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I Could Have Sworn I Heard The Birds Cry



Alexandra Porter, Ph. D.




In this lecture, we will examine the sensation of hurting we call pain as I attempt to explain the concept I have of a painful sensation.  In an imaginative creative style, I will present an example of a painful life experience.  The purpose of this story is to seek an emotional reaction, from the reader, to the life experience of another living form.


My story is a concept, of the transmission of pain, along with the basic theory for our sensation of hurting.  First, the perception of my concept of pain is given in portions of a continuous point in space or a “new day”.  It is an easy argument for believing that another form of life can feel pain.  Secondly, the memory we hold of a painful life experience is the basis for my theory.  It is an evolutionary theory used as a paradigm for the concept I hold of pain.


In today’s society pain is a leading cause of disability.  According to Margo McCaffery (McCaffery, 1980), "Pain is whatever the client says it is ".  In her studies of pain are basic principles I follow.  The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as "an unpleasant subjective sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of damage" (IASP, 1979).


Max Heindel tells us that “All that is in this world which has been made by the hand of man is crystallized thought; the chairs upon which we sit, the houses in which we live, the various conveniences, such as telephone, steamship, locomotive, etc. were once a thought in the mind of man. If it had not been for that thought, the thing would never have appeared.  In similar manner, the trees, the flowers, the mountain and the seas are crystallized thought forms of the nature forces.” [The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions & Answers p. 18]


In my point of vision, my evolutionary theory is the explanation for feeling another’s pain.  In my theory, the concept of pain is a sensation of hurting which can be transmitted through the nervous system, from one life form to another.  My theory is based on the belief that we are not in this world as the only beings that can communicate.  If my theory is correct, every form of life has the capacity to communicate with other forms of life.  And thusly, every form of life has the capability of transmitting, consciously or subconsciously, any one of multiple sensations; such as pain.


The story below, takes place inside my home at the time I sensed two Sandalwood trees inside my front yard.  Although their lives were lived as Sandalwood trees in our physical world, for them our world was their spiritual realm.  We often wonder if other forms of life are like us and I had the same thoughts then. 


Have you ever wondered what others feel when they are having a sensation of pain?  I wonder if any of the readers have ever experienced a visceral understanding of their neighbor's pain.  Can the readers imagine a world in which one can hear birds cry?  For the readers who have, this story depicts a world which may be similar to their worlds.


To be moved by this theory, you simply need to recall stories in which animals have given their masters a warning that someone or something was going to cause them harm.  In their heroic attempts to save their masters from an invisible harm, they tried to signal their masters with various signs of pain.  In some cases, the ultimate fate of these animals was death. When ever I read these stories, I was often holding my hands together over my face in disbelief.


As my story begins, focus your gaze on a continuous point in space.  Now, give yourselves permission to enter a world where different forms of life are having discussions with one another.  Further imagine that, in this world, life forms mourn their physical body parts.  Hence, when you travel this world, it may be possible for you to sense a part of another living form of life.  This imaginative and creative story takes place in the author’s home.  It is a true story about the author’s experience with a Sandalwood tree. 


And … so …..  Once upon a day, is how the story begins.


I distinctly recall that fabulous day in the month of May, as well as how and where that point in space began to turn.  Throughout that Thursday I had a sense that someone had enter into my life.   In that continuous point in space, I also had a strong premonition that my life would never be the same.  As I looked up at the heavens, I saw that a blue color was covering the entire visible space of the sky.  I saw how a deep, thick, mist of several shades of blue wrapped themselves around each of the white clouds.  Throughout the sky, I felt a rhythmic sense of order and the blue covering gave the heavens a harmonious tone.  Each cloud appeared to be dancing in cadence with the same tune.  It was a day when I felt the sky and its beauty were part of me and I felt glad to be alive. 


The birds were greeting each other with their sounds of music.  Their penetrating chirps still linger in my ears.  The birds appeared to know that the day had just begun.  Within their continuous melodic tunes, they told each other stories, perhaps of times of yesteryear.  I sensed that their memories were filled with many stories of points in space in which their lives had been a part of other human forms.  There was a sense of bliss throughout the air, and the latest experience in my life had just begun.


In the air was the pungent scent of a strong, long-lasting fragrance of Sandalwood.  The crisp cool air made the odor permeate throughout my surrounding.  For me our sense of smell has a deeper, celestial meaning.  Our sense of smell is highly developed, and one of our most generous spiritual faculties.  And so with this conscious though in mind, I recall thinking that Sandalwood trees give off their scent even to the ax or blade that cuts off their branches.


As I remember, the day had just begun; the beginning of a continuous point in space.  In the periphery of my vision were the sounds of photons which I perceived as light.  At a distant point in space was a beautiful planetary body we call a “Star”.  The star was shining and appeared to be accompanied by the Moon.  Both planetary bodies appeared to be traveling away from me towards another, non-visible, point in space.  I could hear the calm and forceful movement of the wind.  As the wind made its audible whirring sounds, its presence filled me with the sound of my own peace profound.


When I look back on that day, I recall thinking that the shades of blue of the sky were beginning to respond to our lives with a deeper hue.  The deeper color of the sky provided me with a fresh and clear visibility of the atmosphere.  The continuous point in space appeared to have ample room and one could see for miles and miles away.  All the birds responded to the beautiful atmosphere.  They appeared to fly from nowhere.  It was almost as if they had traveled from afar to take part in a special and mystical event.  The birds and their singing reminded me that they had played a big role in my own life.  Within their lives I had lived my own and I began to recall those beautiful times.  I remember thinking that the birds were always singing as if they were glad to be alive.


It was then, that I began to feel a sharp pain throughout my entire forehead. Within seconds the pain had spread throughout my upper torso and abdomen.  With tremendous speed, and intensity, the pain began to escalate until it was too excruciating to bear.  Within this recollection I had the strange perception that a part of me was being ripped off.  I saw the ripped off part, as having a string of relationships in one mind and in that, very, strange perception was the sense that I was talking to my closest friend.  During this pain, I only recall wanting to help someone.  I perceived that someone was a person and I wanted to be what, I felt, the person would have wanted me to be. 


As the vibratory undulations of electricity became an extension of my arms, from my window I could see the two Sandalwood trees and realized that I was sensing the one I will call XAN.    I recall my Herculean attempt to fix my gaze in the direction of the birds, as they flew towards XAN.  I focused my gaze intensely and tried to see what I thought they were seeing.  With all my efforts I began to stare into that open, blank, point in space.  I tried to imagine a world in which one's physical body could feel pain. But all my attempts were useless ... I saw nothing.  Yet I could definitely sense the excruciating pain. 


In that strange sensation it was almost as if I was one of the Sandalwood trees.  I could feel the cool breeze as it moved through its green leafy branches.  I could hear the movement of the leaves and I smelled its scent.  During the actual spiritual contact I felt a current of electricity throughout my body.  That charge of electricity was visible to me.  And then ... at that specific point in time, I had a strange perception that XAN was missing a part and that painful sensation had been transferred to me. 


I hope the reader can imagine all the thoughts that came to my mind. The more thoughts that passed through my head, the more questions I had.  Yet the more questions I asked the fewer answers I received.  In these questions, I felt, were the hidden answers to a part of my whole existence.  If I could answer them, the pain I was feeling for XAN could be localized.


I recall asking out loud, "How can this be so?"


"Is the created image mine?" I mentally asked myself.  The thoughts I was entertaining appeared to be coming from outside of me.  They were forming the questions I was asking myself:


"Is the pain really in XAN?"


"Is the pain within its mind?"


I waited ... and waited ... and silently waited ... but there were no answers.


So ... I decided to rest.


When I asked myself, "Alexandra, where is the pain?" I felt my heart beating rapidly and the chest area surrounding my heart became so constricted it began to itch.    At this time my mind traveled to a passage from his book Occult Principles of Health and Healing in which Max Heindel says: “Devotional exercises are a powerful means of putting us in tune with the Christ. Through them we gain an intuitional faculty whereby we feel the suffering of others, and at the same time we find the way to ease their pain as Parsifal did the cause of Amfortas' suffering when he was in the garden with Kundry and there realized how he might heal the stricken king.”[p.205]


Then, almost as a flash of wisdom, I was consciously aware that my gaze had turned once again to the sky.  I closed my eyes and made a gesture with my arms.  The way one gestures when at last there is no place to hide.  I had raised my arms upwards and I turned my head toward the heavens as if asking and expecting a response.  I imagined that I was extending my heart to the heavens and began to say the Lord’s Prayer.  By the time I had reached the second stanza: “Who art in heaven,” I felt a tear streaming down my face.  Then I noticed that in the deep, thick, mist of several shades of blue, surrounding each white cloud, was the emblem of the Rosy Cross.  When I focused my gaze upon the Rosy Cross, within an instant, I heard a compassionate melodic voice.  The voice said, "XAN, you have a missing part.  It is not a figment of your own imagination?"  "To sense the visceral pain inside of another is being in touch with your inner self," it continued.


In this experience, I appear to be speaking and looking at someone.  That someone was not of our world.  Although I had a sense that my physical body was in this physical world, the experience was not of this world.  I also felt that whatever was happening would also yield an explanation for the deep sensation of pain I was experiencing.  As if oblivious of this physical world, I traveled to another while living and occupying my usual physical space.  Throughout this experience I was surrounded by an intense glow with a bluish-green celestial auric field of compassion.


At that moment the wind became still and the sky was gray.  I realized that the sky had change in color.  I noticed that time had passed and the sky had turned gray.  I sensed that the sun had traveled west.   I also saw that the continuous point in space had also traveled west.  The sky's change in color, told me that they were mourning a loss as well


The thought I had about pain can only be described through the concepts of my own mind.  It suddenly dawned on me that while experiencing a sensation of pain another life form can respond in the same manner.  All forms of life experience the same sensation of pain.  In this belief, during an experience of pain, another life form may have the same sensation.   Pain, in this concept, is used to mean a physical or psychological traumatic sensation.  I knew then, that I was responding in kind to a sensation of a Sandalwood tree that felt like something had been ripped off.  My physical body was feeling the Sandalwood tree.  It was as though my spiritual bodies had come alive.  In my opinion, in order to experience the pain of another, one must be in complete alignment with the physical and spiritual worlds of the other.  I was in complete alignment with the world of XAN and I could smell its scent.  During my observation of the Sandalwood tree, I saw and felt its pain.  In the Sandalwood tree I sensed a deep connection with the graying of the sky.  I sensed that XAN was telling me that a part of me had been cut off.  


 I felt a sharp pain within me.  I sensed it was the same pain XAN was feeling.  With a strong vibratory frequency the sharp pain was fiercely rushing throughout my body.  At the distal points of my fingertips I could feel the capillary beds pumping blood through my arms, with a strange, humming, undulating vibration.   In addition, it is interesting to note that this sensation was stronger at the tips of the fingers and the area circulating my heart.  It was a strange phantom pain that appeared to be emanating from another dimension of life.  Yet it was felt deeply and clearly in this physical life. 


On that glorious Thursday, the sky, the sun, the Sandalwood trees and the birds were all morning a life form.  When I looked around me time had passed and I felt their pain.  As if mourning, the sun, in suspended animation, froze its position and maintained a silent fixed stare.  While weeping, everyone was covered with big thick drops of moisture, and the whole world was mourning a death.  That life had been a part of me.  Along with the life forms, I was also morning my loss.  It was a preview of a pain within me that was yet to come. 


Now, it was all crystal clear.  The pain had been my pain all along.  It had originated with me and now I was conscious of it within me.  In this Sandalwood tree, I had seen the reflection of my pain.  I was sensing my own pain.  


In the Rosicrucian Cosmo Conception, Max Heindel affirms, “In the first place, let us realize and engrave it deep upon the tablets of our memory that the purpose of life is not happiness, but experience. Sorrow and pain are our most benevolent teachers ...” [p.131]   I was going through a dress rehearsal of a very painful experience that was yet to come.  The painful life experience I have just described above happened on the Thursday, a week before my grandson fetal demise. He died in utero and the stillbirth took place forty-eight and a half hour later. 


While adorning the green leaves of all the branches of the Sandalwood tree, the birds in their pain, were making a humming sound.  When I was very young, I recall when I heard the birds sing for the first time.  Although I am unable to replicate their sounds they still fill me with glee.  The birds gave me a sense of my inner self, free and with the ability to perceive and capture the given moment.  I have not forgotten how peaceful their songs are.  I always felt a deep inner sense of peace profound, when the birds sang. ... And now


… I, on that glorious Thursday ... in my pain, wanted the birds to sing.


Instead ... I could have sworn I heard the birds cry.









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 Living with Christ

Lectures and Essays by Alexandra Porter

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