This post started out as a comment on another blogger’s post, and grew too long, even when not yet finished, so I decided to rather make a post out of my answer, and put it up straight here with a link (if I manage to do that technically!) to the post by Joel Hall on his blog ‘Simply Put’ (see also my blogroll):
Joel Hall | August 27, 2011 at 12:08 am | Tags: Bible, Creation, Evolution, Spirituality | Categories:Affidavit, Musings on the Bible, Revelations of a Glory Passing | URL: http://wp.me/p112LM-bm
© Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011 by Joel R. Hall – All Rights Reserved
What is it About the Bible?
This title squarely on the Bible was the one given by Joel to his post; my own comment turned out to be not about the Bible Quest that Joel had described and explained his reasons for, but rather about the inner experience that had led him to that Bible Quest, and about some experiences of mine too. This is why this post has the title it has and is addressed to Joel, starting from here:
‘It was so great, and informative about your own inner development, to read this new post of yours, Joel.
Like another recent one, it took elements of your big post ‘Death, where is thy sting?’ telling of that huge Near Death Experience you had at 17 with your meeting the Light that you recognized as the Being you call ‘Jeshua’.
It’s not in the culture of my present lifetime (I am French) to call him that way, yet I love that Hebrew name you give him, and the one you give to ‘Moishe’, and I love to call Jerusalem ‘Yerushalaîm’, because I too met Yeshua, but right there in Palestine, nearly 2000 years ago.
I met him while he was in a human body, but what I saw of him was his Body of Light, his real Being – and I fell at his feet, my own inner being adoring Him as it recognized in Him the Divine Incarnate, who opened my heart and touched my soul for ever. The image I found that is the closest to what I saw is quite inadequate, but it will give an idea.
In this present lifetime though, at first I didn’t remember any of that. I was born a Catholic and remained a fervent one until early adulthood, when I decided to leave the Church and leave behind all religion to develop further my own personal relationship with the Divine, directly through the mystic experiences I kept having since a small child.
So, contrary to you, I never became an atheist, because I could not: I knew by experience since long the wonderful reality of the presence of God in me, around me and in All There Is. But I knew that some of the dogmas in any religion would deny or contradict what my personal experience of God was, and distort the real Message each Incarnation of God had tried every time to leave behind for us human beings. So I kept preciously my relationship with God, but stepped out of the Church and its limiting, imprisoning framework.
Reading the first pages of an extraordinary book by Sri Aurobindo gave me my first illumination in 1971 (I literally saw all the pieces of the giant Cosmic Puzzle fall into place, showing me the resplendent Full Picture), and made me decide to go on living in a physical body, as at last thanks to this book it all made sense – both Matter and Spirit together – and I could at last see the very worthwhile meaning and purpose of Life in general and my own in particular: to help accelerate the next step in terrestrial evolution, as per God’s incredibly wonderful Plan.
But it is only when I started living in Auroville eight months later that the inner flow of spiritual experiences resumed, as a trickle only at first. All the while, I was interested only in the spiritual teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, not at all in their persons.
The Mother was still alive when I had arrived in August 1972, but I didn’t at the time understand the tremendous opportunity that gave me to meet her. Some inner contact with Sri Aurobindo (who had died in 1950 already) happened almost at once, but it is the Mother who when she too died in November 1973 gave me, totally unexpectedly and as an incredible parting gift, the inner contact with the aspect of the Divine Reality that you too experienced when you nearly died: that Ocean of Crystal Light of Love and Delight you described, that the following illustration doesn’t give justice too at all, it is really like being inside Light as the substance of the limitless Body of the One Being containing everything there is:
For you, given which aspect of God you were most open to inwardly, it is as Yeshua that It came to you and communicated with you, producing the deep, ever-lasting effect on your inner being that this encounter was meant to have.
But for me (probably because I was more ready for a still wider perception, having accepted to travel all the way to India and so having opened myself to the deep and precise spiritual knowledge they have accumulated there over the millenia) it was explained inwardly during the experience itself, that this, this Ocean of eternal and infinite Divine Presence carrying everything there is in its Light and Tenderness, is called in India ‘the Divine Mother’: It is the Feminine, motherly aspect of God – whom we in the West perceive erroneously as only Masculine. An important detail: just like for you, the experience had started with a strange feeling at the top of my head, as if it had suddenly split open into two halves. But then the focus had gone down to my heart chakra, with the full reactivation there of my previously usual love for the Divine; I still perceived it as the Divine Mother like in the first part of the experience, but now felt as an intimate and loving motherly Presence in the depths of my heart.
When fifteen days later the still vivid results of that double experience started to fade away in my being, I absolutely refused to let that happen; I prayed so intensely that the sensation of the Divine Presence came back… but with a clearly intentional and facetious surprise added to it: it was again the Divine, of course, but this time as the charming, beautiful, irresistible Lover of our Soul: the aspect of the Divine they call in India ‘Krishna’. I can’t even begin to tell you how utterly blissful that Inner Encounter was. Again, the image here is only an approximation, an attempt to render the ineffable…
After ten years, this inner connection with the Divine had stabilized to the point of becoming permanent, a normal thing in my life, that beloved and loving Presence being felt sometimes as the Divine Mother, sometimes as the Divine Lover, two different hues, two variations of the same wonderful Reality, that Light of Love we all secretly are too.
One day, while writing something for my research work as usual, a question came up on my mind:
Why was it in India that I had had that central and decisive experience, and why had it been with those two main aspects of the Divine known and revered in India, when my whole life before coming to India had been steeped in the love of Jesus-Christ, another aspect of God I was so much more familiar with?…
Another question I also had:
As I knew beyond doubt that my soul had emerged for good from its depths and had taken the lead of my being, how was it that I still didn’t have clear memories of any of my other lifetimes, as should have already happened?…
Half jokingly, I put inwardly these two questions to the Divine, and then went back to my work, leaving the whole matter at that.
Hardly ten days later, during a sudden, extremely deep interiorization, I relived the most crucial moment of that totally forgotten life in Palestine long ago: the moment when on a road of Palestine I had met the Divine as Jesus/Jeshua.
As you can see, the Divine was obligingly giving me the answers to both my questions at the same time, and through my own direct inner experience:
– It hadn’t been through the Christ in this lifetime, simply because it already had been through Him in that other lifetime;
– the memory of that blessed moment had come back to me as my first conscious reliving indeed of another lifetime!…
The inner reconnection to that encounter with Jeshua was so strong that for several days I wasn’t sure exactly where I belonged, I lived in between the two lifetimes, and I had to fight an incredible urge to take the next possible plane and fly right back to my beloved Palestine – where I have never been in the present lifetime, but longed to go, without knowing why – that is, until that powerful experience revealed it to me.
When I look back, I can feel how enriching and liberating it has been for my soul to come in contact with the Divine as manifested in those three equally loving but so different forms of Himself/Herself: it has freed me from the belief that only one of these forms was the true one, and from the excessive importance such a belief makes us human beings give to the embodiment of the Divine we individually came in contact with, imagining it to have the exclusivity of the Truth and to be restricted to that one form of expression only.
We keep limiting the Divine to what we know of It, with the name we are used to give to It, and tend to call everything else falsehood or lesser truth. This is a pity, for then the other persons reading about our spiritual experiences may be put off by that name and the automatic association of it with a specific religion they have come to reject for some of its dogmas – and so the actual universality of the experience in itself and its validity for them too will be lost on them and will fail to touch them.
And we ourselves too will remain incapable of feeling the universality of an experience, once we have ‘recognized’ its contents as belonging – exclusively, we believe – to that specific religious context which is the one we have adopted as the true one, while it may just be the best one for ourselves only, and only at that stage of our personal evolution. As we grow more we’ll become able to understand ever more and be less narrow and literal in attributing a meaning to an experience, we will learn to leave some leeway in our interpretation of it, so that our interpretation too can grow for ever.
So, thank you again for that post of yours, also because it gave me the inspiration and opportunity to express these few remarks and tell of my much diversified experience, in the urge I personally have, not to prove any specific holy book, but to bring out the core Oneness of Spiritual Reality that underlies and unifies what has remained authentic in all the holy books. To find that essential Unity hidden in the beguiling Diversity of our world’s scriptures is one of the main ongoing tasks of our time: a sign that our collective consciousness is outgrowing its divisive mental way of functioning, to enter the new, supra-mental way, and its harmonizing approach. Yes, we are evolving…’