Recently I received a letter from a woman, happily married in her forties, who said that “things” have been happening to her all her life. What she meant by “things” is quite fascinating. She’d notice strange coincidences every day, such as having a word pop into her head and then the next minute hearing that very word being spoken on the radio. She also had funny sensations she couldn’t explain, such as a feeling of floating or a cold, prickling sensation, only to discover that someone close to her had gotten sick of died.
Such “things” are quite common, and people often attach religious significance to them. When pollsters ask people if they have ever had a direct experience of God’s presence, more than a third say yes. If you expand this to ask about seeing auras or light around another person, almost the same number say yes. Other explanations veer into the paranormal, particularly when someone has a premonition, a telepathic moment, or a glimpse into the future. Yet these “things” pass and are soon forgotten. They don’t come together in a way that changes people’s lives, at least not very often.
This woman wanted to go a step farther. Was there a way to find out what such anomalies mean? Why is everyday life suddenly punctuated by these tiny intrusions?
Here was my answer: Each tiny “thing” doesn’t have a larger meaning, yet it points to a deeper layer of reality. It isn’t adequate to call this the unconscious, because countless mental events are unconscious, including most of our memories, secrets, hidden drives, and fears we cannot face. The “things” she was wondering about are different, like the sudden streaks of light that a meteor leaves across the night sky.
A meteor trail vanishes never to be seen again, yet each of us has the power to prevent that from happening when we receive personal glimpses of light. In fact, since these “things” are actually aspects of ourselves, we can start to bring them together, and in that way a completely new reality is possible. Instead of trusting that the everyday world is the only reality, why not learn to trust these very personal messages?
There are three steps to trusting these “things” that suddenly interrupt the ordinary flow of your own life.
1. Pay attention to each incident. Look at it. Hold it in your mind. Don’t simply dismiss a coincidence and let it drift away. Life is totally interconnected. These unusual “things” are simply connections that surprise you because you aren’t used to seeing life except in fragments. Now it is beginning to piece itself together.
2. Give significance to your experiences. This means changing your allegiance to a new way of perceiving yourself. You are accustomed to being an isolated person bounded by limited thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This is the state of separation. Yet if you choose to, you can see yourself as part of the flow of life, the center of an unfolding, expanding awareness.
3. Value this new way of being in the world. You are the silent, unchanging witness in the midst of constant change. The real you comprehends far more than the limited self in separation. As you take your first steps into expanded consciousness, trust that the path is right, but don’t trust every little incident.
There are many aspects of the self. Some rush forward eagerly into new, unknown challenges. Others hang behind and resist. This inner conflict has always been present, but now it is trying to resolve itself. That’s why these unexpected “things” are cropping up. They reflect your desire to break free of conflict and confusion. With that intention, you are sure to make progress.
Published in the San Francisco Chronicle