That you are reading this now means that I have died.
That I am writing this now, ahead of time, is part of the act of letting myself go.
A good and solid friend a while back generously agreed to look after and wind down my online presences once the time came, and it is by her good grace that you are able to read this now. Thank you for that, Olga. The idea is that this post will be updated with details a little later, you know, about the funeral and such, but that this is the last ever post from me. It and the rest of this blog will stay here, for posterity as it were, until such time as entropy works it levelling charms, and this thin skein of words falls apart and returns to the Great Background from which it emanated.
It's that I wanted to say goodbye, and to thank you, is all.
Between finishing this post and my leaving we may have 'spoken' some more anyway, you may have shared a little piece more of the journey; borne witness to days that only now lie in your past. And for that, if that is the case, I am sorry.
That is the other thing I want to say, that I am sorry for being that guy who did this in your life and you watched on and were made sad because suffering just does that to people and ... yes, I am sorry for all that. I ask forgiveness for the hurts I have done you, in whatever way I might have, including the hurt that having to let go can sometimes bring. I am sorry.
It might be important for you to know that I feel like I've had a really great life. Also, that I feel like I'm having a pretty great death too, as things go, and that means I carry no ill will of my own. I cannot now really pinpoint the moment I realized that I really had no regrets left, and there was no-one left to forgive in my petty wounded ego; that I had been, for some time, already set free. Hallelujah. Let's say it again:
As I continue to dissolve as a self, even with each letter I type a bit more of the me-ness crumbling off and subsuming into the Everything-ness, I am still aware that my great fortune in life seems to come down to two things, separated by what might be a near-universal habit of mind. Nature and mankind.
I am thankful to both in equal measure.
If you have read my blatherings here and elsewhere online the last couple of years you will have some idea of my understanding of things spiritual, of my approach to the Sacred. My observation is that man constantly seeks to return to nature, as if there has indeed been some catastrophic division set up between what we see as ourselves and what we see as Everything Else, spirit included. For what it's worth, I believe that man is evolving in a good direction, and during my life I have seen more and more evidence that man is - albeit slowly and haltingly - making his way back to Oneness. Hallelujah some more, for that. Certainly, it is a theme that has defined my journey into death, if not my whole life.
Today death might be on your mind a bit more so than on most days. Let's celebrate that. On the way to meet my death, I have had great fears. There was terror and anguish and pain, there was grief and lament and years of losing, incrementally, bits of life along the way. Yet every pain ultimately only brought me more goodness. More contentment. Deeper experience of the stuff of life and heart and spirit. More love. And you have been there, reflecting Godhead (and me) all the while, playing your own special role in Nature, growing alongside, living your life. Thank you for sharing it.
Lastly, it may be important for you to know that in life I got to know how much I was loved. Thank you for showing me your love, and helping the universal love find its way to me through you. My only remaining aim in life, as I let things go, was to be a conduit for that love in the world. I hope that somehow I have brought into your life just a little bit of the immense loving kindness that I have experienced. There is just one thing left to say:
Thank you, and goodbye.
Some Practical Details
[Funeral details have been removed. The rest of Eric Aadhaar's message is below.]
If you are attending the funeral, please dress as if you were going out for a lovely lunch or something like that; don't be afraid of colours, or celebration, for it will be a celebration of life as much as a ritual of its passing. Please bring with you a spray of foliage; a small branch of twig of leaves from a favourite tree or shrub, or any plant that speaks to you along the way; of the right sort of size to act as a fly swisher or a fan. This will be used in the ceremony, so hang on to it.
If you wish to attend but cannot and would like to participate in my passing, then maybe consider a small ritual of your own. Find yourself a suitable little branch of leaves, a beautiful quiet spot with an outlook on something natural, and meditate on the life that runs through you. The life that runs through your being from crown to footsoles, that courses through your switch of foliage, that extends around the planet and is the very same energy with which you and I are connected. Meditate on the Oneness of you and I and everything, and if you are moved to do so, bring your memories of me to mind. Then take your fan of leaves, and swish me away. See my spirit rising up before you as if a wreath of fragrant smoke, and fan my spirit back home. Guide my spirit upward and outward, fan me away, and let me go. Dissolve. When you are done, return your little branch to nature as best you see fit; fire, compost, or just left gently on the earth under some trees. And say a prayer for yourself. Perhaps the one below.
And also, have a wonderful day.
Great Spirit, whose voice in the winds I hear,
And whose breath gives life to all the world. Hear me.
Before you I come, one of your many children.
Small and weak am I.
Your strength and wisdom I need.
Make me walk in beauty.
Make me respect all you have made,
My ears to hear your voice.
Make me wise that I may know all you have taught we people,
The lessons you have hidden in every rock.
I seek strength not to be superior to my brother,
Make me able to overcome my greatest enemy, myself.
Make me ready to stand before you with clean and straight eyes.
When life fades, as the fading sunset,
May my spirit stand before you without shame.
(adapted from Chief Yellow Lark of the Lakota, North America).