Before my illness, I wondered if spiritual experiences were simply the result of activating the brain in a different way. When I read Eckart Tolle’s description of living peacefully in the moment, I thought that in response to his depression- he had simply learned to decrease the activity of the brain’s frontal lobes and to increase the activity of other parts of his brain. This notion was confirmed when I read that certain brain areas are active on functional MRI when people feel connected to the Universe/God in deep meditation.
But then during the peak of my chronic pelvic pain, I looked up one night as I was taking out the trash and for the first time I really saw the moon and stars. Over years and years of healing, I looked up more and more often. I began to appreciate that, like the brain, the universe is vast, mostly unknown, and full of potential. It occurred to me that as human beings, the only way we experience the world is through our biological system, and if we are connecting to something more it would be reflected in our physiology.
This idea that there was more to the world than I had previously considered, and perhaps more to me than my basic biology- opened up new ways of perceiving and experiencing my life. When you think you have all the answers, you probably have all you are going to get! It is this openness to the idea that there is more, to us and to the world, that creates the possibility of experiencing it.
Photo by: Mariane Gabriel