Sometimes I do my best thinking at 4 am. At least AT 4 am it feels like my best thinking. Sometimes when the sunlight falls across it, it crumbles into fairy dust and I just waggle my head and go back to sleep. Its usually a thought about something that has been rolling around in my head during the day.
I have been thinking a lot about the relationship between the ego and the soul and how holding one's inevitable death dear can have a beneficial effect on them. I was speaking to a group of people and got some feedback I hadn't expected. A woman said, "When you say soul, you lose me because I don't believe in anything after death, you are in the ground and its over," I don't claim to know much about atheists, but I did start mulling over the idea that if you don't believe in a soul what is that thing that binds us together when we share a moment with each other? A moment when you connect with another human over something profound or trivial and it vibrates in your... soul. But if you don't have a soul where does it resonate? Then I pictured all of us with these tuning forks in our hearts. They vibrate and hum when they experience kindness and connection. I think the more of this they feel the more powerful their vibration becomes, and it comes with real medicine to heal. I also believe that the quickest way to give our tuning forks a "tune up" is to be in nature. I think my death bed regret might be that I didn't experience enough sunsets, sun rises, starry nights, or moon lit ones. Nature is a great short cut to connecting to the divine and if I can hold this feeling throughout the day my tuning fork is humming along and vibrating with tuning forks in every heart I pass. Its like a giant ripple effect. Imagine a world where this is how we interact with each other.
This is where holding our death's close comes in. I believe that when I remember that I am small, insignificant and fleeting I am free to be my best self. And I don't mean best self with the whitest teeth and the biggest wallet, the self that may be standing on a pile of other people's selves to feel good. The self that death calls forth, is the one that puts itself last. It is a self that I find frequently in my work in hospices. People can be at their most open hearted, loving and present in the moment in this place. When I enter the room and see them sitting bedside and holding hands and telling stories, I can feel the vibration. Admittedly this isn't always the case, just this week I was visiting with a woman at the end of her life who said, "I wish I'd been kinder. I mean I knew it all along. I have this friend who is very successful and he is angry all the time. When we drive together he is always flipping people off and yelling at them. I tell him to stop that it isn't good to be so mean. But here in this place where everyone is so kind, I just wish I had used my life to be nicer to other people." I heard her and reminded her that as long as she is still here she has time to be kind. It was a powerful reminder for me to focus on what really matters in my short time here.