My Moment of Awakening…
Before I tell you about the first real awakening in my life I want to make sure you understand how unlikely a moment like the one I describe in the following pages was for me. As I already mentioned, at the time of writing this book I was a practicing attorney. As such, I would have described myself as an extremely logical thinker and a realist for lack of a better word. Never been a big believer in things that were not directly logical in nature or quantifiable scientificly. I remain that way to some extent but the following experience changed my life completely. The purpose of this introductory paragraph is to make clear to you that what follows is no fabrication to create an image or give credence to my message. You may not find it to be as intense or significant as I did but I can promise you that if you ever experience the same thing your life will forever be altered as well.
Before August 15, 2012, I think it’s fair to say I never had a truly “spiritual” experience. I don’t mean spiritual in the sense of any specific religion. I mean spiritual in the sense of experiencing a new level of consciousness. Ironically, maybe those two things are the same but that is a discussion for another day. The experience was, I believe, identical to the one described by Richard M. Bucke in 1872. What makes this remarkable is I did not discover Bucke’s writing until about 4 hours after I had the experience. Needless to say discovering someone had an experience nearly 150 years ago that he described nearly word for word the way I had just described it to my assistant made it even more amazing.
To understand this experience I have to give a bit of background as to the creation of this book. Initially, I set out to write a self-help book of sorts and in so doing take a unique approach that I had not yet encountered. Like most things of this nature, being original and innovative is one of the most important keys to success. So, I set off with the goal of beginning my discussion with the cosmos and connecting our day to day life to a greater understanding of the universe. I began immersing myself in books written by prominent physicists, self help gurus, philosophers, and more. Progress was slow at first and eventually I realized that was because I was looking for some key, some missing piece that would tie the entirety of my thoughts together.
No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
On August 15, 2012, I found that key. I discuss what I discovered throughout the book so there is no reason to summarize it here but when it happened there were a few things that were distinct. First, suddenly in my mind two halves of an unlit ring connected and immediately glowed brilliantly white. Second, and this part is what has me so amazed to this day, I immediately became filled with an energy unlike I have ever experienced. It is impossible for me to give this experience justice or fully explain it but I could feel the energy in every inch of my body. Almost like an electrical impulse. I felt a joy and completeness unlike anything that had come before in my life. I knew that all I hoped a dreamed of doing would be, and at the risk of being too philosophical at this point, already was. I immediately told my assistant, Melissa, what I was feeling. Including, specifically as if I felt I had a clarity of understanding of the whole of reality, I could no longer have any fear of death, that the entire universe is one energy and therefore my energy would always be.
Soon after this experience I left my office and walked around for nearly an hour in complete joy. Simultaneously everything around me had more meaning, more reality AND less meaning, less reality. It was as if I saw everything as it truly was for the first time in my entire conscious existence. Whatever I had momentarily touched had awakened me. I know had an awareness unlike I had ever experienced. I could no longer understand the concept of fear or failure. They had no meaning now. Only energy and the full unquestioned knowledge that everything is unified, connected, flowing…ONE!
There must be a positive and negative in everything in the universe in order to complete a circuit or circle, without which there would be no activity, no motion.
As if the universe wanted to make certain that I hadn’t missed the message I got another jolt of intensity about four hours later. As I researching for this book I came across the following information entirely by chance, or so I thought at the time. Mind you, I had never read of or had any knowledge of Bucke or his work before discovering what he had experienced and came to call the cosmic consciousness. Bucke described the characteristics and effects of this “faculty” as follows: sudden appearance; subjective experience of light (inner light); moral elevation; intellectual illumination; sense of immortality; loss of fear of death; loss of a sense of sin. However, the term “cosmic consciousness” more closely derives from yet another feature: the vivid sense of the universe as a living presence, rather than as basically lifeless, inert matter.
The specific modal description of his experience was as follows:
“All at once, without warning of any kind, he found himself wrapped around as it were by a flame-colored cloud. For an instant he thought of fire, some sudden conflagration in the great city; the next he knew the light was within himself. Directly afterwards came upon him a sense of exultation, of immense joyousness, accompanied or immediately followed by an intellectual illumination quite impossible to describe. Into his brain streamed one momentary lightning flash of the Brahmic splendour which has ever since lightened his life, upon his heart fell one drop of Brahmic Bliss, leaving thenceforward for always an aftertaste of heaven.”
You may be expecting that I will give you the key to having the same experience in the pages that follow but I cannot. At most I can express to you those things that brought me to it but I doubt there is one key. Instead, the key is the true realization of the oneness of all that is. I’ve learned since the experience that my path was somewhat similar to that which brought Bucke to his moment. That similarity being that it was during a time in my life that I was immersing myself in literature and share a great deal of interest in the sciences. Perhaps, that is why I came to find him so soon after it happened.
I later read of Eckhart Tolle’s experience. I believe he describes the same thing in The Power of Now. Tolle’s description of what I believe to be the same experience sounds entirely different from my at first glance, but upon further reflection is not. Tolle had his experience at a time when he was contemplating suicide. Much like mine, it occurred suddenly. He described it as being “drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy”. “I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly there was no more fear.” (Tolle, 1999) Tolle further went on to describe seeing the aliveness of everything.
Whilst on the surface those two descriptions may sound completely different, I don’t believe they are. Instead, two individual’s conscious minds processed the moment slightly differently. In addition, Tolle’s experience came at a moment of deep despair and pain which perhaps affected it. Ultimately, I have no doubt we have touched the same thing and look forward to meeting him and many others who have been fortunate enough to touch the same fabric of the universe.
I firmly believe all three of us experienced the exact same thing! If you don’t see why because the three experiences I have spoken of seem so descriptively different I can explain why. In an extremely simplified sense and to some degree as more of a tool of visualization you can think of the universe, all that is, as a flowing fabric of energy. Picture a bed sheet flowing softly in the wind or a flag. Everything that exists from the soda can on your desk, to the building you are in, to you are concentrated points in that fabric. To visualize this think of raised points in the flat sheet or another good example is a topographical map of the bottom of the ocean. Most people never get close to consciously touching the fabric with their conscious mind but those of us who are lucky enough to have the experience will intrinsicly perceive it differently.
The reason you ask? Well, it’s the same reason that you and I might describe how something tastes or feels differently. Our physical minds individually subjective abilities to perceive the fabric of the realization. For our conscious mind to quantify that experience to a level sufficient for our temporal awareness requires it to access constructs familiar to the fragmented physical world in which we exist. I believe this happens for two reasons. First, there must be some Segway to the enlightened moment. If there were not it would likely be too much for our conscious human psychy to endure. Second, our lives leading to that point are intrinsicly different. Therefore, the visual cues accessed by our conscious mind will be subjective to some degree.
Herein lays the beautiful truth. If you take another look at all three of our experiences they share important overlying themes. Each of us experiences a form of a circle or a ring. Whereas part of my experience was a sudden and intense vision of a brilliantly glowing ring accompanied by a rush of intense energy, Tolle’s was as he described it, “I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy.” The fact that mine was direct to the point of being almost technical makes sense given my mentality and logic based conscious mind prior to that point. Each of us experienced a feeling of intense energy. While Tolle’s experience was initially one of fear I think that is due both to his mental state just prior and his conscious mind’s constructs. Most importantly, the feelings and understanding after the experience are essentially identical for all three of us.
Whether you choose to believe that I had this experience and/or it wasn’t just some sort of momentary delusion is up to you. However, I can tell you this much with more certainty than I have ever felt about anything in my entire life. Before that moment I could have told you I believed and felt the way I do about life but it would have been with a seed of doubt or an air of question. I have absolutely no question whatsoever now. I can no longer fear failure because it does not exist.
Hate and fear are dying out. The argument is that their total extinction is justified. Faith and love are increasing. Infinite faith and love are justified…the highest moral nature is nearest in accord with the truth of things. This then is the end, the conclusion of the whole matter: Love all things – not because it is your duty to do so, but because all things are worthy of your love. Hate nothing. Fear nothing. Have absolute faith. Who so will do this is wise; he is more than wise – he is happy.
~Richard M. Bucke
If you are anything at all like I was before I had this experience you are no doubt reading this with no small amount of skepticism. I don’t blame you. After all, it could have just been some unusual sensation created by the random firing of neurons in my brain, right? However, I ask you as you begin reading to be open to the possibility that it was an accurate perception of some reality outside of that existing solely within my mind. I can assure you that I have tried repeatedly to convince myself that it was just some sensation. However, I am unable to deny it in light of the sudden unexplained knowledge and understanding I have about the connection between all things. Later, when I introduce you to the electromagnetic field theory of consciousness you will see that actually scientific research further supports the real nature of the experience.
As I noted in the description of the event, my assistant, Melissa Smith, was present when this happened. Below is her description of what she witnessed that day.
On Wednesday August 15, 2012, as I sat in Nick’s office he was explaining what he had been reading and what was going through his mind. He had a very ephemeral look on his face and a very energetic presence about him that morning. Several times he put his hands together as if they were each a half of a circle coming together and locking to form one. It was as if I could see the circle light up in his eyes each time he demonstrated this to me. His excitement was evident and just pouring out of him. He was illuminated by this overwhelming sense of something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I found myself just staring at him trying to figure out what was going inside of him…something amazing was happening I just didn’t know what. After about ten minutes he said that he would no longer be able to fear failure or death because he was certain that everything is energy that everything just is. He paced around the office for quite some time that morning telling me more about his understanding of the universe and about his book. But that illuminated look never left his face and he was still forming the circle with his hands. Later that afternoon Nick returned to the office with a quote from another writer that mirrored his experience. As he shared that with me I realized how truly special it was to have been present for Nick’s divine enlightenment. I am blessed to have shared this experience with him.
 James A. Coyne, Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, Section 2, p. 159 (1906).