Envision yourself at your favorite shopping mall. Now imagine standing at the top of a down escalator. See the stairs moving: locking and collapsing forming new steps and then repeating. The black handrail seems alive rolling up to the top and then suddenly descending down. Your hand moves forward and hesitantly grabs hold of the handrail. Your body lurches forward with your foot unconsciously searching for purchase. Feel the shudder of this mechanical device as your body automatically adjusts to the movement. This escalator is your time machine allowing your mind to travel back to an unexpected yet welcome past.
Your eyes are closed and your body is at rest. You are relaxing in a reclining chair or laying comfortably on your sofa. Calming words are directing your movements as you slip slowly under her control.
The escalator is vibrating, hastening your descent. You are asked to look around and your memory provides glimpses of things remembered, signs, colors, and you feel assured. You have ridden many escalators and this is a familiar experience.

The reassuring bottom floor is approaching. You hesitate, as always, cautiously but decisively, stepping from a moving platform to a still landing.

There, you’ve done it. Feet firmly planted on the ground. You look around and see familiar kiosks and storefronts. You are ushered on, instructed to turn right and to follow the hallway leading away. You are told to look for a door and once found to describe its color. The door is green and you open it and enter the space behind it.

You are told that you are in a beautiful meadow that has a pathwayleading to a forest and beyond. Following the path, you are reassured by its familiarity and enter the forest. It is reminiscent of forests you’ve seen. The trees are comforting and you stop at one point to rub your hands over the bark of an exceptionally beautiful tree. A few seconds later you exit the forest and follow the worn path around to the right where you are made aware that soon you will meet someone, someone familiar. And there, coming into view, is a woman with a young child. She is beautiful, tall, and slender with long dark hair. You have never seen her before, but you know her, and you know her name. It is Sarah. And the child, a boy five years old, lifts his head and looks into your eyes and you realize this boy is your son.

This voice guides you back to the escalator and once again you step off but this time you are in a darkened room. The walls are made of huge rocks cemented into place. Filtered light is coming in through small, narrow windows. The floor and ceiling are hewn out of rough timbers and there before you is a table. The table consists of wide wooden planks, hand polished down to a semi-smooth finish and fastened together by pieces of iron. You are asked if there is anything on the table and you answer: “Yes.”

There is a sword. You are told to pick up the sword. It is heavy and requires two hands to lift. It is a broadsword. You are asked to describe the sword. It is  highly polished and has a rectangular engraved gold hilt and jewel encrusted gold handle. You become aware that your vision is obstructed and realize for the first time that you are wearing a helmet and that you have no peripheral vision because your sight is limited to the size of the opening of your visor. This shock forces you to see that you are wearing a coat of chain maille and armour. Lowering the sword you step to the left and cautiously look around the room and discover that you are alone. You are informed that you are a Knight Templar and the sword is “Excalibur’ and you must be truly blessed because you can see the true shape and colors of the sword. Your mind questions this implausible explanation but agrees to continue with the experience.

Once again you return to the escalator and then enter another realm and find yourself in a large room with another woman. This room appears to have uneven plaster on the walls and wood plank framing along the walls and ceiling. It almost looks colonial in fashion but much rougher. The woman is short, barely over five feet tall and older than Sarah. She is wearing a long, light brown robe and her face is partially hidden by the hood of her garment. You are asked who she is and you answer: “Mary.”

Once again you are asked if she is saying anything to you and once again you hear nothing.

Out of a window, you see a hill and are instructed to climb the hill because there is someone there you need to meet .  As you approach the summit you see a tall man with a short beard. You instantly recognize this man as Jesus. This time you are shocked because you realize that he is directly communicating with you. His lips are not moving but you clearly hear his message, “Believe in me!” This admission opens a flood of emotion, tears stream from your eyes and you are swallowed up in self-guilt and denial.

Your guide comforts you and when you are emotionally ready, she sends you back to the escalator and you enter a village that is situated next to a river. You see men wearing brightly coloured, woven garments made from linen and wool and the women are wearing long dresses and some of them have leather aprons. Open fires are cooking stews outside of log houses, sending both smoke and steam into the air whose aromas linger and drift, filling your nostrils. Long narrow boats have been hauled up upon the river’s banks and you realize that you are in a Viking village and have travelled back a thousands years.

At this point, emotion and fatigue force you to return to the escalator and travel up back to the second floor, back to the comfort and safety of your recliner.

Your journey is finished and you open your eyes.

. . .
My travel guide was Dr. Barbara Young, who according to her website, “has lived and studied Christian Mysticism for thirty years.” She states that she has experienced external “Apparitions of Light Figures” since childhood and that her mind-consciousness education began with pre-medicine, which branched into psychology and the study of altered states of consciousness, parapsychology and medicine, world religions and the psychology of social change.

She has worked with missile system technology and has conducted medical and oceanographic research.

In 1977, she set off on a twenty year “walk-about” to educate the public in what she believes is the “true purpose in life, the evolution of its spiritual nature and its Divination.” She has appeared on many radio and television interviews. You can find out more information about Dr. Young at her website:

. . .

This journey of traveling back through time, I believe, is a type of remote-hypnosis that gives freedom to the mind to create scenarios by forming mental constructs of places we have actually visited or seen in photographs or on television. It is in these familiar places that we allow our emotions to emerge so that we can deal with them.

In the movie “The Matrix”, Morpheus offers Neo two pills. The red pill will answer the question “What is the Matrix?” and the blue pill will allow Neo to return to life as before. As Neo reaches for the red pill, Morpheus warns him:

“Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”

I am supposed to telephone Dr. Young for a second session, but so I’m not certain I want the red pill!

(This article was originally published on on July 14, 2014. It has been updated.



Most recent posts by Dirk Vander Ploeg

All posts by Dirk Vander Ploeg