In The Spirit

1  On the night of March 2nd, 1987, I had a very unusual experience. As I lay asleep, I was roused to consciousness, to find myself awake, but not in my material body. I possessed my full faculty to think but, found myself in my spiritual body instead: I was In the Spirit (similar to St. John in Revelation 1:10) (n9:3).

2  I awoke to find myself standing aboard an ancient Greek sailing vessel, most probably Greek, tossing and rolling amidst the open sea. The ship was wrought of solid gold throughout, and had a huge rectangular sail, fully spread over a single mast. I stood on the deck for a moment, and peered across the open sea, as the ship sailed into the night.

3  And I remember going down below, to find myself amongst several men in what appeared to be a locker room, walking about in their white underwear. I don't recall what happened next, but I either fell back asleep or woke up immediately afterwards, in my material body. I was staying with my mother at her house at the time, in Santa Rosa, California. It was also the first time I experienced being aboard a ship in my dreams.

The Russian River

4  Yet a more significant experience happened only two nights later, on March 4th. I had driven my truck from my mother's house, up Highway 101, to a place north of Cloverdale. I pulled off the highway and found a place to park, right alongside the Russian River, which runs from Mendocino County, near Ukiah, south towards Santa Rosa, and out to the Pacific Ocean.

5  I had been living with my mother for about six weeks now, and suffering through one of my most troubled periods in life. I had no place else to stay, and had reached a complete state of decline: my whole personal life had collapsed in on me. The fact that I was staying with her severely compounded the situation, as I'd always had problems with her. We weren't relating well at all, as I sank lower and lower into the depths of despair. In fact it was so bad that all I could think about was dying: it was the sole thing on my mind and I was hoping I would just go to sleep and not wake up again.

6  So I went to bed that night in the front of my truck, and fell asleep on the front seat. After a couple of hours I began having a disturbing dream: about three race cars—a red one, a white one, and a blue one—all racing around a race track and running into each other, before bouncing off and running into each other again (n10:16). This happened several times before I awoke.

7  When I awoke, I looked up and saw a vision of a man, wearing a white robe. And as I peered up he came into such a view, that I found myself looking underneath his gown—at his testicles coming into full view! Mind you I was wide awake! For some reason it reminded me of my father, who had died a little over a year earlier (n11:298). Perhaps because of a similar experience I had when I was a boy about ten: I remember seeing my father in a similar fashion when he was sitting on the couch and wearing only a bathrobe.

A Newborn Baby

8  I fell back asleep shortly after this while lying on my back. I was only asleep a short while when I re-awoke to this incredible screeching noise—wailing in my ears! And I opened my eyes to the sight of this newborn baby, which completely filled my vision before me! as I lay on my back looking up at the ceiling of the cab. Again I was wide awake! It was a breathtaking sight to behold, and when this child cried, he cried in such a demanding way, it was a boy and he cried about ten times, letting the whole world know he had just been delivered and required immediate attending to. I then became uncomfortable, due to the immediacy of the moment, and desired that the child be removed, for fear I would cause it harm. I kind of backed away, as I lay there crouched in the front seat, and the child was removed, and taken up into heaven.

9  I lay there for a moment, as my mind was struck with wonder. And I heard a song from up above. It was faint and barely audible but still discernible. It was the song, Age of Aquarius, by the popular musical group, The Fifth Dimension. I know they say we're living in the Aquarian Age, but I'm still not sure what that means? (n4:163; n14:50). And for another moment I lapsed into a state of unconsciousness. When I re-awoke, I saw a vision of a cross, held suspended in the middle of the sky and arrayed in a very special way (n6:9).

10  Once again I fell asleep, and when I awoke I saw another vision. I was half asleep and it was unclear, but it was the face of a man. It reminded me of George Washington. I immediately fell back asleep and had another dream. I dreamt I was going to my cousin Judy's house in Fortuna, California, which is about 200 miles north of Cloverdale on Highway 101, with its apparent relation to Judith (12) of Gerarai and, the New Church. While Fortuna was a Roman fertility goddess, and later the goddess of chance. Compare the wheel of fortune. And I dreamt I was playing Chinese Checkers with her children, a game played with colored marbles and a round game board, within a colored hexagram or six sided star. Which obviously correlates with the symbolism on the front cover and, the color wheel (np:5), and loosely coincides with the Seal of God in the next chapter (n6:1).

11  I awoke once more and had a final vision. I opened my eyes and there it was, Humboldt State University, of Arcata, California. It was clear and distinct and looked just as it did when I drove by a few months earlier. And there was a voice, which resounded, Wilmaton University! It was clearly unusual, but I understood what it meant: it ties in my stepmother, whose name is Wilma—she is/was a professor there—with my father, whose last name is Hamilton. And when joined you get, Wilmaton. And no, George Washington didn't cross the Delaware River at Wilmington, as I suspected he did. I have a better idea about this in the next chapter, regarding the Masonic Connection (n6:27). I had also been working with my visualization technique earlier, and wondering what college I might address in my mind, to channel my spiritual energy there. I was living in Santa Rosa at the time, and considered Santa Rosa Junior College, but it didn't seem fitting. So I left it as an open question, while Humboldt State didn't even occur to me. And when I had this vision, I knew it was the fulfillment of that.

The Anthesteria

12  That which makes these experiences even more unusual are the dates they occurred: March 2nd to the 4th. For these are the proximate dates of the ancient Greek festival of Dionysia, held in honor of Dionysus, god of wine and ecstasy. This particular festival was called the Anthesteria, and/or Lenea, centered about the sanctuary of Dionysus, whose shrine was opened only one day each year. Its dates were from the 11th to the 13th of Anthesterion or, about March 2nd to the 4th. Plus it was attended by the fourteen Gerarai! (n4:5). While at the time I had no knowledge of Dionysus, nor of this festival held in his honor. It's equally interesting that my name, Dennis, comes from Dionysus, something I also found out later. It also means, discerner of excellence.

13  Dionysus was also called the god of confrontation, and was known for his many epiphanies: he had more epiphanies and manifestations than any other god. One epiphany of particular interest occurred during the Anthesteria, when he sailed across the Aegean Sea in his black ship: from the coast of Asia Minor (Turkey) to the mainland of Greece, before appearing in Athenswith his ship on wheels. Similar to a pickup truck? (n4). I've seen depictions of Greek art with Dionysus aboard his ship (n30), and there's a remarkable similarity between his ship, and the ancient sailing vessel in my dream. The only significant difference was that of the color; his was black, while the one I was aboard was wrought of gold.

14  Dionysus was also called the twice-born god, and his advent (rebirth) was often celebrated by placing a newborn baby in a cradle or, winnowing basket? and having him roused from his slumber by attendant female nurses. It usually occurred during the winter, and these nurses were the Maenads (n15:13) and/or Gerarai (n4:5), the attendant followers of the god. Strikingly enough, it compares with my rebirth experience in the front of my pickup truck.

15  I might add that when Dionysus was first born, he was born at the destruction of his mother Semele (n1:2), a mortal and a virgin, who had conceived him by Zeus (n14:4). She was destroyed, when she mistook the treachery of Hera (n14:12)—the ever-jealous and vengeful wife of Zeus—for friendly counsel. Hera persuaded Semele to ask Zeus to reveal himself to her, "in all his glory," as he did with Hera herself. Consequently Zeus revealed himself to Semele, as thunder and lightning, and she was incinerated to ashes. All that was left was the six month old fetus, six weeks? (n5), which Zeus, through the skill of Hermes (n14:14), sewed into his thigh—to further the gestation period. Dionysus was thus born a second time by his father Zeus. And so correlates with the vision of the man I had prior to the rebirth experience: whose testicles came into view and had reminded me of my father (n7), suggesting I was born a second time by my father as well: either my earthly or, heavenly father.

The Titans

16  Yet another element which adds to this, occurred only a month after these experiences. And though it was stark and very unpleasant, it coincides with what happened shortly after Dionysus' birth. When the Titans, or gods of the old order—not unlike the establishment—were set on murdering him, upon Hera's bidding. And in his attempts to evade them, he went through several transformations, most of them deadly. When they finally caught up with him, in the form of a bull (n11:327), they tore him to pieces and boiled his flesh, and began eating him. But where his blood fell to the ground a pomegranate tree sprouted, a symbol of fertility, and he was later restored by his grandmother Rhea.

17  After the rebirth experience, I was amazed that it happened, and it occurred to me how similar it was to Revelation 12:  where the woman gives birth to the child and flees into the wilderness. vs 5-6  And I sensed it applied to me, specifically, and instinctively drew the correlation to the New Church. This was before I was familiar with Swedenborg's Apocalypse Revealed, though I'd already procured a copy, and before I was familiar with Dionysus. While in the same chapter it speaks of the war that ensues with Michael, and the Devil who gets cast out of heaven verses 7-9 and persecutes the woman. verses 12-13  And I drew up a symbol signifying this—two triangles hung on a cross, at first a hexagram, before being separated—and illustrated it in my mind, and tried to prepare for what seemed imminent. I don't know how accurate it was, but it proved to be effective. The triangles resembled the Wine Press symbol in chapter 14 (n37), except they formed a diamond instead of a star.

18  I developed it towards the end of March and was soon having activity in my dreams. It all came to a head on April 1st, when I had a dream about a fallen spirit: and though he approached me as a friend, I sensed something very profane. He was full of lust, and it reminded me of burning flesh—from the inside! And I sensed something bad was going to happen, and became very distressed: "And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child." Revelation 12:13  And I drove my truck up to the Russian River that day, close to where I had the rebirth experience (n4), and tried to reconcile myself. But this spirit had so much influence over me, due to its close proximity, that I couldn't help but see through his eyes. And when I looked at the woods across the river, something which was of nature, that I used to hold in high esteem, it was like it was on fire—and reminded me of excrement! Nor could I bear to look at it, for it felt like I was on fire, from the inside.

The Smith River

19  I was still living with my mother at the time, and it was only getting worse. And I began to think I was the Devil and, that I was utterly condemned. It was a dreadful thought, and I decided it was no longer safe to stay at my mother's and drove to the Siskiyou Mountains near the Oregon border: "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place . . ." Revelation 12:14  This was on April 4th, and I found my way to a small valley along the Smith River, where I had stopped before; and I pulled off the highway and decided to stay there awhile.

20  All the way on the drive up I was distraught, and felt a sense of impending doom. Hearing what sounded like thunder, it was self-induced, and watching bugs smack into the windshield, I couldn't tell what was real. By the time I got there, in mid-afternoon and, while driving up the road, I could feel the walls crashing down! And I got out to look around, and there were voices, and thunderings, amplified by the river crashing over the rocks, and big black bees—flying straight at me!—and I couldn't tell if they were real. The valley itself appeared like a large amphitheater or arena, and I began to envision cannibals, later wolves, along the mountain tops: it seemed like that kind of affair. Which brings up the Titans, who tore Dionysus to pieces and ate him! How uncanny!

21  Like Dionysus I combated these forces, as I tried to prolong the imminent, by going through several transformations. I portrayed myself as different characterizations which, like Dionysus above (n16), most were deadly. And like the Titans, these spirits threatened to suspend me in midair, and tear me to pieces—literally! That is, if I didn't first try and drown myself in the Smith River: "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood." Revelation 12:15  I finally succumbed early that evening, when I was overwhelmed by falsities, what a flood signifies (n12:10), and my atrocities began to outweigh theirs. All I had left was a blind rage, like a bull!—which, was Dionysus' last transformation. I speak of the bull's significance in chapter 12, regarding the Minotaur (n38-46).

22  I also conceived the idea of my flesh being consumed, while only my heart would remain, and carried off to Wolf Creek, Oregon (n11:217), where I would be restored. And here, Wolf Creek is about 22 miles north of Grants Pass. I was really scared, and it was more of a wish. It's unusual for in the myth of Zagreus, an earlier account of Dionysus (n4:9,54; n11:327), the Titans tore Zagreus to pieces and ate his flesh raw, not boiled, before the goddess Athena stepped in, instead of Rhea (n16), and rescued his heart and later restored him. It also correlates with King Lycurgus and the wolves, in chapter 13 (n50-60).

23  And though these things didn't happen in the flesh, it amounted to the same thing, for I was effectively murdered—in the spirit—giving more credence to the Greek myths in general. Indeed it was the worst day of my life! And I stayed there that night, while the phantoms flitted in and around me. Come morning I managed to pick up the pieces and drove the 50 miles to Grants Pass, and told the Mental Health people to commit me to the mental hospital (n11:303,339). Fortunately it didn't work out that way! Thus it's interesting how this became my twelfth residence (n11:339), where I stayed the next five months and began to recover; where the number 12 portrays the New Church: ". . .where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." Revelation 12:14

24  I later returned to the same valley, in December 1988, and camped out for the next month (n11:414; n12:28). And having a different perspective, and better understanding of what I was doing, I challenged these spirits, more so the trauma it represented, and waged war with them: and kicked their butts!

The New Order

25  As a result of the rebirth experience, which signifies the birth of New Doctrine (n3:4), something I wasn't formally aware of, I felt I was the one responsible for instituting a new order—or law. This is what I was envisioning in my mind before it all backfired. And, as Dionysus was born prematurely—initially—meaning he didn't fully understand the nature of his purpose, in part because he was only half-god, he was torn to pieces after his second birth. Indeed, the same thing could be said about me. And, as I explain in chapter 12 (n41), a bull signifies false doctrine.

26  Yet as Dionysus was later restored by Rhea, or Mother Nature, he was born a third time from the wisdom of the earth. Thus given the opportunity to camp out over the next two years, typically in the woods, and on five different occasions, a month or so each time (n11:364,371,377,414,417), I was allowed to commune with mother nature. This is effectively how I was restored: "And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood, which the dragon cast out of his mouth." Revelation 12:16  And so entails: being grounded in one's wisdom.

27  It's also significant that up until February 1989, I hadn't maintained my own residence, paid rent, etc., for I had been out of work since January 1987 (n8:2; n11:320). But after I moved back to Southern Oregon from Santa Rosa, I found a job with my former employer (n12:47) and decided it was time to find a place to live: after camping out along the Smith River above (n24; n11:414), and along the Rogue River west of Grants Pass (n11:423; n12:26-30). And I had the funniest dream the night I moved in, about American Indians, who I had given little thought over recent months: then suddenly, without warning, they were on the warpath, and in a loud din their whole party sped off on horseback—to raid Roy Masters! It's funny Roy Masters had been out of the picture too. This is further illustrated in chapter 9 (n1). While I later recalled what the American Indian signifies: the wisdom of the earth.

Flight to Egypt

28  "And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him." Matthew 2:13  Now this is most unusual, for after driving to Grants Pass above (n23), and asking to be committed to the hospital, the first thing they did was put me up in the Egyptian Motel. Wow! Another coincidence? (n1:20). Not to mention the fact that Grants Pass is located in Josephine County of all places! i.e., Josephine being the feminine of Joseph. While it's funny how I didn't even make the connection until well after mentioning the verse below:

29  "Then Herod [Hera], when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth [the wrath of Hera?], and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men." Matthew 2:16 . . . Yet all who die as little children, regarding instances of infanticide in both Dionysus and Jesus myths, and Moses, are received as such into heaven, to serve as correspondences to that which is about to become manifest: the New Church.