It is written in the Bible that in the “last days,” the mystery of death would be no more. I came across that many moons ago when I was taking a course called On Death and Dying in CEGEP. We touched on near-death experiences in the course, looking at how modern resuscitation methods were literally bringing people back from the dead, many of whom spoke about having been very much aware — and happy — in the hereafter. Their experiences reflected those talked about in great spiritual texts like the Bhagavad’Gita, the Tibetan Book of the Dead and, yes, even the Bible — that the spirit does rise triumphantly from the death of its mortal coil, and carries on. Some believe that the spirit reincarnates, some believe it remains in spiritual realms . . . “In my Father’s house are many mansions . . .”
In the Bhagavad’Gita, which metaphorically is set on a battlefield, the Lord Krishna explains to the reluctant Arjuna that he must lead his forces into battle, even though many who would be killed on both sides were close friends and relatives. Krishna explains that death is pretty much an illusion, that the spirit cannot die, and that it will return. And that the battle itself is necessary in order to advance some cause (I forgot what it was exactly).
Several philosophies look at death the same way, and that everything that befalls us is karma — not punishment from some deity, but simply the results of our actions, or reaping what we have sown. Reincarnationists believe that we incarnate with “people” we knew in previous lives, with whom we had entanglements and, perhaps, unfinished business.
I could go on and on about all of this, but my real question for you on this Remembrance Day is: What if you knew for sure that there is life after death, that you will be born again, and that you will be with those you loved? Would it make the sting of a loved one’s death any easier to bear now?
In my case, as a Theosophist, I do believe in reincarnation and karma — though, I don’t know for sure, and perhaps that is the reason why the death of my late friend Rick devastated me, and had me cursing God. Perhaps if I knew for sure that Rick and all the others who have passed beyond death’s veil were still spiritually alive and well, I would not have cried so much when he died . . . And I would not cry still for those I’ve loved who have preceded me to the grave.
What say you?