I write this next part with a shakiness within. With uncanny reverence and customary humor. I wrote on and on and on as it was happening, and review my field notes rarely. I have felt an invitation to discuss it. It is a mystical event, one I find sacred. Ridiculous. Holy. Only the insanely blessed can make fun of themselves to this degree.
I had, since waking up in January, felt as if there was a wall of light constructed past May 25, 2012. It seemed there was an impenetrable barrier, one which did not yield to the darkest threats, the meanest epithets, the most pitiful begging. It was just there. A lighted koan. A big question mark.
I did not know what my life would look like on May 26. In fact, I lived from January to May not really believing there would be anything at all that I would recognize on the 26th. I sensed a surprise.
By the 23rd of May, I was in a panic. It is one thing to consider that it might all be over on a certain date in the future. We all live with our expiration dates stamped on everything we produce, while living in the world of days and nights, good and bad, up and down. It is quite another to be two days away from some made up deadline, unconvinced I will be, once the calendar page flips and the day arrives.
I went to a friend who works as a guide and psychic. I go to her when my mechanical life is so intensely messed up that I come to the standstill of paralysis. She lifted me out of my fear. She told me I was perhaps pushing myself too hard. She gave me solace, encouragement, and the fear found surcease. I woke up on the 25th unafraid and expectant.
I had made a date, my first in well over a dozen years. I knew it was a bad idea, that I would be entangling myself with someone who was not my equal (that sounds very judgmental. It’s not, just a statement of energetic fact. Sorry it sounds so uppity). But, having been so lonely, and having found some willingness to break my fast from company, I decided to just go along with the idea that I would just meet a new friend, have some wine and herb, have a mellow night, and vanish back into the ethers.
I knew, having talked with him a bit, that it would be the vanishing part that would lead to disturbances, difficulties. It was very exhausting watching the relationship play out, noticing I was without willingness to prevent it.
I had money in my pocket and hope in my heart that day. So I decided I would waste the day up at Black Hawk, gambling. It would be a day of celebration and lightheartedness. It would be a good day.
I went to my favorite casino first, the Riviera. The last two times I’d been there, I had had extremely wonderfully weird and powerful soulic things happen. I cannot go into detail, but suffice it to say, I consider it one of my temples.
Happily I walked to one of the first banks of slot machines we eager gamblers encounter. I was doing pretty well, “keeping alive,” my mom, sister and I call it: the machine giving back just enough to encourage you to play more, never enough to solve your problems.
I looked over at a woman who was doing very well, as Collective Soul’s first album rang in my headphones. It was a song which clearly was written about a human relationship. Most of their songs are written for the ascending, about and for and to Source. At least that is what I think. That’s how I always take them.
I can spend an hour with Collective Soul, imagining my guides are singing the songs to me, and I sing my responses to my guides, or to my son. Ahh, such love, such hope, so many revelations I have had at their hands, Collective Soul.
This song was about a failed relationship.
As I watched that lady hit on her machine, I thought about how she is probably married, busily and happily involved in a human relationship which allows her a greater joy and freedom of movement than I know. She has comfort, she has someone from whom she can draw strength and support and, most, identity. She is someone’s wife. She matters to someone else.
Hmm. I wonder about this date. I don’t want to like this guy. He is not cut out for me. He will need more than anything. He is a big ball of need. Why am I doing this?
Collective Soul rang out, engulfing these obsessive fevered thoughts.
I belong to no one. I am all alone. No one even knows I am going on this date. No one will know of my great joy or great disappointment later on tonight. Jesus I don’t want to do this. But I need to belong to someone. Maybe I could find harbor with this guy. It would be an uneven match, but I could use it to both our advantages, I suppose. OK, how, just how lonely are you? How much happiness are you willing to give up to be in company again, to be kissed and hugged and maybe even loved again, even if the love is ungainly and sad and small.
I wish that I could just have a relationship with God, I thought. I wish God could just come down here and I could have a good relationship with someone who is trustworthy, who would never lie, and would never hit or hate or trick me.
And then it came to me, as crystal clear and true as ever a thought about God has ever been.
I love God.
I never have sung love songs to people, and I never think about my specific past when I sing. I think about how much I love God. Then I realized, I have always been this way. I have always loved God most and best and truest.
And so the thinking went. Into places I have never gone this lifetime.
In a moment so blessed, so singular, so passionate, I have not been able to revisit it, I realized, heard, knew, I am God’s and God is mine. That we are lovers and friends and I am filled with such gratitude, such awe for having been loved so well.
Oh, the bliss to know that something that is better than, purer than, more innocent and knowing than anything I have ever known on earth is what has kept me alive this whole time. In a moment I knew that I was in absolute and utter and complete love with God.
I realized that I could have relationship with others, but that this was the song in my heart, my home, my deepest, most adoring love. That I could roam far and wide, but there, that is where I rest, what I eat, it is my sustenance, it is my love. Love. Such love.
It is indescribable the ecstasy I felt, knowing I am God’s and God is mine, and that after all these years and disappointments and mistakes, I am in love with God. Always have been.
And then I understood. Of course the only really significant lovers in my life have come into our relationship loving someone else. Of course they did. So had I. I was absolutely unattainable, but, boy, was I game. I did it all. I did it ALL. I played in the carnal garden and got my fill of delight, physical release, satisfying conversations.
But I was taken. Always.
I was in love with someone else.
And then I had my conversion.
Leave it to me to have my conversion in a casino, playing penny slots. Perfect.
Gladly I sensed a blinding white light above and to the left of me. I was already in a swirl of recognition, of deeply resonant knowing a core truth of my being. And then this light.
I cannot language a lot about the event. But I did see and feel and hear and know such an amazing light. My eyes were closed. It engulfed me.
I sat on that casino stool and wept with joy, for how long I do not know. Doesn’t matter. At one point I sensed someone on my right approach, inquiring about my health. I remember putting up my right hand, gesturing all was well, to leave me alone. I know there was rapture on my face. They felt me alone. I was left alone after that.
I understood, experienced a beautiful rapture that just would not let up. It kept going, kept going, kept going, love upon love, mercy upon mercy, joy upon joy, telescoping into and through each other, through me, through all, an ecstatic dance of creation and celebration.
I knew this was home, and that this was the only way out and through the madness. I knew it was my out.
And then it asked me what I would like to do.
You have never heard such authoritative begging.
JUST TAKE ME HOME. JUST DO IT. I WANT TO GO HOME. PLEASE TAKE ME HOME.
Such desperation. Such longing. Indescribable, but there is not a reader of these words who doesn’t know what I mean. Each of us is screaming “TAKE ME HOME!” in our own way.
And then something happened.
It’s as if I stepped back from this little drama and I saw it for what it was.
I have been given many, many opportunities to go home, I saw. There have been many wormholes I have been offered. I have declined each one.
Immediately I saw that I am actually in charge of this thing. I have wanted to stay here. I have been actively choosing it. Each time my way out was offered, I had declined. I am not a victim to this need for union anymore. I stood in all authority and humility, and in that casino, amid bells and whoops and anticipation, I said the unexpected.
“Not my will, but thine be done. I am sorry that I have petitioned you so pitifully. But it hurts to be here. It hurts and it’s sad and it’s been scary. Please forgive my begging. I am no beggar with you. I will do your will. I will do what is right. If that’s to stay, I will stay. If it is best for me to leave, I will go. Not my will, but thine.”
I knew in that moment that all I had to do was just surrender into that indescribable love, and all would be well. Maybe my body would be found collapsed on that stool. Maybe my body would travel with me. But it was a breath away.
From surprise and immediacy to fellowship and homecoming, I kept my eyes closed and rode that love.
Then I stood in front of that light. It had, by then, moved back and to my left again. It waited, patiently as always, indulgently, as always. And it told me I needed to decide.
It’s not yet physically possible to keep going in that light. I knew I was saying a goodbye of sorts. Unreluctantly, puzzled, I realized I was going to stick it out a while longer.
I looked up, and my closed eyelids once again glowed, and I said, “If I do decide to stick it out, do you promise that you will never leave me again? I can’t do this alone anymore. I will not do this alone anymore. It is not an option. You have to be with me if I keep going. Will you promise me that? Is it part of the agreement?”
I looked down (eyes closed, remember). The light dimmed, back to grey, no longer ablaze. And then I looked up, to my left, and that light was BLAZING. It smiled at me. It winked at me. It said, understanding somehow at its very core my great sadness and fear, my loneliness for them, my deep and utter separation; from that place of mercy it said, “Of course not. We do this together now.”
I told them that I needed to test them some more. I did. The light was there. Always. And I felt it sort of come alongside me, maybe even inside me, I don’t know.
But I knew, then and there, that the road home would be just as long as it had to be. As complete as I am in this light, whole and pure and strong, there is work at hand. There are completions to create. Given no specifics, just the knowledge that I was not alone, the energy crested, my eyes opened, and there I sat, in front of a slot machine, date wine in my car, a schedule to maintain.
I played on. I was down to maybe four dollars when all the power went out in the casino. Laughter and shocked surprise from my fellow gamblers. And in my right ear, loud as my neighbors, I heard a laugh and someone say, “Oops.”
I laughed out loud then. They explained that with this type of energy work, there has to be a hard reset, a physical reset. They told me to expect more of this sort of thing, but only once per mechanism. (One night at work, my car, phone and electronic organizing thing all lost juice, within an hour of each other. Each were revived. My old laptop didn’t make it through its reset). Then they told me to take a look at the screen in a minute.
It was a long time before the generators kicked in. I got a little bored, and started to play some Solitaire on my phone. I felt neither expectancy nor dread.
Then the screens crackled on, and on each of the monitors in my bank of machines, the machines printed out this message, letter by letter:
They told me to just check off what I want. It’s a multiple choice thing, everything available, any good thing. They whispered, over and over and over,
“Check all. Manifest. Check all. Manifest,” again and again they whispered.
My giggling got worse. I was, to the casual observer, someone who would be bringing her empty wallet back to a “Hoarders” home, where she would then feed her 23 cats.
I moved to a different machine once my old one could give me a receipt. I had no more illuminations. I had no more revelations in that casino.
I looked at my watch and saw I had several hours left. I decided to go to my other favorite casino, because I could get $15 spending cash from them. I’d get my cash and go home, play some video games, and then go on my date.
Oh crap. My date.
Needless to say, I had less enthusiasm for this endeavor now. Not because going on a date didn’t sound fun, because, really, it sounded more fun now than before. But this is so much and so holy. I know I won’t be able to keep my trap shut about this if I am with someone. Maybe I’ll call my sister. No, it wouldn’t work., This I have to just sit with for a while. Something is different. I’m not sure what, but something’s different.
I decided to just be honest. I withheld the meat, and gave him potatoes. Told him something big had come up and I was so sorry. If it made sense, I’d get back in touch, but tonight was out.
That completed, I moved on to the other casino, and decided, before I went in, that I should write down what had happened.
Like many things that happen in the ethers, although you are forever changed by it, unless you stitch it to earth, it stays light, and becomes some sort of cell memory. I didn’t want this love to ever fade, or the event to lose its structure.
So I sat in my car, with all the parking lot lights flickering and going off and then on, and then off again, and I wrote six pages.
Then, because I am horribly indulgent with my writing, I re-read it.
Halfway through reading it, my chest got very tight, and my back started to hurt. I got a flop sweat, and I couldn’t breathe. I got light headed. I got weak and all my muscles relaxed. Fluid ran down the back of my throat. Dizzy. And then I began to fade. I didn’t finish reading it.
After reading “Not my will but thine,” I passed out, thinking, stating with a smile, this is death. I am dying. They’re going to find my body. Oh I love Sam so much. He’s going to be okay! Oh thank God.
When I came to, I was drenched, unnaturally so, and I was shivering and as weak as a kitten. It took a great act of will to pick up my pen and paper, but that’s eventually what I did. But first I was overcome with a mad thirst. I remembered I had a water bottle. I remember doing some weird blessing in a language I did not recognize, and then I drank the whole liter.
And then I barfed. I was so sick. Oh my god. I had three rounds of puking my guts out. Everything came up.
Exhausted, spent, and a little freaked out, I started once again to write.
And then a great spin overtook me. I could feel it so strongly.
I said, in the spin, that I was ready. I was happy to go now. I don’t know what comes next, but I know I cannot outrun this thing. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to die at the Riviera. Maybe my sister will get the call from Ameristar that they found my dead body in my car. I knew I was dying. And I let it happen. There was no choice that time. It was a delicious surrender.
I traveled then, and there is much about that which will remain hidden, not for allure or in the spirit of separation, but, dear one, there are some things that can never be shared. Never.
When I came to, I was really surprised that I was alive.
Then I puked again.
I listened to Joan Osborne and I wrote all about what had just happened.
And then I turned my key and drove away, into my afternoon.
I got potato chips and flavored iced tea, and I went home and I had a solitary night watching TV.
It’s now nearly five months since this conversion.
I write this only to review it. Whatever it may stir up inside you is yours to work with. I don’t know if that was ascension or if it was just a bodhi tree moment. I don’t know.
I sometimes remember that day. But not every day do I consider it. Many weeks have passed when I have chosen to ignore that experience, refusing to assign it meaning or relevance. It’s over there, I am over here, struggling financially, struggling, always struggling.
It’s only been the last few days that things feel like less of a struggle. I realized that my reluctance to handle my life, to get my hands dirty with the messes I have made, well, that’s is borne of my reluctance to be here, but mostly from all the data I have received that no matter what I do, how good of an intent I hold, I get spanked. I fall short.
It’s mean and petty or it’s slow and boring or it’s unkind and uncouth. It is proof of my misunderstandings, my lack of confidence. It’s evidence of my failure. It’s all so incremental and slow and plodding and awful. It’s boring and it’s meaningless.
It’s only been in the last few days that I realize that there is not one thing in this life that is not significant, that is not holy, that is not whole. My impatience and my reluctance were devices I found helpful to walk to a far end of the road labeled “You Can’t Make Me.”
Now it all seems like a fascinating game of surrender. Of good humor. Nothing can really hurt me. Since the full moon, it is no coincidence that I have been canceled. And that would not be catastrophic for someone who believed in saving money for a rainy day.
I can tell you, it’s monsoon season here, for me. It’s bad. It’s actually quite impossible. That is the perfect word for my income/outflow situation. Impossible.
And I love it. It is fine. It is fine. All is well. It is fixable, and it will take just the tiniest amount of real effort. Consider it a tithe, not much, just show enough enthusiasm that we can crank this mother up, they tell me.
Just be willing to do one new thing, one thing you have been unwilling to do out of fear, just do half of it, and we will carry it to fruition. It’s about intent and willingness to suspend disbelief, the willingness to know, amid the madness, that everything makes perfect sense.
The futility which bound me to the earth, pinned me down, made it impossible to react with flexibility and fluidity to troubles, that futility is gone. I don’t see any of this as futile. Maddeningly slow, but not impossible to right.
I want to give this experience to you, and I am reluctant to do so. I am as exposed as I ever have been, sitting here in my jammies, sending out this particular love letter. I want no one to think they are less than because they haven’t seen a big light over their shoulder in a casino. Funny when I put it that way. But you know what I mean.
I give this to you today because I feel I need to. I don’t know why. I think it may help someone, someone who knows the longing I have known, who has longed for release like I have. Who has a crazy belief in a weird thing called ascension, or shift, or higher consciousness, or the unified field, or whatever else you want to label it. It doesn’t mind.
Even today I sit within a sea of conflict and limitation. Do not think I am above the fray. It’s just that I am less convinced it’s necessary to feel all the angst and fear anymore. No strum und drang. That part is over.
At least for now.
You know as well as I, that at that beautiful, sainted moment of pure symmetry, pure perfection, pure stillness, the next is inevitable, and once again you are a soaked and terrified drowning man, again at sea, in the dark, feeling forsaken, never grasping that the sea floor is only an inch away from your big toe.
It’s a grand dance fit for we giants, giants each and every one of us, our core selves having a good laugh over it all, just overhead, and to the left.