Karmic Crossings
A SPIRITED SOUL - Jeannie E. Javelosa (The Philippine Star) - October 30, 2016 - 12:00am

We remember our dearly departed during this weekend. Or take notice of the other dimensions, and of souls not in their physical forms. Halloween (Oct. 31), celebrated and commercially milked for all its worth, is All Hallows’ Eve, where the fight between good souls and evil spirits is re-enacted in often macabre scary ways.

This is vigil night to All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1) where the Christian tradition offers prayers for souls in purgatory; and All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2), which finds similarities in Mexico’s Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) and the Chinese Ghost Festival. Here, we commemorate our dead and pray they go to higher dimensions or beg God to have mercy on them to enter heaven.

As tradition suggests, we light candles and pour holy water in graves, offer Masses and flowers. We may bring out that mahjong table and picnic around the gravesite to summon their spirits back in ritual remembrance.

But let me go back a couple of months. “Let a Christmas pass.” My friend Ling tells me from somewhere in the world where she is traveling to ease her grief from the death by helicopter accident of her husband Archie. She sends me this over text as I travel to Italy and wake up at dawn on my birthday, the first time I cried, to realize Ed was not going to be around. Some time back I had dinner with Celia, who lost her husband in a couple of days due to a stroke…and how she said, it doesn’t really get easier. Today, I bumped into Marilen, widow of Gary, and we talked, stood there in embrace as she fought back tears. It’s been a year that her healthy husband suffered a heart attack while playing basketball and literally dropped dead. I don’t know...I told her, “Which is harder,  letting go for two years and struggling and knowing the levels of grieving as cancer slowly took my loved one away? Or to have death snatch your other half abruptly out of your life?”

Then the remembrance happens moment by moment in the realization that life will never be the same, and that one must carve out a single path now to find happiness and purpose. How grief shows itself shattering reality when well-meaning friends offer dates or say you are looking really good, or when insensitive friends offer comments so out of context in the memory of your loved one. Grief in various levels teaches us about the impermanence of it all. It wakes us up to how short life truly is. And how we must live it purposefully, compassionately and with mindfulness.

But our Catholic faith makes us know we are only moving through this world and another world called heaven awaits. Our spirituality moves us to go deeper to know that in this Universe, levels of higher dimensions move souls to explore and learn and experience more...after they have fulfilled their evolutionary lesson in this earth life. What death often does for us, especially when we see our dead in dreams and through messages, is that fear of death is taken away. Death gives us a chance to capture the wisdom of spiritual understanding: to see the illusions of life and the fear of death — are bonds, which we both need to break.

All Souls’ Day is when we honor the dead. Honoring them is about remembering not only all the good times but what they triggered in us. The growth and also the karmic payments of pain that time may need to heal. If by any chance regrets are still there, then the memory is pushing us to face and release it. The people we love — be they family, partners and lovers or friends who have carved their presence deep in our souls are all karmic connections. By “karmic” it means there are lessons to learn from each other — lovingly or painfully. When someone passes on or disappears from your life (not necessarily by dying), then the lesson is over...if only love remains. But if there is still present anger, resentment and all other emotions (grief of loss not included here) then the karmic bond has not yet been severed and you must try to release, heal and work this towards a release with love.

When we commemorate death, we are forced to look at life. It is the paradox of the duality that works together for this wisdom to arise. Coldly defined, death is the termination of all bodily functions that sustain an organism. It is a permanent end of a biological organism. But the Soul is as real. Or we can call it consciousness instead and an awakening to this is what we work towards in this earth life as we strive to be “enlightened.” To awaken means to see life for what it truly is. A school to know and learn about ourselves as spiritual beings experiencing our lessons in this physical vessel. To awaken to life is to also know the interconnection of our bodily organism to Nature...and that junk food is packed with chemicals by which you poison your physical body, that the garbage we throw out unknowingly enters our waters into our food systems and back to us. That the smoke of the factories driven by greed goes back to pollute us. To live today means to wake up to what each of us can consciously and purposefully do.

All Souls’ Day is a time to remember what our dearly departed who are in the Great Beyond would have wanted us to be, to accomplish and do. And for us to remember that each relationship in our life is a karmic crossing — a chance to learn soul lessons, to be pushed to connect and develop profound relationships to others who show up for us to shift, be moved, re-created and be transformed.

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