I had always believed that homeless people were cruel, unkind, violent and drugged out. It was a shock to me to realize that was not always the case. Most of them had experienced some form of violent relationships in their home, and some of them had just given up on life and wanted to be left alone.
I spent the first 40 years of my life as an "equal opportunity hater." I was filled with an underlying anger at everyone, including myself. My life had no real direction or purpose except for the gathering of possessions.
I managed to destroy two marriages by sleeping around with any one I could find, and in the privacy of my own home (never in my public facade) was extremely verbally abusive to my wives. I felt that women were very weak (because they believed in something called love), and it was very easy to manipulate them just by lying, and telling them what they wanted to hear. I don't honestly know why I married them, for I had never felt this emotion called love. I considered it a waste of time to even think about it, for we are all going to die someday, so why bother. I never showed any affection toward them because that was not a manly thing to do! Women were necessary for only a few things: sex, cooking, and usually cleaning up the messes I left all over the house. Any questioning or protesting brought immediate vindictive anger, usually in the form of yelling or fighting.
Men were a lot easier to understand; I felt that they were the only ones that I could have an intelligent conversation with. Besides, it was very easy to enter a room full of men and size them up to weed out the weaker ones, and have my conversations and arguments with the stronger ones. I only talked with what I considered to be a true man. I was usually quite polite with those who could help me in my career before I used some of them up, and then "stabbed them in the back". It was not very hard for me to take what I wanted from them: i.e. sex with their wives, or manipulation of their jobs.
I did not feel powerful in doing any of these things; I just felt that this was what a man was supposed to do. As for the rest of the world, I considered all of the wars and suffering of other people as a validation for the way that I was. If a few million people died through wars or starvation, that just left more in the world for me!
I was addicted to watching the proliferation of violence on the television and in the movies, and listening to the angry conversations on the radio. With all of these built up layers of hate, anger and aggression, I was never able to enjoy life. Even the new possessions that I had gathered around me to show off to my friends would only give me a few days of pleasure, before they would begin to bore me and I felt the need to go out and buy more.
I refused to look at my own misery; for there seemed to be a large black hole in my life, and no matter how hard I tried I could not fill it with anything permanently satisfying.
Approximately 11 years ago I was driving my camper home from an outing in the desert. Approaching a busy red lighted intersection at about 60-mph, I started to depress the break pedal. It felt kind of mushy as the pedal went straight to the floor. I was not going to be able to stop the vehicle, so I quickly decided to downshift the transmission to slow the vehicle, and swerve off the road into the sand. To my surprise, no matter how I tried, it would not shift. Having no options left to me at this time, I depressed the horn and plowed into the intersection. I managed to swerve around the first car in view and was then deeply broad sided by another vehicle, which flipped my camper on to it's side. Fortunately, I was later to learn that no one else was seriously hurt in the accident.
As I was slipping in and out of consciousness in the paramedic's van, I remember seeing my clothes soaked in my own blood, for my head had been split open in two separate places. The last thing I remember was the doctor's talking to each other at the hospital, and then I slipped into total "unconsciousness". I use this word to describe what was told to me, but in reality I was in some other plane both watching and aware of my spirit leaving my body. I could see my body below me for a few seconds, and then I was swept away at what felt like a great speed. I could see many colors of light on both sides of me, all starting to blend together. As I felt my speed increase, the colors appeared to become a blinding white tunnel in which I was traveling through.
I apologize if this sounds weird or strange to you, because it was even stranger to me. For the first time in my life I could feel no anger, and I absolutely felt no concern about what was going to happen to me. The many colors and blinding white tunnel that were around me I can only describe as beautiful (a word I rarely used in my lifetime, then in the wrong context and with an entirely different meaning).
I had lost the ability to communicate, and was alone with only my sight and internal thoughts. I visited different types of worlds, many with different colored skies. I was shown many varied life forms and civilizations in this universe; some appeared frightening and some quite wondrously beautiful. My understanding of my previous life was so different from what I was experiencing. The only thoughts that kept repeating to me were "If I had only known of the beauty I was seeing: and that I must stop being so fearful and egotistical in the assumption that I was the only intelligence in the Universe". It was then that the voyage suddenly stopped, and I experienced an immediate loss of my sight. An extremely enhanced sensitivity to my emotions, thought process and surroundings had entered into my spirit.
You will have to forgive me if this becomes difficult for you to understand, for words are quite inadequate, and sometimes useless in their attempt to express the true experience. All that I can give to you are these words that are here with us now. I was given a knowing (something entirely different than faith) that in our future to come; all written or spoken words will become an unnecessary form of communication.
It felt as if I was suddenly stopped in a state or a plane of consciousness, totally surrounded by an orange/golden light. There were all kinds of spirit life forms that I could identify with, and quite a few that I could not. The feeling of peace was there, and for the first time in my life I felt a powerful unconditional love entering and surrounding my being. This love was all fulfilling, and I felt no need for anything else. I desired nothing but to remain in this place for an eternity. I have no idea how long I remained there, for time no longer had any meaning to me.
I then felt the emanations of a highly evolved spirit come towards me, and the strength of his love and compassion pour out all over me. Through some means of telepathy he informed me regarding my many past lives, and started to question me. I felt compelled that I must answer truthfully to any questions that would be asked of me, for I knew that he would immediately know if I told a lie.
He asked if I knew why I had been through this experience. I truthfully answered no. I was told that I had a long history of past lives filled with anger, aggression and hate. I was so stubborn that I needed this experience to realize that unconditional love is the most powerful force in this beautiful universe, and that it's beauty was made by a benign creator.
I was then asked why I hated so much and caused hurt to so many people. I explained that if there was a god, then why had he created a world in which there is death, war and great suffering. Humans did not seem to care too much for each other, and I needed to survive. Somehow I felt that he had been given this same answer to this question many times, so I added the comment that many people live out their lives this way.
He answered me by saying "Wars and suffering were not created by God, but were the creation of the human race, out of fear and hatred. God had created the human form to look different from each other, so that we would learn to increase our love for all kinds of forms. As far as death is concerned, we have all passed through many lives of our own." And he continued, "You should have listened to your inner self to realize that only the body dies: for your spirit was made for an eternity. "
"Death is the creator's greatest gift, used for the transition of your spirit into higher realms. The realm that you are now in and the powerful unconditional love that you feel would destroy the body that you formerly inhabited. Your own spiritual evolution will automatically manifest to change your bodily form. You must learn that the creator is truly benign, for if it was not so, how could you continue to live life after life until your lessons are learned?"
I started to ask him a question of my own, but I felt within myself something slipping. I then felt the sensation of swift passage again, and even though I tried, I could not reverse the process and return to that beautiful realm (of which I now lovingly call Home).
My sight returned, and I watched my spirit go slowly back into my body. I again heard the doctor's voices. A sense of such great loss and sadness filled my spirit for there had been so much to learn, and it seemed that all of the love and peace that I had felt was gone. Then the most horrid event happened. All of my hate, anger and aggression came back into me. I had been violated! It was the doctor's fault for not leaving me alone, and letting me pass on. The shock to my spirit had been so great, I did not realize that I had brought something back with me.
I was told that I had suffered no permanent brain damage, and that I had been totally unconscious for only about three days. But for some reason I could not make any more excuses for myself: my hate and anger were my own internal 'brain damage'.
I did however suffer from some memory loss. After returning to work, I realized that my career as an Associate Engineer in the Electronics Industry was over. I could no longer work in that field, because many of the electronic formulas that I had studied in college were lost to my memory. I struggled with these lost memories for a couple of weeks, and became extremely fearful of the consequences. Not producing any productive work, I was compelled to approach my supervisor and try to explain what had happened.
I made the mistake (unfortunately not only for the first time) of being honest with him in my experience. I watched him slowly back away from me as if I had a contagious disease. I was given my final paycheck and escorted out the door. During the next year I lost many of my friends by sharing even just a part of my experience. Anytime I broached the subject with my wife she would just scream at me to shut up for I was acting crazy.
Feeling lost and totally alone with my experience, I withdrew into myself and rarely talked to anyone. It was during that time that I had a lucid dream that would start to change my life forever. I call it lucid for lack of a better word. The dream seemed to have a shining intelligence and awareness about it, and I was engaged in a two-way conversation with that highly evolved spirit from the NDE. I sometimes still experience lucid dreaming and lucid thought processes even while I am awake. Instead of fearing these experiences, I have slowly grown to love and trust them. The thought processes that enter my head through these spirits are sometimes so foreign to my own that I simply call these spirits the voices in my head.
In the dream I was in a large room filled with many different colored translucent panels on the floor, which appeared to be made of some type of crystalline substance. There were pathways leading all around these panels so that a choice could be made as to which one might be entered. I was drawn towards the golden/orange colored panel and stepped on to it. Again I experienced a feeling of speed, and I was swept inward to a different state. I glanced to my left, and saw a group of women frantically applying make-up to their faces. To the right, I saw a group of construction men putting clothes into a locker room. I did not like the feelings of this place, and so I went to the center section of the room and attempted to step onto a bright white colored panel on the floor.
The spirit's voice then spoke to me "You are not ready to enter there! No anger, hate, aggressive or fearful thoughts will ever enter through that panel." I was elated to hear his voice again, and asked the question "How do I get out of this place?" He replied, "There was no such place as outward, but only inward! You have lost almost all of your friends, and feel lonely and confused. That was necessary for you to start the cleansing of your thought process. Thoughts are very powerful, and as you think, so you are. I and one other are here to help you through this process."
Still unsure and distrusting, I then set up an appointment with a psychiatrist. I walked into her office, sat down, and stated that I had only one question for her. I asked, "A friend of mine was recently involved in an automobile accident. Is it unusual for a traumatic event to cause him to change his whole way of life?" I could tell by the look on her face that she knew that I was speaking about myself, especially because the scars on my face had not yet had a chance to heal. She replied that it was very common, and that if I had any difficulties with the problem, I could come to see her anytime.
On the way home from her office, I had mixed feelings of validation and concern. How was I supposed to get rid of all of this anger and hate? I did not want to alienate myself from any more of my friends, so I took the chance and again discussed this with my wife. She informed me that she could not tell me how, since she never got angry, and that I was stupid in going into that office and paying someone to talk about my craziness. This was the last time that I ever talked to my wife about an experience that she could not understand.
About a month later, again I experienced a lucid dream. The voice said "Why do you need validation from others for what I say to you? Your aggressive and hateful emotions emanate from the fear of the unknown, and your anger comes from the continuous judgments that you layer upon yourself and everyone else. You are to leave your family and all of your possessions behind, and go out into the world as homeless!"
I could not believe what I had heard, and there was no way I was going to do that! I possessed neither the courage nor foresight in what I was being told to do. I pleaded, and asked for forgiveness to no avail. The beautiful spirit was silent, and for the next year my relationship with my wife deteriorated into ugliness. We would fight almost every night, and I found myself in a living hell. The thought of Karma continuously entered my head. The kinder I became (to try to save myself from the ordeal of homelessness), the more vindictive she became. It finally dawned on me that something had to change, because I had just been laid off from my job and my wife's anger had escalated into violence.
I asked the voices again what I should do. "Leave now, and live in the streets as homeless. Take no money with you, or any form of ID. Do not attempt to look for work, or find any place at a shelter. You will beg for all of the food that you eat". So, filled with a great fear, I found some warm clothes, and telling no one in my family (my wife and her two grown children from a previous marriage) of my going, I headed out for the streets.
The first few days were hard on me. I did not know how to beg for money for food, and I started to get very hungry. The nights were cold, and the only way I could think of staying warm was to sleep in the trash containers that were behind stores. I kept on walking during the day and did manage to finally get some food into my stomach. I found a place within the inner city where a group of people where living in boxes covered with blankets to try to keep warm. At first they seemed to be antagonistic toward me, but as they realized that I was there not to harm anyone, they did not bother me.
By this time my stomach had shrunk in size so I needed less food to feel full. I started to share with them what little I had, and they eventually responded in kind. The group was composed of little children and their mothers, a few teenagers, and men, some of whom were alcoholics. As I slowly befriended these people whom society had forgotten, my compassion for them started to grow.
I had always believed that homeless people were cruel, unkind, violent and drugged out. It was a shock to me to realize that was not always the case. Most of them had experienced some form of violent relationships in their home, and some of them had just given up on life and wanted to be left alone.
One night, two strangers attacked us. Brandishing knives, they approached us. I was not about to let them hurt what I now considered to be my new family, and wrapping some cloth around my arms, I cautiously approached them (I had been a former Marine Corps Sergeant and been reasonably well trained in fighting techniques). I could not understand why both of them suddenly bolted and ran, until I turned around. My 'family' had bonded together, and with pipes and hammers they also had been approaching the attackers. After the ugly incident was over, and we set up watchers for the rest of the night, I had another lucid dream.
I watched as the outline of a human form appeared before me, and I saw tiny sparkles of a beautiful bright light engulf the whole form. The sparkles of light looked exactly like the same sparkles that appear when you light a sparkler on the 4th of July. I could see these tiny lights sort of sliding off the arms and hands of the human form and falling to the ground. I saw the greatest concentration of them where the feet touched the earth. It also appeared that many of these lights were entering into the feet from the ground. I asked the voices what I was seeing. "You have now learned to feel compassion for other people. What you are now watching is the exchange of compassion, love, energy and light between the human form and this planet, which is also a living entity. This is the pure natural condition of the human form and it's spirit, and all other forms of life on this planet, as the creator intended." As I watched this exchange, I realized that this was the giving back to this world from which we all take so much. All of my possessions that I had surrounded myself with was used basically for my own ego (things used to impress someone else). I looked deep within myself, and found out that my begging and living in the streets had totally killed my ego. The amazing thing was, I did not miss it, nor did I feel I was less than or greater than anyone else in this world. Looking even deeper, I felt that the process of the peeling of the layers of anger was well on its way!
"You must leave this place now and go back home to your wife, for she is in the same angry and hateful state that you have been in and is suffering. She is miserable both in your staying, and in your going. Do not judge anything that she says to you, because her path to spiritual awakening will be harder for her than for you. Also remember that no matter when the words I will speak to her through you are spoken they will eventually enter into her, either in this life or her next lives to come. You will then have to leave her for the last time, but even this action she will eventually come to understand, for you and I will leave her a special gift that she will not forget to ease her suffering."
I awoke saddened that I was going to leave this place, especially for the children. I could never have any of my own, and this loose knit family of mine had allowed me to spend some time with them. With the first tears running down my face, I told them that I would have to leave (it seemed inconceivable to me that a man should cry). My leaving seemed to effect a few others, for mine were not the only tears present.
When I finally arrived back home, my wife told me that she had missed me very much, and that she had called the police department and had me listed as a missing person. At that moment I realized that some of my increased sensitivity from my NDE was still with me. It felt like some sort of ugly sickness or poison had traveled between the two of us, and I was immediately aware that she had lied to me. I said nothing in return to her, because she would not have listened anyway.
This part of my life with my wife is the most difficult to write about, for I had been forbidden to judge. When I look back on my own life, and see the way I had been, most assuredly I had no right to judge anyone.
Within two weeks I found a good job, but my wife could not hold back her anger and started to turn violent again. I have not mentioned this before now, but my wife was an alcoholic. Her drinking changed her from a loving and kind person, into an angry and sometimes violent person. This was hard to take, and even harder, now that I knew that I was not to judge: but I felt compassion anyway for this woman who I could no longer live with in harmony.
One Saturday evening, she had gone to bed early from drinking too much beer, and lay passed out on the bed. As I lay next to her, I heard the voices instructing me on how to heal an old painful hip wound that she had received many years ago in a motorcycle accident. Ever since I had known her, she would wake up in the morning and limp around painfully for about 10 minutes before she could walk normally.
Since I had never healed anyone before, I doubted that I could. The voices told me that for this healing to happen, I had to replace all of my doubting and all of my faith with a 'knowing' that this would work. After about two hours of concentrating only on the voices, I reached over with my right hand and gently laid it on her left hip. Both of my hands became extremely warm, and I became as one with her. I remembered the beautiful exchange between the human form and this world that I had seen previously; and then I could feel the hurt from her hip enter into me. It was then that I realized this healing was to be the gift for her that she would not forget.
My wife immediately sat straight up in the bed and with great anger and vindictiveness said, "What are you doing? Take your hands away from me. I did not give you permission to do that!" Then she fell back on the bed and went to sleep. I watched her as she awoke the next morning and got out of bed. Her limping was gone, and her hip pain did not come back again. She did not seem to remember anything from the previous night, and went on with her life as if nothing had happened.
Within two weeks, I received notice that my mother had died, so I drove to Arizona to settle her estate. I became friendly with some of her neighbors, and found them to be a great help for me in the support that I needed. One day when I was walking with them into an undeveloped portion of the desert, the subject came up about how useless the desert was without water, and how good it would be when the sub-division of houses would be built on this spot. I had always enjoyed wilderness areas, and the desert has always been one of my favorite places. They had moved on ahead of me, for I had stopped, and the voices came to me. I could clearly see where an underground stream of water was located, deep within the earth. It was a beautiful sight, and I was given a knowing of how to call the water to me.
The voices asked me what I would do with this knowledge. My first thought was that I would try and use the water to destroy the homes that were going to be built on this spot. Immediately, the knowing was taken away from me, and the voices said "You are not yet ready for this gift, for it must not be used to destroy. The desert is not your private possession, but a place given to all out of love from the creator."
I had failed in my test for knowledge of power, and to this day I still remember the seeing of the stream and the song used to call it to me. But without the knowing, which has nothing to do with hope or faith, it will remain as just a beautiful seeing and song within my heart. I now realize that my process of un-learning is still not complete.
Arriving back home, I again felt as if I was in a living hell. My wife was deriving some sort of perverse pleasure in trying to make me angry. She would scream, fight, and did manage once to hit me full face with her fist. But I did not respond. Many were the times that she told me that no one in my home loved or wanted me around.
Suffering combined with compassion is a very strange feeling. It was then that another voice had entered into my lucid dreaming. Where before I had only heard masculine voices, I now heard a feminine voice speak to me. She asked me "What is the greatest gift from the creator? You cannot enter where you want to go without it". I was at a complete loss as to what was being asked. After some reflection, I realized that at no time in my life had I ever truly felt real love for a woman. I replied to that voice that the greatest gift from the creator was the love between a man and a woman. The voice then replied that "Love was a let, not a force or a possession. You must learn this, and keep it at all times close to your heart. Do not be afraid of this love, let it come freely into your spirit: for there is someone who is waiting to return this love in kind to you".
I needed some time alone to think about what had been told to me, and try to find some peace in my life, so I went camping for a few days. I had chosen a spot next to a stand of trees, right next to a beautiful lake. The next morning, I tried to eat a snack of Dorrito chips, but when I opened the bag the campground became filled with wasps. I threw some chips to the ground for them to eat, but they didn't seem interested. Instead of the peace that I was searching for, all that I felt was agitated that they would not leave me alone.
I heard a thundering voice in my head say "Why are you acting like a little child? You should have learned patience by now, and how to bring peace into your life. Be still and unafraid, and hold some food outstretched in your hand". It took me a few minutes to get rid of my fear, and very slowly I extended my left hand out with some food in it. I watched as the wasps landed on my hand, and started eating the chips. Peace filled my entire being, as the wasps covered my whole hand. I could sense that they would not sting or bite me as long I remained in this state of peace, and showed no fear. The weekend turned out to be very peaceful, with just the voices and the wasps. I shared every meal with them, and came back without one sting or bite.
I returned home with an even more enhanced sensitivity in my being, and I told my wife what had happened. I was totally unconcerned with any reaction that I might receive from her. After receiving her usual response that I was crazy, the voices took over my entire being, and spoke to her. They told her of the healing of her hip, and the healing of my spirit through my near death experience with a clarity of understanding that I did not possess. I felt their words soften her anger somewhat, and she did not speak to me for a couple of days. Unfortunately this effect was not long in lasting, for she did not want to hear what was said. It seemed obvious to me that she was still addicted to her own anger and suffering, and was not going to change.
That evening, I dreamed I was in a place with a beautiful blue sky, and I saw many colored translucent bubbles floating around. Some seemed to coalesce into groups with each other, while others just migrated from one group to another. Inside of these bubbles, were smaller circular objects with transparent conduits protruding from the inside of them, and I could see small sparkles of energy travel through these conduits from each circular object, with varying degrees of intensity. It was truly a beautiful sight, but I lacked the understanding of any meaning to what I was witnessing.
The voices told me that I was looking at the human thought process. The coalesced bubbles were from similar thought processes, which grouped themselves together to form large families of bubbles. The smaller circular objects within the bubble contained all of the different thoughts that we have experienced during our current lifetime, and the tiny sparkles of light were the energy that we put into these thoughts. I could feel a certain sickness emanating from some of the groups: many others contained varying degrees of love, light and compassion. Again I was reminded of how powerful thoughts truly are and the creative effects that they have on the reality of this world and the universe, both of which are truly our home.
It was unfortunate that my wife and I were eventually separated and divorced, because she had refused to give up her drinking, and we had grown too far apart. In actuality I had I became truly at a loss as how to explain all that had happened in my life to anyone, and I thought that no one else would understand.
The voices told me to feel and see with my heart, and to look for what was on the inside of a person, and to ignore what was on the outside. My love for these voices has grown immeasurably over the years, for eventually I found the one woman I could truly love unconditionally. Her heart is also overflowing with love and understanding, and her compassion for gentleness and kindness is greater than my own. We have been together for over two years, without one single disagreement or argument.
It was about 3AM on March 26 of this year, when I swiftly sat upright in my bed, for the voices had told me that it was time for me to write of my experiences. I felt both uneasy and apprehensive, for I had never tried to put this experience into words. I tried not to take the voices too seriously, but I could not fall back to sleep. My tossing and turning awoke my beautiful wife and I told her of the dream. She also thought that it was a good idea. We both finally fell back to sleep, unaware of the implications of what I had been told. That very same day, I was included in a layoff from work, and somehow my wife's intuitiveness told her that what had happened would give me the time to write. If it had not been for her love and support, I doubt that this experience would have been put to words so soon.
The intent of writing all of this down is not to just write a story about an NDE. I now know that this is not an exclusive experience. I consider myself to be no different than anyone else, but I still have this strange combination of feelings of compassion and suffering. The only difference is that they are no longer directed inward; but rather outward toward other people. I find myself so sensitive to our environment, that I am unable to watch television, read the newspaper or listen to the radio. I have not shut myself out from this world; it's just that I can no longer think within its terms. I have experienced a very shifted view of a physical and spiritual reality, and it causes me great suffering to know that sometimes in this world, our anger can manifest itself with useless wars, untimely death and destruction of our own making. Even though we seem to be stuck in this cycle, it does not have to be this way.
Truly, the healing that we all need is within our own thoughts. Somewhere during the course of this lifetime, we all have felt alone and afraid. This is the experience of the large black hole that we all try to fill up with something: i.e. drugs, sex, possessions, work. The list is endless. If you don't believe that this is the truth, then take a real good look around you. Look at our world, your family, friends, and then take a real good look at yourself. This seeing is not a time for any judgments whatsoever, for anger and judging are one and the same. Rather it is a starting place of our own process of un-learning separateness. Instead of usual running away in fear from this, I am asking all of us to do the unusual: to have enough courage to stop, turn around and face it.
This un-learning of separateness requires no hope or faith for its fulfillment. It is a very natural state in the process of self-realization. You will find this black hole within everyone and that in most cases it will contain absolutely nothing. This nothingness is the driving force in our spirit that causes us so desperately to try and find some meaning to our lives.
I cannot over emphasize the importance of this, nor can I just give it to you from my words. It must be experienced as the truth in all of us, by a brutal forgiving honesty. Once realized, it becomes obvious that we are all in the 'family of one', separateness having been dropped as we all search to fill this nothingness.
The universe was created out of love, and we are all a part of that creation. The unconditional love that I felt during my NDE was very powerful. Instinctively we fear this kind of love by layering it with many conditions. The greatest fear we face is, will this love I give be returned? It's as if we all think that we only have so much to give, and that it might run out. We tend to look at other's failures as the only reality in this world, and become even more fearful of this powerful emotion. Somehow we have forgotten that the giving of love is the blessing, and returns to the sender an abundance of even more to give. This is the lesson that we all have to learn; this is what we need to fill that big black hole with! I know in my spirit that these lessons will be learned by all, and then we shall all be transformed into new planes, and be given even greater gifts to share.