The cover of my book as first sent to me by Hampton Roads had the following design. The bottom looked the same as my book does now. But, the top was comprised of a series of clouds. I looked at the cover and told them there was no way I wanted to have that as the cover of my book. Instead, I shared with them that I had always envisioned the cover of my book representing the red seal on The Secret book breaking open and turning into a red setting sun. Fortunately, Hampton Roads was really marvelous to work with and put up with my desire to see the cover transformed. (And, the artists there I felt did a beautiful job. The cover turned out to be everything I hoped for and more).
But, there was a deeper reason I wanted the cover to look like it did. You see that red sun stands for a mystical experience I had in the mid 1990’s when life just wasn’t going so hot for me. It was another one of those periods in my life when I felt everything around me was falling apart. I lived in Central Coast California at the time, which has one of the most beautiful drives along the coast line on this Earth. Not sure where to go with my life I took the drive up the coast, parked my car on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and went into meditation for a prolonged period of time.
At one point I was there so long the sun began to set. As it did so it was almost as if “a voice” spoke to me. It instructed me in the following exercise. It asked me to close my eyes and imagine as if everything and everyone in my life had been stripped away from me. Then, it asked me to open my eyes and as I thought of all the difficulties in my life the voice asked me to consider, “What on this Earth really lasts?” Having had a series of recent losses my mind turned naturally to material things, relationships, my career, my health, and even my physical body. None of this seemed really permanent.
So, the voice asked me to repeatedly close my eyes and open my eyes always asking the question, “What on this Earth really lasts?” Standing on a mountain, overlooking the ocean, watching the sun set, and the stars and moon slowly emerging it began to occur to me that in many ways THESE were the only things that had some level of permanence around me. It also occurred to me that for thousands of years human beings had pretty much looked at these same apparently “lasting” aspects of life here on Earth (sun, moon, stars, mountains, and ocean).
The sun continued to set in a glorious display and night began to emerge. As the sun went down “the voice” asked me to switch from opening and closing my eyes to simply focusing on my breath going in and out of my body. As I engaged in this practice everything around me suddenly felt like it was alive and shimmering. In many ways I felt as if “I” dissolved into the space around me.
The end result was that I became increasingly filled with a deep sense of inner peace and a vibrantly alive sensation of love pulsating within me and all around me. At some point this shifted into a profound sense of stillness. Looking back, the entire process from the time I arrived on the cliff to where the sun had completely set and I was in the dark, had probably taken hours.
When I drove home my life began to immediately change for the better. Though this had not been my first mystical experience (I have experienced many in my life), the impression it left on me was similar to the Buddhist teaching of impermanence, and the Christian ideal of “the peace that passeth all understanding.” Practically, it revealed to me how cluttered our lives (hearts and minds) become with a focus on externals and an obsession with attracting “stuff” (including people, prestige, and more in our lives).
Though it has been some time since I have been within that profound space, the memory and the lesson of it still stays with me. And, that is what I wanted my book to represent. That is also what I remember and experience whenever I look at the cover of my book — the secret of Spirit — revealed to me that evening at a whole new level.