Beginning in the Fall of 2005, I meditated on my bed each night for an hour or two. On one of these evenings in early 2006, I found myself slowly coming out of a completely unconscious state into increasingly greater levels of conscious awareness, over a period of about an hour. I was sitting in a disorganized, slouched position among a scattered mass of pillows, blankets and sheets. A strange grayish-silver sparkling brilliance glowed throughout the area around me. My arms and legs were making large directed movements in front of me and yet I was not causing the activity, but only witnessing it happening to me and powerless over stopping it. It was absolutely unbelievable! At some point, my chin went down against my chest and a strange groaning was rising and falling in volume and pitch, with no recognizable pattern, from deep within me. I was riding on the current of a powerful Spirit. After a while, my chin abruptly rose off my chest and I began to emit a complex language unlike anything that I had ever heard. It sounded ancient, possibly Arabic, Hebrew or Aramaic, if it ever belonged to this world at all. Finally, I experienced clear, localized, rapid up and down movements within my torso, similar to licking or wiping. They instantly flitted like small flames from first one location and then to several others. They seemed to echo the 'tongues of fire' spoken of in the New Testament Book of Acts.
After this event, each time I meditated for several weeks, I experienced a powerful radiant effulgence of divine light in the center of my upper chest. It felt like an object at the location of my heart that was wrapping back tightly upon itself from within, like a spiritual version of some sort of gravitational vortex. It seemed to remain for as long as I wanted to meditate. However, I did not pursue any further development because I feared what might happen and I ultimately did not feel worthy of the experience. During my later study of ancient Eastern Orthodox Christianity, this radiance appeared to be the spiritual faculty known as the nous, and characterized as the eye or window of the soul.
Only a year later, would I dare to interpret this as the baptism of fire, or the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Once I realized that I had received the very Spirit of Truth, I knew that Christ had indeed resurrected and ascended, because he promised his disciples in the gospels that he must first go to the Father before the Comforter would come. I still did not know if Mary the mother of Jesus was a virgin, but I now knew absolutely from within myself that Jesus had indeed risen. I also knew that the age of miracles is still with us; (I had formerly heard it said that it had closed with the death of the Apostles). Further still, I was now certain that there are two baptisms, one of water and the other of the Spirit. The ultimate meaning of this 'Pentecost' experience is that the Comforter, the very Spirit of Truth that would teach me all things, had been sent from God the Father, through God the Son, Christ Jesus, and had descended upon me! For the first time, I absolutely knew that I was a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ!
All this had special significance to me, in that, at the time I was not looking for Christianity to come true. For over twelve years, I had just relentlessly sought God and Truth with all my heart, without allowing myself to be influenced by the beliefs of others. In fact, in order to accomplish this, I felt that I had to keep my distance from Christianity, because its prevalence in American society is so pervasive that I might have been biased by it in my journey. Therefore, the Truth of Christianity finally came to me---uninvited---after my having intuitively experienced divine Truth in Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. This was critical for me, because it enabled me to recognize, that nothing about this Christian spiritual experience, in any way invalidated any of the other faith traditions that I had studied and practiced. As I had learned through the Sufi path, God is ultimately formless, yet can be reached through a number of differing paths or forms. Most importantly, to know the Truth, and to know that one knows it beyond all doubt, is only possible through one's own intuitive, mystical, or metaphysical experiences of absolute certainty; all else is second-hand knowledge, at best, and deception at worst. Contrary to the teaching and belief of our modern scientific worldview, truly objective knowledge comes not from outside of us, but rather, from deep within.
In 2010, upon reading Henri Ellenberger's classic history of psychoanalysis, The Discovery of the Unconscious, I located a possible mechanism for this entire experience. (Note that the cause of the experience would still be the Holy Spirit, however, the experience would have occurred through the following mechanism). Ellenberger reports that in 1833, Chevreul demonstrated that the phenomena of both the diving rod and the pendulum were caused by the unconscious mind stimulating the human nervous system, so that the body is actually moved by the unconscious. Since the conscious mind knows nothing of it, from the individual's point of view, the body movement is happening against his or her will! This perfectly fits my experience. Interestly, this mechanism of unconscious body movement can also explain reports of spooky movements on the OUIJA board, as well as voices channeled by mediums and other spiritualist and occult phenomena.
However, this in no way means that everything that comes out of the unconscious is to be trusted. While the divine Spirit may employ this mechanism, it may also be activated by other spirits, both good and evil. In fact, this is a major problem with so-called New Age and occult teachings and practices. Unless a person is genuinely dedicated to seeking Spiritual Truth and not ego-pandering junk, there is no protection against unhealthy psychic influences. Egotistical practitioners and other charlatans may deceive and harm both themselves and others. The subconscious mind may be easily programmable by various psychic influences. It may then follow the rule: 'Garbage In, Garbage Out.' If so, it would be extremely unwise to trust anything produced through this mechanism. In my opinion, it is best to stay away from anyone operating strictly on the psychic plane --- all mediums, channelers, psychics, fortune tellers, Tarot card readers and New Age therapists. The safest recovery work is always on the highest plane, that of the divine Spirit.