Article by Phillip Hawkins
The dictionary defines death as the cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living organism and if we believe that man is nothing more than a physical being with an indeterminate life span between their first and last breath then we must accept that death as we currently understand it is a natural part of life, and our final destination.
However if we believe that man is more than a physical entity we may have to re-evaluate our perceptions and the terminology used to describe the transitional process that takes us from this life to a place that lies beyond our current level of knowledge and understanding of life and death, and what is currently defined as healing. As a Reiki teacher I believe we are spirit beings that have chosen to have a physical experience so that we may develop spiritually and achieve a greater level of understanding, obviously a problem can arise when our soul or higher self decides that it’s time for us to return to our spiritual home much to the consternation of our physical self which sees death as the end and will try to hang onto life at all costs.
Our physical body no matter how fit and healthy is crude and cumbersome, and in many ways dis-functional compared to our spirit self and prone to all manner of ailments and negative life choices that affect and influence both the quality and the quantity of the life available to us, and as such this physical frame can’t make the journey when we return to spirit and must be left behind so that our spirit can be released. In effect the body shuts down and the spirit moves on which usually creates a great deal of personal grief and sadness in those left behind who don’t understand the process taking place. Even if we do the pain we feel is no less real and the tears we shed is as much for our own loss as it is for their passing.
Dying can be so painful that death comes as a merciful release so we must ask ourselves is death the ultimate adversary or is it our lack of knowledge and understanding of these twin spectres that creates the greatest fear. If dying is painful and death is a release from that pain and suffering then under any other circumstances we would say that healing had taken place. Part of the problem we face is that we can view the relationship between life and death, health and illness as a battle that must be fought and won, and if when we try to help or even save a person by giving them Reiki and death still claims the ultimate prize we may feel that we have failed them by staving off what is in reality an inevitable outcome regardless of what we believe. Death will come to us all as it must but does it come as a finale or simply as a transition that carries us from one chapter to the next in our ongoing life story. How we view it will determine how we embrace it when the inevitable day arrives.
I have heard it said many times that a person has died healed and if this is so then we need to change the way we look at death and the process of dying to understand this paradox. Reiki tells us that the only person we can heal is ourselves but this is only possible up to a certain point where the body is still physically able to sustain life, once we go beyond that point of no return the best that we can hope for is to help them and ourselves come to terms with the condition and help find peace and acceptance which again is another level of healing, even if with all the best will in the world it isn’t the result that we hoped and prayed for.
When faced with losing someone we love the hardest challenge we face is to ask for an outcome that is for their highest good when what we really want to do is hang onto them as long as we can regardless of their condition.
If we believe that we are solely physical beings then our purpose in life is whatever we wish it to be, to deal with the consequences of our actions and gain whatever pleasure we can from the momentary experiences we create for ourselves, enjoying each season of our life for the colours that they bring and the changes that unfold as we mature and age travelling as we must do towards the inevitable conclusion.
If however we are spiritual beings then the thought of separation is an illusion created by fear of loss and a lack of knowledge and understanding which are a prerequisite for all healing, be it of mind, body or spirit. The feeling of loss is misplaced as our loved ones have not died in the way we currently understand the term, they have simply moved on to another stage of their development and wait our arrival when we are reunited as a spiritual family in the same way that we were when we were in physical form. Our body is a vehicle that transports us through our earth while experience, it is a receptacle for our spirit and it’s this duality that provides the necessary perspective for us to use a physical experience to gain a spiritual understanding of our true nature and the real purpose to life. In death the body has fulfilled its purpose and is no longer required, it shuts down so that the spirit is free to move on. We must also remember that this transition from one state to another is non denominational, it’s not governed by religion, faith or how we have lived our life, it’s our birthright and part of our evolutionary process that helps us move from one level of knowledge and understanding to another. A life lived on earth is nothing more than a lesson learnt and a small part of a larger ongoing process.
If we can begin to change the way we look at death and dying, and accept that we are much more than a physical body then we can begin to see death not as an end result but as a process of healing, it’s the defining moment when the physical self transcends, evolves and returns to our original form of spirit. There is no finality in death; there is only life and the moment of healing when we are born again in spirit form, the transition is the point of healing, healing not of the body because that has fulfilled its purpose and has been laid to rest to return to its original state in order for the spirit self to be free to return to spirit. Death is not the dark spectre we believe it to be, it’s the light of knowledge and understanding, and it’s the bringer of life in the moment of healing with the transition of our spirit which is infinite.
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A Reiki practitioner since 1999, Phillip started teaching Reiki in 2000 and using those skills and abilities he has spent the majority of the last seventeen years working with a wide range of social and educational needs including Autism and ADHD. Working with addicts dependent on alcohol and drugs, people whose lives were extremely violent and abusive, and others who had to deal with severe mental health issues. This has enabled him to work extensively in the private sector, schools, colleges, education and care in the community, the prison service and psychiatric units.
In 2016, Phillip decided to semi-retire from full-time employment to concentrate on developing his career as a published author and the setting up of his Reiki personal development programme at the Chilton Community College.