The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.
What if you could somehow connect with the wisdom of your indigenous ancestors?
If you want to understand and experience a growing connection of intimacy with those who have passed on, it is vital to develop your own practice and reflection of spiritual principles. Without putting your emerging understanding of spiritual principles into practice, it is impossible to appreciate or benefit from Indigenous spiritual technologies.
The Faiths and cultures of your ancestors will be important to reflect on as you develop your practice.
In my own practice, I speak from my experience as a member of the Baha’i Faith. Sometimes in these stories I’ll mention my specific religious practices as a Baha’i, however I do not intend to suggest that these stories happened because I am Baha’i or that my understanding is in any way absolute. Rather this is like a scientist acknowledging that his experiments were from the paradigm of a quantum physicist rather than a molecular chemist. Like branches of science, each Faith provides a framework of meaning and potential practice. Scientists rarely question that there is a reality, just because each scientist investigates a different layer of the observable:
The sciences of today are bridges to reality; if then they lead not to reality, naught remains but fruitless illusion. By the one true God! If learning be not a means of access to Him, the Most Manifest, it is nothing but evident loss.
It is incumbent upon thee to acquire the various branches of knowledge, and to turn thy face toward the beauty of the Manifest Beauty, that thou mayest be a sign of saving guidance amongst the peoples of the world, and a focal centre of understanding in this sphere from which the wise and their wisdom are shut out, except for those who set foot in the Kingdom of lights and become informed of the veiled and hidden mystery, the well-guarded secret. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 110.
Let me share a little story that simplifies some of my current understandings of how those in the next world work with us. When my son Enoch was about fourteen years old, we were walking together around the Sydney Opera House in Australia. As we rounded the back of the Opera House and looked out over the beautiful harbor my son turned to me and asked, “Dad, do we believe in reincarnation?”
I paused before answering and found myself saying, “You know how I love you, right?”
“Yeah,” Enoch said.
“Well, when I die I won’t stop loving you. And when I die my spiritual vision will increase and one of the things I’ll be able to see is a better understanding of your true self. I’ll see your spiritual gifts and qualities. I’ll also have an ability to see where your gifts match needs in the world. You and I can stay better connected if you are praying for me and doing acts of service in this world for me. If you are doing that then I have a better chance of influencing you with my guidance, in your dreams or creative thoughts.
“Your heart is the perceptual organ through which you see your way towards your goal. So let’s say that in the next world I can see that one of your gifts matches that of a girl on the other side of the world, I’ll look at her and think “I love Enoch and I’d like to bring those two together.” Now, I can’t directly influence her as I don’t have any connection with her. However, I can look over and see her grandparents in the next world, so I could go over to them and say, ‘Hey you see my son and you see your granddaughter? You see what I see?’
“Then they could influence their granddaughter to move in your direction, and I will influence you to move in hers. Then one day you’ll meet and say, ‘It feels like we met before, like I’ve known you in a previous life!’ and you may experience coincidences and a sense of magnetic connection.
“So in that sense it is true, you did meet in a previous life, so to speak, because previous generations on both sides worked to bring you together and you will feel that intergenerational connection. When that happens it will be important for you to talk with each other and explore your sense of purpose and shared values. There may be a need in the world that can be fulfilled by your working together. It’s important in such moments not to confuse that magnetic feeling for romantic love… because maybe you are meant to be of service to the world together. There may also be romance, but don’t get lost in that and lose focus on the service together.”
I finished and then Enoch looked amazed and said, “I can’t wait for that to happen!” I said, “Well I’m not dead yet, don’t rush it!”
This series of essays are from Chris Kavelin’s book Nudges from Grandfather can be found on Amazon.
You can also download the audio book.
Next: Learning Indigenous Spiritual Technology