Life is Illusory.
Life is an Illusion as we know it. Home is where we were before we were born, and where we return after death.
Life is but a dream…
That being said, the experience of Life (being incarnate) has much learning opportunity. It helps if we reach out and take it.
In the O.R. at the Surgery Center last week, I was giving anesthesia for a general surgery case. The surgeon was from India, and is outspoken.
I asked him, quietly, if it is true that in India the wives are expected to throw themselves upon a fire and be cremated in ceremony with their dead husband?
He said it is true. It is a Hindu custom that has died out. Ghandi put an end to it, but it is still practiced out in the rural areas to this day.
He said it started out being a voluntary thing. But then, in time, it because a little ‘less’ voluntary, and was expected from everyone. He said that then ‘this wasn’t such a good thing’ when it was like that.
Being a general surgeon at heart, he enjoys speaking about controversial and complex things. And in this, he said, ‘Although it sounds horrible a practice, the alternative was not a very good option–if they lived, the widows could not support themselves, and had to prostitute themselves upon the street. They would lose everything, their social status, and could never see their friends or family again.’
That made sense.
I asked, ‘What about the children? Who would raise them?’
He said there is extended family who would take the orphans from the self-immolation in.
‘But WHY NOT the widow?!’ I asked, incredulously.
He said when he was a kid, these things happened. Fortunately now it is rare and the practice has mostly died out.
He also explained the child bride thing. He said in India, the whole point is to marry your daughters to get them out of the house. I asked, ‘is it to get the dowry?’ He said, ‘no, it is one less mouth to feed. But you have to do it early. If you wait too long, your daughter will get pregnant and then no one will marry her and you’ll have to support two mouths or more.’
So it’s money.
Yes, I say it again–it is MONEY that drives both of these horrible practices–in the self-immolation (of Sati) because all the worldly goods go to the relatives…and in child marriage it is to save money instead of supporting this daughter long-term.
Here is an excellent article on the practice of Sati if you are interested http://www.kashgar.com.au/articles/life-in-india-the-practice-of-sati-or-widow-burning
I have the unique perspective of the recollection of past lives.
Technically, when Ross and I were Melchizedek and his favorite temple girl, I committed a form of Sati. I was buried in the tomb with him, alive. He had talked about it our whole lives. It wasn’t the custom, but for spiritual reasons he wanted it. I think he couldn’t bear the thought of me going to another, and I couldn’t bear the thought of having to live the rest of my life out under the authority of someone else. So they gave me food and water and sealed the tomb. He was embalmed–I think–I didn’t remember a stench. But I recall by the third day, I changed my mind, and I wanted to live. This was a stupid way to die! It was too late.
Ross in that form took on much karma for his choices and it has taken three more incarnations of me to ‘pay off the balance’.
When he was Gamaliel, and I was Tabitha, he died a horrible death in the streets and his body was thrown outside the city walls. I witnessed it. For my safety, I could not go out to do burial for him. We were Jewish slaves. And I carried much guilt because according to our belief system, he couldn’t go to the hereafter without a proper burial. What was even worse, was I LIVED the life of the prostitute beggar widow. There were cruel men who took advantage of me, promising me a roof over my head if in return I did X and Y and Z. I was so traumatized I lost my voice. I had been a social, popular and vocal midwife before this.
Ross and his parents witnessed me in those end years as Tabitha. I was in the same village as them, a street person and beggar. Then I came back as Amee and eventually married Ross. Twin souls do that. I won’t go much into the details, but he died–yet again! I had the chance to prepare the body and grieve, something my soul needed to do. It wasn’t the best incarnation we had together.
Ross wants me to share with you the happiest day of his life in that incarnation.
As you know, Ross was special. There was much to be decided as to who would be his wife, who he would marry. It had to do with our tradition which back then was very much like the Essenes, if not them exactly as their forerunners. I had known Ross my whole life, and was five years younger. I followed him around like a puppy. I brought him my broken dolls to fix. Often I was at his parent’s home, and remember it well.
I had been tested without my knowledge about possibly being selected as his wife. Many eligible girls were scrutinized for this important role in his future.
I passed. It was decided upon me. And Ross knew. He had to keep it a secret. But it was the best day of his life when he found out. He was excited because he knew I would be thrilled beyond beyond beyond EVERYTHING. He imagined my smile and my joy when I learned.
I never knew. We both had arranged marriages planned. Everything was very vague. I was totally depressed and told him I would love him forever, no matter who the chump and old geezer was my family had arranged for me. (it was typical for the men to be very much older).
The preparation for my marriage was the saddest thing in the world for me. My heart wasn’t in it at all. How could it be Ross? How could anything compare to my Beloved? I swore to myself to be a good wife and mother, but to never forget him in my heart of hearts. To treasure the memories…
When I saw him standing at the front of the ceremony, at MY wedding, as the GROOM!!! I let out a squeal of delight!
I had in no way imagined ever the possibility of us, both young as we are (he eighteen, me thirteen) being given to one another in our culture!! I could not believe my eyes! My good fortune! And to be married to my BEST FRIEND in the whole wide world!
I looked around and saw the supportive, loving smiles of our families who had arranged for this miracle. I couldn’t comprehend it, my good luck, my joy, and the incredible kindness that was shown to both of us, for we were deeply in love.
I had tears of joy running down my face the whole ceremony. And I enjoyed every minute of it too.