richard solly




OCCUPATION: Writer / Editor

AGE: 53

".... Prejudiced as we are against death, we do not manage to release it from all its distorted images, it is a friend, our deepest friend, perhaps the only one who can never be misled by our attitudes and vacillations--and this, you must understand, not in the sentimental-romantic sense of life's opposite, a denial of life: but our friend precisely when we most passionately, most vehemently, assent to being here, to living and working on earth, to Nature, to love. Life simultaneously says Yes and No. Death (I implore you to believe this!) is the true Yes-sayer. It says only Yes. In the presence of eternity."






Always healing
I think the healing process is just one’s life. One always is trying to heal not only personal sickness or personal plight of some kind, but there are also human ones that I think we all are struggling to heal because we’re all a little cracked! And, we need to repair that. Or we can certainly ignore it.

Mind and spirit affliction
I had Crohn’s disease was when I was forty and in the next three years I would have six operations and then a seventh about three years later. I was beginning to understand through the help of others, a therapist, my own spiritual program, and reading and writing, and doing volunteer work in Hospice, how the body was afflicted with the mind and the spirit and it wasn’t because I had failed. It wasn’t a question of wounding myself, but that I had this suffering and it was mine and it was mine to heal. As opposed to afflicting it upon somebody else and let them heal it by being bitter, by letting myself die, by abandoning my daughter that way. I could have inflicted it on a lot of people and I made a decision somewhere to live and learn and grow and integrate the body back in its proper place. I think that I’m often horrified by how, in our contemporary society, how little people regard the physical and how they belittle it and that it does not have its place in this universe. When the universe is filled with so much matter and neutrons and protons and electrical forces and cells which fires this whole universe. Its part of the seen world, at the same time in between all the molecules and between all the atoms is this unseen world. So it seems that the physical itself is a part of this great mystery and to ignore it is to inflict more pain on the mind and the spirit. The physical is both the seen and the unseen.

And then I had a lung infection around my fourth surgery. I had four surgeries within a year. All major. I was on a respirator and was given a fifty-fifty chance of living. And then two weeks later I become septic where every cell is infected in your blood. So, they called my family to my bedside and then they left, and then two weeks later they had to come back. And during those particular times I had two experiences that finally helped me understand how the body, mind, and the spirit, and how affliction and suffering has to be physical and it has to be psychological and it has to have a social element. That somehow socially we are afflicted and suffering and our suffering alienates us from our community or stigmatizes us in some way. So, for instance, if you have been sexually abused, there is a social element to that. If you have breast cancer there is a social element to that. Maybe it involves your sexual identity with members of the opposite sex or same sex, but it involves you in a community of recovery. It affects your community. There’s American Cancer research, there’s organizations all over the world that are a part of this. So, you are part of a social community and so your suffering is connected to that. People that are tortured, people that are in wars, that social fabric of our lives is deeply afflicted that way. And again, it doesn’t mean that I inflicted the wound on myself. It just is that I’ve been afflicted. Or I’m suffering and I need healing.
Two particular experiences did that for me. I could call them near-death experiences and for me, its not a question of whether they exist or they don’t exist. They are my experience of God. I don’t argue that. It is the way it is for me. And I would never question the validity of them or deny them. It’s people’s most private and most exceptional experiences between them and their soul and I would never engage in arguing about that.

The body creating soul
In the hospital I was on Demerol and I was on morphine for two months. I was on plenty of drugs and medication. Sometimes people describe these experiences as intensive care psychosis as a result of the machines, the whir and the noise and the constant hum, and the medications and the pain. It does derange you. I had lots of hallucinations and none of them do I regard as near death experiences. And it doesn’t matter if it exists or if they’re true or not but it was my experience of it. Those two in particular made me understand how much the body is a part of the spirit. And, may in fact create the spirit. That the body is creating the soul and its not vice-versa.

Soul emanations
When I was in the hospital and near death, there was a particular person on the side of my bed and her name was Roseanne. I still remember her there. And I was at the foot of my bed and I saw my deceased father and sister. The important part of all this is that my sister was wearing this yellow gown with white lace collar, a full-length cotton nightgown, and it was a nightgown she used to wear before she died when she was eighteen. My father was in a white shirt, sleeves were rolled up, and dress pants, as I often remember him. And some pens in his pocket. So, the spiritual emanations took this physical form. I have never talked to anyone who didn’t have some particular spiritual experience, or out of the body experience, that didn’t have some physical components. I mean how else are we going to experience that world? Because we have no ability to experience anything other than through our senses. However, there is another component that seems to be a metaphysical experience as part of that.
So I knew that they had come for me. And they came three different times. And there was a particular time I turned to the person next to me to tell her to look and I had no sooner said it than I knew that I was in two realities. That her reality didn’t include the one I saw. And the only words that were spoken were by my father who said, "If you cross over, we’ll be there." All was put at rest for me because I was fighting living and dying. I didn’t want to live and I wanted to live. So, the way he put it to me was, live or die you’re going to be fine. We’re here. If you live, we’ll be here, and if you die, we’ll be here.

A beautiful all-white room
So I didn’t have to worry. I completely relaxed and gave myself over to either greater forces or lesser forces, meaning the surgeons. I’m not sure who. And then another time I had one of those body things where I drifted up out of my bed into a room, and again, I’d gone up there numerous times, not just once. My sister and father came once; my father came different times. I’d go up into a beautiful, all-white room. People usually associate all-white rooms with lock-up wards, but this one was absolutely gorgeous and it was soothing and relaxing and brilliant. The floor had this iridescence, glow. I had questions about what’s the meaning of this and God. But as soon as I felt the question I physically experienced the answer.

People say, "well, I just knew." But, it’s a total physical knowing. You know before the question’s asked and you don’t need a reply. In the asking is the answer.

Window to an afterlife
There was a window there, with the shade pulled. And what the hell is a window doing with the shade pulled in the afterlife? God knows. But it’s physical – it’s the way the body and the soul interweave themselves together. It all has a meaning but it’s the way it just puts itself together. I knew everything that there was to know. That if I had any questions, even if the question was "where is God?" not even "What is God," or "Is there a God?" but where. I would have an answer. But I didn’t know what, if I lifted the shade, what the view was outside there. It was the only thing I didn’t know. I’d go over there and open up the shade to take a look and every time I did that I’d always be back in bed. In the hospital bed. Weird. I had eight tubes going inside different parts of my body. And if you count the orifices in your body, you don’t have eight. So, you know that I had extra holes made. Eight tubes going into me at one time.

So, I’d go back up to this room again, I’d be back at the shade again, I’d put my hand on the shade again to open it, and I’d be back in my bed. This happened numerous times. Maybe the second time, maybe the third time I got back to the bed, I realized that I no longer needed to know, because in my mind or in my body (and it’s a question about which one), I knew that if I opened the shade up that probably I would be dead. But it’s a sense that that was what it would finally mean to die.

So, it’s a window shade. Its’ something I can see. I can smell the shade. It has this beautiful, gorgeous white to it. The shade itself and the wood was white, ivory and milk and cream. Everything good that you associate with white, that’s what it was like. And I didn’t need to know any more. I had been back in my bed and I just understood that that’s not what I was going to do-- I was not going to lift the shade to know. It was okay with me not to know, and just as well. It was also okay if I wanted to know and open the shade. If I wanted to do that, fine. If I didn’t, that’s fine too.

We’re wonderful human beings. As physical, our bodies are such a vast mystery. They’re like galaxies. As many stars as are out there, we have something almost as comparable to our cells and our neurons and molecules and atoms. So we’re a galaxy. And the healing, the resources abide in you, we just don’t even know -- can’t even fathom what they are. The body has so many capacities for healing. And the body has a tremendous capacity to heal. It’s unbelievable. And I’m also saying that the soul has that same capacity so it’s all intertwined and goes beyond anything that we can imagine.





If you take this option, you will be able to use the links within the document to access books and healing resources

Don't have Acrobat Reader?

top pf page