The Throne of the Trinity
So, just to recap: Following the spinning of the world, the visit to heaven, the preaching of the scripture to the Jewish girls and the spiritual union with female friends there came something more deeply intense. I was still in the midst of the endless night and went on to make progress by identifying the souls of a number of my mates. Here I stood at the viewing point of the next stage setting.
After the heavenly visit and the subsequent collection of spirits from goodness knows where, I had paused for a short rest. Whilst sitting on the bed relaxing I had been idly observing my plastic covered armchair, which was positioned in front of the window, opposite the bed, and tilted at an angle because one leg was missing. Something about it came strangely alive. In fact, suddenly it seemed to be an obvious - and actual - seat of power.
Never before had I given a moment’s thought to the throne of God, but I readily acknowledged that it really could have been right before my eyes, seeing as the other events of that night had so far defied any convention of wisdom or logic. They had, nevertheless, left the deepest sort of impression on my mind, otherwise known as indelible. This bizarre opinion that might justifiably be called illogical, or even illegal, was one that I arrived at with such total conviction that I did not even imagine another possibility. When I questioned myself later (on countless occasions after the event) I did actually conclude that even rigorous scientific reasoning could not discount the possibility that I had been right, which also confirmed that I could never exist in a state of denial.
Some might call it a stunning case of extreme paranoia, but I only saw that all possibilities had to be allowed for and this, being not only the most obvious to me at the time, but also the most potentially brilliant for the rest of time, was the one I had chosen with more sense than there seemed.
I can picture the scene vividly: Stood as I was before the perceived throne of God, with my back towards the door, I felt joyous and youthful, protected and yet free. Everything I loved, wanted and needed seemed to be both within and without myself in an optimum state of total equilibrium. Everything in the room looked virtually the same except for an unearthly light that seemed to radiate silence as a product of latent energy. I felt to be before “Our father who art in Heaven”, and that there was an open channel of communication, which I entered gleefully with a strong sense of drama, seeing an externalisation of my usual self.
I seemed to be anything other than alone. I had brought about a clear space by turning inwards and, although no-body was present but I, there began in thought an interaction with the ideas of invisible others whose character seemed very familiar.
This awareness of personalities other than my own was perhaps the most remarkable feature of my newly created style of experience, and one which brought a strongly empathetic character out of me forever afterwards. On this occasion, after a few moments of silently jocular camaraderie with the first new arrival, I suddenly and gladly recognised the personality of the musician, who relayed a powerful spirit and would be my friend for the rest of our lives. It was as if he were my soul mate and we were together in heaven via the potential offered by our earthly relationship.
There was a dreamlike quality to the scene by virtue of the dazzling all-pervading light and in conjunction with the suspension of predictability, which is the defining quality of dreams. After quite a lengthy interaction with the soul mate, during which I apparently misbehaved and was sent to stand in a corner, I was seized by the notion that I should prostrate myself before the throne of the creator in genuine supplication. I actually lay there for quite some time, as if in a first-rate impression of a plank..
Later, when I heard the full story of the night from another perspective, I realised that in this prone figure was the model of another friend – one of the classicists - who was destined, at precisely the same time on the night in question, to have ‘fallen asleep’ face down on the lawn in front of the party-host's college. (If the reader would please recall that the men that night were being entertained en masse at the devilish party, while I was listening to The Egg, then meeting with Benedict and so on). This classic member had a habit of crashing out on grass and, on at least one other occasion, was found in the nick of time and duly revived from a semi-comatose state that had caused his lips to turn a lurid shade of blue.
After perhaps 10 minutes I seemed to awaken from my own state of unconsciousness and started to wonder what should be done next. The cosmic connection seemed at first to have been lost, until a moment later, when I was distracted by the sound of voices. These were an indeterminate distance from my own location, but certainly originated from beyond the confines and protection of the city walls. Distant enough to be almost indistinct, but loud enough at source for the noise to fully reach my ears, I heard the warlike chanting of unknown men, who were most probably students returning late from a pub or nightclub.
These voices sounded nothing short of menacing to my sensitive ears, virtually demonic, and I stood to listen more carefully, ear cocked to one side. They definitely seemed to have a sinister message - no bizarre thing in itself, you will understand - because everyone and everything seemed and seems to have a message, sinister or otherwise. (Most messages of note are rather wonderful, in fact, and sublime rather than sinister, and whilst I acknowledge that a self-professed scientifically-minded reader might scoff at the scope and seeming audacity of my analogous interpretations, I have to say that it took no conscious effort to reach them, but simply followed the path of least resistance).
I went to the window to hear more clearly what they were saying. It came in the form of a rhythmic chanting that lulled me back into the trance-like state again. I thought they said "Go on Charlie, Go on Charlie, Go on Charlie" and I, being a genuine Charlie by nick-name, was struck forcibly as if by a challenge. I looked down and impulsively wondered that maybe I was being posed with a test in order that I might prove my commitment to God, by showing, for example, that I was willing to give up my life for him. I wondered if this would be my leap of faith.
I considered my options carefully but remained undecided and uneasy about following the train of thought that advocated jumping at that moment. I doubted the nature of whatever had instigated the thought. I did not feel at all suicidal – the opposite in fact as I felt tremendously alive at that moment - but did (naively) give some credence to the notion that it might rationally be possible for a person in my situation to have been required to make a sacrifice. I already felt in receipt of an otherwise hidden knowledge and secret power and so sure was I of my privilege, so confident that a truly divine force was operating through me, that I was really prepared to do anything in order to justify my position and show that I had forgone my own will for that of God. I quite forgot about the meaning of temptation and put one leg out of the window.
I didn't actually want to jump - common sense told me that any potentially suicidal action was intrinsically very wrong, but I thought that my circumstances were unique, and the idea of joining God had given me an unusual sense of purpose. Besides which was an unmistakable inner voice (though it affected me then as it does now, which is uneasily) which suggested that I might be saved from actual death by the same one who had given me such tremendous privileges in other ways. The chanting had not stopped, it was quite hypnotic, but still I hesitated, toying with the idea.
At exactly the moment when I was about to make the decision I heard a deep voice beneath my window, that of the night porter, who was, at the critical point of the evening, in possession of a more solid conviction than was I. "Don't worry", he told me reassuringly, "They're only on the other side". He meant the other side of the wall, but to me, the other side was darkness.
This was a guardian angel. His words cut through my stupor and I awoke in a flash from the unconscious state that I had been lulled into, my mind again devoid of all that was not lucid. I looked down at the angelic presence and felt a sudden and instantaneous charge of life, but also a peculiarly cold feeling, as the shock registered. I saw what had just taken place as an attempt at vile deception and that my powers of discernment had been seriously lacking. I answered the angel solemnly in the affirmative, as befitting his status, and he went on his way.
The spiritual state, as I understand it, is rational for the most part, seeing as emotions ultimately derive from hormones in the body and divine intelligence seems to function instinctively and intuitively. When one acts upon a spiritual sense it is as if upon the firmest sort of conviction, though indeed I have never known an ordinary belief to be so strong as that which is generated supernaturally through the presence of God. Will power brings about action and the will becomes action before it has been registered as thought. The only way I ever remember 'feeling' when in that state is ecstatic, which is not an every-day human emotion. It is a hard state to describe because it is really very different to the usual way in which most people, myself included, operate on a daily basis, whereby the natural instincts and intuition, the will power, is harnessed to some extent by the bodily emotions and bounded rationalisation.
Having thought about the nearest equivalent of this conviction I have surmised that those extremely gifted individuals who are driven to become famous artists of some sort, especially musicians, might best understand the depth of confidence that I’m trying to describe. To fall in love also brings a similar surety, yet not one that is identical, for love between humans depends entirely on another as the object of devotion, whereas the love of God is a directly personal energy that exists within the subject and is irrefutable.
But following on with the story, somewhere inside, following my fortunate rescue from the point of no return, I must have been livid for having contemplated the sacrifice of my life because of temptation from external forces. I stared up at the sky, heavy with low cloud, until a gap appeared in a flurry, exposing a single star, upon which I fixed my sights. The star, strangely, went out after a few seconds, and the chanting abruptly stopped at the forceful annihilation of corrupt influence. I closed the window and went to sit on the bed facing the chair, which was in front of the window.
I felt that I had no choice but to adopt a position of restraint and lay across the bed, arms outstretched, just staring out into the darkness of the night. At a certain moment, however, I felt able to move, and shifted out of my uncomfortable position as if I had been freed from an invisible bond and then instantly began to meditate upon a patch of light that fell onto the crimson-coloured upright back of the chair.
This light was cast by my desk-lamp over on the left-hand side of the room, positioned longitudinally midway between myself and the chair. I soon felt compelled to lie down fully onto my right side, as if there were a subtle but unmistakable pressure being exerted on the left side of my head, to which I acquiesced obediently. This pressure was comforting rather than disturbing and I was grateful for the intervention, as thinking for myself promised to be somewhat more hazardous than simple acceptance of divine will. As soon as I was horizontal, the vision began.
The position I was lying in, with my body stretched out to the right in such a way, ensured that I was seeing the reflection of light from a right-angle. This meant that I had to concentrate more deeply than an upright position would have necessitated, as my brain was required to compensate for not being able to see things face-on. Watching television from a similar angle would pose similar difficulties and I actually thought that I’d been required to adopt the sideways position just so that I would not be able to take precise mental notes on what transpired. It is true that a very great mystery was revealed to me at this moment and even then I dearly hoped that I would remember it exactly in order that I might convey the extraordinary flash of insight to the rest of the world, the members of which I assumed had been dying to know the truth since the onset of time. I was utterly transfixed with awe for the immensely privileged view afforded by my position.
First, the light took on the appearance of a crown with three upright elements, which I assumed were the visible symbols of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or even their manifestation. I was enthralled as the figures began to move in a surreal (because so unique) but very deliberate way, and marvelled at the extraordinary nature of my experience. As a mental projection it was quite astounding - as was the weight of the revelation. I remember that at one stage there appeared to be only two parts on top as one moved over as if to kiss another that reclined by degrees, and I think that one of the elements may therefore have moved underneath at a point.
There was more than this, but it was somehow complex as a consequence of being unbound by prior knowledge or understanding so I feel unable to describe each specific detail of the mystery as it was unveiled to me. I’m sorry I can’t remember more, but I guess that because it is a mystery, it will always be impossible to fully comprehend, even though it may be recognizable. This is something which makes me feel helpless for I realize that in the concept of the trinity we have the heart of both spirituality and orthodox religions and it would surely have been of the greatest interest had I been able to describe it more fully.
The climax of the sequence was reached when the figures paused as if suspended and miraculously drew attention to their lucid transformation when the crown split perfectly into three separate circles, arranged in a pyramid shape with one on the top and the two beneath. This final arrangement, an instantly recognizable external form that had followed the vivid expression of inner meaning, caused me to feel enlightened yet devoid of thought-based knowledge, and I was suitably captivated for that certain instant.My stunned fixation was concluded satisfactorily a few seconds later when the buzzer of my room sounded urgently and snapped me back down to earth. The phrase 'saved by the bell' sprang to mind, for I would never have moved until bidden, nor passed another breath, much as I would never have found a way back from heaven had I not heard the voices of others. That which took place during this night constituted for me a near-death experience through active participation in the greatest possible enigma.
Succeeded by faith were the trails of both death and the demonic and to call the night eventful would be putting it mildly - I had been to heaven and then seen the Holy Trinity whilst lying enlightened in an appropriately Buddha-like pose. And now there was someone at my door. I felt very excited at the perfect timing and bounded down the stairs to greet John, who was in a parallel state to my own. He greeted me with relief "Oh my God, he was at your door, he was at your door"...
He repeated this peculiar statement as I led him up the stairs and into my room, where he half collapsed onto the bed. I felt amazingly light and laughed as he told me about his night in few words: "Bloody hell and buggery", as mentioned earlier. I informed him gladly that I had spent the night in heaven, whereupon he told me again that something had been at my door. We settled down after 10 minutes or so and he drew my head down to his chest so we could rest. I may have had eyes in the back of my head because I seemed to notice something pass by the window and raised my head in time to see a shadow flitting around outside. He gently pulled my head back down and soon we slept soundly, as death passed us by.
From the day I first met the person who had arrived so late at my room in the night, my dreams had started to take shape and the distinction between them and ordinary perception would be blurred forever. Our meeting marked the opening of the magic door, for I believed that he held the key to my mind and heart in his own. At this beginning there had been no question of fear; what transpired had a tangible force of its own.
As if the sun shone directly from my heart, the most I could have done in life was to offer myself in the spirit of service to the law of love. The unity I had prayed for, even in earlier pagan days, which had been dark at times, filled with the unknown and fascination for strange spirits, held in bondage to the earth. Yet surely did the light emerge from this darkness.
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