Whiteman, J H M a long walk in the woods and an easy re-entry
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Mystical Life – J H M Whiteman
(January 8, 1936). In a dream, after crossing a frozen rivulet, I proceeded to walk up rising ground covered with snow. As the path forked at a bush, I became conscious of the cool ease of the substance of the separated body. Then, by restraint of a temptation to become bodily excited, and by recollection of the familiar circumstances of separation, full inner wakefulness broke forth.
Instead of the snowy winter, the scene was now glorious Spring. At the first sight of the sunlight and the fresh colours of the vegetation, being insecurely grounded, and swayed by the shock of surprise, I appeared to pass through the air, off the ground, with a kind of smooth bouncing motion; but by restraint of this tendency also, presently I began to walk steadily and to see more clearly.
The place resembled a small opening in a wood, or a corner of a park, not very much cultivated; for the grass was thick underfoot, and the colour a rich green. A few trees and bushes in flower were near at hand. There seemed to be small animals or birds on the grass a few yards in front, and these I understood to be embodiments of affection, from the feeling which entered the heart as I looked.
But steadiness at the heart was not sufficiently developed in me, and as I looked, the animals changed to clumps of flowers, one being a small cluster of daffodils, clearly seen in their bright yellow colours. As this change occurred a bird flew up from the ground, rather like a dove, but with a lifeless appearance. Realization of my deficiency gave me a feeling of sorrow, with a touch of shame.
Continuing through the park, which now definitely took on the character of a wood, the way began to narrow, and the bushes and trees on either side began to close in. The trees around, and in front especially, then began to grow taller as I passed farther on, and the light grew darker, with a quality of awe, as when evening approaches in a solitary wood (this darkening appearance always heralds a necessary return to the physical world).
Realizing that the physical world was exerting its call, I first made an unavailing (and foolish) attempt to pray for light to be continued, and then perforce yielded to Providence.
Very smoothly and gently the inner form of consciousness became lifted off the ground, and equally gently inclined backwards until it appeared to rest horizontally about five or six feet above the ground. During this process, the inner space gradually melted away, at the same time as the space of a parallel world began to appear, both spaces being recognizable at once.
Next, as the parallel world became predominant, the (inward) body began to be lowered into coincidence with the physical body, whose position was now clearly discerned. At the same time, the light of the other world began to close in, a boundary having been formed between it and the apparent light of the physical world, visible from a duplicate state. Then, lastly, as the arms seemed to come into coincidence with their physical counterparts, there came a flooding of life-energy, with a powerful and bitter tingling, entering at the solar-plexus and spreading through the body. With this, the connexion between the spaces was complete, and consciousness appeared again in the physical world.