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To the Gates of Death and Beyond

by Patrick Wood

There is wisdom in these branches.
Wisdom walks upon the water.
It is easily found
But hard to believe in.

Know you are a spirit existing in a spiritual world and live in spirit.

Two orbs of light appear in the sky. My eyes are drawn to this spectacle of brightness. The lights transfix me. The two lights become one light and brighten, forming a tunnel of light, a splendour, a straight path leading my soul to the place where it belongs. Birthless, deathless, home. The grained surface of an old wardrobe: the light of a candle is reflected in the wardrobe's varnish, the brightness of the reflection fades to a vague outline, a shifting sunspot, animated by the slightest breeze. This is another gateway.

Last gasp.
The movement is downwards,
A timeless sinking
As flesh dissolves.
What is set free?

Another death.
The liberator comes
And is recognised.
What has been lost?

I sit in a quiet place. I see the Gates of Death. I see the Gates of Death opening. I enter the land of the dead. The land of the dead is a pleasant land. I behold the Lord of the Dead. The Lord of the Dead is a sweet guardian. I leave the Lord and the land of the dead. I light a candle of remembrance and the gates of death close behind me.

The movement is upward and slight,
As if nothing was happening,
But something is.
What has been gained?

Heaven is the place we reach when all our worries leave us, when all mental and physical agitation ceases. In heaven, we can turn our eyes anywhere, marvel at what we see and feel our hearts enlivened.

Patrick Wood