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I woke up one morning with a very strong image.  On the ceiling of my bedroom.  I’m reluctant to say vision because I don’t really think of myself as the kind of person that has a vision.  And a vision sounds so monumental, like it’s going to move mountains or change the world or something.  I don’t know about moving mountains.  But at least I think I’ve moved myself from time to time, or others have helped me move along the way.  Well, this image moved me, to the point that I’m at now.  I may know more later—I don’t know.  But for now, I’ll share this much. 

I should start by telling you a little bit about me.  I was raised in the midwest in a small town of Norwegian immigrants.  There was one church in town, a Lutheran one, but my community wasn't exclusively Lutheran or Norwegian.  A culture was given to me.  A religion was given to me.  I was a recipient of the bible, theology, and rites of the Christian faith.  It never even occurred to me that life could be different or God could be different until one night during my freshman year of college when I saw Jesus standing in the hallway.  I wasn't aware that such an experience was possible in 1986.  I thought God was done with that kind of stuff in 33 C.E., or at least that was the information I was given.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Jesus.  He was tall, his skin quite dark, and he reached out for my hand, which I placed in his.  When he left me at the door of my dormitory room, I felt deep comfort and tremendous peace.

And I promptly told no one. 

I tried to begin to sort out this whole business of religious experience and scientific materialism in my academic work in college and graduate school.  I generally found a lot of skepticism.  I appreciated the experience I had, and in general, I didn’t find it threatening to the establishment that had 'given' me my beliefs.  However, while researching material for my master’s thesis, I came to the reluctant conclusion that my small religious denomination (which had been my entire world as a child) had no room for 18 year old girls to see Jesus in the hallways of their college dormitories. 

What to do . . . 

A fire had been lit within me; an appreciation for something beyond physical reality or tangible experience.  It was this fire that led me to other religions and to experiences with spiritual teachers and shaman.  Then one day, a close friend of mine called me up and said, “I have this really strong impression that you should go to a body of water to look at your reflection.  It’s going to teach you something about your divinity.”  Trusting this person very much, and having developed a greater appreciation for intuition, I decided to seek out a body of water to gaze into.  I decided upon the koi pond at the local Japanese Garden.  It was private enough so that if anything weird happened, I wouldn’t embarrass myself in front of a lakeside pavilion filled with hundreds of Minnesotans.  

I found a spot by the pond, sat on a large stone and looked into the water.  And I looked into the water.  Nothing.  I sat up.  This isn’t working.  I looked around a bit, then back into the water.  I could see myself in there, that’s for sure.  But it was just me, looking back up at me.  I sat up again.  The location in which I was sitting in the garden was proximate to an immaculately groomed tree and a very large stone.  I noticed them.  And a thought popped into my mind:  the water reflects my image, but the stone and the tree don’t.  But that doesn’t mean that I’m not reflected in them and them in me, and that everything reflects everything.  And I’m in everything, just like I’m in the water.  And everything is in me.  Whoa.  Like a pulse through my being, reality changed that day.  And since that day I have felt connected to everything, and I almost never experience the despair of being alone in the universe, a feeling that had pursued me since childhood. 

Let's return to that Sunday morning, my waking, and the vision on the ceiling.  Scholars say that spiritual or religious experiences often happen at particular moments during the day, and seem to be encouraged by our brain wave patterns.  A couple of the key times for having a 'spiritual experience' is when you are falling asleep or waking up.   It was under this circumstance that I ‘saw’ an image of the entire universe.  I saw how the universe is ‘put together’--how it is--physically and energetically.  I think it was most likely a novel experience as it surprised me so much.  I could not have conjured it.  And since then, I’ve been noticing that other religions and philosophies describe something similar to my vision—I hope to discuss these similar accounts in subsequent content. 


With the vision, I also experienced a very strong feeling of ‘yes.’  ‘Yes’ is a powerful, energetic word that seems to lock in knowledge and wisdom and intuition and gut feelings and passion all into three little letters.  When I saw this ‘image’ in the ceiling of my bedroom, everything that was within me said, ‘Yes!’  Not that I was really looking for something that I lost or finally solving a crossword, but more like:  “This is it!  Eureka!”  Wow. 

Qualitatively, the image was similar to a vortex.  It was swirling and moving.  Like a hurricane or an eddy in a river.  Or a pinwheel or a top.  But it was moving slowly.  At the center, a tremendous concentration of energy and matter.  It’s hard to imagine, but it ‘looked’ heavy.  It looked dense and rich and ripe and full.  It was not one specific color, but seemed to be every color at the same time without being muddled into brown or black.  I've never seen colors like these!  It was slowly, slowly rotating in a clockwise direction.  I should also mention that it is three-dimensional.  So, it is like a sphere slowly rotating from a dense, dense center—a creative void.  It is the primordial.  It is the center from which everything is generated, from which everything expands.  It is the genesis.  It is the womb.  It is the origin of all reality.  It is the source of love, and everything extending from it contains the origin.  Everything "is" the primordial.  Everything is this primordial love.  And it has been moving, expanding, evolving forever. 

Like a pulse through my being, reality again changed that day.

Heart wide open.

Mind officially blown.

[This image of a fractal is about the nearest facsimile to the vision of the universe I had that morning in my bedroom. It was created by Nathan Smith, and he graciously gave me permission to share it.  You can find his work at: ]

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