The Dead and the Living

I have written recently on this same subject in anticipation of a retreat that just concluded here at Bridging Worlds. Because of some experiences with death over this past summer that prompted me to reach for better understanding in this regard, and I believe due to a powerful ritual with elder Muriel McMahon at a Journey Conferences event in October in which she taught about their Algonquin tradition for calling in the blessing of departed ancestors, the veil between life and death has felt very thin to me in the last days.

Today the spirit of a woman I had not known in the physical world, but who was talked about during the retreat and whose picture sat on our altar, addressed me while I struggled with a painful moment. I felt her energy as distinctly as if a friend had just walked into the room and I could see the face and body. Just as I was about to dive into a pained way of experiencing something, she injected another point of view. I knew exactly who it was and what she was saying. Because of her influence I didn’t take the plunge into practiced ways of interpreting the moment. She showed me something else, I could see it and take heart.

I am realizing that death is not as big a deal as we often believe it to be. It is the event of a spirit moving from one part of a room to another. They are still there talking, alive and influencing our worlds – not just as an idea or conceptual remnant of someone we once knew – but as living, conscious material, part of the physics of our reality.

Indigenous people know this and talk to people on both sides of the veil. In modernity we somehow wandered a distance in consciousness away from realizing what is going on, and have developed phobias and fearful misconceptions about death. If I move through the veil tonight for some reason, I can say right now that I will still be right here. It is not that far away. That realm is closer, in fact. No airplanes, luggage fees, or traffic difficulties involved in order to be together.



One Response to “The Dead and the Living”

  1. Joy Parker Says:

    No delayed airplanes, no lost luggage. Boy, that almost makes you look forward to travel after death. On a more serious note, I know what you mean about speaking with the dead. It all started for me when I began reading Latin American literature, then working on the Maya books with Linda and David. I got it right away–the ancestors, our loved ones aren’t gone. It never ceases to amaze me how people in the West believe that and feel a vacuum. How wonderful that you are developing this capacity. Just remember to “test the spirits” to be careful who and what you are inviting in. Not everyone who shows up should be there and not everyone who comes should stay. But I’m sure you’re well aware of that.

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