Note: the blue italics indicates the teacher, in black other participants.

Existential breakthrough

Tell us about your existential breakthrough, when you were 19 years old.

I was in the Marines, we were out for a drink, on our way there was a fountain in the middle of the walkway. The normal thing to do would be to walk around it. However, I thought I would do a funny thing and walk straight through it. The water fountain was in front of a restaurant with dozens of people sitting around eating their dinner. I said to my friend walking next to me that the fountain had better move out of the way because I was coming through. Realizing my plans, he started laughing. For a brief instant, I felt a panic arise, but I redoubled my commitment to being silly and forged ahead. Into the fountain I went, stomping and splashing through the water. I was so thoroughly immersed in what I was doing that I forgot about everything else. Then, there was a reflexive impulse to think, “Oh My God, I must look like an idiot,” but the thought vanished even as it arose.

Then I felt a big pressure climbing up through my chest in my head. Once the pressure reached my head it was like there was an earthquake. Then, I felt completely devoid of anything; like the eye of a hurricane. Everything was going on around me but I was completely at peace. I realized that “THIS” was the way things really are and “THIS” is the way things had always been. “THIS” is open to anyone and everyone all the time, but most people won’t be willing to give up everything for it. “THIS,” whatever “THIS” was, was what I had always wanted my whole life. Whenever I wanted something else, it was because deep down I had a secret hope that it would bring me back to “THIS.” The greatest part of the entire event was the realization that “NOTHING MATTERS.” The whole experience was a taste of a kind of freedom that I didn’t know was even possible.

After that initial event, the realization slowly died and became a memory. Since I had no idea what had happened, who to talk to about it, or where to begin I was pretty lost for a while. Then all my energy was dedicated to finding “IT” again.

And after a few years, you found me.

Yes. The problem today is that few people speak of that, except for some false gurus.

I see that this kind of experience, what I call an existential breakthrough, often leads one to become a real seeker. It’s a kick in the ass from God, which becomes like the carrot in front of the donkey. 🙂 Now you know there’s something else.

I remember a part of the experience, where really my life appeared to me like a big joke.

You had a glimpse of the real world. It’s still amazing to me that for 15 years, you made your way all alone and that you didn’t lose yourself. There must be grace with you. And it seems that you are well equipped to avoid falling into the traps. But also that you are protected in some way, don’t you think?

I don’t know, I’ve never thought about. At the same time, I don’t think I have much choice.

The fact that you have no choice is a great chance.

When I found you, and I tried to distribute your book in the US, I thought everyone would be interested in it. But in fact, no! And it’s during my interactions with you that I understood that I was perhaps the only one.

And the lessons you learned from this experience, they are still there. They have accompanied you throughout your life. You have to realize that this is really a great luck. That’s why I speak of grace.

You’re right. You were also present all the time, through our email exchanges.

I was the one who could help you, therefore you found me. It seems to be a form of invisible guide. There must be one, if not, why would have you met me? It was in the 1990ies, and hardly anyone was on the internet at that time. And also, I was available and we were able to exchange, myself early in the morning and you, late at night. My role was to help you integrate this existential breakthrough in your daily life. And to answer your questions. You were full of questions, like Castaneda, for those who have read him.

As I could not find answers about my experience and that was leading me nowhere, I tried NLP because I thought it could help me. That was not bad, but that did not really answer my question. Then I tried and internet search for “NLP and enlightenment,” this is how I found you and I asked you: “You know this experience? You know what I’m talking about? Can you help me?” And if you had told me, that it was bullshit, I would have stopped. Because I knew that it was authentic. From the moment you had validated my experience we could continue. And there, to my horror, you said: “don’t do anything!”

I said that?

No, actually, I asked you what I could do, and you told me that I could not do much. Rather it was necessary to undo.

It was very intense for me too. For months it had been every morning chat between 6 am and 7 am.

My girlfriend was jealous. She did not believe me when I told her you were not a woman… (laughs)