Death is ____. Fill in the blank. What is death? What’s the first word that pops into your mind? Scary? Final? Dark? Necessary? Inevitable? Fascinating? Puzzling? Normal? Undeniable? Welcomed? Accepted? Tragic? Deserved? Undeserved? Natural? Accidental? Intentional?
What is our relationship with death? It’s like this thing that we know waits for us. That we know we’ll meet one day. That we understand and accept meets people we know and people we don’t know every single day. That we maybe wish would meet some sooner than others. We know its existence quite well…but consciously know so very little about it. We hear about it. We talk about it. It’s sometimes tragic. It’s sometimes thought to be deserved. It’s normal. How often do we hear about a co-worker or a friend of a friend passing? We give the brief, obligatory “Wow. That’s sad” then we keep right on eating our cereal. Life goes on staring death square in the face.
But as common as death is…so intricately part of life…it still drives fear, doesn’t it?
I believe entire religions were formed to provide something that we humans can hold onto in place of our fears of death…the unknown. Because the truth is in our human experience we don’t have the facts. No living being can provide a YouTube clip, Instagram image, SnapChat, or Periscope video of what happens when we die. Can you image how many hits that would get? We thirst to know because we know someday we too will meet death. But in the absence of certain knowing, we’re left with belief.
Some choose to believe death is it. Bam. Curtains. You’re done, it’s over, fade to black. Some choose to believe in Heaven and Hell. Within this belief, I picture hopping on some elevator with only 2 buttons: Up and Down. Once you’ve stepped foot inside, either you’re heading up to the pearly gates to this wonderful, bright place where all is rich, peaceful, and wonderful…or you’re plummeting into the depths of a torturous place where you’ll remain in pain and agony for all eternity. I believe we are all standing in that elevator right here and now. Which button are you pressing? While for others it’s reincarnation: A philosophical concept that the soul can begin a new life in a new body.
Be that as it may, death is the result of dying. Dying is an action…a process. It’s an inevitable, undeniable process of living. If you live, you must die my friend. But both play part in being. What if we widened our focus to the being…instead of the living and dying? Being is ____. What words come to mind now? Here are mine…
Being – A One Act Play
Scene 1: Two beings, a FATHER and SON, rest together in the vastness of space and time in tune with human experience.
SON: There are so many worried and unsure. Why?
FATHER: Because they’re scared.
SON: But why are they scared?
FATHER: Well, they’re scared of dying son.
SON: (Laughs) That’s crazy! No they’re not! You’re kidding! The dying seems to be one of the best parts of being! Why would they be scared?? To start anew? To exercise free will in choosing the next path?
FATHER: (Chuckles) Well, in their current state of consciousness they don’t know that. To them, death is a troubling puzzle. To most, death is the end. They don’t know what comes next. In the absence of knowing, they feel fear.
SON: But…that one…that one right there! He’s lived thousands of experiences. He passes through. How can he be scared now? In this particular experience?
FATHER: He’s in his human experience son. That’s the best way I can explain it.
SON: But why? I just don’t get it. Does he not carry the knowing of his experiences from one to the next? You yourself have told me of your experiences. Were you scared too?
FATHER: Yes. I was scared from time to time. But you see, it’s not until being outside the human experience that I understand…that I’m…free. Liberty happens outside the constraints of the five senses that dominate the human experience.
SON: But why daddy? Why is this human experience so constrained?
FATHER: Didn’t I tell you you’re not allowed to ask me ‘why’ more than two times in a row? (Laughs) My answer is this: Because. To place thought after the because if the richness of all experience. All consciousness. All being. So I invite you to place your thought after the because…
SON: Well…it’s a gift. Yeah. It’s a gift Daddy! The not knowing…makes the knowing…amazing. And with all the cycles of being, the gift can be received over and over again!
FATHER: I think you’re right son. I think you’re right.
FATHER: Yes son?
SON: Why don’t I remember any of my human experiences?
FATHER: (Pauses) …because you haven’t had one yet.