Post 14: A spiritual perspective on death.
You are driving down the road when up ahead you see it.
It could be a crumpled box, it could be a dead animal.
It is on the road, not moving.
You feel the dread of what is to come.
You get closer, and closer, and now you can see quite clearly.
It is an animal that has been hit on the road.
You feel that heaviness come over your heart.
You look closely as you pass, memorizing where it was hit and what injuries it looks like it sustained.
You feel sadness and anguish as you replay what must have happened, all the while hoping it was quick and painless.
This triggers a fear inside of you in regards to your own impending death and what might happen to your body in the process.
You feel pity and sadness for the animal whose life was taken so suddenly.
If we can learn to look with what yoga calls ‘clear seeing’ and what A Course In Miracles calls the ‘miracle’ we can see this whole situation differently.
And in turn we can take the fear out of our own death.
This is where it is important to remember the truth.
The true part of that animal, the spirit, is perfectly fine.
No matter what happens to the body, the spirit is always whole, perfect, and eternal.
Nothing can change that.
When we remember the truest part of ourselves as Spirit we shift out of the fear that comes with associating ourselves only with the body.
We forget so quickly that we are more than these bodies, we are more than the form we see all around us.
There is a spirit, an essence, that is within all things.
This is the true part of EVERYTHING.
Now, when we see an animal’s body on the road, we can remember that there is a spirit that moved out and on effortlessly.
No need to pity that animal or feel sad.
This only causes suffering in US.
When we can look upon this situation and remember that the spirit lives on, then we can feel joy that there is no death, not really.
And in this joy is trust and faith in a God that never wanted anything but joy for us in every moment.
God has given us total freedom to experience this ego thought system as long as we want, which causes us to forget our eternal nature in Spirit and misidentify our true selves with the body.
But God is also calling us to awaken from it, to remember the truth, in every moment that He created us perfect, in His image, as Spirit: whole, perfect, and eternal and nothing, nothing can change that.
If we can remember this then we can live from Spirit rather than ego and live the most fulfilling and joyful lives because of it. This is a true spiritual perspective on death.
One day, the animal was still alive.
At first I thought a big jacket had fallen out of someone’s car and was tumbling along the road.
Please be a coat. Please be a coat. Please be a coat.
It was not a coat.
It was a big, beautiful orange cat that was flipping all around after being hit pretty bad.
Several people had pulled over, but I was the only one who was able to get out of the car.
By this time a four lane road was filled with stopped traffic, all watching in horror.
I calmly and hurriedly grabbed the only thing I had in my car, oddly enough, an old coat of my daughters, the one thing I thought and was hoping this cat might have been.
I knew it would be bloody.
I ran over toward the cat and as I approached within 10 feet it stopped flipping and was still.
I hurried to it and gently placed my hand on its side, not knowing if it would start flipping around all over again.
It was still.
At this time I could see one eyeball was bulging out of the socket and it was bleeding from several places.
I placed my little girls coat around the big cat and lifted him into my arms cradling him like a child.
I ran with him to my car and held him all the way back to the vet from which I had just come with my dog, Sasha.
Hazards on, I drove as quickly as I could without being wreck-less.
“You’re okay,” I said to him over and over again, “you’re okay.”
I could feel his warmth and labored breath against my body.
And then, halfway to the vet, his whole body shuddered in my arms as he left his body.
I continued to rush him to the vet just in case.
At the vet, the Doctor confirmed his body was dead and then noted that he was probably a stray, since he was not neutered and was covered with fleas now suddenly trying to jump ship.
This was one of the most beautiful cats.
He was big and orange with one of those slightly fluffy tails that a cat would be proud of.
I had a moment to feel his fur, look into his one good eye, and pet his side before I left.
I got in my car and drove toward the house.
And then I cried.
I wanted to cry for the fact that he was a stray and maybe never felt the warmth of a bed or the friendly touch of being petted. I wanted to cry for all that strength and life that should have been left inside of him; the seeming injustice of his beautiful body being tarnished by a rubber tire and the hard, abrasive street.
But then I stopped myself because I remembered.
I remembered that he was more than just a body.
He is Spirit: whole, perfect, and eternal.
I allowed myself to cry and release the stress that built up in that short amount of time.
But I stopped myself from making his death about pitying him and feeling sad for him.
He lead his life, maybe it was a great life and maybe it wasn’t, but he had the experience of life in a body.
And now his spirit had moved on and there was absolutely no reason to be sad.
And that made me happy.
Now I could reflect on this experience with clarity.
I kept thinking how honored I felt to have this cat die in my arms, not too much unlike my Sylvester dying in my arms of old age years ago and the way I wished my top kitty Scout had died who simply vanished at age 16 last year.
I felt so grateful that I was able to not be too horrified, or scared, or repulsed, or sad to pull over and pick him up when there were many others who probably wanted to but couldn’t in that moment for whatever reason.
I felt grateful for my yoga practice that enabled me to stay calm and peaceful as I witnessed this being move out of his body with that shudder that I will never forget.
This clear seeing, this miracle, makes me less fearful about my own death that is as sure to come as the sun coming up tomorrow.
I only hope that I can enjoy the moment of my passing and the ones I leave behind will remember that I am more than a body and they are more than a body.
We are all Spirit: whole, perfect and eternal.
Choose to remember the truth of who and what we really are and enjoy every moment of this experience of life while we have it.
Choose Spirit Now!