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Between this world of existence and the next realm, a veil exists. Can we penetrate it?
When we sleep, we don’t leave our bodies, but we most certainly enter into a different reality – the world of dreams. This new realm of being, the Baha’i teachings say, is one of the proofs of the presence of God and an example of the existence of unseen domains:
Those who have passed on through death, have a sphere of their own. It is not removed from ours; their work, the work of the Kingdom, is ours; but it is sanctified from what we call ‘time and place.’ Time with us is measured by the sun. When there is no more sunrise, and no more sunset, that kind of time does not exist for man. Those who have ascended have different attributes from those who are still on earth, yet there is no real separation. – Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London
The Baha’i writings explain that our prayers do reach our loved ones in the next world – and that when we dream it’s possible to converse with those who have passed on.
After my mother died, I dreamt of her often. On one occasion we met and spoke intimately in a dream. She took my face in her hands and then embraced me with great love. It felt as real and vibrant as anything in this physical world. I knew her feelings, and she sensed everything in my heart. When I awakened the memory of the dream was clear and palpable. I believe that these special dreams are in fact connections with our loved ones:
In prayer there is a mingling of station, a mingling of condition. Pray for them as they pray for you! When you do not know it, and are in a receptive attitude, they are able to make suggestions to you, if you are in difficulty. This sometimes happens in sleep. but there is no phenomenal intercourse! That which seems like phenomenal intercourse has another explanation.” The questioner exclaimed; “But I have heard a voice!” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “Yes, that is possible; we hear voices clearly in dreams. It is not with the physical ear that you heard; the spirit of those that have passed on are freed from sense-life, and do not use physical means. It is not possible to put these great matters into human words; the language of man is the language of children, and man’s explanation often leads astray. – Ibid.
Have you ever had this experience, when sometimes the memory of a loved one will pop into your head out of the blue? Perhaps you’ll see a butterfly and think of them because they loved butterflies. Or a favorite song you had together will come on the radio, reminding you. Take note, because these may be moments you actually share with your loved one through that thin veil that separates us. Send them good thoughts, a little prayer and take the time to feel their presence.
Yesterday was leap day, which is a very special day to me because a family friend, Alex Rocco, was born on February 29th. We lived in the same Baha’i community and shared many happy times. An extraordinary man, “Bo” as his many friends knew him, was an actor. I remember getting so excited the day Bo and his wife took my sister, my aunt and I, to the theater to see him in his breakout role as Moe Green in “The Godfather.” Bo went on to later star in many movies and two television series. When he won an Emmy for one of the TV series, Bo thanked Baha’u’llah and the hearts of Baha’is watching the telecast around the world soared. Still, to this day, Bo is best remembered for his iconic role in “The Godfather.”
Remembering Bo’s birthday this leap year I stood in my kitchen and began to think of him and what a wonderful man he is. In my mind, I said, “Happy Birthday Bo.” Then I felt a little silly. I thought, “There are so many people around the world that loved him and will be thinking about him today. He probably can’t hear me.” I told my daughter Julia of this and didn’t give it a second thought.
I then went out to do some errands. As I pulled into the parking lot of our local market, I heard lovely music playing. As I opened my car door I could better hear the hauntingly beautiful melody ringing out throughout the parking lot. I felt a breathtaking rush go through my body. The descant lingered deep into my soul. The stirring melody was incredibly familiar but I couldn’t place it. All I knew is that I needed to find where it was coming from. At once, I saw a young Indian teenage boy playing an accordion unlike any I had ever heard played before. I approached the teen, digging into my purse for money, as he looked at me and smiled. I dropped the money into his instrument case.
“Thank you,” he said.
“You play beautifully! But what’s the name of the song you’re playing?” I asked.
“It is the theme from “The Godfather,” he replied.
As I drove home, the poignant music lingered in my head. As soon as I arrived I told my daughter, Julia of the wonderful music and the sweet teenage boy who played it. Her eyes lit up and she said, “Mom! That was Bo! He heard you and was acknowledging your birthday wishes with the song from his movie.”
My heart filled with joy as I realized the undeniable connection. Feelings of unworthiness clouded my emotions, but down deep, I knew the magic was real:
The bestowals of God which are manifest in all phenomenal life are sometimes hidden by intervening veils of mental and mortal vision which render man spiritually blind and incapable, but when those scales are removed and the veils rent asunder, then the great signs of God will become visible, and he will witness the eternal light filling the world. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace
Those intervening veils between this world and the next prevent us from the ability to see and hear our loved ones watch us, pray for us and cheer us on. They are available to call on for guidance. So send them your loving wishes often. Pray for them, acknowledge the signs of their love, and pay attention to your dreams. If you pause, open your heart and listen quietly, you just may hear them respond.