MUSING ON THE MYSTICAL–from ancient caves to a modern home

I recently saw Werner Herzog’s documentary, “The Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” about the Chauvet Cave in southern France that is full of over 30,000 year-old prehistoric drawings and bones of animals: lions, horses, rhinoceros, cave bears and wooly mammoths, among others. Protected by an ancient landslide, the cave was hidden until 1994 and is in pristine shape. Herzog was given special permission by the French minister of culture to film there.

Ancient cave drawings in Southern France

Other than the incredibly beautiful and realistic drawings and the realization that humanity was capable of so much more than we’ve thought, I was intrigued by the observations voiced by Herzog and the French experts Herzog interviewed. A French interviewee said ancient man felt differently about his/her world. As I interpreted, the mind was not of primary importance, emotion was. Mankind felt more connected to the world around him: to the animals, the earth and its features, birth and death. They were more naturally spiritual.

Herzog said he and his crew, plus many of the scientists who study the cave, sense other presences when they visit the site. They feel as if they are being watched.  I can easily imagine this cave is a sacred place of spirits.

Some of us are more spiritually aware than others. Perhaps some were born that way or have had experiences that have opened up their sensibilities. Perhaps certain cultures can make easier use of the third eye, as it is called in Hindu philosophy, which leads to the inner realms of higher consciousness.  Millions of us have had inexplicable encounters, and I am always intrigued by them.

My friend Sally remembers when she was driving home to Los Angeles from San Diego late at night and she began to get very tired. Instead of pulling over, she kept trying to keep herself alert. All of a sudden, she was frightened by a loud noise and flashing colorful lights. It jolted her wide awake. When she couldn’t figure out what had happened, she pulled over to check everything on her van. By the time she determined the van was fine, she was totally alert and got back in the car to finish the drive. She never forgot, and later concluded she had received spiritual help in keeping her safe.

My cousin Jackie’s husband Ray is a Vietnam vet who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has battled his demons over the years. For help in this world, he sees a psychiatrist every three months and takes pills for depression every day. Despite the negatives, Ray’s life has been blessed with some unusual spiritual positives.

Ever since Ray almost died from an overdose of pain pills and alcohol in the 1980s and had an encounter with a deceased friend from his Vietnam days (I’ll have a more detailed story in an upcoming blog), he’s felt and seen spirits in his peripheral vision. About a week ago when he walked into a bathroom in his home, he heard large wings flapping and felt wind in his face despite the fact that the windows were all closed and there was no air conditioning running. “I suddenly had a very warm feeling of love in my chest,” Ray told me.

Ray feels spirits of people beside him, but if he turns to look, they disappear.  “I hear voices but I can’t understand what they are saying. I hear a woman calling me at times, but I don’t recognize the voice.” He’s grown used to these unusual experiences over the years and appreciates them for the comfort they bring.




One Comment

  1. Ed Cooper, MD says:

    An excellent feature that you wrote Viki, one of your very best!

    Have you read the book about the experiences of many of the families of people who suddenly died in the Twin Towers almost 10 years ago?

    From 20/20 ABC program (June 2010) about Messages: Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11 by Bonnie McEneaney – (her experiences and those of other widows and families of people who died in the Twin Towers).

    “But many of the people coming forward say there is no rational explanation for what they went through the terrorist attacks. The morning of 9/11, McEneaney had her first strange experience in her front yard. Still hoping against hope that her husband had survived, McEneaney went outside and yelled, “Eamon where are you?” All of a sudden she said she heard leaves rustling and the branches swaying and “a river of wind” slowly swirled and twirled toward her. It whimsically lifted her skirt and then stopped. She knew at that moment, she said, that her question had been answered. Eamon was gone.”

    In that very spiritual book, there were examples of wind and birds as being messengers from beyond.

    “Many cultures and some people believe that birds can reach the heavens and are often the easiest way for loved ones to transmit messages from beyond the grave. When you see a bird casually cross your path and stay there for a few moments and look at you or talk to you it is delivering a message of love from someone that has passed.” (From

    So yes, I agree that there is much more than meets the eye in our everyday lives….

    Thank you,
    Ed C.

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