I have been living with high-level strangeness most of my life. As a child, I took it for granted. When it re-entered my life in December of 1985, I was shocked to my depths.

Since then, the experiences have been a consistent part of my life, and in the past two weeks there has been a new sequence. It really started just after Christmas, when psychotherapist Constance Clear and I both had an odd experience on the same night. In this event, or dream, we were in an atmosphere of choking, tobacco-like smoke. There was a sense of fear, but there was very little detail. By coincidence, we happened to discuss the matter a few days later, and were left wondering if it really was a dream at all. Usually, when two people experience the same thing, we assume that it was real. It was very brief, but it had the curious sense of reality that I associate with the numinous experiences that are most often described as alien contact.

This was the beginning of what has become a very potent sequence of these experiences for me. In a way, what is happening now is reminiscent of the fall of 1985, with the difference that I was absolutely terrified then, and now I am following along with the events with calm interest.

On the night of Thursday, February 8, I woke up at what has become for me the “hour of encounter” between three and four in the morning. I have been waking up at this time since the Communion encounter in December of 1985, almost every night. (A testament, if there ever was one, to the fact that the experience was no ordinary dream or nightmare, incidentally.) Usually, I say a prayer in memory of my encounter, or meditate, or read for a while. I fall back to sleep, generally, after fifteen or twenty minutes.

I felt very uneasy on this night, however. My heart was pounding, in fact. I took my blood pressure, which was normal, but my pulse rate was 127. My normal resting pulse rate is 55, so this was highly unusual in the middle of the night. Usually, the hour of encounter isn’t involved with any dramatic physical changes like this.

I was sitting on the side of the bed when I heard a female voice downstairs speak very distinctly and loudly, but not in any language I had ever heard before. I recognized the voice instantly: it had a child’s tone but a quality of adult wisdom to it. Many of my close encounters have involved such voices.

So I was very much on the alert. Despite my thrumming heart, I did not feel fear, at least not consciously. I went downstairs and looked through the house. I wasn’t surprised to find that nobody was there. I went out the back door and stood in the tiny yard. Nothing moving, not a sound. Far away, a late train moaned in the night. (One of the nicest things about our neighborhood is the sound of the trains, which pass a few miles away.)

I went upstairs and tried meditating. In the past, when the visitors were near, meditation often brought phenomenal results–incredible and vivid mental images that were freighted with meaning, or were so strange that they seemed to me to be visions of other world.

On this night, it was just a normal meditation. So I went back to bed. I had not yet turned off my light when I heard a woman’s voice in the back yard sing, ‘hill and gully rider, hill and gully rider,’ the refrain from an old Calypso song.

I went to the window. There was nobody there. So I tried meditating again. Again, natha. I went back to bed, and this time slept until morning.

I recounted the experience to Anne, as I always do. When I got in the car to go get the newspaper, I was shocked, when I turned on the radio to hear ‘hill and gully rider, hill and gully rider.’ It was the Banana Boat Song. I found that it was on a CD that had somehow ended up in the changer in the trunk. It was one of my CDs, but I certainly had no recollection of putting it there.

Obviously, whoever had sung the verse in the night had done it. So I sat there listening and wondering. It was a very eerie and miraculous moment, and at the same time kind of funny. The choice of song was so quixotic. I listened to it a dozen times, but could not find any secret meaning or reason for choosing that particular lyric.

The day passed normally. On Saturday, we went to visit some friends overnight and go to the ballet. We slept in their basement guest room that night, and it was a very disturbed night for me. I had two quite extraordinary episodes during the night, of extremely intense sexual sensation.

These were in no way normal experiences. First, they were very compressed, each one lasting no more than a couple of minutes. Nobody appeared to be near me. My wife was asleep in the next bed. But I was overwhelmed by these experiences, left gasping, in fact. I did not experience any sexual climax, only these two terrific bursts of energy. On this level, my personal life is very quiet and gentle, as we look upon sex as a very sacred part of human experience. So I was flustered by the almost savage intensity of what happened to me.

There was also a sense of somebody drawing near, and the next morning I felt as if I had rolled in the dirt or something. As if I hadn’t had a bath in days.

At breakfast, I found myself blurting out that I’d looked out the window and seen eleven opossums in the back yard. I felt like a fool. Why would I say such a thing? Our friends commented that they must have been eating the debris from the bird feeders on the deck above.

I said nothing more, because I knew perfectly well that I hadn’t seen any opossums. I was embarassed even to have said such a thing. It was a few hours later, while we were on our way home, that we both realized the obvious: this was a classic screen memory. Textbook.

I have not remembered any more details of that night, but since then there have been some quite remarkable changes in me. First, I am now in a state of constant waking dream. When I close my eyes, I see into another world. People move about, animals come and go, I can pass down roads and see buildings, can observe vistas, see all sorts of things.

This world is different from ours. It has different plants and animals, but similar to our own. The people, whom I have only glimpsed, dress in all sorts of different ways. They seem perfectly human, and when they look at me, there is such a sense of recognition in their faces that it is difficult for me to believe that they aren’t real, and that they are not aware of me.

Who might they be, and where? It’s a fascinating question to me. I just don’t know. The Master of the Key mentioned both that there were other human worlds and that there were human beings living elsewhere in our solar system, so I guess maybe that this is their origin. Unless, of course, my mind has suddenly evolved a remarkably sophisticated visual imagination. The spontaneity of what I’m seeing is total. The detail is incredible. So far, there have been no incredible revelations. I haven’t seen any vehicles, except for a marvelous red and blue sailing ship with sails that seemed to be made of something like silk.

It’s a wonderful thing to have this connection, or this wonderful act of imagination unfolding in my mind. Whichever it is, I must say that it really makes me wonder what the mind is, that it could be the seat of such a miracle.

Last night, there was another wonderful event. I woke up around four. It was, as it always is, extremely sudden. It was also very complete. From experience, when I wake up this completely, I know that I have to get out of bed and do something or I won’t sleep again that night.

I thought I would go downstairs and read something. But as I was moving down the stairs, I noticed that I felt very unusual. I was light, almost floating. It’s a sensation I remembered from various experiences in the past. But this time, there was nothing dreamlike about it. I didn’t do anything so dramatic as levitate, but it felt as if I could. I moved so quickly and easily, almost gliding across the floor, that I thought I must be dreaming. As a test, I opened some blinds. I want to see if I could make something physical move. Also, I wanted to know if they would be open when I came down again later in normal consciousness.

I have described various out-of-body experiences and unsual states in my books, but there has never been one as clear as this. Mentally, I was perfectly normal. I wasn’t dreaming. But I felt so marvelous, as if I could leap up to the top of the sky. I tested the state, and found that I could cross a distance of about ten feet without touching the ground. It felt a little like flying, a little like a long, miraculously slow jump.

I did it three or four times. It was just marvelous. So glorious. I jumped, but could only go up a normal height of a few inches. But when I came down, it was slow and controlled.

What a wonderful, delightful state. I stayed in this condition for about twenty minutes. Then it faded. I was suddenly very sleepy, and went back upstairs and hit the sheets.

When I woke up again about seven, the first thing I did was to go downstairs and look at the blinds. I had indeed changed their positions. So, in some way, the state was either real or it was the most fabulous waking dream I have ever had in my life.

All day, and even as I write this, I can still feel the sense of flying in my body. But when I get up from my chair, I feel remarkably heavy. I am aware of my weight, something I have never noticed before.

I have spent much of my adult life being disbelieved and scorned. But experiences like this–peak experiences–make it all worthwhile. I wouldn’t trade my mind for any other place in the world. Maybe it travels across the universe and maybe it doesn’t; maybe I sailed in the wind of heaven, and maybe it was only a marvelous dream. But this inner place in which I live is a grand palace, no matter what the outside world may think. And I believe, in my heart of hearts, that what I’m experiencing is not imagination. I think that I am walking in paths of wonder that are very real, and lead to other worlds that breathe and strive and love beneath distant suns, and that when I walked last night with wings on my feet, they were really there.

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