David Spangler: An Encounter With Beings From The Future
Subtle Worlds: An Explorer’s Field Notes
David Spangler: An Encounter With Beings From The FutureJul 03
By David Spangler
May 27, 2009
As someone who is aware of non-physical dimensions to the world and of the beings that dwell and work within them, I have experiences that fall outside the definitions of reality with which our modern society is comfortable. I suppose that’s par for the course for someone acting as a spiritual teacher. But occasionally things happen that are outside even my usual boundaries of normality, and it’s delightful when they find unexpected correlation and confirmation from other unrelated events.
It is not unusual for me to have communication with non-physical, invisible beings; indeed, it happens almost every day and forms an important part of my work as I teach my online classes in collaboration with colleagues who dwell in spiritual worlds. But one day a couple of years ago I found myself in touch with beings of a totally different nature than any I had contacted before. Instead of being intelligences living in a different dimension of the earth, these were two individuals who seemed to be living in the future.
The whole feel of this encounter was different from anything I had experienced before. It felt like two different personalities were looking out at the world through my eyes, each discussing what they were seeing with each other. Unlike a contact with a spiritual or non-physical being which carries for me a distinctive and discernable “feel” that engages my whole being, this had a purely mental flavor to it, as if I were in telepathic contact with two physical individuals living not only elsewhere on the earth but as it turned out, elsewhen.
If this sounds like something out of science fiction (or the insane asylum), it’s actually not an unheard of phenomenon. It has been a recognized part of the shamanic tradition for thousands of years that a person may, through dreams or trance or some other method, find himself or herself contacting the mind of a descendent or an ancestor. I knew that this could take place, and indeed a friend of mine, Robert Moss, has written an excellent book, Dreamways of the Iroquois, based on this phenomenon. However, it had never happened to me before.
Further, this experience did not take place in a dream state or in any kind of altered state of consciousness (although my wife might say that I’m always in an altered state of consciousness, but that’s another matter). It happened one day as I was walking down the streets of a city near where I live. I became aware of presences in my mind — I have no other way to describe it — as if I were overhearing telepathically their conversation. They were seeing what I was seeing and they were marveling at it. The feeling of excitement and wonder that they were sharing was amusing and delightful to me, like seeing the awe on my kids’ faces when we first took them to Disneyland. I had the impression that these two individuals were like anthropology students from the future taking a telepathic field trip into the past to do research and for some reason hooking up with my mind. Perhaps they were descendents of mine.
They were studying everything around me as if it were ancient history to them, a world out of the mists of legend. I imagined I would feel exactly the same if I suddenly found myself looking through the eyes of a citizen in Rome when Augustus was Caesar or walking through London during the reign of Elizabeth the First. I remember very well their excitement at seeing cars on the road and one exclaiming, “You see, they were powered by internal combustion engines!”
To say this was a strange experience is putting it mildly, but I found myself caught up in their enthusiasm. The contact never lasted long, no more than five to ten minutes at the most, but it happened frequently over a period of several months. At first I was like a bystander to them, as if their telepathic perception — however they were doing it — bypassed my consciousness (though it wasn’t like they controlled my mind or body or anything like that) but gradually we began to talk to each other. Because they could only see what I was looking at, they would occasionally ask me to look at or go into a particular building. They asked me a couple of times to drive around so they could see the city from a variety of vantage points, and they were fascinated by automobiles themselves. I was happy to help. I felt they were like graduate students doing research on the past for some term paper. And they kept saying things like, “This is what the world was like before the Change.”
Needless to say, after the first two or three visits, when I realized this was not some strange passing phenomenon or a bout of indigestion, I tried to question them. What was their world like? How far in the future were they? What lay ahead for us in our future?
They tried to answer me as best they could, but it was hard. Whatever the method was that they were using (some kind of future shamanism, perhaps?), they could receive from me more easily than they could transmit. But the real challenge, I came to understand, was that they didn’t have all the answers to my questions. They really did feel like students or young people to me who took their own world for granted and hadn’t thought about it much and didn’t know much about its history. Indeed, their exploration into our time was part of their learning. Imagine if a Roman citizen from the first century CE asked a typical American high school student to describe the two thousand years of history separating him from us and to tell him about the politics, culture, and science of our world. Most of them would be unable to do it and would instead probably talk about shopping malls, ipods, and hip hop music.
It was this sense from them of the ordinariness of their world, how much they took it for granted, and how little they really knew about it that gave the whole experience a sense of verisimilitude for me. This wasn’t some grand high visitor from the future come to give me a message or provide insights into the times to come; these were like kids out on a shamanic lark, wonderfully and perhaps unexpectedly connecting telepathically with some guy in their distant past. Cool!
But there were images that they were able to convey. From their perspective, they lived in a peaceful world. I had the impression that the world population was not as large as it is today, but that may have been due to their living in an area of fewer people. They lived in a technological society, but the technology seemed to me to be psychic or mental in nature, almost what we might call “magical” (keeping in mind Clarke’s Law — one of three “laws of prediction” formulated by science fiction writer and futurist, Arthur C. Clarke — which states that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”). One thing for sure: they didn’t have internal combustion engines or cars!
The one image that was dominant, though, was that their civilization was profoundly connected to water. I came to realize they meant this in two ways. The first was that the culture these two came from was a maritime culture and that their world had a good deal more water in it than ours does. In fact, they themselves seemed to be living in the what now is Australia or at least in the South Pacific. Apparently at some time between our time and theirs, the sea level had significantly risen. The second was that much of their technology was based on water and drew its energy from water. I had the impression that this was true both for the physical energy, such as electricity, that powered their society, and for the metaphysical or “psychic” energy which they used as well.
And how far in the future were they? They didn’t know. They didn’t seem to understand my sense of time or of calendars and dates. At least they didn’t date things the way we do. It was far enough ahead that we were something of a distant memory but not so far ahead that we were forgotten. I had the sense there were still connections between their world and ours, some technologies perhaps, some customs, even language, probably some cities that were still around, like Rome is for us. If I were to guess, and it would only be a guess, I might say two or three hundred years ahead of us.
And there was a clear sense that between their world and ours, a Change had occurred (I could sense the capitol “C” in their minds when they thought of it). Part of this Change apparently had been destructive, as one might imagine if the sea levels rose significantly, but part of it had come about through other means, through discoveries and through shifts in consciousness. They were not explicit and I’m not sure they even knew fully what it was, any more than the average teenager could describe in detail for you what the Renaissance was or the Industrial Revolution.
Mostly what I gained from them was the sense of a clean, beautiful world, simpler in some ways but more advanced in other ways than ours, a world in which humanity and the earth had both come to a safe and relatively happy place. Perhaps most telling was the almost unconscious sense of pride both my visitors had, something they didn’t talk about but which I could feel in their presence. This was not pride in dominating their world but pride in being a loving and contributing part of a larger wholeness. They were proud at being human but they defined their humanity in terms of partnering with the rest of the natural world, not in trying to control it.
This contact was a sporadic one that lasted about a year. I suppose I felt my visitors a total of five or six times during that period. Were they really from the future? I don’t know. That was my sense of it, but maybe they came from one of many possible futures. When dealing with these kind of phenomena, it’s best not to draw hard and fast conclusions but to allow space for a bit of mystery, a bit of wonder and speculation.
However, that’s not the end of the story. In the two years or so since I had that experience, I’ve thought about the vision of their world that the two visitors had given me and about this whole idea of drawing both physical and spiritual or psychic energies from water. Then a couple of weeks ago, I was reading an article about Daniel Nocera, a chemist at MIT, who has discovered a way to make hydrogen fuel directly from water at room temperature using means akin to the photosynthetic processes in plants which can split water into hydrogen and oxygen using sunlight. Reading this and then doing some research on the Internet about Nocera and his process, I was struck by the fact that here was a simple, cheap way to produce and store energy using water, exactly the kind of technology that my visitors from the future had said was a cornerstone of their civilization. I was elated. While it certainly didn’t prove my contact, I nonetheless felt affirmed in the validity of that experience. At the very least, a water-based energy technology for society of the kind I had been shown was a real possibility.
I told this story recently to a group of people whom I met at a conference. It was one of those casual gatherings between sessions, and the discussion had turned to how dark and hopeless the future seemed to the people there. I shared this story with them, and I could feel the atmosphere of the group shift and relax.
“That’s wonderful,” one woman said.
“But I don’t know,” I replied, “if this experience was a contact with the actual future or a possible future, or something else entirely.”
“It doesn’t matter,” she said. “It gives me hope, and that’s what I need.”
It gives me hope, too. Not necessarily for any prophetic value because I don’t know if it’s a true prophecy or not, though I value its positive vision. It gives me hope because of something else I felt from my two visitors and that was a sense of the power of human creativity and imagination in loving collaboration with other humans and with nature itself. This was what struck and excited me about Nocera’s work as well. Not only was it opening a possibility of nonpolluting new energy sources from water, but it was doing so by learning from the natural processes of photosynthesis. Essentially Nocera’s work is based on doing what plants do. That was his breakthrough insight that is leading him to success in an area where others have failed. I see this as an example of learning to think like a planet, to think with nature instead of against nature.
My two visitors seemed to come from a culture that quite naturally thought and acted in harmony with the world; they both had a love for the world that would not let them do otherwise; this love was not expressed in anything they said, either to me or to each other, or in any of the images they tried to show me; it was just there in the nature of who they were. I could feel it as an underlying current: they were in love with the world. Maybe that whole experience was just one of realizing that if we could think and act like that, from that kind of love, we could transform our world and come to a good future.
Certainly, it was not technology alone that had created for my visitors the world they inhabited. They had technology; they were not primitives eking out bare survival from a blasted and devastated world. But the fundamental characteristic of their world was not its technology but its consciousness, the way people thought and felt about themselves and the planet. And in their discussions with each other, it became clear to me that the reason they wanted to visit and see our world and our time was that it was here and now that that consciousness began. The roots of their world were in ours. They were visiting what to them was the time from which their hopeful world emerged. For them, the beginning of that hope was in our present.
That is what gives me hope. Whether that future will exist or not, whether my visitors are real people, perhaps descendents of mine, or not, the possibilities that it could exist are very real right now. We are not prisoners of old consciousness or of habit. We can change our minds and our hearts. We have vast reserves of love, imagination, creativity, and powers of partnership and collaboration on which to draw. We can learn to think like a planet and to act from that perspective.
I hope we do. If so, then somewhere in the future there are two kids writing a term paper that says their present began with us.
Subtle Worlds: An Explorer’s Field Notes
By David Spangler (Author), Julia Spangler (Editor), Freya Secrest (Editor)
This amazing book chronicles sixty plus years of a modern mystic’s experience of the subtle worlds of spirit. Taking the attitude of a field biologist David Spangler shares his rich experience and wisdom gleaned from encountering Angels, post-mortem realms, Spiritual Forces, Inner Mentors, Elementals, and other inhabitants of our natural second ecology. He makes the case that for humanity to be healthy and whole and able to meet the global challenges before us, we need to appreciate and engage these rich and fascinating energy environments and the potential allies who live within them. The pages are chock full of interesting stories and anecdotes of the unseen Beings which share our planetary and spiritual life.
Who is David Spangler?
Since 1964 David Spangler has been an author and teacher of spirituality. He began his career at nineteen as the keynote speaker at a national conference in Phoenix, Arizona, on “Youth and the New Age.” The success of that talk led to other invitations, and a year later he left college, where he was studying molecular biology, and under guidance from inner sources, moved to Los Angeles where he became a featured speaker at the Fellowship of Universal Guidance.
This led to further invitations from other groups, and in 1966 he moved to Redwood City on the San Francisco peninsula where he taught classes and lectured on spirituality, the Western Esoteric Tradition, and practical mysticism.
In 1970 he visited the Findhorn Foundation community in Northern Scotland where he was invited to become its co-director and to be a teacher-in-residence. He lived and worked in the community until 1973, becoming the founder of its educational program.
Along with several friends and colleagues from Findhorn, he returned to the United States in 1973, and in 1974 he joined with them to create the Lorian Association, a non-profit spiritual educational foundation, which remains to this day the organization for which he works. In 1984, the Lorian Association moved to Issaquah, Washington where it is today.
In the years following his return from Scotland, David has developed and taught classes at a number of institutions, including the University of Wisconsin, Seattle University, Bastyr University, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. Also, since 1974 he has been a Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association — an association of scientists, artists, philosophers, economists, and spiritual leaders working at the cutting edge of scientific and cultural transformation.
His current work involves developing and teaching a spiritual practice called Incarnational Spirituality. His books include Emergence; The Call; Everyday Miracles; Parent as Mystic, Mystic as Parent; Blessing: The Art and the Practice; The Story Tree; Manifestation: Creating the Life You Love; and The Incarnation Card Deck.
David is happily married to Julia Manchester whom he met at Findhorn in 1971. They have four children ranging in age from twenty-five to fourteen. He considers being a parent his primary spiritual practice.