Updated: Mar 7, 2021
Every philosophy class I've taught since the 80s got to hear the story of my transcendental experience, the time I was suspended in outer space for a time and heard the Universe speak. Or they had to hear it, since it was a captive audience. My logic and ethics classes got the more detailed versions.
In April of 1979 I was in Goa, staying in a little motel/hotel right off the beach. The only other foreigners there were a couple of Germans who gloried in tearing apart their dinner lobsters and crabs by hand each night, washing down their salty meals with bottles of cold beer. I don't remember what I ate there but I do remember watching them. I had been reading Carl Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections because he'd been in India a few decades before and I loved his account of the lacy windows at the Red Fort in Delhi. I was also writing a lot of disconnected poetry based on dream images at the time, full of gauzy women at the gates of cities warning me of things to come.
One twilight evening I took a walk down the beach. It was so hot I was wearing the Mombassa-market tablecloth I'd bought while camping in front of Mrs. Kenyatta's empty summer home, now on the other side of the Indian Ocean. On Colva Beach in Goa that night it was low tide and there was a foggy mist so only about twenty feet was visible in any direction. Below me was a layer of water so fine it looked and felt like a sheet of black glass covering the wet sand. There was no moon but the southern constellations reflected below my bare feet glittered in the same configurations above me in the ink-dark sky. The temperature was body-warmth and I could not feel the place I inhabited as I hung between the stars those long moments, as my lidless eyes took in the surrounding light-years of empty space stretching out below and above and beyond the sparse singleton of my existence...and then I heard a Voice ringing clear and lyrical through the celestial spheres, its words bellowing from a far epoch of Kali Yuga as it rode on the cyclical curvature of Vedic spacetime toward the geometrical point of my awareness, and, with a flippant dispersal of logic to the molten core of terrestrial human thought, said: "You think the Universe is here for something as trivial as a reason?!"
8 JULY 2019