16 Jun In Death Only the Body Dies – June 17 2020
In death only the body dies. Life does not, consciousness does not, reality does not. And the life is never so alive as after death.
What was born must die. Only the unborn is deathless. Find what is it that never sleeps and never wakes, and whose pale reflection is our sense of ‘I’.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj,
I Am That
Don’t be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.
Richard Bach, Illusions
In the Vedic worldview, death is not the opposite of life. It is, rather, an integral and essential aspect of life. And to understand life, we must understand the truth of death.
The long and the short of it is this: there is something that does not die when the body dies. This something is consciousness. It is what we are. ‘I’ do not die. This body dies, this mind dies, this ability to experience the physical realm dies, but I go on.
Our body is dying all the time. Cells are replaced continually. It is said by some scientists that there is no cell in my body more than two-and-a-half years old. Including my bones and teeth. Yet ‘I’ remember being five years old and eight years old and twelve years old. I remember being 40 and 50. Obviously, this that remembers is not the body.
What is it?
It is consciousness.
The Veda says that consciousness is all there is.
I am. This much I know. And according to the Veda, this ‘I Am’ is consciousness. Before this body was born, consciousness was. When this body fails, consciousness will continue.
We meditate in order to introduce ourselves to this I Am. We go beyond our thoughts and feelings and ideas, our experience of this body, in order to begin to know ourselves as something ‘other than’ all this. We meditate in order to know our true Self. In a very real sense, when we meditate, we are practicing dying. Going beyond all these ideas of self to an experience of Self. And rather than being frightening or painful, it is pleasant, profound and quite often fun. It is an infusion of life. It is the supremely comforting experience of that which never changes, which never dies, which goes on no matter what happens here at the physical level. Like finding your true tribe, at last, you belong.
Today I will imagine what life would feel like if I could be free of suffering, free of fear, free of death and free of the fear of death. I will ask of myself to imagine joy everlasting, and I will seek to feel some small part of it in my day.