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Finding Peace in Life and Death

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Albert Einstein wrote:

“A human being is part of the whole, called by us “Universe”, a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creature and the whole nature in its beauty.  Nobody is able to achieve this completely but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”

Albert Einstein to Norman Salit, March 4, 1950condolence letter.  Copyright © The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

 

Think of the Universe as a great ocean, and our lives are waves on that ocean.  On the surface it appears that each wave is separate, it has a beginning (birth) out in the ocean, and an end (death) when the wave crashes to shore.  However, the wave can never exist without the ocean.  Unfortunately, we are so focused on the Physical Reality of “being a wave” we see ourselves as separate, individual entities with no real connection to the ocean and the other waves.  In our life as a wave we are so distracted by Physical Reality that we forget we are part of the ocean.  All of these senses are new to us, the feel of the contact with the air, the sights, the sounds, the smells, it’s all new, and it’s all a distraction from whom we really are.  Now throw in the pride of being a “big wave”, or the envy of bigger waves, and the ego of how our wave is building… it’s not hard to see how we can completely lose sight of our Essence and our connection to the ocean.

Now, when that wave crashes to shore and releases its energy, all that it is, is returned back to the ocean to disperse, mingle, share in the experience of all waves past and present, and be at One with the ocean (Universe).  Eventually the wave re-surfaces and is reborn.  Now, the newly reborn wave doesn’t have entirely the same form and structure as its predecessor, but its Essence is the same.

Your Essence is Divinity, it is your connection to God and the Universe.  Divinity is God; in other words - You Are God!  Since Divinity is Pure, there can exist no judgment, no ego, no pride nor prejudice.  The Divinity and Oneness of the Universe has No Hierarchy.  What may be challenging for some people to come to terms with is that regardless of our role in life, whether you are a king, a healing master, or an axe murderer, within our Essence is Divinity, and within Divinity is Equality; and in the after-death Oneness of the Universe our various roles in life are understood and accepted for their necessity and the perspective that they each contributed (good or bad) to Life and Physical Reality.

Our greatest enemy and threat to our happiness in life is Ego (and the pride that accompanies Ego).  Our greatest ally in combating and neutralizing Ego is Compassion.  It is in our dedication to the betterment of other living beings (human or not) and our willingness to take on their suffering in the hope that their lives will be enriched; that our Ego and grasping at a false sense of self are most effectively defeated.

Part of our letting go of that “grasping at a false sense of self” is often simply “letting go”.  People, animals, and things move in and out of our lives, as we too will ultimately leave these lives.  Grasping and clinging to the impermanence of Life and Physical Reality is the work of our Ego.

It’s sad to see people who are so grief-stricken from the loss of a loved one that they can’t seem to get past it.  At the root of this grief is our Ego trying to convince us that “this is not the way it should be”, and while our Ego can manipulate our perception so that we see ourselves as “being right”, being right can never change what is; and the negativity of our grief becomes a ballast on the Essence of the person whom we lost.

It may be helpful to recognize however, that our Love and Good Will follows the Essence of that person after their death, and even into their next life, even though we don’t really understand where they are.  Their Essence is the same as it was when we knew them, and after all, the Love that we feel is not for the physical body that someone is in, but for the Essence that is occupying that body.  So why would that Love not be felt just because their Essence is now residing somewhere else, or in a different body.  Just as with Karma; Love and Good Will transcends Physical Reality!

So even though we have been conditioned to believe that letting go will leave us with nothing (whether it be letting go of possessions, relationships, being right, or just letting go of what we thought our life should be, or even life itself); letting go instead provides us with the Peace and Freedom so that we can experience life and accept death, not as a beginning and an end, but rather as a small part of the endless fluid continuum of our eternal being (our Essence).

So please, live your life with the Peace, Great Love, Compassion, Freedom, and Hope that the Universe holds for you, you have only to accept it, and it is yours.

 

Finding Peace in Life and Death - Now Available from Balboa Press


 Overview


 

Finding Peace in Life and Death explores philosophical, spiritual and scientific perspectives to determine the fate of our existence,and the state of mind necessary to achieve peace and happiness.  Starting by examining our connection to the Universe, and introducing the three levels of the mind and how “our reality” is perceived and interpreted by the lowest level (the Conscious mind); then looking at how to adjust that interpretation so we can enjoy life through the “ups” and “downs”.

Moving ahead to acknowledge that our Ego is the main threat to our own Peace and Happiness, and recognizing Compassion, Forgiveness and “letting go” as the best ways to combat our Ego.  Then understanding that Essence is our connection to the Universe, and within that Oneness no hierarchy exists, so that in death we will not be judged by a God outside of ourselves.

In later chapters we establish time as a product of the Physical Universe (Physical Reality).  Then plotting the expansion and eventual contraction and collapse of the Physical Universe, I theorize the “Big Bang” as the rebirth of an eternal Universe, rather than the spontaneous origin of a Universe before which neither time nor space existed.  Instead the “Big Bang”, or “birth” of our current Universe, would have coincided with the “Big Crunch”, or death of the previous Universe.

Eventually we tackle the question “If I’ve had past lives, why don’t I remember them?”  Simply put, “Because you don’t want to.”  Not “you” you but rather you, you see?  (Sorry - three levels of the mind; I can’t resist having fun with the English language sometimes).

 

 


Contents


 

Dedication

Acknowledgements

Part One:  The Role of Reality in Life and the Pursuit of Happiness

      I.            Introduction

     II.            Death:  Part I

    III.            Self-Worth

    IV.            Essence

     V.            Interpretation of Reality

    VI.            Bridging the Gap between Conscious Thought and Essence

   VII.            Happiness

    VI.            Focus on the Good

    IX.            Compassion

      X.            Forgiveness

     XI.            The Paradoxical Commandments

    XII.            Death:  Part II

   XIII.            Conclusion

Part TwoThe Second Coming:  The "I" of the Beholder

        I.            The Miracle of Birth

       II.            Removing Reality from the Equation

      III.            Living in Vibrational Harmony

      IV.           About Time

       V.            How Do I Make My Life Better?

      VI.            Stories Behind the Songs 

 


Chapter Abstracts


 Part One:  The Role of Reality in Life and the Pursuit of Happiness


 

I.      Introduction

Life is easy:  Assume responsibility!

Everything I’ve done, and every road I’ve taken has brought me to where I am today (and since this is where I am, there is no sense in hypothesizing about having made different decisions, or assigning blame).  Everything I do and every road I take will deliver me to my future.  I can’t mess it up because the destination is irrelevant.  Experience life while I have it, the good and the bad, that’s really all I have to do.

In life we fall into the trap of seeing Physical Reality as the foundation of our being, but Physical Reality is not the cornerstone of existence.  Reality is born in imagination; that which we see is merely our interpretation of that which is.

Never confuse “what is perceived to be” with “what is”.

 

II.     Death:  Part I

Examining our connection to the Universe and the relationship our lives have as “extensions” of the Universe.  Expanding from this connection to establish that our eternal “Essence” is Divinity, and that since Divinity is pure there can exist no judgment, no ego, no pride nor prejudice; and that the Divinity and Oneness of the Universe has no hierarchy.  Concluding that, after death our various roles in life (good or bad) are accepted as experience and not judged by a Divinity outside ourselves.

 

III.    Self-Worth

Dispelling the misconception that our personal value or “self-worth” is variable, and that attempting to justify an increased sense of self-worth is futile and the work of our ego.

Introducing the concept that the mind has three levels: Essence, Sub-Conscious, and Conscious; and that the lowest level, the Conscious mind, interprets the reality passed along from our Sub-Conscious mind in a way so as to ensure the preservation and comfort of the body – pandering to our ego.

 

IV.    Essence

Reviewing the meaning of Essence and displaying a diagram to help show the relationship between Essence, the Sub-Conscious mind, the Conscious mind, and Physical Reality.

Physical Reality affects our Conscious mind not directly, but rather through our Sub-Conscious.  That is, all information is first received by our Sub-Conscious before it is (or isn’t) passed on to our Conscious mind for interpretation.  Furthermore our Sub-Conscious mind initially receives all information in tact but then filters, or edits, the information in accordance with our conditioning.

Ultimately, ego insulates us from valuable information – it chokes off the ability to recognize new facts because what we already know is perceived as being more important or valuable.

 

V.     Interpretation of Reality

Interpretation of Reality expands on our new understanding of the relationship between Essence, Sub-Conscious, Conscious, and Physical Reality (from the last chapter) so that we can see how our interpretation of reality becomes distorted.

I use the model of a mirror reflecting the truth of reality from our Essence to show that the further our mind drifts away from the influence of our Essence, the more distorted our interpretation of the truth becomes.

The sole function of our ego is to interpret reality in such a way as it suits us best.

 

VI.    Bridging the Gap between Conscious Thought and Essence

This chapter explores how we can more successfully allow our Essence to express itself by basically “pulling back the reins of our ego”.

Bridging the gap between Conscious Thought and Essence requires the recognition of our self-centered tendency, and an attempt to compensate for it, as opposed to indulging our self-centered nature.

 

VII.    Happiness

Starting the chapter with a quote from Immanuel Kant found in Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals, I contend that moral laws do not guide Divinity because Divinity (Essence) is already at one with morality.  Therefore the imperatives, to which Kant refers in the quote, are meant to guide human will toward morality, Divinity and Essence.

Since happiness is a state of synchronicity and harmony of mind achievable through the influence of Essence, we can’t chase after happiness in Physical Reality because it’s not there.  In fact we can do more damage to ourselves and others, and push ourselves further from happiness, by chasing after it.  Happiness can be achieved by acknowledging that life is perspective and contrast, without the bad there can be no appreciation for the good; so accept the bad, but focus on the good.

 

VIII.   Focus on the Good

We don’t just experience the world around us… We create the world around us… Then we experience life from the world we create!

When we recognize and focus our attention on all of the beauty and infinite possibility, our lives can’t help but follow that focus and we begin to create our own happiness.

 

IX.     Compassion

Compassion is the key to evolution.  Tolerance is the first step toward compassion, not just compassion for the people we care about or the people nearest us (that’s easy), but compassion for all living creatures, even the people who have wronged us.

“Compassion is the great sun that finally removes the misty ignorance of the world.”

 

X.      Forgiveness

Taking responsibility for the impact others have on our lives, and letting it go.  Then making an effort to change how the actions of others affect us rather than expecting others to validate our hurt feelings or change their behavior.

 

XI.    The Paradoxical Commandments

Review of The Paradoxical Commandments.

 

XII.  Death: Part II

In our western culture, discussion or even the thought of death seems to be taboo; as though if we talk about it then it’ll happen, although I can’t imagine anyone successfully avoiding death by not talking about it.  Death seems to be shrouded in mystery, and that mystery breeds fear.  So I wanted to drive home the idea that acknowledging death will help us better prepare for it, by starting and ending Book I with chapters discussing death.

 

XIII. Conclusion

A brief summation of Part One tying together that the greatest threat to our happiness is ego, and our greatest ally in combating ego is compassion.  Letting go, instead of leaving us with nothing, provides us with Peace and Freedom.  Also, Love and Good Will transcends Physical Reality so our love for someone will still benefit them after their death and into their next life.

 

 


Part Two:  The Second Coming:  The "I" of the Beholder


 

 

I.      The Miracle of Birth

We hear about the “miracle of birth”, but we never hear about the “miracle of death”.  Death is a pretty big thing too; it’s probably the biggest thing that’ll happen to us in our life.  But seriously, birth is a pretty big transformation into Life and Physical Reality, but death is an equally big transformation out of Life and Physical Reality, but since death is shrouded in mystery it’s usually not celebrated here, but I’m sure it is celebrated in the Non-Physical Universe.  From the perspective of those experiencing Non-Physical Existence death would be like being born (or awakening) from the confines of Physical Reality.

 

II.     Removing Reality from the Equation

Reality can be a pretty big roadblock in life, but it doesn’t have to be.  Visionaries all seem to share the gift of seeing past these roadblocks so they can achieve the “impossible”.  If we focus on the hurdle, we have a hard time getting over the hurdle.  I still don’t really understand how my computer works, and fifty years ago most people would have said it was impossible, I guess it’s a good thing that everyone didn’t think like that.  What our minds are capable of is amazing, if we can just get past the conditioning that anchors us to what is perceived to be possible in Physical Reality.

 

III.    Living in Vibrational Harmony

Physics teaches us that all matter is energy, and that all energy vibrates.  Music teaches us that different frequencies of vibration emit different tones, and that combining different tones can be complementary or dissonant.  Living in Vibrational Harmony helps us understand the impact of vibrational distractions in our lives.

 

IV.     About Time

About Time researches time, as a product of the Physical Universe, from the perspectives of physics and spirituality, then transfers the findings to reality, life and death.  I also explore the fate of the Physical Universe and produce a theory that the Universe could in fact be eternal, and that it possibly did exist before the Big Bang in a different form, making our Universe a reincarnation of a former Universe.

 

V.      How Do I Make My Life Better?

As a Catholic, I got a little tired of the “You’re not worthy” approach.  How can we ever expect people to behave in a way depicting grace, dignity and enlightenment if we’re continually pushing them down?  We’re showing God, the Father, in a light that if we were to follow His model with respect to our own children, we would be considered emotionally abusive.  That’s not God; God is part of us.

 

VI.     Stories Behind the Songs

I recorded a mix of original songs and jazz standards to include with this book.  This is a short summary giving a brief background on why I decided to record each song.

 

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