Sunday, March 18, 2018

"... this life is a sacred opportunity ..."

I experienced some synchronicity in connection with Sabine's recent post when I read these words from Sogyal Rinpoche's book, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying:

"Saints and mystics throughout history have adorned their realizations with different names and given them different faces and interpretations, but what they are all fundamentally experiencing is the essential nature of the mind.  Christians and Jews call it "God"; Hindus call it "the Self," "Shiva," "Essence," "Brahman," and "Vishnu"; Sufi mystics name it "the Hidden Essence"; and Buddhists call it "buddha nature."  At the heart of all religions is the certainly that there is a fundamental truth, and that this life is a sacred opportunity to evolve and realize it."  (am's italics)

I'd like to add that an Oglala Lakota activist, Russell Means, spoke of his culture's experience of "The Great Mystery."

"To each his ("their" would be my translation) own, it's all unknown."

The quote is from Bob Dylan in "If Dogs Run Free."


"Somebody Was Watching":

This post is dedicated to my father.  As we all do, he had realizations about life and death; however, his path led him to look to God as he understood God for concrete answers.  He died alone on St. Patrick's Day in 2003 of congestive heart failure.  We had a difficult relationship. When I mentioned those difficulties yesterday to a small group of friends, one friend who had a difficult relationship with her father who died recently laughed gently and said to me, "In a future life, you might end up being your father's father."  In the years before he died, my father believed that he was the first person that God had spoken to since Jesus.  He kept a handwritten record of the questions he asked God and how God answered.  These were questions that had haunted him all of his life.  While my father was playing his regular games of Solitaire, God as he understood God would answer my father's questions in one of three ways:



"No comment."

He asked his God several times if Jesus was his son.  His God's final answer was, "No."

My father and I shared a love of plants and gardening.  I am grateful for that experience.  Yesterday I went out to the nearby botanical garden where I found a home for the Coast Redwood Seedling that I nurtured this past year in honor of my father.  Due to unexpected circumstances involving a steep hill that the friend who came with me could not walk down, I will have to return on another day to visit the Coast Redwood seedling.

My experience after death of both of my parents was that was all that was left of them after they died was the love they couldn't express while alive.  I have had a hard time accepting that love.  Writing this down is part of my acceptance of that love that I experienced only after they died.


37paddington said...

This makes me a little sad, the idea that you could only feel your parents love after they died. I suspect you will share more lifetimes with them, as your friend said. I had a past life reading for my family once. All four of us had so many connections with one another, in various configurations of twos and threes, but never had the four us been a nuclear family as we are now. My daughter has apparently been my mother, my sister, my closest friend, and now I am her mother. My husband was once my wife and we had many children. My son and I were astrologers together in a king’s court. And many more. It was all fascinating to me, who adores stories and sees the spiritual logic of past and future lives.

am said...

37paddington -- What you just wrote to me about your family brings great comfort and tears of relief to my spirit. Thank you so much.

37paddington said...

am, I'm glad. i had another thought after i wrote that, which is that freed of the confounding static of this mortal coil, your parents are encircling you with the pure energy of their love, which is why you can finally feel it, even though it was there for you all along. how i wish we could sit down over coffee or tea and talk sometime. i wish you peace on this sunday.

am said...

37paddington -- Thank you for your further thoughts. It has been a peaceful day. Would love to sit and talk sometime. Anything is possible.

Elizabeth said...

This is so beautiful, and I am passing it along to a friend who just lost his father -- a father that was a father only in biological terms. Thank you so much for your words and gentle guidance. Synchronicity is fantastic. There are no accidents.

am said...

Elizabeth -- Thank you. We never know when what we need to say is just what another person needs to hear. For that matter, I didn't know what I needed to say until I started writing and the need became clear.

Sabine said...

I am very moved by your honesty and I in a way (you know my family stories) share your hurt.
We know that parents can be unpleasant individuals, families can be hurtful. Difficult. Complicated.

I find it amazing what your father did, the searching must have been so much on his mind and I wonder what in his life, what fear or loss, may have instilled in him this need to ask and search.

As I wrote in my post, I find metaphysics exciting, the idea that there is something bigger than us, is a thrill and something that allows me to go silent. But I don't find any comfort in it. That would be arrogant, assuming that bigger means better, loving, caring, which are all human concepts. What if it's mean, brutal, absoluetly honest and unforgiving? How can we ever know?
We are like children seeking for comfort, empathy, forgiveness. So, let's hope there is a-bigger-than-us loving power watching over us because otherwise we, who mess up all the time, may be doomed?

I spend time with these thoughts, of course I am looking for comforting concepts.

I think none of us can do without metaphysics. I believe that there is something beyond our limited reason, something in front of and behind our rational world. Mostly, I think we should not want to call it anything.

Anonymous said...

I didn't have a difficult relationship with my dad but I do wish I'd known him better. He probably felt the same. After he died I found a box in the attic with "Dom's Treasures" written on it. All sorts of bits and pieces from my childhood in it.

One of the off-the-cuff quotes I like most regarding metaphysics is the idea that "we are the universe dreaming".