Worlds within worlds

By choice I live a life of solitude, which is actually a bit of a boon because it provides the opportunity for me to see the company I keep. Not in an external sense of course, but internally, as thoughts and inclinations in the mind. Recently I was pondering on my death, and I wondered at the possibility that were I to die at home suddenly and without warning, that no one would know for some time. As my thoughts wandered, I could see the headline in the local newspaper:

Woman who lived alone found dead in her apartment by police … Michele Knight lived a solitary life. Keeping to herself and known to be a loner Ms Knight, who appears to have died of natural causes, was estimated to have been dead for three weeks when her body was discovered by local police after the alarm was raised by concerned work colleagues …

I would be just another statistic I thought, while also feeling somewhat melancholy. No one would know that I had died, and my poor body would no doubt lay decomposing where it would have fallen. Suddenly I heard a voice say, “Heaven would”. Those two words quite literally stopped me in my tracks and instantly realigned my thoughts.

Thinking from within a context of esoteric Christianity, what was said was right. ‘Heaven’, or as I like to define it, Higher Life, would know, and yes, my death would be known the instant it occurred. Those who have gone before us wait for our arrival, as do our spiritual communities wait to welcome us home. Emanuel Swedenborg wrote that the human race is the seedbed of heaven, words which I have not only thought singularly beautiful and profoundly meaningful, but which suggest a purpose for our being born. But today I realised something else.

Implicit in those words is, duty. We all have something in us that can grow, and it is our duty to ensure that it does. The notion of duty, as our birth, suggests something else as well. It suggests that we cleave to a higher purpose, a purpose which is noble, a purpose which is rooted in spiritual values, truths and principles, a purpose which aligns itself with an aim. For all of us I imagine that would be different, but if I ponder on the words of Swedenborg and reflect on my own life experiences, I know that work on oneself involves a lifetime of self-examination and self-cleansing as it does an active binding back to God. Our spiritual education constantly calls to us, and it seems to me that the embodied lives we live are a purposeful means to an end in a future world and existence very different to the one we experience while living our planetary lives.

Yes, if I died alone without warning heaven would know immediately, and I am glad of it. I have been preparing for this all my life and if I ask myself what it is that I’m living for, what would my answer be? I have to live until I die, but it is how I live as much as what I am living for which is the primary consideration. There are indeed worlds within worlds …

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.

Comments are closed.