Life does not dwell in the body, it passes through it.
My best friend Yoshi (not his real name) is probably the most passive person I have ever known, and many times it drove me up the wall, as I didn’t see very much drama in his life. On occasion during his high school years he would be confronted by a bully. Where I would be thinking of kicking the guy in the balls or smashing his face, Yoshi always found a gentle way out. I used to think it was cowardice. Yoshi didn’t attract many of these people to him and it seemed like it only happened when he was with me.
My brother was a bully and he beat the snot out of me many times. I grew up fearing and avoiding these red neck war mongers. I took a submissive role when I crossed paths with any of them. I always got my revenge; I beat the crap out of these guys for days in my mind. It bothered me that Yoshi never gave it any thought; he didn’t get angry. Having a steady diet of Yoshi was sometimes like eating porridge for breakfast every day, it might be good for me, but it was just porridge.
There seemed to a lot of strength behind Yoshi’s demure. His philosophy was that he was one with all things and the bully was really another part of himself that he accepted but never allowed to take over. As I recall, I never saw him stress out over anything, and he never hit the bumps in the road or went around; he just went through them.
All life was sacred to Yoshi; he seldom had more than a sniffle and never talked about feeling bad or being sick. Yoshi didn’t push anything aside but melded with it, continuing through and re-emerging on the other side, more like his atoms and those of the virus simply passed as ships in the night, never colliding. He didn’t ignore life; he was part of it.
I didn’t understand or was even interested in most of the things he tried to tell me. I like him and I felt safe being in his presence. It has taken me another 50 years to understand and accept some of his wisdom.
Yoshi had a great summer job as a roadside hotdog vender. I say great because I love hotdogs, so I visited him often at his location. Helping him earned a lot of dogs and Coke for me.
One day while we were enjoying a beautifully warm summer’s day in an industrial park and nearing the end of his shift, a few bees started to surround the card. I was getting a bit nervous and was brushing them away with my hand not wanting to get into contact with them. Yoshi watched and teased me for a time, telling me that I should be one with them. My experience with being one with a bee was not very positive. Yoshi held his hand up into the flight path of the bees. One of them landed on his finger. They starred at each other for almost a minute before the bee took flight again.
Instead of flying away the bee flew straight into Yoshi’s nose and stung him. Yoshi screamed out, the bee fell to the ground. I was both shocked and amused by what happened. I thought that if you put your hand in fire, you’re going to get burned. Now it was time for Yoshi to learn a lesson. As we all know once a bee strikes and loses its stinger it dies, probably just as well as far as I am concerned.
A few minutes later Yoshi’s nose started to swell up and he was beginning to have problems breathing. He wasn’t too concerned about it. He seemed to be more interested in my reaction rather than how little air he was breathing in. I took charge and quickly packed everything. We only had to drive a few blocks to a clinic, and surprisingly he didn’t object. I was expecting him to give me one of his speeches about self-healing. It was now feeling like he had planned the whole thing in advance.
The doctor said something about him sticking his nose where it didn’t belong, and then he started his examination. The doctor seemed to take more time than necessary, but finally put down the flashlight and swab. Sometime during his poking and prying he lost the smug look he had on his face earlier and it became more serious. He reported a growth in the nasal passage that shouldn’t be there and suggested some testing. Yoshi, unconcerned thanked the doctor and said it wouldn’t be necessary. There was a unique calmness about him as we left the office. I asked him if he was upset and if he wanted to talk about it. All he said was that there was nothing to be upset about, and that no life is wasted. He also said that he came with me to see the doctor for my benefit not his. He also said that there were many things unknown to me and I would now have the opportunity to learn about my connection to life. The statement about “no life being wasted” was a little cryptic in that I didn’t know if he was talking about mine, his, or the bee’s.
On a cool winter afternoon in late November, a sad day that I was to move to another town, Yoshi enlightened me.
Months had gone by since the bee incident and to tell you the truth I didn’t think much about. This was just another strange event that I witnessed in his life. He asked me if I figured it out.
Because he didn’t die, I assumed that he was referring to the bee’s life when he said, “no life is wasted”. He explained that there really is only one life in the universe, that of the creator, the bee didn’t die. There simply was a transfer of the life force between to agreeing bodies. Life is not measured by size. The life that animated the bee’s body is the same life that he and I, and everyone else shares. The bee’s life is as all-encompassing as my own; its presence fills the same space at the same time as mine.
He went on, did the bee give its life so that I may live, or did it selfishly move into my body so that it would continue in another form? The spot noticed by the doctor was cancer and it was time for life to leave my body. In the moment that the bee landed on my finger, it was simply life recognizing life and choosing to continue as a physical body. It could have been any body or any bee. It was an act of opportunity and co-operation between mind and spirit. I did not fear for my life, because I saw my life in the body of the bee.
In not knowing these things we fear for our bodies, but the body is not life, the body lives within the life force, is surrounded by it, and is an aspect of it. I can see the greater picture, therefore I am not concerned about my spiritual experience, and I will get another body. My ego (body) lives in fear for its existence, my spirit which lives within the knowledge of what life is, gives it some comfort with awareness, and therefore, I welcome the experience. By the way, he said, I am also the bully, I recognized that part of me, and at some level we agreed to leave each other alone. What would be the point?
After I moved, I never heard from Yoshi again, he disappeared into thin air. Nothing is by coincidence, and all events have purpose. The magic and the lesson for me were in the stillness of the bee resting on his finger, something invisible happened. To bee sure, what came afterwards was just an effect of that moment. Although life appears transient between what is physical and what is not. It is not life that is transitory, but the body. We get a glimpse of the effects of life in its movement from one physical body to another and it is not considered a miracle by more enlightened minds, but as natural.