by Julia Taylor
I was 46 when I had this experience that I call a Vision.
I know what it was not—not a dream, and not a hallucination. I had not taken an intoxicant—no liquor or beer, or moonshine, nor any drug, legal or illegal. No paint fumes. No nitrous oxide. No boiled leaves from a jungle plant.
I was sober, but drunk on misery.
The night before the morning it happened, I went to bed and gave up.
I knew I wasn’t going to kill myself, and the reason I knew was because I’d been close to suicide twice before, had considered it, and I knew what that danger felt like. This wasn’t that. I decided that my body would stay alive, but I was dead inside. I would trudge on through the years and quit looking for happiness. I didn’t have it in me to try anymore. And, anyway, there wasn’t any lasting happiness to be found, at least not for me. Writing this now, many years after the event, I have to smile because I sound so much like poor, pitiful Pearl tied to the railroad tracks, with one arm thrown up against her forehead in despair. I didn’t know how close I was to being rescued.
The despair felt real that night. I couldn’t take it anymore.
It had been a hard year and felt like a hard life, although it probably didn’t look hard from the outside. I had tried over and over again to accept “what was” and to be content with what I had. I had explored spiritually for almost twenty years and had found bursts of joy and inspiration there, but nothing good had lasted. Not love or success, not money, not marriage. Nothing was worth any more effort if this drudgery was never going to change.
I was tired, and so I gave up.
I went to sleep.
In the morning, I woke up as I always do, with my eyes still closed.
Behind my eyelids, I found myself alone in the middle of vast empty space in a universe of golden liquid light. (It wasn’t really liquid, but that’s the best word I’ve ever come up with to describe it. It was, as they say, beyond description.)
In the distance was Earth—round, blue, with life going on as usual, including all of the awful parts and the better parts.
As I looked at it, I was given to understand four things:
- Everything on Earth is as it is supposed to be.
- We are all loved equally.
- We are already forgiven.
- In Heaven, there is no need for forgiveness. God does not forgive, because there is nothing to forgive.
I opened my eyes and knew I was forever changed.
I felt—not bliss, not ecstasy, but deep peace and happiness(!), plus intense gratitude and relief.
Perhaps similar to a near-death experience, my waking, eyes-closed vision felt far more real than anything else I have ever done, seen, heard, smelled, tasted, felt, imagined, or dreamed. I consider it the most important experience of my life, the golden dividing line between real and unreal, true and false, then and now. Later on, when I first encountered Lesson 75 in the Workbook of A Course in Miracles, I deeply understood these words:
Today we celebrate the happy ending to your long dream of disaster….The light has come. (CE: W-75.2:1, 3)
That light still glows reassuringly for me whenever I recall that universe of light and love.