Does the individual consciousness carry on after death?
My sisters and I got together on Friday night to have a bite and sit in a hot tub for a while. Of course, we got around to talking about our mother who passed away this past December. I've been feeling somewhat adrift since my mom passed. Detached from a part of my belief system that I held for so long. For many years I believed that the individual consciousness of the person carried on after they died. I believed we could contact them, that we could receive messages from them. Before my mom passed, we had set up a symbol - hummingbirds - that would signify when she was near. My mom and I talked a lot about her death. We talked a lot about the spiritual aspects of dying. We talked about our belief systems. I was having a bit of a spiritual crisis before she died and we talked about that pretty extensively. She wholeheartedly believed in life after death, and so did I.The trouble is, the person I was closest to in the world passed away and I could feel nothing of her essence any more. The one person I expected to feel, to hear, to provide me with proof is gone and I feel nothing of her. Now, some would say that my grief is getting in the way. My sister pointed at my crossed arms the other night and said "how is she supposed to reach you, you're closed?" I get that, but the truth is I had my arms crossed because I had nowhere to put them, there were no arms on the stool I was sitting on. My sisters talked about coincidence and you can only say it's a coincidence so many times. The problem is, I'm not seeing coincidences. She pointed to a dream I had where my mother was on the other side of a swimming pool and we waved to each other as a coincidence (she was on the "other side"). I don't see it that way. I think that's a real reach. I have seen hummingbirds on Facebook, and my first thought was 'maybe this is my sign'. But the truth is I see everything on Facebook, so it doesn't hold much weight for me.So does this mean I'm no longer a spiritual person? No, it doesn't. I write a lot about how we are all connected energetically. And I truly believe (and science backs it up) that we are all made up of the same stuff at a subatomic level. This is energy. And I don't think energy dies. I think it transforms, but doesn't die. And I often talk about the net we're all made up of, collective consciousness. So if an individual dies, it makes sense to me that they rejoin this collective - the universal energy, God, Brahman - whatever you choose to call it. When I think of it that way, it makes complete sense that there is no individual remaining. Upon death, you become part of the whole again. The experience of being human is over. And maybe an individual comes out of it again in rebirth.I also believe that the energy we put into the world matters. Maybe more than anything else. When we operate from love we help to heal the world. When we operate from fear, anger, jealousy and what not, that gets absorbed too, and does us no good. So the aim stays true for me. Keep sending love into the world no matter what. Keep doing what I can for my fellow beings, keep acting and thinking in ways that support universal love. Or keep practicing, anyway.I have no fear of death, I never really have. I figure it's either nothingness or it's a spiritual existence, but nothing to fear. Mom didn't fear death either. I don't know if I believe my mom's watching over me, but I do take comfort in her death having been easy. She went just as she wanted to, just slipping away in her sleep. That, more than anything, makes me believe in spirit. She had a hard life early on, and yet she transformed those early experiences and did so much good for others in later years. If anyone deserved to die the way she chose, it was her.