painted desert wood-a

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Example 11 – Descriptions of Enlightenment

A person trying to describe their experience of wider awareness

Now it seemed as if my awareness went beyond the frontier. This was a very visual experience. I was seeing a vast desert and I knew this represented immense periods of time, perhaps what we call eternity. So it could be called the Desert of Eternity. Here and there in the desert were huge rock formations, a little bit like what one sees in Monument Valley in Arizona. But these rock formations were not plain or slightly coloured rock. Also they were immense. They had the appearance of massive mosaics – brightly coloured mosaics. But the mosaics did not form illustrations or patterns. However, some pieces of the mosaics were larger than others. And each piece might be in itself multicoloured and a sort of miniature pictograph.

As I looked at these massive formations I understood that they had been carved or created through events in the passage of time. Each mosaic, each part of the overall mosaic, had been formed by enormous creative acts, or by long-standing actions. So these latter were like ideograms or archetypes. So, for instance, mother creatures have cared for, fought for, died for their young. This pattern of behaviour has been so enormously potent and perhaps we can use the word successful, that it has created, shaped aspects of eternity. It has left its pattern, its artwork, on time itself. Thus eternity honours that pattern by giving it a place in the very structure of itself. No one being created such a mosaic in the formations. Such a mosaic was large and had in it the essence of all the lives that formed it.

So the rock formations and the mosaics on them represented influences that will flow into the future. They were sources of power or influence that shaped the phenomenal world. They were the body under the coat so to speak.

 

Afloat in the Ocean of Sentience

While snorkelling off Atsitsa Bay on the Greek Island of Skyros, I was cruising along in crystal clear water about four or five meters deep. The water was warm and there were plenty of fish to watch. As I reached the tip of the island I suddenly swam over the edge of an underwater precipice. The water was so incredibly clear I could see into an immense depth, with thousands of fish adding dimension to the abyss. The sudden depth scared me, so I scrambled back to shallow water to gain confidence before once more floating over the abyss. It was an extraordinary experience, swimming in shafts of light, floating in enormous space in the midst of thousands of living creatures.

This describes a little of how it feels when we become aware of the immense web of life in which we exist. The analogy can be taken further, because one way of explaining how synchronous events work in our life is to say that we all float in an ocean of sentience.

Experience of War

As I lay there on the floor, torn from the depths of sleep, I felt such extremity of fear as I had never known. From the waist downward I shook in an uncontrollable trembling, horrible to experience. In the same fraction of time, the upper part of me reached out instinctively, with a deep gasping breath, to something beyond my knowledge.

I had the experience of being caught, as neatly and cleanly as a good fielder catches a ball. A sense of indescribable relief flowed through my whole being. I knew with a certainty, such as no other certainty could be, that I was secure. There was no assur­ance that I should not be blown to pieces in the next instant. I expected to be. But I knew that, though such might be my fate, it was not of great account. There was something in me that was indestructible. The trembling ceased and I was completely col­lected and calm. Another shell came and burst, but it had lost its terror.

An overview of Life

To quote J. B. Priestly from his book Rain Upon Godshill: ‘Just before I went to America, during the exhausting weeks when I was busy with my Time Plays, I had such a dream, and I think it left a greater impression on my mind than any experience I had ever known before, awake or in dreams, and said more to me about this life than any book I have ever read. The setting of the dream was quite simple, and owed something to the fact that not long before my wife had visited the lighthouse here at St Catherine’s to do some bird ringing. I dreamt I was standing at the top of a very high tower, alone, looking down upon myriads of birds all flying in one direction; every kind of bird was there, all the birds in the world. It was a noble sight, this vast aerial river of birds. But now in some mysterious fashion the gear was changed, and time speeded up, so that I saw generations of birds, watched them break their shells, flutter into life, mate, weaken, falter and die. Wings grew only to crumble; bodies were sleek, and then, in a flash bled and shrivelled; and death struck everywhere at every second. What was the use of all this blind struggle towards life, this eager trying of wings, this hurried mating, this flight and surge, all this gigantic meaningless effort?

 

As I stared down, seeming to see every creature’s ignoble little history almost at a glance, I felt sick at heart. It would be better if not one of them, if not one of us, had been born, if the struggle ceased for ever. I stood on my tower, still alone, desperately unhappy. But now the gear was changed again, and the time went faster still, and it was rushing by at such a rate, that the birds could not show any movement, but were like an enormous plain sown with feathers. But along this plain, flickering through the bodies themselves, there now passed a sort of white flame, trembling, dancing, then hurrying on; and as soon as I saw it I knew that this white flame was life itself, the very quintessence of being; and then it came to me, in a rocket burst of ecstasy, that nothing mattered, nothing could ever matter, because nothing else was real but this quivering and hurrying lambency of being. Birds, men and creatures not yet shaped and coloured, all were of no account except so far as this flame of life travelled though them. It left nothing to mourn over behind it; what I had thought was tragedy was mere emptiness or a shadow show; for now all real feeling was caught and purified and danced on ecstatically with the white flame of life. I had never before felt such deep happiness as I knew at the end of my dream of the tower and the birds.’

Extending Further

This has happened to me several times, and each time is similar. It is as though I have grown used to living in a room in a house. It is all I have ever known, so I take it that this is all there is of me. Then suddenly it feels as if the walls of that room melt away, or a door opens, and there I am stretching away forever. My mind, and what I can know, has no boundaries. If I think about a question, whatever it is, I have the most amazing response and insight, as if I have lived throughout all history. I feel as If I am part of a huge and unlimited sea of mind or consciousness. In it is all that has ever existed, merged and yet distinct. Every human talent and thought is in it alive and vital. At those times I know with an unshakeable surety that we cannot help but be a part of this immense life. Yet at the same time we can be at odds with it, be unsympathetic to it. This causes a condition of stress within us, and within our relationship with it. But I feel that if we completely accept our place in this being, even though one is a minute and seemingly insignificant part of it, then we are aligned with its huge universal life and purpose. Then we become revivified in some way.

Remembering

About 10 years ago I was what you would call awakened, enlightened, I would say living on the next spiritual plane. In a state of being where you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror expecting your eyes to have turned into deep, unending pools, encompassing all space, time and knowledge. All of life looked to me like a giant, glistening, shining web, and I lived at the centre of that web, and everyone else lived at the centre of their own web, and all of the webs were interlinked. Like a spider I could feel every tremor in the web; everything that happened in the world, every footfall, every mind waking up and going to sleep… I felt it and knew of it all…

I lived outside of time. The past, present and future were all one, and I always knew what was coming next. I saw how all of our yesterdays and tomorrows affected our now’s and next year’s… I lived in the pure present, and yet my consciousness spanned across all of time…

(Wow, what a great feeling to suddenly remember all of this again!)

I lived this way for some time but ultimately I did not know where to go next – I did not know what the next stage was. So I spent all my time frantically trying to enlighten others, and eventually I burned out. I came back to earth with a crash and sank into a deep depression. As a result, I have been a little afraid of going back there. But everything I have learned since then has suddenly come together and I know that it is safe to attempt to reach that state of being once more. I knew straight away that this dream I had was a calling back to that realm, a catalyst.

Every truth I have searched for, every book I have read, every conversation I’ve had, and every thought I have formed since then, has been an endless search for knowledge of where we go next once we have achieved that state of being, of how to live in that dimension. I have not been able to access that realm until now, because I could not go there again without knowledge of what to do once I am there, and without some surety that I will not come back to earth with such a bump this time. The new discoveries in quantum physics and neuroscience are a big part of this new understanding. If anyone had told me 10 years ago that science would bring some coherence to my spirituality, I would have doubted it. But for some time now I have had the surety that science and spirituality would one day come together, and I have devoted my time to both equally for the last 8 years, looking for some sign that this would come to pass. It seems that time is here.

 

The Bubble

I needed to go to the toilet to urinate. It was a great pleasure to do this, and to watch the falling water splash into the pool creating many bubbles. But something caught my attention, for it seemed that each small bubble was an eye looking up at me. Wondering what this could mean I looked more closely, to see not eyes, but I’s. Each bubble had a tiny reflection of myself in it. Because my senses were amplified the ability of our waking consciousness to receive information from the unconscious was heightened, I was led to see each of the tiny replicas of myself as having separate identity. The suggestion behind this was that I, and everybody else, with our personal identity, are like bubbles. We are all in our own sphere of skin, apparently separated, and yet at the same time, all part of the same substance. As this interesting line of experience developed, I saw that each of the separate bubbles, although they each were different in size, occupied a different space, and therefore had a different identity, only had awareness out of my own consciousness. They were all unknowingly reflections of me.[i]

Suddenly, and with some fear, I realised the meaning of this interesting fantasy. I am a bubble. My personal awareness, although it seems distinct and separate, is in fact the reflection of one great consciousness pervading the universe. So who am I when my bubble bursts, as it must, and I return to my source? The fear I first felt has long melted. It has been replaced by joy as I have explored what it means to burst and return home.

Touching the Centre

In the dream I looked over at a plain wall in the room. It was light green. To my amazement a huge living and wondrous circle appeared on the wall. It was full of movement, everything dancing in time to music. At the very centre of the circle was emptiness, nothing, a void. Yet out of this nothingness all things emerged. There were plants, animals, people, hills, rivers and mountains all coming to birth. They danced out in their own individual movement, yet each unknowing was part of the whole wonderful and intricate dance which made a great pattern and movement in the body of the circle. All danced to the periphery and there turned and moved, still in their ballet, back to the centre. At that centre they plunged into its oblivion again. But at that very moment new life sprang from it to dance once more.

To touch that centre, to be renewed by it, you may need to surrender to it, to let things happen. You need to hold it as an image and drop into the centre with as much trust as you can. By doing so you are opening to the primal essence in you for renewal, for guidance – a guide in the dance. You may be out of step even with yourself. That is your sickness.

A View of Eternity

Before I went to sleep that night I focused on the question -Who am I, really?

The dream was vivid, and still gives me shivers to this day. I dreamed that I looked up and there was this incredible star that was emanating points of light in the sky. It got brighter and brighter and the bottom-most point reached down to where I was and transported me up to the star. The points of light came out from the centre in all directions, and I found myself on the end of one of the horizontal points.

A wonderful (female) voice spoke to me and said this is who you are, and I had the strong sense of being located at the end of the horizontal light bar. Then she said and this is who you are and carried (transported in some way) me to the next bar of light, where I saw another version (incarnation?) of myself (in a different time and place, although I knew that the essence of this version of me was really me). She continued transporting me from bar to bar where I experienced myself in many different versions in the past, present, and future. I had different skills and interests that were the focal point of each version of myself–a musician in one, a farmer in another.

Some of the versions were females, although I experienced the same sense of self in all of them. Then she returned me to the horizontal bar of my current self and said to me that all of this is who I am, but that now she was going to show me who I really am. Then she drew me into the centre of the star (light, energy source) where I merged with her and could see each of the emanating points of light as manifestations of a single source or spirit. It was one of the most incredible feelings of being integrated and whole that I’ve ever experienced, and I basked in the feeling for a while just absorbing and soaking it in. Then she returned me to myself (with a cosmic wink) and I slept peacefully for the rest of the night. Ever since then I haven’t felt the need to ask who or what I am, and I’ve seen my various abilities and struggles in life in a totally new way. C.A.

 


[i] ‘And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ Genesis 1:26.

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