Every so often, I’ll be reading some sacred text and I’ll come across some description of some totally impossible vision. As a child, I accepted these as fact. As a teenager, I wrote these weird stories off as either lies or delusional hallucinations. It was not even possible, from my perspective, that these descriptions belonged to any kind of valid experience. My rejection of all things ‘supernormal’/superstitious grew as I traveled through my teens and reached its peak when I was about 18. It all came crashing down as I began to have my own visions. It is hard to deny them when they are your own. Yet, many people are taught to reject their nonordinary experiences! It is my experience and understanding that when these experiences are left in the darkness of repression, they fester and stink and grow into some gnarly neurosis-tangle. Now I know, this kind of vision is the same as any other vision– as “real” as any other thing I have beheld. People can think what they want. That doesn’t matter so much anymore.
Yes. I have eaten most of them. But, no. They have not all *always* produced ‘real vision’. And, I’m probably crazy, but I have had visions on non-hallucinogenic drugs as well. I have had visions with no drugs at all. So, drugs, hallucinogenic drugs, no drugs– sometimes I see crazy stuff. Doesn’t matter. Now, I don’t really recommend the drugs (psychedelic or other). The good experiences can be had without them, and those insights are more sustainable. But! Do what you want. It’s your life. Don’t let haters ruin your time.
What do I mean by ‘real vision’? I mean the type of vision that is undeniably visible. This kind of vision takes no stretch of the imagination to behold. The thing is just there. You look away, you look again, it is still there. As far as you know, it is “real”. You don’t have to squint your eyes or embellish the truth of your perception.
Alone or together?
There have indeed been visions that were only seen by me. But, on the other hand, I have also shared extreme visions with another person. During this ‘group vision’, my friend and I were far from any human habitation, travelling through the mountain/desert land of southeast Oregon. We saw so many things that were soooo completely impossible. Yet, we could read messages together, word by word, in the clouds, on the mountains and on the windows of our car. Something was talking to us about the wisdom of love, in English. We saw a gigantic flying silver cross ascend to the moon. It started about 100 feet above us and as we drove, for about 50 miles, we could look up and see it getting smaller and smaller. Impossible but real. It was as ‘real’ to us as anything else.
This experience opened our minds and we began to talk about a “consensus reality” instead of an “objective reality”. Because we were so alone, we thought, the ‘consensus’ our minds had reached had the power to manifest nonordinary experiences. “Consensus” as in “we were together, in the same situation, influenced by and influencing our environment in a similar way”. Or something like that.. Maybe you know what I’m trying to say. When groups of people are isolated, they create their own little partition of reality. We see this happening, in a less extreme way, with the different cultural worldviews. The cultures had been isolated for a long time and developed different realities. When they clash, the realities mix and mash and make something new.
Years later, after this wild experience in the desert, just before my friend died (on 11/11/11), I went back to the scene to check to see if some of what we beheld was actually still there. Nope. Doesn’t seem like it. The things we saw were gone. I was a new person. I was with new people. In a new situation. The environment did not respond like it had.
Mother Forest Mandala
Carl Jung makes a big deal out of Mandalas. A symbol of wholeness. He wrote about the appearance of mandalas in people’s dreams and in many of the world’s spiritual traditions. I have seen mandalas manifest in the world– obvious, attractive and impressive. As real as anything I had ever seen.
One time, I was walking into a forest. I looked up at the lush green foliage and saw a perfectly circle, interlocking and rotating, mandala. There was a hole in the bottom, which was where the trail cut into the forest, and as I stepped through the threshold, into the forest-mandala, all sounds cut out and everything felt comfy. I had the thought that I had walked into a forest-mandala-womb. It felt like a womb!
Red Fairies. Dakinis.
Another time, I sat on a beach staring into the sun. Red fairies with long flowing gowns started flying out of the sun, straight at me. They were carrying red banners, and their red gowns flapping made for quite the spectacle! As they approached me, I saw how totally beautiful they were. They were all female, all identical in appearance. They kissed me, and each time they kissed me I felt a shock shoot down my spine. There were thousands of them. I must have looked funny sitting there staring into the sun, jolting, and shaking! hahah.
Pyramid, Sphinx, and a Giant Mandala.
After the fairy kisses, I looked toward my city and beheld a gigantic Sphinx! It was as real as anything else. But it was glittering and made out of some suuuper clear crystal looking material. Diamond? And, then, a gigantic pyramid as well! Then, these things became overshadowed by a more impressive mandala! This one was huuuuuge. It occupied my whole field of vision. It was intricate and bold. There were rings and mechanical looking things all interlocked and moving in very complex ways. Hard to describe! But, the vision is fresh in my mind, still.
In the center of this mandala was my own face! In real time! Like a mirror. There were various greek characters floating around, but on either side of me there was Alpha and Sigma.
I made funny faces and saw these reflected in front of me. My face was glowing with a strange purple-golden bright light! My heart was calm. Confident. No fear. No anticipation. I remember the strength.
This theme of seeing myself in real-time glowing purplish gold was recurring. I was once walking through a forest, I looked around, and all of a sudden I saw my face reflected on every single leaf! Like thousands of mirrors! Now, looking back, I think these kinds of visions had to do with my understanding of interdependence. I was integrating shunyata on a deep level and this was being reflected in my visions. The visions solidified the insights.
That’s all for now.
I just wanted to ramble a bit about some visions. I just wanted to assert that we actually do see things when we see things. It’s not some game. It’s not make-believe playtime. The things actually happen. So, when you come across some crazy description in some sacred text, you might do well to consider that the experience may have been had. You might leave room for that possibility. And! Please do remember that even if the vision was real for the person, you don’t have to simply, blindly, accept whatever the person says just because they saw things. You can see things too. Come see for yourself. Ehipassiko.