roller rover, by william wegman, 1986
Over the last year I've been watching a baby come into awareness, a day at a time, everything new, drawn to the familiar, mystified by everything, curious, uncertain about everything, directed through the day by diaper changes, getting picked up, fed, put to sleep, played with. At Vada's birthday party, it was a time when she was discovering standing on her feet. She wanted to stand on her feet like everybody else. With 20 or so adults there, every time she managed to get on her feet, somebody would pick her up afraid she'd fall. The look on her face every time she was picked up was a kind of frantic PUT ME DOWN, she was standing up. All day long she spent her time by herself climbing a chair leg to stand up, then somebody picked her up. I'm so fascinated by her, I sit and watch every move she makes, enchanted to see somebody coming into a body with no mind, seeing the mind develop through experience. Yesterday I noticed that she is privately interested in the sky. She was sitting on the deck playing, rolling a ball, and every once in awhile she'd take a break and look at the sky like she's trying to figure out what it is. It's blue sometimes, white sometimes, gray sometimes, bright, dark, different about every time she sees it.
Three years ago I was taking care of a friend and watched dementia come in and take over, saw mind gradually slip away. Finally, in one week I saw his mind go away like a bathtub that takes a week to drain. It just went away. At the end of that week he had no mind. One day, a couple weeks into the state of no mind, he said, "I've got to go to the doctor!" I asked what was the problem. "Something's wrong with my mind!" At the end of the sentence, he forgot it. At the same time that I hated to see my friend fade away without mind, and return to the state of a baby needing diaper changes, needing every kind of care from feeding to cleaning and watching closely, because he'd lost his defenses with his mind. He had become dependent as a baby. Nothing was familiar anymore. All was new. One time he fell out of the bed. He said he had parked his car on the roof, stepped out of the car and fell through the roof. He was worried about the car on the roof, that it might fall through. No, your car is in its parking space where it belongs. That was the end of it. For him, the car on the roof was as real as the car in the parking space was for me.
Almost 3 years after losing him, Jr remains most affectionately in my mind during his last months as mind and self-sufficiency were slipping away. Though his mind was gone, I could still communicate with him. I knew the soul was there, the subconscious was there. I came to see the subconscious as something like a basketball, for a model. Around the surface of the basketball electrical chargers dance everywhere. The electrical charges are mind. When the dance of mind is done, the subconscious is still there, the soul is still there. Only surface mind is missing. I saw that most clearly one day when he was down to just a few days to go, 3 of his friends had stopped by to visit at the same time. We were all in the bedroom looking at him in the bed, just barely awake. He didn't recognize any of them. I started telling them about how he was doing and he spoke up with rational mind. He'd been hearing what I'd said and corrected me. That hit me powerfully. I never talked about him in front of him again. I realized he is aware on some level. Though I couldn't see the awareness, I knew it was there and honored it as if I were seeing it.
It's the same with baby Vada. I believe she understands what is being said to her. Her mother and daddy believe she does too, from their experience. I've found that my cats and dogs understood what I was saying when I spoke to them in sentences and paragraphs. They knew exactly what I was saying. I know because their behavior afterward indicated clear understanding. Vada's behavior after being told something in sentences suggests she understood. Pre-language, I've an idea babies and our pets read us telepathically, to whatever degree I can't guess. Probably a different degree per individual. In the baby is a subconscious, the basketball; and the soul, possibly the air in the basketball. The soul carries experience from the previous lifetime and the other lifetimes past, it carries experience from one individual to the next. It can just about be assumed that some of the inexplicable things we know have come from a previous lifetime. It's from the zone where everything is seamless and can't be categorized, elusive to put a finger on, like mercury. Like if somebody in this lifetime is afraid of driving a car and refuses to learn to drive, it leads me to suspect that individual may have died last time in a car he was driving that wrecked. That's not a certainty, but a suggestion. It has happened to a lot of people all the way around the globe.
My friend Sandy Hayes, who lives at Boone, had a pain in the left side of her upper back all her life. Not a sharp pain, but it was always there, for no apparent reason. In a past-life regression she found that she had been at the Sandy Ridge massacre conducted by General Custer, a Cheyenne (if my feeble memory serves well enough) woman, running from the mayhem, carrying her baby, was shot from behind in that spot of her back, and died. She found the connection in her name too. That moment of being killed trying to save her baby was evidently very powerful for her, she still carried it. I've learned how important it is to a given lifetime how we leave the body, from a little bit of experience in that seamless place where it's difficult to interpret, and from reading about it. In Jr's time of leaving the body I was aware of the importance of how one leaves the body. I wanted Jr's soul memory to carry a peaceful, quiet passage in his own home, in his own bed with no worries.
It was important to me to be able to give him that. I was communicating with his soul in the later weeks, like a mother communicates with a baby's soul in the early weeks. My own reason for not wanting him in a nursing home, was that I wanted him taken care of by somebody who understood him and cared. It was important to me that I regard him and everything I do with complete integrity of spirit, because he was still there, despite no mind. The hospice nurses complimented me over and over on the quality of my care. It was because the man I respected to the sky was still there, completely there, just missing those little electrical charges we call mind, and I was there to help him in his time of leaving the body to have it as comfortably as possible, taken care of by someone who cares. Same as coming in, we need to have someone who cares. I believe going out requires caring too, for it to be best. I could not tolerate leaving him to poorly paid people who work in shifts. There, he was the same as a small load of lumber. I thought of nursing homes the lumberyard for the dying. I could not allow Jr to be regarded indifferently in his important time.
My feeling around baby Vada is that I want her passage into this lifetime comfortable and happy, laughing instead of crying. I am aware she is bringing with her several lifetimes of experience. It's a strong suspicion I have that Vada was born a happy baby, because she found the two souls her soul already loves to the max. When I'm with the three of them, it feels to me that they have all three found each other, and they're all happy. I'm glad for Vada that her entry into this lifetime is a happy one with people who care as deeply for her as she cares for them. That's what we want for all babies, though some don't get it. I'd love to watch her grow up, but am satisfied to see she is in loving hands that will always take good care of her. It has been and still is a learning for me that I can't help but see having divine guidance. First, I watch someone I care about fade away mentally and die. Second, I see someone born (not literally) and watch this new person develop mind from that seamless no place into differentiation of shapes, objects, words. I see her gaze around at all these strange colors and shapes and movements in curiosity. I've noticed her recently looking at the sky trying to figure out what it is, often. I've seen fade-out and fade-in. Death, where is thy sting? appears right now to be a facet of my learning from the experience. Go to sleep there, wake up here. There is no death.