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Old 11-11-2016, 06:08 AM   #1
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Leonard Cohen

when I heard the news of the death of my very favorite singer this morning, I was really shocked. tho I had never seen him in person, I felt like I lost a very good friend and the world became somehow silent.

then I chanted some Bahai prayers for the departed for him. I know, I am sure that he is much happier now in his new home, with his beloved Marriane and without the burden of this body. yet I wonder what kind of understanding it is that comes to some very good people that makes them stop grieving over their passed away friends.

I know that this world and this life is temporal. I know that death is the door to another world and it is not the end of anything. I know that those who die are still around us, but in another time and space dimension which make us unable to see them. but I do not know why I still feel the sorrow. what is the deeper understanding that should come to me to make me stop grieving.

I would be glad to hear your opinions. if any of you have reached that stage of understanding, I would be glad to hear about your ideas about death.

I have a very knowledgeable friend who has such a deep understanding of death that he never grieves for any death. we have often talked about death together and I agree with everything he says, but I think the realization , beyond the words, must come to me....

Last edited by maryamr; 11-11-2016 at 06:11 AM.
 
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Old 11-11-2016, 06:41 AM   #2
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The quote I find most interesting on the subject both come from 'Abdu'l-Baha.

“Those who have ascended have different attributes from those who are still on earth, yet there is no real separation. In prayer there is a mingling of station, a mingling of condition. Pray for them as they pray for you!”—‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 97.

From this we know two very interesting things:

1. There is NO separation from the living and the dead. Any separation we perceived is only imagined.

2. The dead can interact with the living and the living can interact with the dead through prayer.

Consider, now that Leonard Cohen is in the Abha Kingdom, he is, in a sense, even closer to you now than he was before. Before, you were separated by a great geographical distance, with him all the way in Los Angeles. Now, in his current state where geography means nothing, you can directly interact with him through prayer. In that way, you are closer and more interconnected than prior.
 
Old 11-11-2016, 06:55 AM   #3
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very veryyyy beautiful and useful quotes. thank you so much Walrus. now I should like to ask you two questions:

1- you know these quotes and you know that there is no separation after death. so since you have become a Baha'i, have you never cried for the death of anyone? I mean has this understanding stopped you from crying?

2- it is interesting that through prayers we can connect with the souls of the departed ones. now, is it the case that whenever WE start to pray for someone who has passed away, the connection is made? or that the one who has passed must want/see it as well? for example now that LC has passed away, I am sure many people around the world pray for him soul. can the soul connect with all those who are praying with him at once?
 
Old 11-11-2016, 07:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
very veryyyy beautiful and useful quotes. thank you so much Walrus. now I should like to ask you two questions:

1- you know these quotes and you know that there is no separation after death. so since you have become a Baha'i, have you never cried for the death of anyone? I mean has this understanding stopped you from crying?

2- it is interesting that through prayers we can connect with the souls of the departed ones. now, is it the case that whenever WE start to pray for someone who has passed away, the connection is made? or that the one who has passed must want/see it as well? for example now that LC has passed away, I am sure many people around the world pray for him soul. can the soul connect with all those who are praying with him at once?
1. Yes and no. Yes in that I have not mourned death since becoming a Baha'i. But my feelings of grief over death stopped on a step towards the Baha'i Faith, not necessarily the Faith itself. One of the steps on my journey to the Baha'i Faith was the Taoist Faith.

Taoism and it's verses on death made me see it in a new light. Taoism, without even proposing to know what happens after death, posited provocative questions to me like "How can you know, since you've only ever been alive, that death is bad? If you don't know that it is bad, how can you mourn it?" Taoism views everything in a state of Unity. It doesn't even accept divides between even things like "hot" and "cold", "light" and "dark", "is" and "is not", much less does it accept a divide between "life" and "death". Taoism states that two is one, and no part of that one is any better than the others. So for me when learning the Taoist Faith, death and life became nothing more than the great process of Change. Taoism's ideals is to accept that Change, always, and cheerfully, a concept called wei wu wei, which is to resist trying to control the world and just accept and allow it to go the ways it will.

When I got to the Baha'i Faith and learned its views on death, these ideas I had learned from the sages Laozi and Zhuangzi were only amplified by the teachings of Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha.

Even my roots in the teachings of the Taoist sages colors my perspectives in the Faith. Wei wu wei parallels submission and detachment. The yin-and-yang is the same teaching as Unity. Death and life are as one, without separation. And my favorite scripture, Seven Valleys, is the book in the Faith that most strongly relates to Taoism, being as it deeply examines Unity.

2. That is a question whose answer is best known by the dead, I am sure. But Abdu'l-Baha has one quote that might shed some light on it, but I suspect fully understanding how it all works on a metaphysical level will require experiencing what it is like to be dead.

Quote:
The rich in the other world can help the poor, as the rich can help the poor here. In every world all are the creatures of God. They are always dependent on Him. They are not independent and can never be so. While they are needful of God, the more they supplicate, the richer they become. What is their merchandise, their wealth? In the other world what is help and assistance? It is intercession. Undeveloped souls must gain progress at first through the supplications of the spiritually rich; afterwards they can progress through their own supplications.
So "developed souls" in the other world, the "spiritually rich" can essentially give alms to "undeveloped souls". Now, certain "spiritually poor" persons would probably be so far gone as to not want help from the "spiritually rich", so I would think this implies that one can pray and help another person regardless of whether that person desires that help.

So, overall, I would suspect that you could pray for another person and thus interact with them even if they ignore you and do not pray for you in return. Sort of like wishing someone well, or saying "hello" in person. Even if they ignore you and say nothing in return, they still heard you.

But that's merely speculation, of course. Proving my suspicions would require, well, my death. So I guess I'll see eventually.
 
Old 11-11-2016, 10:09 AM   #5
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again wise and beautiful answer. thank you Walrus.

I too studied Buddhist Sutras for a while before being a Baha'i. there in heart Sutra and the Diamond Sutra there are teachings about the emptiness of all things, emptiness of all the happenings. and also about death being only another stage in progression, a change like all other changes. you know, I do not think death is a bad thing, not at all. but I still fell sad when some special people die. it maybe has a selfish root because while I know they are having a better life, I think of my own feelings and my own feeling of missing them.

what you said about progressed souls and their ability to help the poor souls is interesting. I read in the book "The Private Dawding" that very rich souls would volunteerly come to the lower worlds so as to help the poor souls. it is an energy taking act but the rich souls are so kind, like for example the "red cross" community in this world. but it is impossible for the poor souls to go to higher realms, they cannot tolerate the quality of light in there.

after all, I love to talk about death. maybe finally it helps me stop getting sad over death of my dear ones :P
 
Old 11-11-2016, 03:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
again wise and beautiful answer. thank you Walrus.

I too studied Buddhist Sutras for a while before being a Baha'i. there in heart Sutra and the Diamond Sutra there are teachings about the emptiness of all things, emptiness of all the happenings. and also about death being only another stage in progression, a change like all other changes. you know, I do not think death is a bad thing, not at all. but I still fell sad when some special people die. it maybe has a selfish root because while I know they are having a better life, I think of my own feelings and my own feeling of missing them.

what you said about progressed souls and their ability to help the poor souls is interesting. I read in the book "The Private Dawding" that very rich souls would volunteerly come to the lower worlds so as to help the poor souls. it is an energy taking act but the rich souls are so kind, like for example the "red cross" community in this world. but it is impossible for the poor souls to go to higher realms, they cannot tolerate the quality of light in there.

after all, I love to talk about death. maybe finally it helps me stop getting sad over death of my dear ones :P
Little sister, we would be less than human if we did not mourn the passing of a loved one. Our faith gives us the understanding that we will see them again but it's very human to mourn that we must live the rest of our earthly life without them
 
Old 11-11-2016, 07:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
The quote I find most interesting on the subject both come from 'Abdu'l-Baha.

“Those who have ascended have different attributes from those who are still on earth, yet there is no real separation. In prayer there is a mingling of station, a mingling of condition. Pray for them as they pray for you!”—‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 97.

From this we know two very interesting things:

1. There is NO separation from the living and the dead. Any separation we perceived is only imagined.

2. The dead can interact with the living and the living can interact with the dead through prayer.

Consider, now that Leonard Cohen is in the Abha Kingdom, he is, in a sense, even closer to you now than he was before. Before, you were separated by a great geographical distance, with him all the way in Los Angeles. Now, in his current state where geography means nothing, you can directly interact with him through prayer. In that way, you are closer and more interconnected than prior.

Yes...when you realize there is no separation, that they are still a part of your life, your grief is assuaged. You still love them, they still love you and you all pray.

Loving regards,
Becky
 
Old 11-11-2016, 08:10 PM   #8
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Abdul'baha Grieved for people that passes on, Shoghi Effendi also.

The writings are full of Grief shown after a person had passed on

There is no wrong in grief

"Grief and sorrow do not come to us by chance, they are sent to us by the Divine Mercy for our own perfecting". (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 50)

This is a good link with many ideas

Grieving the Loss of a Loved One | Susan Gammage: Bahai-inspired Author

Regards Tony
 
Old 11-12-2016, 01:31 AM   #9
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thank you everyone for your answers.

I still think that if the understanding that we gain about death and life is really deep, it will keep us from mourning for death of others. maybe when Abdul Baha , Shoghi Efendi, and other great people have cried for someone's death, it has not really been for the death and not seeing that person but for another deeper dream.

how can we deeply understand that there is no separation between us and those who are dead, and that we can even commune with them, and yet feel sad? (tho I feel sad because my understanding is not that deep yet, maybe). Jesus asks his disciples not to mourn for Him, because He knew that death is not something we should cry over. Mohammad says the same, and I am sure we can find the same thing in the writings of Bahaullah and Bab.
in Masnavi (Rumi) there is a story I should like to tell you:

once the son of an old man and an old woman dies. the old woman starts to mourn and cry a lot but the man only smiles and doesn't cry at all. finally the woman gets angry and tells him: you have no heart. why do not you cry for your son?

the old man says: I can still see my son around. I can commune with him just like before. what is there for me to cry over? it is you who should cry because your eyes cannot see that there are no boundaries between death and life. it is not for me to cry over what God has wanted and is the best for us.
 
Old 11-15-2016, 11:52 AM   #10
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We lost another great musician....Leon Russell.

Loving regards,
Becky
 
Old 11-16-2016, 07:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
once the son of an old man and an old woman dies. the old woman starts to mourn and cry a lot but the man only smiles and doesn't cry at all. finally the woman gets angry and tells him: you have no heart. why do not you cry for your son?

the old man says: I can still see my son around. I can commune with him just like before. what is there for me to cry over? it is you who should cry because your eyes cannot see that there are no boundaries between death and life. it is not for me to cry over what God has wanted and is the best for us.
I love that story, reminds me of another:

When Chuang Tzu’s wife died, his friend Hui Tzu came to offer his condolences and found Chuang Tzu hunkered down, drumming on a potter pan and singing.

Hui Tzu said, “You lived with her, raised children with her, and grew old together. Even weeping is not enough, but now you are drumming and singing. Is it a bit too much?”

Chuang Tzu said, “That is not how it is. When she just died, how could I not feel grief? But I looked deeply into it and saw that she was lifeless before she was born. She was also formless and there was not any energy. Somewhere in the vast imperceptible universe there was a change, an infusion of energy, and then she was born into form, and into life. Now the form has changed again, and she is dead. Such death and life are like the natural cycle of the four seasons. My dead wife is now resting between heaven and earth. If I wail at the top of my voice to express my grief, it would certainly show a failure to understand what is fated. Therefore I stopped.
 
Old 11-16-2016, 07:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becky View Post
We lost another great musician....Leon Russell.

Loving regards,
Becky
But have we really lost him??
 
Old 11-17-2016, 06:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
I love that story, reminds me of another:

When Chuang Tzu’s wife died, his friend Hui Tzu came to offer his condolences and found Chuang Tzu hunkered down, drumming on a potter pan and singing.

Hui Tzu said, “You lived with her, raised children with her, and grew old together. Even weeping is not enough, but now you are drumming and singing. Is it a bit too much?”

Chuang Tzu said, “That is not how it is. When she just died, how could I not feel grief? But I looked deeply into it and saw that she was lifeless before she was born. She was also formless and there was not any energy. Somewhere in the vast imperceptible universe there was a change, an infusion of energy, and then she was born into form, and into life. Now the form has changed again, and she is dead. Such death and life are like the natural cycle of the four seasons. My dead wife is now resting between heaven and earth. If I wail at the top of my voice to express my grief, it would certainly show a failure to understand what is fated. Therefore I stopped.
very wise and beautiful story. I love to hear more of such stuff; they open my eyes... thank you so much Walrus
 
Old 11-26-2016, 06:40 PM   #14
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"Why seek ye Me among the dead. I am with the living."

A very strange thing happened seven years ago after the tragic passing of my beloved daughter Farah, three weeks before her 25th birthday.

Each day I would visit her grave, all covered with flowers, and sensed her presence until, on the third or fourth day, when I came to her gravesite, a strange sensation was so very strong this time. Farah wasn't there...

The flowers were still there, atop the fresh turf, but her spirit was not. It was as if I could here her off in the distance, calling to me: "Daddy!! I'm over here..."

After spending time, I left, and about a mile away, a voice in my head said the words of Jesus: "Why seek ye me among the dead. I am with the living."

This profound experience told me two things.
One, that Farah had moved on, away from her physical body.
Two, that Jesus had done the same, two thousand years ago.

We grieve for our loss.
Our arms cannot hug the physical frame of our loved one.
Our eyes cannot see their movement, or look into their earthly eyes any more.
Our ears cannot hear the melody of their voice and the laughter.
We find ourselves alone without them.

And we read the words of Baha'u'llah

O SON OF THE SUPREME!
I have made death a messenger of joy to thee.
Wherefore dost thou grieve?
I made the light to shed on thee its splendor.
Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?

And we have this spiritual congnitive dissonance.
Our heart IS full of grief
And our eyes are full of tears.

Our very soul seems to bleed at our loss.
It bleeds to death.

And we know that we are grieving
And we know that Baha'u'llah's words are true
And we try to part the veil to receive His Light.

It shines in other faces now... faces which He has fashioned also...
And it reflects many colors from the flowers of His garden

And "Nothing remaineth except My Face,
the Ever-Abiding, the Resplendant, the All Glorious..."
 
Old 11-27-2016, 09:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dale ramsdell View Post
A very strange thing happened seven years ago after the tragic passing of my beloved daughter Farah, three weeks before her 25th birthday.

Each day I would visit her grave, all covered with flowers, and sensed her presence until, on the third or fourth day, when I came to her gravesite, a strange sensation was so very strong this time. Farah wasn't there...

The flowers were still there, atop the fresh turf, but her spirit was not. It was as if I could here her off in the distance, calling to me: "Daddy!! I'm over here..."

After spending time, I left, and about a mile away, a voice in my head said the words of Jesus: "Why seek ye me among the dead. I am with the living."

This profound experience told me two things.
One, that Farah had moved on, away from her physical body.
Two, that Jesus had done the same, two thousand years ago.

We grieve for our loss.
Our arms cannot hug the physical frame of our loved one.
Our eyes cannot see their movement, or look into their earthly eyes any more.
Our ears cannot hear the melody of their voice and the laughter.
We find ourselves alone without them.

And we read the words of Baha'u'llah

O SON OF THE SUPREME!
I have made death a messenger of joy to thee.
Wherefore dost thou grieve?
I made the light to shed on thee its splendor.
Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?

And we have this spiritual congnitive dissonance.
Our heart IS full of grief
And our eyes are full of tears.

Our very soul seems to bleed at our loss.
It bleeds to death.

And we know that we are grieving
And we know that Baha'u'llah's words are true
And we try to part the veil to receive His Light.

It shines in other faces now... faces which He has fashioned also...
And it reflects many colors from the flowers of His garden

And "Nothing remaineth except My Face,
the Ever-Abiding, the Resplendant, the All Glorious..."

your post brought tears to my eyes. thank you so much and I wish calmness, peace, much love and happiness for your beloved daughter's soul.
by the way, her name is so lovely. Farah means happiness... may she still be happy in her home up there.
 
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