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Resurrection, Part 3

 Indeed, they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. Luke 20:36

The reoccurring life pattern of birth, growth, decline, death, and rebirth is found all around us, from trees and shrubs to animals to mountains to the changing seasons to our daily, monthly, and annual cycles of being. It is so common, we take it for granted and barely notice. Physical life springs forth, thrives for a time, declines, and dies. We interpret that as the end, but it is only an ending, a necessary requirement for a new beginning. The physical form is broken down into its component parts so they can be reformed into a new life, and the cycle begins again. Detecting and believing in the resurrection of physical life is relatively because it is evident all around us. Resurrection of our spiritual essence is less obvious and therefore more difficult to imagine.

Jesus’ followers did not recognize his resurrected form until he spoke to them. They had witnessed his physical death on the cross but could not recognize his new body without additional clues. In a similar way, I recognized my grandmother’s post-death presence. They were not dead, as in annihilated, but were changed. How can we reconcile such a change in a way consistent with other life experiences and with what we learn from science? Here is one hypothesis that I find helpful.

The science of physics tells us that everything vibrates along particular frequencies. We experience this as light and sound. We recognize various wavelengths of light as different colors, and other wavelengths of vibration as different sounds. Our senses, however, are only capable of detecting a infinitesimal range of the possible vibratory frequencies. For example, infrared and x-ray frequencies are invisible to our eyes, as radio waves are to our ears, but we know and use them anyway. Because frequencies exist along an infinite spectrum, we can be certain that there are infinite realms of vibratory realities – colors, sounds, and life – that seem not to exist in our reality because we are blind and deaf to them, at least without additional clues. Researchers have now learned that the sounds emitted by whales, which have been known for many years, have sub-frequencies within them that likely account for even more sophisticated communication than we ever imagined. The same is almost certainly true for other animals and, I suspect, for trees, rocks, and everything in the created universe. The complexity and immensity of vibratory possibilities is simply too enormous to imagine or comprehend by our human understanding.

As we reflect upon the seemingly empty space around us – the air we breathe, the space between the furnishings in our homes, the distance between planets – it seems not too much of a stretch to believe these areas are filled with all sorts of life we cannot detect because of our inability to perceive outside of our accessible vibration ranges. I suspect that when we die, in the absence of a physical body weighing it down, our soul vibrates at a level imperceptible to human senses, but continues its life in a new “body” and environment, not completely unlike the one we know now. This helps to explain why we can often feel the presence of departed loved ones, but not see them as we once did.

Because some of us have had encounters with those who have died, as did the disciples with Jesus, I suspect these encounters occur sometimes when we are receptive to them and when our departed loved ones are able to adjust their vibratory range to one we can perceive, albeit imperfectly. The fact that these encounters tend to be brief and don’t necessarily happen for long periods after the passing of our loved ones makes me think these dear, departed souls have entered a new life in a new world. They know we will rejoin them in what will seem the briefest of instants, at least from their eternal perspective.

The main point is that Jesus conquered death, saving us from the fear of annihilation, by showing us what happens. He went through death’s gate and revealed himself from the other side. He called himself the Son of Man, or the descendant of humankind, because he was what we all are to become as we pass from this physical existence and experience a more perfected version of what we are today. Resurrection occurs, not as a copy of this life, but as a new version of this life in our resurrected form.

This is the 8th in the series of Life Notes titled, If I Should Die Before I Wake. I invite your thoughts, insights, and feedback via email at ghildenbrand@sunflower.com, or through my website, www.ContemplatingGrace.com. At the website, you can also sign up to have these reflections delivered to your Inbox every Thursday morning, if you are not receiving them in another manner.

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