Today we ask you to sit with death.
Death does not only mean physical death. Death is what happens when something that appears to be solid and real, dissolves.
For example: as children grow, they “die.” The baby “dies” and becomes the toddler. The toddler “dies” and becomes the child. The child “dies” and becomes the adolescent. The adolescent “dies” and becomes the adult.
And so on, and so on.
Where is the Baby You? Where is the Five Year Old You?
You have phases of your life. Maybe you once lived in a childhood home, and went to school.
Where is that life now? It is “dead.”
Perhaps you used to have certain beliefs about life, that you no longer have. Sometimes people grow up religious, then change their minds as they get older and become more secular. (The opposite may also happen.)
The beliefs “die.” As beliefs die, a new self is born. So over time, for example, the Religious Woman “dies,” and changes into the Secular Woman.
The liberal might “die,” and change into the conservative. Or the conservative might “die,” and change into the liberal.
The 30 Year Old “dies,” and changes into the 60 Year Old.
Every time this happens, it is “death.” Something dies.
So you can see, death is happening all the time, everywhere.
Inside you right now, cells are dying. This morning you ate dead things for breakfast. You don’t think of it that way, but it is so.
So maybe death isn’t such a big deal.
It happens all the time, everywhere.
This does not mean that life isn’t precious.
But it does mean that life isn’t fragile.
Life is incredibly strong. It’s so strong, that it’s dying all the time, and it’s no big deal.
Sometimes humans perceive the natural world as being very cruel and horrible. Things are always eating, and being eaten. Lions eat gazelles. It can seem very monstrous.
But that is only because humans believe that death is a big deal. In nature, it is not a big deal.
This does not mean humans should not protect and nurture life.
But, on the whole, humans have a very crazy relationship with death. Death is seen as some sort of disease, some sort of terrible mistake. Sometimes well-intentioned people cause a great deal of suffering attempting to prolong life long past the point of any possible joy.
When your elderly people are terrified of death, this is madness. There is no cause for a sick, elderly person to be terrified of death.
It is of course because you believe that existence is snuffed out at physical death.
But this is not so.
Has the Five Year Old You totally ceased to exist? That being is fully dead. The physical body of the Five Year Old has died. All those cells have died. And yet here you are.
You are not your past selves. They are “dead.” Yet here you are.
Maybe death is not such a big deal. And if you got comfortable with it, you would see that the natural world is not brutal, monstrous, or indifferent.
Love is everywhere. Love is everywhere.
Do you think that death is separate from love?
That is not possible.