The topic is Out of Body experiences and their meanings. Here is a major one I had and how it has related to my life since then.
My Re-Entry to This Life . . . in Jerusalem
It was an early morning in March, 1984, in what we in human form have created as ‘time.’ I went out of body and floated out the window and up into the beams emanating from the dawning sun.
I was practicing an early meditation in my room at the King David hotel where the window in the room overlooked the wall behind which was the Old City of Jerusalem. A shaft of sunlight beamed into the room and “I” floated out on it, soaring above the Old City. The sense was ecstatic. “I” looked back and there was the being named Arthur, sitting cross-legged on a pillow on the rug in the room that I shared with Donnie Volhard, a ginseng farmer from Marathon, Wisconsin.
Donnie was accompanying me on a visit to Israel. I was the President of the Ginseng Research Institute and Donnie was a major ginseng grower in the middle of the burgeoning business that had transformed dairy farmers in that region of Wisconsin into this single crop that most of them had never heard of and would probably never use or even taste.
We had been invited by my friend, Stephen Fulder, to visit with the Israeli government company that was a major manufacturer of extracts. Stephen was an English Ph.D. who had met a “Sabra” – a native Israeli woman at Cambridge in England. They married and returned to Israel to live in a community called “Clil,” where homes are individually owned and where there are extensive common elements including utilities (water, power), education (school), some common gardens, roads, etc. Most of the residents had come from other parts of the world. I had got in touch with Stephen because I found that he had written pretty much the book I was thinking about writing relating to ‘traditional medicine’ and the place of ginseng therein. That book was published in the U.S. in 1982, followed by many more books that Stephen wrote on ginseng, and other ‘harmony’ herbs, primarily from the orient
After reading Stephen’s book, I finally got in touch with him and ended up sending him a plane ticket to come to the U.S. so we could meet and talk and that has lead to a great friendship that has had periodic and long hiatuses. Stephen has been very involved with working on peace-making between Israelis and its neighbors and is a leading person in the Buddhist work and teachings in Israel.
Back to my floating over the walls and streets of Jerusalem. What had gone out on the streak of light from the Sun was now floating above the wall, the Old City, the King David Hotel. In this description, there is a need to communicate who or what this energy – this ‘being’ or ‘non-being’ – someway to refer to ‘it.’ Let’s settle for “I” for now.
In understanding what it is that makes life living - perhaps answering a big part of "Who Are We? and Why Are We Here? the topic of Well-Being comes up.. I helped create and coordinate a Study Group back in 2005 that looked deeply into this definition. Given the continued increase in the amount of Elders ("Sages") in the U.S. and in developed countries around the world, and given my current "Soap Box" priority relating to turning around the way our Sages are viewed and treated from Objects to Untapped Resources, the results of this Task Force seem even more relevant today. Here it is:
A Measure of Well-Being
“When we love a woman we don’t start measuring her limbs.” Pablo Picasso
So, Picasso, what do we measure? What is quality of life, and what is true caring?
A task force was put together in 2015 (with funding help from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) by the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) in Charlottesville, VA, represented by Arthur Rashap and the Eden Alternative (founded and lead by William (Bill) Thomas, M.D. The full roster of the task force is listed at the end of this memo.
Eschewing the declinist’s view of aging, the task force worked from the perspective of ‘old age’ as another stage of human growth and development. The ultimate outcome agreed upon was WELL-BEING. For Elders to fully achieve all aspects of well-being, it is contended that their families, friends, organizations, and ultimately the communities they engage with need also to be experiencing it.
Well-being (n.) a contented state of being
Well-being is the path to a life worth living. It is what we all desire. It is the ultimate outcome of human life. So what are the components of well-being? What do we need to experience contentment? The task force identified seven primary domains of well-being: identity; growth; autonomy; security; connectedness; meaning and joy.
The Domains of Well-Being:
In this life I am named Arthur William Rashap. I have lived 79 years with a myriad of experiences that have enabled me to enjoy many worlds and to have met and worked with some special people. I want to share this and have the opportunity to interact with you.