[A follow-up to On Being Human - http://www.chosenones.net/PXN/PXN64.htm#Human]
It was April of 2001, the time of year when I should have been going on my vision quest, but this time, I would not be. I had just been diagnosed with a heart defect that had been present from birth and had gone undetected until now, that required surgery to repair it. I had had increasing difficulty with anything remotely resembling exercise, even a walk into the forest at this point, would have been difficult. I thought it best not to try it this time. As my friend, Otter, had once pointed out, we can have visions anytime, with or without the usual preparation of fasting and wandering in the woods. Despite knowing this, I found myself sad, depressed that I would not be going through the traditional vision quest the way I always had.
The surgery was now just a few weeks away. It would require that my body be cooled to minimize the possibility of brain damage and my heart be stopped to repair the defect. Despite the nature of the surgery, what I knew must be done to repair my heart, I was not afraid. Though it meant my temporary death, I found myself strangely at peace with the whole idea. Part of it was a deep trust in the surgeon I would have repairing my heart. Through a number of strange coincidences, I found myself led to him. Dr. Albert Starr, this was the man with the skill to not only fix my heart, but bring me back. But there was something more to this lack of fear, something deeper.
For many years I had remembered my death from my last life. I remembered much about that life, what my life purpose had been, the fact that I had determined before being born into that life, how I would live, who my parents would be, what my lessons would be and even how and when I would die. It had all come flooding back to me rather spontaneously years before, when I was strangely led through the events leading up to my death then and my death itself, and what happened afterward.
I had been born into a Native American tribe on a reservation somewhere on the Northeast Coast. My father had been the healer for our people and I was the one who would follow in his footsteps and take on that responsibility later in my life. I was in my early 20s when I met him. Though I don't remember the circumstances of how we met, I know that we had been together before. I recognized him. He was not from our tribe. He was not from any tribe. He was a white man. Our people had suffered much and there was much distrust of white people. It seemed I was the only one who could see beyond the color of his skin.
The lesson could have gone either of two ways. I could have brought him home to live with us on the reservation as my husband and our people would have had the opportunity to learn to look beyond skin color to what is real or I could go with him and abdicate my responsibility to my people. I chose the more painful road. While my family grieved my loss, I moved with my husband off the reservation to somewhere west of there, near the Great Lakes.
It happened one day when I was driving through a city I did not know very well, trying to find my way home. I had only that one thought in my mind, to get home to my husband. Nothing in the world was more important to me in that moment. While I was distracted, trying desperately to find my way through the maze of city streets, it happened. My car was hit in the driver's side by another car I never saw. I found myself wandering around in the street, thinking hard “How would I get home now?” My car was beyond repair and completely undriveable, yet I hadn't even bothered to look back. I found myself near a bus stop, so I waited there with a few people and got on the bus that came along. The driver didn't see me as I stepped up and onto the bus. I found that rather odd at the time, but then, I wasn't white. I was living in the white world and I was sometimes ignored. I walked back down the aisle to find a seat and no one saw me. This was getting to be beyond strange. As I was puzzling over this, a spirit entered through the back of the bus and told me it was time for me to go now.
“No,” I said, “you are mistaken. I’m not dead, and I’m going home to my husband.”
“Then why is it that no one here sees you?”, the spirit asked.
“I don’t know, maybe they have much on their minds and can’t be bothered.”, I responded.
“You know better than that,” she argued.
In that moment I saw my existence before that life. I saw all the decisions I had made from what parents I would have to what my life lessons would be, even to how I would die. I saw the accident that had been preordained by me. I looked back to the spirit to argue further.
“But that was not to be THIS accident... not now!”, I argued feebly. The truth had sunk in.
Now, April of 2001, a few weeks away from the surgery that would give me my life back by temporarily taking it away, I was unafraid. Early one evening I decided to lie down and take a nap. I had no sooner gotten comfortable in bed than it happened. I found myself wandering in a forest, in a place I had never seen before. I came to a bit of a clearing and there I heard a voice. “Take this map and follow the directions on it implicitly,” it said. There before me, seemingly suspended in mid air was a map of the area I now walked in. It was not like a map with towns and freeways shown on it, it was more like a topographical map, a survey map. It showed the characteristics of the land I was on, where the rivers and streams were, where the hills and mountains were, where the ocean was. I recognized the details of the map from the route I had traveled thus far. Yet there was nothing written on the map.
I took the map, somehow knowing that the directions “on the map” would come from within. At each point along the way, I walked and listened. I followed the directions that came at each point along the way, noting curiously, that there was no other life in this forest, aside from the plants. There were no birds, there were no animals of any kind, not another living being aside from me, the trees, plants, and this voice.
Eventually I came to the edge of the land, where it met the ocean. I looked out over the vast greenish blue expanse before me and heard the voice again, “Dive!” was all it said. Standing at the edge of the land, I then dropped the map, diving through it and down into the water. I kept diving downward, knowing full well I would be told when to stop. As I kept going down deeper and deeper, the thought crossed my mind. “I have done no preparation for this, I have no scuba equipment, no way to breathe, nothing to protect me from the massive weight of all the water above me. I will most surely die here.” It was nothing more than a passing thought. It carried no real significance to me. It was merely an observation. It was at this point that the voice spoke again. “You may return to the surface now.”
I found myself ascending rapidly through the water, yet it seemed to take quite a bit of time. As I did, the light from the surface grew ever brighter along the way until I emerged from the water suddenly aware it was alive. I was a living being, ascending through a living being that supported me along the way. As the light touched my face I was aware that everything was alive and all there is is life.
I found myself again in my bed, full of the most extraordinary energy, I could not even think of sleeping at this point. I had to tell someone about this. It had all been SO surreal! It felt more real than every day waking “reality”. I called my boyfriend. He would understand. Somehow I knew that I had passed some test.
I have heard the argument in support of fear made by those who are so deeply entrenched in believing in the world of appearances. Fear causes us to be cautious and not do something stupid that might result in our death. Fear is a useful thing. It helps keep us alive. The people who usually expound on the virtues of fear are generally those who wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and believe they are what they see.
Part of this perception necessarily includes the belief that by virtue of the fact that we have bodies, we are separate from God. If you read On Being Human and understand the holographic model, you are already beginning to glimpse the truth of the matter. Our bodies are nothing more than what we put on to experience life in a physical environment, this Earth school that we create.
Perhaps it is time to ask the question. What is real? Love is real. Compassion is real. Fear is a stumbling block to experiencing these things. Fear keeps us locked in the belief that we can be harmed. Fear keeps us entrenched in our apparent individuality. Fear tells us that there is us and there is them. They are what we are not. Therefore they are out to get us. They are the enemy. We must get them before they get us. Or the ever popular, I must hurt him before he has the chance to hurt me. Does any of this sound familiar?
Fear tells us “there is not enough to sustain us all”. Fear limits us. It keeps us believing that we are islands unto ourselves, separate, distinct, drifting further and further from the truth. That truth is that we have bought and perpetuate a lie. The truth is that nothing is separate from us, there is nothing we can see that is not alive. Everything is sacred. And when the bodies we wear in life apparently die, they continue to give life. They nurture the Earth in the way they were meant to, as part of the divine process of life eternally springing from life and even apparent death. Do we mourn the shirt we cast off when it has become old and tattered? Many of us tend to think of ourselves as human beings who may occasionally have a spiritual experience, but I would argue that the opposite is the truth. We are spiritual beings having a human experience and what we learn from this when we look beyond the apparent borders, when we have the courage to look beyond appearances and look into the heart of truth is that we are limitless beings. We are love. We are compassion. The degree to which we cannot see this, the degree to which we continue to participate in this illusion is the degree to which we see ourselves as separate from God. This is the degree to which we can cause suffering in the world.
We were not banished from Heaven, we banished Heaven from us by simply believing we are separate from it, from God, from life and from each other. Heaven has always been here. It always will be. We simply make the choice to see it and wake up to knowing who and what we are. We are the eternal. We are love. We are light. We are life! We are part of God, and we are limitless being.