Prayer – A Personal Experience, and Account

It has been a while since I last published an article. 2015 was an eventful year for the world as it was for me. At one point, I had an experience which took a lot out of me, and needed time to recuperate. This write-up will stand apart from the rest of my earlier articles because it ascribes to some degree of spiritual revelation at a personal level. Revelation with a spiritual twist is probably the best way to delineate my story. If there was any other way, the doctor would have diagnosed me for a candidate ready for admission to the “nut” house. They say, there is a strong resemblance between someone who have encountered with the spiritual realm, and someone succumbed to the consumption of marijuana. Both are probably mad. But, madness has different strides. The difference is, one mad man will wake up to an expanded awareness, and the other will cradle within confined thoughts. So, my story may appear ludicrous, but real. I had a harrowing experience which “whipped” me into a cream like state (so to speak) a little more than 6 months back, and it was profoundly frightening to say the least.

Day 1

A “dark” entity is at best I can describe it overwhelmed me at the hour after midnight on a Sunday. I thought death was imminent. The mind was playing up. One minute I was looking forward to a soccer game on TV, and the next I was suddenly thrown into a disposition swirling with uncertainty and confusion. I quivered like a mouse caught in a trap. It was a very lonely and scary feeling. I couldn’t find comfort in lying down to sleep, and had to sleep with the body on a reclined position. My wife got worried that night as I had related my distress which felt like dying. She had interrupted sleep because of my restless condition. Exhausted from the struggle, I fell asleep. Dawn wasn’t the same, although I could still perform my routine duties on this day as well as the days that followed. Nonetheless, it was not without discomfort, and distress.

Day 2

On the following night, I felt the urged to recite the Lord’s Prayer at the fore of alter at home, and later would recite by heart in absolute silence when lying in bed before falling asleep. In spite of all the emotional duress pounding inside me, I realized in an unusual way that my mind was razor sharp in focusing on every word of the prayer. I surmised that in my plight of desperation drew out the sense of survival instinct. My mind was desperately hanging onto the words of the prayer as if for dear life. At this juncture, the Lord’s Prayer took on a new form. A prayer which I’ve recited many, many times since young based on acceptance solely by faith. Now, I was depended on it to provide solutions to my search which had risen from a greater depth of the conscience. In my deliberation, I recognized the prayer was the source of answers to many of my troubling questions. Reciting the Lord’s Prayer in effect was like a Q & A session. Wasn’t this queer? Anyway, my prayer comforted me every night before I slept, and I would jump into bed way before 12 o’clock fearing the recurrence of the unsettling emotion of that first night. I wanted to be asleep quickly before the clock struck twelve. Yes, I admit that I was behaving like a timid child. In fact, it felt just like that.

The Lord’s Prayer helped align my thoughts, and smothered my fears to some extent. With this, I felt that I’ve staved off the “dark” entity, even though I felt it followed me like a shadow everywhere I went. As long as this anomaly kept itself at a distance from me was good enough even when I couldn’t tell that I would recover from this ordeal completely. I couldn’t be absolutely sure, but I felt the anomaly was sapping the life out of me whilst dispelling fear, and distress. My fears became manageable as the entity retreated as I continued to submit to the wisdom of the prayer. I’ve learned that this “dark” force was never to be underestimated. In fact, it was a formidable foe which commanded respect as it knew my witness all too well. My strategy was to continue in reciting the prayer by heart to steady the mind day or night, which was the best way to keep myself feeling safe.

Day 3

I believe it was the third day which I woke up to having a feeling engulfed in awe. That entire day, I was intoxicated with unbias love. It was an incredible change of phase, that one day I was a walking zombie, and the next I was immersed in love’s embrace. How did I know that it was love? I sensed unity at a spiritual level (the emphasis on the word “spiritual” is vital to the description because I don’t believe that I was losing my mind). It was an unmistakable feeling of joy. Everything and everyone around me where ever I went or visited, I could relate to them playing a role in my life as I was in theirs. Strangely, I was actually feeling grateful for a table being a table, and chair being chair for me to sit on. Only yesterday I was in an emotional wreck, today I was overjoyed. I’ve never been so close to anything, or anyone like the way I felt this day. I couldn’t recall relating to anything that vast, or at that level before in living memory except when I first fell in love with a girl who would be my wife today. Unlike the merging of two intimate souls, my perception was not only vast but impersonal as though my environment and I were inseparably one with existence.

Day 4

The fourth day, I’ve returned to the state of anxiety, and distress again. An indescribable sensation of lifelessness overwhelmed me like a “zombie”. Like a veil had cast over my head preventing me from expressing, or receiving feelings. A deathly sensation blanketed me. Something had kidnapped my soul, but still kept my body and mind working like the “walking dead”.

I’ve taken the liberty to visit the doctor on this day to have my blood taken, and analysed. The doctor couldn’t determine anything medically wrong with me except the possibility of an acute anxiety attack. I suspected that my anxiety was not a medical disorder because the pattern of my encounters seemed too sudden, and at the same time articulated. It felt like a mysterious force swept by and “whacked” me pretty good then rewarded me with ice-cream, and candy. It was real shock to the system. I continued the praying routine followed by a session in meditation every night by the bed. It was the only way I knew how to salvage my sanity.

Since the first night, one after another extraordinary experiences unfolded one day to the next. Unable to explain them, I kept to myself. The emotional roller coaster was at its greatest intensity in the first week. Even though the episode is now behind me, I am left with an impression that the “shadow” may return to rekindle the experience, and the feeling is not inviting.

Afterword

The episode had me experienced two extreme ends of the spectrum. I felt cold fear, and warm love. Picking up these signatures of two extreme opposites left me with a sense hope, or an impression that there was more to the tangible, and definitive world that I felt trapped in.

In the course of my psychological and emotional plight, I’ve found refuge in the Lord’s Prayer. Its messages infused into my mind. All questions which surfaced my fears and insecurities were answered in the prayer. My perception and understanding of the ancient prayer had been altered after I was thrown into the deep end. Even though I was able to extricate myself from the ordeal, nonetheless the experience remained indelible, and sometimes the trauma which still lingers in my mind giving me the chills.

I don’t know God the way most people want. But, I recognized the signature of the spirit of love. I can’t say that I know it. The heart recognizes it, but the mind will fail in the attempt to define it. I believe love’s existence rest with our soul, and that is why we are able to pair it to our mind. I could be wrong, but one thing for sure it felt like I’ve been to hell and back. I had to experience attributes of stark confusion, and fear emanated from an undesirable source before spurring me from the pit of desperation in search for a tool to help dig my way out. That tool as it turned out was the Lord’s Prayer, and quiet moments in meditation inviting the presence of the divine mother were most welcoming to calm my fragile mind. I ran through this process repeatedly for a few days unaware there would be salvation at one end. Even when I’ve recovered from this “roller coaster” ride, I would still carry my prayers asking for “alms” of blessing, and grace for I could never be too sure of anything.

Was my encounter pre-planned? If so, was there a purpose? The sequence of experiences that I was submitted to seemed to indicate a pre-arrangement of a kind. The process was forceful, and blunt which took me through “hell” so that I could feel a bit of what the opposite would be like. In light to all this, I remained steadfast by not to being fooled in thinking I am exceptional. The spiritual experience should only be regarded as a token for our efforts. A token that can be multiple in return to reciprocate the efforts committed. For me, the key falls on the journey in search for a way out to escape fear. In my hour of need, as I recited the Lord’s Prayer in subtle devotion, I’ve engaged in a process of willing submission. I wasn’t aware of that intention, because I was completely overwhelmed by the sense of desperation. The “adversary” was manipulating its powers on me, and I knew that I couldn’t force my way out of its clutches. Whatever that it was feeding from my system, I turned it off. May be I’d turned off the tap on ego, the divider of man, and God.

My encounter was no doubt a spiritual phenomenon which revealed that I can’t wait indefinitely for the arrival of divine succour. Personal effort must take place to prepare myself for that time of divine reception. The passages of the Lord’s Prayer came to life as it was activated by my troubling questions which would otherwise appeared ordinary. The prayer was the full stop to all the lingering questions. I think God might have responded with a favour.

Assessing the Nuance

Jesus demonstrated his disapproval towards the Pharisees because he detected their hypocrisy in playing a mind game to conceal the truth in order to protect their elevated societal positions. On that observation, Jesus didn’t want to be glorified the way devotees did with the Jewish sect. He wanted to motivate, and encourage his followers to walk the path he’d walked. Jesus wanted whoever chose to follow him to be like him.

Jesus arrived at some time in history to point the way towards God with a map inherently printed onto our soul. No map is identical, so the journey to God varies from one individual to the next. We’ve God’s fingerprints on our soul. Our hands are not forced to do anything instead we are given the power of choice, a free hand to choose any direction that we wish to take. If we choose to the direction Jesus pointed, then the approach to heaven’s door must be subtle, and willing. We can’t bang on the door, we knock. We can’t demand, we ask. God has given us due love, tolerance and respect, so why can’t we do the same in return? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind” implies the effort must be initiated by us to show our reverence to God as well as ourselves. The will of God mirrors the will of man. If good is done, good will come, etc. In that, God’s conscience exists in ours.

Now, here is where I believe the intricacy in the discipline of worship adopted by religious and spiritual orders. The contrast lies in either having faith in God, or faith in ourselves with God. Unravelling this would help us understand the work of Jesus, and the purpose of his existence in history. Worshipping and glorifying God were already a custom existed for millennia before the appearance of Jesus. So, why would Jesus be bothered teaching the obvious? Jesus talked, and walked the talk in order to convince his followers to make the effort to ready themselves to receive God’s love. Why do people always say, “put your trust in God”?, as it implies a lack in self-confidence. How is God to give His trust to someone who is struggling to trust himself? We need to work on trusting ourselves more to give God the appropriate respect for the gift He has bestowed upon us. In other words, the act of self-respect is our tribute to God. We are in every way the image of God’s spirit. So, don’t put ourselves down. Respect ourselves, but be humble in appreciation towards the greatness of God’s spirit with His vast and complex creation. Bullies and murderers desecrate this basic commandment of the holy order.

So, Jesus was a “catalyst” to give his people a push to get on with the celebration on the gift of life by continuing the evolution in creativity. Rather than pursuing blind faith, why not use that map to start a journey with God. Reach in to cultivate our soul, and establish a relationship. It will be an experience far-reaching rather than just hoping in God. Nothing will evolve from hoping, but a dry, and un-lively experiences. Place your trust on the divine love in your heart.

It seems to me, having faith in God resembles the act of worshipping outwardly which has the tendency to measure God’s conscience. This equates to the calling for an expectation from God which our mind thinks He can provide. Isn’t that evaluating God, making judgement whether, or not He can make that provision for us?

On the other hand, having faith in ourselves with God cultivates the soul. We go inward to express our love for God from the heart in tribute to the creator. Then, we avoid having to evaluate God’s intention as He is only definable by our conscience.

Having said all that, there is no hard, or fast rule to which approach brings more benefits because whether it’s the mind or heart, they are all connected. The difference is the heart responds on pure instinct, whilst the mind reacts after filtering it. Make no mistake the path that Jesus took was exceedingly difficult as the mind would encounter profound challenges. Many who chose this path would be overwhelmed with fear at one point in their journey, and turned back. As a result, many opted to take the mind to God rather than the heart, or soul. Don’t get it wrong, everything that we are – mind, and soul will unite with the conscience of God. It’s where we place our priority on love for God either by mind, or heart will have definite impact on the way we live. If the mind dictates, it’s conditional. If the heart dictates, it’s unconditional. To choose the path to God is to love all things in existence unconditionally. The path to unconditional love draws no conclusion, only continuity in existence (the world without end).

Footnote

At times, we do come across people from steep religious background calling for deliberate submission, and repent our sins to God. The approach in which they adopt to deliver their message can be overtly imposing, and offensive to others. May be so, but they are merely indicating to put aside our obsession on being overly possessive. I’d say, give them the benefit of the doubt. It may help douse the ego, and temptations. We can’t rid of ego as it is sewed onto the fabric of our human DNA, but we can manage it as I did with the prayer which the master left for us.

Emerging from this personal experience, I’ve come to regard the Lord’s Prayer as a scripture embodiment of unity consciousness, and death is not the only option to the union with God.

This has been a long write-up, and I’ve said more than what is needed to be said. My purpose to publish this is to extend assistance to anyone who needs it. Finally, you might ask what were the questions swirling in my head which troubled me to the point of distress? They were typical questions which others have too;

Why do we die, and leave behind a lifetime of human relationships?

Are human lives meaningless?

Where do we go from here after developing a rich sense in awareness of our world? Are all the efforts in vain?

Is the world going to run out of money?

Is there a greater power other than man looking after humanity?

Is there God to orchestrate our destiny, or to depend on?

Why did life on Earth begin at all?

It dawned on me that it was obvious I’ve possessed all the answers to these questions, because they derived from the same mind that asked them. All came down to this, and that I was questioning the motive of existence. This was when the Lord’s Prayer started to play a vital part in my life. This was how I saw the prayer;

From the infinite conscience of Heaven, God and man created in one mind a reality to fulfil a wish. Everything that exists around us has the hand of man on it, and God’s mind behind it. The essence behind the Mind in creating life began with a humble instinct or holy, and so we must expressed our humility, love and respect for all that are created in our humanly possible way to reflect THAT truth. In humility, we ask in one mind with God for assistance to guide our hearts in a journey that we must make ourselves. There is no other path, but one which takes us to unite again with the conscience of God, and that is in our journey to know love by embracing others as ourselves in order to release our own guilt. A liberated mind from the heart will unite with God in good and clear conscience to plan another new game of life, an everlasting one.