What drives a human being to extreme sports, like climbing Everest? A mountaineer would tell you that although they risk their lives when they scale a rock face, the thrill is not only a radical physical sensation, it is spiritually empowering.
Maria Coffey would agree, she insists that extreme experiences crack us open to the other dimensions, and that the athlete is breaking through ordinary consciousness to access the “a Transcendance Zone!” when pushed to the limit.
When Maria Coffey wrote her book “Explorers of the Infinite” she was interested in discovering as much as she could about the paranormal aspects of extreme sports. After interviewing mountaineers, astronauts, kayakers, snowboarders, surfers, big mountain skiers, and snowboarders she discovered “that the spiritual experience is one of the major drives for extreme adventurers; they reach the “transcendence zone” by pushing themselves, just as the mystics of spiritual traditions did in centuries past.”
Coffey was surprised to learn that many mountaineer had ghostly encounters, telepathic communications, precognitive dreams, astral travel and bouts of superhuman strength. She began to wonder if such phenomena were linked to that “transcendence zone” kicking in when a climber experiences extreme cold or danger.
She said “Extreme athletes live totally in the moment, in a state of flow, a peak experience if you like In other words they share an overwhelming sense of aliveness even when facing death!”
When interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, Maria spoke of a Mexican climber who claims he was guided safely through a storm by the spirits of a mountain. He said “I only reach these moments when I am very close to the edge of death and then pouf, the channel is open!”
Maria is convinced that climbers go to the edge of life, and then come back and tell us what they found there. “Think of the explorers who once navigated a “flat world” prepared to risk everything for the truth. Are these people pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and what do they find “on the other side?”
Athletes open themselves up to physical suffering to climb a mountain, or run a marathon, they need huge physical strength when facing up to extreme weather conditions, plus mental and emotion hardship. In fact they are lookalikes for shamans willing to suffer pain to reach evolved states of consciousness. Maria quotes a shaman who once told her “all true wisdom is to be found far from men, in the great solitude and with suffering!” That statement explains why some climbers practice immunity to frost bite by holding their hands in icy water, or banging their hands against rocks till they bleed.
Maria told Oprah “Imagine climbing a mountain on a steep face, with snow which could give way suddenly and getting a sense that something feels different on the slope, that it is time to move off the slope to a safer place, and then the whole slope goes. It is as if they have a sixth sense, and are so tuned into the natural world that they can pick things up they normally would not be able to do if they are not in the moment. That sixth sense is something that we all have In that sense God is in all of us.”
“When I was interviewing all of these athletes, I did not know how they would react as they did to my questions on spirituality.”
In fact, Maria was surprised that they seemed so relieved. They finally felt they could talk about their extraordinary experiences and someone would listen rather than mock them. Maria believes many of us keep strum about our metaphysical experiences anyway, simply because we are afraid of being judged as “wacky” by a materialist society.
When interviewed by Coast to Coast radio Maria revealed that mountaineers described “a third man on a rope” syndrome when they were climbing a mountain face. In highly dangerous, near fatal conditions they sense, or see another mountaineer there, along with them on the rope, a third man. Could those third men be angels come to protect them or could they have entered an extended reality, where the ghosts of mountaineers guide them through danger?
Coffey recounted how once a group of mountaineers, stuck in a terrifying mountain storm, desperately communicated via radio, and were led to safety via the ground crew who talked them down a dangerous slope. When they returned to base camp they listened to their radio conversations and realised that both teams had been speaking different languages without being aware of it.
Maria is somewhat of a sporting extremist herself. She leads adventure holidays around the globe, especially to remote sites in Croatia and Antarctica One of the reasons Maria wrote the book in the first place was because she lost her beloved boyfriend Jo on Everest.
She said she felt Jo’s presence calling her shortly after his death, so she travelled to Everest and climbed half way up the mountain to search for his body. She never found it, but what she did find was herself, and her capacity to act as a mouthpiece for extreme athletes who have never recounted their metaphysical experiences before.
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