Welcome: An Introduction

Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Fragility of Existence

As I turned off the water and pulled the curtain aside leaving our tiny bathroom in full view my spirit stirred seeming to dance amidst the shifting fog.   I found myself most unwillingly plunged spontaneously in the moment between past and eternity. I felt almost like a vapor, translucent and just another swirl in the shifting elixir of the kosmos. Casting my unique hue, assuming my place in the life of things.  I moved and had my being that shared being with everything else around me.

I could feel each beat of my heart and was acutely aware of my organs. I closed my eyes but could feel and see each one- my kidneys, my colon, my lungs, heart, spine-everything. The thin layer that separated these fragile organs that comprised of the system identified as me from the rest of the world no longer seemed like the barrier it once was perceived to be.    Intensely conscious of the space between and within each cell I was struck at how truly empty and spacious we all are on a subatomic level.

Then it hit me. Like a thunderbolt. This feeling of dread as I stood becoming fully aware at the full fragility of my existence.  I am going to die. I could die any moment really. I am truly fragile, a mere wrinkle in the folds of eternity, easily ironed out by any number of infinite things. And those I love, also wrinkles,  little specks in the vastness of a timeless time.  No wonder why so many people find comfort in religion.

The last couple of years as I began really turning over stones and searching for what might be true concerning the nature of God I've discovered the need to discard the definition of Him as defined by organized religion. Just a couple of years ago I remember asking my pastor questions that were obviously not the right ones. I was rebuked and accused of being a pantheist. But to me, something just wasn't quite right about the idea of an intentional personal deity, especially one in a world of such chaos and suffering. One that was supposed to be the embodiment of Love.

I was rebuked and repented  and went back to reading the Scriptures exclusively, dropping all interests in other philosophies where I might find some answers and a more compatible view to the way I was starting to see the world. Eventually, a year later I broke entirely free from all of that. Thoughts of this all are now flashing through my head as I feel mortality's weight bearing down on my consciousness.

I rejected all of that because I started seeing things the way I feel they are. I want the truth but here I stand naked, caught now transfixed in reflection while my lungs are contracting and expanding and beads of water fall in rivulets down my breathing skin from here to there to eventually the bottom of the basin. Here I stand in complete dread at the reality of what life very well might be. I wanted the truth and here it is. I thought there was nothing better than knowing the truth but now that I have never felt closer to it and never felt more clarity towards it I'm starting to regret the inquisitive nature that defines much of my ego. It is leading me to dark and unfamiliar places. It's as if my soul longs to draw back the curtain, wrap itself in a towel and fall asleep somewhere warm and comforting, perhaps in the embrace of a psalm or hymn to be lulled back into the deep peaceful sleep my curiosity rudely woke it up from.

No no no...no sleep! Isn't the whole point in this lifetime to be awakened? And when I think I'm on the road towards such a lofty and perhaps unachievable goal I now want to stop and pitch a tent and go no further? I almost laugh. What an unbelievably cruel joke life might very well be. Though, not really a joke at all for that would presuppose that there was a jokester. Irony is probably a more appropriate word. Here on this planet life blooms complex life forms that blossom even more complex levels of consciousness. Memories, feelings, hopes, dreams, ambitions-factors that make us, us, just simply stop being when our bodies no longer function? Could that really be how it is? Isn't that already what I've been discovering through meditation? That we are not our thoughts, our body, our feelings. That those aren't really us. That within us lies a core of eternity , one and the same with that which holds together the Universe? Which is the Universe itself?

I guess I accepted that in practice and theory but the true realization of what it all meant never really dawned on me until this moment.  Am I right to have such a foreboding towards that reality? Doesn't everyone want to continue forever, want their loved ones to continue forever? I didn't just cast aside a dogmatic God. I am now realizing the full weight and implications of what I am coming to accept God and reality as being. I am now realizing that I have cast aside the idea of having any real God at all in the traditional sense of the word.

Yes, I admit to myself, now drying off for there are things to be done in the day. I can feel the soft cotton running along my skin. The air is growing cooler as nearly all the fog has lifted. If the ego dies forever, which makes sense to me, and only Self remains, all our autonomy and sense of self (as defined by our ego) vanishes. Is that really a bad thing? Through life we are engrossed in our egos, captivated by them, must we seek to be the same also in death?

As I dress little hands knock on the door. It is my son. He is eager to go play out in the woods today. I am too. There is no place I feel more free than out in the natural world and I love seeing my son develop a passion for jumping over fallen trees, gathering vines and attempting to arrange them in a crown to wear and throwing rocks, kerplunk, into the river. All that really matters is now. That is all that really exists. Life between each beat of our hearts. And to live fully is what brings glory and honor to the thread in the tapestry of eternity that we weave with our egos. It gives it color and playfulness. Texture and a unique vibration all of its own. To live and not to sleep, to plunge in the roaring tides fearlessly and without abandon or excuse, is what this life is all about. To be caught up in dwelling on what the future holds in terms of eternity is to miss the point entirely.


I open the door and his bright smile is like a sunrise in my heart.  Thoughts of death and mortality vanish as I get lost in his eyes that are filled with so much light and joy. His hands  are already holding the dog's leash. He's ready to go...and so we do.

Thoughts? I'd love to hear them! Please leave them in the comments section. Thank you!


  1. "To be caught up in dwelling on what the future holds in terms of eternity is to miss the point entirely."

    You understand things the way I do, I think, with that small quote. Eternity means nothing to me, because I'm already here.

    We're all here already, all we have to do is realize it and accept it, and then live it. The point of life isn't to go anywhere, but to be where we're at right now. Little kids understand this intuitively, but most adults must relearn what they were born knowing instinctively. There's too much culture in the way! :P

  2. JR...I love hearing your thoughts because so many of them mirror my own. I do believe we have a shared understanding when it comes to a lot of things....I loved what you wrote, especially:

    "Eternity means nothing to me, because I'm already here."

    Exactly! Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

  3. Thank you Rigzin for stopping by...I'm glad you enjoyed this post. :)

  4. I too was rebuked for asking questions, pointing out things. I was, what did her call me? Ah yes, Jezebel. I had a rebellious spirit towards authority. I didn't believe him, but I repented anyway... just to be sure.

    I no longer practice Christianity in a secular manner... I carry my God within me. I cannot separate the two of us. I am He and He is me, but I'm definitely not the walrus;)

    My belief in God has evolved over the years. I continue to get smaller, which is a good thing, and God continues to get bigger, much bigger than I had imagined, for He cannot be put into a God box; He's much too vast for that, neither can He be figured out and manipulate by scriptures or prayers. He is loving, and wise. I don't have to worry about being lost because He is in me. I trust Him with everything.

    Will I lose my identity when I die? Who knows. I sure don't. But, I believe that whatever reality is waiting for us on the other side... is just as it should be.
    Beautiful post Jessica. Lovely!

  5. Jessica, your thoughts and feelings expressed here are marvelously wise and enlightening. After I read this, these words from a praise song came to mind: "Awake, my soul, prepare an entrance for your glory . . ."
    As Leah said, we cannot put God in a box. He is everywhere, in all things, and through Him, everything lives and moves and has its being. We must not sleep, as you said, we must come alive, awake, aware in the moment and of the moment.
    I rest in the words of C. S. Lewis - You don't have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body.
    And, I believe our souls are meant for eternity . . .
    Enjoy God's amazing creation with Noah today!
    Blessings always, my dear!

  6. Leah, Thank you so much for your reflections regarding life and God's nature and your experience with religion. I agree..God is so much bigger than we can ever really fully comprehend and therefore He transcends any category we could try to put Him into.

    I love when you said:

    "I carry my God within me. I cannot separate the two of us. I am He and He is me"

    And agree with you when you said:

    "Will I lose my identity when I die? Who knows. I sure don't. But, I believe that whatever reality is waiting for us on the other side... is just as it should be"

    It takes a lot of courage and wisdom to admit that...It took me a long time to be able to. I admire your honesty and thoughts. Thanks for sharing them. :)

  7. Martha , thank you so much for stopping by. I enjoyed your thoughts and loved the CS Lewis quote. ~ blessings

  8. I really don't know what to say, besides amazing piece. This is so much how I see life, not sleeping, plunging in,experiencing everything with wonder. I was as a child so curious and rebellious that I was once kicked out of Sunday School. The teacher couldn't answer my questions, I haven't taken "church" to seriously sense then.

  9. Thanks for stopping by Jan and sharing. Yeah, I think a lot of churches have a thing against questioning and skepticism. Perhaps if some of them created an atmosphere that was more conducive to those who want to dig deeper and not feel any stigma associated with it, they'd keep some of the members that do eventually leave.

    Thanks again. :)

  10. Hi Jessica:
    You full of questions here. That's a good thing, for it is the inquisitive mind that always seeks who will find the answer.

    You said:
    Doesn't everyone want to continue forever, want their loved ones to continue forever?

    I TRULY and SINCERELY believe that we do continue forever. That is our souls do. We all come back and we return in groups. That's why you sometimes IMMEDIATELY feel a deep connection w/someone you ONLY just met. It's your souls recognizing each other. There is no reason to fear that death will part us from our friends, from our families, from our partners.

    Love will always return our souls to each other. Of that I am sure. We will all meet again one day. So shake that fear of death off as you shake the water from your body.

  11. I am a Christian but I must confess I am totally disconnected for reasons you know...I honestly don't know what to believe anymore..and the more questions I ask the more confused I become..there was a time I worshipped with every breath I had in me ..now I find it hard to lift my hands...does this mean there is no heaven for me..and if there is no heaven there can't be a hell.. I don't know I find it all so confusing... As always...XOXOXOXOXO

  12. Chris, Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughtful comment. I really appreciated it. I found this particularly striking in what you wrote:

    "Love will always return our souls to each other. "

    I find that a beautiful thought. I believe God in His purest essence is love itself and that is what lies beneath the consciousness of all of us. Perhaps we are never truly separated from anybody that we love because we are, after all, one , in a sense.

    Thanks again for your comment. Would love to chat soon. :)


  13. Bonnie...I really am hopeful that you will have a breakthrough some point soon where some of your burden will be lifted. Thank you for stopping by. It's hard to know fact from fiction sometimes..Truth from illusion. Just keep seeking and you will find the answers you seek. You are often in my thoughts. Lots of love going your way. xx

  14. Your thoughts and feelings will evolve as the shackles of theocracy lose their hold on you. I once worried that no afterlife existed. But now I am free in knowing hell does not exist. The truth is that most believers never know for sure where they are going to end up either.

    1. Thank you cbear. :)

      "The truth is that most believers never know for sure where they are going to end up either."

      That's a very good point!

      "But now I am free in knowing hell does not exist."

      There is, indeed, a great freedom in no longer being bound by the doctrine of hell. The thought of it still surfaces at times for me, perhaps rising up from someplace in the subconscious. In my mind I accept it not to be real and yet I lived like it was for 13 years so it's a hard thing to let go of sometimes.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  15. Replies
    1. Thank you Brett...I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :) I think you could probably relate to some of what I've written. :)

  16. Wonderful words Jessica.

    The Journey into Awareness is I believe individually scripted and I can see the hand of the mysterious 'Other' on your path. Keep writing from the heart for this brings you even further into focus on the Way. As you creatively pour out your essence so more will follow. The Divine irrigation system at its best!


    Your old friend


    1. Dylan ,

      I am always refreshed by your words and grateful when you stop by. Thank you. :) I do believe writing helps me focus on my path and make sense of things, helping me proceed with more clarity.

      Hoping to connect soon. :)


  17. Truthful and insightful post...could relate to most of your points.

  18. Janaki,

    I'm glad you could relate to some of what I wrote. Thank you for stopping by. :)

  19. Replies
    1. :) Indeed.
      Thank you for stopping by. ~ namaste ~

  20. I was following your thread...You have reposted your reflections on death and now the fragility of existence...For some reason, I knew you were speaking of death beyond the physical body for you continually write this desire for detachment and to seek God further ~ experimenting on new ways on how you could connect to God and to the world in a positive way.

    The Spirit is rich and has given us different charisms ~ one may be called to serve the Church, others to contemplate God in the woods, some to preach and others to lead holy lives with their family...

    I am not sure what it is that keeps you from cutting the strings of your comfort. Break away from what people may think of you. And feel free to find God. Your measure will be the peace that goes with every discernment that you make.

    My soul has been revived :) Thank you sis.

    1. Thank you Melissa...your words always hold truth and weight to them. I hope you are starting to feel a lot better. ~blessings

  21. Your post has done me good Jessica,I have been extremely disturbed emotionally and mentally...off late,thank u.

  22. "Listen" said the White Spirit. “Once you were a child. Once you knew what inquiry was for. There was a time when you asked questions because you wanted answers, and were glad when you had found them. Become that child again; even now".
    ~C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)

    Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children,
    you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. ~ Jesus (Matthew 18:3)

    It sounds like you've found the key my dear friend!

    ~Peace and blessings

  23. I always enjoy visiting your blog, Jessica. I understand the dichotomies you've wrestled; I've wrestled them too. The concept of organized religion, while beautiful and sacred to my eyes, is not one where I can comfortably fit. I find myself more at ease with similar studies that you mentioned pursuing, and I have found over a lifetime of these studies that the organized part, the names, the structures, the labels, are merely that....words to house thoughts. Take away those confines and the belief in something greater than us is Universal. That Divine spark exists everywhere, if we choose to recognize it. I don't say any of this to minimize or belittle organized religion. I have a deep respect for those walks. My walk is simply different, but no less sacred to me as I continue to search and discover. The beautiful part is that along the path, I see kindred spirits and meet those who complement and contrast with me.

    Namaste', dear one.

    - Dawn

  24. Life is fragile, indeed. I wonder about the dreams in my heart and having the time to realize them, but as I looked from the strength this morning to climb that hill, I reminded myself AGAIN, it's the journey. Trite, I know, but it is what makes the moment. It's all about the climb.

  25. Life is very fragile and I often think about it...one moment you are here and the next you could be gone. I read somewhere that your job on earth is to live. That really struck a chord with me. That is all that we can do, live life to the fullest!

    Thank you for a great post Jessica!