My ghost had to travel

I had a conversation recently with someone about the afterlife.  Well it wasn’t so much a conversation as rather a brief exchange of words.  I happened to mention that the best is yet to be, which as any reader of this blog knows aligns with my particular spiritual belief system and world view.  There was a stiffening of body posture, and then a look of pity came my way coupled with a firm and authoritative statement alluding to the fact that there is no continuance of life after death, that this life is the only life, and that to think otherwise is quite frankly just sad, a bit pathetic and false hope.

As I watched the person walk away confident in their knowledge that material existence was the only form of life, and that once dead we cease to exist, I reflected on the experiences which had peppered my life from the time I was a child.  Each of these, without exception, have taught me as they have others, that what we are and how we exist does not end with our death, it only changes.  Death is the putting off of the physical body and as an event in our lives, allows us to live as spiritual beings in the spiritual universe.

Every event I have ever had in my life, every heartbreak, every triumph, every betrayal, every physical illness, every joy, every revelation and every mystical experience has not only revealed to me the illusory nature of the material universe in which I live, but that something vast, something profoundly intelligent and loving co-exists with it, out of sight yet present nonetheless, out of sight yet subtly and gently interweaving itself with everything around me.  Everything that has ever happened to me in my life has brought me closer to that loving vastness, and every day I grow more aware of its presence in my life.

I have just finished a Social Work qualifying master’s degree, and in my final assessment task, an essay, for the final unit of study, made reference to the fact that my identity as a human being was inextricably tied to and interwoven with my identity as a social worker.  We are married in the true sense because not only do we share the same values, but that completing the degree has fed my humanity and grown my spirit.  As an event in the journey of my life course it has equipped me with skills, knowledge and understanding to confront inequality and injustice, but more than that, it has helped me evolve as a human being because it has contributed to the shaping of my soul.  This in turn will influence how I engage with all other people as much as it will the footsteps I leave behind me.

Photograph by Igo Vitomirov, Misty Forest Road

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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