What has been the most spiritual experience of your life?
Mary Wells Lawrence: I am one of those people who have “happenings” on rare occasions. So I don’t feel we are alone here, but I certainly don’t know what I mean by that either. In my younger days, I tried to intellectualize unusual happenings and visited psychiatrists and a few religious leaders about them. They all seemed to agree I was simply having religious experiences, so I gave up trying to understand and just accepted them as a helpful part of my life.
For example, I was in France when I was awakened by a voice that told me my mother was dying and I should get a plane to New York right away. I just got out of bed and rushed to the airport and arrived in New York in time to have about fifteen final minutes with my mother before she died.
My mother and I had agreed many years before that whichever one of us left first would return with a message that would be meaningful only to the two of us to reassure the other that all was well. About six months after my mother died she came to me in France one morning looking good but very serious and told me that she thought I would want to know that Kass had died. Then she smiled and left. Kass was someone I knew when I was very young who I hadn’t seen or heard from – or thought about – for at least 40 years – from when I left Ohio. I checked and of course Kass had indeed died. This sort of experience was not strange or frightening. It felt loving.
Every bit of unusual help that I have had has felt like a caring and strengthening aspect of natural life, and, perhaps more important, like a reminder that we are here to care and give help, too, and to do all we can to make things better for others.
Joan Ganz Cooney: I think the most transforming moment — I don’t know if spiritual is the right word — was when my stepdaughter gave birth to her first child, a little girl. We were told there was worry about a problem (which turned out not to exist) and that the baby had been sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We, of course, rushed to the hospital and a nurse brought out this nearly nine pound baby with a huge amount of black hair, standing straight up like Don King’s. Since the other babies in the unit were two pounds and under, we nearly burst out laughing. As soon as I saw her, I had the strangest feeling of euphoria and rebirth — and I knew that she would be MY baby, that her parents would just have to share her with me (which they very generously did). For fourteen years I’ve felt the same way … reborn through Chloe, who is surely the loveliest, smartest, funniest, most joyful child on this earth.
Joni Evans: At first, I never believed in an afterlife or anything spiritual. But, at age 50, I was hit on the head by evidence from a psychic who was beyond gifted. I ‘heard’ from my parents — both deceased; my son — who died when I terminated a pregnancy; an uncle I barely knew but saw everything I had done for 25 years; a best friend who had specific messages for her children. Each of these messages were so specific to me: My dad talked of a fabric in my pocketbook, laughing about its cost (he ran a textile company and these fabrics were overpriced for my new brownstone awnings!) On and on.
In time, I too, started to receive (‘feel’) messages. A favorite earring lost — returned magically on my mom’s birthday. Little things, then big things. I now always feel connected to the beyond. A blessing I live with always.
Candice Bergen: I have had nothing like Mary’s reassuring experiences, though I always find hearing about them comforting. In the 60’s and early 70’s people took psychedelic drugs to duplicate or induce metaphysical experiences or visions. But when I had my daughter, I thought, Oh! So THIS is what we’d been looking for! A total rootedness in the Now. An intense and utter bond with another being. The relief of discarding finally one’s ego and caring for another well above oneself. The full vibrancy of being through that connection with another soul. That is about as spiritual as it’s gotten for me.