Nourishment to the dead

Know that I haven’t forgotten you. I am preparing for a long weekend with Dr. Raymond Moody and his work evoking the dead. Once I recover from my travels, I will bring you up to speed on his theories and practices. For now, take these words of Steiner’s deeply into your heart. Realize that our connection to the dead does not end when they cross the threshold. We, however, must learn the new terrain.

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

When we go to sleep at night, the ideas and thoughts which have passed through our consciousness in our waking hours begin to live, to be living beings. Then the souls of the dead draw near and share in these ideas, feeling nourished as they perceive them. When clairvoyant vision is directed to the dead who night after night make their way to the sleeping human beings left behind on earth — especially blood-relations but friends as well — seeking refreshment and nourishment from the thoughts and ideas that have been carried into sleep, it is a shattering experience to see that they often find nothing. For as regards the state of sleep there is a great difference between one kind of thought and another.

If throughout the day we are engrossed in thoughts connected with material life, if our mind is directed only to what is going on in…

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When the Gods Speak to Us

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“Initiation is precisely this: that we are able to see from the other side of the threshold. There, seeing is not just looking but is also reading. We read the spiritual deeds of spiritual beings who have brought everything into existence. And if we read long enough in this silence, if we put our heart and soul into this reading, we begin to hear in the spirit, and then the gods speak to us. And when the gods speak to us we are within the spiritual world.” —Rudolf Steiner

I have just returned from my weekend workshop with Dr. Raymond Moody in Rowe, MA. I will be writing more in detail soon but this quote from Steiner sums it up beautifully. This is where I am heading. This is what it is all about for me. With the technique propounded by Dr. Moody, it is something most everyone can learn to do. And, I believe, it is one of the things this world needs now…more than ever.

Until then…

A Simple Act of Service to the Dead

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Friday I will be heading to Rowe, Massachusetts to attend Dr. Raymond Moody’s workshop, “Reunions, visionary encounters with departed loved ones!” The more I become familiar with his work, the more I feel strongly that I will find the synthesis between his work and Rudolf Steiner’s in communing with the dead. When I return I will, of course, tell you all about it but I would like to leave you today with a simple yet elegant way to serve the dead while strengthening your bond with those you love across the threshold.

One of the most important acts of service you an offer those you love who have died is to read to them. This can take many forms but the simplest is to actually read spiritual materials to them. According to Steiner, the dead are no longer interested in or can connect with the mundane and/or abstract thoughts of the physical world. But spiritual thoughts read to them with great love, act as nourishment and even as art for the dead. Without these spirituals readings, the dead can actually starve.

It can be any book of a spiritual nature, something that they were interested in during their physical life or something entirely new. Even those souls who never had an interest in spiritual things while in the flesh will be very grateful for you reading to them now.

I’ll share what I do but please know you can set up your practice in the way that is most satisfying to you. I’ve collected scores of books on Steiner’s theories about life between death and rebirth, destiny, reincarnation, karma, etc. and I use them primarily as I too am learning as I read. I choose to read in the evening in bed so that these thoughts will fill my dreamtime, the place where the living and the dead coexist, and my beloved dead can soak them up most easily. I read most nights but I do not make it a chore. If I am too tired or not in the right mood, I will let a night go by…but most nights I read.

I lay out pictures of those in my “reading circle” focusing on each one with love and inviting them to join me. I wait and usually feel them connect to me. Not always, but most times. And I feel confident that even if I don’t feel a sure connect, they are there just the same. Then I invite my guardian or guiding angel and the angels of each member of the circle to join us, affirming that our communication and bond grows stronger, clearer, more consistent and precise each time we gather. Next I say a little prayer that is meaningful to our purpose.

Then…I read. Usually I read aloud but that may fade into silent reading as time goes on. In some texts, Steiner says to read aloud, others times he says to read silently. I think you should do what feels right to you and your circle at the time. I read for as long as I can stay fully present with the material. If I become cloudy or tired, the images do not translate well for the dead, so I stop for the evening, closing with another little prayer and thanking everyone for attending with the invitation to join me again next time.

Steiner asserts over and over again that this is one of the most important acts of service we can perform for our beloved dead. I can also tell you it is extremely fulfilling for me as well. The intimacy and the feeling of them actually being there, which they are, is so strong at times, it brings me to tears.

So, I hope you will try it out and see if this is something you could also offer your beloved dead. It is a first step…one of many I will share in time, in building the bridge between the so-called living and the so-called dead that is absolutely essential during this time on earth. Both sides of the veil need this bridge desperately. Each of us can play our part. This is one small step I urge you to take. Until I return from Rowe…

A Color and Sound Meditation for the Dead

images of color

In honor of the vow taken in a previous post, we work our way back to Rudolf Steiner’s processes for serving the dead. A while back I referenced a book written by a modern Anthroposophist, Lynn Rollins Stull. In her book, “Wonders at the Veil,” she shares her 18 years plus experience using Steiner’s methods for this important act of service. I agree when she says how one chooses to serve will be highly individual but she offers suggestions and ideas that she discovered along the way as a starting point. Her work with color as nourishment for the dead inspired me and the following meditation on color and sound is the result I now offer to you.

I come from the Hermetic Kabbalah Western Mystery School tradition. My teacher, Jungian Analyst Joseph Lee, works very deeply with the powers of color and sound. Now, he always cautions us that whatever we put out into the world, we are then responsible for the consequences. Therefore, I am keeping this meditation very basic. There are additional layers that could be added if the Community of Spirits reaches the stage of actualizing to a point where I know and have more direct contact with members. As it is now…I do not know exactly who is receiving this information. So to be prudent, for the time being, I am keeping it simple, yet I believe, effective.

Case's Major Arcana

We will work with the border colors of the Major Arcana of the Tarot as adept Paul Foster Case envisioned it. These colors were not randomly chosen and each one sends out a specific psycho-spiritual frequency. I will not go further into it than this but know the colors are chosen for a good reason. The easiest thing to do is to go the Fraternity of the Hidden Light’s store  and purchase their color cards. These are created with the exact correct hue we want to project to our beloved dead.

Focus your attention of each color card for at least a minute, drinking it in. Then for the next minute as you continue to focus on the color card, imbue the color with pulsating love and project it to your beloved dead, knowing that it is spiritual nourishment. Chant “OM” on a note that is comfortable for you while sending the loved charged color across the threshold. Do this with each card.

Depending on time, you may choose to send all of the colors each time or break them into groups and send them a few at a time but be sure that ultimately you send all of the colors. Even one color a day sent with great potency and love would be a beautiful gift to your loved one in the supersensible realm. The more real you make the internal imagery of seeing your loved one actually receiving the color, the more you feel the bond of love vibrating between you, the more nourishing it will be.

If you choose to experiment with this act of service, I would love to hear of your experiences with it. You can post them below in the comments section or email them me at Joellyn@communityofspirits dot org.

Until next time…

Beloved R

 

To R

It is three years ago today that you died to this world but was born into the supersensible realms. The first 18 months of your crossing the threshold were not real to me. I pushed the thought of your death away, pretending it didn’t happen. Then during the last two days of my second Saturn return, December 30-31st, 2014, there you were. Perhaps you’d been trying to reach me all the while but it wasn’t until then, when you brought out the big guns, I could no longer ignore what was happening…and what you were asking of me.

It takes those of us here on the physical plane (I will not say left behind for that does you a great disservice) a long time to get past the suffering of grief and embrace the celebration of your return to the angelic realms…but truly I do celebrate with you today. Slowly I continue to understand how our destiny works together, how everything had to happen the way it did, for this most important work we do together to begin. Do I not sometimes wish things could have been different? Yes…I do. But Rudolf Steiner urges us to accept and fulfill our destiny with as much grace as possible. So to the best of my ability, I do.

You and I have much work to accomplish before I too cross the threshold. With your support and the guidance from our guardian angels, guides and teachers in the higher realms, we will forge ahead…not truly sure where all this will lead…but knowing that no matter what…this is the work we were meant to do…you and I.

So today…I will read to you to help you orient to your new surroundings better and better. I will send you beautiful colors and charged thoughts of love as nourishment for your soul. And I will know…that death does not separate us…that you are closer to me now than ever you were in the flesh…and understand so much better now why, for each of us to do what we were meant to do, we had to “part” in the physical. So with you there and me here (which again is a mistatement as we occupy the same space) …we forge the bridge we agreed to build before we ever incarnated in this life. Truly this life is a mystery!

Happy Birthday R. You are very much loved.

The Two Sides of Death

Life has me running the gauntlet, making it very hard to write Part 2 of Pilgrimage to the Oracles of Greece. I will write it but in the meantime, I wanted to leave you this quote from Rudolf Steiner about death. He is our foremost guide and I am reading this book of his now.

“Death is something that most distinctly has two totally different aspects. Regarded here from the physical world it certainly has many sad aspects, many painful sides. However, here we really only see death from the one side; after our death we see it from the other. It is then the most satisfying and most perfect occurrence that we can possibly experience, for there is it a living fact. Whereas here death is a proof of how frail and transitory the human physical life is- when seen from the spiritual world it is actually a proof that the spirit continually wins the victory over everything non-spiritual that the spirit is ever the life, the eternal, ever-unconquerable life.” Rudolf Steiner – Spiritual Life Now and after Death (page 9).

Serenity and acceptance of our destiny

As I move forward in this work with the dead two tracks are forming that will at some point synthesize and birth something new. First is the work of Rudolf Steiner. Secondly my private work with Dr. Raymond Moody. I have accumulated and am reading virtually everything I can find of Steiner on death, life between death and rebirth, destiny and karma. The private work with Dr. Moody focuses on the philosophy of the ancient Greeks, who in the Western world were the first to ponder the question of life after death, and the oracles who spoke with the higher forms of consciousness and the dead.

I will make some suggestions for those of you truly interested in helping to build the Community of Spirits. These are suggestions only – no one can direct your heart. If this work resonates with your heart, then some of the following suggestions may light up for you.

First, if you have not already, I suggest beginning to read some of Steiner’s work on death and life between death and rebirth. You can find many of his works free online . His books are available at Amazon and there are lots of free You Tubes to be found by searching for him. A good place to start is with his book, “Life Between Death and Rebirth.” In addition I suggest slowly working through his “How to Know the Higher Worlds,” which is found both in book form, most likely in the archive and also as a six hour long You Tube. That is his instruction in how to prepare oneself to enter the inner planes safely and perceive correctly.

I am also going to suggest you consider a book by a contemporary Anthroposophist and new friend of mine, Lynn Stull. “Wonders at the Veil: Creating a Living Relationship with Your Loved Ones Who Have Died,” can be purchased at Amazon or at her website. I think sometimes having a contemporary voice speaking on Steiner’s work is helpful. I am about to read this book myself now.

So for a time…I will go back and forth …one blog on the oracles and Dr. Moody…one on Steiner’s thoughts about the afterlife, karma and destiny. How this will all come together will be, I think, quite exciting and with all sincerity, in service to the Light.

This offering by Steiner on destiny might be challenging…but I offer it to you to explore with an open mind. The quote is but a small part of a larger piece of work. If you are so incline, you can click on the link to read further.

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

What characteristics must we specially cultivate if we wish to work in a beneficial way on our will life?

Most beneficial of all in our will nature is the influence of a life directed in its entire character towards a comprehension of karma. We might also say a soul life which strives to develop, as its primary characteristic, serenity and acceptance of our destiny. And what better way can one find of developing this acceptance, this calmness of soul in the presence of one’s destiny, than by making karma an actual content in one’s life?

What do we mean by this? It means that — not merely theoretically but in a living way — when our own sorrow or the sorrow of another comes upon us, when we experience joy or the heaviest blow of fate, we shall really be fully aware that, in a certain higher sense, we ourselves…

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The dead are perpetually working into our physical world

We have returned from our sojourn to Greece. And what an odyssey it was. Many miraculous happenings I am still processing. Inspiration unfolds. Before I can post about the many sites of significance to our purpose, I need a bit of time to heal. The intensity of the touring process was far more grueling for my nervous system and body than I even anticipated. But…I will post…soon on the many sites of the ancient oracles we encountered…and how that may influence our work together. In the meantime, these thoughts of Steiner’s seem to capture the essence of what I discovered for myself in Greece.

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

You must remind yourselves that as well as living through his life here between birth and death, man passes again and again through the life between death and a new birth. Just as here on earth we have experiences through the instrumentality of our body, we also have experiences between death and a new birth, and these experiences are by no means without significance for what we do during our earthly existence in the physical body. But neither are they without significance for what happens on earth as a whole.

For only part — and indeed the rather lesser part — of what happens on the earth originates from those who are living in the physical body. The dead are perpetually working into our physical world. The forces of which man is unwilling to speak to-day in the age of materialism are nevertheless at work in the physical world. Our…

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After death – 5 (End)

Soon I will begin a sort of spiritual pilgrimage and so I leave you with this fifth and final piece of Steiner’s thoughts on Death. Of course there is much, much more…and we will slowly sift though much of it. Upon returning in a couple of weeks, I hope to share with you a deepening understanding of how our ancestors communicated freely with the gods and their beloved dead. It is time, now, with a fully functioning conscious mind, to re-establish that communication. That is our work here in the Community of Spirits. Talk to you soon…

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

So when, for example, you experience after death the pain of another man through having caused him pain on earth, you say to yourself at once: ‘If I did not feel this pain, I would remain an imperfect human soul, for the pain I have caused in the universe would continually take something from me. I only become a whole human being by experiencing this compensation.’

It may cost us a struggle to see that pain experienced after death in return for pain caused to another, is really a blessing. It will depend on the inner constitution of our soul whether we find this difficult or not; but there is a certain state of soul in which this painful compensation for many things done on earth is even experienced as bliss. It is the state of soul that results from acquiring on earth some knowledge of the super-sensible life. We…

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To B

 

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Fiery student of the Spirit

 

The Community of Spirits grows both on the incarnate and discarnate side. It was inspired and co-founded by my first husband R. My brother, parents and many friends, far too many friends, are members on the spirit side. Slowly we grow on the physical side. But at this time, there is only one person I have had the distinct honor of companioning as a death midwife over the threshold of death, into the “super-sensible” realms, as Rudolf Steiner would call it, and into the Community of Spirits.

I knew B for about ten years. She was a member of the spiritual community that my Kabbalah teacher and Jungian Analyst Joseph Lee created. A fiery and dedicated student of the spirit, B was a Reiki Master and Light worker extraordinaire. She was also a fierce supporter of my work both in death midwifery and in the forming of the Community of Spirits.

Sometime last fall, she was diagnosed with end stage lung cancer….and we began the dance….phone calls, checking in, as she lived quite a distance from me. Chemo treatments failed. Hospice was engaged.

B was, if anything, independent and determined to live life and face death on her own terms. It is my experience that people die the way they live and so it was with B.

She stayed in her home, refusing most of the home care hospice offers, instead engaging the aid of her devoted twin sister and several dear friends. Together they formed her 24 hour a day care team. The demands of caretakers at home are tremendous and they each ceaselessly performed a hero’s job. She refused to take much in the way of pain medication, morphine, as she wanted to be as conscious as possible. As we spoke on the phone (she actually felt more comfortable having the aid of a death midwife long distance. Being physically present made her feel some kind of implied obligation to die quickly. No B, my love, not at all, not at all, but I honored her feelings and maintained my vigil mostly by phone.) I explained to her that it was her choice, her right, not to use morphine but with that choice came the price of more suffering. Morphine helps the patient breathe more easily, relaxes, softens and allows the body to do what it needs to do. I reminded her that at any time, if it became too much for her, the morphine was there to help her. As I said earlier, we die the way we live. B lived hard, full force with no brakes and her death would be the same, no gentle going into that dark night.

However, because B chose to remain conscious and being an extremely intelligent and articulate person, she could validate for me so many things I learned at the bedside of those considered in an “unresponsive” state. As she drew closer to the threshold of death, she became more and more sensitive, not less. The sound of most voices was too loud. Arguments or harshness of tones scorched her like fire. On the one visit she “allowed” me, she confided that she was in agony at night because she could hear the cries of the world and felt helpless to soothe them. Having heard those cries myself at times; I understood her suffering and met her there to help her bear it….for that is what a death midwife does.

Though Hospice provided her with a hospital bed on the first floor of her home, she refused to use it, calling it her “death bed.” Instead she took an hour to slowly and painfully make her way up the spiral staircase, with the aid of her sister, to lie in her own bed, the two of them curled up together, telling stories, sharing memories…laughing, raging, crying. Birth and death are two sides of the same coin; her labor into the spiritual realms was a very difficult and protracted one, for her and for her beloved sister and friends.

Each day on the phone, first with B then with her identical twin, I would check in, allowing each of them to express without judgment, any and all emotions each was having at the time. And there was a whirlwind of them. The dance deepened as her sister shared with me that B was now at times sitting in a trance for long periods of time…visiting the other shore as death midwives have witnessed from times immemorial. Then began the poetry of symbolic language, “I’d like to just throw open the door and go running out into the woods in the snow.” How many times have I heard that mode of expression, the desire to leave…to go…home?

To the very end, B was creative and caring – staring out her window writing what she called “cancer induced haikus,” then using some of her last strength to talk a suicidal person “off the ledge.”

The day before B died, I woke up in the wee hours of the morning realizing I had been holding my breath for a very long time. I couldn’t breathe just like B couldn’t breathe and felt terrible that whole day. We spoke for the last time that afternoon. Or, more accurately, I spoke because she no longer could. She could only hold the phone to her ear, gasping for air and listen as I told her I loved her, that she would be okay no matter what…and that I would talk to her again tomorrow.

The next morning, I woke up around 4:40am as I usually do and felt a tremendous lightness in my chest – all the discomfort and heaviness of the day before simply…gone…and such…freedom. A short while later, I got the phone call from B’s sister telling me that at 4:45am, B died surrounded by two very close friends. She waited for her twin to go home to rest for just a bit, before leaving. B wanted to spare her adored twin the moment of her death…an act of love I have seen countless times.

I found out after her death that B wanted me to officiate her life celebration. Though I am a minister, my ministry has been strictly focused on serving the dying, not doing funerals or life celebrations…so this was a bit of a shock to me. I was driving and trying to figure out all the things needed to make the life celebration happen and to continue supporting B’s sister in her grief, not at my most focused while driving. Now you need to know that B was a very funny woman, hysterical at times…boy could we laugh! And she was, shall we say, ribald. As I swerved to miss a car while merging onto the interstate, I actually heard B in my head laughing and saying, “Now that would be f**king ironic for you to get yourself killed worrying about my celebration!” I laughed out loud for I knew that was B. That was B, alive and vibrant and still hysterical and irreverent.

We held her life celebration this past Saturday April 30, 2016. It was quite beautiful I think. Her sister gave me several lovely gifts…but the loveliest one of all is B’s sister herself. I don’t have a sister but I think B is lending me hers for the time being. That is a gift I treasure.

After the celebration was over and my husband was pulling into the hotel parking lot for us to spend the night before heading home, I felt a huge flush of warmth in my heart…tears welled up in my eyes. I felt the deepest wave of gratitude and heard B say, “Thank you.” Oh B, you are so welcome. And welcome to the spiritual realm of the Community of Spirits. I will read to you, along with my others, at night. I will watch over your sister. Rest easy…let me know what you are up to…and if you can…keep me laughing.