Friday, June 12, 2009

Forty Years Ago This Month I Had A Vision: Part One

Welcome to

True Stories
That Changed My Life
What a short, strange trip its been!
By John of AllFaith

Forty Years Ago This Month: My 1969 Vision
(Part One of Two)

My twelfth year was the most significant one of my life bar none.

Had the key events in my life that occurred in 1969 not happened, or had I dealt with them differently, my life today would be utterly different. The events of this day in particular, combined with the other experiences of that year, forever set the course my life would take and, for better or worse, made me the person I am today. What follows is a true account to best of recollection.

Its been forty years this month (June, 2009) since I had this vision and its memories live on in my consciousness and in my life. For this reason I thought it might be good to share this experience with those who might have some interest or to simply to recall these events for my self.

I present a much more detailed version of this experience on elsewhere so here I'll focus on the vision itself without the events that led up to it and most of the commentary.

But some introduction is required:

A couple of months prior to this experience I had walked down to the alter of Harrell Grove Missionary Baptist Church and gave my heart and life to God. I hadn't done this lightly and I believed, and not without good reason, that only God cared for or about me. He was my only friend, my only only companion. I offered my life and promised to follow wherever He might lead. Although I have at time stumbled, I have tried to keep this vow.

I was a functionally illiterate Southern kid living in North Georgia. Many kids feel they don't fit in but in my case it was a fact! God only knows why I was planted there but it was not a good fit from the beginning! I did not belong in that world.

Like most people I knew my family was religious but not fanatical, we had a few skeletons in our closet but no more than most. And life was something to be survived. I was tall for my age, and very skinny, "lanky" I think was the preferred term in those days and quite lost before finding God.

About the only thing different about me than the other lost souls I knew was the fact that I was hated, absolutely despised, by most everyone I knew and even some I didn't! I was frequently chased and, when they could catch me, beaten. I was thrown from second and third floor windows at school, I was pelted with stones, burned with cigarettes, given more "royal flushes' than I can count... And the general response from home and school officials was that it was doubtless my own fault.

Why didn't I fight back? I was one of the biggest and strongest kids around but I could not bear the thought that I might hurt someone else. So I ran when I could and accepted the beatings and other abuses when I had to. This situation continued to varying degrees from the first grade to tenth when I quite school and left home for good (after a few false starts). As soon as I was old enough to figure out how to do it, I ran away from home, traveled much of the U.S and the world, and didn't look back for many years. Since then I've practiced most major religions and countless minor ones, studied philosophy and spent much time in meditation and prayer. I've earned and received initiations and ordinations from several different religions, an MA in Religious Studies and sought to grow in my understandings of and relationship with the One God.

Today I live in Northern California and those days seem like a different lifetime. Still however what happened this June day in 1969 still haunts me, inspires me, and when I need it, encourages me to stay the course as I behold the Dawning of what I was shown in this vision.

With this brief introduction out of the way:

It Began...

I had tried to go school that day, but as I was locking my bike to the bike rail I was forced to flee into the woods to escape another beating by a band of kids instead. There I entered the privacy and safety of a "fort" I had cut out from under a massive tree on the banks of a tiny stream.

I sat down on the pine needle strewn ground beside the creek and removed my shoes to soak my tired feet in its cold water. Now safe, my eyes filled with warm, salty tears that ran down my face like rain.

Like most Southern kids of the day I hated shoes (the schools required we wear them but otherwise I was always barefooted and wore only cut-off shorts or nothing at all when I had the choice). My feet were so callused I could walk on the hot Georgia pavement on most Summer days and barely wince at all. When the world hates you find pride wherever you can!

The ongoing persecution or perhaps more the fear of not knowing why these things kept happening to me, suddenly filled me with inconsolable grief and I wept. However from somewhere deep within came a reminder of something Preacher Thomas had told me at church the night I was "saved" at the alter. He said, "Even if everyone on earth hates you, never forget that God loves you."

God loves me!

What a great thing to know! That conviction has sustained me through countless hardships and uncertainties! This is one reason why although I am generally an open and tolerant person, I become outraged when I hear people, especially religious people, telling others that God rejects them! NO! If God loves me -- and He does -- then God loves YOU as well no matter who you are! Certainly telling another person that God hates or condemns them is among the most heinous of all sins!

What I knew, what I absolutely realized at that moment without any doubt or reservation was that God loves me! In spite of myself! But I also knew with the same certainty that no one else on the planet did! I knew that there was not a single person on the planet who cared if I lived or died, although there were a few who I figured would be happier were the latter the case.

Being resigned to that certainty I turned my tear-laden eyes toward the sky and began to beg God to "take me Home" to heaven. I no longer wanted to live on this loveless planet. I wasn't sure what Heaven was like but I knew my only friend and confident was there and I desperately wanted to be with Him. Life was just too painful to bear any longer. I wanted out!

During the next several hours time became irrelevant; it lost all solidity for me. I was no longer aware of its passing nor did I even think about it. Therefore I don't know how long I laid there crying out to God to free me from this life, but looking back now it seems like this day lasted an eternity!

Soaking my feet in the cold waters, they became numb and I remember pulling them out at one point and tucking them under me for warmth. That's about the only memory of physical reality I have of this entire experience.

What happened next is difficult to describe. It didn't so much "happen" as... I don't know... transpired ... if that makes any sense. The following events passed through my awareness like mists on a serene reflective lake leaving no ripple in their wake.

This was one of the most "real" events I have ever experienced in my life and as I try and share what happened with you I know before writing the first word that I will fail in the attempt, but I'll try just the same. I will add that these things happened due to God's love not because there is anything special about me.

He Comes:

Laying there on my back and gazing up beyond the ancient trees towards the heavens I saw in the distance a bright silver light like a shining ball of rounded polished crystal. At first I toyed with the effect, shifting the shading of its reflections with my tears -- a game that gave some peace to my sobbing heart -- and I watched as it moved slowly closer.

As the object approached its light grew gradually brighter and stronger. I must have realized at some point that it was not an optical illusion, a trick of the light, and yet I was at peace as there seemed to be a "knowing" on me that assured me that everything was as it was meant to be. As the object slowly approached it became ever so gently "lighter" and began to take on human form.

My sorrow was washed away in a joy I had never before known and tears of jubilation replaced those of morning. I watched this appearing with an oddly detached reaction. I knew the situation was perfectly right and good (which is one reason I know it was of God, some have questioned this). I knew that God loved me and I knew His Presence and his Love: but never like this! And I knew He had heard my prayers and was sending someone to take me Home! I was in a rapturous joy such as I had never before known. I was going Home!

I think I had some concern, before he came for me, that going Home might be considered selfish or cowardly but as the figure materialized my heart was filled with such stunning joy that I realized I didn't care what anyone else might think! At last I was going Home and nothing else could possibly matter!

As the figure 'solidified' and stood before me I sat up, wiped the tears from my eyes and looked expectantly at him. In church we had been told how Jesus ascended into Heaven "in a cloud." There was a painting of it but the idea had always been hard to fathom for me. How could that happen? But as I saw how light, how ethereal he was I began to understand. He was completely physical but that in no way limited him! I suddenly realized that this wasn't an angel, it was Jesus himself! How honored I felt that he had personally come to take me Home.

The figure standing before me looked like I had expected Jesus to look when at long last I would meet him in Heaven. At Harrell Grove there was a copy of the famous painting of Jesus praying in Gethsemane -- this was the Jesus standing before me. I don't recall his exact words but I remember what he said.

The Master looked at me with such love and yet there was also a sternness I had not expected. "You want to go Home?" He asked me. His voice was so soft, so tender and yet there was a power in it that made me want to bow in awe.

I glanced at him, averted my eyes and nodded, wiping my eyes. I knew I was so ready to go! But I could not speak.

He understood.

"If you want to come Home now I will take you with me. But first I will show you things to come; there is much service to be done"

Again, I'm paraphrasing.

The Master explained, or I somehow perceived from him, that the earth was entering into a very important period when something was going to happen that had never happened before.

In that instant I understood this transition had recently begun but that its effects were generally unseen as yet and I sensed that my service would include watching, being a witness to these effects as they would unfold in the future. What they were I was not then certain.

Preacher Thomas had warned us however, in general terms, that God's wrath would one day fall on our nation and the world, but being a kid my concerns were more selfish and immediate. I had more than enough problems of my own to worry about! Why was I being told these things? And yet I remembered my promised to follow God wherever He might lead and He was leading me now. So I understood and accepted that the Holy Vengeance that would one day be poured out upon the world might now be near at hand.

So I glanced at the Mater and he knew my question.

Things to Come:

My eyes filled tears, the hairs on my body stood erect and I began to tremble as my physical vision darkened and seemed to contract for a time and to pulsate. But then the light gradually returned along with my normal peripheral range and my sight continued to expand outward until I could see everything as never before. Except now there was a blue tint to the world, a soothing overlay of sorts and before me I saw a vast field where flowers bloomed and wheat grew and rows and furrows that seemingly went on forever in the distance. In the fields I saw children running and playing and laughing. There were cows with their calves and farmers with wagons and houses with smoke rising from their chimneys and a woman who looked like my Aunt Bobby nursing a baby and the sky was the bluest of blues and the air was warm and clear and I was thrilled with glory of all life...

... And I knew I must be seeing Heaven and that I would be there soon! I had only to take a few steps into the blue to join that rapturous scene... And my heart leaped in my chest with joy unspeakable...

And the Master said, "No this is not Heaven this is the earth."

And suddenly my vision darkened, the woods returned and a sound arose, am unnerving tone. I was afraid, nauseated by it.

I looked at the ground because I was afraid and thought, Will even he tease me? Never was the earth so wondrous!

But he smiled and I felt embraced and secure. "This is the great service."

Then suddenly I understood. Not the details but the flow. And I thought, "but Jesus, I can't do anything!"

And he replied, "God can."

He then revealed that there would be seven teachers coming into my life and that once they had come I would be a fit vessel for God's service. Each of these would teach me an important lesson he explained but the cumulative effect was what would prepare me.

Now, my experiences with teachers in the past had been mainly negative yet I nodded my understanding.

As I nodded my consent to behold what he would show next, I understood that it was an important decision, perhaps the most important one I would ever make.

I then looked fully into his face for the first time since he had appeared. He looked young and vibrant with strong Semitic features (although I didn't recognize this at the time) and yet there was an ancientness, a timelessness, about him... and a deep consuming sadness that unnerved me by its familiarity. It occurred to me that he also knew sadness, rejection, betrayal, and I loved him all the more and comprehended why it was that he understood me and loved me even as I loved him. He was not who people thought he was, he was... more than that...

And then as I looked into his face, Jesus -- how shall I describe this -- 'fizzled away...' That's not really accurate but at the time and in my earliest notes on this that's the word I used to described his... transfiguration.

His body appeared to be completely physical but there was nonetheless an ephemeral quality to it. That translucent quality began to predominate and then, like one vapor folding into another from the inside out he was changed, he was altered. It was as though he and the one I now beheld were one being and yet they were not. I somehow knew they were not. Only the space was being shared, not the essence.

It's difficult to explain. In this day of movie special effects I guess you might say he "morphed" into a different character, however in 1969 such technology had yet to be invented and I'd never seen such a thing as I saw next.

My Seven Primary Teachers

Standing before me where Jesus had stood only a moment before, was an elderly East Indian gentleman. His weathered face looked serene yet stern and his eyes were inquisitive. There was about him a great authority and personal charisma and yet he was at the same time so completely detached from his surroundings that I sensed he was actually in Heaven rather than on the earth where he seemed to be. He was with God. Where I yearned to be! Yet we were here and we were with God! Here. Because there is no place where God is not! I realized this for the first time as I gazed on this, my first of seven Masters (Jesus being my 'overmaster' one might say). And I somehow knew that his only concern, his only desire was oneness with God and I wanted the same. And yet I also knew that his understanding of Who God is was so completely beyond my conception that I could not then even begin to conceive.

How long I beheld this Master I can not say but another elderly man stood before me. He appeared to be in better health I noted mentally and of a very different disposition. This man appeared to be as old as the last but seemed agile, spry and given to dance. He exuded a spirit of sensuality, of play. He had a glint in his eye that seemed to beckon me to join him and I felt drawn to do just that.

But soon (in meaningless time) he was gone and before me was a most beautiful young woman wearing a nearly transparent yet flowing powder green gown. She was perhaps in her late teens or early twenties. Older than me but certain not old. In her right she held what appeared to be a playing card but I could not see which one. Her difference from the two men who had proceeded her made my senses reel and my young passions stir. To my eyes she was a veritable goddess of desire! I could not avert my eyes from her and her smile assured me that my interests were known and welcomed by her. I longed to be with her.

As she "morphed away" there came an Asian man, also somewhat elderly although he appeared to be a bit younger that the other two. He was strong and mysterious.

Then another Indian Swami was there. Whereas the first had been bald, clean-shaved and dressed in fine yellow (saffron) robes, this Master had a long full beard, long stringy dark hair with gray highlights and he was naked. He appeared to be older than the others and I sensed he had forgotten to age or found it too tiring to bother with or he else would have appeared older still. Like the first he carried a personal dignity, yet one born of humility rather than training and there was about him the spirit of the prankster. I immediately like this man and sensed we had already met somehow but I knew that could not be.

Next came a man who at the time looked sort of like a hippie to me. that's how I first described him. His cloths were rugged, colorless and unkempt, not the sort worn by Americans nor yet like the robes I had seen on others. His skin was reddish, somewhat ruddy and tanned and his gaze was strong and pointed. That's what held my attention. He was intimidating and having realized I had seen him, he very quickly 'left'.

Finally there appeared another man wearing a dark suit who looked incongruous in his normalcy. He could have been anyone. As I recall his appearance I suspect that was the point. His appearance was ordinary while all the others had been very notable in their uniqueness.

As the "message" from the seventh teacher was completed Jesus returned in the same shimmering way he had left. In his demeanor was a question, did I wish to continue?

I looked into his face again, then averted my eyes ashamed. I knew that even with these instructors I was wholly unworthy to serve but there was no way I would refuse.

He smiled and I felt the warmth of it and I thought, What's gonna happen? What am I supposed to do?

What happened next is more difficult to describe than the Seven Teachers. I should probably mention that thus far, today is June 12, 2009 as I write this, I have met six of these teachers and the descriptions I received in this vision were spot-on. I await my Seventh Master.

Next a series of events and images passed through my consciousness (rather than passing before my eyes). I "saw" the Masters and perceived some instruction or word from each, but this information was more a knowing than a seeing. Its difficult to describe.

** In Part Two I will present much of what I saw befalling out planet. Most of this will be material I have never before publicly posted but I feel the Day is now dawning and that it is right to share this information.

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