I had Hodgkin's disease and was on chemotherapy. I had bad pulmonary toxicity, severe anemia, and fluid around my lungs and heart. I went into respiratory failure while lying alone on the sofa one Saturday morning. Everything, including me, dissipated-- became like mist-- and I could see beyond the mist, although I wasn't really seeing anymore.
It was more like knowing what was beyond the mist that made up my body, the sofa, the room, the universe-- everything. I slowly realized that these things were insubstantial and that there was only one reality and I could sense the reality behind the insubstantiality of matter. The reality was very strong, overwhelming in fact, and singular. It had consciousness. It was alive. And it had personality-- it had characteristics. These were obvious: kindness, joy, love. It was as approachable and immediately lovable as a kitten.
It was clear that the reality was interacting with me, that its attention was directed toward me, although I had the sense that it looked at everything simultaneously in the same way. The reality was not bound by time. Strangely, neither was I. The quality of its attention was like that of a new mother holding her long-awaited firstborn child-- love, joy, delight, fascination, indulgence. I got the sense that it was pleased to be perceived. I did not feel separate from that reality. I felt myself coalesce with it and realized that I had always been embedded within it, bathed in it, cradled by it. As I melted, I was deeply ashamed to have so profoundly underestimated the love and joy of the reality. I wanted to give it something. I told it that I was sorry to have underestimated its kindness and that I wanted to give it something, anything. I would even go back if it wanted me to, for the tiniest reason at all. I said this because it was the biggest sacrifice I could think of, never ever wanting to feel separate from the reality again, snuggled up so safely and so joyfully in it, I had no desire for anything else ever again. Time had no meaning.The fog re-formed and rebuilt the world. Gently, I was back in my body. I cried for weeks.