Where is Here

Posted by on September 10, 2013 in On Life | 15 comments


by Christina Carson

power of wrods“In the beginning was the Word.” Familiar phrase, eh. Much is written about that sentence and the meanings implied, and though exploring that is not specifically the intent of this blog, I was once again reminded this weekend of the power words have to impact our lives through the meanings we apply to them. What happened this weekend? Husband, Bert, and I were asked to speak at the funeral of a friend, Jean Gentry, who had passed on a week earlier. She lived a remarkable life and was someone whom it was our privilege to know. She had lived into her nineties, thus the crowd was not one typified by deep grief, for hers was a long life well lived. But since most attending were family, many of those there had had a significant relationship with her, and she was indeed missed.

When Bert and I finished speaking, we invited the group to participate in an informal storytelling session of experiences they had with Jean. Some stories were touching, some were funny, and through those personal reflections, the greater family, I believe, came to realize even more clearly what an extraordinary mother, grandmother and friend Jean had been. Bert addressed their deeper recognition that she was now gone by suggesting to them that she is, in fact, still here.

That’s when it hit me, the power we give to the meaning words carry. I’m not arguing for any particular life-after-death scenario, but it became clear to me that we humans, due to the meaning we’ve attached to the word here, have left ourselves in quite a bind. For most, here means able to be acknowledged by our five senses. Most specifically, if we can touch, see or hear them, we can accept them as here. We agree to that definition as fact, even though it was we who determined it. It didn’t come to us from a proverbial higher source or ancient scrolls or laws, we humans are the keeper of our spoken language, and we bestowed that meaning on that word. Like a dog chasing its tail, we define a world with the meanings we give to it, which then create boundaries and limitation that we become imprisoned by.

What if our view about here was akin to Ramana Maharshi’s, an enlightened Indian who lived in our time? He defined here as everywhere present and lived a life that made it clear that was indeed true for him. Death didn’t end anything for him except freeing him from his flesh form. As he lay dying, his young

     Sri  Ramana Maharshi

Sri Ramana Maharshi

disciples sat about him in deep grief bemoaning his leaving them. His reply was simply, “Where would I go? I’ve always been here.”

Redefining our terms, literally describes our world anew. When Newtonian physicists originally defined subatomic particles, such as electrons, as entities of miniscule mass held in orbit around an atom’s nucleus, they organized the world of matter for us in a specific manner. It was much akin to concrete building blocks, orderly and measurable. But then quantum science came along presenting a different view when it became clear electrons were actually objects that instead had no intrinsic properties and were undergoing continual transformation. That suggested that matter, rather than having solidity and definition, now became something created from entities that seem like whimsy itself. Though that hasn’t yet changed how we see the world around us, it is only because our minds are as yet unable to accommodate that view. Its seeming chaos and spontaneity frighten us. It was the view, however, that Ramana Marharshi lived from daily and why he made the statement that he has always been here.

Maybe here does indeed mean everywhere present. But one thing for sure, our definitions represent our reality only as long as we agree to that arrangement. Here might be a great word to start with to kick the edges out a bit.


If you like to read about the world and people in it from

uncommon yet fascinating angles, put your email address in the Blue Box above.

I promise it won’t be “recycled.”

If you have received this via email and would like to read it on-line,

click here.





  1. Half way through this, I started laughing with delight! How simple – and yet so profound. Of course we have always been here – it’s simply a matter of a new perception about what that means. Beautifully said Christina!

    • Christina Carson

      I was sitting at the funeral laughing within me also. Not at the people there, of course, but at myself. Yes, it is delightfully simple. Perception is everything, don’t they say.

  2. I love the way so many Indians can express in words what we don’t know how to say.
    Very good post!

    • Christina Carson

      Thanks for stopping by Todd. One reason for that is that their spiritual views permit a much broader understanding of the oneness of all things and when you truly understand something, you can express it clearly and succinctly.

  3. I love this Christina.. My dear and beautiful friend of forty years passed away not too long ago..She was a light and joy to all who knew her. I sense her presence with me at times. The other day I was rather down and then I felt her with me, I heard the words “I’m still here”. That was very comforting, just like your writing. Thank you.

    • Christina Carson

      How wonderful. The reason the sages always talk about openness is because it is our openness that places us in the consciousness not limited by our notions. Stay open, Janet, and see what you can know.

  4. Very thoughtful as always, thanks Christina for sharing. It has always struck me that none of us ever die as long as the last of our family and/or friend remembers us. Once that memory is gone, so are we, but not before.

    Then you have the case of artists, like Rubens or Leonardo da Vinci. They last as long as our civilization. But that fate is truly reserved to very few people, it is truly a special case…

    • Christina Carson

      Good to hear from you again, Claude. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

  5. Christina, definitely food for thought, With my brother passing but 3 months ago it still feels like he is here – I still feel his presence and it is a comforting feeling. At his funeral we shared much joy in the life that he led and the love that he gave. It was great meeting you by the way in July. We now have the rain coming down on us in ‘not so sunny London’ Have a great weekend.!

    • Christina Carson

      Amanda, so great to hear from you. I too enjoyed our meeting. It was a lovely afternoon getting to know you better. It is hard to lose someone so close to you and so young. I am glad you are open to letting him be “here.” It’s turned hot here now and dry. You left too soon!

  6. Christina,
    Not long ago, I saw a print advertisement for a fine writing instrument — a gold nibbed fountain pen. The text included a statement to the effect that “the spoken word disappears into thin air immediately. The written word lasts forever.”
    Last week, I discovered a copy of my father’s will — handwritten. It was like he was “here” with me and maybe just stepped outside for a few minutes.
    My mother never acknowledged his death. She always knew he was near.
    Your blog was a blinding flash of the obvious — thank you.

    • Christina Carson

      What a perfect way to describe the truth of things – a blinding flash of the obvious. For so it always is. I have this nagging sensation that were it difficult, not so obvious, we may have been challenged beyond our ken, considering how slowly this awakening deal is seemingly going.
      Thanks, Chip. Good fun.

  7. I love the power of words, Christina, but had never considered the awesome power of the word ‘here’. There is so much we don’t understand about the universe, much less our tiny space in it. The idea that ‘here’ is a relative concept is wonderful, particularly when thinking about those I love whose physical forms are no longer ‘here’. I’ve often felt them about me, and it’s comforting to think that the word ‘here’ is still so relevant to them (and me)!

    • Christina Carson

      Our universe is omni-potential, but human beings reduce that concept to a world that is dualistic because our minds work along the lines of bipolarity. We cannot seemingly know right if we don’t have a concept for wrong, or high if we don’t have a concept for low and any other pairs of words we come up with, and then we believe that those determinations accurately describe the way things are. It is not that the universe exists as a given and we describe it; rather we describe it and FOR US the universe then exists according to our description.We think the world is as we see it and we are responding to that view. But it is actually the other way round. We set the universe up according to our thought process and interact with it as we’ve described it. And since our mental activity has become almost exclusively cognitive, we experience a very dualistic world. Were we to operate more commonly from the intuitive, the way everything else in the universe interacts with one another, we would be able to free ourselves from the tremendously restrictive view our language inflicts on us and be more open to the omni-potentiality our universe exhibits.

Thoughtful comments are always welcome!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: