A place to discuss how faith experiences have changed your life.
Wed May 10, 2006 10:09 am +0000
I’m not sure you call this a “spiritual experience.” I call it “weird” and something I imagine most people will either not believe or make out as nothing more than a dream. I don’t talk about it for that reason. It was too real to me to allow to be taken lightly.
I was still exhausted from my long flight home from Vietnam. As I laid down for a long overdue sleep, I felt as much as I heard a strong buzzing in my head. I shook it off twice, but the third time, out of exhaustion or curiosity, I decided to allow whatever was happening happen without any interference. I forced myself to relax as the buzzing filled my head for the third time and the next thing I knew I was looking down on the earth form space. Off to my right, I saw in the distance what looked like a cloud hanging in space with several long tendrils reaching down to the surface that I somehow knew were attached to people on the surface. There were others, too, barely visible in the distance. I was there hanging in space for only a moment when I heard a voice in my head that said, “Not yet.” I suddenly found myself struggling to get back inside my head and open my eyes. I lay there for a few minutes pondering on what just happened before sleep soon overtook me.
I’m not one that remembers his dreams, but even now, over 35 years later, that experience is still vivid in my mind. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if it was an out-of-body-experience, a uniquely vivid dream experience or hallucination brought on by exhaustion, or something else. Whatever it was that happened, it is as real to me as the computer in front of me.
Any thoughts on what happened? More importantly, what the heck were those “clouds”?
Wed May 10, 2006 12:58 pm +0000
My off-the-cuff interpretation, Merlin, is based on your opening remark, "I was still exhausted from my long flight home from Vietnam." and your closing remark, "... sleep soon overtook me."
(That was 35 years ago. 35 from 2006 makes that 1971. Are we to assume you served there? Active duty? On the front?)
It seems that you were still very tense from your experience there, still unable to relax and put it behind you -- and so you were unable to let go of your battle-ready anxiety and get some rest. You were "suspended" in mid air, unable to fall, unable to feel grounded. Dangling.
Mercifully, your Adjuster saw fit to reassure you that you would not be going back to the war zone. You would not be dying -- "Not yet." -- and so you were able to let go of your battle-ready anxiety and get some rest.
The clouds? Barring the cloud that God sits on, I'd have to suggest it was the Serta Perfect Sleeper ... like sleeping on a cloud. But somehow the image of your faith keeping you afloat comes to mind.
What a vision! Thanks for sharing!
Wed May 10, 2006 3:16 pm +0000
Your response, Gerdean, is typical if the reason I don't talk much about it. It was far too real to be taken so lightly. It's not something that can be so easily dismissed. Yes, it may have been a dream or hallucination due to exhaustion (not stress) and the symbolism makes sense, but it is so real to me even now that it is very hard for me to simply dismiss it as such. Telling me it was just a dream or hallucination is like telling someone who had a life-changing NDE (near-death experience) their experience was a hallucination. There are attempts to arrive at a logical explanation, of course, but they are far from conclusive and often doesn't fit the evidence.
(Just a short note: I was in Nam in 70 and again in 72. In Nam, there was no "front" and only a relatively few saw real action. Most, like me, were had supporting roles. The only time I touched an M-16 was to qualify by punching a few holes on paper.)
Wed May 10, 2006 8:02 pm +0000
Merlin, I won't pretend to have "the" answer to what happened to you, but it certainly sounds like an OBE to me. The buzzing is interesting too, as that is often present with dramatic healings. Of course the stories of OBE's with "silver threads" that are infinitely elastic and seem to connect to traveler and his/her body, are classic. It may indeed have been meant as a reasurance to you, but only you would know if that was the affect.
At any rate, this kind of experience is hardly unique, and you should not be riddiculed for what after all, is YOUR exlperience. I've had "flying dreams" that I suspect may well have also been OBE's. Why not? We are, after all at our core, spirits.
Wed May 10, 2006 9:35 pm +0000
I beg your pardon, Merlin. I had no intention of making light of your experience and I sincerely regret that you perceive my response as being indicative of such.
Wed May 10, 2006 9:51 pm +0000
Howdy, Merlin. Thanks for sharing your experience.
We are children of Light. We are luminous beings. We are not bodies. For the present, even as luminous beings, we do exist in close association with a particular body, but we are not constrained to that body. Under many circumstances it is possible for our point of consciousness to disengage from the body and percieve a higher order. Many spiritual disciplines encourage this disengagement through discipline and exercise. This disengagement can also be triggered by great stress or release of stress. As Bro Dave says, the onset of such experiences is often accompanied by a loud buzzing. To enter such a state, one must surrender to it, as you mention you did. I suspect many people would share such experiences save for the fact that we live in a culture which is quick to dismiss such experiences as "unreal".
For lack of a better term, I guess out of body experience will have to do. Not a dream. Not a hallucination. But rather the real experience of a perspective outside the confines of the body. Threads and tentacles of light are often reported from this perspective, and it is often reported that they somehow link us all together. As to the clouds you mention and the phrase "Not yet", I don't know what they mean. But I suspect that if you are able to embrace your experience as genuine, its meaning may emerge.
I have some experience with OBE, and ascribe to them some usefulness at certain times. But having an OBE, whether by design or accident, should be in no way construed to be an indicator of any special spiritual status. An OBE, can reveal spiritual insights, but is not necessarily spiritual in and of itself. In fact, like anything else, it's dogged pursuit can become an impediment to true spiritual progress. These days I mostly hang around in my body.
Wed May 10, 2006 11:14 pm +0000
Early in our space program, they were testing the astronauts to see what would happen if they were in a capsule, and lost all power, leaving them in total silence and total darkness for a long period. One of the astronauts did an OBE, and was able to report in detail, an experment that was being conducted in the lab next to his capsule. So, you are in pretty good company!
Thu May 11, 2006 11:02 am +0000
Thanks, all. It is reassuring to know that there are some people who take such experiences seriously.
Sorry, Gerdean. I didn’t mean it the way it sounded. The symbolism you used is really worth some consideration. After all, it was a time after I left the church I was brought up in and before my pursuit of higher truths. Maybe it was just the catalyst necessary for inner development.
I’ve read something about the silver threads, but what Bro said about the buzzing and healing is something I haven’t heard. I wonder if there’s a correlation? I wonder if the clouds represented collectives of personality-types? While it is fun to speculate on such matters, Arc, is right to say that a dogged pursuit can be an impediment. In any case, that experience is one of the reasons I suspect the ultimate nature of reality is much different than what our physical senses and material minds lead us to believe.
Thu May 11, 2006 11:44 am +0000
No harm done, none taken, Merlin. Thanks.
I agree with you completely when you say: "... I suspect the ultimate nature of reality is much different than what our physical senses and material minds lead us to believe."
We have only our perceptions to go on, and they are based on this mind which we are loaned for the mortal experience. In faith, however, I do think the Adjuster can break through and will if deemed appropriate.
Fri May 12, 2006 9:50 am +0000
We do indeed have only our perceptions to go on, but what are their limits? How deeply, and how clearly, do we perceive? I didn’t know it at the time, but the experience opened the door to a new world of possibilities. For many years I thought the challenge was getting to know and understand the world “out there.” I was wrong. Looking outward, we see only the reflection of our soul. We connect with the universe in the way we connect to ourselves. To be at home in the universe is to be at peace with ourselves. Moments of belonging are rare for me, but they never occur when I am actively seeking.
“Let go and let God” is more than a quaint aphorism. No one finds God by seeking him out, for he is with us already. We only think we are looking for God when what we’re really looking for is the door that lets him in. Finding the way to keeping the door open is a long and difficult process of unlearning.
Fri May 12, 2006 1:51 pm +0000
To beat/melody of SECRET AGENT MAN
By P.F. Sloan & S. Barri
“Modified to suite Merlin”
He’s a sacred gentleman and soul traveler
To everyone he meets no one is a stranger
Within every dream is a journey he takes
Wondering if he’ll wake to see tomorrow
He’s a sacred dreaming man, a soul travilin man
A life of many numbers but a soul that has no name.
Merlin enjoy...life has many mysteries. Soul travel or spiritual journeys can take on many forms.
Merlin there may be a poem meant for you...enjoy
Essays & Speeches:
POEM: YOUR TREE WILL GROW
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