Yesterday, as Jan and I prepared to make a brief visit to Aunt Virginia before attending a matinee showing of Hereafter, I struggled to somehow dismantle the bathroom ceiling fan to free a trapped bird. Jan had just been outside and noticed a flock of bluebirds on the roof, calling loudly. The eyes of the trapped bird stared intently at me as I lowered the fan, it was a female bluebird and she was now freed.
We arrived a bit late to 91 year old Aunt Virginia to find her resting with her new Yorkie puppy Dewey sitting calmly in her lap. Dewey is adorable with bright attentive eyes, wise beyond his years. He locks onto my eyes, we connect. Aunt Virginia is a young mother again, constantly tracking Dewey’s whereabouts, fixing him lunch. We say our goodbyes; it’s time for Hereafter.
Back in the day, Jeanne and I anxiously awaited three things in life: the always postponed release of Stevie Wonder’s next album; Carlos Castaneda’s next book; and Clint Eastwood’s new movie. While Stevie and Carlos attended to our spiritual and magical sides, The Clint was pure masculine shadow. He mirrored the energy I aspired to and that Jeanne was attracted to. Who would have thought that The Clint would evolve into such a sensitive, gentle director willing to take on the question of the hereafter, only the greatest mystery of life?
This movie is at once engaging and seamless as it flows through the unfolding dramas of three characters in separate worlds whose lives ultimately intersect at the deepest level. The pace of the movie is decidedly Eastwood’s. He skips the explosiveness of most Hollywood dramas, calmly allowing the story to unfold without over-stimulation or over-telling. You’re not likely to encounter too many texting teens at this movie; The Clint does not cave to that energy. This is an intelligent movie.
Jan and I thoroughly enjoyed it, two thumbs up! I will say no more directly about the content of Hereafter. Go see it!
However, I am not a stranger to the hereafter, so I will describe my own experience. Jan and I have had profound experiences of Jeanne in the hereafter in the here and now. We literally lived a scene right out of Ghost where Whoopi Goldberg transmogrifies into Patrick Swayze so that he can connect with his wife played by actress, Demi Moore. Jan, Jeanne and I have verified this experience and that possibility.
What I can say however is that this experience doesn’t mean anything to my rational mind. The rational mind will always do what the rational mind does best: doubt and question. My rational mind doubts and questions every otherworldly experience I have ever had.
Here is the conundrum: We know this life will end. Then what? Lights out or lights on? Our reason knows there is no god, no magic; it can all be explained. We can choose to believe but our reason scoffs at belief. If we have genuine experiences of hereafter, reason, our own or someone else’s, quickly explains them away with reasonable doubt. And so, we are left with reason on one side and experiences on the other, with reason claiming ultimate control over the interpretation of everything.
My solution to this conundrum has been to suspend judgment and to have experience. Allowing for experiences leads to its own knowing. This knowing needn’t challenge reason, which has its own knowing, albeit limited. The solution lies not in convincing reason. This is not possible. Reason upholds our consensual reality. It is the foundation of that reality. Experiences of hereafter lead to knowing an expanded reality, one in which reason exists in its own right but is simply one world among others.
There was once a time when it was certain that the sun revolved around the all-important Earth. That it is now known that the earth—among other planets—revolves around the sun, does not diminish the reality of the earth, it simply diminishes its supremacy. Reason shares a similar fate, though it is fighting hard to maintain its supremacy over the hereafter.
I like The Clint’s approach to the Hereafter. It’s calm, no dramatic attempts of proof; an invitation to experience.
For those who haven’t read The Book of Us, I suggest this autobiography as a documented experience of here and hereafter. Of course, like all documented experiences, we are left with confronting reason with its doubts and questions. Take it instead as an invitation to have your own experiences. That has been the essence of Jeanne’s channeled messages: lessons in how to have experiences of hereafter, here and now.
If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.
Until we meet again,