What is your ultimate vision?
The last on your bucket list?
The one you most desire but are fearful of achieving?
Where will we end?!
More importantly, what are we doing between now… and then?
Like most people of the world, I have a vision of what I aspire to be when I pass thru the veil… be it Heaven, Valhalla, the happy hunting grounds, reincarnation etc… and I try to live a life that will help me achieve that just reward.
Always a struggle and ever falling short of the perceived goals we have set to help us cross the finish line, hopefully, just by a hair.
We are told in our oral tradition that we are born at the edge of a great spider web where at the center, our Creator sits. There are many strands of the web that lead to the center, that we can choose from. It doesn’t matter which one, or not at all, it is our choice. Once on a single strand we are alone in our vision quest of eternity. No one can help or hinder us. It is our Path!
As in most faiths, goodness, prayer, hope, charity and forgiveness are principle metrics in this quest.
How do we do this?
We are told in our oral tradition that we are born at the edge of a great spider web where at the center, our Creator sits. There are many strands of the web that lead to the center…
In my Mide’way faith this is how we are told it works. At death, that time of recounting, we are taught that we judge ourselves. On first blush that’s a slam-dunk… just give yourself a thumbs up, and welcome to the Happy Hunting Grounds. Sounds great, but there is a critical piece that impacts our every day of life.
We judge ourselves through the eyes of those we have helped or harmed. At that moment and forever on, we cannot change a thing. In order that a slight or wrong be righted, we must at the time, or soon after make amends, for if that person does not forgive us, it is a weight against our passing thru the Veil. The things we do from our goodness and charity are the counterbalance. It’s simple math, we must tip the scale favorably to receive eternal life. It therefore behooves us to life with both the moment, and eternity, in mind at all times.
That ever-vigilant mindset is the mandate of all Mide’. That is our Way.
What your path is defines how you need to live.
Each of you know your path, and what you need to achieve eternity. In our belief, there are no right or wrong ways, and if we criticize another path to Creator, we may well lose ours, for we cannot know the thoughts of the Divine Source. Caveat!
As you chase that eternal dream, have you ever stopped to think about what to do between “the now” and that eventual day? What is your vision of eternity? How can you prepare for it? Are you on your good path Questions we all ponder at times.
So with the end defined, what are we going to do between now and then?
A good suggestion is to find values, not of man’s design but from nature, or as we First People say, Grandmother Earth… Creator’s Gifts.
As we humans have developed culturally we have, within our circle, determined how our world, the earth, became. From that we have many concepts, evolution, creation, magic aliens and others. In this discussion, the path that you follow is yours and of no matter to others.
The observant traveler welcomes the Sunrise and Sunsets – the warmth of the sun as it crests the horizon to begin the day, easing the darkness of night and filling you with promise.
Look about you, not at the things humankind have created, but all things natural.
The observant traveler welcomes the Sunrise and Sunsets – the warmth of the sun as it crests the horizon to begin the day, easing the darkness of night and filling you with promise. Are you a day or night person? If a night owl, try experiencing a sunrise and note the changes within and the emotions you have as you welcome the first light.
Likewise the sunset brings a different and yet extraordinary set of experiences. Particularly relaxing is the aura of quiet that follows the last deep red crescent’s disappearance.
Forests and grasslands, mountains and deserts, rivers and oceans… are each filled with their unique magic, if you only slow a bit to focus on their distinct differences.
The thrill of looking down from a height or feeling the wind gentle on your skin. The feeling of at once being insignificant and yet awestruck at the base of a great boulder or mighty oak or sequoia. Feel the power of their presence.
Unlike manmade creations, those of nature are powerfully different, ever changing and yet reliably, faithfully, consistent. As you practice observing nature you will find an ever enlarging vocabulary of observation you are discovering. The more you discover, the more you find you have not yet found.
We humans are always trying to imitate nature, creating things to replace nature in our homes… yet, nature is endless. Did you ever wonder why? Do we imitate in order to have the greatness of that not made by hands, to fill a need for that which nature fulfills? Why not just be in the presence of the original that we yearn for?
I share all this to cause you to think…
Is the non-human about us, the gifts we, in our path to enlightenment, continually seek? As John Updike said, “Perhaps we meet our heaven at the start and not the end of life.”
“Heaven is all around us. All we need is perception; to extol the melodies of Nature’s orchestra.”
Is this life heaven?
Most would agree that G-d doesn’t make junk. Are we actually ignoring the obvious, waiting all our lives to reach heaven when it is all about us now? If so, what a waste… and moreso, how will we explain why we missed such a gift?
For the spiritually inspired, if this is Creator’s work, shouldn’t we rethink our concept of our reward? Of course it will make us live the best life in the present, and not wait to the end with a hope and a prayer?
For the atheist, you only have this life, this day, this moment… why not enjoy that which you cannot make, what do you have to lose?
Stone of Death
In our tradition, our prayer each night is, “Great Creator, I pray that I have done enough good this day that the Stone of Death (Sleep) may be remove at first light, and that I may have one more day to enjoy the life you breathed into me at my inception. This is my only request, I ask for nothing more.”
These are but philosophical questions to challenge your thinking about the mystical “heaven,” Your Ultimate Vision, to cause you to reappraise your goals and enlightenment.
Why not enjoy these gifts daily… the perfection that we have today. Anurag Shourie wrote, “Heaven is all around us. All we need is perception; to extol the melodies of Nature’s orchestra.” Is your solo in this grand concerto your Heaven on earth?
This is but one of the many ways we can productively use the time between now and our end here on the Great Turtle Island. The possibilities are without end.
So how can we enjoy this gift of nature, heaven on earth?
Can you think of three different ways you can change the way you have thought about heaven, and start enjoying this precious Gift. Write them down, read them out loud daily so the Circle is complete… you think, you write, your eyes see the words, you speak and your ears hear them… and your brain confirms that you have done this right… from the source to the source.
No matter what you chose to do in the interim, do something good.
Doesn’t it make good sense not to waste these precious days?