The Spirit on Pender Island

In 1973 I was camping up on some cliffs overlooking the ocean on Pender Island (British Columbia, Canada). I’d set up my tent fairly close to the edge of a thirty to forty foot cliff, and gone to bed, setting my alarm clock to wake me up early the next morning. Some time during the night I was awakened by an enormous weight pressing down on me, as if something was on top of me. I struggled to throw off whatever it was, and when I finally did, the next thing I saw was a man’s face floating in space in front of me. He had straight black shoulder length hair with a red headband of some sort. He felt very menacing, as if I’d invaded his territory (to me he looked Native Canadian). I could see his face, and I could see my alarm clock, and the tent walls, so I knew I wasn’t dreaming. He quickly disappeared and I lay there scared, thinking “holy crap!” Then I realized I could hear sheep bleating, which would have been no surprise because there were tons of wild sheep on the island—only I realized I could not only hear sheep bleating around me, but also underneath me. The bleating sheep sounds around me finally disappeared, but one in particular remained underneath me, and I could hear it sort of moving away from me, the bleating getting more and more faint.

I lay there, looking at the clock, wondering what to do. My inclination was to get the hell out of there, but it was the middle of the night and I was camped eight or ten feet from the edge of a thirty foot cliff. If whoever owned that face decided to come back and jump me while I was outside the tent and standing up, I could easily have wound up going over the cliff; so I decided to wait until daybreak to leave. Plus, the first ferry off the island wasn’t until early morning, so I couldn’t get off the island in any case.

So I decided to just lay in my tent and stare at the clock until daybreak, but somehow I must have managed to fall asleep because the next thing I knew I had something/someone very heavy on top of me once again. I was on my stomach, with my head turned toward my alarm clock, which I could see quite clearly. Only this time, instead of reacting out of fear, I got really angry. Since I was on my stomach, I pushed myself up with my arms, onto my hands and knees, with whatever/whoever still on top of me, mashing me down. I hollered at the top of my lungs, “get the fuck off of me!” and reared back onto my knees. Whatever was on me went flying off. I looked at the space in front of me and realized that I was out of my body. Then I looked at “me” and saw that I had this very brilliant red/gold luminous body, and a feeling of immense power, as if I could have put my hands into the earth and torn it apart like you’d tear apart an orange or a peach. I then laid back down into my physical body and woke it up, and laid there until daybreak when I packed up and headed home. I never saw whatever/whoever had been on top of me ever again.

At the time this happened I was working building a house. For the most part I worked on the house alone, by myself, especially doing the finish carpentry and cabinets. When I went back to work a couple of days later I was once again working by myself, putting up door and window trim, only now I had the distinct feeling that I was working in a house full of people— I couldn’t see them, but could sense and feel them, like doing carpentry work in the middle of a very busy train station; pounding nails in Grand Central Station at rush hour was how it felt, with the distinct sense that people were standing behind and beside me, looking over my shoulder as I worked. At the same time, I started going into spontaneous meditation: sometimes I could barely keep my eyes open at work, and always wanted to go sit in a back room and meditate— so much so that I started keeping track of my meditation down-time and would deduct it from my weekly time sheet.

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