Re-framing Death – January 13 2020

Whatever it is that occurs at death, I believe it deserves to be called a miracle. The miracle, ironically, is that we don’t die. The cessation of the body is an illusion, and like a magician sweeping aside a curtain, the soul reveals what lies beyond. Mystics have long understood the joyousness of this moment. As the great Persian poet Rumi puts it, “Death is our wedding with eternity.”

Deepak Chopra, 

Life After Death: The Burden of Proof

There are facts of life that we cannot change. Death – our own and that of our loved ones – taxes, the passage of time, the aging of our bodies, the experience of loss: each of these are a given. No matter what we might do to keep them at bay, they will occur.

If our happiness is dependent upon avoiding these things, we are guaranteeing our unhappiness.

In doing spiritual work, it seems that one of our assignments here on the planet is learning to enjoy life, even in the face of these unavoidable. One of the ways we do this is through the process of re-framing. Changing the paradigm we use to view these facts. For example:

If death is the end of me, then I am its victim. 

If, however, I am consciousness, as the Veda tells me I am, then death of the body does not imply the death of what I am. If I am Spirit having a physical experience, the end of that physical experience is simply movement of what I am to another mode of experience.

What I am is eternal. Simply by remembering this when I feel at the mercy of the world and its inevitabilities, I am able to change my attitude about my experience. Though I may not be able to imagine enjoying the idea of death, I may be able to move in the direction of seeing death as a part of life, rather than an ending to life. I may be able to see the whole of life from a broader perspective. And the broader my perspective, the less painful will be the individual facts.

Today I will notice when I am seeing something through the eyes of cynicism, despair or hopelessness, and I will stop long enough to give myself the opportunity to re-frame my understanding of that something and expand the possibilities for my own happiness.

Bar Door, Frederick County, Maryland

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