This week I would like to use a recent letter from a reader as a jumping off point for a remembering from the Conversations with God material.
Here is the letter, which I received a few days ago...
I was anxiously awaiting the publication of Home With God. Days after it was put on the shelves at our local bookstore, my father passed away at a young age, very suddenly and at a productive and wonderful time in his life.
He was an amazing man---spiritual, well-traveled, involved in the world through the Peace Corps and many other volunteer organizations. He was a lawyer who stood for the rights of abused children through his job. He was an intellect who loved to read. He seemed to know a little bit about everything. The loss is staggering---and not just to me but to all who knew him. He was a special gift to the world.
Home With God was a comfort to me, but there are two things I am not clear about.
Firstly, God says that people who pass always have the opportunity to come back. Right after my father "died," I could feel him around me. He was confused, I think, and not very happy with his circumstances. I visited a medium who I've found to be very accurate and without telling her my father passed, he came into the room right away. Indeed, according to the medium's vision, she explained that he was somewhat distraught, but that he was "resting" for a bit and that things would become clear to him as time passed. He wasn't ready to go, she said, and I intuitively agreed with her. He also spoke about his last days, giving information which I later confirmed to be true. We "spoke" for about an hour and he said things that only he and I could know.
Since that time, I feel as if my father has moved on from his confusion and concern and has gradually gone on to the light. Thus, I am confused by the statement that my father "chose" to die. He didn't appear to be happy about passing--not to me and my intuition and not to the medium I know and trust well. He seemed to be worried about his new wife and his adopted daughter from the Ukraine as they have a long road to travel without him.
Secondly, I was sad that God didn't offer a further explanation about heaven, saying merely that it was too difficult to explain. Since the book was called Home With God, couldn't He have at least tried? Other books have explained it, or attempted to, and I missed the opportunity to know what sort of environment my beloved father is in.
Thank you for this magical book and for all the CWG books which line my shelves. I am grateful to you and to God for changing my life through these words.
My Dear Margot,
Thank you for your letter. It is very meaningful to me, and I am so appreciative of you for having the openness and the courage to write it.
My wonderful Margot, the experience that you have described confirms much of what is found in Home with God, including the "visit" from your father after his death. In HWG I asked if we ever return in spirit to those loved ones still living with their bodies, and God replied, "Yes."
This can occur, God said, during the Second Stage of Death, after the soul realizes that it is not its Body. But what about your father's confusion? HWG says this...
"You could be one of those who die in a place of uncertainty about whether life goes on at all after death. (If this is the case…) You will be confused and uncertain as to what is happening, and this will cause you to deal with what is going on in an entirely different way. You will realize that you are not your body, that you are “dead” (this happens to everyone in “stage one”), but since you are uncertain about what, if anything, comes next, you may spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to proceed.”
You may not feel that this describes your father’s case because he was, as you say, a spiritual man, and therefore can be presumed to have had clarity about whether there is a life after death. But the suddenness of his death may have spun him into confusion as to what was going on and what was to happen next. If my understanding is correct, sudden and unexpected departure from physicality often does this.
But do not be distressed by this, for it was only momentary. Says Home with God:
“In the moments after your ‘death’ you will all find yourself in the presence of the most loving angels and guides and gentle spirits, including the spirit or essence of everyone who has ever been important to you in your life. Those you have loved the most will be closest to you. They will surround you.
The presence of these loved ones and angels will be of enormous help to you, assisting you in becoming ‘oriented’ and understanding exactly what is happening to you, and what your ‘options’ are.”
The HWG text goes on to say…
“…as soon as the soul sees and realizes that it is not a body, its perspective shifts greatly, as you can imagine. This is, in fact, what propels the soul into the third stage of death, when all thoughts…are dropped away, and Ultimate Reality is experienced.”The fact that your father was confused at the outset does not mean that he did not “choose to die,” Margot. It merely means that he was not clear about this at the time. It is very much the same way in our physical life. We experience things all the time that we chose—indeed, we have chosen everything that we are experiencing—yet we often do not understand or realize that we have chosen it. And so, it looks as if things are happening TO us, rather than THROUGH us.
This happens when the soul, in the Second Stage of Death, stops imagining that it is its mind. As I understand it, in the First Stage of Death we release our idea that we are our Body. In the Second Stage, we release the idea that we are our thoughts, or our mind. And in the Third Stage, we release the idea that we are our individual soul, and then unite with the Only Soul There Is.
In the Second Stage of Death what happens is that we stop trying to “figure things out.” We simply release our idea that we are the sum total of our thoughts. As HwG puts it…“When you are confused and perplexed and looking for answers from the universe, if you will just turn off the part of you that desperately wants to figure things out and turn on the part of you that knows it has access to every answer—if you will stop trying to decide what to do and start choosing what you wish to be—you will find dilemmas dissolving and solutions appearing magically right in front of your face.”Home with God tells us that this is true in the experience that we call “life” as well as the experience that we call the “afterlife.” So your father, just as you described, “moved on from his confusion and concern and has gradually gone on to the light.” But then, Margot, you said, “Thus, I am confused by the statement that my father ‘chose’ to die. He didn't appear to be happy about passing… He seemed to be worried about his new wife and his adopted daughter from the Ukraine, as they have a long road to travel without him.”
The great transformation comes in our lives when we realize that we are AT CAUSE in the matter of what is occurring. This is a moment-to-moment transformation, however. This is not something that happens once, and then it is over, like getting one’s tonsils out. We may realize that we are “at cause in the matter” about one thing, and then completely forget that when something else occurs. The master is one who remembers his or her causal relationship with everything always. The student is one who remembers…except when he or she forgets.
Life after “death” is no different. And so, the fact that your father appeared to you to be confused and unhappy about his departure from physical life does not mean that he did not choose it, any more than his having been confused or unhappy about something that happened in his physical life at one time or another meant that he did not choose it.
Do you see?
Yet your father is very clear now, and in a place of great peace and wonderful joy. His concerns about his new wife and his adopted daughter have been allayed, as he has been able to see the perfection of the entire mosaic—including all that they will go through, and the experiences that they will have, on the way along their own path.
This in no way makes light of the challenges that they will face along the journey that they will travel. It simply means to indicate that their souls, too, created that journey, in co-creation with your father. There are no victims in the world—not in a spiritual sense. Victimization is not possible in ultimate reality, given Who and What You Really Are. The idea that one is a victim of circumstances can and does certainly occur in the realm of physicality, for in our physical reality we often forget Who and What We Really Are.
Thus, the HwG statement that all of our experiences of difficulties in our life can be traced to one central and primary cause: misidentification. We have forgotten Who We Are, and What We Are Doing Here.
Next week we’ll take a look at Margot’s second question, the matter of heaven and what it is like!
Love and hugs . . . Neale
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Message From Neale
My dear friends,
I got so much response to my blog that I posted a few days ago (www.cwgblog.com) that I want to include it here.
I don't know, maybe it's a product of age, but it feels to me that as each day passes I am demanding more and more meaning out of my life. I'm just not willing anymore to spend time doing things that don't matter, or to "kill time" by filling it with trivialities (if not to say, absurdities, such as watching most television shows), or to actually waste my time by going to cocktail parties in hotel reception halls or bingo games in church basements or dinners in noisy restaurants where you can't have a decent conversation if you want to. I don't understand the point of it.
"To have a good time," some say to me. "To just relax and have a good time." To which I reply (usually inside my head), "This is relaxing? This is 'having a good time'?"
I agree that simply relaxing is wonderful. We all need to do it now and then. In fact, hopefully a little bit each day. But how do you define "relaxation"? For me it certainly is not standing around with a drink in my hand, talking absolute nonsense with other people who are standing around with drinks in their hands. Nor is it consuming a meal to the thump-thump-thump of what some people call music these days, blaring so loudly on overhead speakers that the waitress can barely take your order.
I guess I am getting old. I sound just like my father.
But doggone it, each moment of life feels more and more precious, and I want to use every one I have left for something that, at least at some level, makes sense. Relaxing can be done in a way that pampers your body and nourishes your mind and replenishes your soul.
I mention all this today because last night I went to a piano bar. I used to go to piano bars all the time. I loved to hear the music, I loved the companionship of hanging out with my friends, I loved the mild alcohol high I could achieve in a socially pleasant way. Last night was like walking into the past for me.
Okay, so I ordered a ginger ale instead of a bourbon and ginger. And I actually listened to the man singing his songs, rather than trying to flirt with every female within 20 feet of me. And I left after 30 minutes because after hearing seven songs they all started sounding alike. Okay, okay, so I'm an old fuddy-duddy. But I realized something important for me to know last night...
I demand more of my time.
So now I'm sitting here today, musing about that. What do I want out of life these days? And the answers come flooding in on me, like water over a fall. I want peace. I want joy. I want love. I want enrichment -- something that adds value to my moment and my being. I want awareness -- something that opens my senses to more and more of the reality around me. I want consciousness -- something that produces an expanded experiential understanding of life itself, its purpose and its invitation, its opportunity and its glory, and the wonder of its ultimate meaning.
I was not getting much of that at the piano bar last night.
This was not the piano man's fault. He did what he does. He sang his songs, took requests, smiled genuinely at all the people. He entertained, and he was good at it. It's just that I wanted more. Or, to put it perhaps another way, I had enough. After 30 minutes, I had had enough. I needed to move on. A quiet walk under the stars would have brought me more of what I was yearning for, or a good conversation with friends, or lying silently in the embrace of my beloved, without any word being spoken at all.
And now, today, I look at my life and decide again, Who Am I? And how do I wish to demonstrate that today? What is important to me? And how do I wish to use the Time of My Life? What if I had only a few days or weeks or months left? What would I do and say? With whom would I communicate? What would my message be?
I think that first, I would talk with God. Oh, God, thank you for this wonderful life! I am so grateful! And how I have enjoyed it! Even the dramas. Even the "bad" moments. My only wish is that I could have moved through it all without hurting so many others. Please God, help me to find a way to forgive myself for those transgressions. I remember every one of them---even the ones that not another living soul knows about or suspects. Help me to remember my offenses with a gentle compassion, and grant me the grace to feel good about myself in spite of myself. And thank you, God, for all the good times, all the abundant joy, all the laughter and all the love. Thank you for the talents that you gave me, of which I used only a tiny portion. Remind me in my next lifetime to use more. And dear God, on these, my final days, please help me to bring harmony to my world, and to show my fellow travelers on this planet a way to end their conflicts and to find lasting happiness. Let me be an instrument of Thy peace, oh God, that I may leave a gift worthy of the gift you have given me.
Copyright © Neale Donald Walsch. All rights reserved.