It was that time of year when life expectations become refilled into our cup of hope. Whether it was spring or summer, I’m not quite sure. The year is unimportant, because it could have been today or a hundred years ago. Perhaps it is important that I must have been only ten or eleven. Its importance is only stemmed within the idea that had it happened at this very age I am now, I would have not carried it with me through so much of my life already. And even at the young age that I was, I had taken so much from it and emerged changed.
Within thoughts of springtime ideas and summer ambitions the world blissfully became quiet. I, lying there in my childhood home, my three sleeping sisters whose breathing settled into the sound of a whisper of wind, I was more in my own head than I was in that room. The coolness of the sheets that were spread across this top bunk of the bed, held under me like a magic carpet as my face stared into the blackness realizing the closeness of the ceiling to my face.
With such calm and sweet settling into a place of shear protection, I could easily slide into uncharted thoughts. My mind has always seemed to provide me with such refuge. And on this night, it helps that the deep darkness filters out the tangible things that surrounds me.
The first time the image and feeling emerged it was a mere flutter. My eyes were closed, the room remained black, but the feel of the space within this waking dream proved darker yet. A thick blackness. Completely void of light or reflection, the blackness measured beyond any fathomable drawn or perceived line or end. It quickly became not just a thought and an image, but a place.
There initially was no fear, but only question. What was this place where nothingness contained the simplest of feeling? I could only describe it as a residual haunting where nothing is seen, only felt. I blinked myself out of this seeming abyss to search for something that might bind it to a reality or a recent thought. I found nothing remotely comparable.
Closing my eyes once again, I was uncertain where I’d be guided next in my thoughts. Surprisingly I found myself in the exact blackened spot. I decided to investigate it further, to continue to seek out a connection. Though still in a supine position in my bed, I felt nothing either physically or mentally concrete under my body nor even my feet. I felt like my entire being was within this unknown, un~nameable place. I deduced it was a location within the realm of this world or had been, as it was laden with such familiarity.
Suddenly I felt myself shudder with discontentment and an unsettling feeling. Shaking me out in this way, I could feel the bed was once again sustaining my body in a physical world. I had sub~consciously been made aware that this other world was this world. It was what it was or is to be without human life. Void of all that human life encounters each day. Not one planet, not even earth, was available for a living thing to be a placed upon in order to thrive where I had just visited. I gasped with the thought of never having a palpable world in existence.
My mind began to comprehend and to move through all the feelings and explanations of what the non~existence of everything would entail. No sun, no wind, no sound, not one single birth or death to create the slightest emotional footprint on this space. My mind wound between fear of the unknown and curiosity of what I might just find and understand if I kept looking. I could easily close my eyes and be back there searching. For an indeterminable amount of our earthly time, I did just that.
I found no gray areas in my feelings. It was either doom from what it would feel like if this life never existed or what might not if the future sees it all come to an end, to contentment that his place was neither threatening nor filled with sadness. Could this be what death is? The end of the world? Or the world before its creation?
One moment I even felt stuck between worlds. I began to sense that previous living had taken place here, but there was no emotion left behind to make me feel that either sadness or elation had taken over. It was more of just contentment; of never having a worry or to feel propelled to and fro between joy and sadness again. It was as if the darkness was nothingness and this nothingness was comforting.
When my thoughts became so obsessed with trying to rationalize what was transpiring, I could not return to the darkened encasement. I had brought myself too far into the reality of this life. It felt strange how this once quiet room now felt noisy with nothingness when I compared it to that other vast world. There I was unburdened with obstacles and could see the blackness through what we would define as an eternity. The space around me was vaster than the galaxy I was lying in, yet I did not sense danger or vulnerability. Different too was that I now began to feel confined, even though my eyes were still adjusting to lack of light and unable to see the close proximity of the ceiling now pressing down on me. I now desperately wanted to return to that unknown place.
The many nights after that dream of un-living, I continued to evaluate whether it was a place where we shall be once this life and world no longer exist or if it is what it was before it had existed. I was certain of one thing, within this space neither evolution or God’s creations of a world and galaxy existed. If, humans did; they were no longer beings in a physical sense. It was if I felt the presence of an undefinable number of individuals around me, but I saw no one.
Throughout the coming months and years I would try to slip back into that which was thick with blackness though lightened of all burden. Only on one or two occasions had I been able to briefly visit and the emotions coming out from it were always the same. I had fear of what I did not know of it, but the sense the un~named place gave me was blissful considered against the real world where I was breathing now, but eventually would take my last.
It has been nearly forty years since that night. I still cannot confidently say I fully understand what I had experienced, but I know the emotions if inflicted me with flood back with a certainty that I cannot explain. If it was evidence of what shall be of our world, our solar system, the galaxies after all living things cease to exist, I have learned one thing. That it is only within this spot for which I exist now does fear of what will become of me become a burden, because, once there, fear did not exist. And I was never able to be stay long enough to fully take in or learn the depth of the contentment. There is but one closest comparison of this place that I can think of to something of this earth. Although I have no conscious memory of it, but can speculate love, warmth, peace and safety are all encompassing, I would say that it is like returning to the womb.