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Joyce Kramer The Cycle of Life

A Healthy Look at Death

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Good evening.

I trust that since last night, you have given some attention to the idea of life, and I hope you have come up with some of the words that you can identify with relative to the concept of life itself. Because you know there are many things that we need to be very conscious of relative to life.

Our beliefs activate our faith faculty to bring into being that which is believed. And if we begin to think of this in terms of some of the old beliefs that we have had regarding age, as we dealt with last evening, the element of time and so on, we can see the need for beginning to fill our minds with the ideas of life, to help to overcome some of the old conditioning. All you have to do is to look in some of your magazines today, and you find that we are gradually beginning to give some attention to life instead of death, instead of age, instead of the slowing down process.

There’s a lot of research going on in many of your medical centers and so on, that are denying many of our traditionally accepted beliefs about age, the necessity of the deterioration of the mind and body is being challenged. And I think this is great because certainly this is a starter at least, but you don’t have to wait for the world to catch up with you on that. If you begin to work now, you integrate the ideas of life into your own thinking and feeling. Because remember you are experiencing and will continue to experience the results of deeply entrenched beliefs, regardless of whether these beliefs are true or false. You still will experience the results. We take upon ourselves often those accepted race beliefs, such as the belief in bondage to age and so on. And until we do something to help to clear them from our mind and begin to challenge ourselves to move away from those, we remain in bondage to them.

Yesterday we talked somewhat about the idea of building a life filled vocabulary. Because so often when we think of ourselves as individuals, we think of ourselves not in terms of life, but in terms of lack of life. So we want to start thinking in terms of such words as energy, bigger, alertness, health, wholesomeness, activity, because life denotes activity, does it not? Unless there is activity, there is what? Stagnation. So life is a moving active force. And as we begin to tune into the concepts of life, we find that we become more activated within ourselves, that we are able to do many more things, enjoy doing them and not come through them with such tiredness and fatigue.

So continue to make lists of words that relate to this idea of light. We’re going to be talking in the future classes some more about life, but we’re going to move into tonight also. A part of the process of life, which up until a few years ago, we all had to deal with but nobody talked about until the time we had to deal with it. And that is the process of death. Because death, if we look upon it as a part of the process of life, a change, it is true, but a part of a process of the life cycle. We can begin to have different feelings, different attitudes toward it.

In many things, human beings have been somewhat guilty of pretending that something did not exist until such time that they have had to meet it. Not necessarily their own, but in their families. Because we all come into these experiences where people we know die. It may be made difficult for them. It may be made difficult for you. If you have not thought through the concepts of death and come to some sort of peaceful understanding within yourself. When you see fears defined and a list of man’s basic fears, I think you will always see third or fourth on the list, the fear of death. Why do you suppose there is such a fear of death? For one thing, we see it as a loss of identity. What happens to this identity that’s me? It’s as if all of a sudden we’re afraid that we’re going to lose that identity.

And then the old concepts of what happens after death have been somewhat frightening, have they not? Because traditionally we have been handed down the concept of heaven and hell. And that when you die, you’re obviously going to go to heaven or you’re going to go to hell. And because of this, there is a fear involved, because how are you ever sure that you’re going to get in the right place? How could you classify yourself as either all good or all bad?

Last August, we had an interesting article in our paper, newspaper at home, in fact, a whole page on it. And it says, can hell now be refuted? Because what’s happening since the research of Braman Moody and others, and the observation that people after death don’t seem to experience what has been anticipated up to this time, that people are beginning to challenge the traditional concepts. But the author in this started his article with saying, answering his own question, can hell now be refuted by saying, not according to many fundamentalists, many Pentecostal type churches. The basics is that Jesus saves, keep it simple. Heaven is wonderful. Hell is hot.

So he goes on and talks about some of the experiences of people after death. And in his writing about the experiences tended to go along with the ideas of Moody with many others who are doing this type of research. But the key is that he pointed out that this literal place of punishment had been used down through the ages as a threat for man, because isn’t it true that the old beliefs, whether religious or otherwise, tend to hinge around one concept. And that is, since man is so sinful by nature, he obviously is not going to behave himself unless he is afraid not to.

So, you see we’ve had the fear generated there that hell has been used as a literal place, has been used to threaten people with, to get them to do what you want them to do. It doesn’t appear to have worked in all cases, but nevertheless it’s there. But then the concepts of course, surrounding death are changing, yet we still find much more appealing the idea of heaven. Don’t you find it more appealing and more compatible with a God of love? It used to interest me and confuse me somewhat as a child, because I remember being in church and hearing ministers extol all the glories of heaven and all the great things, and yet you see them scrambling to keep from dying.

If it was as great as everybody thought you would think there would be a mass exodus to get in, but it didn’t work that way. So obviouly, there was some sort of conflict between what was being said and taught and the actual feeling or the practice would’ve been different. And of course, some of the old concepts hinged around the idea that life was to be endured and rewarded later, in case you enjoyed your suffering and suffered righteously. And people are beginning to challenge that concept as well, because there is no reason to make life after death seem preferable to life after birth, because life is to be lived where we are and we are here and now. And it’s important for us to continue to remind ourselves that this is the only time that we can live right now. We can think about what’s past. We can think about what’s in the future, but our living takes place on one level only. And that is where we are at the moment.

But we are certainly seeing a change in people because people are starting to think about these ideas rather than just saying that they believe them. And the thinker is no longer looking upon heaven or hell as specific places, because we are a little more informed than we used to be as far as geography and space and travel is concerned. So we’re beginning to get away from some of those attitudes. And then is another thing that has helped us to get away from some of these attitudes, and that is really thinking about what God is like. The old concept of a vengeful God, that would sentence man to hell is gradually going because we’re starting to see that it is not compatible with a God of love and a God of intelligence. Even man has greater respect for life than to cause eternal hurt and eternal suffering. So this concept, the God of the Old Testament was somewhat denied by the God that Jesus worshiped and talked about.

I remember someone telling me about the child in Sunday school, a little boy who had been going through a series of lessons from the Old Testament. And then after a while they changed to the New Testament. And after about the third Sunday, one day he raised his hand and he said, “I just thought of something.” So his teacher asked him what it was he just thought. And he said, “God sure did get better as he got older, didn’t he?” And this is certainly true if we look at the contrast between the God of the Old Testament and the God that Jesus worshiped and that Jesus related to.

There are other things that we need to look into relative to the challenging of the traditional concept of what happens after death. Because the concept of two single possibilities for the soul after death is very limiting and very restricting. First of all, there comes a problem along. Most people as they start to think, instead of accepting something, start asking, how is this possible? How would you go about classifying human beings? Do you know any person who is all good or all bad? Have you found that you have all good thoughts or all bad thoughts? This is a part of the carryover of the old belief that evil is powerful, that there’s a power of good versus the power of evil.

And then, as long as we see it in that way, we are going to have to make some determinations of what’s good and what’s bad and who’s good and who’s bad. But wouldn’t you hate to have to keep records like that, and have to try to figure out just who was adding up on the plus side? Would be a rather difficult situation because you find people in some areas of life that are very giving and very loving. And in other areas, not at all giving and loving. In fact, maybe very angry and vengeful and harm people.

So we need to do a little more taking into account the complexities of human nature, and knowing that it is not an easy matter to try to even classify ourselves as good or bad. We have enough problem dealing with ourselves without trying to go around classifying other people, because we know all of us that we have good points and we also know that we have bad points, but this does not necessarily make us all bad because we have bad points. Does it?

So perhaps we need to look at the traditional concept as simply an oversimplification, knowing that it contains within itself too many unknowns, too many variables. And of course, we have had something that perhaps is an attempt to provide a little bit of hope, and that is through the idea of purgatory. At least you end up with a little chance in there in between, and this has helped to make people a little happier about the idea of dying, but not exactly comfortable. And of course, you can listen and hear and see how people have used this concept of heaven and hell and particularly hell to really terrorize people and to get them to respond the way that it is desired that they respond. When many of your old time evangelists got busy in describing the terrors and the horrors of hell, it’s no wonder the penitence came forward because they didn’t want to go through that. So the picture is rather gory that has been provided for us.

Let’s think of what it means to talk about life that is eternal. Because so often in our teaching, our religious Christian teachings, we have talked about people dying and going to eternity. What does eternal mean anyway? You’re dealing with several things, but one definition is without beginning and without end. So you’re not going into something you’re already in after you die, you’re already there. And the Greek word for eternal or everlasting went back to the idea of an age, a long indefinite span of time. And we know that there are many reasons that Christianity has clung to the traditional concept of a heaven or hell after death. And has, in many cases, renounced the belief in reincarnation because it damages the power of the church.

Many beliefs have been retained. Many religious beliefs have been retained because it is beneficial to the church to do so. And this is one of those that the idea applies to. You would have to go through almost a total revision and change in the approach of the average church if suddenly the followers professed a belief in reincarnation. Many thrust of activity would cease because they would no longer be applicable. It would require also a tremendous amount of growth. And it’s interesting to note that perhaps in no places have we been as reluctant to grow as in religion. We have tended to want to stay. We even sing songs about the good old time religion. It’s good enough for grandpa. And obviously it’s good enough for me. How would you like to subject yourself to the surgical techniques of grandpa’s age? So we need to look and see that we are progressing in understanding. We are making tremendous strides. And as our understanding grows, so do our concepts begin to change.

I remember when I was the student out here I was required by, I believe James Dillet Freeman to do a paper regarding the beliefs of certain religions. And when I checked into the belief in reincarnation, I found that most of your prominent theologians believe in reincarnation. Did you know that? They may never speak of it in their churches, but the belief is there because we have this self righteous sort of attitude that says it’s okay for me to know these things, but not the general public. They wouldn’t understand. And so we keep certain information for the exclusive few because we don’t think people are ready for it. That’s being terribly judgmental. Isn’t it? How could I possibly assume I’m ready for something that nobody else is? And that others are not.

Most theologians believe that this is the most logical, reasonable possibility and explanation for what happens to the human soul after death. And that is reincarnation. But you see, in order to be able to even consider the ideas of reincarnation, we do have to deal with certain of the old concepts that have been very much ingrained within us, because you do know that you can get to a point that you no longer consciously accept old beliefs, and yet what happens to your feeling nature and the subconscious? They’re still there. And until you begin to think them through and work through them, you still are very much controlled by the old beliefs and the old ways of thinking.

Death has been traditionally tied up with this idea of meeting God or meeting Jesus Christ. And to begin to take that concept away from people is very frightening, because that has been a security for many. That has provided for many people the way that they could deal with life, tolerate it, endure it now, because later this great thing is going to happen to me. Why should we have to wait for great things to happen to us? Aren’t you willing to experience great things right here and now? We ought to be, we ought not have to wait until a later time.

But fortunately, through much of our scientific and medical research, we are beginning to think in new ways and to come up with some new attitudes regarding death. Because for a long time, this was looked upon to even speak of reincarnation or even the idea that people when they had after death experiences and then came back alive, it wasn’t what had been traditionally taught. This has been almost a heresy in the churches because we are afraid to talk about it. And people did not want to speak about it because they thought their friends would look upon them as strange or odd or crazy or something of that nature. But now, since it is becoming reasonably acceptable, it has been found that many more people have had experiences like this, that they are becoming more willing to face and think about.

Also, there are other thoughts happening, not through our churches any more than through our medical industry at the moment. And it is an industry. And the concern with the attempt to prolong life, because you see, as long as you believe something horrible is going to happen after death, you feel obligated to do everything to extend the life of an individual, even though there is no hope for that individual. And what happens to people, they are ruined financially.

A number of years ago, I had contact with a seven year old child who had been operated on for brain tumor. The brain, almost all of it was removed so that there was no hope for recovery. And yet she was kept alive for six weeks by machine and not allowed to die. The hardship on the family, both emotionally and financially was a little bit unbelievable. Do we have the right to do that? These are questions that we need to think about. We have tended to, in matters of death, to ignore the rights of patients themselves and their desires, and tend to pay no attention to the idea that they are ready to move on. We can get so determined that we’re going to make them live. That it’s like we are trying to exert our will over them when they are ready for another experience. And I can’t believe there’s anything right in meddling in the life of another in this way.

We find a hardship happening in the death experience for many people whose families will not let them die in peace because they are so convinced they can’t get along without them, that they try in every way visible and invisible to hold them back. These are things that we need to think about and they are serious matters because we’re going to have to obviously come to terms with some of them. We have a situation often where patients don’t even have the right to know the condition of their body, because somebody thinks it’s up to them to protect them. So their families are dishonest. The doctors are dishonest.

You see so many things come back to our concept of man. Are we willing to see individuals involved in the process of life as beings of integrity, that have the right to make some of their own choices without inference on the part of others? Do we really? I sometimes get concerned with our savior complex and true students are notorious for savior complexes. They think they know what’s best for everybody. But remember, people basically know what is best for themselves, and we need to respect them for that knowledge. It may differ from what we would like to see. It may not be what we think is best at all. But after all, as a being of integrity, they have a right. Do they not?

Perhaps by thinking some of these things through, we can begin to resolve some of the fears that we have regarding death, and fears that we have of change because death, whether it be our own that we are considering, or that of a family member, or even a friend, if it is approached as something that is bad and something that is horrible, it’s a lot different than when we see it as a part of a process of life, perhaps the ending of one stage in life and moving into another stage in life. Do you ever stop and think that this is what’s happening? It’s the moving from one stage into another. It is not the end of you anymore than you end at night because you happen to go to sleep. You don’t stay awake all night being afraid that you’re going to end. Do you? Somehow you have confidence that you’re going to be waking up in the morning and you’ll still be you. And if we could begin to see that in regard to the idea of death, we could deal with it, a great deal more intelligently.

As we get away from the fears of death and the possibilities of what happens after death, I think we will find that people won’t have the need to suffer so long and unnecessarily. Do you ever stop and think when you’re afraid of something, you keep holding back from moving into it? And all of us have seen people in the hospital who, after everything was going just kept on being there and yet not being there. I feel that sometimes the soul is going through a tremendous fear of taking that final step of making the break with the physical. And therefore, because of the fear, the suffering is prolonged unnecessarily. Death brings a release in many ways, a release from many things. And we’re not going to look upon it as an escape necessarily, and yet it. Isn’t it? It may be an escape, a way out of a body that no longer is able to serve you. That has been so mutilated, whether by disease or accident or in some way that it can no longer do what you want it to do.

A number of years ago, one of our musicians from our church was going through a week just before he passed on. And one of his statements was, “I am so tired of this limiting body.” Because he had through a number of years, gone through some major operations and his body simply was not able to do what he wanted it to do. Therefore, he was seeing this approach of death as a welcome release because he knew he wasn’t going to die. He was going to live, but he was going to move forward, not in bondage to the faulty body any longer, because it could no longer serve him.

There are times when people get very tired of having to cope with living. And therefore you see people who pass because they really are tired of the experience of living. And unfortunately, because we have tended to become very passive people, this happens to far more people than necessary. It is an escape out of having to deal with life. Isn’t it? So perhaps many people do die unnecessarily early because they do not have the desire or the will to continue to live and to function well in the world.

As one of our doctors says, I believe it’s Dr. Hutch Necker who wrote the book Will To Live. He says, “We terminate ourselves.” That we never terminate ourselves until our soul is ready. But it’s our decision. I believe he was the same one that told the story of the elderly gentleman whose family had been called to his bed side. He was given just X number of hours to live. He was already in a coma. And as his family was around the bed, he happened to in his state, he still could hear. And he overheard two of his nephews talking about what they were going to do with his property when he died. And that did it. He decided there is no way that those vultures are going to dispose of my property like that, I’ll take care of myself. And in less than two hours, he was out of his coma. And in less than three weeks, he was out and going. Disappointing to the family, perhaps, but exciting to him.

So you see, we do have, a lot of times you will have something that triggers off a will to live. And when the will to live is there, the life expectancy extends. As someone said, a lot of times people die because they have nothing better to do. They’re not even involved or interested in life. So it’s just getting out of something they’re bored with. And if we begin to think of some of these I ideas, it helps us to start tuning in a little bit more to the process and the activity of life itself, because we can allow ourselves to be somewhat overwhelmed by life and living. We can go back into our dependency stage, not wanting to face the responsibilities of life and living. But if you look upon your soul as something that is continuing to exist, why postpone having to deal with something you’re going to get it sooner or later? So the time to get on with it is now, to deal with the things in life that need to be dealt with.

You will find instances of people who become very unhappy about a certain situation in their life. They do not want to have to deal with it because there is sometimes a social stigma attached to dealing with certain things. And particularly if they are very hemmed in by old beliefs and concepts, the couple who have been married for 30 years and suddenly find that their lives are going in two separate ways, but for one of them, they cannot face social stigma of a divorce. And death is a socially acceptable way out of an unpleasant situation. Do you ever stop and think about that? Who can blame you for dying? Where if you go through with a divorce after that many years, you probably somebody gives you a hassle about it, but death, you can take it that way because after all it triggers off a whole different set of emotions and attitudes and feelings, and you don’t have to deal with the opinions of people.

But as we think of death as a part of the progressive movement of life, which can begin to you see the process of death as something that is not necessarily traumatic at all, but as a process that happens. Now, ideally we would all like to live forever in the body, but very few of us probably at this point are going to attain that. And we’re going to have to deal with those people that we know who are also still going through the process of death.

Let’s think about what happens and what we are doing, or another person is doing when they die. First of all, it is casting off the physical garment. Not only are there instances when a person has worn out or damaged the body, there are times when the soul has completed all that it needs to. The purpose for that life experience is finished. We can almost compare this idea of death as moving from one place to another, moving from one dimension into another, from one experience into one, very different. But if we look upon the body as the garment of the soul, and remember that, although through death, you cast off your garment, you are still you. Your soul continues to live.

If we look upon death as not an end, as we have tended to, but as a fraction of the whole process of life, then we will feel much more peaceful about it. There is always a continuity of consciousness just as there is a continuity of consciousness between the time you sleep and when you wake up. You still have your continuity of consciousness, don’t you? It hasn’t suddenly deserted you just because you want to sleep. Anymore than consciousness is deserting you because you cast off the body. So there is a continuity of consciousness that moves forward. Perhaps we need a better word than death because death has become a stumbling blog for many people, because we have seen it as the end period, the end of an identity.

But when you begin to look at life in a more expansive way, and life from the standpoint of being involved with a universal intelligence, it would be totally unreasonable to suppose that the short span of life allotted to one’s existence in this whole vast sea of time without beginning and without end would be all that there is. It would not even be sensible or reasonable. If all you’re doing is coming in and learning lots of lessons and suddenly stopping right there. And as with most things in the process of life, we find there’s a great deal of logic and reason if we’re willing to look for it.

When you think of yourself, even if you think of the process of death, realize these three phases of your being, the threefold nature of man, and that is spirit, soul, body. Three things. Your body is the garment of the soul. Your soul is that individual consciousness that you are, the total of your collective thoughts and feeling all that makes up that individual. That very special you, that’s different from anybody else in the whole world. Isn’t that exciting? You’re not really like anybody else. You have unique possibilities, unique potential like no one else has. And no one can do the things that you do in your own unique way. But the soul is that your individual consciousness. And then the spirit is that essence of you that is always involved with the very source of your being, God.

And if we can begin to look upon life as this process of learning and growth, that allows our soul to begin to turn back toward the source of its very being, back to God and take upon itself the God-like nature that is existing. Because it’s already there. You don’t have to find God, God is already within you. The spirit of God is personified in you, but there is something that you have to do. What’s that? You have to become aware of it.

[Question is asked of Joyce] Could you clarify [inaudible 00:41:04]?

All right. The spirit is the very essence of God. The spirit of God within you. This is perfect and complete and whole in every way, containing within itself, all the ideas of good, such as your 12 powers for example. But the soul represents and depicts your understanding of yourself, of the body, your mind, your whole consciousness. This is what you are as an individual at this point in time, it is what you are aware of. And as we grow an understanding of spiritual things and of our spiritual essence, we become more conscious of this presence of God within. And then what happens? Your soul begins to be more refined and purified and becomes more like that image and likeness in which you are already created. But this is your three full nature, and it will to some time and thought to give consideration to it.

But remember, first and foremost, you are a spiritual being. You are expressing through the physical body, but what are you expressing? What you are consciously aware of. This encompasses your belief. It encompasses everything that makes up you, your own personality, your own personal identity. Because when you really stop and think about it, because there is this invisible essence of God within, that you are a real part already of infinity, of eternal life. It’s already in existence without beginning and without end. And if you can see yourself in this broader perspective, it begins to enable us to deal more effectively with our lives right where we are. Even the body depicts your soul, your understanding, what you are. This is why we have the ability as we grow in understanding, as we become more conscious of this living vital activity of God within, we find that the body begins to become healthier.

[inaudible 00:43:50] as true students. If you are really putting yourself into the study of truth, that instead of getting more sickly as you get older, you’re getting healthier. It works that way. One of the first things that I find lots of truth students, when they really get down to discipline study, one of the first things that happens is that after about a year’s time, they find that they no longer have so many little simple irritate physical problems because the body is becoming compatible with the new understanding. And as you are becoming more conscious of the life that is within and of the ideas of truth, your consciousness out pictures in the body itself.

So never think that the time you spend and study and reading and learning and in integrating the ideas of truth into your being is wasted. It is very beneficial because you may not even see the results at that moment, but the gradual growth is always taking place. And the gradual refinement is taking place, whether you can see it or not. We have learned to live so much in a world where we expect instantaneous results, that we see people get very excited and very involved in truth over a short period of time. And then they really can’t see anything happening. So they decide it really doesn’t work for them. But certainly one of the first lessons we ought to learn is where do things happen first anyway? They happen on the inside first, don’t they? Before they come on the outside. So the inner changes that you go through always precede the outer changes, and as the changes are taking place in your thinking and in your feeling, you can rest assured that you will soon begin to see the outer results.

If we see ourselves as a part of this very essence and process of life, we can begin to understand that where we are is much more important than where we’re going after death. Where we are at this moment is important to us. And we need to seek to grow in awareness to the very highest of our capacity to get away from our laziness, our lack of effort and our passiveness about life. Because it’s very easy in our world today to get caught up in a passive attitude and just watching things happen around us and do nothing about them. This leads to the feelings that we are victims of life. And of course is denying the truth that the spirit of God abides within and that we should be assuming the dominion over our world, starting with the dominion over ourselves.

As one person said in the old thrust for Christianity, there was a great deal of emphasis upon being good, but we need to follow that with another question. Good for what? Because I remember someone reading to me a description of a real good person illustrating this same point. And then after a while, he told the class, he said, “I’m reading you the description of my dog.” Think about it. Because certainly as intelligent spiritual beings, we are here with the purpose. We have things to do, as well as things to learn. We have not only things to receive, but we have things to give because life Should not ever be for us, a one-sided proposition where we are just takers, because we must be givers as well.

You cannot go through life and expect to stay in the flow of life and simply want to take from life without any giving out of yourself through time and energy and effort and whatever is needed. After all, some disastrous results would happen if all you did was breath in. And we try to do this sometimes in life, we try to be the eternal takers without the equivalent giving.

Let’s think a little bit tonight, and we’ll get more into this tomorrow evening, about what happens at death, because we need to start seeing it as a natural process first of all. And perhaps instead of using the term death, we ought to begin to see it as a transition of the soul from one state or one dimension into another. The conditions into which we move are dependent upon the conditions by our soul where we are at this point. In other words, you take yourself with you. And this is usually what happens or what most people have not realized in instances of suicide, for example, because they’re not only trying to get away from life, they’re often trying to get away from themselves. How disappointing it must be to find you still got yourself with you? Because you’ve accomplished nothing. You still have that same consciousness to deal with, and the same things to work out that you had before. You simply don’t have the body to work with. But we might think also of this transition as like closing your eyes to the physical aspects of life and opening them to another aspect of life.

There are people that have gone through these after death experiences who have had a lot of comfortable feelings, a lot of good feelings, a lot of good experiences, but you’ve also had other souls who have gone through a lot of despair, a lot of sadness, and a lot of what we might term darkness. You find that those people who have lived very brutal savaged type of lives, who have lived predominantly ignorant, cruel existence on the earth plan often do go through some very dark experiences. It is simply a continuation of the dark experiences in which they have already been involved. But as we find that the soul is freed from bondage to the body, we can have other things than to deal with, other things to move into and ways that we can function uninhibited by the body. We have an illustration of this within the activity of our own mind. Do we not? Can’t you within your own mind, transcend time and space and circumstance, don’t you? Of course, you do.

All of us do frequently, because when we are thinking about something, we do not think in terms of this moment in time, but whatever time we want to think about it in the past or in the future. So we transcend our bondage to time. And the thoughts that we think are not limited by where we are physically at this moment. Haven’t you ever experienced your body here, but your mind somewhere hundreds or thousands of miles away, and you were much more involved in what you were thinking about at a great distance than you were in where your body was? This is a part of the activity of our mind. We may be in some way, inhibited by circumstances physically, but this doesn’t mean that those same physical circumstances control us mentally, does it? Because you know very well, everything you’ve really ever learned to do, you did it first in your mind before you did it physically.

Children have very active imaginations and this is great. Adults do too, but they feel often ashamed of it because they think of something wrong with it. And yet this is a part of your creativity. It can be gotten and directed wisely, but a part of your very creativity that enables you to transcend time, space, and circumstance, and begin to bring forth ideas and understanding and concepts that you are not physically involved with at the moment.

Another thing that helps us as we begin to come to terms with the transition of the soul is in the true understanding that God is present everywhere. This infinite, all knowing powerful creative spirit is no more present before death than after death. It is in our consciousness of God that’s the difference. That actually, there is always this invisible essence of us that is one with the father, inseparable from God. And if we begin to understand that our life ultimately must express the very perfection and harmony and order and beauty that is God, and look upon life as always moving us closer to doing exactly that.

Life is an evolving process. Life is filled with experiences on the pathway, of our consciousness returning to God, of our beginning to become more greatly and more deeply aware of God. So as you think of life, keep in mind that life is to be lived right here and right now, and that everything that you are doing, all the growth that you are making through your own efforts, your energies, your study, and so on, is moving you along on this pathway of life for nothing is wasted. And you’re not going to lose anything you’ve gained. You are moving on in a process of life onward as an evolving soul, always moving back to expressing the true nature that is yours within.

Next Thursday, I guess it is that we have our next class, we’ll go into a little bit more about these experiences of those who have been into the death experience and back, and also into some of the attitudes and the customs that we must deal with when we are involved in an experience of death. God bless you. I’ll see you Thursday.