The Labyrinth Experience — A Life Changing Event
* The following are excerpts from Transcendental Journeys – A Visionary Quest for Freedom, a book by Omananda
A vision arose simultaneously, in which I was trapped in the center of a labyrinth made of stone walls. I could not penetrate these walls, but I could see above them slightly. The walls stretched 360 degrees around me, and all the way to the horizon. Psychological processes occupying my consciousness began to unfold as I was letting go of friends and family during this time when the impressions of my life literally flashed before my inner eye. I said my goodbyes, forgave those who had hurt me, and asked for forgiveness for all the pain I had inflicted upon others. Often complex and sometimes forgotten memories kept rushing out of me.
I observed how some of the stone walls in the virtual labyrinth I was trapped in began to sink into the ground in the far distance, producing a dull sound and creating a wave of dust in the process. As the walls kept moving closer and disappearing into the ground, it seemed that my mind was emptying itself. Afterwards I understood that this vision of the labyrinth represented my mental conditioning. A lingering subconscious memory of J. Krishnamurti resurfaced occasionally for me, a bit like a wise whale taking an infrequent breath and then submerging again. I had read his Commentaries On Living daily since we left India and finished the final chapter during our last week in Lake Toba. A strong intuitive feeling hinted that he had something important to do with what was happening to me.
A feeling of interconnectedness overcame me, and I realized how closely related I was to different species, peoples, villages, towns, countries, and continents. An ever-expanding planetary alignment-grid appeared after many hours that must have gone by like this, with my memories rushing out of me like a waterfall, until it all came to a sudden halt. At last, the final stone walls disappeared into the ground with a cloud of dust that eventually settled. This is when I assessed the situation and regained slight control over my external senses. I could now see the world around me again and realized that I was under a tree and still alive. The afternoon sun had set and stars twinkled on the twilight sky above. When I looked at my body, it seemed as though my flesh and bones were fully transparent. I saw no ground below me, but instead a see-through planet floating through infinite space.
Looking at an eagle soaring above the lake, my perception zoomed into the animal, just like a telephoto lens would and I suddenly became one with the bird! All information about birdlife was communicated at once in its grand totality. Through that creature, I connected to the whole of life and I felt the same when I turned my attention to the fish in the lake. I was the fish and knew in an instant how fish life truly felt. The inner voice that was always talking in my head had now gone completely silent. Nobody was wondering, analyzing or judging in there any longer! I was simply a witness merging with whatever I observed, without an individual falsehood attached to anything that I became. At the place where my heart used to be I could see a brilliant shining star!
This motionless reflection of an integrated state (of oneness), this perfect mirror-image that breaches the divide between subject and object, in the moment, also leads to union. This constant becoming and dissolving is not philosophical. How could I have guessed with my limited mental understanding that the division between individual units was an illusion and that we are all truly one being? Someone has to see it in order to be (in) it and that someone had apparently just died to make space for cosmic consciousness to enter.
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