Only Twenty Seconds
The following story comes from Andrew, a teacher of the Course, who lived in New York for a long time. At 9/11 he was with other brothers at Ground Zero and helped several people who were wandering around in shock. Many miracles occurred here. At this moment of deepest agony the gates of heaven were wide open and things happened that would not have been possible otherwise. Within a few years, New York City fell back into the normality of deep sleep though. Andreas lived there at the time when I visited him at the crossing of First Street/First Avenue between Uptown and Downtown, a neighborhood with alternative shops and cafes, where the ever-present scent of incense and pot announced an alternative lifestyle.
My girlfriend and I stayed right across from Andreas’ apartment in one of the cheapest descents of the city. We stayed at the youth hotel of the Hare Krishna Temple. Because I worked for several hours during the days renovating the rooms, I could stay there for only twenty-five dollars a night; otherwise it would have cost sixty-five. My room was right above the temple. This meant that I was woken up every morning at 4:30 when the drum and the choir of the community were singing: “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare. Hare Rama…” Andrew himself once had been a bigwig in the Hare Krishna ISKCON organization and could enter the hotel and eat breakfast for free. Once, for an hour, we joined a group of Indian dancing and singing monks of ISKCON, when they made their rounds in a nearby park. Andreas, a large athletic man in his sixties, is a great communicator.
He had the ability to connect with the people in the streets of New York and bring them into contact with the inner light. After such a meeting they found themselves in a different world than before. The following story took place in his youth. Because of the Vietnam War in the U.S. conscription, he was active in the late sixties and early seventies.
Andreas eluded the convening by changing his place of residence every two weeks, spending two years practically on the road. He acted here quite legally. He always reported the new address immediately to the city and the Army. But since the bureaucratic apparatus of the U.S. Army needed a certain amount of time to send the convening papers to the new address, he was always in a different place when they reached the destination.
He told me that he had only slept twice outside in these two years. Again and again the people with whom he had hitchhiked or who he met on the road had taken him home. With God, he did not want to have anything to do, except he trusted the universe that he would be taken care of always, which was already much more than many Christians are able to do. Once, however, it looked bad for him. He was in the middle of the night somewhere, knocked off in a lightless wasteland. Freezing rain soaked his clothes and he saw no more way to find shelter.
He was shivering and was sure that his death was imminent. He fell to his knees, looked up at the black starless sky and prayed for the first time since his childhood. “Universe, God, I’m dying. If I go somewhere, if there is another life for me up there, then please give me a sign!” He did not even ask for help. At this point of the story his voice always failed.
It took God only twenty seconds to respond! Headlights of a jeep shot around the next corner of the country road where he was. There were soldiers in it. The car stopped and took him with them.
From that moment on, he was in search for this God who had never let him out of sight.
When he got to know the Course and realized ‘Yes!’ to God, he was afraid. “I do not want to have to fight like Albert Schweitzer in Lambarene with the heat, the disease, and the mosquitoes, but if you want, I’ll do even that.” The answer of the Holy Spirit was the following. “You are only expected to live always in the passionate ecstasy of light and miracles. No other sacrifice is requested!” He happily agreed. Since then, he is a living expression of this order.
The following story was told by a friend who was a small, very fragile man with long hair and a soft breathy voice. He owned a small shop for health products and massages in Berlin at that time, near Oranienburger Street. He was spiritually, a very serious man and not a braggart. As unlikely as the story might sound, I didn’t doubt for a moment that he was telling the truth.
“I flew to an island in the Pacific. From there I was transported by fishermen to another uninhabited small island. I told them to come back in two weeks. I wanted to spend time in solitude and meditation. When I had traversed the island, I realized with horror the absence of fresh water. How should I survive the two weeks without fresh water? I decided once again to look more closely. I searched the island and found in fact many large tree leaves, which were filled with rain water. I drank from the water and thought I could make it. Then I realized that this tree water developed an unfortunate side effect. My throat narrowed. I was breathing harder and harder. I noticed that the breath would soon completely stop. I was at that moment of course, completely on my own. I layed down on the beach and tried to calm down. My breathing was getting thinner. Finally, it stopped completely. I laid there and was not breathing at all. It was not pleasant, but not unpleasant either, just unusual. I could die at any moment, if I would panic or fall asleep. But as long as I laid still, nothing would happen to me. For me, a lot happened that night. In the morning, my breath slowly began to flow again.” How he survived the rest of the time, I forgot to ask. Maybe he drank again from the leaves and started the exercise all over again.
Look my books up at Amazon.com
The following two experiences come from a Jewish scientist, pilots, and mystics, whom I want to call Alfred. I was several times with other friends in his log cabin on the Wisconsin River as a guest. We were all in Wisconsin in order to study the Course with our Master Charley of whom I will talk a bit later. Alfred had many stories to tell, of which I have chosen two. When Alfred was a boy of 7 years, it was around 1938. He boarded a train from Cologne to Berlin. He drove in a closed first-class compartment, which was actually forbidden for Jews. He was alone, trying to enjoy the ride. After some time the train stopped, and something happened that started like a nightmare. An SS-Standartenführer in a long black leather coat slowly marched down the aisle.
He read the number of Alfred’s compartment, opened the door, and came in with great stride. He took off his hat and threw himself on the opposite seat of Alfred. The boy tried to be as normal as he could be and looked fixedly out the window. The SS officer began to take off his coat and gun and make himself comfortable on his bench. Then he said something quite unexpected, “This time you do not have a Moses who can save you. Everyone needs to be his own Messiah.” Alfred looked at him in amazement. The officer went on to talk about the Old Testament, which he seemed to know very well. Then he suddenly became personal and lowered his voice.
“Listen, I know you’re a Jewish boy. You have to promise me to tell your parents what I will say to you. Do you promise that?” Alfred nodded uneasily.
“When you get home, tell your parents that they should pack their bags right away and leave the Reich the fastest way possible. You must flee to the west, not to the east. Will you say that? ”
“Yes sir, I’ll tell them.”
The officer nodded. “It´s really getting bad here, you understand, you can not stay.”
Alfred and his parents followed the advice of the Standartenführer and left the German Reich to emigrate into the U.S. The city of Cologne had invited him several years ago to an event for the surviving Jews of the city. It was the first time after the war he saw the city again.
Another miracle that Alfred experienced is one of the more well-known that Sai Baba is said to have effected. Sai Baba was an Indian saint with hundreds of thousands of followers, who was celebrated as an avatar and ascended master. Prior to the miraculous event, Alfred flew as a pilot with a small passenger plane over northern Nevada and lost in a heavy snowstorm orientation. The plain was shaking and he could not see anything, because his radar system failed. He had almost run out of fuel. That was it. Was there any other option left except to dive, crash, and die? Alfred had indeed one more action to take before giving up. For the first time in thirty years he asked God for help.
He did not have to wait long. A voice came out of the cockpit speakers. The voice gave him precise instructions for landing. He did not know where he was, except that he was far outside a populated area. Suddenly, what appeared was a runway amid the clouds and the wilderness of rugged mountains and snow-covered sand dunes. He brought down the plane safely and ran to thank the air traffic controllers of the control tower.
“Thank you for the help!” He said to the two officials, who were still staring stunned out the window. “You have brought me down here very professionally! We had run out of fuel. Ten minutes later and we would have fallen from the sky like a stone.” These two officers looked at him in amazement.
“We did not have any contact with your plain, sir! You came out of nowhere. ”
Alfred discovered later in Mexico a picture of Sai Baba, which was almost completely covered with ashes. This ash had the property to grow by itself. It was distributed among the followers as beneficent medicine. Sai Baba always seemed to materialize it from nowhere and to scatter it on the audience of his listeners. “That was the man who brought me down.” Alfred said. When he asked Sai Baba later in India directly about the Airplane, he confirmed that he was the one who helped.
The next two stories are hard to believe by someone who has not experienced something similar himself or heard from reliable witnesses yet. The important thing is not to measure the message of this book on the credibility of each story. The stories cited here are still tame. There are many other experiences that are even crazier.