I was about 9 years old. My parents had a large in ground pool and I don't remember much of the peripheral details of this event, except that it was a hot summer day and I was outside swimming with other children. I don't even know how many or who. I was sitting on the ground beside the pool under a large maple tree after getting out of the pool. I know I was still wet and dripping dry in the sun on the cement stones of the patio, likely sitting on a towel. I think I was eating a pink popsicle. I looked up and saw one of the other swimmers, a girl going down the slide. To this day I can't remember if it was my friend Jennifer or my cousin Joanne. They were about the same age as I was(9 ish) with brown hair so it really doesn't matter which girl, although I've always been curious to know. The girl was wearing a dark pink 2 piece swimsuit that looked almost red because it was wet. I think she had her hair in ponytails. She was doing a "Fonzie" (Happy Days) kind of thumbs up as she went down the slide. Don't forget it was the 70's. Ha ha.
In itself, no big deal! Just a normal summer activity.
The bizarre thing is that something odd happened in my consciousness as I watched this. I have never tried to explain it before but I've noticed that I think about this nearly every day for the past 30 years and I feel that it is truly significant although I can barely comprehend or explain it.
In the split second she would have taken to go down the slide, I had what I can only call a deep spiritual awareness. At the time I had no idea what to think of it as -- it was just "deep" and confusing for my young brain.
I remember looking at her and it was like time stood still. I remember thinking "my perspective is that I am over here looking at her. The trees are on my right and I see a slide and a girl". I realized that her perspective was different. To her, the world at that moment consisted of seeing me on a towel with the trees on (her) left since we were facing opposite directions.
I realized there was no such thing as true perspective. To everyone else the world is different. To us the world "consisted" of a backyard and pool although even between the two of us, our reality or perspective was different as noted above -- because each of us was looking at something differently. But to others I realized that at that very moment the world "consisted" of a different reality -- I realized some people were in war, starving, sleeping, whatever... all looking at different things and experiencing a different reality.
This weird feeling passed and then I knew that there was no reality as commonly perceived. Everything had multi-dimensions and infinite points of view or realities. I kept thinking "for the rest of my life I will only see, know, experience the world through my eyes and my reality, but other people see and experience other things. How can it be that I think my "reality" is truth and for the next 70 years this girl on the slide will see her "reality" and experiences as truth". This confused me. I was mixed between deducing that meant there was no true reality (since to everyone it was different) or that there really weren't any other people's perspectives. Maybe those other people only existed in my own consciousness and everything was like a dream.I somehow knew or was told that the whole world was only like a figment of imagination in our minds. I also felt that since I could only account for my own perspective, the whole world was my own imagination. I think now the closest word I can find is disassociation.