What would you do if you suddenly awoke to find yourself floating near the ceiling of your bedroom? It happened to me, and it changed my life.
I first heard the term “out-of-body experience” in the summer of 1979. A local television station had broadcast an interview with a man named Robert Monroe. He had written a popular book, Journeys Out of the Body. Intrigued by the incredible story he told, I borrowed a copy from the library and read it from cover to cover.
In the book, Monroe claimed that in his early forties he began to spontaneously leave his body in spirit form while remaining fully conscious. He gave fantastic detailed descriptions of traveling in this spirit body to places on Earth as well as into the spirit world itself.
When the experiences first began, Monroe was afraid that he had become ill, or was actually losing his mind. Submitting himself to intense medical and psychiatric examinations, he was relieved when all tests found him to be healthy and normal. Eventually he just quit worrying about it. Meticulously documenting his experiences, he decided to take advantage of the continuing phenomenon, pursuing every opportunity to explore and learn.
“Fascinating story,” I thought, “but the guy’s obviously a brick short of a load.”
Having been raised in a poor farm family with ten brothers and sisters, my grasp on reality was far too entrenched in the physical world to give this kind of fantasy much sway. Returning the book to the library, I soon forgot all about it.
To my amazement, eleven years later, my perception of reality would be changed forever. This life-changing event took place at the end of a long and hectic week. It was late Friday night and, looking forward to a quiet weekend, I sat at my desk thinking about the recent events that were complicating my life. It had been more than five years since I was first elected to city council, and everything in my life was running smoothly. Then, one day, some important government people showed up, asking me to make a big commitment. They wanted me to run as a candidate in an upcoming election to the Legislature. With more than a few reservations, I had agreed to let my name stand. But it wasn’t long before I was second-guessing my decision.
With only days remaining before the nomination meeting, I waged an internal battle. Was this what I wanted to do? Would it be good for me? With all the time I’d have to spend away, would our family life suffer? Would it be worth it? Finally, around 1:30 in the morning I gave up and sleepily crawled into bed, vowing to sleep until noon. The second my head hit the pillow, it was lights out.
The next thing I knew, I was wide-awake. But something was terribly wrong. In dazed confusion, I scrambled to get my bearings. What I was seeing was impossible! Instead of being in my bed, I was floating like a balloon near the ceiling, bumping lightly against its stippled surface.
Disoriented, a landslide of possibilities flooded my mind. There had to be a rational explanation. Below me in bed were two sleeping bodies that seemed so familiar I couldn’t divert my attention from them. As I looked down, a stunning realization hit me: the woman in the bed was my wife, and the guy sleeping beside her was me.
On the wet, slippery planks, I lost my balance, and the next thing I knew I was toppling backwards into the water. Terrified, I didn’t have the presence of mind to even try to swim. With numbing quickness, shock overcame me; my head slipped below the surface and, before I knew it, I was on my way to the bottom. In my panicked state, it wasn’t long before the last bubbles of air had escaped me and my lungs filled with water.
I had always imagined that drowning would be a horrible way to die—the mental terror while one’s lungs desperately screamed for air—but it wasn’t like that at all. In fact, as soon as my lungs filled with water, the struggle ended. There was no more suffocating or fighting for air. Instead, an absolute peace came over me.
With my eyes wide open, I continued a slow descent. The water grew darker and darker, and soon I was up to my ankles in mud. After pausing there for a few seconds, I’m not sure why, but ever so slowly I began to float upwards. Within a few moments I was nearing the surface. I could see and feel the warm sunlight radiating into the water. My head briefly broke through, and then in a dreamlike state, without fear or panic, I began to sink again.
My senses numbing, I felt no particular discomfort, just the greatest urge to fall asleep. Soon I could feel my feet sinking again into the mud, and then everything seemed to grind to a halt. Time stood still as I hung suspended in the water, my surroundings fading. Too tired and sleepy to be concerned, I simply let go and drifted into the blackness.
The next thing I knew, I snapped back into consciousness, opening my eyes to an astonishing sight. I was being bathed in a shimmering kaleidoscope of soft, warm colors. Swirling and gyrating, they seemed to pass through my body into the core of my being. I knew I was still surrounded by water, but somehow I had gotten into a beautiful, comfortable bubble. It felt like I was inside a rainbow. Mysteriously, the colors seemed to be causing a wonderful vibrating sensation throughout my body, each shade carrying its own distinct frequency. Fanning my hands in front of me, I watched, in childish delight, the multicolored energy swirling through my fingers and hands, electrifying my senses.
I had never felt more alive and energized. In awe of the warmth and beauty of my surroundings, I sensed something important was happening —that I had somehow changed. It occurred to me that perhaps I had died. And for some unknown reason, I recalled the story of Tom Sawyer—the part when he was believed to have drowned in the Mississippi, but arrived home just in time to witness his own funeral.
Just as these thoughts settled in my mind I suddenly found myself shooting out of the water and into the air. A moment later I was hovering over the choir loft in the back of our church.
Slowly, like a feather wafting on a breeze, I lifted off the stretcher and into the air. It was a peculiar feeling. Although the movement felt similar to my previous out-of-body experiences, I knew that this time I was definitely not in control. Strangely, the pain, so excruciating only moments earlier, simply evaporated.
From a deep darkness, my vision began to open around me as I felt myself bumping up against the roof of the ambulance. I watched the paramedic below as she adjusted the oxygen mask on my face and checked the time on her wristwatch.
Having experienced a touch of fear moments earlier, I now wondered why I had been so worried. Although realizing this might be the last time I would be leaving my body, I remained calm and collected. There was no doubt in my mind that I was dying, and I began to consider the consequences.
As if from an eternity of sleep, I slowly began to reemerge from the nothingness. Vestiges of dream images and fleeting thoughts tugged at me like the rescuing hands of a loving parent. In a few moments I was again awake, my consciousness fully restored. I was still me, but I felt somehow different—changed in some unfathomable way.
I’m not sure how to best describe this, but I was no longer aware of being in any particular form. I felt instead like I was a floating sphere of microscopic particles. I had no idea where I was, but it felt as if I was hovering in outer space.
With each passing moment I felt the power of spiritual energy growing
within my form. Even though I was composed of hardly more than a mass of seemingly nonconnected particles, I felt more alive and together than I had ever been. My awareness of self was acute. Somehow, every individual particle of my being seemed to contain the totality of my consciousness.
As I floated in space, relishing the immensity of the experience, I became aware of a concentrated power approaching me. It was nothing that I could see, but the energy of this presence, whatever it was, was awesome.
Every fragment of my awareness began to shake and then to resonate in harmony with the vibrations of this enormous force. Suddenly, I found myself exploding into the universe.
It felt as if the very essence of my spirit was being blown like dust into the far reaches of the cosmos. Expanding and growing in perception, it seemed that I had somehow joined with the energy of every living thing. I felt a baby’s cry and the anguish of its mother. I experienced the joy of a puppy as it bounded happily after a child. I felt the power of a whale swimming in the ocean. From the mindless destruction of war to the purposefulness of a hummingbird in flight, I experienced and became a part of everything that I touched. It was at the same time an explosion of emotion and a mystical encounter with the love of God. I suddenly understood the perfection of creation. The entire experience was so overwhelming, so illuminating, that I became lost in the beauty and complexity of it all.
It began slowly at first—small shifts of consciousness tugging at me, reminding me that I was still attached to a physical body. Tears of gratitude and joy started welling up in my eyes until I could no longer resist the pull of the physical. In an instant the experience was over and I was back in my CHEC unit.
My heart pounding, I remained in the silence of my room, contemplating the emotions and images newly imbedded in my mind. The montage of revelations had been almost overpowering. So much had happened simultaneously that I couldn’t even hope to remember, much less describe the totality of the experience. Sitting up, I tried to make notes of the session, but the effort seemed futile. After scratching out a few inadequate phrases, I summarized it with one word: “Wow.”
Channeling a Poem
Upon completing the body of my book, even after several re-writes, I still had the feeling that something was missing. It needed something more. It occurred to me that I could, perhaps, spice it up by inserting a poem or witty quote at the beginning of each chapter. However, after a lengthy search, I was unable to find anything to my liking and resigned myself to dropping the idea.
Then, early one morning as I lay in bed drifting in and out of sleep, the following whispered words jolted me to attention. “Through shaded eyes we view the world — Present, past, and future swirl.” A chill ran up my spine. It was the unmistakable voice of my spirit guide, giving me the first two lines of a poem.
“Hey, that sounds wonderful,” I replied, repeating the words in my mind. “So, what’s the rest of it?”
“The rest,” she whispered, “is up to you,” and her vibrations faded away.
'Good grief,' I thought. 'What on earth do I know about poetry?' Throughout my life I’d never paid much attention to poetry of any kind and had never even considered trying. It just wasn’t me. This I knew would be an impossible task.
Months passed and I continued my procrastination. Often I would roll those first two lines over in my mind, trying to assemble at least one complete stanza, but nothing ever seemed to fit.
It was almost a year later when I awoke one morning from a dream in which my spirit guides had again chided me for not finishing the poem. Having the concept refreshed in my mind, the following night at around ten o’clock, I finally sat down at my computer to give it a shot.
What an exercise in frustration! Hour after hour literally evaporated as I sat staring at those first two lines, typing concoction after silly concoction onto the screen, then deleting it all and starting again. By 3 am I had accomplished virtually nothing, and was considering giving up and going to bed. But as I sat at my keyboard struggling to stay awake, I found myself dropping deeper and deeper into an altered state. Then, when it seemed that my brain had all but retired for the night, a new energy took control of my fingers — a flood of words began. A short time later I crawled, zombie-like, into bed.
When I finally awoke nine hours later, I couldn’t believe the words stored in my computer. They weren’t my words; they were my guide’s. And I am eternally grateful for having been honored as the messenger. From the hearts of Angels to yours, this is their message.
Eyes of an Angel
Through shaded eyes we view the world
Present, past, and future swirl
Only fleeting glimpse there revealed
The mysteries of life concealed
Though evidence in abundance shouts
Thoughts of creation are lined with doubt
Life’s grand design in darkness robed
Hints of spirit left un-probed
In days of science and truth unclear
Man and religion fraught with fear
Purpose and destiny remain obscured
Life without meaning long endured
Promises of paradise, and wonders to behold
Man made dogma, imposed upon the fold
But in frightened hearts there flickers still
Desire for truth that guilt can’t kill
So is it still by chance or sad intent
Destruction looms with our consent
While thoughts, the thief within our heads
Leave us fearful in our beds
Then steadfast courage and honor bequest
The hand of God we’ll squarely test
Until lust for battle be lost in the fray
And restless spirit lights the way
Though the stock of angels be divine
Must we yet refuse to see the signs?
Why is it only when troubles abound
He finds us kneeling on the ground?
When horrors plague our daily bread
And grieving thoughts we cannot shed
Is it then we pray our Lord to see?
Shallow promises made in desperate plea
Then comes an angel, eyes ablaze
Heart secure and love unfazed
A glimpse of what was meant to be
Pure light upon reality
And oh what joys will they evoke
When God and angels first uncloak
Life’s greatest treasures gleaned at last
Our hearts and souls in light are cast
The message comes from Heaven clear
His wrath was never lent to fear
You see, God has only love to give
It’s man distorts the way we live
But in angel eyes love grows complete
While strong hands tremble in defeat
The truth of God is soon revealed
It’s through our hearts that we are healed
And now in slumber’s sweet delight
Dream angels carry us in flight
When there are no more souls to mend
Who is the angel God will send?
Though late, we find that in the end
Matters not if we break or bend
It wasn’t God we were meant to see
For only love can set us free
If it’s proof you seek, there’s no denying
The truth is only found in dying
But in search of God, and where to begin
You need look no further than within