Awakening Joel Morwood

The Awakening of Joel Morwood


Eventually, walking a spiritual path became the priority of my life. I abandoned my career, friends, and family in search of the Truth to which all the mystics seemed to point. And yet, no matter how hard I tried or how far I traveled, that Holy Grail continued to elude me.

Finally, after I had given up all hope of attaining my goal, it happened. In a cheap motel room on the night of August 13, 1983, I Awoke to a Reality at once far more astonishing and, at the same time, far more simple than anything I could have ever imagined. Here is part of what I wrote shortly thereafter:

I jump up, turn on the light, and look around. Sure enough, I no longer see through a glass darkly. The veil has been lifted, and the glass has cleared -- no, more than cleared -- it has vanished! I see the Kingdom, and now I am laughing wildly, because the great joke of it all is that this exalted Kingdom I have been searching for in such anguish and despair is none other than the very room I have been sleeping in, with its dirty, cinderblock walls, frayed curtains, and horribly grungy, blue-green rug! Oh, I could have kissed that rug and those walls! I could have shouted! I could have danced! I could have done anything, for that matter, because it really didn't matter. It didn't even exist and never had. I was free.

What was it like? What was it not like? How can I tell you? I can't, but I'll be brave and try, anyway...It was not a thought. It was not a feeling. It was not an experience. I was everything. I was nothing. I was everywhere and I was nowhere -- nowhere to be found, hence, nowhere to be lost. Amazing Grace! Sacred Grace! Silly Grace! -- like those nonsensical little phrases that children make up and then laugh and laugh over while poor perplexed adults just shake their heads. And no wonder! You have to be a child to get it. And I was a child, a child sitting on a bed, bathed in rapture...

I had never expected this! What had I expected? Something exceptional, luminous, visionary -- the Platonic Forms behind all forms, or a Transcendental Light wiping out the universe, or maybe the Cosmic Voice of God calling me from eternity -- I don't know, but it wasn't this. This was much, much too obvious. It wasn't even right under my nose, it was my nose. And it was a finger uncurling miraculously in front of my eyes. It was a car horn, sharp and crisp in the night. It was the sound of my sheets rustling as I shifted position on the bed. It was the doorknob effortlessly staring me in the face -- they were all so effortless, and therein lies the true Oneness and Beauty of the world; we are all effortlessly together, brothers and sisters to the stars -- nor do I mean this metaphorically (though metaphor it is), for this was no gauzy vision full of images and archetypes. The Image had burst, and the Light was out, and the Light was everything. The Metaphorical World had come to an end, and I was AWAKE in the REAL WORLD, the world without end.

pp. 239-240, Naked Through the Gate, (c) 1985 Joel Morwood