So lately, with my father being so ill, I have been doing a lot of thinking about the afterlife. I know a whole bunch of people, who don't think there is one; even more who are sure there will be and that it will involve lots of punitive action for the choices they make during this life, including a big ol’ judgment day that is probably worse than every apocalypse movie you’ve ever seen and then a faction of folks, who believe that we have had past lives and will have future lives and it’s all karma related. My friend, Marguerite Manning wrote about how the 12th house tells us about our past lives. Several other Astrologers that I know, believe that the Nodes of the moon, determine your karmic work during this lifetime.
Now, I am not sure where I stand on all of this stuff, due to a few experiences in my life that were - out of the ordinary, at best.
The first one that I remember, happened when I was about four. I was with my father for sure, my mother and sister might have been there, but I can’t be sure because I was so little. What I do know, is that we were there to visit my Great Aunt Barb, who had just moved to a new apartment. When we got there I knew I had been there before. I knew where everything was. I mean really knew in that, "my god this kid is weird", kind of way. I remember insisting that I had been there before. Needless to say, no one believed me and my insistence really pissed my father off. I still remember the feeling and the frustration to this day.
Roll forward to when I was ten. I was swimming in Spanish Creek with the neighbor kids. It’s a small river actually, full of trout and the crawdads that had me constantly watching my toes, that has been dredged for years. It is up in gold country after all -and some people never give up ;) The bed of the river is nice with a soft, sandy bottom that suddenly drops off, in the areas where someone decided that gold might make their fortune. All of us kids were pretty good swimmers as a result of summers spent playing in the water, except for Rami. Rami was a very big, severely mentally delayed kid with a plethora of anger issues. She scared the crap out of me; so I tried to steer clear of her. That day, however, fate found me right next to Rami, as she found herself falling into one of the drop offs. I don't think she was remotely malicious in that moment, simply attempting to self-preserve. She grabbed onto me and proceeded to use me as a ladder to get herself back to a place where her feet could touch. I remember how it hurt to have all that water in my lungs and the terror I felt that I couldn't breathe. I fought to get out from under her and up to the air but she was stronger and I was choking, so I it was a pretty short fight.
Then the strangest thing happened. I could see myself. At first I was looking at myself from slightly above and a few feet away from myself, as my body floated upward, toward the surface. Then, I was above the water, looking down at my bright blond hair floating on the water. What I distinctly recall, that makes people think I am a complete nut (instead of just the partial nut I actually am) was that I felt God.
Yes, I know about all theories about serotonin being released and what the brain does when its deprived of oxygen and blah blah blah. I was there, I know what I felt. I was me, my soul, my mind and yet I, this Me, was completely connected to EVERYTHING in the most beautiful, simple, complex and loving way. I was a part of the whole. The universe. The One. I was loved and loving. It was, hands down, the most at peace, I have ever felt. Nothing has ever begun to compare. I know what unconditional love feels like, because I have been it. Okay, yes, I have totally sucked at replicating it since, but I know what it feels like. I have missed it every minute since.
I saw Rami's mom (whose name I have since forgotten) stand up and scan the beach. She counted the kids, got a worried look and then spotted me floating face down in the water. Running over to me she dragged me out, flipped me over and began CPR. I could not have been less grateful. I suddenly felt a HUGE resistance to getting back in that body. “NO, NO, NO, do not make me go back!!! I am happy here!” and then, bam!- coughing, sputtering and a lifelong aversion to putting my head in the water.
Yeah, I know, most of you think I am nuts. Or I imagined it. I pretty much don't care because I know it happened and it has blessed me with a faith in a power greater than myself that is pretty damned solid. I don't have to wonder if there is a higher power. I have been a part of it, I know it is there. And here.
That story leads me to the last one I am going to tell, this time. When my son was three, he was sitting in his car seat, when he randomly said "Hey Mom, do you remember when I was a girl and my name was Sarah?" Now, the 46 year old version of me would have grilled that kid so much that he would have needed a nap. Instead, the 23 year old me said "No Buggy, I don't think I was there." and then turned the music up so that he would quit freaking me out.
Now, we come to today with the realities of watching my father be so ill and it makes me wonder about the whole past life/next life, business. To my mind, the evidence proves that there is something that happens after you leave your body. It is entirely possible that we have other incarnations. It is also, entirely possible, that we don't.
I know people who believe we carry our karma from our past lives into this one. I also know people who seem to somehow even manage to dodge karma in this life, in spite of the fact, that they should clearly, at minimum, have a horrible rash at all times. The karma theory kind of baffles me, because it doesn't seem to play fair.
Here is what is now, rolling around, in my head. What if karma is random? As in, you do a supremely generous act for a complete stranger, simply because you can. You expect nothing in return. The next week, you find out that you are being audited by the IRS or have Cancer or some other F'd up thing. Meanwhile, next door, the greediest, mean, person EVER kicks his dog on the way to the mail box, only to get a letter telling him he has inherited his aunt’s estate and now has even more money.
What if, because we are all connected and part of a collective consciousness, our karma, is all also collective? What if Karma gets doled out randomly, without any kind of real regulatory system (which it obviously needs)? What if your good deed does in fact pay off, just not for you? As with someone else's shit-head maneuver, which does come back to bite - just not them. What if, all the random, fuckedupedness that I have seen in my life, is exactly that - random fuckedupedness? The energy doesn't care where it goes. It just goes.
And now for the big one. What if past lives and future lives DO happen but the order and selection is TOTALLY RANDOM? Kind of like the lotto ball cage, full of souls that just get popped out - randomly. You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit. Last life you were Queen of England, got your head lopped off and now - you are a squid. You can choose to be happy as a squid, because you have no idea you used to be a Queen, or you can be a miserable squid. Last life you were Hitler, this time, you get to be Oprah's dog (which would be the ultimate injustice because I would trade places with that dog, RIGHT NOW!). The thing about this theory, is that it kind of makes more sense to me, than the whole specific karma thing. I know too many really good people, who have had so much unfair crap happen to them and so many jerks, who get so lucky, so often. Plus, I promise I have never left that "One with the Universe" feeling, willingly. I am just plain smarter than that. How else can my mind explain all those beautiful babies born with a painful illnesses or into places that don't have food or water or peace? What if "God's Will" is simply that we experience this incarnation in whatever form it takes and ultimately God just kind of figures we are in the proverbial back yard and eventually we will just end up back in the house, so everything is basically fine.
So now, I want to know what do you think?
Aug 19, 2012 1:13 PM
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