I’m not big on belief or myth. At least, I don’t think I am. (Sidenote: I’m in the midst of re-reading Daniel Quinn and am putting my mind under the microscope.)
I’m big on the scientific method. I’m big on testing ideas, disproving false assumptions, creating repeatable experiments.
But, today, it really hit me that I do hold a belief typically considered religious or spiritual. I belief there is something that happens after we die, other than going into the ground to return to earth, which, to me, is actually a beautiful concept on its own. One of the best meditation experiences I ever had involved me dying, decomposing, and becoming part of a tree.
But, by life after death, I mean something more than molecules and atoms transferring to another organism. I mean something about our consciousness living on. I don’t think I really have the words to describe it, which is often my problem when it comes to spirituality.
I don’t have hard data to prove that consciousness or spirit lives on beyond death. Instead, I have personal accounts of mystical experiences from trusted friends and family members. One of those people has heard from St. Francis several times. Another told me that she could see St. Francis hanging out with me over one of my shoulders. Strange, right? What piques my curiosity more is that St. Francis is really the only saint I’ve ever felt an affinity for. Neither of the two people knew that before sharing their experiences with me. One of these two mystics, Rev. Martina Schmidt, formerly of Milwukee, now living and practicing in Sedona, AZ, is an amazing spiritual counselor. I would highly recommend sitting down with her or checking her blog or youtube videos. It was truly a loss for me and my wife when she left Wisconsin.
Maybe this is why people have pastors, priests, shamans and mediums. Maybe some of us need an intermediary until we learn how to speak the spiritual language ourselves.
As a dad, I will need to answer questions about magic and religion and souls.
I won’t be able to honestly say I’ve had a two-way conversation with a ghost, a deceased relative, a saint, or a god (at least, as far as I know). But, I’ll be able to say I know and trust people who have shared those types of mystical experiences with me. And that, even lacking scientific evidence, I trust that my friends are not suffering from long-term psychosis. I think they’re just multilingual in a way I’m currently not.
So, at least at this point, I do feel comfortable telling my children that I believe there is a life after death, and that what we do in this life sets us up for what comes next. Unscientific. Weird. Poorly articulated, I’m sure. But, that’s where I’m at.
And just to prove that Iron Maiden suits all occasions: