Thursday, April 8, 2010
Thirty years to tell this Story
Today I am compelled to make public (in a way) a story that I have only told to people. It has never been written. In the last year I have received numerous external validations about the profundity of the experience, although its importance has always stayed with me personally since it happened. The most recent is a quote from Tagore which poetically expresses the unlimited opportunity, expansiveness and divinity of each individual (human) consciousness. This was my experience 30 years ago on a country road in Iowa. I believe the infinite "I Am" gave me a glimpse that I truly am the center of the Universe, in a paradoxical way. The other support that I have for sharing a story that most people would judge as "bad" is that David Wilcock publicly acknowledges his partaking of psychedelic drugs, specifically LSD. The other validation came at a workshop in 2008 where Prema Baba Swamiji presented a video clip about a researcher in New Mexico who is looking at the links of DMT, the pineal and profound spiritual experiences - as creating a sort of "doorway" to greater consciousness.
So, today reading Tagore, of which I will provide the excerpt below - I decided to share the first experience which I believe has set the stage for my spiritual life. And how I am now really coming to understand, at least at a rudimentary level, the Truth of existence.
It was 1979 and I had returned to Ames, Iowa my home town after, essentially, getting kicked out of the Air Force after only 9 months of service. I received an honorable discharge with the specification of "unable to adapt to military life." This was at the very depths of a very serious drug and alcohol problem. I had entered the Air Force hoping to escape what I felt were the "bad influences" of the drug crowd that I had been involved with in high school. It didn't work. I ended up finding out the great truth - "wherever I went, there I was". My drug problem continued to get worse in the Air Force and my loneliness also increased. So, I was relieved thinking my return to Ames would help me quit since my problem really was that I was lonely (so I justified in my mind). It is probably no surprise to people that returning to Ames my drug consumption continued unabated, and actually increased - as is a well known fact in cases of drug and alcohol addiction.
The experience that I had which I believe ended up setting the stage for my recovery happened in 1979. I have been off all drugs and alcohol since 1981. The experience happened one night when I had taken some Mr. Natural LSD. It was a particularly intense "trip" because when I went to a party, everyone looked like aliens (this was probably more true than I realized). In any case, it was a very disturbing experience. So I had to leave the party. I got in my car and took a drive to the outskirts of Ames and was just sitting in my car trying to settle down. My mind was racing.
My car, a 1966 Ford Custom, had a bad cylinder and it caused the car too shake when it idled. I kept the car running because it was pretty chilly. But the shaking disturbed me in my agitated state. So I decided to get of the car. It was a beautiful clear, crisp, cool night in Iowa. The sky was clear. I was far enough out of town to be away of the city lights so I was able to see the stars with incredibly clarity. I stood outside looking at the stars and my mind began to consider the enormity of the universe. This thought was followed with a series of thoughts resulting with me thinking about my total insignificance. I remember comparing my size with that of an ant in the world - but in actuality, I was even less significant relative to the whole cosmos. This series of thoughts really took me to a desperate place, and I felt I was heading towards "having a bad trip", which is something that I had known friends who had experienced. It is not a good thing. I was suddenly being sucked into what felt like a tornado of insignificance, black hole. My life meaning absolutely nothing - and I got scared. Then a voice. In my head, but not a sound - but a voice spoke to me. It said, "but you are standing here looking at it. If you weren't nothing would exist, at least from your perspective". Instantaneously I was set free of the desperate feelings and my consciousness was of cosmic proportions. I floated outside of the planet and was looking down, in my mind, at the "blue marble". This beautiful paradise planet that we call our home. This tiny marble floating in a vast cosmos. My thoughts then imagined us humans residing here. Our common ancestry. Our common heritage and brother/sisterhood of destiny. All one family. But then the thoughts of discord, unhappiness, suffering for no reason. I imagined that we are fighting over tiny pieces of "turf". Pieces of ground that really have no value - especially for fighting and killing over. I realized that if we are ever to hope to experience the greater reality that is our destiny we were going to have to get along. To stop fighting. To see the world as one living being - and that we are part of it. Inextricably tied to it for our continued existence. And if we are to find out what our "true purpose" is we were going to have to take care of every single being on the planet, and not just human.
I don't remember how much time passed for this vast scope of thoughts to go through my mind, and my experience. But I was totally changed. My irritation had gone and I felt absolutely wonderful.
That experience I had not fully appreciated until the last few years. Being a person in recovery I have shared many times in groups about what the experience showed me. The "grand-paradox" of existence. That I am essentially nothing and everything simultaneously. In the whole scheme of the cosmos, in my human form, I am very, very, very small. However, my consciousness creates everything. If I weren't here nothing would exist - at least from my perspective. And apparently, this huge infinite being which is often referred to as God, felt it necessary for me to be here. Just that fact, supported by the omnipotence and omniscience of the Being is HUGE! I have come to believe in that the word God doesn't work very good any more. It has been absconded, into a very limited term. The Be-ing (the I AM) that I have come to try to comprehend is infinite (which is incomprehensible) and ultimately ONLY LOVE! The depth and expanse of this Love is way beyond the capability of words to touch.
That was my experience. The contemplation of it, even today as I write, continues to reverberate through my life. And as I continue to get validation and synchronistic signs of its significance, even 30 years after the fact, it helps me to see that God opened a window to me. To glimpse a much greater reality of existence for me. I only need to relish the continued expansion of my consciousness and be GRATEFUL. For I truly believe that we live in a Fantasmical (fantastic, magical) universe,and time, and that we are all only experiencing GOOD, we just don't realize it.
Here is the quote that inspired me to share this story today:
Chapter VIII: The Music Maker from the Religion of Man Rabindranath Tagore
"A PARTICLE of sand would be nothing if it did not have its background in the whole physical world. This grain of sand is know in its context of the universe where we know all things through the testimony of our senses. When I say the grain of sand is, the whole physical world stands guarantee for the truth which is behind the appearance of the sand.
But where is that guarantee of truth for this personality of mine that has the mysterious faculty of knowledge before which the particle of sand offers its credential of identification? It must be acknowledged that this personal self of mine also has for its truth a background of personality where knowledge, unlike that of other things, can only be immediate and self-revealed.
What I mean by personality is a self-conscious principle of transcendental unity within man which comprehends all the details of facts that are individually his in knowledge and feeling, wish and will and work. In its negative aspect it is limited to the individual separateness, while in its positive aspect it ever extends itself in the infinite through the increase of its knowledge, love and activities.
And for this reason the most human of all facts about us is that we do dream of the limitless unattained--the dream which gives character to what is attained. Of all creatures man lives in an endless future. Our present is only a part of it. The ideas unborn, the unbodied spirits, tease our imagination with an insistence which makes them more real to our mind than things around us. The atmosphere of the future must always surround our present in order to make it life-bearing and suggestive of immorality. For he who has the healthy vigour of humanity in him has a strong instinctive faith that ideally he is limitless. That is why our greatest teachers claim from us a manifestation that touches the infinite. In this they pay homage to the Supreme Man. And out true worship lies in our indomitable courage to be great and thus to represent the human divine and ever to keep open the path of freedom towards the unattained;"