“I don’t suppose you have to believe in ghosts to know that we are all haunted, all of us, by things we can see and feel and guess at, and many more things that we can’t.”
― Beth Gutcheon, More Than You Know
It’s three in the morning and I’m restless, my mind going over the previous days blog. It’s done and published, I tell myself, don’t keep tormenting yourself, let it go and move on. I turn and lay on my back, in the corpse position, willing my mind to relax. I try to project my mind outside of my body, to observe myself laying in bed. I’m a big believer in the conscious mind being separate from the body and on occasion I’ve had fleeting images of my consciousness speeding through the universe. I slow my breathing, concentrate on my breath and try to capture an image of my body. I’m not sure how long I was in this entranced state but I was suddenly aware that I was outside of myself. My conscious mind was hovering about two feet atop my body, outside of space and time. I viewed my corporal form laying there, arms folded on chest, breathing slowly and deeply. It was a fascinating experience, and I tried to become aware of existence outside of my body, but my soul seemed to be attached to the confines of my body, not wanting to leave. After an indeterminate time I thought, well that was different, and decided it was time to re-enter my body.
“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
― Mark Twain
Try as I might I could not will myself back into my body. I felt like an observer, like a botanist studying an insect, strangely curious about this new discovery.
I saw my wife awake and leave the bedroom.
I saw my wife return and give my shoulder a shake.
I saw ambulance men putting me on a stretcher.
I saw myself laying in a hospital bed.
I heard the doctor say, ” There’s nothing physically wrong, he seems to be in a catatonic state, he may or may not awake”
I heard my wife say ” He believes in a natural death. He made me promise that he wouldn’t be hooked to life support to prolong his life”.
I heard the doctor say ” we can feed him intravenously, and take care of toilet issues, and the rest is up to him”
I heard my wife say ” doctor it’s been four years and he’s still in a coma, I think it’s time to let go”.
I witnessed my embalming.
I witnessed myself being placed in the coffin.
I witnessed the kissing of my lifeless form.
I witnessed my coffin being lowered into the earth.
“For the first forty days a child
is given dreams of previous lives. Journeys, winding paths,
a hundred small lessons
and then the past is erased.”
― Michael Ondaatje, Handwriting
I stared at the body before me, buried six feet under the ground. Just a shell remained. No life. No soul……. and yet I could not let go. My body started to decay before my eyes until only the bones remained. I felt a stirring, a restless pull. Time to leave, time to move on. I reluctantly let go of my attachment to my body and became aware. I was encompassed by light. I looked and observed a round,pulsating energy mass and knew that I was viewing the universe, of all that had been, and will be. My soul existed outside of space and time and so I was aware of all time from beginning to end.
I was then aware of another pull on my soul. The universe was attracting me like a giant magnet pulling me into its embrace. I rushed by colliding stars and whirling galaxies. I felt myself in the grip of a tornado like current carrying me violently forward……and then there was calm. I was happy, I was content. My soul echoed to the beat of a steady ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum. After a while I was again violently pushed forward down a dark tunnel, struggling to reach the light at the end. I finally emerged into the light, exhausted, and felt a hand hitting my back. I gave a wailing cry.