Musings on Birth and Death

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This winter I heard of many new babies coming into the world to very loving, secure, and supportive parents—and to spiritually conscious grandparents. The sheer number of such beings making their appearances at this time under such conditions, made me wonder what this could mean. Are these little ones heralding in a new age of higher consciousness? Are they here to help uplift and heal the planet? Or is there no particular significance to this observed phenomenon?

My own experience heightened this line of questioning. My grandson was born on the Chinese New Year (January 29). On the morning of his birth before his mother went into labor, I had a profound sense that something awesome was about to happen. I was to be reunited with a great being whom I had lost but didn’t know I had lost until then.

It would be wonderful to imagine that great beings are coming to this planet during these discouraging times and that “help is on the way!” Whether this is true or not, we welcome these new seeds of life, who are being born into supportive homes, and send them many blessings for their journeys.

Such ponderings made me realize that we, as spiritual seekers, have a responsibility in helping these young ones to remember the perennial wisdom that lies deep within them, whether we are related to them or not. How do we help awaken them in an age when materialism, surface beauty, premature sexuality, violence, and drugs beckon to them from every direction? Will we be viewed as archaic relics of an irrelevant past or as wise elders that have something to teach? How we navigate the passing on of wisdom will be a challenge for all of us and will help determine which direction the ensuing years will take.

On the other end of the spectrum, Larry and I recently visited his mother, who is failing more and more as a result of TIAs (mini strokes) and dementia. I watched as Larry so lovingly and quietly sat with her. The aide kept urging his mother to talk to her son (which was very hard for her to do) but he said it was not necessary. Communication of love, energy, and deep connection with those in the last stages of life often goes beyond talk. It’s the same kind of communication possible with a newborn. Stephen Levine in his Healing into Life and Death speaks about synchronizing your breath with that of a dying or ill person as a profound way of connecting to them. Here’s another learning to be acquired and finessed: to be truly present to those who are preparing to return to the world from which the newborns have just come.

Comings and goings are always with us, but there are times in life when these passages impact us more directly. Such times help us to step back from the myriad of details that overrun our lives and look at the bigger picture of why we are here. They remind us of the other worlds and they help us to connect more with the Source of all birth and death. Births in particular, give us hope for a new, more enlightened future.

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