12 minutes ago
During my hike in the Snowy Range on Friday, it suddenly hit me that our lives on this Earth are really quite short, especially in the context of billions of years of geologic history. When compared to such vast stretches of time, our lives are like a mere blip. In that sense, our existence is *almost* illusory.
However, this kind of reflection didn't cause me to begin thinking about an afterlife. I'm not convinced that time continues in linear fashion "after" we die. There may in fact be no "after." Instead, I often wonder if time then doubles back on itself, placing us right back into existence - here and now - on some other plane.
More truly, however, I had the sense while in the mountains that I - and each of us - actually exist forever as a "thought in the mind of God." Or, if you prefer, as an image in the memory of the landscape we inhabit. In the mountains, I sensed my awareness grasped and held by a Source that is placed, as it were, behind me. It is like sinking back into a vast and loving Gaze.
This experience of being-grasped and held at the root of our existence is especially evident during the meditation practice of Contemplative Prayer, where we allow our awareness to be grasped from within the endless canyon of our being by the magnetic presence of the Beloved dwelling within our depths, while our thoughts and emotions circulate like stars in the sky above.
It is in this reality of being lovingly gazed-upon, this being- grasped as an eternal thought in the mind of God, that our existence most truly consists. Of this I am absolutely convinced.
When I came home after my hike to eat dinner with my wife, brother-in-law and sister-in law, I probably seemed like an errant shot out of the blue. With my Einstein hair (I need a haircut) and ebulient expression of insights, my wife said I seemed like Moses coming down off the mountain. I think I merely irritated my brother-in-law and perplexed my sister-in-law with my cosmic pronouncements.
But I know that the Snowy Range had mediated a fresh awareness of Reality to me that day. And for that I am grateful.
Photo: Glacier Lilies, Snowy Range, WY, June 23, 2017