“Your holy mind establishes everything that happens to you.”
In the same year, two friends of mine passed on. Both were younger than me and they had seemed to be in good health. The shock of losing them from my life left me stunned and confused. They were both such good people; how could this happen? And I wondered to myself, as many of us do at times like this, “Why am I still here, when they are not?” “I don’t deserve it any more than they did, I’m not any more valuable to the world than they were.” I didn’t understand this, and I deeply wanted to understand.
At times like this when I find my mind troubled with big questions, I often go to a quiet place, and sit in a sense of waiting, listening prayer. I turn to the Inner Counselor and ask my questions as best I can, whatever is troubling my heart and mind. This time, I was asking about life and death, and why are they gone, and I am not?
There was more, but the essence of the message was that if we are still here, it is because we still need to be here. There is soul-work in progress. There are works or discoveries our soul has set for us that we have not completed yet.
Even though this didn't remove my sorrow or my feelings of loss, it did at least give me some sense of peace. It helped to ease that feeling, known to so many of us – what psychologists call “survivor’s guilt.” It happens very often to soldiers who have survived a combat when many of their comrades did not, but this feeling can come to anyone.
One thing has been very clear to me – I first realized it at about age fourteen: God sees death differently than we do. I knew nothing about faith or religion or science or quantum physics then, and I had not studied God or those other things any more than any other teenage girl, but one day it came to me and I simply knew. It just made sense. And now I understand the reason God sees death differently. It is because God sees death truly, and knows that there is no such thing.
Here’s the basic physics of it: nothing in the universe ever dies; energy is the basic life-form and it never ceases, but simply, constantly, changes - from energy to form to energy to form to energy to form... and human life is a part of that system.
There is no concept of death except through us, because “death” does not exist except in relation to the physical, which seems to be limited by physical laws. While we are here on earth, our physical bodies will be governed by physical laws. Our soul or Spirit of course will not be so limited.
Life, including the life of each individual, is not the body, and it cannot die even when the body does. The Life itself, the essence and identity, changes like everything else in the universe, from energy to form, to energy, to form, over and over and over again. But the life itself is eternal.
In the work I do, I have been at the bedside of a number of human souls at the moment of the soul's departure from this place. One of the amazing things I saw very clearly in every case, that moved me profoundly, was that at the moment of what we call “death” the Life, or the Self of the person, simply left. Left the body entirely. Whether it might have lingered somewhere invisibly in the room, I don’t know, but it definitely was not in this solid thing that it had left behind. This solid thing is dead, but the person is not in there anymore. We usually say that the person is deceased, although it might be more accurate to say that the person is transformed, or transcended.
In all human societies we honor the body of the deceased not for what it is, but for what it was - the dwelling place of someone we knew and perhaps loved. For a little while, we tend to still believe that it IS them, because it is what we have known of them up to now. In truth, they have been set free from physical form, and returned to pure energy or spirit, which is far more vast than the limitations of physical life.
We tend to believe that the body is the person, in life and in death, because it seems to be. We believe this in the same way that people once believed that the world was flat, because it really looked like it was. And people used to believe that the sun circled around the earth each day. But now we know that the earth in fact is round, and it is the earth that circles the sun, and furthermore, spins on a axis while doing all that.
And yet we still speak of the sun "rising” and the sun "going down" as if it were really that, even though we know better. And so, just as we eventually came to comprehend a truer relationship with our planet and our solar system, we are now learning a truer relationship with our physical and spiritual selves.
I have always thought that mortality was a very strange and unfathomable thing. It just never did seem right to me, as a child or as an adult, and all my life I have struggled to understand. It just wouldn’t make sense to have lived this whole lifetime, and to have learned all we have learned (and we have all learned a lot) and then have it just end, and go nowhere. No, I don’t believe it just goes nowhere. It must go somewhere.
All these thoughts were in my mind this morning as I wrote in my journal. I raised my eyes from the page, and outside the window the glorious green and golden world of living things was gleaming and sparkling in the sunlight. Something so beautiful surely can’t be to no purpose. Human life, my life, surely can’t be just a whim of God. There must be more. I know it. With everything that’s in me, I know there must be even more after all this. And I wrote:
Dear God, Counselor, tell me, if I am able to hear it, if I am ready enough to bear it, please tell me, What is there more? What happens after this? When this life ends?
How shall I be then? What shall I be? I know what you will say, you will say “Be joyful” right?