Kindred Spirits by Asher Brown Durand
part of the permanent collection at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas
I was lying in bed, relaxed, but for no particular reason, I couldn’t go to sleep. Then, with my eyes closed, I saw an image. I pressed into it and it opened up. It was a small circular portal, into something much bigger. It was organic, like thatch, but it was lit up in a way that was supremely compelling. I focused more and saw not a bigger view, but a brighter light of the same small view.
I was not meditating. I was just lying calmly in bed, trying to go to sleep.
After this faded from my mind’s eye, I considered it for awhile. Soon the image of the painting, Kindred Spirits, came to mind. I don’t know why. I saw this painting last summer at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and was powerfully drawn to it. Lying in bed and considering the painting, I began to have the unexpected knowledge that breath and light are connected in some fundamental, mysterious way.
And eventually I came to consider that after we die, we become light. Maybe that’s why we feel that our loved ones who have died are still around; they are shining on us, enlightening us, warming us.
Light moves faster than anything – 186,000 miles per second. So we get to fly. We get to shine. We get to be the light of the world. We get to provide insight, warmth, a mechanism to enhance growth of physical things.
Read accounts of Jesus and others raised from the dead – they shone. The transfiguration. Those with near death experiences had a flash of light. It’s not where we are going, it’s what we are about to become.