"What happens after death is so unspeakably glorious that our imagination and our feelings do not suffice to form even an approximate conception of it. The dissolution of our time-bound form in eternity brings no loss of meaning."
In Memories, Dreams, and Reflections, Carl Jung wrote that "Six weeks after his death my father appeared to me in a dream... It was an unforgettable experience, and it forced me for the first time to think about life after death."
I had a similar experience with my mother after her passing. She appeared to me in her dream and said the word "Ambien." This I could not understand: why would she say the name of a sleeping pill, "Ambien"? The dream bothered me for several weeks, then one evening, I was relaxing in my hot tub without a care in the world, and like a strike of lightning, I knew what the dream meant; “Ambien” meant "AM BEING." Although she was no longer in the physical body, she was saying, "I AM BEING!"
I had an even more tangible communication experience with her several weeks after she had passed. Before I had built anything on my property, I would bring my mother out to the 8-acre tract. She had progressive dementia at the time. She would walk around and pick up different colors of pebbles, petrified wood and other unique stones, and hand them to me. After her passing—I like to use the word "The Great Transition"—I built a fence at the entrance of the property using corral board. This place was going to be a real ranch! One day after completion of the fence, I came out to paint the boards, and there was a row of stones, about 10, of all different shapes and colors, each placed about 1/2 inch apart. A little chill went up my spine!
I picked them up, thinking to myself maybe it was from a squirrel or bird, but spaces measuring 1/2 inch apart seemed to be beyond that possibility. A couple of days later I went back to check the painted wood, and there was a new row of stones in the same place as before! This went on for two more weeks then stopped. I feel this was her way of telling me "I AM BEING!"; "I LIVE!"
I have been reading about the symbolism of stones today, and I am floored. According to Jung in his book Man and His Symbols:
"Many people cannot refrain from picking up stones of slightly unusual color or shape and keeping them... without knowing why they do. It is as if the stone held a mystery in it that fascinates them. Men have collected stones since the beginning of time and have apparently assumed that certain ones were the containers of the spirit of the life-force with all its mystery. The stone symbolized something permanent that can never be lost or dissolved, something eternal that some have compared to the mystical experience of God within one's own soul. It symbolizes what is perhaps the simplest and deepest experience, the experience of something eternal that man can have in those moments when he feels immortal and unalterable."
Halloween during my childhood, as nowadays, was about dressing up in costume and going door to door hustling the candy—being scary or slightly scared was entertainment. "Spooky" was fun, but a real ghost story was enough to keep us up all night!
One of my real ghost stories happened when I was in my early 20's; I had taken a trip to India for spiritual purposes but also for adventure! I probably saw myself as Lawrence of Arabia or Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim—some romantic adventurer. As the plane crossed the Atlantic, there was non-stop turbulence, and two experienced seatmates told me to drink a few martinis and I'd be fine! The plane landed in Bombay (now called Mumbai) right in the middle of a monsoon downpour. I had a hotel room for one night and after the 16-hour flight, I passed out, waking up to sitar music playing through the room—I was in India!
I hired a taxi to Poona (now Pune), but did not know that all the rooms were taken due to the city’s very popular horse races. I reached Poona after a hair-raising taxi cab drive on wet roads with the driver racing at 80 MPH in the rain! I was serenaded by two enthusiastic Indians singing beautiful Hindi songs which made my ride a lot more enjoyable, despite the numerous auto accidents we saw on the way. On arrival, I went looking for a room, but yes, everything was booked. Horse racing was a holiday. I finally found a “for rent” sign and inquired about it at a nearby restaurant.
For 3 dollars a night it seemed like a deal! I opened a sliding barn door in a 10’ by 20’ room to find a slab with burlap, a dirt floor, and a very musky smell. I finally got settled and locked the latch. I knew I probably would find a room the next day since the races would be ending. I was very tired and laid down on the burlap. All night long I would see lights, hear noises like laughter and movement in the room but no was one there. I then felt a hand move over my mouth, then two hands on my throat, choking me!
Again, there was no one there—at least not physically. Frighten was not the word, terror is a good one! Since this was not my first encounter with the supernatural, I contained myself till morning. I left as soon as I could see, but I was traveling with cash and a credit card on me, so I had to be very careful. Those thoughts had kept me from running out screaming when the haunted house started rocking! Later I found out that the "room" for rent was a type of morgue! People would place their loved ones there to prepare for ritual cremation. I was also told that the criminal element in Poona used it as well for the same purpose, hence my meeting with one rough ghost!
I leave this Day of the Dead and Halloween Celebration with a little advice from our friend Jung. I call the quote: "Day of the Living!"
"I urge one and all to live even to the last of his days as if the now were a Great Forever!”
Happy Halloween and Day of the Dead, with much Living Now!