I have looked out of my third story window to the sidewalk below, and seen people floating, rather than walking, but I didn’t blink. I knew they had been doing this all along.
I visited my aunt’s farm at sunset, looked out over the acres of corn, past silos and barns, and there the atoms rippled silver. I cried, awe struck, but I was not surprised.
I knew I had missed this view every other visit because I didn’t know how to see clearly.
Above a north Chicago cemetery, the universe righted itself. Like turning the earth inside out, I knew the souls who once used the bodies buried deep were in reality; I was (we were) merely waiting, in the workshop, preparatory, but not yet alive, not really.
Standing on the top step of the Baha’i Temple in Wilmette on a bright, clear afternoon, I looked out over a neighborhood I’d been familiar with since before I could walk and talk. I was twenty seven. That day I didn’t see houses, mail boxes, trees, a road. I saw a clear, silver thread, softer than silk, connecting every one and every thing. It was a moving ocean, its waves rising and falling, brilliant, beyond beautiful, and as solid as my own flesh. No, more so. Without warning, I heaved a sob, and a river of tears poured from my body. I couldn’t explain why. I couldn’t stop, nor did I want to.
It is like this: in our cars at rush hour, at our desks, eating lunch, writing a book, washing dinner dishes, tossing our limbs to a night club beat, we are taking a ride in the sky. But between the smallest particles, around our every breath, outside the infinite dimensions of physical existence, the spiritual world is the actual pulse, the reason, the doing, the “matter” woven through everything. We are the illusion in the womb of the physical matrix.
Holding this is very hard, though I never completely let go.
These experiences were not isolated, but stories I lived in a string of similar stories the year I sought out peace with impermanence, with my own eventual death. Hours of prayer and meditation each day, evenings beside a lake that stretched far beyond my limited view, studying the lives of spiritual heroes, internalizing shades of their strength, offering my free hours to voluntary service, two meetings a week to tame addiction, turning aside from everything familiar and easy – this was my food, rather than a regimen of daily life as most seemed to be living. I had no TV, no radio, no distractions. I had tried meeting society’s common expectations for too long (failing countless times), and all I gained from it was a sense that most everyone had gone insane and I couldn’t hang on much longer.
Now I see that science is beginning to uncover what I already knew.
If you have a few minutes, this video is amazing.
The personal experiences I described happened in 1997-98