After almost drowning in a freak accident in Tribeca, Daniel Feldman had a vision of holy light and oneness with celestial beings. He was able to recapture it through a series of meditations involving breath-holding and free-association writing about the heavenly visions that followed. Dubbing himself “David the Teacher,” he quickly acctracted acolytes, or “pupils,” who joined him in a small but growing Bronx commune, which raised the ire of local authorities who saw it as a Communist plot. Yet Davis was frustrated that the most persistent of the heavenly beings in his visions refuses to reveal its name, driving him to ever-more-stringent meditations and ever-more-dangerous levels of oxygen starvation.

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