|Essay from December 2010
"Still Hate To Get Into The Water"
[I have not figured out to what larger work these mysterious three pages belong. Harry dug them up last fall. He thought the piece might be too long for the monthly rant, giving me an out - so we picked a more typical entry. But this was important to him, spoke for him, I see now. He had given some thought to what comes after (and before) life back in his younger days when death didn't feel so close. Those ideas - Harry's own words to himself - were reassuring to him. Not to me! Not then. But now they are. This will be the last of the monthly essays by Harry, but he left at least one complete manuscript still to publish. Watch for new releases and new additions to our excerpts collection. My thanks to all who read the rants/essays, and responded, and returned month after month to see what was on Harry's mind. He loved writing for you. ZG]
It is a memory. It is clear. It can be recalled at any time, and I require no regression or hypnotherapy to get me there, where I was at the time that now presents as memory. And just as recollection of an event that took place when I was two or three, or when I was off alone somewhere, or with someone who is no longer among the living to agree that the thing really did happen, this memory of mine cannot be confirmed as having really happened as Memory now serves me to see it happened.
I was with friends. In the distance we regarded a lovely jewel, which, in fact, was the only thing I recall at the time seeing, because I could see neither myself nor the friends who were there with me, as we were immaterial to the world we were discussing the possibility of checking out more closely: from the inside. My friends and I, at rest at a point out in the dark space that filled the distance between us and this world that shined, like I said, like a most lovely jewel, the only thing to fill our eyes as they rested on that jewel in the space we all occupied, were just quietly discussing the reasons we might wish to drop in and see what life might be like on this planet.
I remember it clearly, for I can still recall the feeling I had as I contemplated the possibililty. I was filled with a loathing, a hesitation, a clear anxiety about entering into this world with these friends of mine I couldn't see; these comfortable friends of mine who were trying to convince me it would be fun and interesting to dive into this plane and move from starting point to the eventual finish line of mortal being, when we would once again meet and compare notes with each other about this material world and the places, things and events we were given to see.
"I don't know...." I remember holding back as my invisible friends there continued to urge me.
"Come on," they laughed. "It'll be only a matter of time -- a very short time, for that matter, when we consider all the Time we have on our hands. Come on! Don't be a spoil sport. It'll be fun! It'll be a gas! Everyone who's done it has come back to report that it's a trip like you wouldn't believe -- but they did come back, don't you see? And so at least that much is guaranteed. While they report that it is possible to burn out in that place and not make it out at the end of one go-round, it is also guaranteed that one go-round through material being involves days that are strictly numbered, and all that's required is that one hold on to the light that describes our very being, so that at the end of the line our light energy remains intact and capable of rising again out of the plane of material being...
"You're strong enough to do that, aren't you?" they began to taunt me then. "Where's your self confidence, that you think you can't handle a little swim through material being without losing your soul?" That was the clincher. for no one of us could ever turn away from such a challenge to test our faith in the power and glory of Being.
Of course we were strong enough to move through a material plane! Okay. True. It was only for a while we'd have to hold our breath as we passed through the dense plane of being. Only a time... Of course I was strong enough to make the trip, I found myself thinking, having been duly challenged to think.
"Alright..." I then found myself thinking, and that said, as I slipped away from consciousness -- it was as though entering a potentially dangerous state of sleep -- I remember my last conscious thoughts on the matter: Well, it a beautiful place.... God help me. I can do this!"
My whole life, as it turns out, I have been this way, which is to say that I still cannot stand to get into the water. I love to swim, but I hate to get into the water, and so I dangle on the edge of the pool and suffer, dread, and deliberate about how refreshing the swim, once I get into the water, will be. And sure enough, once I get over the initial shock I continue to hate, I always find I can swim for hours -- I always find it to be divine to move for long periods of time without touching down; to move smoothly, gracefully, effortlessly through the water's suspension, for as long as I feel like it, I can move above the ground, without touching down; without stopping. I only stop out of eventual boredom, or out of need to be elsewhere doing something other than a delicious swim....
I cannot stand to get into the water. I sit poised on the edge of a career, a relationship, a takeoff point in a series of events I know will ultimately take me into deep, hot or cold water, and I think, "I don't know about this! Oh, I don't know if I really want to do this!"
"Oh, God help me," I think then, when a voice seems to taunt me from out of nowhere with, "What? You think you haven't the strength?"
"OKAY!" I think then before dropping in to the thing I was dreading to do. "I can do this," I say, and then after a period of some form of danger, thrill or excitment, I always come out of it eventually, with the great sighs and lofty smiles that support the best remark I can make then: "WHEW! What a trip! But it was worth it!"
Curiously enough, I fidget now, on the edge of my life here, deep is my desire to be cleared to fly on out of here. While most people suffer over the idea of dying and leaving this material plane, I look to the Lifeguard who'll pull me out of the water when I cross that magical "Finish" line, and when the total of my numbered days here fulfills the measured order of Time I was given to do this thing we call living, in this rich, weird, wild, and in some ways, and sometimes even wonderful, material plane. How I look forward to regarding it from a distance, with my friends once again!
And so to anyone who would fear the notion of dying, I would suggest that is the sign of dispirited, burned out being, and that the fear is to be found in the inherent knowing that when one loses oneself, one will have to come back through it again -- and again, until one can figure it out that there's a higher than material reason for being! And I would argue that, in terms of finding and reclaiming a soul once again, all one need do, it seems to me, would be to recollect and reclaim the soul that blazed in our time spent being none other than the innocent, here to learn, see, touch, taste, smell and feel it All, Child.
In that Spirit, then, one need only know once again, that no matter what life here might give us to see, one need only be true to one's Self, who's expected to emerge from this life, eventually, safe and sound, and able, once again, to laugh and fly and explore along with friends -- invisible friends, naturally, which is immaterial, actually -- until the next time we get it into our heads we want to enter some material plane and experience some fascinating new form of temporality.
That said, I'll just sign off now and say, what's the matter? Don't think you can handle it? Can't handle the idea of immaterial, invisible Being? Where's your Self confidence- for God's sake?
Hope to see you on the other side. Me? I know my days are numbered, and soon I'll be outta here! And once again, totally Free!