by Michael Beckwith as told to Elise Ballard
Everyone has this giant, luminous being that is their true self . . . Everyone is a sleeping giant, so to speak, waiting to hear the call, waiting to surrender to it, waiting to act on it. We’ve gotten caught up in thinking we are what we look like, the physical, the exterior. We think we’re the lamp shade. We’ve forgotten that we are the light—the electricity and the luminosity that lights up every man, woman, and child. The light is who we truly are.
I was a young boy, probably ten. All the students at school had been asked to grow gardens, and I can remember planting the seeds in the soil of my backyard—carrots, radishes, et cetera. One afternoon I went out in the backyard and I pulled a radish out of the soil and bit into it. It was so sweet. In that moment, I felt that the whole universe was contained in this radish. It had begun as a seed, then merged with the soil and air and water until it became the vegetable I was now eating. I thought: “This was what they’re trying to teach me in church! They’re trying to tell me about this. This Life. This Presence. This great Life that’s in this radish is everywhere! It is this Life Force that they call God. The teachers, and the people like Jesus, and the folks that they were talking about in church, they knew this.” Now, in elementary school I didn’t have the language that I have now. So I remember as a little boy, I had these kinds of thoughts, and it really opened me up. But I covered up that part of myself throughout the years, trying to fit in and be “normal.”
How can you become more of a beneficiary presence on the planet?
But then in my twenties, I was attending USC, and I began to have a series of inner experiences—dreams, visions, voices. At the time I assumed they were pathological, because I was in the Psychobiology Department studying to be a doctor and this was how they taught us to think. My dreams intensified, with one that predominated: three men were chasing me, and I would wake up just before they caught me. One night they got very close. As I looked behind me I spotted a small tent with a crowd of people trying to enter. When I suddenly realized I knew all the people entering the tent, I figured that my pursuers couldn’t hurt me, and I stopped and started screaming for help. But, one by one, everyone entering the tent turned their back on me. Two of my pursuers grabbed me and held me down, while the other one plunged a knife in my heart. The physical and emotional pain was excruciating, and I died on the spot.
When I woke up from this dream, I knew I had been changed forever. The former me had died. I now saw that we are surrounded by a Universal Presence that permeates everything—all that is animate and seemingly inanimate. I called this presence Love-Beauty. The love that I felt in that moment penetrated my soul beyond anything I had ever felt in my life, and the beauty around me exceeded anything I can even describe. My life paradigm shattered, and I knew I could never revert back to it.
My experience led me to explore Eastern and Western mysticism and parapsychology. I became fully dedicated to meditation and affirmative prayer, which became the foundation for what I practice and teach as the spiritual director of Agape International. There’s been no stepping out of that energy. I certainly didn’t set out to be a minister—I’m still shocked that I am! I thought I was having a private love affair with the Presence, and I didn’t want to speak about it to anyone. I was twenty-two years old and had no intention of going public with my inner revelations. But my resistance to the ministry didn’t hold out. It’s now been twenty-three years since I founded Agape. Everything I teach grew out of that epiphany, from that moment when I literally woke up.
Around six weeks ago, I had another lucid dream. I felt this gigantic being standing next to me—very luminous and very big. It reached down and touched my heart. I felt it dissolving any obstruction that would hinder the flow of life coming through me. At some point in this process, I realized that I was the giant touching Michael. The giant was me, and “Michael” was how I expressed him in this three-dimensional realm in which we live. I simultaneously knew that there is a giant in everyone. Everyone has this giant, luminous being that is their true self. The human incarnation is the instrument through which the Eternal breaks through into time.
Everyone is a sleeping giant, so to speak, waiting to hear the call, waiting to surrender to it, waiting to act on it. We’ve gotten caught up in thinking we are what we look like, the physical, the exterior. We think we’re the lamp shade. We’ve forgotten that we are the light—the electricity and the luminosity that lights up every man, woman, and child. The light is who we truly are.
This more recent dream has shifted me once again and has built upon my earlier epiphanies because I knew this, I taught this, and I felt this, but in this dream, I had a direct encounter with it—with the intense power and gigantic presence that is within all of us. I realized that we’re not here simply to function in society. We are eternal beings. We are here to contribute our unique individual gifts, talents, and skills to the world in a way that only we can bring them to help society stretch and grow. We are here to become a beneficiary presence on the planet.
HERE IS A VIDEO CLIP OF THE INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL:
Michael Bernard Beckwith is the founder and spiritual director of the Agape International Spiritual Center, a transdenominational spiritual community located in Los Angeles, California, that today counts a membership of thousands locally and hundreds of thousands of worldwide friends, as well as international affiliates. Dr. Beckwith is a sought-after meditation instructor and the originator of the Life Visioning Process. He is the author of the award-winning Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul’s Potential, The Answer Is You, Inspirations of the Heart, Forty Day Mind Fast–Soul Feast, and A Manifesto of Peace. His television appearances include The Oprah Winfrey Show and Larry King Live, and his own. He is also the co-founder of the Association for Global Thought, an organization dedicated to planetary healing and transformation. For more on Michael please visit his website HERE.
About the Epiphany Series:
This is an excerpt from my book, Epiphany: True Stories of Sudden Insight to Inspire, Encourage, and Transform. A heartfelt journey full of amazing stories of fascinating people, from world-renowned figures, thought leaders, and performers—such as Maya Angelou, Dr. Oz, Desmond Tutu, Deepak Chopra and Barry Manilow—to former inmates, leading psychologists, teachers, homemakers, and many more. These stories contain great wisdom and insight that will inspire—or cause you to remember—your own epiphanies. You can also visit my website, EpiphanyChannel.com, to learn more about the project and share your epiphanies. To buy the book or read more, please CLICK HERE.