Beyond death, one is clearly in the realm of what we sometimes call transcendence. I might be tempted to substitute the term consciousness. Or at least suggest that consciousness and Prayer deserve to have a relationship. Praying, particularly personal prayer, is talking to a power beyond oneself. Whatever name is given to that energy or power, it is a sign of the fact that we do not regard life as confined to the bubble of self. Somehow, some way, we believe that we can have a wider contact.

We are, of course, social beings. We depend in many ways on one another.

But the fact of prayer attests to the widespread sense that there is meaning to the journey that life is. Why we have life and why death is probably the subject of philosophy. Answering that question is often subject these days to a binary response. We assume that there is nothing beyond our own sense of our aloneness on the planet.

Nihilism

That analysis has immense appeal, but its very appeal suggests that it hides a major error. The fact that we can conclude we are essentially nothing suggests the precise opposite. We are more than we assume. Those who value consciousness also value society. Beyond society, they are open to the bulk of reality which is present to us as an unfolding mystery.

There is a prayer which I am convinced is a gateway to transcendence, but it has been largely disguised by making it a public utterance and by seeing it as one of many sorts of prayer rather than the proper form for all prayer.

The most common form of prayer today is intercessory prayer -- praying for this person or that, this disaster or that, and so forth. The following video should disabuse you of the power of such praying.

Praying "for" does not work as the video notes. But that is not what prayer should be. It is a misconception.

Prayer is an individual application of will and understanding and is effective only if the prayer is in accord with such things as hallowing the name of one's deity, obtaining one's sustenance, seeking forgiveness in exchange for forgiving others and escaping temptation and evil.

Prayer is not an intercession for anyone but the person doing the praying.

The prayer Jesus taught

The reader familiar with the Lord's Prayer will see where this is going. I am sure there are other prayers which achieve the same purpose.In examining issues related to consciousness and transcendence, evidence about prayer needs to come from research into its proper use.

Needless to say, the Harvard Study referred to in the video might have yielded very different results had the Lord's Prayer been its subject.

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