Death often means untold grief and sadness for those left behind – sadness that sometimes lasts a lifetime. Yet, what if we had it all wrong about death? What if all our sadness and suffering were in vain?
I am no stranger to death and bereavement. I lost my older brother Jani at a very young age – just before I turned 18.
If losing someone so close at such a young age wasn’t hard enough, knowing that he was killed by someone else made it that much harder (Jani served with the Sri Lanka Army and was killed by an ‘enemy combatant’). It’s probably for this reason that my brother’s death was the one that bugged me the most. In fact, coping with his death was one of the biggest struggles I’ve been through in life.
I was a kid when it happened. I didn’t know how to deal with any of this. I did the best I could – I adopted the ‘stiff upper lip’ and ‘get on with life’ protocols. It turns out this wasn’t such a great idea. As a result, it took me close to 20 years to finally come to terms with what had happened and to make peace with myself about it all.
Fast forward 20 or so years and my views on life and death have changed dramatically. I won’t claim to be immune to sadness at the passing of a loved one. Yet, I have come across a few ideas that have brought me a sense of peace and relief about the subject. I’d like to share them here with you.
Energy Cannot Be Destroyed
To start with, let’s get a bit scientific – modern physics tells us that all matter is ultimately comprised of energy (remember Albert Einstein and his E=MC squared formula?). Well Einstein also said that energy cannot be destroyed – that it can only change form. In fact, his exacts words are said to have been:
“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”
Now if we went along with this information alone, we would be faced with big questions about how a human, who is both matter and consciousness, could ever cease to be.
The Eternal Soul
We’ve all come across the idea of an eternal soul at some point, but if you are anything like me, you haven’t really given it much thought. Yet this is the most important idea in coming to see death differently.
So first and foremost, what is the soul? It seems as though a thousand people could answer this question in a thousand different ways and yet all be right. For my part, I have come to see the soul as the consciousness and the intelligence that animates our bodies. I have also come to understand that the soul is pure energy and that it is eternal – enduring beyond death.
“But Indika” I hear you say “where’s the proof?”. Well I don’t really have any. What I can do is to point you to one of the most interesting fields of scientific study related to the subject of death – the phenomenon of Near Death Experiences (or NDE’s).
Near Death Experience is a term that is used to describe a situation where someone shows no vital signs such as breathing or pulse and later goes on to regain consciousness. What is truly remarkable about those who have had NDE’s is that they are able to accurately recall the incidents and events which occurred around them during the time there were ‘dead’. They also provide fascinating information in their accounts of the ‘afterlife’. While their individual stories may vary, there are common themes such as: going through a tunnel and seeing bright light at the end of it, feeling an overwhelming sense of love and wellbeing and, being greeted by loved ones who have passed away before them.
Some months ago, I had the opportunity to read an amazing book by an amazing lady – if you ever get the chance, please pick up ‘Dying To Be Me‘ by Anita Moorjani. Here was a first hand account from someone who had ‘died’ and come back again, complete with details about things that happened around her while she was ‘dead’ – things she wasn’t supposed to know. She also gives clear details about what it was like on the ‘other side’.
Anita was in the advanced stages of cancer and lying in a coma in hospital when her NDE took place – her NDE occurred while she was being monitored by medical doctors and while she was hooked up to modern instruments. Her story is therefore the best proof I have as yet to offer you. Anita’s story definitely supports the idea that the soul does exist and that it is eternal.
Please take the time to visit this page on Anita’s website http://anitamoorjani.com/about-anita/ to learn more about Anita’s story in her own words. You can also access audio and video interviews with Anita from her website.
Connected to the idea of the soul is that of soul plans. This is basically the idea that as souls, we set certain intentions before we incarnate and that we choose the time, place and the people around whom we are born in order to carry out these intentions.
I first came across the idea when reading about (note: ‘about‘) a book by a writer named Robert Schwartz. I have subsequently come across this idea in other works including ‘Conversations With God‘ by Neale Donald Walsch.
I’ll admit that I am just guessing here – but isn’t it possible that each and every soul would have a different plan and that these plans could sometimes include (or at least influence) when and how they would die?
This possibility has the potential to offer us a great deal of comfort and I’ll tell you why. Say we lose someone we love at a a young age. Chances are that we’re going to be extra-unhappy that their life was ‘cut short’. But would it make sense for us to bemoan this fact when it could be that they themselves chose to make an early exit? I think not. What do you think?
To learn more about Robert Schwartz, his books and work, please visit his website: http://www.yoursoulsplan.com
Growing up in Sri Lanka, I was used to the idea of astrology, numerology and horoscopes. I remember being told by my mother how an astrologer had once said that we were mother and son in our previous incarnations as well. I didn’t think much of it at the time. Then I came across this idea recently – that groups of souls incarnate together in order to help each other in carrying out our intentions for that particular incarnation. I think it was originally in a book I half-read (that happens sometimes) called Exploring The Eternal Soul by Andy Tomlinson.
Again, I’m only guessing, but couldn’t it be possible that we, our families, our lovers and our pets could all be connected in this life and beyond, because we’re all part of the same group? If that were true, wouldn’t it be equally likely that we will remain connected beyond death, only to meet and collaborate again? Isn’t that a comforting thought?
Thanks to this realisation, I have now come to view every significant person in my life as someone with whom I have a prior bond – someone who is here to help me learn or do something – something I decided on before I was born. This helps me value these people a lot more.
Soul Agreements and Soul Contracts
Ok, this is the last one! If you’ve stayed with me up to this point, well done!
The idea of soul agreements (or soul contracts) stems from the idea of soul groups. Remember how we said we’d incarnate together to help each other with our intentions for this lifetime? That agreement to help each other is what I’m referring to here.
There’s a rub though – a ‘sticking point’ if you will – just like the kindly friend, lover, parent or mentor who helps and supports us in this lifetime, our ‘arch-enemies’ and ‘antagonists’ could also be people that we have made agreements with. Think problem child, think abusive parent, think killer or tormentor here. They could all be our ‘helpers’ carrying out our instructions.
I’ll admit, this idea took some getting used to. What it has done for me though is to provide a new perspective – a new way of looking at some of the people who have caused me the most discomfort and pain in life. It helps me understand, forgive and release them from my consciousness. It gives me closure.
It has also made me think: what if my brother Jani and the guy (or gal) who ended his life had made a soul agreement? What if they’re both cosmic buddies that were working together? Wouldn’t the great cosmic joke be on me if I were to feel any anger or hatred towards that person? So just like that, I was able to move on and find peace. Just like that, I was able to become an advocate for peace in the lives of others. Just like that.
So that’s it! That ends this epic (as in loooong) post. I hope you found it useful. Please comment and let me know your views and ideas.