10 years ago I went walking around the country for three months. I boarded a train with the intention of travelling to Hope in Derbyshire. However due to difficulties I was having on the train I had to get off at Edale, one stop short of “Hope” if you will…I got off the train and headed into the night. I got to the top of the nearest hill and surveyed the sky. It was a perfectly clear night and I was under the flight path of Manchester airport – the whole sky was filled with planes; small lights made their way steadily through the sky. I looked down and saw the carcass of a dead sheep. During this three-month period that I was walkabout there was a foot and mouth epidemic in the UK and most footpaths were closed. For the rest of the three months I had to choose my route carefully and quite often found myself walking on the roads because the use of the Pennine Way was not possible due to this epidemic. That night I stood there on the side of the hill staring at the sky – I looked down at the dead sheep, and had the strangest of thoughts. Maybe the powers that be had a special new aircraft that could circumnavigate the globe flying at ultra high speeds and altitude. It would be for monitoring and controlling humanity. Strangely enough the thing that most concerned me was the pilots. How weird their experience must be in having their humanity stripped away in the process of following orders. That was the thought and it never came up again throughout the three months. It was a strange moment
I continued my walk making my way north towards the Lake District and then across the country to Durham. This was amongst some of the nicest walking I have ever done because there is a silence to the North York moors, a kind of stillness that comes from the isolation. I got to a town just short of Durham one night. The effect of fasting and walking everyday for at least ten miles or so had placed me in quite a stressful state of being. I moved through the town and got to the other side where there was a quarry. It was late on about two o’clock in the morning and I had to think about making camp. I walked round the quarry surveying it for a possible camp sites but decided against it. There was water running into the quarry from the cliffs and I imagined it keeping me awake. There was also just something I felt about this place, like a presence possibly. I made my way out of the quarry and found a perfect spot on the other side of a bridge. There was a small bank a short way up-stream surrounded by poplar trees. Because it was late at night and I wanted a fire and I didn’t know how close to civilisation I was; the trees acted as a very good barrier in case there was a house nearby.
I lit my fire and had something to eat and after which a smoke, I was already in a very strange place and then from this entered into a deep state of what I considered a sort of dreaming. A portal opened up in time. I felt a kind of connection though which the past present and the future all melded together, time became meaningless and I could communicate freely with the past and future simultaneously.
I was standing by the fire and suddenly an eerie wind came up that stopped me in my tracks. I looked up to see the poplars being blown in a powerful and silent gust that moved only the tops of the trees. There was then a sudden quiet and I was distracted – I could not believe my eyes.
I saw coming in just behind the wind a V-shaped craft with the whole of the fuselage lit up with powerful flashing landing lights. There was a lit cockpit undercarriage with two pilots seated in it. So clearly could I see them that I knew their visors were blacked out and they were wearing flight suits (I could almost read their insignia). I looked then to the rest of the craft which seems cloaked against the sky, as if painted invisibly black. This craft flew over at about thirty miles and hour – gliding slowly over head, far too slowly for the internal combustion engine, but then it made no sound either. I watched the whole scene as it as it flew slowly across the sky; the humanoid pilots, the undercarriage lights, the dark black shape again the night sky. Then the next moment it was gone.
I can’t remember what happened after that. I got on with my hike and ended up somewhere just beyond Durham not too many days later. I got a lift home and carried on with my life. The strangeness of this vision broke my continuity – I could not place it into a linear time frame that connected with anything else. I thought about it for a long time and could recall every detail. But the vision had seemed like an altered state of consciousness, I had the premonition on the hill-top after all. I thought probably, It had been an enormous shift in my awareness that had forced me into another dimension – it felt more like a dream experience than being awake.
I spoke with friends about this eventually who suggested I might have actually seen a U.F.O. plain and simple. Possibly new secret technology being tested over Durham or even an alien craft. I had not considered any other possibility prior to this. I still do not know whether it was an enormous shift in my assemblage point which propelled me into a waking dream, or something else. I may never know.
Playlist: Doctor Rick Strassman talking to Whitley Strieber on Dreamland Radio
I am reluctant to talk about my visions on the whole, I would rather talk of knowledge on a practical level of what I know. Visions are in general unexplained phenomena which take years to be explained. But in the interests of emptying myself which is the shaman’s practice I will tell you about my Saturn return.
The Saturn Return is an astrological phenomenon that occurs at around the age of thirty, coinciding with the time it takes the planet Saturn to make one orbit around the sun. It is believed by astrologers that as Saturn “returns” to the degree in which it occupied at the time of birth a person crosses over a major threshold and into the next stage of life. With the first Saturn Return, a person leaves youth behind and enters adulthood. With the second Return, maturity. And the third and usually final Return, a person enters wise old age.
The first Saturn Return is famous because it represents the first test of character and the structures a person has built their life upon. According to traditions, should these structures be unsound, or if a person is living out of touch with his or her true values, the Saturn Return will be a time of upheaval and limitations as Saturn forces him or her to expel old concepts and worn out patterns of living. It is not uncommon for relationships and jobs to end during this time of life restructuring and re-evaluation.
I was working in a holiday home by the sea in a place not far from where I live now. I had for many years struggled with my self-importance. Self indulgence seemed to engulfed me on a day-to-day basis; I felt pity for myself and the world. And as I worked in this place my problems seemed to manifest themselves. I had been homeless for a time and I was reliant on my employer for a place to stay. I was at my lowest ebb, lower than I had been for a long while. I found it difficult to keep my head above water; maintaining my position in this establishment was near impossible with the difficulties I was experiencing.
Then one day I had a moment of clarity – a sense of giving up and abandoning myself to what might be. I had made a friend in this place, I can’t even remember his name but he was a decent person I liked. I stepped outside of the building onto the patio to gaze at the world for a moment while on a break.
My friend stood next to me. I remember looking down to see I was standing on a grate – I made a pun to myself of the word imaging it spelt GREAT and that “I was standing on the GREAT”. We stood in silence it seemed a sombre moment. But just then he said to me “Just look at that”…
I surveyed the horizon looking out to sea, the man to my right pointing. I could not believe what I saw. Instead of the seeing the sun setting on the horizon, I now saw Saturn with its rings. It was enormous and utterly eclipsed my mind. I had entered into a state of wakeful dreaming. As I stood there gazing at the scene something had shifted within me and I was in a dream-like vision, I could not have even imagined. My friend was calm, as if his eyes had seen this many times before (I doubt he was seeing the same as I was) Just for a moment I stood there between the worlds of waking experience and that which is dreamed. And Saturn returned to me.
It was an omen of prolific proportions. As is the nature of these things I thought I knew but in a sense was totally unaware of its significance. Particularly as only until recently did I discover the term ‘Saturn Return’ and understand its meaning. But now many years on I see the significance. This for me was a moment of portent and promise – a return to not quite to sanity but to a place of well-being and a place where I could be free.
The man left the place I was working – thrown out I was told. As was I a short time after. But there was no regret for me due to what I had seen. I felt uplifted, as if I had passed a test. And the stage was set for me to continue on my path of discovery.
Recently I was in a dream state. My dream had quite ordinary beginnings but escalated to something quite elaborate…It started in the normal way, but I believe I must have found my hands as the dreaming became more vivid and I was able after a while to move from one dreaming location to another quite happily.
The dream was in Technicolor as I remember – everything was enormously bright coloured and seemed very textured. It gave me a real sense of well-being and peace and the further I got into the dream the more this increased. It was like the scenario from a film with different scenes and a plot that I had to navigate through.
Anyhow so finally I got to this point in this dream where I was in the lounge of a huge Ocean liner, have you ever seen the Poseidon Adventure? The speed at which I was popping round to these different locations increased to the point where it all collapsed. Suddenly I was recalled from this magnificent dream that was building in intensity and I found myself and the TV I was watching in this ship’s lounge transported to an entirely different location from the rest of the dream. And much like waking in brilliant sunlight I was standing in on a river bank. I remember reeds and the TV from the ship floating off down river and sinking. My attention was reluctantly taken away from the TV as I was given the instruction to turn round at which point I did. As I turned I saw a village by the river a little up-stream, natives were sat around by huts on the river bank. Immediately I was in the water and running through the shallows up the river – a friend of mine I told this to suggested samurai style – which is quite descriptive.
I reached the village, I could now see the villagers clearly and I found myself compelled to run faster towards where they were. Suddenly out of one of the huts rushed a man. He had red skin and turned his head slightly to the left as he came rushing out of the hut so that I could see the shape of his head, which was unusual. He was definitely an Indian and wore a brilliantly coloured head-dress and was obviously the chief. I almost recognised him then – he ran towards me in a most unusual manner – like walking at an optimum speed. He was dressed in red robes and when I got close and saw all this, I found myself crying out “LORD” “LORD” at this point again I heard the voice of the dreaming emissary telling me to “go on”….At which I fell to my stomach and sort of crawled/slid across the ground to his feet. I saw his feet which were sandaled; unusual as with odd socks. I was at his feet and kissed his sandaled foot which he held out to me. At that moment I saw the villagers faces who in a rather nonchalant manner observed the whole scene.
Immediately I was transported back into the same dream I was dreaming before – I was now in the toilets of the cruise liner taking a piss in the aluminium urinal. As soon as I pissed I woke up to find myself pissing the bed… However I did not care because I said out loud to myself “You know who that was?” And with these words I realised just who it was: I had seen QUETZALCOATL in my dream…Its kind of a private joke but the other thing I said to myself was “you have seen God now!!”
Shall I tell you about the time that I died…..
My story begins 20 years ago when due to difficulties I was experiencing (to put it mildly), I was sectioned and taken into mental hospital. I had been living in Manchester in the early 90’s but moved back to my hometown where I was hospitalized. I was in a bad way.I remember sitting in a chair of the hospital smoking room – they had just put me on new medication that was having adverse effects. I felt as if being, ‘chemically tortured’; the medical term is ‘Oculogyric crisis’. The medical staff had all gone off duty for the night so I was unable to speak to a doctor. I thought I was going into a catatonic state. Reality seemed to be slipping away from me. But I managed to get out of the chair and made it to the nurses station. A kind nurse took pity on me and gave me a drug which calmed me immediately. I now felt quite stoned.At this point I went and sat on my bed in the dormitory. For some reason, I decided to practice ‘the not doing of shadows’ which Castaneda describes in ‘A Separate Reality’. I had read the book two years earlier. The idea that Don Juan proposes to Castaneda is that shadows act like the glue that keeps the world together. By gazing into the shadows, it is possible to see the world from an entirely different view-point, that being the world of ‘not-doing’.
Don Juan is quoted as saying: “To not-do what you know how to do is the key to power. In the case of looking at a tree or bush, what you know how to do is to focus immediately on the foliage. The shadows of the leaves or the spaces in between the leaves are never your concern. Start focusing on the shadows of the leaves on one single branch and then eventually work your way to the whole tree, and don’t let your eyes go back to the leaves, because the first deliberate step to storing personal power is to allow the body to not-do. The body likes things like this. You can stop the world using this technique. Once you have succeeded, you must work as if nothing has happened to you and don’t mention or even be concerned with any of the events you have experienced.”
I was in a precarious position. This ordeal had been forced upon me by supposedly well-intentioned people, responsible for my care. I felt abandoned. I knew I had nothing else to lose. So I fixed my gaze on a spot within the shadows. I was gazing for only a moment then to my utter amazement, I saw the shadows start to morph together into a shape – The shadows seemed to come alive. The darkness itself started to gather together and began to form the shape of a humanoid figure about a foot tall. The ‘little man’ constructed of darkness, then started to amble his way out of shadows and toward me. This was the most terrifying experience of my life, and yet the most exhilarating. Suddenly to my right what seemed like a portal opened up at least two feet from the floor. It was literally a hole in the fabric of space/time. A luminous cat leapt through the hole, ran across the floor and jump again through another portal which opened up not too far from the humanoid figure. This seemed to dispel the whole scene.
Some time later, I forget the time scale. I went into the smoking room where other patients were smoking dope. They offered me some but I refused. However a nurse came in the room smelt the smoke and I was accused of taking drugs. For the purposes of testing my system, I was place into a padded cell with a bucket to piss in and nothing else. I was in this room for 24 hours and then for no apparent reason I was moved to a closed down wing of the hospital in isolation.
I remember walking around the empty wing of the hospital, feeling “why is this happening to me?” Eventually I went to the room I was given and lay on the bed. Curled up foetal like and in a desperate state, I lay on the bed with the intention of trying to get to sleep. I felt as if I was in a nether-world, somewhere between living and dying. I could not go to sleep and yet could not stay awake in this condition. I went beyond hope and despair at that point. So I decided to ‘give up’ – “Surrender to the void” is what I remembered hearing. The words seemed to arise from somewhere deep within myself and yet from far away.
I lost consciousness… I had the sensation of seeing myself rising off the bed and through the ceiling ~ The next moment I was rising through earth, into another world.I first tried to establish where I was. I looked down at my feet and in utter amazement I was a luminous green. I looked to my left saw ferns.
These were not ordinary ferns; just as if they had been allowed to overgrow, they were the size of small trees. I followed the foliage with my gaze upwards. Until I saw trees like giant Redwoods, I was immediately taken by their size. I followed them up with my line of vision. I had no longer a sense of self.I looked up higher and higher into the trees. These trees were thousands of feet tall, trees the size of a mountains.
Eventually I got to where the foliage started and saw a glimmer of light. I gazed into the light coming through the branches. And I started to rise up …eventually after what seemed like an eternity ~ I was beyond the tree line… My vision opened up I could see the vast expanse of sky….
Wooooooooooaaaw…..was the scream I let out; so loud it might have been heard in the hospital… And I was filled with joy!
I find it hard to describe, but this light was brighter than a thousand suns, and yet did not damage my eye.I ascended into the light as I screamed…
As suddenly as I had departed I was back in my hospital bed actually witnessing myself falling into the empty space of the bed through the ceiling. I had been away…
I woke up, “I have seen God!” I said. But I sat up and corrected myself quite definitely, “no I’m sure I haven’t”. I was confused
I remember little after this apart from the sense of peace that it gave me. I was moved back to the normal wing of the hospital the next day and carried on as if nothing had happened.
“Dreamers can gaze in order to do dreaming and then they can look for their dreams in their gazing. For example you can gaze at the shadows of rocks and then, in your dreaming , you might find out that those shadows have light. You can then, while gazing, look for the light in the shadows until you find it. Gazing and dreaming go together.” Don Juan Matus