• July 22, 2016

    A member of the work group is at the point of transition.

    Is it clear to us that each of us must face death completely and utterly alone? The room may be stuffed with people…family and friends…but you are the only one who is dying. For everyone else, life goes on. Just not for you. No one else can do this for you or with you. You are on your own.

    Who would you want in the room with you in your last hour? Who would you want to see you during that incredibly intimate moment of your passing? Do you wish at that moment to have your attention available to you for this all-consuming challenge? Is there even a choice? Or is it ok with you to be attentive to the onlookers and feel their attention on you?

    The fact that we have only one experience of our death ensures that it remains a mystery. The fact that we cannot know physical death ahead of time is exactly its liberating power.

    We only get to do this once. We are also only born once but that was different; there was no choice in the matter. You were not asked for anything. What are you asked for now? Are you not asked to face your termination, the complete cessation of everything you know? Can you do this? Can you agree to your death? Death is an overwhelmingly present experience. Can you meet it? Can you engage in your own dissolution?

    None of us knows what happens at death. There are theories and lovely books about the wonderful life to come. Will these beautiful stories written by people who had not yet died sustain you at the moment of passing? Will your thoughts and beliefs matter? What happens to these stories when there is no brain to think them?

    Perhaps you think that death is the end, that nothing survives the passing of the physical body. You may be right but these thoughts have no more certainty or value than visions of paradise. Every tradition tells us that there is communication with the dead. Perhaps you have felt it. My personal view is that the universe contains all that ever was, is or will be. Nothing is lost but it is found again in another dimension of time. Perhaps death is the beginning of our greatest adventure. Are you willing to find out?

    (In the next post, we consider the question of how to prepare for death).