When I was in Italy last winter and spring- and where I’m going to be again soon- life was very different for me in several ways. I didn’t have internet and there’s no guarantee that I will have it this time. It wasn’t even easy finding an internet café and those were often little more than modem fueled. I could have been in Bangladesh and had a much easier time of it in that regard.
I was alone for five months in a secluded house purchased with just that in mind. Meditation became something much more focused and intense than it had been in the past. There were times when I found that I had been sitting for several hours without any labor or conflict. It was a wonderful period of time.
Some months into it, I began to experience something that was remarkable and satisfying in a way that few things I have ever encountered ‘here’ have managed to provide. I started to see into a location. In the past there have been lights and voices; even faces would appear but this time...
I find it very difficult to describe. That’s surprising given how much it resembled certain classic presentations. At one point I found myself grinning at the ‘almost cliché’ of the event. I found myself looking upward into a tunnel which extended across a vast distance. At times the distance seemed as great as that between our planet and the stars. At other times it had a rushing forward immediacy to it as if there were no great distance at all.
At the entrance to the tunnel were indefinable creatures of light that spiraled back toward the intense light of the far point which illuminated the whole affair. At each progression point along the tunnel there were different creatures, some stationary and some in movement. There was a beautiful symmetry to it all. At every place where a new difference emerged it was the same on all sides, even though there were no sides. Everything was symmetrical.
It was difficult to move forward into the tunnel. It required certain things on my part and it was all very much like holding quicksilver steady in the palm of the hand. When I could manage that for however long it occurred, I found myself immediately rushing forward. During these times I could see something of the center of it all and it was like the entrance to a large gated city. It was a city composed of light of varying densities and these densities expressed themselves in colors. On occasion I could come close enough to the gates of the city and see into it. There was a long boulevard that led to a high point in a fantastic landscape of shifting architecture that was going up and up by degrees. There seemed to be a high throne in the very center at the highest point and someone was sitting there surrounded by yet more beings. From the beginning of this tunnel to the center of that light, the surrounding creatures became increasingly more stationary.
At these points I sensed that everything went on forever; that I could come right up to this throne only to find that it had changed into something more that continued on and, no doubt, did the same again were I to be able to continue further on. I had the sense that all of this was actually ‘there’. It wasn’t the same as dreaming or musing; the way the mind takes shape according to thought and feeling.
Every time I found myself in this experience it was always the same. It happened frequently during periods of deeper meditation. Sometimes it was easier to travel and sometimes less so. The sounds that came out of it were... this is difficult; something like energies rubbing together and creating a massaging sensation of differing densities. It was intensely euphoric and can only be described as very similar to sexual intensities. Though that doesn’t cover it, it comes closer to that than anything else I can compare it to.
It was very clear that this was a city, a city composed of light. Backgrounds and objects and creatures were all perceivable due to variations in color and all of it was proceeding from the central point. Everything was an emanation, a projection from the central core.
I noticed that sometimes it would look western and sometimes it would look eastern and it occurred to me that it really depended on the inclination of the one perceiving it. Everything was changing all of the time but it always changed according to the same manner, like a kaleidoscope. Forms turned into other forms and then back again. It was the light that made it possible. Nothing could have been seen without the light and the light was the origin of the forms as well; the same way that white light is the source of all of the colors emerging from the prism.
It’s interesting to note that as the frequency of sound intensifies it turns into other things. Much could be learned by studying what happens when frequency intensifies. This might be of interest to those so inclined ...I’m fascinated by electro-magnetism. I consider this to be a potential source for immense energy and technologies beyond the scope of the present day.
All one needs to know about how the spiritual realm is personalized by our subjective impressions can be found beautifully delineated in James’ “The Varieties of Religious Experience.” or the works of that great Indian sage, RamaKrishna who experienced enlightenment in every religious formula and declared them all the same. It’s all the same place though it contains a Gormenghast collection of rooms. “In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not true I would not have told you so.” One might also find food for thought in Bucke’s “Cosmic Consciousness” and Avalon’s “The Serpent Power”
One of the primary characteristics of Love- pure love- is expansiveness. The same can be said about light. Love and light have a great deal in common. We have been the beneficiary of light-bringers who have appeared here on occasion. We have also hosted and presently host, bringers of darkness.
It’s not easy to find the light or to feel the love in this time. It is never an easy affair until one has passed beyond the magnetic pull of the manifest. But these days it is more difficult than it has been. The clamor is at a high intensity. The impetus to project outward through the senses is awesome. The further outward one journeys, the greater is the distance from one’s own heart. There are those for whom this consideration is non-existent and they wax with a terrible insistence from the court of temporal power.
It’s my conviction that the essence of all of the divine scriptures is written on the human heart, just as all forms are differentiated and held together by a magical, vibrating language of fiery hieroglyphs. We need to proceed inward to advantage ourselves of the tranquil wonderland of our true nature. At the same time, everything outside of us is promising that this elusive state can be had in each one of the shifting and impermanent forms that are fashioned by the cookie cutter mind and displayed on the endless conveyor belt of time. It’s all heroin-sugar.
It seems to me that there must be some urgent need to strive or surrender. Why would such a powerful magic show be taking place for our single and collective attention if not to distract us from something else? It’s both scary and exciting at the same time. It is daunting too and despair-making when we see the relentless necessity of that single purpose.
It’s ironic that the city I live near is nicknamed La Citti Bianca- The White City. The old town is an extraordinary place to wander through. In the winter there are few people and there is a profound sense of peace there. I haven’t experienced this in many other places and certainly never in an urban setting. The new part of the city is filled with bad architecture and lots of noise that is typically Italian.
I know that if you care enough to press on you will find this city... the other city. It’s only a matter of how badly you want to or how comfortable you may be here. Of course, ‘here’ as it appears now will be gone and you as well. Given that you must eventually journey somewhere, it stands to reason that it would be helpful to have your papers in order before you go; metaphorically speaking. It stands to reason that you would want to make contact with whomever awaits beyond. Don’t let either the world or your fear of the unknown be a hindrance given what unspeakable marvels await.
'Light Up Ahead' is track no. 1 of 12 on Visible's 2007 album 'Almost A Capella'