Wake Uptakes OWN viewers along a man’s journey to make sense of the unimaginable. His story is shaped by angels, demons, energy and lights that most of us have a hard time wrapping our heads around. It all began when Jonas wrapped a long day of work and headed back to his hotel room in San Francisco. Working on the bed, he felt the room grow cold and spied a light coming from the corner of the room. Soon a steady flow of shapes and lights poured from the corner of the room showing him things and visions, some of which he didn’t understand. “Geometry starting coming out of the walls” Jonas noted as he explained the shapes of the lights. The spirits created different forms and shapes. Within a couple of hours, color accompanied the lights. It went on for 11 hours, not consistently but over time. Some were like people, others like silhouettes and many were just masses of energy. It was both gorgeous and terrifying at the same time. Some of what he saw was light and beautiful however he also encountered darkness which prompted him to grab the bible. He was alone. The phones and television wouldn’t work at all and when he tried to leave the room, it followed him.
After that night in San Francisco, Jonas continued to deal with the constant bombardment of spirits, energies, angels, and demons. The message he was hearing was very clear. They wanted him to “expose what is happening – that this world was real”. This change would rock anyone’s world. Wake Up followed Jonas search for answers to what it all means. His girlfriend, Mara worried at first that he was schizophrenic. “Don’t panic. We can handle this,” she thought. Jonas wanted to keep this quiet, but it was hard not being able to discuss this with anyone. The secret was a lot to carry.
Jonas began by speaking with a clinical psychologist. He shared he frequently the room will get cold and he awakens to spirits trying to get his attention. After describing what he sees in the room, he became emotional. “This stuff freaks me out. It’s not gonna go away. But yeah, I don’t know what to do with it.”
When he sees a mass, he tries to push himself into it to help him see. Usually he can see a person when he does this. He then goes on to explain the most beautiful thing he has seen….angels. What do they look like? “A light looks like a dozen books. They’re huge. They have huge wings. They have angelic faces. Some of them like these crooked shards of light.” Clearly feeling vulnerable and a bit self-conscious, he worried about people thinking he’s crazy. “I don’t think it’s anything to be afraid of. I think it’s a beautiful thing”.
The story continues as Jonas made his way home to see his parents. In the past he tried to tell his mom but it overwhelmed and frightened her. Now it was time to tell them everything. He found his moment over a plate of food at the table and immediately let them know that he wasn’t mentally ill. How did they react? His father responded “maybe God was speaking to you to go get saved. You ever thought of that?” He was shocked and wondered if he was one of God’s chosen people.
Jonas then took time to speak to the pastor. To him the Bible is clear – God has always spoken to us. He joked that a psychologist would have thought Moses was crazy for talking to a burning bush. “If you don’t know how to be directed by the voice it’s confusing”. That’s Bible – nothing to be scared about. Then Jonas showed us his ritual to push out the bad spirits. As he burned sage and made the movements of a cross in each corner, over windows and doors, he claimed he could see the spirits leave. “This is kind of a lifestyle I don’t want to subscribe to. I don’t want to subscribe to burning sage and the power or crystals…it’s all new-agey, BUT there’s something to it.”
Jonas then took us all back to the hotel where he first encountered the visions. “The things I saw that night I can’t un-see.” Explaining how when the lights landed he was able to see silhouettes and strange geometry. He then relived a vision he had seen that night. One of a motorcycle accident that he now believed was a premonition of Rob’s death. It is clear that he still carries some regret or guilt from it…which seems crazy. He had no idea.
The changes are hard on his relationship with Mara. She struggled with trying to block it out, while he was looking for ways to be comfortable with it. I watched as Mara talked with him about it and it was strange. I am not sure if she was feeling excluded or trying to find ways to make it go away. To me it was obvious that Jonas was on a path of trying to embrace it and learn to live with “this gift…this curse”. Speaking of the negative around it, doesn’t change that it is happening. In order to find some peace, there has to be a way to co-exist with it. I am not sure she was ready for it at that time. But sadly it is like a baby. Ready or not, it’s there! She continued “there’s no book. There are no neighbors next door that we can consult”. She was just lost in how to help. This has to be hard on a relationship. “I want to talk about the part that sucks” she shared. On “sensory overload”, Jonas set off to continue his search for answers.
After being cleared by a neurologist of any brain disorders or medical problems, Jonas journeyed to see an energy acupuncturist, Abdi Assadi. He reminded him that he wasn’t alone and regular grounded mediation was the key to finding the answers. He wasn’t going to be able to “think” through this one. Following that visit he headed to Rome to see Umberto, someone who documents and takes photos as you meditate hoping to grab images of the energies around you. The photos he got of Jonas were intriguing. The images helped to confirm that it was real. However there was this one freaky alien looking one that he scared him a little. Honestly it was a bit scary especially when they started mentioning that he may be a conduit for aliens. Yes…you read that correctly. He decided not to show Mara that one.
After speaking with a cognitive psychologist, Jonas headed off to his own Hogwarts school… Ramtha School of Enlightenment in Washington. He was surrounded by a sea of people who were open and excited about his gift. Appearing uncommitted, he participated in intuitive exercises including blindfolded archery. When talking about Jonas, a school instructor pointed out that “some people leave here in greater chaos and that’s beautiful because that’s change. Greater chaos means you’re still not just hanging on to your image and you know this is who I am no matter what. He’s good at falling apart. He’s gonna be even better.“ Believing that there are “vampires on our society”, Mara questioned how much of what Jonas was seeing was “bullshit”.
With school behind him, Jonas flew out to California to meet with Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, PhD – a Sufi mystic. This guy seemed to really call him on his emotions. Not taking a simple answer, he pushed him into a more vulnerable space. To protect oneself, Llewellyn informed Jonas that all he needed was his spirituality practice. When Jonas asked the point of the journey, he responded “to take the journey from one’s ego self to one’s divine nature”…what many of us think of this as enlightenment. Still in search of answers, he went to speak with a neurologist who better explained the flow of energy. Being that matter is organized energy that travels in space, we are all interconnected by the energy we all create and people are antennas. Some are just tuned in better.
In his spiritual journey, Mara and Jonas decided to visit Rob’s mom. The guilt he had been carrying around was lifted a little by Rob’s mom who had found peace. As they ended the visit they headed over to see a Buddhist monk at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe. “Most of us aren’t comfortable being with the unknown. We’re always looking for some reference point to make us feel comfortable” Roshi Joan Halifax apprised they that we are heading towards a major phase shift which explains why things seem so bad lately. “It takes a lot of courage to live in the world today and not just be a dream-head” sleeping through life.
Once Jonas was reminded that we are all one because our consciousness is not confined to our skulls, he had a greater understanding of global consciousness. Then he decided to take his consciousness to a new level and attempt a 4-5 day vision quest in Washington. To prepare he began tying small satchels of tobacco to hang on trees around him. He needed 400 of them. Completely cut off from the world (well sort of since cameras did show up), he set out to learn. During his quest, he was “hearing so much stuff that I can’t even keep up”. The connection with the earth was intense. “All I know is that it’s the right place to be right now,” Jonas informed his crew. When they later asked what he saw, he told them “three red crosses come out of two red barns in the sky” and the message he received clearly was “all pointers point in the same direction”. With that he saw an empty, big top tent with all the posts coming down causing the tent to collapse. Reflecting back, he believed that it meant all religions point to the same thing, God, but the tent represented religion which is collapsing. A huge shift for Jonas. “I haven’t gone insane. I gone sane. I found sanity.” With a new renewed spirit, he was ready to live life and not take things for granted.
So as he spoke of “this gift…the curse” throughout the film, I believe it is clear that this is no curse. Everything can end in a moment and no one wants to be asleep at the wheel.