Jacqueline Berg

Lecture 3 – Living with Dying

Symposium Living with Dying – 24 October 2008 – Culture & Congress Centre Antropia in Driebergen
Living from soul consciousness, spoken by Jacqueline Berg (journalist, founder of  the Working group Spiritual Health, meditation teacher)


Respect, love and obedience

With her short angry steps, she walked to the cupboard, opened the drawer and took out a writing pad.  She threw it on my knees, directly followed by a pen and said: “write down: respect, love and obedience for your parents.  One hundred times.  You are not allowed to go outside until you are finished.  Write neatly with precision and efficiency.”

“Yes Mom”.

So beside each other: respect-love and obedience- for your parents. Respect, love and obedience for your parents.  And under each other respect respect respect respect resepct.  Love love love love love obedience obedience obedience obedience.  For for for your your your parents parents parents.

Love respect and obedience for your parents.

My mother, a clearly gifted woman was convinced that one should teach one’s children as soon as possible basic values that would form them for the rest of their lives.

“I’m finished, Mom”.

Respect, love and obedience for your parents.  The respect has explained itself in the way I feel for others, especially the elderly, love has become my path and obedience.. the challenge.


Self love

Later when I came upon the spiritual path these values became deeper.

I began to learn that not only respect for those around you was important but that love for all life should be counted as well and eventually its about love for oneself.

How do I see myself?  Do I respect myself?  Do I love myself?  Its all about the different varieties of love which happen to come your way along the spiritual path,  love for yourself, respect for yourself and obeying the laws of life itself.


Life and Death

Today we have heard a lot about death.  Sometimes I ask myself why we are so focused on dying.  It is just as important to emphasize the various aspects of  living.  If you don’t know how to live, how can you possibly know how to die.

What I have learned on my spiritual journey is to have respect for every moment as it is now.  I live now and I give all my attention to this moment. When I do this, then I am in the here and now and can utilize my time to consciously create something beautiful. It is exactly the same with love. When I have developed my love for living then my fear of dying disappears, that is because death itself is part of my life.  Death and life are inseparably tied together.

Obedience for the laws of life have taught me that there are boundaries, these boundaries do not inhibit me but give me permission to transcend, develop and explore myself.  The spiritual laws of life tell us that there is no losing not even in death.

The beauty of spiritual awareness is that after a time you are not afraid of death but that you can embrace life including death.


Laws and values

I come from a family where spirituality was very normal.  However, my father had difficulty with this.  At one stage he said to me “you’re the only crazy one believing in reincarnation”.  I contacted my brothers and sisters and asked if this was so?  No they replied.  I then said to my father: “Dad, I’m really sorry but you are the only crazy one who does not believe in reincarnation”.

Now you can understand the type of family I came from. My mother taught me the values of life and my father, though he was not aware at the time, stimulated me to go further on my spiritual path and learn more about the unknown.

When I look back on my life up to now, I recognize how the insights that I have gained on life and death – the temporary non-life – are based on their teachings: there is respect for life, love for life and obedience for the laws of life. Obedience holds and protects you when you don’t know what to do. You can trust these laws because they guarantee the very essence of our existence. These laws are love itself.



At a later stage in my life I discovered that spiritual love eventually comes back to you. You can share this love with another and so this love develops further.  The art of this development is in embracing yourself.  If you let this love come back to yourself then you can live and die with love.

Everyone knows that the path of love is not easy.  It is a big challenge. If you say “I’m going for love”, you will come across love in all her colours and facets.  But the biggest bonus of all is the embracing of your ‘self’ which waits at the end of this fascinating but painful journey.

We all have a love scar and we often get the feeling, aware or unaware that we don’t live life with enough love.  It is a feeling that we could receive more or could do more. We think therefore quite often that we are not seen as we really are.  I think that this is the basis of every relationship problem which is repeated as an unfulfilled expectation.

Every argument that takes place or has ever begun results in throwing plates through the room or letters written to each other full of hate recrimination.  This is repeatedly demonstrated by the fact that we are not rooted enough in our own self-love. We long for somebody else to make us happy.

It is not honest to place this demand on somebody else.  Another person cannot fulfill this desire to the full.


The Source of Love

It is an art to learn to live with and out of love, both in living as well as in dying. When the moment comes that love is complete, another aspect of love appears which almost nobody is aware of.  And that is the aspect of detachment.

When we are busy with love, we are always embracing and holding on to it:  I love you, I will always love you, I will love you until death do us part.  This is the reason that one in three marriages fail because this idea of love is practically not achievable. We don’t keep it up until the end. We try so hard to love forever but we cannot achieve this.

When you learn to understand love better you will realize that in order to go on further you will have to travel with love itself.  That does not mean that you have to separate or go away from your partner but it means that you must learn to let love in and feel it in your heart and it helps then to heal the wounds.

This makes you less vulnerable to others.  You fill yourself from the Source of love.

That works best while you are in a meditative state.  Through meditation, you learn to take distance.  You detach yourself from the material things of this world and in silence you create space for the values that concern you as a spiritual being.  Stillness plays a very important role in a spiritual life.

If you can’t give each other the space for further development, give each other the freedom or be able to detach yourself on a certain level, then the relationship will not be sustained to the very end.  Give each other the space to reflect on the inner self, give space for the heart to heal and then it is possible to stay in love and that love will continue to grow.

If we take more time for spirituality and meditation, the divorce statistics would definitely be lower.


Soul Care

I would love to do a meditation with you to let you experience in a natural way how one can distance oneself from life and have a little contact with what we call ‘death’ here. I believe in the continuation of life after death, in rebirth where the soul chooses a new body to continue to live as a human being.

When you meditate, you take distance from your ordinary consciousness and thoughts about who you are.  You turn inside and make contact with yourself on a deeper level.  You go in your thoughts to a place where in your regular daily life, one would never go.  The place of the soul.  The first step I call ‘soul care’.  You start to go back into the essence of what life is: the spiritual being.   The detachment that you experience in your way of thinking gives a certain peace which brings you into other dimensions of life.



As human beings we often talk from our outer appearance: you look like this, I am a man or woman, fat or thin, white or black and so on. With this sort of physical awareness, we really do each other an incredible amount of injustice. If we could see each other from soul awareness, we could make contact with the other as he eternally is. Only then there is non-attachment and can love be taken to a higher dimension.

Stillness and love are vitally important for meditation.  In the spiritual stillness you can fill yourself with spiritual love. Stillness is healing and love fills your heart where it will open itself to the perfect love.

People do not believe in perfect love because the realization of perfect love often ends up in an imperfect relationship. You put yourself in for this total love but really you have to compromise:  it didn’t work for me. I could not keep hold of it and I could not give it a structure.

If you add spirituality to your mundane consciousness and you learn to look at each other from a soul conscious vision, then spiritual love has space to grow. With meditation you can fill yourself with love and this spiritual love can form the basis of a more spiritual love.  In that type of relationship we can free ourselves from tight patterns and suppressive expectations.

It was specially requested of me to emphasize this aspect of our soul consciousness so that a depth within ourselves could be created.  It is worthwhile to pay attention to this aspect.  On a daily basis, now and again stand still and think about the essence of our life.

They say that you will die the way you have lived.  If you are already busy with thinking about death when you are living, then you will not be shocked when you hear that you are going to die.  You are prepared.


Soul consciousness

Through soul consciousness you are connected with life as well as death.  There is no difference.  In meditation you just die a little more.  But what dies? The limited self.  That is also known as the ego-death.  Every time you let in your soul awareness, a little bit of the limited ‘self’ goes away.

It is the limited self that stops us from being independent and makes us emotionally dependent on others.  We live then with desires that cannot be fulfilled. We have a much richer life when we have a spiritual awareness. The soul is then free to fly where it wants to.

If you want to partake in meditation, go and sit relaxed. You can close your eyes but you can also keep them open and look down. Don’t pay attention to the people around you and try to give the ‘now’ some time.

I take a moment for myself..  Disconnected from the things around me.. I bring stillness into my thoughts and relax..  My body is relaxed..  And I breath in and out gently..  Attention for myself. . I check that my hands are relaxed… My stomach and my face.. Is my face relaxed?..  From this point of stillness.. with loving eyes.. I look to myself and my inner world..  This is the moment where I get to know myself at another level..

I break free from the idea that I am a man or woman… how I look.. also my role and status are not important.. I make contact with who I really am.. with the spiritual being inside myself.. the soul…

I feel that my thoughts become calm and I become more still.. First I accept myself as I am..  that which other people think I am and what I think of myself.. I just let go of it..

I go to the essence of my life.. to the light.. to the love.. and I make contact with that which is eternal… in the stillness and with  love.. I recognize myself.., a spiritual being and I feel that I can grow much more.. I can reach to heights above the pettiness that I sometimes live in.. 

I let the light in and also the love..  As a soul I am immortal and eternal.. A soul cannot die.. my form can change but I stay immortal forever.. connected to life..  this thought gives me peace and rest inside.. in meditation I can recharge myself .. connected with the Source of love and the Source of eternal peace..
I imagine myself as a point of light in the middle of my forehead. from this place I control my body. .this concentrated energy is my identity.. powerful, peaceful and loving..

In the awareness of the soul I can travel through to other dimensions.. to places where the earthly awareness cannot come.. in thoughts I can travel to a dimension of light, of peace, of quiet.. here I can recharge myself with everything that I need: peace, love, stillness..

I fill myself up from the Divine Source so that I can bring that power from my inner to my outer self.. with the power of my own original freedom.. in this dimension of silence.. it is made clear to me that I am immortal..  and that I live eternally.. and that I can always be loved.. I experience myself as a point of light in the middle of my forehead.. that uses my eyes to see others with love and respect.

If we would take time to do this exercise every day, especially in the morning when we wake up or before we go to sleep then we will experience more power in our lives and a lot more love in our relationships.