Mystical Experiencer: Female in mid-seventies
Current location: U.S.A.
Age at time of experience: 33
I wrote a detailed account but can’t find it tonight. So, a bare bones description follows.
I think it really began about a year and a half before – I thought I was depressed because I did not laugh when I watched SNL. I read a book by Norman Vincent Peale – Positive Thinking? And began reciting a prayer every day from a prayer book a neighbor had given me when I got married.
We moved. My best friend’s husband died. My mom died and my dad came to live with us. At one point, all 3 of my children and my dog and cat were all sick. My dad needed constant care because he had just had his second stroke – he was very unhappy – complained all the time. He finally wanted to go home.
So, we took him back to Missouri from where we lived in New Jersey. A neighbor helped us find a caretaker – he yelled at her and subsequent caretakers. We finally had to put him in a nursing home. My son got pneumonia, and my dad died shortly after that.
One day, I was sitting in my den, reading a book by Bishop Fulton J Sheen, and suddenly something akin to lightning struck me and I jumped out of my chair and sat on the steps staring at my chair trying to figure out what happened. I had understood at a level without words the interconnectedness of everything. Not just that everything affected everything else, but I could never exactly describe the whole concept.
There was a specific day that the experience started its journey, sometime in April I think – it lasted for several weeks. I read many many books (they leapt of the library shelves at me) and understood them to my total surprise. Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton, Leaves of Grass, Kahlil Gibran, Pierre De Chardin, Kabir, Rilke, Rumi, Meister Ekhart (no time to look up spellings), St. Theresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Thomas Aquinas, and many more from all religions. I devoured them.
All the while my children and husband seemed to not need me as much as usual. (When I came out of this my husband said he knew I was going through something but he did not know what). I would go into meditative states and have strange breathing patterns, but did not know that’s what they were until much later when I read the Secret of the Golden Flower by Whilem?
I had lucid dreams. I would connect with people on a deep level – verbal or non-verbal. I was in a state of heightened awareness which can accompany depression. The asst. pastor at the church I belonged to said she thought I was having a religious experience and that it needed verification. She sent me to a therapist. I went to her once before I woke up and once after I woke up. She was incredulous about how much I had changed.
One morning I woke up and all the heaviness was gone and I felt normal again, but I felt very changed and very happy! My husband gave me a beautiful lapis butterfly and diamond neckless that morning, and a neighbor brought me a beautiful plant (wish I could remember what it was).