When you walk through a forest that has not been tamed and interfered with by man, you will see not only abundant life all around you, but you will also encounter fallen trees and decaying trunks, rotting leaves and decomposing matter at every step. Wherever you look, you will find death as well as life.
Upon closer scrutiny, however, you will discover that the decomposing tree trunk and rotting leaves not only give birth to new life, but are full of life themselves. Microorganisms are at work. Molecules are rearranging themselves. So death isn’t to be found anywhere. There is only the metamorphosis of life forms. What can you learn from this?
Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal.
Sages and poets throughout the ages have recognized the dreamlike quality of human existence – seemingly so solid and real and yet so fleeting that it could dissolve at any moment.
At the hour of your death, the story of your life may, indeed, appear to you like a dream that is coming to an end. Yet even in a dream there must be an essence that is real. There must be a consciousness in which the dream happens; otherwise, it would not be.
That consciousness – does the body create it or does consciousness create the dream of body, the dream of somebody?
Why have most of those who went through a near-death experience lost their fear of death? Reflect upon this.
Of course you know you are going to die, but that remains a mere mental concept until you meet death “in person” for the first time: through a serious illness or an accident that happens to you or someone close to you, or through the passing away of a loved one, death enters your life as the awareness of your own morality.
Most people turn away from it in fear, but if you do not flinch and face the fact that your body is fleeting and could dissolve at any moment, there is some degree of disidentification, however slight, from your own physical and psychological form, the “me”. When you see and accept the impermanent nature of all life forms, a strange sense of peace comes upon you.