Read this and felt I really had to share it with all of you who visit here at The Square. As any one who even casually floats through here, it’s a pretty well known fact that I am quite “smitten with the kitten”, as they say, over my beloved Zengirl. She is, in so many ways, the reason Sacred Square even exists. She is my muse, my teacher, my calm, my sanctuary, my love. And she is the voice that guides and heals and loves this man. So, while I may be a bit prejudiced as to her talents and her warm and loving soul, I do think she is quite the writer. She has a beautiful style that flows from her and her love of language and words is apparent in anything she writes, even the simplest email.
With all that being said, she is getting back into blogging and writing and just recently posted this on her blog, The Voice That Guides.
And in her very self effacing way, she mentioned it to me as an afterthought, a small thing… It is not. What it is, is a well thought out and thought provoking piece on the nature of life and death. I asked if I could share it with you and she agreed. So, without any further ado, I’ll get out of the way and let this woman of words do what she does so well…
What Is Life And What Is Death?
Posted on July 10, 2013
Years ago, I took a trip to New Mexico for a friend. While she conducted her business, I meditated in the desert. I had a vision. These are the words I then wrote describing what I experienced.
“I saw Her in a vision, so I know at least one face of God. I was alone in a desert. There was only Earth and Sky. The land was flat, no hills, only space that extended in all directions for Eternity. And I was alone looking up into a limitless cloudless sky that is Heaven, Nirvana, The Universe, All. I walked, at my pace, my time, into the nothingness, beneath that Sky. No plants, no life, no heartbeats, not even my own. And in time I saw something in the distance. As I approached, I could see it was a tepee, yellowed rawhide stretched tight over a skeletal frame formed of branches from trees that did not exist. I could hear the taut dried dead flesh flapping in the breeze, a breeze I felt only as I drew near.
The flap was open and respectfully I bowed and peered into the darkened interior. I saw the shadowed figure of a stout woman sitting on the Earth at the back of Her dwelling. I entered. She smiled a smile of such warmth and love that my existence faded entirely. Her thick fingers were upon her knees. She sat on the Earth, cross legged. She is Indian, Samoan, Native American . . . something, Everything. She is large, strong, and powerful. She is Love. She is the Mother Of The Universe, and Earth is but one of her Infinite children. She turned one thick hand, palm now facing upwards, and silently invited me to sit before Her. The conversation began. She never said “You.” She never said “I.” She only referred to “We, Us.”
I asked, “What is life and what is death?”
And God replied in a simple perfect way:. “Imagine we are weeding a flower bed. We involve ourselves entirely in the task, kneeling in the Earth. Nothing else exists for us in this moment, only the flower bed, only the task at hand. When the task is complete, we breathe a sigh of relief. We stand and look around and we see beyond the flower bed. We see our surroundings and remember we have land, we remember we have a home, we remember we have loved ones, we have roles: mother, friend, lover, daughter, teacher, student . . . Life is weeding the flower bed. When our task is complete we rise to remember all that we are, and return to Awareness.“
“Then Death does not exist?” I asked.
God laughed kindly and replied, “Look upon Nature, and see. As seasons inevitably change, so change is inevitable and eternal for all. Change is natural. Change is Life. Where in Nature have we seen an end to change? Completion of Life is completion of task. We then rise to reclaim our Awareness. Do not be afraid. Does it not feel good to finish the weeding?”
After the vision I thought, ‘Yes, it does feel good to finish the weeding, and the more of myself I put to the task, the greater satisfaction I take in its completion.’
Later I shared this experience with a friend who detested the vision. He said life is more than task, it is play, and other things besides. That is a valid point. Yet I see the principle as being identical. When we’re focused on the matter at hand/moment at hand, whether we’re in a flowerbed, a monastery, or a bar, we are not aware in that moment of ALL that we are. We are only aware of ourselves in just that matter/moment at hand.
Embodied life, physical life, life in form, is a more encompassing version. Physical Life as a human, plant, animal, or stone, is a focus of Source energy into a specific form. And focus, is essentially, practical ignorance. We focus on something by ignoring (choosing to be ignorant of) all thoughts and perceptions that do not pertain it.
Awareness is the opposite. Awareness is NOT ignoring the many things to attend to the one thing. Awareness is being aware of all things concurrently. Mentally attending to everything at once, would not be practical for life events, like driving in hazardous road conditions and simultaneously remaining aware of every item on your shopping list; performing brain surgery while being aware of the flaws in your tennis game, or attending to the many challenges of navigating a tender human body in a world of form, within the bounds of a culture of questionable sanity.
Focus is a method of surviving life in form. If we allowed ourselves to be aware of the pretty flowers and the warm breeze, as the angry bear is gaining on us, we may not survive. If we focus on our escapement, we stand a better chance.
Each life form, human and not, is a focus of Source energy. And I believe at the time of leaving this form/body (what we call death) that focus is expanded into whole awareness. I feel too, that this transition from focused form to whole awareness, may well be incremental. In the vision, God said, rising from the flowerbed, we see that we have land beyond this flowerbed, (and then) we see we have a home, (and then at the sight of home) we are reminded of our loved ones, (and then) our loved ones remind us of our many roles. A Succession Of Awareness is implied.
This Incremental Return Of Awareness after passing from form, would support the beliefs of most cultures through history and even today, who pray and communicate with ancestors and departed loved ones. Mediumship and Clairvoyance are easily as ancient and pervasive as our known Religions and Science. In an incremental return to awareness, the focused energy of the one passed, would remain singular and a personality for a “time” after release from form, thus the temporal the essence of what one might call a Spirit.
In Truth I feel “Time” does not actually exist beyond form, as Time is just a tool for measuring mortality. Beyond mortality, beyond form, there is nothing (no-thing) to measure; so Time would not exist anymore than a hammer would exist if nails had never existed.
Yet as our mortal minds are incapable of perceiving mortality without this measure, so this view of Life and Death serves as but an abstraction as Time itself; abstraction is the only thing a focused energy called Human can hope to achieve, in the Timeless attempt to cage Eternal Living Truth, within the confines of mortal language.
Naturally Truth can never be caged in word. Truth can only be realized in the Experience words in Truth point to, just as an exotic dish cannot be savored by reading a recipe book, or a destination known, by looking at a map. One must follow the words to the Experience, to Know, and even in Knowing, the Experience remains incommunicable.
And for those of us not DYING to Experience the Truth of Life and Death forthwith, Abstraction will have to do.
So there she is, my beloved and treasured Zengirl. I encourage any and all to visit her blog for she has much to offer in both wisdom and insight. And as always, feel free to comment either here or there. Your thoughts and opinions are valued and appreciated.