The stories we put on weird experiences

What stories do we put on weird1 experiences?

What do those stories say about me and my worldview? How do they impact my life? How can I find more kind, accurate, and useful stories?

In many ways, those questions are as or more important than the “truth” about these experiences, and what we can find through regular scientific research into them.

I have experienced and gone through a number of states that can be called spiritual. If I took these as some kind of goal or place to get back into, I would create a lot of problems for myself. I would be on a wild goose chase. Instead, I chose to see them as highlighting aspects of what I am, aspects of my nature. I ask myself if I can find the essence of it here and now. That seems more kind, wise, and useful, and I am sure there are other ways to look at it that may seem even more insightful and useful.

I have periods with frequent and amazing synchronicities. I can try to figure what they mean as if there is some meaning inherent in them waiting to be found. That seems stressful since I can never know if I have found it, and it also looks like a wild goose chase. Instead, it seems to point to me being in a kind of flow state and following my inner guidance. I can see if that seems accurate. I can also see it as a question about reality: Perhaps all is connected in a far deeper way than it looks? Perhaps all these surface expressions are movements within a seamless whole? I can also take it as a reminder that the universe seems like a seamless system.

As a kid, I had what seemed like flashbacks to between lives. I shifted into a state of disembodiment and all as consciousness and love. I was profoundly at home, beyond anything I can imagine in this life. It brought up longing and some grief in me. I can try to figure out if this is how it really is between lives. I can try to tell myself I know this is how it is between lives. Again, that’s futile since I cannot know any of that for certain, and somewhere in me I know that. I cannot successfully deceive myself even if I try. Again, it seem more wise, kind, and useful to use it as a pointer for what’s here now. Can I find it here and now? (The answer is yes, I can find it here and now. The essence is the same although it doesn’t look exactly the same, and it’s generally much easier to find it than it has been at some points.)

I seem to be able to sense to some extent what’s going on in the system of others and invite in healing at a distance. Again, I could try to tell myself I know that this is how it is and perhaps even how it works. And again, that’s futile since I know I cannot know for certain. It’s far more comfortable for me to hold the questions and keep exploring. The sensing and healing seem to work, so why not keep exploring it?

I have precognitions, either through dreams or in waking life. Many of these seem accurate. I dreamt I would live in Oregon fifteen years before it happened2. I dreamt I would live in a neighborhood with a very particular schoolhouse in South America, and that happened roughly thirty-five years later3. I also often have a sense of how situations will unfold, and when that sense has a certain quiet solid feel to it, it often turns out to be correct. (Hopes and fears can muddle it, of course.) I find it useful to see these as questions more than anything else.

My nature seems to be able to recognize itself and this whole field of experience as happening within itself. I could tell myself stories about how this is awakening or enlightenment, or that it’s a full awakening, or that it’s some kind of endpoint. It’s the same with this as with the other examples. It seems obviously not true. Those are stories and I cannot know any of it for certain. On the contrary, it seems that this is an ongoing process of exploration, clarification, deepening, maturing, healing, and so on. I cannot find any finishing line. That’s far more comfortable and it seems more aligned with reality.

I seem to have what could be called insights. I could tell myself these reflect some final, full, absolute truth. That seems stressful and it would require a lot of work to try to talk myself into it. The reality is that I cannot know. They seem provisional and more like questions about the world than anything else. I am sure there are other ways to looking at it that would make more sense to me now or will in the future. Taking it that way is far more comfortable for me. It seems more aligned with reality. (And that too is provisional and a question.)

To me, waking life seems like a dream. It’s all happening within the consciousness I am, just like night dreams. The consciousness I am forms itself into all of it. These too are questions more than anything else. If I got caught up in the mental mirroring (representations) of it and told myself that’s how it is, it would distract from the actual alive noticing. Holding those stories as questions frees up attention to actually noticing.

I could tell myself that having weird experiences with the “spiritual” label on it makes me special. That too seems stressful because it’s not true. Many if not most people have unusual experiences once or several times. Many have had far more experiences than me. (It’s not a competition.) I didn’t choose or create any of these experiences, they just happened. I cannot keep them or make them come back. They live their own life. At most, some of them are pointers for aspects of what I am and what I can find here and now.

I have had ghost and UFO experiences. Again, I could make up stories about these and tell myself I know how things are. I don’t. I can explore and have questions about it, and that’s about it. That’s more interesting and aligned with reality, and allows me to keep exploring.

With the things that relate to something “out there” – ghosts, UFOs, synchronicities, and so on– I take it as only “out there” in the world. That way, I would miss out on the richness of also seeing it in here. I can notice that it all happens within and as my sense fields, and that my sense fields happen within and as the consciousness I am. I can identify my stories about them, turn these stories to myself, and find genuine and specific examples of how it’s true.

These are all provisional stories, and I keep exploring to see if something else may seem more useful for me. Of course, to be useful, they also need to be as sincere, honest, and true as possible – in a conventional sense and in my experience.

NOTES

(1) When I say “weird” it means weird as seen in our mainstream culture. Something that doesn’t fit the mainstream materialistic worldview and the views of our current science. In some subcultures and in most other cultures, it will not be seen as weird. It fits their worldview. (For a couple of hundred years, our culture has worked to shed superstitions, and that’s good. Now, it may be time to include some of it again, and to do so in a more grounded and science-based way.)

(2) I was a teenager and lived in Norway at the time, and had absolutely no intention to go to the US. I didn’t like much about the US so it was very far down the list of places I wanted to visit and even less live in. Through a set of circumstances, I did eventually find myself in Oregon and in the setting described in the dream.

(3) I almost fell out of the car when I saw that schoolhouse while we were in the process of buying the land. At some point, we had given up since it seemed impossible – there was no road access – but the dream suggested that it would happen. Now, I can see that school from our tiny house.

Image by me and Midjourney

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“Supernatural” things that are part of my daily life

In an awakening and healing context, which these articles mostly are about, “supernatural” things are peripheral.

Some may support healing in a relatively obvious way. For instance, it can be helpful to see and otherwise sense energies in oneself or others. And distance healing can be very helpful.

The existence of these things suggests that the narrow materialistic view on the world is a bit incomplete.

And giving it too much attention can be distracting from what healing and awakening really is about.

That said, I’ll mention a few here, from my own daily life.

Seeing energies. During the initial awakening in my teens, I noticed I could see energies. First, I noticed it around leaves on a tree I was sitting under. Then around everything – inanimate objects, plants, animals, and the animal called humans. I met a woman two or three years later who also sees energies (she is a friend now), and we would sometimes sit and look at the energy around people and compare notes. For me, this has mostly been useful in seeing how awake someone is, for instance, anyone in the role of a spiritual teacher. Seeing energies in this way became commonplace for me a long time ago, although I also know that in our society, which has a mostly materialistic world view (matter and energy as described by science is all there is), it’s not.

Sensing at a distance. I have been able to sense at a distance, to some extent, and this has been immensely amplified and focused after I started with Vortex Healing. When I do healing for someone, it’s common to receive information about what I do healing for, and this turns out to be correct. I can sense the energy system, issues, what the healing does, and so on. At least, to some extent. And this can be trained through, for instance, modalities like Vortex Healing. (Not that there are any very much like it.) I have also innumerable and almost daily experiences of others in my life sensing what’s happening with me.

Healing at a distance. This is another thing that’s part of my daily life. During the initial awakening when I – this human self – was sixteen, I noticed I could not only see energies and sense at a distance, but also do healing at a distance. This is mostly a matter of connecting with who and what I am doing healing for, sensing, and inviting in healing. The divine does this healing, and “I” am just a channel for it. I am the one connecting and inviting it in. In reality, it’s the divine doing all of it and playing all of the roles. When I got into Vortex Healing, this too got amplified greatly and I found a community of fellow practitioners which has been very helpful.

Pendulum. A pendulum is a way to connect with our intuition or sensing. I learned to use one in my mid-twenties, and would compare notes with the person who showed me how (DT, another friend). When we independently asked questions about the same, we would get the same results. I still use it for some things, often connected with healing, although I do with without a physical pendulum now.

Ghosts. I have had some ghost experiences. The most interesting one was perhaps in San Francisco when I did house- and dog-sitting there. It was a small and modern apartment, and at night – after going to bed – I would hear sounds through the open door and from the kitchen just around the corner and just out of sight. I heard the faucet being turned on and the water running. The dog drinking water. The dog’s ball bouncing on the floor. When I walked out into the kitchen area, the sounds stopped. These were not sounds from the neighbors due to good sound insulation, and the sounds were clearly coming from the same space as I was in.

The dog would sit up and bark at the kitchen when this happened, which she never otherwise did. And all of the sounds were repeats from earlier in the day when I had used the faucet, played with the dog using the bouncing ball, and the dog had been drinking water. It seemed like a playful ghost or spirit, somehow. I did some research on the apartment building and found it was built on the place where the largest orphanage in San Francisco used to be, around a century ago. I don’t know if there was a connection. At the time, I had just started with Vortex Healing, so I asked a senior practitioner if she could work on the place. After two briefish sessions, these sounds stopped.

Synchronicities. Synchronicities are not really “supernatural” but I’ll include it anyway since it goes a bit outside of mainstream views on reality. In periods of my life, I have had an immense and ridiculous amount of synchronicities happening. To me, these are mainly a reminder of the oneness of life and existence. I see it mostly as movements within the larger whole expressing themselves in my own processes and reflected as synchronicities in my life.

One experience I especially remember is sitting on the tram in Oslo in my late teens, reading Jung’s book about synchronicities and some synchronicities he had around fish (writing about fish symbolism, a client with a fish dream, his wife cooking fish for dinner). As I read about it, someone sat down diagonally across from me and put down his plastic bag on the seat directly across from me. On it was a big drawing of a fish. It’s not, in itself, a very remarkable synchronicity, but it made a big impression on me since it was an early one, and I was completely absorbed in the story I read and what happened in my life matched it perfectly.

What we are. This is not also “supernatural” but I’ll include it anyway for the same reason as mentioned above. Most people assume they are, and we are, an object in the world. More precisely, this human self. It’s not wrong. But it’s also not the whole picture. I am also capacity for the world. I am that which my experiences happen within and as – including this human self and the wider world. Who I am is this human being in the world. What I am is awake capacity for it all. To me, all happens within and as what I am – which we can imperfectly and slightly misleadingly label consciousness.

A real life ghost story: repeating sounds

In November last year, I was house- and dog-sitting in a nice new apartment in Hayes Valley in San Francisco.

At night, there would sometimes be a strong presence in the kitchen area, and when I was in bed before falling asleep, there would sometimes be sounds from the kitchen area. These sounds seem to repeat sounds from earlier in the day: water running from the faucet, the dog’s rubber ball bouncing on the floor, the dog lapping up water. A few times, I would hear the drinking and ball bouncing and think the dog was out there, and then realized she was lying right next to me. The dog would typically sit up and bark loudly at the kitchen when she heard these sounds.

I should say that the sense of presence itself is something I normally would discount as imagination, or at least not evidence of anything. The sounds definitely came from the kitchen and not a neighbor, and they were too loud and clear to be imagined. The dog hardly ever barks at anything so her barking at the kitchen was very unusual.

I asked Vortex Healing colleagues if anyone had experiences with clearing spaces, got some assistance, and the place quieted down. Since then, it’s been quiet here, both in terms of sensing a presence and in terms of sounds, and the dog has not sat up and barked at anything invisible. (I have been house/dog-sitting here off and on since.)

I thought I would mention it here since it was a bit unusual and I still don’t quite know what it was. It seemed playful more than anything. I did read up on the history of the block and it turns out there was a large orphanage here in the late 1800s and early 1900s. I don’t know if there is a connection.

I titled this post “real life ghost story” but don’t really know if this is connected to any forms of ghosts. Ghosts typically seem more like imprints from someone’s life a long time ago – either visual or auditory. In this case, it was different. It did seem that the sounds from earlier in the day were repeated.

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