A Night to Remember
Dr. Tom Hansen May, 2016
This article is about a personal experience I had in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. I was there as a non-governmental attendee at the Global Forum, the citizen meeting that paralleled the governmental Earth Summit at the same time in Rio. There were nearly 20,000 of we citizens attending, in addition to the heads of state of most countries of the world.
On the fourth day of the Global Forum, religious groups from all over the world held an all-night vigil for unity and peace. At about 11 pm, a representative of each of 40 different religions began coming onto the stage one at a time to invoke Spirit in whatever way was appropriate for that religion. When a Jewish Rabbi came on stage, he began singing “Shalom,” and I suddenly felt sort of an electrical shock. I had experienced these “energy jolts” several times over the previous three years. Sometimes they include a buzzing sound and create a very strong vibration in my body. They end with a presence of violet/blue light, and a wonderful feeling of love and security.
As the Rabbi sang, and this energy began to flow, I felt my awareness changing. Then I had memories of being in Jerusalem two thousand years earlier, at a meal with friends and relatives. This was getting strange! I was still conscious of the Rabbi singing and of the crowd around me, but I was also conscious of events and deep feelings from Jerusalem. I thought, “This is incredible. Is this really happening?” I had memories with visions of walking around Jerusalem with friends at my side, joyfully sharing love with them. And I saw women weeping over my death. “Wait a minute. What’s happening here?” I asked silently. I felt with a rush of energy that I was sharing memories of Jesus. While I understood clearly that I was not the reincarnation of Jesus, I seemed to share his memories in that moment.
Then I felt that I was just tapping into our common consciousness, the true unified consciousness of us all. Once I felt more comfortable with this happening, I said mentally, “I am willing to go forward with this consciousness experience if it is for the highest good of all.”
I concentrated again on the next religious leader on the stage. I felt overwhelming love for the speaker. I had no idea who the leader was or what religion was represented. Tears flowed down my face. I began to say mentally to the people of that religion, “Thank you for your unwavering faithfulness to your beliefs for all of these years. Thank you for keeping your faith in whatever way you interpreted it. You did absolutely everything the best way you could. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
I was overwhelmed with what felt like unconditional love for every member of that religion. My tears continued to flow for the next couple hours of the program, and as each person came on stage, I sensed the true holy and pure being that we each are in reality. What I had accepted intellectually before, I now experienced emotionally.
But then the message I was sensing began to change. It became a preparation for the future, rather than just a “thanks for the memories.” This new thought coming through to the religions was, “Your task is now complete. You have done all that you could do, and are to be congratulated. There is nothing you have done for which you must be forgiven. Now we are entering a new era, an era when your tradition will change. You have faithfully pointed the way, but now each person must be free to become her or his own authority. The time of formal structure is changing. People will now be challenged to recognize and accept their spiritual powers individually and collectively, through their own discovery and intention. These changes are not an end, but the necessary and joyous outcome of your faithfulness. Each person is holy and eternal.”
What a night! I returned to the retreat center where I was staying, to rest and digest what had happened. But no longer did I experience that conscious sharing with our oneness consciousness. I was just “myself” again. I knew that I had not “become” Jesus during the night, but I did perhaps share the consciousness that Jesus and others have lived over time. If this “oneness” we talk about is real, and the separation we experience is the illusion, then of course we might share Jesus’s experiences when we experience our true consciousness. I didn’t lose my own individual consciousness during this “oneness experience,” but perhaps I did glimpse our true collective consciousness of unconditional love. And it was magnificent!
What a wonderful system. We can tap into the experiences of many different beings, learn from them, feel with them, and yet still have our own sense of individuality within this oneness consciousness. No loss, only gain. I think it is not a matter of us evolving into a new state of consciousness, but rather, of remembering what we already are. That was the message that came to me that night in Rio.
My personal experience in Rio must have been influenced by me having previously been comfortable with Jesus. I was raised in a loving Christian church, and have attended Christian churches off and on for much of my life. I talked to several other people who had a similar deep experience of “love for all” that night in Rio, but they did not feel the same identity with Jesus that I experienced. They shared a common consciousness of unconditional love, but the experience manifested differently for each of them. All is one, but we each put our own little twists on that oneness. We never really left that oneness, so I hope this is the time we come out of our illusion of separation and remember our collective love.
Tom Hansen, Ph.D., is a retired mathematics education researcher, author, and teacher. He is also the author of the spiritual books “Trying To Remember”(1995) and “Remembering Our Oneness”(2013). He is a singer/instrumentalist, having produced several CDs of his own songs about spiritual, political, peace and environmental topics. He has performed at many conferences, festivals, workshops and churches.
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