In 2000 I suffered a heart attack. My condition afterward kept deteriorating, so I had to have a triple bypass. Three days after the operation they put me in a reclining chair. I had tubes in my chest pumping out reddish fluid into a box. I tilted back, closed my eyes, and found myself in another place.

I had a feeling I was in a different world. It felt strange. I was consciousness suspended in the air, and I was moving into a valley. It was green, and I could see across it from one side to the other, where the sides went uphill. I stopped on an upward slope on one side of the valley, and felt like I was frozen in midair. I could see everywhere I wanted to look, but I couldn't move. Below me on an earthen terrace, like a monument, there was a giant stylized bird's wing. It seemed to be about 10 feet long. The tip was pointing to me and where it would have attached to a bird was on the other end. It looked like cast iron with a weathered brown patina. I looked up the hillside and saw another one. I looked across the valley and saw others on the other side. They were all over the place. It was dead quiet. I had a feeling that no one had been there for hundreds of years, and the significance of the monuments was long forgotten. It was a lonely place. I was not frightened, but the feelings I had were disturbing and lonely. Then way off in the distance, so faint I could hardly hear it, I thought I heard someone calling. I couldn't make out what it was saying. When this happened, the wing monument below me began to come apart feather by feather. As it did, each feather turned into a dark shadow still shaped like a feather, and they began slowly moving in a stream toward this voice. I was finally able to move and my consciousness began to follow the stream of shadow feathers toward the voice. When I finally got back, I opened my eyes, and there was a nurse with some medication for me to take.

We are here to learn, and remember who we really are. If we knew that when we first came, we would be mere spectators, not students. That is the purpose of our being here. You can only learn to the extent of how deeply you're involved. The pain of what befalls you regardless of how bad it gets is your teacher. We need the darkness so we can find the light. Otherwise, how could we know and feel the difference, and develop a sense of direction. Love others, help them to learn, and allow them to help you. Love and spiritual knowledge are to be shared every chance you get. This does not mean preaching. It means being totally aware of the soul of someone else, seeing the window of opportunity, and saying something simple at just the right time with the right feeling, that will get through. Stay open for them so they can help you that way in return. That's why we're all here. The rest is illusion.