Moments that go unrecognized until their purpose becomes clear

Can you recall those early experiences beckoning you toward something you couldn’t name? In later years you might cast your mind back and smile in recognition . . . oh yeah, that’s when my first stirrings toward real friendship began, you might say, or toward becoming a sexual being, or a social being, or anything that became vitally important to you later.

Corina Pelloni revealed a most special version of this type of incipient experience in an email recently — which struck me powerfully precisely because I do not recall having them myself, certainly not until later in life.

But then again everything about Corina is precocious, as we forty and fifty-somethings discovered when young Corina joined our Dreamers Club, a monthly personal and spiritual share-fest — so I shouldn’t be surprised.

Then — suddenly — in the writing of this piece! — I had a rush of memories, from early years, from as early as three, four, five, confirming exactly what Corina speaks to below.

Now in quiet moments I’ll be having fun mining my memory for experiences such as these.

Here’s Corina:

When I was a small child, I lived in an area filled with natural beauty and, since I was a solitary kid, I spent a lot of time in it alone. I could spend a whole day in the woods. I could walk across town lines following a stream, but I liked to be in the pastures when the sun was going down. 

The terrain in the Northeast is different; very hilly and rocky. The original farmers in that area made stone walls everywhere just to get the rocks out of the way so the livestock wouldn’t trip and their plows wouldn’t catch. 

The farms up there are small, not like the ones down here in Florida or the rest of the South. The treeline is always close, and because of the hills the horizon is closer as well. 

The pasture was a fun place to walk and climb trees, but the setting sun turned it into a masterpiece. The way it slanted through the trees and painted the ground, the way it made all the distant trees look taller. On the ground, the scrub disdained by the cows contrasted wildly with its own shadow because every green thing was lit up with gold and the air had this wild crimson highlight. It was a magical time. 

I remember it for the breathtaking physical beauty of it, but also for the effect it produced within me. It made me want to melt or explode or evaporate. I wanted the boundary between myself and the environment to disintegrate completely so that I could be in it, of it, see it from every angle and have all of it within me at the same time. I regretted my human smallness then and wanted something greater, more whole, more inclusive.

As a shy, over-sensitive kid with very poor social development, this was not a feeling I could share with anyone or experience in the company of others. Nor was I informed enough at the time to refer to any experience as a spiritual experience. I know now that it was, that the dissolution of the separate self which I craved is the final goal of all spiritual journeys. 

A lot of years later, a lot of books and classes and thoughts later, I can apply in retrospect terms such as ‘spiritual experience’ or ‘pivotal moment’ or such to different times in my life. 

These moments can go unrecognized until their purpose becomes clear. 

Consciously so or not, I think it is all there from the very beginning. I think when some self is purposefully on a spiritual journey, it is a journey of re-discovery of what is eternal, and what is eternal has always been there.


The stream of voluptuous experience
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