I never understood why I received this experience, because I’m not interested in politics and I’m not Jewish. However, it does give me hope to realize that when spiritual progress is made in the Middle East, good can come of it in the next world if not in this one.
I went into a very strong, unusual latihan during a group latihan in November 1995. I was a man, newly dead, hovering above the earth over what seemed to be the Middle East. The location became clearer: a river, which I understood to be the river Jordan, flowed down the middle. Both sides of the river and the surrounding countries (Israel, Palestine, etc) were in a state of twilight darkness. Only one land further to the East, which I understood to be Egypt, was in the sunlight. I felt surrendered and at peace with God.
Many other souls were crowded over the Middle East, persons who had lived on Earth and had died. As I became aware of them, I saw that they were mostly men, Arab Muslims. They were kind of bewildered about where they were and what had happened to them. I was busy working with them, pointing the way, and somehow transporting them onward on their spiritual journey beyond Earth’s atmosphere. I was working hard, dedicated to God. It seemed I would be doing this work for a while, and then I would go onward myself.
When the group latihan finished, and I was myself again, I was shaking from the depth and power of my latihan. I asked a helper to test with me what had just happened to me. The helper received a very strong latihan but no specific answers, and I received to be patient, that understanding would be given to me. Then, while driving home from latihan, still deeply affected, the understanding came: during the experience I had been Rabin, the prime minister of Israel who had very recently been assassinated by extremists who opposed his efforts at making peace with the Palestinians. I understood that because he had spiritually developed to the position of peacemaker, he had reached a state where he could both atone for his past (which had caused many deaths) and also help the bewildered souls who had been killed.
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A couple of years ago I was going through an experience in my group where the group was being tested on an inner and outer level by very divisive forces, and I was called on a great deal in a supporting role. At one point I received an email, along with a ‘chosen few,’ which was really toxic; and from someone I had truly thought was my friend. It felt like a stab in the back initially, but I truly tried to let it go. After an hour or two, out of the blue, while my husband was upstairs busy on the computer, I felt tears pouring down my face – no emotion or thought - just this waterfall.
After a while I felt I should try surrendering it in the latihan, but unusually nothing happened. I was just ‘sat down’ on the settee and was in a void – no thoughts – no memory – no emotions – no will - no feelings – no time – no me – nothing: completely empty. Unless you have experienced this it’s hard to explain, and even then it is difficult, as it really is beyond explanation. At some point I was ‘stood up’ and put by the bookcase and a book was in my hands: it was ‘The Story of My Life’ with pictures of Bapak. I was then ‘sat down’ again clutching it to my chest. I’m not in the habit of doing this sort of thing!
At some point, I became aware of the room again and was somehow back in the world. When I looked at the clock, over two hours had passed, although it could have been any time.
There have been knock-on effects: in my latihan I go into my ‘space of emptiness’ and experience such a relief when I am in it. I am also aware of how ‘full’ I am at other times when I‘m not ‘there.’ Until I had this yardstick as reference, I hadn’t been so aware of this ‘fullness’.
Another knock-on effect has served to prove to me the validity of reading and re-reading Bapaks words. Last week, which is more than two years from the ‘emptiness experience,’ I was reading a talk for the third time and in it Bapak asked people ‘How does your soul cry?’ And the third time I read what he was saying I felt the profound inner reality that when I was ‘cried’, I was crying from my soul.
Another experience that seemed to related to this came in latihan a couple of weeks after the emptiness experience. I was suddenly separated from my self and was observing my self, standing on a grassy plain and in my stomach area was a space like an archway and I could see right through. As I looked through this empty space I could see a line of people approaching me and as they reached me I could see the first person starting to disappear inside me. I had an awareness that this was a line of prophets; and somehow linked with the first experience.
THIS IS THE QUOTE from VOL 24 of Bapak’s Talks
You used to cry, and perhaps you have forgotten how to cry now that you are adult. Receive, how does your soul cry?
Repent to God of all your sins.
Yes. Go on.
Cry with your soul, so that Almighty God will forgive your sins.
Yes, yes, yes … that’s enough.
[A member is so moved they cannot stand.]
Yes, stand up. Stand … stand up.
I realise now that I have a lot to thank the writer of the toxic email for, as without it I might not have been allowed these experiences. It’s amazing how often something very positive comes out of something that at the time seems completely negative.
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Picking up on your recent contributor’s experience with Bapak’s autobiography, 'The Story of my Life,' (see above), the funny thing is that this particular book, the thick paperback version by Luqman Keele which is full of photo's, has had a strong effect on both myself and also on X. when we were looking through it on different occasions. X. had mentioned to me that he felt in such a strong latihan state while going through this book and the same had happened to me twice: once, some years before X. told me about his experience with it, and again when I was staying overnight with other Subud friends, and I was flicking through it in bed before going to sleep. In my case, it felt particularly strong while looking at the pictures of Bapak and Ibu when they were young and also while looking at the photos of their parents.
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From 'Odds and Sods 2' : Marcus Bolt, 2010, available from www.lulu.com
It was around midday and I was at my computer, concentrating hard, discussing a job with a client. I moved my hand to my neck and felt a stinging pain. Half aware, I expected the stinging to subside, but it grew worse. Almost immediately, I began to feel light headed, my heart began to race and a strange sensation passed through my body. I tried to ignore it, but it was impossible. ‘Have to call you back,’ I blurted. ‘Explain later,’ and put the phone down.
I began to feel as though I would lose consciousness, and by now, I noticed my hands and wrists were extremely swollen. I had acute pains in my stomach and felt nauseous. I got up to go to the lavatory, and my legs collapsed under me. Sitting on the floor, my mind was convinced I was experiencing a heart attack or having a stroke. I felt cold and shaky and very, very tired. My heart was still pounding at an unbelievable rate, I could hardly breath and consciousness was slipping away – and this had all happened in less than two or three minutes.
Another part of my awareness, seemingly situated outside of my head, top-left, in total clarity told me, ‘You have been stung by an insect and are suffering anaphylactic shock. Whatever you do, don’t panic; keep conscious and very, very still.’
For the next ten minutes or so, I sat hunched, having to consciously make myself breathe, holding on to reality, sidestepping anxiety by the inner incantation of ‘Allah, Allah, Allah…’ My overwhelming concern – I remember this so clearly – was an uncertainty about whether this was ‘it,’ whether I should just let go and slip away, or whether I should remain aware and fight it in some way.
I heard my wife returning from shopping and managed to stand and call out to her to come to my office. She was immediately aware something was wrong (the fact I had turned a strange orange colour was a clue). She helped me downstairs and made me take my blood pressure (I suffer from hypertension and have a little wrist monitor). It was 90/40 – incredibly low for anyone, let alone me.
‘We’d better get you to hospital,’ she said. I was in a sleepy, dream-like state and concurred, even though I just wanted stay where I was and sleep. I remember being in the car and shivering uncontrollably. I remember standing at reception and mumbling that I’d collapsed and the receptionist saying to my wife, ‘He’s not himself, is he?’
Then I was on a trolley and passing through doors marked’ resuscitation’. I remember doctors and nurses, questions like ‘Do you have chest pains?’ (I didn’t), wires all over me, beeping, an oxygen mask, violent shaking, my wife and daughter looking concerned, then an injection of adrenaline.
Quite soon after, I was myself again, feeling warm and comfortable and totally normal (and looking a lot better, I was told by several nurses), apart from red blotches, or hives, all over.
The doctors still suspected of some kind of heart event (my ECG readings were all over the place). But gradually, the ECGs normalised and the blood tests were all OK, so they let me go home with a final diagnosis of anaphylactic shock and dire warnings that the next time it could be worse.
When I got back, I found, on the floor next to my office chair, a dead wasp.
So although my inner self, or whatever it was, failed to alert me to the wasp (too wrapped in my head at that moment, I suppose), I find it remarkable that it ‘kicked in’ exactly when needed with some very wise and possibly life-saving advice. Proof to me that there’s something there after, at that time, 37 years of latihan!
I’ve been stung by wasps many times in my life and never suffered anaphylactic shock before. Apparently, the immune system, having created antibodies in the past due to insect bites, suddenly over-reacts to a new influx of venom, combining with it and flooding the system with antibodies, causing the severe allergic-systemic reaction I experienced. Death can occur in five to thirty minutes, I read.
In true ‘Healing Power of Illness’ style, looking at my symptoms and trying to guess what unaddressed inner problem they are ‘embodying’, I ask myself, ‘What am I over- reacting to? Or what am I not reacting to enough?’
On the other hand, as even Dr. Freud commented, ‘Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar…’
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Back in 1976, when I was 26 and living in New York, I went to do summer stock in New Hampshire. I became very ill with a flu and was lying in bed when all of sudden I was hovering over my body and I knew immediately that we don't ever die, that our souls/personalities continue when the body dies. I felt that very strongly, but I was saying out loud, "It's not my time yet!" And then this big booming voice said, "If you go back, you must love all mankind!" Then I came back into my body. I'll never forget that. The only other time I heard that booming voice was maybe two years ago in L.A. when I was renting a room from a woman who wasn't very nice and I knew I would have to move, and the voice said, "You have nothing to worry about."
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