The framed picture you see here I found in a thrift shop in Rhode Island. It was ‘created’ by someone who truly wanted to honor this historic spiritual figure. The satin in the background was ruched by hand and sewn down to a piece of cardboard. And, yes, that’s real velvet for the robe. It’s really kinda tacky. But it was the expression on his face that caught my eye and compelled me to purchase it. His eyes cast upward, as if hoping for assistance from above regarding the state of the world in which he has found himself, and that help just isn’t showing up. He looks to me, as if he is saying, “What the fuck?” And that is what I call this treasured piece which hangs above one of my work tables: my What the Fuck Jesus. I think he’d approve.
I am not a Christian. My parents were both baptized Catholics. That meant a lot to my mother and nothing to my father who, as a Cuban male, no doubt following in the footsteps of his father, had his own idea about the nature of his behavior in the world which was pretty much, “I’ll do what I damn well please.” His mother, like my mother, and her mother, were churchgoers on a regular basis. But having been placed in an untenable situation as a very young child, I had learned to leave my body long before I was exposed to churchgoing and had therefore, become — literally — grounded in what, I guess, most people would term “Earth-based spirituality.” In short, I have never, in my life, despite baptism, (I was fresh from the womb and had nuthin’ to do with that!) considered myself either a Christian or Catholic.
For whatever reason, I have also had access to what many people might call visions and what I prefer to think of as interdimensional experiences. It’s likely — and I’m basing this possibility on a vision that I had — that these “experiences” originate as a result of some kind of unusual activity in a part of the brain called the sylvian fissure. I’d never heard of thing until I had a vision of it — quite vivid — one morning a few months ago while doing yoga. I do my morning yoga in the east/south-east facing windows of our home, usually around dawn or shortly thereafter. Consequently, when the sun comes up, if I happen to be facing that direction, the light of the rising sun almost blinds me. But one morning, as I rose from the floor, the beam of sunlight hit me right in the middle of my forehead, in the area of what some people might call “the third eye.” When it did, I had a vision and it was a very strange vision, unlike any I’d had before because it was a vision of my brain, inside my head, and I saw a very distinct and odd shape within it that was lit up in a golden light.
I finished my yoga but could still see clearly in my mind’s eye, the vision I’d had, which is unusual for me because I don’t visualize very well. As distinctive as the shape was, I knew that I could identify it easily and, because of my artistic background, my unrelenting curiosity, and my interest in the human body in general, I have a copy of Gray’s Anatomy that’s always handy, so I looked up the structure of the brain immediately and, sure enough, there it was, exactly as I had seen it, the same size, shape, and placement that I’d witnessed. Unlike my vision, the illustration was a black-and-white drawing, not 3-dimensional and glowing gold.
In the description that accompanied the illustration it was stated that activity in this area of the brain has been associated with what are often called paranormal experiences. Now, I don’t feel that this fact lets out the possibility that the “visions” are “real” and simply existing in another dimension that most people don’t have access to. I have learned, partially because of my mind and because of my visions, to accept many things at face value and not try to figure them out because generally these things are not troublesome and often, for me, they don’t feel that far from the reality that I live, which is to say the reality that I share with other people.
As an example of shared reality, in June, 2018, I had a remarkable experience as I was sitting on the floor at about 10:15 at night observing the sky beyond the trees which was being lit up almost constantly by bursts of light from what I imagined was thunderstorm many miles away. I could not hear thunder but the light was nonstop. However, in addition there were also, whizzing past the trees in the woods, amorphously shaped and very brilliant patches of white light of various sizes, most about the size of small birds.
The small flying lights went on for only a matter of minutes. Some were higher in the trees than others; all were quite close. I was more intrigued by those then by what I assumed — and then later validated online — was a thunderstorm somewhere to the north. The next day I mentioned the glowing white lights whizzing by to some friends and got feedback from a couple of people that validated the experience saying that it sounded as if I had experienced seeing bits and pieces of a shattered meteorite. These folks said that they had seen similar things to those which I had described. I mention this because it was a very odd thing and quite surreal, but apparently it was also something that other people had experienced as well. I believe that sort of shared agreement about an occurrence is generally called “reality.”
The “visions” I have had qualify as part of my experience of reality. They have happened all my life; I have interacted with them on numerous occasions because sometimes the “visions” look as real as you do if you look at yourself in the mirror. I can assure you, it is quite startling. In fact, one of the times that the Jesus figure appeared to me, I was working, doing hands-on healing on a client who was lying on my massage table on his back. I was standing at his head, my hands on his shoulders. When I get deeply into a healing trance, I’m overtaken by it, so I didn’t think twice when I asked my client to please move his hand away from his upper arm. When he answered me, asserting that his hands were on the table, I looked up to see what seemed to me to be a physical human being except that it looked exactly the way that Jesus is generally — if incorrectly — pictured and I totally panicked. I tried to hide my panic from my client and was successful but “Jesus” disappeared and has never come back. I’d seen him a couple of times before but always in a kind of holographic form which, I guess, to my mind was an acceptable concept for the appearance of an archetypal being. But actually real Jesus — or what looked to me like actually real Jesus — with a bit more than I could take.
In retrospect, I treasure the moment, a moment that is as real to me as I am sure many of your memories are to you. For whatever reason, and I’m guessing my sylvian fissure is a lot to do with it, my life feels like magic a lot of the time, synchronicities abound on an almost daily basis, and, indeed, things happen to me and around me that seem quite different from the things that happen around most other people. And I have “gifts” — like the ability to run a great deal of energy and to run it with intention and to have that change things in other people’s bodies if they’re open to it, things that have been validated by physicians. I consider this ability a gift. I think my gifts came to me when I was a child, when I needed them to survive, to not go mad. Now I share them when I can with people who are open to the knowledge that energy can do many things, things we can’t explain.
I don’t think any of this is “magic;” it’s energy operating in ways we may not be familiar with. But science at it’s most profound, suggests the possibilities of more things than we can imagine. So, yes, I have “seen” Jesus, a being whose painted images are the result of a combination of apocrypha and racial preferences and the burning desire that so many people have to believe in his existence… a collective combination of energies that found a way to become a form. I have seen a 3-dimensional image constructed from years of seeing 2-dimensional images because I have a brain that behaves differently from the majority of brains… that doesn’t make my reality any less real for me… and certainly makes it far more interesting than it might be otherwise.