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A hole in the top of my head opened, and I was out. Out of my body.
It wasn’t like the out of body experiences you hear about on TV programmes about the supernatural. I didn’t see my body at all, and there was none of that eerie floating around up there trying to figure out that you are actually dead. For a start, it was pissing down rain at the time, and even if I’d had a choice, I don’t think I would have hung around. No, it wasn’t a quiet last ‘Farewell”. It was a great explosive bang of a “Goodbye, and I’m out of here!”
The first thing I was aware of was the great whooshing sound. It was like I was in some tunnel being thrust along at the speed of light. There was the sensation of rapid movement, like being in one of those carnival rides where you are projected up into the sky at a thousand miles an hour, while screaming. Only there was no gravity, and no screaming. That was the strange thing. I was moving fast, there was the sound of movement, but nothing seemed to be passing. In fact I couldn’t see anything. All was blackness.
There was a short moment of terror as I realised something very strange was happening, but then for some reason I let go. The words came again.
“Surrender to death.”
I let go, just let go. As I did I suddenly found myself expanding like a balloon. Again, I couldn’t see it, I just felt it. It was like every sense of boundary between me and everything else just collapsed, and I became infinitely light. Then infinite. Then light.
As I expanded outward and everywhere it was as a great hand had reached into the centre of my chest and pulled open a zipper, spilling out an instant radiance of joyfulness. I was flying and it was total bliss. Then I knew, within that instant beyond time and place, and without any words or thinking required. Knew.
This is who I truly am.
Time collapsed, and my vision opened. I could see the panorama of my life before me, as if I was looking at it from a great distance, and from above myself. There I was, being born. A violent and frightening ripping sound came, as my being was compressed into a finite body, and I screamed like a baby at the sheer indignity and terror of it all. I saw my mother, and I saw the child that she was, and it became instantly clear to me that she was in fact not even a real adult, but a child in a woman’s body. Behind her I saw her father and relatives stretching into distant pasts of ancestors long dead, and I could feel the great weight of their unprocessed pain and hurt being funneled through her... and then onto the baby. Me.
My father appeared too, and I saw the long line of ancestors again. Back and back beyond them the ancestors carried something within them, like a sickness. The word ‘gonorrhea’ appeared in bold white letters, and I knew that somehow the shame of this disease had been carried down through seven generations of my father’s family. Don’t ask me how I knew it was seven. In that moment I just knew. I knew it then. My father was a channel for the darkness of others who had come before him. I felt their pain, their confusion and their shame. I felt the hopelessness and their sense of being lost and forgotten, abandoned.
Then my older brother James appeared, and I saw him standing over me, me as child; and I saw a great tearing within him as a massive wave of water descended upon him - from my father. But I knew that it was not really water, but the shame and darkness from my own father’s soul, and the souls of his ancestors. As I watched I saw James turn upon me, full of darkness and rage. He began to beat me. I screamed out in pain and anger, and the pain of it filled my being.
Then I saw him. It was the baby, the baby that I once was. He was crying, alone. I could feel him, and I felt his pain and tears. And then I knew what it was that I wanted more than anything else, and what had driven so much of the longing within me my whole life. I wanted to be held. But there was no one there. There was the anger of rage and abandonment, and I knew it was directed at my mother.
The landscape shifted and great rivulets of rain water fell upon “me”, or whatever I was at that moment. Or perhaps it is that it fell through me. And I sobbed great heavy tears of insufferable pain, the pain of many births and deaths, of countless lifetimes. Yet in that pain, it was as if I had been united with the very essence of myself. It was pain, and yet the pain was joyful, as if the separation from the tears, the anger and the fear is what had been painful, rather than the feelings themselves. I wept. I sobbed. I screamed with a rage so violent it threatened to tear apart everything.
And then I laughed. It was the laughter of joy. The joy of unity. Union with the lost parts of myself.
After a timeless time the scene before me expanded, till my family and I became a speck in a great panorama. The entire scene was like the twilight of the longest day, and day that was many centuries long. The sun was setting on a terrible blood red horizon. As I looked down I could see battles, wars, murders and rapes and the pain of it all was curled up into great dark vortexes, tornadoes that twisted and flickered across the land, threatening to engulf all.
Then a voice said: “This has been going on for one thousand, three hundred years.”
The bloody landscape retreated and was replaced by stars and galaxies, all moving about in perfect motion and timing, as if such had been happening for countless billions of years. And then I felt it, felt everything. It was the life of the cosmos, breathing, pulsing like a giant cosmic lung. As I watched it and felt it, it was as if it was all beyond time, as if all this had already happened. Or perhaps it would all happen, again and again and again. Because in that moment there was no time as I had understood it.
“You wanted to know. Now you know,” said the voice.
I became aware that one of the stars was glowing brighter. My mind came to rest upon it, and I realised that it was the star that had been communicating with me. Even as this awareness came, the star immediately pulled me closer, and brightened until it embraced me into its very being. Light exploded through me, and “I” ceased to exist. My mind - as I knew it - disappeared, and I became one with life itself. And everything was life. Everything was being. An immense joyousness filled me. I was floating, everywhere and nowhere, eternal in eternity.
I existed, or perhaps didn’t exist, in this timeless, space less dimension for a time beyond time. And all the while I was aware of the presence that was with me. It seemed to me to be the consciousness of a man. I did not see him. I only felt him. I felt his mind, and it was a mind that was so vast, so pure and so full of light that I felt completely safe. There was the thought that this intelligence was many times greater than mine, as if it sat upon some level of existence that was far above where my own mind resided. As I felt “him” there was the greatest peace. I began to laugh, and it was the laughter of a child. Then there was light, and there was only light. It was pure bliss, and there was no desire to ever experience anything beyond that moment.
“Remember,” he said.
“I will remember.” There was nothing of desire but to fulfill this intention. I knew it would be my duty. My life from that point onwards.
Before my mind the face of a woman appeared, and I knew that I was being directed to pay attention. She was of early middle age. Somehow, the ‘energy’ around her was big, bigger than that of other people. It was as if she was somehow magical, could see more than others. There was something black behind her head, as if something was stuck there. But I could not see it. There were no words, but I knew that we would meet. She would teach me soemthing. Some knowledge. Then I was seeing Michael. There as some connection, but I knew not what.
Clouds came, the light lessened, and I saw my family again, including some of my friends. Paul and Amanda were there. Then Dr Blackpool appeared, and I felt a shudder move through me. I was afraid. With that feeling I began to contract. I could feel myself falling away from the light. But even so, the knowledge continued to flow.
“There is no betrayal.” The voice said.
Rather, I should say it “commanded”. For this message had an extra force to it. It was telling me something important.
There then came a coalescence of ideas and information, which were not so much spoken as thrust into my head in a moment. Stubbornness was blocking me. There was a wall about me, shutting others out, and there was pain inside the wall. Then came thoughts that I can only describe as disturbing. There were images of sexuality and defecation, depravity. There was the stench of urine, feces and semen. I was revolted.
“Do not look away,” the voice said firmly. “You will need to know.”
I was afraid, but I trusted the voice, and as I looked back, I felt the fullness of those dark feelings. I felt sick.”
“You may vomit now.”
This is precisely what I was told, and at that very moment I fell. It was as if I was thrust onto a roller coaster heading earthward, and violently reborn into my body.
I groaned. The pain was immense. My head was pounding as if I had been struck with a sledge hammer.
I found myself lying on the beach, in the darkness, my face half buried in the sand. I spluttered, coughed violently. With that a great wall of stomach fluid forced its way out from within me and sprayed from my mouth like water from a fire hose. For a minute or so I crouched there upon the night beach, emptying the contents of my stomach till I could vomit no more.
I barely had time to catch my breath, and for a few minutes more, I remained there. I knew I was sick.
I stood, dizzy, nauseous. It was painful to look through my eyes, as if I was using them for the first time. But look I did. I was suddenly aware of flickers of lightning on the horizon. The storm had passed, a few stars were staring down brightly from above, and I realised that I was soaking wet, shirtless and cold.
I took a step, then collapsed, exhausted. Then I slept.