I have just finished writing about the dark side of my life in my “Ungodly Terror” blog. Now comes the good part. I and my Sensing Exercise group have had a wonderful few days with our beloved teacher, Anne Strieber.
Two years ago, he new owner of our old cabin reconnected with me. He’d been trying for years, but it was just too much for me. I finally decided that it was time for a new chapter, and answered his emails. He and his wife have proved to be wonderful people, and his dad is a warm, friendly guy my age with whom I just spent an evening drinking beer at a familiar old establishment in the area. The two children are also a delight, and took me into their lives immediately.
I spent Saturday and Sunday (August 12 and 13) with the family at the old cabin. They went back to New York on Sunday afternoon, and left it to me. I had been alone there for one night during the making of the “Visitors” documentary for the Travel Channel, but nothing absolutely definite happened.
This time was different. But to explain it, I’ve got to start by explaining the sensing exercise group I am part of, and to quote a prayer that Anne gave us a few months ago. As most people who follow this website know, I am one of a group of people who meet to do the sensing exercise together every day at 1PM Pacific time. (If you’re interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s free, but we do ask for a serious commitment to seven days a week participation. It takes 25 minutes.)
Here is the prayer we were given by Anne:
“We ask the light to open the doors of our hearts, and the dark to open the doors of our minds, that we may receive richness of being from the light and richness of knowledge from the dark. We ask those wiser than us to protect us and help us to see, balance and use what is given to us.”
A very unusual prayer in that it doesn’t reject the dark, but calls on it as part of a balanced request. It perfectly fits Anne’s teaching from this life, which was always to accept the dark, in confidence that one’s own goodness would make it a teacher rather than a threat.
On Sunday afternoon, the family left. As I watched them go, the old silence of place enveloped me. I do the sensing exercise at 1PM with the group, and at 11PM and 3AM alone–or, if I don’t wake up for the 3AM sitting, not alone, because I am waked up. (I discussed this process in A New World.) I am wanted at 3 because this is the time of day that the mind is most open. From Afterlife Revolution on, all of my books have been written using what I learn during these sessions.
The roof, being made of wood with beamed cathedral ceilings, creaks a lot when people are moving around under it, but not so much when everything is still. Not fifteen minutes after the family left, when I was sitting quietly in the living room, creaking started. As had been the case in the past, it sounded like somebody was walking on the roof. I thought, ‘the house is settling after all the activity.’
There was certainly nobody on the roof, and no tree above it, so what, then, was it? I felt that I was, after all these years, once again not alone at the cabin.
I wish that I could say that I was delighted, but my reaction was mixed. Being alone with the visitors, given all I know about their dark side and unpredictability, is never easy. It’s not meant to be, either. They are here working on the growth of consciousness and that is a serious, difficult task. Among many other things, it involves the use of friction to achieve objectivity, which is where the dark side comes in.
As afternoon turned to evening and evening to night, it came in. Indeed it did. The house is big, and it was soon also dark. I turned on a few lights, but they didn’t exactly make me feel safe. The roof now sounded like a convention was in progress up there–thuds, footsteps, creaks–it was almost funny, it was so loud. (There wasn’t a breath of wind.)
So here I was again, alone in the night with the unknown. I was scared. Of course I was. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had been engaged by the dark side–that is to say, my beloved teacher was putting on a performance for me that was calculated to make me look at my fears and their origins in my personality. Long ago, she had summed it up in two very powerful words: “ego fears.”
Why? As I understand it, the ego (the part of us that identifies with our given name) is part of the physical brain and will die with the body, and it knows this. What will be left of it will be what it has allowed of our lives to enter our souls.
So here I was alone with the marching band on the roof and, oh yes, I was scared. I kept determinedly reading the novel I’d brought with me. Night fell. I had been meeting with the sensing group at 4PM Eastern on Zoom, and had decided to ask those who’d like to to meet me again at eleven. Just after ten, I got ready for bed. I was in the meditation room where so much happened in the old days, and where I was now both meditating and sleeping.
I made myself ready for bed and sat in the meditation chair. As I continued reading the light novel, a very distinct and familiar “thud” came down on the roof. In the old days, there would be seven of these just before the 11PM meditation, a process which I have described in a number of my books. There could now be no question. The unknown had arrived.
I was now quite scared. I was also angry at myself. Why still SCARED, Whitley, you darned fool! Pushing toward 40 years with them and they have never, ever hurt you. So I calmed myself. I felt better, more composed. I found my peace. But wait a minute. There was teaching going on here. Remember “we ask that we may receive…the richness of knowledge from the dark?”
Just as I calmed myself, I heard what I can only describe as a terrible noise from the dark downstairs. It was a sort of grunt, like what one could imagine a really crazy person might utter when accomplishing something difficult…like breaking in.
So much for calming down. I was absolutely terrified. Just as I had in the old days, I went rushing through the house looking in every nook and cranny, but finding nothing–except the fact that I had accidentally left one of the porch doors unl0cked. I knew that the visitors can easily avoid detection if they wish too. The run through the house didn’t mean a darned thing.
I was so disappointed, both in myself and in them. I sat in the meditation room, struggling both with the fact that they were still intentionally frightening me, and also that I was still reacting with fear. Then the group meeting started, and I told them of my anger and disappointment. As I did so, another loud knock occurred right above my head. I thought to myself: this is a test. It is a chance. No matter how hard it was, I decided to take it. I looked at my fear, and therefore also at myself, my beloved, vulnerable, intensely self-aware “Whitley.” We went on with the sensing exercise.
Afterward, I wondered how I would ever manage to go to sleep. But a few minutes after I lay down, alone once again in the dark with this fierce, strange presence, something came down on me, a soft, loving vibration with just enough weight to make it clear to me that it was not being generated by my body. It was another kiss from the beyond of a kind that I have been receiving now almost daily since June of 2016. I have felt for a long time that it was Anne in her new, non-physical form. I felt blessed by this dark, and fell into a deep and refreshing sleep, punctuated later by the familiar nudge that now often wakes me up for the 3AM session.
The next evening, we did the exercise again at 11. Again, I was in the meditation room. Now, everything was different. I felt loved and cherished. I’d had a beautiful day riding around the area to places we had loved, tasting of the love of our old life, not the loss. Once again, from Anne’s prayer: “We ask the light to open our hearts…that we may receive the richness of being.” And that is exactly what happened during this meditation. It was punctuated only by a light knock on the roof, and afterward I felt the great love that comes through my wife’s own being into wherever it is wanted in the world.
So, the prayer was answered. On the first night, we were taught by the dark side, on the second, by the light, and all of it was managed by our beloved teacher.
The others in the group had various experiences. One wrote “I felt Anne’s guiding presence throughout…with Anne’s guidance, we all began coalescing, becoming coherent. I could feel a rhythmic energy pulsing in my body.” Another said, “I heard a woman’s voice saying ‘ego…ego.'”
Anne is so concerned about ego because it is when we can open to life the part of ourselves that is not connected to our name and our personality, the deeper, nameless part that is rooted in eternity, that we can be truly awake to the exquisite beauty of all that is. In physical life as well as now, Anne’s mission was and is always to help others find their way out of the labyrinth of self we call ego, and into the greater part of being where the quiet, deeply peaceful observer that is our true self watches our struggle and offers love, and wishes us well and waits to receive, in the fullness of our time, all that we will bring from the days of life. If it is all filtered through the likes and dislikes, the beliefs and fears, the inattention and the confusion of personality, our offering to the soul will not be a rich one.
We can be more. Anne is hardly the only teacher to carry this message, but certainly her evocation of it is among the most simple and truthful: “Enlightenment is what happens when there is nothing left of us but love.”
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