August 10, 2022 at 6:10 am #1014Michael GrayModerator
Photo: ‘The Whole Reflected In Each’ by Barbara A Lane – Pixabay https://pixabay.com/illustrations/fractal-undersea-sea-underwater-2033916/
While I was living on Planet Earth, which was until quite recently, I never referred to ‘tomorrow’ as anything other than a period of time that has not yet arrived. When it did arrive, it would become a new ‘today’ and bump the old one into the storage hold of yesterdays.
All that has changed now that I have crossed over into a kind of time in which there is neither future nor past, in which time is whatever arises into consciousness. I can’t adequately express what a joy it is to discover that I didn’t lose access to consciousness when I crossed over. That discovery is so wonderful that I feel no pressing desire to be back on Earth, or to be anywhere else among the many life-bearing planets that I am now free to visit.
It feels strange to refer to the ‘cosmos’ as if it actually is the realm that I used to imagine existing in extended physical space. Now that I can slip through cosmic wholeness, like a fish through water or a bird through air, I don’t need to imagine myself in the body of a fish for the spirit of water to open a passage before me; I don’t need to be in the body of a hawk or a hummingbird to feel the embrace of wind lifting me aloft. As a radiant illumination sweeps everything along in an unending wave of being, each particle reflects all the others.
There is no need for me to piggyback on a Voyager or Pioneer space capsule in order to visit the outer reaches of the solar system in which I spent my recent lifetime. Just as tomorrow and today arise together, so do intention and realization. I only have to wonder if there is life in the Andromeda Galaxy and I am watching a family of creatures pulling up plants in the shallow waters of a lagoon, laying them carefully onto a raft-like boat. I have only to wonder if there are intelligent life forms who have learned to live together harmoniously, and I am in a roomful of open faces, each radiating a glow of profound understanding.
That was when I realized that I can’t just choose what is to come next for me. Those radiant beings were aware of my presence, and as I felt the thrill of eye-contact with one of them, I understood that I have not yet earned the right to live among them. If I somehow won a lottery and was reborn in their world, it would have to be as a pet. If those beings were to open their homes to me, I would have to pretend that I was someone other than who I really am.
Yet, I long to be in their company, not in order to be comfortable and free of the suffering that prevails on Planet Earth, but to be on the healing side of the life I have known there.
Instead of seeking therapeutic interventions for myself–as if they represent progress on a spiritual path–I see now that I need to keep showing up just as I am.
If it should come to pass that I once again enter the realm of todays and tomorrows, I hope that I will remember my contact with a being whose heart abides in the openness of all of life, however and wherever it manifests.
If I return to Planet Earth and the suffering that overwhelms the hearts of countless beings there, I hope that I will still remember those caring eyes washing through my deepest being–somewhere out here in the far-flung sweep of borderless time and space.
August 10, 2022 at 6:17 am #1015Michael GrayModerator
The question of whether this piece is based on personal experience is not one I can answer. It began as a spontaneously imagined flight of fancy–as a topic in a writing group that meets twice a month on Zoom, where we have 30 minutes or so to write on two topics. I was surprised that the group treated what I write as an exploration of my own ideas about life and death and that it resonated with them.
That inspired me to clean it up a bit and post it as a blog. While editing it, I noticed that I started deleting hesitant phrases such as “I think”, and “perhaps” and “It might be the case that . . .”; and I became more declarative and definite. By the end, I felt that I was sharing a vision of what I would like to encounter after I die. That, in turn, reminded me that I am still alive and that if a vision of what may follow this life is to have any value, I should let it influence how I am living now. Hence the last few sentences.
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