In the film My Life, Bob Jones begins making videotapes of himself after receiving a terminal diagnosis. In the tapes, he outlines his life, beliefs, and life lessons. However, at one point, Jones whispers to his son, “Dying is a really hard way to learn about life.” The ending scene is touching: At the time of death, he is shown on a metaphysical roller coaster with his hands releasing the railing, raising his arms freely in the air. Metaphorically, he lets go of life and finally enjoys the ride. In a way, the film’s director provides viewers the opportunity to contemplate what in their life requires healing.

In several blog posts, I talked about fog, a dark grey fog, or black. In What Exactly Was That, I discussed a near-death experience. In Lists, I discussed walking through a black fog and following an ‘intuitively’ known path. What’s Worth Doing Badly details some physical components of fog, where my brain felt as though it were in San Francisco’s slow-rolling, early evening fog.

I experienced another fog moment last night. I had gone to sleep about 10:15 and awoke about 1:13. My neck, back, and hip were stabbing from pain. Moving to my recliner, I began meditation. Soo, I felt as though I were either moving through spatters of light and dark clouds. From a great height, I could see farmland, outlines of buildings, and other things. Suddenly, I felt like I passed beyond some barrier and all the pain disappeared. And just as I experienced before, I neither envisioned life’s destruction nor death. There was no pain, no hatred, no hell, no fire. They were rolling patches of light and dark fog. I was moving somewhere. There was a ‘toward’ (a ‘forward’), but as I write, I cannot recall where or to what.

Over the years, I have read countless Christian saints and leaders, having experienced such forms of enlightenment. Augustine called it “the sweetness.” Aquinas wrote his experience was mystical, like “the prophetic light.” Yet, I could sense a presence. I believe it was God’s presence or God’s love. And truthfully, I did not want to leave. Kate Bowler wrote (if you should experience such an event) that the moment would leave an imprint, that maybe one might somehow be marked by the presence of an unbidden God. The experience, however, may not be proof of anything. And, the experience may not be anything to boast of. Like so many events in life, it is simply a gift. I don’t know how, but I genuinely believe last night’s ‘moment’ was a gift from God.

Bhagavad-Gita recorded, “Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body (the moment of death) that state he will attain without fail.” That last second of life is the most important. It is everything you are. It is everything you’ve said. It is everything you did, including all the good times, bad times, and times of indifference, cruelty, anger, and grace. It’s similar to a reverse ‘Big Bang’ where everything compresses into one fractional moment of existence. That moment becomes the seed of your next life. 

And until that last moment, you still have time to change everything. This Christmas, you too can change everything.