Proverbial Mountain Climbing part 3: Peak intensity!
Welcome to I Have A Theory the podcast where we explore intersections between physics, metaphysics, religion, society, consciousness and being.
On this episode (and I have a feeling it will be a long one!) we are going to go into my own experience of this mountain summit and how it relates to versions in a variety of religions. It was intense and what was at the most a total of 2 weeks and what I remember as about 3 days…but it was so condensed that it was something I wasn’t given much chance to really think about and things moved very quickly in transformations from one state to another. Frankly, I am not sure I will be able to fit all I need to fit into this episode…but I will try. It was Peak Intensity! So before we continue, please listen to the previous couple of episodes if you have not.
In short, the previous 3 years of this climb, was a combination of an initial opening up to God and an awareness of a higher power that was aware of me too. I had developed knowledge of self, knowledge of true self, and then had a desire to see my true face in a way. I was filled with love, hope, and felt connection spiritually---
I had a convergence of several ideas that spoke truth and love to me. Things I ‘gravitated’ towards as much as seemed to gravitate towards me. All these different ideas were coming together in my mind and led me to an understanding about my (our) true nature and that we are made of mostly nothing…held together by a sense of self as edges—and with it’s annihilation of the illusion, I should, if I wanted to, be able to literally become nothing and vanish with will alone. That was my theory at any rate and that theory…I was going to test.
"The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me." Meister Eckhart
On the last episode, I said it was the Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell series the Hero with a 1000 faces, but it was called The Power of Myth and I highly recommend it.
Over a period of maybe a week I was really getting clear on what I wanted to do, and basically prove my belief, and I had made a decision to do so that night, I had even told a colleague at work about my theory. Now, I also need to say that around this time I was falsely accused by one boss that I was having an affair with his married partner because we were enjoying working together too much and I was doing too good a job. I loved this job so much. It was such a perfect job for me and I did get along with this employer. He treated me with respect and I was doing work everyone was happy with…That shook me and was definitely one shock introduced to my journey at this time. I was also threatened by him and suddenly at risk for something I didn’t do and couldn’t fix. It was very traumatizing.
If you will recall the episodes about the Enneagram and also Job and the Bicameral Mind, certain shocks at the right time can cause a transformation and that is what happened to me again. All of these things happened so fast, I don’t quite remember all the order up to the Leap of Faith.
I should also mention though that all up to this time, I had also felt ‘dense’ as though too much information was compressed into too small a space. Sometimes my muscles and body just contracted and shook with what would likely be diagnosed as shock, but was also part of this spiritual experience of ‘gathering oneself together’. I felt electric too.
And it was while watching this show for the 3rd or 4th time at least, that at this time suddenly an image of Trimurti Shiva at Elephanta became the image that caused my enlightenment. It was like a sudden collapse of all ideas and all things and I was instantly reminded of the time 3 years earlier with the 2 lawyers and the Judge that I spoke about in the episode Job and the Bicameral Mind. This Trimurti Shiva in some ways was this same image but made whole and undivided. A tripartate unity – and the same as the Trinity as I soon came to understand it. I understood this image in such a profound and personal way and in two ways, one as divided, and now as integrated—as family and as one body. This was another real shock moment of this three day period. I think it was like an enlightment experience and very similar to Zen experiences that koans are supposed to generate. There aren’t words to describe it at all – but the closest I can get to the feeling is a collapsing. Like a star does, just prior to becoming a black hole…but it was a coalescence too. The idea of one hand clapping…this idea resonates with me about this feeling too. To this day I can’t explain it at all. It was just like a clean slate too.
Now, I am not sure if this next thing happened before seeing this Shiva image again, or if it was after, or if it was even a whole day between…but somewhere in this time I experienced what I think of in retrospect as the Grace of Direction. But as I experienced it in the moment---I felt a sense of terror about what was happening to the world. It’s possible that my experience in the workplace also converged on this feeling here or happened at this exact time too. It was a lot simultaneously. My primary fear was about Virtual Reality. Much like how I felt the idea of the astral body was a second illusory body that kind of adds a double layer of falsehood – I felt VR would do the same. At that time VR was being talked about and since I was trying so hard to move in the opposite direction, I felt this was so dangerous to the journey it terrified me, not to mention the environment which I had long felt passionate about and all the other sufferings which suddenly was now much more intense.
I mentioned the bliss of Oneness which progresses to the pain of Sick or Sorrowful soul. It is a progression though it lasted in it’s full intensity for only a brief moment. For a short moment I carried the true cross, I felt the fullness of the pain of all the suffering of all the world. It was unbearable it was so intense. I have always thought of it as a blessing, a trust.
I believe it was also a seed planted by grace to get me moving in the right direction with my experiment, and not just for my own ego. I was being called by God, though I didn’t realize it yet. It was my heart that heard it and responded out of it’s own nature.
What it brought out in me were literally the following questions I had for God: “So where is Jesus anyway? Where is the savior? We need him now if he is coming. What is the wait? How many does it take? 1? 10? 1000? Is there a critical mass of people you are waiting for?
And then I was like, well “Here I am”. And I volunteered myself. I might have even raised my hand in my bedroom. Immediately I was surrounded by the holy spirit. Now, I had no name really for it –because I still had never opened up a bible yet--but it colored everything around me as though I was looking through rose colored glasses. Everything was reddened. it brought to mind all these things---love, the womb, birth, fire, blood, comfort, passion. It seemed to guide me and speak lovingly to me. It seemed so proud of me. It had a feminine quality to it. This is the same as the fire baptism of the holy spirit, and it is also same as the Shekinah of Judiasm, and I also think it is the same as Rudra, another name of Shiva both of which have possible etymological roots in the color red. I also think it is related to what is seen occasionally on Ayahuasca but I strongly counsel against using drugs and will do an episode on that specifically later. In the meantime don’t do Ayahuasca especially. It is being in the presence of the presence within this ‘tent of meeting’. It is being at the marriage described in many parables of the bible. A wedding, a union, between you and the universe, a consummation, is about to take place. It is a private event and the only garment you should wear is your purity and perfect faith.
This is why in the parable of the uninvited guest appears they are soundly removed and reproved. They are not wearing the right garments. This is what happens on ayahuasca as an example. I don’t know of other situations where this could happen – but it is clear that the person did not get to this holy place on their merits. Nor are they fit, or have they offered themselves. The whole thing is rapey and grabby and will likely keep you out forever and yet ever lusting after that experience without ever actually getting there. It’s like being a peeping tom at a divine union. It’s very rude. I will definitely do a longer episode on this as I have feelings about it. Have a look at Matthew 22:11-14 for a Christian parable around this idea.
This holy spirit energy surrounded me in a deep soul hug from the universe, from God. I was not afraid of its presence at all. I felt fully seen and there was a kind of rapid seeing a few key scenes from my past. Like flashbacks of love. It was at this time that I was reminded of my childhood decision to stay good, when I heard the words ‘Don’t become what you hate’ long ago and live by it. There was no judgment from Spirit. Only love and open arms and guidance. It had a motherly feel to me.
Now, although I was going to become nothing, and I seemed to be guided to go to the very beginning – to apriori creation. To become one with the very mind of God. Empty of separate self.
I did not know if I would return. I did not know if I would die. I didn’t know if my body would be left behind. The practical side of it all left me with concerns and I was aware of the attachments that got in the way.
The first night I tried to become nothing I did not succeed as a result of these mundane worldly, but also thoughtful concerns…the two main ones being – will my housemate find my body and that I didn’t want to leave her with a dead body to deal with, and if I just vanished and didn’t come back---who would take care of my cat? (the best cat ever it must be said). Because of these concerns, I was not able to release myself of the fear and go.
The holy spirit seemed to fade away as I slept that night and went to work the next day.
I was determined to make it work this next day and the second I got home from work I was surrounded again by the Holy Spirit. But this time, there was another presence I can only describe as Loud Quiet and Divine Masculine energy. As I was feeling nervous sitting there about to try to vanish again, to go to God, to apriori being, to become nothing and empty of self, this quiet silent presence became very loud with one word only said to me which was CHOOSE. It was the kind of loud that reverberated deep and I just knew this was my Judgement Day and I was the one having to make the judgment and decide whether I had fear or whether I had faith. And for me it was really an in or out, trust or don’t trust. Do you believe and have faith or not? It was a yes or no. Because what was holding me back was fear and fear is not faith. I was at the Leap of Faith.
And I knew at that moment that I had complete faith and trust and gave myself to God. And it happened so fast. I heard what sounded like a car or train whizzing by – there was a doppler horn trumpet effect –and then nothing. Not even a me to perceive anything at all.
It’s really hard to explain because I wasn’t there! There was no I anymore. No sound, no light, no be. Nothing. Not even awareness.
Here are some quotes that I was reading at the time that describes this well:
"The One is without cognition, ignorant even of itself. One cannot see the sun when one is the sun; the
seer cannot see the seen because the seer is the seen." Plotinus
"The seer does not see or distinguish or imagine two things; he becomes another, he ceases to be himself
and to belong to himself. He belongs to Him as is one with Him, like two concentric circles; they are one
when they coincide, and two only when they are separated. It is only in this sense that the soul is other
than God. Therefore this vision is hard to describe. For how can one describe as other than oneself, that
which when one saw it, seemed to be one with oneself."
Plotinus from the Enneads 6:9:11
And I found the treasure of the Hadiqa, the Walled Garden of Truth afterwards - one of the first books I found after this experience and it was so perfect I wept the whole way through reading it.
"Never stand still on the path: become non-existent; non-existent even to the notion of becoming non-
existent. And when you have abandoned both individuality and understanding, this world will become that." Hakim Sanai, Walled Garden of Truth (Hadiqa)
When I returned—and that in itself was a surprise, I survived!---Though I left seated cross legged on my bed, I returned laying down and it felt as though invisible hands cradled my head gently down onto my pillow and I heard as I came back to awareness of self the first sentence of the Lord’s Prayer in my head. I didn’t know that was what it was at the time – I repeat---I was VERY ignorant about the bible, but it sounded bible-y and I went to find one in the house to look it up and luckily – my housemate had a red letter bible. But I did not find the passage I sought right away.
There is some debate on this matter between Hindu and Buddhist schools as the Hindu schools believe the goal is to experience this nothingness but not stay there, and the Buddhists believe that Nirvana and the goal is forever this nothingness. It is described in the Bible as the Holy of Holies. It is the Tent of Meeting. It is the Tabernacle. It is being one with and in the presence of the undivided Everything. So it is certainly holy and important and there is, when you realize all the things that got me to that place, it is sacred. Not only to God, but truly to those who made it there. Who conquered their fears and chose love, salvation, and died. I believe it is what is meant to die in Christ and be reborn with him. I gave my life in service and my offer was received but also I heard the words from the Holy Spirit immediately after that I was ransomed.
A lot of this I didn’t understand after this experience. All of it was so new and amazing and it had happened so fast once I said HERE I AM!
When God gave his own name to Moses it was I AM. And throughout the Bible we see that when God calls, his chosen answer HERE I AM as I did, so naturally…and yet…as I mentioned, with the Grace of Direction. I was given this feeling of something to love, something to fear, and something to trust and something to heal, so that I would shift my vehicle – my spirit--- to not just become nothing for the sake of proving my theory, but rather to become nothing to save the world. I know it sounds pretentious, but that is what happened. Had I not felt that danger to the world, had I not felt the pain so intensely, I would not have also felt the desire to help, or have enough will to become nothing. It takes energy and that fear was energy that was put to good use and transformed into fuel which Grace and Mercy directed towards Eternal Love.
The paradox is when I was called, my ‘Here I AM’ led me to Not Be, which led me to a new I AM that is permanent. Immortal. Indestructable and Saved.
We did it! We made it up the mountain, I took you passed base camp, showed you the traps of ego to avoid and the discipline and qualities of character to develop. I told you about hearing the call and the feeling of the pain of the world, becoming truly ONE with the world and with the Man of Sorrows, and trusting in God and said Here I Am, putting ourselves on the cross, to die with Christ. Becoming nothing, but directed towards eternal life. I told you about the loved and grace and guidance by the Holy Spirit, and of the Judgment Day…except it wasn’t me being judged, as much as us judging our own faith. And I told you of my own faith that had me saying ‘NO FEAR’ and had perfect trust and gave myself fully to God making my will and God’s the same by becoming literally one with the apriori and eternal Will of God by becoming nothing and annihilating the separate self. And then I returned to tell the tale and make this podcast. I’ll go into more about what I experienced on the next episode. I will say, the descent was more treacherous and harder than the climb for me, but it was also filled with the most incredible marvels.
I wrote a poem about this whole experience of climbing this mountain…starting with my Job moment and continuing on this climb I’d like to share with you. I already shared the first part of it – but since we completed the climb upwards now, I’d like you to hear the rest of it.
Opening Act: The Trial: Hell
A dark room. A woman cries in despair.
Her complaint ? That life is unfair !
Three shadows are then cast about on the floor,
Stage left, Stage right, and another,
( an amalgamation of those from before?)
She's not sure of the third, it could be just her own,
It never speaks. It leaves her alone.
She calls him the Judge, but he left it to her to decide
which of the shadows, of Lawyers, are right.
One prosecution, the other defense,
but which was which, was anyone's guess.
The Argument that went back and forth through the night,
true they both seemed. But this can't be right!
She knew one was evil, the other divine;
One would redeem, the other entwine.
The Lawyers keep nagging, they plague her like cancer.
And they leave her with more questions than answers.
She says nothing. She casts not her vote.
She'll wait till she knows, after all it's her throat!
Judge is patient. He'll wait till she's learned.
( It's at this moment that court is adjourned.)
Second Act : InterMission - In Quest : Purgatory
The crowds rush and push to-and-fro.
Our heroine stands center not knowing which way to go.
The One Good Spotlight shines on her, and we see her struggle
to make sense of various pieces of puzzle.
She's reading a book, and she's looking intent,
and she's suddenly shook with the need to repent.
We all have choices, there is Good and Bad
and all along she knew she was had. . .
Little by little she looked deep inside,
examined and prodded by her graceful guide-
(who stays hidden behind, while she throws solutions about)
Solve and Absolve is the method of choice,
Patterns emerge. She hears but One Voice.
Love is urged, connections are made.
Her questions are heard, and answers are said.
The bell rings. (A bird flies into the night.)
The crowds disperse, they see not this sight
Third Act: Back in Court- Judgement Day: Paradise
She moves not an inch. But stays fixed dead center.
The spotlight changes. She turns to her Mentor.
This position allows her to view
the face of the Judge, so she can tell what is true.
She looks deep in his eyes, so she can read his thought
and she suddenly finds, what she had all the time sought,
and she knows now the Judge, is herself ( and yet not .)
And so are the Lawyers who fought and fought.
It's Love's Divine Grace that paid for their time,
so she could claim her freedom from the soot and the grime.
It all came together that last night of the Trial,
the day she decided to give up the vile,
base matter, and enter the Black Hole: Unknown.
All debts were paid - she was told it was time-
to hand in a judgement, a choice sublime.
She paused. . .Did she still need more proof ? !
Enough! She knew the Truth.
It took her a while for her to finally conceive,
at which point she vanished, with all she believed.
(She in nothing, but there was no she,
no sound, no light, no be.)
It seemed no time at all, but some time had passed -
she awoke and she knew she had passed-
into what she knew not, but she knew she had died;
and yet was alive, and much more was inside.
The Book of Laws was made perfectly clear;
She understood everything she would hear;
And all that she wished from the good of her heart
Opened her eyes, and set her apart.
She had been and not been, and her family seen.
The Whole Universe, for better, for worse.
No barriers hindered, her garments had shed,
and clothed with a new light, all fear had fled.
She moved to a new place, within her scope,
which had all along been there, she just needed hope.
Nothing is wasted, Nothing is squandered.
Although it seemed at times that she wandered.
And so she took out on life a new lease.
And decided to live, resting in Peace.
© jo blakely 1995 all rights reserved
I just want to also add here (this is not on the podcast) - that while the 'strong silently loud and powerful energy' felt male and the loving, nurturing, guiding energy felt female --the whole point of my enlightenment experience and the collapse of the opposing energies into a unity was seeing everything as a whole, and once I accepted it ALL and not tried to divide it and separate it out - it collapsed under it's own weight and was released. Men need to heal and own their feminine energies so they can feel and love and give of their hearts, and women need to heal their masculine energies and feel empowered to be as loud or as silent as they please - to choose and be chosen. Ultimately it is about being whole within ourselves and heal the hurts through trust and letting go. The Divine Male and Female is One. Like Shiva has an iteration where he is united with Parvati - his divine feminine and is both male and female in one. This is how it should be in us too. Finding that balance that is devoid of the weight of shame from Patriarchy and toxic masculinity that has perverted our true selves.. This is probably a better way to describe what seeing the Trimurti Shiva at Elephanta got rolling in me.