A subject that is somewhat fraught, we talk of our own spirituality in terms that are not easy to define, but is there behind the life force another layer of being, invisible but transcending the physical world. Can we touch it, does it belong to our senses, created by our minds - does it really exist?
There is no answer to that, we as humans are fallible capable of great evil and yet capable of self-sacrificing courage, people aspire to higher ideals and in doing so lay down there own lives for the greater good of everyone. Yet animals also fight to save their young, defend territory, can they be spiritually blessed as well.
When reading poetry or looking at a painting, behind the words or daubs of paint will be a person trying to express his vision of the world, trying to draw through the medium of expressive art, the inner essence of the subject matter. Sometimes the expression will be abstract, it will become fragmented into a subjective view, and the onlooker will have to construct his own vision.
Thinking about the landscape and the natural world as having a spiritual meaning is sometimes more difficult. We can perhaps classify it as a Gaian term, seeing the world functioning as a whole, each part dependent on each other. Whether there is a divine force behind all this we cannot tell, yet we are born within its safekeeping, we eat its fruits, and wonder at the marvel of a perpetually changing sky, the beauty of a flower caught for a moment in its upward seeking movement, - it is as if the world is sometimes laid out for our delight, as if its beauty is indeed the spiritual message we seek.
Yet within this life force, there is the opposition, death and decay, autumn leaves crumble to dust, we kill to eat, paradise is lost, or at least out of reach. When someone dies we are deeply unhappy, a life force has been extinguished, a void has been made in the web of our lives. We return their dust to the earth where it belongs, to shift and blow in the wind maybe, or to be driven deep into the matrix of the soil becoming part of the minute teeming organic life that exists beneath our feet.
As I write this, I remember all the deaths that have occurred during my lifetime, and how we must bear witness to the final moments of death, and the giving back to the earth the life form that was once so active. When the young are taken there is bitterness and anger that life has been so cruelly shortened, we grieve for their pain and the loss of a happy fulfilling life.
So in coming to this moment of death, to the spirituality of the person and the spirituality of the place we marry these two aspects together, it is a moment of closure, a time of serenity and peace, it should not be an unhappy event but one of contemplation and acknowledgement that there is something indefinable that exists beyond the mere physical world that is our everyday life.