Kudos for the thought-provoking essay by John R. Phillips, “The living dead” (July 9th). Seldom do you find such positive energy and attitude. Also, the author described this presentation for dead military heroes with respect and appreciation of the peaceful scene.
However, I question Mr. Phillips’ assertion that society has “new ideas about death” based on “newer perspectives of the creation of the universe and humankind.” The sort of existence he calls “energy-spirit” has been around for thousands of years in various cultures including Indian Hinduism and Native American Indian societies.
Furthermore, every human, and probably every animate and inanimate object, whether it professes a knowledge of Jesus Christ or even has heard of Him, in his/her heart and soul knows Him, the God-Spirit. This is why it was so easy to realize the truth that Elvis lived, even after his mortal frame died on Aug. 16, 1977 (I was 20), when sightings of him became manifold. You can still see him around, in venues such as Branson and Myrtle Beach; his greatest manifestation is Mr. Taylor Rodriguez of Bedford. (Ditto Santa Claus …)
Although the author’s belief that we (alive) communicate with them (sort of dead — or not?) is sincere, still the premise that this communication is “pandimensional awareness” by “a process of integral presence” is not satisfying to a traditionalist who knows Jesus and His angels. It evokes the issue of individual spirit denied by many, such as Dan Fogelberg in “River of Souls.” I think we really do have an angel or two guiding us, and that we may commune with them but not lose our identity in them, or they in us, even our eternal helpmate (spouse).
Thanks, Roanoke Times, for this article; its ending is great! I hope someday we’ll have many trains, to replace some highways. Slow excursion trains might help us appreciate the scenery, help local economies, and enable us, as Alan Jackson sings, to see “what really matters.” Yes, Mr. Phillips, we can, and I believe we will, create a better democracy “for the wellbecoming of all people.”
Pernie Forehand, Vinton