More to Life Than Meets the Flesh


EspañolIn late Summer 1989, a month or so before Hurricane Hugo hit Puerto Rico, I had what could be considered a major religious experience. It is ironic, since I am the least religious person I know.

I have tried not to share this story outside of close family, but it occurred to me that it might be time, because there is an important message within that experience — a guide to faith and works and the universal mind.

While staying at my parents’ home in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, I awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of our dogs barking loudly, as if to ward off an intruder. It startled me a bit, so I sat up in bed to pear out through the three windows that stood side by side, to see if I could get a glimpse of what had raised the alarm.

To my astonishment, in the third window, farthest from my head, I saw a woman, glimmering in amber, her face covered by a veil and looking directly into my room. Her gaze was not at me; it was as if she was waiting for someone.

I challenged this person, only to see her disappear before my eyes and leave a soft glow on the bushes just outside the window. Certainly, I was scared, but I guessed it was my own imagination. The only thing curious was that as she disappeared, the dogs stopped barking.

Several nights later, the exact same thing occurred — except that this time, the woman in the veil was standing in the center of the three windows, closer to my head. Again, she was staring directly into the room, her face hidden by the side of the veil on her head. Again, I challenged her and again she disappeared, but this time she disappeared slower, leaving a faint glow on the leaves of the bushes outside my window. Once more, the dogs; that had started barking at her arrival, stopped at her departure.

Now I was really scared. Seeing an apparition once can easily be written off as just your mind or eyes playing tricks on you. Seeing it twice and having the confirmation by the dogs both times meant this was something else. But, she was not done with me yet.

A few nights later, she returned. This time, she was in the window right next to my head. Unlike her previous visits, she was staring to her right, back towards the hillside behind the home. The result was that the veil, again, hid her face. Yet, there was no mistaking it; she was there to deliver a message.

Like before, the dogs had alerted me to her presence; however, I did not sit up; instead I spoke softly to her asking her what she wanted. The only response I received was “you already know.” After that, she slowly faded, taking several minutes to fully fade away and leaving a glow on the bushes outside the window for what seemed like an eternity.

The Penitent Magdalene by Guido Reni (1635). Source: Walters Art Museum.

I have always believed that this was a visit from Mary Magdalene, not the Virgin Mary. I believe this because in other apparitions reported of the Virgin, viewers appear consistently able to see her face between the veil, whereas this time her face remained hidden from view all three times.

I will not reveal at this time “what I already knew” that Mary was reminding me of, but suffice it to say that the world in which we live today is not the only world that exists. There is more to this world, to our lives and our bodies. It has been expressed in many religions as a god, or angels, devils, or demons — yet I suspect it is something more and something less.

Over the centuries, thousands of people claim to have witnessed apparitions or ghosts. While it is impossible to verify the authenticity of each claim, I know I am not alone in having this kind of experience. What this does say about us all is that there is an inherent desire to seek something greater than ourselves, something beyond this world.

Overtime some mostly non-religious authors have gotten it right. Napoleon Hill in his famous book, Think and Grow Rich, Tony Robbins in Awaken the Giant Within, and one of the first of this kind (which I am currently reading) The Secret of the Ages.

Each of these books, in its own way, refers to the universal mind and our connection to it. Each teaches us to focus our efforts and our thoughts towards a specific and positive end. While each also focuses on material wealth, they do so from a spiritual stand point. While all mention religion at some point, each is a non-religious, yet very spiritual, message.

As Christians celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ, it is important to remember, regardless of what religion you call your own, this one important concept:

There is a divine, and there is a right.

We often allow ourselves to be lost in the smokescreen of our day-to-day lives, our earthly passions, and political foolhardiness. We are better than the world we have created, and it is high time we turn back to the task at hand: being better at being people, being better to each other, and building a better world.

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