We met in 1970 when we were both teaching in an infant’s school in Sydney. We lost close contact over the years but always sent each other a Christmas card and when her husband passed to the light, she rang me from the hospital to tell me. In the last few years we would regularly meet up for lunch in the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney and talk about everything that seemed to matter in our lives. We had God in common and I feel this underpinned our renewed friendship. I took this photo of her in February 2013, because she was looking so radiant that day!
When I found out she had died I experienced a similar response to when my Mother passed away nearly four years ago. I wanted to know where Patricia was, where she had gone to, because I knew she was more than her physical body and to me it did not seem that she was dead. Where did she go when I had an awareness she was still alive? Where did her Spirit go? I know the Spirit goes somewhere because as I was with my Mother when she passed away I felt it leave her body. As my mind was not making any sense of anything I thought I would go to my heart to ‘try and work it out’ (Ha ha!) So I started my process of contemplation around it, to take me from confusion to clarity and on Sunday morning that clarity broke through.
However before I tell you how I came to clarity and a soft peace, I have found that if I accept the concept of reincarnation of the soul then what I am about to say makes complete sense to me. I accept the soul is on a journey, lifetime after lifetime, until it becomes enlightened. It becomes enlightened when all the ‘blotches’ on the rays of light of our Spirit are cleared and the light shines through fully – there is no resistance, so nothing stops the light. Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207-1273), Sufi mystic, Persian muslim poet and theologian said this in another way when he wrote: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it”.
I can’t yet tell you about these ‘blotches’, how they arrived there as I have not had an experience about it to share with you. Yet the concept that they are there and it works like this satisfies me. I cannot prove this concept to you but it ‘works’ for me.
My ideas that morning, and these are my ideas, formed from contemplation, experience and a commitment to judge less and less, went something like this.
When the Big Bang happened (and we don’t know about anything that happened before this event) the Universe as we know it was created. It exploded into something – our Universe – what we can see and what we can’t see. Matter and non-matter. Physical and Spiritual. I therefore deduce that everything, seen and unseen/of the senses and not of the senses, that now exists is part of everything that existed when that event happened. I don’t see how it cannot be – however I cannot prove this concept to you either. I have an idea lurking in me that if we can accept this concept we can maybe accept the concept of One Soul, of which we also must be a part. To me, its existence is a bit like when you take a bucket of water from the ocean, the water in the bucket is still part of the ocean. In my contemplation when this idea came to me I trusted it and continued on. I have no clarity on how the Soul came into being. I accept that it did.
If I am the One Soul what then makes me an individual? Basically it is my mind. My mind is different to others because of my ‘ideas’.
When I was contemplating all this a vision came to me of a big round circle which represented the Soul and then hanging off the edge of the Soul were all these little suitcases. The suitcases were us as human beings. Each little suitcase (albeit 7 billion of them) was like a little tool kit for the Soul, yet each suitcase had its own mind. Patricia had finished her life as Patricia, and her soul had done what it needed to do in this life, and needed to find a way to leave her body which it did and she died peacefully at home, aged 85. If her long journey is not yet over I presume her soul still exists as part of that One Soul but of course, how would I know?
Thoughts of my own journey started to arise – who was I then, what was I doing here, where was I going? If we are all One I don’t have to fight so hard to be that ‘individual’. What a relief! Because this contemplation process was my actual experience, the essence of it became me and something inside of me calmed and that was very beautiful.
On Sunday evening I slept deeply. No dreams, just a deep sleep. I awoke feeling at peace. I had a feeling there was nothing I had to do or had to be. I didn’t feel connected to everything, I actually felt I was everything. I felt safe and some of the fear of my own death had lifted. I don’t care when I die because it will happen despite of myself, I can’t control it. Just like my Mother and Patricia could not.
I found Patricia in the moment I experienced I was everything.