Updated: Nov 7, 2020
"Chew on This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder", a book of inspirational short stories by Gary Brock and Kelly Tuck, and is available for purchase here!
*Words of wisdom for inspirational thought are at the end of the story!
“Hello, my friends,” Guru Garysheema said, bowing deeply to his viewing audience.
I felt myself smiling at the screen in return. Ever since attending a weekend retreat taught by Guru Garysheema several years before, I was always eager to hear, ponder over, and then internalize his unique and wise perspectives and observations of the world. Recently he had tired of traveling so frequently and started utilizing the electronic age to broadcast his teachings through social media platforms. As soon as I saw he had posted a new online lecture, I grabbed my “guru notebook” and a pen and sat down in front of my computer, excited for the new bit of wisdom he would surely impart into my life.
The guru lowered himself into a cross-legged seated position. “My message to you today is about beginnings and endings, and endings that are actually beginnings. It is all about perspective.” He laced his fingers together contemplatively. “And possibly the perspective you currently hold about this subject is wrong.”
“You may be thinking, ‘Guru, what do you mean? What are you talking about?’” He paused slightly before smiling, “I am talking about death, my friends, physical death.”
My eyebrows skyrocketed before I slowly wrote the word “death” at the top of my page.
He chuckled, “Oh, I feel straightening up in your chair. Does this make you uncomfortable? The topic of death usually does for most individuals. Therein lies most of the challenge, the issue, the problem surrounding this inevitable part of the cycle of life. It is called fear…fear of the unknown. Truly, death is not an ending, but merely a phase of existence that every single creature on Earth encounters when the physical body can carry on no further. Let us explore in hopes that you will consider a different perspective…one that believes death is not an ending, but actually a beginning.”
I scribbled the words down on the fresh page in the journal filled with notes from the guru’s previous teachings. Finally, my mind caught up with the words that I had just finished writing and I focused on the phrase death is a beginning. I blew out a sigh. My brain could not comprehend its meaning, let alone get past “death.” Frowning at the word, I didn’t think I’d be able to associate “death the end” with “death the beginning,” no matter how insightful the guru’s message was.
“Many brilliant people, including Albert Einstein, have taught us to approach problems, enigmas, or mysteries in a different manner than normally approached,” Guru Garysheema continued, yanking me into focus. “These individuals have said no mystery can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. You say, ‘Wait a minute, guru, we did not create death.’ Yes, my friends that is true, but…” he held up a finger and paused for a long second. “We did create our concept of death.”
What is he talking about? I mused, curious as to where he was leading me. Death is death. We didn’t just make that up. Everything dies eventually…
“These people have also said every enigma, mystery, or problem contains the seed of its own solution. Think about that for a moment. Consider human beings - we contain the seeds within ourselves to perpetuate human life, as does the animal kingdom. Consider how plants perpetuate themselves by tubers or seeds, which they create themselves. Trees, like plants, produce seeds to ultimately produce more trees. Think of pinecones or acorns - they are in fact seeds. How about apples, oranges, and watermelons? Or peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers? Yes, they all have seeds contained inside to continue life.”
Confused, I found myself writing death = life? at the bottom of the page in small lettering as I waited for him to connect all the dots that seemed scattered all over his lecture.
“Just as the seed to solve the mystery of physical life is within, so is the seed to solve the mystery of physical death; however, this seed is within our mind, for it is all in how we perceive death…the vast beyond. Now, some would argue that when the body dies, the person dies – no one lives forever. To that I say it all depends on how ‘living’ is defined. If ‘living’ is defined as simply breathing or the beating of the heart,” he shrugged, “then I would wholeheartedly agree. But, if ‘living’ is defined as the vibration of energy that is within each of us, then I wholeheartedly disagree with your assessment. ‘Energy?” You ask. ‘What energy?’”
Yeah, I thought, what energy?
Guru Garysheema paused and stretched out his arms. “It is the energy that each and every living creature embodies and creates simply by inhabiting this realm. Einstein taught anything having mass has an equivalent amount of energy. Everything in our world has mass, therefore, everything has energy.”
Pausing the guru’s message, I blinked several times before glancing down at my notebook to reread what I had just written down. Let me read that again slowly. My head was spinning. How does energy equate to life and living? Yes, we all need energy to carry out tasks and make it through the day, and we get a recharge of that energy when we rest or sleep…but I know that’s not exactly what Guru Garysheema is saying. At the top of the page I wrote ENERGY and circled it slowly before clicking on the guru’s video to resume his message.
“Now, consider this,” the guru’s head tilted back slightly. “Could life be more than just a physical incarnation? The major religions of the world, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, all believe that physical death is not final, meaning they believe that life exists beyond the physical realm - this dimension that we ‘live’ in. The world’s major religions represent approximately 4.5 billion people of the approximate 7.5 billion people on Earth. Sixty percent of all the people in the world, represented by the four major religions say they believe in an ‘afterlife;’ this percentage, of course, does not include all of the other countless human beings that believe in an afterlife that are not associated within the major religions. If so many people believe in an afterlife, why are we so fearful of physical death? Why is there so much dread?” The guru pressed his fingers together underneath his chin. “Is it simply because of the unknown of what lies beyond? Or maybe because it is something to be experienced alone?”
I stared at the guru through the screen in amazement. He was right! I believed in an afterlife…but I always found myself become tense whenever I pondered over my own mortality.
“It has been written,” he continued, “‘no matter how long the winter, the spring is sure to follow.’ The great Christian evangelist Reverend Billy Graham said, ‘Someday you will read or hear Billy Graham is dead. Don’t believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed addresses.’ What he said was wise and it makes me smile. He too knew his spirit, his life force, his energy, would not die with his physical body and there would be more to be experienced in a different realm.”
“We know through numerous accounts of near death experiences there is more to life than the human body. Our energy, our essence, utilizes the physical bodies, created by the seeds within them, to experience this physical realm we call Earth. There have been far too many documented accounts of similar experiences to discount the validity of the NDE. These include individuals pronounced dead that can recount exactly what was said in the operating room or ambulance before they came ‘back to life.’ These also include out of body experiences in which the individual pronounced dead actually hovers over their earthly body, witnessing everything that is happening around them, and some who have seen the all-encompassing tunnel and white light before returning to their bodies. Dr. Raymond Moody among others has documented this phenomena repeatedly in his medical practice supported by verifiable research.”
“We know through regression hypnosis that people can recount verifiable and documented life events from the lives of people that have been deceased for hundreds of years. How can this be unless the life energy of the deceased person is still viable, meaning that the energy is still alive? There have been far too many documented experiences to discount the validity of reincarnation, or some form thereof, with the events of one life bleeding over into the memory of another life.”
“Consider the preschool aged child that draws and colors pictures of war planes on fire with numbers on the plane’s side which, after research, are determined to be planes that flew and were destroyed in battles a century prior. Consider the adult that is deathly afraid of water and under hypnosis relives being drowned on a ship which sank in a storm some decades earlier and can name the ship and passengers who drowned alongside them. Once again, when researched the facts are recorded, historical events. Dr. Brian Weiss has extensively documented the phenomena in his medical practice with irrefutable patient history of the same.”
“Consider organ transplant recipients. It has been documented many times that their own preferences change to reflect the preferences of the actual organ donor. In these cases, it would be safe to assume that some residual energy left behind by the individual whose physical body died impacted the energy of the one who received their organ.”
“You are saying now, ‘guru, why does all of this matter?’” He smiled. “It matters because it supports my point that the spirit lives on after death of the body.”
My jaw was resting on my keyboard as I scribbled away, not fully comprehending what I was writing but all the while hoping it would make sense when I reread it later.
Guru Garysheema paused for a moment before gazing thoughtfully at his viewing audience. “I was talking with a young friend of mine just the other day. He recently graduated from a prestigious law school and passed his BAR exam with flying colors. During our conversation, I congratulated him on working hard and accomplishing his dream of becoming a lawyer.”
He paused and chuckled, “What he said was so profound, he actually made me stop and ponder over his words. My young friend said, ‘Guru, graduating from law school and passing the BAR does not make you an attorney; it gives you the opportunity, the right, to practice law so that you may become an attorney.’” His head shook slowly side to side in wonder. “What wise words from this young man.”
“That conversation with my young friend reminded me of a similar conversation I had with my former martial arts master. I had been studying Tae Kwon Do for several years and had progressed through the belt ranking system. After much hard work, studying, and practice to refine my martial arts skills, I finally tested and proudly received my black belt, the highest colored belt within the ranking system. While my martial arts master was removing my red belt and replacing it with my hard earned black belt, he looked up at me and said, ‘Now you are ready to learn.’”
The guru clapped his hands together softly. “So very interesting. What he was truly telling me was that I had finally achieved the necessary foundation and now I could actually start becoming proficient in Tae Kwon Do, even though I had already spent years honing my craft to reach what had appeared to be the pinnacle. This is so very much like life. When we first enter this world, we must learn the basic skills for survival, then we learn how to have relationships with others, how to solve problems, how to use our skills and talents to achieve our dreams. Every single day from the moment we are born until the moment our hearts stop beating, we are adding layer upon layer to the foundation of our lives.” He grinned suddenly. “And why would we subconsciously and consciously do this if we did not have some internal knowing that there is life beyond the physical realm? A life that we have spent our entire physical existence preparing and learning for.”
I felt my mind implode with the impact of the message he shared, as if it were shattering the preconceived notions of what I thought I knew about life…and death. All I could do was stare, pen frozen above the full page, as he continued his lecture.
“So, my friends, where does all of this lead us? Is our physical life just the infancy and maturation leading each of us to a greater, grander existence? After we complete our physical life is it then that we really begin to live, to experience true life? Should we look to the passing over with anticipation and expectation instead of dread? Would we approach our physical life differently if we approached our physical death differently? Is death truly the beginning of living instead of the end of living? Seeing death as the end of life is just like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean.”
“The ultimate message of nature is that life is stronger than death. Our world is in a constant state of creation and re-creation. Man-made and natural disasters are further proof that even in catastrophic destruction new life and new forms of life always prevail. “In other words,” he winked, “life goes on.”
“I hope each of you will consider my words. Meditate on the questions that have been posed to you. Ask yourself this question, if nothing else, and decide which answer makes your perspective brighter, clearer, hopeful…and, more importantly, resonates with the very energy of your soul. Given all that we experience, learn, know, and live, I believe the answer is obvious.
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IS IT LIFE AFTER DEATH OR LIFE AFTER LIFE?
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*Chew On This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder is available for purchase here!