Friday, February 23, 2024

A Strange Light Experience

 From time to time I’ve  had experiences certifiably paranormal: telepathic, ghostly, precognitive,  psychokinetic.  But on the day after Christmas in 2020, actually after midnight on the next  day, I experienced something unlike anything I ever experienced before.


The context.  I was in high spirits,  working on a large painting and, at that moment, writing a blog-post for the following day. It was about one-thirty in the morning, my body felt tired, but my mind was clear.  I’m concentrating on the point I’m about to formulate and type out on my computer, when I notice a slight tremor on my left eyebrow, exactly at the point where the bone of the skull makes a right angle. I also notice there’s a change in the light around me and a sensation of sudden warmth.


Suddenly,  light began to emanate from my left eyebrow—that single point on my skull where I felt a tremor.  I could see and feel the pulsations of light.  During this steady flow, I became conscious of the reality of the light because I couldn’t read my computer screen.  The light from my brow was too bright and it was distracting me.    I decided something odd but real was happening.  It might be wise, I thought, to make friends with it,  so I surrendered to the stream of light that was pulsating from my left eyebrow. There was a quality to the light that was exquisitely peaceful; so I laved myself in it, and stopped thinking.


Then I stand up abruptly, and still the streaming continues. I observe how this stream, pouring from the left side of my head, was moving to the right in physical space. What I’m seeing makes no sense. I was wide awake and working; something that seemed to emanate from my own head stopped me from doing my work.   I look around at my studio and all I can see are evenly paced waves of light. I get anxious because I’m suddenly not sure where I am or what’s happening or if this will ever stop.  But the pulsations did diminish, so I get into bed and concentrate on the benign side of the  light.   I retreat under the covers; I can  still see light waves around me; but they weaken and I fall asleep.


Morning: refreshed, my left eyebrow back to normal.  For several days some  worry about a repeat performance.  A bit unnerving, but a fantastic experience.  I think a camera would have caught the light.  Thoughts?  How to classify? Understand?


There is a literature on the subject of strange and remarkable light experiences.   Light is both a physical phenomenon and also it would seem a mental phenomenon, and both have similar functions.  Without light the world would be shrouded in darkness, and invisible to us.  But the same applies to the  inner light of our mental world.  When we awaken from dreamless sleep, our consciousness lights up the world around and in us. 


It turns out that my eyebrow illumination experience is just a kid brother in a huge family of folks who’ve had strange and deeply significant light encounters.  The first example that comes to mind is the often-reported near-death experience.  It’s a paradox that when people in some striking way merely come close to death they often have extraordinary light experiences, in which they feel illuminated and bathed with the purest love imaginable. 


Also people on the threshold of their actual death report seeing an all-embracing light of love.  Then there are the mystics and shamans and others disposed to ek-static states of consciousness; here too we find plenty of accounts of strange light experiences.   It would be of value if you have something to share with readers, if you have had a light experience.


As is well known, the fact that we are conscious at all is a mystery to science.  Some scientists believe that eventually there will be a physical explanation of consciousness. Others, including myself,  assume that consciousness is irreducibly itself, a fundamental factor in nature.


The extraordinary nature of consciousness is normally obscured by all the distractions that occupy our normal consciousness.  The ordinary concerns and problems of everyday life dominate our attention and narrow our consciousness.


But there is one important fact that we should remember.  Whenever our normal consciousness is disrupted; it could be by almost anything—fatigue, illness, a shocking event—it often happens that our minds are torn open and we are exposed to new powers, new dimensions of experience.  Transformation and enlightenment are always much closer than we might normally assume. It’s a simple fact easily forgotten: far from remote, our greatest ally is within us.  The question we have to ask: what must I do to mobilize what I already possess within myself?  For more on this inner potential we all possess, see my book: Smile of the Universe: Miracles in an Age of Disbelief.


Miguel said...

Mike, a couple of elements of your light experience are suggestive of it being the result of some local neuromuscular event, like a temporary muscle spasm that may have also affected the area’s vascular system (the pulsating effect of the light) and the iris and/or retina itself (the experience of light). That this happened late at night and that your body felt tired would be consistent with some version of the above interpretation. On the other hand, a quick google search involving some of the sensations you described did not come up with anything resembling your experience, so who knows …

My only ‘strange light’ experience might similarly be based on a normal physiological event. It happened when I was in my early 30s at a time when I had started to practice mindfulness meditation. I had just arrived at my office at about 6:00 AM and, as usual, there was no one around. I sat on a chair with my head and torso erect but with my gaze pointing down in the direction of my nose with my eyes just slightly opened. Mentally, I was simply trying to be aware of my diaphragm moving in and out in response to my breathing. I recall being able to get into, and staying, in my usual very peaceful state of mind. Midway into the session, there was this sudden, intense flash of light that lasted just a fraction of a second jolting me into my normal state of awareness. It felt as if lightning had struck the room bathing all its contents in a very bright, light bluish light, which made every feature of the room come into sharp focus, again, for a fraction of a second. Frankly, it also kind of felt as when sometimes you kind of doze off and you suddenly wake up in a jolt … which, in retrospect, is probably what happened at some level that I had never experience. However, I note that after many hundreds of similar meditation sessions, some of which also made me quite sleepy, I have never again experienced anything like what I experienced that morning. Interestingly, and as often happened after I finished meditating, my mind felt fully awake and quite sharp afterwards.

Michael Grosso said...

Thank you Miguel for your comment on my light experience and for the description of your experience. It seems there might be a kind of twilight zone between our normal state of mind and the deeper regions of our paranormal and mystical mental life, so what we get are odd effects that fail to amount to great deal. Like striking a match that gives off a spark but it doesn't burst into a full flame. All best to you, amigo!

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