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  • Writer's pictureLinda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #31

Updated: Jun 28, 2022

"My Spiritual Awakening

"I had been sitting in the library for half an hour. I turned to my teacher and said, 'Such a strange thing has happened! I have been far away all this time, and I haven't left the room.'

"'What do you mean, Helen?' she asked, surprised.

"'Why,' I cried, 'I have been in Athens!'

"Scarcely were the words out of my mouth when a bright, amazing realization seemed to catch my mind and set it ablaze. I perceived the realness of my soul and its sheer independence of all conditions of place and body. It was clear to me that it was because I was a spirit that I had so vividly 'seen' and felt a place thousands of miles away. Space was nothing to spirit! In that new consciousness shone the presence of God, who is a spirit everywhere at once, the Creator dwelling in all the universe simultaneously.

"The fact that my small soul could reach out over continents and seas to Greece, despite a blind, deaf, and stumbling body, sent another exulting emotion rushing over me. I had broken through my limitations and found in the sense of touch an eye. I could read the thoughts of wise men and women -- thoughts that had for ages survived their mortal life -- and could possess them as part of myself.

"If this were true, how much more could God, the uncircumscribed spirit, cancel the harms of nature -- accident, pain, destruction -- and reach out to His children. Deafness and blindness, then, were of no real account. They were to be relegated to the outer circle of my life. Of course I did not sense any such process with my child-mind; but I did know that I, the real I, could leave the library and visit any place I wanted to, mentally, and I was happy. That was the little seed from which grew my interest in spiritual subjects."

-Helen Keller, Light in My Darkness (1996), revised and edited by Ray Silverman; originally published as My Religion (1927), 25-26

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