a golden path of light
Image by Gerd Altmann

All know that the drop merges into the ocean,
but few know that the ocean merges into the drop.
— Kabir

The magnetic field that has always pulled me along in this life has been my sense of wonder—which fed my wondering and wandering. As a child, it took me into reading hundreds of books, about everything from dinosaurs and Abraham Lincoln (not in the same book!), to jet planes, volcanoes and earthquakes. It led me into my back yard with a hammer, where I spent hours breaking rocks open, looking for fossils and tiny crystals. It drew me into studying astronomy, physics, chemistry, psychology and even poetry and mythology. What was I looking for?

I don’t know if I could ever have fully answered that question. In a certain way, I was a question, and I still am. Many of you reading these words know just what I mean. And you most likely know, as I do, that there are times when it seems as if we are not entirely steering the course that our lives follow.

Something else, something mysterious, beguiling and wonderful leads us with little hints, surprising coincidences and astonishing gifts. If we are blinded by our adherence to the expectations of the “civilized” world around us, we can easily miss the glints of the tiny diamonds scattered along our meandering path. But if we keep our eyes open, our attention on the possibility that meaning is everywhere, we’ll catch—or be caught by—some of them. And therein lies all the difference.

Golden Strings

The poet William Blake called these meaningful subtleties golden strings, and he said this about them:

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I give you the end of a golden string
Only wind it into a ball,
It will lead you in at Heaven’s gate,
Built in Jerusalem’s wall . . .

He is telling us here to bend down and pick up those glinting gems on our road, to follow the golden strings of synchronicity and let ourselves be led by the invisible Wisdom that puts them in our path. He promises that it is the Divine holding the other end of the string, inviting us in at “Heaven,” which to me means being with the Divine, consciously and by one’s own free choice.

It’s a beautiful idea—that we are led into Heaven. This “Heaven” is something I view more as a state of consciousness—a condition of relationship—than as a place. And if we simply follow the threads offered to us, we will get there. I think that when our sense of wonder is awakened, we are near one of the golden strings.

I want to tell you a story about a particular golden thread that was tossed to me—one that was almost too much for me to bear.

The Dream Eternal 

A heavy, wet snow had just blanketed New Haven, Connecticut, one Sunday night in early April of 1970, during my freshman year at Yale. It was after midnight, and I had been talking for hours with my roommate Dave in one of those soul-searching conversations that can arise when you are young and lonely, and it is your first year away from home.

Telling him about my family and my childhood experiences, I had gone into the depths of difficult memories. Then, in answer to one of Dave’s questions, I recounted my most recurrent childhood dream.

The dream always began in a fearful state, in which I found myself compelled by invisible forces to descend a dark staircase into a foreboding black basement, festooned with cobwebs. In the dream, which occurred dozens of times between the ages of six and fourteen, I inwardly recoiled in terror of the descent into the dark cellar.

Then, each time I had the dream, at the threshold of that awful darkness, a white horse would suddenly appear under me and carry me up into the sky. This blended my intense anxiety with a strange elation, and I ascended.

As it flew, the white horse inexplicably grew larger and larger—to the size of a car, a house, a city block. It seemed to stretch to a mile-long expanse—extending ultimately like a huge, smooth white cloud, lifting me higher and higher. I remained my normal size, and eventually I always lost my hold on the horse’s back, sliding off and falling, down and down. And as I fell, I would suddenly wake up, disoriented and frightened.

In the dream’s aftermath, my senses were always abnormally acute. Sounds were disturbingly amplified, and light seemed to burn my eyes. It often took my parents quite some time to calm me down.

After telling the dream to my roommate, I felt nervous and agitated. I stood up and walked into the living room of our dormitory suite, pacing back and forth in front of the window, gazing at the carpet of snow and the full moon that hung in the sky above a huge cloud. Suddenly I stopped pacing and jerked my head back to the window. I recognized the huge cloud! It was the exact image of the horse from my childhood dream!

As I stood gaping, my thoughts raced. How could the horse from my dream be there in the sky, at that precise moment? It was impossible, yet there it hung before my eyes. What was real? What was a dream?

I was only eighteen years old, and my mind had nowhere to go. My thoughts stopped. I was terrified. My idea of the real world was gone. I felt myself shatter into a thousand pieces. In fact, it seemed that I could actually see my body shattering like a sheet of glass. I called out, “Oh God, help me!”

In the next moment, there was a sharp pop at the back of my head, and suddenly, smoothly, a wave of pure White Light washed through my skull. With it came a flood of ecstatic joy, peace, comfort and certainty. My terror had vanished, and I basked in rapture, feeling the radiance fill my body. I was sure that I had been touched by God.

For the next few hours, I was in a state of samadh—an experience of gnosis—full of light, knowledge and joy. I spoke to my astonished roommate in an overflowing fountain of words, describing what I saw and understood. Anything I wanted to know I had only to think about for the answer to be there.

The Cycle of Water

I now recall only one of the visions—the cycle of water. When I went to the window to view the horse-shaped cloud again, I suddenly saw an exquisite inner image of the whole story of water. I understood it to be the life-blood of the Earth and all creatures, and I grasped its endless flow again and again through the oceans, rivers, ground and sky, and through all of life. I described all this to Dave.

We kept talking as we went into the dormitory bathroom. When I turned on the faucet to wash my hands, the water that came out was alive—sparkling and multicolored. I felt as though the world had turned into holy magic.

My roommate had watched me go from nervousness to terror to ecstasy, and he now witnessed my experience of inner radiance. Gradually, I calmed down, the intensity ebbed, and the state faded by morning, though I fell asleep in the pre-dawn hours feeling as though I lay on the luminous beach of an ocean of Light.

That experience, triggered by the synchronicity of my dream, changed my life. For the first few weeks, I tried rather desperately to make it happen again, but the only Light I could find was in my memory of what had happened.

Nonetheless, I hung on to that golden string, and have spent five decades winding it into a ball. The journey has taken me through a multitude of mystical experiences, great and small. They have occurred in meditation, in other dreams and sychronicities, and in moments of everyday life. And surprisingly, for the past thirty years or so, many of them have come to me through stones.

Working Our Way to Heaven's Gate

This book is a way of winding my golden string, especially because the golden strings emanating from crystals and stones turn out to be ones that a lot of people have gotten hold of, and I feel that we are all working our way to “Heaven’s gate.” Maybe we will get there together, and maybe we each have golden strings tying us to thousands, or even millions of other people . . . and to everything else in and on the Earth, and to the Earth herself, and to the Soul of the World.

The centerpiece of my first vision, way back in 1970, was the cycle of water, illustrating that we are all connected, and that the life of everything is mirrored in the image of water’s circulating flow. And there is another, deeper “water”—a spiritual one—the divine current that bears every particle of matter and every wave of energy on its journey in the universe. That current can flow into us and transform us, and it often manifests as Light.

Stones and the River of Light

That divine river of Light (wonder of wonders!) is what is now pouring into many of us through the stones. Not in an overwhelming torrent that could drown our individuality, but softly, gently, lovingly, persistently, patiently. Nothing is more patient than a stone.

Think about it. What in the world is happening? Over the past thirty years or so, there has been a worldwide awakening to the spiritual energies of crystals. In every country I visit, there are people who know about this, and who love stones. They meditate with them, carry them, tell stories about their stones calling to them, or opening their hearts, or healing them.

For some of us, like myself before the day when everything changed, the stones seem not to have “done” anything, but we still love them—which means they have done something very great indeed. What is happening? What, or Who, is on the other end of these golden threads?

It’s amazing. You walk into a crystal shop and there you see a colorful array of tumbled stones, minerals and crystals—so lovely, so physical, so down to earth. But what is going on is a huge mystery. Some of us can feel currents coming from the stones, or inwardly hear them “speak,” or see visions when we hold them. Other people often think we’re crazy, or just foolish and naïve.

My advice is: Don’t worry about what anyone else says or thinks, and don’t doubt your own experiences. Part of what is happening is that new sensory capacities are opening up. If ninety-five percent of the people in the world were blind, they would think that those foolish people talking about “colors” were crazy too.

The Myth of the Cave

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato discussed that sort of thing in his myth of the Cave. In that tale, a group of people lived their whole lives in a cave, facing the back wall and chained to the floor so they could not turn around. Behind them, there was a fire that caused a dance of flickering shadows on the one visible wall. Those shadows were viewed by the cave’s chained inhabitants as constituting the entire world. And if someone were to break his chains, escape from the cave and visit the outside world, when he or she came back to tell the tale, it wouldn’t be believed. The explorer would be ridiculed, and the inhabitants of the cave would settle back in to their “normal lives,” watching the shadows.

If you are someone who has had the sensation of feeling crystal energies, or who has been “called” by a stone, you may feel a bit like one of the explorers who left and returned to the Cave, trying to explain to others what you’ve experienced. You may even accept the label of being “a little nutty,” since your own experience is not supposed to be real, according to just about all your schoolteachers, parents, and the other figures of authority in our culture. But of course, if you are reading this, you probably already know that there are innumerable holes in the fabric of consensus reality, especially its foundation in materialism.

Most of us are already aware of the challenges to the materialistic worldview presented by unexplained healings, near death experiences, spiritualist mediums, tarot readings, and prophetic dreams, as well as everyday sorts of psychic experiences and telepathy. Sometimes the telephone rings and you know who it is before you answer.

Our pets seem to be instantly aware when we are coming home, and there is documented evidence that plants can read our minds. Materialism is not an adequate explanation of reality. This book will suggest to you that even the stones are conscious!

A Mystery Much Bigger than an Elephant

Do you know the story of the three blind men who were given the chance to encounter an elephant? One ran up against the side of the beast, and he later said, “An elephant is like a wall.” The second man got hold of the tail, and he said, “An elephant is like a rope.” The third felt the twining trunk, and he said, “This elephant is like a snake.” Who was right? All of them, except that none had the whole picture.

This mystery of the stones and their connection to spiritual alchemy is a key that unlocks a vaster mystery about ourselves and our reality, a mystery much bigger than an elephant.

Copyright 2020 by Robert Simmons. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher
Destiny Books, an imprint of Inner Traditions Int,l

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The Alchemy of Stones: Co-creating with Crystals, Minerals, and Gemstones for Healing and Transformation
by Robert Simmons

The Alchemy of Stones: Co-creating with Crystals, Minerals, and Gemstones for Healing and Transformation by Robert SimmonsThe Alchemy of Stones presents an inspired breakthrough in Robert Simmons’ thirty-five year career of exploring and revealing the spiritual qualities and potentials of minerals, crystals, and gemstones. This holistic, Earth-based framework for understanding stones and their energies initiates readers into an alchemical worldview that leads to spiritual healing, transformation, and transcendence.

Lavishly illustrated, The Alchemy of Stones is an invitation to a journey of enlightenment, transformation, and spiritual metamorphosis aligned with the path of our living, conscious Earth.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here.

About the Author

Robert SimmonsRobert Simmons has been working with crystals and stones for over 35 years. He is the cofounder of Heaven and Earth, a company offering gem and jewelry creations for self-healing and spiritual and emotional development. The author of several books, including The Book of Stones and Stones of the New Consciousness, he lives in New Zealand.

Visit his website at https://HeavenAndEarthJewelry.com/

Video/Presentation with Robert Simmons: 100,000 Stones to Bring Light to the Earth
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