I didn’t cry until I heard my father weep. That sound was something I could never get used to. He stood ahead of me in line to the coffin, saying his final goodbyes to his father, William “Red.” My grief overcame me as I considered what it must be like to lose a parent. Both of my parents knew that pain, and Red was the last to go. I held onto my own son tight.
Death is one of our society’s greatest adversaries. We push it back as far as it can go. Discussing it makes us uncomfortable. When we lose loved ones, society expects us to grieve and move on. We are offered little in the way of definitive answers aboutthe afterlife. This is troublesome, especially considering that there are many answers to be had.
For skeptics, consciousness arises in the brain and could never survive death. Mainstream science continues to cling to materialist ideas, despite mounting evidence that consciousness is non-local. Religious followers believe that our afterlife will yield either eternal pleasure or pain, depending on our life choices. Incredibly, there are those who claim to have died and come back. There are thousands and thousands of accounts from people who were clinically dead, claim to have remained conscious in a non-physical reality, and returned to tell their stories. Thousands speak of crossing over to the spirit world and experiencing infinite, indescribable, and unconditional Love. Many report seeing loved ones who have crossed over. An instantaneous review of their life’s emotionally charged moments is also common. Many leave these experiences with a transformed view on life and are positively changed forever. Don’t these experiences count for anything?
Skeptics dismiss all of these accounts, arguing that these experiences must be invalid hallucinations of a dying brain. In reality, the subjects’ brains were completely inactive at the time. Additionally, there are many atheists who have been transformed by them. This does little to sway their opinion. Personal accounts are dismissed without empirical evidence. Perhaps the phenomenon is only appreciated through direct personal experience.
This personal experience came to me as a teenager. I didn’t die, but I spontaneously left my body. It happened while I was sleeping. Was I dreaming? This was unlike anything I’ve ever dreamt before. The atmosphere was vibrating, alive, and humming a strangely familiar and dazzling frequency. I was above my body, floating in the middle of my bedroom. I could do whatever I wanted. I decided to fly through my bedroom wall to the outside. It was the most liberating feeling of my life. I drifted up into space and awoke moments later back in my body, which was now tingling all over. I was reborn.
This was the first of dozens of out-of-body experiences to follow. The frequency of these occurrences has waxed and waned on its own accord throughout the years. I allow them to come and go as they please. I am grateful for the gift that has offered me incredible spiritual insight and liberation. It has become the crux of my faith that non-physical consciousness exists. I constantly share my viewpoint, not because I wish to push my beliefs on others, but because the joy of consciousness beyond the body is something I think everyone deserves. It is life changing and could transform our planet. When we aren’t afraid to die, we aren’t afraid to live!
The law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. Everything in existence, including us, is energy. We are dying and being reborn every day, every minute, and every second. Millions of cells die and are replaced every minute. It would be a shame if our thoughts and personalities didn’t evolve over time. Our egos are dynamic. Why would these natural laws stop at the moment of physical death? How could there be anything other than continual transformation?
We are currently experiencing a tumultuous death and rebirth cycle within American society. The ruthlessness and hatred of our brothers and sisters is put on display. Despite the fact that our media makes it more apparent, this attitude has always existed. It’s just easier to view now. And in viewing it, we help process and eliminate it. The vile racism and bigotry will be overcome and nullified by this process. It is a natural cycle of evolution.
I pondered these cycles at the funeral. Although I hadn’t known my grandfather as much as I’d hoped, his influence surrounded me. The many friends and relatives that gathered were a testament to the mark he left on the planet. I saw our family as a giant tree that extended from him, his parents, grandparents, our ancestors, and all the way to the mysterious dawn of humanity. Though we wear different masks, we share the same lifeblood. Our DNA tells our story. Our branches twist, turn, and fall off in every direction, but our connection remains. We came together to mourn the loss of our elder, but we were only mourning for ourselves. He was just being reborn. And like the warmer air outside promised the upcoming spring season, I knew that our spiritual lives would likewise continue. Death is just another part of the cycle.
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