Now… certain of my nondual friends are going to take me to task for posting this. But what I'm about to describe actually happened, many years ago. Being preemptive in my defense, let me state categorically that I am not a New Age flake, not some Woo Woo nutcake, or one of those who are enamored of “spiritual experience”. Why do I communicate this story? Because even though I know nothing about the what, why, or wherefore of it, it really happened.
One evening, back in '82, my friend Ken and I sat in the living room of some friends', waiting for them to get ready so we could all head out to a movie. Ken was not a “spiritual” guy in the traditional sense. In fact, his irreverence was infamous; and our teacher at the time once said his Native American name must have been “Running Joke”. Still, somehow, he'd become involved in the same path I was on at the time. Later, he would dismiss his time in the “Destructive Cult”, stating he was only in it for the babes. That, of course, was not true, but gives you some insight into his nature.
As for myself, although “I” had recently dissolved in Union, and the Bliss of Pure Awareness had thereafter taken up residence in my Heart, I was none the less, I assure you, a solidly Western, very empirically-minded, rational guy. Although it was clear to me that Pure Awareness is our Essential nature, as Formless Shiva, prior to the arising of space, time, and objects, I was simply nonplussed by the stream of “spiritual” experiences that had flowed into my life after samadhi. I had absolutely no idea what to make of it all; and honestly, have no idea, even today. The world of form is simply magical beyond our wildest dreams. And I choose not to analyze or seek to understand. That's just my way. I prefer to live in the Great Mystery.
But back to my story…
Above the fireplace mantle was a large poster of Lakshmi. And as Ken and I sat quietly, I gazed at the beautiful poster. In short order, and without any intention on my part, I felt the onset of “meditation”. By that I mean that my acute sense of locatablility as an object-perceiver began to dissolve, spontaneously, and the Bliss that had taken up residence in my Heart welled up and flooded through this form. It all just… happened, unexpectedly.
With eyes open, the distinct edges of the objects in my field of vision began to dissolve in an unimaginably beautiful, translucent light; a “sparkling radiance” of sometimes golden, sometimes white illumination. Within this Translucent Dissolution, only Lakshmi remained clear and defined; strikingly so. A twinkling clarity that I would later come to call 6D, as it outshone 3D perception in ways that words simply cannot express. Her jewelry and sari were inexpressibly Radiant and Luminous, and She suddenly stood against a background in which the formerly flat images appeared as dimensional objects in space, and I found myself peering into a very real, and impossibly Beautiful world.
The gold jewelry She wore began sparkling in a way I'd never seen. And after some time, Her jewelry and sari transformed into the most dazzling, brilliantly radiant golden armor, lit from within as if molten; and in that change… she was suddenly Vishnu, crowned with a golden helmet, visible in pristine 6D detail. Then, after some time, Vishnu transformed back into Lakshmi, shimmering in golden jewelry and colors vibrant as I'd never seen before. Then… back to Vishnu. Then… back to Lakshmi. Over and over.
I was aware that none of this was “normal”, but being so Dissolute and transfixed, I could not have shaken myself into “normalcy”, even if the desire had arisen.
At one point the image remained as Lakshmi, and to my amazement… She turned her head to face me. Pristine clarity. No vague hallucination. She smiled sweetly, slowly nodded Her head downward, then slowly back up, then turned back to center, shimmering for awhile longer. Slowly, the luminosity faded, and I found myself once again in a 3D room… the mind stopped, intoxicated in Wonder; the whole of my Being bathed in Bliss.
I naturally assumed that all of this had been my own subjective “spiritual” experience. After all, Ken and I had not said, “Let's meditate.” I had no idea what he'd been doing during my miraculous experience. But as I sat there, Dissolute and awash, unable to speak, Ken turned to me, and asked, “Did you see that?” “Did I see what?” I said. He paused briefly, then continued, “As we were sitting here, I was looking at the poster of Lakshmi, and she became luminous, turned her head, smiled, and nodded at us.”
This actually happened.
What to make of it all? After all these years, I haven't a clue. Even more so than the experience of Union and the ever-present Bliss that has shone in my Heart thereafter, this “Vision” remains the most baffling incident of my life.