Is Death Necessary?
by Linda Caputi
What if death were a choice? This may seem to be an outrageous idea, especially when death occurs as an unavoidable accident or a child is born with a terminal illness. But since we know that God is a God of love, not of punishment, it makes sense to me. Perhaps it is our own misperceptions or misinterpretations that lead to errors in thinking and the erroneous conclusion that we actually age and that we must die.
Let me tell you about my cousin Cyd, a woman in her 80s who took me under her wing after my mother died. Cyd had been a very active, retired social worker and a yoga devotee. At first, we had often talked on the phone since she lived in Florida and I lived in Brooklyn. When Cyd's health declined further, she moved into a nursing home near her daughters in Brooklyn where she could receive around-the-clock assistance when needed.
About that time, my family and I had taken a vacation to Virginia Beach, Va., and decided to move the following summer, almost a year away. My only regret about moving was the thought of leaving behind friends and family, with my cousin Cyd high on the list. As things unfolded, our moving plans changed from the following summer to the upcoming New Year, months sooner than we originally thought. I didn't look forward to telling Cyd about the move, but when I did, she took me completely off guard by gently saying, "Well, when you move, I will die."
I argued with her, but there was no dissuading her from her quiet conviction. As the New Year drew close, we said our goodbyes at our last visit together on a Saturday. I was flying to Virginia with my daughter the following Wednesday afternoon.
Monday I received a call from Cyd's daughter letting me know that Cyd had died quietly in her sleep. Wednesday morning would be her funeral. My daughter and I attended and then caught the plane – seemingly arranged with everything in divine order. And as we flew to our new destination, I wished Cyd well on hers, amazed by her impeccable timing.
What if death, even when so elegantly timed, is unnecessary? What if it's an old habit where we expect the "inevitable" to overcome us, as it has always overcome all the ones before us? What if there isn't any real basis for death, just a matter of what we expect, as Cayce stated in one of his most far-reaching readings:
For, as may be told by any pathologist, there is no known reason why any individual entity should not live as long as it desires. And there is no death, save in thy consciousness. Because all others have died, ye expect to—and you do! These are a part of thy consciousness, in what? In the mental, in the spiritual—and the physical reacts to same. . . .
But remember, just as that expectancy—because your great, great, great, great grandfather died you will die too—is there, and is part of the expectancy of every cell of your body! It can be eradicated, yes. How? By that constant activity within self of expectancy that this condition does not HAVE to happen to you! . . .
And if you set your life to be a hundred and twenty, you can live to be a hundred and twenty-one!
(Edgar Cayce Reading 2533-6)
And in another reading:
Not that the love of God is belittled or is lacking—for His influence to so attune every vibration of self to RENEW itself; yea, it may! For in each cell of thy individual body ye may find that which will renew itself continuously. Yet thou hast built in thy own consciousness, by the ages that have passed, that man ages and dies! Is this the will of God?
(Edgar Cayce Reading 1158-14)
Evy McDonald, a remarkable woman in Dr. Bernie Siegel's book, Peace, Love & Healing, was the first medically documented case of reversal of ALS, doing physically nothing. Instead her body healed when she focused her mind on allowing unconditional love to fill her soul. It took time but she was healed.
I wish I could say that I've walked on water or raised the dead, but so far I haven't. However, since I was young I always remember hearing people say that as you grow older you shrink. And though it was something I had seen for myself and even learned about this "natural" process in nursing school, whenever I heard it being said, something inside me would say "No" or "Who said so?"
I grew up to be 5'5½" tall until sometime after my 50th birthday. Then one time when I was in for a doctor's appointment, the assistant read out the numbers for my height and weight. My weight was still the same but now I was 5'6 " tall. I asked the assistant to redo it thinking that she had made a mistake—but she hadn't—and I've been that height ever since. (I wish I had said "No" to wrinkles in the same way!) Not that growing a half-inch as opposed to shrinking would be considered a miracle by some, but for me it was a personal confirmation that we are more than what we appear to be.
Getting back for a moment to raising the dead, George G. Ritchie, Jr., M.D. in his book, My Life After Dying: Becoming Alive to Universal Love, wrote about his amazing experience with raising the clinically dead Mr. Edlow Bugg.
Mr. Bugg's wife had begged Dr. Ritchie to "do something"….
A voice within Dr. Ritchie said, "You are to call Edlow by his first name and tell him to sit up."
The doctor did as he was told and so did Edlow!
The last to be overcome will be death. What if the time is now and we need to do our part by saying "No," to this illegitimate imposition, not with fear or fury but with radical insistence on beholding God's Truth?
On July 21, 1935, Edgar Cayce, in trance, was answering a question brought up by the Norfolk Study Group #1 as they worked on the lesson "Destiny":
(Q) Is it possible for our bodies to be rejuvenated in this incarnation?
(A) Possible. For, as the body is an atomic structure, the units of energy around which there are the movements of the atomic forces that—as given—are ever the sentiment or pattern of a universe, as these atoms, as these structural forces are made to conform or to rely upon or to be one with the spiritual import, the spiritual activity, they revivify, they make for constructive forces.
How is the way shown by the Master? What is the promise in Him? The last to be overcome is death. Death of what?
The SOUL cannot die; for it is of God. The body may be revivified, rejuvenated. And it is to that end it may, the body, TRANSCEND the earth and its influence. (Edgar Cayce Reading 262-85)
Maybe the time has come to rethink our choices like the scriptures encourage us to, and choose life—and as outrageous as we may think it may be, practice raising the dead.
(Q) Will I overcome death in this incarnation?
(A) There is no death. Death is only overcome by Him, who has overcome death. It is our promise, and when ye abide in Him sufficient to that, ye with Him, as the resurrection, may indeed overcome death in a material sense. (Edgar Cayce Reading 5155-1)
Linda Caputi, a retired registered nurse, is on staff at the A.R.E. Library, and has been involved with the Cayce material for the last 25 years. She has researched, compiled and updated many of the Circulating Files on both medical and non-medical topics, and is the author of the book, Epilepsy—Jody's Journey: An Inspiring True Story of Healing with the Edgar Cayce Remedies .