Death and life

Each of us knows someone who has died. It is part of everyday life. Sometimes it can be a relative or close friend. We become familiar with death. We often can minimize this final journey. It is an event that we all will eventually experience, but we don't like to ponder over this. Living now seems much more important.

In the history of mankind our days are numbered, our fame is fleeting. When that final journey comes upon us our popularity means little. What other people think about us becomes irrelevant. Life is over. We are finished on this planet. What is coming next will soon be upon us.

To believe in afterlife is a thought everyone considers. Will there be such a place as heaven? If the purpose of my life is to find happiness and comfort, why is this life so short? There isn't much difference between the prince and the pauper at the moment of death. The poor person and the rich person are both in the same boat on the same final journey at that moment. Both can take nothing with them on this journey. Life cannot be lived fully unless a person becomes familiar with the purpose of life. Death challenges each of us to discover what living is all about. I am convinced that death challenges us to live a life that is meaningful and reflective.

The purpose of Life is to discover life in each moment. Religion talks about the next life. Various denominations talk about God, salvation, heaven and hell. If God is pure Love and pure Energy then this heaven must begin now in the present moment. The purpose of life is to surrender to this Pure Loving Energy that is present in everything and everyone. God has been present from the beginning of time in every molecule of creation. It is a truth so profound and so amazing that it seems almost overwhelming to accept and believe.

I am beginning to realize that the only purpose in life is to immerse myself more deeply in God and to bring more love and compassion to the world. The pure Energy of God, which is also the pure Love of God, lasts forever and so do we. Most religions talk about God coming to us in a human way. It has to be this way because we are created and we have the capacity and the humility to love. When we stop loving and humbly caring about others we can become miserable human beings.

The Kingdom of God which so many different religions talk about has to be based upon Love and Compassion, and it begins now. Heaven begins now by immersing ourselves in Love, Reflection and Compassion. We don't discover God with our intellect. We discover God, Pure Energy, Salvation, Peace, Cross and Resurrection, Jesus, Buddha, Allah, and whatever other name may be attributed to a Loving Divine Power with our hearts. Experience life. Reflect on each moment with your heart and the realization that there is a Divine Element in everything and everyone. The scripture quote: "Be still and know that I am God" is so very powerful.

I have had many years of education in my life. Sixteen years of school after high school. Four years of philosophy, four years of theology, four years of psychology and two years of special studies. Yet none of these years would have given me an experience of God unless there was quiet time in my life. As the years have passed, the more quiet reflective time I spend in meditation and reflection, the more I am able to experience this Sacred God. But it is because I can now listen and receive and experience. It is not because I can study and analyze. The intellect without silence can be an analysis/paralysis. It can become an intellectual and spiritual narcissism that blocks me from ever humbly experiencing the joy and peace and wisdom of God.

Now I can realize that death is not an end. The next life starts at this very moment in my experiencing this Divine Moment where I can listen and learn. Reflecting on the end of life has taught me that this heaven, this Divine Kingdom, this fully lived life begins right now and will last forever. I just have to be quiet, listen and experience this in my heart. It is not so hard to do this once I make an abundance of quiet time an absolute priority each day.

Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@ and his website is

Published: Tue, Sep 20, 2016