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Mary M Experience

Experience description:   

As background, since early childhood, I have had off and on mystical and altered states of consciousness. I think I realized before I could talk that it was not a good idea to mention these, and that resulted in a sort of bifurcated mindset. It was as if those events which mattered the most to me not only were made up, but they literally didn't exist. They were closed off in a corner of my being and I felt almost guilty about them. My Mom could have a sharp tongue and would certainly have chastised me for going off to la-la land in my mind. I am relating here the experience which had the most profound effect on me.

My parents were both mathematicians and all the kids have gone on to get PhDs (Paul-nuclear physics-Yale, John-mathematics-UVA). I went to graduate school in linguistics at MIT. I say that not by way of tooting any horns, but just to communicate the intense intellectual, scientific-materialist nature of the climate in which I was raised. I work as a senior software engineer at Microsoft. My Mid-Western Mom was used to going to church on Sunday so we would occasionally be shuttled off on a Sunday morning to some local Protestant church, and we kids hated wasting a perfectly good Sunday morning in church. I don't think my Norwegian Dad was really Christian. He celebrated Christmas, but in his heart, his sense of wonder derived from nature and science. We never felt heavy handed belief systems imposed on us. My Dad's views rubbed off on me. I grew up with a love of nature as well as of science and study. I did not at the time of this story and do not now consider myself any more Christian than Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu.

The way I remember it now, many years hence is this. I was an 8th grader at Lesher Junior High. I think at the time I was losing my way a little. I was too preoccupied with grades and do-gooding. The students shuttled into a Christmas 'assembly' in the gym. Our class was placed at the front on the left side (facing forward). There were a few presentations, perhaps a carol and then the French teacher got up and read what I later learned was a poem called 'One Solitary Life'. At the end he said the phrase, 'give your life completely up to Christ'. I remember only that phrase out of everything that happened at the assembly.

The Christ appeared ahead of me and to my right, just behind the left shoulder of the speaker. I instantly fell into that presence and lost all awareness except for that of a profound sacredness so complete that the world, time, space and all form literally disappeared – I was infused with a holiness that transcends all things and forgives all things absolutely – a peace which enveloped all which ever was or will be.

I didn't hear anything that took place in the assembly after those words because I was only aware of holiness. I don't know whether your speech ended quickly or went on for some time. I don't know whether people spoke after. I was in a place of no time. When I came to, everyone was filing out of the gym. I assumed that I hadn't appeared to lose consciousness, because no one seemed alarmed about me. I just got up and walked out of the gym. I've always wondered whether anyone noticed my body and what it looked like while I was 'out'. I've also wondered how long in earthly time I was in this state.

After returning to consciousness, I still felt the vestiges of this holiness permeating my being, a pure, silent, tender and exalted state. But each time I had to answer to the world, it dissipated a little more. 'Is your brother at home yet?' 'What time do we get out?' 'Would you like some peas?' ... Each time I addressed the world, I sank a notch lower until after some days I was back in my normal state of awareness. I contemplated at the time just not responding to any of it, but that would have meant defying my parents, dropping out of school, leaving home, being diagnosed as mentally ill,...

A deep awareness of the impurities in all my motives persisted in me for years afterwards... Why did I wear that shirt? Why did I carry my books this way and not that? Why did I care about my grades? Why did/didn't I talk to that person? I instantly felt how everything I said and did impacted the world. I tried in the years between 12 and 18 to clean up my act. I wasn't doing drugs or stealing stuff or having lots of boyfriends. I was a good student. But the purity that had infused me went so far as to demand a radical rejection of the entire world. I wanted above anything to get back to that light but without hurting or scaring anyone.

In my 18th year, I fell into despair and became suicidal. One day as I was walking home the thought occurred to me that the only thing I had accomplished was that my own failure had perhaps made me a bit more forgiving of my fellow man. The instant that thought occurred to me, an angelic presence made itself known to me. It came over my left shoulder and again presented itself to me a little ahead and to my right. The being had been following every millisecond of my thought all these years. It appeared to me instantly, like a ball falls to the ground when you let go of it. There wasn't any deliberation or thought. It was there immediately when this thought of forgiveness came to me, and it presented me with the thought, 'What archangel has achieved anything greater than or other than forgiveness? There is no other spiritual achievement.'

This insight resulted in an emphasis away from perfectly or enlightening myself and simply recognizing that there is only one dreamer of this dream. This dreamer is having a profoundly schizophrenic experience. It thinks it has 7 billion different personalities. Incarnation dumbs us all down profoundly and those like me who were dealt a really good hand with a good family and much opportunity are often the least skillful players of the game that really counts. When you play a computer game and one level becomes too easy for you, you up the ante and take on more enemies, a more difficult terrain. So in this game, if you are more skilled, you choose to be born black, not white, in a slum, not the suburbs, with little money and influence and recognition and with a thicker veil masking the other realms. Given those conditions, you will seem to play worse to those who can't see what's going on beneath the surface. But you are in reality accomplishing the most where it matters.

I also want to say also on the subject of the ontological status of these experiences... How do you talk to scientists about whether what you experienced is real? Scientists pride themselves on dotting all their i's and crossing their t's. The position they maintain is that this world is real (obviously)and therefore your experience is just a dream.

The thing you want to question is their assumption that they are not dreaming now and that THIS world is real and not a hallucination. If they are to see, they have to not laugh the question off but answer it. The realization that this too is a dream lies at the threshold of all wider knowledge. The operative question is, 'How do you know that you are not dreaming now?' You are accusing X of just dreaming. Okay. How do you know that YOU are not dreaming now? They have to come up with something better than, 'That's how it seems,' because that's the whole basis from which they dismiss the experiencer. The experiencer has had a subjective experience of another realm which 'seemed' more real than this one. What you need to get the materialist to see is that the entirety of their argument is ALSO founded on an mere subjective sense that the world they are experiencing now 'seems' real. So the bedrock foundation of their argument is no more solid than that of the experiencer.

Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience? No

Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was an experience of such profound sacredness that all separation that ever was or ever will be literally disappeared. The experience by its nature transcended the possibilities available within the constraints of the physical, and human language is structured to address the physical.

At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? No

What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience? Wide awake, mid-morning.

Was the experience dream like in any way? I wouldn't say so. I would say that upon returning THIS experience felt dream-like.

Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? Yes I wouldn't say I was separated from my body. I was completely unaware of my body, of this world, of other beings, of Margaret. There was no body, nor had there ever been a body, nor would there ever be a body or anything that was separate from the Creator.

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Emotion is too weak a word. Emotion is a function of the body and there are varied emotions. This was an experience of absolute light. Emotion is a reaction. There is separation implicit in emotion. 'X out there feels good/bad in here.' Feeling is a little closer, but still not right. It's about IS-ness. It's about correct identification. Upon returning to the body, a much (much, much) more nuanced and subtle and powerful and fragrant potential for feeling became accessible to me. Feelings were available which are not of this world... not available through the potentialities of this domain. That still happens from time to time. There are feelings not of this world, much more evocative and generous and unique which I recognize and yet they are not from around here.

Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises? I wouldn't describe it that way, no.

LOCATION DESCRIPTION: Did you recognize any familiar locations or any locations from familiar religious teachings or encounter any locations inhabited by incredible or amazing creatures? No

Did you see a light? Yes Oh, yeah... nothing but light.

Did you meet or see any other beings? Uncertain This was catalyzed by the Christ presence, but during the experience, I was unaware of any separation or any being other than the One.

Did you experiment while out of the body or in another, altered state? Uncertain

I was unaware that there was such a thing as a person or a location or a body or an object.

Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? No

Did you notice how your 5 senses were working, and if so, how were they different? No

Did you have any sense of altered space or time?
Yes Space and time were irrelevant. I was raised by mathematicians. In mathematics, time and space are irrelevant. 2+2=4 here, there, yesterday, tomorrow. It simply IS.

Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Yes I would say that I had a heightened awareness of the impurity in everything I did and said and a heightened awareness of the effect of everything I did and said on others.

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No

Did you become aware of future events? No

Were you involved in or aware of a decision regarding your return to the body? No Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience that you did not have prior to the experience? Yes Yep. I feel things. I have precognitive dreams.

Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Yes Oh, yeah. A complete reorientation.

How has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices? Career choices? It happened when I was quite young before I had much power over my daily routine, before I had thought much about religious beliefs, before I had considered career. But my mind was consumed with trying to stay on course with a pure heart. And I would slip off very frequently and try to climb back on again. Before that, I was mostly preoccupied with school and family.

Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? Uncertain I can't know how things would have gone had it not happened.

Have you shared this experience with others? Yes With a very few people, but there are notable exceptions like my parents, my brothers, my children, my ex-husband, all my colleagues and almost all my friends.

What emotions did you experience following your experience? I've discussed this above. I was overcome with awareness of my impurity relative to the Sacred.

What was the best and worst part of your experience? I'm not sure this question really makes sense from the place where I am now about it.

Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? I wish to amplify on the subject of forgiveness. Speaking again as a mathematician's daughter, 2+2=5 is not sinful. It is merely inaccurate. It's ridiculous to lock someone in jail someone for saying or thinking 2+2=5. That's how all so-called 'sin' is. It's merely inaccurate. Forgiveness is not about morality. It's important because it's the mechanism whereby you recognize that 'sin' is merely inaccurate. Error becomes sin when we believe in it and that happens when you identify with the body and consequently fail to forgive. If you are caught in the cycle of feeling bad because you hurt someone, you are still caught in the vortex of non-forgiveness. The essential lesson of this realm is forgiveness, because it's impossible to believe in a body without sinning. You oxygenate innocent microbes when you breathe. That's murder. If you're going to punish someone for murder, you might as well punish them for breathing. Governments attempt to come to some sort of equilibrium (this murder is okay, but that murder is not), but it's all nonsense from a higher perspective. It can all be toppled trivially. All that matters is forgiveness.

Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Also previously... but way too much to write down here.

Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes I'd say as well as could be.

Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire. You might ask people to communicate what it is important for others to know. Specifics are interesting.