A NEW EXPERIENCE, for me.
For the last several years, wishing for a dear female friend, I found that wishing is not sanctioned by a culture which measures age. It used to be, that I’d wish for someone to touch my life and sure enough, I’d find someone perfect. Now I find that if we’ve lost our dear friend after many years, we’re supposed not to care, any more, for anyone. In these times, lacking a friend, I gradually became ready to die. At least this decision brought a meeting of my spirit guides.
“Isn’t about time for me to die?” I said, a thought in my mind after a long talk now forgotten.
“So long as you have a gift to give,” one of the spirits said, “it isn’t time for dying.”
How many times, I thought, have friends in spirit said that to mortals? “Is that true?” I said. “There have been millions who had gifts to give, and they got to die.”
At the left of the long curved table in front of me, a young spirit spoke. Not words. of course, just thoughts. “You know nothing about the understanding of the millions, but you’re telling us there was no reason for them to die?”
Oh, I thought. Did I speak too soon? “Maybe not for millions, I don’t know. But I knew my brother.”
A gentle response from a wise one. “Did you know his agreement? Did you talk with him about it? Did you suggest that he could change his plans?”
“I was his little brother!” I said. “I didn’t know anything about contracts!”
The silence was their answer. I retreated. “Well, he could have told me, at least.”
Soft words, from a lovely spirit, “If you were Bobby, would you have told little ten-year-old Dickie that it was time for you to die?”
My turn for silence. Long silence. Then a whisper I could barely hear, “…no.”
“Do you think he might have known you were going to be all right? The less you knew, the better you’d feel? His belief of dying, and yours, do you know it’s all part of your plan?”
I thought about that. Did my brother have a plan? Do I? His plan he remembered, and mine, I’ve forgotten?
A gentle reminder. “Mortals are sometimes impatient. You have a few little tests yet to finish. You’ve done most of them all these years, as you say. It’s no failure if you choose to die now.”
“Remember what I said, in a book? That most of us die by accident or illness? Suicide was the way for Jesus, but not for me. I haven’t made that many enemies, I hope, and it’s not important for them to kill me. The only thoughtful way I can think of dying, these days, is by ascending. In perfect health, a decision to let this world go, and I leave my belief of a body to vanish in the air.”
A careful response. “You can do that. Have you practiced, to make it happen?”
“Have you studied, do you know from a book, or from a friend in spirit, what you need to make an ascension happen?”
A different voice. “Do you know that every death is an ascension? A trail of decisions and all at once…”
“So accidents,” I said, “illness, those are ascensions, too?”
“They are decisions to leave one world for another.”
“I don’t agree. They’re failures, to me. I’ll fail too, if I’m tired enough, lonely enough. I would prefer ascending, if you don’t mind. If you do mind, a conventional death will be fine for me. Not perfect, but good enough.”
A voice from the right of the table. “Have you thought about what would happen in the minds of other mortals if you ascended?”
“No, I haven’t. Do I care?”
“Do you want me to think about that now?”
“Just quickly, that would be good for us to hear.”
“Quickly. If people saw me ascending, or if I ascended alone?”
“If you ascend alone, it will be called illness. Heart failure, stroke, accident…”
“So I’ll have some visitors,” I said. “Then I’ll just leave my body… Well, I’d have to sit down, or they’ll say the fall killed me. So I’ll be nice and comfortable in a chair, and my spirit leaves: a burst of light, and my body gets all sparkly, and it’s gone.”
“I think that’s it, yes.”
“Your friends will tell the story about that? ‘And then in a bright light, Richard just left his body! There were sparkly things and his body vanished.’”
Uh-oh. I sensed trouble coming.
“Your friends, they’d tell the truth?”
“Yes. Of course they will,” I said. “Something like that.”
“Is that OK?” I said. “The truth…”
“Has anyone done that? In a hundred years? A thousand? Ever? Do you know anyone who ever ascended at the end of their life? What you call the end of your life.”
“Some say it’s happened…”
“Pretend, now. If you did this thing, would you be considered a normal human being? ‘And his body turned all sparkly.’ Is that normal, for mortals?”
“I’ll ask them not to tell about that.”
“It’s that or the heart failure, a stroke. You said they have to tell the truth.”
The lovely one again. “And when they saw your ascension, you would not be…human, would you? You’d be an advanced spirit-person, or an alien. Not a human being like everyone else.”
“Well if I ascended, it’s a reasonable way to leave. I hate just dying like…”
She finished my sentence. “…like human beings.”
“OK,” I said. “So what?”
If everyone who heard the news of my ascending, I thought, they’d think I’d been a spiritual Somebody. Not a human.
Silence. Then, “Go on. Finish your thought experiment.”
So I’m not a human being, I thought. I’m one who seemed like a human for years, but wasn’t. I was not one of us. My life would be seen as a mystery…after all, he didn’t die, like mortals do, he ascended! He had this non-human sort of sparkly body, and a supernatural mind. Everything he wrote, they were not for us to read, there’s no point in playing with the ideas. None of what he lived can possibly apply to plain-vanilla human beings. All his life, all those ideas he wrote, they don’t apply to us!
“Oh,” I said. “So I sense that you’d prefer for me to forget the ascension.”
“In that case, I guess I’d prefer to skip it.”
“I care about what I’ve written, more than I care about ascending. That doesn’t seem quite fair, but…”
“It’s your choice.”
“Maybe I couldn’t do it, ascending.”
“Maybe you couldn’t,” the one at the left said.
“But if I did…”
“No one would believe you were human.”
“Oh. Is this your test for me,” I said. “This your Test Number 2405?”
“You thought of this one,” a spirit said, “the ascension. We don’t number your tests.”
’Cause there’s so many of yours, I thought. The meeting was nearly over.
“Anything else?” a guardian asked. “Anything you’re having trouble with, for now?”
“Well, about the woman…”
There was a sigh from one of the guides. “Do you want us to ask her to knock on your door? You just decided not to ascend, your own choice of what nobody’s done. But you can’t somehow find a way to meet your amazing woman, with all the technology… If you really wanted to meet each other, somehow we think you and she… we think you could do that on your own.”
In the silence, the guides nodded, one after another. They agreed. We could do that.
I didn’t agree. If I wanted to be un-lonely, though, if that was my top priority… well, maybe.
My spirit guides vanished, and I woke and found human furniture, around me in the room, not the curved table. I was back in my belief of earth, once again. I sighed. Had I agreed for a conventional death, for the sake of the books? Sure enough, I had.
This one, my belief of the woman, was she not my destiny, was she a personal whim of mine? And am I her whim, too, or was our meeting designed to be a test? The spirits said no. What if she’s a spirit already? How can I find her, then?
Like so many other mortals, I need to think about that.
(* Thanks to Bruce Harman, at www.harmanvisions.com for the use of his painting of someone else who decided to ascend.)