Face It, Geezers
We’re going to be giving up the ghost sooner or later.
And at our age, it’ll be sooner, rather than later.
So isn’t it a good idea to at least think about it?
Oops, I didn’t mean to say, “think.”
We can get a far more accurate glimpse if we banish thoughts from mind.
Of course we think (there’s that word “think” again!) we will miss all those we love so much — our spouse, our children, and of course, our grandchildren! Then there’s delicious dinners we’ve been enjoying lately.
We can’t help having some trepidation, though.
But, in truth, we won’t have a mind to play with those ideas once we say our last goodnight.
In fact, it really is probably going to be rather pleasant.
Getting a Taste of It
Why not get a sampling of what it will be like — sans thoughts, “things,” “issues,” and great meals?
Well, whether or not you are a believer, there is a way to taste it in the way Jesus said we could.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.”
So IT is already within us, like it or not.
How do we know it really is there?
If we can simply get past the cavalcade of ideas that rush continually through mind we will be amazed at what we find.
The Psalmist said:
Be still and know that I am God.
Not a bad idea to heed this advice. Even if for just a few moments.
Silence is the doorway.
Don’t try to figure it out. No one has ever done so. And millions have tried.
Truly though, there is a peace beyond all understanding. It is ineffable, can’t be put into words.
If we can just be still and allow all thoughts to continue on their way out of he mind. For they will move on out, if we permit them to go.
It then becomes possible to realize the real reality that is everywhere. All the time. Pure existence.
We are unique creatures who have been given a superior consciousness, to become aware of it.
This deeper consciousness is beyond words, thoughts and mind.
Abraham Maslow, who studied peak experiences, said that it requires open listening,
Real receptivity . . . is a difficult achievement. To be able to listen — without presupposing, classifying, improving, controverting, evaluating, approving or disapproving, without dueling . . . such listening is rare.
Tor Norretranders, that Norwegian science writer, said,
Really good experiences, whether they appear at work, at home, or while communing with nature or The Everything, may seem trivial — for we’re just doing what we usually do — but are profoundly non-trivial.
Do You Know You’ve Already Been Experiencing It?
We experience it when we are in deep, dreamless sleep. After we wake up we know it was pleasant.
We experience moments when things seem just right and feel expansive.
I often find it in a quiet peaceful place in the woods. I also experience it by the sea, in a church, places where it is quiet and I have no worries.
I’ve felt it deeply in Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. I’ve even taken refuge in sanctuaries of churches like St Thomas and St Patricks during the rush of noonday traffic on New York City’s Fifth Avenue.
I’ve also experienced it at the helm of sailboats sailing on blue water way beyond the sight of land.
I’ve been deeply moved by peak experiences while mountaineering across wide expanses of glaciers.
And, I’ve had it simply sitting still on the forest floor beneath towering trees.
The Meditative Aspect of Large Format Photography
During my days as a photographer, taking photos with my four-by-five view camera was a meditative experience.
It took patient, careful attention taking a series of steps for a photo.
It required — choosing a scene to photograph, setting up the tripod, mounting the camera, viewing the scene through the ground glass backing, sharpening the focus, taking a light reading, setting the shutter speed, adjusting the lens opening, inserting a film holder, drawing out the slide, pressing a bulb, returning the slide, pulling out the film holder. And all the while being in something of a trance.
These were some of my glimpses. I’m sure you’ve had yours. Tell us about them in the comment section below.
Putting it simply, I believe it’s going to be like a deep, beautiful sleep. Probably better.”
But it doesn’t hurt to get better acquainted with it while we’re still clunking around the block.