After more than 30 years since my brush with Nirvana in 1977 I still have few explanations as to why it happened, nor have I explanations of the experiences after, which are detailed in other parts of the web-site.
Elsewhere I speak of the relevance of parallel universes, which research at Princeton university is famous for. The film The Matrix has an element of this in the switch between views of the dimensions of reality, as did my “enlightenment”.
The word enlightenment, in Buddha understanding, is intended to signify an awakening of consciousness and it was that for me. In the Matrix there is the idea that someone has induced that state, (Morpheus in the film), by getting the hero to make a decision as to which pill to take. The hero becomes aware of what reality really is, discovering himself in a bath of fluid with tubes attached along with the entire population of earth, living a dream but more properly a nightmare, where the delusion keeps you functioning for others benefit. In a sense my enlightenment was the opposite of this. My enlightenment was bliss, an indescribable state of laughing happiness. This was followed by the awful realisations. In the Matrix the horror comes first then the awareness of capabilities.
The Danes and perhaps the US Hells Angels club members from Amsterdam, who were involved, have acted as though they became horrified, some at the knowledge that I became enlightened I presume and some after I entered a Lutheran church and was crushed under a stilleto.
As you read the biography of that period in my life in the rest of the web-site you will be aware that I do not credit myself with having sought and discovered Nirvana, more that I was living in a life-style not far from that of an enlightenment seeker, giving up on desires, resigning my self to the belief that others knew how to live the rat race better than me. In my case the Buddha or God may have been ‘Morpheus’ awakening me briefly.
I have none of the other abilities of the character played by Keanu Reeves, but post my brief enlightenment I talk of a night when I felt a stilleto was being pressed into my brain. This in someways is rather like the hole in the back of his head that Keanu has, into which some pain and some pleasures can be inserted
The idea of a character being pursued is also much as my life became as some of the Danes worked towards setting me up at the Rebecca ø festival, though I had no phone call from Morpheus/God/Buddha warning me that they were in the building to destroy a part of me, (my self respect and ability to cope).
The most significant part of the film for me is the waking of the hero in one of the embryonic bowls of a huge, human body utilising, warehouse. The enormity of his realisation was instant, whereas mine has been slow in coming, as to what terrible fates lie ahead that may, (or may not), trap humanity in the near future. That though is not to say that enlightenment is not a small part of this, because it enables a higher view of where mankind is situated possible. The greed of many of mankind and the blindness with which they pursue material wealth are significantly different from the teachings of Buddha, (that all our suffering is caused by our wants). If we continue to want oil and its products, science is fairly confident we have barely a decade, or even half a decade) left to change our direction before a catastrophe is inevitable. If Buddha touching me was supposed to help mankind steer itself away from this fate I appear to have failed miserably. My desire before September 1977, that the threat of nuclear war would disappear as Russia became democratic has, to some extent, been achieved. However, there is now an equally destructive force, (which I have thought may be the Indian/Hindu concept of the age of Kali, the goddess of destruction), so my new desire, that humanity realises that Bjorn Lomborg, whom I call the Pink Dalek, is wrong and that species are worth preserving and that we must do something about global warming, may yet happen. Those who fear for life, (human and animal), on earth as I do must continue to practice ethics as best we can to try to ensure destruction does not come about. I can recommend the film “The Age of Stupid” if you need to see what the worst case scenario could be.
It may be wise to understand that from my point of view, which may be deluded I admit, there is much of The Matrix in principle which is akin to Buddha’s teachings that if a Buddha is cast into hell it does not matter. For me, my experiences, delusion as they may be, are that some people would be as keen to make life hell for others they disliked in the spiritual world as Saddam Hussein, or Adolf Hitler, the Spanish Inquisition or any other sadistic autocrats have been in the material world. It is then perhaps reassuring that Buddha says it will not matter, like dying for a good cause you know will triumph in the end, as resistance fighters in France during the second World War perhaps felt when they were tortured by the Gestapo.