“Because love has no physical form you cannot believe that love could be what you are, what you strive to be, what you seek to return to.” …ACOL
I choose the most difficult subjects to write about. And then I ask myself; why? Why would you even attempt to write a post about a subject like this? Why would you try to write about something no one knows anything about for sure? And then I answer myself: Why not? Why would I not write about it? It’s something every human on the planet is going to experience sooner or later. So why not express my thoughts on it; why not state what I feel about it?
I finish the first paragraph and look at it and wonder; who’s asking the questions and who is it that’s providing the answers? Who’s doing the writing; who’s doing the reading? Then I wonder; should I use who or should it be whom? Like every other subject I’m not sure. So right or wrong, I’ve made the decision to stick with who – Deciding is relief and much better than more procrastinating.
Everything is a decision
I’ve heard it said many times, many ways that everything is a decision. But what does that mean? It means exactly what it says. I have a decision to make right now. I can decide to credit Nat King Cole’s Christmas Song for the words many times, many ways, or I can simply act as if I came up with them on my own and hope no one notices. It’s a decision.
Lesson 152 in the Course is about the power of decision, and in it Jesus says, “And no one dies without his own consent. Nothing occurs but represents your wish, and nothing is omitted that you choose.” And now I ask, have I not come face-to-face with a contradiction here? Just 11 lessons later, in Lesson 163. we’re told 3 times that “There is no death.” So my conundrum here is, if there’s no death how can someone die by consenting to it? What would they consent to?
Expressing my own thoughts
When I begin one of these posts I write a few words and then think of something else that needs doing so I leave it sitting for awhile. While I’m away my thoughts are in different places. They need to be involved in whatever else it is I think needs doing. When I come back I find it a bit hard to connect with my original ideas. So it may seem like a bunch of thoughts that aren’t strung together very well.
Right now my mind is so full of thoughts about the subject I’m trying to write about that I don’t dare stop typing or I’ll just sit here staring at the computer screen, wondering which ones to express first. I’ve learned that the only way to write, or do anything else for that matter, is just do it.
And now it’s time to address the subject of this post, which is also its title: From this life to the next. Immediately I can see that even though many may accept the idea of passing from this life to the next, it’s actually misleading. For the very idea of doing so means that there would have to be two different lives; this one and the next one. This error is very common among those who perceive this physical experience as life. As the Course points out: “There are not different kinds of life, for life is like the truth. It does not have degrees.”
Is There Life After This One?
I once heard a friend say, and he said it very adamantly: “When you’re dead, you’re dead!” It was quite a few years ago, and he and I were having a mildly heated discussion concerning what is commonly called, an afterlife.
As I look at his words here years later, I feel the urge to smile, because I can see the truth contained in his statement even though he didn’t mean it as I see it now. I smile because there’s no denying the fact that if you’re dead then you’re dead.
At the time, he was referring to the experience we call death and was trying to convince me it was the end. In other words, this so-called life is it, there’s no more after it and when you die you’re dead. I didn’t believe it then and I don’t believe it now. And in retrospect I’m quite sure he didn’t fully believe it either. I say that because I think he wanted to believe it and was trying to convince himself as much as he was trying to convince me.
In answer to the question, is there life after this one? The literal answer is, no, there’s not. That’s because there is no such thing as “after” that which is eternal. Life is eternal, Life is God, Life is Love. As the Course tells us: “You cannot walk the world apart from God because you could not be without Him. He is what your life is.” To believe there’s life “after” this experience is to believe God can have more than one Life. You and God share the same Life, therefore death is not an option for you – you cannot die.
“What seems to be the opposite of life is merely sleeping.” …ACIM
When you lie in your bed at night and sleep overtakes you, except for a dream you may remember, your next awareness is when you awake. You awaken into the same dream. The surroundings are familiar and you perceive yourself as being in the same body which is another day older.
Can you remember coming into this world; being born into the body you believe you’re in now? The answer is, no, you can’t. But you’re here nevertheless. Was it frightening in any sense of the word? Again the answer is, no, it wasn’t. It may have been a bit stressful and frightening for your mother but not for you.
One day you simply became aware of your surroundings. You had no clue where you were or how you got there, you just had an awareness of being somewhere – that’s it. Even though you didn’t realize it or know anything about it, you had a new and different body. You were in a new and different dream. You had passed from your last dream to the one you’re in now. That’s all the experience we call death is.
“If you choose flesh, you never will escape the body as your own reality, for you have chosen that you want it so.” …ACIM
As long as you believe, or perceive, yourself to be a body you will seem to be in one and it would be impossible that it be the same one. This is where the difference between that which we call sleep and the illusion we refer to as death arises. One is simply resting and refreshing the same body. The other is an exchange of one body for another.
There’s a decision we all must make, which this blog has talked about quite often. It is this one found in the Course: “You see the flesh or recognize the Spirit.” As Jesus implies in the above header quote, as long as we continue to choose to see the flesh we’ll remain prisoners of the body and of this world. Believing ourselves to be victims to the cycle of birth, old age, misery and death.
That is what this quote which I mentioned earlier means: “And no one dies without his own consent. Nothing occurs but represents your wish, and nothing is omitted that you choose.”
The thing with us humans is, we have forgotten what we are and by doing so we don’t realize the Power of our thoughts; the Power of our own minds.
My opening quote says: “Because love has no physical form you cannot believe that love could be what you are, what you strive to be, what you seek to return to.” We have chosen to see the flesh, it’s our choice. And there’s no denying the truth that flesh is physical form, therefore we should understand that we have consented to die. And the above quote adds: Nothing occurs but represents your wish, and nothing is omitted that you choose.
But we can change our minds. We can make a different choice. As the Course informs us: “How do you make the choice? How easily is this explained! You always choose between your weakness and the strength of Christ in you. And what you choose is what you think is real.“
Thank you for visiting this blog – I am filled with gratitude
THERE IS NOTHING BUT LOVE – THERE NEVER WAS – AND THERE NEVER WILL BE