I have been around death quite a bit in my life. (Not that everyone else hasn't, it is natural) When I was born, I died and was brought back to life. I have had my heart stop during a couple surgeries as well. I am not saying I remember anything about an afterlife, or that I know anything. I remember a "dream state," and "brgiht energy," but details are non-existent.
I personally do not have a "fear of death;" although, I still dislike the experience. What I mean is, death causes pain to those remaining. On the other hand, if a person accepts that death is unavoidable, and absolute, is there really much else of a reason to worry? Accepting death brings peace. No, I do not fear my own death, because when I die; I will know the answer I want to know. (what is really next?) I do dread death visiting others. Circumstances like tragedy, or violence all bring negativity, and it is sad knowing that someone is robbed of life. When it is unavoidable, or a close friend/family member, death brings sadness. I am not sad that said person is dead, more sad that everyone around is so upset. At the very least they could step back and realize that no matter how bad they feel, it is just a "temporary state of mind" they are going through.... I am sure that (for the most part) when someone dies they want their loved ones to be nothing but happy. Look at the situation, it is unavoidable, so accept it, and move on. Seeing others, unable to accept, or just struggling to deal, that is why I dread death. It is not always easy to be there for others.
The concept playing through my head as I type this.... Accepting death before one has even been alive for a quarter of a century.... That idea carries weight to me. When you think of the time-frame of geological processes, or cosmic processes, then compare them to a 25-100 year time span...
The problem in modern society is that most of the population are isolated from the reality of the natural cycles which govern everything. As a result, we appear to spend a great deal of energy avoiding death and are almost surprised when the inevitable comes along and touches our lives. Making it a taboo subject (well broken by Redbear ), has created fear and doubt where there really is no need for any: it is little more than a stage which all life must go through.
Society, generally, needs to start talking about it more! Not only do those facing death gain courage by their 'knowledge' of it, but those left behind are comforted by their acceptance of it. Many native cultures have no issues accepted death, whilst many western religions profit by maintaining the fear element.
Finally, there is a great lesson to be learned from death: the precious nature of life! Whatever your belief system, life is not something to take for granted, squander or waste. It is here, it is now, and it is limited. Live it, love it, nurture and care for it in all its forms.
Found these when I was searching for the Rinpoche quote:
In the world to come, I shall not be asked, "Why were you not Moses?" I shall be asked, "Why were you not Zusya?" :Rabbi Zusya
Parting is all we know of heaven, And all we need of hell. :Emily Dickinson
A man's dying is more the survivors' affair than his own. :Thomas Mann
...when we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings. :Sogyal Rinpoche
Is there no period of judgement on the journey in the Eastern tradition?
In egypt your heart is judged against the feather of truth from Maat. Who weighs it with scales.
This was in the book of the dead. There is a tibetan book of the dead too...hmmm..
The Bardol Thodol is known as the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Bardo Thodol translates loosely as "The great Book of Liberation through Hearing in the Between". What exactly is meant by "Hearing"? This invaluable tome is meant, not only to be studied, memorized, contemplated and meditated on throughout one's life but also ideally it is to be read aloud in the presence of the corpse by a Guru, friend or family member in the days that follow one's physical death. The Bardo Thodol serves as a step by step guide to liberation from the six realms of existence.
The judgment aspect is inherent in the whole process, as the direction of one's evolutionary momentum is decided by past deeds and karma. The moment of death is also a very important factor as one may be aware for much of one's life, only to fall prey to a wandering mind at the actual moment of passing which can be quite unexpected, "be ever watchful and vigilant for I shall come as thief in the night". In such cases the Bardo Thodol is especially useful and it is said that many, many lives of suffering on lower planes may be avoided through the hearing of it's wisdom at the appropriate time.
Death - Transition, passage, re-birth, ending / new beginning, etc.
Living life here in a way that will help us in the transition seems reasonable...
Living life "in a positive manner" / "according to the spirit" or whichever way you wish to describe the practice of charity, love, patience, kindness, understanding, etc. which we are told strengthens the spirit / soul and which we are further told is the same spirit that "raises us from the dead" / "guides us through the transition"...so the stronger the spirit is the easier the process will be and the weaker it is the greater the chance of problems during "passing" / "crossing over".
Living life in a way that if one were to die at any moment, there would be no regret. This is an important one, because this allows us to always be prepared to die. It is also very difficult to maintain 24 / 7. The last time I was in a life threatening situation (along with about 15 to 20 other people) it took me approximately 3 minutes to prepare myself for death. I am glad to have experienced that and feel better prepared now, but the point is I was not ready when the situation arose and that was a wake up call.
Regardless of where we are on the path, it would seem to me that the aforementioned should be done to help us with our "passing".
Does that seem reasonable to you?
Much love to all...
Although everyone hates and fears death,still it's inevitable and no one will "dodge" it.
knowing that...i think we have to prepare for what's after death..because death is the end of life and mortality...and the beginning of after life with it's immortal state.
in islam we have a concept said to us by our prophet : "work for your life as you'll never die,,and work for your afterlife as you'll die tomorrow".
"It’s clad in purple mist, my land,
In regal robe it is apparellèd,
A crown is set upon its head,
And on its breast a golden band—
Land, ho! land. "
""O Hear the voice of the Bard
Who present, past and future sees,
Whose ears have heard the holy Word,
That walked among the ancient trees..."
"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.”Rabindranath Tagore
Someone I know focuses more on what to do to prepare for their afterlife than living for today. They focus on what they think heaven will be, and their particular path to get there. For me, I think bringing heaven down to earth makes more sense. Meaning that we make life on earth more loving, kind, compassionate. I have found that some people are so focused on the afterlife it almost becomes selfish, where they focus on praying, etc., for their soul out of a fear of not making it there, and in the process obsess over trying to get others to think like them, because to them, they have the one and only way that is right. To me that's more ego based and fear based than anything, which I feel is the exact opposite of love.
Anyhow, at the moment of death, I wonder if it's not similar to that of birth... where you aren't really fully aware, kind of like when we fall asleep at night, it's like a slipping away that we aren't fully aware of, it just happens. If our memories are based in our brain, rather than in our spirit or soul, then I suppose it wouldn't matter, because once it happens we'd forget anyway, and thus it would be like it never really happened. Maybe too, our whole life would seem like it didn't happen once the memory is erased. In that sense, again, living in the moment for today and making life full of love and joy would be the goal. I take a zen approach to living as much as possible. It works for me better than focusing on thereafter. I can't control what will be once I'm gone, but I can control who I am in the now, and that's what matters to me. I don't like the fatalistic point of view of the reason for life being for what comes later. The point of life to me is in the now. When I'm dead, that will be the now, so I can then choose who to be then.
The Meaning of Life is to Eat the Apple - Me
Wisdom comes from asking questions
Nothing really matters, love is all we need. - Madonna
I predict the weather will be unpredictable this year - Sylvia Browne
An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind - Gandhi
If it doesn't make sense, it's usually not true. - Judge Judy
I think death is pretty cool. God put it there for a reason. The mathmatical value of realizing God is total peace and understanding, and there is saddness in death. So much right now that I believe we can evolve and come to understand death, not as a punishment, but something to learn from. I really do implement math into my system of philosophy and understanding. Death to me is a negative value. It is thought of as dark in this age etc. At least in the U.S. I think in China they wear white when they die etc. So the mathmatical value of their understanding of death is different over there. But, here where I live death is often feared and not understood.
So I try to understand death. Death can be looked at like this: Death is negative, Life is positive. These are crude terms, but if you want to put a value to the essence of what we feel about these things this is just a way. Yin is negative and black. Yang is positive and white. Positive and negative to not necessarily mean good and bad, although good can be seen as positive and bad can be seen as negative. Etc. So you can pick and choose through these alike values how to see death, when you realize that it is all God. And that God is trying to teach us something about all life. Just because we are in a way one with God, as I believe at the center of all of us is God, does not mean that life is perfect as it is now. It does not mean that God will learn for us. For some reason he made us in the image that he made his son, Jesus Christ in. And this is believed in some beleif systems of the world, which makes up a part of the concsiousness on earth. Humans are important, so why do we still die??
To stretch our human self to accept faith. We have faith that the world is the way it is now, even if it may be different. Just as so, we can choose to have faith and choose our faith about afterlife, and what's going on at earth, and reality. etc. The mind is also very holy, just as spirit is. Wonderous things can happen with the mind's help. In fact, I believe that our physical brains, is just a physical manifestation of the mind we possess in the nonphysical.
Yet we hurt, and we die. Hurting is likened to death. Just because God is above us, does not mean we have to hurt. We just have to accept in humility the all of life, and its components and values, and then we will know our place, and then we will probably decide that all is one and learning, so we do not have to feel bad for our own lacks and important streaks. We are like brothers and sisters...And all that entails.
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