As described in the Editor’s Introduction to experience 00055, Anonymous will shortly receive her Ph.D. in linguistics. She already edits an academic journal, has published one book in her field, and was CEO as well as primary software designer for a small computer company, as well as having had a term of employment with a major government research agency. Like many scientists who have submitted accounts to TASTE, she is very concerned with preserving her anonymity because of possible negative repercussions in her academic and professional life.
This is the third of three experiences this anonymous scientist has submitted. It happened a few days after her Awareness of a Train experience. The difficult work of integration following the experience, still not completed, reminds us that transcendent experiences are seldom “mere” curiosities, but can be a call to radical transformation.
I woke up in the middle of the night sometime and felt extremely rested and happy. Now when I write “happy,” I mean that I felt transcendently happy. I sat for some time just enjoying this infusion of light – not physical light, another light. Then I decided to try to use the time and space to move further. It’s as if some force were implicitly asking my consent and I gave it.
I don’t remember exactly what I said to myself or did. At some point I closed my eyes and tried to hold attention in a specific way that I was being instructed in. This use of attention I might describe as “innocent” or “pure of heart” or free from being a means to an end. I held my attention in this way by great force of will, and then at some point, it seemed like a separate force kicked in… like I set up a frequency with my thought that eventually became a standing wave. It was similar to a magnetic force in that it’s not that you couldn’t in principle pull away, it was just harder to pull away then to stay. And the closer you were to the center, the harder it was to get away – a force that varied as the square of the distance. I was still a little ways away. And then a new (for me) experience occurred.
I entered a new realm, and a number of visions flashed past me. The first few seemed more telling, but the only ones I remember are a glimpse over the surface of the moon and then a sort of face, as if in stone. I then heard voices whispering, as if to me, but I could not understand what they were saying.
This experience was different from a dream, in that I felt in control, as if I could stop it at any point and open my eyes. I remember wondering what bodily position I was in, and thinking I was probably sitting up. In fact, I was lying on my side, or maybe I fell over at some point. I’m not sure.
Then I wondered if the other members of the household would come in and find me in this state, and that thought almost made me lose my focus. Something strange happened to time, and I couldn’t tell whether it lasted a fraction of a second or days and days. I could feel time, because it “buckled” somehow. Normally you don’t feel time, because it doesn’t… accelerate or decelerate or change direction, if you will. In fact, it took all my will power to hold attention steady, because that was what was required for the process to continue.
It then felt exactly as if some force outside me entered me and started to do something, as a cleaning lady might enter a house and clean it out. Except this “cleaning lady” had infinite competence, compared to which any worldly competence… I can’t explain. It was infinitely competent. Infinitely competent. Competence was important.
It was not a normal daydreaming or waking visionary experience in that the essence of it had nothing to do with the visions. I’m pretty sure they were incidental. Rather I was allowing myself to let this process happen within me. I placed myself as if in the hands of a doctor, and let them proceed.
The process happened at lightning speed. I felt things inside me moved around, and I saw geometric shapes against a dark background. The process was “happy,” “pleasant”… any adjective I could use to describe it misses the mark because of the sense of the enormous Presence of God. Enormous, enormous.
Also, I felt as though I was not really existing in the world as I have known it. It’s as if the world that I am used to living in was not quite real, and that the world in which I was being cleaned out in was more real. The relationship between the two worlds is not easy for me to describe. It’s as if there was a hole in the cloth of this world that allowed me to stick my finger into quite a different reality. I also had a sense of the enormity of the forces involved.
“Enormity” is not the word. Any ocean, any cosmos is infinitely small by comparison. ‘Enormity’ is as close as I can come, but it’s not about size. It’s as if what I felt got projected into a lower dimension as size, like light might shine on a 3D object and project it as a shadow in 2D space.
I think perhaps my physical body became quite warm. And I felt the entirety of this enormous and infinitely competent force, not time sharing, but focused utterly on me. My emotion was, “Boy have you got the wrong address. I’m just a… just a… You’re wasting your time devoting these kinds of resources to me.” But the extent of the competence precluded the possibility that this force could be mistaken or misdirected.
And through that sort of a dynamic, I was forced to accept that I am in fact not anything like what I think I am. There was unspeakable Grace and release in being forced to acknowledge that… not by some thought process, but by something real… like you might argue abstractly about whether there are Big Foots. And then you see and touch a Big Foot and that settles that. Some infinitely competent force finds me worthy of its complete attention.
The force wasn’t personal… it was impersonal. It was acting like a physical law. When certain conditions are met, this happens like a ball rolls down a ramp. But unutterable, personal compassion was implicit in the reality of this… The main thing about the experience was not the enormity or the housecleaning or the competence, but that something IS. Something IS absolutely. There is such a thing as Certainty, not certainty relative to anything. Just certainty. It’s all okay. Really okay.
Contributor’s Comments on the Experience
This experience and a few more which followed screwed me up completely in everyday life. I just went through the world for a time with a great big NO COMMENT. I have no idea what to do with it. God is Great. That’s all.
I was divorced, lost my house, my work, my business, my livelihood, my family, my income, most of my possessions. At the same time, other things happened by chance sort of so that I wasn’t ever cold or hungry or homeless. But it was majorly nerve wracking!
After about a year of this kind of thing, it started smoothing out somewhat. But I still have a very hard time finding some basis from which to participate in the world. You have to interact on some basis, or you don’t make a living. And I have an autistic son who I have to be there for. I have to have a household.
I find integrating very difficult. I have work in my field of linguistics that I love and do full time avidly, but it doesn’t pay a dime. I’ve tried taking jobs that pay. I’ve done them before with great success, but, when I do it now, I swing into really severe suicidal depressions until I quit the job and then I’m very fine emotionally, but broke again. And when I’m broke and run into a wall where I don’t see a way out, I can get very angry – enraged, feel trapped and hopeless.
I feel like I’m being trained in courage, in not losing it no matter what. I feel fear constantly at my shoulder, because I feel unable to act in a way that works in this society, and I can’t explain to anyone why that is. I just act crazy and I can’t explain it to anybody. But I’m not crazy.
These are new emotions to me. At least the intensity of them is new. I always felt pretty secure. Now I feel secure only in transcendent states. The rest of the time I feel very much at risk. And I’m trying to learn to be okay with this fear… The energy behind the fear is really the same energy that drove the experiences to begin with, but when you turn your face away, the energy manifests as fear. But it’s a blessed existence – infinitely richer than anything I had dreamed possible in my youth.
Also, in reading the effects it had on my life, I realize I overlook many of the most important effects. One very important effect it had is that I realize that there is no power greater than purity of heart. Purity of heart is all-powerful and all-competent, and it has a power and a competence far, far beyond anything in this world. Every random act of kindness puts the cosmos in your hands and has vast repercussions for all things everywhere. Furthermore, nothing else matters because all else which truly Exists follows or emanates from purity of heart. I also saw that what we think of as big and small are irrelevant. If one of the proteins in one of my cells becomes oriented right – has purity of heart, so to speak (and such a thing is possible) – it’s just as good (or even literally the same) as if the whole cosmos has purity of heart. And I also saw that everything is absolutely interconnected. I am not this body. I in no way resemble this body any more than I resemble an orange peel or a piano bench… What I am is closer to the dreamer of this dream. What I am is not separate from what everyone else is. So when I hurt another, I am not metaphorically, but literally shooting myself in the foot. Furthermore, death is no more to be feared than changing your shirt. Furthermore, you are at any moment capable of anything. What gets in the way is a huge interference pattern called the everyday world or normality… noise that draws attention in a way that disables you.
But it’s strange that in seeing that, the problem of normal, everyday living became suddenly much more difficult, not easier. It was sort of like shifting levels on a computer game. You are at level 5, and the normal procedure is to move to level 6 when you’ve mastered level 5, but instead time collapsed and you found yourself suddenly at level 15 with all kinds of issues to address that you didn’t even know existed and all kinds of problems… except that in this computer game, the people you dealt with before all think you’re still playing at level 5, and if you tell them there are a bunch of factors invisible to them, they tell you you’re at best arrogant and at worst psychotic.