It was a beautiful day in autumn. The tall trees that ran along the driveway full of brilliant colours was astonishing. Holding my grandson, Declan, in my arms we both became aware of the wind and looked at the tall trees in silence. Together we watched the leaves, leaving their source of life dancing to their death was profoundly beautiful. He insisted that I pick up this rather large maple leaf that grazed his head and then fell on the black asphalt which gave accent to the it’s brilliant colours. He placed the large leaf on my head and laughed. Then he returned to looking again with a cute sensitivity.We spent several minutes starting about here and there trying to catch the leaves mid-air as we shared laughter.
What does it mean to be a human? Why are all of us thinking we are individuals when it is obvious we are not. We cling to our individuality and do not see that through it we only isolate ourselves hanging onto our particular experiences that we think are unique to us. We are all born and we all die and everything we experience in between birth and death with experience alone. Even twins are born at different moments. The word alone means all one, that is why war is a crime against humanity. Every generation seems to have its wars, which has become the common experience of human beings. Why is it that human beings have such difficulty with death? What are we afraid of? It cannot be avoided , death is the unknown. The human brain caught in the prison of time that it has invented is terrified to give up the notion that it does not know. It has then produced imaginations of a God and all the different religions leading to some utopian place, cultivated by the terror of its own ending. This terror has produced human grief. When grief is met with our self-centeredness we turn death into a delusion of our own making. We invent the here- after and seek comfort through the imaginations of good storytellers who give themselves qualities they don’t have, to comfort themselves and those who they serve. The cruelty of this movement sets the the griever and the comforter in a prison of their own making. Holding the spirit of the person to the earthly plane. Death is inevitable, no one knows about it only those who have passed on. To be in a state of sorrow after one loses someone is natural as in the joy of birth there is also the joy of death. Joy in the time you’ve had together, how you’ve helped each other discover your weaknesses and your necessity to change. Or the pain of eventually growing so far apart that there was never any common understanding between you and the other but adjust suffering.
When we are in a state of grieving are we grieving for ourselves or are we grieving for the person we’ve lost. The only way to answer this question is to discover what love is and what it is not. Love creates us, and love takes us back. The question is, have we lived our life in love? The ending of grief and all the self-centred activity of the ego self is to end all wars within and without. This I believe is the true message of death. If we live fully with love and compassion, for ourselves and others we will miss those who have passed on. Our heart wouldn’t ache and be in a state of suffering for ourselves. We would embrace all the things we have done to poison our relationship with the person we’ve lost. There is so much to our life good and bad. But when someone dies we only want to embrace the good we never want to embrace the bad. When we were hurtful to another, when we took them out of the knees with our cruelty or indifference. The times we must face are the times we couldn’t love them. When we were caught in our own self-interest or our limitation of putting up with their self-centeredness. We must embrace the times we criticized, threatened, humiliated, punished, withheld relationship, guilted. When we simply had no love in our hearts for them as we to are just human. When we face the truth of the people we are and how we have been conditioned, death is a little consequence. Death can be the thing that reveals to us the need for a deeper spiritual life removing all external psychology and ending the things created by thought. Life is for the living, then we die, then life just keeps moving like nothing happened. The sun will come up tomorrow, it will rain or be sunny, the flowers will grow, life continues indifferent to us. The ending of grief is facing the truth about ourselves and our lack of relationship with another. How we built an image about ourselves and our self-importance with that person and they let us down and then they felt our wrath. The same way they have built an image of themselves through their thinking process and in their perception, we let them down. To live is to be without an image of our self or another person which is what the movement of love is. The sorrow of death, reveals to us our attachment to a person. That attachment awakens in us the vulnerability of our own life coming to an end which is our terror. Here we seek comfort in any form as we live such self-centred lives. Thought has fooled us! It has a created a centre called self, built through time called experience. Most human beings are always seeking some type of experience especially in the life here after to ease their psychological suffering about their time coming to an end in death. To understand nothing can be known about death, that it will always remain a mystery is to accept something beyond the movement of thinking. From where life springs so it returns. I don’t know, my mind is the small and self-centred to grasp that! To come to a point where one sees one is nothing, is to sense the eternal.