An Excerpt from My Book

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“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.”   ~  Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking

Quiet now, and still, it was a cold wind that met me when I first stepped out the door this morning, early. The cat had woken me up for an earlier than usual snack. I couldn’t go back to sleep, and I couldn’t get warm. A little better now, but I feel weak and ill. Since I never got to the laundromat yesterday I’ll be forced by necessity to go this morning. The likely a long afternoon nap. Seems I am sick enough to get my head clear enough to rise above the mundane details and write something of substance this morning. Oh well. Here’s an excerpt from my book. It’s a description of my adventure in the NDE place, the magnificent beyond words valley, written after 20-some years of research, recapitulation, and reflection. All that time and I still didn’t get it right. It was an experience of unspeakable beauty. That’s why.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Still flying, I emerged from that dark place into a strange valley. Colors and sounds were what made the valley so strange. The colors seemed to be as essentially important as the forms. Instead of being a quality of the surfaces, the color arose from deep within the features of the valley. Light itself bore these colors to the surface, for the light itself suffused everything I could see. The sounds were much the same. Everything I could see seemed to depend on the sounds. What had been the sound of running water was now much more.

I saw that the water was running as a river through this valley. It’s course meandered a bit, but it generally cut straight through the scene below me, down the center into the distance. To both sides were magnificent mountains. They angled sharply up from the valley floor, almost like the walls of a gorge. Their color amazed me, deep, rich redness like burgundy wine – crystalline masses, teasing, as if one could truly gaze into their depths. All between these two walls of mountains, the valley floor was slightly rolling with hills, emblazoned with a greenness that rivaled the blueness of the sky in its brilliance. I felt that everything was alive and joined together in song, and that song was sung by voices which cut through the roaring sounds of the wind that enveloped me as I flew. Maybe it was a welcoming song, or maybe a simple expression of the place itself. 

I was passing through, toward a destination beyond all of that. It was visible in the distance, sitting right in the center of the valley. Somehow, I felt it was too far away, yet my velocity of flight betrayed that feeling as I flew on. The valley itself was too far away, as was the sound. Everything that I could see and hear seemed to be emerging from some impossible source, yet it was already here. The distance I felt was some strange kind of value, for it was only silence and nothingness I carried with me. The rest of this wondrous place was, by its very existence, a brilliant mockery of an unwilling traveler. Where the mountains, the river, and the sky all converged in the distance, there sat a spot of brilliance. Light emanated from that spot, yet did not illumine the surroundings, for they had light of their own. That this spot was brighter by far than all else within my field of vision indicated that this was my destination. It appeared to be a domelike thing, though I could not truly call it a structure. Whatever it was, it was most certainly summoning me. Once my sight focused on the dome, I could not look away. The valley snapped out of view. I had been pushed into this experience and now I was drawn into the light.

Fear could easily have overcome me at that point, but my feelings began to accelerate as I came to a stop at the threshold of the light. The field of color before me shifted fiercely from white to yellow and back, with whispers of other colors as well. The motion within the light was so intense that it soon had me lulled into acceptance. I felt welcome there. My strong desire to cling to panic went to calm. When the panic failed I was able to enter the light.

A sense of supreme intimacy was my first sensation upon entry. However immense the place seemed to be, it felt small and exquisitely personal. I definitely felt I was inside of something, and the intimacy of the space was emanating from the woman who met me there. She was not flesh and blood. At first sight she was simply a swarm of energy, brilliant light as the dome itself was, shifting at such great speed that it enchanted me to stillness. I truly wanted to see her as an angel, but the sensations that she embodied, and the feelings that arose in me from her presence, told me that “angel” was an incomplete and inadequate label. This woman was magnificence manifested for my needs. She was also, quite simply, human.

No words were spoken. When communications began it was almost as if the feelings we both already had were somehow becoming more dense for the purpose of connection and interaction. She was quite concerned about me. But she was not afraid. There was a tone of faith in my abilities and well-being which is, to this day, impossible to understand. I can only say that it felt as if my very existence was dependent on her belief, that her faith was a source, without which I simply would not be anywhere at all. An intense blue aura appeared around her as I came to see that I had become agitated to the point of fatigue. It was quite clear that this was not solely from this strange journey. The fatigue was an ongoing thing which I had carried with me to this celestial place, as a security measure. Another thing that became very clear was the choice she offered me. I could go back or stay there. And there was a powerful sense of levity in her admonition that I should go back.

No way did I want to go back! A mood like a whiny adolescent protested going back. It was too far. I was just too tired to go anywhere, and too far away from home to even know where or how to start such a journey. But I did not plead. Her radiant humor reached out to me and held me in place. This is where it all became dreamlike.

Following on the energy of her extended, shimmering humor I saw her hands coming my way. Now the place looked immense. I had been so certain that she was right there beside me that I was shocked to suddenly see her at such a distance. Her arms stretched to accommodate the great distance. Those arms stretched and the hands reached my face. Those thumbs came to rest at the corners of my jawbone, and her fingers lightly dug into the sides of my neck. An overpowering wave of ecstasy burned all traces of tension from my being. Then more came through those arms. It was sheer, unbridled power which originated within her and flowed my way through her arms. As the power flooded into me it became information.

I gave her a rough go of it. With a wall of tension that could stop a hurricane in its tracks, I had resisted her from the first moment she called me forth. So it had become necessary for her to push me as well, to force movement. This troubled her deeply. Once the summons had been set into motion it had to be completed, and I fought her every step of the way. Because of the strength of our connection, I had been able to draw from her own power; to use it against her in a fight to resist the disruption of my secure, tense little life. I had failed because she needed to see it through. She needed me to let go of my tension. The touch of her hands against my neck had secured that goal and fulfilled that need. Upon relaxation I understood all of that in a flash. There was much more in that flash of clarity, including the call to write this book. That done, the information burned into my very soul, it was then time to return to my earthly life.

 

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