I have posted three articles on Life and Death here. Scroll down for the other two after this first one.
Entanglement and the Passing of a Life
This was originally posted by Dr. Brett Wade on his blog www.ekahimethod.com
On Wednesday night, my partner and I had plans to drive to see a loved one who was seriously ill in hospital. Uncle Dan, whom I had only recently come to know, was diagnosed with end stage cancer. I met Uncle Dan a few years ago, and I instantly liked him. He was an exquisite listener, with a curious mind that constantly fed his nimble brain with new ideas and concepts. Sadly, he left earth too soon for everyone he touched.
It was during his palliative care that I was privileged to get to know Uncle Dan even better. I learned that he was fascinated with recent discoveries in quantum physics, such as entanglement theory and time dilation. On one particular afternoon, while we sat beneath a beneath a majestic pine tree shortly after he had received his first radiation therapy, we chatted about the subject. It is one of the many areas that Uncle Dan and I shared a fascination – along with the lovable foibles of Volkswagens.
Uncle Dan knew the end was near. I had seen him enough over the past year to witness him pass through the stages of dying as described by Kubler-Ross. I saw him, over a year ago, cry and express worry about dying. Now, as we sat under the pine tree, it was clear he had reached not only a stage of acceptance but excitement. I have worked in health care for nearly two decades, working with people with brain cancer, traumatic brain injuries, ALS, and other terminal diseases, but I have never seen anyone speak about dying like Uncle Dan. He weaved in his understanding of time dilation and entanglement theory with his readiness for a new journey that most certainly was not terminal.
As we sat under the pine tree, he took a long drag on a Peter Jackson and said, “I am really looking forward to dying.” I must admit, I was taken aback. Then he said, “I am convinced that when I die, my atoms get recycled and I will become something else – maybe not even of this galaxy”. His enthusiasm for the subject of afterlife from a quantum mechanical model was infectious. I too was reorganizing my thinking of afterlife from a Christian model to that of a “matter model.” If matter can never be destroyed, it stands to reason, as Carl Sagan put it, “we are all made of star stuff”.
Entanglement theory was first proposed by, non other than, Albert Einstein and colleagues. Einstein and his colleagues wrote a paper which described the effect of subatomic particles on each other. They wrote about the effect when particles such as electrons or photons from neighboring atoms interacted with each other, they affected the energy or spin of the neighboring subatomic particle. Einstein called this effect “Spooky Action at a Distance”. To the day he died, he was convinced that there was something wrong with the calculations of quantum physics and as such this effect of particles effecting each other was inexplicable and possibly a major flaw in quantum physics.
Many years later, and numerous experiments, have proven that when a subatomic particle comes near another subatomic particle, its energy or spin is forever changed. The most amazing part is that the distance does not matter. In other words, you take two atoms, place them near each other, and then separate them, the spin of the electrons or vibration of the photons is, forever connected or entangled. This is indisputable.
So, what does this mean for all of us left on the third rock from the sun, missing Dan? Perhaps, we are all entangled with him? We must be. Everyone close to him is now entangled with him. Wherever he is now, we are vibrating and resonating with him. I am sure if you were ever touched by Dan, when you sit quietly, and listen to your subatomic vibrations, you can feel him. He is not really gone – he has imbued his vibrational energy on us.
Anytime we miss Dan, we can always connect with him. I trust that he is out there, as much as he is in here, continuing, as Inger put it, “committed to make the world a better place, everyday”.
Godspeed Uncle Dan.
Finding a Lost Loved One
Excerpt from NO DEATH. NO FEAR by Thich Nhat Hanh
“The same thing happens when we lose any of our beloved ones. When conditions are not right to support life, they withdraw. When I lost my mother I suffered a lot. When we are only seven or eight years old it is difficult to think that one day we will lose our mother. Eventually we grow up and we all lose our mothers, but if you know how to practice, when the time comes for the separation you will not suffer too much. You will very quickly realize that your mother is always alive within you.
The day my mother died, I wrote in my journal, “A serious misfortune of my life has arrived.” I suffered for more than one year after the passing away of my mother. But one night, in the highlands of Vietnam, I was sleeping in the hut in my hermitage. I dreamed of my mother. I saw myself sitting with her, and we were having a wonderful talk. She looked young and beautiful, her hair flowing down. It was so pleasant to sit there and talk to her as if she had never died.
When I woke up it was about two in the morning. and I felt very strongly that I had never lost my mother. The impression that my mother was still with me was very clear. I understood then that the idea of having lost my mother was just an idea. It was obvious in that moment that my mother is always alive in me.
I opened the door and went outside. The entire hillside was bathed in moonlight. It was a hill covered with tea plants and my hut was set behind the temple halfway up. Walking slowly in the moonlight through the rows of tea plants, I noticed my mother was still with me. She was the moonlight caressing me as she had done so often, very tender, very sweet … wonderful! Each time my feet touched the earth I knew my mother was there with me. I knew this body was not mine alone but a living continuation of my mother and my father and my grandparents and great-grandparents – of all my ancestors. These feet that I saw as “my” feet were actually “our” feet. Together my mother and I were leaving footprints in the damp soil. From that moment on the idea that I had lost my mother no longer existed.
All I had to do was look at the palm of my hand, feel the breeze on my face or the earth under my feet to remember that my mother is always with me, available at any time.
When you lose a loved one, you suffer. But if you know how to look deeply, you have a chance to realize that his or her nature is truly the nature of no birth, no death. There is manifestation and there is the cessation of manifestation in order to have another manifestation. You have to be very keen and very alert in order to recognize the new manifestations of just one person. But with the practice and with effort you can do it.
So, taking the hand of someone who knows the practice, together do walking meditation. Pay attention to all the leaves, the flowers, the birds and the dewdrops. If you can stop and look deeply, you will be able to recognize your beloved one manifesting again and again in many forms. You will again embrace the joy of life.”
Ram Dass Letter to Grieving Parents
whose daughter was murdered. (link)
“Dear Steve and Anita,
Rachel finished her work on earth, and left the stage in a manner that
leaves those of us left behind with a cry of agony in our hearts, as the
fragile thread of our faith is dealt with so violently. Is anyone strong
enough to stay conscious through such teaching as you are receiving?
Probably very few. And even they would only have a whisper of equanimity and
peace amidst the screaming trumpets of their rage, grief, horror and
I can’t assuage your pain with any words, nor should I. For your pain is
Rachel’s legacy to you. Not that she or I would inflict such pain by choice,
but there it is. And it must burn its purifying way to completion. For
something in you dies when you bear the unbearable, and it is only in that
dark night of the soul that you are prepared to see as God sees, and to love
as God loves.
Now is the time to let your grief find expression. No false strength.
Now is the time to sit quietly and speak to Rachel, and thank her for being
with you these few years, and encourage her to go on with whatever her work
is, knowing that you will grow in compassion and wisdom from this experience.
In my heart, I know that you and she will meet again and again, and
recognize the many ways in which you have known each other. And when you
meet you will know, in a flash, what now it is not given to you to know: Why
this had to be the way it was.
Our rational minds can never understand what has happened, but our hearts
– if we can keep them open to God – will find their own intuitive way.
Rachel came through you to do her work on earth, which includes her manner of
death. Now her soul is free, and the love that you can share with her is
invulnerable to the winds of changing time and space. In that deep love,
In the movie Fierce Grace about Ram Dass there is one powerful scene in which the couple whose daughter was murdered reads this letter from Ram Dass.
The movie is available full-length on YouTube.