A few days ago I was shocked to read one woman’s post on Facebook: “I only lost my Dad a few weeks ago and today my baby boy passed away too”. There was something a little strange about this post and the responses it got  so I went back the next day to see if had missed something. Indeed I had: there was now a picture of a dead cat on her wall and the ‘baby boy’ she had lost turned out to be her cat.

Now I appreciate fully that people become ‘mums and dads’ to their animals, but I would have appreciated a small ‘feline pointer’, I suppose.

Her post triggered an avalanche of prayers – and personally I don’t feel we can pray for people without their consent (it’s a form of psychic intrusion, done without permission). Please don’t pray for me unless I ask you to, THANK YOU!!

Another thing that this particular post ‘flashed up’ for me was how some ‘Spiritual People’ choose to see our temporary incarnation in a human coat as quite irrelevant to the larger journey of the the soul. Other people, just like me, had understood this post to refer to a human baby boy and I was quite horrified to read comments like “Death is an illusion! He is with your Dad now, can’t you see?!”

Now I am a shamanic practitioner and teacher and well versed in spiritual perspectives on Death & Dying. Indeed, I actually teach the course: “Shamanic perspectives on….” Having said that, if one of ny children died today, I would NOT appreciate such comments on my Facebook wall. In fact I doubt I would be logging into Facebook at all for quite some time to come.

I also admit that this thought-provoking incident could occur because I have Facebook connections with people I have not met “in the flesh” or “face to face” (to stay with the ‘facebook’ concept).

That leads us to a discussion about ‘friends’. How do we define the word “friend”. Some people have said to me categorically (and rather hardline!): “Oh those people on Facebook aren’t friends of course, it is all a big game”. Personally speaking I do not agree with that. Through Facebook I have ‘met’ (maybe not in the ‘human coat’ or flesh, but still!) people who have touched my soul, shared beautiful uplifting material with me, who have laughed and cried with me as life unfolds. To me these people have become friends, yes, I do not hesitate to use that word and no inverted commas. My life is richer for them and I would really miss them if the connection broke and they dropped away.

Facebook does also allow me to stay in touch with ‘old friends’ who live on other continents in other time zones and whom I would hardly ever hear from, if Facebook did not exist. I know this for sure because 18 months ago I deleted my Facebook account for three months, but the social cost was too high, I returned. Kind of creepily my page came back up as if it had never been gone – something a friend of mine called ‘a bad version of the Akashic records’!

So I am well and truly a citizen of the 21st century then…

I suppose that my final perspective on Facebook is that ‘it is what you make it’. I choose to share mostly funny or inspirational things. Paintings, dreams, hilarious or profound comments my children make. I do not share every personal challenge on my wall. (If I do share something challenging there is always a Spiritual Person ready to point out to me that “It’s all for the best and life on Earth is one big illusion any way”. That kind of stops me and keeps my posts light and bright!)

Does sharing something on Facebook mean that I am asking for advice? I don’t think so but of course it can easily be understood so!

I accept friend request from complete strangers. I know I am not supposed to do this. Facebook actively tries to discourage it. I tell my teenage son NEVER to do this, so it’s madly inconsistent of me too! Yet, the innocent and naive part of me thinks: I will  give (almost) anyone a chance, if they can’t handle that, I can ‘unfriend them’. Terrible as it sounds, there IS an ‘unfriending option’. Unfriending only takes one click. Quite different from village life or tribal life where people are/were stuck with the same crowd for life, admittedly! Not so in the ‘Global Village’… (To this I will add that if any friend request gives me a bad feeling I delete it straight away!)

Well, this posted started with dead cat and I feel it needs to end with a big ‘thank you’ to the people who enrich my life on Facebook. You know who you are!!

Imelda Almqvist