While living at Esalen, twenty years ago today, I had an experience which completely changed my view of the world, the way I thought things happened, and my life, forever. I still cannot completely explain it in words because it was beyond all words. It was beyond belief.
I was right there on the edge. The point of total saturation. I was alone on the bridge between worlds, between a schizophrenic crackup and a spiritual awakening. The feeling was so intense that I am not even sure that it was a feeling. I was so full of emotion that a single comment, a single rain drop, could send me tumbling into the abyss on either side of the thin tightrope upon which I was balanced. I was on the verge of complete joy, laughter, rage, sorrow, pain, love all at the same moment. I thought I was going crazy or that I might be more sane than I have ever been before in my life. I didn’t know what in the world was going on inside of me and I was scared.
I am not sure what brought all this on and in fact I am not sure if anything at all brought it about. I know now that the incidents to which I attributed this state of chaos had little or nothing to do with its cause. I know that the intensity of this state was greater than anything my own body or mind could possibly produce. I know now that this surge of emotion, this saturation of feelings, this rapture of pain, loneliness, sorrow and joy was ecstasy, but I did not know it then.
This epiphany was an awakening but at first I treated it as if it were a stranger from another planet. It was something foreign to my existence, a part of my own being of which I had no knowledge, acceptance or understanding. It swelled in my solar plexus as a fertile egg but its gestation period seemed only a few hours or perhaps it had been fifty years. I was not sure.
It was a part of me being born from those parts of me which were ready to grow; to move beyond the boundaries of this body to a greater understanding of my universal condition. I was moving farther into sky, closer to the root of my being and that is exactly what I came here to do. I just didn’t know this was the way it happens.
I could not identify this state of feelings at first. I could not find for it a rational name or point of reference but in a time period of many new adventures it was a most profound experience. There is a new part of me afloat in this world, fathered by the universal experience of all beings and mothered by the need to give birth to my own existence. The kundalini has been awakened.
epiphany – 3.a. A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something. b. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization.
ecstasy – 1. Intense joy or delight. 2. A state of emotion so intense that one is carried beyond rational thought and self-control: an ecstasy of rage. 3. The trance, frenzy, or rapture associated with mystic or prophetic exaltation.