The Death Experience – A Celebration of Life
“In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, and then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, and you play. You have no responsibilities; you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!” – Woody Allen
If that quote from Woody Allen does not get your attention, then maybe you aren’t ready for this lesson in the series of lessons “Creating and Living a Magical Life”; and that’s okay. I just ask that you hang in there with me, suspend disbelief and let me try to express what this discussion was to be about as it expanded in my mind.
I know it is difficult for some to arrive at an attitude that the death experience should be a celebration of life. I know this because it was extremely difficult for me to cement this idea into my belief structure. I certainly did not have it when my mother was killed by a gun someone else was holding. I was only 19 at the time and was looking forward to my mother taking a vacation from her home in Atlanta and visiting my sister and me in Florida. On the night she was packing to leave for that vacation, she was killed by a bullet from a 22 caliber rifle. One that the police file report described as being “accidently” discharged, as her husband held it while it was pointed toward the kitchen where she was standing, preparing something for dinner.
When I got the call and learned of this incident I was working. I was immediately overcome with grief that I previously thought was not possible. That grief and a mental climate of disbelief stayed with me as my sister and I prepared to make the drive overnight to Atlanta and meet up with my brother who was flying in from Germany where he was stationed at an Army nuclear missile base. The trip to Atlanta was filled with rolling cycles of emotional turmoil and rational thoughts of what’s next in my life. Prior to that fatal day, as an adult 19 year old, I was looking forward to getting to know my mother. To maybe gain new insight into who she was as a person struggling with her own life.
The only time I had experienced some degree of real grief before that, as I remember, was when I was about 3 years old or younger. I hold a vision of myself as a toddler, on my tiptoes peering into the player of a stereo cabinet at about eye level. As the record played the song, I was feeling sad and feeling that something was very wrong. I was bawling my eyes out as I cried out that “I want my mommy”. Even though I was miserable, I just wanted to keep crying, and pleaded with my grandmother to play the song over and over as I held onto the stereo cabinet and watched the record go around. I am thankful that my grandmother allowed me to release that emotion, only ceasing when I probably collapsed from exhaustion and was put in bed. She allowed me to experience that emotion. What was so strange about this experience was that the actual words to the song were:
“Oh, my pa-pa, to me he was so wonderful,
Oh, my pa-pa, to me he was so good.
No one could be, so gentle and so lovable
Oh, my pa-pa, he always understood.
Gone are the days when he would take me on his knee,
And with a smile he'd change my tears to laughter.
Oh, my pa-pa, so funny, so adorable,
Always the clown so funny in his way.
Oh, my pa-pa, to me he was so wonderful
Deep in my heart I miss him so today...
I could not accept the words ”pa-pa” in my sadness, so I internalized the song as being about my mother who was gone. My mother had left the family over an incident I only have bits of information about.
Later in life, my father blamed the troubles that resulted in divorce, on my grandmother. In a different version my brother, shortly before he died, blamed father for the trouble and for mother leaving. However the drama unfolded, I was a small child with an empty feeling and an awareness that I no longer had my mother around to comfort me. This portion of my life experience had an impact on me for several years to come.\
I have friends and have met others who may have experienced even deeper grief when they lost a son or daughter for various reasons to natural or tragic deaths. Some have shared with me how they coped and got on with life. My brother lost a son, so I know from personal experience, how one’s life can be torn apart in an instant after the worse of all possible death experiences; the loss of a beloved child’s life. As for my brother, I don’t think he ever fully healed from the loss of his eldest son due to some residual guilt feelings for not being beside him at a time of need, after long suffering with a progressing illness. My brother had only gone to the store to get something for them to eat. They both, being single at the time, shared a house.
I know how the question can come to mind – what more could I have done? I had that nagging thought after my brother made his transition a little over two years ago after struggling with advancing cancer. I had spent the previous 3 months driving my brother to radiation and chemo treatment, but was not with him the night he needed to make an emergency trip to the hospital. I had helped him get into bed, kissed him on the forehead and said a prayer for him, and then went home to get some rest myself.
Well, by now, I am sure I have triggered some memories and emotion in some of you, and you are wondering just how I am going to pull the rabbit out of the proverbial hat and turn this story around to one of celebration. A few moments ago, I was wondering about that myself, in the time allotted to hold your attention. But I did grow and learn that death is a part of life as many teachers have said. That we can at times, find in the death experience, a reason to live and a reason to celebrate. We can learn that death is not finality, but just a transition to another stage and focus of consciousness.
We can learn that our night life and our dream productions can be a stage to share with our departed loved ones or to receive communications from teachers and guides that may just be departed loved ones in costume. Or, as Seth explains, during the dream dramas and adventures that we co-create, we can be teachers and guides for others.
The experiences of the dream time can be even more varied with possibilities than our waking state. That we can in both states, communicate with ourselves in a past life or vision ourselves in a future life. As some physicists have said, time is just a construct to make it appear that everything is not just happening at the same time. The possibilities seem truly unlimited. Likewise, the possibilities in our physical life can be unlimited as we explore and expand our consciousness while dealing with the normal life process we call death. Only our consciously accepted beliefs make this seem unlikely.
The exercises we take part in during this class will hopefully bring these ideas into focus. For now, I will share some of the key questions brought up by Seth in his first book, “Seth Speaks” by Jane Roberts, first published in 1972. These are questions that we need to honestly answer so that we can make changes to our life if we are not happy with the answers.
Some Key Life Questions:
·Are you content with your physical reality; your existence and experiences within it?
·Do you wish to discover greater significance, beauty, and meaning in your life as you now live it?
·Do you feel that you are experiencing the fullest enjoyment possible in your life each day, week, month, or year?
·Do you spend some time each week on relaxation and personal development?
·Are you using all of your abilities that you now possess to bring you joy and satisfaction to your mind and heart?
·Do you constantly wish you could escape the hectic existence you are living?
·Or, do you feel like you have a handle on life and the “universe” is supporting
·Do you hold on to preconceptions and limiting beliefs about life and death that create barriers to understanding why you may not be experiencing the existence you desire?
Even though I put this list together over a week ago, I still say “WOW” – after typing them, knowing the change in attitudes, world views, and beliefs that they can lead to if honestly answered. We are talking about living one’s “dream life” during this present life, not just fantasizing and daydreaming about something we never expect to live. We are talking about maybe turning our life upside down and following our true intuitions and impulses that come from deep within our soul or psyche. We are talking about surprises when we really learn to pay attention to those intuitions and impulses; to follow our personal blueprint that is designed to give us guidance in this life journey.
It’s instructive to remember the words of one of the world’s greatest motivational speakers.
“I advise you to say your dream is possible and then overcome all inconveniences, ignore all the hassles, and take a running leap through the hoop, even if it is in flames”- Les Brown.
I have been accustomed for a long time now, when I am preparing for a class, to rely on my intuitions - the messages from my subconscious to guide me. When I sat down in the living room this morning to enjoy a cup of coffee, quiet my mind, and be open to ideas, the process unfolded.
I sat in a chair I don’t normally sit in at the end of the couch, by a lamp table. I glanced down and noticed the books in the rack under the table top. I would not have been able to tell you which books I left there some time ago since it had been a long time since I had sat there to read. I thought “maybe I will pick up one of those books and just browse while I am waiting for ideas.”
I open the book Courageous Dreaming by Alberto Villoldo to a section that right away I could tell, was the beginning of a meaning coincidence. According to the page header, I was in the middle of chapter nine – Be ready to Die at Any Moment - I turned to the first page of the chapter and there was a quote by Cato The Censor - “He who fears death has already lost the life he covets” . I thought: “Wow, that’s bold!” In the chapter, Alberto shared many ideas that I already hold:
· Many of us have lived in a “flat” world, with ideas and opinions that serve us well but limit our experience of reality.
·Some in our culture have become oblivious to the death of the spirit because we’re terrified of the death of the body.
·A quote by Socrates – “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”
We need to learn to identify with the soul that transcends death.
·Have the courage to dream means following your calling today, in some way, despite the facts in your life that seem to be unmovable obstacles.
·If your canvas is unfinished at the moment you die, at least you’ll have died an artist instead of a daydreamer or dabbler who talks about how you would have liked to live.
The last point reminds me of a quote from Seth I used in the class on beliefs –
“Generally speaking, we are here to: Discover, learn, and understand how we create our own reality….According to our beliefs….Using our beliefs as an artist uses colors!” …And, to experience Joy and have Fun!”
That sums up my intent for these lessons: learning, experiencing joy, and having fun – while “Creating and Living a Magical Life.”
Are you adding color to your canvas each day?
Each night we get a glimpse of “the valley of the shadow of death”. It is that sleeping and dreaming period when our consciousness changes focus while the soul, the true us, with the help of our inner self creates dream dramas for us to enjoy and to learn from; if only we pay attention and discover their language. Just as the 23 Psalm says, we should not be fearful of the shadow of death, nor death itself. As a soul, we have eternal validity. We are spirit in “chemical clothes” as Seth affirms.
On another posting, I will share some dreams I have had, or that have been shared with me, that relate to the passing of others appearing in our dreams. The messages from all those who have made the transition to a non physical reality can be summed up similar to this:
“Celebrate life! That is what you are here for. You have the power to change what you do not like. But the change must first take place within you. Love and compassion are to be your guiding emotions and attitude. The Golden Rule is truly golden – Live your life in that posture. If you don’t figure it out this time around, you may choose to return to physical reality to learn the remaining lessons. To learn that Love is the source of being; that all are connected through universal mind and consciousness – through All That Is. You have all the energy and power that is needed available to you from the Source. Trust your intuitions and impulses to help guide you; they arise from a source within you. Celebrate life and fear not death”
Are you adding color to your canvas each day?
© Dream Awareness network,
John W. Robinson, June 2014
For additional reading on the subject, I reccomend reading The Boy Who Died and Came Back by Robert Moss.