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Early in this experience (my Search for Soul, though I didn’t know what it was at the time), I felt unutterably betrayed and abandoned, only I wasn’t sure by whom. I was totally lost, without even myself as I had been and without my self, who was I? Remember my dream of being lost in the woods with all forms of identity stripped from me? It was more prophetic than I could have imagined.

I was alone and I didn’t know who I was alone with. I walked, I Sketch doodles: stress and confusion Stock Imagestalked, I called myself by name, I even answered to that name. I functioned in the “real world,” but my ego-sense was gravely disrupted. If external things and situations could no longer tell me who I was, then who was I? What was happening to me? Why wasn’t my life working any more? Why had everything become so difficult?

Fear, perplexity, and uncertainty roiled in profusion. No matter how hard I struggled I continued to be sucked down in a frightening spiraling free-fall that seemed to have no end.

Falling/Flying Teen Royalty Free Stock PhotoIn her book, Emotional Alchemy, Tara Bennett-Goleman says of this condition that we “have no ground to stand on.” She continues, “The intensity of the experience overwhelms and breaks up our usual habits and patterns of perceiving and reacting.” For sure, nothing was “usual.” I also knew that I had no ground to stand on, that I was “up in the air;” what I didn’t know was, was I falling or was I flying?

“[L]ife,” Bennett-Goleman says, “offers this opportunity of disorienting shock, rapid transition and loss as a way to shake us loose from the weightiness of the identities we cling to.” No stretch of the Business identity Royalty Free Stock Photographyimagination could persuade my ego-identity to see this as any kind of opportunity and it definitely didn’t want to be shaken loose from its idea of who it was.

It struggled valiantly but fruitlessly. It’s not easy for the ego to learn, much less understand, that while it’s done a great job, there comes a time when it must step aside. It’s done a lot of difficult work becoming a “someone” and it is rarely willing to quietly resign what it sees as its hard-earned position.

I disagree with those who say that to become spiritually awake and mature our ego has to be killed, though. What must occur is a transformation. A way of life must die, that’s true, but killing suggests aggression leading to erasing, removing, eradicating. No wonder the ego resists.

TransformatMetamorphosis Royalty Free Stock Imageion indicates a growth in knowledge and understanding that allows something to still exist but in a changed form or relationship. While we’re living in this physical world we need a strong and mature ego.

We daren’t kill it.

Spirit, no matter how powerful, cannot function in the physical world without the consciousness of the ego as intermediary.

This is not simple quibbling over vocabulary. Never forget the power of words. The terms we apply to things and processes affect how we respond to events and how we develop through our experiences. Certain terms actually define our reality for us. Words and thoughts of violence and aggression can cause our egos to be fearful of being erased. Fear causes them to resist any change that suggests this might happen.

The ego must be transcended without destroying it. Transcendence andContemporary painting of meditation Royalty Free Stock Images ego transformation and the birth of our Authentic Self calls for a spirit of cooperation, not a contest of elimination between ego and the Soul/Higher Self. Ideally they should make a good team. The ego should be considered and even honored for its labors to become an individual, a “someone.”

I don’t believe ego is necessarily at odds with the Authentic Self, anyway, but is a more or less accurate reflection or aspect of that Self. Ego is just usually unaware of that relationship. I had another dream, the only truly recurring dream I’ve ever had, that explained that perfectly and yet, I didn’t “get” it. I’ll post it at a later date.

Midwife and newborn Royalty Free Stock PhotoSo, as with physical births, this process is more difficult and painful for some than for others, but by understanding what’s happening, I (ego) can learn to cooperate rather than resist. I can be both mother and midwife to my Authentic Self, to my Soul’s physical expression.

I will become who I was meant to be from the beginning.


Blue chaos Royalty Free Stock ImageYou must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.
Friedrich Nietzsche

 

What do we give up to bring forth something new, to birth an Authentic Self, a Soul or God-spark, into our lives? I gave up my job, my career, my very identity, not by choice but in spite of my self. At first, all I could see was what I’d lost. It was a long time before I began to understand what I was gaining. What happened to and for me doesn’t happen the same way with everyone but sometimes something traumatic is the only way we’ll listen to our souls.

This tale of birthing is not a one-size-fits-all experience. It’s just a rFine art woman in light of spiritual awakening Royalty Free Stock Photographyecounting of my attempt to find meaning in what felt like the destruction of my life. I tell of some of my experiences along the path of spiritual awakening, my growing awareness, over several years. It describes various insights I’ve had and some conclusions I’ve reached. I don’t claim that these are original or unique, only that they’re personal.

While this birthing doesn’t require distressing events and conditions, they’re fairly common in our culture but they generally go unrecognized for what they can indicate. At the least they get our attention. I don’t want to over-dramatize or romanticize suffering in this process, but the fact is that suffering is quite often what opens the door to awakening.

Dark misery Royalty Free Stock PhotoBut no one is more spiritual just because they suffer. Someone once said, “Misery doesn’t make you better [or more spiritual] than anyone else, it just makes you miserable.” Misery or suffering is useful only for the meaning we give to it, how we use it. Spiritual growth is not a door we can unlock by deliberately causing ourselves pain. Still, if we’re comfortable where we are, we’re not likely to move away from there. Sometimes it takes something earthshaking to budge us.

Imagine our lives are like a milk stool with three leCartoon wooden stool Stock Photogs, one of doing, one of thinking, and one of feeling/intuition (the well known triumvirate of body, mind, and spirit). Too much or too little of any one of these functions causes imbalance. With adequate attention to each aspect/leg, we won’t need anything extreme to warn us we’re becoming unstable. But if we ignore any subtle warnings of imbalance (and they’re easy to overlook or misinterpret) the more likely it is we’ll experience something less restrained, maybe even traumatic, as a wakeup call.

Our culture places an especially high premium on the active legs of thinking and doing. By default we give less value to the deceptively more passive leg of feeling/intuition. So, despite my thinking “properly” and doing the culturally prescribed “all the right things,” over a period of a few years my life seemed to fall apart.

My intuition/feeling leg was much too short due to being ignored, overlooked, and repressed, and my stool finally tipped. I needed to birth a more balanced “me” whether or not I was ready or consciously wanted to.

Newborn baby moments after birth Royalty Free Stock PhotosAs with a physical baby this entity, this “me,” appeared on its own timetable and without concern for the convenience of its “mother.” My ignorance and resistance merely added to my difficulty. Even worse, I wasn’t aware that I was “pregnant.” No wonder I was confused and distressed.

Standard medical treatments and psychotherapy aimed at “fixing” me. That’s what we humans do, we fix things. We’re innate problem solvers. I didn’t need fixing, though. All I needed was support as the confusing process unfolded.

While far from fully effective, conventional methods weren’t entirely useless. Some helped to crack open psychological and spiritual doors I needed to pass through during this process. Despite outward appearances of disarray, little by little I came to understand that everything was going along just as it should.

That doesn’t mean that things were or are easy.

Sometimes during a physical birth, exhaustion and pain become overwhelmingAaaagh the  pain Stock Photo and the mother exclaims something like, “I can’t do this any more!”

Well, she must, as did I. Just as the process of labor isn’t under our conscious control, neither is this process. Just as a woman must relinquish her illusions of control over her body and the birth process, I had to give up the illusion of security and control I’d tried to build by doing all those right things. I had to learn to relax and “go with the flow.” Resistance is futile.

As with all births, this process requires letting go of an old way of life so New life Royalty Free Stock Imagessomething unique can enter the new way of life that’s beginning. My error was in trying to hang onto the old.

Well, what did I know? I still thought all the right things were supposed to pay off. Instead, the part of me that I thought was me was, and still is, being replaced by Who I Really Am.

The birth of an Authentic Self, or even just the awareness of an Authentic Self, shows us how mistaken we are about who we think we are.


Before I was aware of the Journey I was to undertake I had a dream that, even in my ignorance of mythology and symbolism, I recognized as being significant. There’s nothing weird, like blue sparkling ball-people, in this dream, but it had a lot to say. The gist of the message was clear but I was well along in my spiritual journey before I began to understand the archetypal symbolism of many of the details.

In my dream I’m leaving a place where I’ve worked for a long time. My hBeautiful Young Business Woman White On White Stock Photoair is pulled back tightly and I’m wearing a crisp white business suit. Like my hair, I’m restricted and controlled, “uptight,” and like my apparel, I’m “pure,” i.e., naïve. I wear black high-heeled pumps and have a black leather purse over one shoulder, a black leather document case hanging from the other. I clasp a small black hard-sided valise in my arms; I have a lot of baggage.

I’m in the shadow of a tall red-brick building but I can see clear dark woods, bright blue sky above. A narrow blacktopped alley in front of me goes around the corner of the building to my left. To my right a very tall, very long brick wall attached at a right angle to the building blocks the alley in that direction. The shadow extends only slightly past the far edge of the driveway beyond which is a seductively attractive grassy space that blends into a pleasantly open and light wooded area with dappled shade under tall trees. It resembles a well-kept park but there are no people and no swings or seesaws or other such fixtures. Apparently it’s not for Curve sidewalk in the park Royalty Free Stock Photosamusement.

A broad, smooth concrete walk edged by crisp, neatly trimmed grass is directly in front of me. I can see this walkway disappear in a gentle sweep to the left and down a slight slope not too far into the park. I stand on the threshold gazing into the woods as if looking for some sort of clue or hint or perhaps preparing myself. Finally I take a deep breath and resolutely begin to walk. I know my life is going to change greatly but I have no idea how.

The sidewalk makes walking easy and my heels click rhythmically as I stride briskly along. The weather is comfortable and I glimpse the clear sky whenever I look up through the trees. I negotiate the curve without slowing down or looking back.

The walkway dips into a swale, and then nearly imperceptibly and yet somehow quickly begins to change, morphing from flat smooth concrete to a rough, narrow pavement, then to worn brick and then cobblestones whRocky footpath in the mountains Royalty Free Stock Photosere my footing is unstable and I have to be careful as I stumble along. As I continue onward the track is further reduced to loose stone and then thin gravel. Finally there’s only the faintest suggestion of a narrow dirt footpath.

As the nature of the path changes, the light under the trees alters, turning dim as the overhead growth becomes dense and tangled. Rampant undergrowth also sneakily appears and crowds the path, branches and vines virulently snagging at my clothes and baggage. The woods changes from a bright, carefully tended park to a dark, threatening wilderness.

I’m doggedly trying to faithfully follow the path (I’m a “good girl,” remember? I do what I’m supposed to do.) but I keep coming up against impassable walls and barriers that force me to look for another way (I work hard, remember?). I can’t go back because whatever way or opening by which I came here has mysteriously closed or disappeared in some other manner.

So I keep moving in what I think is more or less forward even if I no longer know which direction that is. Sometimes I have to scrape between a barricade and the heavilyGreen morning Stock Images snarled undergrowth, other times I just have to push and force my way through the tangles and brambles until I can discover the nearly invisible path again. As faint as it’s become, I still try to maintain contact with it (can’t get away from that cultural conditioning). Eventually, it completely disappears and yet I know I must press onward but now without any guidance (Oh dear, what will I do without cultural conditioning?).

As long as I can move, I know I must do so in whatever way I can. The insistent rumble of distant thunder comes closer, followed by rain, at first barely able to penetrate the dense and matted canopy, finally increasing until there’s a thunderous frigid downpour in the midst of what seems to be darkest night.

By this point I’ve lost my baggage as the various pieces snag on tree branches and thorny vines or just simply mysteriously disappear when I set them down while I take a breather. All forms of identification, my purse with my ID cWoman with a suitcase Royalty Free Stock Photosards, checkbook, and credit cards, even my document case, have disappeared. Clothing items that I had in my valise have inexplicably been squirming their way out through the tightly closed sides.

On the occasions when I’ve noticed some garment has fallen by the wayside I’ve picked it up and quickly just stuffed it willy-nilly back into the suitcase before more items can wriggle out. No matter how hard I’ve tried, though, things have kept worming out and disappearing. I’ve lost more than I’ve held onto and pretty soon the empty valise is just gone, too.

Finally I’Evil vampire woman looking into bloody mirror Stock Imagem standing in the deluge without shoes or personal belongings, disheveled and dripping hair straggling onto my face as my smeared mascara and makeup paint a crazy mask. My suit is tattered and grimy, no longer recognizable as white, and my nylons are shredded, my legs scratched and bleeding. There’s no place to turn, no place to go.

I’m cold and lost, alone and confused, and there’s nothing left of all the important baggage I started out with. I just stand there with my arms held at my waist like a supplicant and look around helplessly. (“I can’t do this anymore!”)

That’s where my dream ended. While I had no idea of the meanings of any specific symbols at the time, or even their presence – and they abound – I couldn’t overlook the general message and its power.

Although I knew what it “meant,” however, I had no idea what it presaged.

Soul


For most of my life I believed I was a physical being who “had” a soul the way I had a house or a car or some other possession. The thing is, I never saw it and never consciously felt it.

Frankly, if I thought about it at all, I resented it. I’d been taught that if I was “good,” then when I died my soul would “go to heaven.” That irked me. If I was good, I should be the one to go to heaven.

See? I thought my physical body was me. I felt no kinship at all with my soul. Those who supposedly knew about these things said I had a soul so I believed it but I didn’t particularly like it.

Now, are you ready for this?

I don’t have a soul.

I am a soul. A God-spark, a spiritual entity, engaging in physical experience by having a body. I had it all backwards. That is, as a soul, I have a body, that body lives in me, but I am not that body, or at least not only that body.

The physical person I always believed was me can’t define herself by what she does or doesn’t do, or who reared her, or what may have been done to her or not done for her, or to whom she’s married, or how much education or money she may or may not have. Career and personal relationships and status no longer tell the world – or myself – who I am.

The “I” I thought I was is not the “I” I’m turning out to be.

In the Beginning I died


Star Wars Identities Exhibition in Ottawa Royalty Free Stock Photo

 

Not this crude leather; luminous beings are we.
                       Yoda

 

In the beginning, I died.

I didn’t even realize that for many years.  Because death in any form has mythical or archetypal significance, it gets our attention. It means out with the old, in with the new.

Death is a good place to start.

I was alone so there’s no one to verify my death.  No wailing siren onParamadic first aid Royalty Free Stock Images a speeding ambulance, no EMTs urgently pumping on my chest trying to make my heart beat again or inflating my lungs to breathe for me.  No one called a code blue and I didn’t find myself floating in a corner up by the ceiling, watching people in an emergency room feverishly shocking my body back to life. 

I didn’t move through a tunnel toward the light and there was no meeting with a spiritual lightbeing of great power.  In other words, there was none of the good stuff so thoroughly depicted in “standard” near-death experiences.  At least none that I remember.

So, how do I know that I died?

I was 50 when I died.  I was sitting in my recliner in the living room because that’s all I had the eWoman On A Recliner Royalty Free Stock Imagenergy to do.  Most of my muscles were board-hard and I ached deeply all over.  A light touch in almost any place could cause excruciating pain that felt like a deep bruise but it lingered much longer than normal bruising pain.  I also felt brittle.  Every move seemed like it would crack or break me somewhere.  It hurt to move, but then, it hurt when I didn’t move, too.  Pain was a constant; the only variable was how much.

Chronic pain is physically and mentally exhausting.  I was deeply exhausted, beyond the tiredness that can be remedied by extended vacations.  This was a bone-deep weariness that held the grayness of death but I wasn’t thinking in those terms then.  I couldn’t think much at all. 

I went through painful day after painful day in a gray fog.  I was a morass of Tai chi black silhouette Stock Photoconfused emotions, totally bewildered, unable to explain what was happening.  I was smart; why didn’t my brain work? I should have been strong and healthy and vibrant.  Why wasn’t I?  After all, I’d run marathons, lifted weights, meditated, did Tai Chi, counted calories and fat grams. Why did “all the right things” work for others but not for me?  Was I going to survive this, whatever it was?  Questions, questions. No answers.

Lacking the energy and even the will to barely breathe, I’d groan as I painfully dragged myself from my bed in the morning after a night of fitful, nonrestorative sleep, more tired than when I went to bed.  I’d sit inertly in my recliner, exhausted and in a mental fog, going through the few motions of life that I could handCannot Do Work With Such A Pain Royalty Free Stock Photole.  I’d haul myself back to bed at night, still exhausted. 

And then I startled myself one day when I heard my voice exclaim aloud, “I can’t do this any more!” I don’t even know what I meant by “this” but it didn’t matter because no one heard me and nothing happened.  At least that’s what I thought.

Have you ever had a memory of something you know you never did, something you know you never dreamed?  Normally you recall an action or a dream: I did thus-and-so and I remember the event.  You recall not only what happened in the dream but you recall actually having the dream, “I had this dream last Thursday…” 

Well, some years after I said I couldn’t do it any more, my physical condition had eased somewhat and my brain was functioning a bit better.  Out of the blue this memory popped into my head.  I nearly overlooked it but I did take passing notice before ignoring it.  It popped up again days or weeks later; once more I quickly noticed and then ignored it.  It was tenacious, though, and it kept intermittently irrupting more and more frequently until I finally paid closer attention. 

When I did, I was stunned.

I’m approaching several people in robes who are awaiting my arrival.  I’mCham dancers Royalty Free Stock Image waving and eagerly calling out, “I’m home!  I’m home!”  I’m overwhelmed with relief and love and so many other emotions that my chest feels full to bursting and I can hardly breathe or speak.   I noticed an unusual and pervasive overpowering sense of love and welcome.  I was surrounded by, I was “in,” Love.  These people were truly glad to see me.  I was loved extravagantly and I knew it. 

That astonished me.  There was nothing in my life to compare it to. I certainly never felt that way when I went to visit my birth home and people never responded that enthusiastically.  Each time this memory replayed I felt the same awesome and vast feeling of being loved and wanted beyond comprehension. I was completely bewildered by this memory.

What finally blew mPlasma lamp Royalty Free Stock Imagese away one day during yet another irruption was when I suddenly realized that these “people” weren’t people in robes as my first impression had been.  They were sparkling electric-blue spheres of light trailing faint diaphanous white swirls like wispy clouds beneath them.  That was incredible but what really shook me was when it finally dawned on me that if they looked like that, then I must look like that, too!  After all, I was one of them. 

I was flabbergasted.

I know this all sounds like a dream but it didn’t feel like a dream.  It’s hard to describe the difference because when we’re in a dream it feels very real. It’s not until we wake up that we realize it was a dream.  This event, though, when I finally remembered it, felt realer than real.  Years later it still had this feeling of being an actual experience.  This was not a recurring memory of a distant dream. 

If you want to think it was a dream, that’s OK.  But I’ve been awake and I’veDream Stock Images been asleep and I’ve had dreams.  I remember some dreams. This incident was completely different; it was not something I woke up from as from sleep.  It was, plain and simple, a memory, and it’s had effects that have lasted.  It began a transformation that took me a while to recognize.

I know this sounds terribly woo-woo and now you’re probably asking, “So what does this have to do with dying?” 

After I got over my amazement, I tried to figure out where this memory could possibly have originated.  If I had a memory then at some point I obviously must have had an experience to remember, right?  I gradually came to accept that it, whatever it was, had actually happened, but I was still puzzled about what it meant and when it might have occurred. 

I came to a conclusion relatively recently.  I think that I literally died when I declared I couldn’t do it any more.  Not only was I in pain and drained of nearly all my energy, there was a strange exhaustion, different from the fatigue that had become way too familiar over the years.  It reminded me of when I’d once innocently said that I felt like I was “gonna die of tired.”

I decided that final exhaustion, though it might have had some actual physical component from many years of relentlessly driving myself, wasn’t just physical.  I believe it was a result of spirit—or chi or life force or prana, call it what you will—leaving my body.  I clearly remember passively sitting there, sunk deeply into the recliner with my head leaning against the back.  I gazed at the bookcase across the room without really noticing.  My head rolled to one side.  I knew there was a spring day alive with chirping birds and new life just outside the screen door but I didn’t really pay attention to that, either. 

What I did notice was that I was having to remind myself to breathe.  I wasn’t Just Breathe Royalty Free Stock Photostruggling to breathe, I wasn’t making any undue effort, I just didn’t feel any desire or need to breathe.  I’d exhale and after quite a while, without feeling any urgency to breathe in again, I’d remember to do it because that’s what was supposed to happen next.  Then I remember one time I breathed out and I don’t remember breathing in. 

If you don’t think this is unusual, ask yourself how often you remember your breathing at all, much less decades later.  Even if you’re doing a meditation where you deliberately pay attention to and maybe control your breathing, do you actually find cause to remember it the next week?  If you do, you remember the activity in general but not each actual breath. 

I remembered.  I remembered each breath.  I breathed out and then there was no pain and I don’t remember breathing in again.  Then, at some indeterminate point I lifted my weary head, and I was in my recliner, in pain again.  Woke up from a nap?  Not like any nap I’d ever had before.  Or since.

I have no proof of what might have happened between breathing out then “waking up,” but I believe that’s when this memory was created.  I still don’t remember any details beyond being welcomed by the “ball-people” although that memory blows me away even now.  The love I felt was so different, so much more than anything I’ve ever experienced “here.” I can only surmise about who the ball people were and about any other events that might have occurred.

I believe these were souls, my soul family, welcoming me Home.  A kind of Souls Royalty Free Stock Photographywelcoming committee is very common in the descriptions given by near-death experiencers but there’s so much more those other experiencers describe of which I have no recollection.  They often seem to return with instant new understandings and even new powers, perhaps, and their experiences include things like expanded vision and meetings with a Divine Spirit.  I remember nothing like that, nor do I have any special powers that I’m aware of. 

Not that none of it happened for me.  I just don’t recall it.  I remember only the souls that met me and, most especially, the Love that surrounded me. 

But I did change.

I Find My Soul


Deliberately connecting with the unconscious is like having a dream but withoutSwirl Royalty Free Stock Images needing to have our ego consciousness go offline (go to sleep or “space out” in a daydream) in order for us to experience it. We can’t make this connection happen but we can do various things to facilitate the link. My egoic desire to always be in control, to always do, was a huge obstacle to my learning to experience my own inner Self.

First let me describe some of my earliest attempts many years ago at contacting my unconscious through meditation, though I didn’t understand then that’s what I was doing. I just knew that meditation was supposed to “be good for you.” My clumsy attempts were at least helpful in allowing me to relax in a way I normally couldn’t, even when I was asleep. For those few minutes I wasn’t in pain. They didn’t, however, provide anything I might term an adventurous occurrence.

As an inexperienced and ignorant beginning meditator I always attempted to Meditation Class Stock Photodirect my experience. Since I wasn’t even sure what that experience "should" be, I was stumbling over myself most of the time. Guided group visualizations had always given me considerable difficulty as I tried to force the images.  These experiences were disappointing to me, especially after listening to the results described by others. I never saw anything. I decided that guided visualization was not for me. I was not a “seer.”

However, I figured that at the very least, if I used a form of meditation that didn’t call for visualization, I could spend 20 minutes or so in a calm state. I’d read somewhere that 20 minutes of meditation is worth a few hours of restorative sleep and I so needed that. My meditations mostly consisted of a sort of “disappearing act,” where I wasn’t completely conscious of my surroundings yet it wasn’t really the kind of unconsciousness that we associate with sleep. I just “went away.” Somehow I always “came back” just before the timer was about to go off, so I knew I wasn’t simply sleeping upright on my cushion.

Whatever I was doing was soothing and relaxing, but it was hardly the kind of experiences I’d heard of happening in meditation. But this was my meditation “practice” when I began to meditate after my morning runs. I’d put on some appropriate music and sit on my zafu cushion in the gray light of early dawn and “go away.” I had no real idea of how to meditate or what to expect.

The first time I finally gave up trying to direct my experience iWoman meditation home Stock Imagess still fresh in my mind. At this time, all those years ago, I was on sick leave prior to eventual retirement. Even though I could no longer make my morning runs, I still felt led to meditate. I was sitting on my zafu with my legs folded, eyes closed, relaxing meditation music playing softly in the background. Even in this my mind was active so I was busy-busy working to keep my attention trained on the blackness of the "nothing" behind my eyelids. It was hard work. My thoughts always wanted to go somewhere else.

Even so, there persistently and annoyingly appeared at the outer corner of my closed left eye, out of the dark, this little purple/violet sort of flame that kept trying to enter my visual field, like a small cat softly bumping your hand to get your attention. Bump, bump. I kept ignoring it, pushing it back as a distraction, a nuisance. BumMagic swirl Stock Imagesp, bump. Finally, exasperated, I thought, “What is this?”

So I consciously decided to “let it happen,” just to get it out of the way. This little violet flame actually vaulted into the darkness behind my eyelids, doing handsprings like an acrobat, to center stage, where it then stood flickering in triumph. The sense was of an expression of totally joyful and exultant release. If it had had a human shape it would have been standing with arms akimbo and chest swelled large. It reminded me of Mighty Mouse, proudly singing, “images[1]Here I come to save the day!”

I was amazed and nearly laughed out loud at the brio of this tiny vision. What was this stuff? How could colors have emotion, personality? As I fully gave my attention to it, it metamorphosed into a sort of light and color show of mushrooming clouds, a kaleidoscope-like display in which I became totally engrossed. I sort of melted into it, became a part of it. Then I “came back” at the end of my usual 20 minutes, more relaxed than usual. Hmmm.

A few days afterward I was shocked to read this passage in Friendship With God, An Uncommon Dialogue, by Neale Donald Walsch:

“Now, the first time you do this, or the tenth time, or maybe the hundredth or the thousandth time you do this, you may see what will look like a flickering blue flame, or a dancing light. It may appear in flashes at first, then steady itself in your sight. Stay with it. Move into it. If you feel your Self merging with it, let that happen.

“If that happens, nothing more will have to be said to you.

“What is this blue flame, this dancing light?

“It is you. It is the center of your soul. It is that which surrounds you, moves through you, is you. Say hello to your soul. You’ve just found it, at last. You’ve just experienced it, at last.

“If you merge with it, if you become One with it, you will know a sublime fullness of joy that you will call bliss…. After that, nothing else will matter, nothing will ever be the same again, ..Purple & Black Clouds Royalty Free Stock Images. .”

This so perfectly described my experience that I was stunned. The only difference was the color of the flame.

I never saw the purple flame as such again but now there was always the mushrooming clouds that seemed to be its legacy. And for quite some time the clouds were enough.

But there was much more to come.

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