A Whole New Experience of Existence
When the ego had fallen away but I had not recognized this, I had an ongoing experience of detachment and something else, what I came to call the “ghost in the world” experience. I wrote at the time that I felt like Bruce Willis’s character in The Sixth Sense (spoiler alert!): Walking the world as though part of it, not realizing I was dead. Except, unlike his character, I knew I was not the same, although I could not describe how.
A bit over a year and half ago I realized I am Spirit. A couple of months later I felt this again and after that it came over me now and then. I realized this was a more direct experience of the ghost in the world feeling. But there was something to the experience I couldn’t quite grasp. What did it mean to be Spirit? How do you go about being Spirit? The experience faded as I went about dealing with all the other incredible stuff occurring in my mind and life.
Then something crept quietly into my ongoing awareness: I am immortal. This is what the ghost and Spirit experiences were.
I liked tapping into this awareness, but, although it was ongoing, it stayed pretty much in the background as I dealt with other things rising up and sloughing off in my mind. (Really, the intensity of this time for this mind cannot be adequately conveyed). And then one night I felt strongly it was time to look directly at this. I realized like a thunderclap that I have a whole new experience of existence.
This is why it felt like a death and I grieved for all those months. An entire experience of existence fell away. It really is like I died and went onto Spirit and immortality—only the material world did not fall away. It is still here—yet I feel I am in a whole new world. (The lesson here is that consciousness, existence, and the material world are the same thing—but there are two distinct experiences of them: mortal and Spirit).
It turns out the only thing that “dies” is the experience of mortality.
Until the night I felt it was time to look at my new experience I had been focused on my rise in consciousness, or new way of seeing, which was oneness, or Love. But my central experience was immortality—Spirit. I am Eternal Life Itself. I have no beginning and no ending. I cannot be harmed; I cannot die. What is there to fear?
This is how this shows up: I feel I am a vast Presence—Spirit. I am everywhere. This is the experience of oneness. I have written of this before as being the Author of all that unfolds. The person of Liz—what I have referred to as a character in the unfolding story—is an element of my experience. I do not identify with her. I am not limited to or defined by her. When I have to interact with the world I put Liz forward to do so. And when I am done, she melts back into me and I just go on being.
Before this shift if I ever thought about immortality or what it would mean to be Spirit I could not imagine it from mortal-consciousness and gave up. I never expected to feel those things anyway. My focus was always on peace. I had the expectation of peace growing in my awareness, but as I was. I did reach a point of significant peace and I assumed, looking ahead, that I would grow even more peaceful and less attached to the world. In other words, I was expecting what I already knew, a quantitative rather than a qualitative shift. Without knowing it, I was expecting to be an immortal mortal. I had no idea of the complete change in the experience of existence that was to come. And I still have not fully realized it, having taken only the first tentative steps into this new world consciously.
A Course in Miracles describes forgiveness in its introduction:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
I used to wonder: How would forgiveness show up for me? Now I know: An awareness of immortality. The awareness I am Spirit.