Here’s a thought: Ancient Celts and other early tribes and spiritualties had a very different perspective about time, life and death than we have. They saw the world in a totally different way. More unified, whereas we see it in a dualistic way. More harmonious, whereas we analyse it in various ‘departments’. More connected, whereas we regard it as separate from us, and so on.
But, what about the life and death of the individual? What about the march of time?
There is a wealth of literature about life after death in the world. And lots, about life before birth to be found in the Eastern world and very ancient religions and spiritualties, Islam, for instance; there is, sadly, a paucity of such information and understanding in the West.
And, yet, living ‘in time’, whether we view this as real (for now) and/or an illusion, we are ‘wired up’ to think of ‘before’, ‘now’ and ‘after’ in one long time-line, it seems.
If you came out of somewhere, then you had to be somewhere before you came…As well as having an ‘afterwards’, every person has a ‘before…Each of us comes from somewhere more ancient than any family’. ‘ John O’Donohue
So, here are a few thoughts to ponder upon. Nothing dogmatic. Just a few thoughts for you to mull over, from a different perspective, perhaps from an ancient Celtic viewpoint? Not advocating the thought of re-incarnation with its multiple births and multiple deaths, but rather, suggesting a ‘what if’ scenario: what if we have lived before birth? Pre-life!
‘Dans la nature rien ne se crée, rien ne se perd, tout change. In nature nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything changes.’. Antoine Lavoisier.
The abovementioned phrase is an interesting one, and one that many subscribe to, and in a scientific manner many draw assurance from it that life goes on after death, albeit in a different form.
But, if nothing is lost and is merely transformed, why should that process only start after our demise here? Taking that phrase at face value almost demands that we consider the process to have already started before our birth here, and part of the transformation process is what actually brought us here.
According to the Talmud, it’s written, that even before we’re born, just before we’re conceived, infact, and before we find ourselves in the comfort of the womb, we had some sort of pre-life. Our own personal angel, perhaps our guardian angel instructed us in all that is to take place, and actually teaches us all the wisdom we will ever need to know on the Earth. And then, just before we move into this realm of time…the angel purses its lips, raises its index finger to its lips in a kind of teacherly hush gesture, and then moves that finger to our lips, just under our noses. Hush! And, everything the angel taught us is immediately forgotten. And, then we move into this world of time. And, that is how, it is said, each one of us receive that small indentation in the skin beneath our noses which is just above the centre of our top lip, which is known as the philtrum.
‘Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.’
Could it be, then, that we have lived before being born here, and lived in a timeless, eternal realm of the spirit? A wonderful place – a place of wonder! And then, for some reason we seemingly left it to enter this world of time, for a period of physical life, only to return to that timeless realm upon our demise here?
Ofcourse, if that is so, then perhaps, the idea of leaving that timeless realm to come here, is an illusion. For, though we hopefully will spend many decades here, in that timeless realm of our origin we are absent (literally) no time at all. Many years here, for instance, would be the blink of an eye, there. It would be no time at all – how could it be anything other, in that realm of no-time? And so, perhaps, we never left! But it only seems so, from this ‘world of time’ perspective.
‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born…’ Jeremiah 1.5a, The Book
And then, if we never left…and this does, I admit, sound strange, then those who came before us, and those who are yet to come are in that timeless realm, now, and, this is where it gets even stranger, so are we. Now.
From our viewpoint: Birth into time. Departure. The Afterlife.
In actuality: Pre-life, forgetting, a (seeming) birth into time (also), a seeming departure, a seeming return…but we never really left. We just think we did.
However, I am not suggesting that life ‘in time’ is a dream-like illusion. I believe it is real, and being here is necessary, and what we do here is important. It’s just that for this ‘time’ we are in two places at once, and as one of those realms is the realm of ‘no time’, this is could be said to be entirely reasonable to believe. (But, if you want to imagine that our life here, in actuality, is compressed into a nano-second, and that we’re absent for a nan-second from that eternal realm’s point of view, and then return to that realm, that works, too).
There is a ‘story about a little girl who wanted time alone with her infant brother. Her parents were suspicious of her motives. What if she did something to harm the baby? The big sister was so persistent that her mom and dad finally decided to allow her ten minutes alone with him in his room. After they closed the door, they listened quietly. They felt chills when they heard their daughter say, ‘Baby, tell me what heaven is like. I’m starting to forget.”
I find all this tremendously reassuring. Birth then is a welcoming of an old ‘new’ soul, and ofcourse to be celebrated. Wet the babies head who may be a few weeks old, but in a real sense he/she is a fellow timeless traveller of an awesome heavenly origin. Death, like that seeming departure from that eternal realm into this one, and then the return back home, is then, a wonderful transformation of state, a very real continuation. It’s a going home (that we never really left, but the ‘scales fall from our understanding’). Will you see your loved-ones again. Yes, when you get there. But, then (in that timeless realm) you’re already there, maybe having a wonderfully long, joyous conversation with your lived ones, right now. But, as you’re ‘in time’ you just don’t know it – from this ‘in time’ viewpoint.
Ofcourse, you may not agree with any of this. And as a (Celtic) Christian, Druid, Pagan, Light-Worker etc, you may have your own views. As I said, I don’t intend to be dogmatic, but as a fellow-traveller I would value your views and input. So, what do you think?
‘Time is not a thing that passes … it’s a sea on which you float’. Margaret Atwood.