What is the root cause of this society that's focused on outward appearance? On what we own, instead of who we are?

The answer is that we don't accept what's before and what's after life. By fearing death, by fearing processes that involve detachment from physical and material forms, we cling to all that is physical and material. That's when, although our fixation is within form, we lose touch with the present. Being present means understanding and accepting the transience of life.

When we cling to material things, the bottom line is that these objects become an extension of us, of our identity, of what we'd like others to perceive us as. If we ascribe value to say, a bag, or a car, and we want others to know we own it, we are trying to instill a sense of value to ourselves that deems us worthy of some standard of treatment. What this actually does is it devalues us.

We are worthy, we are valuable as we are, because in our essence we are LIFE. We are consciousness. We are love.

It is perfectly okay to like things and appreciate them for their quality. That is part of the time we have on the material 3D plane. We must enjoy what we can touch. We must partake in the materiality. But we never lose touch with the fact that none of this can become a part of us, because then that's accepting the fallacy that we aren't enough as we are.

When it comes to appearances, aging is a natural part of life. Our culture is so scared of the aging process because it reminds us of our mortality, and that fear in itself makes us UGLY. Do you see the most spiritually developed person, the most loving person, and how he/she doesn't age? How s/he is beautiful in an eternal way, how his/her eyes sparkle? It's true that the quality of our souls can change the way we look. The person so afraid of age is so afraid of him/herself, and that's the person who literally looks like s/he is wearing a mask. One made of plastic. One made of self-hatred. Fear will age you faster, and I mean that in a physical sense. As you drop the dense emotions, the heavy baggage, you'll see how the lightness reflects off of every part of your being including your physicality. Radiance is light.

Life After Death

The MET has a brilliant exhibition up about the Qin and Han dynasties. Especially pertinent was its contemplation of life after death- many of the relics were from burial sites, where these sculptures guarded the deceased. The Qin and Han dynasties believed firmly in the afterlife and in ways, believed in the metaphysical holding on to materiality. I spent this past week quietly contemplating and researching life after death. What is within the spirit world after we no longer have bodies? Why are we so afraid of death? Does it have any meaning, if so, what? The classic existential questions.

Every person who I've met since my awakening who has had a loss, I've felt the energy of a presence guiding them. Our deceased ones never leave us- they only leave us in the form that we know them, but that's only one facet of who they are/were. When my mom passed, I didn't know because I was no longer talking to my family, but I felt it not only in my body but in the air around me. She was with me and I felt her love. Something shifted permanently, and although she's gone, she hasn't left me. They become pure consciousness, energy- they become their spirit. And they're always watching after us until you can meet them again in their pure form. Until then, they visit us in our dreams and meditations.