DEATH – The Grand Illusion
Well, where do I begin? As many know, my soul buddy Tomas left the body Dec. 5th 2010. If you’d like to learn more about this please read the last post about Tomas’ Awakening.
We (Rikki, Stacy, and I) promised to take Tomas’ ashes into a sacred place deep in the Grand Canyon. It would be in the Spring of 2011 and it was going to require planning ahead as we would be heading for a remote area with little or no water for the five days there. It would be a camping and hiking trip.
The team who gathered for this trip consisted of me (Nouk), Rikki (Tomas’ and my daughter), her partner Bo Lopez, Stacy Sully (Tomas’ partner; my friend and colleague) and our friend and film-maker, Stacy Vereen who has been filming our journey for a documentary, over the last couple of years.
At first light the morning of May 3rd, we drove from Santa Fe, NM to Tusayan AZ, near the South Rim. From there we all squeezed into Bo’s truck and he drove us two hours along a beaten track until we reached what appeared to be the most amazing wilderness area I’d ever seen.
We finally set up camp in a secluded spot literally just a few feet from the edge of the Grand Canyon. This was my very first back-packing trip at the age of 54. I must share here that the ego had taunted me many times around its idea that I wouldn’t make the six mile hike in and back out. The 2,500 foot descent was along an un-maintained and often unmarked path. I fell only once and luckily it wasn’t into the Canyon!
The hike down took quite a few hours as it required intense concentration so we didn’t lose our footing, being that the sheer precipice of the Canyon’s edge was always just a step (or a slip!) away. I recall blocking the ego’s endless threats and just walking some parts, one carefully placed step at a time. By the way, I had developed quite a head cold the day before (that ego again) and decided that despite this illusion, I was going to look past it and join wholeheartedly in my commitment to walking WITH the Holy Spirit and not the ego! I dropped into a zone with Holy Spirit and gave the entire experience to Him to use this body. Limitation was impossible in this state…that was what Tomas taught me and it was a privilege to demonstrate this.
Bo was our earthly guide for this trip and he was a powerhouse in so many respects. Our destination was a plateau deep in the Canyon, a very sacred place. And we were to spend the night there sleeping under the stars, before arising at dawn to release Tomas’ ashes. This is what Rikki has shared about her experience as we approached this sacred site:
“As I was at the end of the trail and entering the spot that we had decided to release the ashes, I felt Tom clear as day in absolute ecstatic joy, as if to welcome us for this event. He was laughing and so proud to join with us!! I had tears rushing down my face and I was laughing with him at the same time. What a blessing it is to know he is here, with the same personality and humor… just without the body.”
At dawn the next morning we all lined up together at the edge of the most beautifully captivating cliff and joined with Holy Spirit and Tomas. The scene and experience there was so full of enchantment. It was as if every living thing was perched in reverence, ready and gently waiting for this moment of release. The breeze was soft and fresh carrying with it the scent of wild sage.
We stood, each holding a prayer feather to release with a prayer and together we let them go with the wind over the side of the Canyon. We watched them soar and flutter taking our prayers with them. There was a wave of light that went through us all, we all felt it. Then…the moment arrived to release the ashes. I noticed immediately that I didn’t want to participate…to throw a handful of ashes off the cliff. Stacy walked up to the bag of ashes and she lovingly scooped up a handful of Tomas’ ashes and…in one amazing sweep, tossed them up to Spirit. Still I didn’t want to participate…Then Bo, who helped take care of Tomas with us last year, was moved to follow Stacy. Rikki and I watched. I saw that Rikki was as reluctant as I was. Then when she saw the release that Bo experienced as he let go the ashes – Rikki stepped to the edge, held the ashes and then tossed them high into air. There was a palpable sense of RELEASE felt in us all. Rikki had the biggest grin on her face followed by a burst of laughter. Then I finally felt called to do the same…
The experience wasn’t anything like I expected. I observed my resistance to the ashes; a sign of mortality. To me they were a symbol that the ego can claim our bodies through death; that the ego still appears to have dominion over so much in this dream. And I didn’t want anything to do with it…resistance again, which made it more real. I reached into the bag and held the ashes in my hands asking Holy Spirit to show me what this was for; to show me this through healed perception. I then went blank. Feeling a gust of wind from behind me, I suddenly threw the ashes over the edge of the Canyon. Yet it wasn’t me who threw the ashes. In an instant as the hands opened…they were Tomas’ hands releasing the ashes! I was him! He was me! And the ashes were the ego’s DREAM of death…and not at all real.
I burst out laughing! All I could do was to laugh…Tomas was right here, now. He hadn’t gone anywhere and he certainly wasn’t in those ashes. How could he be? It was Tomas who threw the ashes!
Later, when Rikki and I had a chance to talk, she shared with me that she had had a similar experience. She, like me, had resistance to the ashes for the same reason. Yet when she released them she was overcome by the knowing that death is a grand illusion. And all she could do was to laugh and laugh as well. She felt Tomas right there, and so what exactly were we releasing? Except a dream of mortality…a false fear, a sheer veil that can be lifted at any moment we choose. Following here, is Rikki’s personal account of what occurred for her:
“…then Stacy Sully grabbed a handful of the ashes and tossed them into the air, I didn’t want anything to do with the ashes up until that point. I guess in my mind they were a symbol of mortality and death. But then Bo decided he too wanted to spread them and he let them go into the wind. Then as I saw them floating down through the Canyon bathed in morning light, a shift occurred in my mind, and I recognized that this was not about mortality and death at all; rather a letting go of the idea of separation and suffering. I joined in that moment and from then on I was filled with absolute joy. It’s very difficult to describe but I went over to the edge and took a hand full of the ashes. And with love in my heart and Tom by my side, I thanked him for showing me the way, for undeniably teaching me that we are not apart. And I released them up into the air with laughter and the greatest sense of freedom!!”
The highlight for us all was a deepening of the experience that death is a total illusion; that communication remains unbroken even when the body is no longer present. This experience of release of the illusion of death was another monumental step for us into Love – with no opposite.
“Death’s worshippers may be afraid. And yet, can thoughts like these be fearful? If they saw that it is only this which they believe, they would be instantly released. And you will show them this today. There is no death, and we renounce it now in every form, for their salvation and our own as well. God made not death. Whatever form it takes must therefore be illusion. This the stand we take today. And it is given us to look past death, and see the life beyond.” A Course in Miracles, W-163.8