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September 23, 2008


"Only when the mind is quiet, can the truth be revealed. When we look with innocence, like a child, before the layers of meaning have been constructed. Or when we are caught off guard, in mid-breath, our thoughts caught between the last task and the one which lies ahead."
This is a fantastic description. I'm always searching for ways to describe it and this is it in a nut shell. If we all could somehow go back to those moments in childhood before the "unlearning" takes place, I bet it would all make so much more sense.


Great post! I have just finished an international experiment with Lynne McTaggart entitled THE INTENTION EXPERIMENT. I highly recommend checking it out as her book " The Field" does a good job of beginning to explain what you are so beautifully describing.

"We work very hard to keep up this illusion" - no wonder Simon we get so weary!

GREAT POST. I am your fan.


This post took my breath away, Simon. Thank you for helping me to unlearn.


I remember when I was a teenager and still a very devout Catholic, one day I tried to receive the Holy Spirit. Later, after I had♠ lost that faith, I tried to open my Third Eye. Both efforts involved a lot of squinting.

You're right about the necessary of quiet. It's just so hard to get there.


I came earlier today to read your words and decided to come back tonight to read them again.

Your experience and your words were beautiful, and I understand what you are saying. Alas, I struggle with...why the illusion is necessary...why are we in this darkness..is it all a game? I have seen things not of this dimension, and I am trying to understand it all.

I still think there was a reason I stumbled on your blog. :)

Thank you for sharing your experience and your wisdom.


What an interesting experience! The thing is, no matter how long ago, I don't forget these experiences, as I do other events. Somewhere, inside my Soul, the spiritual experiences I have answer a question perhaps I didn't even know I had.

Something shifts for me each time, and it might be minuscule, it might not be recognized as yet, but given time,the experience makes sense.

Thank you for this post...it's super!


Hi anonymous caller – welcome to my blog! Thanks so much for your comment. You say: “if we could all somehow go back to those moments in childhood before the “unlearning” takes place, I bet it would all make so much more sense.” I like to think that’s where we’re heading. That’s what enlightenment is: looking at the world as though for the first time, and seeing it as it is.


Harmony – thanks for your lovely comment! I took part in the intention experiment too. I’m never quite sure what to call this essential reality I was trying to describe: the ‘real thing’ that underlies everything else. As you mention, Lynne McTaggart calls it ‘the field’, as does Dr David Hawkins – and that links in nicely with the scientific viewpoint. Eckhart Tolle calls it ‘consciousness’ or ‘presence’. Others would call it ‘God’. It is all the same thing, I believe, and it is Everything. I only witnessed one aspect that day by the lake. I have witnessed others too. I'm sure there will be many such more faces of God, of the quantum field: an infinite number, I suspect.


Doctor Pam – Hi! Thanks so much for your encouragement. I’m glad you found this post useful! You can’t use it to fix cars though…


Hi Beth – Welcome! I’m glad you took time off your important chocolate research to visit me. As you have found out, it doesn’t work if you try. Trying is the best way to ensure that you *won’t* have a spiritual experience.

It seems to be the case that some people have such peak experiences and some people don’t. But if you do have them, it’s no measure of holiness or spiritual development. As I mentioned, I think I’ve had such experiences because I needed a lot of prodding in the right direction. Yet many people develop spiritually without the need for such kicks up the rear.

Here’s a good way to quiet the mind. My friend Sally taught me it and she got it from Eckhart Tolle. Imagine you are a cat, sitting outside a mousehole, waiting for the mouse to emerge. Now say to yourself: “I wonder what my next thought will be…”


Many thanks for your lovely comment, gypsy-heart! You wonder why the illusion is necessary. So do I! I’ve no answers, but lots of theories…

According to Neale Donald Walsch in Conversations With God Book Three, it *is* all a game, sort of. Emerging out of the darkness of separation, we get the glorious experience of discovering who we truly are. Then having gone through that, we do it all over again. Separation, reunion, separation, reunion… It’s a bit like the seasons and it’s the only game in town… (I probably haven’t done the theory justice. Do read that wonderful book if you haven’t done so already!)

Another perspective is that God is exploring 'his' creation through us, and the best way for ‘him’ to have the full experience is to (literally) lose ‘himself’ in it entirely. It might be argued that ‘he’s’ carried this a bit far, but was it *our* idea to separate so completely or was it ‘his’? (And is there really any difference between the two?)

Finally, what really resonates with me is the idea that God is working towards a perfect way of being. To be here in the material world yet also constantly aware of our true nature: the best of both worlds. This is the enlightened golden age which I hope we are working towards. Yet this still leaves your original question, gypsy-heart: couldn’t this have been possible from the start without the need for the intervening separation? I’m not sure what I think the answer is, though it is possible that the separation has been necessary to really *ground* our experience here in the physical world, to make it seem real – and less like, say, a computer game that God is playing.

It is also possible – of course - that all (or none) of the above are true!

Thanks for asking such a stimulating question! Perhaps I should make it into a post…


Thanks for calling, Marion! As you say, these experiences stay in our minds and I’m sure they all have a purpose, even if it isn’t clear at the time. One of my experiences (which I’ll tell on another occasion) seemed to address an immediate need in me. With others, it has been less obvious. But they are all stored away in my memory, and perhaps they are ready to be activated when the time for understanding has arrived.


Thank you for your interesting and timely response!

The "Conversations With God" series are among the first books I read after I left the religion I was raised in. Leaving the religion meant that I became "dead" to those still in there...including beloved family. This book among other great ones gave me peace of heart and started me on a new path.

Art is always on my mind, but so is my spiritual quest! Both bring me unexplainable joy, yet at times they seem an incurable disease or a curse. Alas, when I try to stop either of them I am a tortured soul. :)

I think a post on this subject would be extremely interesting. Your insight, the comments, and the interchange would be interesting and fascinating to me. No pressure though, when and if the time is right you will know it.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us, and most importantly for BEing!


Hi Simon. Don't you just love these kinds of experiences? This reminds me of something a native elder shared with me. "It is the space between the notes that makes the song."



chocolate research is indeed important, but I've laid it to rest for the moment to focus on my next them, a neighborhood in Denver.

I like the idea you presented, of a cat waiting for a mouse, since I'm a cat person. But it also interests me because so many meditation disciplines suggest letting thoughts go or observing; that idea seems to be focusing on the thought, as if it give it the attention it desperately wants.


Hi again gypsy-heart! It's sad that your spiritual quest has left you estranged from your family. I personally feel that the ideas I write about on this blog are entirely compatible with Christianity - though clearly not with *rigid* concepts of Christianity, and it is such a pity when people let such dogma rule their lives. (I am making the assumption here that you were raised in some sort of Christian church, but of course I could be mistaken.)

What you say about art and your spiritual quest could equally well apply in my case to *writing* and spirituality. When I don't write for more than a week or so, there seems to be something *missing* from my life - and turning my back on the spiritual path no longer seems to be an option! I empathize with what you say about such compulsion seeming like a curse, but perhaps it is simply our way of giving ourselves clarity about how we should spend our time.

Thanks for calling back - and for all your encouragement!


Thanks for calling, Davina - and for sharing that lovely saying! There is certainly something in this 'between' business. It always resonates when I come across it in fiction, for instance. As with two fantasy writers: Anne McCaffrey's dragonriders travel 'between', and Philip Pullman's characters use 'the subtle knife' to cut between the fabric of the worlds. I believe that these writers are instinctively tuning in to something which has its basis in reality. For it seems to me that this is where reality does indeed lie: in the gaps between the fabric of the world.


Hi again, Beth - thanks for calling again! That 'cat and mouse' idea is an interesting one, isn't it? I only just heard it at Sally Chaffer's workshop last week, so I'm still trying it out. The 'cat and mouse' bit is nice, but I suspect that simply asking "I wonder what my next thought will be?" is quite effective on its own. I think all these techniques are about working towards a place where we are in control of our minds, instead of the usual state, which is the other way round.



This is wonderful.

I often wonder the same thing, why at this moment, why not another? Why sometimes when the need is so strong, in crisis, does it not appear? Is it because the effort, the trying, blocks out the sensation?

I have read many different books, some of the books by Neale Donald Walsh, some by Brian Weiss, about past life regression and spiritual planes, books by Doreen Virtue, etc. Intuitively, what they say or maybe what they don't say, the peaceful space in between their words, makes sense to me.

My greatest spiritual connectedness continues to be with the synchronicity of birds, light and rainbows, my prayers or conversations with God, Jesus and Mother Mary and some treasured protective saints, St. Jude, Padre Pio, St. Michael and on. And there are moments within prayer when it is nothing less than almost a non-experience, some type of warmth courses through and a vibrational energy and it is indescribable and I know in those moments how much more there is than we are conditioned to see.

Thanks for sharing, you have got me thinking.

Surface Earth


Wow, Simon, that was really well said/written. I think about the cosmic soup and the fact that we are all just light coming and going all the time but never really constant, just mere possibility/probability of something or other. It is amazing that there are 'things to do' and that we get anything done at all!

I have so many questions. When I fell, what broke? Why could I not just be completely healed rather than go through months of pain and rehabilitation? Why do I still have to walk with crutches? Why didn't all the people sending me healing have the effect of an instant cure? What is the point anyway? What do I get from watching various things on TV? What do I give to those with whom I interact? How does my grandson being alive have an effect on me and on everyone with whom he is connected?

Being 64 is amazing -- I don't FEEL 64 in my mind or heart -- my soul is definitely ageless! -- but my body does feel 64 sometimes -- especially when there is constant pain!! It reminds me of when I was in my teens and 20s and I was asking: Who am I? What am I doing here? Where am I going? Why am I here? Now I ask: What answers have I found after 4 decades? It mostly feels like I have only found more questions!

Nevertheless, when I meditate and get into that state of feeling once removed, and I feel that moment of bliss, it all seems to make sense, even though it is fleeting. Is that fleeting moment what IT is all about? ? ? ? ?


Thanks for calling, Surface Earth! You say: "I often wonder the same thing, why at this moment, why not another? Why sometimes when the need is so strong, in crisis, does it not appear? Is it because the effort, the trying, blocks out the sensation?"

I think that is exactly right. The trying gets in the way because our brain is trying to *create* an experience, the way it has to create (or at least interpret) everything we see in the world around us. Only when it falls quiet, can we see what is really there.

So the way to experience the warmth and love and support we need at such times is *not* to try to create it, but to surrender all expectation and simply accept what is. Then the brain has nowhere to go. It shuts down and allows the loving energy which is always there, underlying the world, to come rushing in. The more desperate the crisis, the larger the surrender, and the more powerful this experience can be.

As you put it yourself, we are talking about "a vibrational energy which is indescribable". It appears to take many forms, this essential reality, but I suspect that pure energy lies at the heart of it. It is, after all, the powerhouse of all that is…

But it's a tricky business, this surrendering. It's no good surrendering all expectation in the *secret* expectation of getting something out of it. We have to surrender *totally*, in all innocence: like Jesus on the cross. (And even he had his moment of expectation: "My father, why have you forsaken me?")

Thanks so much for your stimulating comment!


Hi Linda - You ask some interesting questions!! A teacher called Nick Roach (see 'more spirituality sites' in the sidebar) says something like "A dream it may be - but the dream goes on". We're in the dream because we want to be. There are all these things to do because this is what we wanted! That state we sometimes get into when we meditate *is* what it's all about, but the trick is to carry that same state with us as we interact with the world. When we are able to do that, then we can be in the dream we *really* want: to have all this stuff going on yet also be in touch with that state of peace, 'the peace which passeth all understanding' as Jesus (and my friend Sally) put it. So then we are coming from that state of peace and connectedness instead of from ego. Then we can all work together to sort things out instead of vying with each other for supremacy all the time.

Having lived with illness myself for many years, I've given quite a lot of thought to the subject of chronic infirmity. I think Eckhart Tolle explains it best: when we suffer, we are given a very powerful opportunity to let go of the ego and accept what is. When we are ill, it is actually *easier* to accept, because what other choice do we have? Things may well change in the future - we can still put out that intention - but just now, right at this moment, things are the way they are. And because it is a very big thing to accept our own infirmity, it can be a very powerful transformative experience. The truth is that having a good time is not conducive to spiritual transformation, whereas suffering is. (D*mn!)

And of course, as my blogging mentor Sue Ann Edwards says, illness sends you inwards. If you were more mobile, then maybe you wouldn’t be asking all these questions – and maybe you need to ask them right now...

Many thanks for your comment, Linda!


"Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather."
Bill Hicks


Hi Lee - Thanks for dropping by! If that's the Lee I think it is, I'm glad my widgets haven't chased you away entirely. That Bill Hicks knew a thing or two. He was using jokes like that to get the message across. And the really good news is that you don't need drugs to experience it for yourself.


Thank you for your very detailed answer and for all the answers on your blog. I feel blessed that I have been given the opportunity to have such experiences over my life, with the parents I had encouraging me. My dad desperately wanted to have some sort of out of body experience. He worked at it. He got the Monroe Institute tapes after going to a retreat there. But sadly he never had such an experience. Until just before he died. He thought the neighbour lady was coming through his garden sliding door in her white night dress and kept reporting it to the Home -- but I am sure it was an 'angel' - possibly my mother who died 3 years before him. Also, right at the end, the last 3 days, he kept telling people he was dead so why were they dressing him, or feeding him? Desire alone will not get us the experiences, but putting ourselves into a situation where the experience has a better chance of happening does help.

Something I learned a long time ago, when I was getting used to the fact that I am disabled, even though it does not look like that to others much of the time, is that I am able to speak up for people who are disabled. I am articulate. I could say, for example, that a building needed access for people who were not able bodied; that there was a need for a toilet as well. The law came along and helped with that, but at my workplace I was on the committee to make sure ALL the buildings complied. I found I could help people to see that being disabled is not a crime and that people should not be judged on their disabilities but to look for their abilities instead. I am so glad I don't live in a society that 'puts people away' and hides those who are not fully abled! I could help my students who were not fully able bodied to see themselves in a positive light.

So I decided that my disability was a way my soul had chosen to be helpful to others. Neale Donald Walsch and God put it so well in the children's books The Little Soul and the Sun and The Little Soul and the Earth. By being disabled I could speak up and help those who were not so able to do so.


Of course, I believe we are headed to be with the Great Oneness but that our experiences here help us to appreciate that bliss. We live in the world of dualities where without the darkness, light means nothing. Without disabled people, the able-bodied cannot know what it means to have no disabilities. When we have pain and it goes away we can really appreciate being pain free! What was that silly old joke -- I hit my head on the wall because it feels so good when I stop!


Hi again, Linda! I'm particularly interested to read your perspective on disability. This is something else I must really do a post about because there's some nonsense talked about disability/illness in spiritual circles (not least in The Secret!) So that's another one to add to the list...

There was a lot of controversy here in the UK a few years ago because of the idea (spouted by the manager of the national football team!) that disabled people have done terrible things in previous lifetimes. My own perspective on this is that we have *all* done terrible things in previous lifetimes and have *all* been disabled in previous lifetimes. We all have to go through the whole gamut of available experiences. We do 'bad' things to learn that we really prefer to do 'good' things, and - as you suggest - we experience disability in order to appreciate being free of it! As you say, we live in a world of dualities. There is darkness and light. One does not make sense without the other.


Hi Simon - wonderful stuff.

As for how to turn those "revelations" into lasting change - I think it's to do with using these moments to tap into our life purpose - when we do that, we feel satisfied and connected. Cheers!


Hi Simon
Yes it's me! Bill Hicks isn't around to say, but I think he meant that the doors of perception lead to the platitudinous philosophies of the sixth-form common room. Every sixth-former also knows that money is a monstrous illusion, but that doesn't mean we can have all the cash we want, or does it?


Hi Robin - good to hear from you! Yes, I think many people do connect with their life's purpose, or some kind of lifetime philosophy, after such experiences, which is great. Others are affected in different ways (reassured about death for instance) while some of us are left in awe - but rather puzzled!


Hi Lee - The consensus among Bill Hicks fans seems to be that he genuinely believed in the kind of spiritual evolution I write about in this blog.

Here's something I found on a fan site: 'It seemed that Bill genuinely believed that humans are still evolving. The next stage in our evolution, he believed, was a spiritual one. "folks, it's time to evolve ideas. we.. you know, evolution did not end with us growing thumbs. you do know that, right? it didn't end there. we're at the point now where we... we're going to have to evolve ideas. the reason the world is so fucked up is because we're undergoing evolution, and the reason our institutions, our traditional religions are all crumbling is because they're no longer relevant. It is time for us to create a new philosophy and perhaps even a new religion, but that's okay because that's our right. We are free children of God and our minds can imagine anything--that's our role."'

But I suspect if you asked Hicks himself, you wouldn't get a straight answer. He wasn't exactly consistent. Here's a quote from his Wikipedia entry: 'Hicks often veered between hope and love for the human race and utter hopelessness. He would often unsarcastically refer to humans as "God's perfect and holy children" while in the same performance suggesting that humans were turds.'

Mind you, now I think about it, I don't think those two descriptions are incompatible.


So true, we have to be looking at things like a child to have them change right before our eyes. Then it is amazing what we get to see, it is my favorite moment in life when I get to have a glimpse of what really is. We are all one and all connected.

Love and Blessings,



you can know the truth when there's no thought.
You've got nice experience.


People in the Sun

Great post. I think the world rarely reveals these moments of clarity, but when it does, it's up to us to discover our next move. You chose to begin walking on the road to understanding. I think that's the best thing anyone could do.


Hi AngelBaby - thanks for calling! Yes, I love it happening too: suddenly tipping over into a whole new joyous and *effortless* perspective on life, just through allowing the great weight of 'being a grown up' to fall away. And once you are in that space, there seems to be no reason why it shouldn't go on forever, this new way of looking at things - until suddenly the weight scrapes back into place and the moment of vision is gone... for now.


Many thanks for your comment, Bendz! It's funny - not long ago the idea of 'stopping thinking' would have horrified me, kind of like being lobotomized. But it's not really like that at all. You can still think when you *need* to. It's just the unnecessary mental chatter which it helps to lose.

I just thought of a good way to describe it. When you need your computer to perform a task, you make the clicks in the right places and the light on your box flashes on and off, showing that it's working away. After a while, the flashing stops and the task is complete.

But at other times, when your computer isn't working so well, that light starts flashing away regardless of the fact that you haven't asked it to do anything. The computer is working away in the background for no obvious reason, slowing everything down. And it seems to keep going on like that forever. That's the kind of stuff our minds are working away at all the time: turning things over in the background for no particular reason. *That's* the kind of thinking it helps us to lose.


It's always great to hear from you, People, and thanks for your encouragement!Yes - I guess that setting out on the road to understanding is exactly what I did as a result of this experience, though I didn't realize it at the time. The going was very slow at first. There weren't any signposts and it was uphill all the way. But now it isn't uphill any longer. Progress is relatively swift, I suppose - just a bit on the bumpy side. Thanks for the metaphor!

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