Thursday, June 26, 2014
Terra Cotta Portal, Chicago, IL
The image above is looking through the historic Terra Cotta Row District boundary wall ornamentation in Lake View, Chicago along one of the walking routes where I took my grand dog Rosemary. Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright used these materials for many fabulous architectural refinements at the turn of the twentieth century. The view back in time into a formal rose garden through this terra cotta opening reminded me of the many portals that exist in the science fiction and fantasy worlds of creative minds. The concept also seems to be associated with the fascinating light tunnel experiences of over eight million Americans having near death experiences (NDE). And of course, most of us enter this world through the portal of the birth canal.
Mankind has conceived of portals linking different places in our universe, parallel universes, the past or the future, and afterworlds like heaven and hell. They can magically connect us via gateways and then can instantaneously transport us through space-time. Portals are considered similar to cosmological wormholes and some consider them as part of the medium. Portals on film are often portrayed using a ripple effect.
A tornado was the portal transporting Dorothy and Toto to the magical gardens in the Land of Oz and a rabbit hole deposited Alice in a Wonderland with fantastical anthropomorphic characters like a white rabbit with a pocket watch and the Mad Hatter at a tea party. A modified DeLorean DMC-12 sports car with a “flux capacitor” transported Michael J. Fox back to the future and a wardrobe armoire was the gateway to Narnia for four siblings into a world of endless winter. Movie franchises like X-Men and Star Trek go through portals where no man has gone before. An overgrown labyrinth is the center of a mythical world where a faun tests a young girl by instructing her to sacrifice her baby brother’s blood to open a portal to the underworld.
Recent developments in cardiac resuscitation techniques have resulted in a marked rise in people reporting a “tunnel experience” through portals into a heavenly, loving white light. Many report encountering beings of light and reunions with loved ones. Conversely, some report distressing experiences entering a black void, sensing a hellish force around them. They report a tormenting moral anguish at their own choices, behavior or attitudes and being separated from the Light Being.
These concepts of portals have captured the imaginations of mankind for centuries. NDE sojourners have been recorded as far back as the fourth century. It would seem that these glimpses into the portals of the human experience should give us all pause to reflect on the direction of our individual lives and the ultimate fate of our spiritual destiny.