Fear accomplishes virtually nothing positive in the course of human experience. Really. I know what a few of you may say, but I think running from a charging rhinoceros is a matter of logic. So, why will I be highlighting the last poem in Walt Whitman’s epic work, Leaves of Grass? Death. Walt writes quite a bit about death, but he writes about it positively, as something definitely not to be feared.
Fear of death probably brings on our departure more quickly, which is fine because ultimately, you wanted it that way if that’s what happens. Walt has that figured out, which is why he can accept his impending departure without flinching. He has mastered the most important piece of the fear puzzle in his life by knowing and living his Heart and then expressing his truth in his writing. He understands the fellowship of the heart and how operating out of Heart energy places him in the flow of the Universe, in union with the Spirit of all. And he comes to the end of his physical life with positive anticipation.
In his final poem, “Good-Bye my Fancy!,” Walt, without explaining or equivocating, says good-bye to what he terms his Fancy — capitalized. Some might take it he was speaking of a person; it becomes clear this is not the case: “Farewell dear mate, dear love! / I’m going away, I know not where, / Or to what fortune, or whether I may ever see you again, / So Good-bye my Fancy.”
Must be a someone, right?
Once again, I would love to read this eighteen line poem to you. The sensitive and personal nature of it makes me feel as if I’m listening in on something intimate, private, yet that very tone turns me to face my own heart and perform a reality check.
How sincerely am I, my mind, my managed ego, my whole being, in the fellowship of the heart, my Heart? Walt says good-bye as if he was losing the vital link of his personal essence back to the Universe: “Long have we lived, joy’d, caress’d together; / Delightful! — now separation — Good-bye my Fancy.” Still could sound like a person, eh?
Even to the end, he continues to know himself, to awaken to ever-expanding vistas of spiritual realities, for he catches himself. A flash of understanding enlightens his mind. His Fancy, his Heart makes it clear to his conscious mind: “Yet let me not be too hasty, / Long indeed have we lived, slept filter’d, become really blended into one…” We grow, constantly mature, and become increasingly a true representative of that core Self when we stay with the Heart operating system, “blend into one.” And still…is Fancy a person or not?
And that leads to this: “Then if we die, we die together, (yes, we’ll remain one,) / If we go anywhere we’ll go together to meet what happens, / May-be we’ll be better off and blither, and learn something…” Walt realizes that his essence, Heart, is him, and not a disembodied spirit working with him, but his spirit that is his link with all eternal, all immortal. He understands how Heart, which he has listened to and followed, still has unrealized power: “May-be it is yourself now really ushering me to the true songs, (who knows?) / May-be it is you the mortal knob really undoing, turning…” Not a person, unless we’re talking mutual suicide, and we’re definitely not doing that. He senses Heart saying, “It’s moving day! This is the way we meant it to be!”
He rejoices in it because he comprehends he has fulfilled his purpose for which he arrived on this mortal scene. Eureka, he gets it and he sees how the true unity and significance we seek is in Heart, so much so I imagine his Heart saying, “It’s time. Let’s go, Walt. New vistas, new adventures.” It was Moving Day!
Yes, Walt gets it: “Good-bye — and hail! my Fancy.” Hail is a term of greeting. They’re going through the transformation together. Life energy is not lost; it cannot be. It is only transformed from functioning in a physical body to functioning without that limitation. It’s real.
And I have thought of this today because my uncle has died. I do not know, truly, how much he lived heart, but he had a full life. He knew he was departing soon, and he was at peace as far as I knew, and just a week or so ago, I spent three hours with him. All reconciling for any of us, for our lives, is left in the intimate setting in which Walt Whitman pens his final poem — in each being.
Fear of death shows people they have not come to terms with their own hearts. It’s a love affair, and as I John 4:18 puts it so beautifully, “There is no fear in love; perfect love casts out fear.”
I know my Heart, and I have much more to know. It will be over one day, though, and when that happens, I want people to have a freakin’ party, because I don’t want to sense in my unencumbered core Self that folks are moping around. It’s the way it is supposed to be.
Live your Heart! Rejoice in life, because whatever we are living, we came to experience it and we have created it. Heart growth might mean we need to change or simply evolve, but always, always, always love. No fear. And then, rejoice in death, because a great transformation is coming.
We need to hail our Heart now, greet it consciously, before the end. Do we really understand how different this world would be if masses did this instead of lazily, helplessly caving to ego? But that’s what they came to experience.
As for me? Hail, Hello, my Fancy, my Heart!
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!