We instinctively cling to what we know. So was a theme of the sermon at a friend’s funeral as the minister attempted to comfort family and friends for our loss.

I realized immediately the truth of these words.

We have been so conditioned by the circumstances that surround our physical lives that we are convinced Earth lives are the ultimate reality. Because of this, when we experience the loss of a loved one, we are often devastated, lost is endless grief. Even those who intuitively believe that life carries on in some fashion after death get swept-up. One part of their mind understands that eternal life is the true reality but the overly conditioned conscious mind clings instinctively to what it knows well.

We tend to default to a sense of reality that is heavily shaped by our sensory experiences. All those who enjoy sight wake up each morning to the beauty of the physical world. Those who hear appreciate the sounds of music, the gurgle of an infant or the purr of a kitten. Those who enjoy taste delight in the wondrous array of flavors that our palette savors. Those who enjoy smell are awash in lovely and repugnant odors as they move about their day. And those hugged by a beloved revel in the wonder of a loving embrace.

Given the constant dose of sensory stimulation, it is not surprising that we get hooked, hooked clinging instinctively to the physical world and the experience of physical life.

Nonetheless, it is an illusion. Perhaps, the grandest one of all.

It feeds our clinging. It feeds our despondency about death. It feeds our mistaken belief that the dead are lost to us forever.

Those of us who understand that life never ends, that we never die are lucky. We have a built in reset to the illusion. While it may grip us temporarily, we eventually stop our instinctive clinging and remember that life is eternal. We never die. We merely transform.

Thousands of years ago, even the ancients understood that energy can not be destroyed, it can only transmute. Each of us is energy vibrating at a frequency that temporarily manifests as solid. Even that is an illusion. For at the subatomic level there is no solidity, there are only countless atoms and sub particles bouncing around in an endless and eternal dance.

Enjoy the dance. Enjoy the illusion. But whatever you do, do not get stuck clinging to the illusion. You, me, everyone you know and love live on – dancing through eternal life.