I had just finished facilitating a retreat. I was tired but satisfied that I had been faithful to the leadings I had received as I prepared and met with these gentle Friends. But I also experienced a sense of disquiet. As time passed, I began to second-guess the work, and was beginning to engage in some negative self-talk: “I should have listened more deeply.” “Was I really being faithful, or just following my own egoic ideas about how things should go?” “I didn’t communicate well enough.” I was really doing a number on myself!I went to bed acknowledging my limitation and anxiety, having come to an understanding of their origins. But I slept fitfully, struggling into the wee hours to remain groggily asleep. Then suddenly, about 4 am, I just woke up, very clear and calm, and perfectly alert. I felt as though I had been swimming under water, and had finally surfaced to get a good, long breath.
I rose for a bit, then got back into the bed with my husband. Suddenly, still awake, I felt an infilling of energy and received a vivid visitation. Language cannot describe the impossibilities that I perceived in that bubble of timelessness. It was as if all of Life simultaneously appeared in a rush to my inward sight. The past, present, and future all existed simultaneously.Babies were both being born and dying as the old people they had become, peacemakers were cheering in city squares while also driving the tanks that rumbled into empty, shuttered streets. I saw the kind, loving, deep pools that were the eyes of Mother God as she held me closely to her breast, while I was simultaneously uplifted by the exquisite, cold, and awful Perfection at the center of a mathematical equation. God and Not-God danced together. The seed hull burst, sent out a shoot, pierced the surface of the ground, gave forth fruit and died in exactly the same moment. The face of every animal merged with every other, but never lost their uniqueness. The world burned but was not consumed. The ocean waves leapt and crashed, receded and returned, inhaled and exhaled in the same breath. And in the waves I could see the images of all of the waves that have ever been or ever will be. Time and space stood still together and embraced. I heard, “I Am That I Am,” and knew that this was the true condition of Reality, that it described the actual reality of the world that we live in, and which we persistently misperceive.
My mind labored with the paradoxes, jumping forward into the future and backward into the past. I felt as if I might pop. My whole being felt impossibly stretched by an experience which I could not really experience, but only witness in part. I received the guidance to be content with what I could fathom, because this happening was far bigger than anything my mind and body could contain.One would think that this would be a terrifying experience, but it was not. I wept with joy, with release. I wept to be shown that Life is far greater than anything we can comprehend, that God is far greater than anything we can understand or hang language upon. I wept knowing that the theists and nontheists are both correct. I wept knowing that love and life, birth and death, past, present and future, the cycles of seasons and paths of the planets, the Big Bang and Intelligent Design are all cut from the same cloth.
It seems impossibly paradoxical. But, standing momentarily on the lip of a great Void that was dark and warm and bright and cold, I knew that my human perception was just too short sighted to see the true condition of Reality. Were I able to rise far enough above that Great Void, and hold its impossible dimensions in my mind, I would see the face of God – and I would know Unity.
I wondered again why it seems that these visitations come in the company of suffering. For me, the willingness to be impeccably authentic seems to help create the conditions that allow God's spirit to break in. In my case, authenticity usually involves some suffering. I stand in the Light, and see myself as I really am, warts, beauty, and all. So I have renewed my commitment to being as authentic as possible, as I stand before people and God. And I have renewed my commitment to work on behalf of the Unity that includes all diversity, which I name God. I invite you to join me in that commitment, if you have not already done so. And I pray that one day our world shall know the Unity that passeth understanding.