Have you ever had a life changing encounter with the divine?
In March 1980 something very unexpected and mysterious happened in my life.
I was studying psychology at the University of Queensland and I was enjoying both the work and university life. And then something happened quite out of the blue.
One morning I awoke and I was immediately aware of a change in me. I had never felt so alive, so alert – my whole body and mind was coursing and pulsating with life. I started laughing. I was bubbling, almost unbelievably full of tingling energy but I was also very serene and peaceful …
The Divine Flow
A few years ago I read a book by the Jesuit mystic William Johnston, called “The Inner Eye of Love”. In it he described a condition called “wu-wei” which is a Taoist expression for the type of action, or better, the actionless action that flows forth from a life rooted in Tao, or in Christian terms a life rooted in the Divine flow.
He described it as a creative quietude combining within an individual two seemingly incompatible conditions – what he called supreme action and supreme relaxation. Wu-wei is seen as the supreme action, the precious suppleness, simplicity and freedom that flows forth from us – or rather through us – when our private egos and conscious efforts yield to a Power not our own.
Far from inaction, it is seen as the pure embodiment of suppleness, simplicity and freedom. The person who experiences wu-wei acts without stress, persuades without argument, is eloquent without flourish and makes his point without coercion or pressure.
When I read these descriptions in Johnston’s book, I recognised the nature and quality of the two month experience of March-April 1980. On that fateful morning I felt peace and power flowing through me, and I was quite clear that what was happening was not of my own exertion or origination. The peace was not within me. It did not originate with me. I experienced it as a pure gift. I had not developed it myself through any strenuous or self-disciplined psychological or spiritual practices.
Embraced by Love
If I had to describe the overall quality of this experience I would say that I was In Love. Not in love with anybody or anything in particular, but simply in a state of love – taken over and embraced by Love. I felt for those two long months all the time tremendously tender and grateful for what I was experiencing.
Throughout the two months I found myself reaching out and touching people and things with awe-struck tenderness. I no longer cared about myself, what I was to eat or drink, where I was going to sleep, what people thought of me, because I felt completely looked after and provided for.
Therefore during this time I had no worries or anxieties about myself, which left me completely free to love and embrace the world. Total freedom because I was free of the egoistic self. I realised through this experience that anxiety and insecurity about one’s own welfare was in some way a block to experiencing Love.
As I walked around during this time I saw this written into people’s bodies and faces, cutting them off from the source of love and freedom.
As I said earlier, from the very beginning of this strange yet wonderful experience I realised that I was not in any way responsible for this change that had come over me. In other words I had not in any way achieved or deserved this transformation in consciousness. I realised that everybody could have this experience = if not as suddenly and as dramatically as I – then they could develop it in some way.
This life changing encounter with the divine lasted about two months, but it radically changed me and I have tried to live a life that would honour and also cultivate within me the peace and power that I so effortlessly experienced.
If my description of this encounter touches your heart in some way, if you have experienced something similar and you would like to find ways of cultivating this sort of flowing consciousness in your life, then I offer assistance with practical psychological and spiritual practices such as meditation and mindfulness that lead to this way of being.
Author: Matthew Ryan, B Psych (Hons), MA (Marriage & Family Therapy).
Matt Ryan is a senior psychologist with over 25 years of experience, and has seen great success in helping individuals, couples and families to work through their problems and difficulties, and enjoy all that life has to offer.
To book an appointment with Matthew Ryan call 1800 877 924 or book online today!