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Reflections on a Twelve-Hour Mystical Experience in India

india mysticism travel May 19, 2020

At the age of twelve, I had a brush with death that changed me.

On the first day of a weekend father-son canoe trip in the Ozarks, the canoe carrying my dad and I capsized, and we were both sent overboard into the cold, fast-moving water. In the chaotic next seconds, my lifejacket snagged on a submerged tree, and I was trapped there. Though my mouth remained above water, the rest of me felt the fury of thousands of gallons of water running through a narrow channel. The upriver current flung my torso violently into the log at the same time that the downriver current seemed to claw at my spindly limbs, enticing me to be free. I was terrified, and, for ten minutes, I believed I would die. Because of the way my lifejacket cradled my head, all I could do was stare at the wide blue sky.  At first, I screamed. Then, I raged. Then I stopped. I prayed and bargained at the same time: "God, I'll do anything you ask me if you save me." 

After ten minutes, I heard a loud...

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