Monday, November 13, 2006

Dead sure?

Do I really have to die? It seems an impossible, almost insignificant thought, sitting as I do now, ruminating over the impossible challenge of surviving the invincible axis of an empty sheet allied with an empty head, surrounded by a busy crew forging the future with passion and words, a mildly suicidal ex. Editor shedding threats, tears, hair and more and the prospect of going back to a family I love – seems like a life balanced between two worlds I love. Seems like a life that would go on forever.

Truth is, it wouldn’t and no matter how hard one tries to drown that nagging thought in more important things like the war in Iraq, the movie at the theatre or the neighbour next door, it keeps bobbing up like a Portuguese man-of-war that no one wants to touch, but is there, always in the corner of your eye-line nevertheless. And sometimes it drifts close – too close, too often. Of course, the sheer inevitability and the sense of impending doom that accompanies the word – ‘deadlines’ as it is bandied around by those executioners in business suits called editorial coordinators and the shared etymology does not help either.

Be that as it may, and call it an escapist’s fantasy if you will, but I’ve really begun to believe that there’s more to life than just death and I’ve sincerely begun to question the supposed inevitability of the phenomenon. In other, more pompous words, I really am not dead sure about death any more. Which is not to say that I don’t fear it. I fear bodily harm as much as most, I guess, as I do death, both my own and perhaps more so that, of those I’ve grown to love. The point I’m trying to make, dear fellow explorers into the beyond, is that I truly believe that the resilience and imagination of the human soul is tempered and strengthened with each challenge it undertakes and surmounts and death too is one such challenge, perhaps a final frontier of a kind that we’ll one day understand and perhaps even transcend.

Would we discover the fountain of youth and the elixir of life that will make us all immortal or at least empower us with the wherewithal to accept death only when we deign so and exert control over our own destiny? I don’t know but I would not consider it as much of an impossibility as perhaps generations of medieval folk considered the idea of the earth being round, having an axis, rotating and revolving at an incomprehensible speed and having a moon all its own, that would one day be stepped on by human feet.

Almost as comforting and far more tangible is the possibility of understanding what happens as we and after we die. For centuries, there have been peripheral concepts suggesting the possibility of communion with divine entities and reincarnation. Today, these fringe philosophers have assumed the shape of celebrated spiritual and psychic healers, and authors who’ve shared their experiences with millions of readers. Their books make compelling reading and the cases, if true, offer compelling evidence that death is not ‘the end’ of life but a mere phase the timing apparently of which is of our own choosing. Even more heartening is the thought offered that we choose those we share our lives with and stay connected with them across and beyond the planes of life, in every life. Life apparently is like a school room for the soul and we choose the circumstances and challenges that we would be up against, much before we decide to ‘take’ birth as we do those who we would transact with in life, much like a student choosing a course, university and faculty, with death being no more than graduation day, before it is time for the next lesson in life.

I do not know if it is all true but I’ve got to find out before I give up on the idea. I’ll share this journey with you in these pages and who knows, maybe we chose to share this journey together, long before either of us was born.

Morpheus & Orpheus

Relax, take a deep breath and think about yesterday. With each breath, relax your mind and sink gently into the past. If you keep this up long enough, there would come a point where your mind would transcend the barrier of conscious memory and drift into a world apparently unfamiliar, and yet entirely your own – the world from a life lived long ago, by you.

Past life regression (PLR) has become a very real, tangible experience that has stepped out of books by parapsychologists and spiritual healers like Dr. Brian Weiss and become accessible to people all over the world as both the concept and its practitioners have grown exponentially. While reincarnation as a concept has been popular in certain religions, other faiths have rejected the idea. It might be interesting to note however that the more a religion has been institutionalised, the more it has rejected the possibility of life existing beyond its realm and control.

There have been legends aplenty in every geographical corner of individuals recollecting past life events and found varying degrees of acceptance but today, with PLR workshops available round the corner, both sceptics and the faithful can test their beliefs on any given weekend. PLR sessions seem to convert even their staunchest critics and I can’t wait to try one as soon as possible. It promises to be a thought provoking session at the very least, if not a death defying one.


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