When My Time Comes
A position I have often heard people take is something like the following: I’ll die when my time comes. What I do doesn’t matter. They usually offer this “wisdom” as a justification for some unhealthy lifestyle. It is often a rationalization for bad behavior and an abdication of personal responsibility.
The two-packs-a-day of cigarettes, excessive drinking, gross overeating, unhealthy diets, lack of any exercise, and/or frequent partying into the early morning hours don’t really matter in terms of my life expectancy, so they reason. When it is my time, I will pass regardless of my lifestyle.
This position disconnects their thoughts and actions from their physical lives. They may believe they have free will, but they think free will won’t affect their longevity. They believe what they think about has no impact on when they will die.
Where does this position stand with philosophers? It can certainly be considered deterministic. Somehow God or the universe has decided their length of time on this Earth and nothing they can do will change that. When their number is up, that is it. Of course, many will disagree with the belief. The best of New Age thought holds that we create our own reality, including our life spans, through our free will.
Edgar Cayce was fond of the phrase “Mind is the Builder” and Seth (see Jane Roberts) taught that we create our own reality through our beliefs. We are not the helpless victims of an unpredictable world; we are creators of the personal world we experience and participate in the creation of the broader world in which we live.
If we don’t like what we see in our lives, we need to examine ourselves rather than casting blame on others or on circumstances that we feel are beyond our control. A better life starts with self-examination; this is where change must start.
Change is often hard. Many would rather change everything else before making any changes to themselves. I recently watched a documentary titled Healing. It explored alternative medical approaches to healing. Some of the results were amazing. But some interviewees with serious diseases had great difficulty making the changes they needed to make to bring about healing. It is not unusual to hear stories of cancer patients refusing to give up the cigarettes that caused the cancer right up to the moment of their demise.
For some it is just easier to believe that what they do really doesn’t matter. But it matters very much. The seriously ill who can change and reach that point of stillness within themselves can have miraculous cures. To get to that point often requires changes in several areas: diet, exercise, job, and relationships. The adoption of regular meditation is extremely important. The healing comes from within, and to bring about that healing you must establish the right mental and spiritual environment.
In addition to the above, I would add the study of your dreams. Your dreams are about you: your beliefs, struggles, relationships, hopes, desires, etc. They are not separate from your daily life. Whatever issues you have in your daily life will be reflected in your dreams. It is often there the answers are found for what may seem to be an insoluble problem. Areas where change is needed will be shown, as well as areas when you are doing well. Your dreams will reflect harmony in your daily life. And they will also reflect discord in your daily life.
Many people find dreams confusing and non sensical. I believe there are two main reasons for this. First, they try to interpret the dreams in a literal way, and if they make no sense literally, they give up. Even if the dreams do make sense literally, they are probably not literal. They are symbolic, and the person is disappointed that the literal dream event they are expecting to occur never happens. Second, they do not see the dreams as related to their daily lives. I believe most dreams can be interpreted by examining your thoughts, feelings, and interactions the day prior to or the day after the dream. It takes time to learn your unique symbolism in your dreams, but once you do, you will find that many dreams are easy to interpret.
Success with dream interpretation requires getting to know yourself: your actual self, not the self you hope you are or would like to be. It requires honesty with yourself and a degree of humility. You can ignore your dreams and say you don’t want to know your real self. But others will often see you more clearly than you see yourself, and they will be aware of your shortcomings even if you are not.
We are facing enormous challenges in our lives. This decade will bring about changes that many will not be able to cope with. I believe that those who know themselves and can reach that quiet place within will be able to persevere and come through this period stronger than ever before. For those focused only on the material, I believe life will not make much sense. Fear and despair are likely to rule.
The length of your life is not what is important; the important thing is the progress you make in fulfilling your soul’s purpose. Just like the length of our lives, the experiences we have on our paths through life are created by us. We mold the lives we live by our beliefs, thoughts, and actions. To those who say they will die when their time comes and nothing that they do will change that, my response is with that belief, it may come a lot sooner than you want or desire.