Good Grief

“In the Lakota/Sioux tradition, a person who is grieving is considered most wakan, most holy. There’s a sense that when someone is struck by the sudden lightning of loss, he or she stands on the threshold of the spirit world. The prayers of those who grieve are considered especially strong, and it is proper to ask them for their help. You might recall what it’s like to be with someone who has grieved deeply. That person has no layer of protection, nothing left to defend. The mystery is looking out through that person’s eyes. For the time being, he or she has accepted the reality of loss and has stopped clinging to the past or grasping at the future. In the groundless openness of sorrow, there is a wholeness of presence and a deep natural wisdom.”

This quote by Tara Brach holds a lot of truth. I recognize everything she’s saying. I grieved deeply twice in my life. Both times, I lost a partner through cancer. If there’s anything good that can come out of losing a loved one, in my case it’s that I became a sponge for information and had several highly spiritual experiences. It’s like a temporary existence in liminal space.

I’d like to share a piece I wrote on one of those sultry afternoons at the end of May 2013—Mon died on May 22—sitting outside with my laptop, with a sparrow accompanying me on the top of my screen, checking me out. I remember the clarity in my head, being slightly obsessed and the total and obvious conviction of it being the truth. I’ve tried to hold on to that ever since and used it in my novel The Girl in the Web. It’s a concise reproduction of what I saw and read of physicist Tom Campbell’s work, whose masterpiece, My Big Toe, I can recommend to anyone interested in the bigger consciousness system.

Why are we here?

Science can’t generally provide an answer to the question why we are here, what the meaning is of life on this earth. They come up with clever calculations proving the big bang; with the universe coming into existence soon after, and the fact that in that universe there happened to be a small planet with a sun with just the right circumstances for some amino acids to get together and do a little dance that turned them into a cell, which then evolved into who we are today. But why?

The Field

To find a possible answer to the question why we are here and what it’s all about, without things getting too religious or woo woo, we should stop looking at things in the here and now, from the perspective of this earth, the universe. Instead, we should try and see things from the perspective of the only real truth: the bigger consciousness system. Two premises are important in that respect:

  1. Reality, as we know it, is virtual.
  2. Consciousness is at the base of everything.

If this is already too far out for you, reader, it probably means you belong to the people who believe that we are our body, or our brain, the materialized model of evolution; and in that case there’s no point in trying to find the answer. In that case, what science presents us suffices; we are separated from one another, subject to Darwin’s laws, with every individual fighting for his or her survival. In that case, too, we see a world built on fear, as we have today, with armies, hostile nations; with a small, rich elite and masses of people struggling to get by. Eventually, that will lead to the collapse of this planet, instead of evolving farther.

However, if you can get your head around it, please read on. If we assume that our bodies (our brain included), the earth and even the universe are a virtual reality, and that the only real reality is called consciousness, then we’re looking at a whole different picture. It’s the body that comes and goes, not the information going through it, which is immortal. That is part of an all encompassing source of information, which could also be called the invisible energy source from which all things material evolve, or the field. Other names could be the spiritual world or the bigger consciousness system. Whichever you pick, it’s the source of our virtual reality. It’s not outside us, separated. On the contrary, our world is part of it. We wouldn’t exist without that source. We put on this virtual-reality-suit that’s called “body” and are allowed to experience this planet, this universe. We’re walking around in a simulation of the bigger consciousness system. We appear to be separated, but in reality are not.


By its very nature, every system wants to evolve in order to survive. Every system needs to reproduce or it will cease to exist. Ever since the big bang, the universe is evolving as well, creating structure out of chaos. It’s growing towards an ever more complex system. It evolves from a system of high entropy (high chaos) to one with low entropy (low chaos). The more complex a system is, the lower its entropy. These are the criteria of our existence. We are here to grow, to improve the quality of our consciousness, by continually collecting better and more useful information. Our bodies help us out, are a complex result of the big bang. If we didn’t have our bodies, we would all be pieces of consciousness (or information) without rules and restrictions. The chaos would be complete. We need the restrictions of the here and now to evolve. There is an infinite number of virtual realities like ours where individual pieces of consciousness go to experience things, with a free will, but within a set of rules and restrictions.

Consciousness can be seen as a digital field of information. We are a three-dimensional simulation of that: a virtual reality. In our source, we are nothing more than information. We receive information and that is what defines us. We are here to experience, and what’s the point in that? To evolve, to lower the entropy of our consciousness. We’re part of the bigger-consciousness-system’s strategy to evolve, as opposed collapse. Our dream-reality is just another virtual reality. Where you wake up when you die here, is again another virtual reality.


What’s the best way to reach the lowest possible entropy, to evolve the best we can? In any case, it’s not fear. Fear only breaks things down, kills and makes sick, leads us to need defense systems to fight one another; leads to suppression and, ultimately, to chaos. Fear is based on the assumption that we’re separated from one another, that we have to anxiously hold on to our possessions and not trust anyone.

The opposite of fear is love. Love is the fuel for evolving consciousness. Love is impersonal, all around, and always constructive anywhere. And without the love energy—known by the mystic, experienced by the enlightened—we couldn’t even exist. Love is the optimum of low entropy-configuration. We communicate, we share, we’re social, separated by our bodies but all connected together. What does a society based on love create in the long term? It optimizes, by relations, by cooperation. That’s the goal.

What did the Buddha mean when he said that this physical reality is an illusion? If you look at it from the wider perspective, as we just did, then that statement is no longer poetry but fact. In fact, love would be the optimal stage you could reach when you evolve. Therefore, a highly evolved consciousness could be called “love”.

Why are we here? The answer to that question is to learn what love is.


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