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April 28, 2021
THAT PHILOSOPHERS DON'T KNOW ABOUT
There are two philosophers I have quoted below, although I'm not sure if the term philosopher is the most appropriate. They were more than just philosophers, too unique to be captured in just a word or two, as you might agree after reading these brief life summaries and selected quotes.
One, Emanuel Swedenborg, was a renowned Swedish scientist and seer, the other, G.I. Gurdjieff, a Russian intellect and esotericist.
The Latin phrase TERTIUM ORAGNUM, third logic, seems to apply to both of them. Partly philosophers, scientists, mystics, writers, adventures; they didn't just grunt away analysing words and nuances of meaning, but showing us worlds beyond the worlds we think we know, but don't.
One, Emanuel Swedenborg, was a renowned Swedish scientist and seer, the other, G.I. Gurdjieff an Armenian esoteric mystic and yet both were much, much more.
The reason I bring these sages to your attention in this post is that their writings have had such a great influence on my thinking after studying them in-depth a few decades ago. I suppose it was only to be expected that their profound insights would resurface as I wrote the Elysium's Passage series. Many of their quotes, I believe are rare glimpses into the meaning of life and the afterlife.
For many, Emanuel Swedenborg and G.I. Gurdjieff have provided the world with unique philosophical, psychological and theological perspectives, although less so within traditional academic circles where little is known about them. My opinion is that the unconventional knowledge and understanding of these two remains far beyond the scope of humanity's general consciousness at this time.
But their ideas and vivid experiences will continue to spread because their lives and words resonate with truth and hope for all seekers of wisdom. And because of that, I believe their perspectives and deep insights into the human experience will continue to ripple throughout the world.
For more information go to the several worldwide Gurdjieff foundations to find resources on his teachings and books, including his student P. I. Ouspensky who wrote prolifically on Gurdjieff's teachings.
GEORGES IVANOVICH GURDJIEFF
Gurdjieff lived his early years in the Transcaucasia region which had a rich ethnic mix comprised of Georgians, Armenians, Kurds, Greeks, Turks and Russians.
At the age of fifteen, he set out to wander the world, gleaning whatever ancient wisdom he could in scattered Sufi ashrams, Christian churches, Buddhist temples and assorted mystery schools across central Asia, Egypt, Rome, Iran, Russia and going as far as Tibet.
He later established himself back home in Russia where he taught his esoterica under his own auspices, often in Moscow and St Petersburg. In the first half of the twentieth century, Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, his student, brought many ancient esoteric traditions to the Western world such as the Enneagram. He also wrote certain classical scores for piano designed to awaken human consciousness and introduced Sufi whirling dervishes by bringing several to New York to perform.
They escaped the Bolshevik revolution by travelling on foot down through Georgia to Istanbul in 1920. Each established their own institute, Gurdjieff in Paris and Ouspensky in London, as they taught and disseminated their ideas on the nature of consciousness and other arcane philosophies. For example, teachings in the Fourth Way school of thought include concepts such as being present, self-remembering and non-identification, to name just a few.
Unfortunately, concepts dealing with higher consciousness are not well understood or recognized in most universities in the West, since so few know anything about esoteric philosophy. (One notable exception is eminent Philosopher Jacob Needleman from San Francisco State University). Anything written by Gurdjieff, Ouspensky or other students such as Orage, Nicoll, Nott and Bennett are recommended, although certain books can be challenging at times. The Gurdjieff Foundation has several affiliate organizations throughout the world. (For more information, refer to the Gurdjieff Foundation web sites.)
SELECTED GURDJIEFF QUOTES
Without self-knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.
Conscious faith is freedom. Emotional faith is slavery. Mechanical faith is foolishness.
It is very difficult also to sacrifice one's suffering. A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering.
Awakening is possible only for those who seek it and want it, for those who are ready to struggle with themselves and work on themselves for a very long time and very persistently in order to attain it.
Two things in life are infinite; the stupidity of man and the mercy of God.
I will tell you one thing that will make you rich for life. There are two struggles: an Inner-world struggle and an Outer-world struggle...you must make an intentional contact between these two worlds; then you can crystallize data for the Third World, the World of the Soul.
In order to awaken, first of all, one must realize that one is in a state of sleep. And in order to realize that one is indeed in a state of sleep, one must recognize and fully understand the nature of the forces which operate to keep one in the state of sleep, or hypnosis. It is absurd to think that this can be done by seeking information from the very source which induces the hypnosis.
One thing alone is certain, that man's slavery grows and increases. Man is becoming a willing slave. He no longer needs chains. He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of it. And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man.
If you want to lose your faith, make friends with a priest.
Remember you come here having already understood the necessity of struggling with yourself — only with yourself. Therefore thank everyone who gives you the opportunity.
Better to die than live in sleep.
What is possible for individual man is impossible for the masses.
What is nearest to us is man, and you are the nearest of all men to yourself. Begin with the study of yourself; remember the saying 'Know thyself.'
The only type of sexual relations possible are those with someone who is as advanced and capable as oneself.
You are in prison. If you wish to get out of prison, the first thing you must do is realize that you are in prison. If you think you are free, you can't escape.
Life is real only then, when "I am".
Modern civilization is based on violence and slavery and fine words.
The one great art is that of making a complete human being of oneself.
The crowd neither wants nor seeks knowledge and the leaders of the crowd, in their own interests, try to strengthen its fear and dislike of everything new and unknown. The slavery in which mankind lives is based upon this fear.
Never will he understand the sufferings of another, who has not experienced them himself, though he has divine Reason Man such as we know him, is a machine.
Only help him who is not an idler.
Don't judge a man by the tales of others.
By teaching others you will learn yourself.
In speaking of evolution it is necessary to understand from the outset that no mechanical evolution is possible. The evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness.
Man such as we know him, the "man-machine," the man who cannot "do," and with whom and through whom everything "happens," cannot have a permanent and single I.
He changes as quickly as his thoughts, feelings and moods, and he makes a profound mistake in considering himself always one and the same person; in reality, he is always a different person, not the one he was a moment ago.
In literature, science, art, philosophy, religion, in individual and above all in social and political life, we can observe how the line of the development of forces deviates from its original direction and goes, after a certain time, in a diametrically opposite direction, still preserving its former name.
A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake.
The sole means now for the saving of the beings of the planet Earth would be to implant again into their presences a new organ … of such properties that every one of these unfortunates during the process of existence should constantly sense and be cognizant of the inevitability of his own death as well as the death of everyone upon whom his eyes or attention rests. Only such a sensation and such a cognizance can now destroy the egoism completely crystallized in them.
It is very difficult to explain what takes place in me when I see or hear anything majestic which allows no doubt that it proceeds from the actualization of Our Maker Creator. Each time, my tears flow of themselves. I weep, that is to say, it weeps in me, not from grief, no, but as if from tenderness.
Swedenborg was a highly regarded scientist in Europe in the eighteenth century and was closely associated with Sweden’s royalty as a friend and administrator (Royal Assessor of Mines).
In 1741, at the age of 53, much of his life changed when he became exposed to the spirit dimension. First beginning with dreams, a few years later he reported his soul’s heavenly visitations that continued for the remaining twenty-eight years of his earthly life. This he described as his spiritual awakening. From then on he recorded his celestial visits that included speaking with hundreds of spiritual entities, not all in the higher realms.
He wrote several books of theological concern, with over eighteen works published in Latin. Most of his works are deeply profound, and for some, perhaps difficult to read. His most popular and arguably easiest to comprehend is Heaven and Hell (1758); a popular introductory summary of his experiences and conclusions.
Given the nature of his experiences and how remote his spiritual discourses were from conventional life, some considered his works insane. But this was largely mitigated by his impeccable reputation as a scholar and scientist with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He was also part of the Swedish House of Nobility (the Swedish Riddarhuset) and Parliament (Riksdag).
On a personal level, he was characterized as being a very pious and warm-hearted man, speaking easily and naturally. Many literary luminaries became devoted readers of his works including, Jorge Luis Borges, Daniel Burnham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Y.B Yeats, John Flaxman, George Inness, Henry James Sr., William Blake, Carl Jung, Immanuel Kant, Honore de Balzac, Arthur Conan Doyle, Helen Keller, Czeslaw Milosz, August Strindberg and D.T. Suzuki.
There are several books written on him and his works, many of which can be accessed online. The following quotes are a small representation of some of my favourites. More information on Swedenborg including his voluminous writings may be accessed on the several websites bearing his name
SELECTED SWEDENBORG QUOTES
This I can declare: things that are in heaven are more real than things that are in the world.
Heaven is not located on high, but where the good of love is, and this resides within a person, wherever he or she might be.
We are all spirits inwardly. This is what's alive in the body, not the body on its own.
Such as the love is, such is the wisdom, consequently such is the man In a word, to grow old in heaven is to grow young.
Happiness is in service, from service, and according to service.
Love in its essence is spiritual fire. Man knows that there is love, but he does not know what love is.
A man after death is not a natural but a spiritual man; nevertheless, he still appears in all respects like himself.
The inner self is as distinct from the outer self as heaven is from earth. We do need to realize, though, that it is the quality of our love that determines the quality of this life.
Love comes into being through useful service to others.
We are, because God is.
Man, before he is being regenerated, does not even know that any internal man exists, much less is he acquainted with its nature and quality.
In the spiritual body moreover, man appears such as he is with respect to love and faith, for everyone in the spiritual world is the effigy of his own love, not only as to the face and the body, but also as to the speech and the actions.
People who have intended and loved what is evil in the world intend and love what is evil in the other life, and then they no longer allow themselves to be led away from it. This is why people who are absorbed in evil are connected to hell and actually are there in spirit; and after death they crave above all to be where their evil is.
Man, when he is re-born, passes through the ages as he who is born; and the preceding state is always as an egg in respect to the subsequent one, thus he is continually conceived and born: and this not only when he lives in the world, but also when he comes into another life to eternity: and still when he cannot be further perfected, then to be as an egg to those things which remain to be manifested, which are indefinite.
For heaven is within us, and people who have heaven within them come into heaven. The heaven within us is our acknowledgement of the Divine and our being led by the Divine.
Love consists in desiring to give what is our own to another and feeling his delight as our own. The nature of heaven is to provide a place there for all who lead good lives, no matter what their religion may be.
The activity of love and faith is what makes heaven. A life of faith without love is like sunlight without warmth—the type of light that occurs in winter, when nothing grows and everything droops and dies.
Faith rising out of love, on the contrary, is like light from the sun in spring, when everything grows and flourishes. For every man’s soul is in a spiritual body after it has cast off the material coverings which it carried about in the world.
When the topic of religion comes up, materialists start to debate about it with one another and with other groups. The ensuing proposition and debate rarely results in an affirmation of the faith that God exists.
Materialists associate more and more with the evil, because only from God can one do something good with a love for what is good. Every man is received in heaven who receives heaven in himself while in the world, and he is excluded who does not.
Goodness and love mould the form into their own image, and cause the joy and beauty of love to shine forth from every part of the face.
Heaven is such that all who have lived well, of whatever religion, have a place there.
What a man thinks in his spirit in the world, that he does after his departure from the world when he becomes a spirit.
The more one is absorbed in so-called philosophy, the greater one's delusion and blindness.
He who is in evil, is also in the punishment of evil. Such as the love is, such is the wisdom, consequently such is the man.
April 22, 2021
AS WITHIN, SO WITHOUT
These are words of wisdom with profound implications that have been around for longer than we know.
The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus contains this phrase as within, so without. Trismegistus was regarded as a synthesis of the Egyptian god Thoth and the Greek god Hermes who was also considered a priest, king, god, and in Renaissance, thought to be a contemporary of Moses.
What it means for humanity should be obvious, but unfortunately, it’s not. And so, for those who wish to plunge into the depths of what this might mean, I’ve included a clip of a talk by Allan Watts. This was likely from the 60s when Watts lectured extensively after being an Anglican Priest, an Eastern mystic and beatnik intellectual. To me, he was one of the greatest minds of his day, and through his tapes, still is.
Also, I have included a few excerpts from some of my yet unpublished novels that discuss ‘as within, so without, through various dialogues that speak of this notion. I trust these might illustrate the concepts Watts speaks of.
From Book 1, The Ascent
‘Unfortunately, much of what’s displayed on the screen of earth’s consciousness is projected from egoic fields of illusion. At times that can make for a rather nasty picture show. Unfortunately, these will continue as long as humanity insists on clinging to thought forms that create an unhappy reality.’
‘That’s rather pessimistic,’ I said. ‘Are you saying everyone gets what they deserve? That sounds a lot like karma to me. So, is that what you believe in?’
‘I prefer to think of it as consequences; that being the expression of what goes on within. I’m sure you’ve heard Mo and Eli use the expression as within, as without before.’
‘Indeed, they use that adage all the time.’
‘As well they should. It’s one of the more obvious truths that so many on earth remain oblivious to, particularly the educated classes even though this wisdom has been around longer than we know. It seems most of humanity in your world live their lives without rather than within. That’s why so much of humanity gives more value to what they have rather than what they are.’
‘I have to agree, most people I know, including scholars, don’t seem to know the difference.’
‘Which explains a lot, doesn’t it? And yet is it not evident that they, individually and collectively, can only give form to what they are within?’
‘That may be true now,’ I said, ‘but as the world becomes more educated, I’m sure the calibration will eventually move upward.’
‘Perhaps,’ he said, ‘but it won’t be because of intelligence only. It might surprise you, but one’s level of consciousness has little to do with how smart they seem to be. In fact, in the Flatlands, where most of the intellectual people live, consciousness calibrates in the area of 180, substantially below the human average.
‘Not coincidently, there’s a high concentration of intellectual hubris throughout these regions, which is why the ego quotient is generally the inverse of the consciousness quotient.
‘The reason intelligence on its own doesn’t imply a high level of consciousness is because it’s limited to gathering, interpreting and processing specialized information, especially that of the parts, rather than the whole. Consciousness, on the other hand, has a broad spectrum of awareness, such as intuition and discernment. Of course, these are not mutually exclusive qualities and are optimal when integrated as one.
‘This might suggest why intellects often become experts and yet fail in basic life skills such as relationships. Would that ring a bell, Sebastian?’
From Book 3 Quantum Jumps
‘God must have a real sense of humour,’ I said, with a wry smile.
‘The best,’ he said. ‘And so it will be interesting to watch how this plays out, considering you won’t suspect any of this at first. I expect there will be some very entertaining scenes emerge on your stage. Chaos, love, anguish, laugher… I’m sure you will have it all.’
‘Well, I guess if that’s Adam’s role, I’ll play it out too for the sake of humanity… and myself.’
‘Yes, for humanity,’ he said, ‘but only when there’s a consolidation of higher frequencies in human consciousness sufficient to activate a positive polarity upon the psychophysiology of your species.’
‘Once again,’ I said, ‘what you say seems to be a restatement of Mo’s hermetic invocations, as within, so without.’
‘Indeed,’ Rhom said, ‘the alchemy of the gods.’
‘Mo sometimes referred to this as being a reverberating tuning fork that epigenetically alters the outer body’s constitution,’ I said. ‘Every cell is stimulated by harmonious impressions of a unified mind which are regarded as patterns of divine essence.’
‘When your soul knows itself as one with the divine Self, it will be united with what’s above rather than the cacophony of what’s below. By this, your human soul will rise above the discord of the earth plane, while transporting itself towards the fullness of being.
‘That’s also why those aligned with these frequencies can’t help but extend the universal harmonics of music, nature, art and sacred relations into everyday life. That’s how the earth will become paradisiacal again. In fact, those with inward eyes might even expect angels to drop in for scintillating dinner conversations. I might even drop in too, even though, as you well know, I’m no angel.
‘Unfortunately, too few philosophers and scientists dwelling in the Flatlands wish to acknowledge the realm of Spirit. As long as they remain there, they will interpret the universe through the prejudices of their materialist reductionism. For them, the orientation is as without, so within, rather than the Hermetic opposite of as within, so without.
‘Still, this is just a stage your planet must pass through before it can experience life as it is, rather than what it’s not. This world remains confused by the ego-mind rather than understanding in union with the heart. But with your influence, along with light-bearers from outer spheres, scientists will eventually grow out of their bovine fixation of looking down rather than up. When they finally see the Mountain in the years and decades ahead, then they’ll finally comprehend what their theorems were trying to tell them.
From Book 5, Mystical Romance.
‘Ah, I think I now understand why you don’t stay late at the cabin.’
‘I’m not sure you do; not entirely. Each of the women attending this celebration went through similar ordeals, which is how their souls came to possess such a high calibre of character, which is so wonderfully expressed in their refulgent beauty. Again, James, as we keep saying, as within, so without. It might seem ironic, but the reason they appear so young is that they are so old… old souls, that is.’
‘Of course, I remember you and Mo telling me about this while on the Summit. And now, it seems, you were right after all, not that I ever doubted you. Just wondering, but what if I were to stay on this side of the veil; do you think I’d be able to connect with one of them, say Julianne’s look-alike?’
‘I don’t know, James. Do you think you would be up for her?’
‘To be honest, I’m not sure. All these goddesses intimidate me with their confidence and beauty, and so I’m not sure what I would say or do. Besides they have home-field advantage in another league altogether.’
‘So now you’re saying you feel awkward and self-conscious? ‘From what you’ve told us before, that’s not like you.’
‘No, it’s not. As thrilling as it is to be around them, I feel like I’m fourteen years old again, hoping to impress my friend’s older sister. Suddenly, all my earthly charm is gone where I could attract beautiful women with my debonaire moves and smooth talk.’
From Book 6, The Elixir
‘But Anna, dear, call me vain if you will, but I don’t especially wish to appear ninety-five in the spirit body any more than in my mortal body.’
‘Well, here’s the paradox James, rest assured that on the surface you now look not much older than Gordon, who appears to me about twenty-four or twenty- five years old on the earth. But still, at times, he projects an impression of being a wise old sage in spite of his youthful demeanour and humour.’
‘Yes, I know what you mean,’ I said, ‘this often mystified me when we were on the Summit. Though he appeared several years younger than me, still he had an old wise quality to him that at times seemed rather curious and incongruous at times.’
‘But as you know now,’ she said, ‘there’s no way of determining chronological age in our spirit realm because age is meaningless, and so appearance has nothing to do with ‘age’. Rather, appearance is a state of being that manifests the inner soul’s inner qualities which flows outwardly for all to see. As we often say here: as within, so without. And nowhere is this more evident than in our spirit body’s appearance.
 Emanuel Swedenborg once commented on this, stating: Which form, when it is viewed, is ineffable beauty. In a word, to grow old in heaven is to grow young. Heaven and Hell, n.395
April 15, 2021
IS THERE AN AFTERLIFE?
In last week's blog post, I wrote a tribute to my mother after her passing a few weeks ago. Commemoration to my Mother https://digitalbloggers.com/relationships/mother-s-commenoration-and-tribute
If you were wondering if she survived her death, I believe she did. In fact, in grand style. It's a certainty to me. My whole Elysium’s Passage novel series has addressed this question in great depth. In this post, I have included an excerpt from chapter six of The Ascent, the first book in the series.
But first, let me tell a story about my mother's passing as it may relate to the question of our afterlife.
I must say, it didn’t take long for her to affirm her well-being a couple of days after departing. Having seemingly suffered in the hospital for three days while on morphine, I was told by an ‘intuitive’ from a church in Vancouver that she wasn’t in her body anymore but still remained attached to it in her spirit because, at some level, she was waiting for me to give her permission to leave.
As soon as my friend of this ‘intuitive’ called me suggesting I needed to go to the hospital right away to send her off. Then, I was told, she would go. Even before I hung up, the hospital called me on the other line that she probably wouldn’t make it through the night.
I immediately went to visit her, but unlike the last time, she seemed to have no consciousness, although she was breathing heavily. Laying motionless and looking straight up, it seemed she wasn’t there. In the privacy of her room, I spend the next 15-20 minutes talking to her, telling her about her great contribution to life on earth, but it was now time for her to go.
I told her they had a big party planned for her so she shouldn't keep them any longer since her husband and all her friends, relatives would be waiting for her.
As for me; I said I could probably take it from here.
I had perfect peace as I spoke to her and then I left the room. I learned the next day that when the nurses stepped into the room about five minutes later, she had already gone. Again, this was predicted by the Vancouver friend.
Funny things happened to my phones and communication equipment for a day or two after, which I won’t bother going into. Interestingly, the orchid I brought to my home from her suite suddenly bloomed profusely and beautifully over the next day with five new blossoms.
But perhaps the most interesting thing that happened is that I received an email from a friend of mine who is also a very talented intuitive. This was a message she heard from my mother who introduced herself as Alice. When asked, she said, Neil’s mom. In part, this is what the email said.
“Hi Neil, just thought I’d let you know that your mother stopped by briefly this morning. She said that it meant a lot to her when you told her that it was time to go. So, when you said that, she said that she filled with love, peace and gratitude and was able, with great ease, to let go of the last of the need to hold on no matter what. She wanted you to know that that was a great gift.
“She wasn’t in pain the last few days. While her body was going through the last processes of disconnecting with her spirit, it didn’t occur to her as painful. She was out of the body throughout most of that time so it wasn’t disturbing to her in any way. She was sorry if that process was upsetting to you or anyone around it.”
Deb, the intuitive, had heard of my mother passing away but had never met her, nor did my mother know Deb or even know of Deb. But somehow, my mother knew who to go to get this message to me.
I was grateful for it since my mother seemed to have suffered a great deal the last few days. I hope this little vignette might have been of some interest. So now back to the book excerpt related to this topic of immorality.
This dialogue happens somewhere in an alternative dimension but on earth. Mo and Eli are from the afterlife. James' body is in a coma in London, but his spirit body, unbeknownst to him, is in this plane. And so the discussion goes...
‘The longer you’re here,’ Mo said, ‘the more you will come to realize what seems literal is never just literal, but inextricably linked to what’s figurative. Whether Logos or mythos, life is a dynamic expression of both. As you often hear us say, as within, so without. Whatever you outwardly manifest is derived from the thoughts you have created within. That’s why your outward ascent is only as challenging or rewarding as your inward ascent.
‘Unlike Sisyphus, who struggled to roll his heavy boulder up the Mountain, there will be less toil the higher you ascend until only your lightness of being remains. Have you ever noticed how the word light refers to both illumination and weight?’ Eli asked. ‘When illuminated by the Light of the Spirit, the weight of your burdens becomes so lightened that they eventually cease to exist.’
‘I suppose,’ I said, ‘it’s always easier to lighten up when you see some light at the end of the tunnel. Or on top of a mountain… especially if it happens to be an orb,’ I chuckled.
‘It is easier, indeed,’ Mo said. ‘That’s why you will come to find that this Summit is only a base camp for even more spectacular Summits to come, should you wish to ascend further up. While you are with us, you will experience Summits you would never have known of in a million years while occupying your dense earth body!
‘Though you may feel you are in an unfamiliar dimension of reality, you aren’t. It’s a higher octave that has always remained ensconced within your being, as one with your soul. It surfaces as intuition at times or as a vision of the Mountain.
‘Whenever a person sheds their physical body, the immortal body can manifest in the higher vibratory form of the soul. As it’s said: This mortal shall have put on immortality. The immortal body you now see is an outward expression of the soul’s immortal spiritual essence. But the version of your body in London is far from immortal; in fact, it’s barely hanging on to its mortality. What you’re experiencing now is for keeps; formed and sustained by divine light. It’s always there with or without the mortal shell.
‘All metaphors aside, are you trying to tell me I appear as a ghost? This is not Halloween, you know.’
‘Do we appear as ghosts to you, whatever you conceive a ghost to be?’ Eli asked. ‘Rather, what you’re experiencing is your glorious incorruptible body, not the human sheath. That’s why you don’t seem disembodied, because you’re not, no more than when you occupy your biological body. It’s more a case of your third-dimensional body dispirited while vacated by your soul. It’s what happens when that body dies.
‘As for you, not your body, it’s impossible to die since the soul knows no such thing as death, except for the illusion of how it may seem for those who chose darkness over than light. But we’ll talk about that later. Time and space are not the same limiting factors in this dimension; there is no obstruction to your spirit body’s agility when teleporting or engaging in other modes of spiritual experience.’
‘Is this what you meant earlier by portation – teleporting? You’re joking, right? Please tell me you are. If not, how can I take anything you say seriously. Even Superman can’t do that,’ I laughed.
‘Remember, this immortal body of yours is not limited to the earth plane,’ Mo said. ‘Did you know there are several exotic names for the spirit body that have emerged in various cultures over the centuries?
‘Such as spook?’ I said, with a tinge of sarcasm, still not buying anything they were saying.
‘Is that the best you can come up with to explain spirit?’ Eli asked. ‘The depth of understanding in the West, or lack thereof, is often revealed in its language.
The fact is, everyone has a divinely created spirit body – that much doesn’t change, regardless of bodily manifestation. Within, you will always remain an individuated expression of Source essence in form, much like good, in its essence, gives unique expression to truth in whatever form it may take.
‘It’s evident that over the centuries, religions claim to possess truth even as they lay waste to their opponents,’ I said. ‘Where’s the loving expression of truth in all that.’
‘Where, indeed? What truth you see on the outside is an expression of what goodness exists on the inside. That’s what should be self-evident. Is it a religion of love or a religion of triumphalism? Where there is little goodness, there is little truth. Since they are inextricably linked, form must express what’s within. Be it individually or collectively, what we do and say tells what’s within.
‘I’m not so sure about that, I said. ‘As I see it, most battles have been fought because each side felt their good and righteous cause was the truth.
‘Yes, they certainly feel that way, don’t they? And yet, goodness, in its essence, can only take form in truth, which is why in Genesis, on the seventh day, God pronounced creation as good. It follows that you too, James, would be one such expression of this goodness. It’s why we say you have god essence and therefore are a son of God, or a god, as affirmed in both Jewish and Christian scriptures.’
‘Provided you believe in all that,’ I said.
‘Truth is truth, regardless of what you or anyone else believes,’ Eli said. ‘You may rest assured your spirit body bears no relation to what you may imagine as an amorphous spook. In fact, the truth is just the opposite. Which body is more authentic, which body is more substantial, which body lasts? That which is temporal or that which is an expression of immortal spirit? If we had no bodily form, how would we be able to communicate our essence to other souls if there was no individuated appearance of locality?
‘In case you were wondering, however, I can’t tell you how ascended spirits manifest since they, in their rarified form, are much closer to the Source, far beyond my perception. Nevertheless, they can transduce to lower frequencies such as on earth and even denser realms.'
 1 Corinthians 15:54
 I later noted the text Mo was referring to: Yeshua replied, is it not written in your Law, “I have said you are gods” John 10:34, (NIV). Here Yeshua was quoting Psalms 82:6. The subject of gods came up several times as you will find in these narratives. Also, the term sons of God is often employed
QUOTES ON IMMORTALITY
In the spiritual body moreover, man appears such as he is with respect to love and faith, for everyone in the spiritual world is the effigy of his own love, not only as to the face and the body, but also as to the speech and the actions. A man after death is not a natural but a spiritual man; nevertheless, he still appears in all respects like himself. Emanuel Swedenborg
The immortality of the soul is a matter which is of so great consequence to us and which touches us so profoundly that we must have lost all feeling to be indifferent about it. Blaise Pascal
Immortality is but ubiquity in time. Herman Melville
The soul of man is immortal and imperishable. Plato
We ought, so far as it lies within our power, to aspire to immortality, and do all that we can to live in conformity with the highest that is within us; for even if it is small in quantity, in power and preciousness, it far excels all the rest. Aristotle
All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine. Socrates
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April 3, 2021
LIFE LESSONS FROM MY MOTHER
In this week's Elysium’s Passage blog post, I have included a tribute to my mother because I think some readers might find her simple story inspiring. Though she was relatively uneducated and a widow of little means, she made her way through life one step at a time with an unassuming positive attitude.
I was fortunate to be her son and to learn many important life lessons from her. She didn’t speak much of these, rather, she lived them. In the midst of challenges, she didn’t complain, but carried on… and on.
For those interested, I have posted her complete obituary commemoration and pictures at https://digitalbloggers.com/relationships/mother-s-commenoration-and-tribute
Below: My mother, me, my father Gordon, and Roma, my young aunt
One quality that I wish my mother to be remembered by was her happy and cheerful disposition. As a child, she said she didn’t know her real name for some time since everyone called her ‘Happy’ because that’s just what she was… happy.
Though she had her share of adversities, this predisposition remained with her. Her most significant challenge in life was adjusting to the tragic death of her husband, Gordon, in 1951.
She waited for his return from England while he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WW2, only to have him pass away with cancer six years later while she was still in her twenties. As he lay in bed for months dying in their small farmhouse, she attended to him, to me, and all the farm chores.
After he passed, she continued to operate the dairy farm with some help from her younger sister, Ivy, who took care of me. Back then, there was little automation for milking cows, and so she had to be strong. The large milk cans she had to sling into the water cooler had to be quite the challenge for a woman of not much more than a hundred pounds. (She used to brag about how she was able to do this.)
Being resilient, she soon moved on with her life to a native residential school in Whitehorse, Yukon, working for little more than subsistence living. But at least she was able to start a new life meeting new friends on staff, many with children my age. It was almost a communal family life we enjoyed whereby we had room and board in the abandoned military compound converted into a residential school.
After a few years there, she was forced to return to the farm to fulfil conditions of residency for her husband’s loan obligations to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. During this time, she had no farm income or support, just putting in time alone on the farm.
I don’t how, but I assumed she must have had some savings to live off from the sale of the dairy herd and farm equipment. It's something she never talked about, at least to me since she wasn’t one to talk much about the difficulties of her past. This is another example of how she taught more through her actions and her attitude than through words.
I fondly recall that year on the farm where I attended a one-room schoolhouse down the road. The snowfall was particularly massive that year, and so it was several weeks before the road was ploughed so she could get out. For me, it was fun, great fun walking over six-foot snowdrifts to school, but probably not so great for her to be literally snowed-in. We had no running water inside or indoor plumbing, only a hand pump outside and sufficient coal for the stove.
I don’t know how happy or unhappy she was through all this, but I don’t remember her ever complaining about life or showing any signs of depression. Yet, I’m sure this must have been a very lonely time for her.
Somehow, she managed to survive that lonely year until, in mid-1956, she found employment in Wetaskiwin, now being allowed to move off the farm. We lived in an old, somewhat dilapidated suite on top of a barbershop on Mainstreet next door to where she found work as a telephone operator. Often, she had to work late-night shifts, and sometimes all night.
And so, after a couple of years of this, she took a low paying job of $27.00 per week as a sales clerk in the men’s wear of Montgomery’s Department store, far less than she was paid at AGT. She no longer wished to leave me alone at night as a young boy while working evenings and nights. For her, this decrease was worth it, so she might be a good parent to be with me after 6 pm each day.
Prior to this, I was failing my third year of school due to a first-year teacher who terrorized me with her penchant for screaming at me to learn her lessons. To her everlasting credit, my mother took it upon herself to tutor me when she had time, helping me improve my marks such that I was able to make it through that year and pass. Her patience and belief in me continued throughout the years as I graduated from high school, college and university.
Then, after raising me for eighteen years, I was suddenly gone. She realized I was a man now, and the time had come for me to make my way. So, without objection, she released me to explore the world.
I know it wasn’t easy for her the day I left home just weeks after graduating from high school in 1967. I remember how she drove me to the highway west of Wetaskiwin, where I began my hitchhiking sojourns to unknown destinations throughout the USA.
Years later, I learned from someone that she said this was one of the most difficult things she had ever done and yet she showed no signs of sorrow as I got out of the car to step out on the highway to find my way to the American Midwest.
That’s another thing I can say about her. For the most part, she supported my decisions, as questionable as some of them might have turned out to be. She never tried to manipulate my life but trusted I would do what was right, at least for me. Just as she wasn’t afraid to take bold new initiatives, she allowed life to unfold as it would.
At the time of my leaving, I wasn’t sure if I would ever return to her home here. When I returned to Canada, she had sold her house and secured an apartment in Calgary with a better job and life. Just as I had moved on, so had she.
It wasn’t until four years later when I returned from Florida, she permitted me to move in her basement suite that I might afford my post-secondary studies at university. During this time, she never asked me to pay room and board, seemingly content that I would aspire towards higher education. It seemed she enjoyed having me back, at least until I moved out for the second and last time after I got married.
I then moved to Edmonton to begin my career but returned to Calgary six years later with my family. While visiting her each time, she always had something for us to take home as we walked out the door. That was just part of her nature; to give. It’s what made her happy.
Over the years, she served as a volunteer in certain capacities, including a girl’s ‘pioneer’ club at her church. After retirement, she loved to have my two young sons stay with her overnight, one at a time. Then, the next day, she would take them to parks to play and then go shopping downtown to buy them whatever clothes they wanted. Again, giving is what she was about.
She was also a dutiful daughter, often visiting her parents retired in Edmonton, Alberta, then Kelowna, British Columbia in their latter years. She would often jump into her car after work and drive for seven or eight hours to visit them for the weekend. My grandfather was very fond of her, always waiting up for her to arrive.
Not only did she have an independent spirit, but she was also adventurous, occasionally driving to the mountains to vacation. While I was still young, she would sometimes travel to Jasper, Alberta, to enjoying the rivers, lakes and mountain scenery.
Later, she flew to Florida on her own to attend my graduation from Trinity College in 1971 and then about ten years later visited me in Midland, Texas, where I had a land development project. Also, she often flew to visit her sister Roma in California.
There were few things in life she enjoyed more than plants, flowers and birds. And so, I find it no great mystery or coincidence that upon her final departure, the orchid in her room profusely blossomed the next few days after I took it home from her suite.
Of course, it is difficult to summarize a life in a few pages, but let me say that she was a woman of strong resolve above all, to the point of being annoyingly stubborn. But that trait was part of her strength of character as she happily made her way through life very much on her own. (Believe me, it was not easy for me to move her out of her house after forty-four years and into a senior’s residence.)
As far as I know, she never missed a day at work, but then, she was incredibly strong and healthy. Even when she found she had ovarian cancer in her early eighties, she took it in stride and was not at all fazed when a doctor told her she would likely have only a fifteen percent chance of recovering. I was there to see her ‘I will show you,' smirk on her face.
After fully recovering, we later met with a group of doctors that told her she was in great shape and could easily make it into her early nineties. Upon which, she turned to me and said, ‘I guess you’ll be driving me around for a while yet,’ to which everyone laughed. As it turned out, I would be driving her for several more years than just that. Even as she got older, she continued to come up with several one-liners.
In closing, let me say, if it’s not already apparent, my mother possessed great wisdom, strength and impeccable moral character. Although a simple, relatively uneducated woman with a few foibles as we all do, she unknowingly held me to a high standard of integrity and personal conduct.
Our loss, mother, is heaven’s gain. Still, we will miss you as you continue your journey into higher realms with your husband Gordon, your only true love.
For the complete obituary commemoration and pictures at