I remember when I discovered that I could walk through walls. I knew enough not to mention it to anyone. Anyway, who would have believed it? My parents were engaged in chasing demons of their own. The claim, by their seventeen-year old daughter, that she was able to move through the house, unrestricted, by physical shape and form, would have sounded self-aggrandizing or preposterous. Either way, not in my favor. WhileI had grown accustomed to practicing a form of selective denial with regard to my prophetic dreams, this was an entirely new dimension to my "quirkiness." I discovered early on that my high school friends did not want to listen to my glimpses of their futures -- unless the reports were wholly fun and promising. One girls scolded me, “Don’t you know better to keep your crazy dreams to yourself? We don’t want to hear them.” I understood that it was in my best interest to remain quiet.
The first time I was aware that “I” -- the spirit part of me -- was looking down at my incarnate form I was puzzled. I was acutely aware that I could move, unencumbered by my body, while it seemed paralyzed. I drifted down the hall. I was able to understand, not really listen to, my parents as they spoke, With practice, I started to go afield more broadly but panicked that I wouldn’t be able to return to my body. I raced back and, in a motion that felt like I was being dumped, landed back in my body. I did this again and again. The leaving and returning became more seamless. I became less afraid of not being able to return. Though I never was completely freed from this concern, I ventured farther afield. I went to my best-friend’s house, I went to Martha’s Vineyard. I went to Paris (where I had never visited.). I could do this body-free traveling at times when I was deeply relaxed and had just started meditating. Earlier that year, I had taken a couple of classes on Transcendental Meditation and found the techniques lent themselves to achieving the deep relaxation required. Even the distracting sound of a water drip was sufficient to keep me grounded. I found books that described my activity as astral projection. Apparently, I was loosing the ties that bound and had taken to simply wandering.
Eventually, the inevitable happened. I saw and heard things that I didn’t want to see. I have thoroughly repressed much of it. Suffice it to say that I was disappointed in humanity on both personal and global levels. I tried to talk to my friend about the whole matter, but when she cocked her head and stared at me, I knew I was not making sense to her.
Over the next six years, I did it irregularly, but I wanted to see if I could still accomplish the seemingly impossible. With the demands of college and a new relationship and then, a new job, it was more difficult to stay fully present and to let my spirit separate from my body. I started to try to rewrite the experience; I decided it had all been a result of an overactive imagination. Yet, though I didn't feel I was being altogether truthful with myself, it was an easier, more acceptable explanation.
At 23, was looking for a job and found what seemed like the ideal job in a newspaper Help Wanted listing. I was jubilant when I landed work for a training company named Human Factors, a West Coast-based concern. I was hired to help in the East Coast expansion. My job was to sell companies on Human Factors’s services and to recruit individuals to attend three-day leadership workshops. One of the perquisites of the job was an expense paid
trip to their premium Leadership Intensive. Enrollees were secluded and, under the tutelage of the company’s president and founder, John Thompson, were offered a series of lectures, meditations and exercises. The ten-days of workshops took place annually at places of spartan and natural beauty: a spa in the Grand Tetons, a retreat in Hawaii, and a mansion on Lake Champlain. I was shipped to Lake Champlain so that I could participate, and therefore, better understand the product. It was a thrilling prospect because it was more expensive than any trip I had ever taken. Even more importantly, I was promised that I would learn the secret to becoming a successful leader. Whether I was going to practice leadership in business, in a religious arena or within my family, I was told that the skills that I would study and assimilate would be life-changing. It was at Shelburne Farms Vermont that I learned that I could walk through walls and, what was more, I could move between worlds.
To be continued tomorrow.