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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dark Shadows Upon the Wing

Animal synchronicities can be quite revealing, quite literally. Here are a few tales that fit the bill...

The inspiration for today's post comes from a post I just read on Trish and Rob MacGregor's Synchronicity blog. Yesterday they told the story of a person wondering why an owl had died outside their yoga studio, and whether the event had any synchronistic meaning. For synchronicities I have always felt the best way to deal with them is to FEEL them, not to analyze them too much. A symbol could mean a hundred different things according to the person's personal experience, culture, and life circumstances. Owls are generally symbols of wisdom. Maybe the studio/owner needs to allow a little more wisdom from some source, as it is dying...

Interestingly, just as I was travelling to work on the subway, about two hours before I read that post, I was reading Eldon Taylor's book Mind Programming on my Kindle. In the chapter i was reading, Taylor wrote about how a much loved dog of his had died after being shot. Taylor writes that although he could not prove it, he was pretty sure who the assassin was. He approached that person, and was so full of rage that it took all of his willpower not to inflict physical injury on the said individual.

Yet the event was to have an unexpected twist, for not long after, Taylor's adult daughter told him that her cat had died, but returned to her in a dream to deliver a message to her. That message was that the cat had died so as to save her daughter's baby's life. The cat told the woman via the dream that her baby had stopped breathing, and that she should get out of bed and go to it immediately. This she did, and the baby had in fact stopped breathing. Fortunately after administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, the baby was revived.

Taylor then goes on to state that he believes that some animals die so as to save human lives. If this is true it is not too much to consider the possibility that they might also sacrifice themselves to deliver an important message to a human being. Perhaps the owl which died in front of the yoga studio was such a case.

The reason I refer to this profound idea is that it reminded me of a profound experience that happened to me at an inner child/healing/meditation retreat some years ago. My father and brother had died only a few weeks before that gathering, so it was a tough time for me. My father had died unexpectedly of a heart condition at the age of 58, and my young brother Jerome had committed suicide just hours after his funeral. One of the most traumatic things I have ever had to do was going to the morgue to formally identify his body. I will never forget it when they wheeled his cold body out on a metal tray. he had hung himself, so he was not in the most physically attractive state, as you can imgine. His eyes were still open, and as I looked into them I almost thought that there was life in there. But alas, it was just fanciful thinking. I left the hospital weeping uncontrollably.

Jerome was just 21 years old.

Given this, at the time of the healing group gathering a few weeks later, I was dealing with a lot of issues related to death and dying. The gathering as held over a weekend, in a retreat on a farm in countryside not too far from Wellington, New Zealand.

During a break on the Saturday afternoon, I felt the need for a little alone time, and stepped outside to do a little meditation. I sat down in a chair, which was situated such that one wall of the building was directly behind me, and I looking out into countryside. As I relaxed a small bird suddenly flew straight at me, swerving upward just before it would have struck my head. The bird did not slow its flight, and smacked right into the wall at full speed directly above my head. It fell directly to my feet. Shocked, I looked straight down at the little bird before me and right into the one open eye facing me. My eyes were less than a metre away from the bird's, as I peered directly into its very being. I felt and saw its consciousness. Then within a moment the eye clouded, dimmed and closed, seemingly in slow motion. I literally saw and felt the bird's consciousness evacuate its body.

It was all rather shocking. I picked up the little bird, hoping that it would awaken, but it never did. It is the only time in my life I have ever seen the final moments of a living thing’s life in full intimacy. The bird shared its death with me.

There was something so profound in that intimate moment that words cannot express it, and to this day I cannot articulate what it was. Yet it seemed as if it was meant to be, that the bird's death and my psyche were part of a greater connection in way that can be sensed, but not full recognised.

I have often talked about soul issues, and how each of us carry them. Soul issues contain within them a theme and a narrative that we are destined to explore, whether we like it or not. One of my soul issues has been the fear of death. I suspect I am not the only one carrying this issue.

Just three months before my father and brother died I had been travelling around the south island of New Zealand on my summer break (I was teaching in Wellington). At that time, while sleeping in a dorm in the small town of Nelson, at the very tip of the South Island, I had an extremely eerie dream. I dreamed that I was floating, disembodied, beside an old wooden fence. Inside the fence was a cemetery, where old decaying headstones jutted out of the earth. I floated along, as eerie music played in the background, like an old horror movie. I awoke, spooked. Just a day or two later I awoke from an afternoon nap, alone in the same dorm room. From the silence of the musty room a male voice spoke to me very clearly. It said these precise words (and I will never forget them):

"Dark shadows will cross your path."

The voice wasn't kidding.


  1. Marcus,
    On the day my Father-in-law died (Oct 30th 2010)
    we also had a bird syncro which I related to Trish,and she put up the post about it on her blog

    I called them parrots in the post,but they were lorikeets,parrots I found out latter are slightly different birds,but I didn't think Americans would know what a lorikeet was,so I used the word parrot instead.
    If you read the comment section,below the post.I relate other weird things that went on after his death.
    I also had a strange synchro when burying my cat,which you can read here;

    Also when you posted your bird story on the "Synchronicity" blog of Rob and Trish's,it reminded me of a bird which flew into my wall on Saturday or Sunday of Feb 13th/14th,2011,which I thought would surely die,but lived,to my amazement.I had the feeling this synch was important to someone,but not really for me.The photos of the bird are on my blog,if you want to look at them.

    You say one of your soul issues has been the fear of death,but my life of 46 years has taught me that dying is easy,it's the living that is hard,and I don't say that lightly.When I was around your brother's age,I too tried to kill myself.The only difference between him and me is that he succeeded,and I failed.
    Life can paint anyone...and I mean anyone...into some rather dark corners,where suicide seems like the only option.
    I have a cousin around my age who hung himself a few years back,so I can well understand his state of mind at the time of his death,and while I DON'T see it as wrong,it is still very sad.Only someone who has been there and done that (but failed),could possibly understand the situation.
    The best analogy (and most horrific)I can think of to give somebody in describing what is going on in the brain of someone contemplating suicide are the pictures on 911 of the people who were trapped on the upper floors of the Twin Towers.In their mind (and reality,unfortunately for them) they had two choices...jump to their death...or be burnt to death by the fire that was coming for them.
    For someone contemplating suicide,the burning building is life (the almost unbearable life situation coming straight for them),and the choice of jumping (taking their own life on their own terms) is the only option they see at the time.
    Now,nobody would blame anyone who decided to jump,instead of face the roaring fire (even though that would technically be suicide) because it's fairly obvious that some part of that person wished to live,but they couldn't stand being consumed by the fire that was coming for them (real or imagined).
    That's the sort of compassion we should have for suicide victims,because when it comes down to it,they see the same options as the guy who makes the decision to jump from the burning building.
    Having said that though,I truly believe suicide victims end up in the same part of the afterlife as anybody else would,no matter what dogmatic BS you hear about suicides.

    My own life experience from ALL angles leads me to believe that something (the thinking part)
    can and does survive bodily death.
    And like I said...
    Death is easy.Living is hard.

  2. Marcus - am so glad you posted this. This story is truly profound, just like Brizdaz's parrot story.

    Just wanted to let you know our blog and gmail have been hacked twice in a week, same person, so we've put up a kind of mirror site on word press -
    Just in case. Not clue what THIS message is.
    - Trish

  3. Oops - NO clue typo!

  4. Hi Brizdaz,

    Thanks for those insights. Synchronicity can certainly be a profound experience.

    Suicide is a tricky one. Obviously for a person to kill themselves, they have to be in an infirm state of mind. Spirit doesn't judge, but I do believe that there are consequences for "poor" choices, and that does not entail "punishment", but a requirement to learn.

  5. Hi Trish,

    If you'd like a bit of insight into the problem with the hacker, I'd be glad to help out. What i can provide is some "consciousness" about the incident. I'd prefer not to mention this on your blog at present! Email me: mindfutures at yahoo dot com.


  6. Re:
    "Suicide is a tricky one. Obviously for a person to kill themselves, they have to be in an infirm state of mind. Spirit doesn't judge, but I do believe that there are consequences for "poor" choices, and that does not entail "punishment", but a requirement to learn."

    I don't believe that a person has to be in an infirm state of mind to commit,or try to commit suicide,at all.Pessimistic,maybe,but there are a lot of people in a "normal" state of mind who attempt,or do kill themselves.
    My point is,what's the difference between the person who fails,and the one who succeeds?
    What are the consequences for the one who failed as opposed to the one who succeeds?

    Here's my theory.Yes there are consequences for the survivors,the person who attempted plus people effected by the person who attempted.
    And there are consequences for friends and family of the deceased when a suicide succeeds.
    But maybe it was destined for the one's who succeed,that there,is where their life was going to end anyway.Just like when someone gets killed in a car accident,or their heart gives out unexpectedly.A bit like when your numbers up,it's up,type thing.
    Maybe the lessons to be learned are for the living,not the dead.Maybe,looking from a higher perspective,these peoples lives were meant to end like that.Not just for lessons that a soul had to learn in this life,but also for lessons that people who survive that person who died had to learn also.Whether it be suicide,auto crash,cot death,cancer...whatever.Maybe it was just the role we agreed to play (no matter how tragic it looks from this end) because we had a lesson to learn,as well as the people affected by whatever seemingly tragic end we appear to have met.
    In other words,I believe the dead have played their part,so the living can play their part (learn whatever lesson they have to learn,even if it is painful).

    P.S. I'm not trying to be morbid,or condone suicide.I'm just trying to say that there is a much bigger picture,than perhaps the one that you're looking at.Otherwise,you wouldn't have a fear of death,maybe a fear of suffering before death,but not of death itself.

  7. Brizdaz, my experience with working directly with consciousness including the consciousness of my brother and other "deceased" people has given me a little insight into such things. The human psyche contains patterns of energy or consciousness which persist regardless of what we may think we know. The fear of death is universal and little to do with us as individuals. The desire to die (the death wish) is also a pattern which exists universally, as far as I have been able to see. It exists within me, and I simple acknowledge its existence. As human beings we inherit a whole range of psycho-spiritual imperatives, and they emerge from psychological, spiritual and biological processes. The fear of death is in part biological, and in part an emergent property of ego development and its attachment to personal identity and experience. Neither of these causal factors is within immediate control. My experience has led to accept them. In this sense the goal is not elimination of the fear, but acknowledging its existence and developing the right relationship with it. That allows the ego to relax and to stop pretending that it is in control.

  8. Marcus,from the above comment,you seem to be on the right track.I thought you had a fear of what happens after death,but you appear to be talking about fear of physical death,like falling off a building,being tortured to death,or dying of some painful disease,etc...which is only natural,I fear that process,too.But I don't fear what comes after the physical death of the body.
    I was really only trying to offer some comfort about your brother's death,having been there myself and survived,when I shouldn't have,I can say from experience that the general attitude about suicide victims is way over the top,to the reality of the situation.Although,I agree it is a sad situation,for sure.

  9. Actually my thoughts on suicide can be pretty much summed up by the lady in this film
    ("Life After Life" by Raymond Moody),who shot herself in the chest and survived.

    A Doco worth watching for anyone who's wondered about an afterlife.