Divine Ignorance

Greg Burkett

In 1978 I was returning from a three week vacation in northern Wisconsin. My family had rented a cabin in 250 wooded acres with 2 private lakes. While my family slept in the cabin, I always slept alone in my tent in the woods. I spent most of the week wandering in the woods, fishing and meditating. I would do it sitting or I would use a mantra anywhere I went. I was 17 years old.

My brother was driving the car as we headed south on highway 45. I was suddenly seized with the knowledge that I was leaving. I simply knew I was leaving this world,period. I thought I might be going up or vertical. I began to disengage from all I was attached to. My friends, family, the place where I grew up, everything. As I thought of each thing I let them go. The last thing I remember giving up was the concern that I might seriously startle my brother by disappearing. I wondered how he would explain my being gone.

Then everything changed. The world changed. I no longer had use of my mind. Try as I could I could not form a thought. I saw the world with eyes that were not eyes of man. I perceived directly and realized that I had seen the world through words which led to only relative knowledge. I laughed out loud as I saw each thing as it was. It was pure joy. Everything was alive with the shiney energy of God; a total flowing and pure expression. I have no idea how long this went on but when I turned my attention back to my body I noticed it was in some type of shock. There was a knot in my stomach and I was trembling. I told God that I could not take it any more. The experience subsided and I vowed to return as soon as I could. I never mentioned this experience to anyone for three years. I began to read books to find out what it meant.

I simply abide in the present now and now and now. Beginning in late 1994 I began to become aware of moments when my mind was unusually quiet. Most often in the evening before I went to bed. All thinking would be gone and I would simply remain aware. It seemed the room was "full" of this silence no matter what was going on. There was only contentment. No questions, nothing to say.

As time went on these moments seemed to last longer and be full of energy; a subtle type of power. My body would feel full of life or energy and it would "spill" over into the room or space around me. Whenever I felt this fullnes I would try to give it away to my wife or son who is five years old. I just began to lay my hands on them while they were sleeping and would concentrate on my breath. It was a unique way for me to express love. My family had no knowledge of this. The first time I tried it on my wife she was very sick and had called into work to say she would not be in(first time in years). The next day she called me at work to say she awakened feeling so well that she just had to go to work. She said it was the best night of sleep she ever had. I would have said nothing but two days later she kept speaking about it. I confessed.

February of 1995, I entered this state for almost five days straight. The only thing I said to my wife about it was, "I am learning to walk again". It is as if a light is turned on in the body. One day after coming out of it I wrote this summary:

  • Mental and physical repose no matter what I am doing.
  • Sense of fullness, not energetic but potent or full of capacity.
  • The mind is silent or thoughts are observed from a prior position. Thoughts do not have their usual power to define experience or launch emotions.
  • Ignorance and mystery are enjoyed and surrendered into.
  • Nondifferentiation between self and universe. One total flowing.
  • Psychic feeling of being connected to others. Desire to share energy with others via prayer or by touch.
  • I wonder how others cannot see or feel this presence. It is so large!
  • Attraction: Others seem to want to speak to me and I am able to really listen(it is as if others come to just bathe in the energy).
I am conscious of the hand of God that reaches out from nowhere as the energy that flows out and embraces every living thing.

I call these states non-self generated. They come from nowhere and go when they will. For some odd reason, I do not seek them. I do not even think it would matter if it never happened again. I just ssume that they are side effects of "letting go and letting God".

To make a long story short, I contacted some students of Da Free John shortly after the 5 day high. I literally thought that I was going to permanently enter into this state shortly and I wanted to be connected with some people experienced in this. I met with Frans Baker, a previous doctor from Holland at a seminar he was giving in Chicago. Frans had just spent six weeks with Da in the Fiji islands. From my point of view, I wanted his confirmation and touch. I got both. During the seminar there was a growing pain in my stomach. As I drove home I had the sudden insight that I had returned to the event of 1978. However, I was not in the exalted state. I was back to face the pain! I was immediately humbled by this realization. I told God that I embrace this pain forever with love. Immediately the pain vanished and as if a knot had been untied, energy exploded from my abdomen and shot through the top of my head. I wept.

This started a chain of emotional catharsis whereby I had to face all of my "sins". I could see how I had failed in certain areas of my life and how I must fix them. The energy grew and grew and grew and grew. I began calling various religious groups to get advice. I began to fade out of awareness and it was hard to cencentrate. Finally, on good friday of all days, I went to my parents to sleep so as to not effect my wife. I could hardly sleep. Though I did not know what would happen, I knew it would be a great test. I had resisted what God had given me in 1978 and I was going to see this through. I had pictures of every God realized person I knew on the floor. I bowed to them and asked for their guidance. I tried to go to sleep. I left instructions on my chest in the event I was found apparently dead. Yikes! I do not know how the time past but it was dawn when it was over. I watched every piece of my body and mind dissolve. It was like a life review that must occur before you pass away. Memories seemed to weigh the body down. Stress points in the body seemed to hold unresolved conflicts. The energy would take care of each thing as it arose. When there was nothing left of me, I felt two distinct waves of energy roll over me and then I was gone.

The next thing I knew I was in a brilliant blue realm of light. I had no body whatsoever; just this consciousness of this space. It was like the atmosphere of a planet except that there was no sun. There was no ground. There was nothing but this dimension. I called out for a guide but no one came since I wanted to travel in it. I contemplated its essence. It was the warmest, open, trusting, loving environment. There is nothing on earth that can match the happiness and utterly stress-free nature of that place. I recalled bodily existence and observed how stressful it really is to live on earth. I saw the body as "organs of stress". I considered lif without the body. I seemed to breathe in the air of this space and my soul ached to live there. I remembered my wife and son and I knew that if I travelled fully into this "world" I could not go back. I began to visualize a white light and concentrated on that. I was back in my room at my parents. I had difficulty "re-entering" to say the least but that is another story.

Why these things happen to me I do not know. I return though to the principles of ignorance, surrender, trust and openness. While I have read some information on OBEs and the cosmic mandala, ultimately everything is just another experience that must be transcended and surrendered to God. I feel broken open and vulnerable.

On the humorous side, I avoid all funerals or discussions on death. I have no sympathy or sadness for the whole thing. I look forward to the day I go home and I ask God why it is that I should wait. I wish he would use me to create his essence on earth but I do not know how.


Greg Burkett