Create the Life You Imagine ~ December 2019
The Three Triangle Model: Mystery Meets Matter
“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”
~ Albert Einstein
At this time of year, as we gather with family and friends to celebrate the sacred season of Christmas, for many it can be a time of sadness or grief as we remember those who are no longer with us. Our family had to say goodbye to my brother Mike just over twenty years ago during Christmas week, and to my mother and father in the years since, and missing their physical presence is always a palpable part of our family gatherings. So I know the ways that death feels like an ending and a painful interruption of our relationship with people we love, and I know the pain, grief, sadness and sorrow that goes with letting go. But if we use our higher awareness to remember that we are more invisible energy than we are physical form, it can seismically shift our consciousness about death.
One of the great spiritual challenges of this time is to change our mind about death. We lose too much energy and too much life worrying about death—whether it’s our own or those we love. When you remember that your body is just a physical vehicle that lives inside your Soul and that flows out from the Source of All That Is, then you remember that we are all eternal streams of energy and the death of the body is just a transformation of that energy from one form to the next. The deeper truth of our being is that there is no death, just transformation into different forms. If you think about yourself as an infant and then as a toddler, where has the infant gone? As you grow into a teen, where has the toddler gone? As you grow into adulthood, where has the teen gone? And as you grow into old age and ready yourself to leave this planet, where has the young adult gone? From the time of our physical conception we are in a constant process of change and transformation, and when we leave this body behind we are simply continuing the process. I have spoken about this three triangle model as a means to remember the Mystery that we are all participating in every minute and with every breath of our lives. That Mystery is bigger than our human consciousness can grasp and beyond our full capacity to understand while we are in this human form, but we can use our inner awareness and our spiritual imagination to let the reality of our true identity start to penetrate our everyday consciousness.
In my book, The Land Beyond Forever, I described the experience of my sisters and I as we had to let go first of our brother and then of our mother as they died of cancer. When our brother Mike went into a septic coma at the age of 38 on Christmas Eve in 1998, it was such a shock to our family and we were terrified of death and the seeming ending that it would bring to such a bright and brilliant light in our family. As our family gathered around him in his hospital bed three days later and the life support systems were being shut off, none of us were even breathing until my mom looked at Kate and said, “sing Katie.” Kate’s singing was a staple of all our family rituals, and we were all desperate for something to soften the sorrow and fear we were all experiencing in that moment. Despite her own fear, Kate sang for Mike and for us all. She chose the song, The Great Reunion Day, and with great love and her angelic voice invited Mike to go on ahead and “fly into the arms of love.” On the wings of her voice we watched his body relax as he took his last breath and left his body. What was palpable to me in that moment was not the experience of his death, but rather, of his leaving. In the moment before he took his last breath we could feel his energy in his body and were touching him and holding him close. In the minute after his last breath, we all left the room, no longer pulled to draw close because you could feel he was no longer in this body which had been left behind like an old coat.
Four years later, after a roller coaster 15-month journey with cancer, my sisters and I were called to gather around another bedside as we prepared to say goodbye to our mother. Our mother was an incredibly bright light. I sometimes say that if you put all three of us together you had our mom. She was passionate about life and fierce in her encouragement to all that she touched about living fully and joyfully into our highest possibilities. Gratefully, in the time between Mike’s death and our Mom’s, we had all grown in our spiritual awareness, and as difficult as it was to let go of this amazing light of a woman, we were better prepared for the process. We prayed with her all day and as the night came and death drew closer, we circled around her as we had with Mike. This time Kate sang to her with love and not fear, and we held her close as she made that sacred transition out of her body and across that threshold into the invisible world. Just before she took her last breath, she looked up and broke into a radiant smile that penetrated the room, our hearts and our grief. It appeared that she had gotten a glimpse of the next leg of her journey, and the joy and astonishment on her face lingered in the room after she left. The sorrow of her leaving was softened by our emerging understanding of death as a transition rather than an ending. Through her life, through her illness and through her death, she taught us with tremendous clarity that the promise of resurrection is a Mystery in which we all participate.
As we grow in our spiritual awareness, we must face what Carl Jung said was the decisive question for every human being: "Are we related to something infinite or not?" If we live trapped inside the small self awareness of our Lower Triangle, the answer will be a wary “no” and death will certainly be something we will face with fear and trepidation. If we let our awareness rise up to our Upper Triangle Soul, then we will know the truth of who we are and will face the process of death with courage and grace as yet another transformation in our sacred journey. The French philosopher and Catholic theologian Jean Vanier, teaches that, “Death is a passage that will be an extraordinary discovery – something so amazing that we can’t even imagine it. We go to sleep here and wake up in such joy and peace like you’ve never experienced before.” Fr. Thomas Keating, the Trappist Monk who reawakened the experience of the mystical through his teaching of contemplative prayer, taught this about the process of death:
"There is a work going on that is relentless and challenging, but its purpose is to heal all the wounds of the soul so that it can open itself to God and begin to feel the regenerating or the powerful forces that it may have been separated from all its life, that emerge from the Ground of Being or the Source of God’s Life and Gifts within us—so it’s the full integration of the Body, Soul and Spirit.”
Our spiritual work in this lifetime is to remember who we are and death is just the final stage of that process. The three triangle model reminds us that we are energy and not matter, we are Soul and not form, we are truly Spirit in action. As the poem in my book, The Land Beyond Forever, teaches, we are “kings and queens of light and love,” living inside a deep and eternal state of Unity. Inside that web of eternal love and connection, we can never die and we can never be separated from those we love, and we must learn to live our lives in fuller awareness of this deep spiritual truth. In his book, Living in the Light of Death: On the Art of Truly Being Alive, Buddhist teacher Larry Rosenberg writes, “So our practice is about death, about coming fully to face death, but it is also about life, about learning how to live…We want to know if there is life after death, and that is certainly a valid concern. But the real question is whether there is life before death. Are we living now? It is only when we live with the awareness of death that we truly are."
When we stand on the edges of life and death we are more awake to the Mystery of Life. It is immensely clear on these edges of life that we are reminded of the sacred and are aware that something miraculous and mysterious is happening. The presence of the sacred draws you into the enormity of the moment, and we all hold our breath a bit as we come and go in and out of this world. Ask people about their experiences on either of these edges and you will notice that they become very awake and alert to the Mystery of what is happening. As the mother of four brilliant Souls I have stood on that coming edge in astonishment at the births of my children, and as a sister and daughter I have stood on the going edge in reverence as I have watched people I deeply love make that sacred transition back to the invisible world.
But somehow in between these sacred edges we forget who we are—our awareness goes to sleep in the middle of the Mystery. If there is a lesson that I have learned through my life experience, it is to try to take that awareness from the edges of life and bring its presence into the middle; knowing that each of us is truly a miracle that came into being, and we are just as miraculous at 2, 14, 21, 40, 60 and 80 as we were in the first moment we emerged. We start dying to ourselves long before our physical bodies wear out. But the Mystery of who we are never dies—the eternal part of who we are has no beginning and no end—and our task as humans is to stay awake to the extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary, never forgetting the sacred reality of who we really are.
What seems funny to me now as I have moved more firmly into my awareness of the invisible world, is that sometimes I can’t imagine it has been nearly twenty years since my mother has crossed that threshold since I talk with her and engage with her energy and feel her invisible presence standing next to me every day as I move through my own journey of life. Remember that while we are in this human body we are the point where Mystery meets matter, and everything is possible. As you enter into this Christmas season, where we celebrate the birth of God in the form of Jesus, remember that you too are a child of the same God and that your life holds the same promise. We are each born as an incarnation of the Light and Love of the Source of All That Is. My message to you during this sacred season is to look at life and at death with softer eyes. In that softer space we can see that we are always connected to All That Is and that each life is a gift of Spirit. In that softer space we can see the Divine Light of God at work in the world and lovingly give birth to that Light in ourselves and in others. In that softer space, we can continue our connection with those that have passed and can enter deeply and joyfully into the spiritual Mystery of Life.
Wishing you the blessings and light of the Soul, as you create the life you imagine.
During this Christmas season, practice bringing your awareness of the sacred and invisible world into every moment of your life. Drop the worry and anxiety about buying the right gifts and preparing perfectly for the next event. Let go of old wounds and disappointments and expectations and simply look for the light, love and magic that is around you in every moment. This may mean that you choose to create some new rituals, or to forego some old ones that no longer serve you. But at the deepest level it means that you will bring your deepest Self, your invisible Soul presence, with you as you go. If you practice living inside your deeper awareness, you will notice that you focus more on what matters and less on what other people think; you will smile at the store clerk with patience instead of grumbling with annoyance; you will take the time to tell those you love what they mean to you, instead of getting caught in the frustrations of the day; you will feel the expansive, joyful, life-giving presence of your Soul, instead of the ruminating, agitating and life-depleting energy of your small self. When you catch your small self hijacking the moment, breathe deeply and remember who you really are: A Soul born from the Source of Light and Love and here to experience the play, joy and fullness of Life.
For your meditation practice remember that death is not to be feared as it is simply a return home into the deep integration of our Body, Soul and Spirit. In death the nagging small self dies and our energy body travels through our heart center and across that threshold into the invisible world of our Soul. As we enter meditation we do the same thing. We call our attention back to the breath and as we focus on the breath moving in and moving out, we withdraw our energy from the Lower Triangle small self and connect with the energy of our Soul and Spirit. Now, take three deep breaths and as you breathe in and as you breathe out, let your mind grow still, remembering that its only job for the next few moments is to follow your breath with awareness and attention. As other thoughts move in, simply return your attention to your breath, and with each breath in, and each breath out, let every part of your body relax just a little more deeply.
After a few minutes, as your mind and your breathing steadies and slows, use your inner vision to feel the light and love of the Universe drawing into your body and penetrating every cell, tissue, tendon, muscle, organ and system of your body, restoring your physical body into perfect balance and radiant health, in alignment and harmony with the energy of your Soul. Now imagine resting deeply in that energy of light and love. If there are loved ones that have transitioned into that light, let their energies be present to you in this holy space of your heart center and feel their unconditional love wrap around you. You might listen in to see if they have any wisdom or guidance to offer, or you might just let the warmth of their presence surround you with love and peace.
After ten or fifteen minutes, slowly return your awareness to your body and to the room in which you are sitting, and bless the universe for providing all the connection, support and power you need for your life experience. Place your hands over your heart and let yourself smile as you receive this powerful stream of energy into your body. Do this meditation exercise several times this week to open this channel and notice what you feel in your body, mind and spirit. See the images above and below to open your imagination for the meditation.
If you are remembering someone you love this holiday season, click on the link to visit my Products page and find Kate singing Great Reunion Day to help you remember that you are always connected to the ones you love. It will take you to the Product Page on my website and just scroll down to the Transcendence CD and click the track to inspire your journey this week. Both of Kate's CD's are available for purchase on that page for $10 with Free Shipping.
On the Products page, you can also find a link to listen to Kate singing, The Land Beyond Forever, and you can purchase the book as a holiday gift for $18.99 with Free Shipping. The story teaches that bonds of love and inspiration connect all who have walked in life, and that we are never left alone. This book celebrates the immutable human spirit and is a story about family, hope, joy and resurrection. This book is for people of all ages and all faith traditions seeking to understand the serious illness or death of a loved one. With powerful illustrations and accompanied by a CD with a narrative and a musical version of the story, this book belongs in every family's library. $18.99 with Free Shipping.