Encounter with the Energy of Unconditional Love

It began with an experiment with telepathic communication.

View of Mt. St. Helena from Franz Valley Road off Highway 128 north of Calistoga, California.

The secrets of the universe are hidden in the details of our experience. -Pete


By Roger A. “Pete” Peterson

It began with an experiment with telepathic communication. I live in Santa Rosa, California, and since 1981, I’ve driven buses for a living. Until 1986, I drove for the large school bus contractor, Laidlaw Transportation, under a special contract. Our job was to transport construction workers to and from the geothermal plant construction sites at The Geysers in the Mayacmas Mountains. Located in Northern California and surrounded by Sonoma, Napa, Lake, and Mendocino Counties, this area has long been famous for its natural geysers, fumaroles, and mineral-rich hot springs. Because of its ability to produce steam, The Geysers is now home to the largest geothermal plant complex in the world.

One day in late 1985, my friend Michele and I were assigned to pick up passengers in Clearlake Highlands on Highway 29 in Lake County, sixty-five miles northeast of Santa Rosa. This assignment was unusual for me because it only required that I drive a twelve-passenger minivan. Normally I drove a large bus to The Geysers and provided service to passengers from Santa Rosa to Middletown. To reach Middletown and Clearlake Highlands from Santa Rosa it is necessary to drive over 4,344-foot Mt. St. Helena, which is part of the Mayacmas Mountain range.

It’s 4:15 a.m., I leave home for work on my bicycle. The busyard is on Sebastopol Road, just over a mile away. To keep my hands warm, I shove them deep inside my pockets. Approaching the busyard driveway, I swing wide into the empty street so my front tire will hit the small concrete lip at the edge of the driveway squarely. This prevents my tire from twisting sideways and throwing me to the ground, since I continue to ride hands free. Entering the yard, my attention is drawn skyward for the first time. Populating the sky is a large number of dark towering storm clouds. Captured between the glow of the moon and city lights, they look strange and ominous. After receiving a bus assignment, I head out to the yard to perform a bus check. Michele is already out in the yard performing her bus check. As I walk by, we smile and say “Hi!” to each other.

While checking the tires, engine compartment and outside lights, I keep glancing up at the clouds. Something about them draws my attention. In the driver’s seat, after completing my brake and instrument panel check, I lean forward over the steering wheel to look up at the sky again. There seems to be an endless number of dark, vertical shapes silently tiptoeing across the sky and they’re headed straight for Mt. St. Helen! Michele and I will have to drive over Mt. St. Helena on our way to Clearlake Highlands. As I continue to study the clouds, they turn into an army of heavily armed soldiers on a secret mission. Excited and frightened at the same time, I wonder if they plan is to ambush Michele and me in the mountains.

After dropping my Daily Bus Report (DBR) off at the office, I leave the busyard at 4:45 a.m., just ahead of Michele. I stop at the edge of Sebastopol Road long enough to check for traffic and look up at the sky one more time. More concerned than I realize, I part of me leaves my body and swiftly flies to an invisible point high in the air above Mt. St. Helena. Silent and invisible, I watch as the giant cloud warriors arrive. Much to my surprise they gather and mill around in conversation on top of the mountain, much like patrons in a theater lobby.

These are not armed soldiers preparing for battle, they’re large, harmless ghosts waiting for a show to begin! When one of them senses my presence high in the air above, he looks up and alerts the others. Quickly scattering, they compete for impossible places to hide in the hills and valleys of Mt. St. Helena with Stooge-like antics. Evidently, my spiritual presence is a signal that the show is about to begin. Laughing, I return to the bus and step on the gas with only a twinge of concern for this strange force gathering in the mountains ahead.

I think most mountains are magical and Mt. St. Helena is no exception. Crossing it four times a day (two round trips) for almost five years, I’ve personally experienced some of that magic. For example, there was the voice of actor Henry Fonda. Early one morning as I drove up the western slope, there it was repeating a familiar phrase from one of his westerns. I was amazed that it grabbed my attention because, as usual, I was deeply engrossed in my own thoughts. How could this be, and why Henry Fonda? He has a remarkable presence in movies but he’s never been one of my favorite actors. He always seemed distant and cold, making it difficult for me to warm up to him as a person.

Henry’s voice became a semi-regular feature on my early morning trips over Mt. St. Helena. It always happened in the same spot, the middle of a short straightaway marked by two right turns about halfway up the mountain. Even though he used a different phrase from time to time, I’d always return with “Hi, Henry, how are you doing?” in an attempt to get something more than a mindless phrase back from him, but I never did.

Once I even asked if he had a message for someone like a friend or family member but his response didn’t change. Like a “Thumper” set to attract giant worms on Frank Herbert’s Dune, his voice kept uttering the same phrase over and over again. Since I was always on a tight schedule and there was no place to park nearby, I never stopped to investigate the matter further. Who knows, if it really is Henry maybe he’s just waiting for the right person to come along.

Something I did have time to do when I drove over Mt. St. Helena was experiment with telepathic communication. The mountain itself made this seem possible. Only a few people live on it, even today. As I drove up toward the peak it felt like I was rising above the din of human thoughts in the valley below. It was like rising through fog into sunlight. When you look down all you can see are clouds, but when you look up your visibility is clear and unlimited.

Driving home at night my telepathic experiments normally took the form of asking my wife, Sandra, what we were having for dinner. This question never failed to produce a word description or an image of a meal in my mind. Even though we shopped together on weekends, she took responsibility for planning and preparing our meals during the week. When I wanted to have a particular meal for dinner or something special from the store like a deli sandwich, burrito, or fresh pizza, I’d communicate that to her telepathically. For example, I’d say, “Hey honey, I sure would like to have a Grilled Steak Burrito from Pepe’s tonight.” In anticipation, my mouth would water and I’d lick my lips. When I got home, it was easy to check on the result of my experiment—all I had to do was pay attention to what I was eating!

Although I didn’t officially document my experiments, the number of correct hits went well beyond chance or informed guessing. In reality, the results were almost perfect. On those few occasions I didn’t get what I wanted it was because I didn’t ask for it soon enough. In these cases, Sandra had already purchased or committed herself to preparing something else for dinner. Later, when I’d tell her what I had asked for, she’d say she had thought about it but too late to do anything about it.

One evening, after cresting the peak of Mount St. Helena with a bus-load of passengers, I burst out laughing. I had just finished asking Sandra what we were having for dinner when I noticed the similarity between faxing and telepathy. Unlike normal human communication where give and take (spontaneity) is the rule, when you fax a message to someone it’s more efficient to complete the message before you send it. This is exactly what I was doing. When I’d send a telepathic messages to Sandra; I’d figure out what I wanted to say to her first before sending it. I’d also include a visual image when it was appropriate, which was most of the time.

As this thought concluded a ghostly fax machine materialized out of thin air before me. With great enthusiasm, I composed a new message to Sandra. When it was done, I loaded it into my phantom fax machine and dialed her imaginary fax number. Through my Inner Senses, I watched with delight as she read it while standing under an olive tree next to her car in an almost empty parking lot with a smile on her face.

This morning, as we approach Mt. St. Helena, I decide to try communicating with Michele telepathically. Thinking I might get better results if I direct my questions to her Higher Self, the larger consciousness surrounding each of us, I ask a question and then listen for an answer. At first, our exchange seems one sided and imaginary but with each new question, the answers become clearer and more real. That is, until my fourth or fifth question. Then it happens! When I reach out to deliver my next question, I literally bang into an invisible wall of energy that has inserted itself between us. Like a stretched rubber band, I snap back into myself, sobbing uncontrollably. While part of me wonders what happened, another part of me is studying my emotional reaction with amazement. I haven’t bawled like this since I was a baby!

After blubbering for what seems like twenty minutes, I decide to check my location because it only takes that long to drive all the way over Mt. St. Helena. When I shift enough attention to the outside world for it to register in my awareness, I realize with surprise that we’re still only about a third of the way up the mountain and it’s beginning to rain.

After regaining my composure, curiosity gets the best of me again and once more, I reach out to Michele telepathically. Wham! Incredibly, the wall of energy is still there and again I snap back into myself sobbing just as hard as I did before. This time, though, I wonder if something terrible has happened to her. Otherwise, why would I be having such a strong emotional reaction?

With growing anxiety, I wonder if she’s been involved in a head-on collision or driven off the side of the mountain. She’s running at least four of five minutes behind me because I haven’t been able to see her in my rear view mirror since we started up the mountain. In response to my question, a voice inside my mind says, “No, this (a vehicle accident) is not something she would choose to experience.” Does this statement imply that we each attract certain experiences to ourselves while rejecting others? If so, what an intriguing thought! As my fear evaporates, more immediate concerns press in on me.

Near the top of Mt. St. Helena, the rain has become a downpour and water is sheeting across the road driven by powerful gusts of wind. For a moment, I wonder if Michele is aware of this amazing drama playing itself out in the invisible world between us. The question goes unanswered so I decide to get back to business. This time if I make contact with the wall of energy, I’m going to stay with it until I know what it is. Wham! It’s still there and again I have the same intense emotional reaction. This time, though, I stand my ground. I refuse to budge one inch. Suddenly, I’m inside the energy!

After waiting to see if anything bad is going to happen, I ask, “What are you?”

This is the energy of unconditional love,” says a deep, soothing male voice that seems to come from every point within the energy field at once.

Wow, I sob even harder now, because I know it’s true! That’s why I keep bursting into tears every time I touch this Energy. Intuitively, I must have known all along what it was but, intellectually, I didn’t have a clue until now. What I do next completely astounds me but seems only natural under the circumstances – I open up. I utterly and spontaneously open my life and being to this loving Energy. And just as quickly as I open up, I begin to shut down because it suddenly occurs to me that every thought, feeling, and act I’ve ever committed in life is now completely exposed to view, the bad ones as well as the good ones. Feelings of vulnerability and shame begin to fill my mind.

Sensing my growing anxiety, the all-present Voice calmly reassures me by saying: “Nothing you can ever say or do can keep you from being loved unconditionally.”

At once stunned and relieved by the unconditional acceptance behind these words, I cry even harder. I’ve never experienced this kind of love before, at least not in human terms! As I experience it now, I know there’s nothing I have to do to earn it. Just being is enough. Here, unlike the human world, there are no demands, no expectations, and no pre-conditions to satisfy before I receive love. It’s simply here to experience, remind and enjoy.

Literally bathing in this loving energy, I wonder if the anger, misperceptions, and imagined sins of my past will wash away forever. I use this moment to imagine they will, if not forever, at least for now. Even if it’s just the beginning of the end for these negative thoughts and feelings, that’s good enough for me.

As my own love begins to flow, I find myself joyfully wanting to perform miracles for this Loving Energy, to honor it for the loving regard in which it holds me. A superman in this alternate reality, I perform feats of magic and strength that are impossible to perform in the physical world. Then I stop to think about how important it is for me to fulfill my own unique potential as a human being here on earth. Suddenly, I know that the Energy of Unconditional Love is home, my real home! It is my place of birth or point of origin as a living soul. As I remember this, I also remember that the Energy of Unconditional Love is more than just a “place” – it is a state of mind and being I can create and experience wherever I am, no matter what I am doing!

Sensing an almost imperceptible movement or shift in consciousness, I find myself standing naked in the middle of a dimly lit room with golden metallic walls. The walls are separate and meet at sharp angles like most earthly rooms. Realizing that the energy of separation and hard angles doesn’t fit my mood or the soft golden glow of the walls, I begin to reshape the room with the power of my mind. I make the separate walls combine into one continuous, smoothly curving wall, including the floor and ceiling.

I’m not satisfied until the room looks and feels like the inside of a womb. When I stop to admire my handiwork, the air in front of my face begins to crackle and pop with dark, exploding points of energy. Suddenly, the dark points turn into golden rays, which shoot out to form an oval frame of shimmering, radiating light. Materializing in the center of this amazingly beautiful frame is the face of a man with long brown hair and a beard. Before my eyes become lost in his, I notice his serene, Christ-like features.

Looking through my eyes and into my soul, He says, “Roger, you’re delightful, just the way you are!”

Oh my God, here I go again! The impact of His kind face and loving words starts me on a new round of intense sobbing. However, while the outer me sobs, the Inner Me calmly reaches out and lifts the bottom edge of the energy field that surrounds us. Gently raising the energy field above my head, I look out across the sloping fields and vineyards of Calistoga and watch as the Entity, now standing on a grassy knoll a short distance from me, raises His hands and sends waves of loving energy rippling out into the universe. Like air over hot pavement, the energy ripples and expands outward in all directions. Looking up into the sky, I watch as His loving energy flows out in all directions to include everyone and everything in All That Is.

Meanwhile, the outer me is struggling to keep the empty minibus on the narrow, twisting mountain road. The emotional intensity of this experience is so great that my body is wrenching back and forth with each new sob. Making matters worse, the tightly stretched muscles of my face have narrowed my eyelids to tiny slits, allowing me to see only a blurred image of the road ahead through brimming tears.

As if this isn’t bad enough, shortly after cresting the peak of Mt. St. Helena a disembodied head appears outside the driver’s side window, traveling at the same speed as the bus. Quickly glancing at it, I’m surprised to see my own face smiling back in at me. Despite intense curiosity, I force my attention back to the road and my Inner Vision; but not for long. The face outside the window once again commands my attention. It’s laughing at me now, with tears streaming down its face. It’s gut-wrenching, knee-slapping, finger-pointing laughter!

Confused by this behavior, I begin to wonder what I must look and sound like from outside. Suddenly, a channel opens up that allows me to hear the full volume of my loud sobbing from a point outside my body. It’s deafening! It reminds me of those few times when, as a baby, I cried with every fiber of my being. Now, as an adult, it’s much louder.

Not only can I feel my face from the inside as I normally do, I can see it from outside as well. Most noticeable is the expression on my face. Stretched tight from the intensity of my emotional reaction to the Energy of Unconditional Love, the muscles of my face form a rigid mask that at once looks sad and grotesque. Testing the strength of this muscular rigidity, I start to force a change in my facial expression but stop when I suspect it might break the delicate thread of my experience.

As I continue to watch my body jerk back and forth behind the steering wheel from an external point of view, I think it looks totally absurd and I begin to laugh at myself. In this moment, have I become the disembodied me floating outside the bus window? Suddenly, the movements of my body seem contrived. It’s as if someone deep inside me is pulling strings or pressing buttons. First the left set of muscles tightens and pulls me to the left and then the right set of muscles tightens and pulls me to the right, jerking me back and forth from side to side in tune with the sound of my sobs.

As the feeling of unconditional love begins to fade, I begin to wonder what my supervisors would say if they knew I was having this experience in a company vehicle, as amazing as it is. They’d probably have a cow and come up with lots of good reasons why I shouldn’t indulge my inner senses while driving, many of which I’d have to agree with. What would Michele think if she could see me now? For that matter, what would any sane person think if they could see me wrenching back and forth behind the steering wheel with this grotesque look on my face?

Suddenly, through my mind’s eye, I watch as two people approach me in a car from the opposite direction. In this spontaneous fantasy, I’m parked on the side of the road facing west on a straightaway and it’s daylight. When they get close enough to see the rigid tear streaked expression on my face, they both react in horror. The passenger’s hands fly up to stifle a scream, and the driver’s eyes widen in alarm as his hands tighten their grip on the steering wheel. Slamming on his brakes and turning the steering wheel hard to the left, he comes to an abrupt stop sideways in front of me. Quickly putting the car in reverse, he backs up far enough to complete his turn and peals out as though the devil is right behind him. After imagining several more wacky scenarios like this, the tension breaks and I begin to laugh too. Soon, I’m laughing with the same gut-wrenching, knee-slapping, finger-pointing intensity as the “me” outside the window.

When I look out my driver’s side window again, I’m surprised to see a different face staring in at me. It’s no longer my face but the face of an older man with shoulder-length white hair. His upper chest and shoulders are visible now and I can see he’s wearing a heavy, well-made fabric coat over several layers of clothing. A large ornate medallion hangs around his neck and there’s a look of both wildness and magic about him. The thought that he might be responsible for orchestrating the entire floating head experience crosses my mind.

As he nods with a smile of approval on his face, I half expect a wink when, suddenly, his face begins to change its look and expression. His smile fades and turns into a look of anger, then, into a look of hateful contempt. He becomes younger and more ancient in origin. Continuing this dramatic change, his features become coarse and brutal while the hair on his head grows thick, black, and tangled.

As the transformation continues, the rain-soaked, wind-blown apparition begins to recede into the woods. He’s now wears a thick, dark animal skin wrapped around his hips, a large club in his left hand. For a moment, I sense he’d like to hit me with it. Then he turns and runs off into the woods (and into the past?), his hair streaming behind him. But before he completely disappears, he stops to look back at me one more time. The look of hatred on his face is now gone, replaced by a look of sadness and loss. I react with similar feelings and wonder if we’re connected somehow. Perhaps he’s me in a past life or alternate reality. When he finally disappears, my mind fills with questions concerning his role and that of the magician in this amazing experience.

Suddenly, it dawns on me that in less than twenty minutes I’ll be loading passengers in Clearlake Highlands. Looking at my puffy face, runny nose, and red eyelids in the mirror, I laugh nervously as I wonder how to handle the situation. Pulling the handkerchief out of my back pocket, I blow my nose and wipe my tears. Even though time is short, I feel a need to check the Energy of Unconditional Love out one more time. I want to see if it’s real or not. To hell with what the men in Clearlake Highlands think about the way I look! With that settled, I reach out to my own Higher Self, Robert, who I met in a dream years ago.

Wham! The Energy of Unconditional Love is still there and again I sob just as intensely as I did before. With my question answered, I hug Robert, and with a sense of profound gratitude, I thank all who participated in creating this amazing experience, including Laidlaw Transportation for the job assignment and the bus that brought me here. I also thank the earth spirits for the cover of this dark and stormy night. I don’t think I could have had this experience without all these elements coming together. For the fourth and final time this morning, I leave the Energy of Unconditional Love to get on with the business of waking reality.

Driving toward Clearlake in the afterglow of my Encounter, I ask myself, “Why me, what did I do to deserve this amazing experience?” As I roll this question around in my mind, I travel back through time to a point several years earlier. I’m home alone, sitting at my desk and feeling sorry for myself. I’m thinking about all the times I tried and failed to achieve my greatest goal in life, helping myself and others learn how to do a better job of creating our reality, to bring more love, truth and joy into the world. I know I’m asking a lot of myself but, hey, what’s life without a challenge? Trying to change the world for the better is preferable to giving up and wanting to leave. In effect, I wanted to climb Mt. Everest but have never been able to get past the foothills. Feeling totally frustrated, I throw my arms up at the universe and ask, “What do I want more than anything else in All That Is?”

Love” says a confident and powerful male voice from about six inches in front of my forehead.

“That’s it!” I yell. More than anything else in All That Is, I want love–I want to give love and I want to receive love, unconditional love! In this moment, I realize that everything I’ve ever done in my life was for love, that love is my primary motivation for doing anything. When I act out of fear, anger, guilt, or hate, it’s because of love. These emotions are how I react when I feel farthest from it. They are natural responses to negative judgments I, or others, have made. When conditions could be made right, the universe gave me what I wanted, an Encounter with the Energy of Unconditional Love!

Dawn is breaking as I arrive in Clearlake Highlands but, thankfully, it’s still dark enough to give me some cover. To keep the men from seeing my face when they board the bus, I turn my face away and act as if I’m lost in thought. Even though the overhead light in the bus is dim, you can still see the expressions on people’s faces. I can’t tell if they notice my raw emotional state but if they do, they’re kind enough not to bring attention to it. Once the men are seated, I close the door and we head for The Geysers.

It took several months for me to screw up the courage to ask Michele if she remembered anything different about that morning. I knew she would remember it because it was the only time we did the Clearlake Highlands Run alone together. Her answer was “No.” Even when I described my fear that she had driven off the mountain, she could remember nothing out of the ordinary about that most extraordinary morning.

Copyright 1999, Roger A. “Pete” Peterson


We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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One Response

  1. […] an empty mini-bus over Mt. St. Helena in Calistoga, California, I had a life-changing experience (Encounter With the Energy of Unconditional Love) that showed me what it feels like and what it means to be loved unconditionally. It was an […]

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