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EYES of an ANGEL
Soul Travel, Spirit Guides, Soul Mates, and the Reality of Love
By Paul Elder
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.Copyright © 2005 Paul Elder
All rights reserved.
Through shaded eyes we view the world Present, past, and future swirl Only fleeting glimpse there revealed The mysteries of life concealed
What would you do if you suddenly awoke to find yourself floating near the ceiling of your bedroom? It happened to me, and it changed my life.
I first heard the term "out-of-body experience" in the summer of 1979. A local television station had broadcast an interview with a man named Robert Monroe. He had written a popular book, Journeys Out of the Body. Intrigued by the incredible story he told, I borrowed a copy from the library and read it from cover to cover.
In the book, Monroe claimed that in his early forties he began to spontaneously leave his body in spirit form while remaining fully conscious. He gave fantastic detailed descriptions of traveling in this spirit body to places on Earth as well as into the spirit world itself.
When the experiences first began, Monroe was afraid that he had become ill, or was actually losing his mind. Submitting himself to intense medical and psychiatric examinations, he was relieved when all tests found him to be healthy and normal. Eventually he just quit worrying about it. Meticulously documenting his experiences, he decided to take advantage of the continuing phenomenon, pursuing every opportunity to explore and learn.
"Fascinating story," I thought, "but the guy's obviously a brick short of a load."
Having been raised in a poor farm family with ten brothers and sisters, my grasp on reality was far too entrenched in the physical world to give this kind of fantasy much sway. Returning the book to the library, I soon forgot all about it.
To my amazement, eleven years later, my perception of reality would be changed forever.
This life-changing event took place at the end of a long and hectic week. It was late Friday night and, looking forward to a quiet weekend, I sat at my desk thinking about the recent events that were complicating my life. It had been more than five years since I was first elected to city council, and everything in my life was running smoothly. Then, one day, some important government people showed up, asking me to make a big commitment. They wanted me to run as a candidate in an upcoming election to the Legislature. With more than a few reservations, I had agreed to let my name stand. But it wasn't long before I was second-guessing my decision.
With only days remaining before the nomination meeting, I waged an internal battle. Was this what I wanted to do? Would it be good for me? With all the time I'd have to spend away, would our family life suffer? Would it be worth it? Finally, around 1:30 in the morning I gave up and sleepily crawled into bed, vowing to sleep until noon. The second my head hit the pillow, it was lights out.
The next thing I knew, I was wide-awake. But something was terribly wrong. In dazed confusion, I scrambled to get my bearings. What I was seeing was impossible! Instead of being in my bed, I was floating like a balloon near the ceiling, bumping lightly against its stippled surface.
Disoriented, a landslide of possibilities flooded my mind. There had to be a rational explanation. Below me in bed were two sleeping bodies that seemed so familiar I couldn't divert my attention from them. As I looked down, a stunning realization hit me: the woman in the bed was my wife, and the guy sleeping beside her was me.
This couldn't be happening. Here I was, floating around my bedroom ceiling, without a clue as to how I'd gotten there. Closing my eyes, I shook my head, praying that when I reopened them, everything would be back to normal again. But nothing changed. I was still floating in midair.
My thoughts reeling, I knew I wasn't dreaming. But there was another possibility. I began to wonder if I had somehow died. It didn't seem likely, though; I felt completely normal, my mind had never been clearer.
The memory of Robert Monroe's book flashed into my awareness. Maybe, I thought, Monroe wasn't crazy after all. This was absolutely real! Although it seemed beyond belief, somehow the experience felt strangely familiar. It had the feeling of routine, like I had done this many times before. I knew I was just now returning from some sort of journey, but I had no idea where I might have been.
As this insight filtered into my mind, a strange calming sensation flooded through me. Most of the fear and apprehension I had been entertaining slowly evaporated into the surrounding darkness. Far from feeling out-of-sorts, I could not remember when I had ever felt better. How could I have felt better? I was doing the impossible—I was flying.
Although it seemed such a familiar feeling, it was, nevertheless, unsettling. After a few moments I wondered if I shouldn't be returning to my body. However, I wasn't sure how to make that happen or, for that matter, if it was possible. I didn't have a lot of time to worry about it, though, because with just that simple thought, I began to slowly descend towards the bed.
To my dismay, when I finally came to a stop, I wasn't in my body. Instead, I hovered beside the bed, about two feet above the floor. At first, I worried about having somehow missed the target, but within moments my concerns subsided as I quickly became engrossed in studying this quiet, peaceful form beside me.
There didn't seem to be anything unusual or out of place. My body appeared to be in a normal sleeping state. Thinking how odd this was, I chuckled in nervous amazement. Here I was, staring at my own face from an outside perspective, examining it as if it belonged to someone else. It occurred to me that other than looking into a mirror, we never actually see our own faces, so this felt more than a little strange.
In the darkness, my face seemed a lot older than the one I usually saw in the mirror. It looked weary and surprisingly gray and colorless. The more I thought about it, the more I began to feel compassion for my seemingly abandoned body, and I had to admit that I should probably be taking better care of it.
Emotions building inside me, I thought I had better try again to get back into my body. To my surprise, at the very thought of it, I simply floated across the two foot span, and just like that, I was back inside. For the briefest moment, I felt faint. A spinning dizziness overcame me, everything faded to black, and then, with a startling jolt, I opened my eyes.
Back in my body, I could feel my thoughts slowing down. Like a genie being sucked back into a bottle, I felt squeezed and confined. And I didn't like it at all.
As I lay in bed lamenting my increasing heaviness, I became aware of a strange vibration gently rocking me. Every molecule in my body seemed about to burst with this bizarre, bubbling electrical energy. As I focused on the vibrations, they began to surge in waves back and forth from my head to feet. It was the most energized, exciting physical feeling I had ever had. My body felt like it was expanding, contracting, and rolling with the sensations. Waves of energy flooded my awareness. I could not conceive of anything more strange or delightful.
For several minutes I lay analyzing the intense energy until the feeling in my arms and legs returned. I tried to move, but the lower part of my body felt heavy, almost paralyzed. Finally managing to turn my head, I noticed the time on my nightstand clock. It was 3:02 A.M. I had been asleep for only 90 minutes.
Closing my eyes, I lay in bed struggling with my emotions, my mind desperately searching for a rational explanation. When I began to wonder why it happened, a feeling of melancholy came over me. "My God," I begged. "What on earth is happening to me?"
The word "God" stuck in my mind. It had been a long time since I'd paid much attention to God, but for some reason I felt the most compelling urge to be thankful for His blessings. As I contemplated the gift of this experience, love and gratitude slowly overwhelmed me. Tears began trailing down my cheeks.
In this euphoria, my mind began to wander. Dreamlike images of events in my life took shape and then quickly dissolved. And there were faces, so many faces. Some I knew, but most I couldn't place even though they seemed familiar. I was becoming lost in my thoughts when a sudden snap of my body brought me back to the present.
Opening my eyes, my attention was drawn to the ceiling. My eyes had to be playing tricks on me. Not only could I see the stipple on the ceiling but I could also see right through to the clouds and stars in the night sky. Hoping to correct this obvious anomaly, I closed my eyelids tightly and then quickly opened them again. But nothing changed.
My senses seemed to be reaching overload. My heart was pounding with excitement, while powerful vibrations continued flowing through my body. I couldn't imagine a more incredible sensation, but, at the same time, I worried where it was leading.
A sudden sharp surge in the vibrations gripped my attention. The electrical tingling became so intense I began to wonder if it would be possible to leave my body again. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that I could.
I had just begun to consider my next step, when another wave of energy swept through me. My awareness seemed to expand outward until I thought I could feel the air pressure increasing in the room. And then it hit me! A chill ran through my body. I had the creepiest feeling that I wasn't alone. Someone was watching me. I sensed the presence of other energies or beings around me. Appearing as pinpoints of light, they seemed to be everywhere. I started to panic. The thought of having unknown spirits in my room terrified me. I wanted so desperately to float out of my body again but there was no way I could force myself to do so with these "things" around.
Summoning up every ounce of courage, I projected a thought into the room asking the intruders to please leave. I waited, but nothing happened. The feeling persisted. Again I asked, this time more forcefully. Still nothing. With mounting anxiety, I mentally yelled into the room, demanding that everyone leave. There was no change. Finally, in desperation, I found myself returning to the Catholic teachings of my youth, and I prayed to God and Jesus to help and protect me. Incredibly, the moment the words became articulated in my mind, I felt a sudden change around me. In an instant every single unwanted presence in the room blinked out and disappeared, leaving me alone in the darkness.
Elated, I thought of floating up into the air, and that's all it took. A surge of energy rushed through my body while a high-pitched sound began to resonate in the center of my head, spreading through me. With the sound of air hissing in my ears, I felt a slight wobbling sensation, but then firmly and steadily rose into the air. The rush of vibrations and sounds, so consuming just a moment before, quickly faded as I separated from my physical body and floated silently to the ceiling.
As I hovered in midair, trying desperately to make sense of it all, a tidal wave of understanding swept through me. Throughout most of my life, I had doubted the existence of God. The God that we were taught about as children seemed an all-too-human, punishing, and vengeful being. I could not fathom nor accept a God like that, and decided I wanted no part of it. To me, the concept was nothing more than a fabrication by organized religion to keep control of the masses.
Since childhood, the image of God that stuck in my mind was that of a stern-faced, bearded old man—someone to be feared. But, as these thoughts flooded through me, I suddenly understood that my long-held perception of God was wrong.
Although I had no idea where these mental images originated, insights continued to fill my mind. The truth became clear. I knew about God. I had merely forgotten. God is the collective consciousness, the universal power of love and creation that gives life and meaning to everything in the universe. I found this simple revelation emotionally humbling.
How, I wondered, could I have veered so far off course? Surrounded by the beauty of creation, how could I have lost this truth? Floating in my body of energy, I also knew that this is who we really are. This pure, cosmic energy is our natural state, and the loving, powerful vibration within all of us is the vibration of God.
Returning my awareness to my floating body, I discovered that I didn't have to actually turn my head in order to see in any direction. My visual field was a full 360 degrees and was attained instantly with just a thought. As I marveled at this, the urge to test the boundaries of my new reality grew, and I began to wonder if it would be possible to float around to other parts of the house. I slowly rotated my body in midair until I faced the doorway. Setting my intention to coast out of the bedroom, and impelled by just that thought, I began moving effortlessly toward the door.
Approaching the doorway, I realized that I was too high to make it under the doorframe. But it was too late. My head and upper body were on a collision course with the wall above the doorway. Closing my eyes, I braced for the impact. And then an amazing thing happened: there was no impact. I floated through the wall like it wasn't there. The reality of this seemingly impossible act left me stunned. I had just gone through a solid wall without the slightest resistance. In disbelief, I spun around, surveying the wall as I descended to the floor in the hallway outside the bedroom, about ten feet from the door.
Coming to a gentle landing, I could feel my feet sinking into the rug. I felt the fibers of the carpet, the underlay, and finally the smoothness of the plywood below.
Motionless, I stared in wonder at the wall I had just floated through. It seemed inconceivable. If I hadn't seen and felt it, I wouldn't have believed it. But I couldn't deny the experience. It had really happened.
Standing in the hallway, I could see through the doorway into the bedroom. There, in bed, some thirty feet away, lay my physical body. I tried to rationalize how this could be possible. How could I be standing in the hallway, completely whole, thinking and feeling, while my body including my brain—the organ supposedly required for thinking—was in a different location? Pondering this dilemma, I was surprised by the sound of a soft, whispered voice.
"You are not your brain. You are not your body. You are continuous conscious energy."
Startled, I spun around. No one was there. I had no idea where the voice had come from. It felt different than my own inner voice, yet natural and familiar. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that it had to be only my own inner thoughts. "Just my imagination," I told myself. "What else could it be?"
Putting the question out of my mind, I decided to continue the tour. I was standing in the upper hall balcony looking down a flight of stairs into the open living room below. Reaching out with my right hand, I gripped the rounded top of the railing post leading to the stairway. The hard, smooth wooden ball felt completely normal. But when I put some weight on it to adjust my stance, my hand suddenly pushed right through the post. The feeling was incredible! Astonished, I had to try it again and again. Each time, my hand swished through the "solid" column like it was made of water.
Intent on continuing my excursion, I finally pulled myself away from this mesmerizing diversion. Looking down the stairway, I paused, wondering whether I would float down the stairs or end up falling flat on my face. Bracing myself, I pushed off. A surge of energy swept through me, and ever so gently I lifted off the floor. I gawked around unsteadily as I slowly floated higher into the air. Traveling a couple of feet above the floor, I cautiously made my way down the stairway, heading for the landing below. I prepared to touch down, and then just as my toes brushed the carpet, I felt a jolt, and in an instant, I was back in my body.
The vibrations had disappeared and the paralyzing numbness in my legs was gone. Wide-awake, I sat up in bed. The clock on my nightstand showed 3:05 A.M. Less than three minutes had passed since I decided to leave my body. It didn't seem possible. So much had occurred, I thought it could have been a half hour.
Unable to contain my excitement, I shook my wife awake, blurting out every detail. I didn't care if she thought I was crazy. This was the most fantastic thing that had ever happened to me, and I had to tell someone. To my surprise, Candace believed every word. In fact she was excited about the possibilities. "That is so amazing," she gushed. "I'm really jealous. Why couldn't it happen to me?" Candace had always been more receptive to this type of thing than I, and I was thankful for her open mind. Had our positions been reversed I doubted I would have believed the story.
Having had so little sleep, I was surprised that I was no longer tired. Pumped with energy, I jumped out of bed and got dressed. I put on a pot of coffee, and listlessly read through a couple of magazines, returning occasionally to my living room and bedroom to retrace the the experience.
Excerpted from EYES of an ANGEL by Paul Elder. Copyright © 2005 Paul Elder. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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