“There could be shadow galaxies, shadow stars, and even shadow people.” Stephen Hawking
Halloween provides permission to play with dress up, and participate in ghoulish activities. People put coffins in their yards and spread cobwebs over their bushes. Makeup is used to create an appearance of goblins, vampires and zombies. Pleasure seems to be derived from making people afraid.
Perhaps there is a need to explore the ‘other life’ that is beyond our understanding. Ask three people on the street what the ‘other life’ is like and you may very well receive three different responses. More so as the acceptance of the traditional teaching of heaven and hell has declined. (Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life/US Religious Landscape Survey showed only 59% of Americans in 2008 believed in hell while in 2001 71% believed in hell)
I applaud the exploration. While I, myself, do not like the ghoulish part of Halloween, I do enjoy the imagination of life outside of my own. So dress up, explore and wonder!
“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” Stephen Hawking
“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously.” Thich Nhat Hanh
I was recently asked the question, how would I survive a night of fear, facing a dangerous situation. The scene was being involved in an avalanche, and rescue could not come until the morning.
I would face that fear as I have faced many fears in my life. I would focus on the moment. This very moment in time. Moments become minutes, minutes become hours, and hours will pass until day can brake.
I would also focus on my sense of ‘life journey’. I believe that there is a day to come to this earth-to begin my journey-and there is a day to leave this earth-to end my journey. Many times people escape what was viewed as certain death. Others die without any prior complication. If it is my day to go, I will go-whatever the portal of passage.
This belief comforts me. I know that when it is my time to leave, I cannot do anything to change that. Nor can others. So I mainly pray for strength and grace to accept that. That calms my fears. Fear is a thief. It robs you of peace. It steals your strength. It carries away your focus.
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul-and sings the tunes without the words-and never stops at all.” Emily Dickinson
Watching “The Walking Dead” with my nephew. When the Zombies devoured the helpless horse-hands up, eyes covered, thoughts swarming in my head, “Why am I watching this?” Because I love my nephew, and he loves the show.
The reality is, I can get up and turn off the TV. The instant relief of a changed reality fills my room and calms my racing heart.
Much more troubling is the reality from which we cover our eyes. We don’t want to see it. If we see it, we may need to address it. Best we look away.
In different ways, we cover our eyes to our own reality. Knowing we should get away: from a relationship, a job, a lifestyle. So often our fear keeps our eyes covered. We are afraid to look.
Our reality is not so easily changed as clicking a switch on the remote. Yet, letting the scales fall from our eyes is the first step. Once seen, we can begin the journey of change.