Recently I was able to assist a cohort of mine, where I work, in the death process. This beautiful transition is seen by me as not a thing to be feared but and experience to be walked through. In the end, I recall very well discussing with him that death is just like birth, only a lot easier. You slide into this new form which delivers you from the previous form. When we are born we are born into the pains and experiences which assault this new intention of life and all the stimulus which is associated with being a body/mind. And off we go creating constructs to deal with this tonal structure we call reality. Many of which are very funny and delusional.
What was so amazing was the number of people around this friend’s death that had stories of where he was going and what he would be. One woman went on and on about how he was going to be the carpenter he was in life, but now he could help her cousin, who had died without a full life of learning about woodworking. Thus this man would become his mentor in the next world, a heaven of carpenters. And he would aid in the creation of beauty in heaven as a master. God, she was sure, had a plan for him this way.. and this was why God took him at 55 rather than letting him stick around until he was good and old. She was on fire about this fact and in pain. And this was her truth. I listened and nodded, knowing there is not much you can say to such a shallow vision of the after life – really with the whole universe to wander through are we really going to the same place as here and will we really have time to take care of all the other lost souls that we think did not “get it”?… This vision of the afterlife is so darn pervasive especially when it has been so solidly confirmed for us in the media and many of our religions.
But as a spiritual person of freedom, this all seamed funny… especially when I recalled how much my friend discussed the pain of life and how he was looking forward to the freedom of spirit. As another co-worker nodded at me about how important that vision is for people of faith, I took a chance to actually state clearly what my experience had been in watching our cohort transition in death… aka he made death the final advisor for a life well lived… even after 55 “short” years. I stated very clearly that I found people’s reactions silly because after the number of individuals that I have watched die, helped die, and loved through death, I just did not believe in a personal antrhopomorphic god and a personal heaven which looks exactly like here. She stared shocked for a moment. But I qualified…
This does not mean that I do not believe in the infinite mystery, the creator, or the amazing active agent of life from mother earth – a definite living being that helped produce this mortal coil. No far from it. I said, if we eliminate our ego fear attachment to what we think that life is – the temporary distractions, we are left with the primal ground of being which is everywhere the same and amazingly beautiful. But, as she responded, this is what people are afraid of. Yet the eternal spirit energy of every being is not afraid… that is the temporary attachment to the stuff of life, the physical of life-the temporary ego. But what about our relationships. When we are gone am I saying that that no longer exists? No I retorted… not in the least. Energy is always conserved. It may change shape but it does not disappear. It transitions. When we die the eternal parts of us are eternal again. We merge into the very love and ultimate awareness where we emerged from at birth.
You see when you work with dying people, they teach you that the most precious thing is awareness of life and love. They have to make death an advisor, they have no choice. The process may be long or short, but in the end it comes down to the most profound sense of gratitude and love of life. This profound gratitude and love is there in all of us no matter what or who or even what species. When we die, we are able to see all the amazing gifts of our lives laid out for us, because that is our experience. And we are able to let it all go… like the child who releases the connection to the mother and slides into the world, we become the kernal of awareness, the great infinite mystery’s gift of beingness that we are and slide back into that beautiful whole. And what do we keep. What we always have – love. The same love that made us returns us. This is what my carpenter friend came to. He knew, because he was there, closer than all of us distracted by our daily lives, that the gratitude and love were the greatest gift. Luckily for him, he shared that in abundance and with everyone everywhere equally. Everyone he touched he left with love and gratitude.
But, I went on, Infinite spirit does not care what we did. That is an attachment to the form of life and the construct of the tonal. That is our concern not the infinite. Infinite spirit does not care if we were rotten to the core, or saints. Infinite spirit is everywhere as it is and everything returns to that source. Our temporary experiences are burned away in crossing the blazing river of death to allow us the ultimate return to that love and being. This shocked my co-worker. Are you saying there is not heaven or hell. Absolutely, except for that which we temporarily create. Each spirit struggles with these final moments in their own way. They can make it hard, hell, or easy, heaven. Our cohort made it easy. He found peace before the final transition, leaving as much love and gratitude as he could as he crossed, and taking all that he had been given back into the infinite void of ultimate being right to the source. And frankly the source does not care how it comes back. It returns….
There was more to this conversation, but let us look at Death as an Advisor. This is the point where we align with the fact that we are going to die. We turn our face around and look forward to it. We recognize what is eternal and what is temporary. We are constantly shifting, changing becoming, just as birth was a transformation of energy, so is every moment of life. Making death as an advisor is what the elders know as they look deep into the mortality and beauty of their lives. It is what the child with cancer knows, it is what the death and dying are trying to remind us every minute. Live life to the fullest of awareness, love and gratitude, and there is nothing to fear, nothing to worry about… all we have is the complete connection to infinite mystery at this and all times. The only thing that cuts us off is our perception of the world as separate from that ultimate ground of being. When the warrior of awareness does this, he defeats death, not as the christians think of it… rather as it is, a grasping onto the idea that we will never change. A holding on to the not-enoughness feeling…. death is nothing. And when that occurs our being is shocked through with energy, pure unadulterated energy of the absolute being and we have the clarity to see things as they are. And we are grateful and in love with it all. And we can then truly dart past the eagle as Casteneda noted. We can because we are not attached to the stuff that keeps recylcing around the same old story of the carpenter.
I am truly grateful today for the being of life that my cohort is. And that his gift allowed me once again to remember the ultimate ground of being is so much more important that the distractions of the details of life. And finally that I can choose to be aware, grateful and in love at all times. Nothing personal folks, just beautiful.