Recently I had the opportunity of revisiting a powerful experience from the past from both sides; one as a person deeply affected and the other as a person who was merely a participant in someone else’s powerful experience. When I was in college a friend had a huge impact on me and my future. She changed the course of my life and I thought of that experience and referred to it many times over the years. She showed me that life was not only material, but was spiritual as well. She opened me to curiosity, science and mysticism. We had many unexplained experiences together that are as clear to me today as the day they occurred. That encounter turned me onto a path of science and later healing. It changed my life and I never forgot it. I was always curious what happened to her and wondered what it would be like to reconnect. I had that moment and it was not what I expected. The golden luster of the long past experience was gone. Before me sat an ordinary woman, accomplished in her own right, but not the mystical woman I had recalled. I shared my memory of our time together and she shrugged it off. For her, it was a common memory. For me it was a golden moment.
There is an old Chinese proverb that we are each born with a red thread tied to our ankle that is connected to all those important people we will encounter, by chance or purpose, throughout our lives. That string can stretch and tangle but it never breaks. I suspect that memorable moments are with those people. But it seems it is not always a mutual experience. It may be much more meaningful for one than the other.
Recently I wrote here about an anonymous friend that expressed gratitude to me after 50 years of separation. It was clear that the time we were together was extremely meaningful and important for them. I greatly appreciated hearing how important our time was for them, but didn’t share it. Perhaps the special, magical moments of transformation are personal and transpersonal. There is something in us that is awakened and reminds us of who we are on a deep level of knowing beyond our conscious day to day mind. Then the grace of time passing, like a river, serves to scour away the debris, rounding off the rough edges, making it even more significant in our minds and hearts. It is ours, and only ours. Personal and transpersonal. I could not imagine that something so significant to me could be dismissed by the other. But knowing it is not a shared golden moment does not diminish it in any way. It reminds me that we are greater than the physical, affected but unattached to what the other does or says. We see through the grace of passing time how it polishes us smooth, makes us better more loving beings, guides us in fulfilling our purpose for being, even if we haven’t a clue. May we all be graced with golden moments that get tumbled in the river of time and remember with affection those people who have catalyzed us into being all that we are.