Musings: Links with the Beyond
Since my earliest childhood memories, I have thrived on seeking knowledge and experience of all things spiritual and beyond the reach of our five physical senses. As a child, daydreams, pictures and stories about angels, fairies and elves, both soothed my fears about the vast, uncontrollable world around me and enriched my mind rooted in the stern, yet glorious, Catholic belief system of my upbringing.
I remember posting angels and saints for protection at the four corners of my bed nightly, while suffering great angst and exhaustion at the thought that my life was eternal and would never, ever end — particularly if I was doomed to spend it in hell.
As my life unfolded with more experience and schooling, I discovered a greatly expanded world I could explore beyond the physical senses which included ancient civilizations, reincarnation, extraterrestrials, enlightenment, the occult, mediumship, psychic development, energy healing and mindbody medicine, much of which was considered make-believe, mysterious and even sinful at that time. I was greatly encouraged by receiving confirmation that these other-worldly experiences were real, and could even be validated by scientific research in some cases. I believe we do a grave disservice to our children in ridiculing their beliefs in unseen friends, realities and powers, while bribing them with material gifts into accepting such boldface lies as Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy as acceptable forms of “magic.” Once they are past the age of seven and have realized these myths are untrue, we have succeeded in discouraging their exploration of this world beyond the five senses because they believe it is fake. Far better for them that we are truthful about the jolly good story of Santa Claus we all enjoy at Christmas time to exchange gifts, and encourage them to keep a sharp eye out for little people of all kinds perching on indoor plants and pets or outside in the back yard!
A pivotal experience in my life which forever erased all doubts about my link with the unseen world beyond the senses occurred when I was 20. Like many young adults, my late teen years were spent searching for my own identity and questioning every belief of my upbringing. In particular, I was consumed with a burning desire to know, “Does God exist?” I wanted an irrefutable answer to the question, “Is there a higher power in our lives, or is God just a comforting idea humans have passed down through the ages as a matter of faith or desperation?” Not a day in my life passed when I did not agonize over this question, for I felt I could no longer go on building a foundation for my life on something that was not real.
At the height of this questing and spiritual anxiety, I attended a retreat called the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. This weekend of silence and reflection run by Jesuit priests at a beautiful retreat house on the shores of Narragansett, Rhode Island, was the perfect balm for my miserable soul at this time. The beaches of this area in Narragansett are completely filled with large grey boulders, right up to the water’s edge, so walking along the ocean meant carefully picking one’s way from boulder to boulder to avoid falling, slipping or twisting an ankle.
One afternoon, I hiked to a remote rock on the beach to wallow alone in my sense of isolation, darkness and despair. Although the sun reflected brilliantly off the ocean’s endless horizon in magnificent beauty as far as the eye could see, I sat wailing on that rock in my self-imposed state of forsaken misery, questioning and crying out loud to the noisy gulls, the silent boulders and the crashing waves below. Suddenly, I felt compelled to lie face down, with my nose, lips and palms pressed firmly to the rock, almost as if I had been commanded to do so. Although the rock was very hard, it was also very warm, and within just a few moments, my body seemed to melt and mold to its contours. I began to notice a strange sensation of feeling and hearing the rock breathe beneath me and then the most wonderful, indescribable sensations and perceptions flooded through me all at once. I became aware that my body was in complete harmony with this rock and that I belonged there — I was part of Creation. I felt completely and utterly loved, accepted and embraced.
Then, without warning, I sensed a buzzing in my body and what felt like a bolt of lightening that entered the top of head and went all the way down to my feet. This jolt was accompanied by a stunning revelation that I was a much beloved creature of this magnificent Creation, and it was God’s Creation. Yes, there was a God, and all of this Creation, including me, was God. Every thing, every creature, every person in this Creation was God, without exception. I leapt up from the rock and saw the ocean, the sun, the horizon and the rocks on the beach — all me! I sobbed and I laughed and released all the pent up torment in the surety of what I was experiencing and would never doubt again because it was now a part of my cellular knowledge. There is more, there is God, there is faith, hope and love!
I remember almost flying back over the rocks on the beach that afternoon, my feet seeming to barely touch their jagged points and slippery surfaces. The experience of that day has served as a touchstone throughout the rest of my life, assuring me that amazing things are always possible, simply because we are creatures of this divine Creation. Money grows on trees, illnesses are cured, love blooms, and humans work for the highest good of all. Our minds are the conduits that allow us to reach beyond our human and physical limitations to manifest miracles in everyday life. Open your awareness to accept these unlimited possibilities because things are not always what they seem. We are linked with the great beyond in more ways than we can ever know.
Carol Bedrosian is publisher and editor of Spirit of Change Magazine.