On the other side

“Please help me. Can you see me? Can’t you hear me? I’m right here. Please don’t ignore me. I so much want to tell you that I’m still here. I still exist. I’m not non-existent. Please give me some sign of acknowledgment.. Can you see me? Can you hear me?... But of course you can’t. I’m on the other side.”

 The above could be cries from a victim of the horrendous recent earthquake event to strike Mexico. Can you imagine being stuck immobile and trapped in a dark cavity sandwiched between concrete slabs? You send out pleas and prayers for rescue from the cold, pain, hunger and thirst, but mostly from being left to die alone in the rubble!

Similar nonverbal cries to these could also, in my view. sometimes come from someone who has crossed the portal, passed away, departed, or expired; there are so many names and terms for the word death.

But what if your body has expired, however you are still here? What if death is just the demise of the corporal flesh and blood physical body? You experience a huge relief from the cessation of suffering and agony of the death process as you pull away from it’s lifeless form. The pain is finally gone. But you suffer the tremendous loss of your family and loved ones. The shock of losing all your possessions, what you have worked so hard for all of your life and finally achieved; your house, car, career, all lost and gone... But you’re still here!

If you have lost someone who has been near and dear to you, then you may well shortly thereafter sense a presence and have had thoughts, dreams and impressions that your friend was, is still around. Could that be so? Were these communications from the other side? Were they reassurances of “I’m alright. I still exist. I still love you”.

 I know its hard for us to accept such ideas. For so long we’ve been thought that we are flesh and blood physical entities, and that death is the end of the road. We’ve also been told that if there is an afterlife that it is experienced by some nebulous other shadow entity that we term a soul or spirit. We have for so long been educated toward the belief that we are but a body, have one life and that we can only communicate, experience and perceive through our five scenes.

So if your loved one is dead and gone but you are still receiving his or her communication... well doesn’t this bring up many questions? Questions about who we really are, you could say. Questions relating to our physical and spiritual existence. Are we, could we be, as the ancient Greeks described man - “A spiritual being clothed in flesh”?

Couldn’t this be a glimpse at our most fundamental question of all: What is our true identity?

If we really are spiritual beings then wouldn’t our bodies be just like suits or garments? Couldn’t we discard them and still continue to exist as our true selves? Wouldn’t a lifetime be similar to a role we preform in a play; a drama of personal experience played out through many years? A personality could be like a character  whose part we assume. Are we not like the actor who gets so much into his performance that he forgets or shuts out awareness of his true identity as he becomes the character he is playing?

Well these are some questions of the ages that man has been pondering. So I think that here in our present electronic and very materialistic age, well this might be a good time to reexamine these all important basic fundamentals. 

I personally very much dislike seeing someone in distress. I think its always best to help, communicate and reassure others. I also feel that we are much more than the roles that we play and that we have greater abilities and potentials than we have been led to believe.

Bodies are fragile. They are susceptible to all sorts of physical stress and trauma. An excessive amount of heat, cold or lack of oxygen can cause them to fade away like burned out candles. So we protect, guard and get very attached to them over time.

The process of one’s birth, the assumption of a body, is a dramatic and traumatic experience. So also is exiting and departing this body after such a long time of associating and identifying with it.

So my friend, when you hear the bell toll, and it final tolls for you, is it really the bitter end? Does that dark curtain come down forever more?... Or does life continue? Could there be another chapter, another chance to try again, to start anew and chase your dreams once more?

I would very much like to know your opinion in all this.

Dan O’Connor can be reached at danhughoconnor@gmail.com