by Salvatore Cacciola

2016  Number 2

I and My Father Are One

Back in the middle 70's I attended a weekend yoga retreat in Brooksville, Florida at a place called Unity in the Pines. At the end of the retreat, Paul Funk, who was the Minister and managed the facilities, invited the group to join his services, which I did.
I was “high” from the yoga, meditations and vegetarian food. To be really clear, no drugs or alcohol were consumed.

It was a Christian service, and as I listened to the words, I wondered what Jesus meant when he said, “I and my Father are one.” The words stuck in my brain and kept reverberating. What does it mean, “I and my Father are one.” The phrase continued to monopolize my thoughts throughout the rest of the service, and I was not hearing anything else that was said.

At the end of the service, the Minister invited everyone to stroll the 14 acres and see the brook at the end of the property, which I decided to do, but I was still preoccupied with the words I couldn't understand. I walked out of the church and down some concrete stairs. When my foot hit the dirt, I disappeared and could only see my two legs from the knees down walking in sandals. Everything else in my view was obscured. I felt only peace and sensed that something important was happening.

I continued walking until I got to the brook, where I stopped and looked around, taking in the trees, sky, brook and ground. I kept hearing the words and thinking, what does it mean... “I and my Father are one.” All of a sudden the brook came alive and started to vibrate into energy, like snow on a TV screen. The trees, sky and ground also vibrated into the same energy. I could see myself as a pencil outline within this energy and the brook, ground and sky also had pencil outlines. Then the pencil outlines of me and everything else disappeared and I became this One energy. I was lost and found in this cosmic ocean of energy, and I became everything, not able to distinguish myself from anyone or anything. I saw myself as eyeballs in this cosmic soup, viewing other eyeballs, essentially we were all formless.

The experience lasted for a short while until it faded. When I returned to my human reality, I finally understood what was meant by “I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE.” I had experienced “ONE WITH ALL LIFE,” and it was incredible! But incredible does not begin to describe the totality of my experience. I will remember it for the rest of my earthly life!

Salvatore Cacciola

Edited by Peggy Steinberg