Our Relationship With Immortality:
People who don’t know what to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon want to live forever. That’s the lure of immortality. All throughout our lives, we strive for wealth, fame, knowledge and happiness. We also long for immortality because we don’t want to be forgotten.
We want to avoid the inevitable, we fret about it and we feel abnormal about the most normal aspect of everyone’s lives – including our death. Death is normal, what is abnormal is the child dying before the parent.
We fear death because of two reasons primarily.
• Death is this unknown that will be the end of everything we can do.
• Death is the one that will take away from us everything we love and hold dear to us.
Poetry On Life And Death:
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was deeply influenced by the Vedas and the Upanishads, the Hindu scriptures. He wrote several poems to show his admiration for these works. In the poem, Leaves of Grass, he acknowledges the immanence of God and the ability of our intuitive knowledge.
In his poem, Song of Myself, he wrote:
I know I am deathless
We have thus far exhausted
Trillions of winters and summers,
There are trillions ahead, and
Trillions ahead of them.
How Do People Die According To Tibetan Teachings:
As per Tibetan Buddhism preachings, this is how our elements leave our mortal being.
Earth element leaves:
You feel heaviness
Water element leaves:
You feel thirst
Fire element leaves:
You feel cold.
Air element leaves:
Our final out breaths are longer than our in breaths.
The Apology Of Socrates By Plato:
Socrates, the Greek Stoic who profoundly influenced Plato, a philosopher, is known for his claim that the unexamined life is not worth living.
According to Socrates, “To fear death is nothing other than to think oneself wise when one is not; for it is to think one knows what one does not know. No man knows whether death may not even turn out to be the greatest blessing for a human being; and yet people fear it as if they knew for certain that is the greatest of evil.”
When Socrates was condemned to death by the court of Athena for corrupting the youth with his teachings, he was hardly disturbed.
He found death as a blessing because for one, he would receive a wonderful rest with no dreams to disturb him; the other, because he would be able to talk philosophy with those who had gone before with impunity.
Both Plato and Socrates defined death as the ultimate separation of the soul and body. They regard the body as a prison for the soul and view death as the means of freedom for the soul.
Socrates believed that because of the immortality of the soul, death could not be evil, because to free the soul by guiding it to the eternal truths was the entire point of life. When death comes, it will be for the liberation of the soul.
The soul was in direct opposition to the human body, which he believed was nothing but a source of unwieldy passions and crude desires. It was the soul that was capable of seeing truth, and therefore at death, the soul would be set free to find true virtue and happiness — the point of its existence.
Instead of the now and in the moment, we are usually in memories, plans, reflections, regrets and judgements. Being in the now is in preparation for dying. ~ Ram Dass
Verses From Bhaja Govindam:
Adi Shankara wrote the well-known Hindu devotional poetry “Bhaja Govindam” (also called “Moha Mudgara”) in Sanskrit. This work confirms the bhakti movement’s emphasis on the idea that bhakti is equally vital to jñāna.
punarapi jananam punarapi maranam punarapi janani jathare sayanam,
iha samsare bahudusare krpaya’pare pahi murare – Verse 21
This samsara process, which involves birth, death, and laying in one’s mother’s womb repeatedly, is incredibly difficult to overcome. Murari, the destroyer of Mura, save me by Your Eternal Kindness.
Our Biggest Motivator:
Inspite of everything we do and are trying to become, death is the greatest equalizer of humanity. So, instead of worrying about it, let’s focus on making the most of our time here with one another. Instead of striving for immortality, we must work to make our present life worth living. Because in our quest for redeeming ourselves forever, we jeopardize the chance of the impact we can have in this world.
Everyday above the ground is a good day. Let’s start living out our best values today. And in the process, let’s not forget to contemplate about death once in a while. After all, it is our greatest motivator of all.
Bronnie Ware On Our Top 5 Regrets:
On the latest episode of my podcast – the incredible Bronnie Ware shares the five most common regrets of the dying – something she learned from being a palliative care nurse, supporting and comforting patients as they came to the end of their lives. pic.twitter.com/WKgmAs6uVP
— Dr Rangan Chatterjee (@drchatterjeeuk) September 13, 2023
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About The Article Author:
I see myself as an advocate for bringing social, emotional and character development to families, schools and communities. I never want to let this idea out of my sight – Our children are not just GPAs. I’m a Writer and a Certified Master Coach in NLP and CBT. Until 2017, I was also a Big Data Scientist. In December of 2044, I hope to win the Nobel. Namasté.
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Program Director & Essential Life Skills Coach for Kids and Busy Parents
COURAGE - A Pillar of FutureSTRONG Academy
Our children will one day face the real world without our support. Academic development is not the only skill they will need in the real world where people skills like taking the lead, emotional intelligence and a strong moral compass will determine who will shine. So, as parents who want to raise well rounded adults, we want to give them the right tools for their personal development.
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