For this thread's topic I was going to search the net for strange and unique spiritual experiences and transformations and post some nice, trippy pics
to highlight it and make it as entertaining as possible. Then it occurred to me that my own personal experiences in this area, and I'm sure that of my
fellow ATSer, ought to be sufficient in and of itself to enthrall and entertain, and provoke.
I had my first major spiritual experience in late 1996 after reading a book called "The Road Less Travelled, A New Psychology of Love, Traditional
Values and Spiritual Growth" by M. Scott Peck, MD. As great as it all was, in hindsight, it ended up leading to an eventual self-admitted
What goes up, must come down. Been there done that got the t-shirt.
In the process of "grokking" this book, towards the end, in particular the last chapter on grace, I broke down and cried my eyes out in my little
condo in downtown Toronto. We all have things to cry over when we get real, or when the winds blow and the rains beat on our house or we experience a
"dark night of the soul" or go straight through the tears into a blissful awareness of the presence of grace.
Anyway, so I had this "epiphany", and then over the Christmas holidays, I was slotted to go skiing with some friends of mine, and so began some sort
of epic odyssey with myself as a newly created and utterly forgiven sacred creature at the very heart of things, around which fate and circumstance
appeared to be conspiring to..I don't know, accomplish something extraordinary? be a light to the world? A hero?
I was so lit up at the time that my friend Dan looked in my eyes and said "I want some of what you're on!". I could seemingly predict and "control" or
flow with the weather.
I bestowed grace upon others everywhere I went with the twinkle of an eye, was able to bring happiness to a fighting, squabbling family with a smile
and strangers were approaching me and wanting to introduce me to their friends as we skied down Blue Mountain.
Part of the problem was, not just that I didn't know what to do with my newfound self-actualized self, but that in the process of exploring it I made
a number of false assumptions based on the old egoic structure of my mind and in pursuit of grandeur and the thought of directing
the course of
grace - I popped. I was like a spiritual nuclear detonation in the middle of a lonely and lost world. There was nothing else to do?!
Once so much as touched by grace, there's no where for the self to go, and since you can't grasp hold of it, the moment you do, or think you do, down
you go, and oh what a fall it is!
When I got to my parents home from skiing, I remember falling at the feet of my mother weeping tears of joy, and fear, and saying "I have seen the
grace of God!".
It was trippy, but in my ego-self, all kinds of strange things began to occur of an almost demonic nature (which I can relay), and that was bad.
So we decided that it would be best if I go see the family doctor, who years later when I asked him what happened back there, he told me straight
faced and honestly that in his view, because I'm a double minister's son having the church on both sides of me that I came under attack by dark
spiritual forces. That was the doctor's opinion in evaluating me. With my mother at my side, he asked me things like "What does it mean the saying 'a
rolling stone gather's no moss'?" I handled the metaphorical questions ingeniously, but could not count back from 100 for the life of me.
Strange times those were.
Around Christmas time, the same sort of thing has happened to me probably five more times since 1997.
Indeed it's not easy being a sensitive and complex human being.
If not for a good mind, wonderful parents and the grace of God, I would now be insane. But instead I treasure every moment of it and can remember it
all perfectly well looking back and to be honest, I wouldn't trade any of it in for the life of me.
My mother said that, as a mental health professional (which she was), that she did not believe that I was merely suffering from psychosis or bipolar
disorder, but he in her view what she called "an authentic spiritual experience", and before she died of cancer she said to me that it had
strengthened her faith and that she was very proud of me and knew something of what Mary must have felt like, which only played into my Christ complex
back then, I'm sure - don't take myself too seriously any more though.
The strange part about it, is that at some level, although it may have branched off into the land of psychosis at times, metaphorically and
allegorically, it's all true, and I really am a sacred being, as are you.
And maybe for a time I really did bestow grace upon the people of Blue Mountain while skiing and "saw the grace of God".
I could share so much more, but I'm also curious about other people's stories and if and how they've overcome.
But a word to the wise who wish to embark upon the spiritual path. Measure the cost of discipleship, while recognizing full well that there's no way
to avoid having your spiritual "house" tested at some point by strong winds and rains so to speak.
It comes upon us all I believe, whether as a mid-life crisis or by some other means, whether by circumstance or self-generated.
Carl Jung said that
"Today humanity, as never before, is split into two apparently irreconcilable halves.
The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate.
That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner contradictions, the world must perforce act out the
conflict and be torn into opposite halves."
- Carl G. Jung, 1959
If my own experiences can somehow serve to stand on the shoals like a beacon glow lighthouse so that others won't have to go through the terrors that
I have, and the ups and downs, then that's what I would offer if I could.
Someone has to light the way, that's the way of leadership by my oh my the courage that it takes to try to develop a working theological framework by
which to enter the fray with one's entire being, without any fear.
My message is a message of hope, humor, mirth and charm . It's the epitome of sanity and reason.
After all, sometimes you have to go insane to go into sanity, and the resurrection process is never easy.
I therefore pray that God will grant you courage, and that the stone might be rolled away from your own tomb on the other side of the ordeal.
I believe that there is a hand that's capable of wiping away the tears from our eyes and getting us to smile again, maybe even cry again but only
tears of absolute joy and utter hilarity.
We are loved and we are protected by God, but it sure is scary to find one's self a "person of interest" when you perceive that "all eyes are on you".
And who said that perfect paranoia isn't also perfect awareness..?
Love you and God bless you and keep you safe on his rock.
Let the piece of suffering given me (we don't get anything we can't handle) help to ease your burden and serve as a "beacon glow" at the edge of the
mountaintop experience. Learn from me. It's worth a bowl of tears to recover your smile.
edit on 29-9-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)