the only spiritual thing that’s ever happened to me

I am not spiritual. I don’t really know what it means to be spiritual, but I’ve guessed “no” when I’ve been occasionally asked. I am uncomfortable with the unknown. Maybe that’s why I write fantasy books, because the mystical, magical space my brain craves is self-contained, manageable—delicious but reassuringly confined to my own rules. I don’t know.

My mom thinks I’m spiritual. She also thinks I probably secretly believe in God. We’ve argued about this before.

“I would know it if I did,” I say.

“You just don’t like the way it’s described,” she says, “that doesn’t mean you don’t feel something.”

I shake my head and think she just wants her daughter to have religion. She doesn’t want me to miss out.

I don’t want to miss out, either, but my mind stays strictly on its path. I listen when friends talk astrology, but only out of politeness and sometimes, if I’m feeling wild, fun. I don’t want to miss out, but much more than that, I’m proud of my straightforward rationalism.

Astrological_Chart_-_New_Millennium

(source)

This story I’m about to tell is one of the only spiritual things that’s ever happened to me. The others were tiny. (I’m defining “spiritual” like this: it felt spiritual.)

 

A little over seven months ago, two weeks before my pregnancy was due to end, I woke up on the toilet in the middle of the night. I didn’t remember getting up, walking to the bathroom, sitting down. But I remembered what had happened and it made perfect sense. Maybe an hour before that, along the slippery ribbon of unconscious time, I had gone into labor, and I wasn’t ready.

“I’m not ready,” I said, “I don’t know how to do this. I’ve never done this before. I’m too young.”

“It’s okay,” said a woman I’d never met before. “Don’t worry, honey,” she said. “I’ll take over for a while. I’ve had three kids. I’m not young anymore. I know what to do.”

I was so grateful for this woman I’d never met. I trusted her instinctively. She was warm and strong and gentle, and she exuded an air of competence that put me immediately at ease. I went back to sleep and let her handle the situation.

I slept and this other woman, this immensely kind stranger, labored for me. She managed the contractions with quiet, confident resolve. She didn’t make any noise at all. She wasn’t afraid. She knew exactly what she was doing. It was her idea, actually, to go sit on the toilet. She knew to hold onto the towel rack and lean forward through each contraction, channeling the pain into her grip, letting it move through her and out into nothingness.

I woke up on the toilet with the sensation of threads separating from a tight weave, the aching pulling apart of oneness into duality, and then she was gone completely and I was alone. I knew and didn’t know in that moment that it had been me all along. I still believed for a second that she’d been there, that I was only now stepping up to reclaim my body and do the rest of the work. For a dream-flooded instant, contractions really were a thing that could be transferred and shared, and labor was a vehicle that could be climbed into by a helpful volunteer and steered. I had been so afraid of it, I had felt helpless approaching it, but I woke up perfectly calm. I was ready.

HBXG_SD7_bulldozer

(the bulldozing vehicle of labor. source)

I didn’t tell Bear about the other woman until recently. I think I just forgot. Or maybe it was too weird.

The rest of my labor was sensible and painful. In my own head, even when I couldn’t speak any longer, I was thinking, “OK, shit, I think I need more fluids, I feel faint. What did I eat this morning? Why did I have that damn iced coffee? I’m probably jittery from the caffeine and there is no way that’s helping. Oh my god, this is going on forever. Why are they talking like I can’t hear them? Obviously, I can hear them. Don’t poop, don’t poop, don’t poop. I’m not supposed to care if I poop! I’m supposed to be way past embarrassment! Why do I care about anything right now? I thought I’m supposed to leave my body or something. Nope. I am right here in my body and it hurts like hell. AAAHHHH!! LIKE HELL!!!! WHHHY??! OK, OK, this is total bullshit. Should I try to hallucinate or something? Maybe look at myself from above? Maybe from some type of scaffolding? Don’t poop, don’t poop…”

I wasn’t too surprised. That’s me. I’m like that.

I’m not like the other thing. Like the blurring. I don’t usually slip into a gray area or brush against the tendrils of the inexplicable or find myself at the edge of the infinite.

But wow, it was nice. It made me wish I could peer over that edge again sometime.

Not that I expect to. I don’t.

Writing this, I’m thinking, “Sleep is inherently otherworldly, that’s the nature of dreaming. Your body was under unfamiliar duress and your subconscious was attempting to make sense of it. Duh.”

I’m struck, arguing with myself over the validity of my one big spiritual experience, that it probably doesn’t matter how and why, but that the how and the why are often the parts that I heap with the most significance.

I’m not really able to do it, but I wish I could just say, “whatever—it was awesome,” and leave it there intact in the history of my life, a rupture, a tear in the space/time continuum, a shimmering, warping, beautiful anomaly. Captain Picard, strictly rational, would understand. He’s seen the incredible, the mysterious, and he knows that’s just a normal part of deep space exploration. I wish I didn’t require everything to make such small sense when, if you draw back, everything that exists is a crazy, inexplicable miracle anyway.

Jean-Luc_Picard_2

(Swoon.I still love him. I will always love him. source)

Which is, you know, probably why the  laws of science and rules of human conduct are so intensely important. In a way, they’re like a fantasy novel. They close the circuit. To believe in the context of the fantasy world, all of its rules have to make sense.

I’m not a believer in something bigger. Maybe I’ll never be.

But:

Yesterday a friend from synagogue sent an email around explaining that he was going to Israel and would visit the Western Wall. He offered to tuck the names of ill loved ones into the cracks and say the prayer for healing, on behalf of anyone who wanted it (this is a tradition).

I almost ignored it, but then, in a rush, I wrote back with two names and a little joke, keeping it light-hearted, keeping it “You never know! Ha ha!”

Because, really, why not?

You never know.

Sometimes you just have to let go and poop.

Or something.

I just think poop is funny, because I’m immature.

But seriously, even though I don’t believe, I can sense it, something trembling just past the line of reason and understanding, brushing the tall fence I rely on to protect me from chaos. The unknown is there, waiting. And in the depths of my unconscious, whole stories beneath the grounded ground floor, I suspect against suspicion that I am probably relieved.

After all, that woman who helped me, she was so nice.

Milky-Way

(source)

*  *  *

Have you had an obviously spiritual experience? I’d love to hear about it if you feel like sharing! 

Unroast: Today I love the way I feel when Eden and I are hanging out with my friends around the table, and we are both in a good mood. And there is dessert.

Recent links:

Here I am over at the Sydney Morning Herald’s Daily Life, talking about how I wish women could just look their age, at whatever age– it’s empowering and good when we do.

This is a version of the last post, about eating disorders, on HuffPo

And this is my piece about how Eden doesn’t yet know how she looks, on HuffPo

23 Comments »

Kate on March 5th 2014 in being different, life, pregnancy, uplifting

23 Responses to “the only spiritual thing that’s ever happened to me”

  1. Rachel B responded on 05 Mar 2014 at 10:46 am #

    Holy cow, this gave me shivers because it feels SO SIMILAR to the one obviously spiritual experience I’ve had. It was a dream I had when I was 13, where I found myself in a big empty house and a woman who I just knew was God was speaking to me, and she showed me two visions for how my life could go; in one, I was living a really drab life, and in the other I didn’t know what I’d done but I had this overwhelming feeling that the entire world was cheering for me, but not just in a ‘you’re awesome’ way, in a ‘the whole world is better because of how hard you worked way’. Then 8 years later when I had been working insanely hard on the 2008 elections, when Obama won a massive party broke out on Bedford Avenue and all my friends were picking me up and throwing me in the air, and in that moment I had the EXACT feeling from that dream.

    I also struggle with the idea of God and spirituality, but I consider God our stand-in term for what we don’t understand, and I do have kind of an un-nameable faith. Lately I’ve been struggling with anxiety, and some of that stems from feeling like I don’t even understand the basics of how my body works and that makes me feel disconnected and scared of things going wrong with it; but then I thought about how so much of my brain is unconscious, and realized that I actually know a lot more than I think I do if I calm down and let my instincts take over. Labor terrifies me from the anxious place I’m in right now- but the idea of your subconscious taking the form of a woman and helping you through it is so beautiful and comforting to me.

    PS. Go seen Patrick Stewart and Ian McLellan in Waiting for Godot if you can, that man is still swoon-worthy and sooooo talented.

  2. Kate responded on 05 Mar 2014 at 11:22 am #

    That’s awesome. And you’re reminding me of when Obama won and I was uptown at grad school and it was a huge party in the streets– strangers kept hugging me. It was so charged and thrilling and everything felt like it was going to be OK. Amazing that you worked towards that!!

    I really want to see Waiting for Godot!!!

  3. San D responded on 05 Mar 2014 at 12:48 pm #

    How can you look into Eden’s eyes and not be spiritual on some level? Rationality only goes so far in explaining the gossamer qualities of life. Oh and Godot closes at the end of March.

  4. Kori responded on 05 Mar 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    The wonders of science, of our bodies are so amazing. Reality has yet to leave me wanting or needing more. Your story is amazing. I had a similar experience on the night that we found out my father in law was sick and going to die. I had a “dream” that helped me process reality and then be able to be there for him the next 4 weeks until he passed away. Two years later we had our first son. I wondered if I would have an experience like you did, but I just had the regular birth experience. Not sure scientifically how or what happened. Maybe one day there will be explanations. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Lisa responded on 05 Mar 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    I think the trick with spiritual experiences is to just not question their validity. Accept that they happened, and that while you were experiencing them, they helped you sort out some stuff. End of story.

    I’ve had many spiritual experiences through the years, but you will probably appreciate this one: I was in the hospital in labor with my third child. It was a difficult labor that wasn’t progressing. The doctor broke my water and still progress was slow. After several hours, I’d reached the pushing stage. I was determined to get this baby out and end the excruciating pain.

    Suddenly, the room was full of people. Where before it had been only me, my doctor, a nurse, and my husband, there were now dozens of hospital personnel. No one was saying a word. My doctor told me to stop pushing in a gentle hesitant voice; the kind you might use with a child when you know something is wrong but you don’t want to panic her.

    I stopped pushing and became aware that everyone’s eyes were focused on the baby’s monitor. His heart rate was dropping rapidly. I felt panic rise up in my throat and then, just as suddenly, I felt the presence of an entire room full of women surrounding me. I felt as if I were wrapped in love, as if my late grandmother and all of my female ancestors were there to help me bring this baby into the world alive.

    I felt instantly calm and relaxed and I knew it was going to be OK. Miraculously, the baby moved down far enough in the birth canal that the doctor could retrieve him with suction. As soon as the baby’s head was out, the doctor stopped. The umbilical cord was tightly wrapped around my baby’s neck twice. The doctor lifted the cord off, and my son was born – alive.

    I think there are things we experience which we may not understand, but which have the power to leave us changed in startling ways. It sounds as if your experience did just that.

    Hugs to you and little Eden!

  6. Cheryl responded on 05 Mar 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    I think we all wonder sometimes, whether we are religious or spiritual or something completely other, whether there is something bigger than ourselves out there; or if not that, then some order, some crazy, complex, beyond-our-understanding kind of way of comprehending the universe and everything in it.

    I wrote a blog recently about signs and portents and the patterns of understanding. I go through phases when I see a certain thing EVERYWHERE, and it’s too often to just be coincidence – and it’s like, ok, is there something I’m meant to see here, something I’m meant to take from this? What is this a metaphor for, what is the Universe – if this doesn’t sound ridiculously hippyish – trying to tell me?

    I do believe that there are underlying patterns that we just can’t make sense of because it’s beyond our human understanding, whether that’s God, or impossibly advanced Science, or just the crazy miracle that is the Universe, and our existence in it. And, ore specifically, my existence, and yours. So I suppose in some ways I AM spiritual. In others, not at all.

    But I do believe we are sent messages and messengers. And I do believe that in times of absolute duress – like your labour, for example – we are sometimes given a sort of hand to hold for a while. That there is assistance there. Whether it’s of our own unconscious making or whether it really is some greater force I have no idea, but either way it’s miraculous, I think.

    The blog I wrote is here, if you’d like to read it:

    http://strangelittlepearls.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/i-believe-that-universe-wants-to-be.html

    And beautiful writing as always xx

  7. Lane responded on 05 Mar 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    I love the honesty of this post (and all your posts!) and I very much relate. I’m an atheist and people are always responding to that in this sort of way like…well you are one FOR NOW, but you’ll see. You’ll see…

    The response from San D is particularly frustrating for me. I suppose the loose definition of spirituality could be causing me undue frustration, but I have beautiful amazing children and I see beautiful amazing sunsets and emotions are stirred in me. But it doesn’t have to be spiritual (ie: otherworldly, of some supernatural source, etc) to be wonderful and beyond my own understanding. Our nature, as we understand it through science and what we don’t yet (and may never) understand, is enough of a wonder to me and I’m not ‘missing’ something by pretending that we couldn’t in and of ourselves be this complex and captivating!

    Sidenote: I really could have used that woman during my labors! :) I was straight to the ‘HELP HELP HELP this is awful!’ stage!

  8. skye responded on 06 Mar 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this experience. It was brave of you to write about it, I think. The idea of spirituality is so often scorned by smart people. Maybe because so much of it comes in the form of “chicken soup for the soul” type stories about seeing a light go on after someone passes away, and that sort of thing. You feel sorry for people dealing with grief by tricking themselves. But to me, spirituality is about so much more than the sense that we may not be alone. The world is changing in strange ways and I want answers I don’t feel science or history can provide. I don’t believe in god, even though I was raised to. I believe in something else, but I don’t understand it fully. I’m open, searching, and hoping to understand it better as time goes on.

  9. Emily responded on 06 Mar 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    I love this post because it is exactly how I feel about all the spirituality that I’ve experienced in my life. It’s not spiritual because it defies reason, it’s spiritual because it taps into parts of existence that we didn’t know were there and helps us to deal with the parts that we were struggling with. We don’t know what it was that triggered your vision of that sweet woman who helped you, but we know that it happened because you experienced it. Explaining the underlaying mechanism or causal chain that brought on that experience isn’t really the point. You couldn’t bring a vision like that on if you wanted to, but it came to you at just the moment you needed it. For me, spirituality is appreciating those moments and believing that they happen, for myself and for others. I’ve long since given up on figuring out why or how. It would be cool to know, but whether it is a psychological mechanism or access to unknown realms of spirit, it is a deeply meaningful aspect of human existence. Trying to guess at the metaphysics seems naive to me whether we are holding to our religious beliefs or our scientific ones, we know very little beyond our own experience.

  10. San D responded on 06 Mar 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    @Lane
    Just a note to define spirituality in my world. It’s when the universal tuning fork hums. I think we have all felt it one way or the other. Some of us name it “God”, others of us might call it “a cosmic principle”. I feel it when I see a great painting and know that the painter felt it during the process of painting it. I feel it when I look up into the sky and see the same stars someone on a lonely hilltop in the Ukraine is seeing. It’s also the reason I can’t see movies with violence, because I know at that exact moment someone in the world is experiencing what I am watching as entertainment. For lack of a better word, I categorize it under “spirituality”.

  11. Johanna responded on 06 Mar 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    I am not sure if I’ve had a spiritual experience. It is very hard for me to believe in G-d since the death of my 38-year-old husband. Because he feels so completely gone, like there’s nothing left of him, and if I don’t believe in the afterlife anymore, G-d kind of goes along with it.

    The irony is that I am an Orthodox Jew — my husband was a rabbi and I cover my hair, only wear skirts, etc. I am raising my children to be Orthodox Jews (atypical ones, though, in their social views, e.g., they assume being gay is as natural as being straight, because I couldn’t bear to teach them something I felt so strongly was wrong).

    I’m not a spiritual person in general — I believe people see patterns in randomness because we have evolved to do so. When I spent time studying in Israel, I was most interested in practical Halacha (Jewish law), you know, something *useful*. It pains me more than I can say not to believe in G-d. Especially because my close-knit Orthodox community is why I am able to raise four children as a widow — I couldn’t ask for more love and support from all of them, even ones I don’t know personally.

    So here is the one time I *thought* I might have felt my husband’s presence: his students were very upset at his unexpected death, and learned mishnayos (part of the Talmud, for lack of a better translation) in his memory, to give his soul extra merit in the next world. When they finished, they held a special party called a siyum, and invited me. I was the only woman present in a room of teenage boys and rabbis with black hats, but their genuine grief brought us all together. As the boys were giving speeches about my husband, I suddenly felt, “He’s here, in this place of learning.” It was the only time I felt it, and it’s the only thing giving me hope that I’m wrong, that he is somewhere and just can’t let me know.

  12. Neeva responded on 07 Mar 2014 at 5:28 am #

    Well, if in a few years you dream you have to help a terrified young woman with her first labour because you have three children, you’ll know the reason… :-)

  13. Erin Lee responded on 07 Mar 2014 at 10:03 am #

    I was born and raised Catholic, but had never felt the close connection to God that my Grandparents seemed to have – it was more, this is part of my family, my heritage, my identity. I still believed in God and never questioned it, but had never felt Him speak to me, personally.
    Then one day in college I was working in a pizza shop when a pregnant lady ordered a slice. Then another lady came in a ordered a slice. Then she began berating the pregnant lady over her pregnancy and her previous abortion(s?). Regardless of my faith, I have always been a firm believer in life at conception and prolifer, but this was ridiculous. She was so mean, literally yelling at this other lady- for what? For her past sins? What business is it of her’s to judge anyone? Leave that to God, and God alone. She obviously wasn’t aborting her current baby, so props to her and a wish to a safe delivery and healthy baby is all that is needed. The yelling lady just kept going and going, and as a very shy just-coming-out-of-my-shell college student, I was so angry that I spoke up and told her if she kept yelling at our customers that she must leave. She kept yelling at the pregnant lady anyway, so I had our cook escort her out. On the way home that night, I was so upset and angry about it, I had never felt such anxiety and was just stewing over the whole situation. The poor pregnant lady, putting up with that in a public place when all she wanted was a slice of pizza. I wondered if I could have done more? I wondered what was wrong with people in my religion (or other prolifers) that feel the need to be so mean- and how could God condone such behavior? Never. Then all of a sudden, I felt an enormous, inexplicable calm presence wash over me. It was so bizarre that it stopped me in my tracks on the side walk. Then I looked over and I was outside of St. Patrick’s Church, and I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped. It was the only time I felt that direct connection. And it wasn’t even in a time of great physical duress or life-threatening situation. I think about it often, and I’ve never spoken of it before now, to anyone.
    “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
    -Dalai Lama

  14. Rosanne responded on 07 Mar 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    I have and still consider myself atheist, but have developed a sense of spirituality over the last few years. Spirituality for me is about feeling that everyone and everything is connected, about being intuitive and the universe guiding you if you open yourself up to it. (In that light, I view the labor experience you shared as very spiritual.) The last part is hard to explain or be specific about, it’s a feeling and a strong sense of trust in… something bigger than yourself. Spirituality and religion can go hand in hand, I think, but not necessarily. I don’t think of any of it as being supernatural or anything, but a few friends have shared things with me that most people would probably describe as such (receiving the support or energy of spirits and angels, for example). I personally don’t have any major spiritual experiences that I can recall other than the strong feeling of connectedness and universal guidance that I mentioned. At the same time I feel like I’m only at the beginning of my spiritual experience and I can already tell that the more become aware of it, the stronger it grows. I’m going through a challenging time right now and the form in which spirituality presents itself in my life seems to be changing weekly. It is exactly that sense of trust that I described earlier that makes the whole experience somewhat okay and comprehensible.

    I hope that last part is making any sense at all… Spirituality can be messy and hard, especially when trying to explain it with the mind ;)

  15. Mary responded on 07 Mar 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    Lots of thoughts on this one.
    Erin Lee, I’m with you.
    I think the fundamental acceptance of mystery is (in a way) a more direct way of dealing with the do-I-believe-in-God-or-not question. Are you okay with mysteries and the unknown? Do they make you uneasy? Are you more at peace when there is no mystery? Do you want to avoid unraveling the mystery in order to preserve the mysterious way things ought to be, as you see it?
    It’s a pretty profound point. I myself am more than okay with mysteries. I was raised super-Catholic (my late father was a deacon), and I did a lot of questioning in my teens and twenties.
    I realized that reason can only go so far. Nothing can explain everything except belief, and sooner or later everyone takes a leap of faith on SOMETHING.
    Anyway. Just ate some delicious tacos on a Friday in Lent: obviously not a good Catholic. But I do like my religion, I believe in God, and I do try and comply with the Big Things.
    (Also: listening to the NPR pledge drive in Chicago, and “Freaking Sir Patrick Stewart” just did the greatest plug for their fundraising campaign. Sexy Captain voice.)

  16. Shawna responded on 10 Mar 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    Very beautifully written. No I am not spiritual and anyone telling me I do believe in God but just don’t know it is really annoying. In my opinion, and according to all I have read about science, such experiences are likely a natural function of our brains, offering comfort, solving our problems as we sleep, and that feeling of something greater than us is wired into the brain. Neurologists know just which parts to stimulate to trigger it. The only thing greater than me which I believe in is the universe. The literal universe not some sort of magical version of it. It is awe inspiring as it is, without it having to be magical. I am part of it and connected to all things in it. That is real and that is awesome. I am stardust, I am golden, I adore Jean Luc Picard too, but I am not spiritual.

  17. Kate responded on 13 Mar 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    @Shawna
    I love how clear you are about this stuff. And I feel similarly– it is awe inspiring without it having to be magical. Although I like to use the word magical for just that :-)
    Also, our brains are incredible!

  18. Kate responded on 13 Mar 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    @Erin Lee
    Amazing story– I loved reading it. And I feel so sorry for the woman who was berated, and I’m glad you acted.

  19. Kate responded on 13 Mar 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    @Johanna
    I keep thinking about this comment– I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. First, I am sad that your husband died. The idea of losing Bear is so overwhelming to me, I can’t face it, and you’ve had to live through my worst fear, so my heart aches for you. That’s what is so terrifying about death– the completeness. The never again part. The absoluteness. But reading about your husbands’ students including you and about the sense of his presence there in the room made me hopeful, too. We can’t understand everything. I want him to be there for you, even in some fleeting way.
    Thank you for sharing this!

  20. Melissa Ann responded on 13 Mar 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    A dear friend of mine died about 12 years ago. He was a college professor I met in grad school and we became the closest of friends. It was a very strange relationship as he was older than my father, married and an academic. We would go to long dinners, dancing, professional workshops….every occasion was a gift. Our relationship never wavered and lasted for ten years, until he passed. We were not having an affair as many understandably believed over the years. We had discussed it, but decided that our relationship was so important to both of us we didn’t want to soil it and ultimately destroy our connection. Our friendship continued to evolve over the years and he was my go to for good news, bad news, and advice. A relationship born exclusively of mutual admiration with no pretense or sexual pressure….a rarity for a young lady. He died suddenly a few weeks after my husband and I had taken our newborn twins to dinner at his house to introduce them to he and his wife. He was a dynamic man, with much left to do and loved by legions of people. I felt his absence profoundly and always will.
    About two years after he died he came to me in a dream. The scene was an airport cafe…the kind that is airside and we sat at a small table drinking coffee and holding hands. He said he had to go and I told him I loved him and wanted to go with him. He told me I could not and that he loved me too. I do not remember the remaining details of the conversation but the gist was that we would miss each other. We stood up as he was being called to board and he hugged me so tightly he picked me up off of my feet. That type of hug was our custom. He was a big man with a glorious beard and in the dream I could feel my feet leave the floor and his soft beard against my cheek. When I awoke the next day I remembered every moment of it as if it had really happened and was so pleased to have seen him. It took me several months to tell my husband about his visit and farewell. I thought he would think it silly or overly sentimental, but he completely agreed that Jeff had come to say goodbye properly. I truly believe it was a connection and not a dream. It was an intense moment of connection….another gift from my friend. As an aside, my father died several years ago and I have hoped he would come to me also, but he has not. Perhaps it is because we were allowed a heartfelt goodbye before he had to go.

  21. Emmi responded on 20 Mar 2014 at 9:50 pm #

    Nope, nothing spiritual, ever. I am a happy skeptic atheist and I’ve never had any evidence to change that. I am bemused by people that have faith – how does one get it? It makes no sense to me! They generally seem happy about it, so that’s enough to make me happy for them. I just don’t get it.

    I’m open to something spiritual happening to me. If it does, then hey, look at that, new information, time to change my opinion, neato! I don’t particularly expect this to happen. But if it does, cool.

    Your experience was neat. I’m glad it works for you as something spiritual. If it happened to me, I’d think it was a nice dream, a great brain-coping experience. I remember the night I almost died from Crohn’s ravaging my body to the point where I was so dehydrated my eyes rolled back into my head and I couldn’t move them – I lay in my hospital bed, trying so hard to get my eyes to roll forward, and when I managed it I would focus on the distant lights of traffic moving outside the window. I had the wildest thoughts (and probably hallucinations) that night, but it never occurred to me to ever think of it as spiritual. Guess I’m just not wired that way.

  22. karelys responded on 17 Apr 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    I vacillate between believing and not.

    I was a christian christian for a long time. Then I wasn’t. But all along I struggled with the supernatural part of faith.

    It always happens, without fail, that when I need something and I am stumped for answers, no more than 3 days later and I get my answer. And it’s most often something random I read (not from the regular sources I read). But the whole thing never fails to feel more than just natural and coincidental. I know deep inside me that it’s more than that.

    I never feel the company of God or spiritual stuff of sorts. Once in a while I am convinced there are ghosts in my house. But they are not mean. Then they leave me alone. But I try to not think about it too much.

    I had the most terrible depression of sort at some point. And I remember leaving my body but I wasn’t asleep. And what I saw was beautiful. Like I was in space. I was obsessed with what I saw and I couldn’t explain it. Then three days later I stumbled upon a review of the book Enchanters and the guy used a picture that was almost the exact same thing I saw in my dream like experience. It reenergized me and helped me move forward.

    I am so thankful for that.

  23. anon responded on 22 Apr 2014 at 3:49 am #

    I definitely believe in God, and have become more sensitive to spiritual things. We are often surrounded by angels, whether the good (Holy angels) or the bad ones (that rebelled against God and were cast out of heaven-demons), so there is likely at least one angel watching over us at any given time. I don’t believe in out of body experiences though, as these are actually visions given to people by angels. Ultimately angels act under the command of either God or satan. Likewise, one may have a vision of a past loved one, however I believe the dead are in their graves until the resurrection. If someone believes they are literally visited by someone who has passed away, they should be careful as they may be deceived by a fallen angel. We should ever be grateful to God though, as Holy angels under his command are constantly looking over us for our good.