Don’t Trade Perfect Love For Ebola Fear

My Chorale PicPardon me for turning to Sacred Scripture for inspiration during our current health crisis. But we definitely live under a fear-based governance promoted by the news media.  If it isn’t the “threat” of ISIS — which has taken second place to Ebola in the media’s more current entertainment agenda — then it’s the scare of an Ebola pandemic.  But don’t you let your guard — and your immune system — down.  Perfect love not only casts out fear but it keeps what you are being led to fear at bay. Remember what Job cried out in his troubles: “…that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” Actually, that entire scene of chapter three is a perfect meditation piece to dwell upon for the length of this post.

 Job was utterly depressed to the point of despair.  Have you ever been there and cried out like Job: “I wish I had never been born!”

(Vs 3-5)    Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.

Wow! He was in a very, very low state of mind and spirit. Job goes on with a tirade of words condemning the day he was born. I wonder if those who have contracted the death-dealing plague of the day feel as Job did as they face certain death. Apparently, Job’s boils and great loss of family and wealth appeared  to him to be harder to bear than had he been born dead — “. . . as infants which never saw light….[where]…the wicked cease from troubling; and…the weary be at rest.”  Then he says something very interesting a few verses down at the end of this chapter:

(Vs 23-26) Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?  For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters.  For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.  I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

Job was not an individual but was a representation of the body of Humanity on earth at that time. Job was a people, in other words; a collective body of humanity — like the Lemurians or the Atlantians —  “whom God hath hedged in.”  Hedged in, protected from harm, and immune to disease. But by what?  What would hedge us in so that we would be immune to the Ebola virus, or to any and all forms of pestilence and plagues?

Well, Job named the conditions that broke down his hedge of immunity: “I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet.”  Hmm. Not in safety — exposed, in other words. Had no rest — tired and worn out.  Was not quiet — busy doing to keep from being worried about the future and the consequences of living out of one’s integrity.  

Safety can be seen as doing the right things for our bodies, minds and hearts. Such as eating healthful foods and exercising regularly. Supplementing with wholefood nutrients where healthy foods are not readily available, and where one is eating on the run — which is not very safe healthwise — and dosing daily with immune system modulating herbs like Echinacea and antioxidants. It can also be seen as pertaining to living in the moment, the only place that is safe and real, and where life is.  That has to do with conscious living, doesn’t it. You’re not safe if you’re mind is not present while driving your car or carving the turkey, just to name a couple of activities that put us in harm’s way if we’re not mindful of what we are doing. It also pertains to our hearts and emotions, our spiritual life, in other words.

Rest speaks for itself. The body needs rest as much as activity. Balance needs to be maintained between work, play and rest.  Play can be a rest from work. Rest, of course, is essential to the revitalization, repair and growth of cells in the body. Six to eight hours of sleep are generally recommended for adults. Children need as much as nine hours simply because they are in a growth cycle and expend a lot of energy playing hard.  Rest also pertains to presence of mind and a heart that is at ease with what is, not judging things and wishing they were different. Accepting what is simply as what is.

Quiet, of course, is what most are not these days.  A “noisome pestilence” invades our space every moment of the day, and even into the night in some big cities.  The traffic, the television chatter, the daily newspaper and national and local news hours — the “daily crime report” is what I call our local evening news.  But the real noise is not out there. It’s inside the hearts and minds for most. That’s why they need noise around them: to balance and drown out the noise inside. The so-called “music” of our young generation is a sad example.  Even commercials have noisome background sound tracks to get the attention of potential buyers away from their inner troubled thoughts.  Sometimes the commercials are more “entertaining” than the program. 

A friend wrote a poem with this verse in it:

Busy thought and troubled feeling Trespass not in virtue’s wise serenity Where firm control and awful power eternally abide.  Here earth’s pains are healed And cruel chaos of mind’s spawning Is called again to order and to beauty.

Meditation is an essential spiritual practice for one who wishes to be in a place of safety, rest and quietness of mind and heart. Just five or ten minutes of quietness and solitude — like the revitalizing “catnap” we older folks take — can give one a recharge of energy and an opportunity to gather one’s substance together in one place: the eternal Now.  One’s substance can get spread out pretty thin at times, and that’s asking for trouble.  Your substance is your hedge, especially strong and impenetrable when charged with the energy of love and joy.  “Perfect love casts out fear.”  Fear dissipates your hedge and opens your body temple to defilement by the noisome pestilence, and to viruses like Ebola.

Just as a side note: it’s interesting that the flu kills over fifty-three-thousand people every year and yet doesn’t engender nearly as much fear as the Ebola virus has in just a few weeks. Notice the “Get Your Flu  Shot” signs in front of drug stores. Even while shopping at the super market the music coming over the speakers is interrupted by messages about shingles. “If you’ve had the chicken pocks, then you have the shingles virus in your body.” Fear drives our healthcare delivery system.  Little wonder we are so weak and susceptible to diseases.  Ebola has given the medical world a new reason to rev up the fear mode.

I will close this post with my favorite Psalm 91 as a meditative piece to secure our sense of safety, rest and quiet.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.  

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and the adler:  the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Who are “the wicked” that are receiving their reward in the wars and plagues of today?  I will answer with the The Teacher’s response to a similar situation: “Let he that is without sin cast the first stone.” We as a race of human-doings are the wicked, and we are reaping our reward in the Middle East with ISIS and in Africa with Ebola. The Earth is fighting back to rid Herself of the parasitic plague we have become.

And what is the “snare of the fowler” from which we need deliverance?  The bird-catcher.  Birds are like thoughts that fly in and out of the belfry towers up in our heads. The mind snares thoughts that fly through it every moment of the day and blows them up into issues we should all be afraid of and fight over. Does your mind snare unwanted thoughts, crows and vultures sometimes?

“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him in trouble.” What have I set my love upon? My life, perhaps?  “He that loveth his life shall lose it.”  

What we fear about Ebola is the loss of our life. Death seems inevitable without proper medicine.  The only way through that fear is to love death itself as the perfect outworking for one’s life, given all the factors at play.   It’s the only way back Home these days.  By embracing the worst case scenario — death in this case — we take it within our hearts — in the “secret place of the Most High” that is within us, where the “shadow of the Almighty” prepares a place of safety where death has no sting. Death, even death, cannot come nigh me, for I cannot die. I am life and I am alive forever more.  

Don’t let fear of Ebola overshadow your love for the Lord, who is perfect — your love for that which is perfect in yourself: life and truth, peace and tranquility, thankfulness and appreciation, honesty and integrity.  Then get on with your life and LIVE! Be safe, and don’t let your heart be troubled by the troubles of the world. 

Here’s to your health and to Life!

Anthony Palombo, DC

Visit my Healing Tones blog for more inspiring reading. The current theme is “The Hero’s Journey.” Comments on my blogs are always welcome and I look forward to them every day. So, share your thoughts.

Here’s a great song about being brave and fearless. Enjoy!

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“Who Dies?”

Tony's picture 2 from Peggy

Themes and articles on death and dying are vogue these days. I noticed in the current issue of the SUN magazine a number of articles on the subject. Featured in this month’s issue on the “Dog-Eared Page” is a well-written article on death and dying.  (I always turn to the “Dog-Eared Page” first when a new issue arrives because the articles featured there are usually short and timely.) In fact, death and dying seems to be the theme of a couple of articles. “Who Dies?” is the title of this article, written in a meditative tone by Stephen and Ondrea Levine and focusing on the eternal question “Who am I?” 

We think we are our thoughts. We call our thoughts “I.” In letting go of thought, we go beyond ourselves, beyond who we imagine we are. Behind the restless movement of the mind is the stillness of being, the stillness that has no name, no reputation, nothing to protect. It is the natural mind.

I’ll return to this article shortly. But first I would like to connect with the Event of the day as we prepare to celebrate Easter this coming weekend.

EASTER IS ABOUT RESURRECTION, NOT DEATH

It certainly was for me eleven years ago when, on Easter Sunday, April 20th, 2003, I was given a new lease on life with open-heart surgery in Ft. Collins, Colorado, for which I am profoundly grateful to God and to the wonderful surgeon who held my heart in his healing hands that blessed day of personal resurrection. Life is good. It also has purpose for our health crises. For me, that purpose has revealed itself in many wonderful and fulfilling ways over the past decade.

This is “Holy Week” and tomorrow is “Good Friday” when Christians the world over pause to reflect on the crucifixion and death of their “Lord and Savior,” followed in three days by the celebration of his resurrection from the dead. Mozart’s Requem in D minor is slated for performance at our local University Methodist Church.  A local newspaper’s editor touts it as his “top choices of don’t-miss-it entertainment” (italic emphasis mine)“Make Good Friday great with Mozart,” he highlights in his plug for the event.  The church choir director describes the masterpiece as “…grand, complex, delicate at times. There are moments of fury and power. The ‘dies irae,’ which is the day of wrath, about the judgment day, is full of brass and timpani.”  Singers in the community flock to sing in the event and people will fill the church pews tomorrow to revel in the ecstatic musical inspiration—a few perhaps to ponder the meaning of life and death and to entertain once again the deeply embedded belief in a dreaded “Judgment Day” when the wrath of God is supposed to come down upon the heads of all sinners, which most who come to hear the performance are convinced they are.

SO ARISE AND SHINE 

We are so entertained by the mystery of life and death—and rightly we should be as, by and large, we do not seem to have a clue as to what either one of them is all about. The Lord of Love came here to show us how to live and how to face death victoriously and move on to greater things beyond death’s door—and to give us the “good news” that there is a larger context to our existence in his Father’s house of many mansions.  Easter gives us an opportunity each year to arise and shine our light of love into the world and to remember to shine our light every day.

MODERN MEDICINE SPOILS OUR ENTERTAINMENT

The SUN carries two other articles on death and dying.  One is an interview with journalist Katy Butler entitled “The Long Goodbye — Katy Butler On How Modern Medicine Decreases Our Chance Of A Good Death.” The title speaks for itself. In her own article later on in the issue, “The Art of Dying,” Katy tells how her father’s life was prolonged with a pacemaker only to make him live long enough for him to experience the painful miss-management of the last days of his ageing and degenerating body by medical science.  You can read the entire interview at the link above.

Reading her story, I am reminded of my own mother’s medically-induced longevity with a pacemaker that only staved off an otherwise natural and peaceful death with her children around her bed, only to see her ageing body used for further profiteering on the backs of taxpayers through the convenience of Medicare and Medicaid.  

Is my judgmental cynicism here unwarranted? Perhaps so, but must we insist upon doing things just because we can . . . and because it’s “covered by Medicare?” Our modern technology has turned us into gods “knowing good and evil” as the serpent promised Adam and Eve in the story in Genesis.  Yet, we do “surely die” in the end, as we were duly warned we would. In an ironic way, death was given to us more as a blessing than a curse: a mechanism of release from our self-made prisons. 

DEATH IS A RITE OF PASSAGE

Death, like birth, can be celebrated as the rite of passage it is from this world back into the realms of light from which we all came on our day of incarnation.  It can be another birthday, which is how I imagine our departed friends and family, along with the angels in heaven, celebrate it. Thankfully, we now have hospice care to provide peaceful and sacred space for our last days and for our transition to the other side of the veil.  But let me return to the SUN’s feature article.

“THERE IS NO PERSON IN THERE; JUST A PROCESS”

I love where Stephen and Ondrea Levine take their meditation in the end. You’ll want to read the article in its entirety on page 2 of this post.   

. . .There is no place we can solidly plant our feet and say, “This is who I am.” It is a constantly changing flow in which, moment to moment, who we think we are is born and dies. All that we would project ourselves as being is seen as transient and essentially empty of any abiding entity. There is no person in there; there is just process. Who we think we are is just another bubble in the stream. And the awareness that illuminates this process is seen for the light it is. We begin to give up identification with the mind as “I” and become the pure light of awareness, the namelessness of being.

The body dies; the mind is constantly changing. But somehow, behind it all, there is a presence, called by some “the deathless,” that is unchanging, that simply is as it is.

To become fully born is to touch this deathlessness: to experience, even for a moment, the spaciousness that goes beyond birth and death; to emerge into a world of paradox and mystery with no weapons but awareness and love .•

For me this article describes the human mind’s search for its identity and meaning. In truth, the mind has no identity or meaning of its own. It has meaning only as it is connected, activated and allowed to be used wisely by its Creator. Otherwise it is self-activated by self-centered purposes and prides itself of having an “ego” (which is Latin for “I am) that depends on bolstering compliments for its sense of worth.  The human ego is the self-active human mind. That dies, thank God— if only we would let it pass away peacefully and naturally.  But, alas, it has invented a way to stave off its demise through modern medical technology.  To what end? I ask.

We’ve made such a complicated mess of our life and death on Earth. Life is simple, as is death.  We come. We live. We ascend to return and live again in this beautiful world—or in other even more beautiful worlds.  In our Father’s house there are surely many mansions, and our souls are not limited to this one.  

In my Healing Tones blog I am considering the processes of resurrection and ascension.  Join me there for inspiring exploration of  things that must be hereafter.  Until my next post,

Here’s to your health and a happy death.

Anthony Palombo, D.C

Sources: THE SUN magazine,  April, 2014, issue 460. Visit them online at http://thesunmagazine.org. The feature article quoted herein is  “Excerpted from Who Dies?: An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying by Stephen and Ondrea Levine, copyright © 1982 by Stephen Levine. Used by permission of Doubleday, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved.”

About the authors: STEPHEN AND ONDREA LEVINE live in the mountains of northern New Mexico. For more than thirty years they counseled the sick and dying and their loved ones through Conscious Living/Conscious Dying workshops, which used guided meditation combined with the teachings of Buddhism and other wisdom traditions. They have written several books together, including Who Dies?Embracing the Beloved, and A Year to Live.  

Chiropractic Rationale: A Turn in the Right Direction

Anthony J. Palombo, DC August 15, 1963

Anthony J. Palombo, DC.”
August 15, 1963

THE PRECIOUS FEW

A colleague and very close friend up in New Jersey called me a few days ago in response to my last post, “Expression Allows Release,” in which I candidly allowed that my well had dried up; that what has needed saying has all been said, by me over two decades of publishing my HealthLight Newsletter and by so many other clarion voices with much larger audiences than I’ve ever had. He is Dr. Ken Harris, one of the “precious few” I referred to in that post who have maintained, lived and practiced the original truth that Chiropractic’s founder and developer, Daniel David Palmer and Bartlett Joshua Palmer respectively, brought to the healthcare arena. You can visit Dr. Harris’ Facebook page and read his posts on Chiropractic. He’s a man who walks his talk, and in so doing shines a bright and unwavering light on the path toward health and vibrant living. He and I shared a passionate mentor along the way in our careers in Dr. William H. Bahan, “Bill” as he was endearingly known and called by the hundreds of chiropractors who came to the light of his shining in deep heartfelt response to his clarion call.

“Keep writing,” my friend said, and with that encouragement I dip down once again into my reservoir of topics. The one topic I could never run out of words to write about is Chiropractic, particularly the philosophy and rationale for its science and art of adjusting the spine to correct misaligned vertebrae that encroach on nerve roots choking off the flow of vital nerve energy, life itself, from “Above, down, inside, out” to the body’s organs and tissue cells. There, that just about says it all in one sentence, and I want to say more. But first listen—and listen deeply—to these succinct words of wisdom from one of the precious few “principled chiropractors” who carried the torch for so many years, Dr. James Sigafoose, explaining in simple words the rationale of the Chiropractic Adjustment:

I just love his opening words because they articulate an eternal truth; a truth that awakened my heart and mind fifty years ago and turned me completely around in my thinking about health and healing and answered so many core questions. Questions like: “What is healing and how does it work in the body? What power and force drives it? How does the spirit of God touch and imbue the flesh of man with the Breath of Life? How can we stop dying if dying was indeed introduced to human experience as a result of ‘original sin’? What would the alternative reality be?”

“DEATH IS COMPLETELY UNNATURAL!”

I remember during one of Dr. Bahan’s symposiums hearing him drop this bombshell into our eager ears: “Death,” he said with deep conviction and absolute authority, “is completely unnatural! If it were natural, then why do we strive so hard to avoid it?” Why, indeed?  My God, we spend our entire lives struggling to stay alive. We’ve even developed an entire industry to this end: to fight disease and stave off the inevitable for as long as possible. That’s because deep down inside our subconscious minds we know that death is not natural. Death IS completely unnatural . . . and we remember a time when death was not a part of life. Life is what’s natural. We were not made to experience the death and decay of our bodies, the very temples of the Living God!  Oh, I’ve written passionately and poetically about that, too, in my first publication Sacred Anatomy. My second publication, Rediscovering the Soul of Chiropractic, was my meager contribution to the revival of the spirit of my beloved profession, which was undergoing an identity crises at the time.

Bill’s bombshell was surprisingly met with strong resistance from another clarion voice in our profession, Dr. Reggie Gold, a devout and almost fanatic “straight” chiropractor. Reggie Gold was one of Bill’s disciples up until Bill dropped this golden nugget of truth into our consciousness. He vehemently opposed this declaration to the point of leaving Bill to start his own following. So, there were points along the cutting edge of the sword of truth some of our leaders were wielding that caused division and separation. But that’s the nature of truth. It’s a fine and uncompromising light, and some of us simply could not handle the truth back then. Today we are more open to all possibilities, including the possibility that death is not eternal for us on Earth. Life is what’s eternal.   

In truth, death was not a part of life for human beings in the Beginning when the Creator walked among us in a garden state in Eden. We brought death upon ourselves, along with the disease process that is Life’s way of unwinding forms it creates in the three-dimensional world of material existence that no longer serve a purpose. Our forms age and fail to give us freedom of movement at some point; and life is movement in chiropractic’s way of thinking. Death, then, is natural at this level. We fell from a much higher level where life in Eden was an experience of birth, life and ascension. That’s the alternative reality.

RESTORATION . . . THE TRUTH OF HEALING

The truth of healing, then, includes at its essential core purpose the restoration of man to an Edenic state of consciousness, a state of radiant life and health, and that was Bill’s point in making that declaration. There is even a Biblical reference to this restoration in the Book of Revelation, which I love reading from time to time just to remind myself of my mission and purpose as a physician.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God our of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athrist of the fountain of the water of life freely. (Rev. 21: 2-6) 

We were all thirsty for truth back then. I was very thirsty for some truth, coming away as I was then from seven years in Catholic Seminary utterly disillusioned in my father’s and his father’s religion, where I had once asked my “spiritual adviser” the burning question in my heart: “If eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil brought death upon us, then why can’t we simply stop eating that fruit and live?” His answer was a real put-down: “Go study your Latin.”  Latin, of course, is a dead language, which was ironically appropriate for a fear-based and death-centered belief system. That was 1960. My answer came seven years later through Bill’s mouth: “We can stop eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and live!”  And he went on to describe how that was possible . . . and, more importantly, what eating of the fruit of that tree entails. Basically, judgement, which Bill called the only addiction there is. Think about it: how addicted we all have been to judgement of good and evil! “Alcohol is good. But alcoholism is bad. Sugar is good, but diabetes is bad. You won the lottery! That’s good. You spent all the money and are now broke. That’s bad.” Etc. But, then, that’s another subject matter. 

Bill’s most memorable declaration, however, is embodied in those words from John’s book: “Behold, I make all things new.” And that’s the promise Chiropractic re-focused for the healing field and for the world. That was Bill’s passionate mission in his life of service. “Behold, I make all things new.”  And he did just that, in his service and in his living. He brought his profession to the Fountain of Life and extended an irresistible invitation to drink from it by letting it pour out through each and every one of us who were willing to BE a fountain of living water ourselves for our patients and for our worlds.   

But first he had to wake people up so they could drink without drowning. He used to say shocking things so as to wake up his sleeping patients who would say to him that their suffering was, of course, God’s will. “Then get out of my office,” he would exclaim. “I wouldn’t want to change God’s will!” Bill wouldn’t let a single opportunity slip by to wake people up and turn them in the right direction. He once told me, when I felt my Catholic beliefs being challenged to the point where I had to let either them or him go, and I cried out “But, Bill, I am a Catholic!”—to which he replied without hesitation, “No you’re not! YOU are a Human Being made in the image and likeness of God!” How can one deny that truth? His words turned my world upside down . . . or rather me right side up. 

That’s what Chiropractic brought: a turn in the right direction. People don’t want to change. That’s what I’ve learned in my fifty years of service. The same passive state of consciousness prevails: “I broke it. You fix it. But don’t ask me to change the way I live my life.” And, if you wanted to stay in practice, you complied with this demand—and it is a demand, and we make this demand on every self-serving service we’ve put into place in our social, economic, religious, and governmental structures of governance by fear of consequences. As a people, we live our lives out of a consciousness of entitlement . . . and we get out of life exactly what we ask for and are entitled to: no more nor less than what we give into it. 

And—as the old Indian chief in the movie “Dances With Wolves” so eloquently ended his brief inputs into the tribe’s powwows—“That is all I have to say about that. We will talk again.” Until then, 

Here’s to your health and longevity,

Anthony Palombo, D.C.

Visit my HealingTones.org blog for inspired articles. This post is “The Body Electric, part 4: Ascension Harmonics. Enjoy!

 P.S. That picture of me is my” graduation picture from Chiropractic college. I was so serious about my new-found purpose and career in life.  

Welcome new visitor in Luxembourg. You are the 116th country to visit my blogs. I send blessings of love your way.

 

  

Dying Healthfully

Death as Part of the Healing Process

Tony Pics for SA BookWe all come to this final moment in our lives.  Death, like taxes, is inevitable.  It’s a part of life. . .for now anyway.  Legends and Biblical texts tell of a time when death was not in the picture of  life on earth.   My life’s mission has been dedicated to the return to such a reality for all humanity, even if it’s just to hold it in my heart as a possibility, even as inevitable as death is now.

A friend of ours, and of many the world around, John Cruickshank, made his transition from this earthly plane yesterday evening.  It was a peaceful passing, what one could describe as  a “healthy death.”  Sounds like a paradox, doesn’t it?  Death, after all, is the complete absence of life, so how can it be healthy?  Or is death the complete absence of life?

I prefer the word “transition” we seem to be using more often these days, because, in reality, death is a movement from one level of being to another.  Birth, in that sense, is also a transition, one that we celebrate with much joy, as we are doing this afternoon at our grandson’s birthday party here in Ashland, Oregon.  Jonahven came to us through his mother Holly Adams and his father, our son John, and what a gift they are to each other.  Jonahven came from heaven into the earth, transcended the invisible realm of spirit to incarnate in the visible realm of form.  John Cruickshank transcended the visible world of form to return to his origin in the invisible world of a higher level of form.  There is form at every level appropriate to each level. Should not both transitions be celebrated with equal wonder and joy?!

Life has its irony.  We celebrate the joy of a child’s birth today and yesterday we celebrated the death of a friend with joy and thanksgiving for his full life of service.  John was truly a server to all he encountered in his earthly journey;  a selfless friend.   Notwithstanding an aggressive brain tumor, John’s death was a healthy one.  He was at peace in his heart, his earthly journey fulfilled and complete.  He died as he lived, sharing his life with others.   We who are left behind surely feel a loss.  He will be missed.  And to process that loss we have the grieving process.  If we were aware of the other levels of being, what Jesus referred to as the “many mansions” in the Father’s House, perhaps we would not have cause to grieve the passing of form and could see it as a birthing process into another level of life experience.  Life, after all, is eternal . . . is it not?

Speaking of dying as we live, one of John’s friends recently shared a quote that describes how John lived and died:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘What a ride!'”

John slid into Home plate after running all the bases.  He was only fifty-eight, so he must have hit a home run early in life, because I don’t think he sat on any of the bases.  He was always on the move helping his fellow-man, and changing the world as he went from one ingenious invention to another innovative project.  His last project was as part of team who created a machine called Straw-Jet that turns agricultural residue, such as rice and wheat straw, into building materials,  specifically, but not exclusively, targeting third-world countries.  His most notable invention, however, is the “Sunny-John” which embodies a technology for recycling human waste into manure.  His love was permaculture and he left several such gardens behind him during his journey. He was exceedingly well-gifted with a “green thumb” and knew innately how plants belonged together symbiotically (in close beneficial relationships).  That was his forte and legacy for which he will long be remembered by many.

The ultimate “cure” of disease

Getting back to our blog theme . . . historically, death has been relegated to the morbid and macabre, an event to be feared and staved off for as long as possible.  Certainly as something unhealthy.  We’ve even invented and dedicated an entire industry to keeping death away from our door as long as possible . . . and, for the rich and well-insured, at whatever the cost . . . and cost it does, plenty these days . . . sometimes the equivalent of an arm and a leg, like a donor’s heart or kidney.   That said, I am thankful, as I’m sure our friend was, for the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs Medicine  provides that helps make the dying process physically, mentally and emotionally bearable and comfortable.  Comfort is a good thing.  We all need that in times of distress, and especially in terminal illness and the dying process.  It’s what we seem to do best as humans.

But what is death, actually (if you will allow me to muse and ponder a bit)?   A colleague once described death as “part of the healing process” and a final resolution and “cure” of disease.  And so it may well be when you stop to think about it.  Tumors stop growing when there is no more life from which to steal sustainable energy.  Bacteria, of course, remain.  But, then, bacteria are natural and essential to all life processes, both integrative and disintegrative.  Mother Earth can put them to good use without Herself becoming infected.  Mothers are natural healers.

Tumors, on the other hand, are thieves . . . unnatural growths outside the creative design of life for flesh.   I’ve seen them described as embryonic masses growing outside of a womb, an unwelcome guest in our house of being.  Death of the host terminates their occupancy.   Of course there are certainly other “cures” and resolutions to the diseased state where the host survives the crisis . . . for a season anyway, until another crisis comes along that threatens to resolve itself through death.   Either way, the healing process prevails.  Life goes on at yet other levels and dimensions.

To make whole

Healing means to make whole that which was previously fragmented, broken, disconnected or dismembered, and therefore dysfunctional.   Healing is a re-membering process whereby what belongs together is allowed to be together – much like the plants and trees in Cruickshank’s permaculture gardens –  as a whole entity that’s an integral and essential part of a larger Whole.   Some call it “God” or the “Great Spirit.”  By whatever name called, the larger Whole is what we each are a part of naturally and whatever would keep us from playing our destined roles in that Whole is inevitably and naturally re-solved . . . returned to a solvent state, such as earth and water, where it can once again participate in creation.   From “dust to dust,” as Christians are reminded with ashes on their foreheads every year.   But the spirit returns to a liberated and functional role as part of the greater Whole; returns to God who created it and maintains its existence.

In this light, death can be seen and embraced by us as part of the healing process . . . and the word itself, like the dying process, could stand to be cleared of its karma and given a noble place in our culture and vocabulary, as well as in our lives.  Death, then, looses its sting as it is healthfully and joyously embraced.  Hospice is a promising step in that direction.

While sitting with our friend at his deathbed, I was moved to talk about his final step into the unknown and how he was about to have all his questions about death and what’s beyond answered.  As awkward as it was at first to even breech the delicate subject, especially with one who was not able to communicate verbally his desire to go there, I felt a certain ease and welcome energy coming from him.   Afterwards, I thought how appropriate it could be to engage the dying, while they are yet able to do so, in a conversation around the theme of preparation for death as a rite of passage.  A conversation that would, first of all, acknowledge and connect with the angel incarnate who is experiencing, even orchestrating, the process of transition, and one that would evoke the conscious participation of the angel who is about to shed the dis-eased earthly form and take on a lighter one, one that will give the angel freedom to move about with ease.  Perhaps using music or the sacred sound of quartz crystal or Tibetan bowls accompanied by toning or chant that would help create ritual space for the generation of buoyant substance for a robust send off.  Or even group song and dance to celebrate the momentous event of final passage and transition.   While such ritual is being used in indigenous as well as some contemporary settings, I would welcome seeing more of this become part of our way of doing things here in the West and throughout the modern world.

And who knows but what this may well open the way for an unveiling of the mystery of death itself and ultimately eliminate its necessity?!  We would simply ascend, taking our bodies with us to a higher vibratory level, leaving nothing behind to be recycled.   I envision a ritual space created specifically for this purpose, just as I envision the creation of such a crucible for facilitating incarnation, a vibrational vesica pices (womb) for the birth of new form.  It’s all in the Divine Design for the process of transmutation and transition from one level to another.  We can agree to let it be so and it will come about.  It’s where we are headed in the new cosmic cycle underway, a theme I expand on in Sacred Anatomy – Where Spirit and Flesh Dance in the Fire of Creation. We are in for a new ride on this earth plane and it’s best to let go of the old and let go to the new.

Here’s to your ride!

Anthony Palombo, DC

Write me at  tpal70@gmail.com

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