Certainly, within my own mind, and body, within my personal reality-construct, I am key, larger than life, the central player. As we all are in our own consciousness. But in that moment I realised with quite a powerful peeling back of the layers, that one humble human life is such a minute part of the gargantuan and infinite mechanisms of the world and the universe. And not just as a concept - I actually felt it vibrationally.
I greeted my revelation with a mix of fear, surrender, wonder and awe. It was truly the first time so far that I have completely without any pondering or meditation, focus of thought, experienced such a wave of pure obvious truth.
I have had out of body experiences since I was nine years old. The first one came about while sitting in the back seat of an old Beetle VW on the way to hospital after I had been bitten by a deadly funnel web spider. I remember looking out and up at the tops of the trees and the sky and thinking, well, this could be the end of the line, I may be skyward bound myself in a few hours.
A few years later, in a Tokyo hospital, I was given a near overdose of pain killers and tripped out so heavily that I remember hanging on by the thinest of threads, slipping in and out of consciousness. I realised then, that life itself is tenuous at best, unpredictable and well beyond our mortal control.
At 17 with a good mate and some fresh hashish, during a deep and meaningful, relaxed dialogue I felt a wave of deepening connections to the omnipotent forces and a depth of understanding beyond my tender years. I cried and cried, at the beauty of it all. Sobs of joy - and then the munchies.
In my twenties, I experienced some magnificent, delightful and astounding revelations on my first ever LSD trip. Subsequent ones never equalled the first, so I curtailed my intake.
In my twenties and early thirties, I sometimes felt my awareness/consciousness was like a wild, wild horse. I did my best to remain on it's back, but a few times, I felt fearful. Never one to shy away from looking over the edge, occasional violent gusts of wind, would make my mouth dry and my head spin. Close calls were rare, but disconcerting.
Around 33, things spiralled beyond my control and I began to experience fully fledged anxiety attacks. I endeavoured to ride them out, work my way through this stormy period, but my doctor at the time said she would refuse to see me if I didn't get immediate professional treatment. She was convinced it was necessary, so I acquiesced and enrolled in a weekly group therapy to curb the escalation of panic attacks. It was most entertaining and eye opening, and more importantly, it equipped me with the techniques to stop the escalation. I have not had one since. (If anyone reading this has them, I strongly recommend these anxiety management classes.)
In my forties, I moved to Byron Bay and lived in a Buddhist temple. I was a temporary guest of the head monk, initially, but was invited to stay on, even though I elected not to astutely follow the path to ordainment, due to an aversion - from an early age - to imposed structure, expectation and assesment. Instead, through a impromptu, self-evolved hybrid technique of meditation, solitude, quietness and self investigation, I lived in harmonious tandem with the monks with a strong mutual respect for three years.
The through line here reveals a predilection for exploration of the mind and consciousness; the spiritual journey. It is something that comes in waves, spirals, peaks and troughs.
So, when I felt that stuff, yesterday morning, it was with a mixture of surprise, near overwhelmingness, amazement and, eventually acceptance. You are exposed to what you need when you are ready for it. Also, I realise, now that I am in my early fifties, I am well past the half way point of my journey. I am heading towards a period where one can ruminate over life experiences lived - celebrated and endured - and use the colourful maker pegs of the highs and lows to assist in the speculation of what is to come - or more aptly - what 'is'.
I feel lucky to be an artist, somewhat of an outsider in society, because it avails me time and freedom to pursue nefarious things and ponder questions regarding the true nature of existence. We are an evolving species, now faster than ever, so to be able to step away, step back, view from a distance, the immense madness and divine chaos in it's infinite variations is a blessing and an honour.
That sounds a bit like the ending of a speech. But to who? And what for? Everyone is much too busy with their own whirling, constantly demanding realities. And, each is so important in it's own way. Otherwise, it would not be. So, acceptance.
I realise my own need not to get to spaced out or esoteric. I do things to keep it simple and true. Eating, walks on the beach, swims, laughing with friends. It's such an incredible ride - sometimes you just have to hold on and hope for the best. Other times, you can sit back and watch in wonder. Wherever you are, whoever you may be, I, as a fellow human am communicating with you my own truth, as best I can, in an effort to connect and commune. I am telling the tales of my adventures. Whilst many of them are in my head, they are no less real, and no less worthy of sharing.
I am encouraging you to have no fear. And to get to know yourself, to find and forge your unique place in the world, then to share your truth in whatever way suits you best.