Beginnings January 10, 2016

During 2015 I completed a Midwifing Death course.  At the same time I was editing a manuscript in readiness for publication in 2016.  The manuscript is an account of the Work as it was taught to me when I attended a Christian Esoteric school in Sydney, Australia, during which time I was taught the principles and practices of the Fourth Way (George I. Gurdjieff, 1866 – 1949) and Beyond the Fourth Way (Dr Philip W. Groves, 1920 – 1999).

As a product of this school, which I attended for fourteen years, it stands to reason that my perspective of life, death and the afterlife is heavily influenced by what I was taught.  But it’s more than what I was taught as a student of this School, it’s what life taught me, and that since I was a child, which has also been a significant influence in shaping my understanding of the cosmic use and purpose of humanity.

Like many people who have had access to education, I hold numerous university degrees and certificates, and while they all have relevant currency, I have always found that it is life that is the greatest university and the greatest teacher.  Accordingly, the lived experience of my life has demonstrated countless times that ‘death’ is in truth deathless existence, and our embodied existence in which we live life in the flesh provides us with the opportunity to work on ourselves.

In 2013 my PhD was conferred.  Prior to that time I never spoke or wrote publically about the spiritual experiences which continue to dominate my life.  Afterward however I did and though ridiculed, but never deterred, I braved derision, misunderstanding, fear, avoidance and anger to present my findings at national and international conferences, run bereavement support programs, and have articles published.  Perhaps it was the context in which I discoursed on death, the returning deceased, which made folk uneasy?  In truth I don’t know.

Through the coming together of the embodied and the disembodied a conjunction between two realities, one material the other non-material, is created.  It is within this space, and the stillness of reflection that can follow, that we are invited to become the living principle of a truth in action because in some way, unique to all who experience after-death contact, we know irrefutably that the dead do not die, and we do not die, we simply change our form and mode of existence.

But there’s more to it than that.  The occurrence of after-death contact indicates that something profound is not only occurring but being communicated as well.  After-death contact, the lived experience of it, is an experiential allegory of potential psychospiritual growth and development.  This potentiality can be utilised by the experient to re-evaluate the meaning of their existence as a human being, the meaning of life, and the meaning of their relationship with the sacred or the spiritually infinite.  Importantly, such events invite us to consider life and our participation in life from a transpersonal perspective.

Michele T Knight Written by:

Dr Michele Knight is a Social Worker, Social Scientist, researcher and independent scholar. Her interest and research in the end-of-life has its origin in the lived experiences of her own bereavements, her near-death and shared-death events, the returning deceased and attitudinal responses to those experiences. Since 2006, she has been extensively involved in community development, support and advocacy in both a professional and community services/voluntary capacity in the areas of bereavement and grief, hospital pastoral care, and academic lecturing/tutoring. Her PhD, Ways of Being: The alchemy of bereavement and communique, explores the lived experience of bereavement, grief, spirituality and unsought encounters with the returning deceased.

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