a drum being dropped from a Hercules on a routine delivery run split on hitting the surface of the frozen lake. It took 2 days to chip the polluted surface ice off the lake with ice-picks. Then there was a blizzard back at base so the chopper pilots couldn’t come and pick us up and we had a (much needed) 2 day holiday. As you do on holiday, we went for a walk.
We walked (or rather rock-hopped) up to the end of the valley and then climbed up Bull Pass. We all went up the hill at our own pace, so I was separated from my companions by the time I reached the top and sat down to recover. My mind was totally blank. After a while I realized that I had expanded. I was no longer a small discrete consciousness located in my head – I encompassed the whole valley. I was HUGE. I was part of everything – or rather everything was part of me. I was ancient and unbelievably powerful. It was wonderful.
After some time, I don’t have much idea how long but it might have been about 10 minutes, my friends appeared and my state snapped back to normal. I was very sorry about this, but also fairly relieved! We ate some Spam, regretted that no one had brought anything to drink, and slid off down the hill again. And that was that