I was twenty years old, and had given up on everything but sex and drugs. A few months before my "experience" I felt like praying to God, but did not, because I thought I would have to knock on doors and share some Biblical message. I was using scores of "diet pills" (amphetamines) every day. Sometimes I would use medication to sleep.
I was visiting a young lady in a school residence. I had lost 25 pounds. I was all but out of money and pills. I was in a foyer of some kind when in front of me was the face of Jesus. I knew Him instantly, somehow. I think He could simply assure me, without words, that He was He! I was amazed. I sensed a Presence in addition to Him, or along side of Him, which I call God.
That night I emotionally fell apart, and was crying. A young lady there tried to console me, and did, but I kept on expressing my fears and awful doubts about myself. She kindly excused herself, and I was 'alone'. The tears stopped, and I'm sure I blinked! There was Peace everywhere, a Divine Peace.
I know Jesus is alive. I have found literature that expresses many of His thoughts. I know God Is, which became clear also that night. I know I am part of God, and so are you!
I have given the bare bones of this experience which happened in 1971. I have no doubt about its Reality. That night, when the Peace had come, it led me to another experience, in which I saw a formless fullness of Life Itself. I call It God. It included me. I am not separate from It. It is always, and includes everyone. We are not often conscious of It. It is blissful and ecstatic by Nature. It is the Holy Self, of Which/Whom we are all Extensions.
I determined to stop using drugs that night, but I still smoke cigarettes. I have never used a drug whose experience was so Real, and I have never experienced anything more Bona fide than that experience of knowing, seeing, feeling Formless Bliss as All-Inclusive Self.
There are many Teachers, and many Teachings, and many of them integrate quite nicely. But there is no substitute for the kind of Help that comes when you need it, and not just when you ask for it! Even though I have so many 'imperfections', I can still talk to Jesus, because I know He is way ahead of me - well aware of this and that, and still has troubled to assure me of His nearness, and God's Eternalness. Like some of the others who have contributed to this cool web site, I do not know how to 'initiate' this Ideal Awareness of the Oneness-Truth, but I am sure enough that it is a function of 'remembering' what is, and not of "finding" it. Heaven for me is not a matter of a place, but of an awareness. "Awareness" does not mean an artificial temporal state of mind. It means a true observation of fact, of reality.
Reality is God - or that's the word I have been using. Whatever word someone uses scarcely matters. I think Jesus said it nicely, if He indeed said, "The truth shall set you free..."
All the rest is illusion.
We are in good hands. I pray that we each and all get to KNOW it, real soon!