The four stories in this column were the only ones contributed by 'non-Subud' contacts - the first two by a friend now living in England and the second two by a friend in Australia.
When I lived in Alameda, California, my home was very near to the beach and every morning I went there and usually sat on a big piece of driftwood. I would sip my cup of coffee and meditate, looking out at the San Francisco Bay.
One morning, I opened my eyes and what I saw seemed really dreamlike. As far as I could see to my left and right were people wearing white monk-like clothing. They were all looking out towards the water, all of them lined up in rows in perfectly even lanes matched with the way I was facing.
I closed my eyes several times, trying to test that they were really there, but they remained there, calmly staring ahead. As long as I stayed there they remained. I decided to go back home as my children would be waking up and then, as I stood, I felt someone behind me who seemed very tall and had his arms wrapped around me in a protective way. I knew it was an angel and did not need to look back to be sure. We all stood there for a while in perfect peace. It happened twice more in the same way during the following months.
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Many times over the years I have been in an ‘in-between’ state of sleep, and I appeared to wake up looking in on another reality. It is a city and everything is white, all shades of white, and the people in the city are going about their everyday lives just as we do. They can’t see me even though I can see them. Sometimes, they would walk right through me, and sometimes they would stop to greet each other and they would be standing so close they would be leaning against my nose.
They had no hair and all looked very like each other because of the whiteness, but when I looked closely I could see they were actually different, one from another. I would try to get back to sleep, but whenever I opened my eyes they would still be there. It became boring because nothing was very interesting, except maybe the architecture which looked Greek. There was no sound at all.
It happened many times and usually I was annoyed that I wasn’t being allowed to sleep.
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A dream I had at 13 has a lot to do with something that happened to me when I was 9. Both the real event and the dream are very clear to me still.
In real life, when I was 9, I was with my Dad in the country on an island. His horse had had a foal which had been broken in but never really ridden for years. He brought the horse in to the yards and unbeknownst to everyone I had made friends with the horse and had been riding it secretly in the yards for weeks. One day Dad was taking the horse out for a ride and I pestered him to take me too. Reluctantly he did. I rode while Dad led. We went miles along a rarely used dirt road lined with tall gum trees with paddocks on either side. After a while we entered a large paddock and Dad went behind a bush to go to the toilet. Unfortunately the horse became spooked and took off with me. I remember holding on as tight as I could and then nothing. I'd fallen off, and Dad had to carry me the few miles home with blood everywhere. I was rushed to hospital and then airlifted to the mainland. On the airstrip I recall seeing myself from a great height (sort of in the left upper corner of the view if that makes sense) being wheeled across the tarmac and then vomiting blood everywhere and all these people in white coats surrounding me. I didn’t feel any emotion about this, just observed it all. My Dad confirmed this happened and that I clinically died for a few minutes. I was unconscious for three days and then was fine.
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The dream when I was 13 starts with me riding a white horse (the real horse was brown, but I currently have white horses) down the exact same dirt road, but this time I’m by myself and an unknown man is chasing me on a motorbike. I know he wants to kill me but I don’t make the horse go any faster than a walk as I don’t want to tire it. I realise the motorbike is about to catch up so get off the horse and hide in the tall grass under the fence line hoping I won’t be seen or be mistaken for a log. The man sees the horse grazing nearby so gets off the motorbike, finds me and shoots me dead. I stand up (I’m dead) and this unbelievable feeling of warmth, love, incredible joy starts at the top of my head and travels down my whole body. I say to the man, "You will wish you hadn’t done that", but not in a threatening way, just a matter of fact way. That’s the end of the dream, but the most important part of the whole dream for me is that the gigantic feeling of love and joy stayed with me in waking life continuously for about two weeks. Now and then I get that same feeling wash over me. I did when I read your book.
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In her website www.harvestofsouls.yolasite.com, Subud sister Harfiyah Haleem draws our attention to the life and art of Donald Pass, much of which was inspired by the following experience:
"I have seen angels since I was twelve and from time to time over the years. It was a series of experiences that led me to the churchyard in Sussex in 1969 where I had the vision of the Resurrection. I was looking at a grave of an RAF pilot, who was killed during the war and thinking how sad that someone should die so young. Suddenly everything went darker and darker and then it opened up to a vast landscape that went on and on. Tremendous light appeared in the sky and everything became quite different. Time did not matter. Then I began to see these lights coming towards me that appeared to be angels. There were masses of human figures and things like souls were rising from their bodies like something emerging from a chrysalis, something that was reborn. Some of these beings were standing nearby and some of them were collecting rising souls and in the far, far distance there were some very dark figures. There was a tremendous sound of wind. A great angel appeared, coming towards me. High above was a golden head from which light was spreading. I couldn’t see the faces of some of the beings at all but they had a very mysterious feel about them. Two were the last to fade and they had been near me. Eventually it all faded and I was looking at the grave again. The vision began at about 11 am and now it was much later, about 6 pm."
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In 1958, John Bennett's book "Subud, the Great Life Force" was published in French. It presented the coming of Subud in the world. After reading it, a woman from Marseille, Rochana, wondered out of curiosity, what a good astrologer could see in Bapak's chart. So she consulted an astrologer in Marseille and asked him to prepare charts of several important people, along with Bapak's date of birth, 22nd June 1901, at dawn in Indonesia.
Rochana wrote: "I will never forget the expression on this man's face when I came into his office to collect the chart."
"Do you know this man?" he said
"No, but I hope to meet him one day."
"This is a man who can be of tremendous help to you! But not on the ordinary level of things!''
And the astrologer told her of the difficulties Bapak had to face in his life, and even in his own family.
Rochana was very surprised, because rather naively she had thought that Bapak never had to suffer. The astrologer also foretold Bapak's last marriage with Ibu Mastuti. Then suddenly he said:
"You know, it is actually extremely difficult to speak about this man. How can I say? First of all, a chart like this does not occur once in a hundred years, not even in a thousand years! It is nothing to do with the month, the place of birth and the time, but with the arrangement of stars around this birth which counts most. This man comes at dawn, he is on a threshold, he opens a door, he shows a path, a new way. But you see, he shows this way to the whole world! This man knows where he goes after death! He knows where he comes from! If he wanted to be on the material level what he is on the spiritual level, he could become the most powerful magnate in the world. Maybe you'll think I'm mad, but this man has the same signs as the Prophets."
Rochana joined Subud shortly afterwards.
The above account is reproduced in THEY WERE THERE, The Best of Subud Voice, Volume 1, bu Ilaina Lennard, published in 2012. It was originally published (only in French) in Richard Milles' book about his experiences in Subud; it can be obtained from him, Richard Milles, 09300 Benaix, Ariege, France. Tel. 33 61 01 20 90.
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