Three Years Ago Today: Michael's Return To Bliss

 

A part of me really felt like the most appropriate thing to say today is…silence.

But I’m a chatterbox by nature, so I guess staying silent isn’t  for me.

Instead, maybe this is a good time to reflect on what this three year anniversary means. I’m not huge into numerology, but the subject does fascinate me on a rudimentary level. Here were some interesting facts I found on the website Crystalinks.com about the number three. I began to think of how we might apply some of these to our observation of Michael’s three year death anniversary.

Actually, I prefer to think of it as the three-year anniversary of his evolvement into another state of existence, one in which he is removed from the pain of this life. Michael himself described it as returning to “Bliss.”

From Bliss I came
In Bliss I am sustained
To Bliss I return
If you dont know it now
Its a shame (my emphasis)
Are you listening?-Michael Jackson, Excerpt From “Are You Listening?”

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sZvB5cqCHg[/tube]

Some interesting facts on the number three (boldfaced terms are my emphasis). Note: This is all taken directly from the Crystalinks website.

Three (3)
The third dimension – we do things in threes so they will manifest in our physical realm.

It’s roots stem from the meaning of multiplicity. Creative power; growth. Three is a moving forward of energy, overcoming duality, expression, manifestation and synthesis. Three is the first number to which the meaning “all” was given. It is The Triad, being the number of the whole as it contains the beginning, a middle and an end.

The power of three is universal and is the tripartide nature of the world as heaven, earth, and waters. It is human as body, soul and spirit. Notice the distinction that soul and spirit are not the same. They are not. Three is birth, life, death. It is the beginning, middle and end. Three is a complete cycle unto itself. It is past, present, future.

The symbol of three is the triangle. Three interwoven circles or triangles can represent the indissoluble unity of the three persons of the trinity. Others symbols using three are: trident, fleur-de-lis, trefoil, trisula, thunderbolt, and trigrams.

If Physical Consciousness Does Indeed Linger After Death, What Might He Have Known? Or Said, If He Could?

The astral or emotional body stays connected to the physical body for three days after death. There is scientific evidence that the brain, even when all other systems are failing takes three days to register complete shutdown. (This part is very interesting indeed! What might Michael have experienced-what might he been aware of-those three post-partum days between the 25th and the 27th/28th? Of course, given that his autopsy was conducted by Friday the 26th, perhaps there was no opportunity for any lingering, physical attachment of consciousness to his body. But it does raise a lot of interesting questions. Could he have known he was passing into another form of existence? Did he have a chance to tell his children good-bye, even if only via that lingering physical consciousness? And what would he have said to us, the fans, to the world, if he could have given voice to those thoughts?). 

There are 3 phases to the moon. Lunar animals are often depicted as 3 legged.

Three is the heavenly number, representing soul, as four represents body. Together the two equal seven (3+4=7 ) and form the sacred hebdomad. (Most serious numerologists who also happen to be MJ fans are already well aware of the special, personal significance that the number seven held for him). The 3×4=12 representing the signs of the Zodiac and months of the year.

Pythagorean three means completion.

There are three wishes, genies have three wishes, three leprecons, three prince or princesses, three witches, three weird sisters among others.

 

Cultural References
Africa Ashanti: the moon goddess is three people, two black, and one white.

Arabian, Pre-Islamic: the Manant is a threefold goddess representing the 3 Holy Virgins, Al-Itab, Al-Uzza, and Al-Manat. They are depicted as aniconic stelae, stones or pillars, or as pillars surmounted by doves.

Buddhist: tradition the theme of 3 is represented by, The Tri-ratna, The Three Precious Jewels, and the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha.

Chinese: Sanctity; the auspicious number; the first odd, yang number….The moon toad, or bird, is three-legged.

Celtic: Bridgit is threefold; there are the Three Blessed Ladies and innumerable Triads, often a threefold aspect of the same divinity.

Christianity: Three represents the Trinity, the soul, the union of body and soul in human in the church. There were three gifts of the Magi to Christ as God-King-Sacrifice; three figures of transformation, temptations, denials by Peter (one of the 12 Apostles— 12=3 (1+2=3). There were 3 crosses at Calvary, He died on The Hills, there were 3 days to the death process for Christ, and there were 3 appearances after his death. There were 3 Marys, and there are 3 qualities or theological virtutes being Faith, Hope, Love or more commonly known as Charity. The number 3 gives to the meaning the embracing Godhead – Father, Mother, Son/Daughter.

Egyptian: Hermetic tradition, Thoth is the Thrice Great, ‘Trismegistus. The Supreme Power.

The opening line of the Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean:

Tablet 11

Three is the mystery, come from the great one,
Hear, and light on thee will dawn.
In the primeval dwell three unities,
Other than these none can exist.
These are the equilibrium, source of creation,
One God, One Truth, One Point of Freedom.
Three come forth from the three of the balance,
All Life, all Good, all Power.
Three are the qualities of God in his light-home 
Infinite Power, Infinite Wisdom, Infinite Love.
Three are the circles (or states) of Existence:
The Circle of Light where dwells nothing but God,
and only God can traverse it,
The Circle of Chaos where all things by nature arise from Death,
The Circle of Awareness where all things spring from Life.
All things animate are of three states of existence,
Chaos or death, liberty in humanity, and felicity of Heaven.

There is an ancient wisdom that’s says; ‘Messages or events that come in three’s are worth noticing. ‘Whenever anything is mentioned three times it is a witness to us that these things are of utmost importance.

http://www.crystalinks.com/numerology2.html

With The 3-Year Anniversary, We Have Finally Achieved The Balance Of A Complete Cycle. Will Year Three Finally Bring Peace And Equilibrium? Yes..If You Believe In The Magic Of Numerology. Photo (c) Jonathan Exley.

So much New Age mumbo-jumbo, or some real kernels of wisdom and truth here? That is something everyone must decide for themselves. Nevertheless, I think those passages I boldfaced are quite interesting when we apply them to this third year anniversary. Most of us spent the better part of that first year still reeling from the shock of June 25th, 2009 and trying to digest/assess the loss. There were so many unanswered questions (still are), but far and above that, we were still dealing with that huge, vacant hole that had been ripped into our hearts, souls, and minds. For those of my generation, it just didn’t seem conceivable. A world without Michael Jackson in it? It just didn’t seem real. Michael Jackson wasn’t supposed to be one of those “dead icons” like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, James Dean or even John Lennon. It was too soon. We weren’t ready.

By the first year anniversary in 2010, a lot of us were still in that place of raw numbness. But for many of us, that was also our year of discovery, of learning who the man Michael Jackson really was. Then the anger set in. By the second year anniversary in 2011, we were a fanbase steeped in chaos, distrust, and seething for justice.

So where do we stand as this third anniversary approaches? Conrad Murray has stood trial and has been convicted. It feels like a small justice, but many of those unanswered questions remain just that-unanswered. The chaos hasn’t abated, but continues to deepen.

Yet if the traditions of the number three are any indication, this third year may mark the start of an important healing process. For most of us, the tears have dried; the shock has abated (although yes, there are still those times when it will hit me all over again, like a knife in the gut, that he is no longer with us in the flesh. Sometimes there are those little ripples of temporary excitement, such as when This Is It came out, or when a newly released song charts again, and we can somewhat partly relive the excitement of old times-before the reality hits once again). It has gotten easier to accept that we’re living in a post-Michael Jackson world, but as I’ve said before, it is a colder and harsher world.

A World Without His Magic Is A Colder And Harsher World

But as we face this third year anniversary, I have noticed another trend as well. Even as it seems more fans are finally drying their eyes, and choosing to turn away from the negativity and chaos (for many, I know it has meant some difficult personal choices) many are also moving forward with more determination than ever to carry on Michael’s legacy, not through grieving him endlessly, but in celebrating his life-and more importantly, by carrying on the humanitarian work that was so important to him.

To those of you who have been bullied by non-understanding friends, spouses, and family members; those of you who have been chided with, “When are you going to just let go of this dead guy?” remember, here is the beauty of it:

You don’t have to let go. It’s okay to hang on. To some extent, at least. The beauty that was Michael Jackson’s life, music, and spirit is still something to be loved, treasured, cherished, and celebrated. It’s not as if we’re hanging onto a dead body, refusing to allow it to be entombed (now that would be creepy, yes!). But as Michael said he would, his essence has simply returned to Bliss. It’s shameful that the actions of Conrad Murray, and perhaps others, hastened that journey. But Michael not only gave us permission to hang on long after his evolvement into Bliss; he, in fact, told us that it was all just part of the dance and that the tragedy would be, not in hanging on, but in letting go:

Eons pass
Deep inside
I remain
Ever the same
From Bliss I came
In Bliss I am sustained

Join me in my dance
Please join me now
If you forget yourself
You’ll never know how
This game is played (my emphasis)-Michael Jackson, Excerpted From “Are You Listening?”

I believe that with the passing of this third year anniversary, we may finally start to experience what has been a long-delayed healing process. This anniversary is, according to the teachings of numerology, the completion of one cycle. The number three is the sacred joining of the spirit, soul, and body. Three years ago, we gave up the body-that shell that we (as fangirls, wink!) so loved to drool, giggle, and blush over; that dynamic body that could dazzle a stage like no other. We grieved the loss of that body because it encapsulated Michael Jackson as WE knew him, and the only way we had ever known him. We grieved that loss as surely as Katherine Jackson grieved the loss of that physical body that emerged from hers.

 

That Smile We Loved So Much. What Sometimes Hurts The Most Is Letting Go Of The Physical.

We grieved for the spirit that was crushed by injustice, and we have seen our own spirits severely tested through some very dark times.

But as this third anniversary approaches, it will be the soul that ultimately heals, and allows us to move forward. Michael Jackson is dead physically, yes.

But his Bliss remains. So this June 25th, crank up the music; dance to Thriller; find a revealing pic of The Gold Pants and giggle; re-read Dancing The Dream; eat a barrel of greasy KFC; cry and laugh with your MJ friends, whether in real life or in cyberspace. Do what you have to do.

However, keep in mind that the world will move on. It’s not what we do on June 25th, 2012 that ultimately counts, but what we do for the world and for each other come June 26th, 2012 and every day thereafter.

In the ocean bed of Eternity
Stop this agony of wishing
Play it out
Dont think, dont hesitate
Curving back within yourself
Just create just create-Michael Jackson, Excerpted From “Are You Listening” (boldfaced my emphasis).

Lastly, in honor of June 25th, I want to leave you with a song that will not leave my mind today. It is not from Michael, but rather, another of my favorite artists: The band Joy Division, with lyrics by the great Ian Curtis (who himself died after committing suicide at only 22 years old). However, as I am sitting here thinking of Michael’s journey from the physical to that of Bliss, this song seems eerily and hauntingly appropriate. I have heard (source unconfirmed) that Curtis wrote this song about a real-life neighbor of his, a mentally ill child whose entire life was spent within the confines of his parents’ yard. The boy, according to the story, never left his parents’ home or front yard. Years later, when Curtis visited his old neighborhood, he found that the boy, now an adult, was still confined to his parents’ house. So it seems that Curtis, who empathized with this child’s pain and isolation, would certainly have understood Michael’s empathy for the suffering and pain of afflicted children, left alone to struggle in darkness and despair. But more than that, it is-despite its somewhat dark and melancholy air-a song that celebrates the journey into “The Eternal,” and its release from those physical bonds that confine it.

Or as Michael called it, returning to “Bliss.”

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2sdUJ5OIf0[/tube]

Lyrics to “The Eternal” by Joy Division:

Procession moves on, the shouting is over,
Praise to the glory of loved ones now gone.
Talking aloud as they sit round their tables,
Scattering flowers washed down by the rain.
Stood by the gate at the foot of the garden,
Watching them pass like clouds in the sky,
Try to cry out in the heat of the moment,
Possessed by a fury that burns from inside.
Cry like a child, though these years make me older,
With children my time is so wastefully spent,
A burden to keep, though their inner communion,
Accept like a curse an unlucky deal.
Played by the gate at the foot of the garden,
My view stretches out from the fence to the wall,
No words could explain, no actions determine,
Just watching the trees and the leaves as they fall.

And finally, these words from “Adonais”:

Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep!
He hath awakened from the dream of life.
‘Tis we who, lost in stormy visions, keep
With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
And in mad trance strike with our spirit’s knife
Invulnerable nothings. We decay
Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief
Convulse us and consume us day by day,
And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay.-From “Adonais” by Percy Shelley

Three Years Ago, He Was Simply Awakened From The Dream of Life

The great words of Percy Shelley, written for his friend John Keats nearly two hundred years ago, ring just as true today for Michael Jackson, and are a fitting admonishment to keep in mind. Michael is gone, in a sense, but is “not dead.” Three years ago, he was merely awakened from the dream of life. We have been the ones lost to “decay like corpses in a charnel;” we have been the ones who have allowed “fear and grief” to “convulse us and consume us day by day.” And in so doing, have allowed room for all the chaos and, if we’re honest with ourselves, much of the bitterness that has resulted

Just this morning, I saw to my dismay that Michael’s gurney photo is featured on a website called Bestgore.com. Now, yes, we could moan and protest their lack of taste and decency; we could demand that they remove the photo. But in the end, I think it would be a futile effort. That photo (along with the even more gruesome autopsy photo) are “out there”,  and part of the public domain now. As I said several months ago, right after the Murray trial, this is something I have more or less made my peace with:

http://www.allforloveblog.com/?p=5219

I came to realize that seeing Michael’s dead body was not the worst thing that could happen. I feel worse for the indignity to him and to his family. But for me, personally, the gurney photo gave me a feeling of strange calm, peace, and…maybe closure. The body is only a shell, after all. My first thoughts were: Nothing can hurt him now, or ever again.

I use this as an example to say that, while the dirty business of the world and of the living goes on, Michael is-as the old cliche’ goes-in a much better place.  He has become part of The Eternal.

As I send out this post, I am also sending out a prayer. It is a prayer that this, our third year without Michael, will finally be the start of true healing and acceptance. May the anger of these last three years start to heal; may those who are still hurting begin to find solace and peace. I pray that all of us who loved him, be it fans or family, his friends or his children, can finally start to look forward without bitterness or fear or regret. I pray that this will mark the true turning point in our return to equilibrium and balance.

It does not mean we have to let go, but rather, that we can learn to embrace this for the new beginning that it is. Michael left so much unfinished work that needs to be done-for the children, for the planet, and for us.

John Lennon once said, when asked of his feelings about the Beatles’ break-up and the fact that fans would mourn it as a death, “The records are still there if they want to reminisce.” In other words, remember if you must. But we’re moving on with our lives.

We will have Michael’s music forever. It is the one constant that will always be there. We cannot hold on indefinitely to something that is no longer ours, but as Michael said in “Are You Listening,” he will still be with us, and very much a part of us. It’s just that we might be too busy looking in all the wrong places to notice. It is finally time, not to continue hanging onto Michael Jackson, but to absorb him into every atom and molecule of our being.

June 25th, 2012-this third year anniversary-we can choose to continue mourning the flesh, and hanging onto all its resultant decay. Or we can celebrate the Bliss.

It’s up to us.

 

UPDATE (06/26/12):  A lovely commemorative video from Peter McEnany at Snagfilms.com. Remember, no matter what you might hear some people say, Michael was loved! Never forget that. For me, the most poignant part of this video is at 2:40, when it shows the fans who have gathered outside Forest Lawn Mortuary during the private viewing for the family. Michael’s body is then transported from there to the Staples Center. You can hear one of the fans say, “The service is over; they’re putting him in the hearse right now.” Here is the link (sorry, am unable to embed it at this time):

http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/never_can_say_goodbye

 

27 thoughts on “Three Years Ago Today: Michael's Return To Bliss”

  1. “I use this as an example to say that, while the dirty business of the world and of the living goes on, Michael is-as the old cliche’ goes-in a much better place. He has become part of The Eternal.”

    We could see yesterday in our French-German channel “arte” that the dirty business of the world indeed goes on, when they aired another terrible documentary about Michael full of the old lies. I only could think as well: Thank God he is in a much better place. I didn’t expect something better from this channel, but it still hurts, because they don’t change their attitude even after 3 years when enough information became available so that noone should talk any longer about skin bleaching etc. Perhaps the news that another French channel cancelled the airing of the Murray documentary is a little bit of a compensation.
    Thank you, Raven, for this post which makes it easier to cope with all of that. I also pray that the anger may start to heal.

    1. I saw all of the notices on FB that the Murray doc had been cancelled in France! Although as many of us have said, that doc actually does Murray a disservice more than anything as it just makes him look like a delusional nutcase. Still, it’s the principle of the thing. A convicted killer shouldn’t get a platform on worldwide TV to proclaim their innocence, especially post-conviction.

      I haven’t seen too much coverage here, but frankly, most of the shows they would have on about him are not anything I would care to watch anyway. The TV stations never really have any good shows about him, and the few that ARE good are ones I have already seen dozens of times. If I can catch a channel that is showing a good program about him, I will usually keep it on even if I have seen the show before, just to make a stand and let them know that positive shows about Michael will garner them more ratings than poor ones. My well-meaning friends and family will usually call me to let me know this or that program about Michael is on. My usual response is just to thank them politely for letting me know, but it is seldom anything I actually care to watch. Like I said, they are well-meaning, but most of them don’t understand just how bad most of those programs are, or how skewered/inaccurate they are. They don’t realize that I am very selective in what I choose to watch when it comes to Michael. But in most cases, anything they notify me about is either going to be something awful I wouldn’t watch, or something I have already seen a million times and most likely have on DVD (cause if it’s a program or special worth having, I will usually have already bought it long ago).

      BET was broadcasting the David Gest doc last night, which I was really delighted to see. That doc has a few flaws, but overall, it is definitely one of the more positive programs out there and it does an EXCELLENT job of breaking down the Arvizo case for the layperson. I really wish more channels would show programs like that, instead of hashing out Living With Michael Jackson for the hundredth thousandth time.

      I also really wish that Private Home Movies could be re-broadcast. That program is so warm, so funny and sweet, and really shows a side of Michael that few got to know. In fact, it was largely through finding that program on Youtube that I became such a huge fan-not just of the music, but Michael the man.

      Speaking of positive programs, I saw that sanemjfan and lynette are featuring a story on the Oprah special that aired in ’93 (before her interview). This is another great program that has rarely been seen since it first aired almost twenty years ago.

      http://michaeljacksonvindication2.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/a-special-gift-for-michael-jacksons-fans-on-the-third-anniversary-of-his-tragic-death/

  2. Thank you dear sweet Raven for this wonderful post – and yes I am so happy for Michael that he can finally be at peace, although we all miss him so very much. You said it so well ‘it is what we do for the world and each other from 26th June onwards that matters’….
    Michael I love you more today than I did yesterday – I send love and prayers to your beloved mother Katherine Jackson and children Prince, Paris and Blanket.
    also sending love and hugs to all my MJfam around the world today
    xx

    1. Thank you, Barbara. I had the children and Katherine very strong on my mind last night. Hope they are feeling the positive energy today!

  3. It is interesting opening up with the concept of silence today. Over the weekend I was fortunate enough to visit the outer gate of Neverland and sit outide Holly Terrace at Forest Lawn and both locations were so beautiful and peaceful it was overwhelming.

    Now Michael can enjoy peace and tranquility away from the loudness and roughness of the entertainment world and the prying eyes and accusations of the media.

    1. I had considered just posting the pic and a simple RIP but my heart was just too full of things I wanted to say, so I had to go with it.

      I can only imagine how tranquil it must be at Neverland and Holly Terrace. I am hoping I will get to go there one day.

      1. I love the idea of a day of silence for Michael. He didnt get it in his lifetime but I hope once we could grant him that. Will be quite a challenge.
        Going to Forrest Lawn to me was the best way to pay my respect to michael. It also helped alot to heal from the shock of his passing and other personal losses.
        I went on the first anniversary of his interment sept 3th and on other days I spent in LA. The park is beautiful and the scenery from Michaels terrace is breathtaking. One early morning I went there on my own and for a while I was there all alone.
        It was so peaceful and serene, no other sound, only the whistling of the wind. I felt like hallucinating.
        First I had mixed feelings like why is he in such a quiet place far away from everything. But later on fans were coming in, children playing , there was talking, laughing and I felt that was a good balance to the absolute silence that is there most of the time.
        At that time some fans would visit him on a daily base and I loved when they were saying , lets go to Michael or I just came from Michael.
        Im not into fanclubs, but I met some nice people there who I still contact every now and then.

        1. I often wonder if there are days he spends all alone there, when no one comes to visit. I would imagine there may be, especially after three years. But then again, after a lifetime of being there for the fans, he deserves this peace and quiet. Do you know if that group still meets there the third of every month? I live on the other side of the country so unfortunately getting out there is no hop, skip and jump for me. Today I started making plans to attend on the 5th anniversary. I think that will be a good time, and maybe by then I can afford to go. It always made me feel good to know he was being visited on a regular basis.

          1. It would be very sad if there are days without visitors, Michael loved to have people around. But its inevetable .
            I dont know if there are still the weekly fangroup visits.
            The people I know go as often as they can.
            But you are right its a resting place first and not to accomodate fans.
            I am grateful I had the opportunity to be there. I hope you can make it some day Raven. It is worth the travel.

          2. Hi Raven,
            yes this group is still there and visits him on the 3rd of each month. I had the luck, to be with them this month. It was a very touching gathering !
            I don’t think there was and never will be a single day, when no one shows up at his grave, even when people can’t go inside !

          3. I’m glad to hear this group still meets. I understand that Elizabeth Taylor’s grave is close by (though a different area from The Great Mausoleum). I hope that when I get to go, I’ll be able to pay my respects to both of them.

  4. Raven,

    Thanks for remembering Michael’s 3 years memorial day. Wow!!! Three years seems like yesterday, and it’s still unbelievable he is not among us. Well, in spirit he is here with us forever more.

    1. Like I said in the piece, there are still some days-certain moments-where it hits me really hard, and I can’t predict when those moments will happen. It could be when I’m just riding in my car, or walking, or cleaning house. One day I was driving and listening to Speed Demon, and I had a flashback to when I first saw that video, and suddenly it just all seemed unreal all over again, like Day One.

  5. Thank you Raven for this lovely, meaningful post on this very sad anniversary. This line especially says it all and says what I sometimes imagine Michael is saying to all of us… “However, keep in mind that the world will move on. It’s not what we do on June 25th, 2012 that ultimately counts, but what we do for the world and for each other come June 26th, 2012 and every day thereafter.”

    Here is a quote I just saw in a book I was reading for my bookclub. One of the characters in the book siad the following and attributed it to Dr. Seuss…
    “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened!”

    I would even go futher to say that Michael is not over as long as we all continue to celebrate his amazing life and carry on his message and legacy of caring and love for all mankind! I will always be so thankful that I was fortunate enough to be here to experience Michael Jackson “happening” to this world! Remembering the loss of that amazing physical presence will always bring feelings of sadness but I will find comfort knowing that his spirtual presence will always be here with me!

    1. Absolutely. A far bigger tragedy than his death would have been…had he never lived at all.

      I’ve seen that quote before but didn’t know it came from Dr. Seuss. Wow, you learn something every day!

  6. What a poignant post and the pic at the beginning….I am at loss of words.

    Raven, these words that you wrote…is the best thing that could have happened on 25th June (apart from Arvizos confessing the truth!)

    Truly, it is what all MJ fans have to remember. For me, it summarised my own journey through last 3 yrs…it is only now…particularly for the last 2 months that a real change is coming to me…there is this sense of clarity that I never had before. Of course, these are the baby steps but I am hopeful that I can sustain the momentum…”This time around…it is for REAL”. 🙂

    Finally, I will again quote my fav. quote from Rumi…”When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men”.

    Michael Jackson rests not in Forrest Lawn, there rests only the shell…his essence dwells in the hearts of many.

    Love from India.

    1. Lol, though to be honest, I don’t think there is any real need for the Arvizos to “confess” anything-everybody with a brain knows they were lying! I have heard even diehard skeptics and haters who believe he is guilty say that their suspicions are not based on the Arvizo case, which most intelligent people realize was a ridiculous circus, but rather the Chandler case. But anyway, that is a topic for another time, which I’ll be getting back around to shortly.

      ”When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men”.

      What a beautiful quote!

      I am sure I have said this before, but as someone who is of part Cherokee heritage and spent over twenty years totally immersed in the culture, one of the things I learned about the Cherokee belief system is that, even though the physical body IS just a shell, the spirit does remain closely attached. That is why, for the Cherokees and other Native tribes (and this seems to be true of most indigenous people around the world) the manner in which the body is buried and maintaining the sanctity of the burial site is of utmost importance. It is not “just” where the body lies, but also where the spirit returns to re-connect itself. The physical and the spiritual are separated, but never too far apart! It is also why our people feel it very keenly, and protest so vehemently, when sacred burial sites are destroyed. A spirit that cannot ‘re-connect” is essentially cut off.

      It makes sense in a way. For example, most of us know we can talk to our departed loved ones anywhere, anytime. But many find the most comfort-and feel the closest to their loved one-when they visit their resting place. There still seems to be a stronger feeling of connection there than anywhere else. This is true for me, anyway, but it may go back to my own deeply ingrained cultural beliefs.

      1. I agree that many a American people see the Arvizo’s for what they are (I see it in many a comment) but the media has not accepted that they were/are con artists. You must know about William Wagner who was an honest reporter there in the courtroom then and who now has an intention of making a documentary about what really happened…he made a point the other day, He says when Tom Sneddon dies…Gavin Arvizo may possibly be there and cry the tears and the media will spin the story again. A victim crying for his saviour! :-/ I feel the vindication has to come through media…THEY slandered him conniving with the prosecutors…they alone can set it right. May be a powerful movie, documentary like THIS IS IT (it did a tremendous job in opening many a heart)…something like that should happen to Michael jackson’s legacy.

        Coming to traditions and cultural leanings visa visa the dead, I really admire and respect all native traditions. They are SO connected to all things natural and nature is the only way the divine expresses itself. In some sense being a HIndu, I am my-self a person of native traditions ‘coz Hindus have given a divine status to all things natural…to all things life giving. Many people who believe in One god religions don’t understand worshipping a tree, earth or river…but I think it all makes sense since all of these are life supporting and LIFE is worthy of worship.
        Coming to revering the body of the deceased that is a very culture specific thing…:-) In my tradition, the body is treated like an outer garment…something that you discard when it is not of any use…that is the meaning of the death of the physical. We then cremate the body…offering it to fire (again one of the things we rever since it is considered a purifying agent)….we believe that body came from five natural elements and by offering it to fire, we return it to where it came from….thus completing the cycle. Rich and famous people build a sort of a tomb where they body is cremated but for ordinary people…there is no place of remembrance except in our hearts and after death there is a 10 day ritual to assist the departed soul in its onward journey.
        So I may not understand attachment to the body but I do respect it and I would really love to visit Forrest Lawn, I am sure I feel some sort of “presence” there. Even if body is just a garment…the garment carries the fragrance of the one who wore it. 🙂
        I have read many credible instances of NDE its interesting that many people who “die” experience amazing joy and bliss and their limitless nature upon getting separated from the body. So, I am sure as you say Michael is in Bliss!

        1. I believe that in all cultures, our ancestors were very wise. They taught us how to live-and even how to die-in the ways that were best for whoever we were or where we lived. So the way I look at it, there is no “right” or “wrong” way. Every culture is unique and that is what makes ours such an incredible world.

          The problem these days is that so many do not respect the teachings of our elders, or the ways of tradition.

          Hindu and Native American religion have in common the idea of spirituality in natural elements. Many of the early European settlers, out of ignorance, scoffed at the notion of praying to stones or trees or the sun. But what they failed to realize is that Native people do not worship the stars or the sun or moon or the trees. Rather, it is the life force and essence of the one supreme Creator which these things represent, as they all come from Him. One reason Native people accepted Christianity and adopted it so readily is because the teachings of Christianity and the idea of having one supreme God was really not that foreign to them.

          The physical human body is what enables us to feel pain, suffering, and heartache, so I do believe it makes sense that the spirit should feel a sense of liberation in being freed from it.

  7. Raven, thank you so much for your reflection. You have written one of the most comforting three-year anniversary articles. I hope that many, many members of the MJfam get the chance to .
    I fully agree: Michael IS present, Michael IS alive – in our hearts and in the hearts of our children. It is us to keep his seed of love alive….and to seek Michael, where he still is and will be forever.
    Hope, you don´t mind sharing a beautiful poem here, which I find to be appropriate addition to your words.

    WEEP NOT FOR ME

    Do not weep for me when I no longer dwell
    among the wonders of the earth; for my larger
    self is free, and my soul rejoices on the other
    side of pain…on the other side of darkness.

    Do not weep for me, for I am a ray of sunshine
    that touches your skin, a tropical breeze
    upon your face, the hush of joy within your heart
    and the innocence of babes in mothers arms.
    I am the hope in a darkened night. And, in your
    hour of need, I will be there to comfort you.
    I will share your tears, your joys, your fears,
    your disappointments and your triumphs.

    Do not weep for me, for I am cradled
    in the arms of God. I walk with the angels,
    and hear the music beyond the stars.

    Do not weep for me, for I am within you;
    I am peace, love, I am a soft wind that caresses
    the flowers. I am the calm that follows a
    raging storm. I am an autumns leaf that floats
    among the garden of God, and I am pure
    white snow that softly falls upon your hand.

    Do not weep for me, for I shall never die,
    as long as you remember me…
    with a smile and a sigh.

    Credits to: Joe Fazio
    ~
    jfazio@gmail.com
    Beverly Hills, California

  8. “Remember, no matter what you might hear some people say, Michael was loved! Never forget that.”

    June 25, 2012, I was far, far away from home, in a place you would definitely not expect anything about this date.

    Yet, I spotted two very young fans who carried a messenger bag with plenty of Michael’s images printed on, and his favorite yellow sunflowers in hand!

    They were both in Michael’s signature black and white: white shirt, black pants and knee pad, white socks, black loafers, black fedora on their long, curly black hair (not sure whether the two white women dyed and permed their hair), they looked so “Michael” that I just wanted to hug them, hold them tight and let tear flow, but I was afraid I could scare these young women who also appeared as delicate and vulnerable as Michael.

    Finally, I calmed myself and made myself understood to the two fans who did not speak English, they had no problem posing in a photo with me!

    Yes, Michael is loved!

  9. On the 25th June I sat quietly pondering the last 3 years. Thinking about how much I had learned about Michael during this time, the totally unecessary trials and tribulations he endured, and wishing I had been more aware of the events in his life as they happened(good and bad).

    My thirst for knowledge has been unquenchable. At times I have wondered if I was becoming just a little to obsessed (lol), as I have never reacted to anyone else in this way.

    I also worried that this constant clamouring for knowledge was actually denying him the peace and bliss he so deserves.Even though our intentions are noble I sometimes feel like an intruder.

    I decided that I would give up the daily fix of blog-sites , you-tube videos and searching for articles etc. I would continue to keep him in my heart and defend and promote him at every opportunity, but I would try not to hold on too tightly.

    My thoughts were whirling, but I eventually realised that somewhere in the back of my mind it was my ego telling me that I should be “over this” by now..

    I needed to go through this thought process to re-affirm what I already know. There is no time limit on celebrating Michael’s life. I genuinely believe that as time goes by, more and more people will want to learn what he stood for and emulate his values ( and some are helped along the way by reading the posts and comments on blogs such as yours Raven).

    I do believe he has returned to bliss.. however he can still come and help me weed the garden whenever he wants to! (lol)

    1. I understand your sentiments exactly. Some days I almost feel like, What’s the point? I devote a lot of time here, but in the end, Michael is gone, and nothing I can say here will bring him back. Writing about him helped me through a grieving process and also to understand WHY I was grieving for someone I never even knew.

      But then I realize the reason why I am here-and why I keep doing this-is because there are still so many looking to understand him better, or to clear up all (or at least) some of the misinformation that’s been out there for so long. Sometimes I, too, start to think, ok, it’s been three years. Time to move on. But I realize it’s ok to continue on this journey. There are scholars who invest hundreds of hours of their time to trying to understand historical figures, writers and artists who have gone before. In some ways, I don’t look at this much differently. It’s all about trying to understand.

      So I do know very much what you are saying, and identify.

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