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Wednesday, November 5,2014

My Late Friend Steven

By Cary Bayer  
On a recent Sunday when my wife and I were hosting three dear old friends—emphasis is on the dear, rather than the old—from junior high school and even elementary school—and their wives— I learned that a fourth such friend, Steven Naiman, who used to join such gatherings, had passed away from our planet that morning from cancer. How ironic to find out such a sad piece of news at a little party that he himself could have attended.

Several days later I found myself in a funeral chapel where I said the eulogy for my father decades earlier, speaking about dear Steven. Friends and family who had gathered to honor the memory of this sweet soul heard me talk about him as a wonderful human being. And human being is certainly the operative term here, because we all praised him for his humanity. In other words, we spent the evening remembering his uniqueness, his individuality, each of the things that made Steven Steven.

As his former Transcendental Meditation teaching colleague, I decided that I would also discuss his Being. In other words, I chose to remind everyone present that, because Steven was intimately familiar with the Transcendent, his higher Self—the Universal Being inside each of us— and recognized that from so many long and deep sittings of meditation he was already fine. Said slightly differently, the sad news for his survivors as the Angel of Death completed his assignment and took the individual we call Steven away from us on the physical plane, there was also good news to report. And that was that Steven was left with his Being on the metaphysical plane, and he instantly recognized that as his true nature. So Steven hasn’t gone anywhere, he simply merged with what he was, in a similar way that he had already merged with that in the meditations that we did together as villa mates on our teacher training course so many moons course so many moons ago on the southwest coast of Spain. As the waves of the Atlantic merged with the ocean outside our villa, our individual waves of consciousness were merging with the ocean of our Being. Steven spent most of his adult life doing just that in his twice a day meditations.

We all lose our Stevens in life. Sometimes our father is named Steven. Sometimes our uncles, clients, bosses, friends and the guys we play t e n n i s w i t h . Sometimes the Angel of Death takes the Stephanies from us, too. Our mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, friends, co-workers and---God forbid—our daughters, too. And when all that we know of these Stevens and Stephanies in our lives is their individualities, then grief can sometimes overtake us. When, however, we also know that beyond the individuality of the dear one who leaves us behind there is also a universality, we can be comforted. I don’t mean in some religious way as the ministers and rabbis like to tell us, but in a deeply spiritual way, because we know that what was never created can never be destroyed.

Their bodies were certainly created by their parents nine months before their birth certificate registered their arrival in our world, but the invisible essence of who they were never was created. As Einstein said so eloquently: “Energy cannot be created or destroyed.”

The same can be said of our essence. Einstein added that energy can be changed in its form. And such is the case with our essence, as well; it can change form in the process that we call reincarnation. (Or perhaps reintarnation, in the South. Just kidding.) If we are wise enough to experience our true nature in this body, when the Angel of Death comes for it, we can comfortably give it to him, peaceful in the knowledge and experience that there is nowhere for us to go, because who we in our deepest nature is already everywhere. And so we quietly shed our form as we quietly remove our clothing every night before going to sleep. And instead of resting in the silence of yet another night on our beds for eight hours, we rest in the eternal silence of our true nature, the who we’ve always been in the past, and the who we will be forever.

So I say so long to Steven and congratulate him for all the wonderful things that he did on Earth, and congratulate him for all the wonders he’s now enjoying in the timelessness of Being that some people also call Heaven.


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