WAYNE: At the moment, Kaye is on the phone with Joy. Mark, Joy's beloved partner, and father of the boys, died this morning in a motorcycle accident. I have no more particulars except that Kaye and Joy, are on the phone as I write, both sobbing deeply.
Think of Joy in all her lightness and goodness... Our Joy, in this time of need...
EM: Yeah. Stunned is the word.
WAYNE: When the totally unexpected happens in life, we are momentarily stunned into inaction. Shortly, the ego mind recovers and begins to plan a response.
When Kaye got the news, it was obvious to me that the news was bad, because of Kaye's reaction. After she hung up the phone, she told us what had happened. That is the “stunned” part. We were mute. As Kaye recovered, she began planning wildly. She would go to the funeral, she would not go, we would go, we would not go, could we find the funds, and should we drive. All of this interspersed with tears and pain.
As is my wont, I retreated after a bit and sat silently, and once again touched the Refuge, the Stillness that is always Present and has no regard for the drama of this world. I went back into the living room, and Kaye was sitting distraught on the sofa. I just stood there and looked at her, and she looked beseechingly at me, waiting for me to say something, anything. After a few moments of looking at each, other I simply said (as Kaye has reported), “nothing has moved.” A look of Peace came over Kaye's face, unbidden. She had Heard.
The Peace that passes understanding is our Refuge. It is beyond the mind yet includes the mind. It is that Stillness that is the background for all phenomenal activity, be it seeing or hearing objects, all action, everything. It is a mistake to think that Peace mitigates pain: It does not. It is not a “technique” to make pain go away. So in a sense, our Refuge is of no help in this world. To Know Peace does not change the circumstances or the drama in this world, the world simply goes on, until it doesn't.
Knowledge of Peace does not lessen our pain, and yet there is an indefinable Knowing that comforts us in our grief. It is similar to a mother’s arms holding her wounded child.
It is the expression on Mary's face as she holds the crucified Jesus in Michelangelo’s Pieta. It is the peace one feels as one listens to a robin sing its song perched upon a tombstone. It is Hearing “All is well,” when the mind screams it is not.
Life goes on. And for those who have no Knowledge of Peace, we step in and hold their hands until the grief subsides, or until our simple holding allows the Peace that passes understanding, to enter the wounded Heart and begin to Teach, that which cannot be understood.
All is well.
EM: When I first came to EOTS and the subject was Teachers, I said that one of my Teachers was Death. Death is one of the greatest Teachers of all because, just as Wayne is the concrete wall in his Way, there is no more concrete a wall than Death. And to be made so aware of it, in times like these, that it can come at any moment to any of us and in any way. Well it makes one feel a certain bitter sweetness of Life, like no other “Awareness” can. At least that is how it feels for me. I See in this Instance how all of us just STOP, and Feel Joy, and her boys, and their Pain, and we are with her, just with her, and any and all ideas of Joy or past associations with Joy in all of the various ways we as individuals relate to Joy, just Flow into ONE Thing and that is Love.
Some of us have not physically met her, doesn't matter at a “time” like this. All of those apparent levels of intimacy just vanish as we all become the most intimate in our One Heart together, drawn by Love, but pushed there by Death. It is so paradoxical in that sense.
Feeling Joy has brought me to Feeling my Dad all over again, and probably for any of us, our lost loved ones too. God I'm rambling here, but I think the point I wanted to make was, I wish the “leveling” influence of times like these, could be with us always. That we could Always remain keenly Aware of the Teacher at our shoulder, and cherish one another as the befuddled, bewildered, confused, dear, loveable, even adorable beings that we are... it is so obvious that we are, Adorable. For when, in the midst of our playing our little roles and parts as Death pulls aside the curtain and says “Oh yeah? You think so?” All that we care about is to love one another, and remembering what was utterly and completely Adorable about our Loved One. That is it. There is no other “thing.”
I've noticed that all of the things about my Dad that I didn't particularly “like,” have vanished into dust, and only what was/is True and Real and Beautiful about my Dad, remains and it Shines, it shines, and that shining is a comfort and even a Joy.
So in that sense, Death brings another Gift, sifting the wheat from the chaff, and showing in bold “relief” what is and always was Important. This is the comfort that I hope Joy will experience, and soon.
WAYNE: Thank you for this. Yes, Mr. Death keeps us close, and all of the petty concerns vanish in the light of his gift.
EM: Many have talked about the need to be willing to die in order to find enlightenment. I have been having chest pain lately, and have been to the doctor to get some medication. It seemed to help. But while going through this process, I had some fear about dying. Mostly the fear was about not seeing my wife or children again, not seeing my children grow up, etc. I felt very sad about that prospect. I suppose there is not much I can do about it, that death (in this world) is inevitable. I believe that I am a spirit and that the spirit goes on. But do the memories of this world survive the death of the body, or do they come to an end as well? And if I am completely honest, my belief in the spirit is still mostly an intellectual one, that the “child” part of me, the emotional part, is still afraid of what will happen when the body is no more. I would be interested in how others deal with this “issue.”
WAYNE: What you write is such a personal thing. Each of us probably would answer a little differently. I can tell you what I see.
This world is a finite world and so is everything in it. My body is finite, it was born and it will die. But that which animates all, call it spirit, God, consciousness, That, is forever, was never born and never dies. My closest term for it is “That” and secondly, “Consciousness.” It is That which never moves or changes. It is the blank canvas upon which the story is writ. It is You.
As you say, most people have a fear of dying because it signifies the end of everything, and it is, but in that sorrow, in that sadness, is a great gift. That from which you came, before you had a face, is that to which you return, when the face dies. Such a brief spark that lights up the world and then gone. There will be no more EM or Wayne, our time is done.
What an exquisite and unique life... No one knows when you will die, or when my end will come. It will when it does. And so it will for those who will miss you, and the ones who will miss them, as it has always been.
Such a beautiful story... such Love.
The above is taken from the book "First There Is A Mountain available in both printed and Kindle editions. Click on cover below to order your copy.