Things Of The Spirit

We are more than our bodies, and belong to more than just this earth

I am going to share something with you that is very personal and very private. I have always told myself that I will not tell this story in any of my articles on Zen Tools. But I feel strangely compelled to do this now, so here goes...

This is about the death of my father.

    True wisdom lies in seeing the bigger picture, and fully living in a world that we know experientially to be intimately interconnected at both the cosmic and the personal levels.

The phone rang at about 10.30pm on 12th February 2005. It was my Mother:

"Stephen, your Father has died."

He was only 74 and in reasonable health so this news came as a shock.

I drove down to my parents' home - which was about one and half hours away -  in a state of numbness. I had no idea what I would find or how my Mother would be.

When I arrived my mother seemed OK and very together and there was a very palpable sense of lightness and calm in the house and not the tidal wave of emotional turbulence that I was expecting.

Then I looked at his corpse

I went upstairs to their bedroom where my father's corpse lay and I immediately had the sense of an overwhelming sense of peace in that bedroom.

I do not mean that I felt peaceful, I was neutral and still in a mild state of shock,  I mean that there was an atmosphere and energy in that room that was overwhelmingly light, calm and peaceful.

I felt quite literally infused and absorbed into this powerful energy and presence that suffused the room.

Then I looked at his corpse and I knew that was not him, that what I was looking at was the empty shell.

In that moment of observing his corpse I was struck by the realisation that my father was dead physically and that all of his personality, his ego, his many eccentricities, our tragic differences of opinion, his depression and associated moods ALL of it was dead and had ceased the moment the blood stopped pumping round his brain.

Yet simultaneously I knew that he was alive, more alive and more whole than he had ever been this side of the grave.

In the Christian expression I knew that my father was resurrected in a new body and  a new life and he was complete, glorious and magnificent in ways that he had never been in his earthly life.

My father was a deeply damaged man who went through the whole of his life with a deep sense of not being good enough, of never making the grade.

He was also a deeply spiritual man and a lay preacher for most of his adult life. 

Through his darkest days in times of great family tragedy he maintained his spiritual life - you could say he kept the faith  - and especially at times and in circumstances when he had no rational or sound reason to do so.

I recall him saying to me once how he had prayed to God from the depths of his despair, after experiencing yet another family tragedy, and said:

" .... You treat me worse than a dog, no loving human father would treat his child as you treat me."

Despite it all, he kept his faith. In his last letter to me he wrote:

    “Dear Stephen…

    So pleased to be able to visit you yesterday.

    I, like so many Christians, look back on our past with bewilderment, and dismay at times…many…things have happened that I cannot explain and we have made many mistakes too, but I know we got one thing right. In the darkest times…with dreams again shattered I knew we must go on worshiping and preaching…or perish spiritually.

    God bless - love Dad”

"Nothing in his life became him, like the leaving it"

As I stood there in that bedroom I was hit by the further realisation that nothing so became my father as the manner of his departure.

Not only was he alive and more alive now than he had ever been, but he had passed from this life to the next with an honour guard of angels.

Over the following days right up to and during his funeral both my mother and I had this continuing, overwhelming and palpable sense of a very powerful angelic presence.

It was as though in death my father experienced the recognition and praise that he never felt in life.

    “Our truest, deepest self is completely free. It is not crippled or compromised by past actions or concerned with identity or status. It comprehends that it has no need to fear the earthly world, and therefore, it has no need to build itself up through fame or wealth or conquest." [Eben Alexander]

Further Reading: One Page Summary Sheet With Action Points & Resources

Next Article: Mind Games & How To Free Yourself From Them

Return from "Things Of The Spirit" to: Walking The Talk

Or to: What Is Spirituality?

Contact me


English Chinese (Traditional) Russian French German Italian Spanish Vietnamese


  1. What Difference Did You Make?

    What Impact Will You Leave In The Lives Of Others? If you knew you were going to die tonight and you were given a few minutes to reflect before that happened, what would you say was the meaning of yo…

    Read More

  2. Compassion Is Selfish And You Need It

    If You Want Others To Be Happy, Practice Compassion. If You Want To Be Happy, Practice Compassion. Compassion is derived from the Latin words "com pati" meaning to suffer with. It has been defined as…

    Read More

  3. The Placebo Effect - 2 Key Takeaways

    The Power Of Expectation Of An Outcome Regardless Of The Lack Of Any Substance To That Expectation. Traditionally, the placebo effect occurs when false, or dummy, treatments of inert substances [that…

    Read More

  4. The Red Pill

    This Is What Will Happen After You Take It. "This is your last chance," rebel leader Morpheus tells Neo, holding a coloured pill in each hand. “You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in y…

    Read More

  5. Transformational Life Hacks

    This Has To Be One Of The Best Ways For Living The Best Life You Can Possibly Live. An online search on life hacks will invariably provide you with multiple links to ways of increasing your productivi…

    Read More

  6. This Too Shall Pass

    The Blessing And The Curse Of Impermanence. There is a story of a king who sought wisdom. Eventually he heard of a man living in a remote part of the kingdom who had a reputation for great wisdom. The…

    Read More

  7. The Stories We Tell Ourselves

    The Stories That We Tell Ourselves Are A Matter Of Choice. The stories we tell ourselves form the backcloth and the tapestry of our lives. These narratives shape and define our sense of self and how a…

    Read More

  8. Who Do You Trust?

    Trust Is A Choice And It Creates Your Reality. Nothing in life is permanent and nothing lasts forever. Every relationship ends in tears. Somebody leaves or somebody dies. This is how things are. This…

    Read More

  9. How Positive Asymmetry Can Transform Your Life

    Finding This Hidden Value Is The Key To A Huge Upside. Most of us spend our lives working to linear rules where there is an equal relationship between effort and result. Work hard you get a result. Wo…

    Read More

  10. 5 Tips For Developing A Growth Mindset

    How To Be There When Preparation Meets Opportunity. The growth mindset holds the core belief that your intelligence and personality is something you can develop and that you can expand and grow. The p…

    Read More

  11. Lost For Words? Experience Truth

    If you can't think of the right thing to say, say nothing. The concepts we employ, the categorizations we apply and the words we choose and use to articulate a direct experience put us in a double bi…

    Read More

  12. Belief - A Terrible Tyrant Or An Empowering Servant

    To Believe Or Not To Believe - That Is The Question. Nothing has inflicted more suffering on humanity than its beliefs and dogmas. The religious and cultural beliefs that sanction and allow or impose…

    Read More

  13. How To Avoid Herd Mentality

    How To Stay Far From The Madding Crowd. Herd mentality describes how we make decisions based on what everyone else is thinking and doing. It is also known as a mob or crowd mentality. We follow the he…

    Read More

  14. Are You Trying To Teach A Cat To Bark?

    We Suffer Every Time We Believe A Thought That Argues With What Is. When your mind is perfectly clear, what is, is what you want. If you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try…

    Read More

  15. The Value Of Slack

    Slack Is The Capacity To Effect Change And The Resource To Deal With The Unexpected. Many organizations are obsessed with efficiency and try to ensure that every resource is fully utilized to its full…

    Read More

  16. 6 Tips To Help You Stop Trying Too Hard

    Less and less do you need to force things, until you arrive at non-action. We are brought up to believe that we get what we want in life as a result of what we do, by the actions that we take, that ha…

    Read More

  17. Your Point Of Focus

    Is It Helping You Or Hindering You? Your point of focus is the central point of your attention. Your point of focus is a binary choice and the result of that choice is critical to your happiness, your…

    Read More

  18. Your Secret For Success

    To accomplish any success in life, you must identify accurately what it is that you hunger for, thirst for and long for. The purpose of this article is to look at the foundation of the secret for succ…

    Read More

  19. Can You Stop Thinking?

    Discover The Joy Of A Quiet Mind Can you stop thinking? According to Zen Buddhist priest Shunmyo Masuno the art of not thinking about anything is not easy to achieve. Even practising monks find it dif…

    Read More

  20. How To Build Self Confidence

    What Is Holding You Back From Pursuing Your Dreams? Your self confidence is based on ability. Your self confidence is all about your level of trust, faith and belief in your abilities [your power] and…

    Read More

  21. How To Overcome Fear And Perform Powerfully

    Learning how to overcome fear and perform powerfully is a skill that we all need to acquire as fear of failure affects most of us at some point in our lives. Whilst it is natural to feel a level of fe…

    Read More

  22. Dance Into The Light And Stop Chasing Your Tail

    You are creating hell on earth when you are too subsumed within your underlying and deeply embedded negative energetic states. To counter your dissatisfactions and misery you initially go unconscious…

    Read More

  23. Change Your Language To Change How You Feel

    How you mentally characterize a situation has a profound impact on how you respond to it emotionally. There is a direct causal link between how you think about a situation, the words you use to articu…

    Read More

  24. How To Live In A Participatory Universe

    What good is a universe without somebody around to look at it? What Conclusions Can We Draw About Living In A Participatory Universe? The inescapable conclusion is that the world and the universe (wit…

    Read More

  25. 4 Keys To Working With The Energy Of Life

    The journey home to the energy of life does not consist in arriving at a new destination it is a coming home to one’s self. [1] How are you feeling, what is your dominant emotion right now? [2] Where…

    Read More

  26. How To Deal With The Challenges Of Playing The Long Game

    You have to be willing to suffer today in order to reap enormous rewards tomorrow. The long game is so hard to play because it involves taking a series of very small steps, that people rarely see, per…

    Read More

  27. If You Don't Take Care Of You, Who Will?

    How To Build Self Esteem In my early life and until my early twenties I suffered from a deep inferiority complex and low self esteem. Forty years later and, said in sincerity and with humility, I have…

    Read More

  28. Pay Attention To What Bothers Other People About You

    How To Develop Self Awareness Self awareness is how you consciously know and understand your own character, feelings, motives, and desires. In practical terms self awareness means: looking for pattern…

    Read More

  29. Be The Light At The End Of Someone Else's Tunnel

    What does it mean to Be the Light? "I can't cope with life, I just don't want to live any more," says a woman's softly spoken voice. "Nobody has listened, I just want to go to sleep and not wake up."

    Read More

  30. Asking The Right Questions - How To Avoid Wonky Thinking

    The human brain is hardwired to deal with immediate threats but in the modern world we live in a delayed benefit environment. One of the major points of focus on this site is learning how to think and…

    Read More

The Balanced Life

The Balanced Toolkit

3 Keys Solutions

Get new posts by email:

Support This Site