The previous blog posts’ style was very 'general'. I wrote free of personal experiences, in a general way about the light of Christmas, happiness, the miracle of quality time, the wisdom of patience and the strength of humility. In the aims of the blog I have explained that the reason for generalizing is not that „I think that my thoughts are generally true. The reason of generalized statements is that I feel that our contemporary thinking became rather disintegrated, which drives a large demand of valid generalizations.” This post is a personal confession. I realized that it is impossible to write about the joy of Totality in a generalized fashion but only in a very personal way. Many thanks for reading my story here. It is my great pleasure that three friends of mine, Aniko Szecsi, Barnabas Póth and Csilla Fuszek joined me and shared their most important moments in life.
(The photo was made by my father about me in 1965.)
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Since I was a little child, for decades I have told The Lord's Prayer believing that at the line "Give us this day our daily bread" we ask that the hungry may have something to eat on that day. (It was a good feeling to ask for bread for the many hungry people but I have never felt that this line had referred to me because our family – very luckily – never lacked of the daily bread.) The Douay-Rheims (1582/1609) English translation of The Lord's Prayer is much more unambiguous: „Give us this day our supersubstantial bread.” Here it becomes clear that we do not ask the Father for bread but we ask for the joy of being together with Jesus – every day.
Let me tell you about my three encounters with Jesus which completely changed my life during the last year. The first encounter happened at the Pentecost of 2017, in the Manréza Retreat House at Dobogókő (Hungary). Approximately 15 of us (including several Lutherans, like myself) gathered there for an oecumenic St. Ignatian spiritual exercise at that weekend. Before the four days’ silence there was a short introduction when everyone could tell why he had come. Many came because of family problems or preparing themselves for an important life event (e.g. for marriage) or simply for the joy of being together with Jesus again. By that time I had been practicing an everyday St. Ignatian spiritual exercise at home for five months. I did not have a specific aim with the spiritual retreat. When it was my turn I had to say something though. Suddenly I said that "I have come for the Mercy of humility." Then I looked at myself shocked. "Why have I come here??? What have I just said? I have no idea at all what 'the Mercy of humility’ is'..." As I was walking in the forest next day, suddenly I felt that Jesus was standing in front of me. He stepped forward and embraced me. Never in my life I will forget that consummating, Total joy what I felt then. Maybe it lasted only for a few seconds or possibly for an hour, because I fall out of everything, and I was standing there dizzy, in the middle of the woods. Then I started to cry and pray to thank.
After that I walked for a while, prayed and then I had my way back to the retreat house. As I was walking, suddenly in the middle of the woods I was overwhelmed by Mercy. The storm of the Holy Spirit caught me and shook me. All parts of my body were shivering and shaking for minutes. I was extended to infinite dimensions. Meanwhile I felt that a giant waterfall was flowing over me. It was streaming and running through my whole body and washing me out completely. The whole experience was like a huge electric shock. I was left there reborn after a few minutes. As I become awake, this thought was formulated in my head: "Peter! You have been given the Mercy of humility right here and right now."
My mind was not able to comprehend what this could possibly mean. At the same time every bit of me felt that there and then my life’s most important event had happened to me. I felt this because many years before I had had a similar experience when – surprising myself profoundly – I had started to pray to the Holy Spirit and it „answered” me in a form of a storm shaking all my body. I wrote about this in a Hungarian book and in a previous blog post in Hungarian language. Every bit of me experienced the significance of the moment also because I was sobbing for minutes and I felt that I could not express the gratitude filling me up for the not deserved, inexpressibly intensive joy.
As become awake I realized that I was standing exactly at the same place where Jesus Christ embraced me at the start of my walk. This was the moment when my mind „surrendered itself” to the experience. I fall on my knees and started to pray in the middle of the small path in the woods.
Next day I went for a walk, too. As I was coming back, suddenly I noticed a blackbird. The blackbird was looking for worms and was rearranging the leafs. It pulled the rotten leaves from the bottom to the top. And it shook the upper dry leaves to the bottom. It did not find any worms but instead it was staring at me very intensively during all this busy activity. I went closer to the blackbird: it did not fly away, but it was rearranging the leaves and staring at me. When this „I go closer, it does not fly away, but rearranges the leaves and is staring at me” cycle was going on for minutes, I started to think. This blackbird was weird. Blackbirds do not usually behave like this. Doesn’t God want to send a message to me using this bird? May His message be that I should also rearrange my surroundings in the same way as this little Good Gardener does it in front of me? That was the moment when I realized that the blackbird was standing at exactly the same place where I met Jesus on the previous day and where the Mercy overwhelmed me. I became deeply moved, put this experience among my most important ones and thanked the „blackbird” for the message.
[A few friends of mine asked me the question that how can I mention a blackbird "in the same line" like Jesus? This question made me think about the reason. It was the intensity of inner feelings, which discriminated this encounter with the blackbird from other experiences even before I realized that it actually happened in the very same place where I met Jesus before. Most probably the same blackbird would not mean a lot to someone else. Thus the blackbird was actually "only" a symbol. A symbol of an important message.]
On the third day I took a walk again. Backwards I was looking at „my place” well in advance. I wondered what would be there this time. As I got closer, I was very surprised that there was a blanket laid down in the middle of the path at exactly the same place where all these things happened to me, and a young man was taking a sunbath there. (The Reader might not know the hill of Dobogókő. Please believe me that at Dobogókő I have never ever seen anyone to lay a blanket in the middle of the path deep inside the forest.) "Hey! It’s My place!", this was the first thought which came into my mind. The second thought though was a huge shame. "How could you have such a thought, Peter! You have been given so much mercy here. Someone else needs it now!" So I got on my knees and prayed for that the young man would get the mercy he needed at that very moment. As I returned to the retreat house, during the silent lunch it turned out that the young man had his Rite of Ordination to become a catholic priest on that morning...
My second encounter with Jesus happened not in the woods but inside of me. During the meditative prayers I often saw a heart in front of my closed eyes. After a while I noticed that an intensive light radiated from the heart but especially from its top and there was something on the top of the heart that I could not identify precisely. I became so fascinated by this sight that I started to search Google to find out what kind of heart this might be. The Reader surely shakes his head already: it was a huge surprise to realize that I saw the Heart of Jesus radiating its glory and that small something on its top was – The Cross. I spent the first weekend of Advent in 2017 at a retreat of the Society of the sacred Heart in Budapest. During my meditative prayers this sight was repeated together the previously observed, great feeling that the heart started to grow and gradually covered my whole vision with its love. But at this time I heard a voice inside. This voice was not mine. "Peter! I have come so far but the last step has to be taken by you. Step inside!" In a huge shock and in an intensive burst of joy I took an imaginary step forward. I stepped inside. With this, something broke through. I got into a completely different dimension where I found the Totality of joy. This feeling cannot be described by words. I can only wish to any of my Readers to have it.
"I am the door. By me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved:
and he shall go in, and go out, and shall find pastures."
(I copied these wonderful words of Jesus completely unexpectedly
into that file weeks ago, where I was collecting the thoughts of this post.
At that time I wanted to write a long essay about the Eucharist,
and I did not have the faintest idea that this post will become
a personal confession. Only when I copied the word into this place
I realized the meaning of what has been written one after the other.
An intensive flow of thanks carried me away after which
I could not continue writing for a long time.)
My third encounter with Jesus is an often repeated, beautiful sight. During one of the meditative prayers I had the vision of the white shining back of Jesus. First I became very embarrassed. "Why does Jesus turn his back to me? What wrong could I do?" Then the recognition hit me. "You fool! It has just happened now that you have desired for a long time! If you can see the back of Jesus, then – you are behind Him! If you are behind Him – then you follow the Path of Jesus!" An inexpressibly intensive joy overwhelmed me as I realized this. Since then I often feel that „we walk together” with Jesus. These are the times when everything becomes smooth, calm and well-arranged. Walking with Jesus you feel yourself in the middle of the endless and loving Silence of the Father where decisions become the right decisions made at the right time and at the right place.
Let me tell you one more story for what a fool you can remain even after getting so much mercy. At the beginning of February of 2018, I had a conversation with one of my friends and after recalling a misbehavior, I said accidentally: "Well, because of that even Christ would turn in his grave." Immediately after, I became very much ashamed of saying that. "You have not said a more capital nonsense than that in your whole life yet! How could he turn in his grave??? Idiot. He does not turn. He has Risen!"
There are many (and many more) who experience the intensity of inner depth. However, most people do not dare to get immersed in these experiences, and even less dare to speak about them. (I was also hesitating to publish them here thinking on Matthew 6:6: "But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee." but the necessity to share all these was urging me so strongly that I could not do anything else but to obey.) This is why I am truly happy that three friends of mine decided to share their spiritual experiences with the Reader (also first time telling them to the public -- we all thank for your empathy).
We wish all Readers the joy of experiencing Totality living in ourselves.
Dear Reader! Step inside!
Our inner depths 1: My multidimensional experiences (Anikó Szécsi)
I have had such experiences that a lot of people may experience, too. I dreamt about my son’s arrival, I felt the unexpected death of my Father, whose ghost has been sitting at the end of my bed at historic moments. So far I have had two determining and staggering experiences of Totality. The first one happened to me in 2010 when I was „reconnected” (about the method you can find more information here). I was taken to such a dimension which was covered all around by wonderful, not Earthly, delicate scents and immense light totally pervading me. Tunes and inexpressibly amazing feelings came to me while the most beautiful colors surrounded me – it was heavenly. Neither before, nor since then I have perceived anything like this.
I had the other experience at home, at one night in January, 2015. I wakened from sleep but I did not go out for a glass of water because something prevented me to do so. Suddenly a voice called me to go and look around. Where? At this moment I started to extend and I became bigger and bigger. First I was as big as the room, then as the house, and I saw myself lying below, then I could see the streets and the whole Earth and the stars among which I expanded with my whole spirit. I was outside in the Universe, surrounded by such deep silence and peace that I had never experienced before, and I felt that I got home. I do not know how long this state lasted because space and time disappeared. I was embraced by boundless tranquility, peace and love. I could see a thin string of light below me that connected me with my Earthly self (my body). Suddenly it came to my mind that if I was so enormously huge, how I would possibly fit my body again. And then the voice called me again and said that it was time for me to return. And it happened so, I returned gradually as I had to check whether I could fill and use my arms and legs properly… Everything was alright. It was a fascinating and outstanding experience that can hardly be described with Earthly concepts but it was self-evident, too.
What are these experiences good for? They can provide evidence for the invisible and with this they can help in becoming more conscious and stronger in faith. For me it is not a question that I am a part of the Universe, God, the Creator or Light (however you wish to name it), as we all are. Because I experience, feel and know it. The question is for me is that how I could serve my mission the best. I do not have the answer yet, but I already know that the key is allowing, i.e. unconditioned trust and devotion, acceptance of our smallness and at the same time experiencing our spaceless and timeless infinity in a humble way. Translating these into everyday life it is: meditation or prayer, helping others, doing useful things, practicing consciousness, humility and love with ourselves and all living creatures. Being human and having an opportunity to develop mean mercy themselves.
Epilogue: I feel deep gratitude for I met Peter Csermely a few years ago and that I had the opportunity to act for other people through and with him. Hereby I would like to thank Peter for offering me to share some of my experiences here which (because of fear or lack of understanding?) until now I have buried very deep inside me as something important but not presentable. Because how and when and for whom can these experiences be told without being considered a freak? (I have graduated as a teacher and later as an economist. I have 20 years’ of communications and marketing management experience, having had a lot of interesting challenges and an own enterprise – such as anybody else. My spiritual interest directed me towards Buddhism, so my experiences and wording are evidential of this. I know that there are different ways but all lead everyone to the same direction.) Although everybody is looking for the meaning of life, and has seen and heard amazing things, but often he rather intends to numb himself with a temporary pain killer (with a new handy or a relationship) and hardly opens his heart if he does at all. That is why it is worth not to keep back our lives’ most important experiences from each other.
Our inner depths 2: Golden prism (Barnabás Póth)
In the end of 2017 I had a magnificent spiritual experience. One evening I became tired to the extent, when you only go to bed because that's what you usually do, but you know that there is no chance you will be able to get asleep. All of a sudden my mind became so relaxed and calm, that I felt I am laying in perfect Calmness. I did not think, I did not judge anything and I did not make any prediction. I felt the prefect Silence (like that before creation) and I felt that I am in a calmness which is beyond existence. After some time a golden prism was emerging from my chest and glided above me. It radiated like a warm star. I remained in the state of perfect Calmness and Silence which deepened during this experience. It was a beautiful feeling to return to this state later (however, the prism was not there). To feel that I accept everything without judgment, I am together with everything was the best feeling I have ever experienced in my life.
Our inner depths 2: " 'I' is scarcely different, or actually exactly the same as 'he' or 'she' " (Csilla Fuszek)
I was almost ten years old; lying on my back in the grass I looked up at the sky as children do on summer afternoons, and - I cannot describe it more simply or plainly - this is what happened: the all-pervading, eternal grace of love descended upon me, enveloped me. There was a hush; the ordinary, the everyday course of things faltered, skipped a beat. I was startled, scared even, stumbling uncertainly in an unfamiliar state of consciousness. I suddenly found myself at a distance and outside myself and everyone else, while at the same time I knew with absolute certainty that I was now sharing in an infinite joy. The kind of joy that makes it clear to a child that she is inseparable from everything and everyone who ever lived in the past or shall live in the future. A joy that makes it apparent to the child that she shares the common lot, and makes tangible every sorrow of past centuries. From that moment on I knew without a doubt that the only thing that can cause us pain is becoming distanced from infinite love - the love that revealed to me, like a gift, the true face of reality, because by then I knew that the truest reality, the greatest gift of human existence is the joy that this love brings. As the hours passed – still beyond space and time – I also realized that this love is redemption itself, the force that fills up every empty space; the meaning of life. I went home, helpless, powerless I fell on my bed and stared at my family with the eyes of a stranger – whom I now saw as indistinct figures – and I could not understand why every conversation we held was not about the obvious miracle of love. And at night, once more, I became afraid: how would it be from now on? This happened 45 years ago, and the feeling has not faded; it has become the constant gauge of everyday life, the standard against which everything is measured: the all-encompassing, strong yearning, stronger than any other feeling, for sanctity. The promise of eternal return to heavenly, sacred love.
My next experience did not catch me unawares, one could say that I was prepared for it, yet because of its intensity, it became one of the most formative, defining moments of my life. We had been sitting in a circle, about seventy of us, several days of meditation on love and acceptance behind us, when, hunched and feet numb from sitting for so long, I stepped into the circle of people. I have no words to describe what happened to me next, perhaps it was the flow, the eddies and laws of eternal love that can manifest itself through light and music which coursed through every cell of my body: all pain ceased, it was as if I had shed my body, my anxiety, shame turned into a loving smile, and nothing existed any more except endless joy, and joy was present and again I knew without doubt that there is only one reality and that is divine love. If I do not open my hand, open my heart, my mind, if I do not allow myself to become part of the flow – if I do not accept the law - the eddies will sweep me away, vaporize me, but if your heart is open this love is redemption itself: and we were away, flying like angels, and this love was light and clear and certitude again, like on that childhood afternoon. I sat between heaven and earth and tried to find human faces, but all I saw was the flame of the Holy Spirit above gently swaying bodies.