Life is a precious gift, both from our parents, and from our Creator. It is a giant celebration of pure being. It is a story, a dance, a drama, and a movie. Ultimately, it is a dream, that of our very Creator, that of our only true and ultimate Self.
We find that every story intersects every other story, and every dream, every other dream. This story can only truly makes sense as a love story, a divine love story. In this story, God is not a tyrant, but our deepest love. As we awaken from this illusion of separation, we will realize that we are hopelessly in love with Him, and He with us, and that He is in each one of us. When we look into another with total presence, we gaze at God.
I speak these words knowing all too well my own finite human nature. At best, I am a disgustingly average person who has been a pain in the butt much of the time and who has done little to deserve this life. It is futile to compare myself with any one else. So many great lights may be found all around us. My only greatness lies in recognizing the greatness of others. I have lost both my parents, and all their entire generation. I have been hospitalized twice where my very life was in jeopardy. I am past my prime and far from where I imagined I might be at my age.
This hardly matters, as I increasingly realize that my story is not about me, but us, all of us, and about Him. Everything that happens to us, every choice we make, is part of a massive divine tapestry, a glorious mural depicting that love story in a stunning way. Every thread is indispensable and uniquely precious in achieving the overall artistic effect. Everything that ever happened, HAD to happen to bring us to this point of infinite possibility, not only in moving forward with our lives and our world, but in transitioning to another world.
It seems that the prospect of losing our loved ones is far more devastating to us than anticipating our own demise. On the deathbed, the things people cherish most do not entail their status in the corporate world or their financial portfolio, but, rather, their relationships. What we are most afraid of in facing death is being separated from our loved ones, and everything we care about.
Indeed, we face the possibility of totally losing our identity, which we have carefully cultivated over decades.
While I have not yet transitioned, I have powerful convictions based upon a lifetime of experience. Beliefs, which are mere intellectual assent, backed up by chapter and verse, are of little value. They have no resurrecting power of their own. It is the Word within the word, the Voice within the voice, and the Vision within the vision that counts.
Revelation doesn’t matter until it is YOUR revelation, until it is YOUR realization. God has to directly speak to your heart of hearts before it will make a difference in your life, giving you faith to carry on.
Living faith with deep conviction is an entirely different thing. All the childhood verses, rhymes, songs and hymns will finally begin to speak to you, as you awaken to the truth behind them. For example, simplistic notions of heaven and hell don’t hold up under scrutiny. Sin and punishment reflect a very childish understanding of the divine, as well as the preoccupation with being rewarded for our deeds. These notions may be appropriate for children, but hardly for adults.
However, when you understand heaven is a state of mind and another dimension, and that hell is the mere absence of the beloved, you begin to open up to the still undiscovered possibility that God is Love, and that Love is God.
The older I get, the more I discover the power of divine love, that it is more powerful than anything or anyone in the universe, that it even defies death. I used to think that I could make myself love certain people, or that I simply needed to work on myself more.
I used to think that I, as an individual, could somehow manufacture love. No more.
Love is a presence, a sacred presence that we call God. It is channeled through us whenever we open our hearts in a place of absolute surrender. As we open up, we discover that this love transforms our very being to the point that we recognize the possibility that we are also an Avatar, a Buddha, a Christ, or, as Christians put it, each one of us is a part of the Body of Christ, the new humanity, the new divinity.
We begin to realize that this Love, which is not our love, but that of the One we worship, our Higher Self, can transcend death.
While it is true that All is One and Everything Is as It Should Be, and we continuously face Infinite Possibility, we are not likely to even remotely grasp this until we encounter some form of love, first from our mother, later from our lover.
We have to have at least one experience in our lives where we are transported by love, where we transcend our mundane routine and mount up to the skies. At a certain point, we will discover that this love is unconditional and unlimited. It doesn’t play favorites with anyone; yet, like the sun, it burns equally bright day in and day out. This type of love (presence) re-ignites inner peace and makes you fearless… of death or what happens after.
While I haven’t yet had a direct, experiential realization of physical death, certain convictions within me have emerged which are solid. For example, I have an unshakable faith in the Person of Christ, regardless of all the doctrinal disputes that come up. Likewise, I am utterly convinced that the Hindus, along with the quantum physicists, are right about us all being divine, and there only being God. This isn’t simply a convenient belief system, but the very foundation of my life.
I am a Universalist, meaning I believe all faiths, spiritual traditions and philosophical orientations are valid, and offer light. When we put them all together, we finally see the full face of God for the very first time, as well as our own face.
When we look at the faith of people around the world, well over 80% of us are convinced of some sort of God and some type of after-life. We may dispute forever the nature of that God and the nature of that life, but we accept that they are.
This gets all the more interesting when we look at near-death experiences, where the majority of them testify to a Great White Light, of total peace, of bliss, of the presence of loved ones. Many of the people were not believers when they faced death, but are true believer afterwards.
Why is this?
Eben Alexander, M.D., offers us the most compelling recent case. Dr. Alexander was a neurosurgeon and pilot with a wife and children. Before contracting a very rare virus while visiting Jerusalem, he was completely secular in his orientation, even though his foster father had been a man of faith.
This physician suddenly contracted a severe illness and was immediately driven to the emergency room. He entered a deep coma where his brain functions for nearly seven days were virtually flatlined. His family chose to keep him on life support with the dim hope that he might somehow survive. The best prognosis of the attending physicians was that Dr. Alexander would, at best, survive only a little while longer… as a vegetable.
In contrast, Dr. Alexander’s actual experience on the hospital bed was totally different. His consciousness shifted from hovering over the meat-like quality of his brain and soaring to glorious forests, vales, glades, waterfalls, everything you could imagine.
Then he heard the most exquisite music he had ever heard. It was like a concerto, a heavenly orchestra. He saw the most beautiful woman he had ever known (it turns out a half sister he had never met who had gone on long before).
However, the pivotal moment was encountering absolute love that he found utterly indescribable. He was perfect just as he was, totally accepted. God had never been keeping points on him. God loved Eben as if he was the only person in the whole wide world.
Dr. Alexander survived this experience when his little four-year old boy literally climbed the hospital bed and begged him to come back. He dimly heard his son’s voice until he was resuscitated.
Hear him state that in his own words during a conversation with Oprah…
Dr. Alexander is now fully functioning, active and vibrantly alive. He has found his true calling as an evangelist of eternal life; only his message is without conditions or qualifications. This love is everyone’s destiny, and his job is to let us know. He is backed by dozens of recent cases with somewhat similar experiences, most notably, Anita Moorjani.
How then should we respond to our own rendezvous with death?
There is nothing but love on “the other side.” And if you can experience and channel that love while being alive, the transition will be way more pleasant and smoother.
We look forward to your own thoughts and experiences. Feel free to share them in the comments area below.