The following is an adaptation of a letter I wrote to someone who was approaching "death"after going through a gradual decline in physical capacity. Many people who face this transition become acutely aware of the wonders of Life, of the Divine, of God. It is as if, while nearing the time of their physical departure, they move into closer communion with the Wonders that underlie all existence. I wanted to alert this person to these possibilities and suggest practical ways of enhancing awareness along these lines. We, of course, can all start Celebrating every aspect of Life today.
You are dealing with Life and coming closer and closer to It in Its pure form.
Life is the Breath of God; Life is from God; Life is God. It is in all things. Life, after being breathed into each one of us, enables us to know the power of responsibility, the awesome extent of creativity. We live this responsibility, we exercise this creativity - in every moment.
No thing exists that is not Life. Life is All That Is. More specifically, Life flows through everything: through all universes, all worlds, all beings, through every sinew, every nerve, every cell of the bodies we inhabit here in the world. Every bodily experience, from transcendent bliss to excruciating pain, is vibrant with Life, full of it, overflowing with Life.
We each have the opportunity to experience the Joy, the Nectar, the Fragrance, the Light, the Wondrous Call of God in everything. The delight of this is beyond description. Life's imperative is that we must do this - we must realise God - or we take on form after form until we do. Whatever we may choose from time to time, we inevitably win the Great Victory in the end.
From form to form,
Life makes its Victorious way,
Ever Alive, ever Present, ever One,
Ever holding sway.
There is only Life.
Even death, the so-called "End of Life",
Is merely Life in transition, life to life,
As It seeks freer form in which to express Itself.
Though we may try, we cannot escape Life. Even the symptoms of the apparently"approaching end" are flooded with Life. Whatever we may think, feel, or experience, we do best when we use our responsibility to give full expression to Life. This prepares us for the transition and what lies beyond.
Ours the responsibility to give full expression
In every form, to Life,
Whatever shape that form may take,
For, from Life, there is no escape.
To contain Life with Life is as possible as containing water with water. Yet some people, not knowing this, still try. Life always supports and expands Life.
When, misguided by pain or disillusion,
We seek so to dam the flow of Life in life
That life stalls,
Then Life still floods in and through those dam walls.
More than this, Life is the stuff from which even the walls are made and the result is inevitable.
By our attempting to wall It against Itself,
Blends Itself with Itself, and
Sharing Itself, as it does in everything,
Melts all apparent barriers made of Itself
Back into Itself, once again.
Take any day, and here we are living a life that is more or less wonderful, more or less attractive, more or less "worth the effort". How can we turn It off? The answer is that we cannot. Even the switch of life is Life in another form. And once "it is over", what do we discover, but that there was no end to It at all.
There is no death,
Nor any possibility of sundering Life
With man-made motivations,
There is only Life in Its Fullness.
To the apparent "last moment", we need to live Life to the full. We need to find a purpose,something to contribute, something that gives meaning and purpose to what we are living. At every point, crucial questions arise: What am I still here to do? What more can I learn? What form of creativity am I expressing now? How may I learn the most from this moment and the next and the next and the next ....? How can I joyously make the most of this?
Acceptance of the apparent "inevitable" is one thing, giving up is quite another. We need always to remember that the thoughts, feelings and activities of today are forming what and how we will be tomorrow. Even when facing "death", I think it is important to prepare for what follows and to develop the momentum, while we still have physical life and breath, that we want to establish to carry us through what we experience as we leave.
Infinite, Eternal, Transcendent:
Life the only Force,
Awakening to It our only Option -
Living our only final choice.
I urge you to find Life in every aspect of what you are experiencing. Find It in Its direct and obvious form - the sunlight in the garden, the sounds of the wind, or running water, the tranquillity of the early morning, the love of friends, the paint on the walls. Even find It when necessary in the intensity of pain, the frustration of waking yet again, the strength of the difficulty to concentrate as you once did. Find It somewhere. It is there - in you, through you,around you.
Better to opt for Life now, for that is what we face, in full force, both while we are still here and when we go.
Life the only Always:
Always will be,
Its celebration the only possibility.
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