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 whitley@strieber.com. 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.’

No, actually.

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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  1. A great lesson! Thank you for sharing! It’s easy to be brave when one’s with others, a lot harder when all alone! Of course you’re never truly alone if you include Anne and co.!

  2. That’s a powerful lesson. And a very powerful prayer, which I will remember. Gratitude for your continued willingness to share your vulnerable self as well as your wise self.

  3. We can’t forget that in these physical bodies of this reality, we must also live with duality. It’s just how it is. Anyone who says that they never have fear is lying, but we cannot let that fear obstruct us from doing and being those things that are important to us and our higher selves. Various fears come and go throughout our lives. It’s part of being human. You are human, therefore you do have ego, as Anne said. Ego also has its positive aspects, as well as negative aspects, and can be a force for survival…and creativity.

    People who do not have fear are not brave.

  4. On Aug 16th, 2023 I found myself praying to Anne Strieber more intentionally than I have in over a year.

    I’ll be painfully honest:
    I’ve been haunted for many years by Anne’s NDE story of seeing people in the afterlife in a kind of train station being weighed by their baggage.

    On 8/16/23 I was feeling particularly desperate over this idea and wanting to avoid having such baggage.

    I’ve lived an isolated life with no real significant romantic relationships. I’ve felt haunted for years because of this, fearing that because I have had such failure in this romantic area of life I will create some unfulfilled baggage and regret in the afterlife for my soul causing it to reincarnate.

    In terms of where my desires and aims sit, I’ll be clear: I am far more concerned about wanting to avoid harm to my soul in the afterlife than say a need to get married or feel long lasting romantic love.

    In recent months I’ve begun to do imaginal exposure style therapy work to make this fear of being alone for the rest of my life and feeling regret over it become focused in my imagination as anxiety provoking as possible as to habituate to it and as to see beyond it. And when doing this work of letting go of the idea of needing a partner – I’ve found hours long windows of beauty open up. Like reality is given new layers of color, wonder, information, and dimensionality. Feelings of life I haven’t felt since I was a kid. Like the first time being non-depressed in 30 years (I’m 40.)

    However, though I’ve had some success having these moments in recent months. I’m still haunted over the question if I need to have a relationship or else face soul baggage and was feeling really desperate in fear over this question on 8/16/23.

    So because of that I prayed to her.

    Afterwards I did a very long focused imaginal exposure – focusing on my fear. After it I felt a raise in consciousness for about 20-30 minutes that I’ve felt some rare times before after long meditations. Something not unlike a light psychedelic trip but more clear minded. Looking at my ordinary house walls and seeing how absentmindedly I blind myself to their beauty and a kind of aliveness even present there. Even the cheap old partly broken plastic mini blinds seemed like it carried the living essence of God. I felt within that state a fleeting sense of having my fears allayed and seeing how dream-like nearsighted my quandary was. Felt like perhaps that was her helping.

    Hours later that night/early morning Aug 17th 2023, I was thinking about posting about this in the Unknown Country message board in the form of a question I’d have to the Master of The Key about what lonely people.. or people that don’t have romantic relationships in life, is that some kind of need to be fulfilled like culture makes out? does it create some sort of attachment that needs to be fulfilled via future recurrence?

    I ignored the impulse to post and a just few seconds after that I went to my Twitter feed and was hit with the synchronicity of seeing the 2nd post down someone randomly posted a picture of an Abba record called “The Visitors”

    I took that as my cue that I should go to the Unknown Country message board.

    I started writing about this but stopped (partly because I usually write so God-damn long whenever I write, like I am here, and I know that it annoys people.) I did however, while on the message board ended up having my attention snaked through to some really impactful and relevant to my question words of wisdom by Anne and Whitley. Words I either I hadn’t read or had forgotten. I thought this was her helping.

    And now here days later I’m seeing this Insight piece posted on August 17th, 2023 speaking directly about understanding Whitley received from Anne I find understanding very relevant to insight I was seeking.

    Particularly this passage:
    ” (if life) 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.”

    I’ve encountered (as mentioned earlier) how I’ve begun to have moments where I drop all mental-background-need-fear to have a partner to be a fulfilled person and in such moments I’m able to see so many more unspeakable layers of beauty and color to everyday ordinary life and people. These moments feel like the ABSOLUTE most joyous of moments I’ve tasted in life.

    I’m positively haunted by this and want to live in that space more.

    I’ve had memories of these things from decades ago, but in the last few months I’ve been able to have longer stretches of such experiences. Experiences of feeling intense love and beauty for the most ordinary moments and most ordinary (non sexual) moments with strangers.

    I’m haunted by wanting to experience these moments more and more – more than my desire to have a partner to be frank.

    But yes, I worry about what harm in terms of baggage I might be incurring to my soul for not doing the traditional romantic love thing – and part of me for sure feels conflicted like I’m missing out – and I definitely long for women.

    I think I saw a small white moth out of the left corner of my eye when first reading the quote from this piece I excerpted. Enough so to make me look around for what I thought saw, couldn’t find it. I do get moths in my room though so it’s not that unusual, but it’s probably been a couple hundred hrs at least since I’ve seen one in here, so interesting timing.

    Anne Strieber, thank you wholeheartedly. Whitley, thank you.

    I love you both.

    Mark Samuelson

  5. Wonderful post and I’m so glad you got to spend time there. Sounds like you needed some healing before you were ready to actually go back there. Lovely that Anne showed her presence the way she did. Wish I could join your sensing group! Unfortunately with my job that would not work timing wise but I’m glad you have support with that

  6. “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.” –

    It’s helped me just in the last few days. Thank you.

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