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An Autobiographical Essay
by Judith Gardner Pillsbury[Note: This essay was entered in the 12th Alexander Imich Essay Contest on Psychical EHEs and Their Aftereffects. The contest was sponsored jointly by Dr. Imich and the EHE Network. Judith Pillsbury's essay won first prize. It was published in Exceptional Human Experience, 2001, 17 (1).]
Dreams as Messengers
Sometime around my fourth year of life, my father's mother, Adeline, came to stay with us for a couple of months. A restless soul by nature, she frequently took me on long bus rides, and walks and sits by the sea. One night during her stay, I had a dream that I was ready to go walking with her, but something was terribly wrong. I began to search for my grandmother. I went outside and the world was on fire. Everywhere I walked, structures were shattered, burning. Whatever happened had already passed. Almost nothing was left in its wake. I thought, "Is the world over?" Negotiating fire and rubble, I continued to search for my grandmother. Had I been awake and old enough to know what was going on in the world, I would have made the association that it was just before the summer of 1945. The atom had split open the core of Lucifer's heart, and the fires of Hell devoured the innocent of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Little more than a year later, the Armed Services discharged my father with honor. Upon his return from Japan he dropped a large brown coin in my hand. Although it was a $20 Chinese ho-nan, he said he brought it to me from a place called Nagasaki. I was only 5 years old at the time, and I still have that coin. It sits on my altar and has come to represent my desire for world peace.
Shortly after my father's return, I had my first memorable experience with an altered state. It was Easter Sunday morning in 1946. I had been left alone with my father who was in a wretched, drunken state. As he finally fell asleep, I watched the sunlight stream through the living room window when I suddenly realized that "these beings here" (this indicated that I remembered different beings elsewhere) could be unspeakably cruel. I vowed to distance myself.
Alcohol took my father into his own violent hell where he continued to torture himself and his family with bingeing and raging until he died. My dream of a devastated world was both global and personal - my introduction to planet Earth.
During those early years I also lost touch with an important aspect of my expanded sense perception. Until age three or four years, I saw into the spirit world on occasion. As I began to share these experiences with my mother she could only respond with shame and criticism. She was a cautious fundamentalist who believed that parents should "break the spirit while the child is young." Thus I was forced to live a sort of split-level life. There was my view and the worldview. They were very different.
Such unusual or exceptional experiences2 in early childhood may not readily appear to have a healthy impact on us. This is not because of what they are or represent but because of our responses to them. That is really the core issue of this essay.
Whether I am discussing precognitive dreams, expanded sense perception, clairvoyance, etc.,, I am comfortable now including these terms under the broader one of Exceptional Human Experiences or EHEs. This terminology is taken from the work of Rhea White, founder and Director of the Exceptional Human Experience Network in New Bern, N.C. White has coined this term and states that these experiences begin as Exceptional Experiences (EEs) and cover all kinds of unusual, nonordinary, anomalous, supernatural, transpersonal, metanormal and transcendent experiences which human beings have reported. Once the EE becomes instrumental in transforming the identity, life, and worldview of experiencers in the direction of realizing their full human potential, they become Exceptional Human Experiences. According to White, EHEs eventually lift a person into a whole new way of perceiving reality. I certainly concur with this view and am deeply grateful to White for her extensive contribution in this area. It has been a profoundly healing and personally organizing experience to come in contact with her work.
How We Respond to Such Experiences
I initially learned to hide my exceptional experiences. I learned that others believed there was something wrong with them and wrong with me if I spoke of them. But I never forgot them. The fact that they were real to me meant I could never sacrifice them to group opinion. Obviously there were other difficulties in my chosen family and, all in all, I developed as an introvert with a protective armor, burying my power and gifts in order to be safe.
At thirteen years of age, and deep in the rush of puberty, I had a dream experience that connected me with the evolutionary pathway of color and no doubt also awakened my kundalini energy. I dreamed I was allowed to travel to another planet. I was excited because it seemed like such a privilege to go there. I arrived and walked down a familiar street. The part of the dream I remember most was that I was shown the most exhilarating colors I had ever seen. As I walked down a peaceful neighborhood street I saw a woman emerge from a back door. It seemed like noontime. I remember the sun was high and the harmony palpable. The woman was full of love and life, excited, as she began to shake loose large sheets of brilliant color. Transfixed, I watched the woman hang each sheet upon a clothesline in the bright sunlight. The sheets appeared as large swatches of silken material, with a sort of neon sheen. A breeze blew at the sheets and they rippled, throwing color in all directions. At first I thought the sunlight gave the sheets their unusual intensity, but this was not the case. As I concentrated on the colors, I seemed to connect with or become part of them in some way. I was vibrated by the magnitude of their unearthly beauty?a sublime orchestration of electric red, orange, and fuchsia waves played, danced and courted me.
The next day I tried to share the excitement of the dream with family and friends. As I effervesced, I was met with disinterested stares. I couldn't understand why others couldn't or wouldn't connect with my excitement. Somehow, somewhere, color was more. Color was more. Wasn't that important? It wasn't just a dream!
How could I, or anyone, know at that time that my future held the potential to do more than dream of color. In fact, some forty years would pass before I came full circle as a professional intuitive, color sketching peoples' chakras and auric fields, and subsequently showing them a way through the cumbersomeness of their energy blockages (belief systems). Furthermore, that I would take my passion into cyberspace and begin to create my own chakra color artwork. This dream-theme of sheets of color would repeat itself at least one more time in my life. In 1995 I had another color dream after observing shamans working in San Cristobal de las Casas, in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. In the dream I was bobbing in a lake of energy, observing while the women of the village of San Juan Chamula bobbed up from the depths of the lake with the same brilliant sheets of color I had dreamed of so many years before. In that recent dream, I was given one of the sheets as a sacred gift.
Obviously these color dreams are messages about something exceptional working on me, growing me, initiating me, and giving me messages about how to proceed with my work and my life. They may emerge from what Jose Arguelles calls the alembic: the inner alchemical furnace associated with the resonant visionary psyche. Now, in my adulthood, these experiences pull me forward very powerfully, urge me, prod me and push me on. Each time I become comfortable or habituated in a space of perception, an EHE will spontaneously appear and explode my view.
I still remember in minute detail the first dream I was compelled to write down. I was 18 years old. I had spent the night at my aunt's house. When one's life experience is lived in the nightmares of an extremely dysfunctional family, both primary and extended, it is difficult to say or remember if anything really unusual was going on at the time to precipitate such a dream experience.
The dream seemed to begin with my decision to go to the church in the center of town. As I entered the front doors to the church, people began to push by me. Lots of them. They all appeared intent upon getting through the door at the same time. I was moved along by a human riverbody, and noticed that everyone was pushing to the left. I eased over to the right and into an entrance to a long hallway. I realized that people were rushing to the left to get a good seat in the sanctuary. Somehow I had to go to the right. Alone. It felt good to be free of the crush of bodies.
I began to move down the hallway. I noticed as the light began to dim that the walls looked like those in an old school. Dark wooden paneling covered the long wall on the right, and wooden trophy cases, one after the other, lined the wall on the left. As I proceeded down the hallway, the light got dimmer. It was harder to see where I was going. I moved into a space for a long while where the darkness was palpable, pressurized. It closed in on me, and I found it hard to breathe. At the point when I could no longer stand the pressure of darkness, I came to the end of the hall. Emerging light allowed me to feast my eyes upon a large wooden door which suddenly appeared before me. I had never seen such an exquisitely carved piece of work. As I deeply breathed in the skill of it, my eyes traced the fine carvings of leaves and other shapes that had been liberated from the wood. I was humbled by the fact that beauty could have such a profound effect upon my mood and physical form.
I opened the door and suddenly gasped, then held my breath. When I was able I cried out, "What is it?"
At that moment a female form stood beside me. "Don't you know," she said?
"No! No! What is it? What is it?" I insisted.
"It's the world," she replied.
My eyes fixed upon a garden before me. The very sight of it was repulsive. I stared at row after row of dead trees, perhaps 2 to 3 feet tall. The bark was lifeless and the branches were gnarled and twisted. The dirt beneath was bone dry. Dry as dust. In that dust beneath the trees, for as far as I could see, were thousands, perhaps millions of cockroaches. Moving rapidly and following the roach in front of them, they moved in solid lines up and down the rows. It seemed never-ending. Oblivious to a lifeless world, they continued to follow the roach butts in front of them, the unholy procession disappearing off into the horizon.
"This is the world? This?" I said in disbelief. "But I'm in the world, too! Will I be able to go back?"
"Yes," the gentle soul replied. "No need to worry."
Deeply distressed, I begged, "But why am I here?"
"Because you are so sensitive, you may come here on weekends," she shared.
Her words didn't make sense, or perhaps I only half heard them. I was intent upon returning to my place in the world. I knew I needed to move quickly into the sanctuary. To join the others. As I entered to the left, I surveyed the room. It was large with many levels. The pulpit was empty. High walls rose up behind the stage to my right, and many levels or tiers of seats rose up on my left. I watched intently as people climbed the stairs to their seats. I saw how laborious it was to climb each stair. To climb in and out and upward through each level. I knew this was no longer necessary. I saw a simple ladder stationed on the outside of the tiers of seats. It stretched from the ground floor all the way to the top of the levels, and beyond. With a burst of excitement, I began to float up the ladder. I had a sudden moment of illumination.
"We can levitate now," I shouted! "We can levitate! We don't have to take the stairs. Look. Look how easy this is. Float. Let Go!" I seemed to have found a new perspective, one where struggle was no longer necessary. I continued to shout as I levitated to the second level. I looked out into the center of the sanctuary and saw a bank of brilliant, electrified lights - deep, exciting full spectrum colors twirling in mid air. I floated to the center and gazed into the colors as they rotated. They were full of codes, messages?mood altering, strengthening.
"Look at these colors!" I cried out in gratitude. "Look how beautiful!" Moving away from the ladder, I levitated to the next level, and the next, repeating the words again and again and pointing to the levels of rotating colors. But I realized that no one took notice. People were following one after the other up the stairs and filing into the seats. Oblivious to anything but his or her own chatter, no one heard me. No one paid any attention to the lights nor my urgent message.
I continued to float upward and thought there must be some way to get through to them, to get their attention. There must be a way. The pastor was coming in to deliver his usual message, and at that point, my head bumped against the ceiling. The scene immediately changed and I was in my apartment where I actually lived. Thugs were breaking in through the back door. I reached it just in time to turn the lock. The thugs came in anyway. Just before I awakened.
This dream was remarkable and exciting to me. It felt like I had a real experience. It implied that I was unusual in a positive sense. That I would not move with the crowd. It imparted a possibility to me that abided with me: Life could be much different. And yes, in many ways it further separated me from the crowd and increased my introversion because I couldn't share the experience in any meaningful way with others. There was no common ground.
I somehow knew at that time that humankind could, as visionary Jose Arguelles teaches, move into a new worldview. But I didn't have Jose's words. He speaks of a shift from Newtonian atomistic thinking to the new physics, described in his book, Earth Ascending (Arguelles, 1996) as the resonant field paradigm. His vision gives us hope for a world consciousness ultimately liberated from unidimensional materialistic thinking, where we are finally free to flow as individuals and yet still be a part of the whole. This shift will come through the development of multidimensional understanding born of the realization that everything exists on a vibrational frequency. I have, in an altered state, recently visited the Rainbow Serpent's cave - I have seen the harmonic bank, the colors, the codes, the keys - upon the great wall there. We are the wave first, not the particle. Summoned by the resonant scale (the sounds, the colors), it is possible that we are now ascending with our mother Gaia toward Arguelles' vision of "posthistoric" intergalactic connectedness.
By the fall of 1969 my life was full of exceptional experiences. I talked about them when people would listen. I had graduated from college with a BA in journalism, flew for a year as a stewardess with American Airlines, and spent time as an advertising copywriter for large agencies in New York and then Dallas. I accumulated several awards for my work in Dallas before moving to a public TV station there, where I worked as an editor and writer. Our station was chosen to test-market the potential of a new childrens program called Sesame Street, and I set up a viewing and activity center in Shriner's Children's Hospital as part of the project. It was as a result of my experiences with those children in that hospital and the magic of Sesame Street that helped me move to the next phase of my life in which I had to work with kids in the hospital.
Within weeks of making a rather involved and lengthy application, I was selected by the head of the Special Education division at Bank Street College of Education in New York City to carry off an experimental masters degree program. She wanted to demonstrate that a mature professional working in a field unrelated to education could, with intense training, transfer skills to an educational setting. In short, without any undergraduate education credits, I would be trained as a remedial teacher/play therapist in a hospital setting. The two years at Bank Street were absolutely the best of my life at that time. It was a banquet for my starving mind. Internships at the New York Association for the Blind (The Lighthouse) Child Development Center, and Bellevue Hospital (general and psychiatric wards), resulted in jobs at both facilities. During this time, I began to realize that I could use intuition in my work with children. I just seemed to know what the children needed, and they seemed to know I knew. I was generally secretive with adults about the source of my skill. (Several years later I nearly lost my job as a hospital child development specialist by writing on an ailing child's chart, "has brain organicity been ruled out?" I could see a tumor in her head although I couldn't say it outright. The chief of pediatrics vehemently warned me that I must never again give such opinions. To do so meant he would fire me on the spot. This scene happened in front of other medical staff and I was devastated. My psychic abilities were driven deeper underground as a result. But I didn't give up. Although several months were lost, a lot of behind-the-scenes maneuverings by me and the pediatric social worker resulted in a young chief resident having the bright idea to cat scan the child. He received a lot of attention and praise for finding a 4 cm tumor growing in the middle of the child's head. The tumor was successfully removed and the child improved. We were all grateful. The chief of pediatrics never said a word to me about it.)
I had only planned to spend two years in New York City, long enough to get my degree and split. Some four and one half years later I did leave. I was offered a job at UCLA's pediatric department as head of their Child Life Program. I moved back to Los Angeles in the fall of 1973.
Completing the graduate program as well as a wonderful but intense year teaching blind and brain-damaged children, and subsequent to that, long hours in extremely difficult working conditions at the old Bellevue Hospital Medical Center had taken a toll on my energy. I was more tired than usual, but still excited about the job at UCLA. Just before my start date at UCLA, an unexpected turn of events resulted in the unimaginable. Another woman was selected for the job. Hospital politics took the Child Life program out of the domain of Psychiatry and deposited it in the Department of Nursing. They made their own selection. I felt the greatest sense of betrayal I had ever felt in my life. I left a lot in New York when I made that move. I had, since reaching adulthood, always been a star performer. Furthermore, I had always gotten everything I went after - and that included the impossible. How could I have failed to get that job? Much later I would come to believe that such a betrayal may signal the descent into the dark night of the soul; where the transformational archetypes - those creatures and visions of mythological proportions both court and torture us. It is a journey after which we may be reborn into our higher selves.
Several very depressing months passed, and within weeks after my 33rd birthday, the most unusual event of my life took place. I awakened quite abruptly one night, and as best I can describe this, I was aware that I had come from a place of no dreams, no space, no time. Before me at the foot of my bed hovered a being of light so brilliant that I couldn't see its features. I somehow perceived it as male. I truly did not know what was happening, only that I was disoriented and terrified. I have since observed that it is not unusual to experience extreme fear as a first response to such light. Subsequent experiences may result in joy or bliss.
My reactive mind quickly questioned whether I was having a psychotic break that night. I was sure I was hallucinating. I noticed a second being leaning against the being of light. The second being, perhaps a female, seemed so weary. I had a sense she was being escorted away somewhere. In panic I wondered why this was happening. Why break down now? I remember my last thought as I pulled the bed sheet up over my face. I saw the light coming up under the sheet and I thought, "This is incredible! I am creating even the smallest detail of this hallucination! The Angel couldn?t be real!" I fell into a deep sleep.
The next morning I awoke shaken from the night's event and headed from the bedroom to the kitchen to further think it through. Coffee would bring clarity. I passed my grandmother, Adeline, in the hallway. I responded with a cheerful, "Hi grandma," and kept going. When I reached the kitchen, I grabbed onto the counter. Adeline had been dead for 16 years! Yet I saw her as clearly and distinctly as if she were alive. I even went back down the hallway and into the living room to look around, double-checking myself. No further sign of her. I wished for many years that the whole thing had ended there.
But a being of light came once more. He seemed to be clothed in a sort of golden vibrating energy field. It was a terribly stormy night and, although initially startled, I became comforted by his presence. He seemed to be sending me thoughts not in words but knowings that all would be okay. That I would be safe.
Approximately three months later, I was standing by my bookcase when a picture of me suddenly floated down and landed on the table in front of me. I picked the picture up, thinking it had probably fallen out of a book. When I looked at my image, I gasped and covered my mouth with my hand. I uttered the strangest words, "Oh, my god, she's dead now. She's not here any more." I remember thinking after I spoke those words that "she" had been so kind, but was so tired. She needed rest. Something had obviously altered me at that moment, because by the time the next moment arrived I wondered where the words had come from. Is it possible that part of our ego structure dies at times? Is life a series of these deaths? Or was this more. Healer and teacher Barbara Brennan offers an explanation of such events in her book, Light Emerging (1993). She calls them a reincarnation within the same body and the same lifetime.
I will have to admit that this experience changed my life forever. I couldn't put it away anywhere. There was no title under which to file it. Due to the fact that in one evening my psychic self (third eye) opened so completely, I couldn?t go on as usual, living my status quo. That person I thought I was literally taken away. And in her place, this new me would live a life that seemed like torture for the next five years.
The first evidence of difficulty showed up in the workplace. I was director of child development services at a conservative church-governed hospital in the inner city. During discussions at directors' meetings, I would suddenly call out the solutions to other directors' problems. I would mention intimate details, things one could only know by going inside someone else's mind. I didn't know how I knew or why. I had no explanation. I was warned that I was scaring people and I was to back off. My friends concurred. I was scaring them, too.
I sought out the help of psychologist friends. None were helpful. I began to read. I attended clairvoyant groups, healing groups. I moved through gurus at high speed, all of whom were more interested in testifying to his or her own personal power than in helping me find mine. None could help relieve my confusion, my frustration, my pain. And then, about a year later, I found a psychic healer by the name of Rosalyn Bruyere (1994). At the time, she was holding school in the back of a small church in Tarzana, CA. She knew what I was experiencing. She had been there. She provided the first healthy intervention I had had since the visitation. I began to study laying on of hands. And with the help of two of her colleagues, I entered a 5-year program of weekly study. I called it self-defense.
Meanwhile, my clairvoyant skills continued to increase. I began to see into the spirit world again - to see people who "weren't really there" just about everywhere I went. I worked at a responsible job, and with the exception of a parade of highly charged precognitive and clairvoyant episodes marching through my life at all hours, I otherwise appeared to function within what appeared to be the norm, maintained friendships, dated. The "night visitors" (spirit forms) continued to come in all shapes, sizes and ages, friendly and not so friendly, human and not so human. One evening I awoke abruptly as usual to see an exquisite, multicolored butterfly, perhaps a foot wide, fly directly into the center of my forehead. An East Indian boy with a gleaming white turban came more than once. I wondered about him. He seemed to be important somehow. Why?
And then there were the relentless months of what I referred to as the "dive bombers." I would awaken suddenly to see the tortured, agonizing faces of lost souls falling on me. I would scream out and then realize they "weren't real"; no burglars had broken into my apartment that night. I was safe. Awakening one night to see a small, gray, bug-eyed alien being peering over at me, I sat bolt upright and viciously barked that it had no right to be there. I screamed, "What are you doing here? You don't belong here. Get out! Get out!" It did.
What would I judge to be the single most helpful moment of healing insight during those years? It came after nearly five years when I went to a public meeting of the Society for Psychical Research in LA. I wasn't expecting much. A gentle man, a psychologist by the name of Dr. Marty Bravin, led a guided imagery session. During the meditation we were to receive an old gift and get an answer to something we'd been asking about. I immediately began to ask my "guides" why I was living in such a psychic hell. I remember whimpering to myself, "Why is this happening to me?" What followed was the first episode of hearing a voice that was not my own. It said rather sharply, "Judith, this is not happening to you. You on the other hand are happening in the midst of it. Get it?" I got it. I immediately moved from psychic center stage. The five-year tantrum seemed to melt into thin air. A sudden shift in my perspective allowed a change in my story. Things immediately improved. However, my nervous system took a real beating during those early years, and I lost my ability to sleep regularly for more than a few hours with someone else in bed beside me. Any movement or sound startles me out of sleep, much like channelers who request that they not be touched during a session because it brings them back into their bodies with such a jolt.
I don't remember when I made the transition from perceiving these visitors as hallucinations to perceiving them as beings from other dimensions, yet I did.
The reader may wonder how I have come to reconcile these experiences and many, many others, such as out-of-body travels and precognitive dreams and such, with the more traditional concepts of mental health. Am I nuts? After 56 years of life on Terra-Not-So-Firma, I believe I may have lost a marble or two, or experienced a few loose screws along the way; but I am not crazy. Quite the contrary. I have the ability to enter altered states of consciousness, to travel to other dimensions of reality. I can see past experiences in others' lives, see the chakras, disease formations, structural misalignments, glimpse the future. Dozens of my clients can verify these facts - as well as the physicians, psychotherapists, counselors, and chiropractors who refer these people to me. I know that these abilities are but a part of human potential. They are not so much gifts as they are human skills.
It is important for me to re-emphasize that I came into these skills in an exceedingly unwilling manner. Had I had my wits about me when the Angel of Light first appeared at the foot of my bed, I would have said, "Oh! No! Not me. You don't want me. You?re in the wrong house. You've got the wrong person here. You want the house down the block. Around the corner. GO!"
Of course, I couldn't have integrated the chakra color work, the growth consultations, and the medical intuition that I now do in my professional life without the changes in me and the death of some part of my initial self. I have died to many of my parts since then. Seemingly reluctant at every level, I would never have consciously made a choice to do the transformational work, any more than I would have willingly jumped into a pond of hungry alligators.
A period of resistance to my own spiritual growth resulted in a near death experience in my late forties. I had been having bouts of severe sleep apnea, and evidently one night I just stopped breathing. Bypassing the relatives at the end of the tunnel of light, I became conscious of traveling at an unimaginable speed through a galaxy. Large planets vibrated past me. I couldn?t hear, but I could feel the pulsation, the vibration of everything around me. And everything was so blue. And cool. Suddenly some kind of veil was ripped away, and I remembered where I was going. I thought-shouted, "I'm going home. I'm finally going home!" 1 began to glimpse the forms of the light beings to whom I was going home. They were magnificent! And then the love began to flow around me. I saw that everything was fueled by this love. There was simply nothing that existed that was not love. Love beyond comprehension, limitless, no beginning and no end. As I began to increase my speed, I felt a slowing counter-reaction. I immediately saw planet Earth, shrouded in darkness, a black speck in back of me (I seemed to have 360-degree vision). I was tugged backward again. I remember shouting, "No! I can't go back there. Don't make me go back. It's too dark. The planet is too primitive. The physical equipment, the human brain, is too primitive. This love cannot exist there yet. There are no receptors. I did try. I just couldn?t find a way to get it in. Don't make me...."
I was next aware of slamming very hard back into my physical body. I sat up and painfully gasped for air. When I was finished coughing, gagging, retching, I felt the anger set in. How could I have been made to come back to this horrible place? Why did this happen to me? This was unforgivable. A waste of time. A huge loss. I was almost home. Damn! Damn! Damn!
I was pretty difficult to be around for the next six months. I was so profoundly angry. I felt victimized, punished, discounted. And then one day I realized that throughout my life, I had always succeeded in making sense out of and integrating my experiences. I knew I must do the same with this. I sat down for a long while, waiting for an answer. The answer came in the knowledge that I had experienced a remarkable amount of love out there. I decided to make a commitment. If I couldn't leave, then I would stay and try to bring in some of this love. Even if it were only to channel a tiny stream of it, I would have done my part. I had a real, do-able personalized spiritual goal for the first time in my life. No, I wouldn't have chosen this goal without the aid of the EHE that inspired it, nor would I have voluntarily struggled through the six months of hard work that my response demanded. The entire experience resulted in a new kind of confidence. Life took a turn for the better.
As a postscript to that experience, I see now that some part of my ego structure/personality was taken on that trip as a teaching. My little self was exposed to something so massive, so incredible, that it had to begin a reformation. Had my larger Self been the perceiver out there, it would have seen Earth in a different light. I would never have moved into victim, but would have loved Earth so dearly, so passionately, that nothing could have prevented my return.
Sometime in late 1996, I had another visitor. I awakened without a startle response, no fear was present. A simple-looking humble man stood before me. Dressed in a plain robe, he stared into my eyes. I looked back for what seemed like a long while. No words and no emotions were exchanged. There was just a steady exchange of eye contact. I remember thinking how present this being was. How unusual it was to feel such a steadiness of being without the clutter of emotion. He had no fear. Yet I felt compassion from him. How could one be so compassionate and yet detached? I said aloud, "I'm very sleepy now and I have to go back to sleep."
Again that night the same being awakened me. I looked at the clock; only an hour had passed. I looked back and met his steady gaze. In that moment I knew that I would be okay, and that my life was about to change again. I slept. The next night I dreamed of sitting with Christ. He shared such revolutionary ideas that I was shaking with excitement. He told me in the dream that his work was still very vital and important in the evolution of humankind. He shared his plans with me. I remember saying to him, "This will assist humankind in turning a huge corner!" And then I remembered I was in an altered or dream state and not in the third dimension. I begged, "You absolutely have to come into the third dimension and tell me this. You know I don't always remember things when I get back. I won't bring this back across the threshold. You have to come!" The dream ended, and I didn't remember any of the essential details. Ah, such frustration! How would he answer my request and manifest it in the third dimension?
Answers, if they do come, often arrive when I least expect them, and in ways I may not have anticipated. Four months later, I was at my chiropractor's office, face down on her table, with a hot pack across my neck and shoulders. There was a lot of construction work going on in the offices next to hers. For a while I listened to the pounding noises. They seemed like echoes. At the point when I was wondering why the hammering wasn't bothering or irritating me, my consciousness spontaneously shifted and I discovered an overtone (like a musical sound or vibration) just above the hammering noise. The sound behind the sound of the hammering. The grand sound that makes sound in this dimension possible. It was an exquisite overtone, and it immediately put me into a blissful state. Later I would refer to this exceptional human experience as "hearing God humming the universe into being." I listened a while, basking in the loving vibrations, when I heard the doctor's receptionist in the hallway. I heard her voice, and then heard an overtone above her voice. It was celestial. I thought, "So that's who she really is!" Somehow I briefly thought the overtone was exclusively hers until I heard the doctor speaking with another patient down the hall. The doctor's voice took on the overtone, the hum, and I was loved and nurtured and rocked in the bliss of her voice. The overtone that made her voice possible. I was about to doze when the doctor came in the room. The state slowly evaporated, and everything was "normal" again. I quietly ruminated over the experience and wondered how I would find the words to describe it. Regardless, I would never be the same again. I knew so much more about human beingness, something I had been oblivious to all of my life had visited me, vibrated me, and had profoundly altered my view.
Perhaps a month or two after this, I was driving through a small village near work. It was a beautiful, clear summer day. The temperature was in the 70s, creating a gentle ambiance. I came to a four-way stop and noticed a man crossing the street in front of me. I became fascinated with the beauty, the architecture of his face. What was I seeing? Who was this man? Suddenly a huge ball of light popped out around his head. It was glowing and golden white. Little squiggly strings of light seemed to dance through it. It was the most magnificent sight. And this light knew me. It flowed out to me. It loved me beyond my comprehension. I was held, embraced in a space of absolute love and acceptance: the same love I had felt in the chiropractor?s office and during my near-death experience. The man passed from view and I realized I needed to move my car forward. I did so and saw a woman driving from the opposite direction toward me. She, too, was glowing in the same way. Everywhere I looked, up and down the streets of the village, everyone was glowing. The glow was much larger than my experiences with the halo effect. This wasn't a faint two-dimensional (flat) glow or image around the outer parameters of the head. This was a huge, potent, pulsating ball of intense light shining out in all directions! What brought tears to my eyes was the moment I realized that I, too, had such a glow. I had the light. And so much love. It had been here all along. Love has never been anywhere else, because there is nowhere else; it's the stuff and substance of the universe. It's the glue, the Oneness. This was the day that I knew Christ had answered my request. A clue to his plan, his consciousness had indeed visited me here in the third dimension. The light is here as inexhaustible potential. We must perceive it for it to manifest. Our mother Earth intends to glow this way and I suspect that she's close to pulling this off. If we are the mobile manifestations of this light and love, she is the sacred object. If I once viewed her as a dismal dark speck, the purpose of the EHE/NDE was to get my attention about how I was participating in a deadly patriarchal worldview. We can only continue to devastate her if she remains an inert piece of supergalactic real estate.
Do I know the whole plan? Of course not. I must struggle to create my own version of why I?m here and what this experience is about. I must create my story. I can't use your story, and you can't use mine. Sometimes it's best to suspend my need to know details - hows, whys. Other times, specific answers appear out of the blue. Especially in dreams. Whether it is a childhood dream which precognizes a holocaust, or one of materialistic mindlessness (this is more a spiritualessness) or countless dreams of being courted in the realms of color. Combined with other oracular experiences, I view each of these as potent tessera: guideposts, validations, evolutionary clues in life's numinous mosaic.
Ultimately, I am led to one insight. I know it is my job to see the light and the love as fully as I can, and remember it and carry it. To hold it here through my own consciousness. To show up, be present, knowing what I know. And what I know hasn?t come from secular or religious teachings. What I know has come from the urgent messages of my exceptional human experiences: experiences of higher sight and vision, which come from a mysterious source. I can name that source as part of my story.
Recap: Long-term Aftereffects of Exceptional Human Experiences
My EHEs have repeatedly shown me that everything is in a process of changing, unfolding, and evolving and that there is an infinitely bigger picture than the one I (we) operate from in the realm of physical reality. My EHEs represent a body of knowledge, and when viewed in sequence, one can easily see why I have chosen to work as a personal growth consultant, utilizing clairvoyant, clairsentient, and clairaudient skills to help reflect people's lives back to them, help them see and know more about who they are, give them hints about their multidimensional being, connect them to a larger life story, and give them a better version of what life is about by serving their own unique perspectives. Whether I channel person-specific information in a dialogue or run energy through my clients' bodies in a healing session, my intent is to provide what is uniquely needed - story by story. I work from years of accumulated experience, but I don?t depend upon my finite mind to ultimately determine what someone else needs. Because I have the privilege of seeing our divinity, I have come to trust the Mystery. I no longer approach any situation with an intent to heal. Rather I trust each human expression. I trust my connection to a higher source, and I trust my ability to connect others to it as well.
Each of the EHEs mentioned in this essay have not resulted in forming who I am. Rather they have been messages, codes, about who I am, and who I am to become. Once again, my responses have been paramount in the process. I hid my own light, refused to see it all around me, until I felt strong enough to be an effective vehicle for it. My EHEs kept me on track. They have cheered me on. To experience light (love, higher consciousness, nirvana, God) on earth, I have had to see and touch a bit of heaven. It is exceptional.
Rabyn Judith Pillsbury
ReferencesArguelles, J. (1996). Earth Ascending: An Illustrated Treatise on the Law Governing Whole Systems. Santa Fe, NM: Bear.
Brennan, B. (1993). Light Emerging: The Journey of Personal Healing. New York: Bantam Books.
Bruyere, R. (1994). Wheels of Light. New York: Simon & Schuster.
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