‘The experience will help you to understand many things,’ said the Master. Mikhaël waited for a night without a moon before setting out. The dense darkness and the quality of silence created an atmosphere of dread as he groped his way through the forest, hoping not to lose his way. Aware of the danger from wild boars, bears, and wolves, he was also constantly mindful of the steep ravine that bordered the trail. One false step and he would fall. Suddenly he sensed that he had strayed from the path.
Poignantly conscious of his vulnerability and his isolation, he paused and began to pray. ‘Believe me, in such moments our prayers become very fervent. I felt that I had never prayed like that before. A few seconds later, I saw a light which lit up the path for about two yards in front of me. From that moment I walked on in the light, singing and full of joy. I felt something moving within me as though a new current was flowing through me.’
After climbing for several hours, he came to a sudden halt as he heard the deep baying of dogs. How could he defend himself with only a stick against enraged dogs? To retreat would only incite them to attack. Standing perfectly still, he listened to them coming nearer and fixed his mind on thoughts of light and the powers of the invisible world. Never one to remain long in a state of indecision or fear, he told himself, ‘What must happen will happen!’ and advanced resolutely toward the increasingly ferocious barking. What happened next was over in seconds.
Suddenly he saw two mastiffs the size of small donkeys bounding toward him. Summoning every ounce of strength and will-power, he thrust his right hand forward with extraordinary energy, the two first fingers pointing straight at them. At the same moment he felt an electrical current surge from his whole being, and sensed the presence of invisible entities all around. The dogs gave one agonized howl as they were picked up and thrown to the ground by a terrifying force and left cowering where they fell, their eyes fixed on the ground.
Once he had regained his breath, Mikhaël spoke soothingly to the dogs, and when he felt sure that they would no longer try to attack him, he relaxed with renewed gratitude and joy. But suddenly, he felt terribly tired, as though all his strength had drained away through his hand. Laboriously, he started to walk again, only to stop moments later, unable to continue.
He sat down on a rock to pray and thank out loud the invisible entities whose presence he sensed and who had accompanied and protected him. After a short rest he slowly set off again, emerged at last from the forest, climbed the stony slopes and reached the summit just as the sun was rising. There, on the highest spot in the country, with the innumerable peaks all around, he thanked God with his whole soul. ‘That experience taught me that a great many of the trials and tribulations of life are sent by the invisible world with the purpose of teaching us to rely on our inner spiritual strength.’