This is the perfect time of year to speak of death and of the departed. Yet we dare not speak of death and of the departed, at least not directly, honestly and unafraid.
Growing up, I can count on the fingers of one hand the very few times I was physically disciplined by either of my parents. Once, when I was a very little girl, perhaps five, a neighborhood child fell off his bike and broke his arm. When the doctor left his house, my mom and I went to check up on him and his folks. Walking back home I was thinking of how I’d seen the boy lying sedated in his bed. I turned to my mom and said quietly, I thought he was dead. SLAP! across the mouth; I was too stunned to cry. My mom had never hit me, but with the slap came the clear message, we do not speak of death.
What is your personal myth about death?
We’ll go to heaven? Whose heaven? There are three patriarchal, militant religions in our reality right now that will fight to the death for the right to claim their heaven is the only heaven, their Father God is the only God. Which are you cheering for?
I don’t think we need religion. In fact, I think, especially for women, these religions are a detriment. It is mind bending to think that a Justice of the US Supreme court would, in private, by the code of her “faith” have to ask her husband permission for anything. Justice Amy Coney Barrett is not just a Catholic, she belongs to a fringe group of the Catholic church, “People of Praise” that requires this of women based on St. Paul’s chestnut, man is head of woman as Christ is head of the church. Go figure; I doubt, based on his teachings, that the real Jesus would have much to do with many so-called Christian churches. The Roman Catholics still won’t let women be priests, their official representatives of the “Lord” to the people. Incredibly, it’s because women don’t have a penis and Jesus did, though they swear he didn’t use it for anything except peeing. In contrast, in the Gospels, Jesus was constantly breaking patriarchal laws in favor of women’s equality. He is my favorite Feminist.
The Orthodox branch of Judaism has a long history of controlling women; these soul numbing mores are poignantly depicted in movies like “A Price Above Rubies” or the current Netflix special, Unorthodox. Some Hasidic women shave their heads, part of a code of modesty that requires them to cover up, so as not to tempt the men. Although this story has gotten old in some religions, the chastity of women paradigm is very much alive and well in all three patriarchal superpower religions. In radical Islam, men who martyr themselves in their battle against the infidels will have access to 72 willing nubile virgins in the afterlife. Apparently, in their macho heaven, virgins are currency, as above, so below.
Yes, these are extreme examples of the intractability of patriarchal religious rule, but THEY EXIST! They exist NOW! And they are one of the forces that is destroying humanity. Tell me, what is climate change denial based on? Why are so many wanna be Christian soldiers so itchy for a righteous civil war in our beloved America? Can’t wait for Armageddon and the rapture; certain of their just reward? Abortion is murder but god doesn’t mind you trying out those excellent lethal weapons on non-believers.
Patriarchal religions deal out death and destruction, when they’re strong, they're aligned with the state. People adhere to them because they don’t have an alternative that will fulfill their spiritual needs. Any form of internal reflection, meditating, self-reflection and especially dreaming, can connect anyone to their spiritual core, their inner reality. It’s important because that inner reality is the one we experience at death and after. As Jesus put it, the kingdom of god is within.
At this time of year, many ancient indigenous peoples celebrated the turning of the Wheel of LIFE to the cycle of DEATH, because death is equally part of our experience. We come into the physical through birth and we exit the physical through death, still the same SPIRITUAL BEING ready to move on.
I’ve written this message in different ways often in my posts, but now is the time to say it again. Religion is not your friend. The more you give your autonomous will over to someone else’s restrictions, without first consulting your own experiences and your own intuition, the more you lose your organic connection to your own spirituality.
Religion is a vast patriarchal mind fuck that has had us in it’s grip for millennia; but before religion was spirituality, innate, organic and a birth right. Religion is the driving rational of war and cruelty. Look where we are now! I marvel that people don’t more readily see behind the OZ to the manipulators of this Father God image religions have created. Of course, without some deep personal connection to the spiritual realms, it is hard to free ourselves from this psychic tyranny. But that connection is innate in each of us, a snooze, a dream away.
Each of us knows that LOVE is the supreme force in the universe. Religions talk God is Love, but rarely do they walk that talk. I’m saying Love is God. Love is the physics that drives all creation.The simplest way to connect to spirit is to think, feel and act from Love. It helps to focus on your heart, to open your heart to your mental, emotional and spiritual truths. There are revolutionary discoveries happening about our experience of death and the afterlife in the field of Medicine, in the study of Physics and in the exploration of Dreaming. Why not tune in; explore for yourself? You can start tonight when you go to sleep.
Have you never had a dream about a loved one who died? It’s the number one subject of the many dreams I hear from students, friends and family. What you believe about these dreams can make a huge difference in your attitude towards death and the dead. To simply dismiss them as weird or spooky but unreal can shut a door that opens to your own soul.
Our culture has taught us to fear and caricature death and to cling to external codes fashioned to sell us safeguards against our fears that at best are useless and at worst, inflame our fears and fuel our misconceptions. Why is Halloween always about ghouls and blood and fear? That’s not how it was for our pre-patriarchal Pagan ancestors, who without TV or internet to distract them, may have lived more connected to their inner realities. Honoring the dead was an act of loving remembering.
Our ancestors valued dreaming far more than we do. Dreaming is our built in rainbow bridge to the dimensions we may travel after death, to the places our beloved departed travel now. Our dear departed visit us and we go visit them. They show us how they’re doing, ask us for what they may need and give us comfort and advice. Our relationship to those we love who cross over does not die; it transforms into a long distance, dream-facilitated bond that continues to grow and change. Of course it’s heart wrenching to be physically without the person who has crossed and it’s not the same, but it is something.
Dreaming with our departed allows us to stay connected to those we still love; I know from my own experience, that the communication is valuable to me on many different levels. The beauty of it is that you can test this knowledge out for yourself. There’s nothing to believe. There are wonderful teachers available that with their books or classes can help you understand your dreams, but only you live in your dreaming mind. The rainbow bridge is a connection only you can make for yourself.