Reflecting on what feeds the soul, I decided to start to collect and summarize what I call moments of awe and wonder. As the list has grown I have begun more and more to appreciate the benefit of this idea. I have long believed in the value each day of having a gratitude list. I think there is a positive energy in being grateful that perhaps benefits not only ourselves but others, like sending out positive vibrations into the cosmos. So how to define moments of awe and wonder? Personally they are events that defy my sense of logic or practicality. Moments where I see a glimpse into the mystery that is so much vaster than my individual experience; often they are things that I can’t explain; sometimes they just leave me with a sense of wonder; occasionally they reshape my worldview and create an opportunity for growth and even cause me to revise my concept and place in the universe. I cannot explain it but I can relate to it as James Hollis once wrote, “The dynamic incarnation of the soul through the image manifests this energy.”
For example once I was driving up the road to Mammoth Mountain Lodge in the Sierra Nevada and I noticed what felt like an electric shock that was so noticeable that I pulled over beside the road and stopped. I sat and allowed my mind to relax sensing that something significant had just occurred. I had just passed a sign for a tourist attraction –an earthquake fault -– and I decided that I was being prompted to take the sidetrack. When I arrived at the parking area I found a distraught couple of Japanese Tourists who had locked their keys in their car and were stranded. I offered to drive them to the nearest gas station. I have always believed that somehow the shock and their predicament were connected. I don’t have to know how or why, that can remain a mystery.
Another extended moment of awe and wonder involved a psychic love affair. It was very confusing, as I had no previous experience of connecting with someone at such a level. For the first time I realized it was possible to exchange thoughts with another being. It culminated in an exchange of energy, which occurred only at night that seemed to be beyond the control of either one of us. Both of us became extremely concerned about the relationship and I knew I needed to get professional help. The universe brought me the perfect psychotherapist and somewhat apprehensively I shared the long, complex story with her. As I finished I remember asking her “Does this make any sense to you at all?” To my delight she smiled a reassuring smile and said, “Of course it does, it makes all the sense in the world.” Then she said some words that forever changed my life. “You have it all confused. You are not a human being having a spiritual experience, you are a spiritual being having a human experience”. Suddenly “the scales fell from my eyes” and I felt that I could see clearly for perhaps the first time in my life and my worldview has been forever changed.
Over the weeks I have been capturing my stories, the list has become longer: pouring boiling water over my hand while camping in California and not getting burned, healing a wound in hours that should have taken days, at a retreat being given an informational tape that addressed a situation that did not occur for another two days, more than one miraculous escapes that totally bemused my logical mind, as well as synchronicity after synchronicity. Then there are those mystical moments where heart engages in the mystery and tears flow; these are often connected with sacred music or movement; as my teacher Atum has said, “tears are the language of the soul.”
So why do this? Is there any substantive reason beside the positive trip down memory lane or is this pure self indulgence? I realize these experiences help build a foundation of faith that is there to support me when things are not going quite so well. It is like building a foundation, brick by brick that can support a great building; helping to reinforce whatever God concept is sustaining me at the time and it helps to enliven the soul. I think Rumi says it best, “I cannot explain the goings and comings. You enter suddenly and I am nowhere again. Inside the majesty.”