Friday, 17 July 2009

All Around Us

“All around us, though unseen, the dear, eternal spirits soar”

These words from an old hymn should be amongst the most comforting we can hear. It means we can never be alone, even when all our earthly family, friends and acquaintances have deserted us. Yet so many people have been made to fear the presence of those dear eternal spirits.

We have imbibed almost with our mothers milk, the idea that the only ‘spirits’ that are around us are those who are ‘earthbound’ or are bent on mischief. We are afraid to walk through a churchyard or cemetery in the dark because we have been indoctrinated into thinking the spirits of all those buried there are just waiting, waiting for the last trump. Only those who are ‘unquiet’ and aim to frighten us make their presence known. It makes us fear their presence, for so many have accepted that the spirit of the person who has died remains in and around their grave. For this reason many think that cremation is wrong because no physical body remains for the spirit to stay around.

How sad! The truth is so different and so liberating. Those dear spirits are all around us because they love us, the two worlds, spirit and earth, interpenetrate and the spirit world is on a different level of vibration than the earth. This means spirits can be in the same room without us being physically conscious of their presence, in the same way as radio and television waves fill the room we are in but without a radio or TV receiver, we are unaware of them. This means, if only we would unlearn the negative teachings of those more interested in temporal power than in recognising the eternal spirit in humanity, we could receive help, support and guidance from our loved ones in spirit whenever we need it. Whilst those loved ones have not suddenly developed wisdom they did not possess on earth, their love is real and tangible and love can work wonders.

They live in a world of thought and light and because of where they are, they can sometimes see a little further along our pathway of life than we can ourselves. This enables them to give helpful suggestions if only we knew how to hear them. Instead of frightening people with tales of ghosts and ghouls, of evil spirits and possession, the great religions should be teaching everyone about how close the two worlds are and what wonderful benefits that can bring to people. They are afraid of course, because such knowledge will demonstrate that everyone survives the change we call death and therefore undermines their claim that in order to reach ‘heaven’, ‘nirvanah’ or whatever, people need to accept unquestioningly their particular dogmas.

How frustrating it is for our loved ones in spirit to know they can help or comfort us but are unable to make us listen to them. Of course we must live our own lives and cannot expect others, whether here or in spirit, to take our decisions for us. However, to have the comfort of knowing they are there, available, ever loving and anxious to help would be so liberating to everyone at difficult times in our lives. To paraphrase a well known line of poetry, they have not even gone to the next room; they are still in this one with us. Stretch out your hand and they will grasp it in love and together you can gently move towards the light of spiritual understanding.

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