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You have probably heard of the 49 days enigma, as discussed in Rick Strassman's famous DMT book and other places. Basically what it says, if one believes in these things, is that there exists a mystic link between the post-death limbo state (or "bardo") s
poken of in Tibetan Buddhism, which lasts 49 days before the reincarnation into a new physical body, and the growth of the human fetus, where the pineal gland first appears after 49 days. This also, if I recall correctly, is the time when the gender first can be discerned.
The mysteries around the pineal gland go back to ancient days and still today the function of this unique, non-paired brain part is unclear--intriguingly, however, it seems to be connected to perception of light and regulation of neurotransmitters, including DMT. There is much more to be said, for which I recommend googling.
Here comes what I wanted to share: not too long ago my beloved old father passed away. He left us calmly, expressing complete readiness for the end. There was of course grief and mourning over the simple fact that we would never meet him again, but otherwise his passing was as pure and dignified as one can hope for. In the days that followed my thoughts often went to the Buddhist tradition, which on one level deals very much with dying and death, seeing life as essentially a preparation for the final journey. With this in mind I went into a contemplative state and sought to counsel and advise my father's recently departed soul/energy towards a favorable rebirth according to the ancient technique of the Bardo Thödol, or what the West has named the Tibetan Book Of The Dead. Concentrating upon the image of my father I tried to steer the guiding words of the Tibetan ritual towards his stateless existence--these are essentially admonitions to go towards the 'bright lights' and avoid the 'smokey lights'. Doing this without even having had a formal conversion to Buddhism might have become awkward, but I sensed a "response" from the abstract overseer of my innerspace indicating that I did a good thing and that the formal method was acceptable. This encouraged me towards a more energetic commitment, and I spent several minutes in this curious head-space, which differed from the meditative moods I was familiar with. Afterwards I felt like maybe something had been achieved, realizing at the same time that I would never find out.
Time passed and the practical arrangements were handled, including a traditional christian funeral. The last few years before his passing I had felt close to my father, and whatever disagreements and misperceptions we'd had in the past were now gone. We were in frequent contact, and I think for this reason, along with his gentle, welcoming attitude towards the end, made the loss less difficult to handle. It seemed to me simply a transition to a different stage whose time had now come, and left behind were a life full of shared memories. Yet at the same time there was something gnawing in the back of my head, a restlessness that kept me from getting back fully to my regular life. It wasn't a depression as much as a sense of irritation, and naturally I connected it with my father's passing, though I couldn't find the precise causal analysis. This went on week after week; a manageable yet limiting irritation.
Then, very recently, the stone in my shoe was suddenly gone. It just disappeared, from one day to the other. I no longer felt constrained, but experienced the familiar energy of being fully committed to the projects I was working on. The persistent grey cloud had gone and the air was again clear. It wasn't the idea of being much 'happier' but rather the return of normalcy. I didn't understand why the cloud had vanished, just as I didn't understand why it had been there. The changes were undeniable, but confounding.
For some reason, perhaps due to reading an article on DMT, my mind wandered off to Buddhist realms and the Bardo Thödol again. The figure '49' popped up in my head, as in the 49 days preceding reincarnation. I felt a chill run along my spine as I counted the weeks and days since my father's death. It seemed to add up, but I wasn't entirely certain that my calculations were right. I sat down by the computer, pulled up a digital calendar, and slowly counted the days and weeks. And, as you've probably guessed, it matched up perfectly. The period from my father's passing in late December and my sudden return to 'normalcy' in February was 49 days. Not 48 with a thumb on the scale, or 50 minus 1 due to a technicality. The time-span was exactly 49 days.
I haven't fully digested this somewhat spooky piece of information, but I can see the outline of certain interpretations. However, I'll leave it at that for now.