Monday, October 31, 2011
Running last minute errands this morning before we take off tomorrow morning for Hawaii, and had the radio on KBVM (K-Blessed Virgin Mary), which I've listened to on and off for years. Love the music. Like some of the discussions. Do NOT like some of the discussions. You can take the girl out of the Protestant religion, but you can't take the Protestant religion out of the girl.
Topic turned to Halloween, which precedes All Saints' Day, and then All Souls' Day. The woman on the radio urged us to be praying for all the souls in purgatory. I snapped that radio off so fast it would have made your head spin - did not want to hear one WORD about purgatory, a concept I have always struggled with.
Got to thinking, anything that made me react with that amount of energy, probably needed to be looked at a little more closely. Clicked it back on. Because there are no accidents, the whole conversation was about people's struggle to understand purgatory.
I'm not pretending I understand it any better, but it did get my wheels turning. I, personally, don't believe there is a heaven "up there," or a hell "down there," I believe that they are states of mind, and there are those who have figured out how to achieve heaven on earth, and those for whom this alludes. It then stands to reason that there is an in between, too, a place of purification, a place of struggle, and mental anguish. Doesn't that sound a lot like life? Or at least periods in our life? Is it possible that we experience heaven, hell and purgatory over and over and over again, sometimes concurrently?
The Buddhists believe in Samsara - a cycle of birth and rebirth, until one finally breaks free through enlightenment and transcends the cycle to a state of Nirvana. I like this concept, or maybe just the words sit better with me. I like the notion of "transcending," of breaking free from a cycle, be it lifetime after lifetime or just what feels like it, the issues we have that seem to haunt us and feel so old and ingrained we grow weary and doubtful we will ever transcend them.
On this All Souls; Day (Wednesday), I will light a candle for just that - all souls. May we all transcend. May we all move from a place of mental anguish and struggle. May we all "find" heaven.
* Photo from http://blissfullydomestic.com