Today’s Quote: “May our lives bear better fruit and not bitter fruit.”
Once upon a time and many years ago my brother almost died. Traveling apart from our families, he and a friend had biked cross country to the ocean and were swimming at the shore. They got caught in an outgoing tide and were desperately trying to swim back to the ever receding beach. My brother who was a better swimmer, in addition to his own survival, was trying to pull his friend along also.
They made it. Barely. Exhausted, they collapsed on the isolated beach for a long time to gather their strength.
Funny thing was, in hearing this story years later, my brother also told me that he had experienced a “life review” as he faced growing belief in his imminent death. This occurred just before he and his friend gained a last second edge over the current; a renewed hope in life. That edge just saved them.
My brother had seen, in several flashes, all of the experiences he had gone through in his young life, as if seeing an array of pictures each containing their own video reenactment or movie segment. He had witnessed the major events as well as the most minor, insignificant moments. He had seen it all in several instantaneous flashes before his eyes.
He literally had a near death experience (NDE). Part of his subjective experience was a sort of “opening” of normal consciousness into a greater expansive vision; he could see every aspect of all his life experience in several separate instants; unlike the way our “everyday” consciousness knows things sequentially; in parts and pieces.
His awareness seems to have, however briefly, transcended time.
In Mythosophy, we redefine myths as “truths” as opposed to falsehoods or deceptions. Myths are our true stories based on our experiences. Myths are also our true words, true speech based on our experience. Our stories and words express our spiritual wisdom.
Many spiritual traditions have myths reporting a life review that occurs upon the demise of the physical body; what is called death. Many of these myths additionally report an evaluation or assessment of one’s life experiences. Often these reviews are prequels to our next spiritual steps or future lives. Examples range from the ancient Zoroastrian myth of crossing the “Chinvat Bridge” into the afterlife to Hinduism’s myths about “Yama, the King and Judge of the Dead.” Another is Plato’s “Myth of the Warrior Er” at the end of the Republic who returns to life upon his funeral pyre and reports what he has seen.
We all eventually face death. My question is: Why wait for death? Why not perform a life review now; today?
Some questions to ask, spiritually, in self-evaluation are: “What were some lessons?” “What was learned?” “What did I do well?” “What could I have been done better?” “What were my patterns?” “Out of what consciousness was I, at times, acting?” Remember, this is about you, not someone else. Whatever someone else could have done better is for their own life review, not yours.
What are your insights? Do you see themes? What is your story; your wisdom, your true words? Mythosophy as a practice is a special type of insight into stories and speech. Practice is part of the Contemplative Path traveled always through your heart. Mythosophy, the Wisdom of Myth is all about the insights conveyed by our story; our lives.
In the face of death my brother had realized that his consciousness had a transcendental component that, however blocked out by everyday life, was always present.
Those who have been near death experience a greater appreciation of life. Awareness of death may, paradoxically, be a tool to a better, more fruitful life. Yet, we don’t have to die to do a life review. You can do it today. What might one change now? Changing our present presence changes our future.
Let us pause to reflect. May our lives bear better fruit and not bitter fruit.