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Physical Transformation
~the experiences of U.G. Krishnamurti
by Jane Wiltshire

"Are there any boots to walk on thorns?"
His reply came back crisp and direct,
"There are no thorns." Unsatisfied, I pursued, "The thorns are very much there for me!"
With quiet patience he answered, "Stop looking for roses and there will be no thorns."

I was fascinated when I read the following account a few years ago, of an awakening accompanied by a very rapid process of physical transformation.  There are many accounts of the variety of physical phenomena that accompanied this man’s experience and it is interesting to read these accounts in his own down-to-earth words and draw parallels with the western experience of transfiguration and resurrection as taught by the Course in Miracles and experienced by those who have undergone the process.  For example it is widely known many Western mystics and saints manifested the stigmata whereas UG Krishnamurti experienced a very Eastern expression of physical transformation manifesting Hindu symbols on his body.

U G Krishnamurti had a full awakening after giving up on a long spiritual search which had led him through countless gurus, ashrams, books, philosophies and thought systems.  He finally arrived at a conclusion that the desire to awaken was an illusory goal. 

That’s when it happened….

The Disappearance of the Questioner

The dramatic period of his physiological transformation began on his forty-ninth birthday.  He was asking himself about the nature of the references he was using to locate and experience himself.

I was sitting on a bench under a tree overlooking one of the most beautiful spots in the whole world; the whole of my being was that question: "How do I know that I am in that state?  There is some kind of peculiar division inside of me: there is somebody who knows that he is in that state. The knowledge of that state -- what I have read, what I have experienced, what they have talked about -- it is this knowledge that is looking at that state, so it is only this knowledge that has projected that state.”

 I said to myself "Look here, old chap, after forty years you have not moved one step; you are there in square number one. It is the same knowledge that projected your mind there when you asked this question. You are in the same situation asking the same question, "How do I know?" because it is this knowledge, the description of the state by those people, that has created this state for you. You are kidding yourself. You are a damned fool.  So, nothing. But still there was some kind of a peculiar feeling that this was the state.

UG was under the impression that an experience of God is something supernatural and he has come to the realization that whatever experience he finds himself in at the moment is an experience of God. (God is the mind with which I think.) 

The second question "How do I know that this is the state?" -- I didn't have any answer for that question -- it was like a question in a whirlpool -- it went on and on and on. Then suddenly the question disappeared. Nothing happened; the question just disappeared. I didn't say to myself "Oh, my God! Now I have found the answer." Even that state disappeared -- the state I thought I was in, the state of Buddha, Jesus -- even that has disappeared. The question has disappeared. The whole thing is finished for me, and that's all, you see. From then on, never did I say to myself "Now I have the answer to all those questions." That state of which I had said "This is the state" -- that state disappeared. The question disappeared. Finished, you see. It is not emptiness, it is not blankness, it is not the void, it is not any of those things; the question disappeared suddenly, and that is all.

The Physical Transformation

The disappearance of this fundamental question, on discovering that it had no answer, was a physiological phenomenon, UG says, "a sudden 'explosion' inside, blasting, as it were, every cell, every nerve and every gland in my body." And with that 'explosion', the illusion that there is continuity of thought, that there is a center, an “I” linking up the thoughts, was not there anymore.

Then thought cannot link up. The linking gets broken, and once it is broken it is finished. Then it is not once that thought explodes; every time a thought arises, it explodes. So, this continuity comes to an end, and thought falls into its natural rhythm. Since then I have no questions of any kind, because the questions cannot stay there any more. The only questions I have are very simple questions ("How do I go to Hyderabad?" for example) to function in this world -- and people have answers for these questions.  For those questions, (How do I know that I am in that state? etc) nobody has any answers -- so there are no questions any more.

Everything in the head has tightened there was no room for anything there inside of my brain. For the first time I became conscious of my head with everything 'tight' inside of it. So, these vasanas (past impressions) or whatever you call them -- they do try to show their heads sometimes, but then the brain cells are so 'tight' that it has no opportunity to fool around there any more. The division cannot stay there -- it's a physical impossibility; you don't have to do a thing about it, you see, That is why I say that when this 'explosion' takes place (I use the word 'explosion' because it's like a nuclear explosion) it leaves behind chain- reactions. Every cell in your body, the cells in the very marrow of your bones, have to undergo this 'change'  I don't want to use that word  it's an irreversible change. There's no question of your going back. there's no question of a 'fall' for this man at all. Irreversible: an alchemy of some sort.

It is like a nuclear explosion, you see -- it shatters the whole body. It is not an easy thing; it is the end of the man - such a shattering thing that it blasts every cell, every nerve in your body. I went through terrible physical torture at that moment. Not that you experience the 'explosion'; you can't experience the 'explosion' -- but it's after-effects, the 'fall-out', is the thing that changes the whole chemistry of your body.

You see, there is one very strange thing that happens as a result of this 'explosion' or whatever you want to call it: at no time does the thought that I am different from you come into this consciousness. Never. Never does that thought come into my consciousness and tell me that you are different from me or I am different from you, because there is no point here, there is no center here. Only with reference to this center do you create all the other points. (Fragmentation is the inevitable result of location.)

Another thing: the chemistry has changed -- I can say that because unless that alchemy or change in the whole chemistry takes place, there is no way of freeing this organism from thought, from the continuity of thought. So, since there is no continuity of thought, you can very easily say that something has happened, but what actually has happened? I have no way of experiencing this at all.

I really don't know what has happened to me. What I am telling you is the way I am functioning. There seems to be some difference between the way you are functioning and the way I am functioning, but basically there can't be any difference. How can there be any difference between you and me? There can't be; but from the way we are trying to express ourselves, there seems to be. I have the feeling that there is some difference, and what that difference is, is all that I am trying to understand. So, this is the way I am functioning.

UG noticed, during the week following the 'explosion', fundamental changes in the functioning of his senses. On the last day his body went through 'a process of physical death' (Nirvikalpa samadhi), and the changes became permanent features. 

Then began the changes -- from the next day onwards, for seven days -- every day one change. First I discovered the softness of the skin, the blinking of the eyes stopped, and then changes in taste, smell and hearing -- these five changes I noticed. Maybe they were there even before, and I only noticed them for the first time.

(On the first day) I noticed that my skin was soft like silk and had a peculiar kind of glow, a golden color. I was shaving, and each time I tried to shave, the razor slipped. I changed blades, but it was no use. I touched my face. My sense of touch was different, you see, also the way I held the razor. Especially my skin -- my skin was soft as silk and had this golden glow. I didn't relate this to anything at all; I just observed it.

(On the second day) I became aware for the first time that my mind was in what I call a 'declutched state'. I was upstairs in the kitchen and Valentine had prepared tomato soup. I looked at it, and I didn't know what it was. She told me it was tomato soup, and I tasted it, and I recognized "This is how tomato soup tastes." Then I swallowed the soup, and then I returned to this odd frame of mind -- though 'frame of mind' is not the word for it; it was a frame of 'not mind' -- in which I forgot again. I asked again "What is that?" Again she said it was tomato soup. Again I tasted it. Again I swallowed and forgot. I played with this for some time. It was such a funny business for me then, this 'declutched state'; now it has become normal. I no longer spend time in reverie, worry, conceptualization and the other kinds of thinking that most people do when they're alone. My mind is only engaged when it's needed, for instance when you ask questions, or when I have to fix the tape-recorder or something like that. The rest of the time my mind is in the 'declutched state'. Of course now I have my memory back -- I lost it at first, but now I have it back -- but my memory is in the background and only comes into play when it's needed, automatically. When it's not needed, there is no mind here, there is no thought, there is only life.

(On the third day) some friends invited themselves over for dinner, and I said "All right, I'll prepare something." But somehow I couldn't smell or taste properly. I became gradually aware that these two senses had been transformed. Every time some odor entered my nostrils it irritated my olfactory center in just about the same way -- whether it came from the most expensive scent or from cow dung, it was the same irritation. And then, every time I tasted something, I tasted the dominant ingredient only -- the taste of the other ingredients came slowly after. From that moment perfume made no sense to me, and spicy food had no appeal for me. I could taste only the dominant spice, the chili or whatever it was.

(On the fourth day) something happened to the eyes. We were sitting in the 'Rialto' restaurant, and I became aware of a tremendous sort of 'vistavision', like a concave mirror. Things coming towards me, moved into me, as it were; and things going away from me, seemed to move from inside me. It was such a puzzle to me -- it was as if my eyes were a gigantic camera, changing focus without my doing anything. Now I am used to the puzzle. Nowadays that is how I see. When you drive me around in your Mini, I am like a cameraman dallying along, and the cars in the other direction go into me, and the cars that pass us come out of me, and when my eyes fix on something they fix on it with total attention, like a camera. Another thing about my eyes: when we came back from the restaurant I came home and looked in the mirror to see what was odd about my eyes, to see how they were 'fixed'. I looked in the mirror for a long time, and then I observed that my eyelids were not blinking. For half an hour or forty-five minutes I looked into the mirror -- still no blinking of the eyes. Instinctive blinking was over for me, and it still is.

(On the fifth day) I noticed a change in hearing. When I heard the barking of a dog, the barking originated inside me. And the same with the mooing of the cow, the whistle of the train -- suddenly all sounds originated inside me, as it were - coming from within, and not from outside -- they still do.

Five senses changed in five days, and on the sixth day I was lying down on a sofa - Valentine was there in the kitchen - and suddenly my body disappeared. There was no body there. I looked at my hand. (Crazy thing - you would certainly put me in the mental hospital.) I looked at it - "Is this my hand?" There was no questioning here, but the whole situation was like that - that is all I am describing. So I touched this body - nothing - I didn't feel there was anything there except the touch, you see, the point of contact. Then I called Valentine: "Do you see my body on this sofa? Nothing inside of me says that this is my body." She touched it - "This is your body." And yet that assurance didn't give me any comfort or satisfaction - "What is this funny business? My body is missing." My body had gone away, and it has never come back. The points of contact are all that is there for the body - nothing else is there for me - because the seeing is altogether independent of the sense of touch here. So it is not possible for me to create a complete image of my body even, because where there's no sense of touch there are missing points here in the consciousness.

(On the seventh day) I was again lying on the same sofa, relaxing, enjoying the 'declutched state'. Valentine would come in, I would recognize her as Valentine; she would go out of the room -- finish, blank, no Valentine -- "What is this? I can't even imagine what Valentine looks like." I would listen to the sounds coming from inside me?" I could not relate. I had discovered that all my senses were without any coordinating thing inside: the coordinator was missing.

I felt something happening inside of me: the life energy drawing to a focal point from different parts of my body. I said to myself "Now you have come to the end of your life. You are going to die." Then I called Valentine and said "I am going to die, Valentine, and you will have to do something with this body. Hand it over to the doctors -- maybe they will use it. I don't believe in burning or burial or any of those things. In your own interest you have to dispose of this body -- one day it will stink -- so, why not give it away?" She said "You are a foreigner. The Swiss government won't take your body. Forget about it," then she went away. And then this whole business of the frightening movement of the life force coming to a point, as it were. I was lying down on the sofa. Her bed was empty, so I moved over to that bed and stretched myself, getting ready.

She ignored me and went away. She said "One day you say this thing has changed, another day this thing has changed, a third day this thing has changed. What is this whole business?" She was not interested in any of those things - never was she interested in any of these religious matters - never heard of those things. "You say you are going to die. You are not going to die. You are all right, hale and healthy." She went away.

Then I stretched myself, and this was going on and on and on. The whole life energy was moving to some focal point - where it was, I don't know. Then a point arrived where the whole thing looked as if the aperture of a camera was trying to close itself. (It is the only simile that I can think of. The way I am describing this is quite different from the way things happened at that time, because there was nobody there thinking in such terms. All this was part of my experience; otherwise I wouldn't be able to talk about it.) So, the aperture was trying to close itself, and something was there trying to keep it open. Then after a while there was no will to do anything, not even to prevent the aperture closing itself. Suddenly, as it were, it closed. I don't know what happened after that.

This process lasted for forty-nine minutes -- this process of dying. It was like a physical death, you see. Even now it happens to me: the hands and feet become so cold, the body becomes stiff, the heartbeat slows down, the breathing slows down, and then there is a gasping for breath. Up to a point you are there, you breathe your last breath, as it were, and then you are finished. What happens after that, nobody knows.

When I came out of that, somebody said there was a telephone call for me. I came out and went downstairs to answer it. I was in a daze. I didn't know what had happened. It was a physical death. What brought me back to life, I don't know. How long it lasted, I don't know. I can't say anything about that, because the experiencer was finished: there was nobody to experience that death at all.... So, that was the end of it. I got up.

I didn't feel that I was a new-born baby -- no question of enlightenment at all - but the things that had astonished me that week, the changes in taste, seeing and so on, had become permanent fixtures. I call all these events the 'calamity'. I call it the 'calamity' because from the point of view of one who thinks this is something fantastic, blissful, full of beatitude, love, ecstasy and all that kind of a thing, this is physical torture - this is a calamity from that point of view. Not a calamity to me, but a calamity to those who have an image that something marvelous is going to happen. It's something like: you imagine New York; you dream about it, you want to be there. When you are actually there, nothing of it is there; it is a godforsaken place, and even the devils have probably forsaken that place. It's not the thing that you had sought after and wanted so much, but totally different. What is there, you really don't know -- you have no way of knowing anything about that -- there is no image here. In that sense I can never tell myself or anybody "I'm an enlightened man, a liberated man, a free man; I'm going to liberate mankind." Free from what? How can I liberate somebody else? There's no question of liberating anybody. For that, I must have an image that I am a free man, you understand?

(Then, (on the eighth day) I was sitting on the sofa and suddenly there was an outburst of tremendous energy -- tremendous energy shaking the whole body, and along with the body, the sofa, the chalet and the whole universe, as it were -- shaking, vibrating. You can't create that movement at all. It was sudden. Whether it was coming from outside or inside, from below or above, I don't know -- I couldn't locate the spot; it was all over. It lasted for hours and hours. I couldn't bear it but there was nothing I could do to stop it; there was a total helplessness. This went on and on, day after day, day after day. Whenever I sat it started -- this vibration like an epileptic fit or something. Not even an epileptic fit; it went on for days and days.

For three days UG lay on his bed, his body contorted with pain - it was, he says, as if he felt pain in every cell of his body, one after the other. Similar outbursts of energy occurred intermittently throughout the next six months, whenever he lay down or relaxed.

The body feels the pain. That's a very painful process. Very painful. It is a physical pain because the body has limitations -- it has a form, a shape of its own, so when there is an outburst of energy, which is not your energy or my energy or God's (or call it by any name you like), it is like a river in spate. The energy that is operating there does not feel the limitations of the body; it is not interested; it has its own momentum. It is a very painful thing. It is not that ecstatic, blissful beatitude and all that rubbish -- stuff and nonsense! --- it is really a painful thing. Oh, I suffered for months and months after that; before that too. Everybody has. Even Ramana Maharshi suffered after that.

A great cascade -- not one, but thousands of cascades -- it went on and on and on for months and months. It's a very painful experience -- painful in the sense that the energy has a peculiar operation of its own.  There is an atom: lines going like that. (UG demonstrates.) It is clockwise, anticlockwise, and then it is this way and then this way and then this way. Like an atom it moves inside -- not in one part of your body; the whole body. It is as if a wet towel were being wrung to get rid of the water -- it is like that, the whole of our body -- it's such a painful thing. It goes on even now. You can't invite it; you can't ask it to come; you can't do anything. It gives you the feeling that it is enveloping you, that it is descending on you. Descending from where? Where is it coming from? How is it coming? Every time it is new -- very strange -- every time it comes in a different way, so you don't know what is happening. You lie down on your bed, and suddenly it begins -- it begins to move slowly like ants. I'd think there were bugs in my bed, jump out, and look -- (Laughs no bugs -- then I'd go back -- then again.... The hairs are electrified, so it slowly moves.

There were pains all over the body. Thought has controlled this body to such an extent that when that loosens, the whole metabolism is agog. The whole thing was changing in its own way without my doing anything. And then the movement of the hands changed. Usually your hands turn this way. (UG demonstrates.) Here, this wrist joint had terrible pains for six months until it turned itself, and all the movements are now like this. That is why they say my movements are mudras (mystical gestures). The movements of the hands are quite different now than before. Then there were pains in the marrow of the bones. Every cell started changing, and it went on and on for six months.

And then the sex hormones started changing. I didn't know whether I was a man or a woman -- What is this business?" -- suddenly there was a breast on the left-hand side. All kinds of things -- I don't want to go into details -- there is a complete record of all these things. It went on and on and on. It took three years for this body to fall into a new rhythm of its own.

You can read a description of the events of my life, that's all. One day, around my forty- ninth birthday something stopped; another day another sense changed; the third day something else changed.... There is a record of the way the things happened tome. What value has that to you? It has no value at all. On the other hand it's very dangerous because you try to simulate the outward manifestations. People simulate these things and believe that something is happening -- that's what these people do. I behaved normally. I didn't know what was happening. It was a strange situation. there is no point in leaving any record -- people will only simulate these things. The state is something natural.

Up and down his torso, neck and head, at those points which Indian holy men call chakras, his friends observed swellings of various shapes and colors, which came and went at intervals. On his lower abdomen the swellings were horizontal, cigar-shaped bands. Above the navel was a hard, almond-shaped swelling. A hard, blue swelling, like a large medallion, in the middle of his chest was surmounted by another smaller, brownish-red, medallion-shaped swelling at the base of his throat. These two 'medallions' were as though suspended from a varicolored, swollen ring -- blue, brownish and light yellow -- around his neck, as in pictures of the Hindu gods. There were also other similarities between the swellings and the depictions of Indian religious art: his throat was swollen to a shape that made his chin seem to rest on the head of a cobra, as in the traditional images of Siva; just above the bridge of the nose was a white lotus-shaped swelling; all over the head the small blood vessels expanded, forming patterns like the stylized lumps on the heads of Buddha statues. Like the horns of Moses and the Taoist mystics, two large, hard swellings periodically came and went. The arteries in his neck expanded and rose, blue and snake-like, into his head.

I do not want to be an exhibitionist, but you are doctors. There is something to the symbolism they have in India -- the cobra. Do you see the swellings here? -- they take the shape of a cobra. Yesterday was the new moon. The body is affected by everything that is happening around you; it is not separate from what is happening around you. Whatever is happening there, is also happening here -- there is only the physical response. This is affection. Your body is affected by everything that is happening around you; and you can't prevent this, for the simple reason that the armor that you have built around yourself is destroyed, so it is very vulnerable to everything that is happening there. With the phases of the moon -- full moon, half moon, quarter moon -- these swellings here take the shape of a cobra. Maybe that is the reason why some people have created all these images -- Siva and all those kinds of things. But why should it take the shape of a cobra? I have asked many doctors why this swelling is here, but nobody could give me a satisfactory answer. I don't know if there are any glands or anything here.

There are certain glands ... This I have discussed so many times with doctors who are doing research into the ductless glands. Those glands are what the Hindus call "chakras." These ductless glands are located in exactly the same spots where the Hindus speculated the chakras are. There is one gland here which is called the 'thymus gland'. That is very active when you are a child -- very active -- they have feelings, extraordinary feelings. When you reach the age of puberty it becomes dormant -- that's what they say. When again this kind of a thing happens, when you are reborn again, that gland is automatically activated, so all the feelings are there. Feelings are not thoughts, not emotions; you feel for somebody. If somebody hurts himself there, that hurt is felt here --not as a pain, but there is a feeling, you see -- you automatically say "Ah!"

This actually happened to me when I was staying in a coffee plantation: a mother started beating a child, a little child, you know. She was mad, hopping mad, and she hit the child so hard, the child almost turned blue. And somebody asked me "Why did you not interfere and stop her?" I was standing there -- I was so puzzled, you see. "Who should I take pity on, the mother or the child?" -- that was my answer -- "Who is responsible?" Both were in a ridiculous situation: the mother could not control her anger, and the child was so helpless and innocent. This went on -- it was moving from one to the other -- and then I found all those things (marks) on my back. So I was also part of that. (I am not saying this just to claim something.) That is possible because consciousness cannot be divided. Anything that is happening there is affecting you -- this is affection, you understand? There is no question of your sitting in judgment on anybody; the situation happens to be that, so you are affected by that. You are affected by everything that is happening there.

Anything that is happening within your field of consciousness. Consciousness is, of course, not limited. If he is hurt there, you also are hurt here. If you are hurt, there is an immediate response there. I can't say about the universe, the whole universe, but in your field of consciousness, in the limited field in which you are operating at that particular moment, you are responding -- not that you are responding.

And all the other glands also here.... There are so many glands here; for example, the pituitary -- 'third eye', 'ajña chakra', they call it. When once the interference of thought is finished, it is taken over by this gland: it is this gland that gives the instructions or orders to the body; not thought any more; thought cannot interfere. (That is why they call it that*, probably. I'm not interpreting or any such thing; perhaps this gives you an idea.) But you have built an armor, created an armor with this thought, and you don't allow yourself to be affected by things.  (* The literal meaning "ajña" is "command.)

Since there is nobody who uses this thought as a self-protective mechanism, it burns itself up. Thought undergoes combustion, ionization (if I may use your scientific term). Thought is, after all, vibration. So, when this kind of ionization of thought takes place, it throws out, sometimes it covers the whole body with, an ash-like substance. Your body is covered with that when there is no need for thought at all. When you don't use it, what happens to that thought? It burns itself out -- that is the energy -- it's a combustion. The body gets heated, you know. There is tremendous heat in the body as a result of this, and so the skin is covered -- your face, your feet, everything -- with this ash-like substance.

That's one of the reasons why I express it in pure and simple physical and physiological terms. It has no psychological content at all, it has no mystical content, it has no religious overtones at all, as I see it. I am bound to say that, and I don't care whether you accept it or not, it is of no importance to me.

This kind of a thing must have happened to so many people. I say this happens to one in a billion, and you are that one in a billion. It is not something that one is specially prepared for. There are no purificatory methods necessary, there is no sadhana necessary for this kind of a thing to happen -- no preparation of any kind. The consciousness is so pure that whatever you are doing in the direction of purifying that consciousness is adding impurity to it.

Consciousness has to flush itself out: it has to purge itself of every trace of holiness, every trace of unholiness, everything. Even what you consider 'sacred and holy' is a contamination in that consciousness. It is not through any volition of yours; when once the frontiers are broken -- not through any effort of yours, not through any volition of yours -- then the floodgates are open and everything goes out. In that process of flushing out, you have all these visions. It's not a vision outside there or inside of you; suddenly you yourself, the whole consciousness, takes the shape of Buddha, Jesus, Mahavira, Mohammed, Socrates -- only those people who have come into this state; not great men, not the leaders of mankind -- it is very strange -- but only those people to whom this kind of a thing happened. One of them was a colored man (not exactly a colored man), and during that time I could tell people how he looked. Then some woman with breasts, flowing hair -- naked. I was told that there were two saints here in India -- Akkamahadevi and Lalleswari -- they were women, naked women. Suddenly you have these two breasts, the flowing hair -- even the organs change into female organs.

But still there is a division there -- you, and the form the consciousness has assumed, the form of Buddha, say, or Jesus Christ or God knows what -- the same situation: "How do I know I am in that state?" But that division cannot stay long; it disappears and something else comes. Hundreds of people -- probably something happened to so many hundreds of people. This is part of history -- so many rishis, some Westerners, monks, so many women, and sometimes very strange things. You see, all that people have experienced before you is part of your consciousness. I use the expression "the saints go marching out"; in Christianity they have a hymn "When the Saints Go Marching In." They run out of your consciousness because they cannot stay there any more, because all that is impurity, a contamination there.

You can say (I can't make any definite statement) probably it is because of the impact on the human consciousness of the 'explosions' of all those saints, sages and saviors of mankind that there is this dissatisfaction in you, that whatever is there is all the time trying to burst out, as it were. Maybe that is so -- I can't say anything about it. You can say that they are there because they are pushing you to this point, and once the purpose is achieved they have finished their job and they go way -- that is only speculation on my part. But this flushing out of everything good and bad, holy and unholy, sacred and profane has got to happen, otherwise your consciousness is still contaminated, still impure. During that time it goes on and on and on -- there are hundreds and thousands of them -- then, you see, you are put back into that primeval, primordial state of consciousness. Once it has become pure, of and by itself, then nothing can touch it, nothing can contaminate that any more. All the past up to that point is there, but it cannot influence your actions any more.

All these visions and everything were happening for three years after the "calamity." Now the whole thing is finished. The divided state of consciousness cannot function at all any more; it is always in the undivided state of consciousness -- nothing can touch that. Anything can happen -- the thought can be a good thought, a bad thought. It doesn't matter what comes there -- good, bad, holy, unholy. Who is there to say "This is good; that is bad?" -- the whole thing is finished. That is why I have to use the phrase 'religious experience' (not in the sense in which you use the word 'religion'): it puts you back to the source. You are back in that primeval, primordial, pure state of consciousness --call it 'awareness' or whatever you like. In that state things are happening, and there is nobody who is interested, nobody who is looking at them. They come and go in their own way, like the Ganges water flowing: the sewerage water comes in, half-burnt corpses, both good things and bad things -- everything -- but that water is always pure.

The most puzzling and bewildering part of the whole thing was when the sensory activities began their independent careers. There was no coordinator linking the senses, so we had terrible problems - Valentine had to go through the whole business. We'd go for a walk, and I'd look at a flower and ask "What is that?" She'd say "That is a flower." I'd take a few more steps, look at a cow and ask "What is that?" Like a baby, I had to relearn everything all over (not actually relearn, but all the knowledge was in the background and never came to the forefront, you see). It started -- the whole business -- "What is this crazy business?" I have to put it in words; not that I felt I was in a crazy state. I was a very sane man, acting sanely, everything going on, and yet this ridiculous business of asking about everything "What is this? What is that?" That's all; no other questions.

Valentine also didn't know what to make out of the whole business. She even went to a leading psychiatrist in Geneva. She rushed to him -- she wanted to understand, but at the same time she felt that there was nothing crazy about me. If I'd done one crazy thing she would have left me. Never; only strange things, you see. "What is that?" "That is a cow." "What is that?" "That is that." It went on and on and on, and it was too much for her and too much for me. When she met the psychiatrist, he said "Unless we see the person, we can't tell anything. Bring him." But I knew that something really fantastic had happened inside -- what it was, I didn't know, but that didn't bother me. "Why ask if that's a cow? What's the difference whether it is a cow, a donkey or a horse?" -- that bewildering situation continued for a long time -- all the knowledge was in the background. It's the same situation even now, but I don't ask those questions any more. When I am looking at something, I really don't know what I'm looking at -- that is why I say it is a state of not knowing. I really don't know. That is why I say that once you are there, through some luck, some strange chance, from then on everything happens in its own way. You are always in a state of samadhi; there is no question of going in and out of it; you are always there. I don't want to use that word, so I say it is a state of not knowing. You really don't know what you are looking at.

I can't do anything about it -- there is no question of my going back or anything; it is all finished -- it is operating and functioning in a different way. (I have to use the words 'different way' to give you a feel about it.)

There seems to be some difference. You see, my difficulty with the people who come to see me is this: they don't seem to be able to understand the way I am functioning, and I don't seem to be able to understand the way they are functioning. How can we carry on a dialogue? Both of us have to stop. How can there be a dialogue between us both? I am talking like a raving maniac. All my talking totally unrelated, just like a maniac's -- the difference is only a hair's breadth -- that is why I say you either flip or fly at that moment.

There is no difference, absolutely no difference. Somehow, you see, by some luck, by some strange chance, this kind of thing happens (I have to use the word 'happens' to give you a feel about that) and the whole thing is finished for you.

The experience of ‘karmic cleansing’ that occurs in the transformation is eased considerably by the mind training of the Course in Miracles that precedes and accompanies the process of awakening.  It is reasonable to posit the idea that ‘the vaults of the body’s history’ are opened and dissolved in the light through willingness and defenselessness.   There is no order of difficulty in miracles.  The promise that Jesus makes that you will not be hurled abruptly into Heaven and that time will keep gentle pace with your awakening seems to be the answer to the sudden (and not always welcome) onset of these symptoms of kundalini awakening. 

My own experience included a number of phenomena only one of which I could describe as painful.  Other symptoms were at times inconvenient or uncomfortable but never painful.  The Course offers a frame of reference that takes one out of the body identity so that the process is not physically traumatic unless one insists in being in observation of it. 

Increasingly I marvel and appreciate the sublime gift the Course and my Teacher represent in this impossible dream.  The mind training process develops acceptance and patience, allowing for the enactment of scenarios of forgiveness and conversion which although emotionally challenging, do leave the body identity free to heal itself of the nonsense that the mind has released.

At the point of integration when one is able to say “I loose the world from all I thought it was” comes the revelation that the Father and Son are One.  From that moment on – it is possible to live at the end of time, ‘a way of being in the world that is not here although it seems to be’; because the world holds nothing that I want.

 Jane Wiltshire



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