Translation by Faith and Exercising Our Free Will
A discussion about translation by faith and the exercise of our free will.
When I became interested in spiritual travel (or as it is sometimes called, translation by faith) I was working for an ambulance service in Tacoma, Washington. One night a friend and I had a two-hour conversation about some spiritual warfare he had done that involved translation by faith. His experience provoked me to try a few experiments of my own. At this time, I’d been giving a lot of thought to the nature of visions. I was used to thinking of them in terms of “God bringing images to me.” But now I had begun seeing them differently. I wondered if a vision might be something more like my spirit going where there was something happening, and witnessing it in that location, firsthand.
The following day while I was on duty, I was dispatched to do a transport coming out of Tacoma General Hospital. As we parked the ambulance, I felt the Holy Spirit suggest that I might try a spiritual travel experiment. I got out of the ambulance and went inside. We were picking up a patient on the third floor, but I also had a friend who happened to be in the Intensive Care Unit with liver problems. The ICU was on the second floor. As I stepped into the elevator, I focused my mind on my friend and in my mind, I immediately saw another reality. I could see myself passing through the door of the elevator and then through the floor below the ICU. I passed down the hallway and instinctively knew which room my friend was in. I passed through the door to his room and observed him sitting in bed, wearing a hospital gown. I saw his wife sitting in a chair next to him.
Exercising my will, I decided to leave the ICU. I passed back down the hallway in the opposite direction I had come. I went back through the floor and the elevator door and was now aware that I was still standing in the elevator. This entire experience may have taken about ten seconds. The elevator door opened and my partner and I got out and went to his room in the ICU. Everything was exactly as I saw it in the vision a minute earlier. The only difference was the expression on my friend’s face. When I saw him in my mind, he was smiling, but when I saw him with my partner, he appeared to be sad.
How do we explain such a phenomenon?
Perhaps I made this entire thing up in my mind. It’s possible that I could have guessed which room my friends was in, that he was sitting in his bed and that his wife was in the room with him. It’s possible, but unlikely. The fact that everything looked the same when I saw it in my mind as when I saw it with my partner seemed rather to confirm that I was not just making this up in my mind. My spirit had actually traveled there.
This seemed to me at first to be a typical vision. But after receiving confirmation that I had actually been there in my spirit, I had to reevaluate what I thought I knew about visions.
I’ll admit I had some concern about this experience. At the time, I didn’t understand the purpose for it and I didn’t know many people who were having experiences like this. I had followed fundamentalist Bible teachers who often warned us about being deceived. The last thing I wanted was to fall into deception. But I felt like this first experience was something the Holy Spirit wanted me to do, so I decided to try a second experiment.
The following Monday, I was at a hospital where we would stay for long periods of time in case the hospital needed us to do a transport. They provided a small room for us with a couple of recliners and a TV. When I was there, I spent a lot of time sitting in the recliner, seeking God. On this day, I turned the lights out. I decided to try “walking” in the spiritual dimension. I got comfortable in the recliner and closed my eyes. Almost immediately, I saw a place in my mind’s eye that looked like a farmyard at night. I saw a barn, a gravel driveway, and a tree bank about 100 feet away. Although it was definitely night time in this scene, it was only early afternoon in Tacoma. I tried to “move” in the spirit by using my will to go forward, toward the bank of trees in the distance. I was able to “walk” toward the trees. I looked down and saw my feet walking on the gravel driveway. Interestingly, in this experience, I saw that my feet had on hiking boots and what appeared to be military style pants, but in reality, I was wearing navy blue uniform pants and black leather boots. Watching my feet walk was easy, but as I focused my eyes in front of me, my forward vision was very unsteady. It was almost as if I was seeing the scene through a handheld video camera. There was a great deal of “bouncing” in my field of view. It was difficult to make out details in the scene, but I could tell I was approaching the line of trees. At this point, I decided I had accomplished what I wanted, so I opened my eyes and turned on the lights.
I’d like to offer some observations on what I experienced when I traveled in the spirit and what is typically reported by those who use astral projection:
In both my experiences, I never had a sense that my spirit had “left” or “separated” from my body. Many times, when a Christian experiences translation by faith, there is no sense of separation between the spirit and body. Although I was able to view things that appeared to be in a different location, I also had an awareness that my physical body was still in the elevator in the first experience and in the recliner in the second one. At no time was I able to see my physical body from a perspective outside of it.
In addition, I was able to perceive these two realities (or perspectives) together, without confusing them. It was something like playing a very realistic video game, where one can sense both the reality that they are sitting in a chair, playing a game, and engaged in another activity in a different location.
When people astral project, loud noises or vibrations are usually felt. I felt no vibrations and heard no unusual noises during either of my experiences. In fact, it was difficult to hear any sound at all, except that I did hear my feet walking on the gravel road in the second experience. When I experience translation b faith, it’s usually without sound. I see different scenes, but many times, I hear nothing at all. (This is not to be taken as a rule, as many Christians do hear things when they travel.)
Some believers have expressed the opinion that translation by faith must be initiated and controlled by God. Both my experiences were initiated by me, and not God. Although I did sense a prompting from the Holy Spirit, I never felt like either experience was a sovereign event, controlled by Him. I could start or stop the experience whenever I wanted or choose not to have it at all.
I didn’t feel as if either experience was something that could happen “by chance.” Many people who astral project spend time meditating or repeating affirmations to help them travel before going to sleep. But there is never any certainty they’ll actually travel on any given night. They may prepare for weeks or months and not astral project at all. When they do, it seems to be an almost random occurrence. This is not the case with translation by faith. Once your ability to perceive the spiritual realm is operating fairly well, and you have sufficient faith, you can freely travel at will.
This is an excerpt from my book Traveling in the Spirit Made Simple.