Spontaneous Childhood Awakening - Master Charles Cannon
Spontaneous Childhood Awakening
Master Charles Cannon
Could you speak to me about your early spontaneous spiritual awakenings? What exactly was the nature of those experiences? And when did they first begin?
The earliest recollection of spiritual experience was at about the age of three. I would have apparitions during the night in my bedroom. I would wake from sleep and see a figure standing at the end of my bed, who was not a normal human being, but much more luminous and ethereal. It didn’t frighten me because the energy that accompanied it was very expansive, elevating, nurturing, motherly, very blissful. There was nothing fearful about it.
That experience continued all through my early childhood until the form of the apparition became clear. It was the Virgin Mother of Catholicism. Since I was raised a Catholic, that data was everywhere surrounding me and that is the manifestation of God, or Source, that I thus initially experienced in my early childhood.
As a small child, the apparition was confined to my sleep time, my alone time. As I aged into the more formative years, both the apparition and the state of being that accompanied it, the expanded elevated state of wholeness, or unified Consciousness, the euphoria, the bliss, the perception of the play of Consciousness, of reality as a living vibrating consciousness, unfolded outside of my sleep time, spontaneously here, there and everywhere.
This brings to my mind an interesting point: that most people don’t have a consistent experience of a higher energy as a factor in their life, and with enculturation, the sense of ego as separate from life can become quite compounded. Therefore, when they have an awakening to a higher energy, there can be a great deal of friction between the old and the new, which can be experienced as, “Oh, I’m dying; I’m losing my sense of self into something larger that’s absorbing me,” but it seems that your journey was very smooth.
Yes, very smooth. There was no fear because the apparition was so nurturing. Everything that was conveyed to me when she spoke was always in terms of me being her child and great love, bliss and light, just elevated to states of euphoria. It felt so good and I associated it with that experience so there was no question of fear. There was nothing at all to fear.
Were there marked developments in the flow or depth of mystical awareness, or in the depth of awakening that happened at an early stage before you met Muktananda?
It was very consistent. Yet, it progressively and spontaneously increased. Here, there, in the midst of whatever was happening, I would spontaneously elevate to the state of unified consciousness, or I would see the apparition. The frequency and the consistency increased, all through my formative years, teenage years into my early twenties when I met Muktananda.
I was informed via the apparition that whatever happened was a preparation and that even though I might not understand it, I should just experience it, and that one day I would understand, one day all of my experience would make sense. It would be like a kaleidoscope that would all fall into place. All that was essential at that point in my life was to simply experience the experience and trust that it was part of a process, a plan, a destiny, that I would fully understand when the time was right. It was this divine communion that put me at ease. So I had that kind of support, that trust, that communication, that just relaxed me.
I also had many questions that inspired my interest in studying related topics. I became very interested at an early age in things mystical, religious, spiritual, metaphysical, etc., but that inquiry was born out of my experience. I wanted to know, well, if I were the only one who ever had this experience. Through the study of comparative religion and philosophy, mysticism and metaphysics I learned, of course, that I was not and that this was an authentic process. I was able to fully trust in it, to flow with it and watch it unfold.
Are you saying that because the apparition was informing you and guiding you, that there was not any cultural conflict?
In general, no. Not really. I was raised in a normal American middle-class Catholic family. Religion and church were a regular part of life. I went to Catholic school and was supported in religious experience from an early age. The enculturation of the surrounding world did not differ that much from my familial experience.
There was minimal conflict until I became a teenager which is, of course, when everybody enters into a more conflicted experience. Yet, whenever I had conflict, I simply asked the apparition, and it was always resolved. No matter what, the question always was: how did this spiritual experience, this mystical experience that was a major part of my life from my earliest years, fit into everything I was now experiencing? I was always told that there was no conflict. I was simply to experience everything that unfolded and that there was nothing wrong with any of it.
It was all about experience. I was given a great freedom to explore, to experience everything that presented itself as appropriate and as part of this learning process that I would one day understand. So I did exactly that and as a result I didn’t have much conflict. I had guidance that I trusted. It answered all my questions and I just kept rolling along.