Thursday, 30 September 2010

Gift from the Dead 3

What is "eternal love" anyway? I think it`s all about sensitivity. Perhaps we can see that sensitivity IS eternal love, carrying as it does a fine atunement to the things around us, carrying a sensitivity from one generation to another, carrying caring to people and things alike. Of course, we acquire sensitivity as a learned behaviour. It`s more likely that sensitive parents will produce sensitive children, just as with any other attribute. This we pass on in turn to our children. A thoughtfulness, considerateness, a quality of empathy and respect we engender in others and they become the eternal chain.

What happens generally, though, in the cut and thrust of life, is that we select those people or things to care about most and ignore most of those folks around us who are needy: we shut them out if they aren`t directly part of lives. We compartmentalise those we care about and those we don`t. We tell ourselves that there is only so much we can cope with and we can`t include the old lady next door because we are already overloaded.

The reason why we make a hierarchy of people we care about and people we dismiss, is that we feel obliged to those with whom we have an emotional exchange, a connection. We ourselves benefit from the exchange, mutual support, a unity, a belonging, and for these reasons we do a deal of reciprocity.

It is much more difficult to jettison someone who levers our guilt, someone with whom we have some kind of bond, than it is to shut out someone who has no power to come back at us. With people who can pull on our guilt for things they need from us, we are hooked into them emotionally. I was saying way back in my blog "Socially Acceptable Forms of Abuse", that parents with diminished levels of guilt can treat their children however they want to because children have a lesser power to hold parents responsible for their actions.Okay, so kids can try to pull the guilt-strings, but they cannot by means of relationship restrain parents morally....they just have a bit more of a chance than dead people!

However, generally speaking, the more sensitivity, engendering guilt, a person has, the more they can be prevailed upon to act in a way that bends to the needs of others. It is a higher state indeed when someone is sensitive to the needs of others regardless of whether the other party has leverage or not. The more we are able to do things selflessly, the higher is our attainment. Attending to our loved ones who have passed away is a high and noble act because they have no recourse to us for our inadequacies in not looking after their burial place. Dead people have no fight-back. Because they haven`t, our attendance demands our highest sensitivity and awareness, more so than the old lady next door. We have to be super-sensitive and selfless when we decide to hear and fulfil a call to honour our deceased and this tunes us up to the highest awareness that impacts on our lives in other areas.

Dead people have no fight-back. It`s true. They are more defenceless than the elderly or the mentally ill, and that`s really saying something. I note how as status diminishes.... one`s ability to speak up for oneself, one`s social position..... the less rights we have.This tells us that our rights are subject to our ability as animals to compete with the other animals around us. The elderly find that they lose their rights as they become more infirm, the mentally ill lose theirs when they are considered insane. How much more so, then, if you cannot speak at all because you are dead! This sounds silly, I expect, but I actually make a profound point here: why should burial sites be abused and neglected just because there is no one with the rightfulness to stick up for something (or somebody) so defenceless.

So, anyway, what do we get from looking after our family graves? Well, we get the knock-on benefits that any positive action brings us. It doesn`t matter that this particular action is not directed at the living, it still has the same affect. We raise up the quality of our output into the world and enhance our ability to care about ourselves, our nearest and dearest and our living world. Does this sound a bit "preachy"?.......... Let me show you what happened in my case: I went to a graveyard, sparked my concern for these past, and some very very past, relatives and found several of our lost family. Because of my actions these people have been gifted love and family and belonging and in their turn have raised their own energy. I am sure that I am a much happier and fulfilled and positive person, a million fold, than before I began my quest. And this is what I mean, you always get back blessing by the bucket load when you output like this ! Why don`t you try it!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Gift From the Dead 2

Hello ! Nice to see you!

So, where was I? Went off on a rant for a while there! ..........Ah, yes, I was wanting to tell you about what happened when I was making enquiries at the first church about the whereabouts of my great grandfather`s grave.............. "Don`t you have relatives in the village?", she said. I said that we hadn`t had relatives there for donkeys years. But she told me the names of the people and I immediately knew who they were, long since thought to be dead!! I felt... and still do, very upset and like I'd had a miracle at the same time. We had found living people directly from these enquiries about dead people! "Back from the past!" I feel I want to say "never was a visit to a graveyard so propitious!" We have since found, spurred on by this one momentous find, another long-lost close relative and I find myself wondering whether it is not just a coincidence that this has happened.......Not quite on the divine intention level, but somehow intrinsic to caring, the ubiquitous reward for positive output.

Graveyards are thought of as places of closure, not places of openings, yet it was a simple desire to honour my deceased relatives that brought me rich fruits in my life. I have a philosophy that "output", positive output, of course, brings us good things. It`s not just a single action, it`s to do with quantity and consistency and quality. If you go on doing doing doing some of these things will produce good things for you. These good things don`t always come back directly, but somehow, maybe it`s just positive energy, the more output we propel the more potential we give ourselves. The quality of the output is important, I think, the more well-intentioned, happy, confident, the better "results". When we reap life`s bonuses the religiously ingrained amongst us might think "God made me lucky", but whatever you believe, certainly output opens the gates to good fortune.

It is a tragic paradox that when we are depressed we do not have the ability to output the energy that will make changes in our lives and give us the return energy we so much need. On a very cynical note, I am driven to say that it is strange that "God" gives less to folks who are depressed than he does to those who thrive.... I wonder why this could be? Animal hierachy? People who are "down" deserve less? At least, one would have to say that if you can`t muster yourself to emit a positive energy, you block off God`s nature to help you! Reminds me of the old body-blow, "God helps those who help themselves" !!!!!!! And yet, hmmmmmmm, if we thought of our image of God, not as the religious construction that he is, but as light and positivity, good-energy and higher emotions, the fact that we snooker ourselves when we are depressed makes a lot of sense.

Anyhow, so let`s get back on track.....So caring about those at rest in the earth is at the top end of quality output? Why? We don`t know if they know we are doing it, we don`t know if they are grateful or have pleasure in heaven from seeing us bring our love to them, so why would I equate visiting a graveyard with taking your neighbour a bowl of fruit or giving someone a lift to Sainsbury`s? Hmmmmmmm...., it`s a profoundly sticky question. Is it something to do with eternal love?

I am continuing with this very soooooooooon. Hope to see you here!

Oh, and I`ll let you into a little secret ! After this blog the topic is
"Murder of God: is it moral?" Humanism wants God finished off. I want to talk about it. Will you help me out?

Saturday, 18 September 2010

A Gift from the Dead.

Hello ! I`m glad you`re here !

I am starting this blog not knowing where my thoughts will lead me. I have an idea to talk about graves and graveyards and to think about why we should honour our deceased loved ones. Let`s see where we get to................

A cousin of mine recently was doing some work on the family tree. This stirred up a lot of things and I ended up going to a churchyard to put flowers on the grave of my great grandfather and great grandmother. There was no headstone and so I tried to ascertain the exact location of the grave from the Church Warden. Sadly there were only incomplete records: those with headstones were recorded, those without were not.

I found this very upsetting, not least that a church would have such little respect or caring for our loved ones that they would not keep proper records, yet more upsetting still that graves would have status if those who were buried had position or money enough to afford a headstone.

I immediately thought about hierarchy in the church, G`d and clergy, landed gentry and peasants, all assuming their place within the social scheme of things.. and, of course, the most lowly having unmarked graves. I thought how significant it is that the church reflects social division and has supported it through the centuries, whatever its religious posture might be. Even whether one`s burial spot is recorded, boils down to hierarchy !

When I question whether this is typical of the Church of England throughout the country, I am told that it is.

I was minded to try to put flowers on the grave of my great greats as well....(It`s funny how our actions so readily expose the wrongs around us!) My grandmother talked of them such a lot and they had been long-since neglected. So I approached a second church to try to see a grave plan here as well !(Glutton for punishment!) My second attempt was worse, this time even devoid of kindness, for I encountered at this church an, how shall I put it?..... an indifference that was plain obstructive. Yes, they had many of my ancestors buried on this plot of land and they didn`t give a TOSS about them or me or the churches` responsibilities.Not a toss. We might have been talking about carcasses from an abattoir for all the value my enquiry had! (Please see my blog "Animals, Why Should we Care?" for more examination of how we compartmentalise our consciences.)

I find this quite extraordinary, don`t you? Perhaps you`ll even say, typical of the church, I don`t know. Vicars in the past lived with these people, baptised them, married them, and in the end buried them.. and dumped them in the ground without a care for the recording of their resting place. Do I hear a, "perhaps the records have been lost?" OK., let`s be kind, they forgot to write down where the poor people are buried or they accidentally lost all these records all over England.... and now they say "sorry", like the Pope and everybody else these days. Does this wash with you? Well, it doesn`t with me. There is just something revealing about a church that is comfortable with operating on the basis of hierarchy, isn`t there?

How could they EVER have lived with people and cared so little? Could it be that the church was something for THEM, yet pretended to be "for the people"? Personally, I have a very low opinion of the church for just this reason: it`s all about them.

But why isn`t this all over the headlines? I suppose when immediate family have departed this life no-one much cares anymore. No-one fights for them; they are too busy fighting for their own lives, families, jobs, money. What does it say about us, though, that we bury our dead with flowing tears and then cease to care so many years down the line? And what does it do to us as human beings to leave our loved ones behind in a churchyard where there is no-one to protect their resting place or their memory? I`d really like to think next time about what we gain by honouring our dead and why I think we should care with an energy we`d usually apply to our lives and the living.

This thrilling blog continues next time when I reveal, wow this is so much like Hollywood movies, I reveal what I gained from a graveyard... Tune in next time!