FACING THE REALITIES OF LIFE:
A. FEAR OF DEATH
Death is an inescapable and inevitable reality. To ignore it is utter foolishness. To attempt to avoid it is impossible. To hope for physical immorality is absurd. The suggested exhortations are the following:
- Make death a part of life by understanding that life without death is incomplete and never possible.
As soon as we are born, we begin to die. Life is sacred so we cannot afford to squander it in daydreams, fantasies, and false hopes. Life without death, pleasure without pain, light without darkness, and good without evil, are never possible. We must either accept both or rise above both, by overcoming embodiment through the knowledge of self.
- Develop immunity against death by practicing meditation and dispassion.In meditation we try to reach our true identity, the deathless self, by crossing over the three states of consciousness – waking, dreaming, and deep sleeping. We partially and temporarily die in our physical and mental existence. With meditation, practice dispassion, which is knowing that nothing material will accompany us when we leave this earth and nothing in this world can be of any help to us to overcome death.
- Build your own raft to cross the ocean of mortality.Life is a journey toward our true self, the realization of which alone can give us immortality. But the raft for this journey is not given to us. Each person must build his or her own raft by the practice of self- awareness through meditation on the self and self-analysis. No practice of this self-awareness is ever lost. As we go on with our practices,all our experiences of self-awareness join together and grow in to a mass, which is called the raft on which a mortal crosses the ocean of mortality.
- Free yourself from all attachments. Our attachments and desires keep us tied to our physical existence. We often hope for the impos- sible and want to achieve the unachievable. To free ourselves from these attachments and desires, we need to cleanse ourselves. Just as we cleanse our body with soap and water, so do we cleanse our mind with self-awareness?
B. AFTER LIFE: –
Medicine and religion share at least one trait – both can be seen as responses to the prospect of death. But while science is quiet on a possible afterlife, following religious practices are shaped by their conception of their undiscovered country.
Judaism: – Jewish texts have little to say about a possible afterlife, placing more focus on the proper actions in this life, not the one to come.
Christianity: – The vast majority of Christians believe in heaven and hell – and that your destination depends on your deeds and faith during this life.
Islam: – Similar to Christians, Muslims believe in a day of judgment in the afterlife, when the dead will be divided between paradise and damnation.
Buddhism: – Though specific beliefs vary by sect, Buddhist hold fast to the doctrine of reincarnation, ending only in the final liberation known as Nirvana.
Hinduism: – Like Buddhists, Hindus believe in reincarnation and Karma, with the status of your next life depending on your actions in this life.
Taoism: – Life and death are flip sides of the Tao, and death is a transformation from being to nonbeing, with no heaven or hell.
6.08 – LIFE AFTER DEATH: –
Human life is animal existence but with human spirit empowering the brain with intellect. The human spirit in man makes possible the union with the Holy Spirit and mind and immortality of God. When mortal man dies, the body reverts to dust, and the spirit returns to God. The departed human spirit at death is in fact a spiritual mold, of itself unconscious, yet in the resurrection bringing in to the resurrected body all the memory, knowledge and character as well as form and shape of the person before death. The human spirit of itself cannot see, hear, think or know. The only real Life, inherent and self-contain- ing, lies in the holy spirit of God, united with the human spirit. The value of the human life lies in the human spirit and its potential of being united with God’s Spirit – which is God Mind and God –life.