Sunday, August 23, 2009

PROOF, FAITH, LOVE


People want proof of the spiritual. We're not going to get it. The way this universe is designed, proof is a somewhat illusory concept anyway. Even Science can rarely be said to approach proof in any "philosophical" sense. Science and experience give us more or less confidence in a thing, but not really proof. Still people would like to have that strong security that scientific testing often brings. The more that the spiritual, the consciousness, the will enters into anything, the less "sure" you're going to be. That is why "science" hates the spiritual. It is an uncontrollable wild card that will not "behave". It is comforting to believe that the goddess Diana is no longer up there controlling the Moon, especially if you are an Apollo astronaut, since you don't want her to have a whimsical thought and the Moon not be there when you arrive. Science has done great service for us. But by absolutely shunning the spiritual, its practitioners have also done subtle and increasing harm. Today's picture has something to do with "proof" and the spiritual. It is of my father standing in his WW2 "Victory Garden". He was a great man--a great dad. He was caring and observant, protective and adventurous, a fountain of every conceivable area of knowledge. It was a privilege to have been his son. "Have been" means that he is no longer here in this "normal" physical existence that we find ourselves in. He passed away over thirty years ago. The whole family was able to make the ceremonies. After the Mass at the smalltown church, we returned to the family home. My family is a very dynamic and rather garrulous lot. Not that day. We sat in the living room in the most unusual stunned silence. Our wonderful father was gone. We weren't even crying. I was sitting across from the big bay window which looked out onto the front lawn and across the street. I stared mindlessly at the outside, and then...from around the corner of the neighbors house came a deer. It was a rather magnificent deer: a big buck with a huge rack of horn and a beautiful coat. It turned its head toward our house and began walking a straight line across the street, up the slight incline of our lawn, directly to the window where it stopped and motionlessly stared inside. Its black eyes calmly met your own as it stood there. How long this time-stopping experience went on, I cannot tell you, but it was many seconds at least, as I had time to yell at mother (who was in the kitchen) twice to run out here and look. Ultimately the buck turned, with no urgency, and walked then bounded away on the same line-of-travel it had taken to give us this experience. Persons who are afraid of the spiritual can call "coincidence" all they want. Fine. Especially if it makes someone feel better about the world. But no one in my family will credit that for a moment, and I doubt that most other people will either. Earlier in the life of the family, Dad had on rare occasions felt that we needed a little reassurance about something. On those occasions he would say, "It's alright gang". That deer was calmly saying the same thing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------Many years later I was at the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies and among those there at the time was one of the world's best UFO field researchers. We were talking about "esoteric" matters and I told the story about "Dad's Deer". I saw that she was crying. The story brought up the moment in her life when her daughter had died. After the ceremony, she went home devastated. She went into her garden just because she wanted to be unbothered by people for a moment and this was a place where she and her daughter had peace before. She sat there and an "odd thing" happened. A butterfly came and landed on her hand. This had never happened before. She sat there, several minutes, with the butterfly keeping company. When it finally departed, she, understandably, felt a great peace which she felt was the last gift to her from her daughter. She still cries at the memory, but the tears are more of wonder and, as much as can be, joy. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Once I had a very good student (good because he refused to let anyone cramp his curiosity and, therefore, his creativity), who volunteered the following story. He had a much-loved grandfather who lived alone. His relatives knew that he couldn't adequately take care of a dog, but thought that he could use some company and bought him a bird. The old gentleman took care of the bird, and feeling sorry for it, would open its cage door to encourage it to fly about as a bird should do. It wouldn't do so. In fact, it not only never left the cage, it would not talk, squawk, or make noise at all. The old man died. When the family returned from the ceremony, the bird was flying all over the house and making a constant uproar. Stories like these are in the uncounted thousands. They do not "prove" the spiritual. They certainly don't disprove it either. An honest scientist would say that they are "possible data points to support the hypothesis that the consciousness can still occasionally affect the physical after death". Of course, organizational science will never say this. Deer, and Butterflies, and Birds are not supposed to act like this in such a disorderly and unlawful behavior. But my father, the good scientist with the chemical engineering mind, would say they DO, and "it's alright gang".

6 comments:

  1. Yesterday, as a began my turn onto Milwaukee Avenue, I saw the sun illuminate the reddish brown back of a young buck nibbling on some flowers in Saint Adalbert Cemetery. As I completed the turn, the deer looked in my direction and began running along the fence, gracefully leaping over headstones and wreathes and darting around monuments, easily keeping pace with me. When I approached the end of the cemetery grounds, it disappeared into the shade behind a line of pine trees. I slowed down and craned my neck to catch one last glimpse behind the trees, but I could not see him. In the few moments that we were running parallel with each other, I felt a connection with its wild spirit that was both calming and exhilarating, a rare feeling. After reading your post, I like to think that this deer could be my "Grand Dad's Deer".

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  2. To Newb, if you stay open to these possibilities, I can promise you that you'll begin to see them still "surrounding" us in our lives. Of course, it helps a little to get beyond the "noise" of our techno-world for at least a bit of naturalness. GOD bless, however you may envision the Great Maker and Sustainer. The "olde professor".

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  3. I remember a friend, an artist named Jim. [I was his parish priest at the time.] He called from the hospital to say he was dying, but before I could visit, he checked out for a final European trip with his mother and sister. In a tourist hotel in London he lay down and died. They shipped his body back home for burial.

    The following week I was discussing plans for a memorial service with his companion. Now, Jim always had long wild hair, shoulder﷓length hair, in keeping with his artist image. As I spoke with his companion, there suddenly emerged on the edge of my consciousness like a stained glass window brightening as the sun came out from behind a cloud ... Jim's face, and it stayed there, unlike a memory, as the conversation continued. But for whatever reason, his hair was very short.

    Then he faded, and moments later, his friend mentioned that -﷓ to please his mother's conventional sensibility -﷓ he had cut off all his hair before leaving on that trip.

    [I described what I had seen, and Jim's companion said, that's how he looked when he died - although you never saw him like that.]

    We can explain that event at any level of precision, but whatever our interpretation, something emerged in my consciousness that told a more precise truth than we usually know how to tell.

    ...


    At the graveside ﷓ and we are always at the graveside ﷓﷓ the powerful compression of grief tunes our awareness to what matters most. We surrender to the truth that is always there, but buried, our deep longing for forgiveness and mutual forbearance, our desire to surrender the need to be rigid or right. The readiness is everything, and during those moments of exquisite timing ﷓- tolled by a clock that ticks to a different rhythm -﷓ we know that when everything can go right, it will, at the best possible moment. We weep, and we embrace one another. The universe is gregarious and welcoming. We are built to live in space that is gateless, unbounded, free.


    ... from "Ferg's Law," one of my "Islands in the Clickstream," all of which are at www.thiemeworks.com

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  4. Richard, whether clairvoyance or mind-to-mind psychic connection, your experience was in the realm of the Spiritual---a "little miracle" so commonplace that the world is full of them. A British science fiction hero said: there is always something to see, if you just open your eyes.

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  5. I had two similar experiences: one after losing my Dad, about whom I felt as you do about yours, and some years later after losing my aunt.

    During the graveside service on a beautiful August day for my father, a large cicada zoomed into our little gathering and square into the center of my chest before flying off. I strongly felt it was somehow my father communicating symbolically through the natural world.

    Some years later after my aunt's funeral on a frigid January day, our small family came back home in a numb state and as I was a getting out of the car, a cat that I'd never seen near the house before (or since) jumped up into my lap as soon as I opened the car door and would've sat there contentedly purring had I let it. Again, I had a strong feeling it was my aunt communicating with me in a way she knew would get my attention as she knew I loved cats.

    Of course, rationally I recognize these are my interpretations.

    But I've also come to recognize we don't really live in a rational world....or perhaps one whose rationale is something different from what is generally assumed.

    "There is reality and there are dreams; and then there is another reality as well. - Andre Gide

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  6. If our "culture" allowed us a stress-free environment within which to share with one another all these experiences, I believe that they would be so numerous that doubt of their validity would be as laughable as suggestion of their truth is nowadays. I like the Gide quote.

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