Recently, I have been thinking about a beetle and dragonfly story that I read from a book titled “True Spirit: Secrets of the Afterlife” by TJ Higgs last year. I thought I should share this whole excerpt of the story from the book over here.
Once upon a time, there lived a little water beetle. Its home was in the muddy waters underneath the lily pads in a small pond, where it lived with a community of water beetles. The little beetle and its family and friends lived very comfortably and quietly there; no one disturbed them and they didn’t disturb anybody else in return. There was only one dark cloud that hung over the community.
Every now and again, one of the beetles would climb the stem of one of the lily pads and disappear above the surface of the water to sit on the flat leaf of the pad above. They would never be seen again.
This made the water beetles very sad whenever it happened because they believed that it meant their friend was dead and gone for ever.
One day, the little water beetle found himself drawn to the stem of one of the lilies. He felt the irresistible urge to climb up it, and began scaling his way up the long, green shoot. As he climbed, he made a promise to himself: if he got to the top he would make sure not to leave for ever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had discovered at the top of the lily, above the water’s surface. This proved easier said than done, however.
When he reached the top and climbed out on the surface of the lily pad, the little water beetle was so tired and the sun was so hot that he decided to take a little nap. As he lay there, snoozing away in the radiant sunshine, his body changed. When he woke up, he had been transformed into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings. His body was completely different. Before, he was an oval-shaped beetle with short, stubby legs. Now he was a slender dragonfly, designed to take to the air. And that’s exactly what he did. He flew into the air, soaring high into the sky.
As he climbed he turned and looked down on a whole new world. He realised immediately that this was a far superior way of life to the one he and his friends and family had lived underwater. They simply didn’t know this life existed.
It was at that moment that it dawned on him what all his friends and family would now be thinking. ‘Oh no, they are now really upset because they believe I am dead,’ he thought to himself. ‘I must go back and tell them I am all right.’
But he couldn’t go back. Try as he might, he couldn’t get his new body and new wings to penetrate the surface of the water. So he couldn’t get back down to his friends and family to explain that, rather than being dead, he was more alive than ever. He couldn’t explain that his life was being fulfilled in a new and exciting way.
For a moment, he felt sad, but then he realised something else: there was no need for sadness at all. He now understood that his friends’ and family’s time would come too. One day, when they were ready, they too would climb up the stalk of the water lily and experience what he’d experienced. They too would raise their wings and begin this joyous and wonderful new life.
There was no need to feel sorrow, only joy.
Excerpt from “True Spirit: Secrets of the Afterlife” by TJ Higgs
I wonder why this story has been crossing my mind again several times nowadays. Naturally, I would think of Jonghyun who has crossed over the bridge from the human life to the spiritual world. People might be thinking, if the voices in my head really came from spirits in the other world, why haven’t I or we hear Jonghyun’s voice yet? Did he not want to talk to us?
My guess is that there must have been some limitations, rules or restrictions for spirits to cross over back into the physical world and reach out to us, just like the dragonfly cannot get back underwater to tell his beetle friends and family that he has already transited to a new life form and that he is doing well or even better than before. (This is probably only possible by makng contact through a psychic medium.) This reminds me of those days when Jonghyun had his funeral wake in December 2017. I remembered seeing some faces of SHINee members in my mind asking in agony, “Don’t you have powers? Make him come back to life again!” I mean, even though I would very much want to revive him too if I could, what kind of powers were they referring to that I didn’t know I had?
Speaking of dragonfly, I was reminded of this old instagram photo of mine when I was still working in my previous company. I thought I could see a silhouette of a dragonfly on the door of the toilet cubicle. At that time I didn’t know the significance of dragonflies yet.
Also, just yesterday when I was rewatching some of Taenggu’s old travelogues in 2017, I saw this moment when an insect suddenly appeared on the window when Taenggu was filming the scenery outside her bullet train. It looks like a dragonfly, isn’t it?
Next time if I see a dragonfly again, I shall see it as a sign that someone has probably moved on into his afterlife and is fulfilling a more vibrant and fuller purpose over there. As what was said in the story above, “There was no need to feel sorrow, only joy.” Celebrate life, celebrate afterlife too!