Surviving death

I am currently in Dallas at my loved one’s side as she watches her spouse slowly slip away from the effects of brain cancer. As I have traveled here every several weeks over the past few months, it has been shocking to me how dramatically he has slipped, especially between the last visit and this one. Being here so intimately involved in the process of someone leaving this world and entering the next triggers so many thoughts. . .

First, it is not really leaving this world and entering the next. Rather, the world we live in and the one we enter after this seem intimately connected in a way we cannot fully understand, and yet, we are given ever growing opportunities to see the spiritual realm that surrounds us and awaits our further entrance. My loved one has introduced me to a series on Netflix called “Surviving Death” and I can understand why she is attracted to it, even moreso as these days that lie ahead will bring her ever closer to the mystical separation we now experience from the greater understanding that envelops us.

It is clear the intent of the Netflix program is to demonstrate to skeptics of the afterlife that the spiritual world is real, that when one dies there is more. The series provides fascinating stories of Near Death Experiences, ghosts, signs through birds and butterflies, and even communication with deceased relatives and reincarnation. I can’t say that I agree with all that it portrays, yet I can understand the lengths to which the presenters are going. The interviews often focus on people who were complete skeptics of a life beyond the one we know who then become convinced otherwise. By approaching the subject from so many directions, and with so many examples, the hope is to influence the widest group of naysayers. Whether or not every aspect is accurate, the more important point is the urging to the viewer to open his or her mind to the possibility that there is more that lies beyond this world.

In our circles, belief in God is a given, as is openness to a spiritual world that surrounds us. My understanding that the perspective of this series is to increase the viewer’s spiritual awareness softened my reaction to some vignettes which may be overly dramatized, have other non spiritual explanations, or perhaps go a little too far.

For example, I think it’s amazing to receive spiritual communication from that which lies beyond us if we experience it, but I do not feel we should cross the line to instigate communication with our deceased loved ones such as through mediums. Rather, as we become less skeptical of the possibility of angels, the reality of God in our lives, and the use of nature to communicate with us, we naturally move closer to experiencing that other realm that overlies the one we more easily know. He will let us know what He wants us to know as we are to know it, not vice versa.

The days here have been so difficult, and yet, they have brought me in some ways even closer to Him. I am reminded to be open to that which we cannot see that is of Him. I am renewed in seeing the butterfly messages, the special bird songs and signs, the synchronicities, and hope you, too, become even more aware of the gift of that which we cannot directly see. For as you remain open to receiving His love, as you remove your barriers of skepticism to that which you cannot understand now, He will fill your days with even more realities of His spiritual presence in your life, too.

Shabbat shalom.

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