Words #2

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Flame Bright


I have been asked recently to explain what happened during a transformational experience sometime around 1970. This has always been a difficult thing to approach in words.  All my art since then serves as an attempt to speak  about this in images.  For several years after the experience I had no recollection  that  anything unusual  had happened.  I was aware of everything being different but no memory of the event itself.  Then at a gathering in Boulder Colorado someone asked me “do you know who you are?”  As I answered “I am everyone and no one” the memory snapped back in place.  I had merged with the Absolute on an average day in Irvine California. It was not as though I was in some sort of a trance all the while after. On the contrary, I continued my activities as a mother and my work in the apparel industry .  I commuted to Asia where I was responsible for millions of dollars worth of product being manufactured in the right way.  I crossed time zones throughout 5 countries and didn’t miss a beat.  It is a wonder to me now how such a catastrophic change could bring with it such equilibrium. It was as though everything was imbued with perfection, beauty and balance regardless of how chaotic things appeared to be to everyone else.  This  expanded sense of what is normal and natural  has continued until now, even through tragedy and pain. Tragedy and pain do not end when one falls into the Absolute.  On the contrary.  Everything is much more intense.  Many things have happened  since that day in Irvine and I will tell of them sometime soon.  The most important by far has been , not all the experiences, but rather what  I have learned that might possibly help others.   The description  of the experience goes like this to the best I can speak of it:

I had been in my work room listening to the television.  I was ironing a gown for a showing of my designs in Hawaii. I heard a poem spoken in Spanish.  My mind drifted into sad thoughts of the situation still raging in Viet Nam and of the death of my best friend in an auto crash. I became overwhelmed with grief for everything in general. The gossamer silk gown seemed to weigh a ton as I carried it down the hall.  Something within me let out a silent cry for truth.  I could feel something very near to my understanding of what life really meant.  It just hovered there.  I poured out my heart for it to show itself.  Then at a breaking point I demanded it.  I don’t know what that demand was addressed to because I didn’t practice prayer or religion.  I placed the gown carefully on a hanger and then reclined on the bed.   I  then  suddenly felt a great rushing of energy upward through my body and out the top of my head.  It was accompanied by an immense roaring sound much like violent ocean waves.  At the same time I was caught up in enormous light and flames.  I felt elevated above the bed.  I felt every cell in my body ignite amidst thundering  light .  I could hear crackling sounds but then became suspended in a silent cataclysmic bliss. The energy had settled in the chest area and I was aware of being able to control it.  Then I was catapulted outward at great speed into the Cosmos.  I knew all beyond ordinary knowing.  I saw all beyond ordinary seeing.  I had a thought at that point that if everyone could know this Grand Perfection there would be no more fear.  Everything was in perfect order. Then softly all knowing stopped. There was only a melting into Absolute. Absolute  before and after all creation.  I have no way of knowing how long this lasted.  That is all I remember.  The Absolute informs everything since.  It is simple and not in any way special to live in life Absolutely.  It is natural and ever changing. It is how we are meant to be.   I learned years later the poem I heard was by St. John of the Cross.  I also learned that I had earlier visited the place in Spain where he was imprisoned without knowing who he was.



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