Cloud of Witnesses

Cloud of Witnesses

There are spiritual beings all around us. Although we can’t see them, they are cheering us on the journey, weeping when we weep, laughing when we laugh. They can bring us great healing, and joy if we learn to communicate with them.

The writer of Hebrews in the Bible tells us of a great cloud of witnesses, surrounding us and cheering us on to the finish line (Hebrews 12:1). These are people who have crossed the veil before us: our relatives, beloved friends, faithful saints and leaders of all religious and spiritual traditions who know the joys at the end. There are also crowds of angels and other spirit beings who may never have journeyed on this physical plane, but they encourage and help to guide the spiritual seekers on earth.

I grew up in a tradition in which it was “evil” to set up altars honoring the deceased or to talk to the dead at all. Generally, this is taboo in this hyper-scientific American (white, Protestant Christian) culture, where spiritual encounters are explained by physics or neuroscience, and children are discouraged from believing in imaginary friends. But I am seeing signs of hope with an increase in paranormal movies and psychic documentaries, with increased public conversation about life beyond the grave, and with the blossoming interest in spirituality and answers beyond the simple black-and-white, heaven-and-hell teachings of the church.

Cultural conversations with the cloud of witnesses

Many cultures around the world, even some American cultures, do embrace the spiritual and peek into the veil separating the seen from the unseen. The Japanese set up beautiful altars to honor their deceased. Mexicans celebrate and converse with their ancestors during Dia De Los Muertos. American Indians talk to the spirits and use soul retrieval to help the deceased to cross over. African-Americans share ghost stories and folk mythologies full of truth. Mystic Catholics pray to saints for guidance. All of these methods are ways to communicate with, and receive love and encouragement from, the cloud of witnesses. Of course, I am greatly generalizing here, and every person has an individual view of spirituality, but I am also exploring the big cultural ideas.

What does it mean to be encouraged by the cloud of witnesses?

Encouragement: take courage, find strength on the journey.

Sometimes the evils, hatred, and greed in this world cause me to tremble in fear and lose my grasp on happiness. But I have learned to talk to the unseen beings surrounding me. They tell me jokes and stories, remind me of my mission and destiny on earth, and help me to remember my home full of love on the other side.

As an empath, when I hear a story of someone abused or the innocent jailed and caged, I feel intense emotion, even to the point of physical sickness. Because of this, I can get too wrapped up in earthly concerns of justice and pain. My cloud of witnesses whispers to me and remind me that karma will always be fulfilled, and I can only change myself, and hopefully help to lift up a few people in my small corner of the world. I really hope that my writing can make some small difference. Ultimately, I cannot save or change a world that does not want to be changed.

Instead, I can focus on the reward, the homecoming at the end of my journey. My spiritual friends tell stories of wild, trippy dimensions of ultimate bliss and fun. They describe giant feasts of food more delectable than the grandest dinner on earth. They tell me about houses made out of light, and one giant community made out of love. That is a dream worth living for!

Namaste, friends. In the future, I will talk more about heaven, the cloud of witnesses, and the spectacular spirit beings I have met. For today, look inside. Listen to the whispers of your loved ones who have passed on. Embrace their joy and embrace the journey of light and love.

Angels

Vector graphic used freely, courtesy of barunpatro on stock.xchng.
Vector graphic used freely, courtesy of barunpatro on stock.xchng.

There are angels all around us. They protect us and wage war over us. They watch the affairs of humans in awe. We are as mysterious to them as they are to us.

Unfortunately, most people do not understand the role of angels. We have been sold a cultural idea of a cute, fluffy angel with big cheeks, pillow wings, and Precious Moments tear drop eyes who flies around and plays a harp all day. This is far from the truth. Angels are fierce beings of light, warriors of the highest order, protectors of everything sacred.

Earth is a small planet in the vast spiritual and physical cosmos, but earth is a terribly important place. All the dark acts of humans here ripple as destructive tidal waves throughout the spiritual planes: the destruction and pollution of the environment, the massive cruelities of human trafficking, the fierce political and social inequalities, children going to bed hungry, and the black thunder of greed. The angels fight for restoration and healing.

There are angels who have fallen away from grace and given into the trappings of greed and power. These angels (the armies of satan, as the church proclaims but very little understands) whisper secrets of destruction and chaos into the ears of world leaders and evil people in high places. The dark beings violate spiritual laws of compassion and oneness, but they can never overcome the primary spiritual law of love. This is the theme and moral of all of our fantasy tales. Light and love will always triumph over darkness and hatred.

People talk about guardian angels and spirit guides. It is true that angels can fulfill these roles in our lives if we are open and ready to receive love and healing. Children, especially, in their innocence and purity, understand guardian angels. Many children have imaginary friends who are, in fact, real spiritual beings: angels, fairies, sprites. We call them “imaginary” as if they do not exist outside the mind, but a better understanding is that we can only access these beings through our imagination consciousness. Too often we lose our imagination consciousness as we grow up and adults in our lives tell us to stop daydreaming, stop playing around, and learn to live in the “real” world. Oh, the massive destruction of those words.

Don’t lose hope, though. Even as an adult you can reawaken to the angels and other beings of the spirit realm. They want to partner with humans for healing, both for individual healing and for communal healing of the entire human and natural world. You must receive the angels in a spirit of love, with no greed or longing for power or control.

This is the danger of the New Age idea of spirit guides. Many in the New Age community lust after money and power and the idea of “abundance,” but without love and connection to others. Abundance is a spiritual principle, and we are made to live in happiness, but this is supposed to be enjoyed in a shared human community where no one is suffering because of the “abundance” of another. I will write more on this topic in another post. When people with an impure heart contact angels as spirit guides, they will receive the advice of the fallen angels and the war grows even fiercer on earth.

But, if you are ready to follow a path of light and love, and you desire healing for yourself and for your neighbor down the street and the war-terrorized mother across the world, then you are ready to partner with your guardian angels. Be open and ready for the opportunity to serve others, in that way you may meet the angels and receive your own healing.

The Bible says,

Hebrews 13:1-31 Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. 2 Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! 3 Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you.

%d bloggers like this: