To live in this world
you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go. ~ Mary Oliver
Once, during a past-life regression, I had an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. I felt myself as an immense energy, meteorite force, hurtling through the velvety, empty darkness. The sensation I felt was a trillion galloping stallions vibrating every cell in my body. An energy trajectory of immeasurable intensity with an awareness of a single focus; a determined purpose. I was dark and dense and paradoxically made of nothing at all … a compression of infinite vacuums and sound.
Perhaps this lasted thirty seconds or so before ‘I’ became aware of two other ‘objects’. I rapidly became cognisant that I was on a collision course. That we three singularities would indeed collide with a tremendous, momentous impact. I had the feeling of a quickening, of a dynamic destiny coupled with graceful freewill. I was filled with the certitude of purpose. No goal but this. It was steadfast intent that I have only ever really glimpsed at since.
I recognised these two other ‘objects’ to be a sperm and an egg. What felt like both a crash and a crescendo flooded my experience. A strong sense of completion engulfed me – a deep relaxing insight of arrival. A portal of perfect synchronicity had opened and I came through it. This sacred trinity beyond sole-soul-purpose was me. The mystical made manifest in human form. I had arrived on Earth.
The Same Soul Portal
I was recently reminded of this dramatic becoming whilst tending to a dear, dying friend. She had slipped into the realms between life and death. Hovering between worlds. She had embarked on the here and now journey of her new single purpose. Worldly obligations and preoccupations were no longer of any concern to her. She was moving towards that portal that she had entered so powerfully sixty-eight years ago. She was, in tender terms, going ‘home’.
Up until this moment, I’d never had the experience of being with a loved one as they journeyed towards that doorway and then passed through. I was prepared for her leaving. I knew that ‘she’ was not her body. I was content to see her frail and ailing body soften in the relief that death brings. But I was not prepared for the tangible and expansive ripples of magic that flooded the room, that played music in my heart and reverberated through my soul. The one part of her trilogy that arrived on Earth from elsewhere was leaving and as I fell into a more contemplative and meditative state, the more acutely aware I was of the magnificence of our Existence – every animate and inanimate object became holy.
I knew she had arrived at the portal because her breath fluctuated from shallow and calm to deep and full. I imagined her hovering in the doorway of that portal: making peace, negotiating amends, asking for forgiveness, forgiving, being in prayerful recognition of both sides, perhaps prostrate in gratitude. She seemed diligent with whatever it was that she needed to do before stepping through. I gingerly wet her lips, spoke softly as if to a child and tried to interfere as little as possible. Other friends also witnessed her process as she lingered in that invisible, mystical doorway.
Her dear friends were connected to her and each other, eager and full of the sweetest sorrow. What could be more natural than having beloved friends at her side expressing love and appreciation for all she brought to this world? What could be more natural than waiting up all night to see a good friend off?
Her breath left her throat and like a delicate whisper entered her nose … just a few gentle lullaby-sighs and then the breath no more. ‘She’ left her body. The room was luminous; a string of clichés arrived all at once … and they were fitting, welcome and true. ‘Goodbye, dear Rani … Fly high … I love you.’
Your body is away from me
But there is a window open
from my heart to yours.
From this window, like the moon
I keep sending news secretly.
A Familiar Experience
The only other experience I have had like this was waiting for a baby to arrive. It’s the same transcendental energy. Literally it’s life and death. Danger and exhilaration. It touches the moon and the stars and far away galaxies and brings them so close that the wait feels impossible and the anticipation unbearable. There’s the raw blue-print of miracles all around us. Nothing is without the charge of incredulity. The pushing, panting, blood, shit, and sweat. The acceptance and inherent trust in the infinite intelligence governing and directing the whole theatre of life. A baby is coming. A first out-breath will demand our attention and the screech will sound angelic and right. We will be for an instant moved back towards the appreciation of everyday miracles. We will rest as we remember who we truly are. We will, for a moment exhale, and forget our troubles. We will hover in the shadows of that doorway and be too mesmerised to ask what’s on the other side. Some deep remembrance of our very own journey to Earth will give us faith, trust, and solace. That memory will help us forget all our needless egoic identification and addiction to perceived drama. This is the only show in town worth watching.
Don’t run away from grief, o soul,
Look for the remedy inside the pain,
because the rose came from the thorn
and the ruby came from a stone.
When my identification with my human suffering shrouds me and I believe there is no point to this life and the flatness and pain in my chest feel insurmountable, I force myself to recall this portal of human existence. When the ‘why me?’ and the even more corrosive, unanswerable domino-whys arrive, I picture this portal and try to steep in the memory-glow of that energy field. When I am present and make a conscious choice, many obscure things can flash me to that oasis-like submersion of that immortal-portal field.
Arrivals and Departures
Just yesterday, I was walking with a dear friend on the beach who was crippled with depression and suicidal ideation. She had boxed herself into futile ruminations. I gave my heart, my love, and my kindness in touch and in words. I listened and I reminded her of what usually helps me: Reach out. Make Contact. Retreat. Repeat.
My dogs were busy with a washed-up, puffed-up dead fish. I always pick these dead fish up and bag them, then bin them, so that they can cause no harm. As I picked this lifeless creature up, I noticed its underbelly … it had the most beautiful, intricate, almost mosaic-like arrangement. Like magnified, perfectly designed, snow-flake patterns. And right there were all the answers to my whys and a solace for my existential angst. Right there was the all-pervasive mystery.
Perhaps my friend and I had shared enough, cared enough; empathy and sympathy had been explored. Perhaps it was simply that the timing was right. But I showed her the fish … visually inviting us to stop asking and start witnessing and appreciating the infinitesimal-magnitude of the complexity of life on Earth. The beauty in the decaying fish seemed to lift both our spirits. Without words, we understood this magnificent invitation to leave our obsession with ‘me’ as the subject of fascination and to refocus on the whole of our sensory experience. We were plunged into an Avatar moment. We were surrealists in a surreal world.
The whole meaning of life exploded without language into our consciousness. We knew what we had to do. Both powerful purpose and graceful freewill descended and called us to be part of this fantastical emergence, to participate as the wonder, within the wonder and realise that this wonder-full is ever-present: the flash of insignificant to significant; the flash of essence to essential. The warp and weft of life and the bereft are inextricably intertwined.
The reassurance that the portal for awe is never far away seemed to have a brilliant effect on her depressive mood. There was a shift. The surrender to the unsolvable mystery was a huge relief. It was a healing balm for angst and suffering. Our eyes locked and we hugged. Without words, we both knew that our private sufferings were mostly bogus.
Do you have any experiences that can only be described as mystical? Experiences that have perhaps calmed your suffering and prompted the remembrance that you are more than your body. That you are more than the multiple identifications and constructs that you call ‘you’?
It is often hard to put into words the indescribable and intangible … but we truly welcome your endeavours. Please share below in the comments or feel free to send your poems or anecdotes to Uplift Community Contributions.
May you find the courage of acceptance and the fortitude of resilience to make this world an even more beautiful place.