In high school, I took Russian; therefore I was aware of Eastern Christians. On Sunday, April 25, 1965, I was thinking about that day being Orthodox Easter. Unusual since at the time I considered myself an agnostic political activist, dismissing religion as the cause of everything I thought unfair. No matter. Something intensely spiritual intruded. Being young and naive, I just went with it.
My bedroom filled with a pearlescent, fluid Light. A swirling, living energy field of an intense joy and love all around me, moving me to tears of gratitude. I could see it surrounding and emerging from the cellular structures of the skin of my forearm. Same down to the molecular level of the wooden nightstand. At this point, saying “I” is not really about an ordinary persona. Yes, the individual I am in this life was there, but more an ideal version of self. I was lifted up above the city of Seattle, accompanied by a spiritual entity behind me to the left. I could see people going about their business, few of whom were aware that they, too, were being held in the same loving energy. As were the beautiful mountain ranges, forests, and fjords of my native Washington state.
Then I was taken across the Atlantic Ocean, observing a right whale and species of fish not found along the west coast of North America. Somehow I could see simultaneously the lush, myriad complexities of microscopic plankton as well as the vastness of the ocean and its abundant macroscopic life. Then ashore at Senegal, the distinctive boats of the fishermen visible. Across the Serengeti– its wildlife herds, persistent trees, villages. The sheer diversity wonderful in itself. Yet I was graced with the experience of feeling the grand expanse of loving energy around the whole scene.
The scope of vision was now at the scale of the Earth itself. I could see the curvature of the planet, the the atmosphere enveloping the globe with its life sustaining blue beauty. This was no illusion or garbled childhood memories. It was before the advent of color satellite photos, the space program having begun only a few years previously. Next, I remember looking back at the Earth and its moon. From there, past Mars and Uranus, out of the solar system altogether.
Toward other planets, orbiting star systems probably still within the Milky Way galaxy. And then within other galaxies. I was conscious of sentient life on a few of those planets. Some of which seemed aware of me also. Other life forms were so alien I could not really grasp what they were. I didn’t feel hostility; just profoundly unintelligible difference. Then something like a journey across vastness; galaxy clusters becoming pinpoints of light, spreading out into unimaginable distances. Up to a barrier of sorts, perhaps the boundary of the universe in some sense. Where everything went dark. Not because nothing was there, but rather that blazing light or sublime love or biological exuberance or powerful interstellar events cannot contain the abundant presence of an Infinite Divine.