Richard Burton: Happy Transition Day
Updated: Aug 6
There is meaning in every life.
It is not up to us to take on the pitfalls or successes
in another’s journey.
Richard Burton died on August 5, 1984. I asked him about his transition.
Ann: Hi Richard, happy second birth day, transition day, whatever you want to call it.
Richard: I call it evolution day, the day on which, if not all, then a significant part of my life purpose was revealed, successes and disappointments.
Most importantly, however, was the knowledge that I had lived to fight another day. We come by our truths by experience, by cause and effect, and by prayer and payment. No matter our skill at dodging the obvious while we are incarnated, when we leave that state, it becomes clear that there is no free lunch.
But at the same time we are blessed in the light of understanding and love for our efforts, for our failings, and for our unique contributions. It is as if all the cards in our particular deck are gathered up and put into a new deck from which we can draw at will for the ongoing arc of our tiny part of creation.
It is difficult to see beyond our own arc. However gifted we may be, our bodies cast a potent shadow between this world and the next. Illness, injury, loss, those things which should call us into closer relationship with God sometimes do exactly the opposite. Do not fight it, love. As with most things, resistance only hardens the opposition.
Here your opponent is not your body, it is, for many of us, our long held and understandable conviction that we are in this fight alone. And so we will be if we continue to fight. It is our choice. Our challenges, our losses, our frailties can harden our core resistance or open our hearts.
At first it seems as if we have embarked upon a fool’s journey when we allow ourselves to fall backwards into open space, no help in sight or even a cushion to land on. That, love is when we are caught and held, when we realize that there is no hard landing, that we are part of a continuum and helped by our own righteousness, the core that God created in his own image.
Our dependence on the good opinion of others is a myth. Step out of the myth and let a smile come to your face as you do so. Yours is not to right the wrongs imposed upon you or others, yours is to proclaim your spirit in its entirely and celebrate those of every soul you meet.
As you may recall, I carried guilt and self-condemnation all my life for my brother’s death. It confirmed in me the validity of my self-loathing. On this anniversary of my transition I share with you that there is meaning in every life, and it is not up to us to take on the pitfalls or successes in another’s journey.
We can learn from our own mistakes if we do not wallow in them. Then we will be free to travel in the company of our better angels. Resentment, pain, jealousy, and sorrow are gates through which we all must pass. Open that gate and walk through. That is all that is asked of you.
Ann: I keep hearing this song* in my head. Is this what you mean?
Let freedom ring
Let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know
That today is a day of reckoning
Let the weak be strong
Let the right be wrong,
Roll the stone away
Let the guilty pay
It’s Independence Day.*
Richard: Yes. It is a song about release from bondage, about letting the consequences fall on the right shoulders and then walking away. This act of so called retribution was simply the breaking of the lock on the gate. That is what we must do, whatever form it may take in each life.
Then, then we begin to live regardless of the dimension in which we reside.
August 5, 2021
*Independence Day, written by Gretchen Peters, sung by Martina McBride. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkDQ4uslrzg