My mind often has wandered back to that night years ago when my wife transcended, slipping “over.” She passed with me on her bedside holding her hands, as we held eye contact. We were alone, as she was terminal and there was nothing any doctor or nurse could do, except turn up her oxygen feed, which had max’d out. I won’t bother you with the poignant hours leading up to this moment, but I want to share her very last words with you: “I see God. I am God.” A few minutes later her heart stopped, and she left me, eyes wide, with a beautiful relaxed smile on her face, and with Venus shining into our room.
That moment set me off on what was a year long journey of mourning, and searching for what I could believe in. The night she passed we were visited by a chaplain, who was Christian. He asked us a few basic questions, and to the one regarding if we had an affiliation with a religion, we both replied “No,” after looking at one another, answering’ “We are spiritual but not religious.” She had grown up in an African American CME church, and I had some exposure within a Southern Baptist church as a child, but neither of us had been to church except for funerals since. Yet she was a studious seeker of guidance from many sources. She practiced fasting with a Muslim friend during Ramadan, read from her Bible, read many books on African-centered spiritual paths, and Theosophy; however, her real path was her love, “Jazz.” Her music was everything to her, the voice of the Muses singing the Alpha Omega.
For the year after she passed I was a devout student of world religions and spirituality, reading everything I could get my hands on, studying from the beginning, the Bibles, their history, religious archaeology, Judaism, the beliefs of KMT (Kemit….Egypt), Mayans, Christianity with all its twists and turns, Islam with its own twist and turns, Eastern religions, and finally I found a growing affinity for Buddhism. One day I saw that a Buddhist monk was giving a talk, and the location was three blocks from where my wife’s grandmother’s home had been where we had spent many fun hours visiting. I saw it as a sign, and went. I accepted Buddhism that very day, and through Buddhism arrived at my beliefs of today. My journey and quest is far from over, but I know I have a path to walk on.
When my wife died, a close lady friend, younger, became pregnant. I had never known the lady well, just at a distance, but some months after becoming a widower, I found myself interested in this lady, even though she was pregnant. A few weeks before she was to give birth, one morning at the crack of dawn, I was sound asleep, when BAM, there was an electric shock that went through my body, following the route of kundalini, and i suddenly was just sitting straight up in bed, seeing in my mind a marquee across my third eye, that read: “_______’s baby is Shirley(my late wife’s name).” I kid you not! This happened exactly as I state.
So I became very friendly and helpful to this lady, and while I wasn’t there for the moment of birth, I was there just a few hours later, the two of us in her recovery room, when the baby was brought to her for her first nursing. That baby and I just connected, I mean to tell you! I became her Godfather (along with her siblings and even another wonderful girl), and today that baby is a beautiful 24 year old pursuing her music career. Oddly it may seem, but the girl is so very much like my wife was, even physically, her own mother has remarked so many times about all the similarities. Of course we believe in reincarnation, but the mother and I do have differing views to a large extent. That is the joy of spirituality in my way of thinking, that it truly is personal. I truly believe that which my wife saw clearly at her transcending, that we each are the manifestation of our own God. Every religion that seeks to bind people to one belief system to me is nothing more than slavery of the Mind.
For myself, God is unknowable, but definitely not an old white guy with a beard. God to me is the Void from which all emanates, the great Mind of which each of our minds is a part in the grand scheme. We must remember the enormity of life as we know it, in all its varieties on Earth, and at the same time know that we are infinitely small in the overall scheme of the Universe, its space, gravity, constituency, energy and dynamics. God to me is a vast information store, and our own minds are part of the processor. What we think is brought into “reality” (samsara). Buddha is said to have said, “All is Mind.” As our telescopes and probes go further into space itself, perhaps that space manifest only in our Mind, because we observe it, just like quantum experiments are affected by the observation of the physicists conducting the experiment (this is true if you don’t know).
So I ask you what you believe? Do you believe you go to “Heaven,” and if so what will it be like? What body will you have, the body you die with, or one 16 years old? and what mind will you have? Will you not have any sexuality? Or will you enjoy 16 virgins if you are a man, or hopefully 16 young men if a woman? Or do you believe the bodies will be resurrected from the soil? What about those that are cremated or otherwise vaporized over millennia?
I think it is important to use the mind that your God gave you, and not merely be a religious pawn, blindly following stuff written by monks or holy men who were as lost and confused as most of us. Know the real history of any religion you follow, do not just blindly accept it. Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Set You Free. Someone said, I think the musical artist George Clinton, “free your mind, and your ass will follow.” I take those words literally.
It is very important that we live in the moment, savoring each moment, and doing our best to practice what sages have taught going back to early Judaism, Confucius, the Greek philosophers, the Kemetian principles of Ma’at (which cover everything in the Ten Commandments, and all other “good books.”), and the spiritual realizations of all tribal and “pagan” religions. The only one I ascribe to is the One that is the Totality of All.
My wife’s mother and I became great friends after she lost her only child. She was a Christian woman, and I never attempted to argue religion with her, but made it clear to her I was a Buddhist. But she was not interested in that, and one day said to me, “Well Joe, you are a good man, you do good things…….so, you are a Christian.” To her that was what Christianity was, simply living life as the Jew who was crucified lived it. I miss her.