When I was twelve years old I had an experience of my spirit separated from my body. As I fell out of a 30-to-40 foot tree I felt intense terror and then just like THAT I was floating above the fall-in-progress! I never felt the moment my body slammed into the earth! At the moment of separation my awareness turned intensely inward and there was no longer a “me” thinking about me! It was as if all barriers between knowing and being known had been dissolved! I was in that state for what felt to me like ten years even though it only took my body seconds to reach the ground. When I came-to I had the wind knocked out of me and was inhaling deeply yet unable to exhale! I remember thinking, “Great! I survived the fall only to now explode like a party balloon!” From that afternoon onward I was changed even though no scar tissue resulted from the fall! Ever since that day I have had trouble with my back and have had to learn how to listen to what it tells me about my need for rest. More importantly than that is I now automatically turn inward and listen to what my spirit is saying to me whenever confronted with a challenge!
I am convinced that afternoon’s experience had a major influence in my responding so strongly to the call of Hawaii ! The Hawaiian way is to find harmony-with rather than working to impose or overpower. This requires listening to reality! For those yearning to hear the Divine in their daily living you would do well learning from this Hawaiian approach to life and to practice the discipline of listening. This means cultivating the ability to calm down and paying calm attention to the reality around and within us. To the extent we do not know ourselves and our inner workings is the degree to which we will not detect the presence of the Divine!
Humanity is a guest in the garden of the Divine. Having a sense of respectfulness expresses an understanding that creation is not all or solely about us! I would not recommend hurling oneself out of a tree to gain this perspective! We would do much better to try and hear what the painful experiences in our life have to tell us about ourselves rather than simply running from the pain! Unfortunately Mainland culture urges us to do only that which makes us feel good whether or not it’s good for us in the long run!