Gravity is a grave subject. When I laid my mother to rest, it was the lowering of her coffin down into the grave that precipitated it. I connected grave and gravity because there was a clear image of going down into the Earth, of going deep into the depths of emotion, of sensing that ultimately, gravity pulled us all down into the grave.
Realizing gravity was composed of the word grave was a connection I did not expect, and quite a serious one, because in the past, I believed gravity was collective karma, that collective karma expects death. When my wife Aingeal Rose and I discussed ascension, or enlightenment, it was about reducing that karmic influence. It was about being lighter, so we rise, or ascend. In this way, we can see there is a clear connection between the grave and death and gravity.
When we think of aging, it results from a force pulling down on the body throughout its lifetime. It results from gravity. It is gravity that pulls the skin down and makes us look old. Its effect makes the body have wrinkles, and over time, makes it unable to repair itself. When we lose the ability to regenerate ourselves, death is the inevitable result.
Collective karma is interesting in this respect. It’s not that people have things to repay, it is because there is a collective belief, things we all agreed to, collective agreement on unenlightened beliefs. It’s because of that the gravity (or heaviness) stays and lightness (or enlightenment) remains elusive.
Thankfully, my mother’s death appeared to be a blissful, joyful, euphoric freedom for her. Even as we placed her body into the ground, I thought of all the times she walked the Wicklow Hills, and journeyed through the highways and byways of Ireland. She was of the Earth. She loved nature, and how it had its own gravitational power. And she finally succumbed to that power. Gravity and my mother became one with nature. For her, going back into the natural earth was only proper; she was going back to what she loved. She was going home. It was as if she was stepping into freedom and we were witnessing the end of her aging and decay.
I didn’t want to make this a morbid conversation, especially because we had such wonderful support from people around that time. They made that part of it a joy — under the circumstances maybe joy is not the right word but I know that you know what I mean. When I was feeling the euphoria of my mother I had a peace around me, and that was the part of me that said, yes, death can be a release from the struggles of this world.
It’s interesting too, that she died at Easter time when Christianity focuses on the death and resurrection of Christ. This time of the year is about crucifixion, and death and sadness. When your skin is aging, and you have saggy breasts, and bags under your eyes and your hair is gray, it is very hard not to have a weather eye out for your death in the future. This is so especially when you accept that death is normal, or you accept or believe everybody dies, but it was important for me (and I know it was what my mother wanted), not to focus on death at all.
Soon after the funeral, Aingeal Rose & I interviewed several people who had near-death experiences. Rather than finding joyful reports about death, we found it can be a harrowing experience for some people and I found myself with mixed feelings about the whole thing. I believed death was natural, but these people were reporting they had some control over it. Suddenly, I found myself betwixt and between two heart spaces with the whole thing. The period around someones death can be confusing for those left behind, and I was more confused about death than ever.
For me, the earth was not a place I wanted to live on forever, unless I had dominion over my mortality — does anyone ever have dominion over their own mortality? When you read of alchemists who lived for 600 years or more, or thousands of years, they still die. It must be difficult to get your consciousness to a place where death does not own you.
When you think of Ken Wapnick and The Course In Miracles lesson, “There is nothing your holiness cannot do”. He must have read those lessons a thousand times and still developed lung cancer and died. Is there a part of us that wants to die? He said the ego was out for murder. How many people do we know, or who have written books on physical immortality, still age and die? Who of them ever enter immortality? Many teach immortality using a sacred oil that regenerates the body, but they still age. Overcoming this death process is not an easy thing to do because we constantly fight against gravity, and that takes its toll on the physical body. So, the collective consciousness takes people down. No matter what they believe, once they’re in this space, the belief is so strong that is very hard for an individual to escape from that.
There is much to be learned from this. I would like for my belief in the death process to be much diminished, and then it will be possible for me to be lighter in my body because of my changed beliefs. It’s not about focusing on the death side of it, rather, it’s about focusing on the light side of it. We could see that with my mother because, though she physically died, there was a great sense of lightness about her.
Seeing her in the coffin, she looked innocent, and that innocence was all around her. It was palpable, and in lots of ways, somewhat surprising, because when you go to a funeral, you expect sadness and heaviness and gloominess. But to see her there reposing gave us a sense of lightness, an innocence, a purity. It was as if she felt that, and because we were connected to her, we could feel what she was feeling, and it wasn’t grave. It was enlightening!