Oasis Earth In The Infinite Universe And All That Jazz.

Posted November 22, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere it is, 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Many will think about the man, where they were that day, and what would have been different had he lived. Many will wax philosophical, thinking about life and death, and how we are, each one of us, going to die one day.

Some will go back to their earliest memories in childhood, reliving the years that have passed, and wonder about the awesome nature of life. There will be men and women focusing in on their date of birth and coming to the realization that, indeed, there will eventually come to be a personal “date of death”. Considering JFK’s life and death gives one a perfect, somewhat dramatic, example of living and dying that, although all lives are sacred, uniquely zeroes in on life’s brevity.

One could say that every person who has lived and died is a perfect example of life’s brevity. I remember the pastor at my father’s funeral, realizing that I was in a depressed state, saying “we are all terminal”. I also remember the man who worked in the hospital where my mother was dying, who, in the compassionate spirit of the pastor, said “it happens to the best of us”.

There is a concept written in the gnostic texts found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt which describes a person’s lifetime as a “movement and a rest”. Buddhist writings state that an incarnation is “like the dew on a blade of grass”, I suppose referring to the contrast between the number of years one lives and the eternal, forever nature of the soul – the soul being our essential, true self that never ceases to exist.

I recently re-viewed the awesome short documentary film, The Overview Effect, (posted on this site’s homepage) and was reminded of that film’s great ability to place a person in the “awe mode”, where there is a movement toward an overwhelming spiritual moment of awareness, whether small or great, of something fabulously special about living on a blue-green ball hanging in infinite space.

Many men and women who have had what is now commonly called the “near-death-experience” have been able to describe having left their bodies and traveled to space, looking at the Earth as the astronauts in The Overview Effect did while in their physical bodies, and feeling the awe. Some traveled further out into the universe, able to view galaxies and star systems hanging there in the infinite universe.

One ponders if all people will travel such a route upon leaving their physical bodies at the time of “death”. Will we all have that experience and then come to know the whos, whats, whens, wheres, and whys – will we arrive/return to our eternal “home” – finally fully understanding the truth about the life we just lived on the planet Earth? Will every person come to experience the reliving of the life just lived, feeling every action ever taken while alive from the perspective of the person(s) they interacted with?

Could it be that the “life review” described by the men and women who have had a near death experience, is what every soul will experience, without exception? Did the souls of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy – all souls – relive their lives to understand it all, everything? So, I travel the spiritual tangent now, perhaps traveling into what is termed the “unknown”.

This is nothing special on my part as every thoughtful man or woman has devoted some time contemplating about life and death issues; there is no escape from considering the reality we all are experiencing. Some have developed such a fear of “death” that even another’s mention of the word results in disapproval, as if mentioning the word is going to bring about some type of negative event.

Taking the time to contemplate one’s death and viewing films or photographs from space are related metaphysical experiences in that the widest view of life, both personal and for humanity and the creation, is perceptible to some extent. The significant value of such ways of perceiving is that a person can focus on what is important, from both a personal and world standpoint.

Let me say that I am just thinking out loud here. All that jazz, here and now listening to jazz music being broadcast from the local university radio station, riffing like a kind of philosophical jazz writer, traveling with words as the jazz musician travels with notes through their instruments. No big deal. Just going on a journey to wherever – to wherever the trail leads.

Perhaps this is what original thought is about. Where a person voluntarily takes a journey of the mind, stopping here and there like a tourist without any itinerary, taking in the scenery, talking with the natives, just moving along to where the journey takes him or her.


(Herbie Hancock “Watermelon Man” – Thanks to deerfried @ YouTube)