Monday, November 29, 2010

Raw Food and the Afterlife - Does Heaven Exist?

Clients always ask me about the various nuances of raw food - should I eat this? should I soak that? etc.  Ninety nine percent of the time my answer is "Look at nature and see what it does".  Nature answers a multitude of questions. Humans are the only species that have lost touch with the instinctual nature of our existence.  Wild life doesn't question what and when to eat.  It intuitively selects the correct foods at the correct times.  Wild life (including plants) seem to also except the various stages of life without question.

I've never been a particularly religious person as my free spirited Sagittarius nature makes it very difficult for me to work within the constraints of any one dogma.  Instead I find an appreciation for the ideologies of many different "religious figures".  I recently saw an author, David Kessler, being interviewed by Soledad O'Brien about his new book Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms.  Mr. Kessler has spent a lifetime working in hospice and other critical care/end of life settings.  He began to notice some very distinctive patterns of experiences people have when "crossing over".  Kessler reached out to other doctors and nurses working in these settings and began to compile accounts of their experiences with these patients.  The similarities are amazing yielding three clearly defined events which seem to universally occur in the days and moments leading up to death regardless of religion (or lack there of), ethnicity, age, location, income, status, or whether they were on medications or not. Universally people experienced visions of previously passed loved one coming to get them, the need to pack or prepared for a trip, and illusions of entering joyous crowded rooms. Stories from people who almost crossed were also captured. The accounts relayed in the book are interesting, touching, and comforting.  An added point, no one reported accounts of people seeing fiery pits or demons (this isn't discussed in the book but was asked by Soledad during the interview).  Like other medical phenomenons, many doctors are reluctant to give acknowledgement or give credence to these occurrences and those who came forward in the book indicated that this is medicines "dirty little secret".  It commonly occurs but no one wants to provide true recognition for fear of being labeled a "crazy doctor". What is happening cannot be scientifically proven so it is dismissed. The bottom line is that it we need to reframe how we think of birth and death.  Birth is not the definitive beginning and death is not the definitive end.  It appears that when we die we are just ending our chapter here and moving on to the next phase of "life" where we will continue our journey with the people we love.  One other interesting note, for people who saw a religious figure at the end of their "earth journey", the deity was always the one symbolized by their personal religion.  By giving credibility to what is going on, family could be better informed on what is happening and how to help their loved ones make the leap to the next phase. What happens most often is family members argue with a patient telling them that they can't go on a trip or that they are not really "seeing something".  The accounts relayed in which the family members understood these three "death commonalities" were interesting. For these people they were able to almost participate with the patient in these events and even experience a level of joy and their family member moved on to the next phase.

So, how does this relate to Raw Food?  As I indicated earlier, I look to nature to answer many of life's big questions.  Everything in nature is in a constant state of "birth", "death", and "renewal".  Nature seems to accept this process without question.  Composting is a great example. Although apples are not human they are definitely living, made up of cellular materials, and have a life cycle.  At the "end" of an apples life it biodegrades, re-enters the Earth (or energy force), and returns. The apple does not cease to be after it "dies".  In fact, this regeneration process is vital to the continued existence of everything.  All cellular and living matter undergoes this same processes.  At the core of everything, humans are cellular and living matter so why would our experience be anything different?