Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Commenting on Sue's Comment....

In response to my post about the online e-book by Timothy Shoorel  called The Seven Principles of Freedom Sue said:

That is interesting stuff. Beautifully put. Alive silence - yes :) I read in the "about the author" part of that site something that I'm unsure about. He speaks of how as a wave is part of the sea so is he, and that if a person wants to see themselves as a human being then they will also see him as such.
I understand what he was saying, but I don't feel entirely comfortable with that thought from within a Christ context. I'm reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying at the moment and struggling in this area too. Of course, it could just simply be egoic struggling but I'm really at this stage just sitting with the not knowing of what I *do* think about that and being aware of what I really want it *to* be - I want to be a separate part, an individual person who continues on. I feel like this man and the Buddhist tradition tap into the same thing I tap into, that vast wonderful losing yourself which I think is God, but I do not want to give up this idea of an individual soul - even though it seems so obvious that I am part of the ocean. Do you know what I mean? Im wondering what you think about that??

Yes, indeed, I do know what you mean. When I die, if the life force that fueled/powered this body is sucked into the whole, with no memory of Cindi...or this life I've lived, well, to use a Grandma Payne analogy...that is still dead as a doornail.  What is the freaking point then? 

We talked about this a while back on Emerging Universalist.  I think I wrote a series of posts about it here on this blog.

What's Left and Absorbed Into the Whole

On EU, I think it was, someone posted an alternate to the ocean vs. wave analogy...which I like a lot better.  How about a string of Christmas lights.  All the lights are connected to the cord...the life's force...yet all retain their "individuality."  I like that better. 

A while back, Keith gave me an article written by Preston Eby entitled "Where Are the Dead?"  Yes, I want to know where the dead are.  Since, the older I get, the closer I get to being among them.  For years, the thought of ceasing to exist scared the crap out of me.  Still does if I dwell on it.  Eby writes from a very Christian perspective yet he has a keen understanding of the carnal nature/christ nature.  Anyway...about retaining our individuality after death, he says:

Even in the Old Testament there was belief in conscious existence after death. A brother in Christ has written, "We read from Gen. 25:8 'Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years (175 years) and was GATHERED TO HIS PEOPLE.' And again in Gen. 35:29, 'And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was GATHERED UNTO HIS PEOPLE.' 'And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was GATHERED UNTO HIS PEOPLE.' Gen. 49:33. So far, we have cited only three specific cases, namely, the deaths of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. What we see in each case, the deceased was 'gathered unto his people'. This in itself suggests a home coming; indeed, a rejoining of loved ones who had gone on before. But if there was no 'knowing each other': if there was no consciousness, why would the writer bother to record that indeed, the deceased was gathered unto his people? We learn from Eccl. 12:7, 'Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.' Paul indicated that being absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord. Since this is true, it is rather needless to think that there is unconsciousness in God.

He goes on to say:

All the MYSTICS throughout the centuries believed in the consciousness of the spirit after death. If we have a spirit IT MUST BE CONSCIOUS. I personally know three or four people who have died and been raised from the dead. One was dead for several hours - no, two of them were dead for several hours. ALL of them were conscious apart from the body and saw and heard and spoke in the spirit realm - all were in communion with Jesus in the realm of Spirit, and all "came back into" their body.

That statement seems a bit far fetched, I know.  I have anecdotal knowledge of a similar situation.  A long time "another life"...while married to my first husband, we lived in Nashville, Tennessee.  He worked for Service Master and they managed the food service at St. Thomas Hospital...a very large hospital in Nashville, renowned as a leading "heart hospital." I don't remember all the facts because, as I said..that seemed like it was another life...and it was over ten years ago.  I tried to look it up online and couldn't find anything....but like I said, it was over ten years ago.  But, it was quite the hub hub at the hospital when a man who was clinically dead for over an hour, maybe longer and "came back to life."  I don't remember a lot of the was a cardiac thing...and the doctor, who was an unbeliever at the time, became a believer.  My ex listened in on some of the conferences and discussion that took place afterwards...under the guise of checking on the food etc.  Perhaps when I have more time I will research it further. 

So anyway...that is my long, meandering comment to your comments, Sue.  What do you think?

and sort of as a PS I came upon the following article from Time Magazine while searching.  It seems to be a secular article...but interesting so I am including the link....

What Happens When We Die?


Sue said...

Geez, dude, lots of links here. Had to work to get to these comments ;)

Hehe :)

I really like that Christmas lights analogy. It just doesn't feel right to me somehow that it is simply the egoic part of me that desires continuation in some sort of power thing. It feels like my spirit which goes on, the me that is left if you took away everything else.

I feel like we have just tipped the iceberg in terms of him in us and him in the father and us in him and on and on round and round deliciously. I feel like we don't comprehend what that will play out into in the next world or whatever, but I just CAN'T hold with the notion that I am absorbed into the blob. It seems so bloody pointless! (Especially with the suffering that goes on in this life. God would be a right pain in the arse if that was what was to happen, heh ;)

Cindi said...

Sue said:

I really like that Christmas lights analogy. It just doesn't feel right to me somehow that it is simply the egoic part of me that desires continuation in some sort of power thing. It feels like my spirit which goes on, the me that is left if you took away everything else.

And Cindi finally got around to replying:

I thought I replied to this already...not so I I am replying this morning...with the last couple minutes I have until I get in the shower.

I was reading in John the other day, spurred on my something that piqued my interest in the sermon that was preached Sunday. It occurred to me that the Christmas lights analogy is just a more modern version of the branch and the vine talked about in scripture. Apart from me you can do nothing. The vine separated from the branch becomes pretty useless. The string of Christmas lights separated from the wire (plugged into the outlet, of course) are pretty useless too.


Sue said...

Ahh, much nicer analogy. I would rather be a branch, attached to a grapevine than a plastic globe in a string of lights :)

I've been thinking about the vine and branches thing a bit lately too. Nice.