blinkstar.gif (494 bytes) Duane Beitmen

I would like to share with you some of my major spiritual experiences and my intent stemming from these experiences.

I was wounded in Vietnam in 1969 and became alcoholic. I drank until entering AA in 1976. After 3 months in AA, in desperation I fell to my knees beside my bed, lowered my head and said, "God help," and surrendered. I had the image of my head in a guillotine and said, "yes - go ahead." Then the room lit up with a ball of Light and Love. Peace and Love flowed over me. I was forgiven and was loved in spite of my past, present, or even future actions.

The next major experience occurred in 1983 after working the 12-step program for 7 years and sitting in zazen (Zen meditation) for about 10 months. The first month, after I started sitting in zazen, I began feeling this pressure or energy mass across the bridge of my nose. I raised and maintained this energy for 9 months and then on June 22, 1983 it became very strong and I started moving through a tunnel of clouds as this energy pierced through my forehead. My old ego was left behind as I merged into the "Ocean of Love and Light." I was the "All Compassionate One" and realized there is no birth or death; cause and effect; or time and space: that all form (material world) is a "thought" in the consciousness of One that is being continually thought which gives the "impression" of time and space-cause and effect - it's all an "Illusion." Then, as if I turned my face, I looked back on form and saw suffering. I was moved out of that Great Compassion to return to the world to end this suffering. Upon returning, my old self had died and a spiritual self seemed to have taken its place. I did not recognize or have any emotional attachment for my wife or son at this point as being "my" family, but had the memory of what Duane's life and past had been like and now I was playing the role for him while I helped others to become enlightened (My new "self" was not alcoholic and I left AA in 1986).

After some time, unsuccessfully, trying to get Duane's (my) wife interested in spiritual things and being unable to express the Truth to most people so that they could understand, I gave up and decided just to die. I went into deep meditation to re-enter the Light and to remain there. But instead of entering the Light, I came upon a wall of light. It was like a translucent bathroom window (you could see light behind it but couldn't see through it). I held my "attention" against the wall and there was a surge of energy as I tore or passed through the wall into a Utopia. It was so beautiful. Everything gave off Love and Glory. The colors were so vivid and things seemed much more real than this world. Movement could be done by thought or gliding. The animals had intelligence and we communicated through thought and shared an unattached Love. The utopia was of my own creation. The gross separation between the material things and myself was gone. I was one with a creation of my own making that I was now living and walking in. I went down this pebbled road and stopped to examine a pebble. Even the small pebble was more beautiful than anything I had ever seen. It was like it emitted Glory and Love. Then I passed a blue lake and pine grove and went up to a house. I went into the house and up to the second floor where I entered a white bedroom. It had large windows across one entire wall looking out over a beautiful landscape. I recognized the bedroom to be my own bedroom and that I could stay if I wanted to. At that moment, I thought of my wife and son and started to lose consciousness, falling out of that form through several dark dream-type states until I was back in this form with my family. I returned to this world because of my "attachment" to my wife and responsibilities to my son (After the experience, I found that the "Wall of Light" checks out with a verse I found in Genesis 3-24: The "Flaming Swords" at the entrance to the "Tree of Eternal Life").

Once again, I unsuccessfully attempted to get my wife or many other people interested in spiritual matters, and eventually I gave up again. I was having little or no effect here in ending the suffering of this form and my life was unhappy. So, I decided to go back into my spiritual world and stay there. I went back into a death meditation and came upon the wall of light again. I passed through the wall into the same Utopia as before. But as before, with the exception of animals, I was alone. It was like Adam before Eve. While in this Utopia, I became aware that I didn't have to remain tied to my earthly wife since she wasn't "truly" interested in a spiritual life. She wasn't willing to let go of her earthly life and attachments here, or to even turn the TV off once in awhile. But my experiences indicated that I needed a spiritual companion. I was certain that this Utopian World would always be there for me, so I made the decision and returned to this world to find a spiritual mate to join me in the afterlife.

Many years-still waiting & watching....

LITS (Love In The Spirit)
Duane G. Beitmen

Kevin Williams' reply:  Dear Duane, Your experiences with meditation sound intriguing to say the least. I personally don't know much about meditation mostly because I don't practice it anymore even though my psychiatrist suggested it. And your experiences also show how, like dreams or NDEs, we can experience the afterlife through meditation as well. Buddhism emphasizes how meditating on the light will help you attain "liberation" from the cycle of reincarnation. There are many aspects to Buddhism, especially Tibetan Buddhism, which has strong correlations with the NDE. This suggests that the ancient lamas of Tibet figured it all out about the afterlife through their dedicated meditation rituals. Also, Tibet has a long recorded history of Tibetans who had NDEs (called "delogs") which validated what they teach in their Book of the Dead. The West can learn a lot of Buddhism. I read one scholar comment that Tibetan Buddhism is a religion of the mind. I agree with this. And the mind is the realm of the afterlife. That is, the "heart" and "mind". Because of my years of battling manic depression and mental illness, I have learned how it is sometimes best to trust your "heart" (emotions, gut feeling, intuition) instead of your "mind" (logic, rationalizations). When I find it difficult to trust my "mind", I can always trust my "heart". It rarely lets me down. But I suppose the nature of soul (spiritual) growth is to learn to make our "mind" (light) become one with our "heart" (love). Becoming the light of love is what the NDE is all about.

Peace and Light, Kevin Williams

"God listens not to your words save when he utters them through your lips." - Kahlil Gibran

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